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The roses glistened in a ruby glow of dew and early morning sun. Dion was signing the card that was to accompany them....

Merry Christmas, Adena. A time for friends and family.

From all at Yorkshire.

Of course, Dion snickered to herself, she doesn't have anyone.

"That's nice of you to send those to Adena. She insisted on leaving Yorkshire, I don't know why; she really shouldn't live alone like she is."

"Now, Jonathon. Let her make her own decisions."

"I guess your right." He tousled his fiancee's hair. "I am going to seal up the Emerald and Ruby rooms; they will be theirs to use whenever they return."

"But dear, I thought that we could use them." Dion knew that those two suites occupying the entire upper floor of Yorkshire Mansion were extremely rich and she wanted them for herself.

"No. They shall stand ready to receive the rightful rulers of all these possessions."

Dion managed to smile slightly. "Of course."

Jonathon was lost in his musings. "I think those two were made for each other from the beginning of time. Remember Adena's first Christmas. No, you wouldn't remember. You were as old as she was." Dion listened with tolerance to his story....

....The tree glistened with tinsel and ornaments. A huge fire crackled in the fireplace. The whole palace was done for Christmas. Coina and Odina stood proudly watching their offspring. They were talking to Iffley's parents who had joined them for the festivities. Dion and her parents were there as well.

Iffley had appointed himself babysitter, since he was a very grownup ten years. Adena wasn't going to have any of that however. She was intently drawing a picture. Iffley wanted to take her picture on a rocking horse. She got mad and threw several crayons at him. "Leave alone...please." Her eyebrow rose characteristically.

"Adena, I want your picture. Would you please come here?"


Iffley decided to try a different tactic. Adena watched him suspiciously as he looked at her picture. "That's nice, Adena. What are they called?"

"Danaes. See they have wings like Pigasus and horns like unicerns."

"Pegasus and unicorns, Adene," Odina corrected.


"Lady Coina," Iffley began. "How powerful is she? Mother told me that I began to show power very early."

"Adena has not been allowed to use hers fully yet. She is very stubborn and could get out of hand. But you and she, Iffley, will be very powerful. Together you two can be even stronger."

"Together, hmph."

"Iffley??!!" His mother was correcting his rudeness; she respected the Ludit family highly.

"Could Adena put the Amulet on?" Iffley wanted to see what the baby could do.

"I suppose so...for a moment." Coina walked over to her daughter and placed the necklace on her.

Adena blinked several times in surprise. Expertly she reached for the Amulet and touched several of the stones. "CONSINBA." She cocked her head and smiled. Coina took the Key back and put it on.

"I wonder what that meant." A shrill whinny broke the silence. Odina grabbed the paper that Adena had been coloring and saw that it was blank of the nine Danaes.

"MINE!" Adena toddled to the open window and hung out.

"Odina! get her; she'll fall out!" Coina was already running to Adena.

They got to the window and stared in disbelief. Nine colts stood prancing in the yard. Seven were colored as the spectrum, one was black and one was white. They had the wings of the famed Pegasus and the horns of unicorns. They were...

"danaes!" Adena squealed in delight and reached out to them. She fell forward from the window. Coina screamed and covered her face. Adena was crying but soon stopped when she landed safely on the soft back of the black Danae. "MINE!!" she said, patting the animal's neck and horn.

Her parents were relieved but puzzled. Adena created a hologram. Something, someone had made them real. "Iffley!"

"You did say to work together, Lady Coina. Merry Christmas Adena!" With that, he snapped her picture.....

"Iffley helped create the Danaes?" Dion was doubtful.

"Yes, from theat moment on, Adena knew what her powers were and she used them whenever she wanted. Iffley was impressed with her and later that turned to love. That's what is so strange about his leaving. He never has let her spend a Christmas alone..."

Alone. On Christmas nonetheless. Adena quietly drummed her fingers on the computer console of her apartment. She angrily wiped a tear from her eyes. Madison and Bronson had called to invite her and Iffley to come for a Christmas celebration. They had been shocked at the news of his absence. She politely refused the invitation to stay and prepare her fleet. For what? they had asked. She had said that it's best to be prepared always.

She fingered her Ring and then went on to work on every problem in the In basket. She soon emptied that and then cleaned the apartment. That completed, she stepped outside. Casablanca, the red danae, ran up and nuzzled her.

"Lonely, girl? I think everyone is. Did you enjoy eating those roses?" Casablanca whinnied softly. "I did plan a Christmas present for you. Ready?"

She pulled a rumpled, yellowed piece of paper from her jacket pocket. It was drawing paper and had faint outlines of danaes on it. Adena smiled at Casablanca and touched her ring to the Amulet--"CONSINBA". The air was pierced with neighing and whinnies of frightened eight frightened danaes. "Cush, cush. It's alright." The animals recognized their mistress' voice and paused slightly before almost trampling her in joy. She smiled for the first time in many days as her favored pets pranced in reunion.

Merry Christmas, she willed to the sky, whereever you are tonight.

 © 1985, 

K. Blaire, L. Charles, D. Conrad, Enad the Great, J. Pierce, B. C. Randolf, and T. G. Taft

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