Secrets of the UnderWhere: Welcome to the UnderWhere 007

SotUcoverWednesday wracked his brains for answers that would allow them to get to the castle on time while his great-gran rubbed her chin and cocked her head to the side thoughtfully. The feathers and rattles tied to the top of her staff rattled with her movements.

“Meena,” she said in a quavery voice, “the fates see a lot clearer when you attend to your task. Is someone mortally wounded?”

His mother sighed, but gave their Great Ember a look of loving exasperation. Great-Gran had drafted her to be her eyes, and wasn’t shy about pulling age or rank.

Wednesday’s mother led her over, carefully, and the child stopped squalling as he watched them approach. Wednesday didn’t blame him. His great-gran may be shorter than most, but she had a presence about her that reminded one of a mountain strong enough to make even the wildest wind think twice before shrieking anywhere near its peaks.

Read More


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.

Read More


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.

Read More


Secrets of the UnderWhere: Welcome to the UnderWhere 002

sotu002The Crown Prince’s eyes widened, for they were of equal height, and both had a mop of unruly curls that hadn’t yet decided if they were going to be brown or gold.

“Bring the creature to me,” the Crown Prince ordered, raising his miniature scepter before he turned and scrambled back into his litter. The golems stood as one, and began the long run back to the Castle Under, while the Lord Mayor looked on with envy.

Now that was power.

“Well, you heard the Crown Prince,” the Lord Regent said, grinning. His teeth were every bit as yellow as his eyes. “See that the creature is delivered safely to the castle in a timely manner.”

Mutely, the Lord Mayor nodded. He was going to have to round up a committee to deal with the human child. The crowd, meanwhile, shifted restlessly and were already edging away.

Read More


Secrets of the UnderWhere: Welcome to the UnderWhere 001

SotUcoverThe monsters in the UnderWhere were not happy.

It was one thing, being monsters and all, for the occasional visit up to the OverWhere, also known as The Great Up There. Or, more rarely, the OtherWhere, the ElseWhere, or the NeverWhere. Visits to the EveryWhere were so rare as to never have happened outside of myth, legend, and happenstance, so you really couldn’t count it.

And yet, in light of recent events, perhaps the EveryWhere wasn’t quite so imaginary after all.

“What,” the Lord Mayor of the UnderWhere demanded, “is that doing here?”

A murmur swelled through the gathering of UnderWherians as they shifted uneasily in place. In all the history of monsters, shadows, and nightmares, the UnderWhere had never before been breached by a child.

Until today.

This very moment, to be exact.

Read More