Promised Vengeance

Shadowed Violin

Disclaimers: I do not own Rise of the Guardians.

Songs/poems featured (of which I do not own either/ nor have written): Robert Frost's Fire and Ice; La Seine, from the movie A Monster in Paris; Fire Ferocious by Mark Raymond Slaughter; Wake Me Up (Avicci)



The Wind blew once more, a sad, dreary sound. Were I human, or even normal, I might've commented on how the cold seeped into my bones.

But I wasn't.

And I'm not.

Again, the Wind howled through the trees, tearing at the branches savagely; an enraged woman of nature, dressed in stray leaves and wandering grains of earth.

Sighing, I flipped up my baby-blue hoodie and stood up. The night was beautiful; luminescent stars and glowing moonlight; scurrying creatures and lonely keens.

It was peaceful, and sad, and all too quiet…

This was my world; just a frozen lake, the snow, the uninterrupted surrounding land.

An owl hooted, the cry piercing the silence abruptly. Turning, I gazed into twin golden orbs of wisdom. The owl blinked at me from its perch, then took off in a flurry of feathers- most likely in search of a meal.

Idly, I threw my staff into the air, then caught it and spun it around.

Who am I?

I am Jacqueline Frost, and I deceive all who meet me.

And yet, the world knows me as Jack Frost.

An attention-seeking boy who plays pranks and has no worries.

They are wrong.

On all accounts.

I don't know why they thought I was a boy, or even how they came to that conclusion- it's not like the humans can see me.

As for the Spirit World, no one has ever bothered to give me a second glance. But they don't oppose letting their hate say 'hello'.

I am a nuisance.

A pest.

An undeserving brat the Man in the Moon made, obviously by accident.

They detested me. With every fibre of their beings.

Every time they saw me I was greeted by fists, by claws, and enraged words.

I was left beaten, both emotionally and physically. They would grab me, and torture me.

With whatever their sick minds could cook up.





Oh so many times I would stare at the Moon and wonder…why?...

Why did you resurrect me?

Why do you ignore me?

Why do they hate me so?

Why am I alone?

Why am I Winter?

Why won't you answer me?

And not once, in all of my immortal years, had I ever received a reply.

They hated me.

Why, I knew not.

But at least I was smart enough to know; never let them see.

They must never, ever know that I am female.

It was hard; hiding who I was, but it was both a blessing and a curse. I knew that if they saw…

I would find a way to be the first immortal to die.

Every time they came too close to knowing, a feeling would swell up inside of me, one that I couldn't identify. Panic? Fear? Rage?

Whatever it was, it brought power with it.

One moment, I was weak; powerless; the skin of my back red ribbons, my shirt just a mangled mess, and the next, my eyes were blazing blue fire, Wind tearing the room apart, my torturers thrown against rock walls and covered in growing ice. I would rise into the air; frost cackling at my fingertips, the blood of my body turning into ice, funnelling my rage.

My hate.

Because of them, my body was covered in white scars; how they mocked me, those permanent reminders.

Because of them, I had to bind my chest until it hurt.

Because of them, my hair was covered in a beanie and always hidden underneath my hoodie.

Because of them, my psych was broken.

Because of them…

My feet, dainty and pale, left soft imprints on the snow. I kept on walking aimlessly; forever alone, lost…

The texture beneath my feet changed, and, gazing down, I saw where I had taken myself- subconsciously, my mind had automatically gravitated to the only place I felt safe; my lake.

It seemed my tormentors at least had the decency to leave me one place of solitude, where I knew I would be left alone.

Ironic, wasn't it? A girl who wants to be left alone, and yet, she longs for a family.

Or at least a friend…

My reflection in the ice glared back at me; piercing grey-blue eyes that were tired and sad; angry and confused. Long ebony lashes, strong black brows. Soft lilac lips, smooth white skin that reminded me of milk, and a scar…

It ran from my temple to just above my jaw. Luckily, it didn't intercept my mouth or eye.


It had long since faded into a shade or two paler than my normal skin, but it would eternally mar my body. My eyebrows scrunched together, the lips above a delicate chin trembling slightly.


Not today.

Not again.

I would not give them the satisfaction of knowing that they had made me cry. Ripping off my hoodie, I tore off the beanie and threw it across the lake, allowing my hair to flow free.

The Wind picked up, toying with my long snowy locks. The hair reached to below my waist, not quite straight and not quite curly, just playful. It was pure white; the only thing that had not yet been stained scarlet. I inhaled deeply, the tight feeling in my chest loosening.

Not enough.

I pulled the T-shirt that resided underneath my hoodie off, and removed the bindings. Dressing in the shirt again, I placed the precious bindings into the pocket of my hoodie.

Then I stared back down at the ice; defiant.

This is me.

This is me.

This is me.

This is me.

This is me.

A small smile flickered across my face, but I was still shaky; still…









Please, just leave me alone.

What did I do?

Leave me alone.

The trembling increased, and I clenched my fists.



I need to calm down. Breathe.

In, out, in, out...

Not working!

Running to the nearby tree that was enshrouded in shadows, I dug my hand into the gaping hole of its withered trunk and then gently removed one of its two precious possessions…a single instrument.

The violin was made of ice, engraved with minute details and expertly carved into an elegant shape. A few cracks scattered it here and there, only adding to its ancient beauty. The light danced off of it, frost crackling around it with a thrumming energy that couldn't be caged. Glowing slightly, it sat in my hands, entrancing. I stroked the strings, relishing the feel of the only thing that wasn't ice on it. Carefully, I laid it out onto a small lump of snow, turning on my heel to face the tree. Once again I dipped my hand into the trees' heart, and removed the bow. It too was made of ice, except for the strings. I held it in my hand as I had learned to all those centuries ago, curving my palm around it as if it were a softball. Then I picked up my beloved instrument. Walking back to the centre of the lake, I gazed up at the Moon, nestled the violin underneath my chin, set the bow, and then I played…


Child, I sighed. Ruffling my little ones' hair in a futile attempt to get her to have some fun, play, come play? Just for a little while? I shot through her long white hair, toying with it and throwing it around. I watched as her tiny little face- So small, little one is so small! Why so tiny, my little winter child? - darkened as she glared down at the ice.

No, little one, I huffed sadly. Not that. No…

But it was too late. Her eyes grew damp, a single stray tear escaping its flinty blue cage. The tear trickled down her cheek, glistening in the dim light. I shot towards it and wrapped myself around that tiny drop of moisture before she saw, saw what she did.

Not for them, little one.

Anyone but them.

Curled around the drop, I blew away, in the direction of the trees, tearing through them viciously.

They did this.

Made my little one sad.

Flying back towards her, I saw her sprint towards the wise-tree-that-had-lived-long.

Aah, I heaved a breath of air as I writhed inside the braches.

Sing with the ice, little one.

What song, say I?

I followed her as she found her usual spot in the middle of the frozen-ice-water-land.

She stared up at the Moon. I snorted. Not there.

You know he won't answer. That man…he better be glad he's so far away, hiding among the distant-lights-that-shine-at-dark. One day Wind shall find Moon.

Then we'll…play. My game of let's-see-how-long-men-can-survive-in-agony.

My little snowflake shook her head and placed the ice-box-with-strings at her throat, then set the ice-stick on it. I settled in front of her in anticipation.


Little one dragged the ice-stick down slowly, releasing the ice-box-with-strings' voice. I shivered in delight.


Once more she slid the ice-stick up, then down, picking up a rhythm.

Sighing, I swayed. The music flowed around me, encompassing all. Haunting, sad, desperate, lonely…she poured her feelings out into the song. Gazing at her, pride shot through me.

She twisted with the music, her song picking up in tempo, going faster and faster.

Eyes closed, brows drawn…she was riveting.

Terrifying. Enchanting. Otherworldly.

Her mouth opened, her-voice-within-her-body flowing out, soft and sharp all at once.

