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tithe modern faerie tales pdf. A fairy (also fata, fay, fey, fae, fair folk; from faery, faerie, "realm of the fays") is a type of mythical being or legendary creature in. MP3 Audiobook 1 · OverDrive Listen 1 · cover image of Tithe · Tithe. The Modern Faerie Tales (Series). Book 1. Holly Black Author (). cover image of Tithe. Editorial Reviews. pflegeelternnetz.info Review. Sixteen-year-old Kaye Fierch is not human, but she Tithe: A Modern Faerie Tale - Kindle edition by Holly Black.


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TITHE. A MODERN FAERIE TALE. by Holly Black. Contents. Prologue. Chapter 1 . Chapter 2. Chapter 3. Chapter 4. Chapter 5. Chapter 6. Chapter 7. Chapter 8. Read Tithe online free from your Pc, Mobile. Tithe (Modern Faerie Tales #1) is a Fantasy Books by Holly Black. TITHEA Modern Faerie Tale Holly Black. pflegeelternnetz.info 2 weeks ago Reply A modern faerie tale 1 holly black - tithe. 1.

But… I honestly had so much fun. She moved to retrieve her coat, and a glimmer of light caught her eye. She spun again, dizzily, not caring that her skirt was flying up over the tops of her black thigh-high stockings. All-in-all, though, a great story for older, more mature audiences. I wouldnt have even talked to him. Janet sighed. Ive been at work since midnight.

Was I supposed to care view spoiler [when Janet died hide spoiler ]?? So here's the thing. For shame, Granny, you should know that school is for wussies and you don't need an education for a decent future. Look at your own daughter Ellen! And mother knows best, right? Also, the depiction of these It seems that all they do is get stoned, drink, rave, oh and shoplift. And yes I am aware that some people do do this nonstop and burn their pretty little brain cells away, but if you want to make characters with these traits and no redeeming qualities whatsoever, please don't expect me to care about them.

Oh and what's with the lack of parental figures in YA? It's like the author wrote Ellen that way just so she conveniently butts out of her daughter's business and doesn't get in the way of her adventure.

Kaye shook her head. It was kind of stupid to think that her mother would just give up on going back to the city, but she couldn't help hoping. I'm your mother. So she comes home at like, three in the morning and all's dandy at breakfast the next day. Is this somehow relevant in the next installments? I just don't see how these two characters could fall for each other - especially in such short amount of time.

Kaye saw Roiben once and fell instantaneously in love with his I have no idea. By the way, she met him, bleeding in the woods and her first sentence was "You're a fairie, aren't you? I also don't know what Roiben sees in Kaye. Apparently she's "Kind, lovely and terribly, terribly brave. Final word is, I will not be reading the sequels. View all 24 comments. I must have checked this book out and reread it four or five times within the first couple of years, but this was my first reread since I was a preteen, and I had no idea what to expect!

I had forgotten so much of the plot in this book, and the first thing that surprised me upon rereading it was actually how problematic some of the writing is! Everything comes across as fully consensual, albeit quite a bit rushed and insta-lovey. I have always said that I think Holly is almost singlehandedly responsible for the world of fae YA fiction that so many of us now know and love, and after reading Tithe, despite its imperfections, I adamantly stand by that belief.

View all 9 comments. Dec 10, Melanie rated it it was amazing Shelves: I was a cringey kid, but to be real I'm still a cringey adult! So, I really need to reread this and give it a proper review.

But in the meantime, I talk about how much this book changed my life in my review for The Cruel Prince! View 2 comments. Nov 20, Mary-Beth rated it did not like it Shelves: Kaye is obviously incredibly lovely and then it turns out she's a magical fairy.

Sure her life is hard, but it's the fairies making it that way because she's so important that they're all out to get her. Look, what I'm saying is, it's like the author tried to think of all the coolest latest trends among teenagers and tried to mash them into a fairy story. Kaye is also not anyone's typical teenager. She has super special protagonist syndrome. I found the Faerie described by the author quite intere Kaye is obviously incredibly lovely and then it turns out she's a magical fairy.

I found the Faerie described by the author quite interesting and the details of that land were the one bright spot in the novel and along with my boredom probably the only thing that kept me reading. You name and it and it's not been done very well: View all 4 comments. Apr 25, Eryn rated it did not like it Shelves: I'm just proud I managed to skim and not give up entirely; that's an achievement on its own. Let me sum this book up for you: View all 3 comments.

Jan 15, Azrah rated it liked it Shelves: Jun 24, Amber Baker rated it did not like it Recommends it for: If I could have given it 0 stars I would have. To publish this as a young adult novel is horrifying. I wouldn't read past 30 pages it was too offensive and to think it was published as content for young adults is terrible.

It would be R rated as a movie. Not only was the f word used liberally throughout the few pages I read, teens were drinking, smoking and hinting at being sexually active. NOT something I would want my kids to read, or myself. I normally wouldn't dream of rating a book without If I could have given it 0 stars I would have.

I normally wouldn't dream of rating a book without reading more of it, but I was so appalled by what I read I couldn't go any further in the story. I just don't want to subject myself to that kind of trash posing as literature. View all 44 comments. Reto 29 PopSugar En retrospectiva, lo que se narra en las dos primeras partes era necesario para el desenlace, pero el estilo no atrapa, incluso es un poco aburrido.

So let's see what else Holly Black has for me! View 1 comment. Aug 23, Thomas rated it did not like it Shelves: A Modern Faerie Tale" is about sixteen year old Kaye Fierch, a girl who has been moving around with her single mother for her entire life. At a young age she has been able to see and interact with these things called faeries, although no one believed her.

Then one day, she enchants a boy into falling in love with her and makes a broken, splintered horse move. Soon after that event she meets a young faerie night named Roiben, and that is just the start of her faerie adventure.

On that note, this character, Corny, was absolutely underdeveloped. In fact, almost all of the side characters were underdeveloped, I felt like I didn't know a single thing about any of them. This book also feels like it moves from event to event, but not with the grace or ability that a good author has to string her storyline together. There were some scenes that were just plain difficult to read. Some examples are when Kaye told Robien to "kiss her ass", and Robien actually did because he was "bound" to her.

If Robien was bound to do what Kaye demanded of him, then I think Robien would've understood that what Kaye demanded of him wasn't the literal sense of what she said, but the emotional sense.

