Tina & the World of Winter, Part 2

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic

A queer fantasy story for all ages. Inspired by Narnia with neopronouns, same-sex romantic love, and no patriarchal bs.

When Tina falls into the World of Winter she meets a chatting squirrel, wise Bears, and a chilly cat being who seems to hold on to a secret. Together they must find a way to overthrow the Queen of Winter before it's too late.

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And as Tina sat there in front of the fire with the warm tea and the blanket around her it's like reality hit her: This is real, she’s trapped in this place. And there’s a talking squirrel and a being with cat ears and tail and Tina didn’t understand what’s happening. It all became too much, and she began to cry.

 

- It must be a dream. I must be dreaming. 

 

Lynx leaned forward and pinched her.

 

  • - Ouch, why did you do that!?, Tina cried

  •  
  • - To see if you were dreaming and you’re not. If you would have been, you would have woken up now.

 

Ratatosk jumped up next to them.

 

  •  - Why are you so mean?, she asked. You’ve changed so much.

 

And Lynx went quiet for a moment and then said,

 

  • - You would have changed too if you’d been a collar on her coat. 

 

  • - But you escaped her. You escaped, you are our hero!, Ratatosk said

 

Lynx didn't answer, but Tina heard faer murmur

 

  • - Yes, I escaped. 

 

Ratatosk didn’t seem to notice Lynx’s mood and was too excited to stop now

 

  • - And now we have a chance!, she cried. She is our savior! She's our hero! With her and you, we stand a chance. We can try again!

 

But Lynx just looked at her and said,

 

  • - There will be no second chance.

 

Tina looked at them, not understanding what’s happening. She felt lonely and confused. 

 

  • - But you promised to help me..?, she said to Lynx.

 

Lynx didn’t reply, and the comfort Tina had felt earlier was slowly changing to fear. What would she do if Lynx wouldn’t help her? She was stuck here, in some strange world with some strange beings, and didn’t even know how to go home. And some Witch Queen was hunting her, and she didn’t know what to do about that either.

 

Tears began to fall down her cheeks, and Ratatosk jumped up on the chair next to her 

 

- You’ve made her cry now!, she screamed at Lynx.

 

- Shh!

 

Lynx hushed at them and Tina fell quiet. 

 

- They’re coming closer, they’re sensing her.

 

Tina was just about to ask who when she heard the wolves howling in the distance again. She wrapped the blanket closer around her, and even Ratatosk went quiet.

 

- They won’t find us tonight, Lynx said. Their senses are not that good. But we need to leave in the morning. This is not a safe place any longer.

 

Fae turned to Tina and said,

 

  • - I will help you.

 

Ratatosk began to jump up and down.

 

  • - Yes! I believed in you! I knew you were good! You are our hero! Together we’ll stand a chance. 

 

But Lynx just turned away from the window and said,

 

  • - We should go to bed. There's a long way in front of us tomorrow.

 

And fae left to prepare for the night.

 

Ratatosk jumped up on Tina's shoulder and whispered in her ear. 

 

  • - Fae’s a good person. Fae really is. Fae doesn't mean to be like this. Fae’s just changed.

 

  • - Why?, Tina asked

 

  • - She escaped from the mines!, Ratatosk whispered.

 

  • - What mines? And why was fae there?

 

Lynx came out of the bedroom and said,

 

  • - Because I trusted someone who fell from a tree. 

 

Ratatosk looked at faer.

 

  • - But you saved us! Both me and the others!

 

  • - Yes, I did. 

 

Lynx didn’t say anything else, but fae seemed resteless. In the end, fae just gestured towards the bedroom and said,

 

  • - Let's go to sleep. It’s a long way ahead of us tomorrow.

 

And so they went to bed. But Tina couldn’t sleep. She lay on the bed Lynx had made for her on the floor and thought about everything that had happened. She felt lonely in this strange world and lost and confused. And Lynx scared her a bit.

 

And then there was Ratatosk... And yes, Ratatosk is nice, but Tina understood why Lynx said she’d fallen from a tree. There was nothing bad about her, but definitely something different. Tina suspected she was one of a kind among talking squirrels.

 

So Tina lay there in her bed and tears began to fall down her face. But as she laid there, she heard the door open and Lynx came in. She went over to Tina and lay down next to her.

 

  • - It's cold, fae said.

 

Tina liked it, it felt good to have someone next to you. Even if the person is a little strange, it's a relief, and she's not feeling so lonely any longer.

 

She wanted to ask Lynx about this world, but Lynx pretended to be asleep. Tina knew it because faers tail tickled her legs, but she decided not to say anything. She could ask faer more tomorrow. And in the end, Tina fell asleep.

 

In the morning, when she’d woken up, she went to the kitchen, and Ratatosk and Lynx were already there. Lynx must be in a bad mood in the morning, Tina thought, because Ratatosk was quiet around faer. 

 

They ate breakfast, and then Lynx began rummaging through faer wardrobe, looking for clothes for Tina. When fae found them, fae threw them to Tina and said,

 

  • - Put it on. It's a long way ahead of us and it will be cold.

