Hey everyone! This takes place in the book, Inkdeath. I was challenged to right a prologue for the book, so this is what happened. Feedback is appreciated!

A Deadly Decision

White. Chilly white. They stood with beautiful childish faces. The entirety of the world congregated around their master. She was perched up in a great tree, watching the White Women materialize and leave their entertainment behind them in the dense forest from which they came. As the last of her daughters appeared before her, she puffed up her feathers, the red stain on her chest expanding and consuming her little bird body until she disappeared in a blur of red. When she became visible once her, her form had changed. No longer was she golden, but now blue, and smaller as well, but even still the red mark remained on her breast.

"My children," a woman's voice resounded throughout the clearing, such a magnificent voice spilling out of the little bird beak. Her stunning eyes scanned the clearing once more, seeming out of place on her little blue and red body. They held far greater knowledge than even the women in the clearing could comprehend. "We have been disgraced!" The passionate voice washed over the childish snow white women and flooded them with the little bird's emotions. The confused expressions were wiped off their faces, replaced with rage. "No one escapes my claws! We keep all, even the worst of souls. Now one lives who laughs at us, who dares to mock us. And, who is responsible for such belligerence? The Bluejay!"

The women cried, outraged. The little bird lifted her blue head high, demanding their attention once more. "And what should we do with one who outwardly disgraces us? Should we steal his remaining years and take him now into out desolate embrace? Should we take his daughter also, for she helped him in that atrocious act? Yes we should!"

"But Mother," came a soft call from the clearing. The bird turned her attention to a women with a sad face, staring with empty white eyes up at her. "Shouldn't we not kill the Bluejay? His voice enchants me so, and it, I could only dream of hearing each night, but Mother, would it not be wrong to kill him?"

"Wrong to kill the one who has not ignominy for what he has done? I would think not!"

"I agree with my sister," came another soft voice. The White Woman standing directly to the left of her looked up at the bird. "I too would love to hear him tell tales in that beautiful voice of his, but we should not kill the Bluejay."

"Who else agrees with this proposition?" the bird demanded. Almost all of the women in the clearing lifted their hands into the air. "Explain yourselves. Why should the Jay live after what he has done?"

"He has a plan, Mother. The Book was already rotting, and now that's it has stopped he has a plan."

"A plan..." the women murmured.

"Would it not be wrong to let the Book exist? Only the Bluejay can rid the world of it. Only he can take away that which he has made. Does it not make sense to allow the Jay to redeem himself, as well as his daughter by doing such a thing?"

"Yes, I understand your concern, my children. It would be unacceptable for such a book, one that ties my hands and prevents me from doing my work, to live on. You are correct, daughters. The Jay should be given a chance to redeem himself."

The women smiled. "Yes, redeem himself," they whispered amongst themselves.

"We shall give him until the next winter's frost to destroy that book. However, if he has not done so, then with the death of the green world he loves so dearly, will come his own death as well as the death of his daughter, for she helped him bind that insidious thing! But I assure you, my children," the bird said, the red stain engulfing her once more and morphing her into her original form with golden plumage and a crimson stained breast. "The Jay shall not wake up with the coming spring as will the earth, but he will stay here with us for all time and eternity."

The women cheered, whispering to one another, "The Jay will deliver us the Adder."

"Listen, daughters, for there is more to discuss. The Bluejay will soon come to us and it us then that we'll discover whether or not he is worthy of this opportunity. If he proves to be, then we shall give him assistance in destroying the Book. For without assistance, there is a far greater chance that he shall die even without my interference. If he proves to be worthy, then we shall give him the Fire-Dancer."

There was an outcry in the clearing. "Not the Fire-Dancer!"

"We love his fire so dearly, mother."

"Anyone but the Fire-Dancer!"

"Silence!" The bird shifted into the form of a snake and slithered to the very edge of the branch, hanging her head down stare at her children, daring them to have another uproar. "I understand your reluctance to part with him, for I cannot offer you fire, however he shall return to us. If the task we charge the Bluejay with is not completed, then the Fire-Dancer too shall fall back into our claws with the coming winter. However, the Jay shall not receive the help of his friend unless he can call him back to life with not but his voice."

"But Mother, no one can resist his voice. The Fire-Dancer is sure to awaken at the sound."

"And if he does then he shall aid the Bluejay in destroying that book and delivering us the Adderhead. However, he has only 'til winter to complete the task. The Book may very well live on, mocking forever, if he fails." The snake hissed in contempt. "Go now, my daughters, for the Jay will soon be here."

Slowly, the women emptied out of the clearing, casting looks of uncertainty up at their mother as they left.

Soon, the snake sat up on the branch, alone in the clearing. Her scales fell from her body and the fleshless bones of the snake shifted, until she was once more in her original golden and red shape. The bird's watchful eyes seemed to pierce through the many trees and fall upon the body of the Fire-Dancer that her daughters were beginning to surround. She looked elsewhere for a moment, into a world outside of her own, locking her eyes onto the man she so longed to tear her claws into. "Come now, Bluejay, and you shall see, how Death can lie even in the inky pages of the books you love so dearly."