The Dragon's Secret (The Fay Morgan Chronicles Book 2)

BOOK: The Dragon's Secret (The Fay Morgan Chronicles Book 2)
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Contents

1 A Hundred Forest Fires

2 Mint Sauce

3 Hot Headed

4 Bigfoot

5 DnD Nerds on Steroids

6 True Relics

7 The Red and the White

8 Widdershins

9 The Flying Carpet

10 Kikimuris

11 The Bro-quest

12 Grail Memories

13 The Gray Rock

14 The Way Out

15 Embers

16 The End

17 The Water

About the Author

The Dragon’s Secret

The Fay Morgan Chronicles: Book Two

 

 

Katherine Sparrow

Copyright 2015, Katherine Sparrow

All rights reserved.

 

katherinesparrow.net

 

This novel is a work of fiction. All characters, places, and incidents described in this publication are used fictitiously or are entirely fictional.

No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted, in any form or by any means, except by an authorized retailer, or with written permission of the publisher. Inquiries may be addressed to [email protected]

Cover design by Miranda Horton. Editing by Erica Satifka.

If you with to be notified when Katherine Sparrow's next novel is released, please sign up for her newsletter at
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1

A Hundred Forest Fires

“You didn’t,” Lila said.

“I did.”

My shop assistant and I walked through Pike Place Market and sipped our coffees from Ghost Alley Espresso. It had been made for us by a flirty, straight-edge vampire. We were on our way to open up my store, Morgan’s Ephemera, housed in the lower levels of the market.

“You didn’t,” Lila said again.

I sighed. “Yes. I really did. I thought it would be best to be direct with Merlin. The tactic has never failed me before. And in any case, we were lovers for decades. I didn’t know what else to do.”

We walked past the fish-throwers packing fresh salmon into the shaved ice.

“So you for reals showed up at Merlin’s hotel suite wearing only a trench coat and heels? Baller move, Morgan,” Lila said.

I sighed again. “Enough talk of the man who is much too much of a gentleman.” I remembered the way his eyes had coursed up and down my body, hot and hungry. I remembered how he had told me to cover up as he invited me in for a perfect cup of black tea before sending me home. “Tell me of your studies, Lila. Have you started on Caliban and the Witch?”

“It’s so weird.”

“The capitalist battle against the rebel woman’s body?” I asked.

Lila rolled her eyes. “No, I mean what is even up with Merlin? The two of you had that one perfect kiss two months ago, and now—”

“Now there is nothing to talk about. He wants nothing to do with me.”

We walked by the flower sellers putting out riotous bouquets of dahlias that smelled like spring and fresh-cut grass.

“Please. He takes you out on slickster dates to the Space Needle and the Opera. He brings you flowers and your favorite chocolates. He’s so into you, how could he not be? You’ve seen you, right? Immortal foxy witch Morgan le for reals Fay? Hello. He’s bananas for you. He—”

“He knows our entire history, from start to finish.” I bit my lip. “He knows the reason why I put a forgetting spell on myself that made me forget his existence. I do not. Perhaps I did something so horrible that the idea of touching me disgusts him. Perhaps he did something so wretched that he knows I will flay him when I finally remember the full truth.” I glanced at my arm, where the forgetting spell, a pale blue band, leaked light. It was breaking slowly, and as it did my own past was coming back to haunt me. Every day, multiple times a day, I considered breaking it completely so that I might know the entirety of my own damn history and whatever mystery lay between Merlin and me once and for all. But the spell breakage already gave me blackouts, headaches, and nose bleeds. I did not want to risk turning myself into a vegetable, or worse, a deranged and powerful witch.

“Geez, Morgan. Who knows, you know? It could be all doom and gloom, for sure,” Lila said. “But it might not be. It could be all rom-commy and cute, maybe.” We turned toward a concrete staircase and took them slowly down. Even though it had been two months since Lila had been attacked, she was still weak.

“Enough speculation,” I said. “Do you have any questions about your reading?”

She shrugged. “I sort of, um, have been spending all my free time with Adam.”

I sighed. “And how are things with the dog?” I wasn’t being entirely rude about Merlin’s companion and Lila’s current boyfriend: Adam was a werewolf.

“Awesome. So hot. He made me promise not to tell, but he howls when he—uh oh.” Lila pointed at three women standing before the door to my Wiccan store.

They had the look. I glared at them as they spotted me and grinned.

Damnit, no matter how many confusion spells I set, some of them always seemed to find me.

“Is that her?” a woman asked. She wore a
Child of the Moon
t-shirt
.

“Hey. Are you, you know?” The second woman wore all black, including lipstick and eye shadow.

“That is her. Wow,” said the third. She wore an inane assortment of jewelry: ankh earring, a labrys ring, and a pentagram necklace. She held up her phone and took my picture. The other two pulled out their cameras and did the same.

“No,” I said.

“Now for a picture of us all together?” the one in black said. “Our friends back home won’t believe that we actually met Morgan le Fay, and also do you have any magic for us?”

The
Child of the Moon
nodded vigorously. “Or maybe some wise advice you could give to some young witches just starting? Wow, I can’t believe we are actually meeting you.”

