The Tale of Atterberry (The Faire Pendant Series, Book 1), p.1Leah Price
The Faire Pendant
The Tale of Atterberry
by Leah Price
Published by Talebearers Publishing
Copyright 2014 Leah Price
Cover Photo ? susanafh / Dollar Photo Club
Cover Frame ? Leah Price
This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you're reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to your favorite ebook retailer and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.
Table of Contents
Chapter One - The Beginning
Chapter Two - An Unexpected Vision
Chapter Three - The Bridge
Chapter Four - Celebration
Chapter Five - A Mysterious Coincidence
Chapter Six - Mr. McMillan
Chapter Seven - Atterberry
Chapter Eight - The Fox
Chapter Nine - Foxhunt
Chapter Ten - The Fortune-Teller
Chapter Eleven - Caught!
Chapter Twelve - The Cloak
Chapter Thirteen - The Show
Chapter Fourteen - The End
Sneak Peak of The Ballad of Captain Thatch (The Faire Pendant Series, Book Two)
Also by Leah Price
About Leah Price
Connect with Leah Price
I'd like to acknowledge everyone who supported me during the making of this book, including my parents and family. Thank you for answering my million questions and helping my dream become a reality.
This book is dedicated to children everywhere, but especially the dreamers & storytellers.
The light broke through the trees, leaving patchworks of dappling over the narrow lane. Glenna yawned as she carried a basket filled with food to her parents' tent. Her bed had been warm and comfortable. It had been hard to leave it for the cool morning air. She rubbed the sleep from her eyes as she struggled to readjust the large basket in preparation for the uphill trek. The lane curved and wound like a snake through tents and stages.
Everywhere Glenna looked, people were getting ready for the long day ahead. And not just any people. Magicians and performers intermingled with fairies, knights, and ladies. A tent advertising handmade baskets and soaps filled the air with aromatic scents. The hustle and bustle made the narrow lane crowded, and Glenna inched forward slowly.
"Good morning, Glenna!" a booming voice above her head exclaimed.
Glenna craned her neck to stare up at Roger. Roger Atterberry was one of Glenna's very best friends, even though he was older than her parents. She had known him for as long as she could remember. Her button nose crinkled into a smile beneath her hazel eyes as she greeted him.
Roger was dressed outlandishly as usual. His purple and black cloak swirled around him, and his clear blue eyes twinkled merrily.
"Good morning, Roger!" Usually, Glenna called adults Mr. or Mrs., but her parents made a special allowance for Roger. He was like an uncle to her and had insisted that she call him by his first name for years.
Suddenly, his nostrils twitched, and he gasped. Laying his finger upon the tip of his nose, he stared thoughtfully into the distance. "I'm sensing something.... Today is a very special day...." His voice was no longer friendly and laughing, but had become dark and mysterious. Glenna stared at him expectantly.
"Today... today is...." The stars embroidered onto the fabric of his cloak glittered faintly in the early morning sun and its folds fell in waves to the ground as he lifted his arms above his head. "Today is Glenna's birthday!" His voice rumbled loudly over the crowd and a few of the vendors Glenna knew stopped and applauded, cheering for her. She smiled shyly.
Her eyes widened in amazement as Roger bowed with a flourish and a flower appeared in his right hand. She took it from him and inhaled the sweet smell of the buttercup. "You haven't even noticed the best part." He offered her the cinnamon roll he held in his left hand. Glenna laughed in delight as she took it.
"Happy Birthday, Glenna. I hope it's a great one," he said with a smile. He waved to her again before disappearing into the crowd.
"Thank you, Roger," Glenna called to him as she hurried away. Her hands were full and the basket was heavy. She wanted to stop and enjoy the sweet taste of cinnamon and sugar frosting, but she knew she didn't have time. She ate it in three quick bites and was still licking the frosting off her fingertips when she saw it.
Glenna didn't remember a trail cutting through the woods, but it appeared to lead towards her parents' tent. She was making little headway against the crowds of people trying to set up their wares and prepare their acts. Her parents' tent was a little farther up the hill and to the right. Glenna stood on her tiptoes, craning her neck. She thought she could just spy the top of the tent. Hesitating, she glanced back at the crowded path before making her decision. She stepped onto the narrow trail.
The trail was shaded and cool, much cooler than the previous path. The distant murmur of voices faded as she walked deeper into the woods. As she ventured towards a curve and then around a bend, she expected her parents' tent to come into view, but it didn't. Instead, a small covered bridge stood perched over a dry ditch.
Odd, she thought, I don't remember a creek bed being here. Her family came to this faire every year. Maybe this isn't just a new path.
Glenna began to worry that she had gone in the wrong direction. Perhaps this path was just made by animals or... wait, that doesn't make sense. If it was made by animals then there wouldn't be a covered bridge. She took a deep breath and stepped inside.
The bridge appeared to be old, but sturdy. It didn't surprise Glenna that it was weathered and worn. Everything at Renaissance festivals looked ancient. Intricately carved wooden vines and leaves, interwoven with brambles and cascading flowers, climbed up the rafters and wrapped themselves around the heavy beams of the bridge.
