Home :: Fantasy :: Science Fantasy (fantasy/magic in a modern world or tech in fantasy world) :: A Beth-Hill Novel: The Abby Duncan Series, Novella 1: By Any Other Name by Jennifer St. Clair (Fantasy: Vampire)

A Beth-Hill Novel: The Abby Duncan Series, Novella 1: By Any Other Name by Jennifer St. Clair (Fantasy: Vampire)

A Beth-Hill Novel: The Abby Duncan Series, Novella 1: By Any Other Name by Jennifer St. Clair (Fantasy: Vampire)
 
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When Abby Duncan decides to sell her spindles at a local Renaissance Festival, she discovers that one of her newfound friends is not what he appears--and his secret is about to get him killed!

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A Beth-Hill Novel: The Abby Duncan Series, Novella 1: By Any Other Name by Jennifer St. Clair (Fantasy: Vampire)
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Sample Chapter

Chapter One

"It's called a phang," Abby said for the twentieth time in an hour. "A supported spindle."

"For what?" the barbarian asked. Or maybe he was supposed to be a Viking; she wasn't quite sure. Vikings weren't exactly welcome in Medieval England--neither were barbarians, for that matter. But the Renaissance Festival had changed a lot since she'd been there last time. More magic and fairies; less historical accuracy.

"For spinning yarn," Abby said, and picked up her demonstration spindle. "Would you like me to show you?"

The barbarian/Viking frowned. "Why would you want to spin your own yarn?"

Abby was just about to go into her spiel when he spotted the glassblower, who was about to give a demonstration. Abandoning fiber for fire, he disappeared, along with her as-yet-only hope for a sale.

Obviously, this wasn't the right venue for spindles or spinning. Perhaps if she'd brought a spinning wheel, someone might be interested, but according to the Powers that Be, spinning wheels weren't period. However, fairy wings evidently were.

Morosely, she sat there and watched as the crowd walked by--completely ignoring both her and her spindles for sale. Perhaps one of the online marketplaces would be better, she thought. Or a fiber festival. Obviously not the RenFaire.

"Ooooh, hair sticks!" A girl dressed like an elf--complete with pointed ears--picked up one of the bead spindles, then read the sign in front of it. "'Good for spinning silk'?" She laughed. "Isn't that what spiders do?" Her companion didn't laugh, but looked thoughtful.

And despite the fact that they were not hairsticks, at least they bought one after a demonstration.

"Fiber," Abby muttered, and wrote that down in her notebook. "And yarn, too. Why not? Not just spindles; no one knows what to do with them."

Someone darkened the doorway of her tent; she looked up to see what she supposed was a pirate--there were a lot of pirates at the RenFaire this year--dressed in a frock coat that had to be sweltering in the early September heat.

"Spindles," he said thoughtfully. "For spinning yarn."

"Maybe I should have made wands instead," Abby said, half-joking.

"You really expect people to believe--" he looked at her strangely. "How sharp are they? The 'phangs'." He pronounced it wrong, of course, but she was used to that by now.

"The thinner the spinning tip, the longer and faster they spin," Abby said. "They're pretty sharp, but it's really the flicking tip and the balance that makes all the difference. The tip will wear down a little with use, but--"

The pirate picked up one of the phangs and read the tag. "Bloodwood. Hmm. Appropriate, considering the circumstances."

Before Abby could offer a demonstration, he'd pulled out a wad of crumpled bills and peeled off two twenties. Then he looked back at the others, and picked up one more. "Any tax?"

"No, it's included," Abby said. "Would you like a fiber sample to go with your purchase?"

"No thanks," the pirate said, and tucked both phangs into a pocket of his coat. "Have a nice afternoon."

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