Winter Wiles

A FAERIE'S TALE (EXCERPT)

BY ANN NARCISIAN VIDEAN

 

Eirlys Sparkle-Bright read the scribbles on her page out loud in a low voice.

“Twas’ the night before winter and all through the realm,

not a snowflake had fallen to grace the yon elm.”

The wee Winter Faerie stared down into the brick fireplace, wishing for weather cold enough to warrant a fire. She flicked a strand of white hair from her cheek and tsked.

Faerie Queen Titania looked up from her book, “What is it, Eirlys?”

The Winter Faerie bowed her head as an uncomfortable warmth spread up her neck. She hated blushing. Even the smallest rush of blood to her cheeks always made her think of the Fleet Foxes’ lyrics from “White Winter Hymnal.” “...and turn the white snow red as strawberries in the summertime.”

“I— I am so sorry to interrupt your research, Your Majesty, but I was trying out a verse to explain our lack of snow. I know your work on the topic is much more important.”

The queen inclined her head to one side, and smiled in understanding at her young poetry-loving apprentice.

Eirlys met her queen’s gaze. “You know I’ve done everything I can to make it happen, Your Majesty. I spread the winter faerie dust throughout the land, just as I have done for one hundred years. Yet, it’s mid-December and not a snowflake in sight. The trees have barely lost their leaves. No snow, no ice... not even a frost. What could be going on?”

The Queen’s brow furrowed, and she stared out the open window toward the elm forest and lake beyond.

“Frost.” She stated the word under her breath and gently closed her reference book and laid it aside. Her expression hardened, and she stood up. “This is beyond a fluke of nature. This is a manipulation.”

...

[Continued in the original Faerie's Tale booklet "Winter Wiles," available as a "Faerie's Tale - Original" in our Other Whimsy section. Simply choose this tale within the form provided as you check out.]

This is the front of one of our faerie-environment Spektrel-image note cards. 

This is the front of one of our faerie-environment Spektrel-image note cards. 

The "Books Galore" faerie portal with one of the fractured Faerie's Tales about characters escaping from Grimm's and running rampant around the countryside.

Rapunzel, rapunzel, let's shave Your Hair

A Faerie's Tale
(excerpt)

By Ann Narcisian Videan

Clara sensed, more than heard, the loud sizzling whistle approaching her faerie portal. When a bright explosion burst right outside the door, the blast shifted every one of the hundreds of books lining her shelves and spilling out onto her front patio. She looked up from her reading and frowned.

“What was that?” she asked no one in particular.

Her dragonfly “familiar” lifted its head from within her jewelry box, buzzed it wings, and took to the air. He flew through the open window, barely missing several volumes balanced on the windowsill, and flapped around to scan the front patio.

His mental message bloomed in Clara’s head. Librarian, your volume of Children’s and Household Tales, lies open.

She fluttered her wings, and darted out the door. “My Grimm’s Fairy Tales book? Is it damaged?” She hovered over the open book, squinted, and pushed her glasses back up on her nose.

No, everything appears intact, came the voice in her head, though the image of Rapunzel appears to be missing from the chapter illustration.

Clara glanced around and just caught a glint of blonde hair disappearing around the corner of her home tree.

“There!” She pointed. “After her!”

The winged creatures whizzed into the forest, looking for any sign of the long-haired beauty but, after fifteen minutes of searching, gave up hope of finding the escapee.

They regrouped on a stack of books lining Clara’s patio.

“Buzz, you know what this means... if we don’t get her back and magically return her to her story, this popular tale will become a different story for future readers. It might even update to include her current life as King Charming’s Queen. And, what will everyone think of Delfaerune’s Librarian and Caretaker of Books if stories start morphing?” She sighed and placed her head in her hands, causing a brunette curl to cascade forward. “How did this happen?”

Buzz flitted over and landed beside her. Librarian, he sent, you know how much talk there has been about the Dark Fae Mikk Stone stealing the Makutu Tomes and misusing its dark spells.

She lifted her head. “This surely could be the Dark Fae’s work. His reckless castings have caused all kinds of ruckus in Delfaerune, not to mention the earthquakes, fires, and other elemental trouble, right?” She pushed her glasses back up on her nose.

Librarian, perhaps we should verify the idea with the Maestra. Mumbles in the Fae “grapevine” place her currently at the building where her family governs good magic.

“Ah, at the Division of Karakia. Great idea.” She rapidly knotted her hair into a French braid, secured it with a handy vine and, with a wave of her arm indicating her companion should follow, swooped away.

...

[Continued in the Rapunzel Faerie's Tale accompanying the "Books Galore!" and "Books, Books, and More Books!" faerie portals.
We know you want to know what happens, and it can be yours in just a few clicks.]