Together, the two voices rose, intertwining, and I rose with them, dancing with her pain and sadness, adding my own. I bashed the branches in time, blew the snow across the land, screamed in fury.

The forest thrummed and sang with us, the trees quaking, the animals shaking.

Faster, faster.

Higher, higher.

And suddenly; the strongest note yet; breaking free of the ice-box-with-strings and clawing its way to freedom, screaming truth.

It quivered in the now-still air, reverberating. I stared down at my snowflake, who stood stock-still.

Her eyes slid open slowly, twin flaming orbs of blue fire.


The note rose higher still, a keening, sad sound.

But promising…

Promising vengeance.




We - meaning the Guardians - had all heard of the infamous 'Jack Frost', of course.

He who was responsible for blizzards on the other Spirits' holidays.

Who openly mocked the Children of Nature.

How he was dangerous, and a happy-go-lucky, worry-free teenager that pranced around everywhere as if the world were his, and everyone beneath him.

Why, some went so far as to whisper that he didn't care about the children.

'Trickster,' they muttered beneath their breaths. 'Cruel, selfish, brat.'

'He leaves a blazing trail of trouble in his wake.'

And yet, I couldn't help but respect this mysterious 'Jack Frost'; for trouble he may be, but his prowess in battle was superior to practically all who dared to cross his path.

We had all heard the stories- how Spirits had gone up to him and kindly and in a respectful tone asked him to 'Please, don't cause any mischief today. Think of the young ones!' but he had whirled round in a fit of anger, his cruel ocean-indigo eyes glimmering with rage...'Oh,' they had sighed in sadness, 'how he had brandished that gnarled piece of wood, bared his teeth in a fierce snarl, and attacked us! With no incentive, no warning…And when we merely tried to defend ourselves, he redoubled his efforts! The trees had quaked in their roots with fear; the sky darkened with dreary premonitions…how the wind had howled through the trees- tearing through them savagely! Roaring its defiance that these Spirits dare to confront her Dark Master.'

Oh yes, I could respect him- for his strength, his courage, his insufferable attitude to all.

But that doesn't mean I don't despise him just as much.

An immortal teenager who thinks he's better than everyone else, and looks out for nobody but himself. Jack, the boy who was given a second chance by the Man in the Moon, and spurned that very gift, thrust it into ground with a vicious swipe, crushed it with the heel of his corpse-white foot…

And yet, at the edge of my mind…

…a niggling of doubt…

Who was I to judge? I had never met this 'Spirit of Winter'.

All I had heard were rumours, hushed sentences under the dark cover of night…

But so many immortals had sworn on their eternal existences that it was true, all true!

'That evil fiend! That unjust monster! That mistake of nature! Pest! Freak! Destroyer of good!' they had proclaimed to all. 'Oh, how evil he was! To bear revenge on us for our pleading speeches! And the whole time, my fellow immortals, he had chuckled! With great guffaws of laughter- his eyes that of a demons! Oh, how my heart trembles with fright, for that evil child's eyes had glown with an unnatural luminescent blue-the scorching flame of the hottest hell! The Wind had screamed, the animals driven into the safety of their humble abodes; the waters of nearby lakes and rivers had sloshed over and thrashed in their basins of earth…!' said the Prophets of our World.

And still…I doubted…

He was but a child…

and I a Guardian.

Was it not my duty to see the Hope of children? To nurse it and let it bloom and thrive with that precious emotion?

How could he be evil?

So young…



'No, Bunnymund!' they had exclaimed when I had presented my thoughts on the matter. 'He's insidious, insubordinate, and insupportable! That child- that Devil- instigates violence at every chance he gets…trust me, friend, for my word is irrefutable…It's irrevocable- that boy is Evil in all sense of the word. Consolidate your thoughts against his manipulative skills.' And so they had clapped my shoulder and sighed in worry – for me – they had assured me.

Just a child.

A demon.

Never met him.

Don't need to.

Only rumours.


Incalculable to think.

Word of mouth.

All he needs is guidance.

MiM tried. And failed.

That may not be true.

As the ground beneath your feet is not true?


My thoughts raced on, one leading to the next, a domino effect of mental energy.


What if-?


No, not likely…

Perha- "BUNNY!" The loud shout jolted me out of my thoughts, back to reality. I lifted my head from within my hands, where it had lain for the duration of my brainstorm. Gazing around in disorientation, unsure of who had screamed my name so loudly, my eyes came to rest on Tooth. She sat before me on another one of leather couches that resided in the Globe Room. Curiosity adorned her face, a small, unsure smile gripped the sides of her mouth, and her famous violet eyes were slightly widened in what seemed to be worry. "Are you alright, Aster?" she asked in a quiet, soft voice.

"Yeah, ahm fine. Jus' thinkin' 'bout that Winter Spirit again." I reassured her.

Her shoulders slumped a little. "You too?" she whispered. "I can't get him out of my head…I just don't know what to think…"

Sighing in agreement, I said, "Ah know. Me too."

"It's been three hundred years…why have we only started hearing about the child now? Seems a little bit…odd…don't you think? It's like they're-" She hesitated, "hiding him…"

I chewed my lip in contemplation. "Yeah- yeah, that's what it feels like." I agreed.

"So," she continued.

I raised my eyes to hers- there was a glimmer, a hint of something in those odd-coloured orbs. "So," I replied, a small smile flitting across my furry face as I caught onto what she was silently suggesting.

"We gonna do something about it?"

"Hell yeah we are." My voice was the steel of determination.

Oh, yes. The Guardians have indeed heard of the infamous Jack Frost.



I was dancing, twirling within the flurry of snow that rained down from the heavens. The air was crisp, the world deathly silent. The Wind danced with me, my only partner for so many centuries.

I could feel the music, the pulse of energy that presided everywhere.

It was life.

The snap of a branch, the coo of a bird, the trees shivering in their roots.

And I danced.

The Wind lifted me up and tipped me backwards in an elegant dip. I could almost hear her accompanying giggle as I laughed, truly happy in this moment of peace.

That joyfulness dimmed; for it was the new moon…

But then returned once more, reluctant to leave my soul – a soul that needed, wanted…

Quietly, my voice poured out from my mouth, gentle and low at first, but slowly getting stronger, louder…


Little Snowflake danced in the crystalized air, more beautiful than any creature. She was perfect…

Delicate, yet strong. Proud, yet humble. Kind, yet firm.

She was my child, my Little One.

Yes, she is young, but so wise…

Her laughter filled the air, and I was glad that they hadn't taken that away from her. One day, I will find a way to make them pay…

But not today.

Not today.

Not now, as Snowflake twirled joyously, finally at liberty for a few breaths of air.

The forest thrummed with a hidden, powerful life-force of its own, and I wrapped myself around everything I could reach. The-age-old-spirit-veins of trees quivered from within their cocoon of earth, straining against their cage of dirt. The Night stared down at us, wrapping us in his velvet coat of darkness. The distant-lights-that-shone-at-dark glimmered in jealousy, knowing they could never compare with Little One.

My daughter.

I sighed a world-weary sigh, silently mourning the loss of those wispy tresses of the lightest shade of pearl; she had hidden them. Again. Oh, how they make her hide, why do they do so? Why, why, why?

Jacqueline floated gracefully down, petite feet resting against the mirror-like face of the glistening, frozen lake. A breath of air escaped those cupid-bow lips as she stared down at the unyielding ice. Sinking down onto her knees, she pressed her hands onto the ice in concentration, a small smile playing at her lips. I whirled around her in a flurry of motion, confused.

Why does Snowflake greet the frozen-water-that-gave-birth-to-Winter?

Licking her lavender-tinted lips, her strong black brows drew together in concentration as she pushed her small digits against the lake with more force. I leaned in closer, curious.

And suddenly, I knew.

Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes!

Little One was so clever, bright little Snowflake.

