One for sorrow, two for joy, three for a girl and four for a boy.
Five for silver, six for gold, seven for a secret never to be told.
I am sure many of you, like me, learned this children's nursery rhyme about magpies. According to an old superstition, the number of magpies seen predicts whether you will have good or bad luck. Something I came across subsequently, was the existence of many variations on this rhyme, some more sinister than the children’s version.
One of those is incorporated into this short story about boyhood abuse.
In a magical world, heavy with expectations for the ruling family, Prince Terryn is reluctant to accept a role he was born for, but not made for. If he wants to escape the throne, the time is now, but what does Fate have in store for him?
Sudal is the only verl in his clan. He has the honor of fulfilling a sacred duty for his people. No one cares if he wants actually wants that honor. Sudal will do his duty, but on the eve of adulthood he takes one stolen flight soaring alone through the freedom of the sky. One moment for himself can't hurt before he faces the scrutiny of the clan as they witness his success or failure... but do the gods feel the same way?
Sally and Tom won a stay in an expensive hotel. The hotel looks like a palace in a fantasy movie, but something's wrong there. Sally feels scared. A huge shadow is flying by, a bat of tremendous size. Something horrible happens.