Glenna paused to study them more closely. She was amazed at how well-made they were. It was impossible for her to find a seam or flaw. The vines tangled and twined around the posts as if they were real, magically frozen and transformed into wood. Her eyes followed the path of the nearest beam to the ceiling. She stared with mouth agape.
The ceiling appeared to be made of a canopy of leaves, again wooden. Glenna stared in wonder at the beautiful work of art before her until the aching in her hands brought her back to earth. She winced as she shifted the basket to her other hand and walked slowly across the plank floors. They echoed with her footsteps, and she paused at the archway regretfully, glancing over her shoulder one last time at the delicate handiwork. She promised herself she would come back to inspect the bridge more closely as soon as she delivered her parents' breakfast.
The trail turned sharply to the right just outside the bridge's archway. Glenna jumped in surprise as she stepped onto the dirt lane. An old woman was sitting on a stump to the left of her, to the side of the path.
"H-hello...," Glenna stammered. She realized suddenly the woman was playing some sort of musical instrument, as light and tinkling as the sound of wind blowing through chimes. How could she have missed that?
"Hello," the woman said. The tinkling music faded into silence.
"How were you making that music?"
"What music?" The old woman countered.
"I thought...." Glenna shook her head. "Never mind.
Glenna stopped and turned. In a hurry that morning, she had slipped on flip-flops. As she whirled to face the old woman, her feet kicked up dust.
"How do you know my name? Do you know my parents?" Glenna narrowed her eyes, confused.
The old woman cocked her head to the side, just like the birds Glenna had seen in the trees while exploring. She smiled slowly. "You might say that. Or you might not."
Glenna wrinkled her forehead in bewilderment. "What does that mean?"
The old woman chuckled, "It's your birthday, isn't it?"
Glenna nodded slowly, unsure of how the woman knew that. She relaxed as she realized the old woman must have heard Roger wish her a happy birthday.
Glenna nodded again. The old woman was making her nervous. She began to back cautiously up the path. "What's your name?" Glenna asked.
"Byfroste. Where are you going?" The old woman smiled and wrinkles filled her friendly face. Her blue eyes twinkled as they met Glenna's own.
Glenna paused, confused. She had been sure she should hurry away, but... why? The heaviness of the basket pulling against her fingers reminded her. "I've got to get breakfast to my parents."
The old woman nodded slowly. Her fingers moved, nimble and quick, and Glenna realized she was weaving something. Without thinking, she lowered the basket to the ground and approached the old woman, curious.
As she neared her, Glenna could have sworn she heard the music again, briefly. The old woman peeked up at her from under snow-white hair. "I'm almost done."
"What is it?" Glenna asked, hesitating.
"It's your birthday present. I've been thinking lately that you're ready. What better time to give it to you than your birthday?"
Glenna gasped in delight as the old woman turned her hand over to reveal a pendant. The stone shone a deep, dark red in the center of leaves and vines. They reminded her of the woodwork in the bridge she had just crossed and she glanced back at it quickly, missing the old woman's swift smile.
"I can't take that," Glenna exclaimed. "It would be too expensive."
"You have to take it," the old woman responded.
"I can't." Glenna put up her hands in protest and began to back away again. Only... she found she couldn't physically force herself to leave the beautiful necklace. "You can't give me that. It's too precious."
The old woman nodded sagely. "It is precious, you're right. But I'm not giving it to you. It's already yours."
"What do you mean?" Glenna asked, but she felt as if she already knew.
"It's yours." The old woman stretched out her hand and the pendant fell towards the earth, catching on her finger as it neared the end of its line and swinging slowly back and forth. Golden rays from the rising sun slanted through the branches and caught on the ruby, flashing and sparking in the early morning light.
Glenna swallowed and reached with one finger to touch the necklace. A jolt of electricity seemed to flow through her arm as she touched it and the sound of twinkling laughter filled the air. Glenna glanced up to find the old woman laughing at her. It left her confused. It didn't seem like the light, bubbly giggles belonged to the old woman.... It was like someone else was there....
She twirled to look behind her, but the path was empty.
Glenna turned back to the old woman.
Without realizing what she was doing, Glenna found she had accepted the necklace. She clenched it tightly in her fist, unsure of what she should do. Suddenly, a thought came to her. "I'll pay you for it. My parents haven't given me my birthday present yet. I'll go ask them if I can have money, and I'll be right back and pay you for it. Wait here!"
Glenna slipped the necklace over her head and ran to pick up the basket. She hurried down the trail. The narrow path widened as she neared the end, and she climbed the steep hill slowly, pausing to catch her breath at the top. With her left hand, she reached to brush the large green leaves out of her way.
Just as she thought, her parents' tent was to her left and down the main path. Glenna staggered out of the trees, the heavy basket bumping against her leg, and walked quickly towards them. Her mother was unpacking the jewelry from large containers while her father finished setting up the main display table.
"Ready for the jewelry, hon." She heard him say to her mother.
Her mother glanced up and smiled as she spied Glenna crossing the rocky lane. She waved and hurried forward to help her with the basket.
"Oh, Glenna. This is too heavy. You shouldn't have brought so much."
