You see? What's poor Anny to do? Well...
If anyone found out the truth, he would be exiled on that crazy planet Avalon with all the weirdoes. No, he didn’t think he could handle the dragons and faeries and those bizarre Knights of the Round Dungeon. No one must ever know who PJ really was. No one.
“Pansy, darling. What are you doing here? I thought you were on that quaint little planet Avalon.”
“Pansy? Darling?” Emmeline straightened up to her full seven foot height and stared down at Zoltan. “Who is that woman?”
“Nobody, sweetheart. We had a brief affair while you were away playing footsie with Rafe and Shade, but it’s over now.” He paused for effect. “Really.”
“What’s on her stomach?” Emmeline scowled as she considered the merits of using her peeler.
Zoltan frowned. “Nothing important. It’s just a tattoo.”
“A tattoo.” Emmeline repeated the words thoughtfully. “A tattoo that’s scary enough for you to drag me physically across the room.” She yanked her arm free and stalked toward PJ. “I think I want to see this unimportant tattoo.”
“NO!” Zoltan shouted. “Don’t do it!”
“Emmeline ripped the shirt up to reveal a giant white tooth, glittering with fairy dust. She staggered back in dismay. What had she done?
Must I confess? Well, we do have fun slipping references to our homes, books, and even friends into the Saga. I thought perhaps you would like to meet Pansy. She's a character in my third Flowers of Camelot book, Daffodil. I'm so excited because I just received a contract offer for Daffodil from Ellora's Cave. So here's a little snippet of Daffodil wherein we meet Pansy for the first time.
Bright moonlight poured through the high narrow window, illuminating the small room where a little golden haired child soundly slept. A dull thunk heralded the less than graceful arrival of Pansy, the tooth faery as she landed on the window sill by the skin of her toes. Teetering wildly, she grabbed for the rotting window frame which promptly disintegrated, leaving her with a handful of rotten wood splinters.
Plunging two stories down, she landed in a large lilac bush. Muttered curses filled the air as she extricated herself from the prickly bush and stomped across the weedy yard. When she was far enough from the building to have a clear vantage point, she turned and sourly surveyed the high window above the lilac bush. She brushed straggles of pale pink hair back from her dark purple eyes and frowned in deep thought. No doubt about it. She was going to have to land just right. Or…
She could just blink in. Blinking was forbidden. She knew that, but some rules were made to be broken! And this seemed to be the perfect time to break the commandment against blinking into strange rooms. Surely there couldn’t be that many obstacles in the small space she’d glimpsed before falling from the ledge. With a faint shrug, she closed her eyes and blinked into the small bedroom.
And promptly fell over a doll cradle, landing with a resounding thud.
Holding her breath, she froze while she waited to see who would rush through the door in response to the noise. After long endless moments, when no one appeared, she slowly climbed to her feet and straightened her tattered pink dress before planting her hands on her hips and staring around the tiny room. What a dump! It was barely bigger than a closet. The child’s belongings were arranged with painful neatness with everything in its place, but that still left minimal free space in the room.
She slowly shook her head. For such a big house, it was a rotten shame that the little girl should be stuck in this broom closet of a room. Moving with cautious care on silent dusty bare feet, Pansy approached the bed. If the kid put her tooth where she was supposed to, Pansy could swap it for a coin and be out of here in seconds.
She slipped her hand beneath the lumpy pillow and felt around. Nothing. Pansy withdrew her hand and straightened up, pondering for a moment before tiptoeing around the narrow bed. She knelt down and slithered her hand beneath the pillow from this side. Nothing. She slid her hand back out and tapped her chin with impatient fingers. Where the heck did the kid put her tooth?
“Who are you?” a little piping voice inquired softly.
Pansy realized that the kid was watching her with a curiously calm gaze. The faery thought if she had awakened with some stranger feeling around under her pillow she would have been screaming blue gummy murder. What kind of kid just asked you who you were? “I’m the tooth faery,” she explained quietly. “Where’s your tooth, kid?”
“I’m not a baby goat,” the little one pointed out precisely. “My name is Daffodil and I’m a girl.”
“Good enough. Daffodil. So where’s your tooth, Daffodil?”
“Mama gave it to the witch woman.” Daffodil’s expression was too old and wise for her age, thought Pansy. Far too old.
“What witch woman?” Pansy asked calmly though her stomach was suddenly leaping about with trepidation. “Do you know her name?”
“Of, course.” Daffodil sat up in the bed and scowled at Pansy. “Her name’s Morgana. She’s the most famous witch in Avalon.”
The faery, intrigued against her will, perched on the side of the rumpled bed and pursed her lips in thought. “Did your mama say why she gave your tooth to Morgana?”
Daffodil’s springy curls bounced wildly when she shook her head. “No. But my sister, Chrysanthemum said that it was a very bad thing that Mama did. And Honeysuckle, my other sister said that she will get it back from Morgana.”
“Oh, yeah? How’s she gonna do that?” Pansy asked curiously while she absently pleated the soft filmy fabric of her skirt.
“Honeysuckle said she’s going to sneak into Morgana’s house and steal it back. She said that Mama would have to buy her love charm some other way. Anyway, a love charm won’t bring Papa back.” Daffodil’s grave explanation told Pansy more than she really wanted to know about the little girl’s mother. In effect, Daffodil’s mama had sold her to the witch for a love charm. As long as Morgana had the child’s tooth, she could control her actions.
Pansy pondered for a few moments. “Well, your sister is correct. We need to retrieve your tooth from Morgana, but I don’t think Honeysuckle’s quite old enough to battle a witch.”
“But she’s a very good spy,” Daffodil offered soberly. “She never gets caught and she knows everything that’s going on in the manor. She even saw Michael the blacksmith’s thing.”
“His thing?” The faery stared at her in confusion. “What thing?”
“You know. His thing. He sticks it inside of Mildred the cook.”
Pansy’s eyes widened abruptly and she sat straight up. “All righty, then. Moving right along now… I’ll go to Morgana’s place and see if I can find your tooth. You go back to sleep.”
“What about Honeysuckle?”
“Don’t you worry about your sister. I have a notion that she can take care of herself. I’ll try to find a way to let her know that I’m on the job.” Pansy climbed down from the bed and straightened the covers up over Daffodil’s shoulder. “Go to sleep.”
“May I ask you something?”
“Sure. Whatcha wanna know?”
“Where’s your wings? Don’t faeries have wings?” Daffodil demanded with a yawn.
“Some do, some don’t. I don’t. Now go to sleep, Daffy.”
“Don’t call me Daffy. My name is Daffodil.” Even on the verge of sleep, her high little voice was firm.
Pansy gently patted her shoulder. “All right. Daffodil. Go to sleep now. I’ll take care of your tooth. Don’t you worry.”
“Okay.” Obediently, Daffodil closed her eyes. “Don’t fall out the window this time.”
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