A Storm Delays Our Flight...
“Where’d this storm come from?” Ashlee shouted over the wind.
“It’s Khione.” I shouted. “She’s the one who caused this storm.”
The wind blew at hurricane speeds, snow fell in heavy clumps and the temperature had dropped at least twenty degrees. I held out my hands seeing if I could calm the storm at all. The wind died a little but there was nothing I could do about the snow or the cold. It was taking all my concentration to cut the wind speed in half but even that wasn’t helping. I dropped my hands and the storm returned to normal.
I spotted a few shapes moving in the distance. They weren’t distinct shapes but I could sense their chaotic power. They swirled around us, dozens of dark humanoid figures increasing the speed of the storm. One charged forward, it was a human form with dark wings. Its body was made of storm clouds; a Ventus. Khione couldn’t have kept this storm going by herself unless she was here in person so she sent the venti so the storm could keep up its momentum.
I shot a lightning bolt at the one charging us and it dissipated into clouds. This sent the other venti into a frenzy and they began attacking the sleigh. I pulled out my staff and willed it to change into a length of chain. I jumped out of the sleigh and engaged the storm spirits. I electrified the chain and every time I cut one in half they would scatter into clouds and dust.
I looked over to see the others defending the sleigh. Ryan stood in the center pegging any venti that got too close. I saw him shoot one dead between the eyes and it flipped backwards until it dissolved. Kylie stood up front using her whip and sickle-sword together. She flicked her rose whip and caught a venti then she yanked her whip back and sliced off its head with her sword. Steven hurled his football which caught fire mid-air and passed through five venti before returning to his hand. Johnny and Ashlee stood in the back killing any that got too close. Ones head popped over the edge but Johnny wailed it in the head with his bat. Ashlee had activated her shield which expanded from her ring and used it with her spear to make quick work of any storm spirits. Andrew had been almost knocked out of the sleigh but caught the runners and soon crawled back in.
I looked around and it seemed like we had defeated all of them when suddenly I saw three venti converged together into a spinning vortex almost like an upside down tornado. They went into a nose dive then arched up under sleigh. The others hadn’t seen it and I raced to intercept the venti. I swung my chain but it was too late. The venti crashed into the reindeer severing their harnesses and sending them into a panic.
Without the reindeer to keep it aloft the sleigh couldn’t fly and it began to plummet. I dove after it the others screaming in panic and Charlie yelling “Hang on!” He pressed a button on the dash board and four red and white parachutes shot from each corner of the sleigh and they slowed their decent.
I finished off the last of the venti then floated down and hovered next to them to make sure everyone was okay. I used the winds to push and pull on the sleigh and made it land near a small forest.
Once the sleigh touched down everyone piled out. Kylie got on her knees and tried kissing the ground but got a mouthful of snow. Everyone seemed to be a little shaken walking around on wobbly legs. Andrew and Charlie began inspecting the sleigh while Ashlee grabbed the iPad and began looking at where we were. Kylie and Steven built a fire while Ryan took inventory of his arrows.
Johnny took a few practice swings with his bat. He didn’t get to use his weapons much since my aunt was concerned he’d hurt himself or someone with them. I made a snow ball a hurled it at him. He caught sight of it just in time to swing his bat and knock the snowball into a million pieces.
The others walked to the fire Steven and Kylie started to get warm. Andrew reported that there was no major damage to the sleigh and it’d be able to fly if we could find the reindeer.
“Don’t worry about that.” Charlie said pulling a gold whistle out of his pocket. He put it to his lips and blew. I couldn’t hear anything but Angel definitely heard it. She plunged into a snow bank to block out the noise. Being a cat her hearing is sharper than ours and the noise must’ve irritated her more.
Charlie put the whistle back in his pocket. “The reindeer will be able to hear that from anywhere in the world and will race to us.” He summarized.
“Alright,” I responded. “So where in the world are we?”
Ashlee looked at the iPad in her hands. “We’re still in Canada.” She announced. “We’re on the very tip of the Canadian mainland.”
“I was out that long?” I asked looking at the map.
“Yeah it was only two hours.” Ryan added. “You sleep ok? You were tossing and turning a lot?”
I suddenly remembered the dream I had and told them about Khione, Lycaon, the mysterious woman and Santa being strapped to a machine that was sucking the life out of him.
“So wait,” Steven began. “Santa’s a demigod?”
We all turned to Charlie. He was in a state of shock that Santa was in such danger but he looked up at the rest of us.
“Santa is a son of Hephaestus.” Charlie stated. Andrew jumped a little realizing he was related to someone so famous. “He was given immortality by the gods and has been giving gifts to children for thousands of years. Being the son of Hephaestus he was able to create toys for all the children of the world. His original helpers were Cyclopes but he switched over to us elves since we were smaller and a lot more efficient.”
We all stood silent taking that in. We realized our mission had gone to a whole new level of seriousness.
“Alright,” I said. “As soon as the reindeer return we fly to the North Pole with all haste. We cannot let Santa down!”
The others nodded in agreement. The reindeer would return soon enough but until then we were stuck here. Twenty minutes later I saw shapes moving in the sky I pulled out my staff in case they were more storm spirits. As they got closer I realized they were the reindeer. I called to Charlie and he blew his whistle again. The reindeer landed and Charlie, Kylie and Andrew set to work fixing their harnesses and hitching them to the sleigh.
They almost had all the reindeer hitched up when something growled in the woods behind us. I pulled out my staff again and Angel transformed herself into a white Bengal tiger. I could see a red pair of eyes at the edge of the woods. The creature moved forward large black wolf stepped into the clearing.