I couldn't help but think of Sticky-Tagger and his pixie friends. I've been away from them too long, me thinks.
I offer the following in response: Solstice Song
“Sticky, it’s winter!” Glowing, Sellamina twirled beneath the falling snow. Her wings shimmered in the pale triumph of the waxing sun.
“It’s still too slushy,” Sticky held out a disappointing handful of wet, white sludge. “It’s close, but it’s not ready yet.”
Sellamina drifted towards his perch. “Can't you feel it?”
Sticky closed his eyes and listened to the hush of their woods, hoping to hear the hum. Gone were the familiar sounds of the woodland creatures as most of them hid in the warmth of their dens. Snow dampened the song of the world. Even the trees refused to break the morning calm with their chatter. He opened his eyes and sighed. “No. Not yet.”
She sat beside him on the branch and wrapped her golden wings about them, sharing their warmth. She stifled a yawn. “I know we stayed up all night waiting, but I’m still too excited to sleep.”
“Do you think it’ll come from the north this year?” He knew the answer, but the question came from habit.
“It always comes from the north,” his sister breathed, huddling closer.
Sleigh bells chimed several miles away, a mere whisper tickling Sticky’s ear from that distance. His mind wandered. He remembered those bells with laughter and the spiced, heady vapors of mulled cider and wine. Humans were predictable, arriving with the snows and collecting white berries in bunches. “Sella, why do you think humans collect mistly-toes?”
“Ug, you had to ruin it,” Sellamina growled beside him. “Can’t we just once not speak of humans and their stupid rituals?”
“Okay.” Sticky frowned, racking his thoughts. With his recent Fetcher training, he’d become quite adept at collecting roasted chestnuts from human kitcheries. It was his new favorite food. Well, favorite nut. Punkin pie crumbs and that wiggly food that was colored and transparent like gemstones but melted into soup in his mouth were his favorites. Oh, and the sweet and sticky corn…his tummy rumbled. “But you don’t think they eat the berries do you?”
“I don’t think so. Wouldn’t it be poisonous?”
“Well, someday, I’m gonna find out,” Sticky said. “You know what else humans do?”
“They bring trees into their homes and dress them up.”
“What, whole trees?” Sticky caught her sideways glance as she leaned forward. Her mouth crinkled to one side. “That makes no more sense than the mistly-toes.”
Goosiepimples climbed up Sticky’s arm as the breeze shifted. It came from the north and stirred the crystalline drifts of the woodland floor. The ground sparkled bright with energy.
“Ooh." Sellamina squeaked and jumped to her feet, fluttering her wings. “Sticky, it’s here!”
Sticky forgot his hunger, his lack of sleep, and the chill that seeped into his skin. As the first magic of winter kissed his face, he drank it in, feeling raw bliss swell around his heart. The drowsy woods sparked to life and hummed, sweet and low, and eternity was once again possible.
And with that, my dearest readers, I wish you a very magical season overflowing with wonder and merriment.