One golden autumn, a woman shared an unguarded smile with her lover. Her husband's enemies saw it, and their smiles were gleeful cold.
Winter brought whispers. The woman stroked her belly, but told only one man her secret.
The whispers became a shout. The trusted man looked into the future, and saw only darkness. A wife condemned, a baby slain, a king defeated, all because of a smile.
But then, on the cusp of despair, he saw a way to salvage hope.
The living were doomed, but the child at least could be saved. Winter had come, but one long-distant day, the sun perhaps would shine again.
And he, too, smiled, a smile of dying things, and spring.