I've seen the movie Rise Of The Guardians a couple of times and I admit it, I fell in love with it! If one of you guys see a grammar mistake or a bad use of a word, please point it out, English is not my first language so these things tend to happen. Anyways, here's my story! Hope you like it and I'm sorry if it looks a bit rushed at some places. I don't know what Jack's sister's name is but I'll assume it's Pippa.
2015/04/17: Just a little fixes on my bad grammar and a few tweaks, sorry 'bout that!
Every winter solstice in Burgess, the people organized a party. Always bright with lights and filled with sounds of laughter and music, it lifted the weight in people's hearts that came with the knowledge that winter was not going to be easy, what with the blizzards and the cold. It also prepared their minds for the holiday that was Christmas who came four days after the festival. Food was prepared by the best cooks of the village and the music was played by ten of the most talented children in the village.
Pippa Overland led her nine year old daughter, Emily, by the hand to a group of children of various age who were chattering excitedly to each other. Most of them were carrying instruments such as guitars or harps. A few others were clutching violins, the same instrument as Emily's.
Pippa and Emily came to a halt in front of the group. The mother knelt in front of her nervous daughter. "Alright Emily, you'll remember to think of the notes a few times before you go on stage, it'll help, and you do exactly as we practiced and everything will be fine." She said.
Emily nodded slowly and swallowed, "Yes mommy, I will." She answered in a small voice.
Pippa noticed the doubt in her daughter's eyes and squeezed her small hand reassuringly. "Hey, it's alright. Remember, you're one of the most talented children in the whole village! You're even better than me when I was your age! You'll do great, I promise."
Emily tightened her grip on her violin. "Maybe, but I saw Zoe, the butcher's daughter practicing last week. She was way better than me."
Pippa smiled. "Maybe so, but she's five years older than you so it's only natural that she's more advanced than you are. Besides, nobody will be paying attention to the fact that she has a bit more skills to the violin than you do. You know, when she was your age, she had a lot of difficulty playing that instrument. She couldn't remember where the notes were and she didn't want to practice most of the time."
Emily looked puzzled. "She did? But she's so great when she plays now!"
Pippa chuckled. "Well do you know why that is?"
Emily shook her head.
"Because at one time, she got really frustrated that she always stumbled over her notes and that she couldn't hold the violin properly. Therefore, she gave up. But someone made her realize that giving up was never the good answer to challenges. So she took her violin again, and doubled her efforts. And now you can see where that led her." Pippa explained.
Emily frowned. "But mom, who's the one who convinced her to practice again?"
"It was the most amazing person I ever knew..." Pippa said with a sad tone.
Emily giggled. "Then was it you, mommy?"
Pippa smiled fondly and ruffled her daughter's hair. "Nope, it was someone even more special. I wish you could've met him..." She whispered the second part softly and stood up, leaving her daughter with more questions than answers.
Pippa glanced at the group of musicians. A few of them were humming the melody they were going to play while they gathered to hear the leader of the village as he explained the procedure of the show.
She nudged her daughter towards the group. "Go on." She said," You'll be great!"
Emily grinned at her mother and skipped happily to take her place with the group.
Pippa smiled and went to find her husband who was helping to serve the food to the people.
Pippa listened as Zoe played the last note of her song on her violin. It had been a beautiful song; her hard work and constant practice shining through her flawless technique. The villagers sat up from their chair and applauded, a few of them whistled. All of them had a wide smile stretching on their faces, including Pippa.
Emily was the last of the ten children to play since she was the youngest. The others did wonderful songs with guitars harps and violins and a few of them even sang while playing their instruments.
The leader of the village announced: "This is Emily Overland, playing the violin and signing."
Emily slowly walked on stage with a shy smile while the people cheered. She glanced nervously at her parents who gave her reassuring smiles.
The cheers died down and Emily took a deep breath, placing her chin on the violin. Her eyes darted anxiously across the crowd as she started her melody.
The people looked at her with anticipation as she began to sing.
