Vasya, my main character, is a serf who has been abused and imprisoned by her sadistic owner. In captivity, but faced with the first real prospect of escape, she falls into a restless sleep:
She dreamed of her childhood. Her grandmother’s face, peering down at the cluster of cowering children–Vasya and her cousins–hollow cheeks and knobby features deeply shadowed in the winter lamplight.
“Be good, little children,” the old woman hissed. “Don’t make a peep, or Baba Yaga will hear and she’ll take you away with her forever.”
Vasya and her cousins nodded solemnly, suitably cowed by the threat of Baba Yaga, the evil witch, who travelled on a flying mortar. She lived in a house with tall chicken legs that walked about the countryside, collecting up children, who were never heard from again. Baba Yaga would eat the children for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Then, for dessert, she’d save the sweetest, tiniest, most succulent little babies–or at least, that’s what Vasya’s cousin claimed. Continue reading