This was written by Sara, my friend. She doesn't have a fictionpress account, and hopes that you like it.

No stealing her work. We WILL stal- I mean, SUE.

No, of course we didn't make up the song. Useth thine head.


Clementine

This is a story about a song you probably thought was about a miner's daughter. Over time, verses have been added, to make it fit their needs. But it originally had only one verse and was intended to be sung to the same tune, but much slower. Read on, if you must.

Seeing as this story began as a fairytale, it only seems appropriate to begin with once upon a time. Once upon a time, in a land f ar, far away, a princess was born. She had the most beautiful golden hair, so her parents named her Clementine. She was the older child of two, and as time moved on, the two princesses grew very different. Clementine grew all the more beautiful, with fair skin and blue eyes, and of course her glorious hair. She was kind to all, including animals. She loved her father's subjects, and in turn they loved her. Her sister, however, was a different story. Andromeda had black hair and dark eyes, her skin olive. She was persuasive and cunning, wiser than most of her fathers advisers. She grew up in her sister's shadow, the plain one. And that turned her into a shrewd young woman, in all definitions of the word. She was always the afterthought, and it showed. Her crown was silver, her sister's gold. Everything for her went like this.

Clementine was courted by a mess of nobles, the young and the old. They were all head over heels in love with her, but she loved none of them. Rumor had it that she loved someone else, someone who didn't love her and she could never have. Rumor had it she loved a boy who worked in the stables, and lived in the poorer part of the kingdom. But that, my friends, is only a rumor.

Andromeda loved none, and none loved her.

And so our tale begins. It is the Princess Clementine's sixteenth birthday, and her parents have thrown a great ball in her honor. The stage is set. The curtain goes up.

Andromeda, naturally, sulked (Or rather skulked) in the corner. None asked her dance, and her parents presumed that was why she was not socializing. But Andromeda would have turned them down anyway, and was quite alright with leading her parents on. In a while she will quietly leave the room, but we will not linger on her long. For now, her only purpose is to skulk. Clementine is who we should be focusing on now. She was even more beautif ul than ever, in a whi te gown with fancy gold embroidery. The corset was gold and white to match the skirt, and rather low cut, and at the bottom of her skirt and top of the corset, fancy gold lace peeped out. She was, as always, the belle of the ball. She was surrounded by a gaggle of young men, and laughing joyously. A few asked her to dance, and she happily obliged. Her parents viewed these events quietly from up above, perhaps looking for a suitable groom?

Clementine was quite content, as she usually was. Sitting in a small chair, one of her suitors had, with a flourish, produced a small gold box, which she was in the process of opening. Inside was a gold necklace, with small diamonds set in. Very pretty, but rather simple. That was how Clementine liked it.

Well, someone has obviously taken a leaf out of my mothers book, Clementine thought as she examined the jewelry. How else would they know my full name?

She had observed the engraving in the back, which read For Clementine Louisa May, with love. "Thank you, Geoffrey, it's wonderful." Clementine sighed as he helped her do the hook. And it was wonderful, but she felt bad about accepting it, for she did not love Geoffrey. Nor, for that matter, did she love Laurent or James, or any of her other suitors. And on that happy note, she stood up and wandered through the crowd of nobles.

And she continued to wander, until she felt a hand on her shoulder. She turned around to see the most curious young man standing behind her. He was dressed all in black. Black breeches, black boots, black blouse, black knee-length boots, even a black mask. His hair wa s a dirty blond, and drawn back into a small black ribbon at the nape of his neck, his skin was pale, and his eyes behind the mask were grey.

"Will you dance with me?" he asked. His voice was rough, but it had the sound of someone trying to disguise their own voice. With only the slightest of frowns, she obliged. It was a slow dance, and she rested her head on his shoulder. For some reason, she felt like she had known him for a long time. As the song wound to a close, he whirled her away, into the hall and then into a small bedroom off it, her arms still wrapped around his neck and head on his shoulder. None of the nobles commented, they all had their own suspicions of where they were going, and did not hesitate to share them in hushed whispers with their neighbors. The king and queen did not mind, and in her absence turned their gazes turned (for once) on Andromeda. No one noticed the silver hilted dagger sticking out of their princess' chest.

The dark young man kissed Clementine hard, and laid her down softly on the large bed in the center of the room. As he stroked her cheek, the last breath of life left her full, pale lips. You could almost see it, a delicate silver wisp carried on a breeze. The young man started to sing a slow, sad song. His voice was no longer rough, but now soft.

"Oh my darling, oh my darling, oh my darling Clementine. You are lost and gone forever, awful sorry, Clementine."

His voice cracked and the song was occasionally interrupted by a sob, but he kept singing, repeating the words over and over again as he slowly left the room, after placing a letter penned in a hand very similar to Clementine's. He did not notice Geoffrey, the young count, hiding behind a large tapestry. He had finally noticed the dagger, and suddenly understood. He felt obliged to avenge the Princess. He followed a good distance behind the other young man as he left the castle and made his way to a small farm in the poorer section of the kingdom.

At the farm he was met a young woman in a dark cloak, a long, dark braid falling almost to her waist. Not realizing that they were alone, they discussed what had happened. The man in black, whose name was apparently Mathieu , had accidentally kill ed a farmer in a scuffle, over what is not important. Unbeknownst to him, the farmer's daughter had been watching. Afraid of being turned in and put in the pillory, the iron maiden or worse, he begged for her not to report him. He offered anything and everything he owned, but she set a higher price. She wanted a murder. She wanted the murder of a certain royal who Mathieu loved very dearly but could never have. Suddenly Geoffrey no longer wanted his revenge. Indeed he almost felt sorry for Mathieu, and turned to go when he noticed something very strange happening. The farmer's daughter's hand was moving slowly across Mathieu's back and down his arm, eventually coming to rest on the hand that still held the silver dagger. She slowly brought his hand up to his chest, the point almost pricking him.

"It would be so much easier for you..." She purred in his ear, caressing his hand.

She was very catlike, indeed. Slowly, she dropped her hand and looked up at him, her dark eyes boring into his. You can guess what happened next, and I feel no need to write any more about the bloody event, except that he died with a slight smile on his face. Geoffrey remained frozen in his hiding place. The next day he would leave the country, never to be seen again. The girl turned and ran, and as she did so, the hood on her cloak dropped, revealing the silver tiara.

Andromeda threw open the grand double doors, a rather dramatic entrance for her. Usually you could never tell when she entered the room, but something was different about her. Suddenly, in her sister's absence, she was stunning. She wore a velvet maroon gown, with fancy black embroidery around the frightenin gly low neckline and he m. For the first time, many nobles really looked at her for the first time. She had dark grey, almost black eyes, a thin nose, and full red lips. Her dark hair was pulled back into a waist length braid, with a few ringlets framing her face, and the small silver tiara somehow worked for her. She was the exact opposite of Clementine in all ways, but she was still beautiful. James rushed forward to brush his lips against her hand, and Laurent asked her to dance. No one knew it, but it was the first time she had ever been asked to dance, and she smiled smugly. This was the beginning of a new life for Andromeda, and it would be a far better one than the one she'd had before. And so our nightmare ends. None knew about the two murders, but for two: One who fled the country and soon died of a heart attack, and the other delights in not telling. The two suicides were discovered in the morning. One body was left to rot, the other buried with much to-do. The curtain falls.