Saturday Storytime: Fire and Ice


Laura Bradley Rede writes beautifully of desire and responsibility and complications. Her new young adult novel, Darkride, is about all those things and getting very good reviews. It also happens to be on sale at the moment. This short story is about a very different set of complication.

“No liaisons with mortals. The Queen hasn’t changed her mind. But…” He hesitates. “But I hoped that you might have changed yours. Sabine, there is enough Faery blood in your veins that you could survive the Change. If you chose to embrace it, to claim your magic–”

“And give up my humanity. Yes, I know. And I’ve thought about it. I really have. I barely think of anything else.”

“And?”

I can hardly stand to extinguish the spark of hope in his eyes. “And I’m still not ready. I mean, life here sucks sometimes, but to give it up, to pass through the Veil completely and become something else, to watch my mom and my friends get old and die… It’s different for you. Faery is your world, and you can visit this one whenever you want. But once I pass through the Veil I can never come back to this world. And Faery isn’t my home.”

“It could be.” His voice is quiet. “Faery can be a beautiful place.”

Beautiful. And terrible. Hawth knows that as well as I do—better, really. I shake my head sadly. “I can’t.”

His face is full of pain. “If that is how you really feel.”

Is it? I’ve made the decision a thousand times over in my head, but now, looking at him, I find myself wavering. That’s certainly how I felt back in New York, when I had so much human life to lose: my friends, my aunts and cousins, my photography, even school. But my mom took me away from all that when she took me away from Hawthorn. Now I wonder if her plan has backfired. Trying to save my human life, has she screwed over everything that made it worth living?

But there is still her. Angry as I am at her, I love my mom. Could I leave her alone completely? This isn’t leaving for college or even running away from home. There would be no coming back.

Hawth sees the answer in my eyes. His own gaze drops to the icy floor. “Then I will have to be the one to change.”

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