Ch 1-1 ~ A New Friend
She could hear her name carrying from the foot of the valley, nearing only an echo now that the trees thickened around her. If she looked up she would see the great trunks stretch away endlessly until their tips were tiny pin-pricks, each bare branch building a collage of charcoal scratches scribbled against a greying sky. Those trees grew on forever and ever. Not even the tallest man in the world could reach their peaks even if he jumped as far as the longest leaping hares across the mountain slopes, through the berry bushes, well-trodden lanes and over piles of gold and auburn leaves left lifeless by branches now bare in the autumn cold. But she was not looking up; she was hardly looking at all. She was lost again; lost in a fairyland away from the people of the palace and the Evergreens, from the friends who teased her over her fascination with the Mountain People, her bullying twin brother who would tell every time she stole away and lie when she hadn’t, and the Governess who complained of the mud stuck under her shoe-buckles, the ladders in her sock, the stains on her dress hem and the leaves in her hair.