800 AD – Essex, England
A girl sat on the edge of a cliff, thin legs dangling over the edge. She stared up at the night sky with luminescent green eyes, glistening with unshed tears.
“Are you not cold?” a man asked. The girl didn’t turn towards the man and stayed staring at the stars. The man took another step forwards, his cocoa coloured hair shifting in the wind. Matching eyes trailed over the small girl, watching her shiver in the cold wind that billowed past. “What are you doing out here?”
The girl shifted her gaze from the stars and stared into the man’s eyes. “Dawn,” she said. Her voice was softer than cotton, smoother than silk, but behind her heavenly voice was pain; more pain than the man would think possible for a girl of her age to experience. “I am waiting for dawn.”
The man took a step forwards and the girl returned to gazing at the stars. Very hesitantly, the man sat down next to her and followed her gaze. “Why?”
For a long time, the girl didn’t answer. Then, just as the man was about to stand back up and leave, she said, “The fishermen at the docks told me that being able to see the sun rise over the edge of the world is the most beautiful sight in the world. I wanted to see it too.”
“You’ll freeze out here.”
Once again the girl stared into the man’s eyes. “Then so be it. At least then I will die with the stars watching over me.”
The man pulled off his cloak and wrapped it around the girl. “You will not die tonight.”
“Lucy Elmer,” the girl said suddenly.
“I beg your pardon?”
“My name,” the girl replied.
The man stared inquisitively down at the girl, a small smile on his lips. “Rolan Loys,” the man said.
Lucy looked at Rolan, whose eyes reflected the stars in the sky, and smiled for the first time in what felt like forever. “It is a pleasure to meet you, Rolan Loys.”
Rolan mimicked Lucy’s smile, “The same to you, Lucy Elmer.”
This became the beginning of the story that would last centuries.