Sneak Peak: Nina Nova and the Wayward Dreamers

This is a fun (I hope) ongoing storytelling thing I’m doing here and I wanted to give you a little sneak peak! So here you go, introducing Nina Nova and the Wayward Dreamers…


If Philip had to sum her up in a single sentence it would be this; Nina Nova was like a dream.

Not in that way. It’s not as if he liked liked her. Sure, he thought she was pretty and… well, anyway, that’s not what he meant.

Philip had been sitting in the school library at a table by the window. The sun was too hot and it made lights flicker from his glasses onto the pages in front of him.
He read a sentence once.
Three times.
If he raised and lowered his eyebrows, the light bounced between the paragraphs.
A hand reached out to catch the light; a hand with slender fingers, dirty nails, and daisy chains around the wrist. It wasn’t his.
He looked up and there she was; a smile as wide as the Amazon river (he’d just learned about that in Geography), a small nose with cinnamon-sprinkled freckles, eyes that were dark and glittering at the same time, a small scar on the corner of the left eye, and hair like an emerald fountain, braided messily and… was that a dead leaf in her hair?
‘Hi,’ she lifted her hand towards him, ‘I’m Nina.’
Philip looked from her face to her hand to her face and back before his brain remembered how to shake hands, ‘Uh, hi. Philip. Are you new?’
She laughed with a faint snort, ‘Who knows? Do you think we’re like cats? Do we have nine lives?’
Philip shushed at her raised voice, looking around to see if the librarian would pop his head through the shelves with his stern glare.
‘Sorry,’ Nina lowered her voice to a stage whisper, that smile not ebbing for a second, ‘I know what you meant. I don’t go to this school. Or any school. Ugh, I’d hate to be cooped up in here all day.’
Philip shrugged, ‘I don’t mind school. I like learning new things…’
If his pen had been in his hand, he probably would have stabbed himself with it. Why did he have to immediately admit to being such a geek in front of a beautiful stranger?
I mean, not beautiful.
‘Sure, but don’t you ever wish you were in a whole other world? One where the library had books of magic and not books with ‘M heart H’, and ‘Philip is a nerd’ scribbled in it? Or instead of spiders and wasps there were dragons and witches, and you could fly or breathe underwater…’
‘Fulfil a prophecy and defeat an evil tyrant?’
‘Visit cities floating in the sky.’
‘Make potions for anything you want.’
‘Potions to make you taller or shorter.’
‘And there wouldn’t be money, you’d trade things like memories or time.’
If possible, Nina’s smile seemed to grow wider and Philip’s cheeks warmed and turned pink.
‘So, that’s what you want too?’
Philip smiled and took off his glasses to clean away the day’s dust, ‘I have a few books you could read if you like-’
‘I mean, for real.’
Philip had laughed and Nina had stood, holding out her hand for him to take. When he followed her, it was like falling head first into her smile.

And he was still waiting for someone to pinch him awake in the library.


‘…so basically, Nina steals from the witches and gives to us.’
‘Okay, yeah. Kind of like Robin Hood.’
Philip was met with vacant stares.
‘What’s a robinood?’
‘You know, it’s this old story about a guy who steals from the rich and gives to the poor. Or, maybe he was real… I don’t know, I only ever watched the film with the fox.’
Good start, Philip nodded to himself as the figures around him scratched their heads and frowned at him, Fitting in great.

They called themselves the Wayward Dreamers, and Philip was the newest member.

to be continued


a story excerpt by Holly E.E. Garrow

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