Fae Fiefdom by M. Sinclair

Prologue





My little bare feet sunk into the wet mud. A loud crack of thunder jolted me to push faster as lightning lit up the rose garden surrounding the entrance to our home’s maze. I needed to find Mommy. I didn’t want to be here but I needed to find her. Something was very wrong. Where was she?

The house had been creaking and groaning all night, waking me up from my nightmare. My nightmare of mommy kissing me goodbye and leaving. Instantly, my eyes popped open, the thick shadows that always surrounded my bed didn’t feel nearly as harmless as they’d been with her around. They felt big and scary.

I’d pushed through the thick veil of darkness, searching for Mommy. Screaming for her until I thought my voice would disappear. I couldn’t feel her magic.

Daddy said it wasn’t magic, but Mommy told me it was when she read me stories at night. She said that we had magic just like the princesses and fairies in my favorite books.

The house was empty as I screamed for her, but only the shadows followed me, though. Why wouldn’t they leave me alone? Had they taken her? Taken her magic?

She had promised the shadows would never hurt me.

The rain pelted down on me as I sprinted through the entrance of the maze. Tears streamed down my face. Something bad had happened to her. I could feel it. My chest hurt so much and my heart was beating so rapidly that my head was getting all spinny.

Get to the center of the maze, that’s what I had to do. I tripped and fell on my knees in the muddy path, pushing myself to hurry. I must have hurt myself because when I looked down, I could see that my nightgown was soaked in mud and blood by my knees. When I finally reached the center of the maze…

There was a boy there.

“Do you know where my mommy is?” I asked him, my voice was so high it reminded me of a bird. But I had to pay attention, this was far too important.

He looked only a bit older than my six years. His white hair was messy and wet from the rain. His face was sad and his hands shook. Was his mommy or daddy missing too?

Instead of saying anything, his eyes met mine. They were so bright and nearly lightning white that they seemed to glow. Suddenly, he was there, in front of me. He pulled me into a hug.

A sob tore from my throat because I didn't know this boy. Somehow I knew that he was telling me… Mommy was gone. I was shaking and my head was buried in his chest as the rain soaked both of us. All I could smell was metal and blood. It filled my nose so much I could almost taste it.

As I hugged him, I felt a zap against my skin. But when I looked, there was nothing but shadows. My hands tightened on him; I didn’t want him to leave me. He reminded me of someone. Or that he’d been my friend for a really long time.

A loud sound ripped through the air, making me jump. “Where is Mommy?” I demanded as the tornado sirens went off around us.

As he hugged me tighter, the ground underneath us bumped and rocked. The statues that lined the maze’s hedges cracked and fell. As he hugged me tighter, the ground underneath us bumped and rocked. Then all of a sudden, everything went quiet.

The boy was gone.

Mommy was gone.

I sniffled. I wiped my eyes, but the tears kept coming and coming. I fell to my knees, the mud turned my nightgown black. I was alone.

A sob broke from my throat as I jackknifed up in bed, the room dark and thick with those same shadows. My hand covered my mouth so I didn’t wake anyone in the house.

Every night.

Every single night I felt as though that memory turned more into a nightmare rather than a memory. But hadn’t it been a nightmare? Absolutely, by far, the worst day of my life. A day that changed everything.

Twelve years ago on April1, I had lost my mother. Twelve years ago, I realized just how alone I would be for the rest of my life.





Chapter 1

Ophelia Rose

Reprimands and Demands - Brunch, Table for Four





Present Day (April 26, 2020)

My gold-ringed fingers were relaxed on my lap, as I examined the new tattoo I’d had done last weekend. Of course, it was tiny, barely noticeable. But very cool, if I do say so myself.

The small minimalistic symbol was something I’d been drawing a lot lately in my notebooks at school. I suppose to most people it may look like a cross but it was more like a compass. Two black lines perpendicular to one another with a circle around the center, right on the inside of my right middle finger.

I was also attempting to mentally check out of the stern lecture my step-siblings and I were receiving, so the tattoo was far more interesting than normal. Denise had nearly had a heart attack over the addition, but once I showed her that it could be covered with tattoo makeup for events, she had seemed mollified. The woman needed a fucking Xanax or ten.