"The woods a dark place Billy. I'm not going to lie to you, it's where your parents died when you were a little tike." Grandmother said to little Billy warming up to the fire they had made up out of the roof. Warming up to the mood of the night Billy thought to himself while staring into the fire. "Grandmother, could you tell me how my mum and dad died?" He asked quietly looking into his own faint reflection in the glass like fire.
Grandmother had seen this question coming, and fit to the moment she felt it was only fair for the boy to know of his life's meaning before he sacrificed it. She felt his fear and tense body as he tried to suppress it through simple talk.
"Yes i can Billy, but this be a dark story boy. No comfort other then how much your parent loved each other and you!" She warned with the old voice of hers. Filling the room with tense, still, silence.
Billy nodded slowly waiting for his grandmother to begin the story at her own pace. It took time, but whether hours or minutes passed was uncertain.
"Out land was at peace, a long time ago, before you were born. Your mother and father loved each other very much and frolicked in the meadows of Knadalar. At the time it was possible to travel their back and forth with no guards or watch men. You could walk or go by horse. Travelers used the path to start a market for all people wanting to sell. Such a lovely place it was. A path of dirt and stone lay beautifully on the corner of a lake, with a great cherry tree blooming big and strong over the market and lake. Small pink flowers flew from the tree into the lake, making the water smell beautifully. The poor could bathe there in the summer and walk clean and proud.
Your father had bought a card from a strange marketer passing through the land. On it was the cherry tree and a little ladybug crawling on the leaf of a clover. A beautiful card, i'll show it too you...when the time comes.
Your father bought it and brought it home as a gift for your mother for when their first child was born. Although your mother had seen this card before, and the sight of it again terrified her to the bone. She would not tell the horror to your father, instead she sent him to destroy it the best way possible.
He misunderstood and took his axe to the cherry tree at night time. When all the marketers where gone and the lake was empty.
Chopped long and hard he did to hide the card in the core of the tree, with his good intentions he though it was the best hide. He did his best to put the tree parts he could back and glue them with the sap of the branches.
For a while nobody noticed anything and you where conceived. Your mother was happy and your father was thrilled, all was going well. I even came and helped your mother with taking care. You where a little kicker, full of life and excitement and strength. Just like your father.
All went good until the tree began to rot. Slowly the poor had nowhere to bathe, and the water of the lake became dirty and thick.
People that used to be in peace started ti fight, without the tree to hold them together in joy, times became tough. Everyone became greedy and protective.
Not soon later a war began between Isendrill and Knadalar. A border was drawn not to be crossed, watch men were put to attack the tress passers and guards to scare anyone who tried away.
That's when i moved to this here forest, i had imagined a cottage here would be peace from the battle and fight. Your parents got caught in the war and as soon as you were born your mother gave you to me in a basket down the lake.
But there was more to the card then just mere rotting a tree. After a few years horrible creatures appeared. Which is the reason i kept you inside the cottage at all times. To protect you like you mother wanted until it was time.
You see the card was the work of an evil magician from far away in a land not even sure to being existent. The maiden of the card, which in this land was your mother would have a son, that son would be a sacrifice to the wizards great power. Your mother knew of this from when i had her in my stomach in a land far over seas.
Our land was taken by the card and i managed to sail with other run away's to this here land of Isendrill. When your mother thought the card was destroyed she felt it was safe to have a child and let you come to this world. But when the card did not feel the blood of your body, it began to spread it's evil.
The creatures began to spread terror over both lands and left many places in ruin. Then the creatures found your mother and fathers hiding spot. They were murdered brutally and eaten by the teeth of ugly faces. You are of a mere ten years boy and yet your life has more meaning to you then you think."
Grandmother took the card hidden on a chain hanging by her neck.
"I retrieved the card a night you were sleeping for when this night was to come."
She got up and took pieces of the burning wood and spread it around in the cottage. When most of the house a fire she sat down and took Billy's body in hers.
"There is no point in living in a world of this. But for the sacrifice you are making tonight, thousands of people will live in peace and happiness, when the old cherry tree blossoms once more." She said giving him the card and hugging him closer to her knowing the silence he held was in agreement.
Billy could here growls and moans of monsters outside the burning cottage and he knew the fire would soon hit his body, and that he had to do this.
Grandmother began to sing an old song called The River Bed.
A tear ran down Billy's cheek as he held the card to his burning skin listening to Grandmothers song as he thought to himself...
For Mother and Father, whom i am soon to see....