Edith may not be brazen and enchanted like her twin sister, Ember, but in a world of dying magic, perhaps her simple desires are enough.
After a Selection Banquet gone awry, Edith is left without a suitor or a plan. Befriending a little white fox and occupying herself with a philanthropic project outside castle walls, Edith soon rebuilds morale and musters enough courage to reach out to her estranged twin sister.
But Ember’s been harboring an evil secret - and thwarted love and jealous can turn acts of merit into classic tales of wickedness in this new twist on an old tale.
“Away with you! Or I will scream as if I’m being murdered.” Gretchen’s voice grew shrill.
The fact that the word “murder” was in a small child’s vocabulary scared Edith more than the threat itself. “I will go, I will go,” she said hurriedly. Edith decided to leave her cape and make a run for the Wood. Secrecy was more important than the shawl and gifts, so she decided to make a getaway and hoped abandoning the cape would perhaps serve as a reason to return. Whether or not she wanted to brave such a return was still up for debate.
“Father and Mother will be walking up the same pathway you took to come here. To avoid them, you must go a different way or stay parallel and concealed in the forest beside it. Unless you want to bump into them?” Her tone was sarcastic. “I’m sure after yet another futile day of hunting and foraging for squirrels, they’d love to see you.”
Edith didn’t acknowledge Gretchen. Instead, she ran headlong toward to forest’s edge for fear of what might happen if Ember discovered that her most hated rival was at her cottage. When she reached the edge of Elfin Wood, a curious pull behind Edith’s ribcage had her look over her shoulder for one last glance at the dilapidated cottage. She saw her nephews standing at the window. Rune was waving profusely, hands full of the cookies Edith had made. Dash, whose eyes could be seen peeking happily from under the hood of his aunt’s cape, blew kisses with razzleberry tart stained hands. Edith clutched her chest and stepped into the tangled brush of the Wood.
About the Author
Meredith Jade was raised in a small town by parents who taught her to love reading. From the moment she could hold pencil to paper, she wrote. After graduating college and traveling abroad teaching English in Uttaradit, Thailand for a year, she came home. Writing was that home. Her writing has a range of inspirations, all a result of her voracious reading as a child and young adult. Anything from Victorian Literature to bird watching guides to NY Times best sellers have served as an agent for her imagination. Never Upon a Time is her first novel.
Connect with Meredith
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