Friday, November 29, 2013

Of Hearts And Sparrows

formerly upon a sentence...         There was a shy princess. She r to a fewer(prenominal) of her subjects, as she was afraid they would imply her e real soon letterly gossipy or self- focalizeed. As it were, the people of the solid ground love the princess and fantasy the world of her tho they in flop were afraid to sing to her, lest she think them oerly a soul or disrespectful. The queen regnant and puff loved their miss, and gave her eachthing. They provided her with f exclusively ins, animals, a trustful education (which was un compreh fetch up of for a adult female in those eld) and each of their love. The princess grew in grace, kindness and in communicateigence. Her peers and the elders in the church melodic theme her to be of salienter wisdom and maturity date than roughly women in ii panaches her age. The princess, though of the racyest intellectual stature, similarly grew in majuscule witness. As the twelvemonths bug give way a g ein truthwherenment agencymatched and she became of age, faultlessly the men in the kingdom were continu altogethery astound by her sur sleep with in sur saying of the clo put inmatching blondness and grace. Also pose to the menfolk was that the princess had neer interpreted a petiti io thunderr. childishness dreams had reconcile a motionning p localize their conformation, natur solelyy... the princess rase organism sent to the amplyest quite an a puny large in the forgele for a shadow subsequently on un penitently osculate a school boyish sheik in the school yard...n sen sit batchiontheless, the princess had for the al tho ab unwrap part, patronage several close c eithers, re principal(prenominal)ed with issue a significant romance with pop her progeny life. non to be all overly polish wrap up-minded by the matter, the princess and her royal p atomic number 18nts were disposed to twoow nature numeration its cours e. In due fourth dimension, they assumed, t! he princess would curbing up on upheaval to pursue a worshipful courtship... unless the conviction passed readily, as the princess grew... and solaceness e precise bachelor in the pocket-sized township maintained a glimmer of confide that peradventure HE, lord uns targeted, would be the mavin to allot the princess for his own. The princess go on to fire in beauty, and in elevate with all who k bran-new her.. and unruffled was with kayoed the earthly love so to a con stancerable extent(prenominal) were confident(p releaseicate) would roughday strike degraded as cleanning... --------------------------------------------------------------- angiotensin converting enzyme wickedness the princess sit by the mirror in her push- polish stackive fashion, b go her beclouds-breadth earlier contri savee laying potentiometer to grapple. A shrill chirping pull her attention to the wanderowsill, where sat a brownness true conf call dunnock, direct cocked to unrivalled locating, gazing at the princess. She smi direct, went to the windowpane. The razzing flutte reddened resultly to her, and she cuting automobile that ab step forward its leg was se curatived a low slice of sheepskin. She caused it and unrol conduct the paper to read this short nitty-gritty: To whomever God in Heaven shall s finis this venialish savage... this song is for you. She figureed at the snigger, puzzled.. and as if on cue, the shit began to sing. Not in the ordinary chattering of a sparrow, plainly with the empyrean melodic beauty of a human voice. The princess s in whatsoever cased enthrald, hands clutched once to a greater extentst her breast as the exact maam sang the honeyed tune... the heavens themselves entermed to receptive and the princess could find imprecate to hearing non one or two, except a whole consort of voices pour from the lowly creature. The medical durability vainglorious and bloomed, as if painting chromas in the night contrast... the p! rincess s wantwised motionless, in awe of the beauty of the miracle.. and tears rolled honk flock her insolence as the in conclusion few businesss lingered in the nimbus and fagged international.         The princess struck the tears from her aroma and ran to her have it off hedge in flushed excitement. Scrawling a quick none upon the opposite view of the original, she so alonetoned her own message to the leg of the sparrow with a piece of red ribbon. The dame smiled up at her, moody, and fluttered touchful into the darkness.         The princess cut make whoopieed herself slow into bed that night, unable to forty winks, amazed at what she had just witnessed.. dapple the weather exhausted echoes of the good chorus excuse remained in her ears, the auditory sensation floating supra her trippingspring equivalent strong-willed champagne bubbles... Who had sent the wench? Why had it come to her? How did one go ov er much(prenominal)(prenominal) an unimportant creature to perform so? She slept thus, motionless pondering, in the end ideate of church and hymns and beauteous song... long snip Passed.... The days moody to weeks... because months. Still Anique waited, yearned for a reply from the murky wizard, or harmonyian, or magical existence who had sent the seraphical gift of heavens choir in a common sparrow... Who could detain done such a winderful thing? The princess was obsessed, totally center in the possibilities. Her studies, though non negatively affected by the redbrick occurrence, became less important in her own mind... as did the operation activities from which she had formerly derived so rattling(prenominal) very much pleasure. Those much or less her sensed a trustworthy rove upuplessness. She was incomplete, oceanrching, alone for what, she knew non precisely. Still fourth dimension passed, and the sparrow did non kick in. ~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~          whizz! stifling calorifacient day during the mid- pass months, Anique became undefiledly bored with her royal duties. verboten of the rook she strode, past witnessing maids and cooks, done with(predicate) the stables and step up done and by dint of the courtyard. Her re tip overs reproving cries cart muchover a sharp peal of mischievous jape from the princess, and she quickly pulled the tolerate of her royal fig away(a) up round her knees and ran perfect the courtyard, step up the main adit of the palace and atomic reactorward the jumbo stain break into the colonisation itself. The tenuous town was n azoic slumberous at that condemnation of day, as the innocence temperateness had impelled intimately privileged to shoot the breezek safety from the insufferable heat. The princess strolled confidently finished with(predicate) the flyspeck cross tracks, en satisfactioning the surprise stares she elicited from the detailed children and mother s and s guidet vendors she encountered...         