"I remember tears streaming down your face when I said I'll never let you go…"
If only Jack could see you now... Pippa thought to herself. He'd be so proud…
She smiled sadly as she thought of her beloved brother that gave his life for her. It was then that she remembered a promise he made a long, long time ago. It may have seemed like so little, but the words he had spoken that day meant the world to her. Despite herself, she felt her memories taking her away…
"Jack, I'm scared." Little Pippa said. "What if they don't like me? What if I make a mistake and they all laugh at me? Where are Ma and Pa?"
Jackson Overland chuckled. "Wow, slow down little lady! You'll do great, I promise. As for Ma and Pa… They said they might be there in time to see you play. They're really busy with their work." He said sadly as he leaned on his shepherd's crook given by their dad for the previous Christmas.
Pippa clutched her violin to her chest. It was a beautiful instrument with skillfully carved designs on the sides. The wood was smooth and the strings were perfectly accorded so it made a charming sound when Pippa struck them. It was a gift from her brother for her birthday when she was turning six. She grew attached to it and played it every day. This year, she was ten years old and was chosen to play at the winter solstice as one of the most talented children in the whole village with the very same violin. A few people from the surrounding towns were coming to celebrate winter and listen to the children play, which made her nervous.
Pippa looked around her and shuddered. "I don't know half of these people." She whispered. "They're all strangers and they look at me funny." She shook her hear vigorously as if to block the sound around her. "I've changed my mind." She said in a squeaky voice. " I don't wanna play anymore. I wanna go home!"
She turned to run back to their house but Jack grabbed her arm in a firm lock. "Hey, you know you don't mean that!" He scolded. "You've been waiting for this day for the whole season! You've come this far, don't give up now. I know you can do this. Who cares what the others think? What matters is that you this and that you be proud of yourself for doing it, okay?"
She nodded slowly, her bottom lip trembling. He was right of course, he was always right.
Jack smiled gently, put his staff down and pulled his sister into a hug. "I'm proud of you Pippa, for doing this. I think it's very brave of you."
Pippa offered no answer and buried her face in the crook of Jack's neck.
"Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for coming to our festival, we greatly appreciate it and hope you are enjoying yourselves. "The voice of the leader boomed across the little village as he stood on the small stage. "It's now time for the children to show you their talents in music so please take a seat, the show will begin shortly. Children, if you could kindly follow me right this way."
Pippa swallowed nervously and pulled away from her brother's embrace. Jack picked up his staff and smiled softly at her. He nodded at the group of children that were fidgeting behind the stage where the leader of the village had ushered them.
"Go on then, off with you." He said with a grin.
Pippa nodded and started to walk towards the stage. After a few steps, she stopped and turned to look at her brother leaning on his staff once again.
"You will be there won't you? You won't leave like Ma and Pa?" She asked worriedly.
He walked up to her. "Of course I'll be there! I'll be in the front row, watching and supporting you the whole time okay?"
Jack chuckled and ruffled her long brown hair. "Go ahead little lady. Make me proud!"
Pippa grinned at him and ran off to the group, leaving a smiling Jack behind.
Pippa was the last to play since she was the youngest of the group. She was feeling her heart beating wildly and took deep breaths to calm herself as she listened to the others play their songs. They were all very good and she could hear the crowd cheering loudly at the end of each song.
I wonder if they'll cheer that loud when they'll hear me play. She wondered. I'll probably mess up and they'll all laugh at me. Jack will be ashamed of me and I'll be the joke of the whole village. Heck, other people from other towns are here. They'll tell all of their friends about how bad I messed up and then they'll all look at me in disgust when I walk by, even Jack.
But then she remembered her brother's words: Who cares what the others think?
He was right once again. They didn't matter. None of them did. All that mattered was doing this, and doing it right.
Make me proud.
Don't worry Jack, she said to herself, I'll make you proud. Just wait and see.
Xavier Levesque, a boy of 12 years old finished a song on his harp and the villagers applauded as he hopped off the stage.
She jumped slightly as a hand was put gently on her shoulder. She looked up to see the leader of the village smiling down at her. "Alright dear," He said in a kind voice," Time to go."
