Chapter 1 – The Blizzard

Chad R Martin

Nick wandered through the blistering snow storm, lost and alone in the frozen forest. He wondered for the thousandth time how he could have thought this was a good idea. The whole town had laughed at him. They ridiculed and mocked his plight, calling him a fool and a dreamer. Even his love, Sarah, had begged him to reconsider.
Perhaps they were right.
Be that as it may, Nick could not resist the pull in his heart. There had to be something more to this world. The children needed someone to give them hope. And in the small northern village of Fin, in the heart of Winter Valley, hope was needed more than ever.
Nick gripped the reins of his trusted pale steed, Tomas, and pushed on through the blizzard, searching for shelter.

As Nick’s eyes became blurred with the cold, he knew he had to continue. Nick knew the smile of all the children’s faces would be a reward he would never forget.

Through the blinding blizzard Nick saw the barely visible outline of some type of structure in the distance.

Could it be? Is it possible that he found what everyone said never existed?

The glint of green light pierced through the snow storm causing Nick to pull back on the reigns, bringing his struggling mount to a stop. At first he thought he had imagined it.

“This storm…can’t focus,” he thought desperately, feeling the painful winter air biting into every inch of his body.

Then Nick saw it again. He leaped from Tomas’ back and forcefully pulled the great pale steed towards the place he had seen the light.

Sloshing through the deep snow towards the structure with Tomas following behind him, Nick thought he saw the green light again. He tried to pick up the pace.

“It has to be it” he dared to hope loudly.

His thoughts turned to the long told story of the fabled Christmas Beacon. Elders of the village of Finn had always delighted in captivating audiences of small children with the story of an important beacon that flashed a green shining light every year on the 24th of December brining hope to the whole land.

The light served as a beacon for the arrival of Christmas in villages all over the world just like Finn. The Elders told that the beacon shone all over the world so that Father Christmas could find his way to all the good boys and girls no matter where they lived. It was a charming legend but one that Nick had especially believed in. Unlike most adults Nick never lost that belief as he grew older.

Nick smiled at the memory of the legend. He vividly remembered sitting at the feet of the Elders and listening rapturously. What disturbed Nick the most was that not only had his friends stopped believing as they had gotten older but the Elders themselves had stopped telling the stories.

Something was happening to his village. The Christmas spirit had rapidly begun fading. All anyone cared about were themselves and what everyone else could do for them. Greed and selfishness had taken the place of hope, charity, and love.

Nick planned to change all of that!

He suddenly stumbled over something and landed face down in the snow with a yelp. Tomas whinnied in pain as the reins were suddenly pulled down. Nick quickly shoved himself back up and wiped the snow from his face. He could feel himself being drained of energy and knew that he had to make to some shelter soon or he and Tomas would freeze to death. There was a quick flash of green as he struggled to his feet.

Chad R Martin

 

“There!” he shouted at Tomas. It wasn’t his imagination after all!

As he righted himself he saw the light and continued on his way. The snow still fell with a fury and the wind whipped it about him driving the cold temperatures through his layers of clothes and skin straight to his bones. He shivered, but gripped the reins tighter and pushed through the furious snow. Tomas followed diligently behind. The light flashed again and Nick hurried towards it with urgency.

He hoped that whatever it was that he was walking towards was what he had been searching for, the beacon of Christmas. If not, then perhaps it was at least shelter from the storm. He knew that he could not continue in this way for much longer, the cold was starting to overpower him.

Suddenly, he realized he had fallen on his knees. He did not know how he had gotten there. He pushed himself up and tried to walk again, but could not.

“Help!” he screamed to anyone that could hear. The wind took his plea away.