Prologue

When I was little, my favorite thing in the in the world was butterflies. They were delicate and gracefully and everything I could never seem to be. But I loved them for it. I would watch them for hours, flitting from one flower to another, and more than once I wished that my wings were as beautiful as theirs so that I could fly along with them.

I can remember once telling my father that I wanted them painted all over my room. "Exactly one-hundred butterflies, Daddy!" I'd said. At the time, he just smiled and patted my head. But he did it, and in no less than two weeks my small room was filled from floor to ceiling with one-hundred butterflies of ever color you can imagine.

I don't think I've ever been happier than I was on that day when he picked me up and showed them to me for the first time, saying, "Pretty enough for a princess, aren't they my little Runna? Aren't they?" And even after a few years had pasted, when their colors began to fade and the paint began to chip, I still loved them.

But now, through some twist of fate, they seemed dead. After eight years, their magic was gone. Their wings, all various shades beige, looked lifeless and there were times when I could barely stand to look at them.

I reached out a slender finger and stroked one of the little cracked creatures. The paint crunched under my touch, small chips falling to the plastic-covered floor.

"Are you sure you want to do this?" Claire asked from the other side of the room. I nodded numbly and picked up my own paint roller. With one quick swipe the butterfly was gone, and so was the last reminder of my near-perfect childhood. Something twisted in my gut.

Bye Dad.