She was about to unlock the mysterious door, when Denis’s quivering voice stopped her. She whirled around to see a bedazzled look ripple across his face.
“Flowers …” Katya dropped the key and ran to Denis. He had picked a few pink blooms, a lover’s bouquet. Their intoxicating perfume had pulled him into a kind of drowsy stupor. “For my darling wife!” He bowed dizzily and handed her the iridescent blossoms.
Katya was overcome by the soporific fragrance. Hand in hand, they stumbled toward home, forgetting all about the strange, round forest door. The old man watched, then stealthily followed.