The Palace sat peacefully under its fresh white blanket; the early sun creeping up from the horizon, sending dazzling shimmers soaring from every surface as it met with the snow. There was nothing the Queen loved more than frosty morning walks whilst the world still slumbered, presenting her a rare breath of solitude before life would reawaken.

She walked through the snow with her usual air of grace; the maid drawing the curtains from a room above would recount how she looked to be gliding, almost ghostly, in her flowing, ice blue dress, skin almost translucent in the soft glow of the morning mist. She’d wonder how she didn’t seem bothered by the biting chill in the air… but then, she never did.

The Queen moved effortlessly, taking large inhales of clean, crisp air, feeling it tingle and jolt, energising her body… mind… soul. Awakening her once more. Striding with purpose, taking in the bare trees and quietly empty landscape. It might have looked barren, save for the glittering snow which still drifted softly from a sky of muted pink and orange.

Close now, the iron gates of the garden were drawing near. The light breeze whispered across her skin, tickling the hairs on her bare arms, inviting her into its secret. One corner of her mouth lifted in a small smile, and the Queen pushed the gate and entered with her last stride.

Pinks of every shade welcomed her, fuchsia and magenta, blush and peach. Bright shades for dark shades, soft for hard; every pink you could imagine popped out in a loud and startling contrast to the otherwise tranquil white world they’d arisen from, a charming symmetry with the rosy sky.

The camellia – Queen of the winter flowers, awakening in harmony with their Winter Queen. Perfectly poised and striking to behold, the Queen caressed them lovingly as she waltzed gracefully through the glorious garden, her musical laughter breaking the otherworldly silence. Winter was hers, winter was theirs, and they had awoken together again – to reign over the Kingdom in unison, ‘til the Springtime slumber embraces them once more.

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Voice-Team
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Voice-Team (@voice-team)
2 months ago

This Gem is a great story to launch our new Gems Portal. Nice writing! We look forward to more of your writing gems 🙂

Carrie OLeary
Carrie OLeary (@carrie-oleary)
2 months ago

I absolutely love this story. On first reading it evoked so much emotion in me. You’ve certainly set the standard for us all to try and live up to.

Fuji
Fuji (@fuji)
2 months ago

What a lovely story, Emily! I especially liked all the various shades of pink, in contrast with the white world of snow and ice around them. Camellias are so special, and the ones I love best are the ones that bloom in fall and winter – the Sasanquas. Your story makes them even more special. Carrie is right – you’ve set a very high standard for the rest of us!

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Fuji
Fuji (@fuji)
2 months ago
Reply to  Emily O'Leary

Wow – it’s amazing what a Google search can turn into. I love the way it all came out, and will probably read it all winter long, while watching the various Camellias bloom!

Eric Radcliffe
Eric Radcliffe (@eric-radcliffe)
1 month ago

Hi Emily, lots of imagery. I like the choice of character in the queen, it sets the fairy tale setting, which in turn enhances the Camellia flower to one of Royalty in the flower kingdom. Well done – a nice calm and lovely read.

Linda Rock
Linda Rock (@linda-rock)
1 month ago

Such a lovely story Emily. How elegant and graceful your Winter Queen and how stunning her surroundings, so beautifully described. I felt I was walking with her and could hear her laughter. Magical.

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Juma
Juma (@juma)
1 month ago

Emily, this story is sheer poetry! I will read and re-read this story many times throughout the winter to be reminded of the unique beauty of the season. I especially liked the description of the Queen gliding across the snowy landscape in her bare arms and ice blue dress. I only wish I had a crackling fire to sit in front of while I read!

Christer Norrlof
Christer Norrlof (@christer-norrlof)
1 month ago

A beautiful description of the early winter morning, the snowy, frosty landscape and the elegant Winter Queen, Emily! Since I live in Colombia with year round summer, and haven’t experienced winter and snow for many years, I (almost) longed back to the season and the coldness while reading your story.

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Susan Dawson
Susan Dawson (@susan-dawson)
1 month ago

Harmonious, almost floaty tale with its airy wandering through a crisp winter landscape that is becoming increasingly rare.

Last edited 1 month ago by Susan Dawson
Katy Bizi
Katy Bizi (@katy-bizi)
25 days ago

Another wonderfully written story by this talented new writer. “Winter Queens Awakened” has this fairy-tale vibe that adds a magical feeling to the piece of art. Well-done!

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Bait

It takes a real talent to tell a story in ...
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Endure and Sing

Inspirational piece. Am glad you picked the rat to be ...
  • 4 months ago by Leena Auckel

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Endure and Sing

Such a sweet tale – and with a good moral ...
  • 5 months ago by Fuji

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I must admit it was the picture of the church, ...
  • 6 months ago by Fuji

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3

A Magical Tour

Lovely story, Leena. There really is nothing more magical than ...
  • 4 months ago by Carrie OLeary

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Afterlife

Beautiful Emilia, my eyes are a little misty after reading ...
  • 4 months ago by Sandra James

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3

Endure and Sing

Wow! This is a good story! Really good to read ...
  • 4 months ago by Lyric The Great

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A Paranormal Pandemic

Well done Emily on getting First – Eric.
  • 2 months ago by Eric Radcliffe

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Traffic Jam

Your story really reflects on the world today, so many ...
  • 2 months ago by Carrie OLeary

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A Paranormal Pandemic

I agree with all the other comments, Emily. This is ...
  • 2 months ago by Fuji

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2

A Paranormal Pandemic

Love this Emily, nice and tense throughout, culminating with that ...
  • 2 months ago by Carrie OLeary

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2

Crimson Rose

I like this haiku Katy – always they question what ...
  • 2 months ago by Eric Radcliffe

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2

Endure and Sing

I’m really glad to hear that! Leena Auckel did an ...
  • 3 months ago by Katy Bizi

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Endure and Sing

Hi Katy, it really does add an extra dimension to ...
  • 3 months ago by Eric Radcliffe

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2

Endure and Sing

In my neighboring country Denmark, we have the classical storyteller ...
  • 3 months ago by Christer Norrlof

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Where She Belonged

Don’t we all find refuge in a good book and ...
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2

Where She Belonged

You took an all-too-common painful occurrence and gave it a ...
  • 3 months ago by Susan Giles

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Where She Belonged

I like the concept of home here. Well crafted ending.
  • 3 months ago by Susan Dawson

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Where She Belonged

At times all we need is a corner in our ...
  • 3 months ago by musing mind

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Where She Belonged

Great story, all that negative intensity of an unhappy home ...
  • 4 months ago by Jay Vaananen

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