“M…Mother Earth?” asked Vanessa. The kindly looking woman with the green skin and glow wearing leaves and flowers for clothes smiled and nodded. She stepped down onto the ground and hugged her.
“My dear, Vanessa Clemens. I have heard so many good things about you,” said Mother Earth. Vanessa hugged her back. Her just being around me made me feel calmer, so I wondered what a hug from her would be like.
Vanessa let go and looked at Mother Earth. “We need your help.”
“I know. The animals have told me. I am quite willing to help. Now, which one of you is quite willing to help me help you?” asked Mother Earth.
Nobody was stepping up fast. Finally, Giselle came forward.
“I’ll go,” said Giselle, her voice brave and bold for once. “There’s none left for me. Nobody’s ever going to tell great tales about Princess Giselle. I want to go and save people,” said Giselle.
“No, I’ll go, and there had best not be a damn soul that argues it,” said Thimble, stepping forward. Nobody argued. She walked right up to Mother Earth and knelt down in front of her. “I offer to you my spirit in exchange for you to stop the enemy.”
Vanessa handed the potion to Derek and stepped forward to stop her. He put it in his pocket and watched nervously. Before she got close enough, a voice was heard. I knew that voice well. I raised my staff in a defensive position as he stepped out of the shadows. He looked almost exactly the same as last time, but he had an unfamiliar look on his face. I finally registered that it was anguish and despair.
“No! I refuse to let you go!” exclaimed Pitch, rushing forward to hug Thimble. Thimble held out her arms and stopped him from touching her.
“Whoa, whoa, whoa! I swear to Manny that if you touch me, I am going to rip your throat out!” exclaimed Thimble, backing away. Pitch got a pained look on his face.
“I don’t know why I wanted it to get this far. Why I wanted you to not know,” said Pitch. “And I have to say something now, no matter what. You will not sacrifice yourself for this!”
“What are you doing here?” demanded Merida, knocking an arrow and aiming at Pitch. “And you have exactly ten seconds to say why before I shoot.”
“Its okay guys,” said Vanessa, stepping between Pitch and Merida. “He’s just here to protect his daughter. I promised that I would stop this, so stop this I will.”
“What are you talking about?” asked Thimble.
“He’s your father, Thimble,” I replied, remembering the night at the lake, when Pitch had taken over Thimble to insist that Vanessa protect her. “Vanessa promised when you offered to go, she wouldn’t let you go. I was watching the whole time, but neither of you knew I was there. So, Thimble, I wouldn’t do it if I was you.”
“I’m confused…” said Thimble. “What’s going on here and why does everyone know what’s going on except for me?”
“Enough,” said Derek. He stepped towards Mother Earth and knelt down. “Take me. It will end all the trouble.”
“What?” said Vanessa. “No, not you Derek.”
“I have to go,” said Derek.
“No buts. I know why Nuvola wanted me to come with you guys, why she told Thimble and Giselle to be here. Thimble had to be here because Pitch needs to be so concerned for Thimble’s safety that he won’t ever try to hurt you guys again. Giselle had to be here because she’s my sister.”
“Derek, what are you saying?” asked Giselle. “You’re going to go and I’m only here to see you go?”
Derek nodded. You know how people say ‘all hell breaks loose’? I mean this quite literally when I say all hell broke loose. Giselle started crying and Vanessa ran to Derek with her, Pitch tried to calm things down, Thimble started fighting with him, he fought back, Merida ran forward and tried to calm down Vanessa and Giselle, Rapunzel did too, all the crying made her cry too, Merida was yelling for them to stop, Hiccup tried to calm him down. I just calmly stood to one side and watched the chaos. All of a sudden, everyone’s mouths except mine were magically stuck shut. Mother Earth seemed to sigh in relief.
“Thank goodness for that. Jack Frost, the only one to keep your head, you will get to be witness to it all. Yes, Derek was correct about all that he said,” said Mother Earth. “I see how strong Derek’s spirit is, I see how good and true he really is. I will exchange his soul for one wish, anything at all, for everyone here.”
“I know Vanessa is going to hate me for this, but you should take him. If it’s going to save hundreds, what would one soul be?” I replied. I felt evil, handing over his soul. But Derek offered it first. Derek stood and looked at me. He nodded and went up to Mother Earth. “Hey, Derek?” He turned to me. “See you on the other side, Buddy.”
Derek smiled and nodded. Vanessa and Giselle ran forward to stop him but they became frozen in place. Tears poured down their cheeks as Derek turned to them and winked. Mother Earth unfroze his mouth.
“May I do one thing first?” asked Derek. Mother Earth nodded with a knowing smile and a warm expression. He went back to Giselle and Vanessa and hugged them both. “I love you both. Giselle, you gotta be strong for me when I’m gone. It’s gonna be perfectly fine, just keep living and be just as you were before I go. Vanessa, you go live and be happy with Jack. I know you’re going to miss me and that’s fine, but don’t let this change you forever. I’m gonna miss you both.” He turned to me. “Jack, you make sure they stay safe and together. I trust you with my sister, so don’t disappoint me, ‘kay Man?”
