My faerie mother didn’t want me. She gave me my name, Bimi Lightfoot, and then she gave me away. Who was she? I was wondering about her again, hiding from my stepfather under an overturned rowboat. The boat’s drying wood smelled warm and fishy. I dug up some sand crabs and made a little house for them out of shells and driftwood. The crunch of footsteps in the sand made me look up.
Right next to the boat.
No one in Karakesh wore fancy yellow boots.
Yellow boots pounded on the boat.
“Bimi Lightfoot! I know you’re under there! Come out and greet your cousin, Liri Flare!”
Cousin? Liri Flare?
This would be the faerie cousin who gave me to Demara, my so-called sister, when I was a baby. Demara was only thirteen years old back then, so she handed me off to her mother, Lunila, like I was a sour pear or a rotten potato.
“Come out, I say!”
I stuck my head out. He was all yellow. His clothes were yellow, and so was his hair. Even his skin was pale yellow.
“All the way, you scamp!” said the Yellow Boots.
I crawled out.
He swept off his pointed yellow hat.
“Liri Flare, faerie extraordinaire,” he said. He had a big smile, like my sister’s father, Simead Nair. Simead Nair was a selkie, a seal person. Selkies are a kind of faerie. Maybe all faeries had big smiles with big white teeth.
I knew Liri Flare was the faerie that had given me to Demara. But I didn’t know much about anything else. I’d never gone beyond Karakesh Village. The family wouldn’t let me.
“You can’t go anywhere until you learn to behave,” said Lunila.
Lunila was my so-called mother in this family. Earlier this morning, when I was down on the beach, I’d heard her calling me.
“Bimi Lightfoot! You bad boy! You get back here!”
She was standing on the cottage porch. I pretended I didn’t hear her. She’s not my real mother, so I didn’t have to do what she said. I kept walking down the beach toward the sea caves.
Anyone could see that I didn’t belong in this family. They all had skin the color of dark honey. I was so pale that you could see my veins. Sometimes my skin looked light green, like the inside of a grass stem. My real family–my faerie family–lived at Hawk Hill, in the woods and in the mounds. Faeries.
“Stand up and let me look at you!” Liri Flare commanded.
He sounded like my stepfather, Gerran. Always telling me what to do, and how to behave. Behaving was boring.
But now here was a yellow cousin in yellow boots. Suddenly things weren’t boring anymore.
Liri Flare sweeps Bimi up into the sky on a mission to steal a horse. Once away from his adoptive family, Bimi sets out to find his mother and learn the truth about his father. He gets help from some of the magical folk of Karakesh, but other encounters are downright life-threatening. Does Bimi find what he seeks on his quest?
Growing Magic will be available soon from Handersen Publishing and Amazon books. In the meantime, catch up with the adventures of Agatha, Malcolm, Sada, Rami, and Demara in the first four books of the Karakesh Chronicles.
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