(This is part one, and "A Short Prelude" is a good name for it.)

Chapter 1 - A Short Prelude.

The moon was full on the nights sky tonight. Full of mystery and excitement, yet to be explained. From an angle it looked dark, and sinister to the eyes. With the meaning of evil to the untrained eye, it wasnít at all beautiful. For it overhung the wood, in which lived the night in itís splendor, and in which lived the so called witches and hermits, with nothing good to come from them. To the trained eye, the moon looked like a canvas, on which many marvelous things could appear written in the night. The moon seemed a sign of hope to the eyes of these trained mortals. The moon. The eye. The people. The thoughts. The dreamers. The realists. These, these people of the world get ready to sleep and think their thoughts about the coming day. These mortal people, simple and sane, different and the same.

As the moon hung over the forest, which in those days was called Anktan, a solitary light shone from a cabin. It was in a bedroom. As the light from the lamp shone around the room, and the light from the moon shone in the window, a girl of no more than 17 stood at the vanity. She was dressed and ready for slumber. The girl looked at herself in the mirror, as though to swoop some of her long, brown hair across her shoulder. She had very long, brown hair, straight down her back. It was beautiful. The kind of hair youíd expect rich women to have. Goddesses for that matter. She had a very small build, like that of a prima ballerina or of a model. Her night gown was white and tucked over her body like a perfectly fitted piece of attire, made for her. It had little red ribbons on the bottoms of the hands and legs. There was a sheet of whit lace around the neck, making it look most elegant. She eyed herself in the mirror. She had lovely blue eyes and liked to look at them. She looked deep into her lovely eyes and put her hand on her cheek. She picked up a little comb and started to comb her hair. One stroke of the brush at a time she stroked the brush in her shining hair. She laid the brush down on the table and went to the bed. She drew back the covers one by one, all three sheets and the blanket. She gracefully sat down on the bed, not disturbing a thing. She put her legs up and covered herself to the waist. She picked up a book and a pen. As she was a most literate creature, she loved to write down her thoughts and feelings. The girl one day planned on being the most famous woman, one of prestige in the community. With plans of one day writing a novel, she wrote in this book the following:

August 5 - Today was most splendid. I went to the bridge with Marion for a picnic. He was so nice to me. Marion, poor fellow. That bastard Barbatone OíDoyle in town works him to death, day and night. I pity Marion. But he makes good money for it, donít get me wrong! And he loves me, which is the best part! He took me down to the bottom of the bridge on the bank today and kissed me. We were sitting there, watching the ferry and he turned to me smiling, and he kissed me! Then he turned to go back up the hill to his friends, but he kept his eyes on me, as though he wanted me to know that he loved me. After the picnic, we went to Facade le Delmar Hoyan, his fatherís estate, to ride the horses. I love to ride them. Marion loves them too. When we get married, I want to have my own stables and everything. Oh, I am very much in love. I love the way he looks at me, the way he kisses me, the way he acts towards meÖ I hope he loves me that way too. Itís getting late. I might write some more in the morning when I get up. Tonight, Iíll dream of my sweet Marion. - Scarlett Combande.

Scarlett put down the book and pen. She sighed and pulled the covers in all around her. Her small hand reached from beneath the covers to turn off the lamp. As the lamp light faded off, the full moon shone in the window of Scarlettís room as she started to dream the sweet dreams of young love.

(OK. You want Chapter 1? Here it is.)

Chapter 1

The sun shined in the window of Scarlettís bedroom. Itís bright rays went in all around her in her bed, making her scoot restlessly in her bed. She opened her eyes half way, looking around the room, and then decided to get up.

Getting up in the morning was one of the worst times for Scarlett. She loved to stay in bed and dream. Scarlett loved to dream. Sheíd dream of her love, Marion, her past, her future, events sheíd made up in her head, and other such things. The girl always seemed to awake from her dreams before they were fully carried out, so in short, she hated the morning.

You could say that she didnít fully hate the morning. Scarlett hated the morning time because it interfered with the events that started in the night, but she liked the fact that the morning time was the start of a new day, in which new, exciting things could happen. She loved the new days. It was a time where she could live an adventure and dream about it further after it was done.

Scarlett pulled the covers away from her and sat at the side of the bed. She looked out the window and saw the light shining from between the branches of the trees and the birds sitting on the sill. She tapped her finger on the window, as to get the birdís attention. The looked at Scarlett most pleasantly, as though smiling, and flew away. She then got up from the bed and stretched, yawning. The girl made her way over to the vanity.

She looked into the mirror and picked up the brush. Scarlett brushed her hair, one even stroke at a time. She occasionally looked into the mirror to see if her hair looked any better. After she was done and had looked into the mirror to make certain her hair was fine, she walked behind the room devider that she used to dress. Scarlett quickly dressed and came back into the room. She was wearing a blue and white striped dress with lace sleeves. The girl looked at herself in the mirror, turned around a couple of times, and smiled. She liked this outfit, and she hoped that Marion liked it too. It was her motherís dress, from a long time past, and she cherished it. Scarlett picked up the book and pencil from the table and put it in the drawer. After she was finished, she went into the other room.

