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Chapter 1: Elfa Travels

Chapter 1

Elfa awoke with a start, silence roaring in her ears along with her pounding heartbeat. Remnants of her dream clung to her tousled hair as she lifted her head from the pillow. What had roused her from her sleep? Had she heard the nightingale’s call? Suddenly a sound broke through the silence, the warbling yet clear notes of a songbird seeming to sing while sunk deep in the center of a pool of clear water. When the nightingale called, she knew what she had to do. Now wide awake, Elfa slipped out of her warm bed and fastened the top of her worn lavender nightshirt. Each infinitesimal button was shaped like a different flower, so tiny even her little fingers had trouble fitting them into the buttonholes.

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Chapter 2: Gricilis

Chapter 2

Susan stretched and yawned, luxuriating in her outdoor cast-iron tub. The warm, humid air of the North Carolina summer enveloped her as completely as the steaming bathwater swirling around her. The metal claw feet of the tub rested on triangular slabs of slate, and a wrought-iron stand held her soaps. The rusty, cornflower-blue porcelain bathtub was a recent acquisition from The Last Unicorn. A wizardly man named Gaines ran the curious, rambling shop filled with an alluring assortment of antique tubs, gates, and statuaries.

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