• A young girl sat lonely on the front steps of a little run-down cottage. Her long black hair fell in waves over her face, hiding any sign of emotion that could be seen. Her narrow shoulders shook violently as she bent over. All of a sudden, she throws her head back and lets out a jubilant laugh. Her grey eyes sparkled, and her pixie-like face glowed in happiness.

    "I'M FREE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" she cries, dancing in circles. The quiver of arrows on her back thuds a little as the shafts bump together. On the steps sits a small bow, delicately carved and stained.

    Silence falls just as suddenly as it was broken. The girl stood still, solemnly listening to the sounds of the empty village. A faint jingling could be heard, in the direction of the main road. The girl bolts to her bow and runs up to the roof of her cottage, jumping over to the blacksmith's roof, directly on the main drive. She could see a cloud of dust, kicked up by horses' hooves. She crouched, withdrawing an arrow from the quiver, notching it in her bow. She quietly waited for the riders to draw nearer to determine whether they were friend or foe.

    "Darling, why must we go through with this wild goose chase? The girl has probably deserted this place along with the rest of the people here. It is completely deserted." A woman's voice, haughty and whiny, rose from the settling cloud of dust.

    "Because i will not leave a child of mine to rot in a life of poverty if I can take her out of it."