"Anabella Silver! Turn around and look at me!"
The young woman in question, just out of childhood, blinked her chestnut eyes rapidly and whipped her small head around to face the older, gray-haired man towering like an ominous dark cloud before her. So busy was she rethinking her actions today, she had not heard the soft thuds or the clunks of boots from the well-dressed gentleman while he had approached her from behind. She peered up hesitantly at the stern ancient face, trying to judge the mood he was in. The man's eyes, dark flints shooting sparks in his anger, narrowed in on her action as if it was another rebellious act. His voice, cold enough to freeze water, bit through the small cheerful facade Anabella, more commonly known as Ana, had attempted to wear and struck her deeply. "I know what you did. How could you have attacked our guests? You are an utter disgrace to our peaceful community and what it believes in!"
Ana's eyes swarmed with tears as her father's words echoed and reechoed in her ears.
Disgrace...peaceful...community. She had never meant to do hurt anyone, but that boy...no, young man... had been so cruel to her in the gardens! He had taunted her for being Little Miss Goodie Two Shoes and made crude jokes about the church community. Finally, she had gotten tired of the insults and just spun around to walk away, swallowing her pride and anger reluctantly. She had desperately wanted to whack the lad a few times and make him repent saying those words but knew her father would greatly disapprove her actions. Instead, she contended with curling her small hands into fists. To her utter astonishment, the boy had the gall to pick up the sharp gray stones that lined the...