Meeting the Good Witch

I’m sharing my ‘Fairest’ fanfic/freebie story once more in celebration of ‘Fairest’s release day tomorrow from prizmbooks.com! 🙂 The good witch was lurking around the castle since the princess’s infancy, but this was when she chose to reveal herself. 🙂

 

“Dearest,” my mother said, with a seriousness that surprised me. Too often, she tried to be cheerful, even to the point of being silly. “This is an old friend of mine.”

Any thoughts of silliness disappeared, when I looked up at her friend. I almost squeaked. This was bad. Princesses weren’t supposed to squeak, even when they were startled. Still it was a bit scary, looking up into the strange lady’s face. It might have been my own face, my grown up face.

Blue eyes exactly like my own regarded me, as if they knew exactly what I was thinking. The flesh around them crinkled. They were amused crinkles, but they were also sad crinkles.

“It’s a pleasure to meet Your Highness,” the lady said, dropping into a curtsy with a grace I could only envy. I wondered, if when I grew up, my voice would sound like hers. I hoped so. It was a beautiful voice, almost creamy in its smoothness. I’d only heard one voice, which was more attractive. The deep, musical voice, which sometimes sang in my dreams. My own voice would never equal that one. This lady, with her golden hair, which was almost like mine, except for the silver streaks in it; she had a voice, which might be my own, someday. It could be mine, if I grew up good and wise. My heart skipped a beat, as I studied her. She wore a gown almost as fine as my mother, but less showy. It gave her a kind of quiet elegance I instantly admired.

“A pleasure to meet you as well, my lady,” I said politely, before I blurted out, “What’s your name?”

“Really, dear!” my mother said. A flush colored her cheeks. An answering heat gathered in mine, as I realized I’d embarrassed her. “You should let me finish doing the introduction, before you go asking questions like that!”

“It’s quite all right,” the lady said, with a casual wave of her hand. The grace in the gesture was enviable. I was sure I hadn’t seen this lady at court before, even if I was still learning all the names and faces of the people there. “Such directness is quite refreshing.”

Did she truly like my directness? Or was she simply trying to be polite to the princess? I decided to test her.

“You still haven’t revealed your name, my lady,” I said, as courteously as possible. “What should I call you?”

“Names have power, even assumed ones,” the lady responded, just as courteously, “Since you are my princess, please call me by whatever name you wish.”

“That’s unfair,” I said, with a childishness I’d be ashamed of later. “I’ve only just met you, so how will I know the right name to choose?”

My mother was trying to smile, but I could tell I’d embarrassed her with my bluntness, again. The lady, however, offered me a much more genuine smile. It warmed me, right down to my toes.

“A very fair question, Your Highness,” she said, with a little nod of approval. This warmed me, as well. “I’ve come to try and release you from your curse?”

“My curse?” I asked, but another voice whispered in my head. Soft, low, compelling. Promising I’d grow up with all the beauty of the dawn, but my sun would never rise. Pricking my finger on a spindle would send me into a cursed sleep for a hundred years.
“Darling, we’ve tried not to talk about it around you,” my mother said in the extra gentle voice she used for especially bad news. “However, something very bad happened to you, soon after you were born.”

“I was cursed,” I said. This was no surprise to me. It should terrify me. Instead, an image of blood red lips, smiling, ever so sweetly, appeared in my mind. They were close enough to kiss me. Instead, they murmured words. Promising me a hundred years of sleep.

“An evil witch cursed you,” the strange lady said, lifting a golden eyebrow at me. I got the impression she knew exactly what I was thinking. For the first time, there was a sterness in her regard. “I’m here to remove that curse, or fight it.”

“To do that you’d need to be a witch yourself,” I said, looking her straight in the eye. Her sterness made me a little bit angry, even if she had a right to be stern with a girl, who didn’t have the sense to be afraid of her curse. “Would that make you the good witch?”

A startled laugh escaped from ‘the good witch’. Some of the sterness melted away into laugh lines. I got the impression this was a lady, who loved to laugh, regardless of what sadness had been in her past.

“Your Highness is perceptive,” she said, smiling at me. The approval was back. I was glad to see it. “Yes, as far as you’re concerned, I am the good witch.”

