Read Isle of Wysteria: The Reluctant Queen Online
Authors: Aaron Lee Yeager
By Aaron Lee Yeager
This series has DVD extras. When you are done reading be sure to go to
for Bonus chapters, Bloopers and Outtakes, Cast and Crew Commentary, and make sure to leave a question for your favorite character to answer. More extra content to come, so check in.
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Who reads the acknowledgements? Seriously, you're about to start an awesome book, why not dive right into it? You probably had to wait for days just to find time to sit down and read for a bit. You've got your feet up, you've got some hot chocolate ready, or at least you SHOULD. In my opinion this book must be enjoyed alongside something chocolaty or not at all. Anyway, now you are finally here and you're making yourself wait MORE before you can start. Why would you do that to yourself?
Holy crap, you're still reading this? Guess I better write something.
My secret weapon for writing this book is a little blue-tooth keyboard that links to my smart phone. With it I was able to write anywhere. While waiting in the car to pick up my kids from school, sitting around in a doctor or dentist’s waiting room, or just sitting on a park bench while my kids pay at a part playground. Basically, any time I had to sit around became writing time. I’d say only maybe a third of this book was written at home. Here’s a list of strange places where parts of the book were written:
, written during a particularly long line at the DMV (hence the angst)
, sitting by the side of the pool while my kids swam at the aquatic center.
, written while sitting next to a sedated kid getting a root canal (ouch)
, written with one hand while stirring tapioca pudding with the other. (That’s why it’s short, the pudding burned me)
, written mostly while standing in line at a theme park waiting to go on rides.
Chapter Thirty One
, written in the waiting room while two of my foster kids were having their tonsils taken out.
Chapter Thirty Seven
, written at a public swimming pool.
Dedicated to Stephen
Spirea’s quarters in The Dreadnaught have been cleaned and organized. Basins of fresh flowers from many different islands lined the shelves. Sumac’s pot, lovingly fertilized, sat at the foot of the bunk while Spirea lay sleeping. Around her neck hung a golden-toothed necklace from Hoeth, as well as the Eye of the Storm. On her bookcase had been placed message scrolls carrying the royal seal, declaring her rights of succession to the Stretis throne. Next to it, a dark-wood pistol case with silver-vine filigree.
From the decks above came voices of happy congratulations and the beautiful tones of a wedding minuet played on a Zithero. The ship rocked lazily from side to side as the mooring lines were loosed and the ship prepared to sail.
Spirea stirred restlessly; her lips parting to draw breath and hands shaking in pain. Her back arched and her legs kicked out, knocking over Sumac’s pot.
Spirea’s eyes shot open; black and silver clouds swirling around inside of them.
The Dirgina inside of her looked around in confusion. The room was spinning. Phantom noises echoed off the walls. The beast tried to move but the muscles cramped. Limbs trembling, Spirea rolled over and landed roughly on the floor. Every cell in this body felt like it was on fire.
The Dirgina could tell that something was very wrong. The memories of this host should have faded by now, but they were alive and vivid in this body’s brain. Flashes of a forest island, a cold mother, isolation in dark places. The hot sting of surgical blades. Somehow, this host was still alive. The two of them were mixed together. It didn’t make any sense.
Spirea grabbed the sides of her head, and the beast inside of her roared. Her hair floated around, as if blown around by some imperceptible wind. Sweat beaded up on her face, and her limbs felt like ice. Her very soul cramped and retched.
She struggled to her feet. The room felt like it was rocking from side to side. She didn’t know where she was. Weak, she reached out and grabbed the side of the bunk to steady herself, but the wood splintered in her grip.
Spirea held up her hand in shock. The hardwood had come apart like wet sand in her hand. Part of her could not understand why, while another part of her was furious that she could not control her own strength in this host.
She doubled over in pain and retched on the floor, spewing a black, tar-like substance that bubbled and fizzled where it lay.
“Black shakes...inside my body...how?” She asked aloud. Her voice sounded familiar but bizarre, as if dozens of voices were speaking over one another, trying to harmonize, but unable to do so.
From above came sounds of music and dancing. Part of her recognized the sounds as a wedding minuet, but the rhythm felt distorted, the notes off-key; the effect made her feel angry, confused, resentful. From somewhere, a mother’s voice rang out in her mind. “It would be a waste to teach you the dance, you can never be wed.”
Spirea howled and spun around, her feet digging deeply into the wood of the floor.