“Yeah,” said the third. “You’re way more wicked looking in person. We had so much fun figuring out where you were—good job with all the confusing clues and misdirection. Such a fun witch hunt.”

A witch hunt, she said, as though she had no knowledge of the terrible history those words contained, and yet she claimed herself a witch.

They flanked Lila and me, holding up their phones.

“Smile!”

I did not. I grabbed each of their phones, plucked a spelled penny from my pocket, and uttered, “Dileu.”

The three phones shattered.

“What the hell?” one of them said.

“You asked me for magic, and so I gave you a breaking spell. And wise advice? If you tell any of your friends back home that you found me and that I exist, if you so much as utter my name anywhere that you go, I will send my hellhounds after you and they will destroy everything that you love before attacking you and dragging you down to the lowest level of Hades.”

I leveled my most intense glare at them as they ran away.

“Dude, remind me not to ever get on your bad side,” Lila said. “And you don’t really have hellhounds, do you?”

I sighed as I took out my key. “They keep coming. If only I could erase all traces of myself from the internet,” I said. Ever since I had saved hundreds of women from a ritual intent on destroying them, and inadvertently outed myself in the process, so-called witches who thought I was a tourist attraction kept finding me. One of the tricks to staying alive while immortal was keeping hidden. If these women could find me, who and what else might come looking for me? One of the many problems with a forgetting spell was that I had no idea who my enemies might be.

I opened the door and the spell that guarded it at the same time. I strode across the small store, filled with all kinds of useful goods for true witches. Lila flipped on the lights as I went behind the register. My hands automatically reached for my tarot deck and shuffled the cards a couple of times before choosing the day’s card that called out to me.

I pulled the ace of cups: an ethereal hand holding an overflowing cup of water. It was a minor arcana card, which might signify getting a gift. A gift from Merlin, perhaps? I sighed. I was too old to fool myself into reading my own desires into the cards. The card meant what it meant, and soon enough the day’s secrets and truths would unfold.

I put the cards away and pulled out my ledger from beneath the cash register, determined to get lost in the numb languages of numbers and forget about Merlin and my ridiculous witch-fans. The door opened.

“If you are looking for spells to rot your genitals off, they are over there,” I said without looking up. I pointed toward my rack of dried herbs. “Otherwise, go away.”

“I’m not here for spells,” a girl said. A second later her smell hit me: a hundred forest fires, raging.

I looked up and closed my ledger. “Hello.”

The girl was small and rail-thin. She looked hungry or addicted to the sort of drug that made one waste away. She wore ripped jeans, a ragged haircut, and a burn mark on one cheek.

“And what are you here for?” I asked carefully.

“I need your

help.” She spoke like it cost her something to admit that.

“I can go buy you a sandwich, or some hum bow, or donuts,” Lila said. “Or we have coffee. And we keep a list of all the homeless shelters around here.”

The girl and I watched each other.

“I have a guess that’s not the kind of help this creature needs,” I said.

“You know what I am?” she whispered.

“Yes, dragon. I do.”

 

 

 

 

 

2

Mint Sauce

Dragons are a singular species. Many creatures can learn to wield magic, but dragons
are
magic. Magic lays threaded through their bones and marrow, and they are elementally and always magic in a way that no other creatures, besides fairies, are. Fairies? They stand five inches tall at their largest and are full of mischief. Dragons? The truly old ones were as big as semis. And it isn’t only that they are magic, but they are also keenly intelligent—not in the way of humans, but in their own inscrutable way. To be honest, and I have no pride over this, when dragons disappeared across the world at the tail end of the dark ages my feelings were less of loss and more of relief. Not that I had any particular issue with dragons, as far as I could recollect, but I held a healthy fear of them.

“Dragon? As in fire-breathing, flying-lizard dragon?” Lila asked. “Do you morph or something?”

“Silence, human,” the girl hissed, jamming her hands into her pockets. Her jean jacket was soaked through from the morning’s rain, and steam wafted off her. An orange halo of raw magic shimmered around her, so potent that I could see it.

“She is what a dragon looks like,” I said. “About half of all dragons look human.” I spoke calmly though my heart raced. “But don’t think for a second that she is one of us. It is good to see your kind. I have not seen a dragon since—” I shook my head. Truthfully, I did not know.

“Since you freed Y Ddraig Goch
on the bloody battlefield where Arthur was slain?” she whispered, her bright eyes searching mine.

“Y Ddraig Goch.”
I murmured the Welsh syllables.
The Red Dragon
. Arthur’s dragon. I had no memories of that dragon besides the name, I had only a blank inside of me made of fog and confusion, but then my own history came back to me like a flood, rushing over me and swallowing me whole.

Arthur left on a quest to the craggy, barren Isle of Man with Merlin, on one of his early adventures. I followed them both, disguised as a sea gull. I watched them navigate through the rough waters. They landed and walked over the moss-slippery rocks, higher and higher until they came to a great egg, speckled and round. It sat set out on a flat stone covered with gray-green lichen as though waiting for them. They wrapped it in blankets and ran all the way back to their small boat. Merlin used spells to keep the egg warm and unbroken through the rough waters and summer storms I sent their way as they returned to Camelot.

BOOK: The Dragon's Secret (The Fay Morgan Chronicles Book 2)
7.26Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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