Anna’s Column: My Nightmares Are Getting Worse

By HM Queen Anna

It happened again last night, but more vividly.

The dream is always the same. I’m in the enchanted forest, running for my life from what I think are the giants of the Earth Spirit. I’m trying to lead them to the dam – but when I get there, I see only a clearing, with Elsa tied to a stake, like some horrific, medieval play or re-enactment. I turn back to look at the giants, only to see a ruddy, repulsive face of my grandfather. Bewildered, I look back where Elsa is, and her pyre is surrounded by hooded, shadowy figures, who use torches to set the wood and her gossamer, shimmering robes alight. I scream and run at the burning pyre, but no matter how my legs sprint, I don’t even get close. In agony Elsa looks at me, her kind eyes full of love, and I turn to shriek at Runeard’s ugly mug. But he’s gone. Only the hooded scumbags remain, who’ve surrounded me and blocked me from Elsa’s view. One of these cultists lifts up his cowl, and I recognise him as one of the scions of the Mundilfari noble family, an ancient Viking clan and, in our day in Arendelle, owner-editors of the Snow Herald.

His face is vague, but his malevolent grin is apparent as I hear the fire whooshing, embers crackling, and Elsa screaming. Hot tears are rolling down my face as I fall on my knees, begging him to spare her. His words are the only thing I remember before my agony ends.

We’ve been here since the Baltic Crusades, little queen. We drove out the nature spirits and made mountains of their devotees’ carcasses. The appearance of the Fifth Spirit has only strengthened our resolve to protect the Old Ways. Let your Northuldran sister – born a witch – die a witch.”  

Art by Jin Kim

Last night, in the early hours of the morning, I woke up in a cold sweat, rubbing my head and crying quietly, rage and frustration roiling in me. Kristoff was right there beside me, and he was so attentive I didn’t need to wake him up: he noticed my tears and my shaking body and held me tight for a long time. I murmured that I wanted to pop down to the Northuldran embassy. Kristoff, total darling and understanding sweetheart that he was, just told me to put on an extra coat because it was cold outside. I hurried out of the castle and run-walked to the embassy, knocking on the door erratically. I heard footsteps rushing down the wooden stairs within. Maren was at the door in a matter of minutes, in her lime-green nightclothes and her dark hair draping down her shoulders.

“Anna, baby!” she said in consternation, her sleepy brown eyes wide in shock as she saw me panting before her. “It’s three in the morning!”

I peered at her bashfully. “I’m sorry for doing this to you. I just need someone I can trust. To talk to.”

Maren stared at me, her eyes observing me and taking in my sorry state. “You look awful. Come in.”

The embassy office wasn’t big: there was a cozy reception and fireplace, bookshelves, and three desks by the windows for Maren’s assistants. She took my hand and led me up the stairs, to the second level where her quarters were. It was a loft home, the ceilings slanting down on us intimately and comfortably. The room was otherwise spacious and open, with a work desk, a pantry, and a large bed. Maren had decorated the walls with Northuldran patterns and laid a large, comfy rug on the wooden floor. There were two seats and a small table by the windows overlooking the quiet streets of the kingdom. I plonked myself down in one of the chairs, and Maren draped a shawl over me – her own shawl, with a different pattern to Mother’s. “Talk to me, Anna,” she requested, kindly but firmly.

I briefly pondered whether I should tell her what I had dreamt. I could barely bring myself to recall it, so I decided not to foist it on her. Instead, I looked up at her, my voice shaking. “From the moment Elsa crowned me queen, I wanted to be ambitious, to make a difference in how this kingdom faces up to its past and how it’ll survive in the modern world. I don’t believe in being meek, or I might as well give the crown to someone else.

“But… I can’t help thinking I’ve awakened some dark forces too. Dormant ones. Forces that Mother tried to keep away from me when I was a child.”

Art by Jin Kim

I continued to stare at Maren, panic rising in me as I suddenly wondered if the Mundilfari family was keeping an eye on her too. Had I endangered her? “These forces want nothing but ill for Northuldra, for Elsa, for the tribes. My dreams make that clear to me. I can’t – ” I choked up, and Maren just remained silent, her eyes steady and compassionate. “I think I’ve picked a fight with some people that deeply hate you… hate us.”

I buried my face in my hands. “I mean, this isn’t just bigotry or xenophobia. It’s a malevolence far older, viler than even my grandfather. Their hate is ancient. From a time before Arendelle itself.”

A tense silence passed between us for a few minutes.

“It was only a dream, Your Majesty,” Maren reminded me softly. I blinked. She never calls me that, and I don’t want her to, but I realized she was trying to help me regain myself. “It sounds like you’ve been grappling with something horrific. Whatever foe we’re talking about, I admit, they sound pretty damn terrifying. And one day, if I can be direct, Anna – I expect you to be a bit more specific, so we can confront them together. Can you do that for me?” she asked, lowering herself on her knees so she could look up at me.

I nodded sheepishly. “It’s the least I could do for barging into your home and blubbering about my nightmare.”

Maren chuckled. “Deal. But for now… here, in the real world, your position has never been stronger. Kristoff is with you. I’m with you. And up north, Elsa’s happily asleep under the stars, resting her head against the Water Spirit’s body, and the Fire Spirit cozied up in her hair, snoring away. She’s safe.”

