June 2013

So, my brain decided this was appropriate. And the idea WOULDN'T LEAVE ME ALONE.

So, twenty days of frenzied writing, a break of a couple weeks to work on thing for school, and then a session of crash-editing later, here we are.

This is more-or-less completely written, so updates should, theoretically, be rather quick. No promises, though; school does start for me on the 26th, after all... And if I can get my head in the right place for it, I would like to add some things to the later chapters...

Anyway, off we go! First foray into two new fandoms I'd never written for, before. Let's see how I did, eh?

"Rise of the Guardians" is from Dreamworks based on William Joyce's "Guardians of Childhood" series (which I will get around to buying and reading at some point); "The Incredibles" is from Pixar, and a product of Brad Bird's brain (see what I did there? I kid, I kid), a person I would love to meet some day.

Violet didn't like the winters in Texas very much. All the winters meant was less-sweltering heat.

When Mom told her the family had to move again, the first thing she wanted to know was whether they would get snow.

Mom had smiled fondly and said, "Most likely." Violet cheered, her racket startling her toddler brother. Mom gently chided her to calm down. And she did, though she still bounced in excitement. The possibilities of snowball fights and sledding took away some of the sting of moving again, having to be the "new kid" once more when she had only just settled out of it at her elementary school.

She didn't see her mother sigh wearily at the cluster of unpacked cardboard boxes remaining from their last move.

'Welcome to Burgess, Pennsylvania'

Violet slowly read it to herself – the sign flashed by before she could quite make it through "Pennsylvania." Was March too late for snow, here? There wasn't any on the ground.

The tree in their new backyard had a plank swing left over from the last family that lived there. The second night at her new house, Violet sat out on the swing in the cold air. She stared up at the full moon, drew out its face. She waited and waited for Mom to call her in for dinner. It was meatloaf. She said at school that she hated meatloaf, because everyone else hated meatloaf; but it was one of the things her mother made that she really, really liked.

And then she thought she saw a star. It was so cold outside, and had been ever since they'd come to Burgess, but all she'd seen so far to show for it was a bit of frost on the grass. She looked up at that star. Thinking hard, she kicked back on the swing and glided back and forth a few times over the dewy ground. Grasping the ropes tightly, she leaned back to look at the lone star and the moon glowing next to it. "Star light," she murmured, "star bright," she continued, reciting the rhyme she'd only heard on TV and out of storybooks.

"I wish for snow," she said earnestly at the end, sitting up in the swing and making her biggest eyes at the star. "Lots and lots of snow." After a long staring contest with the star to prove how badly she wanted it, Violet leaned back on the ropes again, gazing up through the tree branches into the black night sky, hoping that maybe the flakes would start falling right then. But they didn't. Violet pouted. "Please?" she added in her most cloying voice.

"Vi," Mom called from the back porch, "Time for dinner!" Violet slid off the swing and trudged up to the house, casting one last imploring glance skyward. The sliding door shut heavily behind her and soon she forgot about the whole thing.

Back in the tree, a teenaged boy clothed in faded brown pants and an indigo crewneck sweater, both spider-webbed with frost, tightened his grip on a long shepherd's crook.

"Are you ready for your first day at your new school tomorrow, sweetie?" Mom asked as she tucked Violet into bed. Violet looked wary.

"I don't like being the new kid," she fretted, looking down at her stuffed lilac-colored bunny in her lap rather than her mom. Sympathetic, Mom kissed her hair.

"It will be okay, Vi. You'll make lots of new friends before you even know it."

"But what if we have to move again?" Violet asked, turning worried blue eyes up to her mother.

Helen started to assure Violet that they weren't going to move again (at least not any time soon). But that was what she had said the last time. And it had been so hard on Violet to relocate so soon. Her daughter was shy, very shy. She would talk enough at the family table but it was always in this quiet, ill-certain voice. It had been hard for her to get over being an outsider even if she had started kindergarten from the first day of the school year. Their Texas home had been in a small town; all the kids already knew each other from daycare and play dates.

And now here in Pennsylvania, Violet was about to be dropped into the middle of the school year with entirely new students and teachers after she'd finally managed to settle in and find her place. "Mom? What if we move again?" Violet repeated. Helen forced a smile.

"We won't move again for a very long time, Vi," Helen said – and if the past had anything to say, they did have at least a year or two. And to a child as young as Violet, that did seem like a very long time. Thankfully Violet seemed to buy that. She squeezed the plush rabbit to her chest as she lied down, head on her pillow. Helen pulled the chain on the bedside lamp and a soft lavender glow slid across the room. "Good night, Violet. I'll see you in the morning."

"I love you," Violet's small voice came from the blanket mounded up at the head of the mattress.

"I love you, too, sweetheart." The overhead light clicked off and Violet nestled into a more comfortable position in the half-light of her lamp, looking toward the window. The slats pretty well obscured the view, although she could still detect the light of the moon – now dimmed behind a cloud cover that had settled in after dinner. "Star light," she started to say again, but then she shook her head at herself. There were no stars in sight, and she couldn't have said which one she saw first, anyway. And it was dumb to wish on stars anyway. That was baby stuff that only worked on TV.

The boy in the indigo sweatshirt peered through the spaces in the blinds at the girl, then looked over his shoulder up to the Moon. Well, she had recited the rhyme and her wish to a star; not to the Moon and certainly not to him. He looked at her, sound asleep, and then to the Moon again. A mischievous grin played its way across his face. Well, he couldn't speak for the star, or the Moon, but he could certainly give the girl some snow. Lots and lots of snow.

And, well; it wasn't like the Moon was telling him he couldn't.

"Hey, Wind," he whispered, and tendrils of it kicked playfully through his hair, "Let's have a snow day."