Chapter Four

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Shade stirred awake while it was still dark. The door was open, and there was only a sliver of light shining around the corner from the adjacent room. A queasy feeling overwhelmed her, and for a moment, it felt like she had temporary amnesia. Sitting up, she dangled her legs over the side of the bed. She was beginning to wake up a bit more and remembered why she wasn't home. As she looked around at her surroundings, the events of the previous day rushed back to her.

Her cell phone was still working, and she grabbed it from atop her backpack on the floor beside the bed. Flipping it open, the bright screen hurt her eyes, and she squinted at the little digital clock. 5:15am. No wonder she felt tired. She was not used to waking up so early and had always been a late bird, rarely making it to school with more than a minute to spare.

Shade slipped to the edge of the bed until both her feet touched the cool stone floor. Bending down, she felt around in the dark for her socks and shoes. She wondered what she'd take for clothes on this journey. I can't very well ask to stop by home to pick up some stuff. Well, maybe. Perhaps her mother would be gone most of the day. Shade would have to ask Ilarial if it were possible, or she'd be faced with an endless stench from not changing her clothes.

She slipped on her shoes and stood up, shaking her head and stretching her sore limbs. Nope, definitely must get some stuff from home. She walked into the main room of Ilarial's chamber, where she'd first met the great oracle.

She was unsure of the coming events of the day, but she had her backpack, and she decided to examine her 'supplies'. I doubt there's anything useful in here for a perilous journey. Shade sighed. She unzipped the bag and observed the contents: her schoolbooks, some snacks, her mp3 player, a dozen pens, pencils, erasers, a stapler, and a tube of lip balm. Other than her books and snacks, there was her notebook full of poems and stories she wrote when bored.

Emergency preparedness at its best.

Shade shook her head disapprovingly. She had to stop by her house, dump her textbooks and fill her bag with badly needed essentials. Running her hand through her matted hair, it caught in the frizzy knots from sleeping on it. She groaned. It was a frazzled mess. Hearing a swish behind her, she whirled around to see Ilarial standing at the doorway of the suite.

"I tried to be quiet. I did not want to scare you. Here, take these clothes. I know you need things from your house. I have already cast a spell on your mother. She will leave at seven am to run errands and shop with your siblings. She's just fine and very happy. I will make sure of it." She handed Shade a pile of light but luxuriously soft tunics and trousers. The material was smooth and felt like pajamas. Ilarial gave her a belt and leather strings to tie the tunics with. She also furnished some hard-soled leather shoes, which were also soft but surprisingly sturdy.

"Soap can take you to your house. He's on his way. Do come back by ten am, as that is when they will be about ready to leave. Can I see your backpack?" She held her hand out for the pack. "I can help lighten the load with a shrinking spell. Anything you place in your bag will shrink hundreds of times its normal size and return to normal when you take it back out. Whatever you want, just summon it, and it will come straight to you. You can bring anything you wish." Shade nodded in awe as she handed the pack to Ilarial. Ilarial whispered the spell softly and ran her hand over the bag, closing her eyes. When she was through, she returned it to Shade.

"There, see? It's as light as a feather."

Shade held the pack, and it felt very light, as though it was empty. She opened it, reached inside for one of her textbooks, and it appeared in her hand immediately though she couldn't see anything inside the now darkened interior. "Wow! That's amazing! I can put whatever I want, right? Does it have a weight limit? That's just way cool!" Shade felt her excitement fluttering through her now, and her fatigue evaporated.

Ever Shade (A Dark Faerie Tale #1) by Alexia Purdy (complete)Where stories live. Discover now