The Tragedy of Meredy Townsend

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"Meredy aimlessly walked through the forest. She knew this place like the back of her hand, but she felt lost. Suddenly she felt a piercing pain shot through her chest. She doubled over in pain, grabbing at her chest. There wasn't any blood, and she wasn't bruised. She managed to pull off her t-shirt, leaving her in a purple tank-top and jeans. Her eyes widened when she saw what was on her chest. Inky black lines were forming over her heart and spreading over her entire body. Her body shook violently and a strong force blew her backwards against a tree. She fell forwards, smashing her face into the ground. Barely conscious and barely breathing, she managed to roll onto her back. Pain ripped through her entire being as the black lines crept across her skin. The lines crept up her neck, forcing her head back. It got harder and harder for her to breathe until she just stopped. In the last moments of her consciousness, she heard the sound of glass shattering. She was lost. She was broken. She was alone.

Garret was wandering through the forest not far from where Meredy was. He had felt the same stabbing pain in his chest that she had—"

“Stop! Stop!” A young woman shouts, running into the room. She is tall and thin with silky black hair that goes down past her knees. Her face is pale with high cheekbones, a pug nose, and full, red lips. Her piercing green eyes meet every pair of ours one at a time. Her eyes linger on mine for a bit before she turns back to her grandmother.

“You’re telling the story wrong.” She insists, “You have to start from the beginning, grandmamma! There’s no point in telling a story if you’re going to tell it wrong.”

She puts her small, thin hands on her hips, and gives her grandmother a disappointed look.

“Melody,” Mrs. Templesmith scolds, “You shouldn't be out of bed in your condition.”

“I’m just fine, grandma.” Melody insists, “Stop worrying about me. I’m twenty-seven years old. I can take care of myself.”

Mrs. Templesmith sighs and rolls her eyes at her granddaughter.

“Alright, then,” She says, “Since you’re up and you seem to know your sister’s story better than I, why don’t you tell us the Tragedy of Meredy Townsend?”

Melody grins. She did have a knack for storytelling. Melody is what one would call a ‘Shadow Spinner’. She can weave stories out of the shadows. Create something fascinating out of thin air. She is truly amazing. She plops down on the floor and sits cross-legged, leaning her back against the wall.

“This,” She begins, “is a story filled with magic, dragons, sword fights, adventure, beautiful maidens, dashing princes, and just a touch of doom. This… is the Tragedy of Meredy Townsend.”

We all keep our eyes locked on her. Melody had this way about her that made you want to listen to what she was saying. It made you want to pay attention. With just those few simple words, she had captivated all of us.

“Go on…” The little boy sitting on the floor in front of the couch pleads, “Please! I want t’ know wha’ happens.”

Melody smiles and holds out her arms to little boy. He can’t be more than six years old, and he looks just like his mother, Melody. He has the same black hair and piercing green eyes. He doesn't have the same elvish features though. His face is rounder and more childlike and he is small for his age, whereas Melody is taller than the average twenty-seven year old woman. The little boy grins and runs over to her. She pulls him onto her lap and hugs him close.

“Alright, Sander,” She says, “Because you asked, I’ll continue the story.”

None of us object. Mrs. Templesmith probably does, but she says nothing and focuses on her knitting.

“Most stories start with ‘Once upon a time’, however, ours does not.” Melody says, beginning the tale, “Our story begins with an elderly king and queen without an heir and a powerful witch willing to grant them their heart’s desire on one condition….”





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