Also, there was a scene where Corny is in the underground faerie hill with this strange prince character, and then Corny is tortured. Like, he is completely helpless and starts eating everything he can get his hands on. A rotten apple. The dirt on the ground. And some ants. For Pete's sake, when I read that, I thought I was going to be sick.

In fact, the only thing in the book that acknowledges that the event occurred is when Corny starts blindly stabbing his tormentor to death. Which was a total "huh? This is the first book I have deemed worthy of one star. Totally disappointing. View all 13 comments. Mar 06, Juushika rated it liked it Shelves: As a child, Kaye had faery friends; throughout her life, she has always been unusual. Now, following an barfight, Kaye and her would-be-rock star mother return to Kaye's childhood home.

There, Kaye meets another faery, and discovers that her childhood friends really do exist and that she is far more unusual than she ever suspected. She soon falls into the middle of the power struggle between two rival faery courts, a struggle which could easily spill into the human world. Tithe is a mix of wonde As a child, Kaye had faery friends; throughout her life, she has always been unusual. Tithe is a mix of wonderful and horrible aspects: I found this book at times both frustrating and wonderful, and though it has many faults, I still recommend it for its plot and atmosphere, as well as its great potential.

At the beginning of reading Tithe , the weaknesses far outweigh the strengths. Maybe I just lived a sheltered life, but wouldn't have identified with any of these characters as a young adult, and I still don't now as an adult.

Along with difficult characterization, the writing style is inconsistent and immature, replete with adverbs, repeated gestures, and dull dialog and episodes. This is clearly a first novel, and accordingly it feels unfinished and unpolished.

The book would have benefited from a rewrite, to tighten the language and unify the style. But for all of these negative qualities, Tithe remains readable and exhibits some real jewels and true potential as it goes on.

The plot moves just fast enough that it is not frustrating and slow enough that it is still intriguing. There are many points where the book could have ended prematurely, wrapping up the plot into a nice and neat package; Black, however, rejects these endings, instead introducing new complications to build a plot that is is political, complex, and ongoing.

On the whole, however, the complex plot fits the book's wide political premise and makes for a satisfying read. The faeries are equally satisfying: Some of the dark faeries are overdrawn and excessively macabre, but on the whole the faeries are the highlight of the text.

Black's imagination is lively and wide; her descriptions in particular Kaye's transformation shine off of the page in vivid language that is at once ethereal and tactile. I found this to be an alternately frustrating and delightful book. The characters disappointed me, the writing style annoyed me, but whenever I became too frustrated, another new aspect would shine: So while I can't rate this book very highly on account of its many faults, I do recommend it.

Less critical readers may not find it so frustrating as I did; no matter the reader, the magic and imagination make this a book worth reading. There is great potential here, and where it is realized, Tithe is a truly enjoyable read. Apr 18, Natalie rated it really liked it. I ended up reading this book by accident. It was recommended to my 14 year old, Gini.

She began the book and then brought it to me saying that she didn't feel it was appropriate for kids and that she, personally, had no interest in a heroine who consistently made such poor life choices. I decided to read it to see what the deal was. This book was recommended for kids 14 and up and Gini has read books that were definitely adult reading level and she LOVES faery.

The problem with this book f I ended up reading this book by accident. The problem with this book for Gini and I am proud of her for it is that the girl, Kaye, who is the main character, as well as her friends, smoke, drink, sneak around, fool around, and generally make all the choices that parents hope their children will avoid. Gini loves books and movies with really strong female characters. She just really didn't like the idea that a 16 year old who was so "messed up" and misguided would be turned into a heroine of faery.

She appreciates that the best heroines have flaws to overcome but this just didn't work for her. All that that being said, I finished the book and for an adult with the grace of age and perspective, this book is a fun, light read. This poor kid who has pretty much raised herself and her mother could very well end up the same dead-end mess that her mother has but she doesn't.

She discovers something very special within herself. She ends up showing a lot of character and courage. The teens dealt with in the book are not the teens that I have guided my girls to become or to identify with but those kids are out there and they have the same potential and beauty within them.

It was really cool to talk to Gini about why she didn't like this character and how the character developed without requiring her to read something she objected to and without glorifying the type of kid portrayed in the book. This is just my opinion folks so take it for what it is worth to you! I would not have this book in the hands of anyone under 16 and even at 16, my girls would probably not read this type of material if for no other reason than the frequency of the "f" word which we don't appreciate in our home, hearts or heads and the underage drinking and sexuality.

But if you do have a child who wants to read it and you don't like to censor your child's reading and I do very little of that, believe it or not - I teach them the principles and let them apply them, which Gini did very well then this book is a good opportunity to talk about the choices the kids in the book make. Why it may or may not be a good idea for an author to portray a young person with such poor judgement as a hero or heroine I thought it was a great idea! Oct 12, Candace Robinson rated it it was amazing.

I'm mad at myself for not reading this book a long time ago! It was so good and reminded me of when I was in high school before cell phones and social media consumed our entire lives! I liked Kaye! I felt she was relatable. Yes, she may be a high school drop out, drink, curse and smoke, but not every teen in the world is a perfect angel. And Roiben! Loved, loved, loved him!!! This world that Holly Black has created is amazing!

I love her writing and her descriptions and that everything isn't perfe I'm mad at myself for not reading this book a long time ago! I love her writing and her descriptions and that everything isn't perfect but can be! Can't wait to read the next one! May 15, samantha books-are-my-life20 added it. I read this book in one day!!!! It is that good!

A bit dark, fun and full of magic. And the love story is a huge plus!!!! If you enjoy Faerie and everything related to it, you will love this book.

It is exquisite, and it leaves one unsatisfied. What more can one want? Heat beat down on her back, and she could smell green things and the rich mud of summer. She was nine. It made perfect dream sense, even though she knew that it hadn't happened quite this way. The warm green memory was younger than nine. But in this patchwork dream, Spike sat on the carpet of moss that ran along the bank. He was sewing a doll's dress and purse out of leaves.

Lutie straddled the waist of a sitting Ken doll, her iridescent butterfly wings fluttering slightly while she sang bawdy songs that made nine-year-old Kaye giggle and blush at the same time. A smooth plastic chest doesn't make up for the rest; Even a boy-doll has to try to make a girl-doll sigh.

