Publisher: Austin Macauley Publishers
Ash is a Light Warrior who reports to Santa's Grotto after a three year absence to undertake her review. Expecting to be in disgrace, instead she finds herself totally unprepared for the reception. Her review brings surprises and Ash learns about her own levels of power and connection higher than she had ever understood. Perhaps she is much, much more than the maverick she is considered to be? She must learn to stand with her powers. When Santa enters the Collective Stream of Consciousness and delivers his gifts, he learns that it is indeed time for people to move to the next level. Ash's team is barely assembled before a breach in the Earth's Energy Grid makes ti necessary for them to act immediately. Will Ash prove to be all that the Light Warrior Order believes her to be ? And if she is, where will it take her?
If you look up at the sky it is a deep, deep black and the stars are so bright they
appear to be nearer than the billions of miles away they really are. Close enough to
touch. On the ground the snow is deep, with a crispy topping that reflects the stars
in shimmering sparkles that seem to hypnotise the watcher. “Stay a while and
watch.” This is exactly what Ash has been doing, for how long she does not know,
but for some time, as the cold has started to reach her body and has already numbed
her feet and legs. Ash reaches out her hand up to the sky and imitates catching a
bright star. I might as well catch a star as reach my destination, she says to herself.
She is sitting on a fallen log, alone and rather despondent. She does not have the
energy or inclination to stand up just at the moment. She is pondering her fate. How
long have I been sitting here? I am so tired and my resolve is draining; I should be
near Santa’s Grotto but I sense nothing. Surely, I have not come so far to be lost
here in the north, so near to comfort and safety? She looks up skywards, waiting
for an answer, but none comes. Yes, there is definitely something wrong
somewhere. As she twists round slowly to look at the line of pine trees growing
around her, she feels a sharp pain in her side. Ouch! The ribs are still cracked. The
tiredness makes the pain seem more present and adds to her sense of feeling rather
sorry for herself. Her journey is supposed to have brought her to Santa’s Grotto, as
it is that time of year and she has been summoned. But for some reason the portals
are not opening and she has stopped here to contemplate what has gone wrong.
The snow is deep enough to cover the lower part of the tree trunks, so that the
bottom branches rest on the top of the snow, as though they were balancing the
whole tree. There is no wind, yet Ash hears a sound. At first it sounds like a faint
moan, then she listens harder and realises it is the sound of tree spirits talking. They
are all talking at once and she cannot define any particular words. The tiredness
and pain have made her irritable.
She shouts, “Hey! What are you talking about? I do not understand you, all
talking at once. What say you?”
There is a sudden hush to the babbling and then one or two voices are
whispering and the message is passed down the line of trees. Ash hears it
progressing away from her, down the line towards a tree that she notices is higher
and bigger than the rest. The top branches begin to rustle and the branches move
up and down. Out from the branches, near the top, comes what appears to be brown
smoke with just a hint of green around the edges. Ash knows this to be a tree spirit
for she has the eye to see. The ‘smoke’ moves up towards her and hovers front of
where Ash is sitting. Then it forms the shape of a young girl, looking like a human
of about fourteen times around the sun. Her hair is made of green and flows around
behind her like a flag in the wind.
Ash speaks. “Who addresses me?”
“I am Princess Diva of this part of the forest, known in human terms as glade.”
“Yes, I am given responsibility to learn. I am not yet fully of knowledge.”
“You are addressing a human, Light Warrior Ash, third class.”
“Ay so.” There is silence. The princess is wondering what to say next.
She begins with a formal greeting. “Welcome! You are free to walk.”
“Thank you. But Princess Diva, your tree spirits are all talking at once and
appear to be speaking a dialect I am unfamiliar with. Yet there is a complaint, is
“Ah, not so! No complaint.”
The princess pauses and then begins by speaking carefully and slowly.
Diplomacy is required when you are about to explain to a human that they have
lost their way. Although this one is a Light Warrior, third class, you cannot be too
careful and her inexperience makes her wary.
“Well, they are … that is, the spirits under my charge were wondering, er,
um…” Her voice drifts off, then inspiration suddenly embraces her and she says
brightly, “The tree spirits, and myself also, were wondering why such an illustrious
person should be visiting our side of the forest. Not complaint, but mere curiosity.”
