I feel like you’ve kinda got the gist and I don’t need to put this anymore, but this is a weekly urban fantasy serial open to reader suggestions!
“I’ll pay you. You can do homework.”
Phin sighed. Actually, he didn’t have a problem running the front desk for Dakotah. It was just that normally they stood there together and hung out. Now Dakotah was spending every afternoon with Caitlin, the Guardian who was supposed to be dead.
“It’s cool, I’ll help.”
“Thanks, bro! I owe you.” Dakotah was already walking away. “Be back in a few.”
Phin didn’t know if he meant minutes or hours.
Pete and Val came up and settled behind the counter on the floor, instead of the little table they usually hung out at.
“We’ll keep you company,” Val said.
She sat with the Guardian grimoire, her grimoire of choice whenever Dakotah didn’t have fey visitors he needed more info on. Pete was blissfully homework free since the new quarter had started.
“Anyway, they said even though it was a new quarter, they didn’t want me to jump into the French program.” Val finished complaining to Pete.
“They just don’t want you failing. I bet if your mom called in they’d let you. They don’t wanna be held responsible.”
“I’ll try that,” Val decided. Her parents didn’t know she wanted to start French again but she may as well tell them now.
“How’s Spanish?” she asked Phin.
“I dropped,” Phin said.
Val’s eyebrows arched but Pete seemed to know already. “I’m not surprised but…what did your parents say?”
Phin shrugged uncomfortably. The conversation was interrupted by a man entering to pick up a set-aside order of candles and antique candlesticks.
After Phin helped the customer, he sat back on the stool facing the girls.
“I didn’t tell them. It was a pointless class anyway, and I couldn’t even walk in there after–”
He broke off. He reached out and grabbed three taper candles made of purple wax.
“Shit. I gave that guy the wrong candles!”
“Relax,” said Pete. “If he really cares he’ll come back.”
“No,” Phin said. “These are normal candles. I gave him fey ones!”
For the past few days, Caitlin had been teaching his about Guardian magic. The first thing he had asked about was the Divine Light.
“Useful shit, right?” she had said. “Divine Light is simple but it scares off a lot of different kinds of baddies. Of course, we can’t do it.”
“That sucks. Why not?”
“Heroes have innate magic. Divine Light is one of the most basic abilities. It’s also the first to go if they ever turn.”
That didn’t sound like a good thing, but she had said it with a bit of glee.
“So I don’t have any innate magic?”
“We can produce any. Guardian magic is all about influencing other magic. When we’re near something, we can take on its powers. That’s why we’re most powerful at our Sanctuaries. The House has its own magic we can borrow. We can also amplify. Heroes are stronger around us, that kind of thing.”
What had followed was a series of weird practices of amplifying or taking on the magic of various things from his shop.
Today was different though. Yesterday she’d been shocked to hear he hadn’t explored the fey world.
“You’ll never see all of your House, frankly. But the fey world had LOTS of cool shit.”
That was how they ended up in his canoe on the Lake to Everywhere. He paddled, she focused on where they were going.
“You should even just walk around your neighborhood on the fey side. Everything’s different.”
Dakotah was silent for long enough that she looked back at him.
“The night I was made Heir, everything in the fey world came out to attack me. I got lost in the fey world and these–things–like shadows?”
“Prowlers,” she said solemnly. “Monsters controlled by the Unseelie Court.”
“Yeah, the prowlers were everywhere. I only got out because all these lights blazed up and voices called to me–”
Caitlin was frowning. “You took the Lighted Way?”
“Yeah. That bad?”
“It’s just–the Lighted Way is something the Seelie Court, and only the Seelie Court, can do. And the Seelie Court isn’t supposed to be around anymore.”
He shrugged. “It isn’t, as far as I know. I never saw the path or heard the voices again.”
“But they saved you,” Caitlin said. “And that means something.”
My YA fantasy novel TURQUOISEBLOOD is out now! Get your copy here!
When the dangerous rogue dragon Anya crash lands in an isolated mountain village during a snowstorm, Kiri saves her life. Anya awakens seemingly cured of her madness and in thanks offers to show Kiri the country outside her village.
What starts as a simple pact quickly becomes something more as Kiri becomes embroiled in the intrigue of the royal court and the hunt for a murderer.
Meanwhile, 200 years in the past, Pristina fights to stop a rising civil war.