Enjoy a sneak peek of Chapter 3 in my book, Sandra Claus: A South Pole Santa Adventure

Chapter 3 -- Sandra Claus... A South Pole Santa Adventure

What's all the Fairy Flap About?

Wistle wasn’t there because she was flying as fast as she could to find Christina Annalise, headmistress of the St. Annalise Academy. The school had been established long ago on the remote Caribbean island, by Samuel Annalise, a great, great, great uncle or some such relative of Christina Annalise. It had passed down through 400 years and was now in her care.

St. Annalise was a small, very private institution filled with students that attended by invitation only. While it taught traditional classes like mathematics, languages, humanities and the arts it also taught some more “obscure” classes like quantum physics, metaphysics, animal languages, and the study of all sorts of lost civilizations most of them unknown to present day cultures. With its beautiful setting in the sun, St. Annalise also had a strong focus on water-related sports and most the students were excellent athletes (Spence was one of the few exceptions who didn’t really participate in any kind of sports. Birdie would always defend him though when the subject came up and remind everyone that Spence was a superior “mathlete” with the most “in shape” brain. Spence never said that however. Not because he wasn’t but because he hated made up words like “mathlete.”)

Sandra herself loved just about every kind of sport. The one exception for her had been tennis. It just didn’t move fast enough for her taste. Her favorite sport, by far, was anything where you rode on a board and surfing was the best of the best. She was one of the top surfboarders on the island. Only Jason could still regularly beat her in the annual Water Walkers competition held every October. Being the competitive girl that she was, few things irritated her more than that.

Another important difference about St. Annalise, from other more traditional academies, was that most of its students were of mixed heritage. And by that the school didn’t mean with parents from two or more different countries, although that was certainly the case for many of the students as well, but rather it referred to students born from two or more different kinds of beings. For instance, very few of them were like Spencer – 100% human. More of them were like Birdie who had a human mother and a water wizard father. Many students, in fact, had very little human DNA and were instead fully elf, or wizard, fairy or tallehoe to name a few. Even a couple of gnomes and trolls over the years had been students at the school (no one actually remembered, however, when a troll had attended and the gnomes tended to travel so much they ended up leaving early.)

It was only recently that Sandra had found out that while she was part human on both sides of her family she was also part elf from her father. Bigger than that, and more mind blowing for Sandra, had been finding out that her mother was a descendant of the royal Leezle elfin family. That meant Sandra was not just human, elf and elfin but considered royalty in some circles. She was unhappy her parents hadn’t told her when she was little and it puzzled her that they had left that for Cappie to share. It seemed like kind of a big thing to keep secret from her. Cappie however, was convinced being a Leezle could have been part of why Sandra’s parents had disappeared and insisted that Sandra keep her background quiet between just the two of them. So far, Sandra had, but she was planning to share the information with Jason and her two best friends soon. She didn’t like keeping secrets from any of them.

Despite the wide array of heritages and cultures, or maybe because of them, there was a ready acceptance of differences and an appreciation for each other’s special gifts at St. Annalise. Even the few fully human students there felt capable of keeping up, since each of them brought with them high intelligence and keen insights. In fact, maybe the only student at the school who had spent the majority of his time feeling like the world was against him was Christina Annalise’s only child, Jason.

Jason, unlike everyone else attending St. Annalise was there as a result of family right. He couldn’t even claim birth right since he had actually been adopted by Christina. Despite not having any known special gifts, Jason had always had one of the most interesting backgrounds. His was no ordinary adoption. Instead he had been found off the coast of St. Annalise in a small dinghy with a note from his birth mother saying she had to give him up. Christina had searched far and wide before filing to adopt the baby she loved. With or without any talents, he was special to her.

What Jason hadn’t shared with anyone yet, not even his mother or Sandra, was that he had been coming in to some unexpected talents that proved he too was not strictly of a human lineage. Lately, he was starting to think that maybe he actually did belong at St. Annalise with the rest of them. Between his emerging new abilities and being the boyfriend of the coolest girl on the island (in his eyes anyway) who was also the newly selected South Pole Santa, he actually found himself being happy. It was a whole new emotion for him that he was finding, much to his formerly sullen self’s surprise, he really enjoyed.

“Hey Wistle, there you are,” Jason called out as he came up to his house and saw the buzzing fairy flitting around outside their front door now in her small orb size rather than the full “human” size she had been for the flag football game. He marveled again at how fast fairies could change from one size to another. “We wondered where you went off to so fast.”

The surprised fairy blinked several times as fairies do when they are flustered or surprised.

“Jason! Make some noise when you come up on someone,” she whined in her little fairy voice. At least that’s how Jason always heard it. To be frank, fairies weren’t one of his favorite beings at the school. Until recently, he had barely understood most of them, didn’t understand why they were there, and hated how high pitched their voices were. Plus, they almost never sat still and they usually seemed like they were telling on someone. The two times he had attempted to cheat on an exam – both times in in his chemistry class — it had been a fairy that ratted him out to the teacher.

Jason was of the mind that all fairies were the same. In reality however, there were actually two known sects of fairies – the Shans and the Shanelles. Jason had never met a Shanelle but he understood from his studies, and others who knew some, that they were the kinder more commonly known type of fairy read about in passed down stories. How ironic that none of them seemed to be around anymore, Jason thought. He was right. In current history, the Shans had taken over most the rule and were the more dominant fairy type. As far as Jason could tell, kindness was not one of their governing characteristics.

