Winter Excerpt #1


Ancient Faerie

Mab, Queen of Air and Darkness

A sudden blizzard on the field of battle announced the arrival of Mab, Queen of Air and Darkness. The monarch of the Winter Court stepped out of the swirling ice and snow encased in icy black armor, the wind of the blizzard whipping her ebony hair so fiercely she appeared to have snakes writhing atop her head. Even though she had appeared in the midst of fighting warriors she wasn’t touched by any within a ten-foot radius because they had been frozen solid upon her arrival. Her eyes were filled with icy rage so cold it felt like fire as her fury blazed around her in a wave of destruction.

“Oberon,” she called in challenge, “you will pay for your betrayal.”

The self-proclaimed King of all Fae turned to face the angry woman striding towards where he stood on a hill, surrounded by his fiercest warriors. The verdant fields of spring where the battle raged were blighted with the blood spilled from the veins of fallen warriors. The scent of death hung heavily over this once beautiful valley, and the cries of the wounded, shouts of warriors and the clash of weapons against shields created a cacophony of chaos.

The king’s armor was the same shade of green as new leaves on a tree but was dented and covered in the ichor of the dead soldiers lying where they fell at his feet.

“Wife, go back to your court where you belong,” he laughed with bravado, but his eyes betrayed his fear.

Mab stalked towards Oberon, never taking her eyes off her husband as she fended off his protectors with little effort. She wielded her power like a scythe and cut down her opponents like blades of grass. Oberon had chosen the best warriors from each of the Fae Courts when he consolidated power, but none of those troops could match the ferocity of the Winter Queen.

Oberon readied himself for battle as Mab swept through his protectors and continued steadily towards her husband, her lips slightly turned up at the corners with a secret smile. She only paused briefly to look towards the west where her sister Titania, the Queen of the Summer Court, and her warriors battled against Oberon’s forces for supremacy.

“Sister, you don’t have to face him alone,” Titania shouted. Even though Mab’s hatred of her sister was second only to her hatred of Oberon, she appreciated the gesture and inclined her head a fraction of an inch in acknowledgement she had heard Titania’s words. 

Oberon took that momentary lapse of concentration to launch a magical attack on Mab, which she easily deflected back to the remaining guards standing around the King. None of those soldiers survived the onslaught.

“Nice try, husband,” Mab said softly as she continued to prowl towards Oberon. “Now, it’s just you and me. Just as you promised when you told me you had no interest in anyone else; but now I know you were saying the same to my sister the whole time.”

Oberon remained silent, warily watching Mab as she came within striking distance and her armor melted away. She stood before him in a sleeveless velvet dress of midnight blue, her exposed skin the color of moonlight reflecting off snow. Her blood red lips parted in a maniacal grin as she stood before him in her glory. 

“Wasn’t I enough for you, husband?” Mab asked quietly and took another step forward.

“It was never about you, it was always about power. And without the power of Winter, you are nothing,” Oberon answered and thrust his sword into the chest of the woman standing before him.

She gasped in pain but with determination in her eyes continued forward, pushing the sword through her body. When the two combatants were chest to chest Mab reached up, tangled her fingers in his hair and pulled his face down for a fierce kiss.

“When I die, you die,” she laughed and shoved Oberon away. He hit the ground on his back and struggled to rise but his life was already draining away.

Mab had enough strength left to mutter an incantation before she breathed her last and the bodies of Mab and Oberon vanished in a flash of light.

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