A/N: After much debate--and much maturing as a writier--I have decided to make major revisions to this story. It will follow the same general storyline, but I wanted to make it sound better. I have hopes of perhaps publishing this story someday, and I want to make it a quality work. Any and all feedback is greatly needed, appreciated, and welcomed. Please let me know how this is sounding. Please. Thank you to all my readers, faithful and new.


"From childhood's hour I have not been

As others were—I have not seen

As others saw—I could not bring

My passions from a common spring.

From the same source I have not taken

My sorrow; I could not awaken

My heart to joy at the same tone;

And all I lov'd, I lov'd alone.

Then—in my childhood—in the dawn

Of a most stormy life—was drawn

From ev'ry depth of good and ill

The mystery which binds me still:

From the torrent, or the fountain,

From the red cliff of the mountain,

From the sun that 'round me roll'd

In its autumn tint of gold—

From the lightning in the sky

As it pass'd me flying by—

From the thunder and the storm,

And the cloud that took the form

(When the rest of Heaven was blue)

Of a demon in my view."

-"Alone," by Edgar Allan Poe

~Toulouse, France, 1883~

The smell of mildewed hay mixed with the discarded refuse and trash of weeks of fair visitors was enough to turn a strong man's stomach. But the rain...the sweet, life giving rain was the only comfort that was offered. The cleansing rain, the promise of new life, the rhythmic sounds as each drop played its tune on the roof of what could only be called home. A small cage no bigger than what would hold a large dog.

The little, filth covered girl—sitting amongst the mud, hay and trash—called this her home.

Looking up, she realized she was alone. Light from a nearby post cast deep shadows upon her home. For all the misery that could be found within the small confines, she knew deep down that soon, her quiet paradise would soon be disrupted as the lanes once again filled with people looking for a nights entertainment. She could hear them now: first, a low murmur, which grew louder as the shadows of her tormentors increased in number. She shrank in fear and desperation trying to find the darkest part of her home, some place as to be unseen. There was a sudden bright light that flashed in her eyes and her head swam as she felt the sickly juice run down her face and the stinging pain that followed.

"Make her say something, Papa," a voice demanded. "Make her scream…