Since June 24 is International Fairy Day, the author Maximilian Timm has chosen to share the first chapter of The WishKeeper (that's on sale for .99 right now) and the unreleased sequel called The WishMaker. I read the WishKeeper back in April I believe and I absolutely loved it, you can read my review here.
Series: The Paragonia Chroniclees #1
Publication date: November 12, 2013
Publisher: Lost King Entertainment Genres: YA Fantasy
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Ten Years Ago
“Wings tucked, Private!” Shea’s mother playfully ordered.
The frozen sap of the evergreen clung to Shea’s bare feet as if the icy tree was trying to keep her in one place. It was Wishing Eve in the Makers’ world - The Other Side, as the WishKeepers called it. A night when all WishKeepers would leave their secret world of Paragonia and cross through the Gates to tend to their WishMakers in celebration of opportunity; the opportunity to collect millions of wishes and sustain the harmony between their world and the Makers’. It was the most important night of the year, but for Shea, it was a night that would define her.
It was the night a True Love Wish was destroyed. It was the night her wings were ripped from her delicate shoulders. It was the night her mother died. And the sap of the evergreen tugged at her toes, begging her not to move. She should have listened.
She played along with her mother’s orders as Elanor stood in front of her little fairy daughter, fists at her hips.
“Check! Yes, ma’am,” Shea replied, standing upright and tucking her wings straight behind her.
“Goggles goggled?” her mother asked, stern.
Shea adjusted oversized aviator goggles around her eyes, “Check!”
“Wishes granted!” she said as she stiffened a salute at her forehead.
Shea eyed an identical smile that rimmed her mother’s lips as the setting sun of The Other Side silhouetted Elanor’s graceful wings.
“I have to go to work,” Elanor said with a deep breath. It was her daughter’s first time on The Other Side, and Shea could sense that her mom regretted not being able to stay with her all night.
Shea loved the feeling of the slow, gentle swipe of her mother’s fingers as they gently tickled her forehead, moving the thick red mane out of her eyes. Despite never wanting to admit it, there was an immeasurable eagerness within Shea’s little body to become her mother. Every ounce was desperately impatient to be just like her. Shea watched her mom buzz her wings and prep for a quick launch.
“Hey…Mom?” Shea stopped her. She felt compelled to say something, but the words dangled from her tongue.
Elanor waited for one last peep from her eager daughter.
“I…I mean. Never mind.” Shea smiled, bashful.
“I won’t be long,” she said, noticing the eagerness of adolescence pouring from her daughter’s eyes. “You are going to be a wonderful WishKeeper someday. But it’s not today, honey. Please…promise me you’ll stay here.”
Little Shea nodded as wishes darted through the park behind Elanor. The impulse to fly after each and every one of them was overwhelming as Shea watched her mother zoom out of the tree and into the sea of colorful wishes. Purple, blue, pink and green - the wishes danced and darted through the park. Their playfulness was intoxicating. The evergreen did its best to keep her little feet stuck to its branch, but as much as she wanted to be a good fairy and follow her mother’s orders, Shea couldn’t deny her innate impulse to explore.
It was ten years ago, but the edges of her nightmares had only sharpened. There are signposts to every memory; checkpoints that Shea forced herself to remember so that the in-betweens of that particular night were never forgotten. The little goggles game. The bleeding red of her father’s tunic as he said goodbye to his wife just before she destroyed the True Love Wish. How the wind that swirled around her was black and wet, and the face that stretched out of it…the skull-grey color of their WishingKing’s face. How easily her beloved wings were torn from her back as the bright red explosion of the wish blinded her.
Bouncing between signposts allowed her to fill in the gaps of her memory and strengthen the anger, resentment and frustration as she lay in bed, fighting sleep. And though her thoughtful run from checkpoint to checkpoint always started with the relentless tug from the sap of the evergreen, the fire that fueled it all was not an image but an incessant reminder.
Had Shea known it was to be the last time she would have a conversation with her mom, she might have said it. She might have pushed through the little barrier in her heart that kept her safe - safe from expressing anything remotely vulnerable. She might have fought the urge to hold back the three words that, for years to come, she would grow accustomed to hating. Instead every night she would wonder if saying those three words would have made a difference.
