Previous: In the Midst of Midnight, Part Two

 

Hazel and Hemlock walked into the great mausoleum to find Holly and Hawthorn standing before a great statue, both looking flustered and uncomfortable. Holly wouldn’t even meet Hazel’s gaze.

“Is everything all right here?” Hazel asked. “I’ve been worried sick about you, Holly.”

Holly, staring at the ground, nodded. “Sorry. I…” She trailed off without finishing the thought.

Hawthorn, meanwhile, took a great interest in studying the statue. Hazel looked to Hemlock, but he just raised his eyebrows and shrugged.


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If you’ve read any of my stories, then you probably already know how much of a part nature plays in them. Particularly trees. My stories often take place in woods or forests, or even if they don’t, trees will often sneak in somewhere to play a significant part (like in The Forgotten Web).

The Hazel and Holly story is a little bit of both. The first half of that story takes place in a woodland area, and then we have the names of many of the characters based on trees and flowers. Honestly, the naming convention is a result of the story stemming from a post written for the A to Z Challenge last year, which I then took and ran with and started posting on the blog.


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Previous: In the Midst of Midnight, Part One

 

Holly and Hawthorn zigged-zagged their way through town. Darkened forms shambled along the shadowed streets, following flickering lights that flitted around like spring time swallows. Holly and Hawthorn avoided them easily enough, but it was time consuming, and so their progress was slow. It felt like dawn should be approaching, but the sky remained dark and devoid of stars save for a few of the brightest that managed to wink through the alchemical haze of light emanating from the lamp posts lining the streets.

“Are we almost there?” Holly whispered as they crouched behind a collection of leafy, thorny shrubs. A shambler a stone’s throw ahead of them made wet, rasping sounds as it breathed through its mouth. Holly cringed and resisted the urge to clench her eyes shut. She needed to know if the thing decided to come towards them.


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Previous: Helpful Hostility

 

Hazel and Hemlock returned to the inn, finding their respective rooms empty.

“Where could they have gone?” Hazel said. She had to remind herself to breathe. Nothing had happened. There was no need to worry.

Hemlock shook his head. “I don’t know. Hawthorn is more familiar with this town than I am. If he and Holly are together, they could be anywhere.”

Hazel glowered at him. “That’s not reassuring.”


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800px-Carl_XVI_Gustaf_och_Silvia_på_Skansen_2009

Photo by Bengt Nyman — Carl XVI Gustaf och Silvia på Skansen 2009

Just a short post today. Yesterday was Sweden’s National Day, which resulted in me being lazy and not preparing any blog posts. But here’s a picture of King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia, with the Queen wearing the national costume of Sweden, which, I’ve discovered, was created in the early 1900’s, but didn’t become “a thing” until Queen Silvia wore it in 1983–the same year when June 6 became the National Day of Sweden. Prior to that the date had been Swedish Flag Day, but didn’t actually become a full-blown holiday with time off and people being lazy until 2005. Crazy stuff. There’s your Swedish Fun Facts for the day!

Anyway, so the giveaway for A Shadowed Spirit is done, and I’d have to say it was a pretty good success. It drummed up some interest for the book and brought quite a few new folks to the blog, which is great. Welcome everyone! It was also good fun, so I’ll probably do another one in the future. So, if you didn’t win this time, don’t fret, you’ll probably get another chance!


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