“Gee Wistle, seems like a guy should be able to come home as quiet as he wants,” he said with a strong dose of sarcasm. He was changing into a good guy he told himself, but it would take time. The thought made him smile.

“Well you don’t have to smile about scaring me Jason Annalise, I don’t think your mom would like it,” whined the fairy. Tattle tails all of them, he thought again. He, this time kindly, asked her, “Is there anything I can help you with Wistle?”

“Your mom, Jason.”

“My mom?”

“Where is she?”

“Uh, I’m guessing at work. In her office maybe. One of the classrooms. Taking a meeting. It’s a workday Wistle, she’s never home at this time of the day.”

“I’ve checked all of those places. She’s not in any of them. Doesn’t that worry you?”

“Uh, no.”

“No?”

“Yea, that’s what I said ‘no’. No way. No how. N and O. How do you say no in your fairy language? Narkeesy?”

“Yea”

“Then narkeesy. Now do you get it? Christina’s at work this time of day, like every work day, we live on a small island, she knows how to do her job, she’ll be fine. I’m not worried about her. No.”

“How do you know that?”

“That she’ll be fine? Because like, nothing ever, ever happens here to anyone, like ev-”

“No. How do you know that narkeesy means no? Only fairies know that.”

“What?”

“You used narkeesy which is from the ancient fairy language used only by fairies and forbidden by others. No in present day fairy language is ‘faso’. So I’m just wondering how you knew an ancient word.”

“Well first of all, I’m not sure how you could ‘forbid’ us,” and he made finger movements in the air around the word “forbid” partly to buy time while he tried to remember how he did know and partly because he was so tired of the conversation he wanted to get back to irritating this highly irritating fairy. “And secondly, how in the whole of the Caribbean Sea do I know? People pick things up. Obviously, somewhere, I picked that up.”

“I don’t believe you. What other ancient fairy language words do you know?” she demanded buzzing up very close to his face so he could see how mad she looked. “And what fairy taught them to you? I demand to know! It is a fairy felony to share our ancient words with anyone let alone anyone as lowly as a, as a, human.” She said the word with an expression much like someone might have if they ate a slice of lemon — puckered, tight, and sour.

“Oh really? Well deal with this, little, whiny, fairy freak,” Jason said, calling her names but only after she had started it. “I know lots of your ancient language words. Probably more than you know. In fact, I even know some ancient fairy spells that I’m thinking about using right now. As I recall there’s one where, if you whisper it just right, and then recite it backwards as well, it will cast a glass ball around the fairy you are speaking of and only the enchanter can undo the spell.” He knew he was right by the shocked look in her now glowing orange eyes which anyone but Jason at that moment might have been scared to see. A mad fairy is not someone anyone wants as an enemy. Whether he noticed the orange glow or not, he plunged ahead. “And frankly having you in a sound proof glass ball that I could fling far out to sea,” now he was poking his finger at her but every fairy is fast enough to avoid pointed fingers and she just kept moving around so his finger hit nothing but air, “where she could bother no one, most especially me, sounds pretty great right now. So you might want to back your gratingly glittery wings back a few feet and go look for my mom somewhere else. Geez.”

The weird thing was that while he had said all that to totally annoy her, he realized that he actually did know how to cast that spell and he had no idea how he knew. It scared him he realized more than it did her and he needed time to think about it. He stepped aside to go inside his house where he had been headed all along, but she held him back – mad fairies are very strong – and spun him around.

“You will tell me how you know this Jason Annalise. You will.”

“Okay, Wistle. Uh, first take your tiny little Mighty Mouse arms off me.” He smiled seeing how much she disliked being called a mouse. “And second, take a lesson from one of us “lowly humans” and grow a sense of humor. Take a joke. I have no idea how to speak your mystical fairy language and I’m sorry I threatened to put you in a glass ball. Now shoo,” he made a pushing movement in the air that brought back the orange glow that had started to fade a bit, “go on and do your fairy tattle tailing to my mom or whoever and let me be. I really, REALLY,” he said the second one very loud and with a deep bow that caught her off guard, “did not mean to offend you.

“Friends again?” he added as he came up from the bow expecting to see a reluctant smile from her and to begin to put the very strange conversation aside back to their more formal acquaintance.

Instead, she came close again but this time to his ear and said, “We are now deep adversaries Jason Annalise. Be warned. The enemy of one fairy is the enemy of all.”

“Enemies? Over a joke?” Jason said before he realized she had spoken in the ancient fairy language and in responding he had proved to her that he did indeed know what he shouldn’t.

She buzzed to his face so she knew he knew that she knew and left.

“Finally,” Jason muttered, deliberately using the ancient language again just in case she could still hear him.

Oh Oh Oh! – jingle

P.S. That Wistle is a handful! And Jason, well Jason and Sandra have become quite the island item if you know what I mean so he’s been getting a little bit nicer of late. But Sandra has a huge pile of her own worries, not the least of which is that the whole world is protesting her choice as South Pole Santa! Somehow she has to trust that everything will turn out and kindness can cut through the worst of anything. Fingers crossed!