The Blizzard of Westchester

February Fantasy Month Banner

Hello bloggers! Today, I have for a story I whipped up for Jenelle’s Fantasy is February Month short story challenge! (It’s a bit late, but that’s okay, right?) I wrote it in about an hour or two, so it probably won’t be amazing, but I hope you enjoy! ❤

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“I am in no way under any obligation to make sense to you.”

Isidora spun her goblet of grape juice, watching it swirl in a tornado of purple. She was sick of dealing with these men and would much rather have called it quits for the day.

“But Isi, we need-”

Don’t…” Isidora’s eyes glared bright with anger, “call me Isi.”

The man dipped his head in acquiescence and tried again. “Isidora, highness, don’t you think we should be doing something about this coming storm?”

“Frederick makes a valid point, highness,” Kiernan put in quickly. “The white is closing in and snow is imminent.”

Isidora cast her eyes to look out one of the long, colored-glass windows lining the great feasting hall. The snow was coming down gently now, but she knew without a doubt that it would only get worse the longer she waited.

“I made myself quite clear, gentlemen,” she said with a sigh. “We shall wait for Felix to come, then sort out the matter. Then and only then.”

The men said nothing for a moment, each too afraid to speak, instead, staring disinterestedly at their plates of turkey and corn mush.

Isidora stood. “I’m tired now, and I will be retiring to my room. You are all free to stay and finishing supping in the dining hall.” She set down her half-drunk glass of juice and stepped lightly from the room.

When she reached her rooms, she quietly bolted the door shut, fell onto her bed, and started to cry.

Why couldn’t the men see? Felix would fix everything. It didn’t matter that he’d been out traveling for some months. When he got wind of the storm brewing, which he surely will, he would come home.

But a little voice in Isidora’s heart told her that wasn’t true. Why after all this time would he come back so suddenly? Despair ate away at any hope that was left.

What if Felix was lost? Or, worse yet, caught in the storm, never to be seen or heard from again? She had no desire to wear her black mourning gown.

Not again.

A small knock sounded on the door. Isidora sat up, hastily wiping her tear-stained cheeks, and hurried to pull the door open.

In the entrance was Ferdinand.

“Isidora? I need to have a word with you. I’m terribly sorry for…disturbing you,” he said, noting her red cheeks.

“No, no,” Isidora said, trying to sound casual. “It’s fine. I’ll meet you in the library.” She turned to her desk, but paused. Turning around she eyed Ferdinand. “It is just the two of us, right?”

Ferdinand looked a bit unsettled, but nodded all the same. “Yes, yes, of course. I could tell you were getting upset by all the men.”

Isidora nodded and hurried to powder her face. She hardly wanted Ferdinand to think she’d only gone to her rooms to cry. Which, she supposed she had, but that was beside the point.

Walking briskly down the halls, she soon reached the massive doors of the library. She tugged them open and saw Ferdinand, back to her, staring out the window. He turned when he heard the doors open. “Hello.”

Isidora nodded and strode up to him. “What was it you wanted?”

Ferdinand nodded his head, as if that answered the question. After a moment he spoke. “We’ve had word from Heimberg.”

Isidora’s eyes widened. Felix was supposedly in Heimberg. “What is it?”

Ferdinand didn’t speak for a moment, then looked fiercely up at Isidora. “Heimberg is snowed in.”

For a moment, Isidora said nothing, too stunned to comprehend what Ferdinand had said. She swallowed.

“Felix…Felix is in Heimberg.” Her voice quavered, try as she might to control herself. I’m not crying in front of Ferdinand again.

For the first time that night, Isidora noticed the bags under Ferdinand’s eyes. He had evidently known this for some time, which made Isidora worry all the more.

“If Felix is really in Heimberg,” Ferdinand said with a tired sigh, “then he is stuck there. For how long, I don’t know.”

A biting wind rattled the glass of the window, causing Isidora to step back in surprise. The storm had started brewing.

Isidora crept toward the window, feeling the icy glass under her hand. But it wasn’t like any cold she’d ever felt. Where the warmth of her hand would’ve melted a patch of ice away, instead only succeeded in sending a chill up her spine. She wrenched her hand away.

“This is like no other blizzard, Isidora,” Ferdinand said, coming up beside her. “It is the work of dark magic.”

A sharp rap at the door sent Ferdinand rushing to open it. A footman stood in the entrance.

“Yes?”

“Our scouts have found something…” The footman hesitated. “Someone.”

