The Willow Glossary

Main characters:

Mari Lynn: The trouble maker. 5'6, black haired, green eyed, dark skinned....her behavior outshines her beauty. Magic powers: Blue fire.

Bex Roelore: The sweetheart. 6'0, brown haired, brown eyed, fair skin...despite family's high status in the city, he is loved by nearly all. Magic power: Old magic.

Hope Lae Aurin: The angel. 5'3, golden haired, green eyed, fair skin...soft spoken and gentle, she has no enemies. Magic powers: Gift of the Wind.

Jene Tayson: The silent, beautiful one. 6'1, black haired, hazel eyed, olive skin...intellectual and pensive, his mind is a dangerous weapon. Magic powers: the Light.

Setting:
the city of Marrow Wyn, time unknown


The Willow

Chapter One

The air was cool and sweet as the sun was preparing for slumber. The wind stirred, then remained silent.

A dark haired girl soon appeared, running through the silver stream. Not once did she stumble upon the slippery rocks. She was being closely chased by a fairly young man. The girl jumped onto the grass, dashing toward a giant willow. The boy did the same. He then leapt on top of her, but before the boy could even smile, she kicked him away and stood. She ran to the tree, colliding into another young man. She looked up into his face, then behind her at her chaser. She quickly hid behind the former.

"Bex," said her pursuer,"step aside."

"No!" the girl cried.

"No," Bex said calmly.

There was an ugly look on the other boy's face.

"We have some maters to discuss and they do not concern you."

"They cannot wait?"

"Indeed they-" A gruesome smile crept upon the opposer's face. "It can. They can wait." The boy's cold eyes switched upon the girl. "Farewell, Lady."

He left.

Bex turned the girl. "Have you been making promises you can't keep again?"

Her expression and tone were careless. "What does it matter to you?"

"Everything!"

"What?" The girl inquired softly.

Bex looked away. "Nothing."

"Humph! How did you know to come here anyway?"

Bex shrugged. "I didn't. Mari Lynn." His gaze shifted on her.

"What?"

"Don't get into anymore trouble," he said, walking away. "I don't' want to keep saving you."

"Who said I wanted you to?" she called after him, but he didn't turn around.

>>>>>>

Jene sat against the willow, staring across the forest. His left hand was clenched into a fist and his jaw was set as he blinked away burning tears.

"Jene!" Raen had called to him the day before. "I'm sorry, I can't meet with you tonight."

"Why?" Jene had asked, forlorn.

"Some fool wrote on a tree again," Raen had replied, her gray eyes intense. "I have to heal it."

And then, before he could have said another word, she had kissed him and was gone.

Jene had waited for her by the willow. He waited and waited. It had turned dusk, and as the sky darkened, so did his heart.

Then a group of young boys had come to him and told him they found Raen in the forest.

With her heart ripped out.

They had explained it was happening to maidens lately as they led the grief-stricken Jene to his lost lover.

She had been lying in the darkest part of the forest. Her long dark hair spread all bout her, her beautiful gray eyes opened, lifeless. He skin was as white as winter.

And then Jene had seen it. It was long and deep. Blood had completely covered it, her front, her.

Something had caught his eye. His breathing had become painfully rugged as he bent and picked up a broken golden butterfly charm that lay beside her. He had looked at it, looked at her. She was still beautiful, still his angel.

He hadn't cried as he picked her up. He took her body to her mother and father and after much mourning, they buried her under the willow. Raen's favorite tree.

Jene sat there now, beside it. He looked down at his fist as it opened slowly. He stared longingly at the broken, golden butterfly charm. He had given it to Raen when they first met. He raised his eyes to look up and across the valley. He missed her so much.

Crying out her name, Jene quickly hid his face in his hand. He wept then.

>>>>>

Sitting on the other side of the willow was Mari Lynn. She picked up an orange flower and twirled it between her index finger and thumb.

Promises. Why did she make them to him? She didn't love him. Sure, he was beautiful, but he was vain. And the one she did love despised her.

Why didn't they understand her? Why didn't they...

She wanted to tell him, but she was so afraid. What if he didn't her love her in return? No, she couldn't tell him, she mustn't.

She loosened her hold on the flower and it was instantly lost in the wind.

If only she could be as free.

And then she heard a shout. A male's voice. It came from the other side of the willow.

"Jene?" Mari wondered aloud. She peered around the tree's trunk and found that she was correct in her assumption.

He was crying; Mari had never seen a man cry before. It saddened her a bit, but she quickly pushed her concern aside. She stood up and moved closer to him. The dark haired boy stiffened and looked up.

"Mari Lynn," Jene said quietly, letting the tear seal onto his face. "You frightened me."

Mari Lynn smiled tightly. "Why do people always say that?" she said under her breath. "Jene," she said as she leaned against the tree beside him. "Why were you crying? Did Raen leave you?"

"Yes." His voice held so much sorrow that Mari's heart became suddenly heavy. But once again, she pushed the feeling away.

"For another man?"

"No, she-" Jene stopped as he looked up at Mari Lynn, who gasped at the look in his hazel eyes. He stood up so fast that Mari was a bit surprised. And then, without warning, he shoved her.

Mari Lynn didn't scream as she began to fall down the steep hill. Abruptly, she came out of her stunned daze and caught herself before she fell into the stream.

She laid there for a few seconds before rising to her feet. Looking up at the hill, she saw Jene still standing but he was now staring down at her with a look of horror on his face. She began to back away.

"No, Mari Lynn...I'm sorry. I didn't mean to-"

Mari Lynn was running. Far away from him.

>>>>>>

It was nearing twilight when Bex arrived at his rather large home. His sister was waiting at the door.

"Oh, Bex! Hurry, hurry! You must hurry!" she told him urgently.

"But why?"

"You have...No, we've found you a...No, that's not it-"

"Saryn, what is it?" Bex was growing a little impatient.

Saryn took a deep breath before smiling brightly.

"Bex, you're getting married."

Those four simple words hung helplessly in the air. Bex only stared at his younger sister, stunned.

"Oh come on," Saryn said, pulling him into the house. "She's waiting for you." She led Bex into the parlor, where their mother, father, and a girl with wavy auburn hair waited.

"Ah, Bex, you've come at last," said their father. Bex came out of his stupor.

"Where have you been, son?" asked their mother. She took his hands, kissing both his cheeks.

"We'll worry about that later, dear. Son, we'd like you to meet Tari Li."

Tari Li smiled at him.

"Hello, Lady," Bex greeted.

"She's your bride-to-be now, Bex. You may call her by her name," his mother reprimanded sternly.

He sighed. "Tari Li."

Her smile was dazzling. She stood from the chair she had been sitting in. "It's a pleasure to meet you-" he began.

"Oh no," Tari Li said, quickly. "The pleasure is all mine. I've heard many things about you, Bex."

He found himself being lost in her gentle brown eyes. No, he told himself. You love someone else. Someone that needs you.

But it was too late to possibly tell her now.

Tari Li's smile seemed pasted on now. She was waiting for him to speak, but how could he? She looked down, then up, blinking away tears.

"I must go now. Thank you for allowing me to meet Bex."

"It was no trouble, dear." The mother said, hugging Tari. "You're welcome here anytime."

Tari smiled her gratitude.

"I'll walk you to the door-"

"No, thank you, Bex," she interrupted with stiffness in her voice. "I'm fine. Farewell, Saryn May."

"Farewell, Tari Li."

She left.

"Bex, I am ashamed of you. You act as if you don't like Tari," exclaimed his mother.

"How can I not?" he replied before leaving the parlor. "She's beautiful.