Fairy Ring, The
Chloe Monroe asked the Fairies for her heart’s desire---her soul mate, a man who would love her, passionately, forever.
Word Count: 41,825
Genre: Paranormal/Time Travel Romance
Available formats: PDF, RTF, Epub, HTML, Mobipocket (.prc)
© Cover Art by Jenny Dixon, March 2004
New Concepts Publishing
Lake Park, GA 31636
This is a work of fiction. All characters, events, and places are of the author's imagination and not to be confused with fact. Any resemblance to living persons or events is merely coincidence.
“Are we looking for ‘shrooms’ or edible veggies?”
Chloe Monroe looked at her friend, Terrie, blankly for a moment. “Very funny!” she retorted when she realized her friend’s eyes were dancing with amusement. “I don’t think Professor Wilder would be amused, though.”
Terrie shrugged, concentrating on her footing as they picked their way through the heavy undergrowth. “No sense of humor--and besides that, he’s weird. You aren’t really going to eat them, are you? I mean, I heard about this class that did one time, and they all died, because either nobody could actually identify the edible mushrooms, or somebody failed the class. I don’t know if they ever figured out exactly how they all got poison mushrooms, but if it was me, I’d just be looking for ‘shrooms’--at least you could sell them to somebody on campus and get a little spending money.”
“--and then go to jail, because, with my luck, it’d be a narc,” Chloe said tartly.
Terrie giggled. “You’re not going to protest about it being illegal and immoral?”
“That too,” Chloe said, lifting her gaze from the ground long enough to throw her friend an amused glance. “I don’t know why you’re always trying to make me sound like a tight-ass. I’m not. I just don’t like the idea of going to jail. And I know my limitations. If anything can go wrong, it will. If anybody’s going to get caught, it’ll be me.”
Chloe stopped abruptly, realizing she’d been so busy searching the ground to keep from tripping over vines and roots that she hadn’t done a spot check on their location in a while. Raising her head, she looked around at the tangle of vegetation that surrounded them like a green wall. The pine trees grew so thick here that very little sunlight filtered through. How could so many weeds grow beneath a canopy like this, she wondered a little nervously? Her heart did a little flip flop when she realized she’d lost sight of the narrow road they’d followed back into the woods. She’d meant to keep it in sight, to make sure they didn’t get lost.
She decided not to mention it to Terrie just yet. Maybe she hadn’t noticed--or maybe Terrie knew where the road was?
As she looked around, however, she spotted a potential gold mine for the mushrooms she was supposed to be collecting for class. “Hey! There’s a log over there! I’ll bet we find some there.”
“Probably slugs too, yum!--I still don’t know why you decided to take a survival class. This is so not you! Not me, either. The woods give me the creeps.”
“Five quarter hours and something I figured I could ace pretty easily--I thought it was going to be from books, OK?” Chloe said irritably, trying to disentangle the leg of her jeans from a briar bush that had her in its tentacle grasp.
“Oh look! It wants to play!”
“Funny!” Chloe said, gritting her teeth as she pulled a briar cane loose. The moment she let go of it, the thing twined around her leg again.
“Would you quit playing with that thing? Let’s just get the science project and get the hell out of here. The damn mosquitoes are starting to swarm. I’ve already lost a pint of blood.”
Realizing finally that she didn’t have enough hands to hold all the canes, Chloe began tugging at her leg. The jeans were thick, which was why she’d worn them for her little field trip. Despite the optimism, a sting as she finally pulled free told her that at least one of the thorns had pierced all the way through the fabric, ripping skin. “Shit!”
She let out a long suffering sigh and high-stepped it toward the fallen tree.
Terrie, following suit, laughed. “If the guys could see us now!”
“On the trunk, not over it!” Chloe warned, ignoring the remark about her undignified walk. Taking a running jump, she landed on top of the trunk, waved her arms wildly a moment, and, to her surprise and relief, caught her balance. Her heart was thudding uncomfortably. It was just as well she hadn’t thought about it before she tried it. It was nothing short of a miracle that she’d managed it. Grace wasn’t one of her strong points. Ordinarily, she would’ve managed to hang her foot in something and done a belly flop on top, rather than landing on it like an athlete doing a bar mount.