Jessa sighed happily as she stretched out her legs in front of the fire, listening to the rain hitting hard on her roof. She was in a position that she had wished to be in for years. Her land was hers again, the crops were flourishing, and the cattle kept a steady income of fresh meat. The old Jarl that had taken that precious land of hers was now dead. The Witch, Gudrun, had killed him long before her own son killed her. Yes, times had been hard, but now, all of that was past. However, Jessa had always felt that something was watching her. This presence often imposed itself when she thought about the White Witch. Nonsense Jessa would say to herself, Kari killed her and not even the most powerful Witch could bring herself back from Asgard. However the thing that Jessa did not know was that Kari, in fact, did not kill the Witch.
The raindrops grew louder than ever on her roof, lulling her slowly to sleep. Finally, her eyes droopy from the late hour, she decided to retire to her chambers. As she strode up the steps two by two, she noticed something that sent shivers of cold and fear up her spine. The steps had a thin layer of ice on top of them. The Witch! She thought it can only be her. But then again, Gudrun was dead. How could this happen if they were halfway through June? Her heart doubled its pace as she dashed to the window, wrenched open the shutters and gasped. Over the slight mist that had settled there by dusk, Jessa could see hails, as big as her fist, coming down mercilessly upon the Jarlshold. People started shouting, flinging their arms around themselves and their children. Sometimes, one of them would fall hard on the paved floor of the square, knocked out. Babies were crying, Villagers shouting and everyone trying to get to the shelter of the hold itself without being knocked out cold. She stood there, frozen with fear, her knuckles white against the oak windowsill. Suddenly, Jessas roof came down with a crash. She barely made it out of the house in time. Not thinking, she jumped from her window.
Three stories she fell, down like a stone in the sea. When she hit the ground, the accumulated pile of hail somewhat cushioned her fall. She was up to her knees in it and every cell in her legs screamed in protest. Ignoring those screams, Jessa ran for the hold, like everyone else. The balls of ice falling from the sky soon had her scratched, bruised and bashed. Looking for a sort of shield, she saw a big metal cauldron sitting in the hail. Taking a step toward it, Jessa felt a warm, squashy something under her feet. Someones there! She thought and reached deep in the hail. Feeling a hand she squeezed it and tugged. Her arms were tired, she was scared, cold and barefooted, yet her muscles clenched as she heaved and finally manage to pull out a little girl, no older than six, and with a bloody lump on her head. The girl was alive, Jessa could see mist coming out in steady puffs through her parted lips Fitting the cauldron upon her head, Jessa heaved the girl along with her and trudged slowly towards the Jarlshold, the hails clanking loud against her cauldron. Finally making it to the doors, she tugged hard one last time and flung herself and the girl onto the cold stone floor of the hold.
A woman that Jessa did not know came crying.
Xaphania! Oh my little Xaphania! Thank you so much Jessa for bringing her back! I turned around and then she passed out, and then she was covered in hail! Oh my! Thank you Jessa! Bless you my child!
It was nothing, Jessa croaked back. I found her by stepping on her by your old cauldron.
Suddenly the feeling came back to Jessas feet, blue in cold. Whimpering in pain, she excused herself and hobbled towards one of the blazing fires in the hall. Her feet sighed in relief and slowly regained their natural peach color. As soon as she stood up, there was a hitch. The doors suddenly slammed viciously, crashing against their stone frames. And Jessas heart pounded harder than ever.
She is here. She breathed. But a serious sense of alarm overtook her and she shouted, Everyone stay close to the fires! GO NOW! HURRY! But even as she said this, she knew that for some, it was too late. A shape started to slowly materialize in front of them. Jessa wished it was all a dream but the familiar sense of cold and dread soon filled her lungs and she knew. Gudrun was alive.