“Well, why? Why can’t I be married? Why can’t I have what everyone else has?”
She lashed out blindly, grabbing a fistful of the scrolls on top of the bookcase. She reeled, her fist catching the corner of the chest of drawers, the wood and metal shredding to pieces with the contact.
“Why won’t you love me?” She screamed out to the void.
She slammed her fists downward. The floor shattered beneath her, and the entire room and its contents came spilling down into the cargo hold below.
“I’m being polluted by this host’s memories.” The beast growled out loud as Spirea rose up out of the rubble. “I...I can’t control this body!”
The Dirgina focused hard this time, and leapt upward, using its full strength. The wood of the bulkheads simply snapped away her as she rose, through the stone-core of the ship, rattling it to one side as its magical barriers prevented her from puncturing straight through it. Suddenly, she was free of the deck, with sunlight hitting her pale skin and raven hair as chunks of lumber and metal scattered in all directions.
Spirea landed on the deck near the crater she had just created, her feet cracking the planks beneath her. She became vaguely aware that the music had stopped; all was silent. She had the impression that the wedding participants were staring at her, pieces of food frozen half way on their journey to gaping mouths. Their faces felt distorted to her, unrecognizable and threatening. Their breathing made strange echoes as the sky seemed to swirl above her.
But the wedding couple disturbed her the most. The bride with hair like red flame, and her diminutive groom. Spirea had never met them and yet by some means, she knew them. He was somehow dear to her, yet she could never have him. Had this woman stolen him from her? Spirea grabbed the sides of her throbbing skull and screamed. This woman would have what she never could. Thousands of eyes surrounded her, glaring at her hatefully. Thousands of mouths opened their lips to laugh at her.
“Why? Why do they get to be happy?”
In her rage, Spirea lashed out at the young couple. It wasn’t just them, it was what they represented. She wanted to choke the life out of happiness itself, to erase it from existence; to remove all trace of it wherever it was found. Only then...
“You can’t have him!” Spirea hollered. “In my room, late at night, he...when I was alone, he would...”
She hissed and leapt at the slithering image with a speed that startled even her, but the groom stepped in front to protect his bride. Spirea knocked him to the ground, landing on top of him. Part of her felt thrilled as the bones in his shoulder snapped in her grip, another part of her recoiled in horror at what she was doing. The young man yelled out in pain, but his voice seemed gnarled and aberrant to her, as if it came from some half-remembered dream.
The squirming bride pulled out her staff, but Spirea was too quick. She kicked out her leg and the staff was ripped from the distorted woman’s grip.
“He’s mine!” Spirea howled. “He was the only one that ever made me...that made me feel...” She squeezed his shoulders harder, forcing a whimper of pain out of him.
only then will I no longer be reminded about what I can never have.
A blade of sonic energy struck Spirea heavily in the back. The sky and ship spun before her as she flipped end over end across the deck. As she collided with the railing, it broke apart and she fell over the side. As she fell, Spirea kicked her feet in the air and righted herself just in time. She hit the white sands below the ship and rolled herself upright.
And she began to run.
She didn’t know where she was or which way she was going, but she ran. This island could be two miles across, or two hundred, but she didn’t care. Her heart thrummed in her chest as she swung her arms, the fistful of scrolls still held tightly held in her grasp. The wind blew harshly across her face, streaking her tears across her cheeks and onto her neck.
As the ship grew smaller and smaller behind her, she could hear the strange red-headed woman calling out to her.
“Spirea, come back!”
“You liar!” Athel roared as she slashed her saber through the air.
“I have never lied to you,” Alder insisted as he clumsily blocked with his own.
“Rampallian! You are lying right now.” Athel spun her silver dueling saber dramatically. Her confidence and poise, her strength and beauty. Everything about her was positively radiant, and it gave Alder pause to look at her.
“My Lady,” he said, gathering his wits about him. “The only time I have ever lied to you was when you asked me if you had gained weight.”
“Oh, you little scullion!” Athel yelled. Sparks flew as she struck twice at the frail young man before her, her blows nearly knocking him over as he blocked. “You feed me cheesecake every night then accuse me of gaining weight?”
“You won’t eat anything else. You throw the salads I make out the window!”
Alder awkwardly jabbed at her midsection, but Athel effortlessly leapt up above it, landing above him atop a water barrel. The setting sun directly behind her illuminated her auburn hair, giving her the appearance of being surrounded by a halo of fire. “Before she left, she said you came to her bedroom! How many nights were you with her?”