Since moving north, she didn’t get fruit. And truth be told, she’d never been a fan of most fruit anyway. But the apples reminded her of a time before she’d left for the north, when she’d been closer to Snow White, before White had gotten married and grown distant. They ate apples by the slice off the blades of paring knives as they sat on the deck of the cabin in the woods, while the dwarves were off working.
Her foxes knew of her sense of loss and nostalgia. Three set out to bring back apples for the Snow Queen. They all went south for a while and then split up, each seeking a different sort of apple to bring back, because some got ripe sooner than others and some lasted longer than others, though in the cold north all of them should last longer than expected.
Erminey stole a pillowcase for the Gala apples she found, dragging each apple with her sharp teeth gripping the stem so she wouldn’t puncture the skin.
The white fox hitched her way back to the north. She traded her way up, giving bits of apple to the deer and reindeer for the ride.
As she approached home, she crested the last hill to look down at the ice castle, where it sat cyan and cold, nestled in between trees and permanent drifts, like her brothers and sisters bedded down in a drift with tails wrapped to their noses.
Erminey knew it wouldn’t be long before she was at the Snow Queen’s feet, snapping small slices from the air while she waited for the others to return with their hauls.
She shook herself and headed down the hill toward home.
Michaela Eaves comes to Washington by Way of Montana. Her childhood set up her adult life to be rich with a love of animals and nature, two themes present in her artwork and writing. She pieces her professional life together with design work, fantasy and horror illustration, and traditional stylized painting. She’s more artist than writer and has been experimenting using words to illustrate art, most recently in her first book, 42 Sketches (http://michaelaeaves.wordpress.com/) . In her free time, she plays with her rottweilers, volunteers for an animal search and rescue, and looks at cake recipes.