Glenna shrugged. "I wanted you to have something to drink besides water."
Glenna's father approached, glancing over her mother's shoulder. "Toast and jam, orange juice, cereal, milk, coffee. Practically the whole kitchen!" He smiled at her, his eyes twinkling.
Glenna loved it when her parents teased her. She knew they were happy she had brought them breakfast and that they didn't have to make another trip down the long hill.
"Where's David?" she asked as her father made a makeshift table out of the jewelry containers and began setting out the breakfast food.
"He's napping in the hammock," her father replied, running a hand through his thick brown hair. He closed his green eyes in appreciation as he took his first sip of coffee.
Glenna knew her parents usually put the hammock up behind the tent for David to sleep in while they set up. She glanced at it and saw a tuft of thick brown hair just peeking out of a blanket. David was Glenna's younger brother and was only eight years old. Glenna's parents had just recently begun allowing her to stay in the trailer or tent to sleep a little longer in the mornings, but they still insisted David come with them.
The trailer was cramped, but the Tates hadn't had a chance to set up their tent in the performers' and vendors' glen. Glenna was hoping they would be able to later in the evening, after the faire was closed for the day. She loved being right in the middle of things and visiting with her friends, though tonight there would not be many other kids to play with.
Though Glenna loved traveling and living on the festival circuit most of the time, there were moments when she was a bit lonely. Many of the people who lived and worked at the faires didn't have children, or their children were grown. This festival, being small in size and early in the year, was sorely lacking in playmates. Glenna knew that as spring progressed into summer, the festivals would be larger, and more people her age would be around. She couldn't wait!
"How is my birthday girl?" Glenna's mother asked as she scooped Glenna into a hug.
"I'm great. I saw Roger on my way up here, and then I took the shortcut and ran into an old woman. She gave me this." Glenna held up the necklace. "Can I keep it for my birthday? I thought maybe you could give me some money for my present, and I can go pay her with it."
"Let me see." Glenna's mother took the necklace in her gentle fingers, shifting towards the edge of the tent for better lighting.
"Glenna!" Her mother laughed. "It's really pretty. I've never seen someone do such intricate work with only twigs and river rock."
Confused, Glenna glanced at the necklace. She froze, staring at it uncomprehendingly. The metal leaves and vines she was sure had surrounded a ruby earlier were only braided twigs and grass. And the ruby... it was only a pebble. "But...," she started to protest before her mother interrupted her.
"Of course you can have this for your birthday. How much was it?"
"She didn't say," Glenna mumbled. She couldn't understand what had happened.
"Well, I'm sure this should cover it," her mother said as she reached into her purse and pulled out some money. "But if it doesn't, let me know, and I'll be happy to pay the difference." She paused and studied the necklace in her hand again before handing it back to Glenna. "In fact, I'd like to meet her. Such intricate work... I wonder if I could persuade her to make jewelry for us to sell. What was her name?"
"That must be her Renaissance faire name," Glenna's father chimed in. "Where did you meet her?"
"Just past the new bridge on the shortcut trail."
Glenna's father wrinkled his brow in thought as he handed a cup of coffee to her mother. "What shortcut trail?"
"The one that starts just over there...." Glenna turned to point out the trail, but she couldn't locate it. The tents and trees seemed to meld together. "I think," she finished weakly.
"I don't know of a trail that way," Glenna's mother said. Steam rose from her cup of coffee into the morning air.
"Show us on the map," Glenna's father said, pushing a map of the grounds towards her. "This is our tent," he explained as he pointed out the upper trail.
Glenna studied the map, confused again. There isn't a trail anywhere near where I saw the bridge. Her face flushed as she realized she must have left the designated areas.
"I... I don't see it."
"Glenna, did you go outside the boundaries?"
She nodded slowly. "I... I guess so. But I didn't mean to! It looked like a trail to me."
Glenna's father glanced at her mother. "Well, if it was an accident, then of course we won't punish you, but Glenna... you have to be more careful. You know Renaissance festivals are allowed certain areas of private land or parks for the faires. We don't want to abuse our privileges and cause people to cancel their faires, do we?"
"No," Glenna sighed. She felt tears prick her eyes as she studied the necklace in her hand. It had looked different on the trail, ornate and elegant. She couldn't conceive how it could now look so opposite.
"Alright, then it's forgotten. Now, are you ready for your birthday present from us?"
"But the necklace...," Glenna started to protest.
"It's alright, Glenna. You help us with the jewelry stand all the time. You deserve the necklace and your birthday present." Glenna's mother pulled a box out from under the fabric-covered table that acted as one of the displays. "Here's your present from your dad and I."
Glenna unwrapped the box slowly. As she lifted the lid and moved the tissue paper out of the way, she gasped in delight. "This is for me?" she squealed as she pulled out a long, pale green dress with a corset top.
Her parents laughed. Her father's green eyes crinkled at the corners as he gestured for her to hold it up. "It will look beautiful on you, Glenna."
The Tale of Atterberry (The Faire Pendant Series, Book 1) by Leah Price / History & Fiction have rating 2.8 out of 5 / Based on37 votes