Laughing, she turned to him, and he made to speak, but the only thing that dropped from his mouth was a single white stone. It splashed into the stream, settling along the bottom along with the other rocks, shining with a strange light. Each and every girl's got a pearl.

A crow had settled in the tree, black feathers shimmering with color, like gasoline floating on the surface of water. When the crow cocked its head down at her, its eyes were as pale as the stone. A moment later she felt the scrape of claws along her wrist and the bite of its beak on her hand as her doll was pulled into the air.

Kaye screamed with a shrill, childish hysteria and reached down to throw something at the bird. Her hand closed on a stone, and she hurled it without thinking. The crow spiraled into the cushion of trees, and Kaye ran toward it. The forest around her blurred, and she was suddenly looking down at the black shape.

It was still, feathers ruffling slightly in the breeze. Her doll was there too, lying apart from the dead bird, and between them was a smooth white stone. The stone that Gristle had spoken. And then she woke up. Kaye's mother was standing in the doorway of the bedroom holding a cordless phone. Janet's on the phone.

She stretched her legs out, and her feet kicked the footboard of the tiny bed. The sun was alive again, glowing with fury at the night's trickery at the hands of Mistress Moon. Flares of lemony light threatened her with a headache if she opened her eyes.

Kaye rubbed her eyes. Her knuckles came away black and glittery. Ellen left the doorway, and Kaye heard her thump down the stairs. Kenny tried to catch me, and my shirt ripped. How come you ran out like that? I thought he'd done something terrible to you! We were fighting all night about it. That must have sounded enough like best-friend contrition, because Janet's tone softened.

Of course I believe you. No wonder she felt uncomfortable. She wanted to say it aloud, to hold on to it. Already her recollection of Roiben was blanched by the sun, the way a dream fades when you don't write it down. She wrapped the puke-pink comforter more tightly around her. Like everything else in her bedroom, it was slightly too small. What's his name? She was glad Janet couldn't see her right now—she was sure she looked idiotically happy. Are you for real? Did he hit on you? Janet sighed.

You're making this up. He was real, the most real person she had met in a long time. Hyper real. Dough kept telling me to chill, but I was too wasted and upset.

Well, come over and I'll tell you the rest. I've got to get dressed. Kaye turned it off and dropped it on the comforter. Kaye looked around her bedroom. Her clothes lay in drifts on the floor, most still in the black garbage bags. All the furniture was the same as it had been when she was four, child-size white furniture, pink walls, and a reproachful, glass-eyed army of dolls arranged in the bookshelves. I have to find Gristle and Spike.

She hadn't ever needed to call them before. They'd always been around when she had needed them. But that was when she had been little, when she had believed in everything, before her legs stuck out over the end of the bed and she had to bend over to see her face in the dresser mirror. Kaye sighed. She guessed that she wasn't really unicorn-pure anymore. Maybe that kind of thing mattered. Kaye stripped out of her clothes and found a worn pair of jeans and a blue G-Force T-shirt.

In the bathroom, as she splashed cold water on her face and rubbed off last night's makeup, she inspected herself. The purple dye she'd combed into her hair was already faded.

She stared at her upturned eyes and thin cheeks. For the first time, she wondered where they had really come from. She hadn't seen Roiben well in the moonlight, but his upturned eyes could have gotten him mistaken for Asian if he hadn't had such an angular nose. She sighed again and pulled her hair up into ragged pigtails. Hey, if she looked ten again, maybe kid-loving faeries would come and talk to her. Her leopard coat was too soggy to wear.

Kaye pulled on Lloyd's leather jacket and checked the pockets. A couple of crumpled receipts, a fauxtortoiseshell guitar pick, loose change. Kaye pulled her hand out as though she'd been stung.

There, sticking out of the pad of her finger, was a slim, brown thorn. It just figured that Lloyd would have something annoying in his pocket. She pulled it out and sucked the tiny red dot on her finger.

Then, dropping the thorn on her dresser, she went downstairs. Kaye's mother was sitting at the kitchen table, flipping through a magazine. A fifth of gin was sitting uncapped on the table, and a cigarette had almost burned itself to ash on a plate beside her. You don't look so awake. Grandma's gonna freak when she sees that plate. Kaye's mother leaned back in the wooden chair. It was only then that Kaye heard the slur in her voice.

I called a couple of old friends from Sweet Pussy, but they've all gone respectable. She remembered Liz jumping around the stage in her amazing purple plastic catsuit like a glam-rock Julie Newmar. It was hard to picture what respectable would look like on her. I wonder when was the last time either one of them picked up a fucking instrument. It was kind of stupid to think that her mother would just give up on going back to the city, but she couldn't help hoping. I'm your mother.

The wind was blowing gusts of vivid, lipstickcolored leaves across the lawn. Kaye took a deep breath of cold air. I need you. I'll just go over to Janet's like I said and then I'll figure out a plan.

Janet lived in a trailer park along the main road in back of the gas station her brother had worked at since Kaye left for Philadelphia in the first place. She waved to him as she cut through the lot. Corny smiled grudgingly. His hair was a longish brown mop, cut too short in the front and too long in the back.

He was wearing a denim jacket and dirty jeans. His skin was red in patches. He was exactly like she remembered him, only taller. Kaye walked back behind the little office and bathroom area of the gas station and cut through the overgrown shrubs to the trailer park. The trailers were vehicles in name only—none of them had wheels, and most of them had fences and porches anchoring them with steel and cement to the firmament. She walked up a pebble road toward the trailer.

A brown-haired girl about Kaye's age was hanging some wash. Behind her, an opulently fat man lounged in a hammock; flesh oozed through the crisscrossed strings. A trio of dachshunds barked madly as they chased each other along a chain-link fence. Kaye came to the screen door and banged on it. Kaye could see her feet through the screen, flung over the edge of the grungy blue couch, toes dark with polish.

Janet's toes had wads of toilet paper stuffed between them so they couldn't quite touch. The door squeaked hideously as she opened it. Rust had stiffened the hinges where the white enamel was chipped off.

The main room of the trailer was dark, the windows covered in drapes. Light flickered from three sources: On the screen, two women were screaming at one another in front of a studio audience. One of the women had rhinestone eyebrows. She was wearing a boy's sleeveless undershirt and daisy-print cotton panties. Corny'll be back from work anytime now. You'll never believe what she got me the last time she was out—a half shirt with rhinestone cats on it!

