Sean Caspian O’Connor tucked his easel under his arm and walked toward the woods. His strides were long due to hi tall stature, and he reached his destination quickly. He tucked a strand of blowing light golden hair behind his ear and ensured his paintbrushes were packed in his sack. He went to the wood often to think, and this was a time to think. A certain girl named Liz had asked him to the Senior Prom. She was pretty in her own way, and Sean was attracted to her. She believed he was a replica of Nicolas Nickleby and had been in love with him since the third grade. And no wonder. Sean was tall with fair skin, fair golden hair that fell like thick silk just below his ears. He often wore white, which emphasized his stunning features and deep ocean blue eyes. Sean did not wish to hurt her feelings, but did not wish to raise her hopes either.
He glanced at his watch but then noticed the mark upon his wrist. It was there ever since he was born even though his mother assured him she did not have him tattooed. The mark was in the shape of a dragon, which seemed to uphold a ring, but it was incomplete. The ring was not full but in the shape of a crescent. There also seemed to be something inside of the crescent, but Sean could never make it out.
Sean reached his destination; a small hill overlooking a beautiful field of blossoming white daisies. The two tallest trees of the forest stood in the field. They seemed like two lofty white stems leading to a wide, rich green canopy of leaves. Sean imagined it would be the perfect tree to sleep in though no one could climb it without a rope. The tree bore no branches until it reached the leaves. This was the perfect place to paint. Sean set up his easel and paints and began to brush creating yet another masterpiece.
Meanwhile in another world….
Lira flipped her braid back angrily and slammed the door behind her. She knew her father would still come in soon and give her their daily `lecture’. She went to the window and opened it letting in the fresh air so she could think. She quickly undressed throwing the silk gown to the floor. She changed into breeches and waist shirt and released her midnight hair from its braid. She and her father had been arguing for the past hour on whether or not she would go to the feast that night.
She finally heard the pound on the door.
“Alira open this door, now!” his voice boomed.
Lira ignored the voice pulling the rope from under her bed hoping she could escape out the window in time, but to no avail. Her father burst through the door and caught her holding the rope, which he instantly took from her delicate but strong hands.
“So this is how you keep escaping!” he held it up in rage.
It did not matter. She would escape another way. Alira turned her back, but her father quickly took her shoulders in his grasp firmly his dark eyes glaring.
“Alira! You shall accompany me to the feast tonight. And you will smile, and you will present yourself as pleasurable company.”
“Then it will all be a lie,” she removed his hands in anger. “I cannot think of anything more revolting than spending an evening feasting, drinking, and dancing in the Gondorian Hall. I do not even know how to dance. You only want me there to show off because I’ve reached `that age’. You will show me off just as you did mother! Now she is not here, and you will-“
Alira’s father quickly silenced her with a strike to her left cheek. She brought her fist to her cheek in an expression of shock and anger. He had struck her before, but the blows seemed to daily come now.
“Do not involve your mother in this. Carion will be there tonight, and I have a good mind to give your hand to him. Now ready yourself! A curse upon daughters and especially this one!” he slammed the door loudly and locked it behind him.
Lira pounded her fist on the door and then looked out the window. It was at least two stories high, and her father’s room was directly below her own. She was now eighteen, and she had come of the proper age to make decisions for herself. Ten years she had remained in her father’s house watching him waste away from the effects of drinking and gluttony. Her mother had died when she was eight, and her father had not borne the grief as he should have. He had always blamed her for the things which were happening to him, but now he sought to punish her.
Carion was a noble, but he was far too old for Lira. She had never enjoyed his company. He often talked of the most revolting things, and he often flirted with the other girls in the castle. Lira was unlike them.
She was tall, dark, and bore violet dark eyes surrounded by a silver ring of light. She was absolutely stunning with her fair skin and midnight hair, but the maids of Gondor were different. They were sandy colored skin due to the southern sun. They were shorter than she, plumper, and rosy cheeked with golden curls. They enjoyed dancing, feasting, and flirting with the young men of court. Lira did not believe there was such a court anymore. The days of the great kings were long over, and the new ones had rejected the old ways. They focused merely on their own selfish desires. It did not matter. Lira could not stop them, and she had no wish to try.
In order to explain the story further, let us take a journey back in time to the past….
Sean plunged into the cold water of the Sea and splashed around. His mother quickly followed him and gathered her little son in her arms laughing. He had grown up by the Sea and never dreamed of moving to a big city. He was happy with his beach home and always would be. He was also happy being with his mother. His father had left them when he was young and never returned. It did not create a scar on Sean’s life however. He loved his mother dearly, and he had no complaints.
She had found him near the river when she was eight. She didn’t even know why she had gone there that day. She knew how to swim very well, but Lira had been terrified of the water ever since her mother had drowned the previous year. Lira picked up the lone poor creature. Its fur was silver but now mussed, soiled, and turned to a muddy brown from its struggle during the storm the previous night. Lira knew the creature was a wolf, and her father would not approve. Yet, he was still a pup, and she needed to help the poor thing. Fortunately her father agreed to let her keep him until he was well. She often played with the silver wolf in the woods however.
She may have been good with wolves but not with horses. It seemed whenever they sensed her presence, they reared up as if she were a monster ready to attack them. She had tried in vain so many times to calm them down but through faulty attempts. Perhaps someday, she could learn truly how to ride a horse…