“What do I do now?” Mina asked. A knock came on the door. “Wait,” she whispered. Mr. Carmichael popped his head into the room and motioned for Brody. When he was out of earshot, she whispered softly. “I met Teague on the Fae plane, and he didn’t know who I was.” She turned the volume down slightly so Brody and his dad wouldn’t hear.

“Then keep it that way. Don’t let him figure out who you are. Lie. Mina, I’ve told you before what you need to do to break the curse. If you go back again, I think you must seize your moment,” Constance said.

“And do what?” she said louder than she meant to. Brody glanced over at her, his brows lifting in concern before he turned back to speak to his dad. It seemed like things were getting heated over there too.

“I’ll be right back. I’m just stepping into the hall,” Brody said. He stepped out and closed the door softly.

“Mina you know what you have to do to save your family, your mother, and even your father.” Constance’s voice became sterner. “I know you know. Now I want to hear you say it.”

She sighed loudly into the empty room, “Kill Teague.”

Constance waited a moment before responding. “I’m glad you’ve come to accept that. This is why the shoes took you to that time and place. You can gain his trust and kill him before it’s too late.”

The shoes started to flash again, signaling another time jump.

“Oh no! It’s about to happen again,” Mina called out in fear. Mina turned the volume back up and set the phone on the seat beside her. She stood up.

“Mina?” Mei’s voice sounded unsure and her voice filled the room over the speaker phone. “If you do this, you may never meet me in the future. Because there will be no need for Godmothers.”

“Oh, Mei,” Mina started to cry.


“I’m not saying this to dissuade you.” Her voice was shaky with emotion, “I just wanted to say that I have come to love you dearly, like my own daughter. And I’ll miss knowing you.”

“I love you too, Mei,” Mina sobbed.

“Mina,” Constance’s self-assured voice called to her.


“Do whatever you have to do to survive. Do you understand?”

“I do,” Mina answered, wiping her tears with the back of her hand. She moved to the middle of the room, leaving the cell phone on the chair.

“And, Mina, one more thing,” Constance’s voice sounded.

“Yes?” The shoes were flickering wildly, sending beams of light all over the room.

“You make us proud to call ourselves Godmothers.”

“Thank you, Con—” The ball of light surrounded her and she was cut off.

Chapter 21

This time she was prepared for the aftereffects of the time travel—the chill that ran through her body and the tingling sensation of pins and needles.

But she was sorely unprepared for the band of giants that immediately surrounded her upon her arrival. Their crested metal helmets and large thumping clubs created an intimidating and menacing picture.

“I got her,” the closest giant bellowed, lunging for her. He swung out his hand as if to try and pick her up by her feet.

Mina tried to run but couldn’t get her limbs to work. She tripped over the hem of her dress and fell into a pile of leaves. It looked to be mid-afternoon, if she had to hazard a guess.

“Careful! You’re scarin’ it.” A giant of slightly less stature than the other piped up. The giants backed up and Mina was left alone to struggle and get her legs to support her.

The leaves clung to her feathered dress and sticks and twigs were entangled in her long brown hair. She must look strange to them. The giants weren’t as frightening as long as they weren’t trying to kill her, and apparently they weren’t…at least not yet.

“What do you want?” Mina asked when she was able to stand without wincing and walk a couple feet unaided.

The first giant—the one who’d tried to catch her— seemed the least pleased with taking it easy on her. He had rough gray-colored skin, dead eyes, and a very large chin.

The smaller giant with sunspots splattered across his nose appeared to be the talkative one of the group. “We’ve been sitting out here for hours, waiting for you.”

“For me? Why are you waiting for me?” Surely that wasn’t right.

“Captain Plaith said to escort you to the palace,” he answered. They had to be mistaken. If it truly was her they’d been waiting for, the passage of time must flow differently on the Fae plane—what was minutes in her realm had been hours in the Fae.

The giants closed in on her and forced her to walk among them as they marched through the woods.

Wedged in the middle of the pack, she had no choice but to follow their lead. They walked for a quarter mile before they came to a road. Pulled off to the side was a white carriage, drawn by four large mice. Mina wondered who the carriage was waiting for, when a giant opened the door and motioned for her to get inside.

She picked up her skirt and put one foot on the step. A large hand shoved her roughly from behind and she landed fast face first in a velvety purple cushion. Mina heard the laughter that followed at her expense, and she might have yelled at them if they weren’t dangerous giants. She heard the snap of a whip, and the carriage lurched forward. Once the carriage was moving, she felt it was safe enough to part the curtain and look out the side window.

She wondered if Teague’s betrothal had already passed, and if he was angry at her for disappearing like she had. Mina was surprised at how the thought saddened her, though it shouldn’t. She knew that historically, Teague got betrothed, but then the betrothal was broken off. That turning point was the epicenter of the problems.

Her one chance was to try and catch him unaware. “Oh please.” She closed her eyes and whispered. “Let him not have turned already.” For the dark prince petrified her; this kinder one she could handle.

She sat back in the seat and was almost lulled to sleep by the swaying of the carriage. Half an hour later, she heard the sound of hooves. She sat up again and looked out the window. They were beside the lake, and the mountain backdrop was just the same as the view she’d seen with Nix the day she’d destroyed the Grimoire. They seemed to have fallen in behind another carriage, this one the color of fresh leaves in spring. It was hard to tell, but Mina thought she saw the back window flap on the carriage move as someone peeked out.

A white and black carriage pulled by four beautiful white horses with snow white manes came up alongside Mina’s coach and then moved in front of them. She watched for signs of life, but this passenger wasn’t as curious as the one in the green carriage.

Mina’s curiosity got the better of her. She couldn’t help but stare out her window at the bright colors and strange steeds that pulled them. Truly, there were rhinoceros-like creatures, unicorns, and tamed griffins. One carriage was even pulled by forest trolls. Her driver seemed to be aware of what was passing, and he let every carriage pull in line in front of theirs.

Over the next fifteen minutes, the line became a caravan. Twelve carriages rode toward the palace.

The closer they came to the familiar snowcapped mountain, the more hands she saw pointing into the sky from the carriages. Mina didn’t need to look to know that the griffins patrolled the skies. But she wondered if she alone knew the glory of the palace—suddenly visible—at sunrise and sunset. The sun had not set yet to reveal the splendor of the white palace. At all other times it was nestled, hidden, on the far side of this mountain lake. Its only access was a single stone bridge that led across the lake and ended in the glamour.

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