"How strange humans are! How little do they see! How little do they understand! Hidden in their small world they can not see beyond. Carrying on with their every day activities they stop looking around them, they lack the ability to remark the most beautiful things, they see it as ordinary.”
Winterfairy was standing in her crystal chariot and her long white hair was blowing in the night wind. Her frozen blue eyes were peeping through the darkness. Her smooth white face with red cheeks and purple lips could easily fool you. She looked like a teenager with porcelain skin and crooked smile. Yet thousands of years had passed her by. The chariot was flying over a dark pine forest carried by two white horses with large and gracious wings. The night was dark and freezing cold. But this seemed not to affect the fairy, covered in her white and warm furs. It was the night before Christmas and Winterfairy decided it was time to cover the world with her thick and cold layer of snow. Large and dense snowflakes were falling around her. It was snowing and a cold wind was playing with the branches of the trees, with the snowflakes and with her long white hair. The curtain of snowflakes made it impossible to see in front of her, but the fairy did not trouble her mind with these small things. She completely trusted her horses.
“Really, humans are very strange” Winterfairy continued her loud thinking. “How can they understand the miracle of snow?” she asked and smiled while snowflakes tangled in her hair and her eyelashes.
“Are you all right, lady Amber?” asked one of the horses and turned its head to her. It was the first time it was hearing her speak like this.
“Don’t worry Star, Silver” she replied and leaned her head on the white furs. “ I was just wondering. Why don’t they believe? They think they are so powerful and yet they are so weak. They think they know so much and yet they know nothing. I am scared Silver. I am scared Star. I just hope that this night we will find the right person.”
“And yet, my lady, the road takes us to the human village this night” Silver spoke. “Do you want me to change course?”
Winterfairy sighted and nodded her head.
“No” she whispered. “ I trust my father’s wisdom. If he says that our road should take us to the human village tonight, then we should go there.”
The horses seemed to agree with her.
“Only a fool could doubt the wisdom of your father, lady Amber” said Star and after a small pause added “ the master of weather and of the seasons.”
There was silence again. So quiet that Winterfairy could hear the sound of the snowflakes falling on the layer of snow on the ground. The forest looked like an immense whipped cream cookie with hundreds of green candles on it. From time to time the branches of the trees were giving in under the load and the snow was falling on the ground with a small buffed sound. The lights of the village were appearing in the horizon and the fairy closed her fists with wonder and anticipation. They flew over the last trees and the village took shape under her eyes hidden in the small valley. A thin frozen river was surrounding it like a guardian. The little houses were covered with a large layer of snow. The cars and the picket fences were lost, hidden, seemed like sleeping under a warm blanket. And the snowflakes continued to fall, hitting the glass of the windows with a sharp sound and the snow on the ground with a more sweet and soft sound. Everything was white with shades of blue. No step on the road, no sign of life in sight. It seemed like the village was sleeping, lifeless and cold.
The hard wind blowing was playing with the snowflakes creating strange waves and shapes in the snow on the ground. If it weren’t for the warm lights in the windows you could have thought that the place was deserted. The chariot stopped in front of a yellow brick house. Under the layer of snow it looked like a big cookie or a mushroom. Winterfairy smiled and stepped out. The snow crunched under her feet. She caressed the horses and then she moved towards the house. She went to the window and looked inside. The room was large painted in a warm cream color and full of light. In the middle there was a table covered with a white tablecloth and on it a basket with apples, oranges and grapes. It looked warm and cozy and Winterfairy smiled again this time because she liked what she was seeing. In one corner of the room a beautiful Christmas tree stood with red ornaments. In front of the wonderful and sparkling tree, a small girl was drawing. On a kitchen chair she laid her papers and coloredpencils. She was staying on the floor and using the chair as a little table. From time to time she was stopping to watch breathless the decorations in the
tree. Her wide blue eyes were sparkling and looked like two deep blue oceans. With her black short hair and round face she looked angelic enough to be hanged upon the branches as a decoration. Her little fingers were handling a blue pencil on a purple paper and the top of her pink tong could be seen in a corner of her mouth. The kitchen door opened and Winterfairy could see the ladies of the house making the preparations for the Christmas dinner. One of thewomen closed it again. For one moment the little girl’s head raised and her small nostrils trembled. “She is probably dreaming of the chocolate cakes, whipped cream and sugar cookies” thought Winterfairy and laughed. The sound of her laughter made the child turn her head to the window. “She can hear me”spoke the fairy to the white horses. “She is the one person we are looking for. I have found her. I have found Annalise. Yes, Annalise is her name.” She pressed her hands on the cold window and called inside.
