TITLE: Winging IT
GENRE: MG fantasy
Two scant hours, that’s all she had. Esperanza spread her wings and fluttered to the castle floor, landing with a stumble. Drat, a rock! She whirled her arms, fighting to regain her balance. Somewhere Princess Rosalin slept and she meant to find her. She must find her, and break that useless sleeping curse, or how could she call herself a faery godmother like her mother before her? Her mother, who’d been everything her own clod-footed self wasn’t – graceful and gifted, beautiful and admired.
Esperanza turned down a dim corridor, barely daring to breathe. Sometimes she paused to peer into rooms steeped in shuttered darkness. Nothing stirred. Not the spider in the web or the shadows that slept across the cold, stone floors. Even the wind held its breath. She shivered. Outside the sun beamed soft in the sky, but here inside the castle a damp chill penetrated every bone of her being, from the tips of her silvery wings to the bottoms of her small, slippered feet.
She passed rooms filled with heavy oak chairs, carved wooden trunks, empty benches clustered around rows of equally empty tables. She found everything but the princess. Only a few listless rays of light filtered down through the briars covering the windows. On she pushed.
Soon she reached a spiral staircase twisting away into opaque blackness. Its stones were slick with dampness and chunks of the steps had broken away, leaving vast gaps in them. Something might be lurking up there – something with fangs, leathery wings, a serpentine body.