Princess Diva looks at Ash with her head and eyes lowered, hoping diplomacy
has won and she will not be punished. Ash is studying her closely, trying to
decipher the meaning.
She is telling me I am lost.
She asks in a way that repays the diplomacy, “Ay so! Pray tell me in what part
of the forest do you, and they, think I would be walking?”
Relieved at her progress so far, the princess speaks carefully once more.
“We think that you would not be here whilst the moon has passed some time
in the sky. We are of course grateful for your presence. But … but … perhaps you
would be beyond the trees and climbing the mound yonder?”
Ash looks in the direction indicated and can see the snow has covered the
ground and formed a gradual ascent over the nearby hill. In the distance there is a
shadowy grey outline of more hills, possibly even mountains.
Why would I be there? Indeed, if it is so I really am lost. No, not there, but
definitely on some other co-ordinates. Her despondency returns. I will be terribly
late. I am already in trouble for not having been for three years but to be ordered
here and then to miss the most important time of year. This will be very difficult to
live down. I will be ridiculed and laughed at for many times round the sun.
The princess is waiting patiently as she does not wish to interrupt her visitor’s
Ash thinks back to the time when the messenger came to tell her to return to
Santa’s Grotto forthwith and not be late for this year’s ceremony. This year! Of
course, THIS year’s ceremony. This year is the fourth year, 2004, the ‘shift’ must
have taken place several months ago.”
She speaks out loud, “Stupid messenger. Why did she not tell me this year was
She immediately checks her anger. She is as much to blame for not keeping up
to date. She remembers the young messenger standing before her, seemingly
nervous of the message. Ash had smiled and said, “Take your time. It is important
that the message is accurate, do not rush yourself.”
Now as she remembers she is sure the message was given word for word as
instructed. It must have been up to Ash to realise the shift had taken place and to
calculate the correct co-ordinates. Well, how stupid can you be? For the first time
in what seems like days, she starts to laugh and says out loud, “Some warrior I am,
making such a basic mistake. I must be losing my touch.”
The princess looks at her, puzzled, wondering if she had conducted herself in
a way to displease. Ash senses her worry.
“Do not worry, Princess, you have helped a poor lost human. I am pleased you
have spoken to me. Perhaps I would have perished here so far from the Grotto. You
have done well, I am happy to have met you.”
Buoyed by this flattery and praise, the princess smiles widely.
“You are indeed a noble warrior, I shall tell of your passing for many times
around the sun.”
“I hope, Princess, that you will have the opportunity of addressing more
humans to talk about than myself.”
“I may, but we are not honoured so many times. I am pleased much for your
The princess floats off back to her tree and is absorbed by the branches. With
a shrug of her shoulders and a laugh that she cannot help, despite it pinching her
ribs, Ash sits and contemplates. Such a basic mistake! Every four years, all of
Santa’s Grotto makes a shift in time and space according to the movement of the
Earth and the energy grid that surrounds it. It is insurance against firstly being
found by ‘ordinary’ humans and secondly, maintains the energy field so that it
exists on a dimension other than the third. If they stayed too long, it would become
solid and be part of the third dimension and therefore begin to deteriorate as all
solid things do. Santa and his helpers would age and all the magic and mystery
All I have to do is work out the co-ordinates for the Grotto and get moving fast.
She thinks hard as she takes out her notebook, calculating the Earth’s energy grids
in relation to time and space. Her despondency returns. She feels too tired to try.
She cries out.
“That is all I have to do? It is near impossible!”
She laughs again with the hopelessness of the situation and the irony. She looks
up at the sky.
“Well, universe, what is to be done? How shall I proceed? If it is your will then
you need to act now so that I can survive and make the ceremony in time. How do
you propose to perform such a miracle?”
‘Faith’ is the whispered answer that sings in her head.
“Then this is not my time to leave this physical body?”
She waits but there is no other reply.
“Thank you, universe. I will wait to see what unfolds.”
She closes her eyes and concentrates, trying to think positive in what seems
really a hopeless situation. She connects with the higher realms and meditates,
seeking help and guidance.
A few minutes later she hears a whooshing sound and the jangle of bells. A
sleigh crosses the sky about ten metres above her head and descends to land in a
clearing about a hundred metres in front of her. She stands slowly and stiffly, her
feet and legs not responding properly; she realises how numb the cold has made
her. Of all the ways of finding me, I had not thought it would be a sleigh. I am
nearer to the Grotto and its current shift than I thought.
