Roots of Magic by Mila Riggs
English | 2020 | Mystery & Thriller | ePUB | 2.7 MB
I remember reading old stories about portals to magical far-off worlds, and the brave adventurers who traveled through them. But those were just kids’ stories… Until it happened to me.
One morning I woke up in a field all alone with no idea where I was or how I’d gotten there. Fell through a portal, they told me. Someone wants you dead, they warned. None of it made any sense.
A kindly innkeeper discovered me and made it her job to get me back home, but those plans were quickly derailed when an out-of-town guest at her inn was murdered under magical circumstances.
The clock is ticking, both to expose the killer and to send me back home to Vilea… Otherwise, I might be stuck in this strange place called “Georgia” forever.
The breeze kicked up as though to prove my theory. I tried to run my fingers through my hair, but a series of thick mats and tangles had worked their way into the long brown strands. How rough must I have landed in order to do that?
My hair had always been plain, but well kept and healthy. I’d never sported the bright colors that were popular among those my age. Nope, no shining turquoise or fiery orange locks for me. I had, though, taken one small stride toward being fashionable by keeping my hair pulled tightly back in an intricate braid crown—and it suited me.
Hopefully it wasn’t too damaged from the fall. I’d cry if it were.
The thought of having to say goodbye to something that so defined me felt even stranger than seeing the wrong sun in the sky.
Never accept fate. That’s what Dante would say. Never stop. Never give up. No matter what.
His constant preaching usually drove me crazy—especially since I knew he’d been brought up in the same way I had, completely devoid of adventure—but now I sorely wished he were here with me. If only to have an ally.
I spied the edge of the field and hurried in its direction, flowers following my progression as if to encourage me forward.
Which way should I turn now?
A deep forest stretched as far as the eye could see. No sign of civilization yet. The flowers faded away as I reached the woods, but creeping vines jumped from tree to tree as I journeyed ever onward.
The plant entourage was enough to ignore as I focused on carefully choosing each step, so as not to take things from bad to worse by becoming wounded. Scattered leaves along the ground cushioned my footfalls, but errant twigs and rocks lurked in wait, ready to tear into my soft soles at the slightest misstep.
This was not the way today was supposed to go. It was meant to be big, important—but not like this. I should have been getting preened and pampered, rare jewels woven into my braid crown and strung around my neck. It was to be a grand celebration.
I could remember all of that and yet… I still had no idea how I’d ended up here.
I tried to work my way back in time from what I last remembered, but everything in my recent memory had blurred together in an unreadable mass.
That was when a single voice broke through my untamed thoughts. Somehow both syrupy and scratchy at the same time, a woman shouted from the distance.
“You don’t belong here,” she warned.
I froze in place to show I meant no harm. As an elemental, I was gifted with the ability to speak and understand every language, but this one was new to my ear. After a few tense, unmoving moments, I slowly turned and braced myself to face the waiting stranger.
The woman stood between two towering trees, a sweating glass of light brown liquid in one hand and holding a large woven basket in the other. Her hair was long and a silver gray, streaked with a few darker sections that rebelled against her obvious advanced age. Her dark eyes sparkled with amusement as she regarded me then took a slow sip of her beverage.
I blinked hard, rearranging my cluttered mind to stop wondering about what had happened and start focusing on finding some way to connect with this stranger now.