I mean—where would you even find something like that? Janet's mother collected all kinds of kitschy stuff, but especially all things Star Trek.

The trailer walls were covered with collectable plates, framed fan art, and shadow-boxed phasers and tricorders. A collection of Spock-related needlepoint throw pillows competed with Janet for couch space. I don't think he recognized me. All he does is sit in his room and jerk off. He's probably gone nearsighted. They spun on the greasy glass tray. Janet did, in fact, pull herself into a sitting position, and she turned down the sound on the TV.

She must have known we were fighting. You know that weird, rumbling Buddha-belly laugh he has. So fucking loud. She was embarrassed that she'd let him touch her—sometimes she wondered if there wasn't some sick part of her that actually wanted popular boys to like her. He had surprisingly gentle hands. A thin white foam formed on the surface.

Janet nodded. She just didn't want her house to get fucked up. Her heart was suddenly beating triple-time even though nothing at all was happening. Roiben—the most cool, amazing, dangerous storybook guy ever—said he was going to see her again.

Glee made Kaye's chest hurt. So I say sure, we'll give you a dollar apiece if you show us. And he says, 'That's only ten bucks. The hinges screamed their protest as Corny opened the door and stomped into the trailer. He glared at both of them, stalked to the refrigerator, opened it, and then swigged Mountain Dew out of the bottle. A white cat, her belly swollen with kittens, had slunk in when Corny opened the door. Kaye dropped her hand to pet the little head.

I've been at work since midnight. In his back pocket, the outline of his wallet was connected to a chain that ran to his front belt loop. He took another deliberate swig. How about I tell her how you need your own Roman vomitorium, you fucking bulimic. She walked toward her bedroom as she dialed.

A modern faerie tale 1 holly black - tithe

Corny glanced at Kaye. She looked away from him and pulled the heavy, soft cat onto her lap. It purred like a hive of hornets. Kaye shrugged. I didn't backwash into it.

Tithe: A Modern Faerie Tale

Kaye shook her head. Something—like a small stone—bounced off her knee. The windows were closed. Kaye looked at the ceiling, but there were no small parts hanging off the overhead light. Maybe something from a shelf. When she looked down at the floor near her feet, the only object she saw was an acorn. They were abundant outside this time of year, scattering from the nearby tree all over the lawn.

She picked it up and looked toward the window again. Maybe it was open after all. The acorn was light in her hand, and she noticed a tiny strip of white sticking out from under the cap. Corny was dampening a towel and wiping off his face. She didn't think he'd thrown the acorn—she'd been talking to him when she'd felt it hit. Kaye pulled lightly on the acorn cap, and it came loose. Inside the nutshell, all the meat was gone, leaving an empty space where a slip of paper was coiled. Kaye removed it carefully and read the message written in a pinkish red ink: Gristle is gone.

We need your help, meet you tomorrow night. Gone where? And the black knight? Could that be Roiben? She hadn't been talking to anyone else that fit that description. What did it mean, that everything was danger? Kaye sat down on Janet's bed. Janet's room was full of mismatched furniture: The room was as messy as Kaye's, with clothes hanging out of open drawers and littering the floor, but the disarray seemed glamorous here. While Kaye's clothes were all Tshirts and retro attic finds, Janet had red skirts with feather fringe, and shirts that shimmered blue and gold like fish scales.

Pots of eyeshadow, glittery barrettes, body sprays, and tubes of hair goo covered her vanity and the top of her dresser. On the walls, posters of bands competed with messages written in multicolor markers on the white walls.

She wasn't sure, but she thought she saw traces of some other name underneath Kenny's. In the pocket of her jacket, the acorn still lay against the hot flesh of her palm, the tiny point indenting her thumb. Janet sighed and made a face. What boys liked about Asian girls was weird. It was all mail-order brides and kung fu at the same time. It tied around the neck and waist like a bikini. This time Janet just laughed. They walked into the mall through the movie theater entrance. Boys and girls were gathered in packs on the steps, waiting for rides or having a cigarette before their movie started.

Janet walked past them like a goddess, not looking at anybody, perfectly curled hair and glistening lipstick looking as though it was effortless for her. It made Kaye wonder where she'd learned this skill with beauty— as a kid Janet had had a perpetually woolly perm and unlaced sneakers.

Kaye caught her own reflection in a window and grimaced. Her T-shirt was a bit of thin, faded cloth that even sported a couple of holes from Laundromat abuse. Her jeans were hand-me-downs from her mother, and they hung low on her hipbones, forcing her to hitch them up occasionally when she felt like they were going to fall all the way off.

One thing that they'd e-mailed about for a while was the audacity of the things they'd shoplifted. Kaye's all-time greatest heist had been her two rats. They might not have been expensive, but pocketing a squirming animal and then keeping it in your pocket was harder than it sounded.

She nodded. No mom-and-pop stores. Just chains or megastores—they can afford it, and the people who work there don't give a shit. Oh, and no places where the employees are actually nice. It wasn't, strictly speaking, far enough from the mall to be entirely safe, but they were feeling untouchable. Kaye was trying a new, heavy stick of smoky eyeliner, smearing it thickly under her eyes.

Janet was drinking a raspberry smoothie. Kaye dug through her jeans for matches and lit a cigarette. Taking a deep breath of smoke, she leaned back and exhaled, letting the smoke whorl up and away. She reached up lazily to change the pattern. It shifted at the touch of her fingers, and she could see figures dancing in it—no, they weren't dancing, they were fighting.

Swordsmen dueling in the rising smoke. Kaye dropped her hand. She'd forgotten where she was. Us being friends after all this time and you being so far away and all. I've been thinking about last night. There was no way to explain what really happened.

She certainly couldn't have explained why she'd let him run his hand up her thigh, why she hadn't minded in the least until she'd suddenly remembered who they were and what was really happening. But I honestly fell. I guess I drank too much or something. There was the most outrageously cool old carousel horse.

Did you see it? The legs were gone but the rest of it was perfect—the paint wasn't even badly faded. It was obvious this was the sort of reason she could easily believe. Kaye took another drag on her cigarette, wondering why that made her angry. This time the tendrils of smoke reminded her of Roiben's hair, raw silver silk.

