Secrets and Hope

THE VILLAGE: How It Should Have Ended

a/n My wonderful friend Kate Wicker and I were watching this movie. And, unsatisfied with the ending, she requested that I write a new or extended ending, after the same fashion as the "Alice in Wonderland" one she asked for. So, here goes nothing.

For future generations, the blind girl driven by love through the fearsome woods was a legend. With nothing but her determination to save the man she was to marry, Ivy had traveled through dangers of the body and the mind, overcome terror, and even battled one of Those Who They Did Not Speak Of and won - all without her sight.

Forever after, children grew dreaming of having such great courage, strength of character, and so bold a heart.

As for the girl herself, Ivy Walker waited another four months for her fiancé to be well enough to dance at their wedding. That night the hall was lit with lanterns, happy voices clamoring in sensitive ears, many favored foods displayed, the most enjoyable songs playing, the enticing scents of flowers and fruits staining the air. And the only thing Ivy Hunt was truly aware of was the rough hand tenderly clasping hers, and the color of her beloved at her side.

Years passed, and the secrets with it. Lucius and Ivy were chosen as the new keepers of the dark boxes. It became their burden to bear, and they bore it well, and refused to regret.

But on gentle nights, when the air was soft, and all the world tasted of possibilities and love-

On tender nights, when they sat together, hand-in-hand, side-by-side on the steps of their own porch, the comforting sounds of their sleeping children's near-silent breathing slipping through the open window, and the wind carefully ruffling through the crowns of the trees, they spoke of secrets and change.

(Or, rather, she spoke for them both. And he no longer protested, when she could illustrate his thoughts with perfect clarity.)

And she would mention a man with a kind voice, one who had neither turned away from, nor attacked her in her need. They would remember the kindness of a stranger, her fingers tracing the old scar and his lips brushed across her hair.

In those times of peace, of knowledge and understanding and simple love, they allowed themselves to think of the future of the Village and the Towns.

And to hope.