Dying lights cast shadows over my inconsequential village. The beauty of day hiding like the omnipresent sun, cowering from the darkness's return. From the warriors once protecting our kingdom, whom turned into creatures of abyss... For centuries, unbeknown to them, they have been becoming what they had once fought and exiled. Dragons. Since then fire and water ruined our crops, wind blew down our houses, earth grew jaggedly, tearing at our feet. I have heard legends of midnight dances, where people rejoiced the curtain of blackness and the blanket of icy coolness, of which I name night. I can not imagine.
I shakily drew my brown curtains back, made from dirty brown, woven material. I was compelled to watch the sun set, and once again, I praised the sullen peace that remained, with a heavy, albeit, relieved heart. If no noise followed, then we were safe. Never once had the ex- warriors visited my insignificant village. But they still ruled over us, with an iron claw, as they had for hundreds of years since the great war ended. The war of the dragons. The war in which only one race survived. The most merciless, cruel, horrid, vile, evil, race. Fire.
The morning came with the thankful rising of the blinding sun, that was how me and my village knew what time it was. It's rays danced over my face, spot lights travelling through the holes in my curtains. I watched them flicker and twirl with a small smile quivering on my lips. I had always been a daydreamer... I suddenly threw my icy blanket off my bed, before I became interwoven in one of my intricate make-believe story's. Then without theatrics of yawning and stretching, I pulled on my woven dress brashly, leaving my bonnet on my crooked bed. I took a second to admire the way it hung of my young, statuesque body, attractively emphasizing my slim waist. It was made from old bed yellowing sheets though, of which I was thankful for.
Since I had turned the grand age of twelve, men looked at me differently. My mum pleaded me to find a wealthy husband, to support me. But I despised there disgusting minds and grubby hands. The thought of marrying a man made me gag. I wouldn't mind marrying Matty I suddenly thought, although he was far too young. Marrying him would be scandalous and unprecedented... Matty is my best friend, but only a year older than me, (even though he acted older). He wanted to grow up, to fight the dragons. We always played around, talking about the day we would take them on. But lately he stopped playing. He said I should not fight the dragons...
I asked why the other day, and he told me I was not strong enough, He said he would protect me. Usually I would protest straight away. But the way he had brushed my face with his fingers Made my bronzed, freckled cheek flush, and my heart flutter, like a small bird in a cage. I thought he was going to kiss me. I wanted him too. But I was scared. Instead I pushed his chest away limply. "I can defend my self!" I'd muttered stubbornly. He had laughed, I would have too. Innocent, willowy, day dreamy Amelia. I wouldn't hurt a fly. Couldn't hurt a fly.
I tip toed past my younger sisters bed like a mouse, stopping to look at her from the door. Mary's blonde fan's of eye lash's fluttered against her creamy skin. Her fluffy blonde hair surrounded her head in a golden halo, her eye brows were furrowed as if deep in thought. Engrossed in watching her solemnly sleep, I let my thoughts wonder. I hoped she could earn enough money from her beautiful voice, to never need a husband. The thought of small innocent Mary with a husband angered me, so I didn't dwell on it...
At our church they called her, Mary, reincarnate. Mary was six years old. With more kindness than any six year old child should posses, I loved her intensely. I promised to protect her against every thing, I quickly crept back too kissed her forehead. Then I left to collect the eggs, from the wooden hut near our house. I didn't bother to don my shawl, the warm breeze greeted me with a kindly hand, which I welcomed. Feeling refreshed and awake, I ran down the muddy, squidgy path, leading to the hen coop. Taking in in the scenic green leaves, clustered within the light brown branches, that distantly lined the hills in the distance. Breathing in the sent of fragrant flowers, drifting from the lavender field. The fields and hills reached out as far as the eye could see. beautiful. I was eager to get there before any one else woke up, to selfish to share the picturesque scene laid out before me.
As I returned, dropping off the old, straw basket, at my mud-made house, filled with brown spotted eggs. I saw my mother making bread with her sleeves rolled up at the elbows, and I turned inconspicuously, hoping she would not notice.Her blonde hair was pulled tightly into a neat bun, her roots turning a gorgeous silver. Her face was creased with laugh lines, her wild-flower, blue eyes kind... but her mouth was stern, "Amelia!"She scolded, her voice raising an octave "You shall catch your death dressing like that!" She wiped her arms in a filthy cloth, shaking her head towards the heavens.
