I'll be Home for Christmas: Part Three
Looking out into the snow Hex saw some shapes moving towards them. He stared into the snow and shouted a greeting. The greeting was returned, and the shape that called out added its name to the end.
"It's Beno and Lightfoot!" Hex told his fellow travelers. Rat stopped singing in amazement and Gwy leapt next to Hex to stare at the shapes coming closer. When the tired Lupe and Kougra finally made it the cave, they were welcomed most joyously and Licht circled around the mouth of the cave, creating a door of flames to keep the friends warm.
"What are you doing here?!" asked Rati, relief and joy lifting her sagging face out of misery. She hugged them both and welcomed them to have a seat.
"Going to the party, of course," Beno said, still shivering.
"But the weather has gotten way too bad to proceed," said Lightfoot angrily. "Kale and the ones that were with her are stuck on the Cable Car because the wire got frozen."
"That's horrible!" said Gwy, blank eyes staring at the group. He was technically not alive and his eyes were never quite the same since his heart had stopped beating. "Is there anything we could do?"
"I don't know," said Beno, sadly.
They all sat there, warmed by Licht's protective shield.
— — — — — —
Jhin woke up with a start. Her nightmares were getting worse and worse. She had almost cried out this last time. If she made a noise, she knew Meka would make her go back to the bed in the little girls' room, and she wanted to stay here, in case someone was out there and needed help.
This last nightmare had a lot of the people who were out in the weather in it. They were in a fire bubble, and Arai was sick. They were stuck, and didn't know what to do.
Then she had seen Kale and the other ones in a cable car that was covered in freezing ice. Then the two mental pictures had collided, and the cable car had melted, and zipped all the way up the line, and suddenly no one was missing at the house and the Day of Giving would be no longer have to be moved.
Jhin's eyes grew wide as she stared out into the snow. She had had a prophetic dream! She was sure of it.
She dropped off her window seat bed and ran silently to the door. She pulled on socks, snow pants, sweater, boots, coat, mittens hat and ski mask to keep her beak from freezing. She grabbed a bundle of wire rope from the closet and left the house.
Once outside she tied one end of the rope to the doorknob with many knots, then set off into the snow, letting the rope out behind her as she went. If she got lost, she could always go back up the rope.
— — — — — —
Rati stood outside of the cave. Everyone else was inside and kept warm by Licht. But she stood out in the cold, unsettled by a dream she had had when she'd finally drifted into slumber.
Something small was coming to save her in her dream, and it had all the answers as to how they could be saved. Then she had woken up.
Now she couldn't sleep, and instead stood outside of the cave, staring this way and that. It had stopped snowing mostly, and now it was just fiercely windy.
She started to sing, just in case that would help the small saviour to find her. She sang lullabies, she sang drinking songs, she sang songs from Neopian musical productions she had seen last summer, she sang songs from her native desert home.
She was just finishing a song about the desert storms when she heard someone call her name.
"Yes?!" she shouted to nothing.
Nothing shouted back, "Keep singing! I'll come to you! Keep singing!"
So Rati kept singing. She'd been right, it had helped someone to find her.
When she finally caught sight of who was coming she almost screamed. It was the tiny, winged shape of Jhinka Scott.
She leapt onto the sloping mountain side and ran to meet the tiny, feathered one. As soon as Rati reached her, she grabbed her and began to hug and scold her simultaneously.
"Please, don't make me drop the rope!" Jhin said, waving the end of her rope, which was only a couple more yards.
"Sorry, love. Why are you here?!" Rati said, holding Jhin tight to her.
"I figured it out! All you need to do is get Gwy to tell Licht to melt the ice on the cable car's wires and keep the ice off while it goes all the way up!"
"How did you know about the wires?" asked Rati, wide eyed.
"I had a dream. A prophetic dream," Jhin said proudly. "It was a bit cryptic, but I figured it out." She suddenly let go of the rope, and it dropped to the snow and stayed. "Come on, we gotta get moving!"
— — — — — —
The group of four Bori, an Usul, Lupe, Kougra and Eyrie set off in a matter of minutes. Arai and Jhin sat in the sled and Gwy (the strongest) pulled them while the others ran ahead to find the exact location of the cable car. When they found it, it was covered in snow and ice, and looked like it wouldn't move in a thousand years.
Gwy whispered some words in Licht's ears and the little melton leapt off its candle and flew up into the air. It hit the bottom of the cable car and ran up the side, then onto the roof. The group below held their breath.
— — — — — —
Inside the cable car, the engineers were trying to radio the station, but all they could hear was static. Their heat was dying and the passengers were getting frantic. One of the men was pressing the controls in a half-hearted attempt to feel useful. Suddenly cable car 16 moved.
— — — — — —
"Licht!" Gwy shouted to his melton. "Don't take it too far away! We wanna board!"
Licht had put himself entirely around the mechanism on the wire that pulled the cable car up, keeping the ice from returning. Now he made it stop, and held it in its place.
On the ground below, Rati was doing magic. The magic swirled around the group and lifted them off the ground until they were at the door of the cable car, through which they clambered.
The passengers inside of the cable car were surprised, but none more than the Aslo bunch.
"Rati! Hex, Gwy, Jhin, GUYS!" squeaked Nel, who ran to greet them. But as she ran forward, Licht set the cable car moving again.
Cable car 16 moved faster than it ever had before. Passengers were thrown over, but were just so happy to be moving again they cheered loudly, some through tears of joy. When it finally came to a stop, they were at the station on Cable Car Stop 3.75. Everyone who intended to get out here did (including all the Aslos and their friends) then Licht graciously took the cable car to its final stop; the top of the mountain.
— — — — — —
Meka stood in her pajamas and stared out the door. She had been woken up by a great need for a drink of water and noticed Jhin was gone, as were her snow clothes. When she ran to the door to look outside she saw a large group of people progressing towards her. There was Kale, and the Boris, there were Beno and Lightfoot pulling a sled, and on the sled was Jhin.
"Key! Packy! Girls! Get up!" she shouted back into the house. The others who had been sleeping peacefully stumbled out to the doorway, then their jaws dropped. Lille and Komi cheered and danced around in joy. Key just stared, and Packy mimicked her.
So, it would be a smashing Day of Giving after all.
— — — — — —
"Jhin, you are in soooo much trouble," Lille whispered to the baby Eyrie in the bed next to her. "You went out into the cold and didn't tell no one!"
"Yeah," agreed Komi, "but she did kind of save all the ones out there that were stuck."
"That doesn't make it OK," argued Lille.
"In this situation is was acceptable," Komi argued back.
"Guys, shhh!" said Jhin. "They'll hear us!" She sat back in her bed, hugging her plushie spyder to her chest and thinking about what they had all said.
Kale had said it had been a very stupid, and yet very brave thing to do, and that she must never do it again, but thank you all the same for saving us, my dear.
Nel was so thankful she had promised to let Jhin play with her meepits when they woke up tomorrow.
Julio had offered to bake her any type of treat she wanted.
Rati hadn't promised anything, but she had said "well done" and squeezed Jhin's shoulder, and that was possibly even better.
Arai was going to be okay, Beno and Lightfoot had praised her adventurous and heroic spirit, Gwy had scratched her head affectionately (he didn't like to talk when he could get by on simply actions) Hex had hugged her tightly and Teveir had said she was brilliant.
Right now she just wanted to go to sleep so tomorrow would come quicker.
After all, tomorrow was going to be smashing.
— — — — — —
In closing, the rest of the night and the next day were filled with such joy and fun that I couldn't even properly put it into words. Suffice to say it was smashing.