The Day the Sun Stopped Shining Blog Tour ~ Stories of Duality

Thursday, December 29, 2011 2 Comments A+ a-


House Like Stars and Escape From Manor House
Stories of Duality


I wrote these stories about a year ago for a challenge about POVs. Authors were supposed to take a story idea and write it from two different opposing viewpoints. This offered up a ton of different ideas and possibilities. So much that I may try it again in the future while exploring themes in various shades of good and evil.

In these two stories, I explore the opposite side of a robbery in an old, magical house. The intruder discovers sinister forces at work...or are they really trying to escape something themselves?

I hope you guys enjoy both House Like Stars and Escape From Manor House. :-)






House Like Stars

by

Rae Lori

House like stars
Windows like eyes.
There’s no point in hiding
From Manor House ties.
It was an old rhyme from the locals. Deria Lockwood had heard the stories since she was a child but she never believed in fairytales. Folks used to come to this house seeking help from some old mage to get them through difficulties in life. Whether they were financial troubles, romantic woes or personal issues, they believed the mage who could tap into the supernatural world and become their rescuer. Some surmised that strange magical rituals went on at the top floor of the house. People reported seeing flashing lights that disappeared in the blink of an eye. Deria never saw any lights herself so she paid the claims no mind. She shrugged it off as silly superstition. If this was the Deep South—somewhere like New Orleans where magic and history intertwined like thick vines on an old estate—she’d give it a second thought but this was Central California. Ghosts of the past lived in moving pictures and fictional narratives.
Deria made her way across the lawn and toward the large, looming house. She was getting out of the city tonight. What little she knew of her family had roots here but she never felt compelled to visit the house.
For some reason, that night the house called to her as an invitation on a deep, ethereal level she couldn’t quite understand. As far as she was concerned, it belonged to a dark family legacy she would soon leave behind. Theft had become the only thing she controlled and the people she stole from had no business rubbing their good fortunes in her face. It was time they all paid up what she deserved.
Since she was young, she’d had nothing but bad fortune. That would all end tonight  when she would leave this town, her history and all the bad things that had happened to her in the past where they belonged. She just had to finish this one last job with the new owner.
House like stars.
Bright white paint to refurbish the outside shone like a star against the blackened sky. She bet the inside was shiny and new, too.
The front door opened with a click. Everyone trusted each other in this little town. Perhaps too much. Deria was fortunate the locals had clued in the new owner about that or else she would have to waste more time trying to slip into the house
Big fancy doctor meant big fancy money and she knew there had to be a nice little stash hiding out somewhere around the house. He’d decided to turn the long abandoned building into something of an office/home, offering healthcare to those who couldn’t afford it in the area. A noble cause but eventually he would want something more than just ‘thanks’ and ‘bless you’s’ for his troubles. In a way, she was helping him and his patients by stopping him before he got to that point.
A breeze outside brushed the trees against the window, scratching the clear glass. The swaying shadows on the walls broke the illumination of the muted pale white of the moon’s glow all around the room.
A creak broke out from one of the rooms upstairs. She chalked it up to the wind. Maybe there was a window open somewhere on the second floor.
Yeah, that’s it.
She ventured deeper into the house searching drawers, nooks and crannies. Sparse amounts of furniture sat in the rooms. Only a few pieces thrown in for show or perhaps the good doctor was still in the process of moving in. Dark chocolate chairs, a matching loveseat, mixed with navy blue wallpaper and lack of decorative accents told her a male definitely owned this house. She dodged the pile of boxes sprinkled throughout the house as another creak broke out upstairs.
Then a click interrupted the silence, as if a door had closed.
Was someone here?
Deria’s heart thudded to a pounding beat in her chest. She ran her clammy, warm palms against her jeans. She froze, waiting…listening.
Silence.
Must’ve been her imagination. It had to be.
She exhaled softly then continued her search.
A few five dollar bills sat in one of the downstairs office drawers. She also spotted some change in the unused crystal ash tray in another room which appeared like a second office.  Chump change for a doctor, Deria figured. One more check in the bedroom and then she’d chalk it up to most of his money being in the bank. If she didn’t find any other dollars stashed away, she’d search for some bank info, grab anything of value. Then she would be out of here.
While stuffing her pockets, she started up the stairs. Her hand grazed the sleek wood of the banister. A soft creak emitted with each step beneath her sneakers.
Creak. Creak. Creak.
Until she stopped at the top step.
Tap. Tap. Tap.
The sound of footsteps across the wood floor continued long after she froze. That couldn’t be her imagination. That was closer, louder than when she was downstairs. From where she stood, she could see the master bedroom bathed in the moonlight that spilled into the hall. The door was slightly ajar, allowing a peek into a sparsely decorated room with a large King sized bed draped in dark blue sheets and a midnight blue comforter. The rest of the rooms—two down the hall from the right of the bedroom and one on the opposite wall—had closed doors.
Wait a minute. The lone door on the other wall caught her eye. She didn’t know why at first, until she leaned in closer to look. Slowly, the doorknob turned and the door opened with a creak.
Something was drawing her inside, a force she couldn’t stop but  one she felt with every cell inside of her. The room held a familiar presence. There were no lights, no windows and no furniture. The only thing inside that caught her eye was a dome-shaped glass object sitting atop a circular table. Inside the glass were millions of tiny sparkling objects and a large ball of light that darted around its small enclosure.
Windows like eyes.
Deria knew she should have run but the moment the thought crossed her mind, the door behind her slammed shut. She ran to the door but the small brass painted doorknob came right off when she tried to turn it. It was as if it had aged a hundred years in those mere moments.
The sound of thousands upon thousands of tiny rapid whispers made her turn toward the glowing glass. Slowly, the table lifted and began to turn around and around in place.
Deria Lockwood,” the scores of tiny voices whispered.