Ferdinand glanced back at Isidora, awaiting her command. But Isidora had no desire to figure out what to do about the situation. “Who is this stranger?”

“No stranger, I’m afraid, highness,” the footman said, shuffling his feet. “It’s Felix.”

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Isidora was at the entrance to the castle in a matter of moments, with all the men trailing her. She poked her head out one of the windows lining the room and saw in the distance a group of men plodding toward the castle.

“Bring him in immediately,” Isidora stated firmly, not dragging her gaze from the little party.

“Yes, highness,” the men replied, gathering their cloaks and rushing out into the unearthly storm.

Isidora watched and waited, her heart thumping violently in her chest. There was so much she wanted to say. So much she didn’t understand.

Felix had told her he must be away on a business venture, but when he hadn’t returned in the a week’s time, she had known something was very, very wrong.

The letters had stopped coming, people in the neighboring kingdoms hadn’t seen him for considerable amounts of time, and so, Felix had been presumed missing.

Isidora had known in her heart that wasn’t so. Felix wouldn’t leave her to fend for herself. He was still out there. Somewhere.

And now here he was, fast approaching the castle doors.

The wide French doors blew open with a wintry gust, and in stepped four men, all protectively surrounding Felix, who was half-blue and shivering.

Isidora flew into action.

“Get him some hot broth! And a blanket! And perhaps some dry clothes, too.” She tried to shove past the scouts to get to Felix, but they shoved her back.

“Felix has told us not to come near him, highness,” one of them said stoutly.

Isidora pursed her lips. “He is in no condition to make any sort of decision for himself. Step aside.”

Just then, a forceful gust of air burst through the windows, shattering the glass, letting in the biting cold air. Shouts arose as the wind took shape, forming into a swirling tornado of snow.

Eyes wide, mouth hanging, Isidora stared at the wind. She glanced back at Felix, who was backing farther and farther away, fear in his eyes.

“This kingdom belongs to winter,” a deep, echoing voice said. “And I shall be the one to claim it.” The voice was coming from within the swirling tempest. Isidora tripped on her skirt, backing up against the wall. A frostiness had entered her veins, leaving her frozen in place.

She felt an icy hand grip her shoulder, and saw that it was Felix. He was staring up at the wind, though he didn’t look as fearful as before.

“Isi,” he said, his voice quivering from cold. “I need you to get down. This tornado is dangerous.”

Isidora nodded numbly, unsure of what she had just heard. Nonetheless, she slowly lowered herself to the ground. Felix remained upright and pushed himself toward the storm.

“Coldspawn!” he shouted into the wind. “You’re not welcome here!”

“I will rule this kingdom and call it my own,” the chilling voice hissed. “And from then on, I will be known as the Blizzard of Westchester!”

Felix took a dizzy step back. Isidora remembered the feel of his hand on her shoulder. He was freezing cold. A thought sprang to mind. Felix is freezing to death.

Rising to her feet, Isidora called for order. The commotion of the guards and men died down, and she spoke.

“We all need to huddle together to get Felix warm!”

The men stood in stunned silence.

“Well?” Isidora exclaimed. “I’ve finally made a decision. Make it so!”

And so, all of the people in the room grabbed each others’ arms and flocked together, until they formed one giant group of people, all huddled around Felix’s shivering body.

The warmth of their togetherness spread through the room like a physical thing.

Felix’s voice rose from above the storm. “Leave, Coldspawn. You have no power here.”

A hideous screeching sound shocked everyone’s eardrums, and then the storm receded. Frigid silence filled the room, all of the people stood, too afraid to move away from their group of safety.

Isidora finally shoved through the people, dragging Felix along with her. Holding his hand was like holding an ice cube. “What have you gotten yourself into?” she said, looking up at her brother.

Felix shook his head, shivering. “I…It’s just my luck, I guess. I ran into an angry wizard and he cursed me with a blizzard hanging above my head.” His voice shook and his lips were blue. “I didn’t want to come home like this. But I also didn’t know what to do. I was too weak to think.”

Isidora wrapped her brother in a hug, trying to rub some warmth back into him. “I was so worried about you. What were you doing in Heimberg?”

“I was seeing the healer there, to see if he could cure me. But he sent me away because I was causing to much damage to the kingdom.”

Isidora sighed. “I never want you out of my sight again. Come on, we’re getting you into bed with a warm blanket and some chicken broth.”

