The Faerie Thief: The Ruby Queen’s Garden 001

TFTcoverPROLOGUE:

 

Her new name sank past her tangle of wild red curls and into her skin.

It seeped into her bones. Her magic. Her reality.

When Robin had told her about names, his voice had had a reverent quality she hadn’t understood until now.

Names were power.

Power to choose. Power to change. Power to become.

And power to be free.

Her fingers curled around a small stone embedded in the key she’d created in the garden no one was supposed to know existed. It fit in her palm like a second name, and in a way, it was.

Now all she had to do was find this Faerie Thief and bring him or her back to the White Queen for justice.

And then . . . Her heart beat a little faster, and for a moment her lungs forgot how to breathe.

And then there was a whole world out there just waiting for her to explore her newfound freedom.


 

Join me next Tuesday for one of the true beginnings of this story. 😉


The Curious Leaf: Voyage to the Moon 001

TCL Cover

For a girl who had been a flower only a short time ago, flying to the moon was still an impressive feat of the impossible.

The Curious Leaf sailed smoothly through the night, rocking gently with the air currents as it made its way up through the sky. The moon shone like a silver face that watched the world pass beneath it with a benign sort of interest.

Some believe the moon to be a person—usually a maiden, but not always—while others think it is a round object composed entirely of either rock or cheese. Of course, the moon isn’t precisely Scientific.

It is all of these things, yet none of them.

They were yet a ways out, having only just entered into the moon bay, but even from here, Kya could see the silvery white beams of wood that rose out of the waters like twin sentinels. This was the moon’s front door where the dapper walnut hull would gently knock by way of greeting and politely requesting permission to dock. The place was less a single thing like the moon, and more of a complexity of worlds woven seamlessly together, much like the ship’s compass-orrery.

Kya didn’t care about any of this—for plants rarely ever give thought to the Scientific or to the Fantastic. The moon might have been a jeweled onion, and it still would have been the most magnificent sight she’d ever seen in her three short seasons. As she drank in the moon, she had to admit that it had been well worth the trouble of going back to seed and convincing said seed to please let her out again.

The moon’s country glowed dimly into the fading night by the time The Curious Leaf washed upon its shores.

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The Curious Leaf: An Adventure in Wishing Part 4

The-Curious-Leaf-An-Adventure-in-Wishing-Curiosities-0-KindleCarefully, Kya bent down and retrieved a silver seed the size of her palm from out of the flowers that were all eyeing her with grave dislike.

Sheepishly, she backed away until she stood on the grass where she wasn’t in danger of trampling anyone else.

She held the seed up to her face, seeking for even the tiniest crack, but the edges were sealed completely. “Are you in there?”

Yes, Hearthorne sniffed. I’ll need you to plant me once you get settled on board. Don’t forget, you promised.

“Settled on board?” Kya gripped the seed with both hands as a desperate sort of wail built up in her brand new lungs. Plants changed slowly with the seasons, so all this rapid change was making her head spin.

Imagine, if you will, waking up one morning to find that you weren’t who you thought you’d been your entire life. Perhaps you’d sprouted feathers and wings or vines and leaves. But whatever the change, your name still burned brightly against your heart, so you knew you were, in fact, still yourself, even if you weren’t quite what you’d been up until now.

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The Curious Leaf: An Adventure in Wishing Part 3

The-Curious-Leaf-An-Adventure-in-Wishing-Curiosities-0-Kindle“You don’t have to change,” Hearthorne said lightly. “You can remain the same, so long as you are content to have traded the taste of freedom you had before with the safety this seed provides. The binding has been cast, the seal has been made, the promise given. What is done is done, and there can be no going back.”

“I didn’t ask to return to seed,” Kya didn’t quite wail. Her leaves had curled up and begun to wither away. She wouldn’t need them in here where there was no sun, but the loss of each leaf made it harder to hear what was left of the world about her.

“No,” Hearthorne agreed. “But you did ask for your dream. Tell me, are you only willing to reach for your dream if it falls upon you gently? You said you were willing to pay the price for the possibility of the dream, but did you really mean it where it counts?”

Kya pressed against the unrelenting sides of the seed again, fanning out her petals that withered and fell away each time she pushed, digging down with her roots until it felt as though they’d been dipped in fire.

Her first seed had known when it was time to release her. She’d grown strong with its nutrients, strong enough to press through the first tiny crack that had appeared. Her new stem had been strong, but flexible. This seed expected her to be of Walnut, and while her stem was stronger than it had been before, she would break herself against the sides of the seed before it yielded. Her strength had become brittle and would not allow for her to pass.

“I can’t,” Kya said, sorrow and resignation roughening her voice. “I am not strong enough.”

Hearthorne was silent for a long time before she spoke again. “Strength is not a single color. It does not have to be black nor white. Strength can be one of those, but it can also be any of a thousand shades in between. You want to be flower-strong in a place where no flowers grow.”

“I am not of Walnut!” Kya closed her eyes against the sound of her breaking heart.

“Then you will die here,” the faerie said simply. “And I will die with you as I have already woven our fates together, back when you believed you could one day find a pair of wings and fly.”

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The Curious Leaf: An Adventure in Wishing Part 2

The-Curious-Leaf-An-Adventure-in-Wishing-Curiosities-0-Kindle

“I want to fly,” the flower said, hardly daring to feel the hope pulsing in a quiet shadow of her heart. “I want to explore. Discover. Become.”

“Ah,” the faerie said, turning her dark eyes bright with moonshine to the flower. “Wishes are dangerous things. They nibble at you, gently at first, until all you can feel is their hunger.”

The flower turned her gaze to the stars in silent rebellion. It didn’t matter if wishes had sharp edges and prickly corners. Didn’t matter if they started with warm smiles until they became all teeth. They were what they were, and once they’d lodged themselves in her heart, she had become part of the wish too.

To lose her wish would be to lose herself.

“I’ve a mind to grant your wish,” the faerie said, and her dark eyes flashed with a wish of her own. She placed a hand against the pot. “It must be nice being tucked in the earth and feasting on wind and rain and sunlight. Having someone care if you grow rough and ragged around the edges, and gathering you in against the chill of the frost and the burning of the sun.”

That had all been true before the flower had turned her eyes skyward and the wish had fallen into her heart.

“What will it cost?” the flower whispered.

The faerie frowned before answering. “Everything.”

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