 

  • - Where are we going!? Where are we going? Ratatosk asked excitedly.

 

  • - We need to leave this place. The wolves will find it.

 

  • - But where are we going!?, Ratatosk insisted

 

Lynx took a deep breath and then said,

 

  • - We're going to Old Bear.

 

  • - To Old Bear!?, Ratatosk asked with hope in her voice. For mushrooms!?

 

  • - You will not eat mushrooms with him, Lynx said coldly

 

  • - But why then to Old Bear!?

  •  
  •  

  • -We’ll need supplies for our journey.

 

  • -So where are we going!?, Ratatosk asked with frustration.

 

Tina just looked at them. It felt like she was missing something in all this.

 

  • - We’re going to the palace, Lynx said in the end.

 

  • - To the..!? Palace!? Why!? She’s looking for her! Why are we going there? I don't want to become a collar on her coat. 

  •  
  • Ratatosk sounded miserable.

  •  
  • - And she’ll take us to the mines!, Ratatosk tried.

 

  • - She will never expect us to go there. She'll think we'll hide, Lynx said.

 

  • - But why!? Why to the Palace!?

  •  
  •  

  • Ratatosk sounded like she would cry now.

 

  • - But Ratatosk, Lynx said. It was you who told me she's the hero! She's our savior! She will defeat the Queen. This is your story! This is your dream! This is what we fought for and now the time has come! To overthrow her, once and for all! 

 

And Ratatosk looked at faer with admiration, tears forgotten, and said,

 

  • - You are back Lynx! You are our hero! You're back.

 

But Lynx just turned and said,

  •  

  • - Let’s go!


 

They walked the whole day, and in the afternoon Tina finally went up to Ratatosk and asked


 

  • - What am I supposed to do?

 

  • - You’ll overthrow the queen, just as the stories said! You're the savior! You come from the land of the Sun!

 

  • - But I don't know how to.

 

Ratatosk went silent for a moment, as if this idea had just occurred to her when Tina said it. She jumped up on Lynx’s shoulder and said,

 

  • - Lynx, maybe she’ll need some time to practice?

 

  • - But on whom should she practice on?, Lynx mocked.
     

  • - But maybe start with something simpler? Maybe she just could try her magic here.

 

  • - Don't be stupid. If she’ll use her magic now, the queen will know where we are.

 

And as Tina heard their conversation, there was a growing worry in her stomach.

 

  • - But what if I fail, Lynx?, she asked.

 

But Lynx just looked at her and said,

 

  • - You will not fail. You are our hero. You come from the Land of the Sun.

 

And fae turned and began to walk again.

 

They kept walking, and the sun had almost set when they arrived at the Old Bear’s house, a trunk of a big tree, made into a house. This was this territory, his magic, and not even the wolves dared enter here.

 

And he had sensed them coming and welcomed them.

 

  • - Come in, come in.

  •  

His house was full of herbs and jars and different potions. Tina saw some pots boiling on the stove and she was happy to be warm again.

 

  • - So you finally came to visit an old friend.,Old Bear said to Lynx. It’s been a long time.

 

  • - Yes, Lynx said. We need supplies for our way.

 

  • - You don't even say hello to me, in a proper way? Lynx, what's happened to you?

 

  • - You must know what happened.

  •  
  • - And who is she?

  •  
  • Old Bear gestured at Tina.

  •  
  • - She seems so different from you, Lynx. She seems happy. Almost like Ratatosk. She is happy. You should learn from her.

 

But Lynx ignored Old Bear and just went to sit down by the table. 

 

  • - Well, you must be hungry!, Old Bear said. 

 

And he brought them food, and they sat down to eat.

 

Lynx whispered to Tina,

 

  • - Don't eat the mushrooms. 

 

But Old Bear heard faer and said,

 

  • - But why not mushrooms!? They're so tasty. Yes, yes, they can upset your stomach, but they're very tasty.

 

Tina giggled.

  •  

And they ate and when they had finished, Old Bear sat down by the fire and began to tell them stories. They were stories about the sun and the flowers and the blue sky, and Ratatosk listened to them as hypnotized. 

 

But Lynx stood up and said,

 

  • - I'm not a kid. I’ll go to bed.

 

When Lynx had left the Bear turned to Tina and asked,

 

  • - Who are you? I’ve never seen you around.

 

Ratatosk began to jump up and down excitedly and said,

 

  • - She came! She's the hero! All the signs were there, just as you told me and she came!

 

Old Bear looked surprised,

 

  • - Really? Did you come from the land of the Sun?, he asked Tina.

 

Tina nodded, not sure what to say.

 

  • - So the old stories are true, Bear said.

 

He went silent for a while, contemplating.

 

  • - I'd almost stopped believing in them, he said in the end.

 

  • - What stories?, Tina asked.

 

The Bear smiled and said,

 

  • - Stories about the Queen of Summer coming back.


Submitted: June 04, 2021

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