The Woolgatherer

Prologue

       Faye was delivered to mortal parents during a strange collision of worlds, when magic forces deep within the Earth bubbled through the ground, swirled into existence, and formed a pool of water in the sand. A young couple was crossing the desert, and the woman, parched and thirsty, saw the water and reached for it. It glistened right in front of her, so close she could almost touch it. Then it danced across the sand.  

       The pool of water swirled in the distance, then jumped, landing inches from her fingertips. The woman dipped her hand in the water and drank. Then, the second it touched her lips, it began twirling and swirling furiously, faster and faster, and glistening brighter and brighter until finally it vanished—leaving a child in its place. 

       The man, disbelieving, whirled around in fright, searching for an answer, a sign—something to explain what could otherwise be explained only by magic. The woman, more accepting of miracles, ran to the child and embraced her. Instantly her thirst was quenched. She rocked the infant in her arms and held her tight against her breast, as if she were a mortal child she could nurture and protect to adulthood. But she was only half mortal, gifted to the woman by Falfurius, the Fairy King. Her skin was the color of sand, her hair was golden like the sunlight. And in the middle of her back, right where her shoulder blades met, tiny sparkles of gold danced barely perceptibly, as if they were nothing more than a tickle. These were the beginnings of wings. 

            “Mirror child,” a voice whispered through the canyons—a bone-chilling whisper, slow, breathy and cackling, as if it came from underground. “She cannot stay. She belongs with us.”

            Neither the woman nor the man could hear the voice; only the child could hear it. But the child was just an infant, and she would soon forget the words that echoed through the canyons on the day of her birth. Then, years later, she would hear them again.

Mirror Child Book One: The Woolgatherer, by Tamra Andrews