“Oh, Isi, I’m sure it’s not been all bad. Ferdinand has to have taken good care of you, right?”

Isidora stared up at Felix’s cold blue eyes. Mischief shone bright in them. “You’re still Felix, to be sure,” she said in relief.

After Felix was comfortably settled in bed, Isidora sat by the blazing hearth in his room and stared out the window. Snow was falling gently now, and the moonlight made it appear glittery on the hills.

“He won’t stay away forever.”

Isidora turned to her brother. “What?”

“Coldspawn,” Felix said. “He won’t stay away for long. He’ll be back.”

A rap sounded on the door and then Ferdinand walked in. He bowed to Felix and then Isidora.

“I need a word with you both,” he said, striding up to Isidora and taking her hand. He kissed it gently.

All cold vanished from her as the warmth of Ferdinand’s touch filled her whole body. She glanced at Felix and saw he was politely looking away, yet still smiling with an inane grin on his face.

“What did you need?” Isidora said calmly, since clearly Felix was not going to speak for the both of them.

“The blizzard has moved from Westchester to Rouxley. The people are in distress.”

Felix sat up at this. “This is my fault. We need to stop him.”

Isidora nodded. “As soon as you’re better, of course.”

“I won’t be able to wait,” Felix said with a weak smile. “But I won’t be going alone this time.”

“Thank goodness for that,” Isidora said smiling back.

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Well, there it is. If you managed to read through the whole thing, you deserve cake, honestly. And if you enjoyed it, you get cake and ice cream. 😉 Comment down below what you thought of it. And tell me, are you working on any fantasy stories?

until-next-time-1

 

My Favorite Fantasy Couples // A Shout-Out List

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It’s Valentine’s time! (If a little late, but shh that doesn’t matter) And, of course, now is the prefect time to gush over share my favorite fictional couples. So, fitting in with the theme of February is Fantasy Month, I have a list of no less than 24 of my favorite fantasy couples.

{WARNING: There are moderate to severe spoilers ahead, so proceed with caution. Or if you’re into that kind of thing, read with reckless abandon. Which ever you prefer.}

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Cinder + Kai

From the first chapter, I knew that this was going to be one of my favorite couples ever. And I was not wrong! These two are so ADORABLE together!! I’ve found that couples who can banter wittily back and forth with each other are my absolute favorite kinds of couples. Cinder and Kai nail that aspect, to be sure. XD

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Scarlet + Wolf

This is one of those mushy-gushy couples that kinda make you want to throw up a little, but, in a good way, you know? Wolf is just such an over-protective little wolf pup and Scarlet pretends she hates it when she actually doesn’t and they’re basically SO CUTE.

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Cress+ Thorne

Ah, yes, my favorite couple in the Lunar Chronicles. Thorne is the epitome of the bad boy, space adventurer, aka, Han Solo. Cress is a spunky, not-quite-as-fragile-as-you’d-think, yet she still manages to be totally adorkable and lovable. It takes a bit longer for Throne to see that Cress is what he needs in life because, obviously. But they’re definitely high on the list of best fictional couples.

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Winter + Jacin

Winter is such a tortured little thing, and I can’t imagine a better person for her than Jacin Clay. He’s such a rock-solid, no emotion, kind of guy (for actual, legitimate safety reasons), and Winter is…Winter. Impulsive, cheeky, and adorable. They’re like polar opposites, but clearly opposites attract in this instance.

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Ella + Char

My first ever ship. I read this when I was like 9 or 10 and I remember thinking ‘Will Char just propose to her already?’ Of course, this arrangement gets mess up, leaving me an angry heap. Things work out though, and they’re eventually together, after much frustration and secret-keeping. And even though I love the movie adaption, I still think the romance is better told in the book. They left out a lot of little touches that just make it so much more cute, in my opinion.

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Alice + Jonathan

We don’t really get to see much interaction between these two, but I still think they’re adorable together for the, like, 10 pages we see them together. *nods*

Anna/Hannah + Lockwood

Oh, how do I begin to explain? I suppose I’ll just have to sum up. Lockwood is the most awesome pilot to ever grace the pages (well, except for maybe Carswell Thorne…maybe…) He pretty much pretends to have no emotions, and then along comes Anna, and…well, things change obviously. She’s not enticed with his fake charm, and instead actually gets him to open up. And the result is SO CUTE.