Little One could make the lifeless moisture live.

Oh, how magnificent the sight!

Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes!

To see that cold, hard ice pulse. The cracks would slither across the surface of the frozen body, carrying power with them. Those very crevices – tiny little chasms – would glow…and then…

Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes!

I focused my attention on Snowflake.

All was still; silent with anticipation. The air around her ivory hands was beginning flutter…move with a force that wasn't me.

And just as I knew it would happen, but never ceased to amaze me, brilliant blue fire burst into existence, encompassing, devouring those child-like hands of hers. The element writhed around her arms, clawing its way up to her elbows, stretching itself as it breathed with new life.

Wild as an ocean, it throbbed with life.

The fire-that-did-not-burn dripped downwards, slipped onto the ice, glowing with the magnificence that only Little One could create.

With a loud screech, the ice broke.

The mirror-like dead-frozen-water-body was shattered. The fire glowed brighter, eager, knowing.

The element grew, stretching, reaching. Then, with a speed only comparable to me, it engorged the tiny chasms that had been created just moments before.

Every crack of broken ice was now filled to the brim; teeming with that fire-that-did-not-burn.

I reared back, eager to fully see the magnificence that had been born by Snowflakes' strength.

A tree was what greeted my roving form.

Not the wise-tree-that-had-lived-long, nor the young-saplings-just-birthed, but an otherworldly tree created from ice, the fire-that-did-not-burn, and Little One.

Its branches were a complicated web of cracks, its leaves glowing blue fire. And its heart was Jacqueline.

Winter, make Winter's Spring! I cried out voicelessly.

And just as I had silently commanded, my Snowflake raised her arms, remnants of blue fire forming ethereal gloves, and invoked the spell.

Create life, create life, create life, create life, create life!

"I feel alive when I'm beside
La Seine, La Seine, La Seine
From this angle like an angel
La Seine, La Seine, La Seine,"

Her voice-within-her-body, velvet, lilting, filled with indescribable emotion as she poured her will, her want into the lyrics. I caught my breath, wanting to join with that voice, to never leave, forever melded to such perfection…

And so I did. Together, we sang, my rough timbre complementing the sweet softness of personified need, want, pain, loss, uncertainty, bravery, love, forgiveness, hate, joy, wonder, bewilderment, amazement…


"I don't know, don't know, so don't ask me why
That's how we are, the Seine and I
I don't know, don't know, so don't ask me why
That's how we are, the Seine and I,"

Silence reigned, and then her delicate, haunting voice-within-her-body poured out once more-

"Upon the bridge,"

And I answered in my brittle scream of breath, "My heart does beat,"

"Between the waves,"

"We will be saved,"

"The air we breathe,"

"Can you believe?"

"Learn to forgive upon the bridge

That's how we are, the Seine and I

That's how we are, the Seine and I

That's how we are, the Seine and I

That's how we are, the Seine and I."

We will be saved, I sighed.

We will be saved,

we will be saved,

we will be saved.

The Night was still, the Moon was hiding – faceless coward – the fire-that-did-not-burn dying out.

I waited, knowing, as the fire-that-did-not-burn had known.

The Forest knew, too. Silent were they, motionless in anticipation.

Still, how it shocked me, as the entire Forest, Snowflake's haven, was enslaved with ethereal light- the exact shade of her flinty eyes when enraged.

Everywhere, everywhere, existed that ferocious shade of the hottest fire…

It snaked into the air, grasping fingers of flame reaching for that hidden deity – that scared pale orb – that Man in the Moon.

How I wished I could join them in their hate.

But I stayed, stayed next to Snowflake, although she was anything but fragile.

No, not a snowflake.

A shard of deadly ice.

A beautiful frozen rose.

A wild, untameable wolf.

A wise-tree-that-had-lived-long.

A flame of the coldest fire.

Yes, I mused.

Flame. My little Flame- strong, bound to no-one but herself, vibrant…brave. Fierce. Untouchable.

Untouchable she may be, but beauty be hers. The handsomeness of a True Heart, a True Pain, True Song, True Power.

My Flame, indeed. Forever burning, forever fighting.

I stared once more, in awe at what Flame had done.

The Forest was enshrouded with the daughters and sons of daughter of mine. My Flame's Flames.

They panted, tumbled, climbed and flickered.

A Forest of Fire.

Flames of Ice.

Daughters and sons of the Daughterless, the Sonless.

They cavorted, glowing with a light of their own, born from the Truest Light- Flame's.

Brighter than any Moon.

Any light-that-shone-at-dark.

Any Sun.

Flame began the end of the invocation,

"Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I've tasted of desire
I hold with those who favour fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice."

The ice-children-of-Flame paused, then leaned in close, a luminescent mass of breathing fire.

And so my child finished,

"Oh, coldest fires,

Burning desires,

Answer my call,

Please do not stall,

Rise as your spirits should,

Free to live in these woods."

Those very same ice-children-of-Flame grew bigger, into unimaginable size, until all that existed was fire, fire, fire…

A Hell whose name was actually Heaven, her sibling known as Haven.




Encompassing, pulsing, beating…






The brilliant blue fire breathed.

Once more it breathed, but did not stop, stretching, reaching…

And exploding into a universe of stunning sensual indigo, into a thousand shades of those flinty blue eyes…

Raining drops of the coldest flame into the ground.

Those seeds of fire…

Hell dissipated, burrowing into the Earth, leaving us…warm.

My non-existent heart throbbed in sadness, wanting that cold fire back, come back!

I stared down at Flame.

How heavy she breathed, a statue fashioned from frozen Truth.

She was waiting, I knew, as I had known before.

Oh, how I knew.

Anticipation was the new beat of the Forest as we awaited once more; how many times had we stilled in this fracture of time?

Those seeds of frozen flame were changing, breaking free from their physical bonds, the spirits killed by Winter finally being born again.

This ritual was done by my Mistress, my Flame…How merciful was she, to give them life again, to do what no other Winter had deigned to do before?

Yes, those fires-that-did-not-burn are souls…

Flame, my kind Little One, on every new moon would invoke this ritual, turn those lost, wandering spirits into fire-that-was-ice, saturating those souls with her power so that she could turn them into their Truest Truth, allowing them to break free from their human shackles - the regrets, the grief, the pain, the reluctance – into spirits which were not lost, not confused, not wandering.

They would Accept.

They would Move On.

And they would be Born Again.

Winter – my child- had created a Winter's Spring! She had planted seeds of icy fire, and now they would bloom…

Yes, my mistress was kind.

My daughter.

Abruptly, the Earth began to quake, shivers of delight running through it as it revelled in the fact that once more it would give birth, to not one delicate child of nature, but thousands of True Souls.

Pillars of pure white light launched themselves into the sky, leading the way to their Heaven, their Haven.

And those tiny blue seeds of icy flame were transformed from their houses of potential – of shelter - into majestic children of Death.

From fire, to seeds, into spirits – the transparent form of their child self their new body.

Glowing faintly in the Night, they slowly floated out of the Earth, staring around themselves in shock.

In amazement.

Yes, yes, yes! I chanted. Be amazed, be thankful, be awed at what my daughter has done for you- out of her own free will!

She did this.

She did this.

She did this.

Be glad, glad, glad!

Jacqueline stepped forth, frost curling at her feet like an eager puppy.

"Spirits!" she cried out.

They stopped and stared at her, different emotions splayed across their faces.

"Tonight, you have been born again! Free from this realm of misery, of pain…Go forth, to your Havens, be born for a fourth time, and live once more! Make not the mistakes you made in this lifetime…learn to love, be at liberty…Go, now, and be joyous!" she ended, a truly True smile adorning her lips.

The souls stared at her, youthful faces, but aged thoughts.

As one, they touched their 'hearts', then brought their hands away, pointing at Flame. Thank you…Faces twisted with emotion, the spirits repeated the gesture several times.

