"-The Shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told." Closing my old and torn bible, I finished the Christmas Story.
Conrad sat cross legged on the floor in front of me, his eyes wide and shining brightly. Wind was in her cat form, curled up on the couch looking right at me with her green eyes. They were shining too. The only one that wasn't looking at me was Balthazar. Sitting in my armchair, head resting on his chest, eyes closed, arms on the arm rests; he was a familiar sight to us all. With a sigh I leaned back into the couch. Conrad was the first to break the silence.
"So, they went there and saw a baby in a manger surrounded by angels? That must have been so pretty! I mean, angels are the most beautiful and pure of creations."
"Mew!" Wind chimed in. "Unless they are fallen angels. Then they are all evil and dark, with an aura of sorrow and terror radiating from them."
"Well, I still think that they are beautiful!"
Attempting to stop the argument I could see coming on I chimed in. "The most dangerous things turn out to be the most beautiful. Although I wouldn't want to meet a fallen angel."
I got two dark looks as an answer. Then I felt something hard and scaly press into my skin through the leggins I was wearing over my blue dress. Looking down I saw Frostbitten, Conrad's pet dragon. SS had allowed him to bring Frostbitten home for Christmas holidays, after making him promise to bring him back as soon as holidays were over.
"Frost, what are you doing? Leave Kara alone." Conrad said, picking Frostbitten up and pulling him into his lap. "Kara? Can we open our presents now? We ate supper, and we read the Christmas Story. Can we open them now?"
"Oh, yes please Kara!" Wind's voice rang.
"Nope! You first have to perform a little something. Remember, we talked about that at the beginning of December."
Conrad nodded eagerly and Wind just groaned.
"You realize of course that this applies to you as well, Kara? You want to have presents as well don't you?"
Nodding I looked at Balthazar. He was right of course. "You too Balthazar." This time he answered with a groan, which seemed to mean-Well if I have to.
At this point Conrad had stood up and pulled out his two swords. There were ribbons on the hilts and before he explained I already knew what he was going to do.
"I shall be doing a sword dance." And away he went. His body moved like water as he swung the blades this way and that, and he feet moved like they had wings. The blades themselves were spinning and twirling and prancing, dancing. The low light glinted of their sharp edges, only to help increase the beauty and danger. At times the blades looked like they were on fire! Once done he sat bowed, slit the swords back into their scabbards, and sat back down.
Wind transformed with a heavy sigh into her actual Whirly form and explained that she would create some elemental spectacle, but it would have to be outside. Shrugging Conrad and I got up, then we had to pull a protesting Balthazar out of the armchair and drag him outside.
Snow was falling outside slowly, there was no wind. It was still and breathtaking. There were gaps in the clouds, so I could see the stars. The moon was full that night and threw shadows that would normally frighten me, but tonight the night itself was peace so nothing would scare me. For a while we all just stood there, looking out into the silent night. Our breath forming white puffy clouds that rose to the heavens.
Wind looked around, went out into the snow and started using lightning and air to transform the snow into graceful falling figures of animals, people, creatures, and scenes. The lightning changed colour and transformed the air around us into a lighted scene. Her last image was that of a beautiful gleaming star, high above us. Even Balthazar had to gasp at the grace of the snow star.
After the gleaming show of elements it was my turn. We went back inside and I took my stand by the couch, the other three sitting down looking at me with expectant eyes.