Prologue (part 1)

On the search for the perfect fiance, Princess Hataru finds herself in trouble when her flying ship is over run by pirates who are after more than just her riches. Fortunately, she is saved by Captain Levi, with silver hair, golden eyes, and...a metal claw? Together they set off on an adventure to solve a prophecy the pirates left behind. On their journey, the princess meets Tarin, a handsome prince on the pirates' trail for his own reasons. Could one of them be the man she's been looking for?

     Gasping for air, a golden-haired woman writhed on the floor, a pool of thick, red liquid slowly flowering around her. Stars in her eyes, she watched as the blood flowed toward her life's work ─ a decadent piece of cloth, intricately woven with phantasmagoric patterns that seemed to glow with supernatural power.

    "Not the tapestry!" she rasped, straining to lift her arm, weighed down by her heavy, blood-soaked sleeve, in order to shove the fabric away from the stream of her diminishing vitality. She stared up at the dark ceiling, wishing she could see the diamond speckled sky once more, remembering how she had once begged her husband to take her with him there and how he had refused, preferring her world to his own. Closing her eyes, she tried to picture his eyes that always glistened with enamored fidelity, silently telling her that she was still the only holder of his heart. Tears streamed down her cheeks; the thought of never seeing him again caused her more anguish than the mortal wound in her side.

    "No," she snapped her eyes open, her rapidly draining heart straining to beat harder. "I will not be separated from him." With new determination, she stiffly crawled toward the iridescent fabric, and pulling a thread from the hem of her dress, stained crimson from her vital fluids, she began to weave a new pattern.

    Her nimble fingers moved with vigor as she recalled her husband's words, "All lives are connected, in one way or another. Every decision that is made will inadvertently impact the choices made by others. Most will believe that such happenings are mere coincidences; they will never see the truth of the grand design."

    What a wonderful thing, she thought, to be a part of the big picture. The woman's fingers were slowing, her life force fading, as she completed her last composition, a design she had been contemplating for many moons ─ a colossal bear locked in combat with a lone wolf, a crocodile smiling with deceit, a yowling feline, floppy-eared hare, and in the very center, a regal swan with outspread wings.

    "Forgive me, my brethren," she whispered as her hands grew still, "for I have refashioned your lives with my bloodied hands. But in return I leave my own Fate in yours." As her vision began to fade into darkness, she focused on her lifeless left hand, decorated with an elegant sapphire ring ─ the engagement gift her husband had presented to her on the date of his proposal ─ and she smiled, her last breath passing through her lips.

    Not a second later, another figure, a man, frantically scuttled into the room, his heavy boots splashing her crimson blood against the wall. Seeing the woman's mangled form, he halted for but a moment, not wanting to believe what his eyes foretold. She was gone; her spirit was no longer with him. Sinking to the floor, he cradled her cold body in his arms, and he wept.


The End

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