Thinking about that made her feel even more restless and frustrated. She had to see him again. That was also something she imagined Janet would easily believe. It's just that it's so unlikely—meeting a guy in a rainstorm while you're walking home.

Holly black pdf tithe

I mean, what was he doing out there? I wouldn't have even talked to him. Janet frowned disapprovingly. The only thing that matters is that he is cross-my-heart-and-hope-to-die beautiful. That at least brought a scandalized gasp. She didn't want to go over the list of things to recommend her to a faery knight; there wasn't a single thing she could think of to put on such a list. A grown-up, fucked-up Alice suited her.

Then she put on Hole and listened to Courtney Love grate out, "I want to be the girl with the most cake… someday you will ache like I ache. The row of dolls watched her impassively from the bookshelf, their tea party propriety almost certainly offended.

She caught both rats and put them up there with the dolls, to get to know one another. Then she turned back to the bed. Pushing it up against the wall, she dragged the mattress onto the floor. It took up most of the space in the room, but at least her feet would be able to hang comfortably over the edge.

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And if she covered the boxspring with one of her mother's batik throws, it could almost be a couch. Putting out her cigarette and lying back down, she watched the rats crawl over the laps of the dolls— heedless of velvet riding coats or gold lace princess gowns—to snuffle plastic hair, and nibble at delicate, porcelain fingers.

Finally her eyes closed, and she drifted softly down into sleep. Chapter 4 Contents - Prev Next "All day and all night my desire for you unwinds like a poisonous snake. She had been pretending for the better part of a week now, ever since her grandma had insisted she was going to march down to the school and find out what was taking them so long to enroll her. There was no way to tell her that the transcripts were never coming, so Kaye packed a peanut-butter-andhoney sandwich and an orange and went out to kill time.

When they had first moved to Philadelphia, she had transferred easily to a new school. But then they'd started moving around, living for six months in University City and another four in South Philly and then a couple of weeks in the Museum District.

Each time, she either had to find a way to get to her old school or transfer to the new school.

About a year back, the confusion had gotten the better of her, and she'd started working full-time at Chow Fat's instead. They needed the money and, aside from that, they needed the free food. Kaye kicked a flattened soda can down the street ahead of her. Even she could see that she was going in no good direction, and not just literally. Her grandmother was right about her—she was turning into her mother—no, worse, because she didn't even have an ambition.

Her only talents were shoplifting and a couple of cigarette-lighting tricks you needed a Zippo to perform. She considered going to Red Bank and trying to find Sue and Liz's store.

She had some money, but she still might be able to sneak on the train for the couple of stops. Her biggest problem was that Ellen hadn't said what they'd called the place. It occurred to her that maybe Corny would know.

He probably had another hour before the graveyard shift ended and the morning guy came in. If she bought him coffee, he might not mind her hanging around too much.

The Quick Check was mostly empty when she went in and filled two large paper cups with hazelnut coffee. She fixed hers with cinnamon and half-and-half, but she didn't know how he liked his, so she pocketed little packets of sugar and several creamers.

The yawning woman didn't even look at Kaye as she rang her up. Corny was sitting on the hood of his car, playing chess on a small, magnetic board. He looked up with a not-sofriendly expression on his face. She held out the coffee, and he just looked confused. He sighed, sliding off the hood of the car. Then she uncapped hers and took a deep sip. The warmth of the liquid braced her against the cold, wet autumn morning.

Corny came back a few minutes later, settling onto the hood. After a considering look, he started pouring sugar into his coffee, stirring it with a filthy pen from his pocket. He looked up at her with a snort. Coffee is cheap.

Who's winning? Come on, what are you really doing here? People do not visit me. Being social to me is, like, tempting the Apocalypse or something. She watched him sell a carton of cigarettes and fill the tank. She wondered if the owner would hire a sixteen-year-old girl—her last paycheck wasn't going to stretch much further. Corny had worked here when he was younger than she was now. I just want to know what it's called.

Too Much Coffee Man. Used to read Sandman, of course. Girl comics—the ones with the pretty boys and girls. Hey, do you know what shonen-ai is? Corny smirked. My dad was part of some local glam-goth band my mother worshipped in high school. Very new wave. I never met him. It was a groupie thing. A dark-skinned kid got out. Turning to Kaye, Corny said, "Where you going now? You could hang out and wait for Janet to get home. He switched on the TV and walked back to his room.

It was weird to be in Janet's house without Janet. She flipped through the channels, settling on Cartoon Network. After a few minutes, when he didn't return, she went back to his room. Corny's room was as unlike Janet's as a room could be. There were bookshelves on all the walls, filled to overflowing with paperbacks and comics.

Corny was sitting at a desk that looked like it could barely hold up the equipment piled on it. Another box of wires and what looked like computer innards was next to his feet. He was tapping on his keyboard and grunted as she came in. It was all in Japanese.

Blond hero and heroine—she always thought it was weird there were so many blonds in anime—bad guy with really, really long black hair and a cool headpiece. A cute, fat ball with bat wings fluttering around as a side-kick.

She flipped a little further. Hero naked and lashed in the bad guy's bed. She stopped flipping and stared at the picture. The blond's head was thrown back in either ecstasy or terror as the villain licked one of his nipples. She looked up at Corny and held out the book. Although those are mighty pretty boys. Janet's E-mails were summaries of her whole day, boring and full of gossip about people Kaye had never met.

It's no big deal. One night at dinner I said, 'Mom, you know the forbidden love that Spock has for ' Kirk? Well, me too. Then she started to laugh and both of them were laughing and looking at the comic and laughing some more.

By the time Janet got back from school, Corny was sleeping and Kaye was reading a huge pile of kinky comics. Kaye yawned and took a sip from a half-full glass of cherry cola. I was hanging out with your brother and then I figured I'd just wait for you to come home. If you're going to drop out, you might as well… I don't know. Look, I'm gonna go out… I gotta meet the guys. You want to come? Kenny and Doughboy sat at a table with a girl Kaye didn't know.

She had short black hair, red nails, and thin, drawn-on eyebrows. Doughboy was wearing a short-sleeved team shirt over a long-sleeved black undershirt; the laces of his hiking boots spilled out from under the table.

