Do you know the difference between a faerie and a pixie? Would you like to find out?
Felicia wonders if she’ll ever have a job she can keep, then comes across the opportunity of a lifetime. In this clean/sweet fairytale novelette, a young woman becomes an apprentice to the village candlemaker and discovers magic is all around her.
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“Bound by a spell, what can one do? Find the belief to know what is true.”
~ The Apprentice’s Handbook
The vase crashed to the floor, glass shattering and water spreading across the tiles. Felicia bent down to pick up the roses as the housekeeper hurried into the room.
“What have you done now?” she demanded.
Felicia dropped the flowers and tucked her dark hair back into place. “I’ll get my things,” she said.
“I think that might be best,” the housekeeper replied.
This was Felicia’s third job in as many months. Every time she thought she may have found her place in life, she managed to ruin it. This had been her last hope after the disaster at the dressmaker’s shop and the misunderstanding with the birthday cake at the bakery. Why would anyone put salt and sugar in similar containers and not label them?
“There must be something I can do to prove myself,” she muttered as she packed her few belongings. “Everyone has to be good at something.”
In the orphanage, Felicia had spent most of her time reading to the other children. She loved books and brought the characters to life as she told the stories.
“What I need is a way to be around books without dusting them,” Felicia whispered, passing the study on the first floor and nodding to the housekeeper on her way out.
As she walked out onto the square, she looked up and smiled. It was beginning to snow. Felicia loved winter, but she would need to find a place to stay. This might be a good night to visit her friend Eva, who was always there if she needed a warm bed and a hot meal. They had been like sisters since they met at the orphanage.
“I’m sorry to just show up on your doorstep,” Felicia said as Eva invited her in.
“You’re in time to help me with dinner,” Eva replied. Glancing at her sideways, she added, “Do you want me to show you where we keep the salt?”
“Very funny.” Felicia shook her head as she set down her things. “At least, you label your kitchen ingredients.”
“True,” Eva replied. She gave Felicia a quick hug, then took her to the fire. “Sit down here and have a cup of tea. You look like you’ve been out there for quite a while.”
“Thank you,” Felicia said. She warmed her hands and took a sip. “You always did make the best tea.” She smiled as Eva offered her a plate. “And cookies.”
“Enjoy them, then take your things upstairs.” Eva went back to her cooking. She was taller than Felicia and had light blonde hair that curled on its own, but was now pinned out of the way. “William left the baby at his mother’s today, so I could give the place a good cleaning.” She smiled. “I was very fortunate to find such a good man…with a very helpful family.”
Felicia nodded. “He’s wonderful, but I don’t want him to think I’m taking advantage of you. I’ll have another position within a day or two.”
“Stay as long as you need,” Eva said. “I can always use help with the baby.”
“You know I’d love that, but I need to find a purpose and make my own way in the world.” Felicia glanced around. “You’ve made a very good life for yourself, and I need to do the same. It may not include marriage and family, but I know there’s something out there for me.”
“I’m sure you could have any man you wanted,” Eva replied. “All that long dark hair and big blue eyes, but I know you’ve always seen yourself doing more.”
“I didn’t mean to imply that this isn’t…” Felicia began.
“Save your apology,” Eva said. “I’ve known you most of your life, and you’ve always had this need to prove yourself.” She smiled. “I’m sure once you do, you’ll find true love as well.”
Felicia shook her head. “You and your fairytales. They were always your favorite.”
“That’s because you made the characters seem so real,” Eva replied. “Go ahead and get settled. We’ll eat in about an hour.”
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