Jill is a young peasant girl, orphaned when her village is pillaged by bandits and her abusive father killed. Barely escaping alive, she finds herself lost in a wonderous-strange and frightening world of brutal warriors, savage monsters and shadows. Rescued from a band of cut throat theives by a mysterious dark swordsman and a chatty fairy; with no where else to go and no chance of surviving on her own, Jill doggedly follows the cursed swordsman into a land of darkness, armed only with her cou

I remember when they came for my mother.  It was the summer of Black Famine, with no harvest.  Men cloakd all in black, riding black horses; thier faces concealed by dark hoods, so it looked as though they had no face.  They said she was a witch, damned to burn in Hell for all her sins.  They took my mother and strung her up on a pyre built in the middle of the village square, without even a trial; without question.  She was burnt alive, as the village looked on and black ash rained down from the sky.  It seemed I was the only one who cried.  Since that day, I can still hear the echo of her cries, how she screamed out my name until the flames consumed her.  I was just a little girl then,  though smaller than I am now; I couldn't tell you my age if you asked me.   But now it has been seven years from that fateful day; if I am not careful, they will come for me: a witch's daughter.  This much I know.

My father says that I shouldn't be believing in fairy stories at my age, yet sometimes fairy tales are the only thing that keep me hoping for a better place.  Somewhere where I can go far, far away...anywhere but here.

"Jill!  You l'il slag!  Get yer head out of the clouds and yer arse off the ground and make yerself useful", my father hollers at me.  He comes to grab me by the scruff of my tunic and violently yanks me to my feet.  "You forgot to milk the cows again, didn't you?  Didn't you?!"  He shakes me so hard that my teeth rattle in my skull.

"No!  I milked them this morning, before dawn while you were still sleeping...," quickly, I bite my tongue, not daring to mention my father's hangovers every time he drinks too much the night before.

"You lyin' l'il scum!  My father slaps me across the face so sharply that it knocks the cry from lips.  Don't you dare talk back to me!  If God could've granted me a son, I would've traded you in in a heartbeat; now go feed the pigs!" 

The End

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