Winter’s Siren by Krystal Jane Ruin
Publication Date: November 01, 2017
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult
For the last five years, Fawn has been the star soprano of a secluded opera house, forced to sing for her kidnapper.
His daughter, Devi, waits patiently in the shadows, hiding a face so horrible that no one who’s seen it will look at it again.
As Fawn plots her escape, whispers spread through the shaded corridors of dark sorcery, warning her that she must flee by the next opening night.
But when Fawn draws close to the exit, it’s Devi who’s standing in her way, leading Fawn to suspect that Devi has something to gain if she fails.
(a dark reimagining of Swan Lake)
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Excerpt from Winter’s Siren:
“Devi.” The booming voice of our benefactor startles me into the deep shadows stretching out from the wall. I sink into them and cover my face.
“Devi . . . please let me apologize for my reaction yesterday,” he says.
Was it only yesterday? I suppress a groan and bite back the pinching desire to scream at him. The words expand in my throat, a large ball of them blocking the flow of air into my lungs.
“Devi, I am so sorry. I didn’t know. You don’t deserve that kind of reaction.”
Of course I do. I see his feet step in my direction, and my insides seize.
“I understand if you cannot forgive me just yet, but I am very ashamed of myself.”
“Harrison!” Cheyenne intercedes, though unknowingly I’m sure. For once her annoying, gushing voice doesn’t twist my veins. “There you are.” She pauses, and I can feel her eyes penetrate my curtain of hair. “The orchestra has arrived for their first rehearsal. If you’d still like to meet them . . .”
Harrison clears his throat and turns away from me. “Yes. Yes. Thank you.”
I let out a breath as she pulls him away.
This is torture. Opening night cannot come soon enough. I peel myself away from Fawn’s intoxicating singing and wander up to the library.
In the center of the large, expansive space is a long, rectangular aquarium full of colorful fish. I sit cross-legged on the floor in front of them and watch as they swim in lazy circles around the tall, stone castle in the center.
It’s quiet in here, and the sound of the water relaxes me.
And here I finish the first stanza of the main score of my opera, singing to the fish as if they can understand me. “See how hard the wind blows. See how fast I turn to dust. See how hard my heart is hurting . . .”
A few of them slow, it seems, to listen.
When I run out of songs, I stand and move to leave.
My father stands in the doorway, leaning against the frame. His eyelids are heavy with exhaustion, but there’s a light in his expression that I’ve never seen before.
“Father . . .”
He straightens. “I know these guests are causing you stress.”
“I’m all right.” At least, I’m used to it.
A ghost of a smile touches his face. “No, Devi, you’re not. It pains me a great deal to know you are suffering.”
I drop my eyes to my feet. It pains me more to know what my face puts him through every day. And what it reminds him of.
Krystal is the author of supernatural and paranormal fiction, living in the Tennessee Valley with a collection of swords and daggers. When she’s not hoarding stuffed pandas, hourglasses, and Hello Kitty replicas, she can be found in YouTube hole or blogging about books, writing, and random things at KrystalSquared.net.