Snowflakes levitate in the atmosphere as an icy trail leads toward a hill rising against a stellar ornamented sky. Joyous wobbles, then extends his arms outward.
“I’m going to fall!”
Nippy catches him.
“Thanks! You’re a real sweetheart.” Joyous says.
Nippy lets him go—his feet slip, slide and spin.
“Ouch! Now I know what friends are for!” Joyous says.
Winter places her hands on hips.
“Hey! I thought we promised to be quiet? You two peppermint heads are going to disturb the abominable snowmen! Come on. Get up, Joyous, or you’re going to have something really to complain about.”
Winter kicks Joyous, then walks along the ice path. The frost in the air crackles as the dark howls an icy breath. Stellar ornaments hang in the night sky—mythological characters of ancient lore shimmer through ribbons of green arctic light. Polaris glows above the cabin on the edge of a cliff. Winter keeps her eyes on the steady star while her pointy ears twitch and listen to the things that can’t be seen…
…the things beyond truth or reason…
…a frigid gale slices through Winter’s ear; the blood freezes into a red ravine across ridges of cartilage. A harsh breeze burns her face as tears solidify across her eyes. Winter shuts her eyes but the colors behind her lids condense into purple shapes which blend together and morph through a continuous evolution.
Purple shapes shatter and recombine into perceptible things—their long arms swivel around spherical bodies of dirty tundra. Winter opens her eyes, and the shapes that haunted the darkness behind her vision now haunt the darkness in front of her eyes.
A red light burns in the constellation of the Bull. The things in the dark grumble and mumble while their shivering rocky teeth clang a cold song. The tundra shifts under the weight of bulbous beings. Their decrepit limbs creep underneath Winter’s yeti skin hat. Hardened fingernails glide across her scalp while she dashes into the sea of black ahead.
The red light rivals the glow of Jupiter—a crimson shine which pushes back the darkness like a cosmic lighthouse. The frosty air gnaws upon Winter’s pointy ears; pain yanks her forward as if she’s being pulled by an invisible leash. The tundra crumbles under the weight of sculpted nightmares. Winter looks toward the red light; her eyes squint and flutter at the bright radiance.
“It can’t be…” Winter says.
The red light descends from the sky and flies across the flat tundra. Antlers collide into a snowy nightmare as frosty pieces of ice shimmer like pieces of frozen blood.
“Rudolph! We need to get the hell out of here.” Winter says.
She hops upon Rudolph’s back, and then he rears upward and smashes his hooves through an round icy head. Winter slides down his back as she wraps a hand around a leather collar.
“Whoa! Take it easy.”
Rudolph kicks his hind legs into an abominable snowman’s gut, while Winter’s face propels forward into a mass of fur.
“See! I told you!” Joyous says.
Two elves emerge from the dark.
“I’ll be frostbitten! It is Rudolph! I thought Santa ate him last year.” Nippy says. They hop aboard the red nosed reindeer as it levitates in the air.
“Ummm…do you think we weigh too much?” Nippy asks.
“Uhhh…no…of course not…we’ll be safe…probably…I think…hold on…tighter…just in case…” Joyous says.
Rudolph spins, plummets, then climbs a low angle across the night sky. The butterflies in their stomach flutter as a giggle wiggles out of Winter’s mouth.
“Not too high…haha…Rudolph…haha…slow down…we need to pay Mrs. Claus a visit…bring us to the cabin…”
Rudolph kicks his legs while the cold air howls icy particles—the frigid bits rip through the fleshy fibers of their exposed face—as if an aerial frosty feline scratches their skin.
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