He'd cut his hair since she'd seen him last, and it was shaved along the back and sides. He held the hiltof his sword in a white-knuckled grip. She did not dare take another step. He bentforward, fingers clutching the leaves, and spat red. The wet lashes over his half-closed eyes wereas silver as a safety pin. She took two steps and knelt down next to him, bracing herself with shaking hands.

This close, shecould see that his armor was stiff leather sculpted to look like feathers. He laughed at that, a bitter sound. He obviously believed her to be part of some plan to kill him. Still, he slid his body back until he could lean against the trunk of an oak.

He was braced, waiting tosee what she would do. She thought of the faeries she had known when she was a child—impish, quick things—no mentionof wars or magical arrows or enemies, certainly no lies, no deception. The man bleeding in the dirtbeside her told her how wrong her perceptions of Faery had been. Her fingers flinched away from the wound in his chest. Her lungs turned to ice as she looked at thegrisly wound. There was silence for a moment as she noticed the cold cloud of her breath riseup with the word.

He was trying to show her that he trusted her, maybe trying to make up for theassumptions he had made about her. His hand closed over hers, both of themchilled and wet, his fingers inhumanly long and rough with calluses.

As long as Im not touching it, I might be able todraw it out. She had told him that she wanted to help him, he was in a whole lot of pain, andit was no time for her to be squeamish. Roiben let go of her hand, and she gave a sharp tug. Although his face constricted with pain, thebranch only pulled out a short way. Were there really other faerie folk in the trees, waiting for him to be weak enough to defeat?

Kayethought that if so, now was a great time for them to come down and have a go at it. She raised herself to one knee, braced, and then stood, pulling upwardas hard as she could. Roiben gave a harsh cry as the branch slid free of his chest, its iron tip black with blood. His fingerstouched the wound and he raised them, slick with blood, as if suddenly disbelieving that he hadbeen shot.

Kaye tossed the stick away from her. She was shuddering, and she could taste the ghost of bloodin her mouth. How does your armor come off? He just looked at her with a kind of incredulity. Then heleaned forward with a groan. She came and sat behind him, feeling over the smooth armor for buckles. A sudden wind shook the branches above, raining an extra shower of heavy droplets down onthem, and Kaye wondered again about faeries in the trees. Her fingers fumbled in her haste.

Ifthose faeries were still afraid of Roiben, they didnt have to worry for much longer—she was bettingthat it would be only a few more minutes before he passed out entirely. To get off his breastplate, she not only had to detach it from the backplate at his shoulders andsides—there were also straps that connected it to the shoulderplates and to his legplates.

Finally,she managed to peel it off his chest. Underneath, the bare skin was mottled with blood. He tipped back his head and closed his eyes. Her shirt was ripped already,she reminded herself as she took it off.

She tore it into long strips and began winding them aroundRoibens chest and arms. He opened his eyes when she touched him. His eyes narrowed, then Their color was mesmerizing. He straightened up, horrified. Fumbling near him, he picked up a leaf and wiped it against the underside ofthe leather breastplate. It came away shining red. I—there is a kelpie there—it is no sure thing that I will be able to control her in this weather, but it is something.

He did not let it go immediately. I mislike not knowing how I must repay it. Like a faerie tale. Fine; it wasnt as if she had wanted anything from him anyway.

The steep bank of the stream was chokedwith vegetation and broken glass. Roots, swept bare of the mud that should have surrounded them,sat above the bank like overturned baskets or ran along the ground like the pale arms of half-buriedcorpses.

She forbade herself to think of that again. She squatted down and set the leaf, blood side down, into the water. It floated there, spinning alittle. She wondered if it was too close to the bank, and tried to blow it farther out. Nothing happened. She said it again, louder, feeling foolish and frightened at the same time.

Would that have something to do with a kelpie? What kind of help were they supposed to get from a shallow, polluted stream? But then she saw that she had been mistaken. What she had taken for the eyes of a frog wereactually hollow pits that quavered as something swam through the water toward her. She wanted torun, but fascination combined with obligation rooted her to the spot.

Hollow pits formed into flaringnostrils on the snout of a black horse that rose up from the black water as if created from it. Mossand mud slid from its dripping flanks as the thing turned its head to regard Kaye with luminouswhite eyes. She could not move. How many minutes passed as she stared at those mottled gray flanks, smoothas sealskin, and stared into the impossible glow of those eyes? The creature inclined its neck.

Kaye took a half step backward and tried to speak. No words came.

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The horse-thing snuffled closer to her, its hooves sinking in the mud, snapping twigs. It smelled ofbrackish water. She took another careful step backward and stumbled. She had to say something. When she got to the clearing, Roiben was already straddling thecreatures back. His breastplate had been haphazardly strapped on. She let out a breath she hadntknown she was holding.

He saw her emerge from under the canopy of branches and smiled. His eyes seemed darker in themoonlight. We are a capricious people, withlittle regard for mortals. There were scratches on his armor that she didnt remember. Could hehave been attacked? He could barely lift his head before—it was impossible to believe that hecould have fought with someone.

His eyes glittered. Leaves flurried from kicks of its hooves. Moonlight glowed along its flanks. Before she could think, she was alone in the wood.

Alone and shivering and proud of herself. Shemoved to retrieve her coat, and a glimmer of light caught her eye. The arrow. She knelt and picked up the branch with its iron tip. Her finger ran up the rough bark and touchedthe too-warm metal. A shudder went through her, and she dropped it back in the mud. The woodswere suddenly menacing, and she walked as quickly as she could back toward the road. If shestarted running, she didnt think shed be able to stop.

Kaye dug her feet into the muddy slope that marked the edge of her grandmothers lawn andheaved herself up. She slid past the overflowing trash can, the broken-down Pinto, the rustedcoffee cans wired together as a fence for a wilted herb garden. All the lights in the house seemed to be on, highlighting the grubby curtains. Blue lights flickered inthe living room where the TV was. She opened the backdoor and walked into the kitchen.

Pots and pans, crusted with food, were piledin the sink. She was supposed to have washed them. Instead, she went to the cupboard and tookout a bowl, filled it with milk, then put a piece of stale white bread on top of it.

It would have to do,she thought as she carefully opened the door and set it on the step—after all, the only things likelyto come for it anymore were neighborhood cats. Kaye crept into the living room. On the other side of the staircase, Ellen was sitting in front of the television, eating one of theminiature Snickers Grandma had bought for the trick-or-treaters, "Leave me the fuck alone," shemuttered to the drink in front of her. Okay, youre the smart one, right?

