Who wouldn’t like to wake up and see the snowflakes floating in their hot drink? Every year my urge to munch the white flake begins at the pumpkin season itself. But who would offer me that sweetened elixir? Slim odds. My craving would die a horrible death this winter as well.
“You always have an option,” Sinachus heard a voice from behind. “Good Lord, Evessa. I’m scared to death. Don’t do this again.”
“Never boast again that you’re a warrior, Sina. You are a pacifist.”
“Stop that, Essa. I’m offended. Happy now, huh?”
“No. Why are you becoming edgy? I came to help you.”
“Alright. What choice do I have to possess the cocoa topped with the pure flake?” Sinachus’s words illuminated the thick, dark forest. The snow caps shined in the barren branches. The ground was white, warm, and welcoming.
Evessa looked at Sina as though demanding an explanation for the bright light.
“Desire, you know, Essa, lights up everything. It can either glow or burn. We have to be careful with it.” Sina waved his hand, and the night fell on the surrounding branches.
“Keep the philosophy with you, Sina. I don’t need them. Let’s get to the point. You can steal the drink from those goons. I have a plan.” Essa took a silver scroll from her saddle.
“What had gotten into you, Essa? You know we forbid stealing in our world. Are you planning to get me expelled from the clan?”
“Agnashoha is not the only clan for centaurs,” Essa raised her brows.
Sina clenched his left fist, raised the right foreleg, and gave a kick. Essa felt his protest power.
“Calm down. There’s no need for an outcry. I spoke nothing ill.”
“You did. You’re suggesting that I need to let down Agnashoha and join Cethin Alcibiades. How mean you’re?”
“Cethin... The Dark Force? Why no other clan hit your brain, dumbo. Your mind has rotten, and you made me feel small. Die with your desire.” Essa barked at him and galloped away.
The snowman he made was picture perfect. Alan was quite an artist at ten. His eyes have a magnetic feature that could attract any scene and capture it in his mind. He has a micron memory, which captures precise detailing. Alan looked little for his age, but the wisdom of a forty-year-old reflected in his less rounded face.
Alan seemed extra smart in the blue cashmere, which his mom’s gifted him on the Christmas when he turned eight. That was the last day he saw his mom. Alan used to make a snowman with his mom on his birthday. He couldn’t take those memories off from his yearning heart, which made him accustomed to making a snowman for every Christmas.
“That boy is the one. He fits for our plan,” Essa pointed at him and jumped in glee.
“He looks like a good kid. Poor boy. Why it has to be him?” Sina asked.
“Didn’t you notice his hand? He is holding the drink which you are going to devour, and our medium is near him.” Essa said.
“Medium?” Sina gave a quizzical look.
“How do you think we can grab his drink? We need to go through a medium to reach him. Distract and steal it from him. Can you see the snowman near him?” Sina nodded.
“We are going to make the snowman alive and travel to the boy’s place through the snowman,” Essa explained.
“Do you have potions to do those?”
“Yes, I do.”
“But I’m feeling bad.” Sina hesitated.
“Not again. Don’t start from the first. I left angrily on that day. You were the one who persuaded and convinced me. I have taken all my efforts for this. You are wasting my time,” Essa chided.
“I expressed my feelings. I did not intend to stop you. Go on.” Sina palliated her anger.
Essa took two brown potions from her saddle and inspected the bottles. Timing counts for any plan to be successful, and that time was flying from realm to realm.
Sina became impatient and asked her, “Are you going to use those potions or stare at them until the boy drinks the elixir?”
“One is Chocolate Cosmos potion, which will help us travel, and the other is the Corpse flower potion which will make anything alive. Both are brown, and I forgot to label them. My bad. We need to drink them in the correct order. Else, it may ruin our plan.” Essa was helpless.
“We can’t blow off our plans. I am not willing to wait for another long year. Trust your instinct and give us the first potion to drink. Together let’s face the outcome.”
Essa went over Sina’s idea in her mind for a few moments and handed the potion in her left hand to him by exclaiming, “Left is luck, Agnashoha says! Drink.”
Sina drank half of it and handed her portion of the potion. She consumed the remaining, and they waited for a few. Nothing happened. Essa seemed scared. The thought of what might be the consequence made her nervous.
“Don’t worry, Essa. Nothing bad will happen. Hand me over the other potion. Let’s drink that one as well and check it out.” Sina cheered her.
Essa gave the other potion, and they both drank it. Nothing happened twice.
Alan took hot cocoa snowflake in his hand and went near snowman; which he made in the backyard. The snowman glowed in twilight. Alan admired his craftsmanship. His snowman looked radiant this year. He went near to observe. The snowman smiled, and it bewildered him.
While Alan gathered his thoughts to make sense of what he saw, the snowman raised his hands. A blue jacket appeared around the snowman, and he unbuttoned it. A set of stairs was visible inside him.
The happenings around Alan gave him chills of amusement and fear. He couldn’t believe his eyes. What snowman could hold inside him made him curious, and he stepped onto the stairs fast. He climbed, and each set of steps appeared out of nowhere. Each pair substituted another, and it was an endless pair of despair. Soon Alan became tired and thought to give up and return. When he turned back, there were no steps behind him, and he saw a deep hollow filled with white light. Alan took a sip of the cocoa in his hand to regain his energy. Then he raced forward. At the count of 250 steps, he reached a vast green forest.
Sina and Essa were about to declare their defeat. That is when the boy with the cup in his hand appeared before them.
Alan saw thick green forest in 360 degrees. He spotted two unique creatures towards his north and approached them in a steady phase. He saw the creature who was standing first. It was a half man and half horse. He didn’t notice the other creature which stood behind
“Centaurs. They are for real. I knew it.” Alan cried in excitement.
“Yes, boy. We are for real. You are right. My name is Sinachus, and you?”
“I’m Alan. How did I come here?"
“First things first. Will you offer me the sweet elixir? That’s why we called you here,” Sina explained.
“Sweet Elixir? What is it? And who is the other creature behind you?” Alan inquired.
“Sweet Elixir is the drink which you have in your hand. I wish to taste it. It’s my desire for over a decade. Will you give it?” Sina demanded.
“Ah! I see. The sweet elixir is hot cocoa snowflake, and it is a common winter drink. Centaurs wish to try it once. Interesting fact. I can boast about this to my friends. Here, you can have it,” Alan offered.
Sina grabbed it from him, smelled it, and took a sip. The sugary drink mesmerized his taste buds.
“Wow. It tastes delicious. It is an elixir. Snowflake is chewy and strange.” Sina reacted.
“The snowflake is marshmallow.”
“Oh, I see.” Sina gave a puzzled look.
“I will explain what a marshmallow is. But you didn’t show your partner. I wish to see it. Is it a centaur or a unicorn?” Alan pressed Sina.
“I forgot to introduce Evessa, my partner in crime. She is a centaur as well.” Sina pointed to Essa.
Evessa saw Alan and felt some weird sensation, but couldn’t figure out what it was. Alan became shell-shocked. A long silence fell on the surrounding branches.
Alan pushed the words out of his vocal cord. “Mom. How did you turn into a centaur?”
Essa’s memory melted like a snowflake in the hot chocolate.