Prologue to my NaNoWriMo novel!


In the scenic town of Talishe in the province of Toristiman in the land of Taulishkie, there lived a thirteen-year-old girl by the name of Amara. She was the younger of two children. Her seventeen-year-old brother was the town handyman. Their father was the blacksmith. Their mother was the seamstress

During the summer following her thirteenth birthday, one walk in the woods changed Amara's life forever.

She'd been idiot enough to obey her brother's request to walk through the woods on the outskirts of Talishe. “Don't you know what people say about that forest?” she asked. “It's enchanted.”

“Yes, I know they say that,” her brother Jonas replied. “That's why I want you to check it out for me. I want to write to Jarvis about it.”

“Jarvis lives a mile down the road; you don't have to write a letter to him when you can just walk down to his house! Besides, why do I have to do it? Are you scared of going in? I thought you and Jarvis were more 'mature' than that. Anyway, I'm not going to do it.”

“You don't understand; Jarvis and I don't have similar schedules. We don't have the time to get together and go on a walk like that.”

“Yeah, right! You don't have time to go on a little walk, yet you have time to wreak havoc at the fairs and dances? Give me a break. Go on the walk yourself.”

“You don't get it, do you? I'm not asking you to do it; I'm telling you to do it. Now, either you do it, and you don't get something from me; or don't do it, and you do get something from me. I suggest you do it, because you won't like what you'd get from me.” Finally, she gave in.

At noon, she set off for the cluster of trees outside Talishe known as the “Enchanted Forest.” The emerald trees, the ebony trunks, and the rainberries seemed almost magical. Amara easily imagined elves, fairies, and pixies singing and dancing among the saplings.

Suddenly, an overwhelming wave of disorientation swept over Amara. She stumbled up to a tree and slid to the ground with her back to the smooth bark. As she waited for the spell to pass, a sprite-like figure flew by in front of her eyes. It's my imagination, she thought to herself, brought on by this spell.

Within a minute, the disorientation passed. Amara pushed herself off the ground and continued her walk through the woods. Five yards from where she'd collapsed, she heard a rustling sound from the rainberry bush to her right. She stopped in her tracks and looked around. Nobody. Nothing.

Then, unexpectedly, a little winged figure darted out of the bush. It was carrying a tiny basket full of unripe berries. It appeared to be a girl.

She had on a crystal blue, flowing dress and tiny silver slippers. Her hair was a thick, wavy, rich black that flowed to her knees. Her skin was a tanned brown. Her wings were a blue-silver gossamer. All these details Amara embedded into her memory.

“Who are you?” a bell-like voice asked.

“You talk?” Amara said, bewildered.

“Of course I do, silly. My name is Lydian. What's yours?”

“My name is Amara. If you don't mind my asking, what are you?”

The sprite laughed. It sounded like a chorus of chimes. “Why, I'm a pixie! Didn't you know that, silly goose?”

“Um, no. I come from Talishe. Most people don't believe in fairies or pixies or elves. Some of the older and younger people believe this is an enchanted forest.”

“What do you believe?” Lydian slowly flew up to Amara.

“Well, at first I did, in a way. I believed this place was enchanted, but I never thought about fairies and elves. That is, until I saw you.”

“Oh, so you know better than that, now don't you?”

“Absolutely.” Amara paused. “Why are you looking at me like that?”

“Like what?” Lydian asked.

“Like I'm some kind of freak of nature. Have I grown a third eye in the middle of my forehead or something?”

Lydian chuckled. “No, you haven't. Speaking of which, could you put out your right hand with your palm up?”

Amara complied. Lydian flew to her hand and landed in the center of her palm. She sat down gently and pulled her feet up beside her.

“Hm, I feel something about you. It's not quite clear, but one thing feels certain: you are part elf.”


Another design challenge!

Here's my entry for Emma's book cover design challenge here:

Hope you like it, Emma!