CHAPTER ONE

Night, a time of mischief, time for debauchery, best summed as a time for business, when one does not desire his activities to be known. The moon, the only light, an orb for those to utilize on their quests of misdeeds. Thieves, murderers, rapists, and all of the sort were such people who would yearn for night time to fall upon the countryside.

There was no law enforcement to prevent such business from occurring under this orb of malice, nor would anyone desire to. Every person had personal wheels of politics within their heads, the servants of social politicians ran about carrying out their master's wishes that God could not perform for these people. Most likely due to the fact that God himself would not do such business, for it did not make the world a more suitable place; well only for the lives of these politicians and their wheels of personal happiness.

Despite the fact that all lights in the town seemed to absent, anything that can omit light was not doing so, people were not asleep. Lips moved about, feeding words of a poisonous nature to vulnerable ears that cannot help but to receive these pollution. Words of gossip, words of malice, and words of conspiracy.

What else did these people have to do? Sleep? Only a naive person would dare assume that people in fact slept when the lights were out. If this person would only open their ignorant eyes, they can perhaps see the people lurking in the shadows for no one slept. No one who were involved in the politics of every soul that had breath within the town.

This infers that the night itself is a dreadful and merciless creature that only adds to the fire of corruption that has overtaken all of the good that lived in this earthly world. It was also a time of day for the lovers to express the feelings they cannot wish to conjure in the day. A time for love that cannot be allowed within the circle of politics that ruled day and night. In secret can only true love be expressed, or else the insects that crawled upon every rose would wither the overwhelming color of red upon the rose...and morph it to the color of which does not exist, black, and never more will its beauty survive.

This is a lost tale of, to keep the explanation simple and to allow it fold open as it self, love. For generations this story has been passed along through oral rituals made around the fire whenever it was deemed necessary for the story to be told. An implication is thus made, that this story at this time is in dire need of being told. Well, perhaps it is of absolute importance that this is read, or perhaps it is not. The reader shall judge for himself.

The reader shall then ask perhaps, why was this tale lost? Why was this story placed through the medium of paper? Why must it be told? And the only answer I may have for the reader is to simply read. I cannot explain any of such details for they lie within the depths of the text of which lies before the eyes of the reader.

As this tale begins, a bird flew over the slumbering town of Hayfield. It searched for prey on the dirt beside the houses made of weak wood and roofs of hay. The eyes of the bird of prey sought for the only thing that deeply desired. Its heart leapt as it found the exact prey its instinct needed to feed upon, the lowest of animals: a rat.

Out of the woods, a dark figure slowly emerged. The figure was in a slow trance-like walk, as though it was not of the living. Air around the figure seemed to become colder, and the air became foggy- masking the shape of the figure. From afar the figure was hazy, a person could not tell if he was a human, or something else. Although, it was clearly seen that its hands, which was the only piece of flesh that was not covered by a cloak, clung onto a piece of parchment, held together by a string of red.

In its menacing fashion, it entered the small town of Hayfield, which seemed to have been deserted during its slumber...so it seemed. The figure worse boots, which made a sound of footsteps onto the stone pavement on the ground. The light of the moon gave light to the pavement, and the shadow of the hood upon the figure kept his face enveloped within a shadow. A sound other than these boots was made, it was the sound of a moving creature- a man.

This man was crouched in the shadows between two buildings, he cringed from the presence of the figure, and continued his search for food- which shortly ended. He found a red eyed rat run from behind the cloaked figure and into the alley. The man leapt to catch it with his dirty hands only to find that he caught nothing but cold air; the bird snatched it before he could retrieve the rodent.

One particular house had an oil lamp set down upon the front door, and it was lit. The flame danced within the glass encasement and it awaited to be picked up. A white hand, the figure's white hand, grabbed the handle and held it with one hand at his side. His other hand, which carried the parchment, knocked onto the wooden door.

After a few seconds of no reply, the door opened, allowing the figure to enter the pitch black darkness of the house. The only light came from the oil lamp, and he lifted it to see where he could sit down and discuss the matter of business. He found a round table and placed the lamp in the middle of it, and sat at one end. An empty chair was before him, and out of the darkness came an emaciated woman. Her skin was pale and could be seen, however the face of the man was still kept concealed.

