Prologue:

The wooden planks creaked beneath her shoes. She raised the skirts of her carmine dress as she moved with closed eyes and a soft second soprano voice.

"This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine

This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine…"

Wildflower honey curls shimmered at her shoulders as sunlight on a summer evening, and her dress cascaded to the wooden stage with grace. She breathed in the dust of the dark corners behind the dense velvet curtain and closed her tawny eyes.

"This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine

Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine…"

. . .

The crowd streamed through the opera house doors and pooled outside beneath the stars. He sensed the sweetness of her voice ahead as she greeted the people leaving. A glimpse of her dress here and sound of her voice there helped him realize where she was when he emerged into the crisp air. She was surrounded by chattering people, and a street vendor with a basket of single roses passing behind her caught his attention. He squeezed toward the man and asked their price before returning to the girl.