Chapter 1Sprinting through the dark alleys, she pulled her cape tighter around her, its velvety green tarnished from use. She stood, breathing hard and looking around. With soft, controlled steps, she bound over the cobblestone roads. A desperate cry reached her ears causing her to turn alarmed. A child, a young girl, pattered over the cold stones. She was crying, her hem ragged and bloodied. "Madeline!" Our heroine cried. "Ma chere, what has happened?"
In hoarse French, Madeline sobbed out "They have begun again! Mademoiselle Ndeye, do not leave me!" Madeline flung herself onto Ndeye, clinging to her.
Hushing her softly, Ndeye leaned down stroking the small girl's musty golden curls. "Do not be afraid, ma petite fille." She held Madeline close to her protectively and searched the skies for the light of fire. Spotting it some ways off, she gently untangled herself from Madeline. "Take this." She pulled out a baguette and smiled at the impoverished girl's eyes widen hungrily. Handing the hearty bread to the vagabond, Ndeye kissed Madeline's forehead. "Be brave." She stroked her cheek one more time before going with swift strides towards the raging battle.