Shadows and Waltzes

Shadows and Waltzes

By:  Emmy Smith  Ongoing
Language: English
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She doesn't understand why she and her eleven younger sisters were cursed to dance each night for the Underground King. But when her mother's diary is found, a few things fall into place. He is surprised when the king offers half his kingdom to the man that can solve the curse. What kind of father does that? But as they come together to solve the curse, they fall in love and fall fast. Leading to the question, can they solve the curse before it is too late, or will he lose her forever?

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8 Chapters
Prologue
Magic is power. Anyone who tells you differently is fooling themselves. And with power comes prices. The question is always what the price will be. Will I be able to speak after expending my power, or will I be bedridden to ensure that everything happens the way it is supposed to?The best trick I have learned so far, is to give the price to those asking me for magyck favors. For the trouble of hexing your annoying neighbor, you have to give me a touch of your blood. For the annoyance of raising your brother from the dead, you need to give me a life.Father never approved of my methods. I assumed that was why my younger brother inherited. I should have been king. And yet… If I had become king, I never would have met The Frostblood Coven. I never would have learned just how limiting my powers were. Even now, my magyck is limited, but not for long.Power and control are the two most important things when it comes to ripping everything away from those who stole your birth right. I smiled
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Sleeping in the Garden
Out of all the gardens, the one with the reflecting pool was my favorite. I could have chosen the Daisy Walk with the Pythorian statues, but I hate having the old gods watching me. It doesn’t feel safe. No. I much prefer being near the water, where no eyes watch, and I can hide away for as long as I need to.Except for today, apparently. As I stride towards the gazebo in the center of the pool, tracing my fingers over the carved wood forming the bridge railing, I see my elder, and immediately younger sisters. They seem to be in some sort of heated debate, and I contemplate turning around, and walking away.“Margherita, don’t you dare walk away.” Klover beckons me over. “You know that we have been waiting for you.” She stands in her tall dark beauty, regal.Rosa is near her, her pale looks, so similar to mine, looking so much more pale next to our older, half-sister. “Margherita, please come tell her that she is being stupid, because she isn’t held under the curse.”I finish crossing t
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The Award Flyers
I hate traveling through Murkney. The trees never seem to want to open up, until you are in the middle of a mine, and the mines refuse to be where they are supposed to be. There are three valleys in the mountainous kingdom, and I have lived in all three. But today, I am traveling to the three peaks, where the castle sits.It sits on a low peak, just low enough to where it makes sense for the gardens to thrive, and high enough to where it casts a shadow across the kingdom. It rises high, the towers scraping the sky, raising as high as the tallest mountain. I call it quits when I can’t see the sun in the sky anymore, opting instead to sit against a tree and break bread. I refuse to travel through the night, not with how dangerous the forest is. Gods only know where I would end up stumbling through the dark. I nestle back, stretching my legs out in front of me. I flip my bag open, and paw through the jumbled mess. As I pulled the humble meal from my satchel, I hear a voice.“Hello?” Th
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The Games Begin
I stood, impatient in the witch’s ring, awaiting my brothers and sisters. The trees grew crooked, and shaggy, holding the darkness of a thousand spells. I remembered perfectly the first time I had been pulled to the ring. I had just lost my kingdom to my brat of a brother, Orion. I felt myself slipping, falling back to the past.Father had been weak, dying, when he had called Orion and I to him. I had gotten there first, kneeling by my father’s bed, taking his hand while we waited on my brother. Father had coughed, and blood bubbled from his lips.Orion walked in, fifteen minutes before Father had died. I had been with him for hours at that point. But when the golden son walked in, Father no longer had eyes for me. He saw naught but the son of his second wife. Forget the fact that I had been the one giving him water for the last three hours, forget the fact that I had been the only one that had sought him out on his deathbed. Forget that I had been the one that had come when he called
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The Princes Arrive
I hated welcoming guests to the castle, but as the lady of the keep, it was my bound duty. And that is why I stood outside the Great Doors, freezing in the dropping temperatures as the sun sank below the horizon. Klover was the only one of my sisters that had joined me, standing to my right, and back a step. I wished that she would stand beside me.“Klover, please.” I looked at her over my shoulder. “You don’t have to hide in the shadows. I’m not ashamed that you are my sister.”She shook her head. “No. you treating me like an equal in front of the people that you will be on war counsels with. They will see you as weak and malleable.”I shrugged. “Then maybe I don’t want them as allies.”“I’m not going to be here forever for you to make deals with, Margherita.” Klover’s calm façade broke. She ran her hand over her face, smoothing her fingers and thumb from the outer edges of her eyes, in towards the bridge of her nose. “You can’t depend on me to fix your minor messes forever.”Tears
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Preparing for the Dance
I awoke sharply fifteen minutes to eleven, a jolt running through my spine. A gown covered a dressmaker’s model. The gold of the fabric shined in the moonlight, and I knew what it meant. We were being summoned. The Underground King wanted us to dance tonight.“Rosa, Iride!” I called for the sisters closest to me. “Get the others ready.”I heard muffled acquiescence, before throwing open my door to get to the three younger girls that I was in charge of. Poppy, Gladiole, and Buttercup were already moving, gathering their dresses, and jewels. They brought everything back to my bedroom, where I would assist them, and they would help with my laces. “Quick, girls.” I pushed them into my room, gathering them around, so I could attempt to start on their hair. “We only have an hour before we have to start moving.I heard fumbling and crashing coming from Rosa’s room, and cursing coming from Iride’s. With all twelve of us trying to prepare at the same time, it was so much harder than it needed
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The Undead Princes
The staircase in my fireplace didn't take us all the way to Uncle Deagal's kingdom. That would be too easy. It took us to a forest of golden trees, trees that sparkled and shimmered. They were somehow more unnerving than a regular forest. Eventually the golden trees would bleed into silver, and there were stories about how they came to be. But until I had time to read more about them in Mother's diary, I wouldn't be able to know for sure what was real and what was false.The silver forest culminated with a single diamond tree, the rock shining the darkness, collecting all the light of the magyck that was wasted on this stupid curse. And beyond the tree, stood the iron gates. They were open, the design, hidden in the darkness. And beyond the gate, they waited.Twelve young men waited, each of them suited to our looks and personalities. Each of them dead. Each of them cursed.For me, there was Lucas, a warrior of a long-forgotten kingdom, bound to his bones for eternity by my uncle. He
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The Dance
I made eye contact with each of my neices as they entered with the escorts that I had reanimated for them. I could smell the pain and sorrow emmanating from each of them. Margherita had the richest power coming from her. She carried the burden of caring for each of her sisters, and some of them I had paired with unhonorable men. Her pain was delicious. It was a mixture of sorrow, watchfulness, and something else, something elusive."Welcome to my home, Neices!" I gestured to my huge hall, from where I sat in my throne of bones. My armor clinked and chimed as the music started to play, coming from a curtained balcony. I could have shown off my orchestra of skeletons, but the princesses were disturbed by the undead circulating in my court as it was. It was better for them to think that the music was played by instruments strummed with pure magyck.Margherita glowered at me. "It is our honor to be here, Uncle." The younger princesses clustered around her, seeking her presence for safety,
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