Each story must have a beginning...

Each story must have an end...

True Hate and True Love

Book IV

Of the Travelers of Enchantment Series

Once upon a time – a long, long time ago, in a land far, far away: way across the ocean…

(For this is how a most classic faery tale begins.)

'There was once a sweet little girl who was loved by everyone.  As a present, the girl's grandmother made her a little riding hood of red velvet.  The cap pleased the girl so much that she always wore it and so she became known as Little Red Riding Hood.

One day, her mother asked her to take a basket of cakes and wine to her grandmother…'

And here, with Red's first step over the cottage thresh hold and out the door, onto the path to her grandmother's house, our adventure begins.  We know the story well – a little girl is off on an errand, and she meets a very personable but undeniably evil wolf that wants nothing more than to devour both the girl and her grandmother (which he does), and results in a huntsman saving the day and a lesson being learned.

But not all wolves always assume their furry lupine form, and not all Riding Hoods are wide-eyed children of six.  Wolves, heroines, grandmothers, huntsmen, and all take on a whole new form and role at the touch of a writer's hand, and forests can become the living reality of our own clandestine, tangled labyrinths of destinies – the future itself, if you will.  There is no limit to what can be done in fantasy, in fairy tales, where magic and imagination abound…

However, we will never know how our own faery tales will end or even where they will begin until we step over the thresh hold, out the cottage door, and onto the path.

So come with me now: follow Little Red Riding Hood and me into the forest…step into the woods

– Prologue –

The Dark and the Light

Two Free-Verse Canticles:

As Recorded by the Bards of Suivallen

I. – The Dark Lord

Once, there was a Dark Lord:

Terrible and cruel,

Who ruled over the lands of evil

With a Hand of Iron;

Serving His Dark Queen

And her alone,

Plaguing each soul, each creature,

Realm and Kingdom alike

With His malice.

Then: a war,

Evil against Good;

Faery, Elven warrior,

Vampyre, and mortal alike,

Joined hand-in-hand against him.

A rebellion, a battle,

The greatest defeat –

And never more was the Dark Lord

Ever to be seen.

But gone was not He…

II. – The Prophecy and the Tragedy

In the land of faery,

Where good and light dwelt,

Was a handsome young lord

And his fair lady wife.

Diarnan he was called;

Lhanallis she,

Joy and peace in their home.

A daughter was born to them,

And so wondrous fair was she,

That many came from far and near,

Present at her christening to be.

The name of the goddess of light

They gave to this child:

Elowyn – golden, sea-lov'd,

As a rose pure and wild.

But happy as their destinies

Should have become,

The Darkness invaded –

And none could escape.

A prophecy was made,

Unable to be broken,

The evil Queen was struck

With Fear of this babe.

For what the Fates had decreed,

None could deny…

Fire, havoc, mayhem, and blood:

Vile Skullex, ogre, goblin,

And insatiable demon-wolf,

The Queen of the dark lands

Commanding all.

Diarnan fought valiant,

Lhanallis at his side;

Together they fought,

And together they died.

But Elowyn, the babe,

Was spirited away,

By faery-lord Orandor

And three of his sons,

To live in a place

Where the Darkness could not find her.

The prophecy remains,

Remembr'd in Orandor's mind –

One day, it would come,

To find she of whom it spoke…

For Elowyn the Fair, Elowyn the White,

The Gold, the Pure – The Light,

Is fated to share her destiny

With a Dark Companion…

And what the Fates have decreed,

None can gainsay.