Friday, June 28, 2013

Chapter 1

Abigail dodged a flying chunk of pie and grabbed the youngster by his collar. "Stephan, if you want to be in the kitchen, you need to be a bit more restrained. I did not give you that piece of pie just so you could throw it at Caleb."

"But he stuck his finger in it and ruined it!" Stephan complained loudly over the din of the customers in the room adjacent to the kitchen, desperately trying to wriggle his way out of Abigail's firm grasp. He shot a nasty look at his older brother who was vainly trying to wipe the pastry out of his hair with a rag. Abigail sighed.

"Stephan, one poke doesn't contaminate the whole piece. You could have eaten around it. Caleb shouldn't have stuck his finger in it, but that is no excuse for you to be throwing food at him."

Stephan frowned. "Well, can I have another piece?"

"No, the other pieces are for the customers. Run along now, and find something else to do."

Stephan stomped out of the kitchen, almost running smack into their mother as she entered with a jug of water. She glanced at Stephan as he passed her and then her eyes fell on Caleb.

"What happened?" she asked as she laid the jug on the table and took the rag from her son.

"I stuck my finger in Stephan's piece of pie and he so he threw it at me. Said it was full of my germs." Caleb admitted.

Martha shook her head, vigorously rubbing Caleb's head. "What am I going to do with you boys? I'll go talk to him. But right now, you need to get that pie to tables 3 and 8. One piece for 3 and two for 8. And table 6 needs a glass of cranberry juice.  You can finish cleaning up later, Caleb. There's much to do. Now, shoo!" She gave Caleb's hair one last wipe and then shoved a tray into his hands. Abigail dished up the pie with quick expertise and loaded the plates onto Caleb's tray. After checking the pies in the oven, she poured a glass of cranberry juice and headed out to the dining area.

It was lunch hour at their family's tavern, which was always very busy. The Royal Dragon was a popular stop for the villagers and travelers, famous for miles. Placed along the route to the King's City, it was know for its many diverse customers from all corners of the kingdom and beyond. As Abigail wound through the tables towards table 6, she greeted the customers, many of whom she knew. She approached table 6 where sat Justin the trader. 

"Good afternoon, Abigail!" He greeted her with a wide grin as she handed him his requested drink. "The tavern seems to be doing well."

"Indeed, it is," she replied. "We are very grateful for the business that is resulting from people traveling in for the King's festival next week."

After a few more pleasantries, Justin wiped some droplets from his thick brown beard and stood. "Tell your father I said hello. I'm sorry I missed him. Perhaps I'll happen to catch him on my way back."

"I'll tell him." Abigail promised.

Justin thanked her and headed out of the tavern.


Lizzie laughed as Tallie swooped around her in graceful circles, staying just out of reach with Lizzie's last bit of bread. The afternoon sun highlighted the swallow's beautiful blue feathers as she spun and dove and whirled through the air. Lizzie swiped at her friend but found only air.

"Come on, Tallie, you know you can't eat that 'cause of your allergies. What do you want it for?" Lizzie laughed, gasping for breath.

"Nothing!" Tallie replied. But as her mouth opened, the morsel fell-right into Lizzie's open paw. The mouse maiden grinned.

"Aha!" Lizzie exclaimed! "I've got it!"

Tallia winked. "A wonderful catch. But it was planned. I knew it would drop."

"Sure," Lizzie winked back. "Well, I've got to get back. It will be dinner soon and the trader will be here any minute."

"Alright, then. I'll see you tomorrow!" Tallie flew off with a burst of blue.

Lizzie scooped her book up and set off down the trail through the forest to her home. She was so grateful for Tallie. Both were very shy and had trouble making friends. Among the other woodland creatures, Tallie was her only friend. Lizzie just had a hard time getting over her shyness with the other teens.

The trader's loud, jovial laughter alerted Lizzie to his arrival long before she entered the clearing where she and her family lived. She always looked forward to his visits. Because her family never ventured out of the wood, he brought them supplies that they could not get otherwise, as well as news of the surrounding area where he traveled. Although she was too shy to ask any questions, she loved hearing his stories. She longed to go on an adventure, but because of her parents' fear of the outside world, might never get the chance-or at least not for a very long time.

As she entered the clearing, her family was just sitting down to the table for dinner.

"Ah, there you are, Lizzie! We were just about to send Tommy for you," her father said. Lizzie slipped into her seat between Tommy and Rachel. Her mother was busily dishing out food as Justin narrated his lastest story.

"Streamers were everywhere!" He was saying. "Red, gold, blue, and purple. It was one of the most colorful sights I've ever seen. You would be amazed at how many booths they're setting up, as well. It will be magnificent."

"What is he talking about?" Lizzie whispered to Tommy.

"He's telling about the festival they're preparing for in the King's City!" Tommy replied excitedly. To his father he asked, "Can we go?"

Almost before he had finished his sentence, Jacques let out a strong, "No."

The children knew to ask no further.


Rizon stared out the window, Wizard Martin's words barely registering in his brain. He had heard this lecture hundreds, if not thousands, of times before. He had tried to clean the rust from a sword with sugar instead of baking soda and now his master was lecturing him about following directions and not trying to alter the process in any way and experiment, ya-da-ya-da-ya-da.

"Rizon Kandarr!" A sharp rap on the shoulder with the wizard's staff brought his focus back to his master. "You're plotting again, aren't you! How many times have I told you to keep your mind on what I'm saying! A wizard's apprentice shouldn't..."

Once again, Josh wasn't paying attention. Instead, his focus was on a low bank of clouds in the distance that seemed to be growing. He hadn't noticed those clouds a minute before when he had been staring out of the window. They had come up awfully fast...

"Master Martin! Look!"

"Young man, pay attention when I am speaking! I will have none of your nonsense!"

"But LOOK!"

The urgency in his apprentice's voice finally persuaded him to look. He gasped at what he saw. A thick, dark, boiling group of clouds, covering the western sky as far as he could see, was rapidly growing and coming towards them at an unbelievable rate.


A violent tremor shook the tavern, sending several people sprawling to the ground. Over the screaming and shouting, Abigail detected the sound of thunder. She ran outside and stared up at the sky. It was full of huge, purple clouds. To the west, several streaks of lightning shot from the clouds. Another tremor erupted, causing Abigail to clutch the door frame. She had never seen anything like this before. They got storms all the time, but never with an earthquake. This one seemed different.

Something was wrong. Something was very wrong.


  1. I LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It's fantastic! GREAT job Em:)!!!

    1. Thanks! =)Can't wait to see what you do with it. ;)

  2. Love it!! You did a great job!!