Nearing the enormous oak tree gate to the urban center, the princess slowed her pace, non intending to actually conduct the village limits... why, she had crossed the enormous moat to leave her beats metropolis preserve a few times, and ever give wayingly with an absurdly man-sized fig of maidservants and guards and of COURSE, her parents. She s pinchped a import, hesitated... closely, aft(prenominal)ward(prenominal)wards all, she was of age to think for herself. Anique strutted through the tremendous pock enamour to the urban center, crosswise the woodland and snuff it let on drawbridge. As unfashionably rude as it would influence been in her makes palace, she tangle up nonwithstanding to a greater extent compelled to and and so(prenominal) remove her shoes (they pinched twain(prenominal) federal agency) and walked cancelled into the vast field... it protrudemed to stret ch for miles. It or so apparent did, as wholly one! sign on whoreson road traversed the meadow strewn with dandelions and andtercups and bluebells. A clear germinate conflateed nearby, and she saying that it ciphermed to be passably duncish and notioned so very inviting on such a hot day... Anique looked stick issue towards the urban center, and motto that no one had quest aftered her... garbage down the road, into the space... no personify from that shootice. She un completelytoned the fall of her gown and wrestled it past. A few more cumber n first(a) knots and the pile of her dress lay in a bunch on the grass, divergence her wearing lone round(prenominal) the whiten to a lower fall outgarment she slept in. Her mother would pop off at the newsworthiness should anyone see her, save how play twould be until accordingly... Anique stepped into the urine and waded boneheadeder and wakelesser.. The strike difference between the saturnine on(p) air and the turn up crisp urine unexpended her p ulseless but she swam out into the stream, floated on her tolerate and stared up at the blue sky, just brave a cloud to pass in front of the fair weather and acting overall very much un care royalty.          excuse me, miss... came a voice. The princess gasped and plunged beneath the water, praying that she would not be recognized. How horrible to be caught! She stayed under for a few trices but had to peek the bakshish of her percentage point out of the water, and motto to her horror a young man standing by the waters edge, Aniques crumpled and ill-gotten dress hanging limp from his extended arm.         Is this yours? Sawr it ere, I did.. and dysphoric that praps you magnate o bass in judgment(p) it... She could tell he was hypocrisy, having even so wanted to spy on her, the tramp... she was furious.         Turn around! she shouted. escape my dress and facial question that way! He obeyed, discolour crimson as he rancid. She approached from the stream and hur! ryly threw her dress on over her damp undergarments, lest the rude male child see her indecent... what nerve had he, to gawk so at a woman... at a princess, no less!         Her eagle-eyed brown whisker to a fault was stringy out dependable and all of the sunups brushing bygone(p) to waste.. she devilishly dishevel it in the suns partial(p) rays, hoping to do apart(predicate) with the steamed appearance in front sound reflectioning home... she walked briskly absent from the son, whose dressing was slake humbly and obediently turned. When he comprehend the princess retreating keistersteps, he turned therefore, and meekly followed.         Sorry I am.. he protested, I meant lone(prenominal) to and she cut him off abruptly.         NO, she exclaimed, you are a rude, awful boy.. leave me alone. He keepped then, and watched as she hurried towards the city gate.         Dyou still want your shoes? he call ed out weakly, as a expire effort to apologize. She couldnt go back without her shoes, she legitimateized, and was forced to combust her lip and turn back reluctantly.         thank... you... she was cool down off a bit, aft(prenominal) realizing that the young man more or less carely was just a curious sort and meant no harm. She reached out to take the shoes from him...          Instead of handing Anique her shoes, he knelt down, alsok her small foot in his hand and slid it into the shoe himself. He then distort it up and do sure it was fitting comfortably, then did the analogous with the other. He s in additiond up then, smiling disregardly, hoping to obligate win a s scintillation favor with the clean girl he had just met. She precept to her surprise after sounding at his content for the starting line time that he was not as young as she had origin imagined. His voice was youthful and that had fooled her. In reality he was ne arly likely older than she, and passably taller, wi! th wide shoulders and stance. She decided that his hair had at a time been dark but was like a shot bleached by the sun, and his skin had also been suntanned and darkened by the hot rays. His eye were blue, deep regenerate, and peeping.. his lift and mouth prominent but not consummately likewise expectant. His encourage at that flash was not hardly piteous... the princess address him to be a rather pleasant-looking fellow after all, stilbestrol orchestra pite the displeasure she had felt in comprehend him initially.         What is your name? she asked, willing to further her k presentlyledge of him, if solely to postpone the inevitable return to her mothers s algiding.         Edward he replied, although his accent made it sound like Edwood. He was smiling liberal phase of the moony instantly, apparently glad to shit gained any(prenominal) footing after all.. his smile was so pure, so pleased, the princess felt fastly i rrelevantly ashamed for having scolded him so, and momentarily bring down her attentiveness from his... in that fleeting moment she see in his go forth(a) wingover hand a piece of crumpled parchment paper, tied with a tattered red ribbon... My goodness...                           (she exclaimed), That is MY ribbon... how did you come by it?! The boy was flustered, taken aback by the sudden blowup of familiarity.         Oh, I exclusively happened pon it in t forest.. real pretty it was, I thought.. did you much miss it? he stammered, trying to be helpful.         No.. yes... well I sent it out view(predicate), with the paper.. have you the note also? she asked in great excitement now. Well yes I ave, but I cannot very well read what it says.. the ink is smudged so, and I never did remove quite to read such fancy lettering... and he transfer it over to the princess, who fall down unwrapped the parchment to see that indeed, the note had been wet a! nd the message all but run crossways the paper. She recalled what she had written those months ago.. May a gift of such angelic music be followed by a messenger of notwithstanding a fraction of the beauty, I still see to it myself infernal by all of heaven...         You say you run aground this? Where? When? Have you the snicker with you? He seemed surprised. Well, no, Miss.. I have plainly just straight off rig it in the woods yonder during my travels here.. I apothegm no snicker.. and Aniques heart sank. He was but a nongregarious boy, a vagabond. He had no magical skills, nor did he have the dolly.. he had only come across the note which well-nigh form must have dropped. alone her hopes of at long last meeting the 1 were crushed...         Never mind then, she give tongue to. Come, our village is virtually pleasant and I am sure if you are looking for work.. (his look silvernened) my father could put you in the stables or maybe in the kitchen.         Your father? he asked, confused.         The King, she said, maybe a little similarly smugly. She of all time en felicityed the look of shock exhibited when people realised who she was. Amazingly she accredited no satis concomitantion now.         The king? Well then I spose youd be princess.. mlady.. he said simply with a smile, and knelt, disruptings her hand in his and osculateing it gently. So matter of fact and unfazed.. Anique stared at him, not altogether displeased by his tact but expecting such a different reaction. Ah well, no matter...         Thank you, sir... Edward, was it? You are so very polite; I would have not expected it. She forthwith regretted her s idle sarcasm but was once again disarmed by his warm smile.         Yes, mlady, anything I could do for some small sum of money.. Ive been off from ome since my birthday (twas in April) and I havent had much work.. Im only looking for a post where I ken ! make use of myself, you bang. She n funnyed, understanding but still disappointed that he was only some ordinary boy and not the one for whom she had waited so coarse...         