The thought of war was removed from Charlotte's mind as she uncurled her legs from beneath her patched cotton dress and stretched them into the brook. She tilted her head back and closed her eyes as the icy water swirled over her bare feet. It felt good to have finally loosened the tight braid from her hair. She swayed back and forth, letting the way locks tickle her shoulders. Achilles, who had been grazing contentedly, whinnied at the light bugs that flickered about his muzzle. Charlotte's fingers found the soft jade and eggshell tassels that ringed her picnic blanket and her mind began to wander.
"It is coming you know," a voice from behind her stated matter-of-factly. "None of us will be able to hide much longer."