The Curious Leaf: Voyage to the Moon 007

TCL Cover“One is enough to quench any hunger,” the dragon said, its voice strained as though it had been burned away. And rather than the fire Kya had been expecting, great pearly dragon tears welled up in the corners of its eyes and dripped down its cheeks.

Kya shifted nervously in place. She glanced down at Hearthorne, but the faerie-flower still had her petals wrapped up tighter than a locked door.

Tears were better than fire, weren’t they? At least they meant that she wasn’t in any immediate danger of being roasted and eaten, so long as she kept ample distance between herself and the dragon’s teeth glittering like a path of freshly sharpened sword grass. She managed to scoot back a little down the dragon’s flank before it collected itself and the tears stopped falling.

“That leaves one last apple,” it rasped.

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Secrets of the UnderWhere: Welcome to the UnderWhere 004

SotUcoverWednesday nodded companionably, understanding perfectly that the child didn’t actually want to converse with him so much as he simply wanted someone to listen and make affirming grunts in all the right places.

Well did he know the feeling.

But as they walked along, Wednesday’s tooth started to tingle. Not the one that told the story of his tribe, nor the one that gave a brief history of the UnderWhere itself. No, it was his own personal tooth that was jangling in such a way as to make the fur on his face and arms stand up.

The child was completely foreign, and yet somehow familiar. And why had the Lord Mayor, out of all the UnderWherians he might have chosen, chosen him?

Beneath their feet, the path unwound in a litter of peculiar goldenrod-colored bricks and stones. At first, he’d been so preoccupied with the child that he hadn’t noticed, but now he squinted suspiciously down at the path.

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The Faerie Thief: The Ruby Queen’s Garden 004

TFTcover“A rebel, Your Majesty?” Gwyn winced. Her voice was at least an octave too high and a shade too weak.

The queen didn’t say anything; she just looked at Gwyn, her eyes the color of night and twice as unforgiving. Auburn curls fell in soft waves against her face, the only part of her that was gentle. The queen’s poppy-red skirts unfurled about her legs like petals that had bloomed to their fullest.

And she smiled with scarlet lips that hid hungry teeth.

The yellow rose twisted in Gwyn’s hand, and she wished she’d thought to hide it away the moment her cousin had given it to her. Hope and beauty didn’t last long in the Garden, not without the Ruby Queen’s permission.

Permission she never gave to anyone but herself.

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The Curious Leaf: Voyage to the Moon 004

TCL CoverKya closed her eyes and saw the moon’s country in all its unfettered glory. There was beauty and order, but as her mind’s eye rooted deeper, she saw a wildness hiding just below the surface. It was hungry as all great magicks are, but had the civility to use cutlery where it had it, and long, tapered fingers—slender, but strong—where it had none.

As she turned her mind’s eye to the gate, the silver leaves and star flowers swirled together into a long face with star fire eyes and slender teeth that jutted out of a too-wide mouth. It managed, somehow, to eye both her hand and herself with a hungry gleam, waiting patiently while it considered whether she was prey or hunter.

Kya gasped and opened her eyes. The gate stood with silver elegance, silent and toothless, but her gasp had been enough to turn a small key in the lock she hadn’t noticed before. The key chimed against the lock, and the gate swung open on well-greased hinges.

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Secrets of the UnderWhere: Welcome to the UnderWhere 003

SotUcoverTo the average Underwherian, gillyhoppers were more myth than legend, which might be on account of how shy they were.

Fortunately, Wednesday’s family were the curious sort that were always wondering about the next hill over. They’d found a tribe of gillyhoppers in a forgotten spring in the center of a forgotten forest of stone. They went and visited the gillyhoppers every so often, but never let on they were doing anything more than casual adventuring in the name of curiosity.

That was the other thing Wednesday’s family was very good at: keeping secrets.

He stood next to the child and grinned at him in the most welcoming way he knew how. That is, to say, he bared his teeth so the child could see that he came from a good, if not particularly extraordinary family of a little less than average means. The stories were carved there on his teeth for all the world to see, and the child seemed to be studying them with interest.

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