I’ve been working on a novella the last few weeks. One day, I was just sitting at my computer and the premise jumped into my head. I loved the idea, it sounded fun, and so it began. The following are in rough draft format so please excuse any errors.
The Between Lands lie in small pockets between the human realm. Here, magic thrives and every fairytale, myth, and deity lives as a part of the Fae races. When these two worlds collide chaos is inevitable, which is why the inhabitants of the Between are careful to stay far away from humans.
Amaryllis, a Valkyrie and aspiring alchemist, has only ever known the Between. But when a God gives Amaryllis a riddle and a deadline to solve it, she’s drawn into a mystery that bridges the gap between human and Fae. With time running out, the need for answers is paramount, but will Amaryllis survive the search for the truth?
Bright sun reflected from a thousand mirrorbells. I squinted my eyes and ignored the myriad of rainbows as I had been taught. Mirror field was my aunts’ favorite battle plain. Not only did the flowers provide excellent cover, each individual petal could be used as a projectile weapon—deadly sharp and accurate. Their favorite game was called “Prune Amaryllis.”
“Shit!” A streak a fire lit up my cheek, and I could feel blood drip from the sharp cut before I rolled from my original position. Flattening my body below the willowy purple stalks of the mirrorbells, I army crawled a few feet forward.
“Move faster Amaryllis.” My aunt’s voice sounded like pealing bells of laughter as she flitted around the field like an errant butterfly. Tavia was normally my favorite aunt, but a sharp whistle was my only warning before two more petals grazed my other cheek.
I smeared dirt on the new cuts, knowing my aunts would smell the blood, and kept moving. I had to stay in the game for ten more minutes, an eternity when faced with a single valkyrie, not to mention when faced with five of them all bent on shredding you to pieces. I didn’t think they would actually shred me to pieces, I was, after all, their niece, but they would occasionally forget that I wasn’t a full valkyrie yet and that I didn’t heal at the same rate they did.
A mirror embedded itself between my shoulder blades, exactly where my wings would meet my back when they grew in. “What the hell, Tavi?”
“It wasn’t me. Moira did it.”
“Hey! No tattling.” Moira yelled back, her voice like the thunder she always played in.
Moira and Tavia were twins at least that was what they claimed although there were no two valkyrie more at odds. Tavia was the epitome of a light warrior with blond hair, pale skin, and bright pink lips. While Moira was everything dark warrior should be with ebony skin, black hair, and dark brown eyes. They lived to argue. I used the cover of their voices to move deeper into cover and toward the lake.
“It was your fault,” Tavia said, flicking her wrist to send five petals deep into Moira’s wings.
Blood dripped and lightning cracked against the otherwise clear blue sky as Moira dove toward her twin. “I’m going to kill you.”
Giving up my cover, I bolted for the lake. There was no way I could survive a fight between my aunts. Already dark clouds were filling the sky and gusts of wind whipped hundreds of petals against my skin, carving cut after cut. I ignored it all and moved faster, my breath coming in gasps and my heart pounding. If I didn’t make it beneath the lake before the rain started I was in serious trouble. With a final burst of strength and speed, I leapt for the water just as the first drop of rain burned through my leather vest and burrowed beneath my skin.
From beneath the heaving green water I watched my aunts battle. All five had now joined the fight. Blue-haired Isla, as always, played the referee. While golden Keita joined Tavia and fierce Gail joined Moira. I was completely forgotten, thank Morrigan. The last time they had remembered me, I had ended up in bed for a week. The role of onlooker was more my speed until I became a full valkyrie, but I loved to watch them.
Valkryie were one of the most-feared of all the fae races and as I watched their dance in the sky, I was once again grateful that they were family. Swords slashed in large arcs and short jabs. Few of the swipes drew blood. Instead, the field was cacophony of metal against metal as they blocked each other’s strikes. It was a beautiful display, that I would have appreciated more if I wasn’t running out of air. If they didn’t stop soon, I was going to have to risk a face full of acid for another breath of air. Just as I was about to break cover, she arrived.