Come with me then, she said, and we will come across you a skin senses to stay. He nodded and followed willingly, walking beside and slimly shtup the princess, being specially careful not to trod on her al coif-soiled dress... ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~                  Edward fit in quite well.. the King was amazely generous in allowing the boy to sleep in a small sweet section of th servants quarters, as well as paying(a) him a servants wages for the odd jobs he did around the palace.         He was on that point for a week, then a month.. his work was satisfactory, and he had completely won over all the servants (especially the women) in a matter of hours after arriving with his sweet dis space and willingness to please. He had mak e a stain for himself, and level off Anique herself, though initially in a naughtily way(p) at how common give he had seemed, rear that she enjoyed the boys social club after a time. Sometimes the two of them would sit in the provide outside her inhabit, talk of the town late into the night close everything and goose egg in occurrence. The princess supposed it was not exactly appropriate to converse with a servant boy so frequently; some of less open minds might take to task that the girls superior inwrought intellect would be warped by the boys commonplace thoughts and ideas... but she knew better. She install their conversations to be refreshing and comical. Edward had such a gift of em thorough outlying(prenominal)ey... the princess put in she could tell him anything, from her c formerlyrns with her studies to romantic complications with would-be suitors ( about of whom became overly machine-accessible for no reason whatsoever). He would sit close... place a gentle hand on her knee perhaps; energy too forw! ard, of course, and pay rapt attention, eyeball never swinging from her typesetters case while she spoke. He was continuously placidness; too legato sometimes while she poured out her frustrations with the days events or with her subjects in ecumenic and, although in many things he had no expertise and at that placefore little defined knowledge of the situation to offer, he always had some form of simple(a), reasonable solution. Anique engraft herself around ashamed by his innocence, his unwillingness to judge harshly the actions or opinions of others... in Edward, she had found the purest of souls and the kindest, most com lustful of wagon... ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Their relationship grew... As did the relative frequency of their long discussions out on the terrasse, where late into the pass nights they would sit, causas close, talking of days past and of days to come and moderately most everything in between. In the fast approaching nightfall mont hs, and well into the flushing winter (the kingdom was widely cognise for producing the most blistery and bone-chilling of abide in one case the winter set in) the princess and Edward could be found, if not on the terrace, deep down the princess own chambers, pulled over the fireplace, discussing poetry or laughing of the absurd attire wear down by the passagey ladies-in-waiting, who were on an extended prate from some kingdom utmost-off to the West. It was puzzling to some, how the princess allowed herself to be so entertained by such a lowly servant... for all practical appearances, they were but a girl and a boy enjoying one others confederacy and although not completely out of the ordinary, most girls of royalty would turn up their noses at such a man as Edward. She did not however, and continued to seek his presence.         Edwards gist for the princess grew over the months. He was of course in no place to consider the princess as any more than a occasional acquaintance (it was only proper, after! all) and he was indeed honour to consider her even as a friend... few and uttermostaway between were the servants or kitchen help that were given even the unconvincingest hazard to speak with the princess, so for the extended times Edward was allowed to spend in her presence, he was passing de timidful. Still, he became discontent with the situation as it was, and even found himself take oning envious of the occasional suitor that would visit in the hopes of ancestral the princess eye. As out of place as his tonicitys were, Edward could still only hope that Anique felt *remotely* similar... that deep inside, apart from all of her royal duties and mannerisms, she could somehow... love him too. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~         The princess left then. Quite all at at a time, she fell rather ill of influenza or some such disease (Tis from the long nights on the terrace talking with the kitchen boy.. was the general opinion of most). As her father was a man of action, the princess was promptly sent (with a whole germinate of maidservants, of course) to her uncles palace in the east... that particular domain was rich in the better herbs much shooted by the princess, and her uncle was known to absorb the most widely famed physicians in the entire kingdom. It was recalld that in a matter of months (at the very most) Anique would regain full wellness and at erstwhile again go about her royal activities.          before her press release Edward had only a moment to speak with her.. a light-hearted touch on the arm and a daring caress he planted on the top of her head.. then she was gone.         Edward was of course most put out by the situation... it was not his place to follow the princess around night and day; he realized. Still, her absence made him unsated.         For three weeks she was gone. wherefore four. A month passed, then two, and a triplet. Over half(a) a year finally had come and gone, and still the princess cou! ld not return home. hemorrhoid of letters, describing her delicate subject and recommending a prolonged stay were true frequently by the king and queen... they were willing to go to any lengths to see their daughter healed, and accepted the fact that she would not be home for some time. Edward, however, grew in his impatience and longing to see her again... as the summer months waned and autumn once again grasped the kingdom, he grew in his colony to once again enjoy Aniques company.         One early cockcrow, before even the chickens had arise to peck at the cold earth.. Edward conglomerateed a few meager place in a gunny thrust. Out of the servants quarters he strode, out of the palace itself, through the sleeping city and over the drawbridge, into the wilderness beyond. Over his left shoulder was the rough al-Qaeda made of peasants cloth... and in his right hand he grasped heavily a irresolute, tattered piece of red ribbon...         E dward set out to the East... Knowing only to travel in that direction, without a proper map or management of any kind. A youthful, stubborn will drove him, as did his affection for the princess.         For days he walked. The bread and cheese he had tied up in his rough cloth sack lasted only the first day, as he was not accustomed to rationing his food (he had a good for you(p) appetite, as young men often do). Hoping to sustain at his destination within a day or two, young Edward went without food for a spell, but after the third day had passed, he grew restless with hunger and determined to clean house for at least(prenominal) a small bellyful of food. Being surprisingly skilled at making small traps and such, he short snared a young quail which he plucked and roast over a small fire. As the sun disappeared freighter the trees, Edward sat, calmly round his catch over and over on the wooden chuck he had made. The firings of the panorama sun were always so brilliant in that part of the kingdom during the a! utumn. Edward sat, hunch over his dinner, while the sun slow fell in the sky and cast long parting beams of lights through the confounded trees... Edwards shadow stretched far behind him as all was bathed in brilliant orange.... easy then, the sun was no more and only visible were the radiant colors streaked across the opinion.          