TITLE: The White Curse
GENRE: YA Steampunk Fantasy
Damned servant girl turned noble scion, Lissy's fortunes take a terrible fall when her social debut catches the attention of the demon who owns her soul. After witnessing Lissy's 'talents' at weaponry - she can't miss a target even when she doesn't try - the demon assigns her to kill God of Wilderness, He who keeps the delicate balance between nature and man. Rags-to-riches fairytales aren't supposed to end with an apocalyptic showdown between a God and a fifty-foot automaton, but Lissy's will, unless she finds a way to outwit the demon and reclaim her soul.
Dying sunlight filters through the draperies, pink and ethereal. An hour before the rise of the full moon, Lissy can already feel herself changing: the peculiar looseness of her skin, smoother than silk, thinner than the membrane of a boiled chicken's egg. She dares not touch her hair, lest it molt more than it has already. It won't do, for the oh-so-noble members of her family to find white hair in their beef bouillon.
Pushing aside the curtains, she sees Prince Xin's dirigible still stationed outside the castle courtyard, emitting gentle puffs of smoke. The Prince is inside Novva castle now, taking the grand tour. Which is why Lissy's locked in this antechamber, hidden away from the world. As always, her presence is kept a secret - officially, she does not exist.
Hiding here was Tess's idea. Lissy's twin sister thrived on whispered secrets and mystery. Lissy could have easily stayed in the dimmest corner of the kitchen, masquerading as a sack of flour, but no. "What if you get discovered?" Her excitable sister had demanded. "I'll never see you again!"
Lissy snuck into this chamber willing enough. She'd been able to see the Prince's grand arrival, the smooth touchdown of his dirigible, the moment he pulled away his flying cap and brass goggles, his hair strikingly black under the sun. She'd watched the entirety of Novva's household, nobles and servants numbering to the hundreds, all falling upon their knees, murmuring fervent obeisance. She couldn't have seen that from the kitchen.