For the past few weeks Moontrug’s been working with a undercover agent: a 9-year-old accomplice who has been scouting the best children’s books out there for the Altocumulus Tower. She devours books as quickly as Dudley Dursley gobbles down cake and she has an eye for the stories that will go on to become international best-sellers. Her name is Annika Arora (even her name is moontruggishly wonderful) and not only is she a Book Scout Agent, she is also an up and coming author herself. And as a little treat, Moontrug wanted to share her entry for the Moonbug Winter Story Competition (see Competitions for entry details). Here it is…
Amber yawned. She tossed and turned but couldn’t get back to sleep. Throwing her legs out of bed, she sauntered over to the frosty window. Her hot breath melted the ice like butter on a pancake. When she looked outside her bedroom window, she saw Wintermist catching the sunlight like a malevolent dream to a dream catcher. The old yet fascinating stones had been there before time even dawned.
She yawned again; brushing her golden hair behind her ears. “I’ll go for a walk since I can’t get back to sleep,” sighed Amber, “To Wintermist? Yes, to Wintermist.” Throwing on her clothes, she opened her door. Down the spiral staircase, past the oak door, closing the garden gate and….Presto! She was outside.
As she headed for Wintermist, Amber remembered that it was Christmas Eve. Her fiery red eyes sparkled; she had an adventurous spirit. When she neared Wintermist, Amber knew something wrong. She spotted a loose stone slab. Curiously, she pushed it. The stone sank. Then, out of the crack, popped a sled. Amber jumped on. The sled lurched, and then sped off into the hole.
Amber plunged into darkness. “Ahhhhhhhhhh!” she shrieked. “Helllllppppppppp!”
When she opened her eyes, she saw she was plummeting into a light, spiralling tunnel made of ice. Hurtling down, Amber saw twisting icicles rush past her as sharp as a shark’s tooth. She gasped. Unfolding before her was a magical ice kingdom! Amber jumped off, glad to be off that horrible ride. She froze. Scuttling across the ice was a glowing spirit.
“My fellow….” He trailed off, noticing Amber. “What are you?” he said.
“I – I – am – am – a – g – girl,” she stuttered. Only then did she notice the Christmas trees grouped together in colours. Blues, reds, rainbow shimmers, turquoises, aqua-marine and so on.
The spirit winked. “So you’ll want to go on the journey, I suppose?”
“What journey?” Amber stammered. The thought of the sled made her nauseous. “But my mother told me never to stray further than Wintermist Circle of Stones!”
The spirit laughed, then he grabbed Amber’s wrists and in seconds he was off the ground and he was flying. He clicked his fingers towards the Christmas trees. One by one they disappeared but their colourful lights shimmered on the spirit’s skin. Somehow Amber knew that the spirit was carrying the Christmas trees with him.
“One… Two… Three… Go!” shouted the spirit and off they zoomed into the night sky. Over to London they flew. Amber gasped. She had never seen poverty, starvation or even the wide world before. She was overwhelmed by sadness.
The spirit shot colourful glitter out of his hands: yellow, green, white, gold and many more colours came gliding out. The colours flew down the chimneys of the nearby houses; formed and then settled in comfy positions near the fireplaces. She also noticed that the people on the streets had Christmas trees – they were much smaller but just as bright. Amber realised that each tree had a gift: hope, joy, trust, honesty, love, fun and friendship.
A few hours later, Amber and the spirit returned joyous from their journey.
“Here,” said the spirit. “Have this.” And he handed over a beautiful glass angel.
“Thank you. I will always be grateful,” Amber replied. And with that she went home. The sun rays bounced off the glass angel in all the colours of the rainbow and Amber knew that she would always remember the magical Christmas trees – because they gave hope and joy without wanting anything in return.