The Curious Leaf: Voyage to the Moon 006

TCL Cover“May I know your name?” she asked, remembering the manners she’d picked up from her keeper.

At her hip, Hearthorne groaned, while the dragon-mound reared up its head on its snakelike neck. “So, not only a thief, but an insulting one as well.” Bits of white fire foamed up along the edges of its lips.

Kya’s knees knocked together, and she wanted nothing more than to throw herself on her face and hope dragons had a well-tuned sense of mercy, but the rest of her had gone all stiff from fear, so she stood her ground. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to insult you. It’s just how things are done where I come from.” She frowned even as the words left her lips. That wasn’t quite true. The other plants and insects and animals had never been as preoccupied with names as her keeper and her keeper’s friends had been.

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Moon Bait (Part 3)

Curiosities-of-the-Moon-Curiosities-1-KindleThe witches laughed as they stepped out of the shadows the cottage cast upon the clearing. The sight of their hooked noses and bright eyes would haunt the moon for a very long time, provided she survived whatever witchery they had planned.

“Silly child,” the first chided. “Silly, silly child.”

“It wouldn’t have been a very effective spell if you’d heard it,” the second said.

The third said nothing. She just gave the moon a sweet look that hid sharp things like teeth and claws and rusted knives, and somehow that look said everything.

“You cannot kill me,” the moon said with more surety than she felt in that moment. “I have no blood to bind my death.” Never before had she appreciated being immortal.

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Moon Bait (Part 2)

Curiosities-of-the-Moon-Curiosities-1-Kindle“Yes. The familiars serve the witches.” She gathered the cloak close about herself, careful to keep the hem from dragging or catching on any of the needles. She wanted to make sure she returned the cloak in exactly the state she’d borrowed it in.

“If you’re sure.” He grinned at her before resuming the course he had chosen.

The cat walked for a time, leading her along a path that only he could see, for he certainly didn’t follow any of the trails crisscrossing the forest for very long. Every so often he’d stop and clean his paws, watching her through glowing eyes as he did.

On the third such stop, rather than sitting down, he remained upright, his ears straining at the night. “I think I have need of the first favor,” he said without turning around.

Wordlessly, the moon lifted the hood from her face, washing the forest about them with her silver light. Without warning, the cat darted off to the right and ran up the side of a tree as though the earth’s pull had no permission to impede his movements.

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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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Mira Morganstein: The Pink Lemonade Club 004

Old Woman

MMCoverMira hugged her book of fairy tales to her chest, willing herself to fall between the pages into a land where fairies were real and goose girls could become princesses. Where fifth graders could be out doing heroic and magical things instead of being forced to endure fractions, decimals, and figuring out where Timbuktu lived on a map.

“Deep in the forest,” she whispered to herself, “lived two sisters. One as fair as the morning, the other dark as night. They lived with their mother in a forest glen, these two sisters: Rose Red and Snow White.”

Her backpack bumped comfortably against her as her stride and the story weaving itself through her mind and across her tongue all fell into rhythm. Her favorite time of the day, besides that silver hour when the world held its breath in between day and night, was the walk home from school.

It was then when she could be any princess she chose to, fall into any fairy tale she fancied, with no one to look over her shoulder or eye her disapprovingly from the front of the classroom. There were no chores for her to do—not yet—and her homework could wait.

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