Book 1: Nandana's Mark
Defying the dark phase of the Enchanted World’s two moons, Melia imagined light, like the flame of a candle. A soft wind rustled the oak’s leaves; her timid inner flame snuffed out. Her heart hammered in her chest.
If the ylandria didn’t work, what was she going to do?
Every day it was getting harder to keep her dark moon visions secret. And she needed to keep them secret. The gory scenes seemed so real as if they were going to come true if she didn’t do something to stop them. But nothing she’d tried had worked. Not the running across the fields until her legs gave out; not the burying herself in the morning glories and long grass in the meadows for hours on end; and definitely not the forcing herself to keep awake for three long nights every moon cycle.
She hugged her stomach. If anyone besides her best friend, Tatou, found out about them, could they force her to leave Illialei?
Maybe they’d make her return to the Mortal World alone. Or maybe they’d sentence her to death. She’d never heard of anything like that happening in the Realm of Faerie, but…
Her mother would bear it all in grim silence; a hard glint to her lilac eyes would be the only admission to the burden her middle child had always been.
Would anyone care that Melia had tried to stop the visions? That she couldn’t choke down a bite of her favorite pan-fried greens for the three days they threatened? Or that she never went to school during the moons’ dark phase because she didn’t know when one of the hallucinations might strike?
It had begun with her father invading her mind. Remembering the shock of that first mental invasion made her shudder. Why had her mother married a mortal when they were viewed with such disdain by full-blooded faeries…and elves?
The muscles in her jaw tightened. Every day more rumors surfaced about the Great Mortal Druid Elynus. Dad.
Just that afternoon she’d overheard a conversation at the Bryndale vegetable market. Two elves had stood on the other side of a canvas wall that separated the stall that sold broccoli and cauliflower from the one that sold tomatoes. Melia had been sorting through Marguerite’s famous beefsteaks when she’d heard her mother’s name. She’d picked up two of the choicest fruits, and shoved past the other shoppers to listen.
‘He’s obsessed with Pressina.’
‘How many years has it been? A decade? Almost two?’
‘Probably longer than that in the Mortal World.’
‘He’s discovered a way to incarnate Umbra.’
‘Why would he do that?’
‘Thinks he can change the laws between the worlds. Let him come back to Faerie.’
‘Does Pressina want him to come back?’
‘Who knows? It’s never been done.’
‘I heard she lives in the ancient oak. You know, the one near the river, in a tree house with their three daughters. But I never see her.’
‘No one does.’
‘What part of breaking a faerie troth doesn’t he understand? You don’t get a second chance. That’s the point. He needs to move on. Forget about Pressina. And incarnating Umbra.’
‘Are you going to tell him?’
‘And miss my afternoon nap? I’ll have you know I’ve got dibs on the shadiest spot in the glen.’
Snort. ‘Have you seen the girls?’
‘Pretty enough, but they don’t have any wings.’
‘They don’t belong here. Pressina should have left them in the Mortal World with him.’
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Genre – Fantasy
Rating – PG
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