I have not really incorporated any traditional Shugo Chara characters but, enjoy!

Adilyam, this one is for you.

A soft ray of sunlight landed on the translucent piece of paper that Melody softly drew on; her silky raven hair streaming and cascading down her back. A twittering robin outside her window awoke her from her reverie. Melody quietly alighted beside the window so as to throw the shutters wide and let the afternoon siesta sunlight stream in. Her balcony opened up into a beautiful spacious garden surrounded by lovingly trimmed hedges and blossoming fruit trees, with a picturesque fountain in the centre of it all spewing liquid crystal; it was like a vision from paradise, only better. The girl gracefully rose. The silk kimono she wore was a shade of dark blue edged with glittering cyan diamonds. An expensive gift for so young a girl.

'Melody!' an insistent cry rung out from the recesses of the mansion and a young boy ran up to wear Melody patiently sat, pleasantly surveying the world from above.

The boy, many years the junior of his sister, with ruffled dark hair and an equally disorderly sailor-costume cried 'Mother and Father and I are leaving for the horse races, Melody, Mother said you were doodling but I know how much you love horses, especially the one with the satin stirrups and the black hocks and the white stripe running down its nose that you saw last time, Melly, oh please tell me you'll come, oh Melly it'll be awfully tiresome without you! -Melly!'

Melody, knowing fully well that her brother was playing at being the good, devoted little brother, stuck her tongue resolutely and ignoring him, began to walk down from her balcony's stairway into the garden below.

'Oh! Phooey, you're no fun any way, go doodle like Mother said!' cried the furious child before running off, his face a steaming pink.

Only, in real life, it was Melody who was playing at being the calm and collected sister in the face of her brother's tantrums. There were tears flowing down her cheeks, as crystalline as the diamonds on her kimono, for Melody's life had changed dramatically in the past year, and now it lay shattered and irreplaceable.

. . .

Melody had been the apple of her parent's eye and was everything the perfect daughter should be and more. Melody was an excellent student with incredible intelligence and a penchant for music and the arts. She could play the flute like an angelic dream and was an artist at heart above everything else. When she was born, her first cry had been so beautiful and filled with such a heart-rending wish to survive that her mother had named her Melody, for her melodious voice. Her singing awoke tears in elderly men and caused old women to look to the heavens. Melody was a girl bestowed with so many talents, but born to parents that could not finance everything she needed to fully blossom to her greatest potential. Desperate to fund their high hopes for their daughter, Melody's parents tried everything they could. Living in a remote corner of Yorkshire, England, her father worked as a meagre coal porter whose pay barely sustained his small family; Melody, her mother and father and her baby brother, only a toddler. All in all, they were happy despite their misfortune of being born in the lowest class. Her parents were both uneducated and her mother believing she could provide more money for her family took up work as a whore. Now, Melody's mother was a great woman, a strong woman, as most mothers are. She was not a pious woman, but only believed in good laughter, cheer, and happiness in her household; and if entertaining men brought in an extra penny for her children's well-being, well, that was all right too. Her husband was all right with it, and no matter how many tongues wagged about Melody's mother, Melody knew that she loved her more than anyone else in the world, and no matter what anyone said, it would stay that way.

Unfortunately, Melody's world was about to come crashing down. One fine spring evening, Melody lay on her wool coverlet practicing her flute. You may ask, how could such a poor family be able to afford such an exquisite an instrument. In truth, this flute had been passed down from generation to generation on her mother's side. Her great-grandmother had been a great flutist and Melody treasured it with her life. Suddenly, a hoarse, strangled cry was emitted from the family room. It was Melody's father. Melody ran like the wind to the family's small living room where she barely spied her father's nimble feet leaving the doorway in huge leaps. Melody deftly grabbed her light bonnet that hung on a peg beside the doorway, and began to run, faster and faster down the crowded street which was thick with passers-by giving empty shouts into the starless night sky.

She ran and ran her feet carrying her farther and farther to the centre of the town, her liquid black hair blending into the shadows that surrounded her as her feet pounded on the pavement, matching the resounding beat of her heart. That is when she saw the blaze, flames licking the blackness above like a hungry dragon, hissing as it prepared to devour the town she knew and loved- but no, the fire was coming from, coming from, Melody's throat congested and her legs buckled under her limp and useless, and she fell to the ground with agony.

The building that was up in smoke was no other than the building where Melody's mother spent her weeknights.

