(This short story was originally published in August 2011 for the Fantastic Fables book giveaway contest at DarkFaerieTales.com.)
©2011 Edward Lazellari
Lelani did not think the street looked right. The houses were too small and the blue sky looked like a matt painting used in stage plays; everything felt claustrophobic. She consulted her teacher’s notes and things were just off -- really off. There was no mention of any yellow brick road in his texts.
“Lost?” asked a woman’s voice behind her.
Lelani spun around and laid eyes on the strangest women she’d ever seen. She looked as though she stepped out of a children's storybook, plump with a greenish hue -- too tall for any of the houses in this town -- in a black and blue robe. She wore white socks with black circular stripes and ruby-colored shoes, a red cone-shaped hat with a large brim, and held a long gnarled walking stick. Her eyes were a deep black. Lelani sensed great power in this woman.
“You are too tall and swarthy to be from this village,” said the woman. “And far too beautiful. Nineteen?” the woman guessed.