Jack Frost, now an old man, held his scepter in his hand. It was fully charged with frost magic and glowed a cold, pale blue light, little bits of snow and light drifted from it. Jack’s bright blue eyes though were still as full of mischief as when he was a young boy during Easter, though his golden blonde hair was now pale and white blonde.
Jack smiled at Pippa and bowed to her. “Thank you for your help, fair maiden. Now winter may come without troubles and the earth may rest.”
Pippa curtseyed back. “You’re welcome, Jack. I have had so much fun.”
“The fun isn’t over yet!” Jack said. He laughed and snapped his fingers in front of her nose. A whirl of cold air and frost swirled in front of her. “Look up! Quickly!”
Pippa looked upwards. She gasped, “A falling star!” She shut her eyes and made a wish. ‘Snow! Let it snow! Let it snow! Let it snow!’ she thought and thought hard.
When she opened her eyes, Jack was gone.
Pippa took a deep breath of the crisp cold air and let it out. It was time for bed. She smiled and hummed “Let it Snow” as she went back to her cottage in Magpie Field.
Far away, up in the mountains in the center of Astranar, Jack Frost reappeared. He looked down at the little girl that appeared next to him. “Well, Holly my love, fair Pippa wishes for snow.” He smiled and his eyes twinkled again. “What do you say? Shall we grant her wish?”
Holly jumped up and down and clapped her hands.
“She’s given us lots of magic,” Jack said. He held out his hand. Holly took it and Jack held his scepter over his head.
Clouds swirled around him and over all of Astranar, and it began to snow.
Jack and Holly disappeared.
The next morning, Pippa woke up to a glaring white light. She moaned and rolled out of bed, rubbing her eyes. She walked over to the window and stared. Snow! Snow was everywhere! A thick fluffy pile of it!
Her wish had been granted.
Pippa squealed, did a little dance and dashed to get ready for the day. She was going to need her coat!
She washed, brushed her hair and got dressed, and when she picked up her phone, it buzzed in her hand. She had a snowflake-gram! Pippa had never heard of a snowflake-gram before Jack Frost. But he was magic and she’d learned not to question it. He wished to meet her as soon as possible. There was new business afoot and he needed her assistance.
Pippa’s eyes widened and she finished getting ready quickly, doing a quick clean of the room before going out and feeding her animals and doing her stable chores. She threw blankets on all of the horses. They weren’t ready for this cold!
She saddled her favorite horse, her magical horse, MarbelHollow. If Jack Frost needed assistance, she might have to go into the Mirror World. The idea filled her with delight and dread. She loved the Mirror World, but it could be dangerous. She could never forget that at her peril.
She shivered a little as she and MarbelHollow jogged through the snow. It crunched under Marbel’s hooves. Little clouds of fog formed in front of their noses as they breathed. Pippa was glad for her sunglasses.
Pippa heard Jack and someone else, a woman, before she saw them. The woman was shouting.
“You miserable, snow-loving excuse of a puck!” the woman shouted. She was dressed very oddly and not at all fit for the weather. She was dressed like an ancient Viking warrior with a leather breastplate and skirt. There were furs wrapped around her calves and a fur half cape over her shoulder. Her thick blonde hair was braided over both shoulders and she wore a conical helmet. Maybe Pippa had been steeped in popular culture for too long because the helmet didn’t look finished to her. It didn’t have any horns!
“I assure you, madame, that this is all just a misunderstanding,” Jack Frost said, swinging his scepter over his head and resting it on his shoulders.
A young girl clung to his leg and looked at the woman with wide eyes.
“Misunderstanding?!” The woman stomped her foot. “You always say that, Jackie Frosty. I’m minded to add you to our Hunt for a while and teach you a lesson about playing with things that aren’t yours!”
Jack smiled at her. His eyes lit on Pippa. “Pippa CantataGallop!” he shouted. “May I introduce you to Holda? You may know her by her other name, Mrs. Claus.”
Pippa’s heart jumped. “As in Santa Claus?” she squeaked.
Holda turned to Pippa.
Jack Frost decided he better explain. He swung the scepter down and leaned on it. “Pippa, fair lady, I’m afraid that some of the ghosts we summoned for my Queen were from the Wild Hunt. Oh, you don’t know what that is? Well, when Santa and Mrs. Claus aren’t dealing with Christmas, they are Wodan and Holda leading a solemn procession of spirits through the sky. We accidentally summoned some of those spirits for my gift to my Queen. Now, Wodan is in a bad mood.” He examined the end of his scepter as if the blue stone had something important to tell him.
Holda interrupted, “And he doesn’t want to do Christmas!”
“He never wants to do Christmas.” Jack rolled his eyes. “He doesn’t want to leave the Wild Hunt.”
“Christmas is his job. If he doesn’t do Christmas and it’s not prepared properly, the Christmas spirits will act up. If you thought the Pumpkin Queen’s hobby horses were bad, this is worse. No Christmas for any one!” Holda shook. “It’s those ravens of his, I know it. They’d do anything to keep Santa with the Hunt. And he’s not listening to me!”
Jack’s eyes twinkled. “Perhaps Pippa can get Wodan to see reason. She is a child, after all.”
Holda glowered at him, and then looked at Pippa. “He always wants something,” she grumbled. “Find out what it is and give it to him. I’ll handle the Hunt while he’s gone.”
“As she does every year,” Jack interjected.
“It will be safely in my hands. He doesn’t need to worry.” Holda nodded.
Pippa bit her lip. Talk to Wodan while he was leading the wild hunt? But if she didn’t, there wouldn’t be any Christmas. Would she really negotiate with Wodan? Pippa steeled her spine. She would. Everyone needed Christmas! “I’ll do it,” she said. “Where could I find him?”
“He’s resting in the Mirror World,” Holda said. She held up her hand. “This Christmas Spirit will guide you,” she said, and a red and green spark formed over her hand. It shot away into the woods. “Quickly now!” Holda shouted. “After it! Don’t let it get away!”