First Snow

The tiny babes had finally settled off to sleep. Lily gently placed them into the cradle. She reached down, gently stroking their faces in turn as Ælithil stretched and grabbed hold of his twin sister. Stifling a laugh, she realized just how perfectly Kalithil had named him. She picked up the book resting on the table. Hmmmm, Kalithil must have left this. I don’t remember retrieving this one, she thought. Her fingers traced the cover. “Frost Magic and It’s Creative Uses”

Flipping through she quietly read for a while. Matching the runework in her mind, a faint glimmer of blue crackled on her fingertips. “Oooo,” she whispered to herself. “I wonder if I could just…hmmmm.” She concentrated for a moment. The air around her swirled, suddenly bracing. The light around her hand grew brighter as she formed the spell in her mind. She wove it around her hands, creating a shimmering orb. She brought it up, blue light dancing on the walls of the cottage.

At that moment, Kalimè woke up shrieking. Lilybeth jumped, the orb flew through the open door and collided with a tree, encasing it in ice and exploding violently into the air. Shards of ice tinkled to the ground as she turned back to her daughter. Lifting her up, she sighed. “Well, that wasn’t what I was hoping to do little one. And now I will have to explain that tree to your father.” She laughed as Kalimè’s eyes sparkled back at her. They shared a quiet moment before Ælithil awoke, finding his sister gone. He began wailing and reaching with his tiny hands. Lily gathered him up, letting him grasp at Kalimè. Once they had both settled a bit, she fed them and changed them.

Resting against the headboard the way Kajeda has shown her, she propped the twins up on her lap, playing with their little fingers. The fire crackled away, casting moving shadows on the ceiling, that the babies watched with curiosity. Suddenly the door popped open and an incredible chill swirled into the cottage. Kalithil stood in the doorway, a look of amazement and confusion on his face. “Are you responsible for this?” He sounded almost impressed.

“Responsible for what? And close the door! Why is it so cold? It’s never cold here!” She gathered the blankets around the children, shocked. “Oh! Wait! Do you mean the tree? I didn’t mean to do that. I was trying out the spell on page 47 and Kali woke up and she started me! It wasn’t my fault. The spell just flew out of my hand and…”

Laughing, Kalithil raised a hand, stopping her. “Lily, come here. Bring the twins.” She slid off the bed and moved to him. He picked up a cloak, wrapping it around the three of them. He moved her slowly to the door, where her eyes opened wide.

The entire fortress was covered in a thick blanket of shimmering snow. There was this hush, like everything in the world was muffled under a soft down pillow. The trees and buildings sparkled, drifts of snow, piling here and there. Gentle fat flakes drifted down from the sky, landing on their faces. Ælithil squealed with delight. The parents looked down at the little faces, both completely entranced. Kalithil raised a hand, making the snowflakes dance before them, creating shapes and swirls. Kalimè’s face beamed, her hands outstretched.

“All right. I didn’t mean to do this, but it’s perfect.” She leaned her head against his shoulder, sighing happily for a moment before jumping upright again. “How do I get it to stop?”

“I’ll show you in a little while.” He wrapped his arms around his family, chuckling. “This is probably my favorite of your spell mistakes.”