A single crystalized tear ran down Little Ones' face. Only the Spirits of the Dead said 'Thank you'.

And so the old-children-of-Truth rose, climbing their respective pillars of pure white light, to their Havens.

The Forest released a sigh.

My Little Ones' knees buckled, both hands clasped over her heart.

Nothing lived. All was dark. And all was as it should be; free.

But then again, Little One was not free…

Flame's tormentors hunted her, afforded her no mercy, as she afforded others that very gift.

But now she has respite, I thought.

Yes, they leave her be. For now.

Any yet, as I swirled above her, absorbing the Truth of what had just occurred, a noise broke the freedom, the silence, the dark.

And real fire –burning demons! – grew around us, ensnaring Flame – my Little One! – in a cage of cruel red, orange, and yellow.

Trapped, trapped, trapped, trapped, trapped, trapped!


But it was a Truth; my child was ensnared!

I screamed in absolute rage, the emotion consuming me-




There's fire.

And all consuming rage, both in intention and actions.

It's everywhere, surrounding, trapping…


The furious beat of my heart is the only sound in my ears, but my soul can hear another song…a lyrical poem I heard sung long ago by an old wizened man of war whose face was covered in burns… His whispering, weak rattle of a voice still echoes from within the chambers of my memories…

Fire! Fire! Ferocious fire!

You restless wall of flame.

Fire! Fire! Roaring higher!

Your fury to never tame.

You show no mercy – no regard:

A writhing army uncontrolled.

At least you don't discriminate,

Selecting to exterminate:

All dealt with equal pain untold.

Fire! Fire! Ferocious fire!

You restless wall of flame.

Fire! Fire! Roaring higher!

Your fury to never tame.

In time of drought you run amok –

An open chimney of the land.

Prefer to scorch than suffocate:

In blinding zeal, incinerate

To blackened vista now unmanned.

Fire! Fire! Ferocious fire!

You restless wall of flame.

Fire! Fire! Roaring higher!

Your fury to never tame.

Destruction be your only goal

For you to vent your jealous wrath

On gentle life with caring soul

And human victims to console:

As you are none but psychopath.

Fire! Fire! Ferocious fire!

You restless wall of flame.

Fire! Fire! Roaring higher!

Your fury to never tame.

So there it is – you are but flame:

Reacting gases to adorn –

With orange flicks of flailing arms,

You're flaunting your demonic charms!

Now leave us for bereaved to mourn.

Fire! Fire! Ferocious fire!

You restless wall of flame.

Fire! Fire! Roaring higher!

Your fury to never tame.

So many lives to claim.

Orange and red, yellow and blue the only sight I see.

Smoke the only thing that causes my eyes to water and my nose to clog with the smell of pain.

The damp sweat that has broken out across my entire body the only thing I feel.


They have come.


My lake…I left it…


Why? Why?!


Encaged. By them. Like last time. Flames lick at my heels greedily, smoke swarms into my lungs; an assassin of nature.


It's hopeless…I can hear it already. Their laughter.

It's there, in the darkness…them. Those unholy demon spawn, offspring of the King of Hell's right-hand men, in the cruellest, most vicious part of the Underworld. If I believed in the Greek Myths, they would be my Tarturas. If I believed in Christianity, they would be the Snake of Eden. I dare not say any name of evil, for words have power, and power brings many a misfortune.


Ironic. I don't believe, but I want to be believed in.


The earth beneath my feet has grown warmer, and beside myself, a moan of premonition slips unbidden through my lips, as stealthy as any bandit in the night.


I close my eyes, let the darkness of my lids shut out the world…Allow sound, sight, smell and taste to fall away, until I'm trapped in my mind as I am trapped by fire. It's safer here.


I can't hear the thumping of my heart, the crackle of flames. The sensation of cool sweat has faded away, and my breaths are shallow and quick, the scent of smoke somewhere on the horizons of a distant thought.

It's better here.

But there's an irritating fly in my mind, one that I want to swat away viciously. It's insistent…Zzzz…Zzzz…Zzzz… It's chasing away my peace.

I hate it for that.

But it won't go away, not 'til I've heeded its warning.

Groggy consciousness faces the stray, stubborn tendril of mental energy.

The sound of it flitting around in the confines of my mind are changing, transforming into a new sound, evolving into something much more disturbing.

Zzzz…Zzzz…Zzzz…Hzzz…Hahazzz…Hahaha…Look…Him…Free…T aking…Worthless…Wind…Fire…Winter…Spirit…Dead…

The fog clears. Dead.


Now I want out.

They're going to kill me!

While I'm sitting right in front of them like a placid little girl about to be served up as a sacrifice to a malevolent deity.


I'm clawing at the confines of my mind now, screaming silently. Let me out! Oh, please let me out! I need to GET OUT!

And with that thought, smell comes rushing in. It's burning my lungs, that pungent odour.

Once again I can feel the sweat on my skin, but it's not cold anymore…

It's boiling.

Flames heat my face, so close that I can feel the tips of my eyelashes singe.

I need to see. The thought is a goal, and I focus all my concentration on opening those huge concrete walls of flesh.

Wind blows against my eyes, as if she's trying to remind me where they are.

There. It's as if I heard her whisper…but that's impossible. Wind has never spoken to me, only I to her.

Whether or not I'm hallucinating (I most likely am), the fact remains that she has helped.

I can feel two spots of skin that are cooler than the rest of my face. They're my eyes, And I'm going to open them.

But it's so hard…!

'Who's going to have some fun first?' a Spirit calls out in a sinister and sadistic voice, and my body shudders in horror.

Suddenly, I can remember how to lift my lids. They snap open as quickly as a hummingbird's wings, and the orbs sheltered behind them flicker around in panic, searching for the owner of that voice.

Red greets me. It leers above my head, giant walls of flickering energy.

And then I see them. Eyes of matching auburn, crimson and the yellow of unhealthy teeth stare in my direction, glaring at me with an indescribable hate. And something else…something I can't identify…

My heart pounds as furiously as a horse's hooves against the parched earth.

'Well, what do we have here?' the beast sneers at me, and my breath catches.

'Leave me be,' I command in what I hope is a strong voice. 'I have done you no wrong.'

'That's where you're incorrect,' A Spirit of Autumn steps forth. 'Your very existence mars my soul.' She claws at her heart, her chest heaving, orbs wide and cold. How can a Spirit clothed in warmth be fashioned from ice?

'Please,' I whisper brokenly. Wind curls around me gently, and once again, I feel as if I could hear her voice floating in the air, assuring me. I'm here…it seems to say in a heavy sigh…Never let them hurt you…Shh…Here…

'Please,' another mocks from within the cocoon of shadows. My cage of flame tightens, draws closer as if to remind me that it exists. I hunch my back and clutch my arms, desperate to make myself smaller. 'Please, don't hurt me! I'm just a worthless piece of -' he continues.

I block off my ears so that I don't have to hear the words, the insults. I chant in my mind;

Words are empty,

Although they have plenty.

But someone is ripping my hands off of my ears, gripping my wrists so tightly that I can feel them bruise instantaneously. The Summer Spirit's breath is horrific and I gag. His greedy eyes are maniacal and can barely contain his evident glee. Licking his lips slowly, he strokes a hand against my cheek slowly, almost gently. The Wind tears at him, spits leafs and pebbles in his face furiously, but he uses his flames to deflect them easily. I struggle feebly against his iron hold, but it's fruitless. A smile curves at his lips. 'You're not getting away. Not this time,' He pulls me a little closer. 'Such a pretty thing,' he murmurs.

Fear grips me, and the ability of movement flees as a rabbit does a fox. The cruel Spirit supports my dead weight protectively. His smile is wider now, showing off dangerously sharp rows of rotted teeth.

'W-what?' I manage to gasp out.