“H—How,” she quickly swallowed to clear her throat which was growing raw. “How do you know my name? What…are you?”
Your grandfather’s grandfather owned this house,” the voices continued, as if she had never spoken. “Captured and imprisoned whatever he wanted.”
Grandfather’s grandfather? Was that why she was drawn to this house? It couldn’t be. She didn’t believe in such fairytales.
All of his descendants have suffered dark and twisted fates.”
It was true. Deria heard the stories of her family legacy’s crumbling hotel fortune and every investment since then; every inheritance or opportunity turned into a bust.
Now is the time to end the cursed line.”
Deria thought she sensed a presence and when a flash of light brightened the entire room up, she thought she saw a man dressed in old period garb standing in the corner with his hands folded in front of him.
Come closer,” the tiny voices beckoned.
Each step she took was not her own. The nerves of her feet, her blood, skin, veins and vessels were commanded by another being that now consumed and guided her.
Amidst the high-pitched whispers, Deria thought she heard another voice, deep like that of a male’s. And just as soon as it appeared, it disappeared into the back of her mind. All that mattered now was the sparkling lights within the glass before her.
Her hands reached up and wrapped around the object, gently raising it in the air. The tiny sparkles grew bright and danced, coming alive with the anticipation of…something.
There’s no point in hiding.
A bright light basked the room in the purest, whitest glow. The cacophony of whispers and voices invaded her ear until it grew into a loud thunderous sound saying one final line:
From Manor House ties.
She felt light headed and the blood rushed to her head as her knees gave out below her. The sound of coins and paper money crashed to the ground in a chorus of tiny clinks. The crystal ashtray crashed and shattered millions of tiny pieces along with the glass that fell from her grasp.
And then she fell backward as unconsciousness consumed her.
But she continued to fall…
Further and further she went…
Past the steps and down the floors of the large house.
Beneath the dirt and lawn of the home, beneath the deep Earth, until she fell into a chasm of blackness.
She tried to scream but there was no sound left in her. Her momentum finally slowed and she felt the ground beneath her when she landed softly, then floated up like a feather suspended in the air.
What was happening? She couldn’t feel her feet! Nor could she feel her hands as she tried to reach out to her surroundings. It was just an invisible enclosure that gave a muted tap when she bounced against it.
Help! She tried to yell. Her tiny whisper was drowned out by thousands of other similar sounds.
Somebody please! The words echoed in her mind but the exterior sounds never came.
The curse is lifted, the whispers said. Manor House is free. Manor House is free.
Over and over it went.
The room lit and as the whispers died out around her, Deria saw her environment from inside the glass dome.
That was where she was! Inside the glass structure! The room had somehow grown a hundred times bigger…or perhaps it was she who had shrunk a hundred times smaller than her human size.
No hands. No feet. No legs.
No longer human.
A young woman stepped into her view as if she’d slipped out of thin air. Part of her long, dark hair was wrapped around her head with the rest cascading down her back in thick waves. She had a warm glow about her. Big dark brown eyes stared back at Deria and she noted the woman’s attire consisted of a beautiful gold dress with long sleeves, ribbons, laces and a high collar. She looked human but Deria knew she wasn’t. The young woman turned slightly and that was when Deria saw it. Her ears were delicately pointed at the tips and long, thin, ethereal wings sprouted from her back. She wasn’t human! But…what was she?
And so the curse is lifted,” she said.
Deria read the woman’s lips, for the sound was muted from within her glass enclosure.
A large pale hand reached out to rest on the young woman’s lower back and she turned to smile at the man outside of Deria’s view.
Please! Get me out of here!” Deria tried to yell. She tried even harder to move but only ran into the glass.
We must hurry before the new owner comes,” the male said.
“Yes. He will be returning soon and it would be a shame to have such a mess lying around.” The woman scooped up the glass dome. She froze, peering at it for long moments.
Was the woman having second thoughts? Would she help her after all?
Deria’s hopes were dashed when the woman snapped out of her trance and went to retrieve the fallen clothes and stolen items from the floor.
I saw her take those,” the male said. “They belong to the new owner.”
We should return them to him.” The young woman waved her hand and, in response, the millions of tiny shards moved as if time had rewound itself. They assembled themselves, returning back into the shape of the untouched crystal ashtray resting on her open palm.
The male put his arm around the woman and Deria wondered if they were lovers. In an instant, their surroundings changed. They appeared downstairs in the office where the young woman slipped the dollars back into one of the office drawers. Then they transported again before appearing in another room where the pointy eared young woman placed the change and the rest of the dollars under the unused ash tray.
Each time they stopped, they placed the money and items exactly where Deria had taken them.
Then, in another blink of an eye, they were outside in the cool summer California evening.
He will be home soon,” the young woman said. “The door to the secret room will be open now and he’ll have no memory of it being locked.
The glass dome ascended into the air and as Deria tipped her gaze, she finally saw the two. A beautiful young woman with warm, dark brown skin and a man with light pinkish pale skin, golden eyes and a shiny yellow mane tied back into a short ponytail. He wore a buttoned up vest and shirt with a high collar and breeches with thick fabric. His ears too were pointed like the female’s and he also had wings sprouting from his back. Atop his head sat a crown decorated with tiny jewels hovering and twirling round and round in place.
Fireflies,” the girl said softly. “He would think they were fireflies in here. Caught by the local children.
Come,” the man said, offering his arm to her. “We have preparations for your arrival...my princess-to-be.
She took his arm with a smile and off they went walking side by side into the night.
No! Wait!” Deria tried to yell. “You can’t leave me like this! How do I get back?! Change me back!
The darkness surrounded the two until they disappeared into a soft haze.
Deria was alone with the realization that there was no going back. She would never escape this glass prison or have a chance to right her wrongs. In a way, perhaps this was her redemption...and her punishment.
There’s no point in hiding.
From Manor House ties.
But she didn’t believe in fairytales...
She didn’t believe in fairytales...
She didn’t believe...




