Read Story's End Online

Authors: Marissa Burt

Story's End

Dedication

For Kate, Rachel, Sasiwimol, Thomas, India, Jones, Ben, Daniel, Elizabeth Austin, DuBose Jr., Virginia Grace, Megan, and all the fatherless

Contents

Dedication

 

Prologue

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Chapter 21

Chapter 22

Chapter 23

Chapter 24

Chapter 25

Chapter 26

Chapter 27

Chapter 28

Chapter 29

Chapter 30

Chapter 31

Chapter 32

Chapter 33

Chapter 34

Chapter 35

Chapter 36

Acknowledgments

 

About the Author

Back Ad

Credits

Copyright

About the Publisher

Prologue

CALLING ALL CHARACTERS OF STORY

All we have believed about

THE INFAMOUS UNBINDING
is a lie!

We were told
THE MUSES
broke their oaths and
turned against us.

A
lie.

We were told that
THE MUSES
made our loved ones disappear.

A
lie.

We were told
THE MUSES
killed the
WIs
.

A
lie.

We were told to lock up the Old Tales because
THE MUSES
were tainted with evil.

A
lie.

We were told Tale Master Archimago defeated
THE MUSES
and saved Story.

A
lie.

We were told that

THERE IS NO KING.

A
ll of it. Lies.

 

There once was a King in Story,
and he appointed his Muses to write our Tales.
We have recently discovered Archimago’s
confession, wherein he reveals

THE TRUE BACKSTORY.

ARCHIMAGO
and

THE RED ENCHANTRESS DUESSA

plotted with
THE MUSE FIDELUS

to rebel against
THE KING
.

It was
THE MUSE FIDELUS
who was responsible for

the many deaths of the Unbinding.

The other innocent Muses have been

wrongfully accused.

 

WE MUST UNITE.

 

The Enemy being once again at our very doors,

it behooves every character to come forward

and join the Resistance:

 

SPREAD THE TRUE BACKSTORY.

STOP THE RED ENCHANTRESS DUESSA.

LOOK FOR THE KING’S RETURN.

 

Together we can save Story and find

a happy ending for us all.

Remember that only love conquers fear.

Chapter 1

U
na Fairchild rolled the freshly printed broadside into a tight scroll, tied a piece of twine around the center, and added it to the growing stack of parchment that was the result of an afternoon’s hard work. One batch of notices had already been posted at Perrault Academy, though Una didn’t know how long Tale Master Elton would tolerate that. Another bundle was set to be hand-delivered around Fairy Village and Heart’s Place that afternoon. The Resistance members seemed confident that characters would know that the line “only love conquers fear” referred to Heart’s Place, where Resistance informants stood ready to direct recruits back to Bramble Cottage. Una hoped they were right. They needed to grow the Resistance. Fast.

Una and Peter were preparing the broadsides for delivery, while the grown-ups worked a giant old-fashioned printing press on the other side of the Merriweathers’ barn. Una had amassed quite a stack of notices. Peter, on the other hand, had barely touched the pile of parchment in front of him. He was busy recounting yet again his battle with the beasts Gog and Magog. Una was sick of hearing how brave Peter had been, but she didn’t tell him to stop, mostly because if Peter’s brothers were busy listening to him, they wouldn’t pester her with unwanted questions.

The previous days had been filled with many heated conversations. The Sacred Order of the Servants of the King thought that the broadside should be all about the long-lost King, whereas the Resistance members were sure that they should focus on overthrowing the Talekeeper regime. They might have argued about it forever, but the imminence of the Enemy’s return forced the two groups into a prickly truce, and the one conclusion the now-united Resistance had agreed upon was that they needed to share the true Backstory with the rest of Story’s characters and motivate them to fight against Fidelus.

Una laid another stack of papers flat on the bale of hay next to her and winced at Peter’s unpleasantly authentic description of the way his blade cut through the dying beast.

“You’re a hero,” Bastian said breathlessly. “My own brother, the hero.”

Peter shook his head. “Sam’s the hero,” he said, without any of the bluster of his storytelling. “You should have seen him.”

Una looked down at the cat, asleep in her lap.
Poor, brave Sam.
Una had tried to hide her shock when she had first seen him at the Healer’s. One silken ear was now torn, and his beautiful coat was spotted with holes where chunks of fur had been ripped out. Una cuddled him closer.
He did this to save me.

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