(excerpt from ...)

EAST LIES THE SUN (end of Chapter 19)

Tanya rubbed the frost off her lashes with her mittens and blinked to clear her eyes. A flickering light winked at her out of the night, like a beacon in a shoreless sea. They pushed toward it, afraid to lose it, when another appeared beside it, and soon dozens of them beckoned to the weary column. They stumbled on, recharged by hope, guided and drawn by the lights, cheered by the thought that the nightmare was ending. They strained to hear a break in the silence, perhaps an echo of human life from the shore. And then it came: a faint barking of a dog.
     After moving for hours without any outside living sounds, a link with life was near -and with it a shore, an izba, so coveted with its heat and body smells. She choked her sobs, afraid their sound might silence the barking and destroy the mirage, exposing a trick of a fevered imagination.
     But the barking continued, and the lights looked brighter and closer. It was real and it was getting bigger. Safety was near. Safety! She remembered Paul's doubts. Who was waiting for them on the shore? What if they had survived all the superhuman trials only to walk into a trap set up for them in Mysovaya?
     Bending her head, she prayed.