A terrified shriek tumbled along a fierce gale as frigid bullets struck ground. Initial pings turned to raucous thumps, a cacophony to the ears of any within reach. Alone cowered a wispy frame, hands plastered to arrow tipped ears, tiny heart quivering within as the world bore bitter assault. Would her safety hold?

How long icy white crashed from above, she could not tell. Gradual silence blanketed her sanctuary. She trembled for a time, hugging arms around her middle, breathing shallowly. She stirred, creeping from the darkness of her shelter, a hidden cave at a tree's base. She peeked out; she gasped. Her lovely green gone, now blank, colorless.

She peered up at the gray so far above, roiling clouds rushing away. She extended a shaking palm. Stray droplets peppered her hand. She stepped from her shelter. Rough icy rocks met her gaze as far as she could see. Tentatively she pressed her fingertips to one and shivered from head to toe. She had heard of such things, but this was the first her eyes had beheld and her mind believed. An assault from on high, they had said, and, oh, what it wrought!

The garden fairy flexed her flush, tawny wings, rising above the rocks to behold their destruction. Her heart broke. Her trees were shredded, branches snapped, leaves stripped away. Her bushes resembled winter's harshness rather than spring's vigor. But her soul ached most at the sight of her flowers, petal dresses torn asunder.

The garden fairy fluttered to her favored companion, the deep red rose, so proud, so fragrant. She floated to a blossom and caressed what remained. Unbidden tears misted her gaze as she gently lifted drooping tatters. She blinked, staring across the rose to the iris likewise ragged. The pansies, too, and hyacinth and daffodil and calla lily and more.

The fairy drifted to the ground next to an enemy. Her brows knit and she shoved the frosty boulder; it rolled but an inch. Frozen rain! Curse such a thing!

Sudden light warmed her chilled skin. Startled, she glanced up once more. The gray had broken, golden relief shining through. The fairy closed her eyes and breathed. Battered or no, her garden granted her its perfume, every scent potent in such a tiny nose. In and out, in and out, she breathed. She opened her eyes. She wiped her cheeks. She smoothed her dress. She shot into the air.

The garden fairy zipped to the top of the trees, alighting on a swaying leaf, her balance instinctual. She ran a hand over her neck, clearing her throat, and then she sang. Lilting notes wafted on the breezes, high and low, fast and slow, long and short. She stopped. She waited.

They came. She saw them rise from hollows, stony homes, logs and stumps. Her own kind, those whose hearts burned for green. She dug into her pocket, withdrawing her weapon of choice, a silver sword with an oval handle on one end. She sifted some more and out came gossamer line she threaded through the sword's handle. As beating wings surrounded her, she thrust her sword into the air, then with a whoosh, she descended, her army following.

She made for the rose. She drew its tatters together and gingerly speared them with her sword. Slowly, carefully, her line drew the petals together once more. She kissed them when she finished, breathed deeply of her friend rose and floated back to admire her work. She lowered the sword and put her hand to her hip, gazing across the landscape. Not a flower was absent a fairy's aid. She smiled. The ice had not won. Not today.

The garden fairy lifted her sword again and flitted on to the iris to prick a broken blossom and mend.