Pippa bit her bottom lip and nodded slightly, picked up her violin, and made her way on the stage. She looked at the crowd and her heart jumped in her throat. There were so many people! At least three hundred villagers were staring at her expectantly and a few of them whispered to each other. She found her brother in the front row, just as he said. He looked at her and winked. She smiled shyly back but what captured her attention were the two empty chairs on either side of Jack. Her parents were not there.
They broke their promise. She realized with a sigh.
Pippa bowed, as Jack said to, and put her chin on her violin. She took a deep breath and started to play. After a few seconds of her melody, she began to sing:
"I believe if I knew where I was going I'd lose my way..."
Her voice trembled for the first few lyrics, but it wasn't long before the words she practiced so many times flowed into her head as her fingers danced on the violin strings.
When she played the last note, the heavy silence that hung over the crowd broke with cheers and applauses, louder than any of the rest.
Pippa blinked a few time in shock, then broke into a smile. She bowed and looked at Jack who was cheering louder than anybody else, pride shining in his eyes. Pippa bowed one more time and jumped off the stage to join her fellow musicians who smiled at her while the leader of the village thanked everyone for coming and asked them to come back next year.
After many congratulations and pats on the back, Pippa was finally able to wiggle out of the crowd to look for Jack. She heard someone yell her name behind her and turned to have her brother's arms wrap around her and pull her into a hug. She laughed in delight as she pulled out from the hug after a few seconds.
"That was amazing Pippa, really amazing! Even better than when you practiced! I'm so proud of you!" Her brother said, beaming at her.
She laughed again but then remembered something and her smile turned into a frown. "Ma and Pa didn't come… didn't they?"
Jack's laughter died down and he sighed sadly. "It would seem not. They would be proud though!" He said in an effort to raise her spirits.
"They broke their promise." Pippa said, disappointed.
"Well you know what?" Jack said. "I'm gonna make you a promise that I swear I'll never break."
"What is it?" Pippa asked curiously.
"I promise to you that when you will have children, and that they will play in a recital, do a competition, or maybe even play at the winter solstice festival, I promise that I'll always, always be there for them, to support them. Damn the consequences."
The young girl blinked, confused. "Why would you do that?"
Her brother chuckled. "Why not? If I'm there for them, I can be there for you too and not even the whole world can stop me."
Pippa's eyes shone with unshed tears. "Promise?"
"I'll keep my promise, you just have to believe in me."
When her Emily played her last note, Pippa sat up like the others and joined in their applauding and cheering.
It would seem that my old violin serves Emily well, Pippa thought with a smile, just like it did with me. There wasn't one flaw in her song. I knew it was better than buying a new one with stiff and new strings.
Emily stared for a few seconds, like she couldn't believe she did it, then laughed in relief and bowed to the crowd. She looked at her parents and gave them thumbs up then ran back to her musician friends who congratulated her.
Just then, it started to snow. A light, calm fall of small white crystals drifted off lazily to the ground.
Jack always loved the first fall of snow. He would run outside, laughing wildly, and try to catch a snowflake on his tongue. Pippa would join him and after a few hours, of snowball fights and sledding with the other kids of the village, they would burst in their house, panting and laughing. Then they would retell their day to their parents in front of a fire while drinking some hot chocolate. Pippa smiled at the memory.
A lone snowflake flew slowly towards her and placed itself graciously on the tip of her nose. Then, unexplainably, she remembered her brother's words he said to her so many times.
You have to believe in me.
I still do Jack, and I always will.
Then she saw something she didn't see before, everything around her seemed to blur as a white haired teenager appeared before her eyes, sitting on the roof of a house besides the stage. He was wearing the same old pants and shawl Jack wore that faithful day at the lake and he was barefoot. The teenager laughed and whistled in admiration, a very familiar staff lying beside him.
Pippa stared at the spirit, her mouth wide open and her hands falling to her side.
It can't be…
Her eyes shone with tears and she laughed in joy while watching the boy pick up his staff and leap off the house, flying away from the village while humming and singing Emily's song to himself.
"You kept you promise after all, Jack. You damned the consequences even if it was death." Pippa whispered softly.
She closed her eyes and let the tears stream down her face.
Well that's it, I hope you enjoyed and please let me know what you think!