How come all these men just use you and leave you? How come the only one to take you inis your old, stupid mother? Its Do you even care that shes out gallivanting around who knows where,trying her damnedest to turn out just like—""Dont you start in on my daughter! You leave her out of your bitching.

She caught her own reflection in the hallway mirror, mascara and glitter eyeshadow smearedacross her cheeks and under her eyes, running in crusted and glittering streaks that looked likethey were made by tears.

Her lipstick was smudged and dull, arching across her left cheek whereshe must have wiped it. Kaye turned to take a furtive look into the living room. Her mother caught her glance, rolled hereyes, and motioned her up the stairs with a furtive hand movement. I dont care thatshes spent the last six years in a rat-infested apartment with whatever hoodlums you took up with.

From now on that girls going to be raised decent. She closed the door as quietly asshe could. The tiny white dresser and too-short bed seemed to belong to someone else. Her rats, Isaac andArmageddon, rustled in their fish tank on top of the old toy box. Kaye stripped off her clothes and, not caring about the wet or the mud or anything, climbed into thesmall bed, wrapped a blanket around herself, and folded her legs so that she fit.

Kaye knew whatobsession was like—she saw how her mother craved fame, pined over men who treated her likeshit. She didnt want to want someone she would never have. But just for tonight, she allowed herself to think of him, to think of the solemn, formal way he hadspoken to her, so unlike anyone else.

She let herself think of his flashing eyes and crooked smile. Kaye slid down into sleep like water closing over her head. Chapter 3"A cigarette is the perfect type of perfectpleasure. It is exquisite, and it leaves oneunsatisfied. What more can one want? Heat beat down on her back, and she could smell green things and the rich mud ofsummer.

She was nine. It made perfect dream sense, even though she knew that it hadnt happened quite this way. Thewarm green memory was younger than nine. But in this patchwork dream, Spike sat on the carpetof moss that ran along the bank.

He was sewing a dolls dress and purse out of leaves. Lutiestraddled the waist of a sitting Ken doll, her iridescent butterfly wings fluttering slightly while shesang bawdy songs that made nine-year-old Kaye giggle and blush at the same time. A smooth plasticchest doesnt make up for the rest; Even a boy-doll has to try to make a girl-doll sigh. Laughing, she turned to him, and he made to speak, but the onlything that dropped from his mouth was a single white stone.

It splashed into the stream, settlingalong the bottom along with the other rocks, shining with a strange light. Each and every girls got a pearl. A crow had settled in the tree, black feathers shimmeringwith color, like gasoline floating on the surface of water.

When the crow cocked its head down ather, its eyes were as pale as the stone. A moment later she felt thescrape of claws along her wrist and the bite of its beak on her hand as her doll was pulled into theair. Kaye screamed with a shrill, childish hysteria and reached down to throw something at the bird. Herhand closed on a stone, and she hurled it without thinking. The crow spiraled into the cushion of trees, and Kaye ran toward it. The forest around her blurred,and she was suddenly looking down at the black shape.

It was still, feathers ruffling slightly in thebreeze. Her doll was there too, lying apart from the dead bird, and between them was a smoothwhite stone.

The stone that Gristle had spoken. And then she woke up. Kayes mother was standing in the doorway of the bedroom holding a cordless phone. Janets on the phone. She stretched her legs out, andher feet kicked the footboard of the tiny bed.

The sun was alive again, glowing with fury at the nights trickery at the hands of Mistress Moon. Flares of lemony light threatened her with a headache if she opened her eyes.

Kaye rubbed her eyes. Her knuckles came away black and glittery. Ellen left the doorway, and Kaye heard her thump down the stairs. Kenny tried to catch me, and my shirt ripped. How come you ran out like that? I thought hed done something terrible to you! We werefighting all night about it. That must have sounded enough like best-friend contrition, because Janets tone softened. Of course I believe you. No wonder she felt uncomfortable. She wanted to say it aloud, to hold on to it. Already her recollection of Roibenwas blanched by the sun, the way a dream fades when you dont write it down.

She wrapped the puke-pink comforter more tightly around her. Like everythingelse in her bedroom, it was slightly too small. Whats his name? She was glad Janet couldnt see her right now—shewas sure she looked idiotically happy. Are you for real? Did he hit on you? Janet sighed. Youre making this up. He was real, the most real person she had met in a long time. Hyper real. Dough kept telling me tochill, but I was too wasted and upset. Well, come over and Ill tell you the rest.

Ive got to get dressed. Kaye turned it off and dropped it on thecomforter. Kaye looked around her bedroom. Her clothes lay in drifts on the floor, most still in the blackgarbage bags. All the furniture was the same as it had been when she was four, child-size whitefurniture, pink walls, and a reproachful, glass-eyed army of dolls arranged in the bookshelves.

I have to find Gristle and Spike. She hadnt ever needed to call them before. Theyd always beenaround when she had needed them. But that was when she had been little, when she had believedin everything, before her legs stuck out over the end of the bed and she had to bend over to seeher face in the dresser mirror.

Kaye sighed. She guessed that she wasnt really unicorn-pureanymore. Maybe that kind of thing mattered. Kaye stripped out of her clothes and found a worn pair of jeans and a blue G-Force T-shirt. In thebathroom, as she splashed cold water on her face and rubbed off last nights makeup, sheinspected herself.

The purple dye shed combed into her hair was already faded. She stared at her For the first time, she wondered where they had really come from. She hadnt seen Roiben well in the moonlight, but his upturned eyes could have gotten himmistaken for Asian if he hadnt had such an angular nose. She sighed again and pulled her hair up into ragged pigtails. Hey, if she looked ten again, maybekid-loving faeries would come and talk to her.

Her leopard coat was too soggy to wear. Kaye pulled on Lloyds leather jacket and checked thepockets. A couple of crumpled receipts, a faux-tortoiseshell guitar pick, loose change. Kaye pulledher hand out as though shed been stung. There, sticking out of the pad of her finger, was a slim, brown thorn. It just figured that Lloyd wouldhave something annoying in his pocket. She pulled it out and sucked the tiny red dot on her finger.

