Unraveled, Part 14

Hello! It’s lovely to see y’all again! I’m sorry my hiatus was longer than I expected. I was caught up in the last few weeks of classes and the start of summer, which has been fantastic, and I hope it’s equally lovely for you! But the break was just what I needed, and I’m excited to be blogging again.

I’ll try to get Unraveled posts up every week. One of the reasons I didn’t come out of hiatus sooner was because I forgot my Google Docs login (smooth, I know), so it took a few days of trying every possible combination to find all 21,000 words of my novel. However, since it’s now safely recovered, we can get back to Emma and her friends. 🙂

Thanks so much for your patience and kind wishes for me. I’m incredibly grateful to have such wonderful followers and blog friends. ❤

UNRAVELED-3

Table of Contents

Unraveled, Part 14

I always heard about people’s life flashing before their eyes. I would have liked that; I would have preferred to relive my childhood memories right before my life ended. Picnics with Hayden, long evenings marathoning TV shows while I crocheted, the day I got a job at Yarn Emporium and didn’t stop smiling for the next week. It would have been comforting.

Instead, while I was falling as impressively as Alice in Wonderland, a different image swam into my mind. It was the Briars and Roses Shawl, the bane of my existence. For a fleeting second I saw it in its finished state, delicate roses twining their way up the side of the shawl, framed with lacy edging that let the sun shine through the holes. I saw it so clearly, it was like it was right in front of me.

Then I got the wind knocked out of me again, ground slamming into my back. I knocked my head against the ground and just lay there for a moment, trying to remember how to breathe.

It took a moment for me to realize what was wrong.

I had fallen down a well; why was I resting on the grass?

I opened my eyes and took in my surroundings, unable to believe what I was seeing. I didn’t see stone surrounding me and water at my feet as I had expected. Instead – impossibly, ridiculously – I was lying next to a well identical to the one I had fallen down. But the rest of the world had changed.

I sat up gingerly, head pounding.

The sky was gray like a storm was about to come, teeming with clouds dark as my mood. The trees were thicker and taller, pinning me in. The ring of daisies was still there, but the flowers were wilting. When I looked closer at the trees, some of them had brown leaves and pine needles like they were dying. It didn’t look like the same forest from earlier, but there was no possible way I could be somewhere else. Had Rory maybe knocked me out and dragged me here? But why would she go to all that effort?

The worst part was that Catherine was here, too, sprawled in a heap next to me. I was relieved to see her and I felt guilty for being relieved. I hoped she had escaped, but here she was. Where is ‘here,’ anyway?

I had a sudden, awful thought: was Catherine…alive? The way she was sprawled, I couldn’t see whether or not she was breathing. I put a hand on her still-warm wrist and felt for a pulse. Then I released a breath as I felt her heart beating faintly. Not dead yet.

Then I saw Rory standing next to the well – except she wasn’t the pink-haired elderly lady anymore. Her ears ended in two points, poking through her hair. They were perfectly tapered like every picture you see of fairies. Her hair was several shades of pink, and it looked like there were feathers growing out of her scalp, like extra strands of hair. Her skin was clear and wrinkle-free and she didn’t look a day over twenty years old.

She was looking around her, faintly smiling at her surroundings.

I wondered if I could scramble away before she noticed me, but I didn’t want to leave Catherine. Besides, I had no idea what had happened. I stood up. It called enough attention to myself that Rory’s head snapped around to face me. Her gaze was striking.

“Emma,” she said. I tried not to stare at her, but it was beyond my capabilities. She noticed. “You’re confused,” she noted. “I’m sure you’re wondering what’s going on.”

“Rory, what…”

“Don’t call me that,” she snapped, eyes flashing. “I hated that filthy human name. I told Elide I could go by my true name, my true self, but she insisted I had a disguise. Keep the humans from wondering.” She scoffed. “I’m Neirin, first child of the Nyfain bloodline. I will not be disgraced by you, even if you’re not human scum anymore.”

Had I fallen into a fantasy world? And what did she mean by ‘not human scum anymore’? “I’m sorry,” I said automatically, more out of a sense of self-preservation rather than any guilt. It wouldn’t do to anger my possibly-fantastical possible captor.

Neirin paced the grass, kicking aside Catherine’s feet as she went. I flinched on my friend’s behalf, but she made no move to hurt her so I forced myself to stay put. I forced myself to take a deep breath and not panic. Maybe it was impossible, and completely ridiculous, but it looked like I had fallen into some sort of fantasy world. Like when Alice fell down the rabbit hole and appeared in Wonderland. Maybe a normal person wouldn’t have jumped to that conclusion, but I read too many fantasy books to discount that option.

Still, when I went to push my hair out of my face and felt the pointed tip of my ear, I very nearly had a heart attack.

I bit my lip and poked the tip of my ear again. The cartilage narrowed to a delicate point, protruding from my dark blonde waves. Any doubts I had vanished. There was no reason my ears should suddenly be pointed. I didn’t know of any medical condition that suddenly caused someone’s ears to become pointed.

That left me with two clear possibilities.

I could be dreaming. I wanted to rule out this option because my dreams were never this realistic. In my dreams, whenever I thought about the possibility that I could be dreaming, I usually woke myself up. That was the key to lucid dreaming – realizing you were asleep. In books, people were always pinching themselves to see if they were awake. That had never worked for me, but the truth was it seemed very unlikely that I was dreaming right now.

Or…this really could be some sort of fantasy world.

***

As always, please keep in mind this is a first draft, and it definitely needs editing! Your feedback is always appreciated. 🙂

How’s your summer going?

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4 thoughts on “Unraveled, Part 14

  1. Gayla says:

    Totally different direction than I thought you were heading!! This is the reason I keep saying you have missed your calling. So glad limited time and login were the culprits to your absence & not something more “sinister”. Great to have you back & highly anticipating next installment.

    Like

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