Here is part two of three of "The Gift of Grace: Kelita's Crown". You can read part one here.
The Gift of Grace: Kelita's Crown - Part 2
Kelita’s thoughts had come full circle by the time she opened her eyes. She stood on the edge of a vast frozen lake outside of Chios, on the edge of the kingdom. Her Father stayed behind. He would be watching, she knew; but He could not help her. Everything was hinged on the decision she was yet to make. Kelita folded her hands to her chest, feeling the warmth of her pounding heart.
“I love my talent,” She whispered to the breeze, a single tear rolling down her face, leaving a frozen trail on her cheek.
Is it yours? A tiny voice inside her whispered.
Before she could think further, Kelita saw the Snow Queen advance towards her. She appeared beautiful. Dressed in a frosty blue dress that fluttered in the wind, she had drawn a white cape around her shoulders, and the hood covered her head. As she approached Kelita, she removed the hood, and Kelita gasped. The queen’s face was like one that had been carved from ice. Her blue skin reflected no light, and like the ice of the lake, it radiated a cold air. But it was her eyes thought made Kelita’s heart leap to her throat. They were black as coal, and heartless as stone. Mercilessly, those eyes glinted at her. Her white spiked hair giving Kelita chills.
“Foolish girl.” The voice cracked out. It was sharp as splintered glass. “That you would have second thoughts! I had you the whole way, and now you hesitate. Why should the King deny you the pleasure of your own talent? Why do you serve Him when He does not even allow His subjects the privilege of doing what they please with their own gifts? Why serve a King that asks for your all?”
Kelita remained silent.
The Snow Queen scrutinized her intensely. “There may be hope for you yet.” She said eventually. Stepping back a pace, the queen held out her hand, palm up. Slowly, a glow began pulsing in their air above her hand, and as the glow grew larger, Kelita could see forms taking shape inside it. She saw grand ice castles, kingdoms, money, fame, luxuries, people waving their arms... Kelita leaned forward and gazed at the sight of such splendours.
“All this and more are yours if you use your talent for me,” the Snow Queen whispered, laying a blue-skinned hand on Kelita’s arm. That broke the spell and Kelita jumped back, shuddering from the deadly touch of the queen’s frozen skin. The glow stopped, and the queen moved out over the ice to the opposite end of the lake.
Kelita stepped onto the ice of the frozen lake, the steel blades of her skates marring the perfect surface. Pushing off, she began. Weaving back and forth over the icy surface, her emotions were in turmoil. She loved her talent for skating, and she wanted the credit for it. It was hers. Why shouldn’t she revel in it? As her thoughts took this dark turn, her foot slipped, sending her crashing to the cold wet ground. Shakily, she got back up again, moving slowly; her arms out, head high, she spun an angry circle, carving a gouge into the ice. As she took a deep breath, that same still small voice came to her.
Is it your talent?
Was it indeed. Everything she had was from her Father, she knew. But once given, doesn’t it make it your own? Her twisted thoughts caused her to move erratically over the lake, faster and faster, making harsh patterns in the dance. Feet crossing in violent turns, she scratched large X’s on the lake’s surface.
Raw emotion tearing at her soul, Kelita gave a gasping sob. She so wanted to please her Father. Didn’t He love her, care about her, bestow precious gifts upon her? Wasn’t He perfect, the King, her Father, who deserved such an honour? Hadn’t He done everything for her? Hadn’t she rebelled against His will? Didn’t this make her a sin-filled person who had no right to any talent given to her?
Her heart swelled within her as though it would explode. Her feet flew faster and faster, and like a burst of lightening, like a cry in the night, her emotions burst forth like water from a dam, Kelita’s anguished voice filled the frosty air with a loud cry.
“Father!” Throwing herself forward, Kelita stumbled and came to her knees, sliding across the hard cold ice, not feeling the chill. Her shoulders slumped, and she hung her head low, barely whispering the words she knew she had to say.
“Forgive me. I pledge my talent to you with my whole heart.” The wind caught the whispered words from her lips, and whisked them away. Slowly, Kelita raised her eyes to the sky. He had heard.
During this moment, the Snow Queen flew into a fury. Screaming in anger, she stretched out her hand, clawed fingernails pointing accusingly at Kelita.
“You could have had everything!” She screeched, her voice cutting through the serenity like a hot knife. “I would have given it to you if you had only served me! Now I must force it from you!”
Kelita looked up. Near where the Snow Queen stood, she could see shadows gather around her feet. As she watched, the shadows grew larger, and began to ooze across the snow covered ground in her direction. Kelita’s skin crawled as she realized what they were. Dauða. Shadow beings in the service of the Snow Queen, their very name meaning death. They moved ever closer to Kelita.
Raising her eyes to the clear sky, Kelita rose from the slippery surface. A voice seemed to float on the wind, calling to her.
She smiled. The ominous blackness across the lake would not faze her. She was going to use her talent for the one who created it.
Slowly, pushing her right foot forward, she began to skate. One foot in front of the other, she moved; as a bird in the sky she flew- her arms going out, her legs pushing beneath her, propelling her across the smooth ice. She felt weightless, as though she need only jump and she would launch herself into the sky, flying free of earth. Her heart, moments ago torn and twisted with agonizing emotions, now felt like it could sing; swelling in exuberance, not pain.
For You, She whispered, a smile tickling the corners of her mouth as she flew. For You, all for You, Abba Father.
Pausing in the centre of the lake, she threw her head back and spun; her arms becoming a blur, her feet making a perfect groove in the ice. The shadows of the Dauða surrounded her, but she barely noticed. The energy she felt radiating from her heart engulfed her like a tongue of flame. The Dauða were afraid. They had never seen such ecstatic joy pulsing from someone who served the King before. They shrank from Kelita, retreating back the way they came.
The Snow Queen could barely believe her eyes. She had come so close to recruiting another victim. What had gone so wrong? Her eyes glazed. It was no use. The girl was lost to her now.
Time seemed to slow for Princess Kelita. Coming out of the spin she moved as if in a dream, making a wide circle in reverse around the outskirts of the lake. As she reached the end, banking the corner, feet in perfect time, she moved backwards towards the centre of the lake again. Nearing the centre point her weaving feet turned, facing her forward, and Kelita’s eyes, sparkling like crystals, raised once more to the heavens.
For You... only You.
Turning her left foot, the blade of her skate digging into the ice, Kelita leapt into the air. Her arms went up over her head. She was flying. Spinning in the air, Kelita spun, flying across the ice in a perfect jump. For a split second at the peak of the leap, a light in the air above her head flashed blindingly. As it did, a single word entered her mind, one she had been missing for a long time.
Kelita smiled. Then as the light faded, Kelita came down to earth landing against the frozen surface on one leg, sliding backwards across the ice till she reached the far edge of the lake.
End of Part 2