TITLE: The Rowaness of Shalott
GENTRE: YA Fantasy
Never had I felt the sensation of touch. Not the wind in my hair or stones under my feet. If only I could awaken my skin, startle my half-alive body into awareness, release my spirit from the rowan trees.
Forget I was a nameless Rowaness.
Curling my finger, I beckoned an ocean breeze and twined it around a single blossom, high in the canopy of my favorite rowan tree. The flower floated down, petals like fluttering wings, its life force fading.
With a prayer to Eve, I opened my hand.
The blossom landed in my palm like a silent kiss.
Casting the flower aside, I strode out to the cliff and closed my eyes, listening to the waves crash onto the pebbled shore below. The spray from the ocean whispered through the veil strung over the back of my hair. Then everything hushed until the rowan trees rustled, echoing the sound of a commanding female voice. Her whisperings built into an urgent crescendo, spreading across the island for all the Rowaness to hear. “Veil your faces,” Nimue warned. “The king’s ship is near!”
I ducked to the ground, then after a moment’s hesitation, crept to the cliff’s edge. In the distance, a large vessel rocked upon the water as silhouetted figures drew in its great sail, bearing the crest of the blue dragon. I blinked in disbelief. The king and Merlin hadn’t set foot in Shalott for five years. No men had.
I didn’t veil my face.