'You're mine, little Jacqueline.' he pants. The Spirit runs his tongue over my cheek, but it feels as if he's dragged a poker down my face. My body is crushed against his, and shivers of terror race across my skin.

He knows.

They know.

Little Jacqueline.

And then my world is drenched into the safety of unconsciousness.



He's touching her. Stopitstopitstopitstopit! Touching my daughter.

Holding her.

With hands of burnt sienna, and eyes of a dead sun; filled with malice and greed.

Go away, away, I snarl. DON'T TOUCH HER!

The rage is boiling over: as lava eclipses a volcano, as death enshrouds a soul.

Screaming, I yell out voicelessly, 'Wind of South! Wind of East! Wind of West! Join your sister to save our daughter! I summon you!'

The trees' branches crack with great load groans as the force of three mighty winds tear through them in blind panic. With the sound of a sonic boom, my kin settle in the middle of the lake, surrounding the protective-cage-of-flames.

'Sister North,' they greet in a whisper. 'Why is our daughter encaged? He dares touch her? Hold her? What is he doing?' they roar as he begins to unravel the length of rope that serves as a belt around her tattered pants.


'Unite, unite, unite,' we chant simultaneously.

The background noise of the other Spirits can barely be heard. 'What is he doing?' one whispers.

'I get to go second!' another one interjects.

'This has gone too far,' a small one clothed in orange whispers, but does not move to stop the events unfolding.

'Never. That Spirit cannot be allowed to feel one single second of reprieve. I will hunt him – her – down and cause unyielding agony to become her. Xtarret mazzahack glirixter noviulla povterah mbex!' the one standing in the shadows of a tree swears in the Spiritexar language.

'What's going on? What in the name of Tsar is up with the wind today?' another snarls.

Unite. The word is a goal, and my sisters surge towards me, and I at them. We clash into one another right above our Flame, our bright little snowflake, and meld ourselves into each other, until we are one Wind, one force, one foe.

'Aaaarrrhhh!' We swirl upwards, tighter and tighter, the eye of our storm Jacqueline and that hell spawn.

We are One. We are Rage. We are Tornado.

Trees are ripped upwards violently and become part of us. The earth is torn away from itself and tossed aside. Spirits are picked up and flung with as much power as possible into jagged boulders, or are thrown high into the air and then slammed into the ground with the strength of a lightning strike. We blew against the cage of fire that encircled Jacqueline and that devil – evil, cruel, plotting, manipulative, torturer - until it sputtered out as a candle does. It didn't stand a chance in the face of our might. Animals and Spirits alike screamed out in terror.

'Give her back! She's mine,' I hissed.

'Ours!' my siblings protested.

The lake cracks as we dig our claws of air into it. We smash ourselves repeatedly into it, demolishing the surface until there is only one solitary island of frozen water upon which our daughter and our greatest enemy lie.

The Hell Spawn's eyes are wide with fear, and we relish that. His hands are now gripping Flame, my daughter – our daughter! – as a support, as if he's hoping he won't be crushed, torn limb from limb, squeezed until his life-blood seeps out, or any other such equally as satisfying death.

We stared down at Flame in worry - her brow was damp with sweat, and she twitched in her unconsciousness.

'Yoouuu…' we snarl at the cruel-red-Spirit-man. 'You did this. You,'

He stared up and around himself in terror. 'Show yourself, coward!' he commanded.

'Show yourself?' we growl. 'Very well!' And with those words, we expanded our power, drew upon it until it ran as fast as a rapid. Two green spots of brilliant emerald light appeared, forming our eyes.

'W-what?' the Spirit gasped.

We ignored him and concentrated. 'ARISE!' we bellow. Bark rips itself away from the wise-trees-that-have-lived-long and flits through the air towards us. With a resounding clack! it coats our invisible body like a second skin: armour of nature. The wood's body becomes our own. Moss is lifted from the ground and becomes our hair. Boulders lift themselves from the ground and join us, become our nails and teeth. Earth flows within us; blood to a Mother of Nature.

The Hell Spawn had no words as he gazed at us. We were over sixty feet tall, and we had never been so angry. Never had so much power. To become Warrior, we needed energy, and today this monster had unlocked our potential.

'P-p-p-please,' he gasped out, orbs of yellow wide and filled with despair.

Rocks within our throat grinded, and we screeched out in a voice no one had ever heard, 'YOU BEG FOR MERCY? AND WHEN FLAME ASKED? DID YOU GRANT HER WHAT YOU DARE ASK US FOR?! DID YOU?'

His mouth lay agape in shock as he comprehended our words for the first time. 'W-who are you?' he choked out.

'Why, we're her mother, of course,' we sneered.

And then we killed him with a single swipe of our mighty arm.

Info on the Four Female Winds

North Wind: Wind that is constantly with Flame. Known as 'Wind' most of the time. Sees herself as Jacqueline's only real mother. Extremely possessive, yet kind and understanding. Never gets upset at Jackie, but when angry at someone else…run. Doesn't take bull***t. Very loving. Responsible and usually mature and thoughtful. Protective. Oldest of the Winds.

South Wind: Opposite of North Wind. Brash, rebellious and immature. Quite child-like. Gets into trouble a lot, but when it comes to Flame she becomes just as serious as any of her sisters. None of them joke when it comes to their daughter. South Wind is known mainly by Sound, due to the fact that she is mighty noisy and prone to temper tantrums. Sound is a nickname Sister East came up with. Second oldest of the Winds.

East Wind: The youngest of the Winds. Known as Easter because of both her true title and her infatuation with Easter Eggs – she adores the colours. She, in human years, would roughly be twenty-two. Very sneaky and a prankster to be reckoned with. Usually found ripping peoples belongings away to see them chase after their stuff, but then she will feel bad for them and return it. Loves to dance among the Leaf Spirits and is a romanticist. Favourite time of day is midnight.

West Wind: Third oldest of the Winds. Ignores everyone except Wind (North) and Flame. Cares mainly about the latter. Broody and mysterious, she usually stays in solitude or with Flame. A silent observer. Perceptive. Incredibly smart. Known as Wesley. Sings poetry to herself or Flame.

Note: All the Winds have jobs. Wind North can stay with Flame because Wind's job is where Flame/ Jacqueline stays. The other three Winds work on opposite sides of the Earth, which is why it is very rare that all the Winds are in one place. Such an occurrence would only happen if Jackie was involved.

Warrior Wind: [Has only happened once.] To take on this form, all four Winds must combine. To do this requires power that is nearly impossible to build up. Their rage allowed them to don the Warrior. After the form is used, the Winds are very weak. It will take a week for them to recover.



Waking up was like falling asleep, only much worse.

Sleeping was the pitter-patter of cleansing rain on a lazy Sunday morning. It was the sight of soft, fresh snow. It was calm, comforting, bliss…

Whereas waking up was quite the opposite. It was having that calm, that peace, shattered. Cruelly ripped away in a breath, a sound, an eyelash's flutter.

It was the realisation that tomorrow was Monday. No children to smile gently at from afar…That you were invisible, and time was limited; fleeting.

But most of all? It was reality. And when you don't want to face reality…Well, sleeping seems like such a dream, doesn't it?

As things went, we all have to wake up, and my time had run out.

The clock had struck.

My eyes adjusted to the blue as I realised that I wasn't in velvet black anymore.

Blue – a colour so vivid, so encompassing, it seemed to stretch from horizon to horizon in one easy, quick flick of a stroke.

Slowly, other blots came into focus. White. Green. Brown. Red.

So much red.

It was the blood of a slit woman's creamy white throat. How it seemed to swirl around me, sinking gratefully into Earth's embrace….

With a start, I suddenly understood that it wasn't my imagination. I really was floating.

That rush of disconcerting calm – of endless sleep lulling a tired soul – rushed back at me in a small, inaudible gasp of undiluted reality.

The Spirits.

The Wind.

The scorching eyes of a dying sun…

Calm fled like a thief in the night.

