The snow was fresh and crisp under Malcolm’s feet and he revelled in the crunching sound it made as his boots descended.  It was deep, almost to his knees, and the journey would take many hours, but he had been entrusted with a very important task and would not be deterred.  Mother was counting on him.  He continued forward, using one mitten covered hand to shield his eyes from the bright sun.  The field was empty and silent except for his clomping and although it was high noon, Malcolm felt uneasy.  He stopped to take a drink of cocoa from the flask his mother had given him.  It was warm and sweet, and if he hadn’t glanced back it would have comforted him.  But he did look back.  There in the snow, a few paces behind his own ragged boot prints, were the unmistakable imprints of small bare feet.  The flask slipped from Malcolm’s hand and as he struggled to breathe, the foot prints moved towards him.