New release and excerpt: Never Surrender – an Elfhame Academy Short Story

I have a new release this week called Never Surrender, it’s the second short story in an upcoming collection of prequels for my Elfhame Academy series. All of the prequel stories are part of overall mystery and told from the perspective of different characters who are going to be in my new series is coming out in the New Year. You can get the story on Amazon.

Excerpt

I winced as the cell door slammed shut behind me. I still couldn’t believe the elves had locked me up for murder. Me. Lucy Grey, a so-called killer. I was seventeen. I’d never killed anyone in my life. Nor did I know how the Elven enforcers could charge me with such a crime.

After Nina Morgan, the PI, had cast a spell on me back at her safe house, I’d lost consciousness. Or at least I thought I had. Something had taken over me and I didn’t remember anything after that. Just like I couldn’t remember what happened the night of the actual murder.

I slumped onto the metal bunk. The cell was six by four with a metal bunk, a toilet with no seat and a small sink. I couldn’t say it was the worst place I’d ever stayed in. I’d been shuffled around between foster homes for as long as I could remember. Some people even made me sleep outside.

The Elven enforcers had barely asked me any questions before someone from the Elven council had swooped in and ordered me to be taken to prison. The fae authorities had been arguing with them too. It had surprised me I had been sent to Everlight prison instead of one in Elfhame—the Elven realm.

But I knew this was only temporary until both the Fae and the elves decided what to do with me.

The Elven enforcer, Cal Thornton, had brought me in and advised me to get someone to speak on my behalf. But I had no one. No real friends. No connections. No family to speak of either. All I wanted to do was bide my time in my latest group home until I turned eighteen in a few months. Then I’d be an adult by human standards and would have to get a job. I’d even applied for positions working on Elfhame Academy Island as an assistant librarian. It had been my dream. To think I’d wanted to work at the elves diverse university that welcomed all supernatural seemed ironic now.

Think, I told myself. There has to be a way out of this.

I could contact Elsa Goodwin, the woman who ran the group home. She was kind to me and had been helping me apply to schools and jobs. And even offered to help me get into Everlight Academy. How had it all gone so wrong?

I slumped back on my uncomfortable bed and stared up at the stone ceiling. I’d call the group home. Asking Elsa for help couldn’t hurt. She told me to ask her if I ever needed anything. Now I did.

I thought about Nina, the PI, who’d taken me out of police custody and tried to help me. Her daughter, Olivia, had come to find me after I’d run off from the safe house. Something had taken me over. Possessed me somehow. But what had it been? Why had it possessed me?

I wondered if Nina could help me. She tried before but then got locked up.

After Olivia found me, an explosion had gone off. I’d woken up surrounded by Elven enforcers and from what I heard Olivia was dead. I didn’t know what happened to the other girl who had been with her. Had she died too?

I swallowed the lump in my throat, and bile rose in my mouth. I didn’t know how I’d live with myself if people had died because of me. I pushed those thoughts away. One way or another, I had to prove my innocence, or I’d rot in prison for the rest of my life.

 

Sleep didn’t come easily to me that night. Every time I closed my eyes, I saw that dead elf or Olivia staring back at me. Their faces wonted my dreams and their mouths opened in accusation at me.

An alarm blared as sunlight crept in through the narrow bars of my cell door. It had to be barely dawn. I’d lost track of time and the chaos the last couple of days.

Groaning, I got off my uncomfortable bunk. My back and neck ached from it. The prison guards had given me a spare change of clothes. A white vest, underwear, and an orange jumpsuit. Like the jumpsuits I’d seen on prison films. Not my usual sort of attire, but I wouldn’t complain.

I had to wash in the communal shower with other female prisoners. So I kept my head down and avoided making any eye contact. The shower was freezing, but at least it washed away some of my fatigue.

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