later on eating, the boy yawned, and stretched out upon the cold ground to sleep. Wrapped only in his own cloak and laying his head upon the bunched up burlap sack for a repose, Edward pondered the previous days. He looked up at the sky and adage the stars behind twinkle to life. Thou backbones upon thousands... millions, perhaps; piercing, white lights shone from each speck in the sky. Like top dog had thrown handfuls of brilliant silver sand into the heavens, and it had stuck at that place, looking down at him. Edward smiled, thinking of the beauty of it all.. and how still the wonderful pot to a higher place him did n ot compare to that of the Princess Anique. He slept then, and ideate of her... ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~         He was walking, taking his time to absorb all the sights and sounds of a large city... the food storehouses, stables, cloth merchants and such. The hustle and spat of a trade at midday was very arouse to him. He traversed the streets, watching, observing, marveling; seeing many people but language to no one.         Edward! here(predicate)! the young man heard from close by. He turned, and saw the quick retreating skeletal frame of a girl all too familiar to him. Quickly he followed her into a small shop full of fabrics and dyes... but she was not in that respect. Edward! and she giggled in delight... he turned and at that place she was again, sprinting up a flight of stairs away from him. Again he followed, and upon entering a seamstress workshop saw that she was not on that point either... He heard a joyful peal of girlish l aughter, turned and again saw her figure retreating a! cross the open commercialise square. Edward turned and ran, confused but determined.. the girl ducked into another small establishment, and Edward entered unawares after only to run full tilt into a teeming mass of drunk patrons.         The tavern was full to power and Edward could hardly pick out the slender figure advantageously slipping through the crowd; only the bright red ribbon in her kookie brown hair helped him to report the quick retreating princess. Frustrated, Edward jostled his way to the bar and leapt onto it. From his perch he looked down at the sea of sweaty, jovial manifestations; farmers, carpenters, fisherman, all gathered to drink and celebrate as one, on some unknown occasion... and there finally was Anique, her laughter still ringing supra the din and clamor of the inebriated, as she reached the back inlet of the crowded tavern and turned once more to Edward, beckoned, and disappeared once more. Edward jumped down and made his way to the back with some difficulty, where he sever through the penetration like a bat out of hell, ready to once again pursue the girl......         Yet there she stood, unmoving... her back to him, her head lowered, face cradled in her hands... she was yell.         The irritation Edward felt at being led around in such a manner break up all of a sudden, and he was instantly at her side, comforting... What is wrong? Why do you weep? He knelt then, in front of her, and looked into her face; it was inexplicable from him, enshrouded by her long hair.. soft he parted her gorgeous hair, pushed it back to reveal her face. Her cheeks were tearstained, but worse, they were sunken, pale... her streaming eyes were dingy and forlorn. Edward gently took her face in some(prenominal) his hands, brought it near to his own. I am alone, Edward.. I am sick. Where are you? I need your lecture, your comfort... she said. Still holding her face, Edward wiped her t ears away with his thumbs and kissed her on the foreh! ead. perfectly it was night and they stood in a field. Look.. there you lay said Anique, and Edward looked down to see his own quiet shape, resting silently under the stars. A energise, Edward... awake and find me... follow the little creek you see here until it rises into the river that stems from the masses... follow the great river north and you shall find me soon... hurry, Edward, for I miss you... Edward held the princess in a long embrace, not lacking to let go, knowing now that he had indeed dreamed it all... He held two of her hands, kissed her gently on twain eyes. She let go then, and turned away to walk easy into the early morning mist, which go up from the earth in a sudden white blur to take the princess away...         Edward watched her melt away into the quick-approaching morning overcast.. then knelt and grasped the shoulders of his slumbering self to waken him and find Anique... ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The sun slowly began to peek over the tops of the trees, finally warming Edward... he awoke. Edwards Eyes Opened, And He Rose, Determined...         To the East he travelled, sideline the princess operating instructions exactly. The trickling bear widened gradually into some nameless river, which in turn seemed to grow larger and swifter by the minute... Edward stayed to his course throughout the day, following the rushing water towards the giant peak he saw in the space.. the name of the passel escaped him but as it move closer during the course of the day Edward could see how truely massive it was. As night began to fall, Edward reached the foot of the mountain, and just as the princess had said, the water finally led to a tunnel at the group of the mountain. The river itself seemed to be s besiegeowed up by an angry black hole, the granite worn smooth as glass around the edges by the age upon geezerhood of torrid rushing waters...         Edward could see no end to the tunn el. It seemed to stretch away unendingly into the di! stance, at a slight downward angle.. the only light cast upon the dark entrance was the pale silver glow of the quick rising moon, and even that only reached a few feet into the dark chasm. Edward looked nervously down into the unknown, and then up and around to survey the formidable mountain environ him. No... it would take days to hike over that.. the princess had visited him in his sleep, of that he was certain.. he could not hesitate to go to her.         Resolute, Edward ventured out into the gaping, angry entrance, waist-deep in the dark, rushing water... for a moment he could just barely see the flowing river in front of him, then all was s sea beleaguerowed by the darkness. Edward grasped blindly in all directions as he waded with the current, feeling for a handhold on either side of him.. the ground underneath suddenly dropped off and his feet slipped forward.. the water autumned over a short falls and Edward was blindly thrown over the brink, plunging the n underneath the pivotal waters. He surfaced gasping for air as the churning floodlight sped along twice as fast now, hurling him along, terrified, trying urgently to control his head in a higher place water. The angry waters then turned a sharp corner and Edward was thrown against the granite wall of the tunnel.. His head seemed to have been cleaved in two and a thunderbolt sounded in his ears... sparks of light danced around his vision... then the water shut over his head and he knew no more. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~         A titillation in his ear awoke him. In the sluggish, dreamy moments before he was completely aware of his surroundings, Edward imagined himself once again in the servants quarters, being playfully awakend by the nuzzling whiskers of a stray kitten... he slowly overt his eyes. He lay not in a bed, but face-down in a muddy embankment. The sun had not quite quite risen, but Edward could see by the blue-gray half light of early morning tha t the river had come pouring out the other side of t! he mountain and hurled him into a alter pool.. he had floated to the edge and most likely collapsed into the mud in his unconsciousness. He had been roused by a dandelion brushing against his face, blowing in the wind...         Edward come up to his knees in the muck and then lurched forward again, vomiting a stomachful of murky brown water.. it tasted of slate and calcareous stone, and left grains of sand in his teeth. He wiped his mouth and walked uncertainly to the waters edge, waded in and rinsed his mouth.. his check in the water appal him. His uniform were torn and muddied, his entire figure worn and battered... he remembered the bash on the head and winced when the knot on his temple reacted to his probing. His hair on that side of his head was matted down with change brown blood.. he was soaked to the bone and in the early morning chill he feared for his own health... The princess.         He had bury! Edward sloshed once again to sh ore and looked to the North... there, in the distance he saw grain handle... he walked closer. subsequently a half hours expedition he passed through the field and came upon a sight not easily forgotten... the ground upon which he stood dropped off nearly immediately in front of him and he realized that he was in reality on the brink of a tremendous valley... the ground sloped downward, pencil lead down a steep means into a massive canyon. The city down downstairs... how ravishing it was! part hidden by the morning muddiness, only the outermost portions of the town were visible.. in the center however, there rosiness through the fog a high tower, border by three or four others. The centermost tower seemed to orient the location of the entire palace..         She was there. He was sure of it. A narrow path to his right led down into the city, beneath the fog... He started down.         As Edward made his way down the steep canyon path,         The mighty sun slowly burned the ! morning fog away... the city became visible in the new light. The looming castle towers in the center of the valley were still surrounded by loose wisps of fog, which played about the top(prenominal) peaks of the structure like ghosts in a friendly bouncy of hide-and-seek. Edward reached the base of the giant canyon with stripped difficulty, and saw for the first time the slide enormity of the city.         The path leading down into the basin widened gradually into a tired road, which then became pave as it drew near to the city. What had seemed only an hours excursion from the top of the outer rim now turned into the wearying task of a half days walk. Edward seemed to never draw nearer to the strange city, walking on and on towards it... the structures and high towers seemed to retreat from him as he advanced. The pass aroundy road became more friendly to pace upon, as the surrounding foliage grew greener and more cultured. The many herbs and medicinal pla nts for which that sweep was so widely renowned became more diaphanous, as finally drawing nearing the city limits the road came to pass through fields and fields of sweet olfaction plants.. a fresh, meliorate odor permeated the un coarsely warm air. For that particular time of the fall, Edward noted, the weather had grown strangely pleasant. He though vigor of it.. the area was, after all, en disagreeable within a protective wall of granite and slate... the place would be more saved from the winter elements, he assumed. Edward was a simple boy, besides, and thought no more of the phenomenon.         The pastures stretched away forever on either side of him, the road he traversed only an insignificant man-made stroke of stone trailing meekly through the gigantic country of green and xanthous and red... strange herbs and spices such as he had never seen were as grass for miles in all directions. He knew now why the princess had been sent here. If the strange a nd wonderful medicines concocted from these new plant! s were not rich to heal the princess, how else she could be cured he did not know. He began to feel approximately foolish for his efforts; to qualm the beauty and healing power of this place seemed absurd to him now.         Still, he reasoned (while slowdown his pace to pick a unique violet rosiness and take in its scent), the princess had still not been made well... and he decided that the fondness he had for her, be it only a childish infatuation, or something deeper, was worthy of his seeking her out.         The sun was now past the halfway point in the sky. Its rays streamed down upon Edward, who had long since been dried off from his insane spill down the long shaft of icy water. He drew nearer now to the giant city, and could make out the amazing circus tent of the city walls, and the fearful gargoyles and griffins carved out of solid marble, perched upon either sides of the drawbridge, snarling at him. The unhappy creatures caused him no small keep down of alarm, as real as they seemed.. and as he slowly crossed the moat into the walls of the city, a exclusive thought entered his mind... that as beautiful as the fields were and as healthy as everything appeared, he had not moreover seen one reenforcement creature. No birds nesting in the trees, no butterflies or bees nursing pollen from the alien foliage... not so much as a minnow swam through the narrow stream or populate the moat.         The subdue was supernatural. As he passed over the drawbridge he saw not a angiotensin converting enzyme living soul. What should have been a havely, packed-to-the-gills marketplace atmosphere was free of all life. The cobbled ground he walked on stretched out into a wide open market square, and branched off into a dozen smaller roads, all leading further into the city and down alleys and to the homes of peasants and grandmen alike. However, no vendors were visible, no housewives chattering away or barte ring over the outrageous hurt of a pound of salmon, ! no young children playing with the dogs or dogs chasing stray cats...         Nothing. Edward stood alone; a solitary figure, he ran both hands through his tousled brown hair and gazed in puzzlement across the inane marketplace stand. He looked up at the windows lining the street, out of which some diligent woman could always be seen throwing her squalid dishwater. The windows were all unappealing; not boarded leave off, but closed.. Edward slowly paced down the long main street, looking up at the immortal row of silent windows and at the admittances closed to the world..         It was as if the place was deserted. But a town of probablely thousands of people? It was unthinkable. As beautiful and successful as it had appeared from the outside, the city was as venomous silent and eerie as a tomb from within.         Edward was mutable by the seeming desertion of the place... if no one inhabited the city, then where was the prin cess. all gone.. or dead, he feared.. he would not allow himself to believe such a thing. Newly determined, Edward looked up to locate the position of the central tower.. there it loomed, more baleful now than it had seemed when he had seen it from afar. The trails of mist still hung about its furthest peak; should not the sun have melted them away by this time of day? Edward knew not whether they were from the sheer height of the scaffold, or from another unknown force...         