Illustration: The Sorceress Rendskorra of SpringShoot Green


Excerpt – Maiden of a Darkness Shining

Part Two – Of Souls Gone Lost

The Dark Sorceress Rendskorra of SpringShoot Green was flying her two-headed TrakkoonBeast toward the Main TransPort Gates linking her kingdom with that of SummersBreath Still. How she hated these last minute rearrangements of her schedule, but with her notorious RedSuits positioned at the ready for ambush in the TiaraReign CityHeights, she felt she could make time for her sisters—especially if the one requesting her presence was none other than S’ilKuSheere, herself. And with Mistraya in attendance, it should prove to be an entertaining free-for-all at Brutessa’s castle. Even Empress Insensatia will be in attendance.

Gathering her effusiveness of multicolored hair blown every which way, the handsome and trendily styled woman tied it off with several loops and a tug, before adjusting her outrageously fashionable SunGoggles. Taking a moment, she wiggled to once more get comfortable, feeling she had been sitting too long. Nonetheless, how she loved riding sidesaddle into the bold heat of the desert planet. In fact, in one of the many compartments that were draped to either side of her beast, she kept her sunhat and swimsuit in storage. She looked forward to their retrieval—that, or simply sunning in total without.

As for going to Brutessa’s castle at all, she wasn’t overly keen on the prospect, hating these sisterly get-togethers no matter what the reason. They were just absolutely no fun at all. It was like being invited to a swim party in a quickening pool of spiky serpents. If given her druthers, she would much prefer landing her large and weighty long-necked beast at the nearest oasis, and once there, going for a dip and sunning herself afterward—intoxicating Concoction in hand—making for a far more pleasurable and worthwhile journey.

Such a conniving, impertinent, and vicious lot we make, she thought, and all former Maidens of the Pool. If either S’ilKuSheere or Brutessa insists on turning this meeting into an all night pajama party, I’m sure come morning we’ll have had more than enough time to maim or annihilate one another many times over.

Illustration: The Kratkurian Alliance (the KA)



Maiden of a Darkness Shining

Part Two – Of Souls Gone Lost

Heather grew serious, thoughtful. “Hey, Starbrill, what exactly is the KA, anyway?”

Molly had been poised to ask that very question.

“The letters K and A stand for the Kratkurian Alliance. After the Bloodlet Overthrow when the Maidens were thrown from power—although ‘guidance’ would be the more appropriate word, here—nevertheless, when Maiden Rule had ended, and with Emperor Kratkuffe under the Influence, he formed our new government, the Kratkurian Alliance. The KA propped up the collapsing financial infrastructure of Evermore, taking over banks and businesses, while installing a system of henchmen, sleepers, and drainers indebted to the Crown.”


Illustration: Three Sorceress Sisters, an Empress, and a Stricken Maiden Portent



Maiden of a Darkness Shining

Part Two – Of Souls Gone Lost

Smirking at her younger sister’s rebuke, S’ilKuSheere strutted past the departing butlers, past Mistraya and her flowing, purple robes, and into the heart of the luxurious bedchamber. Before her, visible between the parted draperies of the bedstead, the stricken Maiden Portent lay looking like a young Sleeping Beauty in state. Sidestepping her LuggageBox, Mistraya followed on the heels of her shapely sister, whereby they joined Brutessa and Insensatia in observation.

“So, what have we here, Brutessa?” asked S’ilKuSheere, peering down. “She’s a lovely little Nearling, isn’t she?”

“Shall I be allowed a look?” said Mistraya, firmly guiding Insensatia aside to make room near the headboard. “Oh, and isn’t she just that, Sister of mine? Although, I must admit, this youngling is not nearly as attractive as one Heather Nighborne, she who will probably blossom into our most feared Maiden Portent.”

“You and your favorites,” declared Brutessa. “Why do you bother putting claim on them, investing emotionally in these children? We’ll be killing them all in short order.”


Illustration: The Indigo Stranger



The TimeLight Awakenings

Chapter Twenty

Had she only glanced towards the servants’ entrance in the parlor, she would have noticed an indigo figure immobile at the wall, brushed by afternoon shadows. As it was, a pair of eyes studied Grandma Dawn’s poised, familiar bearing in retreat, until her footfalls faded. Then, carefully opening the servant’s door, the latest Bristol House visitor slipped inside to begin a soundless descent to the basement.