Escape From Manor House

by

Rae Lori

When a Sprite is summoned by a mortal for help, they would always arrive for assistance. Humans with the ability to contact the supernaturals—named Whisperers—knew this. They also had the gift to bridge the two worlds of communication.

Kyleah trusted this knowledge when she arrived at the large two story mansion near the West Coast of the American continent. The world of Sprites was in an uproar over her upcoming wedding with Prince Talyn. Sure she had a few days, but her duties to help mortals would have to come first.

The house sat in the middle of a large stretch of green land. Its two story structure was carefully designed with an elegance foretelling of its history upon the lands. She remembered when there were no structures of wood, brick and stone to break the vast green landscape. Now there had been a surge of industry since the new inhabitants took over from those who lived off the land.

Outside the house, a bronze sign sat near the dark brown painted French doors: Manor House. She passed through and ventured into the fully furnished home decorated with clean and upscale antiques.

She found the Whisperer upstairs sitting across the table from a man dressed in a long jacket with coattails and loose coffee colored wool breeches. Time had no measurement with Kyleah’s people but the mortals measured it as 1,812 years since the son of their creator’s death. Or as the mortals call the year: 1812.

The Whisperer was dressed in a long dark blue velvet gown with a collar buttoned up to her neck. Her long grey hair fell in wild waves across her shoulders. Ethereal silver eyes flashed open and looked right at Kyleah once she entered the room.

“She’s here,” the Whisperer’s low, cracked voice announced.

The man, an older pale bald man smiled as he turned to her.

To them, she was just a ball of light floating freely around the air. She swirled about before landing on the floor, ready to take the form of a fully grown human sized young woman.