The streets were filled with carousing men, apparently unaware of the fire that surrounded them as they were evacuated into the street. Other more alert men, dressed in some of the finest coats and lapels Melody had ever seen gave shouts of fear and pain as they hurtled past. Only, Melody didn't care, she lay down on the pavement and cried her heart out, pounding her fists on the ground beneath her, not caring whether thick-soled boots dented her body, pummelling her in their haste to evacuate.

One man strayed too close. Enveloped in her tears, Melody did not notice when the man roughly kicked her in the shins in passing. He had a coarse and unshaven chin and his glittering, cruel eyes harboured malice inside of them.

'Hellooo, guurlll, whatcha doin' out 'ear in the coold, don' ya know ther's a wawm blazin' fiyah?'

Melody gazed upward in terror.

'Ya need some company guurrl' he slurred once again grabbing at her dress sleeve so that it gave a monumental ripping sound.

'Don't touch me!' Melody meant to scream only her voice seemed to only come out a mere whisper, as she backed away to a corner of a building.

'Eh, that's the spirit guurrl!' The man moved with surprising agility for so intoxicated a man, and before Melody could make a move he had her cornered like a cat would a mouse, and like a cat this man seemed intent on playing with his prey.

He lunged towards her making a grab at her dress while Melody shrieked and kicked at the man trying her best to fend off the coming attack.

The lusty man obviously angered by this show on intolerance, punched her several times in the face and kicked at her ribs, knocking the breath out of Melody's lungs several times over. The pain went on and on as the merciless man kicked the girl repeatedly all over her broken body, but especially in the chest so that she could not make a sound or give a cry for help. Soon, Melody couldn't give a cry for help even if she tried. She felt incessant darkness sway around her like a heavy black curtain, such as those you would find in regal opera houses. Melody was sure that the curtain was closing on her life for good.

The last image Melody saw before she was rendered unconscious was the man his face leering over hers; a face that would haunt her for the rest of her life.

. . .


Melody heard this voice somewhere, somewhere through this veil of pain.

'Child?' the voice repeated intently with more urgency this time. She felt someone shaking her; but the whole process was in slow-motion.

The voice came again, 'Humphrey, come look at this child here, poor thing, look at her, why, why,-Humphrey there was a man oh God- good thing that you chased him off, the awful brute, just look at the girl!

Melody forced her eyes open, and she gazed toward the person who had been speaking just recently. It was a woman. She had dark brown curls that seemed plastered to her forehead and dark green eyes that seemed to resemble peridots. She looked downward with shock and concern clearly written on her face. She was dressed very elegantly in fine ermine and a mauve bonnet with silken ribbon on her head. On the other hand, the man in question was in a starched shirt, his coat having been thrown off and his fists in wrestling position. A tie was slung around his neck, and his golden hair shown in the blackness of the night.

'Where did that coward run off too, Elizabeth?' he barked. Only, the fashion in which he did this seemed lazy, almost cat-like in its resemblance as is he didn't give a damn about the girl that lay at his feet, but only for the fact that he had missed out on a good fight.

'Poor darling,' the woman said, but not to any one in particular, for Melody had become unconscious again.

The wealthy man and his wife lugged Melody off to their inn that they were staying at, for the simple reason that his wife was blundering like an idiot about the 'poor, darling child'. The two were very much unsure what to do with her, and decided to wait until the morning had come.

The next day, Melody woke up to a fabulous breakfast that consisted of various exotic fruits, sizzling fried eggs, and mouth-watering buttermilk pancakes. Only, this fantastic meal was overshadowed with something more ominous than ever.

Melody had lost her voice.

Since the moment that Melody had woken up, the woman was eager hear the girl recount her story. Only, now it was impossible. As much as Melody stuttered and opened her mouth to make a word, it was all futile. Melody could no longer speak.

Afterward, after managing to find out who Melody was and where she lived, the rich couple learnt that the girl's mother had died in a fire that had broken out at the local whorehouse, and that her father who had run in in a state of madness to kill whoever the perpetrator of this fire was, had been killed also. Melody was now an orphan. After a long discussion, and much wheedling on the part of Elizabeth, the couple decided to adopt the girl and her baby brother. Elizabeth had always wanted children but the doctors had told her that she was infertile and unable to have them; therefore, she regarded this as the perfect opportunity.

