Chapter 1: CAST
A spinoff of the classical ballet, The Nutcracker...
The Mouse King
Dosselmeyer (Clara's godfather)
Head of the Court
Mother Ginger's Children
Danish Shepherdess (Flutist)
Fairy of the Sugar Plum Princess
Chapter 2: Act I - Part 1
"Oh, can't you see yon little turtle dove,
Sitting under the mulberry tree?
See how she doth mourn for her one true love?
And I shall mourn for thee, my dear,
I shall mourn for thee."
Yui sang as she danced around the large, empty ballroom while decorating the tall Christmas tree in time for the night's party. Her father was expected to come back before the Christmas Eve celebration began, and Yui had decided to spend the morning preparing the ballroom so that it would be perfect when he arrived. Being the respected priest's daughter, she was allowed to enter into the ballroom uninvited, as the rest of the head adults in the church trusted her very much.
"Oh fare thee well, my little turtle dove,
And fare thee well for a while.
But though I go, I'll surely come again.
If I go ten thousand miles, my dear,
If I go ten thousand miles."
She continued singing the song as she strung up the shining tinsel all across the lower branches. She couldn't quite reach the top of the tree, so she reminded herself over and over that she would have to ask one of the adults to help her out later that day. That is, she reminded herself as best she could... Why, with her cluttered mind going about and ringing as if those little gears were the holiday bells themselves, it would not be much a surprise if she forgot the important things as the day progressed. But what importance did that have right now? Yui, in that state of fluttering bliss as she sang in her sweet angel voice, was lost in her thoughts and wonders about Christmas and love and cookies and Father and little boy Jesus and everything else that hid between the lines of what the greatest holiday had to bring.
Yui began to hum the rest of the old lovers' ballad as she danced away from the tree, for she had forgotten the rest of the words. No matter: a true dancer had no need for music. That's what Yui always told herself. But she was no professional (not yet, anyway), and so she relied on the tune in her head to carry her into a graceful series of twirls across the ballroom. Her usual clumsiness proved no effect whenever she danced.
Just then, a loud clattering caused the song in Yui's mind to come to a crashing end, which then made her dancing come to an abrupt stop. She looked toward the grand tree to see an ornament skid across the shining floor before it rolled farther away. Yui quickly ran after the ornament so that she wouldn't lose sight of it, and chased behind the tree to where it had stopped a few feet away from one of the tall windows, sparkling brilliantly in the snowy light of winter dawn.
"I found you!" Yui exclaimed as she raced over to ornament and picked it up carefully. "Thank goodness you're a wooden one! If you were a glass ornament, than I would've had such a mess to clean up--a dangerous mess, at that!" She twirled it slowly in her hands so that it shined from every surface. "I wonder you fell off, anyway--huh?"
Yui's eye had caught sight of something else that was glittering closer toward the window. It wasn't an ornament, or tinsel, or any other Christmas decoration. She missed it at first, for it looked so much like the white snow that could be seen from outside, but as she got closer to it, it appeared to be some sort of dust... Dust that was made out of fine shards of silver, if you could call that dust at all. She reached her right hand out and brushed her fingertips across the shiny mystery. It had the same hint of soft gentleness that dust had, but instead of the course and rough feeling of the usual dust bunnies, it felt more hard and crumbly. As she lifted it closer to her face she noticed that it seemed to turn whiter the more it lay upon her skin.
"Oh, sir! You're here already!"
Just then, Yui heard one of the adults shout those words from the halls of the church. Discarding the strange dust, she ran out of the ballroom in hopes to see her father.
Chapter 3: Act I - Part 2
"Father...! Oh, Father, you're here!" Yui exclaimed as she rushed into her beloved dad's arms.
"Yui!" the young priest embraced his daughter tightly, "I can see you're quite excited to see me. I've missed you too," he grinned warmly, the echoes of his laughter made a trail of joy that bounced back and forth between the halls of the wide-reaching church, awaking those who had not yet known of his arrival.
The minister who had called out the sudden arrival of the loved priest was standing silently before them, watching the exchange between father and daughter with a smile on his lips. And, once he was certain that the two of them were done with their greeting, he spoke up, "This is a delightful surprise! Seiji, please, tell us why you've come back so early?"
"Yes, Father, please tell! I thought you weren't supposed to come back until the evening."
Seiji smiled down at his adored daughter. "Yes, you are right. The plan was for me to return this evening, but---you're going to love me for this!---I couldn't stand another minute away from the people I love on Christmas Eve, so I convinced the priest I was working with to let me go home this morning. Believe me, this was no easy feat! I was working with one of the much older and much stricter priests in our area, and he is not very merciful when it comes to a job being done. But, when I told him about the wonderful and beautiful daughter that I had waiting for me at home, there was a little bit of warmth that entered into his stone-cold, God-fearing heart. We were able to quickly get all of our work done, and he let me return home early this morning."
That was Seiji. Always optimistic. Always making things right, always making the right things better. Always full of love toward the people of his church and especially toward his dear daughter. There was not one thing that could ever stand in his way, for he was determined and persevering ever since he was young. But, above all that, his intentions were good and his love was strong, and goodness never ends in failure.
Yui beamed, "Oh, Father! You really did all that? I'm so happy you could make it here!"
The young priest laughed tenderly at his daughter's excitement. "I'm happy to be here, too! Tell me, Yui, what have you been doing while I was gone?"
Yui looked up into her dear dad's eyes. "Father, you know I hate it when you go these work trips... I know that it's your duty that have to complete, but it always feels so different when you're not here... I can't help but feel sad," she paused for a brief moment to gather herself together before continuing, "But---! Since it is Christmas, I was able to entertain myself rather well. I spent days fixing up our Church's ballroom and decorating it for this evening's party! Everyone had been telling me I'm doing a good job... Oh, won't you come and look at it?"
Seiji gave a warm look and a solid nod in response, which seemed a good enough gesture for Yui to take her father's hand and lead him through hallways and hallways of the grand church building until they finally reached the magnificent ballroom.
"Yui..." Seiji spoke in a soft, delicate tone, "You really decorated all of this?"
Sure enough, the room was beautiful. Beyond that---it was gorgeous. The walls were decked with white crosses, green wreathes, red poinsettias. Dozens of tables with deep crimson cloths filled nearly half the floor, and the rest as left for the dancing that would be done at the party.
And, perhaps grandest of all, at the very back center of the wide ballroom, there stood the tallest Christmas tree that every child dreams about. It glittered with tinsel and ornaments, illuminating the round room and filling those who looked upon it with a brimming sense of joy. It was the prettiest thing there. It was the best thing there.
"Oh, Yui, this is beautiful... Did you really do all of this?" Seiji spoke in awe, his eyes never moving from the tree.
"Well... I had a lot of help from the other adults. Many of the nuns and some of the monks assisted me, but the planning and the placements were all my idea. I know I may have gone a bit overboard, but... I wanted to make it special for your return... Do you like it?"
Seiji turned and smiled, all the fondness emitting form his eyes. "Yui, I can't believe you did all this just to please me. Truly, I think you have the kindest heart in the world---not even the saints can compare! And, yes, of course I like it. I love it."
Yui smiled bright as she looked up into her dad's gentle gaze. "Oh, thank you, Father! But, you should know... I got all my kindness form you."