We rode on the backs of arctic hares. Our mounts were incredibly fast blazing through the snowy landscape. My cheeks burnt cherry red by the stinging snow my eyes raked the horizon.
Crystal, our commander, raised a hand and stopped. We all stopped. I tried to calm staccato of my heart.
My mount, the youngest of all the hares, caught something in the air and bristled in fear. Cinnamon threw me an icy glare as my brethren in arms looked away. Shamefaced I quieted him and myself.
Our eyes followed Crystal as she charged ahead. We waited for what felt like years. The whole snow globe world held its breath.
A short whistle followed by two long low whistles shattered the glass. We spread out into a six point formation and we moved forward. No birds no wind the frosty forest was quiet as a graveyard.
My breath snagged in my throat. Pink snow greeted us. Deer legs and heads ripped asunder peeked out from the fresh new fallen snow. This was no wolf no bear this was personal. The truth was written in the unholy hoof prints in the blood tinted snow. Snowdrop jumped into the carnage. He sobbed as he held the hand embroidered harness reading Vixen. She had been a second mother to him.
Instinctively I climbed down to go to my friend. I reached a hand to stroke his long white hair. But I felt the admonition of my fellow warriors and mounted my stead again. This is not the time; this is not our way. Vengeance then grief, justice before forgiveness this is the elven way. I checked my crossbow to hide my own bitter tears. Snowdrop collected himself tucking the harness into his armor vest. After checking his rifle, he mounted and waited with a face of stone.
Crystal surveyed the scene, Cinnamon on the comms updated headquarters and Jingles read the killer’s tracks. Blood would be spilt.
“Forty clicks due East ma’am,” Jingles said to Crystal, his eyes twinkling with incandescent rage. Gravelly our commander nodded and the old elf sprang on to his hare.
Drawing her blade and lowering her metal mask, Crystal let loose a battle cry into wintry forest. We all knew why Rudolph shouldn’t play reindeer games. Yes blood would be spilt and then we could grieve the love loss. We leapt as one into the silent night.