The Queen’s Gift by T.R. Allardice
on December 15th 2014
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Fifteen-year-old, late-bloomer Jean Elliott dreams of becoming a Genie like her mom. When her family relocates to Tokyo, Jean is forced to use sleight-of-hand tricks to fool everyone at school into believing that she’s a normal Preternatural or risk expulsion. When her power finally appears, it comes in the form of the Queen’s Gift–an unspeakable magic that strips power from all Preternaturals and heralds the arrival of the new queen.
After an absence of two hundred years, not everyone wants the monarchy to return and they’re willing to go to great lengths to keep the status quo. When buried secrets rip Jean’s family apart, she has a choice to make: Walk away and hope for the best or embrace the power that’s known to lead to madness in order to save her family.
Jean’s greatest dream has turned into her biggest nightmare and no matter how hard she tries, there’ll be no wishing the Queen’s Gift away.
I swallowed hard and walked deeper into the alley. Another bang shook the walls, causing me to flinch. Nothing in the alley moved. The whole place held its breath, afraid to exhale.
Whatever they’d lined up would be good. I could feel it. My stomach was doing backflips now. I just had to make sure I reacted appropriately. Too much fear, and they’d never stop messing with me. Too little, and they’d know I was onto them.
Something that sounded like a bag of oranges being dragged across gravel scraped the ground. It followed by a loud splat. Did one of them toss a water balloon? I wanted to check, but my gaze was drawn to a flash of white in my peripheral. What was that?
The odor of fish hit me like a wet rag in the face as I neared a dumpster. Gross! A cool breeze lifted my long hair off my face and cleared my polluted nostrils, blowing the eye-watering stench away. I glanced over my shoulder. The whole group was trying not to laugh.
Soon they’d know that Jean Marie Elliott could take a joke.
Pulling myself to my full height of five foot two, I threw my shoulders back and strode down the alley like I owned the place. There was another dart of white. Someone or something ducked behind the dumpster. “You can come out now. I’ve already seen you.”
“She’s talking to a cat.” Stefan meowed loudly.
Leeches can mimic any sound that they hear, which was both cool and really scary.
“I think it’s a rat.” Gunter squeaked, sounding like an asthmatic mouse tied to a treadmill.
Snorts of laughter rang out from the group.
Determined to turn their prank back on them, I held my ground and waited. The trash bins screeched as something slowly pushed them apart. The creature rose before me like a giant blob of clear snot. I tried to see its face or make out its features, but they kept sliding into the goo, its mass unable to support them.
I had no idea what spell Karen and her friends had used, but it was a good one. Very realistic. They had to have enlisted one of the Fey or a Genie to help. Their low level magic wouldn’t be strong enough to pull this off, not even combined.
Swaggering forward, I said, “You don’t look scary.”
The creature wheezed and drool oozed from its mouth, dropping onto the ground with a disgusting splat. The giant loogie nearly hit my shoe. Eww…
The closer I got, the less solid the creature appeared to be. What held the thing up? Wires perhaps? Fishing twine? It didn’t have legs. Had Karen and her little helpers created the monster from a spell using Jell-O as the base? That would explain its gooey state and all the odd jiggling.
“I’ve seen better costumes on Halloween.” Not true. But I needed to convince them that I wasn’t frightened. “You’ll have to do more than drool boogers, if you want to scare me.” It was only then that I noticed that the laughter had stopped.
T.R. Allardice writes young adult, new adult, and humorous horror stories. Most of what she writes incorporates several genres. The content won’t always be ‘safe’. What’s the fun in that? She is a member of the Horror Writer’s Association, Novelist Inc. and the Author’s Guild. She has thirty-one books published under another pen name. To find out more about her upcoming work, go to: www.trallardice.com