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Liddi+ Tiav

Lesser known book that I just read, but I LOVED. Not just for the great story, but obviously for Liddi and Tiav’s amazing relationship. And trust me, it’s amazing when a girl can’t even say two words to this guy and they still manage to be the cutest couple. Communication is clearly not a problem here!

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Wilhelmina + Engelbert

We see more of Mina and Etzel’s relationship in the second book, where they’re running a successful coffeehouse together. At first, I wasn’t sure how I liked them together. But the more I read and saw how much Etzel respected Mina (and surprisingly too, because it’s in older times and generally women don’t get respected like that), I started shipping them. Hopefully it’s a relationship to last. I can’t say what Mr. Lawhead will do with them. *nervousness*

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Rose Red + Lionheart

This is the classic, guy-doesn’t-know-if-he-should-go-with-girl-but-girl-is-lonely-and desperately-loves-guy-but-guy-also-loves-girl-but-is-so-flighty-and-indecisive-that-he-ends-up-running-away-and-leaving-her-to-her-lonely-self. Um…okay, so maybe that’s not classic, but such is the case. Lionheart does make amends, though, and lucky for him. I might’ve had to shake him half to death and demand he return to Rose Red if he hadn’t. XD

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Imraldera + Eanrin

SNARKY COUPLE. I loves them. Sarcasm literally oozes from Eanrin, while Imraldera tries to beat any kind of sense into him (which doesn’t work, by the way). Also, Eanrin is a cat half the time, which could explain his I-couldn’t-care-less attitudes. They’re totally amazing together, in short.

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Ginger + Halcyon

So, technically, Hal is half-cat, which…I suppose makes things a bit strange, BUT THEY’RE JUST SO PERFECT TOGETHER. They’re both sarcastic, which is a total win in my eyes, and they both are so headstrong, they basically try to out headstrong themselves, which doesn’t usually end well for either participant, but it’s okay because they care too much for each other. They’re perfect. Now, if only there was someone for Azrael…

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Catherine + Jest

They both share an affinity for food, which is definitely taking great strides and leaps to a great relationship, in my opinion. Catherine is perhaps a bit whiny and needy, but Jest is amazing, so it’s okay. And perhaps if they had had the time to actually get to KNOW EACH OTHER, Cath could’ve grown a back-bone. BUT NOPE. THAT’S NOT WHAT HAPPENED. AT ALL.

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Inej + Kaz

This is one of those romances that I wish would’ve been just a touch more fleshed out. I mean, we’ve come to the hand-holding stage by the end of the duology. What. KAZ YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO PROFESS YOUR LOVE FOR HER WHAT ARE YOU DOING. Ahem, anywho…They’re still so cute together. I’m not complaining. Much.

Nina + Matthias

This relationship is so…how shall I put it? SAD. No, no, something nicer, maybe…DEVASTATING. All kidding aside, they’re pretty adorable. ❤ Except for that thing that happened. The thing that kinda ruined everything and crushed my heart. But anyway, it’s totally true love if he gets you a box of chocolate cookies to help you get through withdrawals and he knows just the ones you like. Just saying.

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Drusilla + Frederick

At first, I really thought Frederick was a jerk, but I soon found that he was just a poor misguided soul that needed someone like Drusilla to steer him right. And now they’re an adorable couple! Yay! 😀

Rosalind + Marius

The first time I read this story, I didn’t know how I liked their relationship. BUT NOW IT’S MY FAVORITE. *aggressively ships* Couples who constantly try to out wit each other are my favorite.

Evelyn + Henry

This is just such a sweet, gentle romance. I immediately loved Henry from the start and my love only grew the longer I read. And when he met Evelyn for the first time? *sighs happily*

Alis + Auguste

Auguste was by far my favorite character in this story, so it would make sense that I was rooting him and Alis the entire time. Even if they couldn’t see it right from the start, they were clearly meant for each other. 🙂

Elsa + Karl

I only got a very small taste of what their relationship could be. But I definitely liked what I saw! They each have such big dreams and they’re both so passionate, and I just really need to read The Battle of Castle Nebula now…

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Cecilia + Pepin

YES. THIS COUPLE. GAH, I LOVE IT SO MUCH. *smiles dreamily* So what if maybe halfway into the story I suddenly felt the urge to slap Pepin really hard? THEY’RE SO CUTE TOGETHER SO IT DOESN’T MATTER…Right?

