by K. Hutson Warrington
“Don’t tell me faeries, elves and dragons don’t exist,” five-year old Kady insisted again and again to her parents, Rachel and Richard Dowd.
And Kady’s parents know she is right. As the years pass, they see the small creature darting beneath the dryer. They also see the giant’s shadow outside the windows. And Rachel Dowd has found something even more frightening than glowing eyes from deep within the shrubs. She’s found a letter, one that may involve her daughter. Could the letter folded in her coat pocket be true? If so, Kady must fulfill a destiny far beyond anyone’s wildest imagination.
Does she dare? Now, 15-year old Kady must decide. Stay safe at home, in Maine or go? Go to a place told of only in faerie tales. A place filled with spriggans and phookas, dwarves and dragons.
In Quid, Kady learns to believe in herself, in the courage of others and the acceptance of those unlike herself.
ISBN: 1-59431-769-0 or 978-59431-769-9
Also Available in RTF and HTML
Young Adult, Adventure, Fantasy, Action
A portion of the royalties from this book will be donated to the Children's Miracle Network.
The woman found herself repeatedly reaching into her pocket, fidgeting with the folded piece of yellow paper. She puffed her cheeks releasing a slow breath of air that parted her chapped lips, as she tried to compose herself. Moist hand prints disappeared from the steering wheel each time she unclenched them, as she sped along the rolling country roads of Waldo County, Maine.
"You realize this is the third time this week I've been called to a teacher's conference because of your fighting, and no less on your sister's birthday. She's eight today, or did you forget?" She didn't expect a reply. The ten year-old boy seated next to her ignored his mother and continued to stare out the window.
"I don't know what's going on with you these days hun, but we've got to try and figure something out. Your father's going to be furious, you know." The boy's eyes shifted sideways, toward his mother. She felt him watch her as she wound a fawn colored strand of hair, over and over, around her finger.
Like a stone skipped across still water, her thoughts touched upon all she had discovered yesterday. She hadn't meant to pry. She knocked and the door eased open. He had to be home, having finished their yard work earlier that day, she reasoned, maybe he was asleep. However no one answered when she entered the cabin. After all, it was her property. Palmer rented the cabin from her and Richard in exchange for yard work, and made a meager living doing the same for others in the area. She was never sure why she had agreed to let him live in the old cabin. Maybe it was his gentle green eyes or the fact that when he appeared on their front porch, he looked as though he had just been in the fight of his life. There was a handsome face beneath the cuts and bruises, and something strangely familiar about him. Her husband felt it too, even though he tried to deny it.
It was not like her to intrude, but recent events had left her no choice, and that strange book was just sitting there, open on the narrow table. There was a painting, on the first page. The book almost dropped from her hands when she recognized Kady's picture. She flipped through the pages, but it was written in some strange language. She would just have to explain to him later why she took it, but then when she closed the book, the yellow piece of paper had floated out. That she could read. It was in Palmer's writing. She stuffed it in her coat pocket, needing to get home before Kady finished her school work. She had left her plenty to do, but Kady always did everything fast.
Kady had always been different from other children. And even though Richard had a hard time accepting him, she became fond of the gentle giant that appeared one day outside their home when Kady turned two. She dragged that giant all over the yard, clasping his huge finger in her tiny hands. The silly pig-faced creature scurrying after them scooped Kady up every time she fell. And then there was the small man dressed in brown. He had just recently taken up residence beneath the dryer. Kady left saucers of milk each night for him. In return, her bedroom remained immaculate.
Richard thought it a great idea to home-school Kady and Lukus. Especially since Kady learned so quickly, reading and writing by the time she was two. And Lukus adored Kady, always taking care of her. It had all been so wonderful, she loved having them with her until…
She glanced over at the sullen dark-haired boy. His forehead was pressed tightly against the passenger window. Fog surrounded his face from his heavy breathing. It was two years ago today that he had tried to kill Kady. Even though she was only six years old at the time, she defended herself taking away the hammer, leaving Lukus with a broken nose. Kady swore it was an accident. She and Lukus had been so close before then, back when Lukus was a normal, caring, little boy, quick to smile. That all suddenly changed, when he turned eight years old. Sending him to public school hadn't helped. Now he was uncontrollable.
If all that she had learned from endless research, and if those drawings in the leather bound book were true, then was that letter, written by Palmer, a prophecy of some kind? If so, how could she and Richard protect Kady? How were they to protect her from creatures that were supposed to exist only in fairy tales? Yet didn't those very creatures now lurk in the shadows that surrounded her home? Beneath the dryer in the laundry room? Had she been wrong in trusting the giant and the others?
Her hands trembled as she caught sight of her son, staring at her. For, if all that she had learned were indeed true, this child beside her might not be her son.
So lost in thought, she hadn't noticed the darkness stealing away the day. She pulled the headlights on. They were only a few miles from home. "Boy I hate how early it gets dark this time of year, don't you?" The only reply she received was the boy's dark eyes shifting in her direction.
She heard a loud thump on the roof of the car, a moment before a dark form slid in front of her, over the windshield. Crimson eyes blazed in at her. She slammed her foot to the floor. The sound of squealing brakes echoed across the desolate woods as something smashed through her side window. The steering wheel jerked sharply to the right, and she fought to pry the boy's hands from the wheel. Terror filled her eyes as she realized, too late, that all she had learned was true.
The car careened off the road, flying over a large drainage ditch. It slammed into a telephone pole, snapping it cleanly in half, several feet above the ground. The boy pulled the piece of yellow paper from his mother's coat pocket, as she lay crumpled behind the bent steering wheel. Blood ran from a deep gash in her temple; her once gentle brown eyes, closed. He climbed free of the car.
A band of spriggans surrounded the boy. Their skin resembled dried leather, craggy and flattened. They wore oversized, filthy trench coats. Sharp, black clawed hands hung from beneath their sleeves. Partially entangled in the spriggans' matted manes of dark hair were squirrel-sized creatures with bat faces, and slitted eyes of blood red.
"She forgot to wear her seatbelt this time," said the boy dully. He disappeared with the creatures. The car burst into flames several minutes later.
Rachel Dowd was pronounced dead.