CHAPTER ONE PAGE ONE
Temptress Woods was fatter and wider than any man made city. The land of the stubborn trees, where the roots held onto the earth with a grip of steel and brushed the skies with the top of their leaves. For a long time this was what I thought the entire world looked like, and that other people were just plotted and lost in the forest like us. I was not born in the depths of nature though, I had been born like any other child in a village far, far away from Temptress woods. But I was barely past one week old when we moved here that the idea of a village full of children sounded bizarre. I was not born like the others you see. I was different. Looked different.
My left eye had a grey metallic shine that reflects like a mirror where as my right eye was of amber gold, soft and withering like the crisp leaves in autumn. I didn't think anything was wrong with me until I met other children, but that wasn't until the age of nine. My twin sister, who was identical to me to the very last strand of deep, black hair, shared the same strangeness in her eyes.
When we were born, her only three minutes before me, mum had thought we were blind in the left eye. Thankfully, it wasn't true, but was some sort of strange mutation that occurred in the womb. Mum had two deformed babies. But she loved us to no end.
Both mum and dad had dark, solid brown iris that almost looked black from far away and hair of feather red. It was fair to say that we looked like strangers who merely lived in the same household.
My twin sister, Bianca, she was the adventurous one. There wasn't a day I could remember when she didn't come galloping home, fresh bruised knees and dirt under her finger nails from her digging. Mum always laughed that she had gone into battle with the forest, always smiling at her victorious return.
Me, on the other hand, I stayed indoors and kept my hands clean with my writing. I wasn't much of a reader though, which my parents found fascinating. My words were untouched and uninfluenced by anyone. It was completely and utterly the incoherent rambling of a seven year girl lost behind the screen of her own dream world. My characters were animals and had adventures Bianca acted through.
"Bianca sweetie supper's ready."
Mum called on one ordinary afternoon towards the yard. A yard mind you that stretched out further than a day's ride could reach. I remember this day vividly, the day when daddy left us for good.
"Hmm... smells good."
He had slumped in from his office, hands tough with sores and experience. He made all the furniture in the house, and every weekend he would ride out far away into the world to return with handfuls of coin and food a few months later.
"I thought you would like it, tuna casserole-"
"Mine too!" I piped up from the floor.
Mum tossed me her famous warm smiles that heated my belly more so than any cooked dish.
"We have much too celebrate."
"What do you mean honey?"
Dad scooped me up and sat me on the kitchen bench, in the middle of the steaming fish meat. It smelt so yummy. But I knew I couldn't touch, it's too hot.
"A letter- I couldn't help myself but..."
Mum revealed from her apron pouch a white, crisp letter, now bent with her eager hands.
Dad took the note and crowed in laughter. I didn't know what was happening as dad ran around the kitchen bench, scooped up mum and twirled her on the spot.
"Celebration indeed!" He cheered.
Eventually, Bianca walked through the front door with the hem of her dress matted with mud. She was in her usual mood after a long day worth of adventuring and forest searching, that she slumped in exhausted and in dire need of a bath.
Dad ushered her over and propped her up onto the kitchen bench, right next to me.
"My two beautiful daughters," His eyes were glistening like the ripples across disturbed water, "Daddy has gotten some very exciting news. They have accepted my proposal. I'm invited to visit the Count out in Theodore to get his new accounts. We'll be setting up a new store and a new home so both of you and mummy can live in the big city isn't that exciting?"
From all that, all I understood was, we're moving. It wasn't a surprise that Bianca and I didn't share the same enthusiasm as our parents, our world has so far been just the memories of the Temptress woods and the walls of our island home. Moving meant change. Things were good as they were, we were happy here.
"It'll be good, you'll be able to attend a proper ladies school and meet other children your age."
Other children? I couldn't think of anything worse.
But Bianca seemed warm towards the idea. More children meant more of a chance she'll find someone willing to participate in her daily adventures. Maybe, in her mind, she'll meet the fantastic heroes and heroines that controlled her dreams every night.
Despite our minimal protests, dad left for the long journey towards Theodore. It would take about a week, that's with a minimum of one day being spent in the city and a straight home return, hopefully with no hassles.
He left our lives that night, leaving behind his woodbine smell and a fading face in our memories.
That, and of course... our little brother.