I am quiet in the dark of a quiet place, rock grinding hard into my back and hard-packed earth beneath where I sit, hushed in shadow.
Mendanbar was a perfect fine King of the Enchanted Forest, capable and magical in all the right ways, and really, the Forest, the sword, and the magic all had no problem guiding most issues to his castle steps to be handled.
But Mendanbar also had excellent taste in choosing his Queen.
It really wasn’t the Forest’s fault that she had the good favor of the dragons, the good sense of the nonmagical, and warm relationships with everyone else that could solve any problems she couldn’t.
Mendanbar liked to hide himself away sometimes, but Cimorene was delightfully available on her walk, and only frowned with a puzzled expression as she met lost princesses, a knight on a quest to rescue a princess and another on a quest to collect some magical cure, a few excited bunny rabbits who wanted an arbitrator between them and an overprotective gardener, and a flying spatula that really oughtn’t to be looking glumly at her with its non-face as if she could solve whatever ailed it.
Finally, they reached the end of Cimorene’s journey—home again, and she quietly emoted all that puzzlement and exasperation at Mendanbar. “Mendanbar, I don’t mean to interrupt, but the forest does know I’m only a member of the royal family by marriage, and therefore unable to handle big problems by waving my hands and wishing very hard, right?”
Of course, it did. But there were large problems and small in the Enchanted Forest, and no need to waste a perfectly good monarch.
Scepter 4 was responsible for all kinds of supernatural activities and cleanup. It was perhaps forgivable that in the course of one of these cleanups, Fushimi Saruhiko packed up into the van a particular bundle of odd-looking feathers and scales that reeked of magic, noted it on his report, and thought little more about it. (more…)
Everything sounded so possible around Sarah. Little serving girls could walk in dainty shoes that didn’t hurt their feet. Monsters could be slain by magic. Becky would imagine each of the dusty, dirty clods she cleaned from behind stove or furniture as another monster to be vanquished.
In a world where magic was real and little girls were princesses, Becky herself could feel a lost princess with an inheritance of magic slippers locked in her trunk so no one could find it.
One day, the prince would come, find her in the attic tower, rescue her at last.
Melody was pleased to discover a world once denied her. She cherished it to herself, telling almost no one of the folds of ether now visible to her, the glamour she could gather in hand and take so much less than before without it disappearing into a fuzzy mass of shimmering color.
She’d never been able to see the fine details, the splendid possibilities, but now she wove over and under her fingers, tied and, breathless, laughed.
“I’ll never weave glamour like Jane,” she said, recovering, faintly wistful.
Alastar caught her hands. “She will never be like you.”
You’re always on the lookout for magical items, especially unusual ones. They’re the lifeblood of your small shop at the edge of the living mall where regular humans only wander by fate or by accident and magic-users congregate on any given weekend. So when you hear that mermaids have returned to the lake in the deep woods, you’re wrapped up in your invisibility cloak that protects against all weather almost before the words are out of your aunt’s mouth.
They talk about their mother all the time, but sometimes Mary swears Dickon sprung up full-formed from the moor that might as well have given him birth. The animals swarm him with delighted sounds, gentle as though they were tame, and plants grow under his fingers as though his blood sings with magic.