Sitting up on ice that pulled at me, that cried out desperately; keened in pain; whispered sweet nothings into my ear of Don't go, little one, stay a while longer, sleep…

No, I enforced. No.

I was awake.

I was in Hell.

Blood, a lake of it.

Bodies, a cemetery.

Devastation, a universe.

Bark lay scattered like a child's deserted old toys.

Boulders lay forgotten, covered in droplets of scarlet.

Snow – my greatest love, my greatest joy – lay ravaged; destroyed. Tainted with pigments of crimson, ink and mud.

"Wind?" I cried out tentatively.

The gentlest of breezes brushed my cheek. Child, child, child…Flame of mine – ours – We're here… she seems to sigh.

They, I smiled. They're here.

Shuddering, I slowly stood up, a willow tree in the wind. Peering into the depths of a gnawing lake below, I took a small breath and stepped out onto the icy water.

Wind curled around me, Little one, she crooned, Fly with the stars-that-grow-bright-at-night? she offered. I shook my head.

My lake.

My floating island.

My Elysium, my Haven, my Imprisonment, my Hell.

And somewhere deep down, I knew; my Responsibility. This was my home, and I would guard it. Guard it? Or restrain it?

Frost sped outwards from my feet – the toenails a horrible hue of dried blood - layering frozen ice upon the released water. If this was my prison, then I'd damn well make it the Lake's, too.

I relished the feel of comforting cold as I walked across my icy lake, my home.

Stepping onto land once more, I stared down at the body before me, the bright, happy colours of Summer glaringly wrong in my kingdom of Winter.

Did I do this?

Or Wind?

As if in response to my unasked question, Wind picked up a rock and threw it at the Spirit that lay desolately at my feet.

A thud resounded in the clearing, and a gash appeared on the boy's face; blood seeped downwards in a sadistic dance. Kneeling in the bloody snow, I stared at the boy, who could physically be no more than twenty years old. Reaching out a trembling hand, a placed my fingers on his eyelids and carefully drew closed the haunting, dead black eyes.

So young…

Is he really? a harder voice within defied. He looks so new to the world, yet he could be thousands of years old. After all, are you not three hundred years old, but with a body that rejects age, sickness, death…? Time itself, it seems, you've underestimated more than once. What are you? Sixteen-and-odd?

"And odd," a hysterical laugh erupted out of me, and I sneered at the boy before me.

Odd indeed.

Odd girl.

Odd boy.

Odd Wind.

Odd life – odd death.


Oddity, different, unique, freak, unworthy, weak, useless…

NO, that stubborn voice roared. He's not so challenging now, is he? Look at him, thrown out into the unforgiving cold, devoid of all life, alone, truly dead…Extinguished by a Flame brighter than his own; a gust of frigid Wind. Weak.

He is WEAK.

He is Dead.

And you… you pity this man, this being of unrestrained evil? No.

I jerked my hand away from his face – his marble, cold face – in disgust. Standing, I turned my back from the Spirit and gazed around.

Trees were dead.

Spirits are dead.

Everything is dead.

I freeze.

My heart thuds, my blood grows still, my hands clench.

My violin.

I can hear its melody, its haunting tune pleading in unrestrained agony for Help, please help…

A cry rips itself from my throat and then I am there; before the giant tree, Keeper of My Heart.

Only, it is dead.

I shake as I pull out bits of shattered ice and string, stroke the broken violin.


Screams resound through the air and my teeth throb as I gnash them together.


The ice stares back at me, the violin void of all emotion, passion.

The screams grow louder, filling the air with palpable emotion.



And then I know; I am the one making those horrible, pitiful sounds of torture.

I am the one tearing at the tree, the useless Keeper.

I am the one carving strips into my arms, howling at the Wind with…with…hate.


No, the voice sighs, but it is tired, drained, hopeless…You did. This is your fault.

The screams increase until they are all that I am, and all that I will ever be.

A Maker of Screams.

I will make everyone suffer as I have suffered.

Never has my song stopped playing; never have I given up; never have I broken.

But they broke my Heart, and my melody is dead.


Reality sets in.

The screams grow louder still; until they are the only things which exist.

They will pay.







A heartbeat; inconsolable.

A breath; rattling.

A soul; shattered.



'It's dead, Wind. Gone,' my voice was tearful, and I squeezed my eyes shut in agony. 'My violin…'

A sob tore out of my throat and I collapsed before the tree - destroyed, much like everything else. Caressing the violin, I clenched my other hand into a fist. Lifting My Heart, I picked up the bow, its strings flailing helplessly in the Wind. I took a stance.

Tried to play… a screech filled the air; loud and resonating, pleading for respite, for an end to its forced torture.

NonoooPleasestopstopitICAN'TstandthepaintheagonyITWON'TGOAWAYWHYwhyareyoudoingthistomePLEASEohstop… The violin was crying – in desperate despair as I ruthlessly dragged the bow across twisted strings.

'Why?' I cried. I gently placed the instrument on the snow, avoiding a patch of crimson.

Wind wrapped around me in comfort, and I burrowed into the embrace of her and the snow, until I didn't exist…until I was just the howl of the keening air, the sharp cold of fallen ice; the false warmth of Winter.

I was nothing.

No, the thought whispered at the edge of my mind, that's incorrect.

I was everything.

The fury of a wronged Spirit; the hapless cry of an abandoned child; the wailing torment of the Wind; the unheard, silenced cry of a mourning violin; the vengefulness of a person with not a thing left in the world –

And it was always the ones with nothing to lose that you had to be careful of. The ones who were tired of pretending to be less than they were; weary of the lies … the deception of all they saw.


Lost in a world that didn't seem to care – would never care, because that's just the way things were.

People hated.

They loved.

But most of all…

They ignored.

Who cared if there was a girl crying at the edge of the cafeteria because she had no friends?

So long as they were happy, had friends, it didn't matter.

A blind eye would be turned.

And sometimes it wouldn't. But that was the rarest occurrence of all.

Everyone cared about themselves, I had long realised.

The ones who claimed undying love for that "special someone"?


They only cared for the love they received in return.

For appearances, approval.

For secret deals and hidden agendas.

That is the way the world rotates – on the pain of someone else.

And I was just another slave to it. My shift to bear the greatest burden had come.

But I would not.

I refuse to be used any longer.



….how cruel.


They didn't care.

And that left me with one question, trembling upon my lips like a bird perched to fly … Why should I?

Why should I care?

Why should I be weak?

Why should I quake in fear? Stare wide-eyed at a crumbling home?

Why should I be weak?


Oh…there was good.

How little, though.

It should be protected.


And who better than I, broken beyond repair? One who couldn't fall further, couldn't break more, couldn't love – for I had no love – couldn't show mercy – for I was shown none – couldn't hate, for I knew the world – and all of its mistakes – and understood why it was so – it knew no other way - ?

Who better than I?

A shadow prepared to guard others so they wouldn't end up like Jacqueline Frost?

I was no longer her.

She was weak. Beaten. Unloved. Invisible.

She was normal, like every other slave – ignored. Left to sit alone at some cafeteria table.

But no more.

No more.

No to the bullies, to the evil, to the broken violins.

I will sing for those who have no voice.

I will protect them.

I will be their saviour.

…And maybe someday, they can save me.

Feeling my way through the darkness
Guided by a beating heart
I can't tell where the journey will end
But I know where to start

They tell me I'm too young to understand
They say I'm caught up in a dream
Well life will pass me by if I don't open up my eyes
Well that's fine by me

So wake me up when it's all over
When I'm wiser and I'm older
All this time I was finding myself
And I didn't know I was lost

I tried carrying the weight of the world
But I only have two hands
Hope I get the chance to travel the world
But I don't have any plans

Wish that I could stay forever this young
Not afraid to close my eyes
Life's a game made for everyone
And love is the prize

So wake me up when it's all over
When I'm wiser and I'm older
All this time I was finding myself
And I didn't know I was lost

Didn't know I was lost
I didn't know I was lost
I didn't know I was lost
I didn't know - didn't know, didn't know …

The song ran through my head; and it didn't end – wouldn't, I knew, until all had heard its tune.