Kyleah landed but before she could start the change, a whiff of air blew over her and then a glass structure closed around her.

What was happening?

She tilted upward to gaze at the large, pale hand covering the top of the glass. Then the older man’s face came into her view. A diabolical smile darkened his face as he watched her with a fascination that nearly turned her stomach. It reminded her of a boy who would find a sick pleasure from plucking the wings off a fly. As she looked into his eyes, his past flashed through her mind. She felt sick. The man not only tortured flies as a child, but animals, even her fellow Sprites.

Kyleah had a sinking feeling that nothing good would come of this meeting. The idea that she was in a place where she couldn’t escape--with no knowledge of what she was called here for--scared her like never before.

“I did not believe it was possible to capture one of these creatures,” he said holding up Kyleah’s glass in admiration. “You can help me get this house and all the riches I desire. I don’t want to be poor or want for anything. You hear that, little faerie?”

“Now,” the Whisperer said coming up behind him. “You will pay me what you owe me for my services.”

The man’s smile melted into a frown before he looked over his shoulder at the old woman.

“Pay?”

“My services do not come for free, Mr. Lockwood.”

“Oh! Of course. Of course.” He set the glass structure down on the table then faced the woman.

Kyleah knew what was coming before it happened. The slow movement of his steps haunted her as he reached into his pocket and stopped mere inches from the woman. In a flash of movement, he grabbed the old woman by the throat and squeezed as tight as he could. Her screams quickly died out to tight breaths struggling for air.

Kyleah flitted around the glass dome. Her movements elicited a tiny tink, tink, tink sound each time she crashed against it. She wanted to scream. She wanted to use her powers to save the Whisperer, but there was nothing she could do from within her glass prison. Nothing but watch the woman’s demise. Once she was on the ground, he grabbed a bronze statue bust of the philosopher Aristotle from the table and struck the woman’s head.

Once.

Twice.

And one last time before he threw the statute onto the beautifully designed rug stretched out over the wood floor.

It fell with a loud clunk and rolled over to Kyleah. She saw the dark red  liquid against the bronze and her heart constricted with sadness from the woman’s passing.

Kyleah continued to watch helplessly as the man moved to cover up his tracks. He moved the table off the rug and onto the floor, then used the material to wrap up the broken, dead body. He left for a few moments then returned to the room, stuffing a piece of paper in his side pocket.

The deed to Manor House.

This was the Whisperer’s home!

The realization hit Kyleah the moment she saw the contentment on the man’s face as he rubbed his hands together. He went to her and picked up the glass prison from the ground. “Now you will grant my every wish, little faerie,” he said. “This house and everything within its walls, including you, now belong to me.”

Kyleah felt the fire within her. The white hot glow that she now embodied burned brighter and hotter until it burst into thousands of smaller orbs of light around her. She still felt the Whisperer’s presence in the room and all throughout the house. She used it to empower her and give her a voice to communicate with the man.

This house,” she said, her voice spreading like a thousand whispers creeping through every inch of the room. “This house may now belong to you and all of your kin.,but you will never have fortune. You will never be free. Until out of this glass prison I am able to flee.”

The man frowned. “No. That’s not the way it is supposed to go. You listen to me! I own you now!”

No one owns me, Kyleah thought. I must suffer here until I can find a body to escape through. It must be an exchange from a descendent of Lockwood to help free me from this glass prison.

House like stars.

The mansion would now loom against the night sky like a beacon to all the mortals who hold the Lockwood name.

Windows like eyes.

She would watch the visitors come and go, each would suffer the punishment of lifelong misfortune bestowed upon the house and the name of Lockwood.

There’s no point in hiding

From Manor House ties.

Dread filled the man’s face and he grew white as a ghost, his expression deathly blank. Then, with an angry yell, he raised the glass and hauled it to the floor.

But it didn’t break.

The glass structure simply rolled away while the sparkling lights danced around Kyleah.

More tenants moved in thereafter. The man’s last remaining family within the Lockwood bloodline brought whatever fortunes they had into the home. The father was a well known businessman in the shipping industry. His children went to the best schools while his wife catered high society. Shortly after moving into Manor House, his business suffered set backs that ended up in his business being shutdown. His wife was cast out of society with a terrible scandal that fell over the family like a cloud. Destitution set in and Kyleah listened to all the spousal arguments that would stay suspended in the house long after the wife took her children and left the man of the house to live out his days in loneliness. One after another, the Lockwoods would die in poverty.

And the years slipped on.