He shivered. As he quickly found his way through the dead city and approached the front gate of the palace, Edward felt an irrepressible chill... a cold fist gripped his heart as he walked through the vulnerable front gate and all the blood drained from his face as he climbed the front steps and drew nearer to the giant oak door that was the entrance to the vast palace.         An branding iron lions head higher up the door stared down at him, in seeming disapproval. Edw ard reached out tentatively to knock on the door... I! t swung open of its own accord.         Edward Stared fearfully Into the Yawning Hallway Before Him...          temperateness spilled across the verge and crept timidly into the vastness. Edward stepped into the agency and looked all around at the erectile detonating device. It loomed high above him, a stained-glass dome, so rich in color the light streaming though it became one immense rainbow, bathing the cold walls and floor in a prismatic radiance. The room was like an enormous dance palace, orbitual and paved with a pastiche of gray stone and marble. The floor was smooth as glass, glowering in patches by the gentle rays of brilliant color. As clouds part obscured the sun and travel away again, the light shining through the domed ceiling flickered and danced. steep pillars of granite surrounded the entire room like sentinels, looming over everything and judge of the beautiful array of opaline hues filling the chamber.          Edward stood in the center of the magnificent hall, feeling at the moment rather small and unimportant. Surely this exquisite place was inhabited... the absence of any townspeople had caused him no small amount of confusion but he was positive that the royal palace itself could not be reverse as well. The Kings brother would not abandon his own castle, would he?         Edward withdrew his eyes from the marvelous ceiling and focused his attention on the shadows at the end of the room. He had not seen it before... but there appeared to be a door (a rather subtle appendage to the otherwise awe-inspiring, cathedral atmosphere) in the far corner of the room. Edward approached it, breakage the soft beams of violet and deep blue and gold that bathed the floor.         The door was simple, light wood. It was not locked, and opened with a slight choke up on the iron handle. Edward peered into the dim light within and when his eyes adjusted he saw st eps... a stairway leading up. He looked back, and onc! e again marveled at the heavenly give away of light on the ballroom floor.. resolute, then, he stepped through the door and began to climb the stairs. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~         Just inside the door there were two flannel mulleines, one on either side, leaning out from the wall like two weary night watchmen. They were a char, surprisingly, and Edward took one from its crook in the wall. Its light was but a patch of yellow, mould little more than a small halo upon the steps at once in front. The staircase was steep... Edward found himself weary after only a few minutes advance. The stairs corkscrewed, winding into a impish spiral, going up and up and up. The air became quilted with form and Edward began to breathing space heavily. He rigid his hand on the curving wall, which was funnily constructed; it was built with small stones and rock, cobbled like the streets in the market. Just out of reach, patches of silky cobwebs littered the wall above his head, white and shimmering in the torchlight.         The stairs were now laden with the dust accumulated by a long vacancy... not a soul had tread here in years, Edward thought. As he climbed the stone steps, he left footprints a fingers breadth thicken in the chalky human bodyup. It was as if a faint powdering of light brown snow had fallen and remained, unmelted and dispassionate. is a professional essay writing service at which you can buy essays on any topics and disciplines! All custom essays are written by professional writers!
        It seemed evident that all had abandoned this place... the market, the palace, the entire city. Edward continued upward, dreading that the princess might also be gone. How would he find her ? If the entire village was gone, and her with it, th! ey might never meet again...         Edward had been counting the stairs as he walked. The staircase circled upwardly, and he counted to one hundred, and two hundred, and gradually he lost count... and still there was no end to the gnarled climb. eternally he walked, and forever he was sure it would take to reach the top... he remembered the view from the canyon brink, and how only one tower had surfaced above the fog. every(prenominal) others had been part hidden and he was sure now that he was within the centermost tower, the tallest structure in the castle.         A sudden ray of light broke through the sombreness as he came around the corner. There above him was a window, a small square cut out of the stone wall. Edward reached it and peered out through the opening. The sun had or so set, and the horizon was knap and purple and a dark red. It was beautiful, especially from this height... he looked down. and so the ground seemed to drop away and the fields were but petite green patches far below; the surrounding towers were hidden by wisps of an evening fog and they were so far away, so far beneath him...         Instantly nauseous, he turned quickly and shut his eyes. He had never liked being very high up and a sick feeling settled into the pit of his stomach. His vision swam for a moment when he shut his eyes and then he was fine.. He looked once more, apprehensively at the rapidly setting sun and moved on.         A moment later, something caught his eye.. there were a few disjointed footprints in the inhuman steps above him! Someone had been there, only recently. The footprints were small... his heart quickened at the possibility. It could be her; as strange as all the other occurrences of the past three days had been, he still hoped stormily that the princess, his Anique could be here...         The steps led upwards in a continuing spiral, then kiboshped. A door, pa rtially open, stood guard at the top of the staircase! . Edward reached out to push it slowly open, hoping, praying, knowing what he would find inside...         There she lay.                   A princely Canopy buttocks         Filled half of the small room. At the corners stood four oak beams, ornately carved with intricate designs and supple to a sluggish shine. A gracefully sloping cover of red velvet trimmed with white lace hung overhead, lachrymose like the troubling mossy curtain of a tearful willow. The bedclothes were satin, the purest white, and were undisturbed except for the slender figure lying peacefully in the center.         Edward approached the bed, in hushed awe of the beauty of the picture before him. The princess was draped in the silken sheets, the contours of her slight shape outlined by the creamy white cloth. The sheets cover most of her body, leaving only her bosom and face in clear view. The top of her cotton nightgown wa s a soft pink, gathered loosely and revealing the white skin at the hollow of her throat, which rosiness and fell ever so slightly with each breath. Aniques head lay cushioned on a wide pillow, her light brown hair encircling her face in a gently tousled frame. Her eyes were closed in peaceful sleep, her lips parted as if to allow a gentle kiss..         Aniques face was turned slightly towards the door, her peaceful countenance welcoming Edwards entrance.. she lay with her left arm at her side, and her right hand thrown casually up contiguous to her face, a restless gesture in an otherwise still and self-possessed portrait.         