The Prequel, Chapter Six

If there was anything Alexander loved more than life itself, it was writing poetry. This, among many others, was one of the things that separated him from the other young men his age. They enjoyed things of a more "manly" nature, while Alexander preferred poetry and philosophy and sometimes (when nobody else was in the house) even piano playing. Unlike so many of his other friends, Alexander ranked chivalry and poeticness above nearly any other personal attribute.

His handwriting had always been considered too feminine for a man, but as he sat in the field, listening to the wind blow and the birds chirp, it didn't matter what other people thought of him.

There was the sound of footsteps behind him. Alexander turned to find Eve watching him, a subtle gleam of mischief in her eyes.

"Hello, Alexander," Eve said, voice rich and low.

All the charming words that made the girls go crazy fled Alexander's mind. "Hello," he replied, all the while simultaneously kicking himself mentally. Alexander, you numskull! Is "hello" the best you can manage?

"I've been watching you. You really seem to enjoy writing," Eve said, still standing.

Alexander couldn't say he was surprised that Eve had found him. He was, after all, sitting in her father's field. "I hope you don't mind I'm here."

Eve laughed. "Me, mind? Not at all."

She still isn't sitting. What can I say to make her interested in this conversation? "Do you ever write?"

Eve nodded coyly. "Yes, I do - though I can't say I'm much good at it. All I manage to write are jumbled phrases." She paused. "You know, I'd like to read some of your work sometime."

Alexander hesitated, then chose a short poem he'd just finished writing just a few minutes earlier. "Alright," he said. "Here's one."

Eve took the piece of paper and ran her eyes over it. "Your penmanship is perfect. Show me how you do it."

Eve wasn't acting like herself. She had taken on an air of wide-eyed innocence that Alexander had never seen before. Warily, he patted the grass beside him. "There's room for you to sit, too, you know."

Eve did so. She crossed her legs in front of her. Her skirt lay in such a way that it showed part of her calves. Scandalous!

"Show me how you write so perfectly," Eve repeated.

"Well, I don't really know what to show you. I just - "

"No, Alexander," Eve interrupted. When she said his name, Alexander stopped. The way she'd said it was far from innocent. "Take my hand and show me."

Despite the shallowness of the situation, Alexander realized he'd reached a metaphorical crossroads. He shouldn't be out here alone with Eve - by all accounts, it was positively scandalous. A young man and woman who were unrelated were absolutely forbidden to be alone together without a chaperone. And taking her hand...well, it would be much more than taking her hand. It would be like grasping the hand of Evil itself.

Alexander knew he should get up. He knew he should walk away. He knew that Eve could only lead him to destruction. Which will it be, Alexander? Which road will you take?

Eve was waiting, and by the look in her eyes, Alexander could tell she knew he was choosing which path to take. 

Alexander took her hand.

The End

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