Grizzles and Lola:
He hobbled and wobbled when he walked as though sharp tacks protruded from the floor; his shoulders were hunched, and his head bent forward; he was ancient, no doubt about it—he was an ancient, old man. Giant folds and wrinkles covered his face; his white hair fell in large loopy whorls about his head, and they might have redeemed the face if it were not for the huge bulbous nose and the tiny squinty eyes. But the part they noticed the most was the fingers; gnarled, wrinkled fingers with long, yellowed talons for fingernails.
He twisted around and snarled at them; his raspy voice interrupted by his own heavy, noisy breathing, “Can’t you see that I am busy? I don’t like people, and I especially don’t like children. I ate the last child that came here.” He picked his tooth with a dirty fingernail. “What do you want?”
Icy Stone Steps:
A full moon had risen in the cobalt sky casting a bluish glow over the icy, snow-swept mountainside, illuminating the entire hamlet. Icicles dangled from the steep, high pitched roofs of cottages nestling here and there, jumbled together at odd angles wherever the mountainside allowed. Jagged, ice covered stone steps, cut into the mountainside, curved up and around the icicle laden cottages until finally reaching a summit—a high, flat plateau. And it was on that plateau—high overhead and overshadowing the village—that a Citadel, a snow-covered stone fortress—overwhelming with its massive and imposing presence—rose up out of the mountain as though etched and carved from the rock itself.
They stood exhaling puffs of frosty mist; entranced by the ethereal beauty of their snow laden destination and shocked by the terrible price they must pay to get there. Finally realizing the price for warmth and comfort for the night so they would have an audience with the Oracle tomorrow was a midnight climb up jagged icy stone steps tonight. It was foreboding and frigid; it was ethereal and sublime.
“We can do this,” Eleanor whispered. She slipped over and laid one arm on Ivan’s shoulder and the other on Tilly’s. Addison silently reached down grabbing Brody’s hand—and he let her do it. Claire moved over to stand beside Levi who had taken Esmé back into his own arms. He smiled a grim smile, and then he turned, planting his foot on the first jagged, icy stone step as each of the cousins formed a silent line behind him, breathing in the cold, frosty air, and preparing to follow.
Title: The Peacock Door
Author: Wanda Kay Knight
Genre: Middle-Grade Fantasy
In a magical tale of adventure, eight cousins sneak through forbidden treehouse doors, only to find themselves separated from each other and lost in strange worlds. In their quests to return home, they must unravel mysteries, escape snares and villains, find one another, and search for the elusive Oracle. The Peacock Door is a rich story of camaraderie, loyalty, love, and determination with a bit whimsy sprinkled throughout.
Wanda Kay Knight lives in the Pacific Northwest, teaches literature, strives really hard to keep up with her adventurous/competitive family, makes things out of yarn (mainly unique hats), enjoys collecting pretty rocks, and writes a lot.
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