“Sure thing. I can keep an eye on her,” I said. Derek smiled. “You try to have fun over there, okay?”
He nodded. He finally turned back to Mother Earth and knelt back down in front of her.
“Are you quite sure you want to make this great sacrifice?” asked Mother Earth. “I know that you must do this, but it is still your choice.”
“I will do this, because I know I must,” said Derek. “Do whatever it is that you will.”
Mother Earth reached out and put her hand on the top of his head. She closed her eyes and the glow around her intensified. It dimmed and spread down her hand and over Derek. Derek’s skin became green and his eyes closed. His skin appeared to be cracking. Wherever a crack appeared, green light shone from it. He began to break apart in little pieces. He gave me one last smile before he completely shattered. The pieces dissolved into green light and there was nothing left.
Everyone’s mouths became unsealed and Vanessa and Giselle could move again. Everyone looked shaken, even Pitch. Vanessa ran to me and hugged onto me tightly she cried on my shoulder while I told her it was going to be fine. Giselle didn’t cry. She danced. It reminded me of my sister. She’d dance whenever she was sad or angry so that she felt better. She would still cry and scream, but she would dance at the same time. Giselle cried as she danced. Thimble and Rapunzel went over to Merida.
“Well, now that that is finally over, I will offer you each one wish. Anything you desire but not the return of Derek,” said Mother Earth. “It is the least I can do. I can tell you all had strong feelings for him, whether as a friend, brother, or something more.”
“Can I go first?” asked Thimble. Mother Earth nodded. “I want to get rid of the gift the fairies gave me. I don’t want to know everything anymore. I hate it, and it only hurts me.”
Mother Earth smiled and blew a kiss at Thimble. She closed her eyes, took a deep breath, and opened her eyes again.
“So, is there a rescue party coming out for us?” I asked.
“I…I don’t know… I DON’T KNOW!” she exclaimed excitedly. Then she looped her elbow around Giselle’s and danced with her in joy.
“May I have a wish, or am I the exception?” asked Pitch.
“You may have a wish, Pitch, but not for the reason that you think,” said Mother Earth. She said it as though she wanted him to know why he was getting a wish, but not in a way that anyone else would know. “What do you wish for?”
“I wish that Thimble and Madison and I could live together and be a family again,” said Pitch. “That is my wish.”
Mother Earth snapped and a beautiful woman with luxurious blond hair and pale skin appeared. She blinked her pretty pink eyes and then smiled the most dazzling smile I’d ever seen. She rushed forward and hugged Pitch.
“Madison!” exclaimed Pitch. She hugged him tight and he hugged her equally as tight.
“I thought you were gone forever. When I had heard that the Guardians had defeated you, I thought…” I cleared my throat and she looked over at me. She let go of Pitch and walked over to me. “So, you’re the newest Guardian, the Guardian of fun? Did you defeat Pitch?” I nodded. She smiled and hugged me. “If you hadn’t defeated Pitch, we wouldn’t be together right now. So for that, I thank you.”
“M…Mom?” said Thimble with a shaky voice. Madison turned from me to Thimble and her pink eyes lit up brighter than the sun. She ran to Thimble, knelt down and hugged her as close as she could. “When they put me in that diamond, I thought I’d never see you again!”
“So did I!” exclaimed Madison. Then she looked over at Pitch. “You’re her father, get over here and become a part of this hug.” Pitch laughed and came over to join in the hug.
It made m miss my family. Then I remembered that I still had my wish to make. I stepped up. “My wish is to have Mom and Bitsy back, exactly how I remember them,” I said with confidence. Mother Earth smiled.
“A family man, are you? Indeed, I though as much. Very good,” said Mother Earth. “I call forth the spirits of Monica Overland and Bitsy Overland at the exact ages and appearances in the memories of Jack Frost.”
A bunch of dead leaves from the fall gathered and swirled around and around, beginning to form two shapes, one being completely formed sooner than the other. They became more detailed. The tall one began to take on the curves and general form of a grown woman, and the little one formed into a little girl. The leaves slowly turned to people, and there was my mom, with her shoulder length brown hair and warm look, wearing the dark red dress she was wearing the last time I saw her. Bitsy was standing next to her, wearing that brown dress with the red border around the hem. They looked around and their eyes fell on me.
“You look a lot like someone I know,” said Mom. “Maybe a neighbor or friend.”
“Mommy, he looks like Jack. He could be Jack, if Jack didn’t have skin darker than that and brown hair and eyes,” said Bitsy. “I hope Jack is okay.”
“I’m perfectly fine. It is me, guys. And Bitsy, do you remember Vanessa?” I asked. She nodded with a shocked look on her face. I pointed to Vanessa. She waved. “That’s her.”
“Nuh uh!” said Bitsy. “Vanessa has pretty purple eyes.”
“Not anymore. It’s a long story, but it is me, Jackson Overland, and that’s her, Vanessa Clemens,” I reassured them. Mom looked at me with a confused look in her eyes. Then they became teary and she ran forward to hug me. “It is me, I promise.”
Vanessa came over and Mom let go and motioned for her to join in. Bitsy hugged us all until we let her inside the group. It was the happiest moment in my life. There, I had my mother, my sister, and my fiancée, all at once. I got a little teary for the second time that day. When we let go, it was Hiccup’s turn to wish for something.
