• Everything was perfect. All the tables were clothed with shimmering silver tablecloths and adorned with gold plates, cups, and napkins. Gliding across the floor, Galena's light blue dress flowed gracefully behind her as if blown by a gentle breeze. Breathing in and swinging her arms around her, Galena smiled and soaked in the wonderfulness of the peaceful scene around her. Aware of someone else entering to her left, Galena twisted around and froze in surprise. A handsome guy of twenty with thick black locks of hair, a fair complexion, and strong build stood in the doorway. He stared at the floor, too nervous to look up at the girl before him. “Damon!” the girl yelled in her joy, and running to the boy she wrapped her arms around him. Damon in turn threw his arms around Galena, and brother and sister were happily reunited.
    That night at the ball Galena introduced her brother to all of her friends, for he had been off fighting in a war for many years. Many a girl was smitten with the young lad, and when Galena was otherwise occupied, Damon was never at lack for a dance partner. Though delighted to see her brother after such a long absence, Galena could tell that something was bothering her brother. Whenever he smiled it was only for a mere instant, he appeared ill at ease, and if one looked into his eyes a deep sadness could be seen. Desiring to discover what is was that her brother was being tormented by, Galena sent everyone home from the party early so that she may talk to her brother in private.
    When the room had been emptied Galena turned to her brother. “What is wrong Damon?” she asked, and seeing him hesitate she assured him, “You can always talk to me.” Damon broke down and for the next few hours told his sister about all the horrors of war, all his friends that he had watched die, and all the great armies that he had seen fall. “The world is an evil place, my sister,” he told Galena as tears rolled down his cheeks. “I fear that there is no hope for good to ever prevail.” “There is always hope,” Lena countered, her belief in this mirrored by how strongly she uttered the words. “No,” her brother said, completely distressed, “No, we will never win, for no one ever fights fair. The evil king cheats, lies, and murders, no one can ever hope to overcome him. Even I am under his power.”
    A chill ran down Lena's spine at her brothers last declaration. “No,” she whispered, fearing for her brother's sanity.. “You are not under him! He has no power under which he can bind you!” At these words, Damon began to weep and his body began to convulse with his sobs. “I am so sorry!” he said, refusing to look up at his sister, and suddenly Lena became aware of someone standing behind her. Jumping up and twisting around she came face to face with the dark king her brother had referred to. Grinning a wicked grin he grabbed Lena's wrist and twisted her arm behind her, he forcefully tied her hands behind her. Tears began to run down Galena's cheeks as she realized that her brother had betrayed her. Kicking and struggling, she exhausted herself trying to get away, but the evil king never loosened his grasp. Whispering in Galena's ear he vividly retold of how he had captured her brother, and after torturing him how her brother had promised to help him capture her if he would only let her brother lose.
    Shaking in fear and disbelieve, Galena stared at her brother's back, but he refused to acknowledge her. Then, feeling the dark king's hot breath on her neck she jerked her neck around to face him, but before she could speak he pulled her in and kissed her. In the seconds that followed Galena's body grew limp as the the poison of the dark king's breath seeped through her body and forced her into a dark sleep. Breaking the kiss and throwing Galena over his shoulder the dark king then pulled out a knife and stabbed Damon in the back. Blood flowing from his wound, Damon screamed and fell back, his eyes lifeless as the dark king smiled and walked out of the room, whistling a tune of doom for all who dealt with him.