Hello :o) This is just my first fictionpress story… So far, it isn't much, but there will be more chapters (hopefully, depending on response). Please review, I hope you like it… :o)

Awoire deliberately dangled a toe above the chilled wood-slatted floor. She let it hang in the air, suspended like a marionette's limb, until the strings lowered, and her foot made contact with silken grass on the other side of the door frame. Awoire allowed the corners of her mouth to twitch into an almost imperceptible smile at the breathtaking view in front of her. Three aged trees emerged from the soil together in a corner of the expanse of moonlight-drenched backyard. A shiver traveled up her slender legs until it reached the main body of the marionette, reminding Awoire of the spring chill as her fingers slowly unwound themselves from the shawl clasped tightly around her shoulders. It slipped to the level of her feet, with only the very tips clasped in her hands, dragging the delicate cloth behind her.

With her eyes alert, Awoire spotted the quaint, white deck table and chairs where she would spend most of her afternoons wistfully sneaking glances away from her mother, aunts, and any other dreary visitors she would be expected to entertain and tolerate. (Since most of the women's intentions were to criticize and "improve" Awoire, this sometimes proved to be a very difficult task indeed.) Instead, what would draw her attention would be the boys running back and forth chasing a little white ball with racquets gripped in their fists, and swinging at everything within reach. Awoire found the spectacle of the tennis caper most amusing, and secretly imagined herself joining them in their complicated dance.

However, tennis was not the main distraction each afternoon, but instead, a more reserved, serene undertaking completely entranced Awoire. Every afternoon, a boy with jet-black hair, Reko, would sit under the tallest of the three trees, enshrouded in shade. In his lap he would cradle an object with a blue faded binding and many pieces of paper… with words. Awoire often imagined that there must be thousands of pages trapped inside that book, just waiting for their knowledge and truths, their fantasy and fiction to be released into the world one person at a time.

With this thought still cultivating in her brunette head, Awoire drew out the very same book from the folds of her nightgown where it had been hidden. She didn't glance at it, only moved silently forward towards the trees, where she planned to sit and read. Only when she finally comfortably seated with her back in a groove in the tree, did she think about looking down at the pages of the book.

It had taken great courage and risk to steal the book off of Reko's pile of books. Awoire had attended school when she was younger, and so she learned how to read. However, being a member of a high-class English family, her father was firmly opposed all women empowerment, and snatched her from her school enrollment list as soon as she turned nine years old. Now, at the age of fifteen, Awoire keenly felt the loss, and would gaze sadly each morning at the retreating boys and girls as they trotted happily down the street. It had become a type of ritual for her. In her mind she would pick out people who she thought she would be friends with if she had been allowed to stay in school. Then there were her brothers and their various friends.

She was thinking of this as she drew her fingers along the edge of the front cover of the book, feeling the silhouette of the mysterious treasure-trove. In her mind, there were already tendrils of far-off lands escaping from the depths of the abyss, which happened to be cradled in her careful hands. Slowly, with deliberation, her right thumb slid under the right side of the front cover and lifted.

So? What do you think?