Prompt: Winter Solstice

Tradition

The three of them gathered on the shortest night of the year.

The celebration would be later—the whole family, Kahlan glaring at Darken, Zedd glaring at Darken, Cara carefully not looking at Darken…the children running around and opening their Creatormas gifts.

But the solstice was just for the three of them.

They didn't speak; Jennsen cradled her candle, careful lest the wind snuff it out.

"We are here tonight to pay our respects to She who created us all," Darken intoned seriously. Suck-up, Jennsen thought.

"And to those who came before us," Richard said. His candle made shadows dance across his face.

Mother, Jennsen thought, remembering…the Keeper might've been defeated, but the deaths in their past remained with Jennsen.

Creatormas was a time of joy—the birth of the first of the Creator's children.

But tonight, the Rahl siblings mourned for all they had lost.

Richard blew out his candle, and Jennsen and Darken followed suit. They sat in front of their small, smoldering fire, each alone with their own prayers.

Jennsen knew Richard's would be full of thanks and hopes for his wife and children—their safety, their happiness…Darken's would be thinly veiled pleas to be admitted into the select group of the Creator's favorites.

Jennsen didn't know what to pray for—she felt safe, here, seated between her brothers. A real family, at last.

She had much to be grateful for.