It was impossible for Shea to release such imagery from her mind. It was impossible for her to forgive her parents for destroying a True Love Wish. And it was impossible to forget that she never told her mom she loved her.
Now to the exclusive sneak peak!
Chapter 1 - Family Secrets
To my Little “M” -
There are things in this world that are difficult to explain. Things that can be seen and things that cannot. I have seen plenty that I wish I hadn’t, but I have seen even more that I will always cherish. Your blossoming family is one thing I wish I could see more of, but not all wishes can come true.
Creating a will can be such a depressing process - to whom do I leave my most prized possessions? Do I even have possessions worthy of such a loving family as my own? Your grandmother always wished for you to be a mother. She and I knew that you would one day be a lovely one. Since that wish has already come true, I wonder what greater gift I can leave for you when I pass. There is one thing, and though it does not carry the worth of our little Ada, your young family will, I’m sure, find a good use for it.
Our family has held a one-acre plot of land in the city for three generations. It is needless to say that we have been offered sizable sums for the land, and yet I have not been able to part with it.
M, there is something special about the acre that I cannot share with you here. But since it now belongs to you, I am confident you will realize its importance soon enough.
I will see you on the other side.
With the truest of love,
P.S. Ada will know
Miranda set the letter on the end table and sat back on the couch. She sighed, hiccupping through the aftermath of a good cry. Her grandfather George was 93 years-old. A World War 2 veteran, he stormed the beaches at Normandy, he survived the Battle of the Bulge, and he fell in love with his high school sweetheart. Grayson had called her earlier in the week to give her the news that Grandpa George had passed away and even though her grandpa’s health had been slowly failing, it was nevertheless a shock.
“Oh, God, I’ll miss him,” she sighed as Grayson joined her on the couch.
He placed his hand on her knee and joined her in a heavy breath. “I didn’t know your family owned an acre of land. In the city? I can’t believe they held on to it for so long,” he said. “And ‘Ada will know’? What’s that mean?”
“Grandpa George loved riddles, even though he was terrible at telling them,” she giggled. “He left an address. It’s actually not that far from our apartment. I can’t believe my mom never told me about it.”
“We’ll take a look over the weekend,” Grayson replied.
Miranda leaned her head on Grayson’s shoulder. They stared at George’s letter and Miranda’s portion of the will. It was strange that a man who had lived so fully was now just the simple contents of an envelope. It felt too organized and formal for a man who had done so much, but then again, funerals always do.
George Anderson, at 20 years of age, stood up from within his foxhole and aimed a frozen rifle at an incoming storm of bullets and shrapnel. He shivered and not only because of the frozen forest that surrounded him. Fellow soldiers cried out. His superior officers screamed orders. The wounded begged for help over muffled rifle blasts. It all needed to end. The nightmare needed to stop, but despite his weapon, despite his orders, and despite his military training, the only thing he could think of doing was to make a wish. So he did. He wished so deeply he could feel his heart pound in his chest every time he said the word. “I wish,” he repeated out loud. “I wish!”
And so George Anderson, on a war torn battlefield, made a True Love Wish. Never had a True Love Wish been made without the support of a second Maker, but as the beacon of red light beamed up from George and through the dying branches of the surrounding forest, his WishKeeper stood along a thick, broken branch watching. His eyes were an intense forest green, matching his long, high collared overcoat. Golden stars rimmed the overcoat’s collar and poured, one-by-one, down his chest as buttons tightly formed the coat to his muscular body. Long, wavy brown hair whipped in the blistering wind as he gripped tighter to a wooden staff wand that was almost as tall as he. Norderon of Greenway was unbending against the frigid wind. His wings, a bright fluorescent green, spread out behind him, massive for such a small creature.
The powerful WishKeeper effortlessly wrangled George’s wish, flew the charged red light up to George’s chest, and softly spoke, “Until the end of days, my Maker, you will have me by your side.”
After the war ended and George Anderson returned home to his young wife and a changed world, he never told a soul what he saw in the forest that day. He never told anyone that a fairy spoke to him.
He never shared what he saw…until, a few weeks before his death, at 93 years of age, he watched his great granddaughter hand him a gift. The gift shined in the little girl’s hands. It gleamed a bright blue light and an unmistakable smile radiated from the little ball of blue energy.
He watched his granddaughter hand him a wish.