After a revealing chain of events, Rose, the true heir to the throne of Turia, returns with her faerie godmothers. Upon arriving at her former summer residence, she finds some unexpected houseguests: A girl in a red cloak and a wolf. Along with Khione and her friends, they volunteer to help her depose Queen Eleanor, a task that may prove more than difficult.

As her nuptials to the King Wilbur draw near, Eleanor’s association with Silvia proves to be potentially dangerous. Strong willed Princess Eliza finds her new stepmother intolerable, but is horrified to discover the extent of her father’s cruelty. Wilbur’s machinations are dealt a severe blow, which threatens to re-ignite hostilities between humans and fae.

Will this faerie tale have a happily ever after?

Reign of Fire, book 3 and the concluding part of A Dark Faerie Tale, is a blended retelling of Snow White, the Snow Queen and other fairy tales, with action/adventure and a magical touch of romance.

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Chapter One 

In the realm of Terra, there stood an old stone house. It looked rather odd as many modern houses and apartment blocks surrounded it. The small front garden suffered from neglect and it became overgrown. A developer wished to demolish the old cottage, and replace it with three modern town houses. He sought the owner, but could not find them. He only knew that the house had been in the same family for generations. Therefore, it came as a great surprise to find the house now looking good as new and the garden tidy with flowers in bloom. The sighting of two new inhabitants followed this transformation. Sisters in their twenties; both were small and had delicate features. One of their neighbours described them as fairy or pixie like. The sisters did not socialise with their neighbours, they kept very much to themselves. When a neighbour asked about the speed of the house’s transformation, the answer they got was, “It’s magic.”

Recently another female relative appeared. A girl of about sixteen or seventeen years old, tall and slim with long blonde hair reaching her waist. This girl looked nothing like her older sisters and she talked more. She told their nosey neighbour she was the younger of the sisters. From this girl they had gleaned the following information; she was Lexi-Jane Breen, otherwise know as Lexi, and her sisters’ names were Fay and Ella. Their parents were dead.

Fay Breen seemed to be the only person that often left their house. She owned a high street florist. Her florist talents were incredible and she had an encyclopaedic knowledge of plants and flowers.

One dull and cloudy September evening Lexi helped Fay with the gardening. She cut blooms from a wild rose bush. “I much prefer wild roses,” she said, as she inhaled the sweet scent of one of the blossoms.

“You were named after those,” said Fay, absentmindedly

 “How can I be named after a rose?”

“Oh yes, silly me. Dad liked the name Rose, that is what I thought of,” replied Fay. “Come on inside, Ella should have dinner ready by now.”

Clattering and banging started in the kitchen. Fay described Ella’s cooking as experimental. Some of her meals bordered on inedible. Fay did not cook much at all. Lexi had no idea how to cook, nor would she learn much from her older sister’s feeble attempts.

Fay and Lexi entered the kitchen. Ella quickly ushered them into the living room. “I want this to be a surprise, do not come into the kitchen until I tell you,” she ordered.

The girls took a seat on the sofa. Lexi noticed her mud covered shoes had left a trail of muddy footprints on the carpet.

“Oops!” she said.

Fay also noticed the footprints and started to giggle. She had a mischievous personality and found great pleasure in annoying the house proud and fastidious Ella. Fay placed a finger on her lips, and whispered. “Hush, don’t say anything.”

“She is going to notice Fay.”

“Do not spoil the fun Lexi.”

“You are naughty Fay.”

Fay shrugged her shoulders, giggled, and covered her mouth with her hand.

“Dinner is ready,” shouted Ella.

The hungry sisters sat down at the small dining table. They were astonished to find the meal looked edible, a refreshing change from the usual burnt offerings.

“It is Cottage Pie,” said Ella

Lexi put a forkful into her mouth. “It is very nice, you have done well Ella.”

“There is no cottage in it though,” said Ella, with a serious expression on her face.

Fay burst out laughing. “Ella, you can be dense sometimes. It is only a name, even I know that.”

Ella scowled at Fay and took a bite herself, she smiled and said, “Yes it is nice.”

Fay agreed with the others it was indeed very tasty. After dinner, she went to the bin to scrape the plates. She opened the pedal bin and saw three boxes and a packet stuffed into the bin. She lifted one of the boxes out and read aloud the name on the box, Mrs Baker’s Home Made Cottage Pie.

 “Ella have you have been cheating?” Fay shouted.

Ella’s face turned red with embarrassment, but she denied any wrongdoing. “It is not cheating, you still have to cook them in the oven and boil the frozen vegetables.”

“Cheat,” teased Fay

Ella became cross with Fay and declared she should cook all their meals from now on. Fay shook her head and said she did not have the time. The sisters’ disagreement carried on for some time that evening. When Ella saw the muddy footprints on the carpet, she exploded with anger.

“I don’t know why I bother. I did not want to come here. All I have done is try my best and it is not good enough for some people. I want to go back.”

Ella looked straight at Fay, who looked horrified and begged her to calm down and be reasonable. She would not be reasonable; she stomped up the creaky stairs of the cottage and banged her bedroom door. Ella’s outburst confused Lexi. “What did she mean by, I didn’t want to come here, and I want to go back?”

“Oh, you know how she is, she talks nonsense when she is angry. She probably meant the place we used to live when we were small children, long before you were born.”