'They tell me I'm too young to understand… but really, I understand perfectly. I'm lost … only … everyone else is too,' I sighed, resigned. Resigned to a life of despair. 'Who am I now?'

Flame? the Wind seemed to croon in my ear; an elemental of all time; wiser than any Moon.

'No… a flame will flicker and die.' My eyes flashed in barely supressed rage. No longer will I be a slave.

'I am ... Storm ... and I will sing the Song of All. Not this one, no…' I shook my head - I didn't know I was lost – "but one awfully similar…'

I didn't know I was lost,

I didn't know I was lost,

'I didn't know I was lost … but now I am found. I am Storm...'



I was running through the snow, one hind leg after the next, sinking into the ground and leaving lone footprints. The trees stretched their bony branches into the grey air, grabbing at the skies (at dreams gone by) and me (the curious creature that dared enter their realm). The crunch of snow permeated my senses, and my ears flicked backwards and forwards in an attempt to catch a whisper of a Winter Spirit's frosty laugh.

There was nothing but the silence, and the strong sense of utter wrongness that lay thick and strong in the air.

'Bunny?' Tooth questioned in the still air, the soft sounds of the thud-thud-thudding of her wings keeping pace with my heartbeat. 'Do you … feel it?' she whispered, and I chanced a look over my shoulder at her worried, wide-violet eyes.

'Yeah, I do, mate. S'm'thing ain't right here, not at all,' I agreed.

The snow was icy and crisp, seeping into my fur, and the trees groaned as they parted, light filtering through their gnarled arms. A scream rendered the very air in half – it wasagonypainhatewhywhywhyleavemealoneitgroaned – and shattered the crystalline stillness of the atmosphere; it was a banshee's shriek, growing ever louder in utter despair, pouring with the rushing gusto of hate – (deep as the abyss; dark as encompassing black of all that was nothing).

The air thrummed with emotion, and my nerves twisted and writhed in tune with it – nothingbuthtepainitthundered – Tooth's moan a lonely soliloquy alongside it, a tiny pinprick of agreement.

'Make it stop! Make it stop!' she pleaded, clapping her hands over her ears, wings beating frantically alongside her. The trees shuddered, and snow was whipped away in a fierce gale.

'Follow me!' I shouted over the cacophony of sound. My body blitzed through the snow, passed trees and ill-looking creatures. Tooth and I broke into a clearing, and there was a split-second to notice the devastation around us (trees-broken-dead-blood-red-rivers-snow-crimson-colour-sky-a-massive-light-black-lake-shattered-shattered-shatteredlikeglass) before our attention was riveted on the sight before us.

Tooth's wings snapped shut, her feet dropping into redredred snow. 'Oh my god,' she breathed. Her hands shook as she intertwined her fingers into my furry arm, 'oh my god.'

The Spirit floated in the sky, the wind flitting around her with one long, continuous shriek of rage, chucking snow and rock, bark and debris around with nonchalant disinterest. Her hair was alabaster, tearing through the grey-black-misery-sky with strands of pure white, the glimmering ends illuminating the ebony-thick-hateful-clouds.

Her eyes were wide open, light spilling forth from them; glowing the colour of nothing (the opposite of ebony; of black; of the very Universe) and her mouth gaped wide in a chasm of all-enveloping dejection, the unearthly shriek pouring forth from her mouth in torrential waves.

The clothing she wore was that of a ghost's; dull, bright colours smeared with oozing ruby stains (Blood, my mind whispered, it's blood! it cried).

The tornado of rage reached a crescendo, until it felt as if my entire body were a single fission, a mere speck in her emotion, in her hate-devastation. And the scream (the shriek) grew louder, more powerful (louder than the deafening silence) until the world was only created to hear her as she lay waste to it – to listen in futile, helpless terror as she gave in (gave in to the void inside of her)

– only pain as the being beside me – Tooth? Who? – dug her fingers deeper still into my fur, clenching and unclenching in horror –

– only red-black-white as the wind spun the earth around like a mere toy –

– there was only she, the otherworldly demon that floated before us, a god afore useless mortals –




A. Frozen. World. Of. Nothing.


The Spirit Demon collapsed into the snow, her gaping, swallowing white eyes massive holes in her face, devouring.

And as the wind died down, all Tooth and I heard was ' … I am Storm.'




Lightning shredded the skies ominously.




I am Storm.



'Who are you?' I bellowed in fear and shock, staring at the she-demon before me as I cast snow from my fur.

The Spirit paused, pivoted her neck as she craned it upwards and stared at me. Her eyes burrowed into mine, twin orbs of engulfing, thrumming white energy.

I stepped forward once more, ice crunching beneath my feet. 'I asked ya a question, mate,' I said. 'Who are you?'

She snarled and flashed snow-white teeth, and the wind howled angrily. 'What-do-you-want?' she enunciated between soft, lavender lips, canines glimmering dangerously.

'Bunny …' Tooth whispered. 'Stop. We shouldn't be here. Jack isn't – let's just go.'

There was an instant of peace (the Universe a warm, encompassing veil of black before the starts imploded, and ebony holes formed, sucking and devouring all life) until the wind rose upwards, bringing the Spirit with it. Boulders slammed into the ground near us, and lightning boomed.

'Why?' the Spirit sneered. 'Do you wish to beat him? To mock him? Shout obscenities and call him worthless? For fun? What-do-you-want?' she roared in that self-same purr.

Tooth shook her head wildly, feet hopping side-to-side in the cold as her wings clung to her body. 'No! Never!' she cried, aghast.

'Liar. Liar,' she moaned. 'Leave. Leave now.' The trees trembled beneath the might of her strength, and I could only gasp as the oxygen was whipped away in a fast, violent breeze.

'Now, ya listen 'ere, mate;' I tried, 'we just wanna speak with 'im, ask 'im –'

A harsh flurry pushed us backwards, and I tumbled into the snow, Tooth slamming into my chest.

Her voice was quiet (Otherworldly, I thought, dangerously enchanting) but spoke of hidden barbs and sharp edges; of shattered glass gleaming in the dark. 'I said leave.'

The warning was soft-spoken, but with three mere words, crooned as a mother to a child, I was reminded of the destruction around us, of the blood that flowed freely. It had to have come from somewhere, caused by someone – something – and this Spirit who pulsed with power –

'Tooth,' I lifted her up with me as I stood up, warily eyeing the Spirit. 'Let's go.' We were out of our depth; I had no idea who this Spirit was, what abilities she may have possessed. What demon possessed her.

She shivered in my arms, and threw a terrified, pitying glance at the floating girl who commanded us so easily. 'Please,' she began desperately, 'please tell us where he is. We just want to know if he's okay; if what they say is true,' Tooth implored her, eyes slit against the onslaught of wind and snow. 'We're Guardians. Jack Frost is a child –'

The Spirit's mouth opened wide, and I shuffled backwards, dragging Tooth with me, afraid that she was about to release the banshee shriek once more.

She did not.

She laughed, throwing her head back, musical chimes of humour spilling forth. 'A child?' she cried incredulously. 'A child!' The wind rose up, tearing at her hair and throwing it about wildly, as if mocking it; playing with it – reciprocating the Spirit's amusement. 'He hasn't been a child for three hundred years.'

I inched forwards cautiously. 'So you know him, do ya?' I questioned gruffly.

At my words, she doubled over, folding in half as she released guffaws of laughter. 'Do-I-know-him?' she gasped out. 'Know him?' The glow faded from her eyes, and my muscles unclenched subconsciously, as if feeling the predator-prey scenario fade away.

