Introduction: The Story

"Tell us a story mama!" Zachary exclaimed as he clambered onto his bed and clutched his tattered teddy bear, a glint of excitement clear in his deep hazel eyes. He pulled his old, worn blankets around him and fidgeted restlessly, wanting to hear his mother's smooth voice telling one of her elaborate stories. Mama chuckled softly, sitting down beside him and gently pulling him onto her lap. "What story would you like?" Mama spoke kindly and her smile never once faltered. Kathy could see why her mother was respected and loved so highly by the townsfolk. After all, who could not love Anne Veronica? Kathy herself was the spitting image of her pretty mother, having her curly auburn hair, soft healthy skin and her deep emerald eyes. The only thing Kathy hadn't seemed to have received was her Mama's bright, happy smile. Her own lips always wore a miserable frown. She leaned against a wall carelessly and scowled at her younger brother, finding his excitement tiresome and irritating. So much so, that she was forever tempted to shove him right off that creaking bed of his. Of course she kept this thought to herself and remained silent in the corner.

Zachary, oblivious to his sister's bitterness, cuddled up to Mama and rested his head on her chest comfortably. "The one about Anne Veronica! You haven't told us that one in years…"

Mama chuckled once again as she affectionately ran her delicate fingers through her son's hair which was the colour of horse chestnuts, ready to fall to the ground and be collected by playful children. Kathy rolled her eyes from across the room, in a way that only she thought was mature. "That's Mama, idiot. She's Anne Veronica". Zachary's face fell and he glanced up at his mother, his bottom lip trembling slightly. Anne sighed at her sour daughter and beckoned for her to come over. "Please don't use words like that towards your brother, Kathy. Now come and join us for the story". Kathy shook her head and stayed right where she was, displaying the stubbornness that she had inherited off her father. "I'm fine here, Mama. Tell your story".

Zachary's face lit up again and he beamed cutely at his Mama. "Oh yes! Do tell!" Mama smiled brightly at both of her children and brushed some stray auburn hair out of her eyes as she began to tell the story. Her story. "So you want to hear about the Dust Devils, aye? I suppose that I should start at the beginning, a very good place to start. It starts with a young girl, Anne Veronica, and her best friend, Caleb Stonehill…"