Once upon a time, there was a girl who lived alone. There were people who lived near her, people who lived around her, but none of them would ever speak to her, so the girl lived alone. The king of the forest fell in love with her and because she was alone, he tried to take her away, but she would not go with him. He began to haunt her, trying to wear her down, to make her come with him. But she refused. Slowly, day by day, he began to wear her down, tempting her with a cure for her brother and her sister, who were dying of an illness for which there was no cure. Slowly, she began to mad from the constant presence of the king outside her door, calling her, whispering to her.

But one day there came a boy who hated the girl. He tried to kill her, thinking that there must be a reason no one would talk to her, that she was alone because she was a witch. He brought people, a man and his wife, heroes from his childhood, to kill her, to break the spell he thought she had cast on the city. But the man and wife weren't killers. They refused to kill the girl. They told everyone that she wasn't a witch, but the boy wouldn't believe them. He found other people to help him, but the man and wife defended her, protected her. Instead, they found the king of the forest and killed him, taking away what had been hurting the girl. But she was still crazy and she needed the boy, needed his help. So he decided to help her, to make her better.

The girl never got back to completely normal. It took years for her to even get to where she could be around all the people there were, so used was she to have been being alone all the time. The boy would have to lead her around by the hand, hold her when she became scared, let his little sister brush and braid her hair. His mother would rock her like a baby sometimes, singing a lullaby that she used to sing to the boy and his sister when they were little. She would let them fuss over her sometimes and sometimes she would hide in a corner. But the boy was always the one she would let approach her, let him hold her. He would tuck her head under his chin, rub her hair and hold her close. In time, she got better, even if she never was who she had been before.

Once upon a time, there was a girl who was not alone.