The little girl looked around her in wonder.
The warm blue eyes inside met the cold blue eyes outside. Annalise stood up and came closer to the window. She put one warm finger on the glass and the ice
flowers melted in that spot permitting her to see outside.
“You are so beautiful!” exclaimed Annalise to the fairy.
Winterfairy elegantly passed her white hand on her long and thick hair.
“You are not afraid of me?” she asked the girl.
The child shook her head.
“Then come outside” whispered the Winterfairy.
Annalise tiptoed to her room, she opened the closet and took out her warm clothes. She put on her red velvet coat and her small boots. The carefully she met her mufflers and red beret and scarf. Silently she went outside. Winterfairy was waiting for her in front of the door. She was dressed in a long white fur coat and the little girl had a problem in the beginning to distinguish her from the snow. She was looking amazed at that beautiful young woman with long white hair.
“You are Annalise, isn’t it?” asked the fairy
“Yes, I am” answered the child and after a small pause she asked “Are you an angel?”
“No” she answered and put her hand with long fingers on the black curls of the girl. “I am lady Amber.”
“Nice to meet you, lady Amber”
Winterfairy kneel so that she could be on the same level with the girl and looked inside her dark blue eyes.
“Why are you sad, Annalise?”
The child seemed embarrassed a moment and she blushed.
“You are going to laugh at me, just like mummy and Auntie Louise”
“No, I will not” replied the fairy.
“The poor little doggy, he hurt his paw and now he can’t walk”, said the little girl very quietly. “Our teacher read us it’s story in school one week before the Christmas holiday started.”
“And you felt sad for it.”
“Yes, lady Amber, I felt sad. But I was the only one. The other children laughed.”
“Well, that was very mean of them” Winterfairy replied.
“My mother also laughed when I told her about the little doggy. She told me not to be bothered with this kind of stories. She told me I should do some math exercises instead or practice the letters. Grown-ups” she mumbled a little angry. “They never understand what is really important. I always have to explain it to them.”
‘You know what?” said the Winterfairy. “ I will not laugh and more then that, I know about the little doggy.”
“Really” the girl’s eyes sparkled with amazement. “But grown-ups never care.”
Winterfairy nodded in aprovement.
“I agree with you, however, I am not a grown-up”
“But you have white hair, like my grandmother” Annalise very quickly responded.
“Let me tell you a secret, Annalise. Can you keep a secret?”
“Yes” the child replied and put a finger to her small mouth. “Shhh”
“Yes, shhh” , smiled the fairy. “I am much more older then your grandmother and yet so much younger. Thousands of years passed over me and even if other thousands of years will pass me by I will always be young. My spirit will always be young. I am Lady Amber, the Winterfairy.”
“You are the Winterfairy!” shouted the little girl and then quickly covered her mouth with her hands to hide the secret that just burst out of her. “That’s why you are so beautiful.” But then she looked inquisitively at the fairy. “Can you prove it?”
“Come with me into the yard!” Winterfairy told her and took her by her small hand.
They stepped out and the snow crunched under their feet. Annalise loved the sound. She looked around fantasized. The picket fence was not visible any more under the snow; the cars were sleeping quietly covered with a white thick layer of snow. The black trees seemed like restless spirits in the night bowing respectfully under the power of the wind. Every bench looked as if decorated with silver. Annalise stood motionless watching how it snowed. White crystals felt on her black hair and her red coat.
