"...And in this court of riches and jewels, where tapestries of the finest material hung with cords of threaded gold portrayed scenes of modern time, of age old myths, all embedded with pieces that shone and glittered, where time was forgotten with the elaboration of the costumes that were in sight at every turn, the silk and lace and velvet that startled the eyes at its magnificance and care weaving a piece of work on their own, where the faces of the attending parties were hidden by smiling masks of every color imagined in the mind, songs were carried through the air delicately by minstrels, who pennied no coin and overturned no stone, with such precision that there was not a single person among the masked figures who could stay seated, their souls set aflame by these wordless hymns that touched the ears of all. The jesters, with their bells and hats and multiple-colored outfits, could not help but to leap from their places and cartwheel about the immense room, while the host and hostess graced the attendants of this masquerade with their presence and a leading dance, sending the people into a frenzy as the music carried and made everyone spin with their arms high for a major scale, having them twirl and bow gracefully with a minor.

I too had been caught in this fest, as I was a minstrel. I was one of seven others there, all of our eyes bright with the exciting feeling of power that came with this display caused by our music. It was an overpowering thought that something so simple as an audibly soft melody could make people dance and sing, cry and scream, or, if done properly, shatter the very being of their entirety, yet knowing all that my playing could do, I still went on to perform. My hands were quick with the bow placed on the strings, and my fingers had bled many times from practicing finger placement upon the delicate violin I now played.

And even as I played in this easy-to-please house of wonder, I sensed upon me the eyes of one who was not entranced by our melodies. Tearing my eyes away from the sheets of paper I had long-ago memorized, I glanced about the well-lit room, looking for the soul whose eyes I felt; and there, standing at the head of a flight of gently spiraling stairs leading down to this court for which was played, was the figure whome I had yet to sway with my wordless passion. For the first time in my existance, I stopped a performance. My bow left the strings of my instrument, and the soft pad no longer supported my chin as I gazed up towards this marvel that had obviously captivated even a minstrel. The other six around me paused their playing, causing the crowd below to hault in their gracious bows, spins, twirls, and swirls. They looked up towards the small section set for the players and I, and then, for a fleeting moment, all eyes were upon me, yet I could not move my own from the creature, who I now saw was a woman, above. Slowly, after seeing what I can only guess as amazement on my face, the crowd, with host and hostess, guards and jesters, peasants, servants, and nobles, as well as the minstrels to my side, let their eyes roam to join mine to look up in bewilderment.

The woman above did not seem to mind this. Her eyes were set on me, I could feel. She began to descend with the incomparable grace of a feline during a stealthy hunt, and as she drew closer to the light that illuminated every corner of the floor on which I stood, the knowledge of who she was suddenly dawned on me. Her long and trailing dress was made from the finest velvet, and envelope of an unimaginable wealth encasing this figure, the velvet appearing to be liquid crimson in the light it took; embroidery was nowhere to be found on what could be seen. About her waist and seeming to tie just below her navel was a cord of braided strands of thick gold. The sleeves of this dress were quite plain, save they were form-fitting to above the elbow and then branched off in a magestic magnificence, the shortest part of the hem for the end being at her wrist, the longest past her knee. The neckline was a plunge from her collarbone to the tops of her breasts. The figure to which this marvelous dress was upon was revealed as quite feminine, rounded breasts, long and strong arms, a thing waist and long legs.

Finally, her face came into the light. auburn hair with a curly snap tumbled about the fair shoulders, eyes the color of an ancient forest tree peering out from the fine slender frame. Her coor was pale, though I should not have been surprised. Many people are lighter than what is thought to be healthy. This woman's skin was not a horribly noticable thing, for her lips were painted a soft color, a coral pink, perhaps, and did not contrast sharply to the surrounding skin.

I mentioned before that I had realized who she was. As she came down the stairs towards the silenced room she had watched over just minutes before, I couldn't take my eyes away. Before me stood beauty, pure and unrefined. Many have tried to perfect her, yet here she was, among this crowd, and she looked no one but I in the face. This truly was beauty. She had not been enchanted by the music, for the songs were her shell, her encasement. I was the only one who had played from my heart. Had she felt that I deserved her? Surely not; there were other minstrels who played as I did.

Yet she only looked at me as she walked. She slowly passed the crowd, drawing closer to the stage on which I was rooted. Many of the people, men and women, reached out to the figure of beauty, and all were denied. They had tried so hard to accomplish the task of obtaining and enducing this woman, and now they would never be able to recognize her again, never be able to believe that here stood true beauty; they will always be in the dark pit of denial to this fact.

And now, here beauty stood, just below the stage..."