Changeling’s Choice by Rachael Ashdown

changeling75x99Vote at the end of this episode!

In the previous episode, Linnea realizes that they are in danger from Dania after noticing her tail, indicating she is a dangerous magical creature. As the readers suggested, Linnea will discover the dwarf trinket and use the candle beside it to throw hot wax on Dania in order to escape.

Episode 10

Linnea’s eyes were darting wildly around the room. She needed to find something, anything, that could help her and Soren escape. She would need something big if she was going to drag the dazed boy out of the cottage before the huldra got him. There was no doubt that Dania was one of the malevolent creatures, not when her tail was still poking out from under her skirts.

“There is no need to be nervous,” Dania laughed melodiously. “Come, sit back down and let’s chat.”

Linnea finally found something to help, her eyes darting back and forth between the fireplace and Dania. Crossing the room impulsively, she stood beside the hearth, eyeing the two objects that were going to aid in their escape. The first was an imperfect silvery orb with runes etched across the surface, looking worn and innocuous. The second was a burning candle, flickering beside the orb. She had to think fast, but thinking quickly was not a skill she had mastered.

“This is a beautiful trinket,” she said with interest, instantly recognizing the dwarf heirloom for what it was. “Where did you get it?”

“Why, that silly thing?” the huldra said with a falsely cheery laugh. “It is nothing. Merely a pretty decoration for my humble home.”

“I think my father would love such an item. He is fascinated by runes. He is a scholar, you know. Since it is just a decoration and you seem to have no attachment to it, would you be willing to part with it? Please? It would make Father so happy.”

“Oh, I am sorry dear,” Dania said, quickly scuttling towards Linnea, reaching anxiously for the orb, but missing as Linnea shifted it to her other hand. “But I have grown rather attached to it. It just sits so well on this fireplace. I could not possibly give it up.”

“Would you consider a trade?”

“Perhaps,” Dania asked, pausing in her attempts to take back the orb. “What would you offer me?”

“How about some cakes?” Linnea offered hopefully. This was met with an unpleasant laugh that sent a shiver down her spine.

“Cakes? I make all the cakes I want. What I will take in exchange is this boy. You can keep the dog, but I wish to keep him here. He will be well cared for during his stay.”

The wicked grin on the huldra convinced Linnea there was no other way. She had to enact her simple and desperate plan. Without replying, she grabbed the nearby candle, flinging the hot wax at the huldra. Dania screamed in a high-pitched wail, fingers clutching at her face as the hot wax burnt her skin. As tempted as she was to stay and watch, Linnea grabbed Soren and bolted, hoping that the dog would follow. He did, but groggily.

“Let’s get you far away from here, Prince Soren,” Linnea said with a huff. She needed to give the dwarves their orb in exchange for passage into the fairy realm. Vote below on what will happen next or if reading in email click Take our Poll.

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