You are in for a treat! While we read through submissions, you get to read a short story in roughly 10 parts by the talented and prolific Sharon Ledwith, author of The Last Timekeepers series and now the Mysterious Tales from Fairy Falls series. This short story is a prequel to her fantastic time travel series and we’re sure you’re going to love it! Here’s part one:
“Please, children, don’t stand too close. The frequency will be too much for your young minds to handle,” Thoth said, waving a long, golden rod topped with a fashioned baboon head.
Shu-Tu stood at the back on her tippy-toes behind her classmates, trying to catch a glimpse of the large six-sided figure known to her people as the mighty crystal. All around them a sparkling metal—the color of storm clouds—lined the walls of the massive domed building to protect and ensure Atlantis’s safety from the crystal’s unpredictable vibratory forces. But even knowing this, Shu-Tu’s scalp prickled incessantly. She craned her neck. Heads—some the size of melons—bobbed up and down in front of her, obscuring her vision. She set her jaw, reached out and grabbed a fistful of red hair belonging to a tall girl with hunched shoulders, standing in the front row. Shu-Tu yanked hard.
“Ouch! Let go, let go!” the girl yelled, stumbling back.
“What goes on here?” a human-animal hybrid with the head of an ibis demanded. “The Crystal Dome is a place of respect!”
Shu-Tu pursed her full lips to one side. Her green eyes swept over the lowly hybrid—a servant of their teacher, Thoth. The hybrid’s long, hooked beak, beady yellow eyes, and s-shaped white-feathered neck moved back and forth in vigilance. Human hands gripped the looped end of a crossed-shaped ankh made of pure orichalcum—the sparkling copper-colored precious metal mined only in Atlantis. The hybrid ruffled his neck feathers, and made a severe clicking sound with his beak.
Shu-Tu shook her head. Her ivory tendrils swept across the back of her neck as she said, “I’m well aware of that. I couldn’t see, so I took care of the problem. There is no disrespect in trying to see my teacher.”
“See, no. But causing harm to others is not respectful, Shu-Tu,” Thoth said, moving through the group of parting students. “And what you give out, you get back, so in essence you are disrespecting yourself, young lady.”
“But…Shu-Tu has a point, Thoth. I couldn’t see either,” the brown-haired girl next to Shu-Tu blurted. “Someone had to move that red-headed giant out of the way.”
Few students giggled, but most remained silent.
“I was not speaking to you, Amiee.” Thoth wagged his rod at her.
“Shall I escort these two trouble-makers outside, Master?” the ibis-headed hybrid asked, bowing.
Thoth turned, making his dark, red robe swirl around his towering frame. “That won’t be necessary, Djeuti, unless…”
“Unless, what?” Shu-Tu interrupted, inclining her head.
“I do not hear an apology coming out of both your mouths,” Thoth replied, his sapphire eyes staring down at them.