Tooth gave a nervous smile, the gesture turning genuine as the Spirit's feet touched snow again, the wind dying down. Suddenly, she seemed far more human – painfully young, her long white hair tugging at her waist as the wind embraced her, and her eyes were clear pools of water.

'I do know him,' she affirmed. Hesitating, she took a step forward, eyebrows drawn close together. 'I'm Storm,' she greeted tentatively. 'Sorry about the freak-out.'

Oh, MiM, I thought in horror, realising that once again I'd let my guard down; in a matter of minutes, I'd conveniently forgotten about the blood around me, the broken trees and what I just noticed were dead bodies – dead bodies! – littering the clearing.

Judging by Tooth's furtive glances, she'd noticed too. 'So, uh,' she began, 'what happened here?'

Storm's lips twitched in black humour once more. 'Jack Frost and his mother happened.'

I gawped. 'Whaddaya mean, Jack Frost and his mother happened?'

Her eye twitched with irritation. Apparently, she didn't enjoy repeating herself. 'I meant what I said. And aren't you going to introduce yourselves?'

Tooth happily raced forwards, throwing her arms around the other girl, satisfied that the Spirit wasn't the culprit and thereby clearing her of all crimes. 'I'm Tooth! And he' – she cast her arm to me – 'is Bunny.'

I mentally grumbled about lying serial killers who now had our names. 'Jack Frost?' I reminded her insistently.

A tree cracked and thudded to the ground, and the sky lit up with lightning once more. Purely coincidence, I thought nervously. 'You really do have a one-track mind, don't you?' she growled, stepping free from Tooth's crushing hug.

I glared, fur bristling at the insult. My ears stood strong and tall, and I dug my heels in as Tooth tugged on my arm. 'Aren't you going to give Storm a greeting hug?' she asked. 'Spirit to Spirit?'

'NO!' we snapped simultaneously, then glowered at each other.

'Stop that!'

'Stop that!' rung through the air.

Tooth bit her lip impishly, eyes twinkling thoughtfully as she looked back and forth between us. 'Cute,' she crooned beneath her breath. Resolve formed and strengthened the planes of her face. 'Storm, you must come back with us to the North Pole. Sandy and North will want to meet you.' Tooth nodded emphatically, colourful green-blue dress flashing in the noon air.

And just like that, there was a third member to our group as we returned to the Pole. Storm had attempted to resist, of course, but against Tooth?

She didn't stand a chance, she-demon or not.



He was staring at me, eyes slit with suspicion and beard twitching with thought. 'Do I know you?' he asked at last.

I nervously shifted my footing, opened my mouth –

'Nah, North, you can't 'ave; her name's Storm, if ya would?' Bunny pressed forward, nodding empathetically. 'She-demon,' he whispered below his breath, and I gave him an irritated cuff on his annoyingly energetic ears.

The Globe Room was wide and circular, with wide, arching windows and dark, wooden panelling. The floor was smooth, slick marble the colour of a skeleton's blush, and the air rung cheerily with the sounds of Christmas, complimenting the large globe which was the focal point of the room; millions of lights twinkled merrily, snapping with pulsating belief.

'You look familiar,' North continued, crossing his arms across his chest so that the Naughty, Nice tattoos drew taut. 'I feel like zis iz not za first time zat we've met.'

Tooth gave a tinkling laugh, pulling out of her greeting hug with Sandy, who sat perched upon a soft, golden cloud of dream-sand. 'North, you say that about everyone!'

He shook his head, white hair peppered with grey flying everywhere. 'But zis time … ' – he gave a mischievous smile – ' I feel it … '

'Here it comes,' Bunny muttered.

' … in my belly.'

I gave a strained smile. I knew this was a bad idea, I thought despondently. Just great. Father Christmas! I've been at the top of his Naughty list since I can remember. My only consolation was that the lists showed what the Spirits were known as in the Spirit World – that is, Jack Frost. Had I been known as Flame or Storm for more than a year, the newest name would replace the old during the cycle after Christmas.

North snapped his fingers, golden dust swirling around his fist as Sandy came closer, inspecting my face with wide, curious eyes. I pulled my hood lower to cover my face, then thought better of it – After all, Jack Frost is known for his hoodie. Perhaps my long hair would help? Why, why did I come? I bit my lip as I drew out my long hair, absently combing my fingers through it. 'Jack Frost!' He grinned triumphantly, his eyes lighting up.

I froze.

And so did everything else.


Little child, little Flame; my Snow Storm, you are, I crooned as she talked to the other Spirits. New friends, little one? She was chewing her lip, my child was, worrying the skin with her pure white teeth.

I floated gently around her, lazily skimming her skin. Storm, I thought. Running from the past, from who she truly is. Sadness. Yes, I was sad; it was the scent of blood in me – How she hid, my child; hoping a new name could birth her anew. A Storm to prove her might, her strength; to promise pain to those who had hurt her.


My task, my child, my life, to guard her – protect her – as these so-called Guardians failed to do. Fools, they are; scrambling like ants to do their Moon's bidding.

'Jack Frost!' cried the red-white-giant, the victory plain on his pale face.

Frost, he knows, he does. Jacqueline, my daughter, afraid and worried, he made her so! and then ice was crawling across the floor, coating the windows in thick layers of frozen mass; the temperature plummeted, the fairy-bird-that-hummed gave a gasp, her breath a cloud of mist, and the golden-dust-man's sand stopped moving in shock; the bunny-creature gave an odd, mewling sound, launching backwards and away from my child – my daughter – with a look of utter surprise on his face.

There was the sound of cracking ice as my Flame – my Flaming Storm, wild and beautiful – noticed their expressions, their reactions, and her emotions flew out of balance, frost-ice-snow-vapour curling through me, across me and with me.

How dare they! I fumed. How dare they worry my child so, after all her grief, her pain. I gave a shriek of anger, the windows rattling in their panes, and embraced mine, my only. 'Mummy's here,' I crooned into her ear a soft whisper of love.

She turned slightly, an awed look lighting up her face.

'Mummy's always been here,' I continued, 'you just couldn't hear me, my little snowflake. My child … ' I whispered, and her lips parted – 'Wind?' she asked, half-hopeful.

There was sharp agony, she didn't want me, didn't want my lo –


Oh, daughter, my love, my only; 'Mummy's here, Mummy loves you.' I was happy, twisting and intertwining through her hair, her stunning alabaster strands; tugging gently as I eased a giggle from my baby girl.

There were shouts of incredulity, startling my daughter – I gave a growl, loud and serrated, and shook the very room.

'Oi, mate! Ya lied – ' said the bunny-creature, angrily brandishing an L-shaped piece of wood.

The fairy-bird-that-hummed was flitting back and forth, confused streams of words flowing from her mouth. 'But I thought – you said – Jack's a boy – and – it's impossible – North?!' Her wings punctuated each gasped exclamation with another flap – flap – flap.

Grain-sand collapsed into my form, caressing my lithe body as the golden-dust-man formed signs above his head – a snowflake – the sand erupted, and condensed into a new form – a boy – a flash of glittering bronze dirt – a bell – once more – the wind –

'You see!' roared the red-white-giant, 'I was a bandit. Bandits can sense zis things, we 'ave an eye for liars!' he bellowed, reaching for the sword that hung at his side. 'I have heard of you, Jack Frost, and you 'old record on zi Naughty list!'

My Flame, my child shook her head, back-and-forth, back-and-forth, her blue, blue eyes wide with suppressed emotion. 'Just let me explain, please – '

The fairy-bird-that-hummed and the bunny-creature ceased all motion, their eyes fixating on each other in horror, the sound-within-their-voice-box crying out into the world-glitter-light-room at the same time, as the lights-that-shone-at-night glow at the same time: 'The Spirit corpses at the lake!'

There was the sound of a sonic boom as I spun.

Mummy's had enough, I thought grimly.

This had gone on for too long.



-to be continued-