She took a seat before him, and looked into the place where his eyes would be, but all that can bee seen are his nose and his mouth. The two stared for a few moments, and then he placed the parchment on the table. Her eyes watched his movements, and remained fixated upon the parchment.

A deep breath was made and she placed her fixation upon the figure before her, and swallowed the anxiety that was boiling up within her.

"So this is they key to it all?" the woman asked.

The man took a deep breath and replied with a raspy voice, "Yes, it will cause the destruction of the ceremony that will occur within twelve hours time.''

"Are you definite of the content within this parchment will prevent the ceremony from being carried out?"

"I am sure that marriage cannot proceed once the parchment is revealed."

"May I ask what lies within the parchment?"

"I prefer no one but myself knew what the ink upon this parchment reveals until the ceremony tomorrow, but I assure you that you will be pleased.''

She looked at him in an odd way, as though asking herself a question within her mind. What bewildered her was why the figure would benefit from this deal.

"And you still refuse payment?"

"I assure you, that a payment will not be taken."

Still she sat wondering his motivation behind this plot, and was unsure if she should continue to proceed with the deal the two had made that night; the one of which he came to her door around this same time proposing the conspiracy that was being carried out.

"What exactly do you receive from this agreement?" she asked.

"Do you wish to know of my motives behind this?"

"Yes."

"Why is this so?"

"Business without knowing the needs of the partner is hardly business at all. I do not know of your intentions. I do not even know your name. Doing business in such manner can be dangerous.''

"Why do you desire to know of identity and my motives?'' he asked.

A pause came, she looked down to the parchment and back at him. She considered to stop questioning and let the man be. But she did give him her reason, "Curiosity."

"Be mindful of curiosity, it could bring danger upon yourself.''

"May I ask why?"

"You may, but I shall feed you an answer of satisfaction.''

"Do you even perhaps consider the fact that they may be in love?'' she asked as she leaned towards him, to try to see his face.

He stood up from the table as she started to movie towards him. "Of course I have considered it."

She immediately stood up and saw that she was a foot shorter than him. He looked down onto her and she up to him. "Do you have no remorse for what is about to happen?''

Out of annoyance he asked sharply, "Do you?" He then turned his back towards her and began to walk out the door.

What made him stop was the answer, "Yes I do."

The figure stopped in his tracks and stood in silence. It hung in the cold air for a few seconds.

"The parchment will reach that ceremony. Remorse is for the weak. If it is not carried out as planned then you will meet me once more and never again. I prefer never to meet you again, and if I were you I would fear a third meeting.''

"Are you threatening me?"

"Perhaps I did not make that clear enough for your dim witted brain.''

"How dare you!" she yelled.

He quickly turned around and was now about an inch from her, "You want this to happen to much as I do. Now you will do it, or you shall face my wrath.''

"Why do you not just do it yourself? You seem to have more of a passion than I do.''

"You keep asking questions that I shall never answer, woman! Keep thy nose out of my affairs!''

"Allow me to ask but one question, with a satisfactory answer.''

For a few seconds he looked down upon her, hesitating. He turned around and walked for the door.

"Please, what do you receive from this agreement sir?''

The man stood upon the door knob. His hand reached out to open it, but instead he stood and did not open it. He clenched the door knob, with anger and then released it. His fingers swayed along the solid shape of the knob. Besides this he breathed, and thought of what he was going to say to the woman.

He then decided to allow her to know a bit of his motives, "I have a satisfactory answer for thee. Rather of what is enough for me to deem satisfactory for you woman. I have but one word, and I shall leave you and pray that I do meet you another time in this life or the next. The word is vengeance.''

His fingers desisted from the swaying and he opened the door. Within that very second he had left the house and closed upon the woman. The figure walked out of Hayfield the exact way he entered it and beside the same alley he had passed earlier there was the bird consuming its rat. He disappeared into the forest, and so began this tale of love.