So in an effort to win a contest (competitive? Me? Noooooo!)I am posting a snippet from my finished novel. The constraints? 500 words, ending in a cliffhanger. Hmmm here we go....
“Princess, I can't say any more than I have.” I could hear the pain in his voice. “Back to my inappropriate laughter. You have a choice. Do you want to go to your full moon meeting weak and easy to overlook? Or will you walk in with all the powers you were born to have?”
“What do I have to do?”
“The faeries of the Star Court get their magic from the stars and the water. I laughed because I was afraid you didn't have any real magic. You have a glow. You radiate a weak power, and you haven't been in a source in sixteen years. Mandi, you take after your mother.” For once, Hayune sounded like his old self.
He was warm, but my heart was cold. Tears welled up in my eyes. “You mean I'm weak? That I scurry around after a man that isn't fit to rule dogs?” As soon as I said it, I regretted it.
“No one knows why our queen defers to her king so. It defies tradition.” I could almost feel his cold facade snap into place.
“Do you even notice you go all stiff whenever you talk about them?” I missed Yuni. I wish I knew a way to get him back. I mulled over all of the things he had just told me. “Hey! You called me Mandi!”
He didn't answer, just grabbed my hand and led me out of the dark woods. We crossed out of the woods and stood near the shoreline. He turned to me.
“What is your choice, Princess?”
I gaped up at him, tears pooling in my eyes. If I wanted to find out who killed my father, if I wanted to walk into my meeting with King Spinel with any leverage, if I ever wanted to be all I could be, I had to face my greatest fear. And damn it, he was back to calling me 'Princess' again.
“Are we going for a swim?” He goaded me.
It was as simple as that. Face my fear and accept a new, possibly dangerous, fate or stay dry and unremarkable, but safe. And dry. I scanned the dark lake; the sound of the water lapping against the beach taunted me.
“I didn't bring a bathing suit. Hell, I don't even own a bathing suit.” It was weak, but I had to put up some resistance.
He looked at me a wry smile on his face. “Neither do I.”
“If you expect me to strip down here and just walk into that lake...” I could feel the panic rising. I tried yoga breathing, but just ended up heading toward hyperventilation.
“Do you trust me?”