Monday, April 1, 2013

First Pages: Nettlefold Princess by C.M. Simpson

Nettlefold Princess is the fourth short story to be found in An Anthology of Worlds. It is also available as a stand-alone short story.

A single gold coin shines on the pavement, but no one except me seems to have noticed it. I watch it, hoping someone will take it and claim it as their own. Needing someone to take it. Please take it.

Nettlefold Princess is available as part of AnAnthology of Worlds, and also as a stand-alone title at Smashwords, Kobo, Kindle, iTunes, and Nook.

First Page: Nettlefold Princess

Nettlefold Hollow took its name from the myriad nettles that grew there. Stinging nettles mingled with greater and lesser nettles as well as wood and hedge nettles. Clambering amongst the rocks and mingling with clumps of grass or peeking from beneath the blackberries, the nettles dominated the hollow. With emerald leaves, highlighted in silver and dripping diamonds from the morning dew, the nettles were beautiful… until some unwelcome visitor brushed against them. Rumors of fairies were rife.
At first, no one lived in Nettlefold Hollow. No one even lived near it. No one visited it or traveled through it. No one. Even when settlers came and built farms, people left Nettlefold Hollow alone. When the farms grew into a small town, people stayed well away. It was only when the small town grew into a large town that the developers moved in.
Nettles can’t hurt bulldozers, and fairies fare poorly against cold iron and steel. Within a few short months, the suburb of Nettlefold Hollow was born.
New houses with green roofs sparkling in the morning dew lined the streets. Roses bloomed where white nettle flowers once ruled. Neatly trimmed lawns replaced the jostling tangle of blackberries. Not one fairy was seen welcoming the brightly painted garden gnomes.
People came to the Hollow and shattered the quiet with the sound of cars, buses and children. Moving vans brought whole families to settle there. Dogs and cats took over from squirrels and raccoons as the dominant animals in the valley. The Hardangers with their pet cocker spaniel were the first family to arrive.
They said nothing of fairies, or nettles, but their garden was wilder than most. This was more because they were too busy doing other things to care for it, than any other reason. On the weekends, Mr. Hardanger made pottery, and Mrs. Hardanger brewed herbal remedies. During the week they worked in the office towers in the center of town. 
Their daughter, Amity, had the darkest hair and bluest eyes of all the girls on her street. She went to school on the bus, and rode the internet at night. She did not roam the Hollow once the sun had set. When asked why, she said the shadows freaked her out, that something moved within them.


If you would like to read more, Nettlefold Princess is available as part of AnAnthology of Worlds, and also as a stand-alone title at Smashwords, Kobo, Kindle, iTunes, and Nook.

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