Hope everyone’s had a fantastic week so far! I’m excited to share the New Silver Hollow teaser! Najla Qamber Designs has been hard at work on the 2017 Edition cover art. I have only seen mock ups of the final product and it already looks amazing and inspired. Naj has read Silver Hollow before, luckily for me, so she knows the spirit of this story as well as me. Stay tuned in the next couple of weeks for the big cover reveal and prepare to be gobsmacked, full warning 😉
We’ve been traveling, hence the online silence last week. But I’ve been making major progress into Part 3 and diving into the heart of the story before the big battle! (spoilers…shh…)
The second time Amie woke up from drug induced stupor, her head felt much clearer. Dameri was not waiting at her bedside this time, thankfully and Amie wondered if she had indeed dreamed the whole horrific episode. Surely, she would wake up in her bed at Wenderdowne to the sound of Rachel bustling about.
Instead the woke to the sound of birds singing strangely dissonant songs outside an open, arched window. Wind blew gauzy curtains and carried the scent of apples with the dawning sunlight. It kissed her skin and she sat up with a start, gripping her chest with a wince. Fresh bandages caught against a plain embroidered dressing gown.
She cursed, again recalling the night before and the entire episode in the woods. She looked closer at her surroundings, half expecting Emrys or that woman to pop out from behind her four-poster bed. Glad as she was to wake alone, some indication of her surroundings would be nice.
She found a pair of slippers on the floor by her bed and a heavier house coat waiting on a stand by the window. A pitcher and bowl full of clear water called to her and Amie drank straight from the pitcher. She discovered how thirsty she was after downing the contents of the bowl as well. After finding a small connecting toilet, she made a slow lap about her room, taking in its simple but rich furnishings, complete with the tapestry hanging against the inner wall behind her bed. The legendary Lady of the Lake held up her sword for King Arthur, fresh-faced as the day it was first made. Amie pressed her palm to the young king’s face and wondered why the scene felt so familiar and yet looked so different from representations of Arthur she had seen before.
The scent of apples led her to the open window and she closed her eyes, drinking in the smell, shivering as a dim memory pricked at her conscience. Her chest gave another pang and she opened her eyes to see the orchard splayed out before her in vivid clarity. The same orchard as in her dreams.
“It’s a dream,” she breathed, gripping the window ledge and peering out over the edge to the distant ground below. At least two stories up, then. The tops of the branches, heavy with abundantly ruby apples swayed gently with the wind.
Amie shook her head, her vision suddenly blurred as she insisted, “You’re still dreaming this. It’s the potions they keep shoving down your throat.”
A shout broke her reverie and called her attention to a snow-haired man in robes running between the trees below. “Have not the courage to face me, then du Lac? Come out and face me like a man! Or do you be craven?” The gleam of metal was her only warning before the man smacked his long sword into the tree beside her window. Apples rained down overhead, inciting the old coot’s rage. “Hiding behind magic? You shall not have her, I say!”
“Hey!” Amie shouted, half crawling out the window, despite the way her body protested. All movement and sound below stilled, so swiftly and completely Amie wondered if she imagined this too. Until the old man’s face appeared in her window, silver hair streaming behind him, his beard bristling and eyes of gray slate peering slightly up at her as he climbed into the tall window, bringing his sword to rest on his leg.
“Magpie? Is it truly you?”
Amie’s fright translated in a stream of breathless giggles. “Did you climb up the side of the house? You scared the fire out of me,” she said finally.
The man arched an eyebrow and a slow smirk tilted the corner of his mouth in a familiar gesture. “You always did have trouble controlling your nixy, did you not, Jessie?”
Amie’s smile died but concern won over her frayed nerves. “You should come inside before you break your leg.”
The old man chuckled, flashing a megawatt smile at her. “Come child, you cannot linger inside on a day like this! We shall climb the trees together as we once did. Then, I shall see if you still remember how to handle a sword.”
“No!” Amie flew to the window when the man jumped from the ledge. Leaves and apples shook free as he caught his fall in the adjacent tree. His sword fell to the ground below with a heavy thunk and Amie flinched. “Are you crazy! You could have killed yourself!”
“We live by the sword, my Jessie. So shall we die.” The green of his cloak merged with the leaves.
to be continued…