Image copyright Xusenru
When the heart of Felice Navidad, Queen of the Frost Elementals, was pierced through by a metal poker wielded by the vicious vampire Tobias Walton, the Christmas elf Tinsel, her husband of 13,775 years, was felled by despair. Among the few things that can kill an elf is intense grief, and Tinsel’s twin brother Teacake feared that he would lose his best friend if he were not able to bring Felice back to life.
Teacake drank the elixir from the sap of the Moon-Tree of the Enchanted Wood and fell asleep at his altar. He descended the Seven Hundred Steps of Deeper Slumber through the Cavern of Flame, and, upon entering the Enchanted Wood, he was approached by six-hundred and sixty-six Zoogs, cunning rodents with tentacles beneath their noses like moles. Zoogs could be treacherous, but Teacake had been kind to them, and so they wished to assist him.
The Queen of the Zoogs stepped forward and placed a glistening red seed in Teacake’s hand. She explained in her chattering voice that this seed came from a tree which grew where the first drop of King Zyrion’s blood fell on the surface of the moon, forming the long-lost Selene Empire.
Teacake was to give the seed to his brother to plant within the damaged heart of his beloved. They were then to lie Felice to rest on the altar beneath the gardens of the Winter Palace. Within twenty-eight solar days, Felice’s heart would be mended, and a wondrous new tree would grow in the garden.
Teacake took the seed and expressed his gratitude to the Zoogs for their assistance. He opened the great bag which he had brought with him, which contained exquisite treats from the markets of Beersheba and Celephais and hearty breads and cheeses from the shops of Dylath Leen and the farms near the Katharian Hills.
The Zoogs fell about the kindly Elf’s feet and embraced him, climbing up his body to feed him morsels of the bounty which he had bestowed upon them. After spending a few moments in their vivacious company, Teacake bid the Zoogs farewell and returned to the waking world. He woke with the sparkling seed in his hand and hurried to fetch his grieving brother.
Tears of gratitude flowed from Tinsel’s eyes. He gathered a few stalwart guards to carry the Queen’s body to the chamber beneath the Royal Gardens. When she was laid upon the stone altar deep beneath the frozen Earth, he gently planted the magical seed within her wounded heart. His tears fell upon the seed. Tinsel softly kissed his wife’s cold lips.
“Return to me soon, Beloved,” he pleaded. “Life without you is not life at all.”
Queen Felice lay in her chamber beneath the gardens of the Winter Palace and dreamed. Some of the dreams were nebulous and Felice could recall no details upon awakening. However, a few stood out in her mind.
On the first night, Felice dreamed that she was starving and trapped in a chamber filled with rotting meats and fruits. She was so hungry that she tore off a piece of putrefying flesh from a roast and popped it into her mouth. She viewed herself in a mirror behind the table and screamed, for the face she beheld was that of a loathsome ghoul.
On the third night, Felice recalled a simpering suitor whose saccharine words and boorish manners nauseated her to the core.
On the sixth night, Felice’s dreams recalled the delight of meeting her future husband. The sweet little elf brought her exotic foods from Beersheba in the warm Liranian desert, and they supped and laughed together. By the end of the night, they were feeding each other.
On the ninth night, the wounded Queen despaired at the evil in the world and found herself lamenting a long-ago golden age. She recalled her brother-in-law sardonically remarking that sometimes shit rose to the top instead of cream, and she laughed and promised to keep fighting.
On the twelfth night, Felice recalled meeting her beloved dragon Acey. It was her twelfth birthday, and she was terribly unhappy, for the object of her affections, Prince Jean of the Realm of Rain, said that she had the face of a horse and hair like straw.
Felice slept away the afternoon, and when she walked out to the garden, she found a wondrous golden dragon sitting there. It was about the size of a small horse, and was outfitted with a harness, with pouches and pockets. A silver knife poked out of one of the pouches. Upon noticing Felice, the dragon spoke.
“Finally! I thought you’d never wake up.”
Acey was a gift from Felice’s beloved uncle, and she so delighted the young princess that Felice couldn’t care a whit if foolish Prince Jean thought she had the countenance of a were-pig. Acey was still Felice’s best friend after many centuries together.
On the eighteenth night, Felice recalled visiting the grave of her father, who was slain protecting the realm from a surprise attack by raiders from Yuggoth. During her last few visits, she had noticed various offerings placed upon the grave. As she looked up, she saw the elf brothers Teacake and Tinsel, the bravest of fighters despite their tiny statures. The pair attempted to hurry away into the surrounding woods, but Felice called them back and thanked them for fighting so fiercely and for remembering her father so fondly.
Something in Tinsel’s kind eyes, which shimmered with tears, made Felice want to know him better. So, she invited the brothers to the palace. Teacake busied himself with various tasks while Felice and Tinsel chatted. By the end of the evening, she was in love.
On the twenty-eighth night, Felice rose and ascended the stairs into the garden, where she found her beloved husband tending to the lovely little tree which sprouted from her breast, took root in the soil, and would now bring delight to the kingdom forever.
Crafted with love by Team Netherworld Creative Publications
Word count: 1000
Dedicated to H.P. Lovecraft
Earth's Dreamlands and its locations and creatures are the creations of H.P. Lovecraft. All characters in this tale are the creations and property of Team Netherworld Productions
References and Links
H.P. Lovecraft Stories:
The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath
The Whisperer in Darkness
https://sinfulsunday.mollysdailykiss.com/2018/12/13/monthly-prompt-january-2019/ (link contains NSFW material)