She put her hand on mine, her warmth so reassuring and comforting. I squeezed her fingers gratefully, almost too hard. I met her gaze, smiling shakily. Encouraged, she reached up and cupped my cheek with her hand. I exhaled loudly as she stroked me and I closed my eyes, savouring her touch.

She smelled like Northuldran herbs. Like peppermint, but crisper.

“I now know beyond a shadow of a doubt why Elsa brought us together,” whispered Maren. “Just as I told Elsa she belonged in Northuldra, I want you to know that I belong here with you.”

“Good, because I need you,” I blurted like an idiot, and began to cry.

“So here I am.” She moved to embrace me, and I melted, letting her comfort me as I sobbed away the pain of my dream in her arms.

As of now, I’m still in her home, finishing this article up by candlelight. She’s asleep on her bed, and I should probably join her soon. Dear reader, I pride myself on being open and personal in this column, but I haven’t felt so vulnerable and raw in a long time. Forgive me this tale, but I have to be honest with Maren. I’m sure chief will be pretty shocked to read this when I hand it in to her tomorrow.

Signing off, your friend and servant.

Love, Anna

13 thoughts on “Anna’s Column: My Nightmares Are Getting Worse

  1. Dearest Anna, reading this column hurt my heart. I can’t imagine having a nightmare like that, to see your own sister, the only family member you have left, be taken from you like that, burnt alive by your enemy, that absolutely f***ing sucks. And of course its the f***ing Mundilfari, those f***ing a**holes. This is why I wrote that rant article, knowing what I now know, I want the Mundilfari gone, they have no right to do this to you, both in real life and in your dreams. And if they ever pull any sh*t against you or Elsa or Maren or the Northuldra or whatever, I will not be happy one bit, and I will make it clear that they have no place in Arendelle anymore. You guys deserve to be happy.

    Sincerely, Alan

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Alan, thank you for your strength and encouragement. I’m sorry you feel sad too, but I just had to share this on my column because the dreams have been too frequent, too real. I hate it.

      It’s things like reading your letter against the Mundilfaris that bring a real smile to my face. That and the help of so many around me, like Kristoff and Maren. I really wish these dreams are nothing more than, well, dreams, but I’m so lucky I have you and the others with me.

      Your friend and servant,
      Anna

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, I hope they are just dreams, but if the Mundilfari pull anything at all, I’m taking them down. Nobody messes with Arendelle’s highest leaders. Nobody.

        Alan

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh Anna! I’m so sorry! Thank you so much for being honest with us. I understand, you have no idea how much I understand. You desperately want to do what’s right but are you willing to put those you love or the innocent at risk? I have watched many others face the same choice. I cannot tell you what the correct answer is, but I can tell you this. You are more than just a spare. You sacrificed yourself to save Elsa, you destroyed the dam after you had lost everything, you told your sister to rest on your birthday so you could take care of her. You always do the next right thing. I believe in you Anna, more than anyone or anything. Well except maybe Elsa. You two are equal in my eyes 🙂

    Sincerely,
    Seeker

    P.S. If you need anything, no matter what it is, you are always welcome to ask. My new role in your royal guard is not for show after all!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Seeker, my new royal biographer – I know you’ll protect Kristoff and me, and I’m grateful for that. But I hope it doesn’t have to come down to that. I’m here to make a difference during my reign, but I find myself worried sick about Elsa’s wellbeing sometimes. Even though, you know, she stopped a breaking dam and has the five elements behind her. Little sisters are silly like that.

      Your friend and servant,
      Anna

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      1. I suppose you are right in that regard, Elsa’s power is great and a wonder to behold. Though from what I understand Mattias has been teaching you in sword fighting. And you gave an impressive right hook against your first fiancé ;). Elsa’s enemies have a formidable force to get through first.

        Sincerely,
        Seeker

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  3. Anna,
    I’m sorry to hear about this nightmare you’ve been having. You know that Alan, seeker and myself are behind you all the way. I read on a church sign “Sometimes doing the right thing is not always easy.” The Muldifari are utter fools who will not change their “stinkin’ thinkin’ ” anytime soon. Right now, just rambling off on their own rag of a paper is not much. If they did try to harm you or Elsa, Kristoff, Maren, etc., the full force of Gen. Mattias’s Army will come down on them like an old collapsing building.

    Maren is right. You’ve got the support of Elsa, Kristoff, and herself, but also the good people of Arendelle. They see the good you’re doing and hopefully, they know what kind of skunks the mundilfaris are.
    “Agony Uncle time!” 😋😁 It sounds like the stress of all this BS is aggravating and causing sime anxiety. You’ve got a good support system in us. Have a good night’s sleep there, ole feistyness!

    If this comes again, I’ll get Maren and have Gale give the message to Elsa, to saddle up and ride here posthaste. Let’s get her in this too. Were all in it together.

    Mike

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    1. Dear Mike, I really feel like you’re like my surrogate Uncle. I agree with you – the people around me are amazing, and they’re my sources of strength and renewal. I do have Mattias and the army, but the real power is not in the Mundilfaris’ newspaper (which is total garbage), but their long presence and considerable prestige. Even my father feared them.

      But I won’t let them intimidate me. Least of all in my dreams!

      We are all in this together.

      Your friend and servant,
      Anna

      Like

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