A single figure looked out across a field, alone, in the silence as the wind caressed the land as if petting it. An ancient battlefield long left alone by humankind, a place forbidden to all entry and if ignored, death would arrive swiftly to all men who wished to explore the untainted land. The figure turned her head slightly at the approach of another, a woman with frizzy black hair with flowers blossoming from within.
“Mother Spirit.” The newcomer bowed her head, the first woman nodded lightly.
“You have been caring for this land Sena – I must thank you for that.” Mother Spirit replied softly.
“It is the least I can do for those who rest here. They deserve to be at peace and have this as a good resting place.” Sena said. “I want them to suffer no longer.”
“Thank you, deeply. I know the others will appreciate what you are doing for them too.” Mother Spirit smiled, Sena stood next to her side, and they looked over the field in relaxed silence. “You are tired, Sena. I can sense it within you.”
“I am not. It is the earth that is tired.” Sena sighed softly. “Without Eira here, the world has no time to rest. It can only provide as it is for so long.”
“Yes, I had a bad feeling that would be the case.” Mother Spirit frowned lightly, before smiling. “And it is why plans are being put into place to ensure a safer future for all life here.”
“Plans?” Sena repeated.
“It has been so long, and I think you may agree it is time for winter to return, but not as eternal as it once was. Someone to work alongside your three sons.” Mother Spirit said. “A new spirit will be awakened when the time comes. And they will see a new season being brought to this world.”
“The humans might not adapt well to this. But I will see my sons warned, and make sure they know their place when the time does come.” Sena nodded. “Oak may not be too happy; he already is unfriendly to his brothers as their seasons are not as warm as his – winter will not be accepted willingly. He may cause issues.”
“I see, well, no life comes peacefully. That is how life learns to adapt to the changing world around them. But maybe I should ensure some particular personality traits to appear within the new spirit, that is not something I have done in a long time.” Mother spirit frowned lightly. She normally disagreed with meddling with personality traits within the Spirit, but such a situation called for a spirit who was kind but would take no-nonsense. A new spirit of the cold would need to be ready for a fight if it came for them, which it would no doubt do.
“You haven’t had that look, in such a long time,” Sena commented.
“I have not had to think about something like this in a while. Specific traits need to be highly considered before any final decisions are put in place.” Mother Spirit sighed. “A long planning process is required. And I need to make sure this spirit will be as kind to all lives, issues lie with the ice too. For as beautiful it can be, death can linger beneath its surface. Such a spirit needs to be balanced to avoid any – well, we know what winter can do. For as much as it may be needed, we also need to avoid any potential disasters in the future. There is a lot that needs to be planned before the time comes.” Mother Spirit frowned lightly. “But I have the basics.”
“That’s good. I suppose this new Spirit will be living amongst mankind for a while?” Sena asked, Mother Spirit shook her head.
“Too dangerous. They will be young and an easy target for them. Mt. Winfrey seems like the perfect place, she would be alone without contact, but –”
“I could visit her myself, or maybe bring up the area to my sons. Ash loves to explore, maybe him wondering the Mountains for a while before meeting this new spirit would create a bond of friendship.” Sena suggested.
“As long as you promise to watch over them, make sure they do not harm them.” Mother Spirit told her.
“Of course.” Sena nodded. The two women fell silent, watching the wind softly sway the flowers around them.
“When the time comes, Sena of the Earth, would you accompany me to the Frozen Isle? To where the new spirit will be created.” Mother Spirit asked. Sena glanced at her in shock.
“Are you sure?” Sena frowned. “I can only imagine how private the process of bringing a new spiritual life into the world is to you and the others. I would hate to intervene.”
“I assure you; it will be fine. I would like your assistance with it. Your aura may be of help to make her compatible to live here.” Mother Spirit smiled. Sena glanced up at the sky and nodded.
“Then, I will be happy to join you,” Sena replied, Mother Spirit nodded and let out a small breath.
