It’s March, baby! Are you ready to swim with the mermaids?
I’ve got some goodies planned for the days leading up to the release of Opalescent Immersion, and here’s one of them! This is a bit of Chapter 19, What Happened After (the closet). I added this section of the book after I had written a couple/few (Good grief, I cannot remember) drafts, and I did it with the help of friends on Facebook who provided me with names! Thank you again!
Let’s get to it! I hope you enjoy!
Valerie reached out for Charlotte’s arm, but pulled back. “Oh, I forgot. Sorry.” She looked back at Vidia. “She’s the one I told you about.”
Vidia stared up at Charlotte with big eyes, and then stepped back.
Charlotte imagined the cave with the candle. She let the rush of the ocean waves outside of it settle her temper.
“This is what happens when you practice naughty black magic.” Valerie said in a sing-songy voice. “Now Charlotte has to pay the price of her parents’ choices for the rest of her life. She may not ever be able to fully or correctly use her magic since she’s starting so late.” She looked back at Charlotte with a thin smile. “I’m so sorry. I know you didn’t mean for this to happen, it’s just that the council wants us to make sure the little ones understand this can’t happen again.”
Charlotte imagined a sunset on the beach. Waves crashing on the shore. The sound of dolphins singing to each other.
“Don’t you worry, Charlotte. We all feel so sorry for you. It’s just terrible what’s happened to your family, but you shouldn’t let it get you down. Think of the example you will provide for others! You might save a lot of people from making bad decisions!”
Charlotte thought of a cliff above the cave and a strong wind that rushed through the thick, soft grass.
Valerie nudged Vidia. “Go play with Bethany and Prudence, sweetheart.”
The little girl nodded and ran to where the other girls were playing quietly near their whispering masters.
Valerie smiled. “Charlotte, how is your apprenticeship? Is there anything I can do to help?” She shook her head. “It must be so hard on you to adjust. You know, if you ever need a girl to talk to, I’d be happy to give you some pointers. After all, it wasn’t that long ago that I was an apprentice.”
“I appreciate it, Val—”
“I noticed earlier that you two left the room a little early.” She giggled. “I’m sorry. It does happen to most of us, though I imagine it’s harder to accept as an adult.” She looked over Charlotte’s shoulder. “It would be different if I were in your shoes, of course, but just between us girls, I wouldn’t mind him yanking me into a closet.”
Charlotte imagined Valerie falling off the cliff above the cave, into the swirling water below.
“He always was a hottie, wasn’t he? He was at the meeting for masters and apprentices, but I didn’t get a chance to talk to him. That one is so hard to pin down.”
“He’s always been a bit reserved.” Charlotte managed to say.
“I wondered why he didn’t bring you along.” She raised her eyebrows. “You know, at the risk of hurting your feelings, I feel like I need to point out that your behavior is horrid. I know you’ve been through a lot, but you are setting a bad example for the other apprentices.”
Heat rippled through Charlotte’s stomach and spread through her body.
“We are just so excited that your brother was able to open the school this term. It was very distressing for all of us newbie masters not to have the classes and connections available for last term.” She smiled. “Not that we don’t understand the need for closure due to all the drama.”
Charlotte wished she were back in the closet with Vincent. Or dealing with a large group of fauns. Or drowning in the ocean.
Oh, Charlotte. I so get the inside of your head. Or you get the inside of mine? It gets confusing. Thanks for reading, and I can’t wait for the 8th!