Silver Shards

Prologue

The meetings happened once a month. They were always at night, under an old oak tree behind the stables. A tree nymph whose name I still didn't know had fashioned an underground room for our meetings. You would simply have to press against one of the knots in her tree to open the trapdoor. Simple, but effective.

Orland, the faerie healer of the Silver King's palace, always accompanied me to the meetings but, tonight, he was occupied so I ventured out on my own. It wasn't easy to get out of the castle unnoticed but my friend, a silver haired, purple pixie named Rayna, had set a small fire on the opposite end of the castle that would temporarily draw my guards away. I quickly arranged the pillows and blankets so that it looked like I was asleep, fastened on my long black travelling cloak, and slipped out of my prison—I mean, room—unnoticed.

I let out a sigh when I spotted the kitchen door around the corner, for in the kitchen there was a trapdoor that led to the stables. From the stables, it was a ten second run to the oak tree. Silently, I padded over to the kitchen and slowly opened the door. I had yet to see a guard, which I found strange considering the fire Rayna had created couldn't have been that disastrous, but who was I to complain about my luck?

The kitchens were empty at that time of night so Maven, a stumpy brownie with sharp claws who also happened to be the head chef, wasn't there to smack me with a spoon when I snatched an apple from the bag hanging on the wall near the door. The only problem with having a cooking team entirely composed of brownies was that the kitchen itself was tiny and, as a result, I had to bend my head or risk smacking it against the ceiling. Brownies were short creatures but, damn, could they cook.

I bit into my apple, pushed aside the rug which concealed the trapdoor, and dropped down into the darkness. After going by this route many times over, the idea of travelling through a dark underground tunnel to reach the stables no longer frightened me. In fact, as I scampered down said tunnel, I barely noticed the things that had once frightened me, like the sound of mice and rats.

The tunnel let out in one of the horses stalls. I opened it slowly, so as to not spook the creature, but the horse was used to people passing by him at night and didn't even wake. The stables were empty of any Silver Fae so I left unnoticed and was thinking about my stroke of luck when I pushed open the stables doors and saw that the oak tree was on fire. I froze, rooted to the spot by confusion and despair. My apple tumbled to the ground, forgotten, and I started to run to the tree. Suddenly, strong arms wrapped around me from behind and shock made me scream.

"Did you really think that I wouldn't find out?" Damien, the Unseelie fae turned Silver King, hissed into my ear. My eyes widened of their own accord and it all clicked together. Damien found out about the meetings. He'd burnt the tree down and, most likely, everyone who was in the secret room beneath it.

"I had hoped not," I snapped back. Even after all the time spent with the king, after all the things I'd had to endure, he did not scare me. He made me angry.

Damien spun me around and, as his hand closed over my throat, I found myself thinking for the umpteenth time that he bore a startling resemblance to his brother, prince William of the winter court.

That was when I blacked out.


ALRIGHT THE NEW STORY HAS BEGUN :O GASP! What do you make of the prologue so far? I just wrote it last night and, considering the fact that I was struck by inspiration at around one a.m, it may be a bit strange...