“It will be nice to see the snow of winter again.” Mother Spirit whispered; Sena silently agreed.
“Sena, you’re back my dear.” Caelus beamed from the front door of their home, Sena smiled softly and laughed as their two youngest boys came running out.
“Mom! Where’d you go?” Ash asked, pulling on her arm. His light Auburn hair was growing out a little longer and he had tied it back to keep it out of the way.
“Did you bring any new books?” Elm added, eyes alight with curiously. His light golden-brown hair was cut shorter than she saw that morning, so she knew Caelus had cut it whilst she was out.
“I went to see an old friend and no books, but I come with a story – a story of the past, and the future,” Sena told them. “If we get in, I’ll tell you.” The boys laughed and ran back in. Caelus embraced his wife.
“How is Mother Spirit?” He asked quietly.
“She is as well as ever. But there is a fourth season coming. A winter, not yet, but in time. The earth can only remain working as it is for a certain amount of time – and eventually, it and I will need a break.” Sena told him. Caelus kissed her forehead.
“Then, I assume the story you want to tell the boys is the old joys of the winter?” He said they headed back into the house.
“The spirit will live in the Mountains of Winfrey. And we need to make sure our boys know beings with the power of the old earth are not a threat.” Sena nodded. “Let’s see how they take it.” They headed into the living room.
Oak sat on the sofa reading a large book, largely ignoring his two young brothers as they sat on the floor. Sena smiled at her children as she and her husband settled into their chairs.
“What’s the story Mom?” Elm asked.
“It begins at the very beginning of this world when it was the time of Spirits, and the mother of them all wondered and enjoyed the sights and sounds of the earth.” Sena smiled. “In that time, there was no spring, no summer, and no autumn, there was just one season. Eternal, and protecting. Winter, the season of ice and rest.”
“But isn’t ice and the cold bad?” Elm asked. “It kills the earth.”
“Oh no sweetie, before us there were Spirits all across the land, so many of them. And they followed the first created – and my predecessor in the terms of protecting the earth – Eira, known as the Spirit of the Bitter-winter. She would watch over everyone, and despite the cold, people could still live normally. Oh, I only saw the last parts of the snow. But the land swathed with white was so beautiful, I would run around playing with the snow – but it didn’t stay long after Eira died in the last parts of the Spirit-Human war. And that time was lost, no longer the time of Spirit’s, but the time of Gods were just beginning.” Sena smiled. “And one day, you may get to see the rise of another Winter. Just not as permanent as before.”
“Snow sounds really fun!” Ash beamed. “I wish I could see it myself!”
“Well, there are still places in this world in which the old earth still remains. Upon the high mountains, where the wind is bitter and cold, snow still falls. And there is the Frozen Isle, where the Spirit Eira lived during her time. It still remains untouched by the newer seasons.” Caelus added.
“Whoa,” Ash whispered. “Can we go check it out?”
“Why would you want to do that? It would kill you.” Oak scoffed.
“No, it wouldn’t! Mom even says it doesn’t kill the earth, so it will be fine! I want to see snow!” Ash turned to his parents; Sena giggled lightly.
“We can go some time, I promise.”
“Was there a point to the story?” Oak sighed looking at his mother.
“Of course, Winter is the old season of ice and rest, it allows the world to rest nothing much can be grown. There may come a time the earth needs to rest again, and thus Winter shall rise again.” Sena said.
“So, there’ll be four of us? Are we going to have a sibling?” Elm asked happily.
“No sweetie. I believe Mother Spirit would be the one making the decision.” Sena replied. “We’ll see in time.”
“Yeah, But can we go to the mountains soon?” Ash demanded.
“We’ll plan a day out.” Caelus chuckled, ruffling Ash’s hair. “The mountain isn’t going anywhere; we don’t have to rush. And we’d need clothes for you to help you deal with the cold.”
“Awe okay.” Ash huffed, but he and Elm grinned at each other. Oak just rolled his eyes and returned to his book.
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