Chapter 1: Void
“I feel different this time,” Aveline said as a spider tingle raced up her spine. She waited for a response, and when none came, tried to adjust her eyes to the void around her. “Mommy, are you there?” Her lips trembled, the warmth of her mother’s embrace now a distant memory. “Arby?” she called, knowing that addressing her father by his first name would elicit an immediate rebuke.
Still there was nothing in this cold, dark place.
Just a moment ago she had been in her kitchen, sketching a picture of her lovely family. At first, she thought that her crayons were enchanted, but when her mother Aeryn told her about the magic teeming inside her, she knew that she had to find out more about the fairy realms that she was tied to. The fairies in her backyard had offered an invitation of sorts, to a magic festival located in the heart of a golden field where the pumpkins grew to be the size of boulders. Now that was something that she just had to see!
A warm draft swept over her, making her tremble anew. The dark space around her smelled musty and old. “Light as a feather, carry me through,” she uttered. “Mom? Dad?” Her calls became more desperate.
Aveline needed to find them soon, especially mommy; otherwise, she might lose herself in the fairy worlds for a small eternity. She’d heard of such tales, from her mother no less, about fairies and time distortion and a little girl who had lost her way. If only she could remember the wisdom threaded in those words, she might spring herself from the void and navigate the tricky worlds of fae.
For a moment she heard it, then again: teeth chattering, followed by the scuttling of tiny feet. An odd stench filled her senses, like honey mixed with butternut squash and rotten broccoli. “Who’s there?” she said, realizing the depth of her error as soon as the words left her lips.