I thought I'd post a short story I wrote last year in honor of Christmas. It's not really related to Irowasa or my fantasy writing, but I hope you will enjoy it anyway.
Also, please note that I've made some changes to the post: The Great Magic War which is part of the Silver Sword Saga. If you've been following the Silver Sword Saga you will want to read the new version of this episode before continuing the rest of the series.
Have a Merry Christmas!
How Angels Celebrate Christmas
A golden haired angel stood framed by pine trees against a background of dark blue night sky dotted with falling snowflakes. Her pale blue gown billowed around her, soft white feathered wings pointed upward toward the heavens and...
Eleven year old Miranda’s small hand closed around the body of the ceramic angel. She wound the key on the bottom of the stand and listened to the tinkling flute-like notes of “Angels We Have Heard on High”. Her grandmother had given her the music box last Christmas. This year the angel rested on the windowsill of Miranda’s bedroom, lending it Christmas spirit. Miranda put the music box back in its place. Her big brown eyes followed the spinning angel as the song played.
She thought about the Bible story her mom read her earlier, the one where the angel visited the shepherds to tell them about Jesus’ birth. Why did angels never come like that to people nowadays? Was it a waste of time to dream about seeing angels?
A sudden gust of wind sent snowflakes swirling. Miranda’s window burst open, letting in a wave of cold air which bit at her cheeks and chilled her through her red and green striped pajamas. Miranda stepped forward and placed a hand on the window intending to close it. She hesitated when the swirling snow outside formed a shape which looked like a face. Thin tendrils similar to fingers beckoned. Miranda let go of the window and reached out to the figure forming in the snowy night. The frosty fingers closed around her arm and she found herself sucked into the chilly winter air.
She soared over a grove of pine trees with her dark brown hair streaming behind her. The bottoms of her slippers brushed the roof of her neighbor’s house. She glanced upward, squinting against falling snow which brushed her skin like a million tiny kisses. The figure holding her shifted in and out of focus as the soft wind caught the flakes forming it. The snowy person returned Miranda’s gaze and a smile split the swirling ice crystals. Several large flakes curved over the figure’s head like wings. Miranda gasped as she realized what she was seeing. She was flying with an angel, a real angel! The angel changed course, shooting upward through the cold wet mass of clouds. They leveled off to hover against a backdrop of stars with a roiling bank of grey and white below them lit by the silver half moon.
The angel had solidified into a man with friendly brown eyes, close cropped black hair and a goatee. He was wearing blue jeans and a plain white sweatshirt. Only his wings remained insubstantial, swirling like they were still snowflakes in the wind.
“Well, do you still think you’re wasting your time on thoughts of angels?” he asked.
“No way. I just never thought I’d see a real angel,” Miranda admitted. “This is amazing!”
“You haven’t seen amazing yet,” the angel laughed. “I’m just a Guardian Angel. Wait until you see the big guys.”
The world blurred and twisted around them until Miranda was no longer sure which way was up and which down. When at last they stilled there was no solid ground beneath them but only dark sky. Twinkling lights surrounded them on every side and Miranda realized they were standing among the stars. Points of sharp white light flared against the dark background, materializing into people with glowing bodies wearing clothes of all different styles and colors. Some of these angels appeared as solid flesh and bone while others were as insubstantial as mist. Many flickered in and out of focus. To Miranda’s left hovered a group of musicians in colorful choir robes warming up their voices and tuning instruments, sending up notes as crystal clear as the winter air. To the left smaller angels who looked like children of varying ages slid down the Milky Way laughing and sending up puffs of stardust. Miranda stared in wide eyed wonder. There were thousands of angels, millions of angels, too many angels to count.
A hush fell over the heavenly host as seven regal people appeared in the center of the gathering. Miranda’s attention was drawn to three men standing at the front of the group. In the center was a warrior with brown hair and intense blue eyes wearing combat boots and a breastplate over a camouflage suit. He had a pistol and a long knife hanging from his belt. A rifle and a curved sword were strapped across his back. To his right was a man with bright green eyes and blond hair combed to the side in an elegant fashion. He was dressed in a silky white tuxedo. On the other side of the warrior was a dark skinned man with curly black hair, a beard and warm brown eyes. He was wearing worn jeans, hiking boots and a leather jacket.
“Ah, the archangels are here,” said Miranda’s Guardian pointing at them.
The angel in the white suit nodded to the choir who strummed their instruments and burst into song. It was the most beautiful sound Miranda ever heard. She was sure she had never heard the melody before, yet there was something familiar about it which tugged at her heart strings. The angels captured soft delicate sounds which no human musician ever could. Their songs sent shivers of excitement down Miranda’s spine. The movements of all the angels complimented the music. The effect was beautiful to the point of being a taste of perfection. A point of light spread outward from one big bright star, dominating the sky. The voices of the choir reached a crescendo while the other angels cheered.
“This is the best part of the Christmas celebration,” said Miranda’s Guardian Angel, his face shining.
The light enveloped them, sucking them to a new time and place. When it faded Miranda found herself standing in a rough stone building which smelled of hay and animals. A young dark haired woman wearing a blue dress lay on a pile of straw. Beside her sat a tired looking man with his arms wrapped around her shoulders. In front of them was a small feeding trough in which slept a new born baby wrapped in a tight blanket. It was the baby which created the central point of everything in this stable. Though He did not glow like the half-visible angels, energy emanated from the child filling Miranda with a warm sense of peace and love. The feeling was so strong she wondered if her heart would burst.
The scene shifted again and Miranda found herself hovering over a grassy field lit by the intense glow of the many angels around her. Small white animals lay scattered in the field and she realized they were a flock of sheep. The shepherds stared at the angels in amazement as the choir sang “Glory to God in the Highest”. When the song ended the blurring, twisting sensation came back, carrying Miranda and the angels once again to the spot among the stars. The angels flew around this space greeting each other and wishing everyone a Merry Christmas. One by one they vanished, smiling with joy.
“Where are they going?” asked Miranda.
“They go to spread the true message of Christmas on Earth,” her Guardian Angel replied. “Some people need to hear the story for the first time. Many others know it but need to be reminded.”
Miranda thought of all the times she had heard the story of Christ’s birth. She suddenly felt ashamed of the times she had focused on thoughts of the presents she would receive rather than thinking about why Christmas was so important. She remembered the baby and the feeling of love He brought. That love was so much better than all the presents in the world.
“I can help remind other people what Christmas is about too,” she said.
Her Guardian smiled and said, “I hope you will. Now it is time for you to return to your house.”
He took Miranda’s arms and the sky twisted again. When it stopped Miranda was standing in her bedroom as the last notes of the music box faded. Outside her window the snow formed a face before dissipating in a burst of wind which pulled the window pane shut. Miranda turned at the sound of her door opening.
Her mother stepped inside and said, “All right, Miranda, time for bed.” She paused, her green eyes widening before she exclaimed, “Oh! Where did all these feathers come from?”
Miranda glanced at the floor and saw that it was covered with downy white feathers.
“Don’t worry mom, I’ll pick them up,” she said scooping up a handful of soft feathers and grinning.
On Christmas morning Miranda walked up and down her street stuffing homemade Christmas cards into the mailboxes of all her neighbors. Before placing the last card in the last mailbox she looked it over a final time. On the front of the card she had drawn a picture of an angel with wings made from the feathers she had found in her room. Inside the card Miranda had written this message:
Mary, mother of God
Savior of the world
Don’t forget what makes this holiday special.
The cards were signed:
A friendly angel.