“In which case, I’ll call you, ‘the good witch,” I said, with a boldness, which made my mother cringe, even though she hid it well. “Unless you have another name you’d rather I used?”

It was a final attempt to get her to reveal one of her names. I didn’t think she’d fall for it, even as the corner of her mouth quirked upward in amused recognition of my attempt.

“‘Good witch’ is just fine,” the ‘good witch’ said, with another one of her gracious, lady like nods. I really had to figure out how to nod like that. “I’ll also promise Your Highness to do my very best to live up to that name.”

A strange sadness touched her words, a sadness I wondered about. This sadness was something the good witch carried around with her. It was part of her mysterious charm, which she wore, as if it were a mantle of strength. The mantle was fragile, though. Given time and attention, it would completely unravel.

A Moment at Court

‘Fairest’, my f/f fantasy fairytale will be released in two days by prizmbooks.com! In honor of the occasion, here’s a ‘Fairest’ freebie story/fanfiction about my main character, trying to pay attention in court, but dozing off, to dream of a particular person…

“Your Highness!” The voice is sharp and slightly grating. “This titled thief is allowing his cows to graze on *my* land-“

“-it’s not his land, Your Highness!” The second voice had a lot more boom to it. Boom, which expects you to recognize its name, even if you’re a princess. “The land belonged to my family for seven generations!” Second Voice shot First Voice a look of pure, unmitigated scorn, baring his buck teeth in the process. The buck teeth are hereditary in his family. It’s a distinctive trait of House…it’s right on the tip of my tongue, but I can’t remember it.

It’s hard to remember anything in this hot, stuffy room. The only windows are air slits. Light comes through them, but it’s a sleepy, afternoon light. Such a light makes it hard to stay awake.

“Your Highness, this prating pratt’s claim to the land ended, when my sister’s cousin married his father’s ward,” First Voice said, with strident authority. He waved a roll of parchment, which he held in his hand. It was depressingly thick. The light flashed on his many rings. They dazzled my eyes. “This thief, himself, signed the agreement!”

“Where?” Second Voice demanded. Of course he had to ask where. I had a dreadful feeling it was right in the middle of that parchment. I needed to remember his name. I couldn’t just think of him as Second Voice.

“It’s right here!” First Voice said, as he began to unroll his parchment. Of course, the significant part was in the middle. “I, Henry of Clear Waters, agree that House Vinegarten has exclusive rights to the land, including grazing, cultivation-“

“I never agreed to any such thing!” Buck Teeth snarled, looking even more outraged than before. I needed to remember his name. Buck Teeth was not an improvement on Second Voice. “There was never any such declaration in the parchment I signed!”

“Your signature is right here!” First Voice waved parchment at him, sending it rolling in different directions. “It’s in the sixteenth paragraph of the agreement between House Clear Waters and House Vinegarten! It specifically states that any kin to the heirs of a noble house, whom marries another is now one with the land, one with the blood, one with the heirs…” His words are oddly hypnotic. I can feel my eyes closing, even though I need to keep them open.

One with the land, one with the blood, one with the heirs. I force my eyes to open. The air is starting to sparkle. It’s only sunlight, coming through the window slits, shining through the dust. It still looks magical. It reminds of my tower room, where I will go to escape from my duties, as soon as I get a chance. One with the blood. Her lips are blood red, as they smile at me.

I stare at her, surprised to see her, here and now. She raises a snow white hand to touch my face. I thought she only appeared in my dreams. Her hand is cool, but soft. I close my eyes, enjoying her caress.

“Your Highness!” The touch of her hand is gone, as I open my eyes. Buck Teeth and Second Voice are both looking at me with expressions of expectant impatience.

“Go on,” I said, doing my best to sound regal, like my royal father. He would never have fallen asleep, when his subjects were talking to him. For that matter, my mother wouldn’t have, either. She might have been selective, about what she chose to listen to, but she wouldn’t have fallen asleep. Lord Gerald Hargreaves, my father’s closest friend and advisor, would never have fallen asleep. He would have remembered everyone’s names, too. I was a princess. It was my duty to listen, not fall asleep, when they needed me to hear their concerns.

What was this constant need to nap of mine? I’d sleep long enough, once I turned sixteen, if my curse came to pass. This was a thought guaranteed to make me sit up straight.

