"Village Gem."

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This must be the longest fairytale I had ever written! I thought it to be simple, but I got so caught up in it's magic:) Anyway, this is dedicated to Si Lin! I owe you this fairytale since last year? I do remember who I promised fairytales to! I hope you enjoy this, because you're just as beauitful as the main character, Annalisa:) 

Village Gem:

Once upon a time, in a land far, far away, there lived a girl Annalisa. She wasn’t beautiful, quite unlike her elder sister, and her mother had sighed when she was born. She had hoped for two pretty daughters to marry off one day, but in her eyes, Annalisa was ugly, and she began to come to the conclusion that Annalisa would never find a duke. However, some would argue that Annalisa was beautiful in her own way, and that comparison with her elder sister, Katherine, was a degrading act of snuffing any of her beauty out. Perhaps Annalisa didn’t possess the startling chestnut locks of her sister, but she did have the gentle brown curls. Maybe she didn’t have the fierce sapphire eyes of Katherine, but she did have pretty green eyes. She was beautiful in her own way, they said, and that’s that.

One person in particular, would argue that Annalisa was even more beautiful than Katherine. Edmund, of eighteen years, stayed at the edge of the village in a secluded cottage with his ailing grandmother. His grandmother was once a powerful healer of the village, and even as she started to become delicate and weak, the villagers never forgot her. Annalisa never did. She could hardly forget the one time she had slipped off the ravine while playing, and ended up with a broken leg. Edmund’s grandmother was the one that set her leg for her and let her walk again, even if it was with a limp. From then on, she would go down to her home to help with the chores, since Edmund was a boy and boys never do know how to cook and sweep the floor. Even after Edmund’s grandmother stopped healing, Annalisa continued her weekly visits. She enjoyed talking to the old healer, and she loved chatting with Edmund.

In Edmund’s eyes, Annalisa was perfect. She wasn’t aloof and cold like Katherine. Katherine had many suitors, and Edmund used to be one of them. He would wait by her door each day and give her the flowers he would painstakingly pick from his garden. Katherine never did accept those flowers, and once, he saw her throw them into the fire. That broke his heart. For days, he refused to talk, and he felt as if the world should end. That was the year that Annalisa broke her leg, when he was fifteen, and he saw her being carried into his home. Curious on seeing the younger sister of the famed beauty of their village, he crept in quietly and stood in the corner as his grandmother worked.

At first, he saw that she had none of the startling beauty of Katherine. She was plain-looking, and nothing else. He knew that he should leave, for the resetting of bones was a painful process, and Edmund hated the screams of agony and pain of the people, but something about Annalisa kept him rooted to the spot. She didn’t make a sound. She cried, she sobbed, but she never did make a sound. That quiet courage he saw seemed to have lifted a veil off his eyes, for now, he could see the beauty Katherine would never possess.

From that day, Annalisa would return to the cottage to help his grandmother, and she became Edmund’s friend. He liked talking to her, for she was pleasant and sweet, and she wasn’t that plain after all. He liked the intelligence that hovered beneath her green eyes, and the way her curls would fall around her shoulders. He liked Annalisa.

One day, there was a famine in the village, and the villagers were starving. Many have died, and there was much sadness and grief in the air. Katherine had been married off a year ago to a rich man in the capital, so she had nothing to worry about. Annalisa, however, was facing the harsh effects of the famine. Katherine had a wagon sent down to fetch their mother, but there was only enough grain for one more person. Annalisa had to stay behind. It didn’t matter to Annalisa. She would rather spend her last days in the village she loved, than go off to some unknown city to stay alive.

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