© 2012-2013 Iscah

All Rights Reserved

SEVENTH NIGHT

Before the Fairytale:

The Girl With No Name

by Iscah


Story Notes: The Girl With No Name was originally published as a free weekly serial here on Fictionpress. After it was finished, it was re-edited with the help of all the lovely feedback from fellow FP users and my primary beta P.J., who was my co-writer on my budgeting book. The full novella is now available on Kindle and soon to be released in additional ebook formats. Print is on hold until the set is further along; the length of the third and fourth stories will determine whether the books will be printed individually or as one volume.

Special thanks to Whirlymerle, tomcat941, CieloRayn, Bard Of Many Voices (add periods between words), Loraine Wentworth, Link Roc, The Last Epic, Argentum Vir, SirScott, and ifeelmad1. The feedback from everyone is greatly appreciated, but these are people whose suggestions or typo spotting was used directly to improve the story.

Due to restrictions with various online retailers, I can't repost the entire story like I had hoped, but I do think I can repost the first few chapters now that the exclusive period has ended, since those are available to read as a preview on Amazon anyway.

The second story in the Before the Fairytale set, Horse Feathers, is currently being posted as a free weekly serial on Fictionpress that updates each Friday.

Seventh Night, the full length novel that Before the Fairytale comes before is due out in November 2013. (Seventh Night will be briefly available on Fictionpress as an ARC Blitzkreig August 30th-September 9th, so now!)

While I still welcome your thoughts and questions, this story is no longer open for review exchanges, and editing is limited to fixing mistakes. Old reviews are still up and may not match current chapter numbers.


~o~O~o~

Prologue

Once upon a time there was a girl with no name. She lived in the landlocked country of Gourlin in a small cabin with a very old man who was her keeper and only friend. She was not unloved nor very lonely for the whole of the world sang to her, but she had her share of difficulties.

It was not uncommon in this time for women to die in childbirth, and this was the fate that claimed her mother. Her mother had every intention of naming her, but she had waited for two things that never happened. She had waited to look in her child's eyes, and she had waited for her husband to return from his journey. But through the long months her child grew inside her, she sang to her daughter every day and told her secrets and stories that were still buried in the girl's soul.

The first person to look in the child's eyes other than the midwife was the elderly man who was to keep her. He thought it proper that she be named by one of her parents, so he also waited for her father to return. In the meantime, he called her Little and that worked well enough.

The girl's father had every intention of returning. He had left his most precious possessions in the care of his new wife and their elderly friend and taken only the bare essentials for his journey. Like many in Gourlin, he had heard the story of how their western desert had more than doubled in size overnight. Unlike many in Gourlin, he had a guess as to why. Perhaps if he had known he had a daughter coming, he may not have gone at all, but it is hard to say. No one plans to be murdered. No one expects the companion who had fought hard against wind and wave by their side for weeks on end in a small boat to reach a shore abandoned three centuries ago by their ancestors to show such treachery. But a black heart had been hidden behind an unassuming face and mild manner.

The one advantage of the girl's father never being aware of her was it kept her existence a perfect secret from the black hearted man as well.

Little and her keeper led a quiet life. Her parents had left her no great wealth in gold but a healthy stack of twenty or so books, many of them on magic, but two were handwritten journals about her father's travels. To the girl, they were a great treasure.

~o~O~o~