The house was a beautiful, old-time looking one. Itís trimmings were ones of cherry wood, and the carving work along them were intricate. There were small figures and shelves everywhere, hold heirlooms and such on them. There were 6 rooms, and little staircases all around the house. It was quite lovely and spirited. Scarlett loved to live in the house, as it brought much cheer to her. She went from her room down the little staircase, holding onto the railing, as it always felt good in her palms when she walked down the stairs. She walked along the wall and in to a room that looked like a kitchen. It was one of the biggest rooms in the house. There was a round table in the center of the room and some shelf space in the front, near the big window. To the back of the kitchen was a countertop and a stove. It was a big, black, potbellied stove, with a long chimney stack. The fire was burning inside of it, as to shine through the slits in the front. After all, it was breakfast time. As Scarlett sat down at the table, an old woman with a hunchback came through a door near the rear of the kitchen. She didnít look at Scarlett, she just went to the counter, got a pan with something on it, and put it in the stove.

"Hello, my darling child," said the woman in a soft, sweet voice.

"Hello, Mother," said Scarlett, getting up from the table and going over to the counter. She picked up a paper off of the counter and threw it in the trash basket.

"Did you sleep well, darling?" her mother, whose name, might I add, is Celestine, said.

"As well as always, Mother. I had the most wonderful dream. I dreamed that I awoke in the morning as I always do, and came down here, as I always do, only Marion was here, all dressed in a white suit. He led me outside to two white horses, who rode me into town, where Marion made me buy a wedding dress. He took me to the chapel, where all our friends and family were, and we were married! It was the longest night. We went on our Honeymoon, too. It was so wonderful, Mother. You wouldnít believe it!" Scarlett narrated to her Mother.

Celestine laughed at the girl, shook her head, and went back to her cooking. The house was quiet while she fixed breakfast. The old woman scurried around the kitchen, grabbing bowls and spoons and plates. She set everything up on the counter and put some on each plate. After she was finished, she walked over to the table and sat Scarlettís food on the doily in front of her. Celestine sat her food on the other doily, put up her apron, and sat down. She straitened her black lace dress and thought of something she had forgotten. The woman then got up and pulled out a drawer. With that she pulled out two forks and two butter knives and went back to the table. She sat them in the appropriate spots and sat back down at her seat, straitening her dress again. There was a long bit of silence.

"What do you plan on doing today?" asked the Mother.

"Iím going to go see Marion for the most part of the day, and then go play with the forest animals, I guess," said Scarlett.

"You love the boy, donít you, dear?" asked Celestine.

"I guess I most certainly do. Not in the puppy love sense that you might think, but in the marriage sort of love. I love everything about the man, right down to the way he chews his food. I love him," she said.

"Good, child, good. You make me a proud person," her Mother said, smiling.

There was a long silence after that, while they ate their breakfast. They occasionally looked at each other, while taking bites. After they were both through, Celestine took up the dishes. She went outside to a tap in the ground and sat the dishes in the tub. She washed them thoroughly and brought them back into the house. She placed them in their slot on the shelves and cleaned the counter off. Celestine then went back outside to get the mail from the box. They hardly ever get mail, living so far away from the town.

"Did we get mail?" Scarlett said, looking up at her Mother.

"Yes. Two letters. One for me," she said, laying it on the table, "and one for you," she said, laying it near Scarlett.

"Who first?" said Scarlett, referring to the family tradition. Since they hardly ever got mail, they read their mail aloud to each other.

"You go ahead," the Mother laughed.

"I shall," said Scarlett, reading this:

"Dear Scarlett, may the angels greet thee this fine morning. I am writing you this letter from atop the hill. It is a beautiful view. I am wishing that you could be with me this very minute. I wanted you to know I was thinking about you all day. Pick me up from work at the hour 12, sweet angel, and we will make ourselves a pair on this day. Oh sweet angel, I long to hear thee call my name. I must leave now, but the paper is sealed with a kiss, as to hold you over until the latter. May the angels of the lord watch over thee until we meet. - Marion."

"That is the sweetest thing I ever heard, dear. You are truly in luck," said Celestine. "I guess itís my turn to read my mail to you, isnít it?"

The woman opened the letter slowly, seeing the city symbol on it. She looked it over, then read:

"Celestine Combande, we, the court of this fine city, are writing you this day with good cause. We have no record of you ever showing harm or danger to this city or other human beings here. However, we are concerned, Ms. Combande. You have not been to a church meeting for over 5 years, and have not been in town for longer than that. Members of the town say that they have seen you in the forest before, doing something out of the ordinary. Therefore, for your safety and for the safety of others, I hearby state that you must come to church within the next moth. If you do not, we will take drastic measures. Thank you."

"They think Iím a witch. The bloody blokes think Iím a witch. I canít believe it," Celestine said, almost crying.

"Itíll be all right, Mother. Itíll be all right. Iíll go down there with Marion and discuss it. Donít you worry," said Scarlett, conforting her beloved Mother.

Celestine started crying hard, and left the room. Celestine was genuinely upset. It was the beginning of a long hard battle. Just because she lives in the forest, away from everything, they accused her. Scarlett didnít know what to think. She went after her mother, heartbroken.

(OK. Bye bye. Leave me to work. ;-))