WINTER'S MAJESTY by Michael Mitchell Jr.


Once there was a tree named Majesty that displayed the most beautiful fall colors in the entire land. At the start of the season, Majesty’s Autumn Fairies woke from their slumber in her branches and began working. With great excitement the fairies dipped their brushes into their dazzling paints and decorated each of Majesty’s leaves with intricate detail. Gold swirled with the auburns and ambers, and bronze danced with burgundy. Each day, Majesty greeted the morning sun with a shining smile and glowed with wondrous light throughout the night.

Artists traveled from across the realm to visit Majesty. Musicians would sit under her massive arms and compose songs of love. Poets wrote lines of iambic pentameter. Painters filled their canvases. There was dancing, singing, and storytelling beneath Majesty’s marvelous canopy every dusk in the starlight.
One crisp evening, Jack Frost sat listening to the songs and admiring Majesty’s radiance. “You truly are the centerpiece of the season,” he praised. Majesty blushed, which only enhanced her vibrancy.
“Your rest will be much deserved, my friend,” Jack Frost said.
Majesty smiled, but Jack Frost’s words reminded her that she would eventually lose her magnificence and have to fall asleep. What if all beauty disappears from the realm when I sleep? She thought. The vision of a desolate landscape disturbed Majesty.
So Majesty refused to feel tired. She continued to inspire the artists, and those encounters brought her much happiness. Each day seemed more splendid than before, as the Autumn Fairies enhanced her leaves with fresh layers of yellows, oranges, and greens.
But the cool days were turning colder, and the crows squawked from Majesty’s branches that changes were looming. Jack Frost emerged again from the woodland, his blue scarf trailing behind him in the shadows.
“Many trees in the nearby forests have already lost their leaves to the gusts that whip through the countryside,” Jack Frost said to Majesty. “And I’ve begun to hear the echoes of the trees snoring in the pastures.” He paused. “But you are still wide awake.” With a smile, Jack Frost winked at her and disappeared into the twilight breeze.
“I will not fall asleep,” Majesty said to the Autumn Fairies. “My beauty will remain for all to enjoy.”

The fairies’ colors were running low, but they continued to paint Majesty’s leaves. Their tiny hands shivered as they mixed and applied more color to Majesty, while the surrounding woods grew brown and barren.
After several days, Jack Frost, humming his soft winter lullaby, came strolling through the woods. When Majesty heard his icy feet crunching the fallen leaves, she shut her eyes and pretended to sleep. The fairies continued to flit in and out of her many leaves with swipes of paint.
“Little ones, why aren’t you in your beds?” asked Jack Frost as he approached the tree. “You’re up very late this year, Majesty,” he said, ignoring Majesty’s feigned snores. “You’re usually asleep by now.”
“I refuse to let my beauty fade,” said Majesty. “What a dreadful time winter must be for everyone.”
Jack Frost chuckled and touched Majesty’s bark with his cold hand. “Glorious Majesty, the crown jewel of the forest and muse to the artists of the realm. You’ve yet to see my work.”
Jack Frost raised his hands. A lone flake fluttered down from the sky, and then another and another. The snowflakes each greeted Majesty with a frosted kiss as they fell, and she could hear their little voices joining a joyful chorus with the wind. Soon the field was covered in what looked to Majesty like a white quilt of sparkling diamonds. The sky cleared, and the first rays of the sunrise skated across the snow and right up to the roots of Majesty’s trunk.
Majesty shed a tear, for she had never seen anything like the brilliance of the snow in the dawn’s light. In her delight she released her leaves as a rainbow into the icy air. The Autumn Fairies yawned, collected their brushes and paints, and vanished into her many branches.
Jack Frost leaned against Majesty’s mighty trunk. They both smiled when two painters set up their easels in the chilly morning air to capture the snowy scene.
“Beauty never rests in this world. There is always more to see,” said Jack Frost.
Then Majesty fell asleep in the quiet peace of winter’s splendor.

Michael is a writer, artist, and musician living in beautiful Richmond, Virginia. He has been exploring imaginative worlds and developing characters for most of his life, and his passion for storytelling drives every aspect of his art and writing. Michael also enjoys reading, playing music, watching movies, and collecting way too many things.
Cover: Amanda Bergloff @AmandaBergloff
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Comments

  1. There is always something magical to me when trees and inanimate objects are given personalities and their own voices. The coils of the sometimes dreary real world can be shed for a while as I find myself enjoying a brief visit with Majesty, a tree that stubbornly refuses to join the other trees of the forest and sleep through the Winter cold. I loved the interplay between Majesty and Jack Frost, both given fun and unique voices in this charming story.

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