Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Written Fireside ~ Of the Storm: Part 2

...Fae Meets Halloween in a Romance Free Read

Last year, Lori Connelly, of Written Fireside fame, invited me to participate in a Halloween round robin story with her and seven other writers. That story, A Witch By Chance, was so much fun to read and write, I secretly hoped she would ask me back again this year. Yay! She did. Below is my contribution to this year's free romance story, Of the Storm.

If you haven't already read Part 1, you'll want to read it first, here.

Of the Storm

Part II by Aileen Harkwood

“The queen requests the Samhain Torc,” Brishen said. “I am to collect it from you and deliver it to her majesty before the hour changes.”

He might use the word request, and speak in bland tones normally suited to please pass the potatoes, but Amaya knew better. This was not a polite entreaty. It was a demand.

“Well, she can’t have it,” she said. “The torc has been in the sacred trust of my family for over 800 years. It’s not the Queen’s to command.”

He raised one moon-silver brow in disbelief which she thought might also be tinged with admiration, or, knowing Bri and the fae, was more likely delight at her stupidity. In refusing Tasaria—her great-grandmother twenty-one generations removed, with far too much human blood running through Amaya's veins to ever be considered one of them — she not only denied the Queen of the Fae what she desired. She risked death. Tasaria wasn’t squeamish. She’d do it herself, executing Amaya by her own hands, in full view of the court.

Amaya didn’t know who had created the Samhain Torc, that part of its story had been lost to the centuries, but she understood its role in human-sídhe relations, and the dire necessity of keeping it out of fae hands. The torc was not simply an obscenely priceless historic artifact. It was a door between the realms only someone attuned to it by blood could use, and only on a single day of the year.

Today was that day, Halloween, or as the fae preferred it, Samhain.

“In case you hadn’t noticed…” Bri nodded significantly at thunderheads visible through her kitchen window, thousands of feet high, ignited by lightning, and boiling up into a storm no one in their right mind would consider natural.

“Her armies?”

“They’re prepared to force the border if you don’t hand over the torc.”

“Good luck with that.”

“You assume she won’t be able to?” That too-silver-to-be-human eyebrow went up again.

Odd, she’d known her counterpart from the other side of the border most of her life, but never before noticed; Brishen’s eyebrows were neither symmetrical nor perfect. Distinctly unfae-like. His stance, hip leaning into her countertop, arms folded across his upper body, may have communicated trademark sídhe boredom, but his broad chest couldn’t carry off the fae’s boneless dissipation.

Too much human in you, Bri. You’re a throwback, aren’t you?

Contrary to the fae way of thinking, the imperfections made him more, not less attractive.

“You’re unwise to underestimate the queen’s–”

“I don’t have it.” She blurted out the catastrophic news she’d learned the moment she’d stepped over her threshold.

“Excuse me?”

“I don’t have the torc. It’s gone.”

His face showed no reaction. “Some sacred trust.”

“Makani’s missing,” she added. “You didn’t see the disaster in the living room?” Her worry over her sister’s absence gnawed at her.

He gave a precise shrug. “I figured…typical human housekeeping.”

“Wow. Thanks.”

She abandoned him and returned to the living room. This wasn’t an ordinary mess, not even for Makani.

“So,” Bri said, having followed her. “Where do you think it is?”

This room, the sign on the door, Bri’s lack of surprise at hearing of the torc’s disappearance...felt off, so off. She turned to him.

“Why the sudden build up at the border?” she asked. “What aren’t you telling me?”


Ready to go on to Part 3? The fabulous Elise Forier Edie continues the story on her blog. You won't want to miss it. Definitely some fae fireworks between Bri and Amaya!


  1. Thank you, Paty!!! Looking forward to seeing where you and the others take this. Lori gave us a fun beginning. :)

  2. Well done! Love the direction the story is taking.

  3. Thank you, Ciara! Very curious to see where it goes. Elise is up next. She has done a phenomenal job. Loving this story. It is SO MUCH fun writing together. Looking forward to your part. :-D

  4. Where did you find the picture of the Samhain Torc?

  5. Sorry, didn't include the link in the comment above. Found it halfway down this page:


    The photo has a creative commons license. Cleaned it up and isolated the torc on a black background.

  6. So...not something I can find for sale on Etsy. Just as well. It would look weird with one of my T-shirts from Old Navy.

  7. LOL! Actually, I think this would look perfectly groovy with a tee from Old Navy. Rip a few holes in the T-shirt, slap on your very own priceless gold torc and you're good to go for a day at the Rose Bowl Flea Market. :)


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