“I believe I’d just proven that the land belongs to me, I mean the Vinegarten family, Your Highness,” First Voice said pointedly. Vinegarten. He was a Vinegarten, part of one of the oldest families in the realm. This particular Vinegarten wore more jewelry than the rest of them combined. “This upstart from Clear Waters cannot allow his cows to graze upon our land, without the express permission of my family.” First Voice didn’t even bother to hide his smugness, as he shot Buck Teeth a trumphant look.

“It’s an outrage!” Buck Teeth snarled. No, his actual name was Lord Clear Waters, although I couldn’t remember his birth name. “For years, it’s been prime grazing land! The Vinegartens will ruin it, by planting vineyards!” His teeth were more pronounced than ever, as he scowled. “They have quite enough vineyards!”

“Is that what House Clear Waters thinks?” Lord Vinegarten countered. “Our wine is being served at tables all over, beyond the realm-“

“Which is exactly what the Vinegartens are,” Lord Clear Water said, with a sneer. “Glorified wine merchants.”

“How dare you!” Lord Vinegarten cries. He drops the scroll to advance on Lord Clear Water. Fortunately, I can see Lord Gerald moving from his seat in the court. I hadn’t even noticed him, he’d been so quiet. “The Clear Waters would be glorified peasants, if they hadn’t intermarried with us!”

“Take that back!” Lord Clear Water snarls. His sneer is gone, as he lunges at Lord Vinegarten. It takes most of the court and several guards to separate them. At least my urge to sleep is completely gone.

‘Fairest’ Snippet

Welcome to #RainbowSnippets! Every Saturday, a group of writers post six sentences of GLBT fiction and share links to it! To see some truly amazing snippets, check out #RainbowSnippets on Facebook.com!

Here’s my own. Since I’m promoting ‘Fairest’ like mad before its release day on May 11, 2016, here’s a scene from my f/f fantasy fairytale. It takes place right before the wicked witch sings her song to the princess. To see the song itself, see the previous entry at this blog.

I stopped at a circle of toadstools, as bright a red as the flowers growing nearby. The ring of mushrooms was the same color as the mysterious witch’s lips. The voice was very close, as if the singer was in the circle’s center, but I could see no one at all.
Standing before the ring, I found myself swaying to the music. My hands lifted, moving to the same rhythm. My fingers flexed and danced, tracing out a series of movements.

7-7-7 Challenge

I’m working and revising a lot of projects right now, so it’s hard to choose. I settled on the seventh page of the ‘The Hand and the Eye of the Tower’, a strange, magical tale of twins, who get lost in a Shadow Forest of wonder and possibility, trying to save their older brother from an invisible menace, which is draining away his life. The twins are Danyell and Dayell. (see ‘D is for Danyell and Dayell’ at inspirationcauldron.blogspot.com). Leiwell is their older brother. Map is the three boys’ foster mother.

Leiwell wasn’t the type to jump at shadows. He was even better than Map at explaining them away. “Did you see something in the tower?”

“I told you, there’s nothing in the tower!” Map exclaimed. Her eyebrows came together in a furious, hairy caterpillar. “It wasn’t real!”

“It’s hard not to see things around the tower,” Leiwell said.

Third ‘Fairest’ Banner

Here’s my third ‘Fairest’ banner! ‘Fairest’ is my f/f fantasy fairytale, which is being released on May 11, 2016. The logo is from a song, which my wicked witch sings to the heroine…

“Who is the fairest of them all?
You, me, or her?
In castle, cottage, or circle small
What will you endure?
Are you just fair of face and eye?
Or is your fairness true?
When under the sleeping curse you lie
What will you change into?”

Celebrating ‘Fairest’

K.S. Trenten has just gotten an Amazon Author Page at authorcentral.amazon.com! This Cauldron of Eternal Inspiration has just linked to that page, so here’s my second banner for ‘Fairest’, my f/f fantasy fairytale, which is being released on May 11, 2016 by #PrizmBooks (prizmbooks.com), along with a little teaser…

“Who is the fairest of them all?
You, me, or her?
In castle, cottage, or circle small
What will you endure?
Are you just fair of face and eye?
Or is your fairness true?
When under the sleeping curse you lie
What will you change into?”