When I was a little girl my mother used to tell me stories about witchcraft, dragons and great and powerful warriors. I never asked her where the stories originated from, if they actually happened or if they were just made up scenarios in her mind. All I desired was for her to tell me more of them. She snuggled me, whispering them to me as day quickly turned to night and I drifted to sleep as the cool night air seeped through my covers.

Like anything, though, all good things come to an abrupt end, and one night turned darker than all the rest.

"…the sword rested on his son's shoulders as he recited the Law of the Knights. The sword gleamed in the fresh sunlight of the day, for only this sunlight was fitting for the young prince. His armor shimmered, making him seem like a god rising for all to admire. The prince…" she stopped mid-sentence, noticing that her daughter's eyes has clamped shut, indicating that sleep had taken her. Her mother gently presses a kiss to her forehead before untangling herself out of their warm embrace. She gracefully got up from the bed that her daughter lay in and headed for the door. She did not exit the room without taking what would be the last glance at her daughter.

I remember the piercing screams that escaped my mother's mouth as the knife entered her chest. Her shrieks awakened me, and I left my bed to find her bleeding out onto the soil. The dagger stuck out of her chest, while a pool of blood formed around her instantly dead body. I screamed at her, hoping that maybe she would wake up. I knelt down over her cold body and yanked out the dagger when a man grabbed me away from her. I held the dagger, which was caked with blood.

I was six when I saw my mother dead on the ground. Six when my entire world and childhood was ripped away from me. Whoever killed her meant to do it quick and on purpose, like they knew her or something, or at least, that's what makes sense to me. I do not have the slightest idea who killed my mother, but I know for sure is that the dagger has the initials M.J.R. engraved near the handle, and leads to the killer.

"This will be your living quarter's dear" Mrs Ballock said as she finished preparing my bed slipping the last pillow case on my many pillows. "Dinner will be ready within the hour; I will send someone for you." She stated and left the room. Mrs. Ballock was a noble or the king's (whom I have never met) and found me homeless and alone now two years after my mother's death. She brought me to the kingdom to live under her watchful eyes and hers alone. Everything about this place scared me. I was huge, much bigger than the small village that my mother raised me after my father died shortly after I was born. I found myself standing in the corner, frozen and unable to move. I thought of my mother lying on the ground, lifeless and pale. I could feel the nipping night air that cut at my skin as I ran out of my small room and outside to find her dead body. I thought of the knife and how I pulled it out of her chest. My body began to tremble and my breathing became heavy. I dropped my bag of belongings that I forgot I was holding and the bag burst open to reveal its content on the ground. The knife that had robbed my mother of her life sprung out of the bad, clattering on the wooden floor with sickening clanks. I picked up the dagger and held it in my hand like I once had before. I imagined it plunging into my mother's chest and dropped it. I fell to the ground as it made the same clattering noises, spooked at what I had just imagined. My eyes found the dagger again to see that the slightest ray of sunlight that crept in through the window was illuminating the metal that was near the handle of the dagger. I could make out what looked like faint markings, but nothing was clear. I crawled to the dagger and that when I saw them

M.J.R

I am seventeen years of age, and that memory as well as the memory of my mother's death is fiercely encoded into my mind. I kept the dagger all these years because I knew that as long as I have the dagger, I have a part of my mother as well and her murderer. And now, as I hold it in my hands and as her bloody body flashes through my head, I know I am obsessed with finding the owner of those initials.