It took the rescuers a month to dig their way to the mountain cabins through snowdrifts a metre high. Dagmar’s was the last they reached.
“Don’t reckon it’ll be pretty,” Sergeant Rasmussen warned the volunteers. That morning they’d found Sven and Inga’s frozen bodies wrapped together in a final embrace, each of the children neat and cold in their beds. All the children bar two. The dog had eaten them.
They forced their way into Dagmar’s house, crunching over the litter of small bones. The cleaver caught Rasmussen in the neck.
“Food,” the old lady croaked in relief.