This story begins in 1805 with a girl named Chloe Parsons.
Chloe was a gypsy, she traveled from place to place, staying wherever she pleased, doing whatever she pleased. She only had one love that she could not be without and that was her cat, Winter.
At this particular moment in the story, Chloe and Winter were traveling around Paris. They had been there for three days and three nights, just wondering the streets as it so pleased them to do. They were skipping rocks by the Seine when they heard a thump. At first they thought nothing of it, but then the thump started to get louder and louder and closer and closer until eventually it was right behind them.
They started to feel the hairs on the back of their necks stand up, and Winter started to quiver and purr loudly. Then, out of the shadows, came an old hag. The hag was bent over low, unable to straighten her back, she wore tattered dirty rags and her hair was lank and wirey, blowing in the wind. She slowly stepped closer and closer towards the pair, and as she did, she started to laugh. Her laugh was as hard and as cold as the snowy night , her now visible teeth were half gone, but the ones that remained were stained red.
The hag then spoke “Welcome my child”, she said, leaving a ringing in their ears, “Don’t be afraid”, she added with a cackle. The hag was moving closer and closer, and as she did, Chloe and Winter turned to run, only to find themselves unable to move from where they were standing.
Suddenly the felt the ground begin to move beneath their feet and they started to sink into it.
They tried pulling their feet out and grabbing at anything they could reach in an effort to stop what was about to happen, but as they did so, they only sunk further and further down.
As they gasped for their last breaths of air, before they would be swallowed by the earth, they felt themselves drop and fall onto something very hard. Chloe opened her eyes and looked around. They were in a small, dark room; there was no light, except for the small glowing animals that scattered the darkness, as far as the eye could see. Everything felt so surreal; she felt almost as if she were floating through the air, it was only when she looked down at Winter, that she realized she was floating. She called for Winter, but she was nowhere in sight. She began to panic, whilst she was both amazed and confused by this magnificent place, she was terrified. ‘Where am I and how did I get here?’ She wondered.
She then heard a slow, ear-piercingly loud crack that sent vibrations quivering through her body, and a beautiful lady in a white dress, with long, soft, flowing white hair appeared. She spoke with the most gloriously gentle voice Chloe had ever heard. This lady was surely too beautiful to be real. “Don’t be alarmed”, she said slowly, “come with me, I will help you”, with this she extended a beautiful pearly-white hand. Chloe was unsure, whether to trust the woman, but felt safe, so she took her hand. Her hand was warm and delicate and soft and Chloe became totally at ease.
As she did so, she felt the lovely, soft, warm skin, slowly peel away to reveal the ice-cold, sand-paper like skin of the hag. Chloe tried to release her grip and somehow get away, but she could not. The hag had her hand clasped so tightly around Chloe’s she felt like her bones would soon be crushed and she started to drag Chloe along the ground. All the things she had previously seen as beautiful, started to melt away, and in their place appeared rows and rows of burning trees.
Chloe started to scream. She tried kicking the hag but it was no use. Chloe could not hurt or derail her. She pleaded to be let go, but the hag only laughed her mind-numbing laugh and carried, pulling Chloe behind her as she went.
Finally they arrived at a small cottage, where they stopped until a large man opened the door.
To be continued..