fter the somewhat joyous news, if that is what it could be called, a little girl who must have been around 6 or 7 and had the most golden curly hair came forth. She wore a blue skirt that puffed out around her tiny legs. The reaper nodded at her, and she began. She was so young, and innocent. When she spoke, the way she spoke proved she was still just learning how to speak properly. It was heartening and depressing at the same time—robbed of life so young. "My name is Stephanie Sulser. My daddy worked at an alchemy shop with my mommy. They worked side by side and sometimes I could go play in the shop if I was lucky. I liked mixing the funny colors together.
ne night I was riding in the back of a wagon to Falkreath which my parents were driving to. My uncle was sick and my daddy wanted to visit him. I was trying to sleep in the back, but the blanket, Huggy, my stuffed bear was wrapped in got tossed around from the rough path and unfolded near the end of the wagon. Huggy was loose and started to fall out. I reached to grab him, but I slipped and fell out of the back with Huggy. I yelled as loud as I could, but the horse's hooves stomping had drowned out my voice. I watched my parents fade away in the distance.
finally couldn't see them anymore.. I was scared and even started to cry. I don’t like the wolves or the owls or the bats. All the noises frighten me when I’m by myself. I took Huggy and we went to hide a little ways from the road slightly under the trees. It wasn't too long until I saw a carriage with four big men. They saw me and slowed to a stop. They asked me my name and I didn’t answer. Finally, one of them who was not as rough looking as the others knelt down in front of me and told me his name. He was Lord Rork of Markath and he was with his body guards he said. He dressed funny for a lord. He had rags on and so did his body guards in the wagon. The horses didn’t look fat either like other knights' and lords' horses. I asked him why he dressed like a beggar and his horses weren't fat. He told me they travel in disguise to fool the brigands. It was a clever plan. His body guards laughed when he said that. It was a funny game for them I guess.
e reached out his hand and asked if I was lost. "Yes!" I told him. I want to go to Falkreath to go to my mommy and daddy before I get in trouble. He looked at his body guards and praised the divines. He said they were rushing to Falkreath too for a meeting with the baron and they invited me to join them. I thought I was lucky they found me. Now I wouldn’t be in as much trouble and since he was a lord in disguise, I was extra safe.
e were riding along and the men kept asking me strange questions. I didn’t know what they meant with some of their words; one kept saying how soft my skin must be--that was weird to me. But they kept me laughing and being nice to me. They did stare sometimes which was weird too. We came to an old creaky bridge, and when we were on it, the old ropes snapped! We fell into a crevice with jagged rocks. All of us got scratched and cut up. The carriage was all broken and the horses were trapped in a stream of water beneath us. They made horrible sounds as they tried to fight against drowning. I felt badly for them. They were desperately trying to climb up out of the water, and they looked so confused when their big feet couldn't grab anything solid. Even though people think animals are just dumb, I think they have feelings just like we do. They had complete fear in their eyes.
here was a little hole on the side of the crevice which we found and all climbed in. After climbing through for a while we entered into a hall of a vast labyrinth. It was very dark and full of spider-webs and we could hear echoing through the halls which sounded even worse than the horses did when they were being pulled under the current by the carriage.
hey all started to search the new area which was being lit only by torch-light. But it was a creepy place. The halls were full of shadows and darkness. I got a bad feeling about being with them. They didn’t act like nobility at all, and the foul language they used would never be heard coming out of the mouth of a noble. They starting looking through the vases that were lying around and paid no attention to me. That’s when I heard the sound of something neat! It was a music box--kinda like the one I had. I left the cursing men and started down the corridor towards the music. Maybe their was another girl here! I didn’t have a light, but I kept seeing a strange fog that glowed. It was floating through the corridors around me and it gave enough light that I could see horrible shadows cast on the wall emitting from it. The strange fog moved rapidly from ceiling to wall and back to ceiling. It’s like it had a life of its own. It also kinda followed me. And whenever it came near, I got goosebumps on the back of my neck and arms. I could hear whispers inside it. It was a scary thing. Demons possessed the fog I think. So, I tried to stay away from it and I kept running toward the music box sound.
didn’t get too far when I heard one of the men yell for me. They called me bad names and told me to come back to them. They yelled louder and louder. So I ran further away. The misty glow was also becoming more active. I could see grotesque images of face-shadows watching us. I had to hurry, I could hear the lord and his body guards were close. I entered a large room that broke into three more directions and didn’t know which way to go. The wicked sounds of the labyrinth were getting louder. I saw a table pushed up by a wall and crawled under it. I found a little area knocked out of the wall just enough for me to fit in. So I hid there. Once I hid, I could hear growling and screaming and wicked laughter coming from the same tunnel I came from. I tried to focus my eyes towards the noise, and I could see a faint yellowish glow pass through the room. It was the mist.... I knew it was bad.
he group came rushing in not long after cussing at me. They were so angry for some reason. They began to split down the halls and one stayed alone in the room with me. They all had their weapons out ready to fight any monsters maybe. But I didn’t want to be with them. They were too quick to anger to be trusted. I saw a little opportunity to run back down the path I came from so I took my chance and ran past their guard. He heard me though and started chasing. I could hear voices whispering to me to run and not stop. That’s just what I did.
ran into a room that had no doors or exits. I was trapped. I tried to find a hiding place but couldn’t find a good one. The room was very dark and the glowing mist was gone. I was so scared I could hear myself breathing hard. I tried to stop, but it wasn’t any use. The nobles would find me soon. But, right when I thought this the shadows began to swirl into a form of a man. I was terrified and couldn’t move. I wanted to scream but nothing came out. The shadow figure walked towards me and made a motion with his hand. I looked away real quick and felt something pull me down. I held tight on to Huggy. I squeezed him as hard as I could. It felt like a person placing their arm behind my neck like they were preparing to carry me in their arms like daddy did. I fell into the arms and felt very tired. When I closed my eyes, I felt something sharp across my neck, but it didn’t really hurt. I just kept my eyes closed and strangely felt safe.
opened my eyes and I was asleep on that field. I heard the pretty song you were playing Mr. and I came here.” The reaper with a surprisingly warm smile approached the young girl and knelt down to be eye level with her. His eyes filled with compassion and sorrow. He looked at her for a few moments before speaking to her: "My child, it is a harsh truth that men with evil in their hearts are willing to commit vile acts to the innocent. That shadow figure was an alternate manifestation of myself. I called your name early to save you from a fate worse than death. I hope one day you can understand this and maybe even find it in your heart to forgive me for what I have done."
he little girl nodded at him as if she had at least a slight understanding of the meaning of his words. He stood proudly and commanding and slowly waltzed back to his place on the green. He continued to play and the next story teller took a step forward.