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"Coming Home" short story cover

“Coming Home” prequel short story

The night of her parents’ murder a fortnight ago—plastered in muck, splattered with wolf-giant blood, and lost in the woods of a mortal world—Abenddämmerung had begged the ondine Rixende for help: “Take me home.”
  “I will not take you home,” the ondine said. Water plashed as the ondine lifted a hand to cut off Abend’s protest. “I didn’t say I would not take you to Faerie, only that I would not take you home. From the look of you, there is no home left, and from the stains on your clothes, its location would be the first place they would search for you. Come. I will take you where you might be safe instead.” She beckoned.
  Drawn inexorably closer, Abend did not remember crouching beside the river. “And in return?”
  “In return, you will perform a task for me, oh slayer of wolf-giants,” the ondine said with a sharp smile.
  Abend gripped the ice’s edge. “What task?”
  “You will understand when you arrive.”

“Coming Home” is a standalone short story that takes place after the prologue in One True Lie, the first book in The Crown of Seasons series.

Reading other stories is not required for the enjoyment of this one.