What about fairytales with twists?
Author Melanie Dickerson is known for her beautiful novels that do just that – take a familiar, classic fairytale and place it within the framework of YA medieval! Woohoo! Good stuff.
Let’s hear what Melanie has to add to our Springs of Inspiration series:
“Annabel, listen to me. It was not your fault. You struggled. You tried to scream. You did all you could. I heard you when I was on my walk, but I didn’t reach you in time. Stephen heard you too and he was closer. You have to stop torturing yourself.”
“But God must be angry with me. He intends to punish me.”
“No. Don’t you remember what we read a few days ago? ‘If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.’ Are you saying you don’t believe He will forgive you when he has plainly said He would?”
Peace washed over her. “You are right. I’m sorry.”
They sat looking at each other for a long time.
“The verse says, ‘If we confess our sins,’ so I must confess. I didn’t trust God as I should have.”
“And God forgives you.”
But does he forgive me for wanting you to hold me in your arms? For thinking about kissing you? Annabel shuddered at the thought of her lord finding out.
“What is it?”
“Nothing. I-I just wonder if God’s tired of hearing all my confessions lately.”
“I don’t think God gets tired of hearing you. I never could.”
The light was so dim she couldn’t read his expression, but his words made her heart flutter. As she watched the candle and firelight flicker over his face, she was struck with the thought that she knew little about him, about his family or past, except for the wolf attack and his wife’s unfaithfulness. “You said the abbess is your mother’s sister. Is your mother still alive?”
“She died seven years ago. My father died last spring. My brother and sister have been gone a few years as well. The worst may have been my sister—she died the same week as my wife and child.”
“I’m so sorry. That is grievous indeed.” He was all alone. “Were you married long?”
“Two years.” He blinked twice, as though he were erasing all emotion from his face and voice. “But there was no love between us—at least, not on her side. She never cared for me.”
Annabel swallowed. Her heart seemed to expand toward him, reaching out to him. He had endured so much pain. She longed to do or say something to comfort him.
“In truth, no one knows if the child born to her was mine or … his. Though I was determined to claim him for my own. After all, it wasn’t the child’s fault his mother was … as she was.”
“You speak of it as if it is no longer painful, but I know you must have suffered.” If ever anyone deserved a noble, loving wife, it was Lord le Wyse.
“Time,” he said, pausing and leaning back in his chair. He stared into the fire. “Time blunts the pain and creates a mist over one’s memory—at least in the case of death and sorrow. Other types of pain linger longer.”
No doubt he was thinking of his wife’s betrayal. How could anyone be so false? Annabel hated her with an intensity that took her breath away.
“Perhaps time is an inconsistent healer,” he said, “but God can purge even the most painful memories.”
What was Annabel’s most painful memory? Her father’s death? Bailiff Tom’s lifeless body in the forest? Nay, it was the terrifying moment when she realized the bailiff wanted her to marry him and was willing to resort to violence. Raw fear had shot through her stomach as he grabbed her and kissed her. Fearful thoughts dogged her steps from that moment to this.
Lord le Wyse’s questioning look brought her out of her reverie.
“Shall I read?” she asked.
“As you wish.”
She opened to the second epistle to Timothy. After reading a short passage, she came to the verse, “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” Forgive me for my fear, God. It did not come from You. I pray you will cast out this spirit of fear. And replace Lord le Wyse’s pain with a spirit of joy.
FABULOUS scene, Mel. Can’t you guys see why she’s winning awards? 🙂