Aaspa’s Imps – Out Today!

Aaspa’s Imps have all grown up and are ready to take on the worlds in this sequel to the highly original fantasy, Aaspa’s Eyes by Jane Jago.

My earliest memories are of misery and darkness. In those days I had no name and no voice. I was constantly hungry, and alone save for the chained slaves around me and the hellhound puppy whose fur kept me from freezing to death at night. 
    All that changed at the moment Mother found me in that stinking prison and picked me up in her tender arms. From then on Puppy and I had love to fill our hearts and food to fill our bellies. We became members of Aascko and Aaspa’s big rambling family, and I acquired a name. I became Silver, the beloved child of a high status household, and I and my brothers and sisters were given every advantage that wealth, privilege, and, above all, love can give.
    At the time of my adoption Mother and Father already had three imps. First there was Owlet, whose mama was Owl and whose papa was unknown. After him Mother and Father adopted Tiger and Puma, whose mama was Small Cat and whose papa was Aanjo which died in prison. Not too long after me there came Tawny and Eagle, whose mama was Owl and whose papa was our Father, Aascko. Later, Mother and Father were to adopt Oak and Willow, whose papa was a cousin of our Father and whose mama poisoned her Mate to steal his money. When she was caught she was permitted to kill herself, and Oak and Willow became our nest siblings. Those were the imps of Aaspa’s family.
    Not long after I joined the household, there came a change in the family circumstances when our GreatFather Aasgo, whom we all call Papa, became the Master Hunter and we moved to the citadel. This move could have been hard on me, because I have weak legs as a result of near starvation when I was tiny and the citadel is ancient and rambling with many staircases, and corridors with worn stone floors. But my family had no intention of allowing me to suffer any inconvenience because of my disability and we lived in a pleasant set of modern ground floor rooms opening onto their own enclosed garden. 
    For the first ten winters of our life in the citadel I learned my lessons with the drone Branwen, swam daily in the warm waters of the hot springs, and played with my siblings. I don’t think any of us had any idea how important our family was and we were the happier for not knowing. 
    It is my thought that Mother and Father would have kept us in innocence longer had there not been an attempt to kidnap Puma.
    It happened on a warm spring morning when we eight, and our teacher, were taking a gentle walk in the meadows where the earliest flowers were already blooming. We had no inkling of trouble ahead, and had not Puppy sensed the reception committee and set up a tremendous barking we would have walked into a carefully laid trap. As it was, my hellhound scented trouble and she herded us away from the defile where the bad people were hidden, all the while keeping up her ferocious barking. Branwen firmed its chin and grasped Tawny and Eagle, but I thought it looked afraid, while Tiger took hold of Puma, Oak held Willow, and Owl put his arms about me with the obvious intention of protecting us from whatever had so disturbed Puppy. As the would-be kidnappers rose up out of the long grass and rushed towards us, we heard the snap of leathery wings and Mother, Father and a group of our fighters landed between us and the assorted elves, vampires and orcs who had thought to take us unawares.
    “Keep one to talk to,” Father said tautly as half the fighters formed a protective ring around us while the other half engaged the poorly disciplined rabble with savage efficiency. 
    Tiger put his hands over Puma’s eyes, and Oak did the same for Willow, but Owlet knew better than to try and protect me from the reality of our situation so I watched as our attackers were summarily dealt with. When the last but one fell to Mother’s expertly wielded blade I took a deep breath.
    “What did they want?”
    “I don’t know,” Owlet was grave. “But I suspect that Mother and Father will find out.”
    Father looked at us. “You should go home.”
    Mother placed a hand on his arm. “Too late for that, love, they need to see this through.”
    “Why?” Father sounded almost immeasurably weary. “Didn’t we work to protect them from even knowing about this sort of treachery.”
    “We did. And we have. But we can do that no longer. They are none of them babies any more. If we let them see precisely what happened and what we will do to protect them it will be better than trying to push the events of this morning to the backs of their minds where such memories could fester.”
Father pulled her into his arms and laid his cheek briefly against the glossy black curls of her crest.
    “You are only right, love,” then his voice changed. “Bring that here, Aanda.”
    The grizzled fighter dragged a surly-looking male elf over to where Mother and Father stood.
    “Talk,” Mother said softly.
    “Make me,” the elf hissed. 
    Mother laughed and tossed her curls. “You will talk renegade elf, you will even sing should I so choose.” She turned her face to Father. “Would you invite Witness Aanan to join us.”
    He grinned grimly before throwing back his head and roaring. 
    Our honorary uncle arrived swiftly and with no ceremony. He walked over to Mother who pulled his head down and whispered in his ear. He chuckled mirthlessly.
    I could see the flaw in the air as he formed a portal.  A familiar figure strolled out onto the warm grass with a metal-studded oaken club balanced negligently on one shoulder. It was the alpha female troll, Mabel. She grinned as us before turning her countenance on the by now shrinking elf in Aanda’s grasp.

To keep reading, just snag a copy of Aaspa’s Imps by Jane Jago.

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