by Allison Jae, Oct 30, 2008
Erika and Emily had never seen snow, but when these strange white flakes came falling from the sky the people of their village saw it as a sign of death,remembering the old legend of the evil winter witch.
“It's the end of the world,”a man shouted through the village. Emily ran to her window to witness the commotion. She giggled, her blond curls bouncing back and forth. She jumped up and down while kneeling on a tiny wicker chair.
“What's so funny?” her older sister Erika asked.
“Go away. I'm watching the clown,” Emily said, still bouncing up and down.
Let me see,” Erika said,pushing her sister out of the way. She got a good look at what intrigued Emily so much. “What's that white stuff?”
“Snow,”Emily sang. “Snow! Snow! Snow!” she sang,while dancing around the room.“Snow, snow, snow,” was all she could say.
“Emily,stop saying that,”Erika shouted.
“I don't have to,”she said.”It's not my fault I know what the white stuff is,and you don't.”
“Do so,”Erika fired at her sister. “It's snow.”
“Yea,you know,only 'cause I said so. Erika don't know. Erika don't know.” Emily continued to tease her sister.
Emily was right that her sister didn't know what the white stuff was. No one in the village of Danue did. For as along as legend proved, once it did,the world would end.
Erika noticed the mayhem filling the people of Danue. To five year old Emily, it was a game. The snow, the frightened villagers,even the forbidden woods. Emily liked wandering off into the woods to play, claiming that she heard voices. Twelve year old Erika never believed her, but now she wondered.
The next morning when Erika woke she found her sister gone. Erika looked out the window only to see the blinding blanket of snow, but no people filled the once happy village. Erika made a run for the door, but when she opened the door, a rush of cold air chilled her senses. She never felt winds like this before. She went into the bedroom and piled on as many clothes as she could.
Never having experienced cold weather, her wardrobe made her unprepared for the winds that would nip the skin. She ignored her shivers as much as she could, instead worrying about where Emily might have run off to.
“Emily,” she called, trudging through the woods. The snow had reached her knees making it hard for her to walk.
She could find no footprints to help her search, but she did find something of color peeking out from the snow. She ran towards it to see what it was.
“Emily's rag doll,”she said.
Erika staggered on until she reached a clearing. She heard the laughter of a little girl and knew instantly that it was Emily, but when she reached the sight where the child was playing she beheld a lady in white with light blue skin and eyes of night wearing a crown of ice.
She looked into the face of her sister to see that she had changed. “Emily,”Erika cried. Emily had changed. Her face was pale and her hair was the color of snow. “Emily, help me.”
“Who is Emily?” the little girl asked. She looked up at the lady in white. “Mother, who is Emily?”
“No one, dear child,” the lady in white said, kneeling down the look into the child's eyes. She stood upright and took the child's hand. “Come, now. We must go.”
“No, Emily,”Erika cried. “Help me. Please, remember.”
“We must help her,Mother.”
“No, she wishes to take you away. Begone, evil one.”The lady in white conjured in her hands sharp ice javelins and threw them towards Erika.
“Please,Mother, don't hurt her.”
“Emily,make her stop. Please, ma'am. Don't take my sister. She's all I have.”
A tear came into the lady's eyes as Emily ran towards her sister.”Oh, Erika, I hope you're not hurt.”Emily looked back on the cold creature with pity.”Please,don't be sad. Erika needs me.”
“If you go you will not return.”
“Why not? Do you not want me to return?”
“Of course, Emily, and do bring your sister if she wishes.”
“Yes, Ma'am,” Erika said, staggering towards the lady.”You are the Ice Queen, the keeper of Winter.”
“Yes, Erika. Emily had awakened me from my sleep. Winter now must consume the land as it did not for so many years.”
“Please, your majesty, return the land to its former self.”
“But winter must come.”
“Then let it come,” Erika said,suddenly kneeling before the ice queen.”But at the proper time. Now, it is spring, so let it be spring. When it is winter let it be winter.”
“So be it. Leave me to my rest, but I will return. Winter will come as it should. Take this candle. The flame will burn until winter comes. Then you must return to wake me. Good-bye,sweet children.”
The Ice Queen returned to her cave where the sisters could hear her blissful sounds of sleep. Slowly, the snow started to disappear and the warm air of the sun embraced all it touched.
The sisters returned to their village to witness a joyous celebration in the streets. The people were happy again. Winter would return,but there would be no grim death the people once feared.
The sisters carried the blue flame of winter, happy in their task as helpers of the Snow Queen.
To read more from Allison Jae please follow this link https://www.triond.com/users/Allison+Jae
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