As I write this all out, I now realize that I really don’t know very much of the world. To be fair, my friend Idris made me out of a coffeepot only a few days before the events I’m writing of now. Considering this, I should probably be more proud of what knowledge I do have. At the very least, I am very glad that I came into the world with a full vocabulary and a sense of decorum. Now, I imagine you would like me to tell you about the fairy queen that Jack took me to meet.
Jack led me along the path through the silver forest, until we came to an immense garden. Bushes of white roses with silver leaves and stems, swaying willows of glassy white ice, and innumerable tinkling snowdrops surrounded wide frozen pools where I could see silver and white fish swimming playfully under the ice. Little bridges of tightly packed white snow arced over the stone-still rivers between the pools, and tall silver lampposts stood here and there offering a gentle, pale-blue light. On the land, white, blue, and silver flowers stood in sprawling snowy beds on low knolls, creating images of snowflakes and windy looking swirls from afar.
As I marveled at the frozen beauty around me, wondering just how far this garden stretched into the distance behind the willows, knolls, and bushes, Jack led me to a small gazebo made of blue ice, which sat on an island in the largest lake that I could see. Crossing the snow bridge, and stepping up to the gazebo, I noticed a woman sitting at a little table of ice under the fine, filigree, domed roof. Jack stopped on the few small steps that led into the gazebo and fell to one knee in a deep bow.
“My radiant mistress,” he said, his silver gaze on the snowy steps. “May I intrude?”
“You may,” the woman said on a deep, powerful, nearly masculine voice.
She stood from the table and stepped forward, revealing her considerable height of possibly six feet. Unlike Jack, who’s pale skin was only tinged with blue at the edges of his fingers and toes, the woman’s flawless skin was blue throughout, and her eyes were an empty, endless, black. Despite her strange coloring, she was remarkably beautiful with features so fine, gentle, and proud that I knew at once she could only be a queen.
She wore a dress of the purest white, which billowed atop her shoulders and pooled at her feet like the softest snow. Her white hair was bound up on her head elegantly, under a small crown of the thinnest frost. She smiled sweetly at Jack as she came closer to him.
“Rise, my knight,” she said gently, despite the low vibration that her voice sent over my bones. Jack lifted his head with a smile and kissed her offered fingers before he rose to his feet. “What has brought you to me, today?” she asked him.
“I was collecting new children for you,” Jack began. “And I think I got some very nice ones that you will like. But then, I accidentally snatched up this,” he added with a gesture to me. The queen’s black eyes turned to me, the weight of her alien gaze making me shiver from head to toe. “I’m not even sure what it is, to be honest,” Jack went on. “I don’t really know what to do with it.”
The queen frowned. “It is djinn magic.”
“Djinn magic?” Jack gasped, looking to me in sudden fright and horror. “Mistress, I had no idea. I thought it was a child! I didn’t know!”
“It’s all right, Jack,” the queen said, offering him a slight smile. “I know that you understand to be careful of djinns. You certainly would never have brought this to me if you’d known what it was. I’m not angry with you.”
“I don’t deserve your kindness, my mistress,” Jack said, falling into a short bow. “I’ll get rid of it immediately.” As he spoke, Jack raised a hand, and a shifting, spinning, ball of razor-sharp shards of ice appeared suddenly in the air between his fingers and palm.
“Please!” I shouted, raising my hands as terror raced through my heart. Jack paused, and the queen looked down to me again. “If I’ve offend your majesty in any way, then I deeply apologize,” I said as politely as I could, given the circumstances. “Please, just send me back to where you found me. I’ll be no trouble to you, at all. I give you my word of honor.”
“Who would wish for a talking monkey with a sense of honor?” the queen asked with a confused expression. “I don’t think I’ve ever heard of anything so bizarre.”
Jack put his hand down again, and the ball of frozen fury vanished into the air. “Would you like me to do as it asks, mistress?”
“I’m honestly not sure,” the queen said, still looking at me in confusion. “It is rather charming, though, isn’t it? Just look at its funny little monocle,” she added with a smile.
I did my best not to take offense at the way she spoke about me and offered her my best smile instead. I could only hope that being ‘charming’ might just save my life.
“I place myself at your service, your majesty,” I said with a deep bow. “If there is anything at all that I can do for you, please don’t hesitate to ask.”
The queen chuckled at me. Seeing this, Jack forced a chuckle as well.
“Put it in with the children for now,” she said to Jack. “I’ll decide what to do with it later.”
“Right away, my mistress,” Jack said.
She turned away, returning to her seat at the table. Jack moved immediately, ushering me quickly to the entrance of the garden. The moment we stepped back into the silver forest, under the dim glow of the blue leaves overhead, he stopped and let out a heavy exhale.
“Good grief that was close,” he said, putting a hand to his brow.
“What do you mean?” I asked him bitterly. “That you nearly killed me, back there?”
“If I displease the queen,” he said, glaring at me, “she will replace me with someone else. Then what will happen to me? Because I certainly won’t be Jack Frost anymore. Someone else will be! Running around freezing noses and toeses, without me…” he added pitifully. “I’d be no one at all.”
“Oh yes, I see,” I muttered. “I don’t know why I was so worked up over my own death.”
“Thank you Mr. Monkey,” he said, clearly not realizing that I was speaking sarcastically. “Well, it looks like she wasn’t displeased after all,” Jack said, putting on a brave face. “I’d better put you away.”
With that, he reached down and took a hold of the collar of my coat. Before I could comment on this rough treatment, he once again lifted me clean off of my feet.
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