Once there was a brother and a sister. Their mother had died, and they lived with their father and their stepmother. Their stepmother was always mean to them, and their father was always busy with work.
Once there lived a king. He was famous because he was very clever. He knew everything that happened in his country. Nobody knew how he knew everything. It was like the secrets came to him through the air.
Once there was a poor man with a son. The man could not look after his son anymore, so the son said to him, ‘Dear father. Things are bad here, and you have to work hard to look after me. Let me leave, and I will look after myself.’
Once there was a father with two sons. The older son, Hugh, was smart and sensible, and could do everything, but the younger son, Anders, was stupid and understood nothing. Whenever the father needed help, it was always the older son who helped him.
Prague was a city of mystery. It was a city of narrow streets and broad desires. It was a city of money, magic, and murder.
It was also a city of hate. The Jews of Prague lived in the ghetto, and they were attacked from all sides. People spread lies. They said that the Jews did magic, that they attacked Christian girls, that they went into churches at night and destroyed the holy body of Christ. The Jews of Prague were poor, and still, people came and threw rocks at their houses, shouted names at them in the street, and refused to sell them food.
Far away from our world, there were the Blue Castle and the Red Castle. In the Blue Castle, everything was soft and blue, and Izod was the softest fairy of all. Izod loved her land, and the land loved her. It was a happy place, but at times it was very sad. When one of the High Fairies died, all the people cried for days. Izod cried more than everyone else. She had a big heart, and beautiful wings. They called them her “wings of water”.
A long time ago, merpeople existed. They lived in the sea, and they were half-fish, half-human. They were human down to their middle, and then they were fish. They had long, beautiful tails, and they swam through the water using their tails.
Eklavya stayed low in the grass. Before him, his father, the hunter, moved quietly. He held a bow and arrow. Then, he saw it. A few metres in front there was a rabbit. It was drinking water. Eklavya’s father put an arrow in the bow. Eklavya took a deep breath. He tried not to move, but it was hard. He moved, and the grass made a sound. The rabbit turned and saw the hunter. It ran away. Eklavya’s father shot the arrow, but it did not hit the rabbit.
She knew what she was doing was wrong. She had known the moment she saw him. But love didn’t care about what side of a wall you were on, even if she was on the side of the palace gardens and he was stood in the ruined fields.
The war had gone on for years, but it only took a moment for her to lose to his eyes. They stared at her through a hole in the wall. She knew he was from the other side. He had the eyes of the Others, the Enemies. They were so bright that she could see her reflection in them.