TITLE: THE FATAL CROWN
GENRE: YA Fantasy
Taela wasn’t a thief, not usually, but sometimes folks had to do unpleasant things for the sake of the people they loved. Like keep secrets or steal from their own families.
Or even commit murder.
She slipped into the cool darkness of the storage shed and quietly latched the door. She took a deep breath to calm herself. At least, after tonight, it would finally be over. She would fulfill her promise, no matter what it cost or how much it frightened her.
Ribbons of moonlight shone through the slats of the old wooden structure, falling across the crates, casks and barrels stacked around her. She had to be quick. She rummaged through a crate, grabbed a handful of dried apricots and few shriveled potatoes and stuffed them into her pack.
Standing on tiptoe, she reached up to the top shelf for the stoneware crock that held last season’s summerbeans. It felt smooth and cool in her hands. She slid the container to the edge and eased it off the shelf, but it was heavier than she expected. Before she could get a good grip, the crock slipped, fell to the dirt floor and shattered with a crash. She jumped back as shards of pottery and beans scattered at her feet. Blast it! Probably just woke the whole village.
She grabbed her pack and scrambled toward the weathered door, but the sound of footsteps approaching stopped her. Too late. She ducked into the shadows and hid behind a barrel.