The White Witch glared at the villagers huddled around the hall and her eyes strode over to the ones that were still scrambling towards the big fires and she struck. Jessa saw it in slow motion although it all happened in less than a second. Gudrun turned and with all her might, she flung her arms forward, keeping her wrists together, fingers wide open. A ball of violet light shot from between her hands across the hall and onto the helpless villager who fell on the spot. The crowd could see his scared face, still etched upon his now lifeless body, staring up to the ceiling. A woman near Jessa whimpered. Gudrun now started killing like cattle all of the villagers who had not made it to the fires. As she stormed through the ranks of people flanking them, she spotted Jessa and Jessa felt her gaze freeze through her eyes, making her quiver on the spot. Cursing herself for showing this mark of weakness, she now stood proud, chest out, hands by her sides.
Happy to see me? Gudrun asked sarcastically.
Delighted. Jessa replied trying to keep her tone as steady as she could. The people around had moved away from her. It was just Jessa against Gudrun. Kari! Please help me! Kari! The world needs you! Jessa thought. Then she heard him answer I am coming Jessa. And her hopes brightened. All that she could do was to keep the witch from killing her until Kari arrived.
S-so, Jessa stammered. How-
How did I come back? the Witch cut in, Well Jessa, it is all very simple. You see my sweet son did not kill me. The Witch smiled an evil smile towards Jessa who could not take it in.
Kari only trapped my soul into a gem and gave me to Moongram, the werewolf. She paused to draw a breath; There I charmed him until I could command him from my little glowing prison. I told him how to open it and when he did, I slew him.
Jessas heart sunk. Moongram, the valiant werewolf who had joined them in their journey to the Ice land, dead. It was unbelievable.
And from there, The Witch plowed on, It was a piece of cake. I just mind-traveled here and from there, you know everything. Then she smiled, showing pointed teeth, Oh I am so happy to be home again Jessa. I can plan revenge against every single one of you. I can kill torture you until you are almost dead and heal you so that I can torture you more.
You shall torture no one. Came a voice. The voice seemed to be coming from everywhere in the room but Jessa knew it was Kari. Everyone else, including Gudrun, looked around, terrified. Suddenly, the back doors opened with a bang. Kari was there. His pearly white hair and tunic billowing in the cold wind. He and Gudrun placed themselves in duel position in the middle of the huge hall without a word. Jessa watched, terrified as they started fighting. Gudrun sending the purple orbs of light that she had used to massacre the villagers, and Kari sending bright red spiked ones. The battle raged on and all that Jessa could do was watch. When Kari would shoot an orb toward the Witch, his face would glow red and he would look terrifying.
Jessa could bear it no more, Kari was now quailing to the fierce and repetitive attacks from his mother and Jessa decided to help him. Seizing a burning log from the fire, she ran for the Witch and threw it at her, the Witch dodged it but still focused on Kari.
COME ON! Jessa bellowed to the rest of the Villagers who were frozen with fear, HELP ME OUT AND BRING HER DOWN! it took a little while for the villagers to respond. However in a matter of seconds, they were all throwing coals, logs, or red-hot swords at the Ice witch whose eyes burned with fury.
NO! she screamed and sent an explosion in the middle of the swarm of villagers, sending them flying in all directions. This moment of inattention was all that Kari needed, summoning up all of his energy, he sent an enormous bright red and gold fireball from his open palms towards the Witch. Gudruns face showed an air of surprise as the ball hit her squarely in the chest and she sank to her knees. A gaping hole was there where her sternum had been. With a final scream, Gudruns body exploded in a million of ice shards that melted in midair.
The room went quiet, still echoing the Witchs last cry until it was drowned by the sound of cheers, whoops and clapping. Jessa and Kari had rid the world of the most horrible monster and were acclaimed for it.
Author's Note: This story is a sequel that I had to write for my English class. It is a continuation of the book Snow Walker by Catherine Fisher. Enjoy!!
Calixte Mayoraz is a freshman at Cupertino High School. His hobbies include creating digital music and writing fiction.