She looks upward, “I thank you, Great Creator, for my saving.”
She wades awkwardly through the snow to meet the sleigh. In the pale light the
sleigh and driver look grey. It is a one reindeer sleigh with just enough room for
two on the front seat. The rails are buried in the snow, with the front curling
upwards above the snowline. A small stocky figure is getting off from the front
driving seat. Ash can see that he is wearing a big full length fur coat that smothers
him from a collar under his chin to his ankles. Just visible, jutting out from his coat,
are big fur boots. Looking at him, you might wonder how he can walk or move
about. On his head he wears his hat with a long tail over the back. On the front his
badge of office, Ash approaches and recognises him in the gloom.
“Greetings, Sergeant Charge of Sleigh.”
“Greetings.” His voice is gruff as indicates his authority.
“I am greatly pleased to see you, perhaps there is a place for me on the sleigh?”
“Indeed, there are no other passengers.”
He nods his head to indicate the surrounding area and looks at her as if to say,
‘Who else am I here for in the middle of nowhere?’
He does not say this, of course, out of respect.
“May I suggest that we board before the cold makes us trees?”
Ash needs no second invitation and eagerly climbs onto the front seat and he
leaps on beside her with surprising agility. He reaches over the back of the seat and
pulls out a large fur rug from the luggage container.
“You will need this, we are travelling high and fast.”
Before Ash has time to fully get the rug around her shoulders and feet he whips
the reins and the single reindeer takes off, running immediately and is in the air
after only a few strides. Ash takes hold of the rail as the sleigh turns and speeds
through the air, the ground a few hundred metres below.
“I am pleased to have collected you,” the sergeant says.
“Not more than I, I suspect,” Ash replies.
“Hummph! We have two sleighs out looking for you on this cold night.”
Although it may sound like a complaint, Ash knows better than to respond. He
is clearly pleased to have her safe in his sleigh. She knows that they would search
all night if needs be. She thinks this is service indeed for a warrior, third class. The
ceremony must be big this year if they are making so much effort to get everyone
Now, they are flying straight and flat and the reindeer picks up speed. Ash
looks at her; she is small for her age but seems strong and agile. The sergeant
continues, “Administrative cock ...” he coughs loudly, as though clearing his throat.
“Um, administrative blunder,” he corrects himself.
Ash is puzzled. “How so?”
“Your young messenger was to have met you within one moon’s cycle but
she—” he pauses, checking himself. It is not good to complain about those below
you in status to those above you.
“For whatever reason, she took two moons cycle, in which case the message
should have included the new co-ordinates. For the shift, that is,” he adds and
glances at her sideways, as if to check she had realised this had taken place. She
“Well, of course, another messenger was not sent informing you of said coordinates
as it was assumed the first had already done so.”
She says nothing, not wishing to explain that in truth it was also her own ‘cockup.’
She was comforted that they were sent to look for her, whoever’s fault it was.
She nods. The sergeant in charge is pleased with the nod and satisfied that he is not
carrying a complete idiot, but perhaps one who has made a small mistake.
He adds, “I suppose warriors have made bigger mistakes.” He smiles for the
first time and gives her a reassuring wink.
“It was the supervisor’s duty to ensure that the messenger was fully apprised
of all the facts. She delivered the message as well as she could?”
Ash feels no need to dwell any further on the matter. She has been saved and
her journey of four days is near to an end. She can trust the Sergeant Charge to get
them to their destination. She consciously relaxes, and in no time she cannot help
her eyelids closing, her head lolls forward and she drifts into a welcome sleep.
One hour later the sleigh lands in a cul-de-sac. There are ten two-storey
detached houses, made of wood painted in different colours. There are lights on in
the downstairs rooms that shine rays through the windows and light up the snow.
All have wooden verandas on the front, supported by wooden poles, with lanterns
hanging down from the roof.
About the Author
Sarah Mirza was born in 1959 in the UK. After travelling and living abroad she has returned to her beloved Yorkshire and resides in Sheffield. Since her spiritual awakening in 1992, she has continually experienced and learnt about a wide variety of both spiritual and religious readings and philosophies. These inform her worldview.