Jul 15 2013

Meet Avery – Book Tease

Shea Evenstar is, of course, my favorite character in the book, but there is another fairy that I’m quite fond of. Her name is Avery Waterstone and her sad, frightening story tends to pull at my heart strings a bit more than the other fairy stories in the book. Here is a piece from part of her story. She witnessed, firsthand, the slow, dark demise of Paragonia’s WishingKing and I can’t help but feel guilty I, the writer, put her through such turmoil ;)

Note: Again, the attached image was created by Chandra Free and NOT indicative of The WishKeeper. Chandra has agreed to create the cover of the book and this post is to help promote her amazing talent and artwork.

“Avery,” Erebus, again, snapped her from her paralyzing thoughts.  “Bring me the wish, please.”

She did as she was told and floated to her king.  As she flew closer to him, her newfound crush for Elanor slowly dissipated, and the strangeness of the situation came to the forefront.  Never had she handed a wish to her king before, and truly, there was never a reason to.  A WishingKing never handled the wishes, physically.  There was the monthly inspection of the Nursery, of course, but more for the inspection of treatment and cleanliness of the stables than the actual wrangling of the wishes.  That was a Keeper’s job.

Pausing at his bedside, she hesitated as the old king reached out his palm.  His eyes were bloodshot, wide and what Avery could only define as desperate.  She couldn’t help but pull back as he reached his palm a bit further.

“Please, my Avery.  You wish for your king to be well again, don’t you?” the king’s tone was filled with guilt, but not of the personal kind.  He meant for her to feel it.

She nodded her head and an uncontrollable feeling came over her – the opposite of what she had just felt while looking at Elanor.  She wanted it to stop, almost silently begging for it to end, but it was too strong.  Unconscious, she placed the little wish into the king’s clammy palm and quickly floated backwards.  There was something wrong about his hand.  The cracking of blissful naivete can be a painful process and Avery had never felt it before, but it was fear.  For the first time in her life, fear overcame her.

Erebus sat up in bed, leaning forward over his cupped hands.  They covered the Purity and while it looked like he was being delicate, Avery knew this was wrong.  This shouldn’t be happening.  The room filled with a darkness that had nothing to do with how bright or dark it could be, but more so an emotion.  A feeling spread throughout the room and nothing about this feeling was good.

Avery couldn’t fly backward any further as she bumped into the stained glass window, rain crashing into it.  The sound of the raindrops filled the room to a deafening hum and Avery watched her king consume the wish.  A black flash of shadow stretched from his hands, and with a quick crack of thunder, the darkness pulsed through him like a filthy wave.

A deep breath from Erebus released the tension in the room, but not the moment from Avery’s wide eyes.  What just happened?  What did her king just do?  He breathed deeply again, and moved his thick wool blanket away.  He climbed out of bed, still cupping the wish in his hand, and stood.  Erebus looked at little Avery, shaking, pushing herself against the foreign comfort of the cold stained glass, and opened his hands.  The once smiling, happy little Purity Wish was nothing but a grey, lifeless ball of dust.  He tilted his palm and the ashes of the wish fell unceremoniously to the floor.  Just something else for Avery to sweep up later.

“Your WishingKing feels much better now,” Erebus said, staring bright eyed at the scared little Keeper.  “You must promise me something, Avery.  No one can ever know about this.  It will be our little secret.  Something only you get to share with your WishingKing.”

He leaned in close.  Avery’s breath was quick, labored and all she wanted to do was rush to Elanor and tell her how sorry she was.  To tell her…just to tell her.  She had never cried before, but Avery felt what must have been a tear trickle down her face.  Little did she know, she would grow accustomed to them like a torturer does to pain.

“Speaking of secrets.  I have discovered one.  Have you and the Keepers been keeping something from your WishingKing?”

Avery shook her head, sincerely not understanding what her king was referencing.  What secret?  She would never keep anything from her king.

“The sixth,” Erebus said, demented, eager.

Her desperate little head was suddenly filled with scrambled thoughts.  Not the sixth.  He couldn’t mean…she shook her head again, more to erase the possibility that this is what he meant than to actually answer him.

“I chose you as my Regent, Avery, because I love your dedication to the truth.  Lies do not fit you, my Avery,” he continued, staring at her with wide anxious eyes.  “You will tell me where they keep the Death Wishes.”

Creeping out from under his cloak, a black fog enveloped Avery, wrapping her up in its thick, wet smoke.  Panic swept through her.  Why would my king do this?  Why would my beloved WishMaker make me tell him such a thing?

Her eyes crackled with a black shadow and her head perked up, looking intently at her king.  “Behind the Point, there is a cave,” she said, as if in a dream.  “All wishes of Death, forever will be saved.”  The fog rushed away from her, retreating back under his cloak.  Erebus stood upright, smiling as Avery’s black eyes continued to stare.

“And you will retrieve for me, such a wish,” Erebus said.


Jul 11 2013

Shea’s Unwanted Attention – Book Tease

Late Chapter Tease

Just for the fun of it, here is a small bite from late in the book. It was one of my favorite chapters to write, but this is only a little of it so as not to give too much away. There is already one particular spoiler, but…well…read if you like.

image

 

Trying to brush the fog from her face, Shea crept toward the sound of her father’s voice.  Hazy images of her team finally came into focus; her mother on her knees hunched over and Foster cringing in the grass.  Beren was kneeling next to Elanor with his hand on her back.  The past few days had quickly shattered every preexisting belief she had about her parents.  They were no longer the strong, unbreakable pillars she once thought them to be.  For so long, and even after she lost her mother ten years prior, they were always two immovable forces, always right, always perfect, even if she disagreed at times.  They knew what was right and could do no wrong, but suddenly, as the wafts of smoky fog briefly cleared around them, she understood that they were not any different than her.  They were simply fairies struggling with their own inner fears, doubts and pain, and while some are lucky to experience a slow, evolving realization that parental figures are not as perfect as previously believed, Shea was forced to face up to it like a thrust of a hammer driving a nail.  Nothing in her life for the past decade had been easy, but somehow, as she stood there looking at her equals who were supposed to be superior in every way, the heaviness of adolescence slipped from her shoulders and a new, even more distinct weight set in.  Not only did her shoulders feel it, but so did her heart.  The blind reliance that childhood so easily conjures was gone.  They depended on her now and her life, like the onset of a sudden summer thunderstorm, shifted into adulthood.

As Shea came into the clearing, Beren looked up.  She could tell his eyes were fighting back more than just tears.  Shea noticed an odd, out of place look of pride from her father.  Goren stood, almost as if at attention and Foster forced himself to do the same.  Elanor raised her head and noticed them showing respect for her daughter.  The swelling pride helped Elanor gather enough strength to stand, though she used Beren’s hand for guidance.  They all looked at her with reverence and for a moment, she thought they were going to bow.  Please don’t bow, she thought.  Please stop looking at me like that.  It was unnerving to be shown respect, something of which she had wished for years and now suddenly she couldn’t help but feel it was undeserving.  It didn’t matter where she got the strength to pull her parents up and toss them through the Gate.  There was nothing special about her and, truly, it was her fault they were standing in the thick onslaught of their WishingKing’s deceit.  Goren and Foster helped just as much as I did.  Please stop looking at me, she continued to thoughtfully beg.

Finally Beren broke the awkward moment and placed a hand on her shoulder.  He could tell she felt suddenly exposed.  Simply nodding in approval, he patted her once on the shoulder and for the first time, Shea was thankful for her father’s inability to express himself.