Okay. So I don’t know if you remember that I talked about being invited to participate in an anthology of short stories, well…I was. The theme of the book is mythology, folklore and fairytales. I was asked to write something to fit that genre and I did. I had finished quite a while ago, actually.
Now that I have an excerpt of my next book up on my site, I decided I would post the first bit of my story “On Wings of Silver” here. It is actually meant to be the prequel to my YA series that I plan to get out as soon as I possibly can. Thorne and Aspen have kind of stolen my time…
Here you go…Enjoy!
On Wings of Silver
She could hear the first twittering of the baby birds rising to greet the golden beams of the morning in the forest. Other creatures woke and stretched, their thoughts hopeful now that summer had arrived. The deer nudged their young, the little furry beasts of the trees chattered their strategies, and the humans stretched their mouths wide. The area teemed with life.
Nahdea watched the colors of the sky as the beams of light first colored the clouds blue and pink with their weak light, then infusing them with gold as it rose higher in the vast sky. She listened to the drops of dew fall from the flower petals and was aware that she should return to Elfame lest she risk angering Aethiereal. However, she was known to be rebellious, playful, and careless to most in her world…a world that forever looked the same. She loved the human world, the imperfection of it, the changes it went through as the seasons changed.
She fell back once again upon the blossoms of her tree, not yet ready to go home and utterly bewitched by the natural waking of the morning that she loved so much. She propped her right ankle on her left knee and wagged her foot in contentment, returning her gaze to the sky through the leaves of the tree. She pulled in deep breaths of fresh air and felt a smile grace her lips. She could hear the wind coming, a gentle breeze that ran through the forest disturbing the calm of all the tree tops. She chuckled knowing it was the Dryads, the little sprites of the trees having their fun in the wee hours as well.
It was unclear to Nahdea how long she had been there, and she didn’t really care either, when she heard heavy footfalls. Hooves. She stood, the animal sounded large, and excitement flooded her. Curiosity rooted her to the branch. Her wings twitched in anticipation.
And then she saw him. He was a younger human with hair like flames and eyes the green-blue of the sea. Riding his steed of gray, he was. She felt a charge zap her from head to toe…and then he happened to glance up and their eyes held that connection. Even as he passed, he swiveled in his saddle to make contact yet again. Her breathing came fast, a little fear mingled with exhilaration. Would he come back and kill her? Did he feel what she had? Was that possible, for a human to feel anything for her kind?
It had been rumored in her world that humans did terrible things to the faeries. They hunted them and caught them, keeping them in glass lanterns or cages until they died. Or fearing what they did not understand and exterminating any they could find. There had been several from her own world, Elfame, that had passed. Each time one from her house lost its life, a lone leaf would fall from a tree. It would be a very sad day indeed when all those leaves were gone and blanketing the ground with the memory of those in her House, the House of Aethiereal.
And now, she had gone and broken those rules, staying so late after bestowing blessings over the forest, placing dew drops on petals, and feeling the warmth of the sun. It would be her own fault that she died, if that was this human’s intention.
She turned from the man on the horse and bent her knees to spring, her wings out to catch her. She knew it was time to get away.
“Wait!” the man called out to her, his hand outstretched from so far away, the look of peace in his expression as she looked back at him over her shoulder. “Just wait, little beauty.”
Curiosity pulled at her and she defied what she knew was right to turn back to him and drink him in some more. Placing her hands on her hips, she cocked her blonde head to the side inquisitively, and stared shamelessly at him through her eyes green as the spring grass.
“Who are you?” he asked, his commanding voice carrying through the wood.
She regarded him a moment and replied, “I am Nahdea, of the House of Aethiereal. Who would you be?”
He raised his brows, wearing an expression of surprise. He shook his head at her. “I’m sorry, I don’t understand. I mean, I saw your mouth moving but heard little noise at all. Are you what they call a sprite?”
Nahdea shook her head back at him and waved her palms in his direction. How dare he call her a sprite!
“A pixie?” he went on smiling at her reaction.
She placed her finger on her mouth in thought, then shook her head again.
“But you are of the faeries, are you not?” He was amused with this game.
This time she nodded emphatically.
“You have a wonderful smile. I wish I knew your name,” he sounded wistful. “My name is Bronson. Bronson of Swan Lake, the eldest son of Ephraim LeClaire.”
She watched him bow in salutation and she covered her mouth to stifle a giggle.
“Your laugh sounds like little bells,” he smiled up at her. “Perhaps I will call you Belle.”
Nahdea stuck out her tongue and waved her hands at him again in total disgust.
“Oooh, not Belle. Well, my mother’s name is Anne, I will name you after her.”
She had to tell him, to find the words he could understand and allow him to know her. Frantically, she searched her mind. Flapping her silvery wings, she floated to him and landed softly on his shoulder.
He pulled away, startled, but relaxed when he absorbed every feature on her beautiful face.
She cupped her hands around her mouth and spoke into his ear, “Nahdea.”
A smile spread over his mouth, setting his whole face aglow. “Nahdea is a beautiful name. Will you be here on the morrow?” he asked trying to look at her.
Nahdea’s grin became a smile full of little white pearls that gleamed in the sun and she nodded excitedly.
“Good, I will come to you. I must go now, but I will return. I promise. Good day, beautiful…Nahdea,” he breathed.
With a dainty spring and a flap of her wings, she was suspended in the air watching him leave, feeling oddly saddened by the loss. He was kind.
“She has found him,” Aethiereal muttered at the vision that swam before her eyes. She could feel the giddy excitement of attraction and although she didn’t like it, she knew what the Fates had in store for this young, foolish girl of her House. A sigh escaped her pale lips and her heart broke a tiny amount. Nahdea would know little for the rest of her days except heartbreak and lonliness.