“Naughty, naughty snowflakes” she whispered and started to pet herself gently.
“My snowflakes like you” Winterfairy told her.
“How do you know that?”
“They told me.”
“Snowflakes can talk?” the child asked amazed.
“Of course they can.”
“Can I hear them?”
Wintefairy raised her arm and suddenly the little girl heard an uproar of shrill voices and laughers falling from the sky. It was like the schoolyard full of children on a Monday morning. Annalise’s ears didn’t knew what to listen to first and her eyes didn’t knew where to look first. She suddenly felt the unstoppable desire to run, to shout and to play in the snow. She jumped from Winterfairy’s hand and started out into the yard and into the parking lot. The voices around her were making her feel as light as a feather. “Wee, I am falling!: shouted one of the voices. “What a wonderful evening!” “I will fall on that tree!” “See that beautiful little girl? I want to fall on her black hair!” Annalise run around the parking lot trying to catch snowflakes in her small fists and on her toung. The she let herself fell in the snow and started to throw it around her. She made snow angels while laughing. Her cheeks were asred as ripped apples.
Winterfairy was watching her play, a little spot of red in an ocean of white. Annalise stopped for a moment. She had been laughing so hard that small tear drops were starting to appear in the corner of her eyes. She amazed herself a moment watching the vapours coming out of her mouth. The fairy raised her arm again and the voices were silenced. Annalise turned to her but her eyes stopped on a small bench in the yard. Underneath it a little black dog was trembling and crying. The little girl felt sad and guilty. She has been laughing and playing while the poor animal has been suffering. She stood up and gently patted the snowflakes from her coat. She went to the dog. Bowed and put her small hand on his head. The dog looked at her with painful eyes. Winterfairy came behind Annalise and leaned over to her. A small tear came from her frozen eyes and transformed into crystal before it hit the ground.
“You have found me” said the dog and Annalise felt scared to hear how weak it’s voice was. “You are the little girl that cried when hearing my story.”
“Yes, this is Annalise” whispered Winterfairy.
“Only you can help me” spoke the dog again. “A bad boy hurt my paw ans I can not walk. It is too painful. Please, will you help me?”
The girl looked at the fairy to see her nodding in aprovement.
“How can I help you?” asked Annalise.
Winterfairy sighted and spoke:
“He needs to drink one cup from the water of life… I am afraid”, she added.
“Water of life!” repeated the girl.
“Yes, Annalise. The water of life can heal any wound. It is very difficult to find it.”
“But I have no idea where to look for it” whispered the little girl.
“Then everything is lost” said the dog.
Annalise turned two large and pleading blue eyes towards the fairy. She smiled.
“I know where you can find it, but it is very dangerous and we need a very good plan. You will have to fight evil things and travel foreign countries. And
you are so small.”
“I am not very little”, Annalise replied. “I can do a lot of things. I even helped mummy with dinner and cleaning the house for Christmas.”
Winterfairy smiled again.
“That would mean that we will have to leave tonight and face a lot of dangers, Annalise. Are you ready for that?”
Annalise took the dog in her arms and stood up from the ground.
“We can not leave doggy down: she said very convinced.
“Well the, let’s go” said Winterfairy.
“I knew I can count on you” answered the dog and licked Annalise’s hand.
“Are we walking, Lady Amber?” the girl asked and then she went silent as she saw the crystal chariot sparkling in front of the house. “Flying horses!” she
shouted and ran towards them to pet them.
“We are not pets” replied Silver and shook it’s head making the small bells ring in a beautiful music.
Winterfairy laughed and helped Annalise step into the chariot and met the dog on her lap. She climbed also near the girl and covered both of them with the white furs. On her command the chariot rose up into the air and started flying towards the forest. Annalise looked upon the village whose houses were becoming smaller and smaller.
“Lady Amber” she turned to Winterfairy “Where are we going now?”
“Well, we are going to see the Queen. She will know what is to be done. She will have a plan.”
