The next shop caught Penelope’s eye when she saw an array of crystal spheres suspended in the shop window, each a different size and depicting a different scene with enchanting realism. One showed an animated underwater scene filled with vibrant coral and fish swimming in shallow currents. Another showed a dark cavern, the quartz walls of which were illuminated in eerie detail by the ghostly glow of blue mushrooms. Intrigued most of all by an achingly familiar scene of silver and crystal trees, Penelope leaned…Continue Reading “Ch. 03 – Whistleweather’s Emporium – Part 1”

Penelope and the Sisters made their way through the snowy footpaths back to the upper village concourse, across the busy road, and through the central garden to the fortune fountain.  Though it was winter, the garden boasted a wide variety of plants from different regions and seasons. Contributions from each of the realms of Edenwood Valley were carefully cultivated and alchemically nurtured throughout all seasons, making for a lush and eclectic garden of vibrant flowers, crystalline trees, and luminescent ferns. Penelope sat herself on the…Continue Reading “Ch. 02 – Grimwood Village – Part 3”

Penelope followed the Sisters out onto the street with a sense of renewed purpose. A light snow was falling, which quickly dusted Penelope’s hair before she pulled up her hood. She held out her hand to catch several of the crystalline flakes, watching them melt into her glove with glee.  The three women followed the cobbled footpath up the sloping street until they arrived at the upper village concourse, a large circular area of levelled stone shaded by leafy, silver-barked trees. Tall, narrow buildings ringed…Continue Reading “Ch. 02 – Grimwood Village – Part 2”

With a month until the Dark Moon, and much work to finish in the cottage before all three women could embark on the journey to Grimwood Village, it was several days before they were ready to leave. Starwood Palace had reclaimed their carriage and fast mares many years ago. The Sisters had been left to barter at Clear Lake market for a small mare and cart so they could continue trading homemade wares. Cynthia, their apricot mare with a cream-coloured mane and spots on her…Continue Reading “Ch. 02 – Grimwood Village – Part 1”

Though she had gone to bed late the night before, and her sleep was restless, Penelope awoke to the blue light of dawn. The twinkle of small crystal stars, a legacy of childhood comfort, glittered from the sloped wooden ceiling where they had been strung many years prior. Penelope rose, donned her robe and slippers, and padded to the window overlooking the front garden. Weathered stepping stones lead to a small white gate, beyond which lay a winding pebble path which disappeared into the green…Continue Reading “Ch. 01 – The Invitation – Part 2”

Penelope held the pale gold garment to the light of the window for a final inspection of the stitching as chimes rang through the cottage. Mrs Mary Walburton, ever perfectly on time. Penelope remained focused on the hemline as Sister Heely’s footsteps clipped across the polished stone of the kitchen, down the narrow hall, and came to a stop at the front door. Examining each sleeve in turn, Penelope listened as the door was opened and Mary ushered across the threshold, back down the hall,…Continue Reading “Ch. 01 – The Invitation – Part 1”