Sleigh Ride & Santa's Workshop

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"Are you sure this is a good idea?" "Positive." Pause. "Well...mostly positive." I giggled under my breath.

As it turned out, Snowy's idea for transportation was an ice sleigh that was nice enough to look at but seemed on the edge of falling apart. It was smaller than a horse-drawn sleigh but a bit bigger then a kids one, I think it was a toboggan. Either way, it didn't look all that stable.

"Come on, where's your sense of adventure?" He exclaimed, cheerfully hopping in. I looked at it for a moment longer, pulling my fur coat tighter around my shoulders. His face softened as he held out a hand to me. "Nothing bad is going to happen to you as long as I'm here." I felt my heart skip a beat before I smiled, nodded, and took his hand.

~

Less then a minute later, I was overjoyed I did.

We were currently sliding down a long snowy hill, laughing as I sat up front and held onto the strings, him behind me with his arms around my waist. There were a few trees here and there, all decorated for the holiday season and easy enough to dodge, but other than that it was us and the snow. And it was great!

"Santa's workshop dead ahead!" He shouted, pointing over my head to a castle that was growing steadily closer. Just as we entered the backyard, we bumped over a decent-sized hill, flew off, and rolled to a stop at the front step, laughing like two happy kids. I stood up first, brushing my arms off with a beaming smile.

"That was so much fun!" Before turning to Snowy and holding out my hand. From his spot in the snow, he kinda gaped up at me for a moment. "What?" He gulped. "Nothing. You just look...very beautiful, with the flakes dusting your lashes and the red in your cheeks." I whipped around the other way, hands on my flaming cheeks as I heard him stand behind me.

"Shall we?" I slowly turned back around to see his extended arm, I managed a weak smile before looping mine within it. His smile was kinda goofy as we went to the door, I hesitated before knocking. Less than a minute later, the door opened to reveal a plump-looking elf dressed in red with brown curly hair under his cap.

"Yes? What can I do for you?" I smiled politely. "Hello, my little brother Noah stowed away in Santa's sack and I was wondering-" "A stowaway in Santa's sack?!" The elf exclaimed. "My my that is unusual, please come in." And upon opening the door wider, he ushered inside. The foyer was nicely decorated and smelt of fresh gingerbread.

"Mrs. Claus, we have a situation." Shouted the elf. Startled, I jumped and found myself pressed to Snowy's side. He laughed faintly. "Not a delicate flower eh my dear?" I stood upright as he tapped his chin.

"You know...I just realized I never got your name." My eyes went wide. "Oh yeah. It's-" "Heidi!" My head snapped up to see Mrs. Claus come into the room. Smiling, I left his side and came up to the woman with a hand extended, she surprised me with a hug before holding my shoulders and looking at me. "Heidi my dear, how you've grown these past few years." It didn't surprise me that she knew my name; Santa knows all the kids in the world so she probably did too.

"As soon as my husband realized he had a stowaway, he came back to the workshop so quick I thought his jacket was on fire. He dropped your brother off with me and then raced back out to find you, said you had fallen off the sleigh and he wasn't sure where you were. But you seem to be just fine." "Where's Noah?" "Poor boy was freezing up here so I took him down to Mother Nature until Santa came back with you and took you both home." "How far is Mother Nature's place?" Before she could reply, Snowy spoke.

"Heidi? Heidi Crane?" I looked back to see him frozen like a deer in headlights, if it wasn't for the fact he was already made of snow I might've said he paled. I nodded slowly.

"Yeah, that's me, why?" He took a cautious step back, knees shaking. "I-I have to go." And in seconds he was out the door, by the time I regained my senses he had vanished in a winter breeze. I looked back at Mrs. C.

"What was that about?" There was a sad smile on her lips, like she was about to tell me something I wouldn't like to hear.

"Oh, he just can't believe it's you that's all." "What are you talking about?" She came to my side and took my hand.

"Come with me my dear, Mother Nature will explain everything."

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