"Maamaaa," I drawled. "I'm fiiine" I sighed impatiently, as she placed her sticky palm too my forehead, looking more like a mother hen than normal... it was boiling outside- she was so melodramatic."You are very lucky," she flustered around our tiny wooden kitchen and wrapped a mucky shawl round my shoulders. "Be back before the cock crows. The bread will be done by then" satisfied with herself, she returned to making bread.
Father must have already gone to the fields... I picked up my sketch book, happily turning to walk out our slanted wooden door. Just then, Mary skipped down the crooked wooden steps of our tiny cottage merrily, lighting up the room.
"Mary dear" My mother crooned. Mary reached up to kiss her cheek fondly. Then ran towards me excitedly, her small face breaking into a smile. "Amelia! Amelia!" I lifted her in my arms, nuzzling her dandelion hair. "I thought I would miss you," She sighed contentedly. I dropped her to the floor and her face crumpled as she reluctantly dropped my hand. I tenderly rubbed her petal pink cheeks, "See you soon," I whispered to her. She nodded bravely... she was yet to grow out of the habit, of thinking, people would not return when leaving. This I was relieved for, she was already much too mature for her age!
"Bye mama!" I threw over my shoulder, as I rushed out of the house. My small, brown sketch book was tucked away in the pocket, my mother had sewn onto my dress. I reached in to make sure it didn't fall out as I sprinted down the hill my house was perched on. It had cost more than my dress (Which was hand made) and was my only birthday present. I loved it, although pages were falling out and the was torn and tattered.
My village was mostly dirt paths and makeshift houses. A classical 15th century village really. A thick forest surrounded us like a barrier, beyond the sprawling landscape and hills, shielding us from the barren lands beyond it. I ran past my neighbour's houses, my local church, fields of sheep's and pig's, and up a long winding path before breaking off into a muddy field... it was a one mile journey but I ran the whole way before finely coming to a stop, at the tallest hill I had ever seen... It was my sketching place. It over looked every thing, and my mother always told me I had my head in the clouds: now I really did. I sat at the top, half drawing, half day dreaming. Looking out towards the vigorous sprawling land scape, imprisoned by black gnarled trees at the very edge, contrasting to ripe healthy green ones within.
I wasn't amazing artist, but I enjoyed the freedom it allowed my mind. It gave me a chance too really day dream. Of slaying dragons. Of being a real artist. Of being an animal... or tree. Albeit, that was strange even for me! Of finally standing up to Ms Lana, my diseased neighbour, whom incessantly told me how horrible I was. Of course I never would though; I was Amelia, I looked confident...But I never stood up to any one. I was to weak, and I didn't lust for conflict as others I knew, did.
I was reasonably tall, with long tan limbs, and healthy face scattered with freckles. I wasn't very picky or boastful, I tried to stay fair and just. All in all I was pretty but plain... quiet and boring. My mother hoped for me to marry as I had no talents. I was attractive, I knew that... compared to the beggars that sat out side our church, with yellowed teeth and pimpled faces, wheezing and dirty. But I longed to be good at some thing... to be some body. I knew that would never happen though because I was too poor, I was female and I had no gifts or talents. A cloud of depression hovered above me, quivering in anticipation... I would not cry.
My long rich brown hair fluttered in the light breeze and I sighed contentedly, letting go of my worrys... for now I did not need to fret. The sun bounced of my tan arms, my shawl was tossed aside. I was in my element. It was splendid, I liked my own company, just as much as I loved being with Matty, Mary, mama and papa. I was a predictable young woman. I liked and disliked the normal things.... I liked mama's roast: Brussels, chicken, cabbage est. I liked sketching. I liked church. I feared God, as taught. I feared the ex-warriors. The dragons. And of course I feared death. Realising I had drawn nothing, I did a quick sketch of Matty, testing the water... Did I love him, I pondered... Maybe.