“Is your queen smart?” asked the girl.
“Yes, Annalise. Queen Tarja is the queen of all the fairy lands. She is the most beautiful and the smartest and greatest enchantress ever. She is a very good
Winterfairy went silent and so the little girl for a moment. She seemed to ponder over the fairy’s word for some time and then she turned towards the landscape and the snow. She opened her mouth to let the snowflakes fall on her pink tong.
Winterfairy laughed and looked in front of her. The chariot was getting to the end of the forest and approaching a dark and thick fog. It looked like a veil of vapors waiting for them and covering the last small and young trees of the forest.
“Take my hand, Annalise” said the fairy. “The chariot will go inside the fog.”
“I am not afraid of the fog” shouted the little girl but the moment they entered inside the black and thick smoke the fairy felt the girl’s hands squeezing her arm very tightly. “It’s going to be all right” she whispered while the fog surrounded them. It was so thick that she couldn’t see anything. The child was trembling in her arms and her little hands were gripping so hard to her arm that she felt it going numb. “Annalise, listen” she said and in all that darkness they could hear the sounds of the bells around the horse’s necks. “As long as you can hear them, nothing wrong can happen to you.” The chariot broke the veil of fog and burst out into the clean night air. A complete silence and coldness surrounded them. Annalise looked up and saw the most possible clear sky. The stars were shinning on it clear and perfect, like millions of little diamonds on a dark blue velvet coat. And yet it seemed cold, still and frozen. When she looked beneath her, the girl saw a wide endless sea. It’s waters were black and on it’s surface pieces of ice were floating. The sea also looked lifeless and frozen.
“Where are we?” Annalise asked.
“The Sea of Tranquility” said Winterfairy as slowly as she could. ”It makes the connection between our world and yours. Nothing and nobody can live in here”
she continued and watched Annalise who was suddenly becoming very tired and let her head on the fairies lap.
Winterfairy covered her with the furs and held her in her arms.
“Especially humans can not live in here. They all died of whom tried to pass. But I will keep you alive. My powers, the warmth of my furs, and the magic of the chariot will keep you alive. Sleep, Annalise, for many wonders and many trials awaits you tomorrow and you need your strength.”
Her frozen light blue eyes tried to pierce again the darkness while she was speaking.
When Annalise opened her eyes in the morning, with her head on the fairy’s lap, she found herself watching a perfect blue sky above her. She stood up yawning and rubbing her eyes. Winterfairy was looking with a smile and waiting for her to wake up completely.
“Behold, Annalise!” she said when the little girl looked at her with her sleepy eyes. “This is my kingdom, the Winterland.”
Annalise looked over the edge of the chariot. They were flying above the clouds, white and fluffy clouds and a beautiful sun was shinning on a velvet blue sky. Still the air was freezing cold. Underneath the clouds Annalise could see spots of white snow or green forest. They were flying over a land of tall mountains covered with snow and deep dark green pine forests. The blue peaks of the mountains were piercing the clouds and stood tall in the sun covered by everlasting snow. The two white horses were flying over that beautiful landscape and the sound of their bells was so sweet in the morning air. Their large wings were moving graciously and they were very careful to avoid the peaks. Annalise had the wonderful sensation that she is on the top of the world.
A sudden ray of sun blinded her eyes. She blinked and when she opened her eyes she found out she was at home and in her own bed. Outside it stopped snowing
and the sun was invading through the large window. In front of her she saw the beautiful face of her mother.
"Wake up, sleepy head, Santa Claus was here and left you presents."
Annalise got out of bed in wonder.
"Where is the doggy?"
"How did you know that Santa brought you a doggy?"
"I met the Winterfairy and she show it to me."
The mother smiled and made her a sign to follow her. As they were going to the living room the woman stopped to whisper in the ear of the grandmother.
"Guess what, Annalise thinks that the dog we found with the broken paw and fixed it for her is from the Winterfairy."
Annalise shook her head with a sigh.
"Grown-ups, they never know what really happens."