A new story, rather dark in some places, prompted originally at Norsekink: . ?replyto=15581690. This is the prologue, though the story promises to be longish. Thanks for reading, and please leave a review :)

It is warm and smooth in her hand. Her fingertips skitter over the edge in moments, turning and turning to complete rotations at the speed of thought. Slivered bands of light wrap against its convex side, twisting, lengthening, widening, and then shrinking again as she turns it. It is the most beautiful thing she has ever seen. The edges are dull, pinching light and smothering purpose. She loves the edges the same as their fuller brother.

She stares at it for hours, turning it in fingers she can no longer stand to see, fingers that do not exist. The light catches its dull surface, bright and beautiful in her mind. It is a long fixed point of brightness, cutting diamond bright against the dirty silver. Then she turns it, jerky motions, and watches a lonely kaleidescope come alive over the surface.

They shine down the length of its handle, whorls and flowers cut into the length of it. She licks her lips as she runs her finger over the curled stem, more a hook now than a handle. For their protection. For her protection.

There is a screech of metal behind her, the warning bell, and she tucks the bauble back against her wrist, her lap, any place that might hide its light as she sits up. She reflexively pulls away from the door, catching sight of the body there, made dark by contrast. She already knows who it is by the cut of their silhouette, but she still freezes against the back wall.

"Ahh, hello sweetheart. How are we feeling today?"

She says nothing. It is not expected of her.

"It's beans. Maybe some bread tonight if we're good."

She watches her feeder, her old white and blue hands, spotted with dark brown, dirty nails, dirty face. Dark eyes turn toward hers, and she does not breathe.

"It's all right, now. Eat," says a kind voice.

She does not move, waits for the fuzzy shadow to retreat, waits for the world to stop shaking, waits.

She waits.

She waits.

When there is dark in the room again, light shining beneath the door, she crawls forward, holding to her treasure as she bypasses the pan that has been left for her. To the left of the door are the now familiar scratches she has made. There are over fifty there now. She adds another.

She lays back against the floor again, curling into herself and buffs her treasure with her thumb.

"My name is Darcy Lewis," she whispers to it. "I am right.