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I felt the sharp edges of bark against my sensitive-skinned talons as I perched high in the trees overlooking the dawn of another wintry day in Greenville. The sun blazed through a gap in the dense grey clouds rolling in from the west, no doubt bringing another fresh fall of snow. From my vantage point, Greenville wasn't in need of any more. It piled up beside the Whizzenmog home, which had almost been swallowed whole.

A brisk breeze ruffled the feathers of my face. I spread my wings lifting myself into the air...gliding backward slightly. I pulled my wings in tight and darted back toward the ground. Snow kicked up behind me as I zoomed across it. Flying was exhilarating. I loved to move through the air as an eagle. I so rarely had the opportunity to enjoy this form as I only came to Greenville when Queen Merran requested. Since Phillip Harper and the Whizzenmog twins had returned from Mistasia, I had personally come back to Greenville on only a few occasions. The Queen usually sent others, but today she had honored me with this request… to provide protection for the heroes of Mistasia, Phillip, Rachel and Whizzy.

The window to Whizzy's room was empty as I swooped past. I fully expected him to be sleeping in bed as Rachel was when I passed hers. It was still early morning in Greenville and time seemed to be crawling. I would only be remaining here until the twins had awoken.

I settled into another tree that allowed me to watch Rachel. It was good to see her again. I felt a smile, just as a snapping sound startled me from below. My wings opened, and I launched myself toward the noise. It was still shrouded in darkness as the Whizzenmog's house blocked the morning sunlight from the world far below the tree tops.

Wind whistled across my face. I felt freedom like I could never imagine as an elf back home in Mistasia. Swooping into the darkness, my keen eyes quickly adjusted to the lack of light. A figure came into focus, hunched at the base of a tree...its back facing me.

I yelled out, "Don't move!"

The figure dashed away.

I angled to the right and followed the slender creature between the trees. It tossed acorns over its shoulders like grenades in an attempt to stop my pursuit, but I persisted. It was my duty from the queen to protect the twins from any assailants while they slept...and I refused to fail.

I quickly gained on the scurrying foe zipping between the trees and shrubs for cover. Up ahead it was trapped. I landed hemming my furry enemy in.

"Give up!" I shouted raising my wings in a threatening manner.

"AHHHHHH!!" screamed the ugly beast in a high pitched squeal. "Don't hurt me."

"What are you doing here?"

"I'm gathering nuts."

That wasn't quite the answer that I was expecting. It clearly became apparent that this creature was quite afraid of me as its bushy tail vigorously whipped around.

"Who sent you?" I eagerly pressed.

"My wife. She was really mad because I had friends over last night, and we ate the last of our winter nuts."

"What?” I knew that at some point I would encounter a creature that spoke in a language unfamiliar to me. This filthy looking one was it. “So you weren't sneaking up on the Whizzenmog twins?"

"Who?” It replied nervously.

“Yes!” I had a sudden realization. This creature was so small and daring it had gone unnoticed, even to me, until it made a vital mistake by snapping a twig. “LaCroiux believed he could deceive me.”

“Who?” my foe questioned again, slightly shaking.

“What are you? A ferret from the Eastern Plains?”

“No…I’m a squirrel…from that tree.” He pointed behind me to a thick, tall specimen that had a whole carved in its base.

“A squirrel? Are you sure you’re not a ferret?” I questioned him.

“Yes?” He replied.

"And you don’t know the Whizzenmogs"


A gust of wind rushed between the trees sending snow into my face. The squirrel used the opportunity to dash away and into its home.

Upon my return to the Whizzenmogs, I discovered my duty had been fulfilled. The Whizzenmog twins had awoken, and both now sat at their dining room table. I felt pride in seeing them safe, but sad too that I would again have to leave. I would not know when I would get to see them again.

I had returned to Mistasia and returned to my duties for the Queen. Later that night, I was restless…unable to sleep. I stepped up to my window and unlocked the shutters. Outside Cadieux Castle, the wind howled ferociously, sounding the charge of Mistasia’s latest wintry blast. It rushed against my fair-skinned cheeks turning them a rosy red. My eyes watered from its sting, yet I remained standing there defiantly studying every cascading wave of snow, like a force of enemy soldiers attacking us. I felt hatred for each and every flake of snow that invaded the castle. A powerful gust pushed a wave of snow in through my window against my face. I ducked and covered. The snow pushed me backward. I braced myself quickly in order to keep from falling.

This is no ordinary snow, I perceived after watching it for nearly an hour. There is something more sinister on these winds than Mistasia would bring alone.

The small village just outside of the castle grounds wasn’t even visible through the white wall of snow. Drifts crawled up the walls inching closer to the window just outside my room. I stared it down as though it were an approaching Wolverine soldier. I was not going to allow it to enter the castle.

I must protect the Queen.

My charge was to guard the Queen and lead the Elven Warriors in protecting this castle and its lands. Yet, I felt helpless against the advancing winter storm. Watching it slowly work to trap us inside. I grew frustrated.

I couldn’t recall a winter this tough in all my life. The snow had been falling for days. The air was brisk and relentless as it cut through my window, swept out the door and rumbled down the hallway.

I just wanted to battle the storm. My hand rested eagerly on the hilt of my sword. I hadn’t used it much of late. There had been no need. The storm had deterred even our most stubborn enemies from venturing out. I wished for action…adventure, and I needed it soon.

I would regret those wishes sooner than I could have ever imagined.

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