Kyleah thought she would die within these walls. She didn’t know how long time passed...until her Prince Talyn found her. The desperation in his eyes and the sorrow in his voice nearly broke her. When he placed his palm against the cool glass as he set her atop a small circular table, she would go to it and rest against the imprint.

“I won’t leave or rest until the curse has been fulfilled,” he said softly. “Every Lockwood that enters these walls will suffer.”

He stayed by her side, watching and waiting in the shadows. He would communicate to their people using a small blue orb of light as a go-between while he remained in the room with her. Time slipped away in a tangled mesh of days and nights.

Each family that moved in the house would call Talyn’s presence a ‘haunting’. He would move items around, throw books and trinkets across the desk to scare them away. It added to their misfortune and frightened them more. But none would dare go to the top room where she sat in waiting. She sensed each presence: Lockwood after Lockwood. Daughter and son after Mother and Father until the day when one who wasn’t in the bloodline moved in.

This man was different. His heart and intentions were pure. Because he didn’t carry the Lockwood bloodline, she couldn’t quite read him as easily as the others. From what Talyn told her, he was a physician set on helping those who couldn’t afford to pay for such services otherwise. She was grateful the man used the house in such a way but part of her was disappointed. Would she never be free of this prison? Many years had passed and they had entered the year 2,010. The time that passed seemed like a lifetime and she was growing mad from the lack of touch from her prince who was only a step away. If only she could be free to hold him, to touch him…

To go home.

And then one night she felt it.

A daughter of Lockwood prowled the green lawn stretched out in front of the house. And she was coming inside.

Could fortune smile upon them so easily? Was it finally time for the curse to be removed?

Talyn had fallen asleep in a chair next to her table. His arm lay outstretched around the glass dome as if to hold an arm around her. He jolted awake as if sensing her feelings.

Kyleah hit the side of the glass with a soft clink, urging Talyn to look towards the door.

Once he caught on, he rushed to his feet and walked over to the door. The weight of his steps elicited a soft creak against the aged wood floor. He opened the door and peeked outside for a moment before gently closing it with soft click. Kyleah felt the woman downstairs freeze and look toward the upstairs. Did she hear Talyn’s movements?

The floor reacted again when he returned to her side.

Creak. Creak. Creak.

Talyn stopped and smiled down at her. “She knows we’re here. Perhaps she even senses what’s about to happen.”

Kyleah felt herself grow brighter. It was time.

The tiny sparks of light floating around her grew more animated as the whispers returned.

House like stars.

The daughter of Lockwood was coming closer. Kyleah felt her sense of urgency and the dark aura surrounding her like a gloomy, bitter smoke off a raging fire. A name was coming to her. Angry, fierce emotions mixed with naked fear of the unknown.

Kyleah tapped her body of light against the side of the glass.

Tap. Tap. Tap.

She urged the daughter of Lockwood up the stairs.

Closer.

Closer.

Closer.

Until.

The door opened to the dark room with a low, creaking sound.

Windows like eyes.

She watched the woman run to the door for an escape but the doorknob came right off in her hand. The air grew thick as the Lockwood woman looked at her; dark eyes wide like saucers with the realization that things were now out of her control.

The light that was Kyleah’s body brightened as she lifted the table beneath her glass prison, using pure will and the strength of her powers. She felt the Whisperer’s spirit give her strength and a voice to communicate.

“Deria Lockwood.”

“H—How,” the daughter of Lockwood stuttered. “How do you know my name? What…are you?”

“Your grandfather’s grandfather owned this house.” Kyleah felt her strength grow with each word, helping her to continue on. “Captured and imprisoned whatever he wanted.”

“All of his descendants have suffered dark and twisted fates.”

“Now is the time to end the cursed line.”

Talyn moved beside her and the Lockwood woman turned. Her brow furrowed and her eyes narrowed as if she saw him within the shadows.

Come closer,” Kyleah and the whispers said.

She won’t see me,” Talyn said softly. “I would be what they call a ‘ghost’ to her. An apparition of her mind.” His jaws tightened. “I should make her pay for the curse brought upon you.”

No.” Kyleah’s response was softer this time. Her heart constricted as she watched the fearful woman before her. The daughter of Lockwood was now in her control, entranced by the light within the glass. The power of the Sprites. “The Whisperer did not die at her hands.”

But it is her life where the Whisperer’s curse ends.

Kyleah nodded. “Her suffering will end tonight.

The lights sparkled and danced within the dome as if to show their agreement.

