Sneak Peek: Tidelands

The sea was restless, and so the queen could not sleep.

She tossed and turned in bed beside her husband as the waves crashed on the shore outside the castle. The balcony doors were open to the night, and the sea breeze wafted through the room, carrying with it the scent of the ocean. The queen got out of bed and draped her silk robe around her. She crept barefoot through the dark halls of the castle, dancing with the shadows until she emerged outside. She walked down the front steps of the palace, the marble cold under her shell pink feet, and stepped onto the sand. Her feet sank into the soft granules; the sand felt soft as satin ribbons between her toes. The queen tied her robe around her against the wind. Her hair, as richly red as fresh blood, billowed behind her.

Her veins sung with the sea air. The queen walked slowly to the shore, pausing just before the water met her toes. She closed her eyes and breathed slowly through her nose; the scent of the sea wrapped her in its warm embrace, and her whole body sang from it. She could feel it calling to her, as it always had, especially on this night, when the waves were big and the tides were heavy. The moon was full in the sky, whispering to the sea, and the sea whispered to the queen in turn. With her eyes closed, she could hear everything. It was a song she’d spent her entire life singing. Her voice had never wavered.

“Come home,” the sea whispered. “Come home.”

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