It were a fear of death. Not the Death of her easily corruptible body, but of her very Immortal soul.
Why for should she feel such a fear? Why was she still so powerful afraid?
Had she not signed the Book? Had she not shed herself of her raiment like Eve herself in the Garden, returning to a time before Shame? Had she not danced with the coven, and found herself unbound by the Laws of nature?
And yet the fear, the terrible Fright, sinking deep into her bones. Thomasin thought of the winter five years ago, when no fire, no matter how well it be stoked nor how bright it be burning, could bring her warmth. It was that cold that filled her as oil in a lantern, and it was that cold she would now burn as fuel.
Thomasin stood at the edge of the forest, looking upon a simple hovel, a tendril of smoke rising from the chimney. She would fain turn around, return to her home, let the cold seep back out into the world. She would die, if that were her choice; she would shrivel like an old blackened mushroom dug out of a putrid cave brought out into warm sunlight. The thought that she could still make that Choice and none should stop her gave Thomasin the courage to step out of the trees toward the hovel, toward the sound of the baby's cries.