The Curious Leaf: Voyage to the Moon 009

TCL Cover“Ah,” the Moon Queen said, arching a brow, but not offering to take the apple “I see you have been to see my dragon. How does he fare?”

“He was hungry, Your Majesty,” Kya said, doing her best not to stare. Being a flower up until very recently, she had never had the opportunity to see anything more exotic than the oak tree growing outside the window or the flower freckled meadow down the way, and she found herself wanting to drink in all the strange beauty of the moon as though preparing her roots for a long drought.

“Yes,” the queen said with a faraway look in her eye. “It is in his dragonish nature to be so. Were he to stop hungering, the apples he guards would wither away into empty skins with dry, wrinkled fruit.”

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Secrets of the UnderWhere: Welcome to the UnderWhere 008

SotUcoverWednesday and his mother exchange a look while the child babbled something that sounded suspiciously like an affirmation. His mother sighed, and patted their Ember on the arm.

“Perhaps you would like some nice, soothing tea once we’ve cleaned these two up.”

Great gran shook her head impatiently. “Don’t patronize me, missy,” she growled. “I was doing the work of ten while you were still in diapers. I know what I saw, and I saw what I know. That creature has been here before, sure as I’m the Great Ember.” She set her jaw and glared at Wednesday’s mother with unseeing eyes.

Wednesday shuffled his feet and glanced at the child who had taken an interest in the beads and feathers hanging down from the polished knob of his great-gran’s staff of office. He grabbed him before the child could catch a particularly bright feather. Messing with the Staff of Office was not a mistake any monster child ever made twice, and it would be easier for them all if they could avoid any of that particular sort of unpleasantness.

“We are just passing through,” he said. “The Prince ordered that the child be brought to him by teatime.” He gave his mother a sheepish look. “The Lord Mayor assigned the task to me.”

His mother gave him a surprised look, but didn’t press the issue. “Very well. Do you have enough time that I could put together basket for you? You never know what mischief the roads might be up to. Better to go prepared.”

Wednesday nodded. “Yes, thanks. Just have to get the saddles.”

His mother led their Great Ember back to the house while Wednesday led Glop—he shook his head at the child’s new name—back toward the stables.

Glop followed him, alternating between hopping and skipping. All the while singing softly, “Nain, nain, nain,” as though it was a charm or a hidden delight only he could see.

Wednesday frowned. What was it about that name that made his thoughts flutter with a swirl of night-colored feathers not unlike those of the Lord Regent’s black thought? And why did he have the sinking feeling that teatime, like as not, was only going to be the beginning of his troubles, but not the end?

. . .  TO BE CONTINUED . . .

© 2015 by Danyelle Leafty. All rights reserved.


Come back to the UnderWhere next Thursday to see what other complications arise. After all, it isn’t often that a child finds his way into the UnderWhere on his own–if you aren’t counting a small, stuffed bear that is more slime and stuffing than bear by this point. It isn’t by accident that a Great Ember is there to meet him either, or so we would hope. :)

*Author’s Note: This story of a monster and his boy in a faraway place called the UnderWhere has been the most stubborn and intractable of stories in recent storytelling. It first ambushed me nearly a year ago, and after that initial meeting refused to say a word. Being an author, I soldiered on. The Story, of course, watched with hooded eyes, smirking to itself as it watched follow false road after false road. After nearly a year of this back and forth, it either grew a sense of conscience or exasperated enough to finally start talking.

And, oh, how it has been talking. As Storyteller, I must accept the fact that I will never be able to perfectly capture each thread and texture of it. There will be bits and pieces I either fail to convey adequately or forget to tell entirely, although I shall do my best to tell the story as best as I can. But the more I trek along in this UnderWhere, the more its world and history unfolds. It isn’t often that the world itself catches my whimsy and wonder. Though the path to this point has been long, it was worth it for all that’s coming. :)

If this is your first time, be sure to check out the first installment. And, if you’d like, dip your toes into the other stories. On Mondays, we’re exploring the moon with an enchanted flower and her–well, that would be telling. On Tuesdays, we’re off to the Garden with Gwyn who is hopefully avoiding the wrath of the Ruby Queen, and on Wednesdays we’re meeting with Mira as she discovers her destiny to become the Queen of the Nearly Dead Fae. No zombies. Promise. 😉

Have a great weekend!


Mira Morganstein: The Pink Lemonade Club 008

MMCoverMira blinked into a slow eternity as her brain tried to make sense of what she had just heard. “Were you speaking to me?” she asked, as politely as she could. She glanced around, making sure this wasn’t some boyish prank. But her street was strangely empty, save for herself and the talking hairless cat.

It made a sound of exasperated annoyance. “Do you see anyone else around?”

Mira shook her head, wondering for a moment if her brain was rattling about inside her skull. Was she dreaming? Hallucinating? Suffering from a concussion?

First the old lady, and now this thing, whatever it was.

The creature tugged on its ears that were round and decidedly not cat-shaped. “Great Barnaby’s toads!” If it weren’t clinging so tightly to the branch, it might have been dancing in place with impatience. “Don’t you know anything?”

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The Faerie Thief: The Ruby Queen’s Garden 008

TFTcoverSuspended in the air as though she were floating in a waterless ocean, Gwyn laughed with delight as all the strange and wonderful objects in Lyra’s world turned a bright shade of violet before settling into various hues of much purpleness.

A clock that was half cat grinned at her from the mantle of a fireplace that had perched itself on a coatrack. A drop of purple fell to the ground and bled lilacs and violets, orchids and posies until there was a thick blanket of them so far as the eye could see.

Purple lanterns blinked into existence as they strung themselves along the silver elms encircling them. Gwyn smiled as dolls dressed in fancy purple gowns flew up to the lanterns and held a tea party while a cloud of pixies danced about them.

“It’s lovely,” she sighed, wishing she could keep the warm, open feeling in her chest forever.

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The Curious Leaf: Voyage to the Moon 008

TCL CoverThe apples glowed with a soft, milky light that lapped against the skin in Kya’s palms. Soothing. Relaxing. Refreshing. But even more than that, the light from the apples awakened something deep inside her. Something whose first language is of dreams and who isn’t afraid to wish.

Her heart grew with this knowledge, warm at first, but slightly uncomfortable as it forced her heart to stretch beyond its natural boundaries.

“You will care for my apples,” the dragon said. Not a question.

Wordlessly, Kya gulped and nodded. She placed them gently in the pouch that also housed Hearthorne’s silver bowl. They were perfect and unblemished, and she aimed to keep them that way. With only the smallest hint of regret, she selected a single apple and held it up by way of offering and of keeping her word.

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