She was an angel. Her beauty surpassed all things under heaven and above, Edward thought... In the stillness, the last brilliant rays of the setting sun shone through a window at the far end of the room, casting long shadows across the floor and catching the air aflame. The princess was bathed in a deep glow, and she lo oked indeed to be a celestial creature.    !      The sun disappeared then, and the light dimmed, and the room became colder... as Edward approached the princess, he could see how pale she was. Her eyes were encircled by dark rings, her cheeks sunken and bloodless. Her lips had almost no tint of red at all. Her face was pallid, devoid of its usual rosy tinge. Edward at once felt a chill.. perhaps her sleep was deeper than he imagined.         He reached out and gingerly took her precise hand in his own.. Oh, how cold it was! His mouth turned dry and the panic began to build in his heart as he looked for a way to tell that the girl was indeed still living.. He snatched a small mirror from the table by the bed and held it across her mouth. And he waited; only a few seconds, likely, but it seemed to pass as years... then Oh Joy! A faint breath from her mouth, and the glass was cloudy for just a moment.         The princess still lived.. but she was so sick, that much Edward could tell. He ha d no knowledge of curing, or of medicines. What was he to do? Edward sat by her side, clutching her cold treat in between his two hands. The remnants of the suns light were swallowed by the vast horizon and the air became chilled..         All was still. The wind ceased to whistle around the high tower, and a remainderly silence suppressed the room. Edward kneeled by the bed, holding Aniques hand, intertwining her fingers with his own.. she was too dear to him now, he thought.. All this way he had come, and she was here alone, with no one else by her side, no one to comfort her or heal her..         In the stillness.. in the black, cold silence of the small tower room, Edward prayed. kneel by her side, he buried his face in the cover charge by her side, and wept. For an hour he stayed there, grasping her hand in his, crying out in fear and anguish and loneliness.. all of the monstrous emotions deep inside him, those he had ignored in the months with out her; those he had felt in the days of his journey! , wanting cryptograph more than to see her again... all of these feelings rushed from him now, in a torrent of grief and misery, his sobs muffled by the satin sheets.         A faint chirping shock him. He looked up, first at the princess.. she lay there still, deep in a disturbed rest. Then Edward looked to the window sill, and against the frosty night air, the slender shape of a brown sparrow sat perched in the window, ruffling its feathers.         Edward gasped, leapt to his feet, and rushed to the window.         Hello, little friend.. he said, form his hands on the window sill for the tiny creature to willingly hop into, Thought Id lost you, I did... The bird cheeped happily, grateful to have been brought in from the cold.         How did you come to me.. Why, I left mhouse and family..and I thought youd gone.. I never thought tsee you again, no, never! And he put his face near to the sparrow, and nuzzled it with his nose.. the bird in turn bristled its feathers and fluttered briskly as if to shake water from its tiny wings, chirping all the while with an exuberance uncharacteristic of such a minute creature.         Come now.. she needs you, I know she does. She loved it when you came before. Please, I know it would help.. and Edward carried the bird over to the bedside table. The night was completely dark now.. the sun was gone and the moon had not heretofore graced the night sky. The only light in the small room now came from the weak, yellow flame of the torch Edward had left in a niche in the wall just inside the door. correct the pale, sickly light from that flame looked as if it were also dying, and Edward feared that as the light diminished, so did the life of the princess Anique.         The small bird perched on the table by the bed, less debonair now... it regarded Anique solemnly, with its tiny head craning from side to side. Edward knelt once again by the bed, looking mournfully at the bea! utiful girl whom he loved.. she was finally so near to him, after so long... yet, so very far away.         The bird began to high, shrill notes at first. Then a fuller, deeper, more human quality came over the nisus.. and the notes danced, bloomed in the night air as the small creature joyously uttered forth the music. A choir of angels seemed to descend on the room, as the music of a thousand voices cascaded from the little bird, and still the line continued.         As the music swelled and blossomed, the light of the torch by the staircase suddenly leapt out into the room.. the flame was deeper, richer than before, vehement brighter and more fierce than seemed possible.. the small mirror on the bedside table caught a glimmer of the light and reflected it upon another mirror on the wall, which in turn spilled the light into the plaza of the room.. the bed was now pure(a) with golden light, and the small bird itself glowed from some un earthly radiance. appear shone around it as a torch, but there was no flame on the sparrow, and yet the creature was illuminated.. Edwards hands clutched those of the princess, and he again buried his face into the blanket to stem the flow of tears welling up within him.. he could not stop weeping from the beauty of the miracle. Still the vociferation grew, and the birds thousands of voices were as an entire army, together as one, praising the kingdom of heaven..         The light in the room became almost unbearable, as the music itself seemed to burst into flame like delicious fumes of melody and burn the air to a pure, brilliant white; and radiant hues and wisps of intense color in the light swirled and danced to no particular rhythm, but the Song WAS rhythm.. a singular perfection, a true crush oution of joy felt only to those who know what pure happiness is.. and the music grew stronger still, and the Song more powerful, as if to overcome all final stage an d evil in the world, as it had overcome the darkness ! of that place.         The bird fluttered from the small table to rest on the pillow by Aniques face, and the white light followed the tiny figure, and still a incalculable congregation of a million angelic voices poured from the tiny sparrow. The princess murmured in her sleep, as if in response to the choir of heaven in the shape of one small bird...         And the Song gradually quieted, and the bird ceased to radiate.. the voices grew fewer and the light faded, as the miracle slowly ended.. and Edward still feared to look upon the room, as he knew the shepherds on the hilltop must have felt at Gabriels arrival.. and then the room was quiet again. The light source of the music faded, but the torch still burned, and the illumination fill up the room as it had not before.         The sparrow, satisfied, nestled down into the pillow by the princess head. Edward looked up and saw that all was again quiet.. he wondered of the tears st ill streaming down his face were from a dream..         And then he saw that the frail hand in his, the white palm and fingers of Anique, were beckoning feebly to him. Startled, he looked at her and saw that her eyes were open.. the color was returning to her cheeks, as she seemed to slowly heyday at having been discovered asleep.         Edward... was all she managed to say at first, softly, almost unintelligible, then I knew you would be here.. and he nodded vehemently, at a loss for words. She smiled, and whispered again, The bird.. I knew he was yours.. from the very beginning, I was sure of it.         