 

This faerie portal represents the entrance to the Division of Karakia as described in Ann Videan's book Song of the Ocarina. The Faerie's Tale accompanying this portal is actually an excerpt from book 2 in the series, Beat of the Pakiri.

Trixter “Rix” Bugle Meets Lady Lark

Excerpt: Beat of the Pakiri
(excerpt from book 2, Delfaerune Rhapsody book series)

By Ann Narcisian Videan

 

Rix hovered just outside the closed door of the Division’s Sky Room, moving his wings as slowly as possible to keep him aloft yet make no sound. His ears trembled at the constant enchanted tinkling of the crystal chandelier inside the room, along with the scratching of pen on paper.

The realm’s future Maestra is right behind this door, and I am about to meet her.

His wings fluttered a bit faster, and his shaking fingers plucked at his hair to make the short ends stand up in its usual stylish spikes.

Next to him, Lark’s brown kiwi “familiar” Akiiki clicked her beak. “Ears twitch,” she said.

Rix involuntarily pushed the pointed ends of the offending appendages against his head to stop their movement, but dropped his hands as soon as he realized what he was doing.

The little bird’s eyes sparkled mischievously.

Someone spoke inside the room. “You’ll be fine. I’ll be here with you when they arrive.” The comforting male voice spoke slowly and with emphasis..

Lark wasn’t alone. Who was with her? Probably that Dark Fae music director of hers, Noel Stone, Rix thought. A frown pulled at his lips, but he managed to keep them still along with his ears.

Rumors from the previous season’s masquerade ball popped into Rix’s mind. They told of Lark’s relationship with Noel, despite him leaving the Division and returning to the Citadel and his Dark Fae family.

How could Lark Tūrehu, the light of the Noble Fae, the realm’s beautiful future spell-writing Maestra, possibly be involved with a guy like that? Rix rubbed his chin. Still, the director’s band, Thorne, was pretty cool.

The winged faerie alighted on the floor next to the kiwi. He tapped his toe impatiently a handful of times, but stopped when he spied the scene through the door’s keyhole.

The silver-haired future Maestra sat on a royal-blue couch, nestled under the expansive arm of a far-too-handsome Fae with long, curly black hair. She finished scribbling a message on a notepad and held it up for Director Noel to read. He nodded, smiled, and kissed her slowly. When he pulled away, he took the notepad and scribbled a response, and she glanced up at him with a grateful smile.

Her gaze flicked toward the door and Rix pulled back involuntarily. He hadn’t been purposefully peeking... his eye level happened to line up with the keyhole, that’s all.

Akiiki gave him an appraising look.

Rix placed a hand on one hip and buzzed his wings in irritation. “What! I didn’t even lean forward. I can’t help it if they’re right there in plain sight.”

The bird shook her head, and rapped her beak against the door.

Tap, tap, tap.

A sharp gasp sounded from inside.

Noel placed a hand on Lady Lark’s arm. “He’s here, finally.” After a moment of quiet, he added,  “Akikki, can you please come in and ask our guest to wait momentarily?”

The kiwi held up one tiny wing and clicked her bill together once at Rix. “Wait.” She turned and skittered through a low animal door.

This time, he did lean forward to peep through the keyhole.

The kiwi hurried up to the future Maestra, and lifted her head as Lark leaned to stroke it. The bird looked up at Noel and clacked her beak once. “Trixter Bugle. Here.”

Lark scribbled something on the notepad and turned it toward her familiar, just readable in Rix’s line of sight. It read: “It’s Trixter? You like him?”

The bird cocked her head and raised her wings slightly. “Blaise refer. Will see.”

Green eyes glanced up at the door, and Lark breathed audibly in and out. She turned to Noel and nodded, and thhe music teacher smiled back at her.

“The faerie comes highly recommended as a communicator for the hearing impaired.” He continued to speak slowly and enunciate perfectly, helping his student to read his moving lips as best she could, until he turned back to the kiwi. “Yes, we will see what he’s like.”

He opened a palm and gestured toward the door. “Bring him in, Akiiki, we’re ready.”

Lark took Noel’s hand in both of hers and her shoulders contracted slightly.

Akiiki ran to the inside of the door and leapt up. She must have landed on the door’s handle, because the lever on Rix’s side of the door lowered. The keyhole view became blocked with the bird’s yellow feet, followed by a beak, then a beady black eye staring through the keyhole.

Rix’s heart raced as the door clicked open, so he puffed his chest, groomed a few hair spikes crowning his head, and swaggered into the room.

...

[Continued in Beat of the Pakiri, book 2, Delfaerune Rhapsody series.
If you'd like the full free excerpt, you can order a free copy.]