Here's another short snippet from "Distant Shore" that got deleted during the editing process. It's about today, St. Lucy Day, and it takes place in Halmar, at Naomi's apartment in her Seaside Hotel. Happy St. Lucy Day, y'all!
On St. Lucia’s day, she woke him early in the morning.
Solveigh and Andrea were with her, in long, white gowns, and Solveigh was wearing a crown of burning candles on her open hair, the flames gently flickering, casting golden highlights onto her locks.
They were singing, their voices blending beautifully, and serving him coffee and fresh saffron rolls on a tray decorated with more burning candles and green branches that smelled of forest and raisin.
Jon sat up in bed, confused and displaced, and stared at the fairy spectacle before him.
“It is really a Swedish custom,” Solveigh explained, “But we love it. We bring light and breakfast to the hotel guests, and we do it for you, as well. Welcome to our home, Wonder Boy.”
Wax was dripping into her hair, but she did not seem to mind.
There was a solemn quietness about the early hour and the three female figures walking through the room, lighting candles and transforming the apartment into an enchanted environment.
Time seemed to move slower during these weeks before Christmas, almost as if the people around him willed it so, savoring every minute of the dark time instead of wishing it over as fast as possible, making a feast of every day, celebrating every morning that brought them closer to the longest night. It fitted so well with the impression he had gained on Midsummer Night when they had feasted on the meadow until sunrise, then, too, marking the change of the seasons and making space in their lives to step out of the routine for hours of celebrating nothing else but the light and the summer and the balmy air.