A light mist blankets my meadow. I say 'my meadow' because this is the only place where I feel I belong, where I find peace, where I see life. Everything has its season. When something dies, another grows to take its place. I witness an endless circle of life.
Above me, a songbird croons its high pitched tribute to the rising sun. Its compatriots join it, their voices blending together in one glorious chorus of song. The green blades of grass are spattered with droplets of dew. I walk lightly, letting the drops bathe my bare feet.
A cool breeze, scented with vanilla and cherry undertones from heliotropes, the syrup sweet grape fragrance from mountain laurels, and other myriads of fragrances that I cannot distinguish, kisses my cheeks gently. I breathe in the air, filling myself with it. I feel light, untroubled, free, peaceful, as if all my worries, cares and woes floated away with the morning breeze.
The sun has finally risen above the horizon. The rays reflect off the dew, making it shine like diamonds. The mist around me has dissolved into nothingness.
If only the darkness in my life were like mere mist. The sun would dispel it from my life.
My question is: Where is the sun?
My answer is: I don't know.
I trudge on, weaving a path through the long grass to my cherry blossom tree. Before long it comes into my view.
The branches have been stripped of the beautiful pink and white blossoms. I wonder if my life was like that, laden with beauty and happiness, before something came along and left it bare. The blossoms lay around the tree, in various stages of decay. Save for one. I pick it up and tuck it in my tresses.
The Witch seems to be in deep conversation with the man. Hopefully, she won't notice me.
I walk as quietly as I can, hardly daring to breathe. My escapades usually merited a clout to the ear, along with no food for an entire day.
But of course, with my luck, it is futile to wish that I go unnoticed.
"Nera, come here right now!" She rasps.
I force my feet to move towards her, keeping my face devoid of all emotion. "Yes, Mrs. Gertrude?"
"This man here wants an efficient servant to assist him for various tasks. He has agreed to pay me for your services."
"What must I do?"
"Whatever he tells you to do. You will go with him."
In other words, I am sold to a stranger. I knew this would come one day, but I never did fathom that it would be so soon.