An alternative fairytale in bite-sized portions
Suitable for family reading
Euphemia Ffinch focused on her target, knowing she must shoot quickly. Her quarry had taken cover in the acacia but might be off again at any moment. Her hand was steady as she adjusted her aim… and shot.
Satisfied, she relaxed back into the one comfortable chair on the wooden veranda and replaced the camera on the low table beside her.
Picking up the gilt-edged card that lay there, she re-read the invitation. It had arrived today from a former life lived by a different Euphemia. Memories flowed back.
Memories of the palace where she had been nanny to the little prince and princess of Regalia.
Memories of her cousin Bertie and Lucinda Eleanor, the goddaughter she had not seen since her cousin remarried.
Memories of a different world.
When she raised her eyes again, the sun was touching the horizon. Trees darkened against an orange sky and lights flickered behind her. Across the compound, lights blinked on above the door of each dormitory. Windows glowed bright. The song of reed-frogs replaced the song of the bird in the acacia tree.
She fancied the wee birdie with the big voice might be a cousin of the one that sang to her from the roof of the Emir’s palace as she left Djalladin last month. The memory of that drive kindled a premonition that she would not see her old friend, the Emir, again.
Yet the orphanage here had needed her help. An email from its supervisor had set her intuition prickling, and her intuition had been right. It usually was.
Now that threat was removed, but a sense of foreboding still shadowed her. She didn’t think it came from Djalladein.
Trouble loomed back home. She just didn’t know what it was, yet.