No, he said, the bird is not mine...he goes where he pleases. But he is not a simple bird, I think.. and as he said this, the tiny creature rose suddenly from the pillow in a flurry of tiny feathers and flew towards the window. The princess brocaded a feeble hand in protest but the bird did not stop.. and as the brown sparr ow flew out of the open window, Edward and the prince! ss both saw the wings burgeon forth into a glorious white canopy and the tiny body grow larger and more human.. and then the Being was gone, in a sudden flash of white light.         ...What.... well..  is all Edward could rally at the moment. He looked at the princess, and she at him, eyes sparkling, and they both knew what had taken place.. and had they studied the night skies, they would have seen a single bright star twinkle to life once again in the apex of the heavens.         They sat together then, enjoying one anothers company once more.. the princess was capable of saying very little, but could express so much with her eyes alone. Edward sat with her for hours that night, perched on the side of the ornate bed, holding her hand and telling of the amazing journey he had undertaken just to find her. His dream fascinated her, and the news report of the ugly bruise on his temple drew a horrified gasp from the princess ( in which Edward felt a certain wrong satisfaction) and a tender kiss on his forehead.         After a time, they both slept.. he across her feet to keep her warm. finished the rest of the night, and all through the next day they both slept, she because of her quickly declining illness, and he from absolute exhaustion. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~         When he awoke late in the afternoon, the princess was gone. He was surprised at how speedily she had recouped, but then again, her providential cure knew no physical limits. Edward got up from the bed and looked out of the window... far below (he still was nervous at the sheer height of the tower) he could just barely make out the minuscule figure of a girl in the tend. He fairly flew down the winding staircase, kicking up soar clouds of dust as he ran.. he burst through the door at the bottom of the staircase, sprinted across the ballroom floor, and out of the giant oak doors at the front of the palace. The palace gar dens were still in full bloom at this time of year, ! oddly enough, and there, pacing through rows and rows of perfectly sculpted shrubs and rose bushes, was Anique. look weary from a long sickness, and dressed only in her pink nightgown, and a little disheveled at having risen not too long before, she was still the most dyspnoeal woman in all the world, Edward thought. The lovely statues and noble sculptures placed here and there and everywhere throughout the garden were nothing in comparison to her perfect beauty...         Why did you not wake me? Edward asked, feigning irritation.         I thought you would need more sleep... you looked fairly awful last night, was her smug reply, to which Edward gasped in mock horror and rushed forward to pick her up and dart her over his shoulder, much to her giggling protest.         After a time, the childish interchange ceased and they sat quietly by a marble flush in the courtyard, admiring the flowerbeds and acting very civilized. An ho ur later found them atop a low hill in the middle of the apple orchard, watching the liquid orange sun go lower and lower in the sky, giving way to the most beautiful sunset in recent memory..         She sat next to him, both of them leaning against the apple tree.. their arms encircling eachother, her head resting softly on his shoulder. As they spoke quietly of the last days events and of things to come, she felt a familiar attraction to his kind words that had been absent from her life for the better part of a year...         Once again they found themselves in a familiar pose, face to face, talking earnestly of everything and nothing in particular. In their emotional conversations, they found a deeper, stronger love for eachother than ever before; more than any other storybook romance, theirs was built on something else...         The sun dropped below the horizon and he looked down at her, lost in her dark eyes, pushed her hair b ack from her face; Anique looked up at him, searching! his eyes, and she smiled. He brushed her cheek gently with the tips of his fingers..she blushed lightly, and closed her eyes, as did he, and softly their lips touched... ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~                  Indescribable through human terms, their simple, passionate kiss lasted beyond the realm of mere time... Their love would last, shatterproof and unblemished. Through all trials and hardships, Edward and his love Anique would remain as if forever locked in that one embrace. Together, they found all things to be possible, and over the years their love grew only stronger, and it knew no bounds. Neither distance nor bilk could separate them for long, and their love was unfailing. By seeking the will of God, they had found the most perfect love; that which is unfailing, unselfish, and altogether beautiful. And thus ends our story.                                             Th e pole                                                                        Epilogue         Anique later spoke of the mysteries surrounding her illness. Her affliction had at first been of a physical nature, that much was true... but after her uncle and all of his physicians and the miles and miles of medicinal herbs at hand were scrimpy to hire about a cure, the sickness went deeper. She had been lonely. It was as simple as that, she said. Without Edwards company and soothing words, she had given up hope.         Her uncle had gone then, taking the wisest doctors with him on a quest to find a cure for his niece. They had been gone only a few days when some careless farm hands had allowed some cattle to err off. The beasts had died somewhere in the hills, and their decomposing carcasses poisoned the river flowing into the city .         With nothing to drink, the e! ntire village had left in search of suitable water. Even the nurses and maids who were go to to the princess, although reluctant to leave her, finally moved on with their families. The princess, too sick and feeble to be moved, was left behind. The hope had been that she would recover on her own and be able to live off of the food and water stored in the palace kitchen, as there was enough to sustain one person for months at a time.         Indeed, the princess had managed to make her way to the kitchen, even in her change state, and gather up some food and water. The food did not last very long, however, and the water she took into the small tower room had run out a full week before Edward found her.         Without nourishment, the princess had drifted into a deep sleep... her heart slowed, and her blood cooled; It was as if she were dead. For almost a fortnight she slumbered, on the brink of death yet kept alive by a hole-and-corner(a) force, some higher love than she had ever known... and in the end, the tiny messenger from heaven had brought her out of the grasp of death when the time was right.          no(prenominal) could explain exactly how the princess had lived for so long without nourishment of any kind, but she knew, and Edward knew, in their police wagon. A love, a passion stronger than either of them could ever describe, had gripped her and preserved her life for some higher purpose.         They were both eternally thankful for the gift she had received. They held it dearly, and treasured it in their hearts forever. Never did they take it for granted or forget that which had been bestowed upon them: a second chance to live, and love... If you want to get a full essay, order it on our website:

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