TITLE: Emily's Guide to Owning a Castle
GENRE: MG - Light Fantasy
12-year-old Emily has followed strange sounds down to a well beneath her a castle. There, she finds a mysterious boy trapped in a well who seems to know her and doesn't want her to call for help.
“Your face is strange. You do not resemble Anne Elizabeth,” he said.
“I’m not strange. I’m American,” she retorted.
“American? I have never been there. Is it far from here? Tell me about your people and your land.”
“I didn’t know there was anyone in the world who didn’t know about the United States,” Emily said, laughing. “I live in Phoenix, Arizona. It’s a city with all the usual stuff. The parks are nice. My friends and I play soccer together outside a lot. It doesn’t rain as much in Phoenix as it does here. It’s a desert so it’s sunny and hot all the time.”
“Do you wish to be in Phoenix?” the boy asked.
“Sometimes, I guess. I mean, I miss it a lot, but I like it here too.”
“You are sad to be so far from your friends and your home,” he said.
“A little. Where are you from? You can’t have lived down there all your life.”
His eyes looked beyond her. “I too am from a place far away. A place with sunlight, starry starlight, and moonlight filling the sky. Even when clouds gathered, lightning lit my path so I was never in darkness. I was happy there.”
“Can’t you get back? Can I help you get back?”
“You would help me?”
Emily grasped the iron grate and pulled with all her might, but it did not budge. Exerting herself so much made her yawn. Between her tiredness and growing uneasiness, she was ready to leave. “I can’t get this off myself. I’ll go and get help.”