One young woman – while out on a simple hike, becomes trapped by a sudden storm in a long-forgotten mine. Then finds herself dressed for a ball in the middle of a snowy wilderness.
A young single rancher – who rescues a young newborn calf, only to find himself tricked into meeting elemental spirits – who tell him he invited them.
And now she has to rescue him – or did those elementals create this scene as a trick? What do these spirits actually want from them?
Between these two are several mysteries, and the couple meet in a snow-covered supernatural wonderland. They find their unique talents and abilities pit themselves against all-powerful elemental spirits – to survive, and maybe fall in love. If they can overcome being spelled into romantic scenarios against their wishes…
Will they ever return to the lives they knew before?
Not the way they started out that morning, anyway.
– – – –
Contains the sequel to the previous published short stories: Snow Cave and Snow Gift
The Arrivals – New Speculative Parable by Brower, Kruze
When she turned at the sound, I was amazed by her beauty. And spell-struck for a bit. Dark eyes and brows, a light tan to her rounded face. Athletic shoulders, trim waist and hips. When she turned, it was with one hand on her long gown, as if she were admiring her dress. The effect made me speechless.
Her first words broke the spell. “You, too?”
“Shanghaied and dressed up for something not our usual scene. Like out of a movie, but without the camera or script?”
I looked down at what I was wearing. Tux, cummerbund, Red handkerchief in my pocket. Not anywhere near my work clothes.
Just had to smile at that. At her.
“Hi, I’m Jules.”
And since my hands were full, I handed her the flute of bubbly in my right.
Of course, she smiled at that – and I was spellbound all over again.
“OK, Jules. Now what?”
“Oh, I don’t know. Other than I think I should tell you how great you look.”
“Yes, really. I know it’s been awhile for me, but – well, I like your idea of being dressed for a movie set. That would explain a few things.”
“Well, you wouldn’t believe me, so…”
“Oh go ahead and try me.” Her smile melted my heart all over again.
“Talking red and blue lights.”
Her cute mouth dropped open and her dainty eyebrows raised. “You, too?”
Her laughter was the sound of a bubbling spring.
I had to chuckle along with her.
Donna sipped her drink. “Ooh, this stuff is pretty good. Not bitter, but sweet. Apple cider, maybe.”
I sipped it. “Yes, that’s probably it. Can’t tell if its the spiked version or not.”
She turned to look up at me with those dark eyes. “We’ll know soon enough. Anything either of us say will be funny and we’ll start telling the other about some truly embarrassing incidents we’ve been trying to forget for years.”
“Or – maybe we just start mooning at each other like it’s the first time we’ve ever been in love.”
I raised an eyebrow as I looked down at her radiant face. “I think it’s those talking lights doing this…”
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