That was how Melody's whole life came crashing down on her. Soon afterward, the new family headed to Mr and Mrs. Wesley's home in London where they lived for many months and Melody's brother grew into a young boy. Even though she was now leading the life of a spoiled heiress and she had all the money she needed and plenty more for her interests and talents; Melody was miserable. Although, they had been poor, Melody had had a family that loved her above everything else. Here with the Wesley's she was loved superficially like a pretty doll, but not as a daughter. On top of it all, she had lost her voice, her namesake; in any case, she was not the joyous, melodious girl she had once been. She cried into her pillow every night and when her 'mother' came to kiss her goodnight she always tried to hide her tear-stained face the best she could. What she hated the most was the fact that her 'new parents' were brainwashing her baby brother into believing that they were his true parents, and being only a toddler at the time of the fire, her brother believed it all.

Now, most recently, the family had headed to their summer mansion by the sea where Melody would be spending her days. This would be her first summer without her parents.

. . .

Red evening sunlight bathed the circular garden in a fiery glow. The birds had stopped chirping and had gone to roost in their tree-top homes. Soon, the bats and the owls would come, searching for midnight prey. Melody's brother and her adopted parents had not come back yet from the races, and Melody did not want them to come noisily disrupting her peaceful solitude. She could already see her brother, cheeks stuffed with goodies as Elizabeth chided her for not joining them.

Melody gazed around her and was struck by how red it had become. Memories flooded her head as she remembered the town where she was born. The wails, the heat, the intensity of it all, blazed before her very eyes. It was as if this placid garden had become a part of her memories. The man, that man that haunted her dreams every night was there, pummelling her with evil shining in his beady eyes.

Sweat poured down her back, and suddenly, Melody felt like running, running far from here, her breath came in short gasps. Where could she run? Where could she run so that the memories could not find her?

The forest. The dark forest that bordered the garden was where she would run to escape the memories. Melody felt tears come streaming uninhibited down her cheeks; the fire, the man, they would all get her is she did not run. Instinctively, Melody bolted, feeling the darkness of the forest envelop her like a blanket as she ran. It was still damp from yesterday's rain and Humphrey had warned her it might rain again this evening, only Melody didn't care, as long as she could escape the fire. Darkness came earlier than expected and Melody tripped on bulbous roots and felt her dress tear on haphazard branches. The tears still ran, only now Melody was exhausted and she felt her feet trip and stumble, in that moment that she heard a crack of thunder followed by fat droplets of rain.

Melody fell flat on the forest floor and felt sharp pine needles pierce her face as she silently cried from exhaustion. The rain picked up quickly and soon Melody was soaked through. She was too tired to raise herself and go back home, she was too tired to do anything; all she wanted to do was die.

This thought brought lightning streaking from the sky in a resounding crack, and presented with this new danger, Melody curled up under a tree for protection. More silent tears ran down the girl's cheek. She leaned her head on the rough bark of the tree.

'All I want is to get my life back, to be myself, to have my family,' she thought.

'To have the strength to survive this ordeal, to let my true colours shine once again,'

Melody, too broken down for words, lay her head down on a clump of moss and as the rain continuously fell, and electricity crackled in the sky, Melody slept.

Melody was awoken the next morning by the twittering of a robin in the tree above her, it seemed to sing with a certain promise in its song, a certain something that lighted a spark of hope in Melody's chest. The earth was damp and cold from last night's rain and Melody looked around her at the forest, which was now bathed in early morning sunlight. Dew glittered on the leaves, and the beauty of it all, almost made Melody forget the fact that she had spent the night huddled under an oak tree for protection from the elements.

All of a sudden, something on the forest floor attracted her attention. Looking more closely, Melody realized that it had rolled over during the night and was now nestled beside her left leg.

It was an egg.

It was pale blue with a speckling of darker dots on its top, but it was mostly pale blue, Melody's favourite colour, and the purity of it was plain as can be. Melody stared at it with awe. Could this be a robin's egg that had somehow dropped unscathed from its nest during the night? Melody cautiously reached towards it, when she saw the egg somehow wriggle on its side.

Melody held her breath. Could it be hatching? Once again, she moved her hand towards it before ever so carefully cupping it in her hands. What could this be? Her heart was beating a mile a minute and awe was clearly written on the girl's face.

Suddenly, the noise of breaking eggshell was heard and Melody saw a crack form around the circumference of the egg.

Melody almost forgot to breathe as she stared at the egg with anticipation. Without warning, the egg came apart and to Melody's utter stupefaction a small fairy-like creature emerged. She had long indigo hair and eyes that seemed to burn with an inner fire. She wore a long dress that incorporated all the colours of the ocean deep, with small slippers peeking out from under the dress. The fairy-like creature blinked twice before looking towards Melody in a way that felt as if she were boring straight into her soul.

With a voice as gentle and strong as a little goddess the creature spoke.

'I am your Guardian Chara, and I have come to give you courage.'