Changeling: The Faerie Escape

Changeling
Part 5: The Faerie Escape
a free fantasy serial by Erin Zarro

Links: Part 1  Part 2  Part 3  Part 4

I turned to face the woman who claimed she was my mother, but didn’t feel like my mother at all. My twin was with her, looking terrified.

Mother was pale, and her hands were clenched into fists. “Aisling, what do you have to say for yourself?”

Ronan stepped forward, putting his hand on my shoulder, but I shrugged him away. “Mother, I am leaving here. I belong out there with my family.”

Mother sighed. “Are we going to do this yet again? Your place is here, with me, with your people. I can’t understand why you persist in thinking about these people who aren’t even your real family. Maria will be joining them soon.” She smiled an evil kind of smile, and it made me sick to my stomach.

“I am Maria,” I said. “I’m human with a human family. I’m leaving.”

Ronan took hold of my shoulder again, and this time I allowed it. “Why would the tree want you to heal it if you weren’t one of us?”

Damn that tree. And damn if I didn’t feel guilty now. I glanced at Ronan, wishing he hadn’t said that. “I don’t know.”

“I know,” Mother said. “Because you are one of us. And you are the one to … Continue reading

Changeling: The Faerie Portal

Changeling
Part 4: The Faerie Portal
a free fantasy serial by Erin Zarro
Links: Part 1  Part 2  Part 3

I have to go home.

Memories crashed through my mind: my sister Jane laughing as I pushed her swing, her head falling back to gaze at the blue sky; our little camping trailer, old and worn but imprinted with the essence of us; my mom’s perfect hugs that I swore cured everything from hurt feelings to life-altering things; Dad’s garden filled with vegetables and flowers and bees in summer; the little house where I’d lived my whole life, from baby to now; ballet class, learning to ride a bike, school…

I did not belong here.

I never did.

“Aisling?”

The voice startled me, and I spun around to face the source of it. I’d managed to get away from Mother and my twin, but I was sure they weren’t far behind. It was Ronan, not them, and he was watching me closely, almost as if he knew what I’d been thinking about. “My name is Maria, and I’m going home.”

Ronan arched a brow. “You are home, and you are Aisling, the Faerie princess and heir to the throne. We’ve been over this.” He reached out to touch me, but I moved out of his reach. “Aisling, please. You know I am telling the truth.”

I looked into his eyes, and I felt the truth of his words. But the memories were real, … Continue reading

Changeling: The Faerie Shadow

Changeling
Part 3: The Faerie Shadow
a free fantasy serial by Erin Zarro

Links to: Part 1 and  Part 2

Morning came, sunlight streaming through the windows of the palace. As I made my way to a formal breaking of the fast in the banquet room, I saw her in the shadows.

She was insubstantial, never in the light, and moved too quickly for me to track.

But she was there. I knew it.

I was barely awake yet, and Sorcha and some courtiers were discussing Faerie politics as I sat down in my place at her right side.

Ronan was already there.

“So, are there anyone new to Court?” I asked Ronan quietly as I lifted my spoon. It was filled with some sort of honey concoction and I realized the sleeve of my dress was practically trailing into my food. Oops.

“I’m not sure. Why do you ask?” Ronan chuckled and gently moved my long silken sleeve away.

The honey-thing went down smoothly. Almost too smoothly. Wasn’t there a legend that said if you ate Faerie food you’d never be satisfied with human food ever again?

Why was I thinking that? I was a Faerie princess; I wasn’t human.

“Aisling?” Ronan asked.

I blinked at him, startled. “Oh. Uh…well, I keep seeing someone in the shadows.”

Ronan’s eyes narrowed. “Probably just your imagination.”

“But I’m sure…”

“Aisling, did you sleep well, dear?” Sorcha broke in, giving me a bright smile. She … Continue reading