“I see, so we lived here when I was born?”

Fay paused before she answered. “Yes that is right. I will speak to her and try to calm her down. I wish she wasn’t so temperamental.” Fay went upstairs to speak to Ella. She came back half an hour later with a sheepish looking Ella.

“Sorry,” said Ella.

Before Lexi could answer, Fay suddenly remembered something she meant to tell her earlier that evening.

“I forgot to tell you, we have a large order for wedding flowers this weekend. Would you care to help for a few days? I will pay you.”

 “When can I start?”

“Tomorrow,” answered Fay.

Lexi went to work with Fay the following morning. Fay kept her sister very busy and she returned home hungry and tired. She went to bed early that evening and soon fell into a deep slumber.

 The music blaring out from Lexi’s radio alarm gave her a rude awakening. Stretching out an arm from beneath the duvet, she slammed her hand on top of the offending electrical appliance, knocking over a glass of water on her nightstand. She swore as the cold water ran down the sleeve of her pyjama top. Flicking on her bedroom light switch, she grabbed a box of tissues, and wiped away the water from the nightstand. She could almost hear her mother’s voice inside her head nagging her, “Don’t put  water near electrical appliances.”

She grimaced, and looked at the glowing numbers on the alarm clock; 7:02 am, time to get up and get ready for work. Shivering with cold, she walked over to the bedroom window and peered through the curtains. A blanket of snow covered the ground and dark clouds filled the sky.

Do I have to go out in that? she thought.

The radio station’s morning news headlines filled the room; “Murder victim still unidentified. Police are searching for a suspect…

She crossed the room to switch off the light switch and her radio alarm when she heard. “Freak snow storm….roads closed, public transport stopped, airports are closed, schools remain shut.

“Looks like I won’t be going anywhere today,” she muttered to herself.

As she passed her dressing table, she noticed the antique hand mirror her sisters gave her for her eighteenth birthday. She picked it up and admired its ornate gilt frame. Turning it over she looked at the symbol engraved on the back; a snake forming a circle by holding its tail inside its mouth. She turned the mirror back over and touched the smooth surface of the glass. Lexi had a love for history and antiques.

A knock came on the door and Fay entered the room. “Are you getting ready then?”

Lexi looked at her sister in surprise. “Are we really going to go out in this weather? It will take an eternity to get there.” Suddenly the hand mirror began to glow bright green, the light filled the room. Taken by surprise by what happened she threw the mirror onto the bed. “What the…,” she stammered.

“Ella come here, now,” shouted Fay.

Ella entered the room just as the green light began to fade. She stood open mouthed. Fay snatched the mirror from the bed and turned it around in her hand. She stared for some time at the engraved symbol. “Lexi, repeat the last few words you said to me before the mirror started to glow.”

“It will take an eternity to get there.”

Fay continued to stare at the symbol, and then a thought came to her. She showed the symbol to Ella and Lexi. “Do you know what the engraving represents?”

“I have seen something similar before,” said Lexi. “It reminds me of a ring.”

“Rings have a beginning and no end,” said Ella.

Fay snapped her fingers, “That’s it; the snake is a symbol of eternity! Lexi you spoke the word eternity.”

Ella sat down on Lexi’s bed. She wore a look of shock. “My goodness, all this time.”

“What do you mean?” asked Lexi.

Ella stared at Lexi then gave Fay a questioning look. “Do you want to tell her or should I?” Fay stared back at her sister.

Lexi grew frustrated at their cryptic conversation. “Tell me what?”

“Get dressed and come downstairs first. Ella come with me.” Both left the room.

Lexi quickly washed and dressed in jeans and a sweat shirt. She found her sisters in the kitchen. “Sit down and have some coffee,” said Ella. Before Lexi drew her chair and sat down, she placed a coffee mug before her.

The hand mirror lay mirror side down on the dining table. Lexi reached her hand out to touch it. “Don’t touch it,” shouted Fay.

She moved her hand back. “What is it with this mirror?”

Fay and Ella took a seat at the table. “It is not just the mirror, but it has played a very big part in the reason we are all here.”

Fay could see Lexi was still confused. “We need to tell you something about our past. As far fetched as it may seem now, you will realise soon we speak the truth. Your name is Rose and we are not your sisters.”

“What!” cried Rose.

“It is true,” said Ella.

Fay tapped the back of the mirror. “This mirror is enchanted, it is a portal to another realm. Over one hundred years ago you, Ella, and I ended up here because of a curse. A curse that damned you to sleep for one hundred years. We have watched over you for all these years. You awakened two years ago. ”

“If this is a joke Fay, it is not a funny one. Why do I not remember anything from this other realm? What is this realm?

“I erased your memory. So when you woke you would not feel any loss or pain, from losing your former life. We assumed we would be stuck here forever,” said Ella. She picked up the mirror. “We can go back home if you wish?”

A dumbstruck Rose gazed at Ella then Fay. When she found her voice she asked, “Who are you then, if you are not my sisters?”

“We are your faerie godmothers,” said Fay.

Rose laughed, she could not believe what she had just heard. “No this is ridiculous. This is the kind of thing you read about in story books. There is no such thing as magic mirrors, other realms and faerie godmothers.” She attempted to get up from the table. Ella gently pushed her back down.

“Rose, when I have finished you will believe,” said Fay.

 

 

 

 

 

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