Jaclyn and the Beanstalk
by Mary Ting
What fate awaits a girl who hears monsters at night…
Sixteen-year-old Jaclyn looks up to her father. An honest man who once fought for the king, he now teaches Jaclyn how to use her wits—and her sword.
But he has a secret. And his secret may have a connection to the one thing Jaclyn is hiding from him.
Upon hearing “monsters” are terrorizing the small villages around Black Mountain, Jaclyn’s father and his friends head out to hunt them … but they don’t return.
Armed only with her sword and three magic beans—a gift from a mysterious old woman—Jaclyn sets out for Black Mountain to save her father.
On her climb, one bean drops and grows into a beanstalk, catching her when she falls.
She isn’t the only one that takes the ride. Jack, her childhood friend and secret crush, is following her.
Together, Jaclyn and Jack must battle to save not only their fathers, but the townspeople the beasts plan to lay waste to before it’s too late.
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“Getting married and bearing children is not for me. There’s much work to be done.”
I slipped my arms around her waist and pressed my head to her back. I inhaled deeply as warmth enveloped me and her love replaced the fright from my nightmares.
Safe. I am safe. No monsters.
“Our life is good here. Why would I want to fix what is not broken?”
“’Tis what we do. People will talk.”
I scowled, anger boiling through my veins. I tended to not raise my voice, so I softened my tone out of respect.
“I will not be handed to a suitor I do not love.”
Mother patted my arm. “My child, you have much to learn. Love comes later. I did not love your father at first.”
“I will not follow other people’s ways.” Pouting, I shuffled my feet on the dirt.
She released a deep sigh. “Oh, Jaclyn. Your time will come. Everyone has a destiny. Everyone has a story to tell. Some more than others. We shall see what lies ahead for you. Fate will lead you to the path you are meant to take.”
I wished I had eyes for the future. I wanted to know a demon would not seize my soul, and I wanted to see a path without the nighttime cries. They must be monsters. I’d never heard a human throat make such tortured sounds.
What fate awaits a girl who hears monsters at night?
Illness swept through my stomach. A shudder racked me, beginning in my gut, forewarning me.
And here she is...
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