Authors: J.D. Hollyfield,Skeleton Key
Tags: #Skeleton Key Book
Copyright © 2016 by J.D. Hollyfield
All rights reserved. Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise) without the prior written permission of both the copyright owner and the above publisher of this book.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, brands, media, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. The author acknowledges the trademarked status and trademark owners of various products referenced in this work of fiction, which have been used without permission. The publication/use of these trademarks is not authorized, associated with, or sponsored by the trademark owners.
Barren Acres Editing
J.M Rising Horse Creations
J.M Rising Horse Creations
To Jackson, my dog. Because you’re a dog and you deserve something to be dedicated to you, besides a measly bowl and couch pillow. Love you little buddie.
Thank you to Scarlett Dawn for allowing me this opportunity. It was an amazing experience and I couldn’t have been happier with the outcome.
A warm thank you to Elizabeth George Turney, for helping inspire me with ideas that formed into Locke and Adeline’s story.
A large wine cheers to Stacey at Champagne Formats for always making anything I send her into a Formatting masterpiece.
I want to give a huge shout out to all my peeps that helped me through this journey. All the overwhelming support of this industry is amazing. Thank you to Jenn Wood, Ella Stewart, Amy Waiter, Kristi Webster, Manda Lee and Karen Hrdlicka for offering your time, eyes, opinions and support.
Lastly, a HUGE thank you to all the supporting blogs, readers and authors who have helped share the love and support by posting about Unlocking Adeline and participating in all the promotions.
Table of Contents
ddie Bear, are ye sure? I’ve told ye this story many a times now. Don’t ye want to hear a new one?”
Little Adeline McAllister bounced in her bed, anxious for the only story she wanted to hear. “No, Daddy, pwease, I want to hear about the Pwince and Pwincess of Wen, pwease!?”
Richard McAllister tucked his only daughter snugly into her pink, princess sheets, setting her favorite brown teddy bear tightly to her side as he settled in beside her. “Alright, Princess. One more time, but then it’s off to sleep ye go.” Adeline grabbed for her teddy and wrapped her little arms around his worn fur, hugging him closely to her as she prepared for her favorite fairy tale.
“Once upon a time, long, long ago, there was a magical land. One ye had to be very special to find. One where only a
glass key could take ye to. And if ye were granted that key, ye would end up in a world of enchantment.” This was where Adeline always squeezed Mr. Bear tighter, as her father began to describe to her the most beautiful place in the world.
“Just beyond the snowy hilltops, down past the vibrant sparkling river, and amidst the sunlit forest clearing, ye would find this magical land. A land called Wren. Ye see, t’was hidden
, not just anyone could find it. Only the best warriors knew how to enter or leave this land. And only the special were welcomed in it.”
“How special?” Adeline wiggled under her warm blankets.
“Very special. Ye had to be a princess.”
Adeline always became sad at this part of the story. She wanted nothing more than to go and live in Wren. But she wasn’t a princess. “But I’m not a pwincess, so does that mean I can’t ever go to Wen?” She frowned.
Her father took his hand and brushed the loose curl away from her little face, tucking it back behind her ear. “But ye are a princess. The most beautiful, courageous princess I know.”
As her smile returned, Richard continued, “The land of Wren was beautiful, almost too lovely for one’s eyes. The quaint wee village, being tucked away in between those luscious forests, was surrounded by the loveliest cottages, all built by hand and surrounded by trinkets and wild flowers. Oh, this land was filled with life. Ye couldn’t even go two feet without the pleasant hellos and good days of friends or families. Wee ones were always playing in their yards, neighbors helping one another. And the scenery, aye the scenery was breathtaking. Nothing like what ye see here. From the bright green trees, full with life, to the vibrant flowers, ye couldn’t turn yer eyes away from the beauty. There was a river that ran along the village, into the most beautiful lake, ending just before the line of the lush forest. It just felt like yer own little piece of the universe. But what was the most enchanting of all was the castle that resided just up the hill from the wee village. The castle where the King and Queen of Wren lived.”
Adeline’s father knew the parts his daughter loved the most by the way her beautiful blue eyes lit up. He always knew to tell those parts slower, so her little racing imagination could keep up.
“The King and Queen of Wren, who lived in the vast castle, watched over the land and made sure all ran as it should. They made sure everyone in their kingdom, and even the smaller villages surrounding Wren, were happy, fed, and educated. That’s what they were there to do. But they couldn’t be king and queen forever. One day they would have to allow the next chosen to take their place.”
“Like Cindewella, right? They have to pick a pwincess and pick a pwince!”
“Yes, baby girl, but in the land of Wren, the prince and princess are already chosen. The magical Book of Wren tells the future of the land. And that book says who will be next in line to rule. That is how everyone knows who will be next to serve them.”
“So they might not choose the pwincess?” Adeline always asked sadly.
“No, baby, they don’t chose her, the Book has chosen her for them.”
Adeline thought about this, as she always did, “So what happens if the book picks the wrong people?”
Her father looked sad, but then quickly replaced his expression with a smile. “They don’t. It’s destiny. And destiny is never wrong. The king and queen already know who the next match is, but they have to vow to keep it to themselves, until the signs present themselves. Ye see, in Wren, there is a special mark ye must bear. That is how they know ye are the chosen one.”
“Tell me again what it is!” Adeline beamed.
“It is of a crescent moon. The chosen prince and princess will bear the mark of the crescent moon.”
“More, Daddy, more!” Adeline exhaled, getting restless in her bed.
“So once this princess is of age, the prince will court her. He will take her on beautiful walks throughout the rose gardens, treat her to her favorite things, and show her just how happy she will be as his queen. When the time is right, and the princess is old enough, her prince will come for her. He will whisk her away back to his land, and she will become his queen. Together they will conquer all.”
Little Adeline allowed her father to take a break, while her racing mind played the scene in her head. She pictured the beautiful pink dress she would wear and the pretty crown on her head when her prince came for her. She would smile very big for him, and even curtsy, just as they did in Cinderella. She would make sure her prince found her to be the best princess in the land. Pulling herself from her own fairy tale, “What does the pwince look like, Daddy? Is he handsome? Does he have cooties like Danny does from next door?”
“No, baby. He doesn’t have cooties. When the princess grows up, she will think he is handsome. He will be strong and brave, and he will promise to love and cherish her for the rest of their lives.”
Adeline imagined herself being a princess and being whisked away by her prince. As her daddy finished filling her mind with more images of the magical land of Wren, and the prince, she began to rest her tired eyes and cuddled into her bed. With a silent prayer that one day her prince would come for her, she closed her eyes to sleep.
toss my apron on the counter and walk toward the entrance of Uncle Hank’s Diner.
“Later, Addie! Don’t forget to grab your check on the way out. And good luck with the talk with your parents!” my boss yells from the back kitchen.
“Thanks, Hank. I might need it. Have a good night!” I yell back as I exit the diner.
I just finished my double shift, and thank the world above for it, because this means I am officially off for three whole days. I worked at the movie theater all day, and then picked up the night shift at the diner. I plan on taking the weekend and spending some quality time on my own. I need to start preparing. I tried asking Dad before work to borrow the car, so I can drive down to the city, but when I began, I panicked. I was too worried that he was going to ask me why. When I thought about confessing that I wanted to go to the city and look for apartments because it was time to move out, I just couldn’t do it.