Swept Away Into The Moonlight

This is a dark, romantic adventure. A ranger Named Mathias finds out that his only daughter, Amelia, has gone missing and sets out to track her down, assuming, upon finding more than one set of prints, that she's been kidnapped. Meanwhile, the king has sent his subjects into the forests to look for his precious prince Capricorn...

Adrian dragged his feet along the muddy path. His eyes lingered upon the damp, moonlit pebbles which gazed back at him, like a hundred beady eyes. Shaking his head to clear the notion that he was being watched, he headed further into the graveyard. His gaze shifted from gravestone to gravestone, each waypoint of death a macabre symbol of the fate that time had in store for everyone.  The thought chilled him to the bone. Or was that just the wind, sweeping through the graveyard, the same wind that sent his dull brown travelling cape flapping around his ankles? No matter. He would get over it.

His colleague, Damian, silently shadowed his movements from several feet away. Through the darkness, Damian was barely a silhouette, nevertheless the rangers where able keep a perfect track of each others movements. Almost Invisible in the darkness, it was their Job to guard the paths through the forest, protect the woods, eliminate dangerous roaming beasts, and warn their superiors of any unusual activity, which more often than not, they would have to follow up and investigate. Now they where on their way home from a particularly uneventful patrol, and by Adrian's request,  had taken this most unusual detour. He signaled Damian to wait for him, and glided away like a ghost into the night, weaving between graves and headstones in a sorrowful advance.

He finally came to the spot he was looking for, where the grave shimmered in the full moons dusty light as if it was alive, and the night flowers beamed up at him, their soft white petals glowing slightly, illuminated by the beautiful moonbeams. The night flowers had been his wife's favorite. Inscribed in the stone was a short sentence. "I shall await you in paradise, my Love."

It was the last thing she had said to him as he held her, fourteen years ago, as he supported her frail body with one arm and held their newborn bairn in the other. A tear rolled reluctantly down his cheek as he bent his head, and knelt before the grave. Minutes passed, and he maintained this pose, the tear eventually rolling down his chin and dropping to the ground, absorbing where it would search out his dead lover and caress her in his stead. Maybe if she felt it she would know he was here, visiting her. Oh, how he longed to see her again, but how scared he was of passing through. What if Elisabeth, his beautiful wife, had never waited for him after all? The thought terrified him. Fourteen years was a long time, even in paradise. Yet, even after all this time, her final gift still gave him a reason to live; His daughter, Amelia.

At fourteen years old Amelia was as pretty as the night flowers, her shimmering brown hair was wavy and fell about her pale face like a flowing river, and her sweet smile was enough to charm any youth in the village. Her big, enchanting eyes could warm you like a hot water bottle, yet if she looked at you with scorn it would feel like ice running down your back. She was a flower grown from all the love and affection of an over-protective father, groomed by her nurse to be pretty, and trained the same way in housekeeping, though it was Adrians hope than she might someday pique the attention of a noble and be blessed with an easier lifestyle than such. Not only was she pretty, but by some miracle he had managed to produce a well mannered, sweet and intelligent young lady. She never questioned him, spoke when adressed, used proper table manners... she almost was the perfect daughter.

It was the thought of her that finally roused him from mourning over his wife, over ten minutes later. Returning back to where Damian would be waiting for him, he signed the ranger to follow. The rangers pressed on into the night. Upon reaching the village, they would split up and head home, where Adrian was about to discover something devastating.

The End

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