The pebble was, on its own, quite unremarkable. It was a smooth, anonymous dun color. The same shade the soil went when the sun and wind and rain had bleached the color from it. It was soft and smooth as sand, but for the tiny markings she’d carved into its surface.
A beautiful word. A quiet word. A word the flowers feared more than anything else. More than the gardner with his silver-bright shears. More than winter with her frost and chills. But not quite as much as they feared a queen with poppy-red skirts and a temper to match.
“Indeed?” The head daisy raised a brow, politely incredulous. “All in the Garden may speak their minds—”
Robin stepped forward, “I’ve a mind—”
Gwyn put a hand on his arm, her eyes on the daisy who was the grand duchess of this particular flower bed.
“—And when laws are broken,” the queen’s pet gave them a look so full of disdain that Gwyn could almost taste it, “the right authorities must be alerted.”
She shook her head. The stone burned cold and hot in her hand, aching to be used. That was the way of runes—invoke a power, even if only by scratching out the name of it, and it’s going to want to do what it was made to do.
A lesson she’d learned early on.