The woman, Deria, continued to stare at the light in the glass. She then reached up and grabbed it, lifting it high over her head.

After so many years trapped in this small, glass prison, Kyleah would be free again. Free to change her form, to touch Talyn once more and to live with him in his castle and see her family. Free to do anything she wanted.

The lights around her spun in a whirlwind of light.

There’s no point in hiding.

Joining together, the lights melted into Kyleah’s body. Her heart, her soul and body grew warmer as their strength combined together in a single orb of pure, white light.

The whispers grew together for one final line that would break the curse.

From Manor House ties.

The light burst outward like a star exploding. The warm energy stretched throughout the room and expanded beyond the walls and the mansion itself.

The glass dome crashed to the ground and Kylean felt the cool energy within the air touch her skin. The moment she felt the old wood floor beneath her, she changed. The hot light dimmed to coolness and she felt…She felt!

Hands, arms, legs, feet.

Talyn rushed to her side and pulled her into a tight embrace. “I thought I lost you,” he breathed. Material crushed between them, soft silks, ribbon and lace. She broke free from him and saw the 19th century style dress that she had planned to wear that morning when she was called to Manor House.

She was free!

With tears stinging her eyes, Kyleah laughed and cried. She melted into Talyn’s arms and grabbed his face to bring him forward for a flurry of kisses and hugs. She couldn’t stop touching him and neither could he stop touching her. She wanted to make sure he was real and that she could actually use her senses to reach out and feel him. Knowing she would be safe in his arms.

A loud whoosh behind them caught their attention.

The shards of the broken glass shook violently until it assembled itself piece by piece with one small light remaining within. Then it burst into tiny sparkles of light around a larger orb. Deria Lockwood.

A tiny voice called out but the sound was drowned out by the calmness of the Whisperer’s voice, echoing in a thousand murmurs.

The curse is lifted. Manor House is free. Manor House is free.

“We must hurry before the new owner comes,” Talyn said.

“Yes. He will be returning soon and it would be a shame to have such a mess lying around.

Kyleah plucked the glass dome off the ground and peered at it, amazed that she was in that prison moments ago for too long. Now she had traded places to balance the mystical covenant brought on by the Lockwood ancestor. She then scooped up the woman’s fallen clothes and the items that fell from her pockets.

“I saw her take those,” Talyn said. “They belong to the new owner.”

“We should return them to him.”

Broken glass still lay on the floor to what looked like a priceless heirloom. Kyleah waved her hand and willed the glass to return to its original shape. Then Talyn joined her side, slipped an arm around her shoulders and in an instant, they appeared downstairs.

Kyleah watched Talyn return the items back to their original places. A wad of paper and metal currency. The pretty glass dish. She then looked around the house at the new decoration. Things had changed since she arrived years ago. What kinds of advancements had occurred since then?

“Come,” he said with a smile. “I’ll tell you all about the changed times and the new ‘technology’ as the humans call it.”

They disappeared and in a flash, they appeared outside in the cool evening night.

Kyleah repressed the urge to run freely along the open grass. She wanted to feel the Earth beneath her feet, the wind at her back and the overall joy of freely moving about in her human form. While her former body of light offered movement, the human form offered so many more nerve endings and combined senses to experience the world around her.

She pushed the thoughts out of her mind and lifted the glass to hang on the limb of a tree.

“Fireflies,” Kyleah said softly. “He would think they were fireflies in here. Caught by the local children.”

“Come,” Talyn said, offering his arm to her. “We have preparations for your arrival...my princess-to-be.”

Kyleah took his arm and smiled, noticing the floating crown that now hovered over his head. A soft cry filtered into the night behind them, but she quickly dismissed it the further they got from Manor House.

She felt their surroundings slip away as Talyn wrapped an arm around her waist.

“The world has changed much since our days,” he said. “Technology has replaced magic. There are not many believers in us anymore.” He turned to her with an assuring smile. “But we will go somewhere where there will always be magic.”

Too much time had passed since she last saw her family and her people. Her heart raced beneath her chest as they ventured home.

Soon, all would be right again.

Now that she was finally free from Manor House ties.

2 comments

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kkoning78
AUTHOR
4:32 PM delete

HI Rae :) Great stories...I was hooked...I wanted them to continue...
Really enjoyed them. Thanks for posting them.
Lovely meeting you on "The Day the Sun Stopped Shining Tour"...
- Kim

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10:05 AM delete

Very smooth narration and loved the descriptions. House Like Stars is my fave! Thanks for sharing, Rae.

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