Then, dropping the thorn on her dresser, she went downstairs. Kayes mother was sitting at the kitchen table, flipping through a magazine. A fifth of gin was sittinguncapped on the table, and a cigarette had almost burned itself to ash on a plate beside her.

You dont look so awake. Grandmas gonna freak when she sees that plate. Kayes mother leaned back in the wooden chair. It was only then that Kaye heard the slur in her voice. I called a couple of old friends from Sweet Pussy, but theyve all gonerespectable. She remembered Liz jumping around the stage in her amazing purple plastic catsuitlike a glam-rock Julie Newmar.

It was hard to picture what respectable would look like on her. I wonder when was the last time either one of them picked up a fuckinginstrument.

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It was kind of stupid to think that her mother would just give up on goingback to the city, but she couldnt help hoping. Im your mother. The wind was blowing gusts of vivid, lipstick-colored leaves across the lawn.

Kaye took a deepbreath of cold air. I need you. Ill just go over to Janets like I said and then Ill figure out a plan. Janet lived in a trailer park along the main road in back of the gas station her brother had worked atsince Kaye left for Philadelphia in the first place.

She waved to him as she cut through the lot. Corny smiled grudgingly. His hair was a longish brown mop, cut too short in the front and too longin the back. He was wearing a denim jacket and dirty jeans. His skin was red in patches. He wasexactly like she remembered him, only taller. Kaye walked back behind the little office and bathroom area of the gas station and cut through theovergrown shrubs to the trailer park.

The trailers were vehicles in name only—none of them hadwheels, and most of them had fences and porches anchoring them with steel and cement to thefirmament. She walked up a pebble road toward the trailer. A brown-haired girl about Kayes age was hanging some wash. Behind her, an opulently fat manlounged in a hammock; flesh oozed through the crisscrossed strings. A trio of dachshunds barkedmadly as they chased each other along a chain-link fence. Kaye came to the screen door and banged on it.

Kaye could see her feet through the screen, flung over the edge of thegrungy blue couch, toes dark with polish. Janets toes had wads of toilet paper stuffed betweenthem so they couldnt quite touch. The door squeaked hideously as she opened it. Rust had stiffened the hinges where the whiteenamel was chipped off. The main room of the trailer was dark, the windows covered in drapes.

Light flickered from three sources: On thescreen, two women were screaming at one another in front of a studio audience.

One of the womenhad rhinestone eyebrows. She was wearing a boys sleeveless undershirt and daisy-print cotton panties.

Cornyll be back from work anytime now. Youll neverbelieve what she got me the last time she was out—a half shirt with rhinestone cats on it! I mean—where would you even find something like that? Janets mother collected all kinds of kitschy stuff, but especially all things Star Trek. The trailer walls were covered with collectable plates, framed fan art, and shadow-boxed phasersand tricorders. A collection of Spock-related needlepoint throw pillows competed with Janet forcouch space. I dont think he recognized me.

All he does is sit in his room and jerk off. Hes probably gone nearsighted. They spun Janet did, in fact, pull herself into a sitting position, and she turned down the sound on the TV. She must have known we were fighting. You know thatweird, rumbling Buddha-belly laugh he has.

So fucking loud. She was embarrassed thatshed let him touch her—sometimes she wondered if there wasnt some sick part of her that actuallywanted popular boys to like her. He had surprisingly gentle hands. A thin white foam formed on the surface. Janet nodded. She just didnt want her house to get fucked up.

Her heart was suddenlybeating triple-time even though nothing at all was happening. Roiben—the most cool, amazing,dangerous storybook guy ever—said he was going to see her again. Glee made Kayes chest hurt. So I say sure, well give you a dollar apiece if you show us.

And he says, Thats onlyten bucks. The hinges screamed their protest as Corny opened the door and stomped into the trailer. Heglared at both of them, stalked to the refrigerator, opened it, and then swigged Mountain Dew out ofthe bottle. A white cat, her belly swollen with kittens, had slunk in when Corny opened the door.

Kaye droppedher hand to pet the little head. Ive been at work since midnight. In his back pocket, the outline of his walletwas connected to a chain that ran to his front belt loop.

He took another deliberate swig. Howabout I tell her how you need your own Roman vomitorium, you fucking bulimic. Shewalked toward her bedroom as she dialed.

Corny glanced at Kaye. She looked away from him and pulled the heavy, soft cat onto her lap. Itpurred like a hive of hornets. Kaye shrugged. I didnt backwash into it. Kaye shook her head. Something—like a small stone—bounced off her knee. The windows were closed. Kaye looked at the ceiling, but there were no small parts hanging off theoverhead light. Maybe something from a shelf. When she looked down at the floor near her feet,the only object she saw was an acorn.

They were abundant outside this time of year, scatteringfrom the nearby tree all over the lawn.

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She picked it up and looked toward the window again. Maybe it was open after all. The acorn was light in her hand, and she noticed a tiny strip of whitesticking out from under the cap. Corny was dampening a towel and wiping off his face. She didnt think hed thrown the acorn—shed been talking to him when shed felt it hit. Kaye pulled lightly on the acorn cap, and it came loose. Inside the nutshell, all the meat was gone,leaving an empty space where a slip of paper was coiled. Kaye removed it carefully and read themessage written in a pinkish red ink: Gristle is gone.

We need your help, meet you tomorrow night. Gone where? And the black knight? Could that be Roiben? Shehadnt been talking to anyone else that fit that description.

What did it mean, that everything wasdanger? Kaye sat down on Janets bed. Janets room was full of mismatched furniture: The room was asmessy as Kayes, with clothes hanging out of open drawers and littering the floor, but the disarrayseemed glamorous here. While Kayes clothes were all T-shirts and retro attic finds, Janet had redskirts with feather fringe, and shirts that shimmered blue and gold like fish scales. Pots ofeyeshadow, glittery barrettes, body sprays, and tubes of hair goo covered her vanity and the top ofher dresser.

On the walls, posters of bands competed with messages written in multicolor markerson the white walls. She wasntsure, but she thought she saw traces of some other name underneath Kennys. In thepocket of her jacket, the acorn still lay against the hot flesh of her palm, the tiny point indenting herthumb. Janet sighed and made a face. What boys liked about Asian girls was weird. It was all mail-orderbrides and kung fu at the same time.

It tied aroundthe neck and waist like a bikini.