Magnolia:Hidden Realms of Silver LakeBy: Vella Day
The Four Sisters of Fate Book 4
Magnolia Faiten was now alone—a most deadly condition for her psyche. It didn’t matter she was a goddess of Fate and had more power than most in the Tarradon realm. As soon as her three sisters headed off on their two-week vacation, a vacuum surrounded her. Sure, she claimed she wanted to stay at the pottery shop to work on some creations, but that had been a lie. In truth, she’d been afraid to travel to the other provinces and experience life. While she was good with customers, it was ordinary people that she had a hard time relating to.
Shake it off, Magnolia. You’re strong, she told herself. Take time off to relax for once. You’ll enjoy it.
Or was she just lying to herself to feel better? Whatever. Dwelling on such negative thoughts wouldn’t help her creativity.
She parked the family’s communal car behind their shop and entered through the back of the house she and her three sisters shared. Magnolia carried in the groceries to the kitchen and set the bags on the counter. When she opened the fridge to find three of the shelves mostly bare, another wave of depression assaulted her.
Trying to ignore how empty her soul felt without them, she placed the cold items into the fridge and closed the door. After being around for a hundred and thirty years, Magnolia knew the best antidote to this malaise was work. There were several pieces of pottery she needed to fire in the kiln and a couple she needed to glaze. There was no time like the present to get started. She inhaled deeply, ready to get the job done.
Their workshop and showroom was connected to the house by a long, interior hallway. When she stepped into the pottery workshop, she flipped on the lights. Ah. This was her comfort space. Magnolia had put a Closed for Two Weeks sign on the front door, so she made sure the interior door leading to the showroom was closed. She didn’t need anyone peering in the storefront window and seeing her rush about in the back.
The first thing she did was to locate the dried pieces she needed to fire and place them in the kiln. She then turned it on in order to do the first firing. As it heated, she straightened up the shop since not all of her sisters were the neatest. This kiln only took a few hours to reach the perfect temperature instead of taking all day and night, like the ones she’d heard about on Earth.
Just as she finished straightening up the workplace to her liking, her stomach grumbled. It was no wonder she was hungry. She hadn’t eaten anything since breakfast. This morning, instead of eating, she’d driven Poppy to the train station, said her goodbyes, and then gone shopping. Spending a few hours cleaning this space had pushed her way past her usual lunchtime.
In need of some food, she headed back to the kitchen for a very late lunch. When she looked in the cupboards, Magnolia wasn’t sure what to make. She was the one who usually cooked all the meals since her sisters were quite a disaster when it came to meal prep. Okay, that wasn’t totally fair to Acacia. She had some talent. Poppy and Primrose? Not so much. Cooking for one would be hard, but if she pretended all of her sisters were there, Magnolia would have enough food for three days’ worth of lunches.
Because she didn’t have to work in the store or, fingers crossed, handle any spells for the Guardians and their potential mates, Magnolia decided to make something special.
Indulging in her love of cooking, she searched several cookbooks before she found what she wanted to make. After setting out the ingredients, Magnolia went to work. Not only would she prepare a main meal, she’d make two vegetable dishes, and a gloriously decadent dessert. Having a purpose always made her feel better.
Magnolia was half way through preparing the dessert when she smelled something coming from the workroom. After wiping her hands on a kitchen towel, she headed through the living room and then down a corridor that lead to the shop. Halfway there, the odor registered: smoke!
Holy crap! Could the kiln have shorted out and caused a fire? Teleporting to the shop instead of going on foot, she landed in the middle of a room encased in pure white smoke. Flames were not only shooting around the kiln, they were licking the side wall of their building. How could this have happened?
Her mind raced. Before she had the chance to decide how to put out the fire, a coughing fit stopped her from taking another step. They had a fire extinguisher someplace—a useless requirement imposed by the fire department because doing a spell to extinguish the flames would be so much more effective. So what if she’d promised not to use any of her magic for two weeks? This was their livelihood. Then again, she’d just teleported, which already broke her promise to herself.