The sun shone down on the endless white plains, causing the whole of the Ice Kingdom to glitter and gleam like diamonds. Not a breeze was in the air and a fresh layer of powder soft snow rested across the igloos dotting the land.
On the very edge of the houses, Felistia crept over the snow as silently as a cat. Beside her stalked Shiler and Shriken, their golden eyes glowing with childish excitement. Just beyond the crest of ice they were hiding behind, sat Kora. She had her silver wings folded back and her tail was curled neatly over her talons.
Felistia grinned as she began forming a snowball with her paws. The others next to her began eagerly forming theirs too. Soon each had a shimmering white snowball in their paws.
“Now for the final touch,” whispered Shiler, touching each of the balls with her claws. They shivered slightly and faded to a pulsing sapphire blue. Shiler gripped hers firmly in one paw and threw it directly onto Kora’s back spines. The snowball exploded on impact and a loud boom blasted through the afternoon air.
Their older sister whipped around, yelling, “Who’s there. Come out here right now.”
The three behind the crest of snow dropped to their bellies, struggling to suppress their giggles.
With an exasperated snort, Kora settled back into her previous spot and proceeded to
lick the remains of the snowball from her back.
Suddenly another snowball slammed into her head, bursting with a thundering bang. She shot to her feet and glared off in the direction of where the others were hiding. A series of muffled snorts and giggles was coming from that direction.
“Okay guys that’s enough. You throw another enchanted snowball at me and we’re going to have a problem.”
As if on cue another ball launched over the crest and hit her right between the horns with a boom. Three snouts peaked over the slope and ducked quickly down again with a roar of laughter.
“Right. That’s it,” Kora hissed, wiping the soggy snow from her face. Spreading her scaly wings, she leapt into the frigid air. Flying silently as an owl, she hovered over the hill where her siblings were crouching. As her shadow crossed over them, they let out a squeal of joy and bolted. They bounded through the snow, flapping their wings as they tried to out run her. From Kora’s height they rather looked like little white jack rabbits with wings.
“You do know that you’re not going to get away with this?” Kora shouted down to them.
Felistia glanced up at her, responding, “You’ll have to catch us first.”
Ducking into a dive, Kora plunged down, her talons spread ready to send Felistia tumbling into the snow. Her sister saw her coming though and rolled out the way. Unable to change her course in time, Kora was sent hurtling headfirst into a snow bank.
There was a roar of laughter behind her as her siblings collapsed in a fit of giggles.
“Ha, ha. Very funny,” Kora hissed, whipping the snow from her head for the second time that day.
Shriken was prancing mockingly in front of her, imitating her crash. This was how he failed to see the crevasse before it was too late. With a scream of fear, he tumbled into the fissure.
“Shriken!” yelled the others, rushing to the edge and peering into it. Shriken was clinging to a ledge, his little eyes wide with terror. The ravine seemed to go down for miles and faded into inky blackness.
“Can you reach my paw?” Shiler asked, reaching down as far as she dared.
“No,” Shriken cried, stretching for her talons. He was too far down to reach and had to scrabble at the wall to regain his balance on the precarious ledge.
“Can’t you try and fly up?” Felistia suggested, gazing down at her brother in worry.
“No, don’t Shriken,” Kora quickly shouted, before he could open his wings to try, “You’re too young to fly that distance. It’s too risky.
“How am I going to get up then?” Shriken wailed, shivering from head to tail. His tail was dangling like a loose rope over the edge of the ledge and it gave Kora an idea.
“Could you reach my tail if I dangled it down to you?” she asked, letting her tail drop over the edge.
Shriken strained as far as he could, but he was still a good few meters away from her.
“I still can’t reach,” he wept, a small tear streaking down his snout.
Suddenly a splintering sound echoed through the gorge and hair line cracks started to appear across Shriken’s ledge.
At that very second, Kora knew what she had to do, “Grab hold each others tails,” she roared, handing her tail to Shiler, who caught hold of it with her talons. Felistia snatched up Shiler’s tail and Kora slowly began lowering Felistia and Shiler down into the chasm. Kora gripped the hard rock under the snow as the weight of her sisters strained against her tail.
“All most there. All most there,” Felistia hissed, swinging her tail for Shriken to grab.
Another ear splitting crack sounded from below him and the ledge started to fall away.
“Jump!” Felistia yelled. Shriken leapt into the air, flapping his tiny wings as he reached for her.
“Got it!” he cried as he clung to his sister’s silver tail.
Kora gave a great heave and began hauling them up. The ground was slippery and every step she took was excruciating. Finally after what seemed like forever, Shiler, Felistia and Shriken where all out of the gorge and safe. They collapsed onto to the snow, gasping for breath.
“Let’s not do that again okay?” Kora panted.
“Absolutely,” agreed to others.
“I think it’s time we went home. I for one am famished,” Kora suggested, getting to her feet.
The others nodded and together they made the long trek back to the palace.