Bet + Corwin

I just really appreciate this couple. A lot. Bet is so plucky and energetic, and Corwin is…well, he’s more laid-back, cautious. And given the circumstances, I’m very glad he’s cautious and overprotective of Bet. They’re wonderful together. ❤

Karyna + Barend

Karyna is the sweetest thing in the world. And Barend is…not. BUT IT DOESN’T MATTER. Barend is literally a half-bear, but Karyna loves him anyway and I just really love that they love each other, you know?

Bellenya + Ritter

I did NOT see this coming, honestly. It was hinted at a little by a few flashbacks from childhood, but I was not expecting it. They’re super adorable together though. Ritter is the best of ever and I just love him and Bellenya together.

Phew, that’s my parade of couples! It’s probably a jargled mess of nonsensical raving, but oh well. XD Do you have any favorite fictional couples? And how was your Valentines day? Let me know down below!

P.S. Question: how many times did I use the words together, adorable, and love? Answer: too many. XDuntil-next-time-1

Life Lessons Learned From Fantasy Tag

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Hello bloggers! Sorry for the slight hiatus; life matters got in the way, but I’m back with a tag! Jenelle very recently tagged me to do this, and since it’s February is Fantasy month, I thought it would be the perfect thing to do!

Here’s the rules:

1. Link back to my blog

2. Use the image above

3. Tell us 5-10 lessons you’ve learned from reading a fantasy book (or watching a fantasy movie) – lessons can come from multiple sources, as well, of course

4. Tag 2-4 other bloggers to keep the game going

Let’s begin!

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The Tales of Goldstone Wood by Anne Elisabeth Stengl7069751

This is probably my favorite modern allegorical fiction to date. I love all of the subtle nods to the Gospel and how each character plays an important role in each book. Lionheart, especially, is one of my favorite characters, showing the picture of man and flesh. (Though, he does turn around in the end, but…spoilers… 😉 )

 

6741865The Real Life series by Nancy Rue

These are technically not fantasy, but they have one very special aspect that makes them more on the fantastical side. They’re also for real the only books that have ever made me want to cry. I love how relatable all of the people are, how even if you’re going through a rough time, there’s always hope. In this case, in the form of a living book. The Living Book. I love all of them so, so much, but my favorite will forever be the first one, which tells the story of a girl with ADHD. They are touching stories that I hope I’ll never forget.

 

The Neverending Story by Michael Ende27712

I read this for the first time a couple of years ago and I simply LOVED it. There are so many interesting places and moments, that I couldn’t possibly recount my favorite. But I do remember while I was reading, I was always waiting for the moment when Bastian would return home. And that filled me with a realization. That even though ‘going on adventures’, and ‘befriending dragons’ is lots of fun, home will forever be where you belong and where your heart will yearn to be.

 

607014Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine

I read this when I was really young, and I remember thinking it was the best book I’d ever read. Now that I’m older, my thinking hasn’t changed by much. Ella’s such a fun, spunky, lovable character, and she really taught me that even if things seem tough right now, things will always turn out in the end. Even if that end is hard to see and ridden with evil-stepsisters and man-eating ogres. 😉

 

 

The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo76920

This was another childhood favorite, and I still love it to pieces. There are so many lessons buried deep in the story, but the one that caught me most was forgiveness. It’s so easy to fall into the ‘everyone else should be apologizing to me’ thinking, and totally disregard forgiveness. It makes you humble. And in God’s eyes, ‘the meek shall inherit the earth’. It’s not hard to see why this masterpiece won a Newbery Award.

 

24605019The Word Changers by Ashlee Willis

I love this book so much. I loved all the bookish themes and near allegories sprinkled throughout the entire book. The one that really jumped out at me is the allegory of the Author. As in, in order to let the Author regain control of the story, we must allow ourselves to be written into His grand story, that is the life He has for us. And that means letting Him guide us by His Spirit. And in my opinion, this book desperately needs a sequel. Please?

 

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Whew, that’s the tag! And it was a lot of fun! As for tags, I tag…

Elise @ E.E. Rawls | Savannah @ Scattered Scribblings | Winter @ Winter’s Falling Fast | Bernie @ Bernie’s Musings and Doings |

Thanks again for the tag, Jenelle! And if you’re reading this and want to participate in the Fantasy Month fun, I encourage you to do this tag! Or if your in a writing mood, Jenelle has a short story contest on her blog with a link-up. I’m considering a story, and hopefully I’ll have it up sometime this month!

What about you? Have you learned any lessons from fantasy? If so, what are they? Let me know down below! ❤