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.

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