Blurbs & Excerpts!
The shrieks and cries grew louder as the choking green mist twisted and swirled around the princess.
“Seize the evil queen!”
They were all fools.
Fools to think their little slings and arrows would have any power over me. These fragile mortal beings with their weak flesh were as wisps of air to me. I ruled over the ethereal realm, deep in the forest where magic and mysticism still reigned. How dare they think they could capture me, Queen Zelladine, ruler of the creatures and fairies of the forest? As if their human laws had any hold over me?
Plates of delicate china crashed to the ground as heavily laden tables were overturned. Platters of roast beasts, bowls of sugared fruits and cups of fragrant wine spilled and splattered onto the pristine white marble floor, staining it a gruesome mottled red. The screech of instrument strings and discordant chords could be heard above the din as the orchestra musicians stumbled over one another in their haste to escape. The tinny clatter of metal could be heard as the king’s guard took up position, circling me.
“Oh my,” I exclaimed, raising one black wing eyebrow. “Have I interrupted the feast?”
“Release my daughter, Zelladine,” ordered King Basil.
Curling my lip in a sneer, I pointed one long red fingernail at him. “That is Queen Zelladine to you.”
I watched as his face swelled, the skin turning an ashen purple in his anger. “Seize her,” he screamed as foamy spittle sprayed from his mouth.
The guards stepped closer. Bayonets drawn. With a flick of my wrist, the fire-forged steel of the bayonets, curled and withered as the metal melted. With frightened cries of alarm, the guards took a step back.
“Where are my kingsmen? Send for the kingsmen!” ordered King Basil.
“My, my. You must be positively petrified of little ol me if you are calling for your elite guards. Should I be flattered?” I asked, my lips twisting in mockery.
King Basil took a lumbering step forward. The obnoxious bulk of his body, belying the threat of his movements. Raising his fist, each finger clad in gold and jewels, he sputtered and tripped over his words.
“Tut, tut, Basil,” I warned, my gaze flicking to the center of the great hall. “Careful.”
A whirling tunnel of green mist towered to the vaulted ceiling with veins of black smoke creeping along the sides and across the floor. In its center was the King’s precious only daughter, Briar Rose. All that could be seen were flashes of her blue gown and bright, tawny hair.
“How dare you invade the sanctity of my kingdom,” thundered King Basil.
“Your kingdom. Your kingdom!” Pacing away from his odious presence, I circled the green column imprisoning the princess. “How dare you claim this land for your own? We were here long before your silly stone castles, before you restrained and crippled the wilds of nature about you. As if you had any right!” My hands fisted into the fine silken folds of my cloak as I tried to curb my anger.
The women of my clan had been ruling over the forest and its inhabitants since time immortal. Then the humans came with their weapons of destruction. Ripping the stones from the earth, cleaving them into rigid little boxes to make their castles and ramparts, walling in what used to be open and free. Tearing down trees and ruining the homes of my beloved fairies to plant their vanity crops of tobacco and hops for the further debasement of their kind. With every season, I saw more and more torn from my grasp. With the death of every tree, every flower, every sweet breath of air choked by the smoke from their hearths…my power weakened. Several generations ago, I’d summoned the dark force to at least keep these wretched humans at heel. Yet, the dark force can only contain and restrain, it cannot recapture what I have lost.
Only the light of understanding will heal my realm and offer a chance of peace between my kind and the humans, a light that will never come from the likes of King Basil. Only interested in the tangible displays of wealth—gold, silver, jewels—he was incapable of understanding the true riches of existence, and if left to his disgusting devices, he would stifle and strangle my only hope.
I couldn’t allow him to succeed in his plans. It would be the final ruination of my realm.
I must stop him at all costs. Even if it meant sacrificing the innocent.
Raising my arms high, my head thrown back, I called to the ancients. “Let a curse be upon the House of Basil. No child of his loins will further his withered and impotent lineage.”
A deep howling wind spun into the great hall, whipping the green mist into a tempest. The column rose higher and higher.
“Hear me now, oh ancients. Obey my command!” I called forth, my voice rising.
The green column spun faster as it closed in on itself. Squeezing tighter and tighter.
“You evil witch. You will pay for this,” spat King Basil. “I will see you punished.”
“You? Punish me? I’d like to see you try,” I said, chuckling at the man’s impudence.
I had yet to see an impressive human. They were all weak of mind and limb, more eager to engage in drink and sloth than anything of meaningful purpose. In my world, strength and power, the emotional embodiment of nature herself, were valued. Even this King’s guards hid behind their armor and weapons of tin and wood. Pathetic.
Curling my fingers into claws, I slowly brought my hands together. By my command, the green column of mist began to compress. As my hands were brought closer and closer together, the column became shorter.
“No!” cried out the king as he fell to his knees.
The green mist was now a spinning ball of dark light.
Clapping my hands together with a resounding snap…the green mist disappeared.
Along with the princess.
Glaring up at me from his prone position, the king growled, “You will pay for ruining my plans.”
Scraping my nails down his cheek, I laughed. “Do your worst.”
With a flick of my wrist, I was gone. Leaving the shattered remains of the feast in my wake.