“I was going to wish for my leg back, but now I just want my mom back,” said Hiccup. Mother Earth smiled and the same thing happened again, dead leaves formed a woman and she became a human. She saw Hiccup, looked down at his leg, and then hugged him. “You can tell me that everything is going to be okay now, if you want.”
“I see you got to the cave,” said Camille, smiling and holding Hiccup tight. They didn’t call her ‘Camille the Fair’ because she was a fair person. They called her that because she was beautiful. She was the third prettiest one in the clearing, after Vanessa and Madison. Vanessa was just for me. “I missed you. I got to watch you through all your adventures and I knew that I was going to get to rejoin you today. I missed you. I love you so much, Hiccup. You have never once disappointed me.”
“Thanks Mom,” said Hiccup, tears brimming in his eyes. “We’re going to have to write a message to Dad and tell him you’re back.”
“First, ‘tis my turn for a wish,” said Merida. “Now, I have everything I ever wanted. So I will wish for something for all of us. I wish that Hiccup, Rapunzel, and I would all stop aging on our next birthdays and that our kids would stop aging at fourteen. That way we won’t be out of place next to Jack and Vanessa.”
Mother Earth snapped her fingers and declared it done. Rapunzel smiled and then gasped. “What about Eugene?” she exclaimed. Mother Earth shrugged and said it was too late. “Okay, my wish. I don’t want to wish for the same thing for Eugene because he might not want it. So I’m going to wish for my hair back, all seventy feet, blonde and with all its powers fully restored”
Before everyone’s eyes her short brown hair grew back to its original length, paled down to blonde, and stopped doing anything. She tentatively sang the first bar of her healing incantation and the bright glow filled her hair. I had a cut on my hand, so I reached out and grabbed a fistful of her hair. When the song was over, I let go and saw that the cut was completely gone, not even a scar to prove that I had ever had one.
“Did it work?” asked Rapunzel. I nodded and she grabbed Thimble and Giselle and the three danced together. “I can’t believe it’s all back!”
“My turn for a wish!” exclaimed Giselle. “I wish that I could travel the world, helping everyone wherever I go. Derek would be proud of that wish.”
“And so it shall be done, but not until you’re old enough to do it. Give it five more years, and then your wish will come true in full,” said Mother Earth. Giselle ran forwards and hugged her. “You’re quite welcome, Little One.”
Everyone had made a wish except for Vanessa. She came forwards and smiled. I knew what she was going to wish for. She’d told me that if she could have any wish, she would wish…
“I wish that I could reopen the princess academy and later on become the principal of it. But I want all girls to be able to come, whether they’re a princess or just a girl from the village and everyone in between,” said Vanessa. “And the boys! Boys are welcome too!”
“And it will be done, as soon as you get back to Mickey’s castle. Now, you have all made a wish, correct?” We all nodded. “Then I will summon a few giant eagles to fly you back to the tower and others to fly everyone else to Mickey’s Castle.”
Everyone walked towards Vanessa’s general direction, but I looked over to Mother Earth. She looked back at me.
Keep those fun-loving eyes of yours open, and I will see you again. Not for a long while, but I will see you again, said Mother Earth, in my mind. Nobody else could hear her, or if they could, they didn’t respond. No, they can’t hear me. Go with your friends. Live and go to school in Mickey’s castle. Play with your sister; learn all that you can from today’s experiences. Then you marry yourself that pretty little heroine. I will come to the wedding, but good-bye for now, my boy.
I looked up at the sky and saw the giant eagles flying in. They landed and everyone climbed on one, three per eagle. I was with Mom and Bitsy. Vanessa was with Rapunzel and Giselle. Hiccup went with Merida and his mom, and Pitch, Thimble and Madison all rode together.
When we got back to the tower, Vanessa told everyone the story of what had happened. When Snow asked where the potion of ultimate healing was, Vanessa got even paler, if that’s possible.
“I gave it to Derek and never got it back,” said Vanessa. “Now it’s gone forever!”
The way she said it made us all laugh. Mickey led us back to his castle and we were welcomed back with joy from the people of the village. Josey ran forward and hugged Vanessa and me. We decided that we wanted her to live in the castle with us. Her older sister Lotte was the head maid in the castle, and immediately thanked us for allowing Josey to live in the court.
For ten years, we all dutifully attended school, graduated, and then went through university. Merida, Vanessa, Hiccup, Rapunzel and I all looked strange standing there holding diplomas in a group of people who we grew up with that all looked twenty. We still looked fourteen.
Giselle did get her wish to travel the world. Vanessa got to be principal of the school. Bitsy, Vanessa and I were still extremely close. She also remained close with Rapunzel and Merida. They all still shared a room, even after school was over for us. Mickey gave a strange announcement. After Vanessa and I were married, we were to become the new king and queen, and that the kingdom was to be renamed Frosteria, in honor of us.
It was a great deal. We planned the wedding together, and, three days before it was to happen…Well, maybe I should just let Vanessa explain, in our next adventure. Our non-adventurous adventure. Jack, out!
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