The Curious Tale of the Starry-Eyed Princess: Chapter Four

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The sorceress’s house could be called “eclectic,” if the person talking about the place was kind. Bits and pieces of old enchanted and cursed homes are all stuck together with precarious pieces of magic, looking more like an abstract illustration than something someone could live in. And that’s only on the outside — the sorceress’s collection of enchanted items is even more impressive, ranging from a spinning wheel that gives mundane blessings rather than curses, a large hoard of tangible colors, to candles that sing when you light them. If you wander out to the barn that houses a small sanctuary of abandoned enchanted and magical pets, you’ll find the very unwise own wearing its cummerbund as incorrectly as possible, the party ants, and a duckbilled platypus.

She is currently in the back yard, locked in a debate arguing about the impracticality of glass slippers with the owl when a great sneeze and a chorus of barking announces a visitor.

With a great sigh, she tells the owl that the discussion will have to wait until later, and walks out of the barn, around the house, and into the front yard.

There are a great many things she expects to see when she comes to the front yard. Maybe another young man with a dragon hatchling he can no longer care for, or a couple with cursed marriage, or maybe someone wanting to give a hex onto their rival’s bowels.. But the fair-haired man shielding his body behind two boys and his face with an enchanted mirror is not one of them.

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The Curious Tale of the Starry-Eyed Princess: Chapter Three

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“If you really didn’t want to kidnap me, why not just say so?” Maryn sighs, plopping down on a mossy rock.

The dragon shifts. “You were so… insistent. It’s hard to say no to an insistent princess.”

Maryn scowls, tapping her cane on the ground as little, furry sprites scurry around her feet. The dragon’s cave isn’t high up in the mountains like you’d expect with a beast who has affiliation with the weather, but rather nestled a little above the valleys of the mountain range. The caves are warm (“Always comfortable,” the dragon was eager to boast), and awfully sponge-y with moss. As far as Maryn understood, that’s how the caves got their names — “Marshmallow,” after the gooey candy that comes overseas from the east, though gooey isn’t a word she’d like to use to describe the soft layer she sits on.

One of the furry sprites pushes into Maryn’s hand, dropping something into it. It’s firm, but she can press into it a little, almost like a grape that won’t pop. “What…?”

“They like to give gifts,” the dragon practically purrs, proud of the inhabitants of its caves. “That’s a sort of toy, a ball that can bounce to extreme heights if I understand the sprites correctly. It also has magical power infused into it by… Oh. Well, maybe we’d best leave that part out.”

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