Fairies At The Bottom Of The Garden

by Cheryl Headford

Fairies at the Bottom of the Garden - Cheryl Headford
Editions:Kindle - Second Edition: £ 4.94 GBP
ISBN: B076Z6BN1Z
Pages: 304

All Keiron wants is a quiet life. Fat chance with a boyfriend like Bren. But if he thought Bren complicated his life, that was nothing compared to the complications that begin when he opens the door to what he thinks is a naked boy claiming to be his slave.

Draven is a fairy with his sights set on the handsome human who keeps a wild place in the garden for fairies. When Draven slips through a fairy gate into the city, he sets in motion a series of events that binds him to Keiron forever, and just might be the end of him.

While Draven explores Keiron’s world with wide-eyed wonder, Keiron does everything he can to keep Draven’s at bay, until the only way to save Draven and bring him home is to step into a world that should exist only in children stories.

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Publisher: Ninestar Press
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Word Count: 85,000
Setting: Contemporary Wales (although I don't think it's actually specified) City and Countryside
Languages Available: English
Excerpt:

Draven was drawn closer and closer to the bright shiny boat, until Keiron had to pull him back before he fell into the river.

“Draven, you’re going to drown yourself. I told you, you could only look.”

“I know,” he said with a sigh, “but it’s so pretty.”

“Yes, it is pretty.”

“Can I—” Draven stood on tiptoe to whisper in Keiron’s ear. “Can I change so I can peep in the window?”

“No. No, you can’t. People will see.”

“I’ll hide to change, and I’ll go really, really small. No one will see me, Keiron, I promise.”

“No, Draven. Absolutely not. No.”

“But—”

“Please, Draven. I…. You’re a grown-up, and I can’t forbid you to do it. I don’t have the right. But please, please don’t.”

“Why not?”

“I’m afraid you’ll get caught, or hurt, or lost, or—”

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“It’s not as if I’m not used to it, Keiron. I do it all the time…well, I did before I came here, to you.”

“But you are here with me now and I’d never forgive myself if something happened to you when I’m here.”

Draven smiled up into his face and sighed. “I like being taken care of, Keiron.”

“And I like taking care of you,” Keiron said, brushing hair out of Draven’s face so he could look into his eyes properly. “You’re so very beautiful,” he murmured, gazing into Draven’s eyes.

“You’re beautiful, too, my Keiron, my human. I love you with my open heart.”

Keiron smiled. “I think—”

He was interrupted by a shout from the bar. “Hey. Hey, you two, what are you doing down there? What are you doing to my boat?”

“Is this your boat?” Draven asked, bouncing back towards the bar and the clearly drunk and angry young man.

“Yes, it is,” he said belligerently, “so stay away from it.”

“We were just saying how beautiful it is. Did you do all the paintings on the side and on the buckets and things? I’ve haven’t seen them like that for ever such a long time. And the metal is so shiny. You must have polished and polished it. Do you live on the boat? Are you going a long way in it? Do you live on it all the time? Do you go to different places every day? Oh wow, do you ever go on the sea?”

“Whoa, Draven,” Keiron said uneasily. The man’s angry expression had been replaced by a puzzled frown. This situation needed careful handling. It could go one of two very different ways.

“Who’s this?” a new voice asked, as a young woman appeared behind the man. She linked arms with him. Apparently, he was her boyfriend or husband.

“Someone was looking at the boat.”

“It’s a really pretty boat,” Draven said, his blue eyes innocent. “You’re pretty too.” He smiled, and Keiron groaned inwardly as the rather well-muscled young man frowned.

“Well, thank you, beautiful. What were you saying about the boat?” She let go of the man and linked arms with Draven. They began to walk back down towards the boat. Draven chattering as he had before, shooting questions at her so fast she had no chance to answer.

“That your kid?” the man growled.

“God, no,” Keiron said carefully, wondering which way to go that would be least likely to end in him flat on the floor with two black eyes. “He’s my boyfriend.”

COLLAPSE

About the Author

Cheryl/Nephy was born into a poor mining family in the South Wales Valleys. Until she was 16, the toilet was at the bottom of the garden and the bath hung on the wall. Her refrigerator was a stone slab in the pantry and there was a black lead fireplace in the kitchen. They look lovely in a museum but aren’t so much fun to clean.

Cheryl/Nephy has always been a storyteller. As a child, she’d make up stories for her nieces, nephews and cousin and they’d explore the imaginary worlds she created, in play.

Later in life, Cheryl/Nephy became the storyteller for a re enactment group who travelled widely, giving a taste of life in the Iron Age. As well as having an opportunity to run around hitting people with a sword, she had an opportunity to tell stories of all kinds, sometimes of her own making, to all kinds of people. The criticism was sometimes harsh, especially from the children, but the reward enormous.

It was here she began to appreciate the power of stories and the primal need to hear them. In ancient times, the wandering bard was the only source of news, and the storyteller the heart of the village, keeping the lore and the magic alive. Although much of the magic has been lost, the stories still provide a link to the part of us that still wants to believe that it’s still there, somewhere.

Cheryl/Nephy particularly likes to write about faraway places that don't exist - or do they - and to bring elements of fantasy and sci fi into our world. From ad scientists who want to create superhumans, to fairies at the bottom of the garden, she explores the strange and the silly.

In present times, Cheryl/Nephy lives in a terraced house in the valleys with her son, dog, bearded dragon and two cats. Her daughter has deserted her for the big city, but they’re still close. She’s never been happier since she was made redundant and is able to devote herself entirely to her twin loves of writing and art, with a healthy smattering of magic and mayhem


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