Neth 9, 4712

Fireday, Neth 9, 4712 midnight

“Wake her up already! I don’t want to miss it.” Beorn squeaked angrily.

Startled by the cry Qatana sat bolt upright from her sleeping roll and looked around. Seeing the eight little ghostly figures before her she cocked an eyebrow expectantly.

“They’ve begun,” said Badger, “and we need to go now or we’ll be too late.” The other seven chirped excitedly and pirouetted around one another in anticipation.

With a sigh Qatana quietly rose and dressed before stepping out from the wagon into the bitter cold. The mice raced before her and over the small hill to the south of the caravan. Qatana was still half asleep and followed slowly, but as she crested the top she gasped and a cloud of frozen mist settled on the tiny figures at her feet.

The northern crown was high overhead, glittering like diamonds in the black velvet sky. Red Algol shown brightly from the center like a ruby, but it was not the brilliant constellation that made her gasp.

Streaks of palest white whisked about atop the snow below, making it look dull by comparison. There were perhaps a dozen, and they appeared to be dancing in the starlight. Qatana sat down beside her friends and watched.

For perhaps an hour the small figures whisked about the snow and ice, twirling around one another, darting to and fro. Presently they ran off into the darkness, one by one until a solitary dancer remained. It too prepared to make its exit, but then glanced up to where Qatana and her friends sat.

As quick as the wind the long tailed weasel flew up the hillside and stopped motionless for a moment, whiskers twitching. Qatana reached down and gently touched its forehead, quietly uttering words of gratitude and thanks to the little creature.

It bobbed its head once and then winked cheekily at her before sprinting away into the night.


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