Parentheses Miller was the eldest daughter of an English teacher with rickets and a harlequin birthmark. When the autumnal rains came to their little archipelago in the Hambone Sea, Parentheses would wade out into the surf and look for a dry place to lay her weary head. Parentheses did this almost daily during those times, and she would frantically lurch about and leap as the prackle-fish nipped at her ankles.
On a day like most any other, with the prackle-fish nipping her bony ankles raw, Parentheses looked into the shallows of the cove and spied a most peculiar object amongst the rocks. The clear, cool water was splatter-dappled with raindrops, making for a wobbly lens through which to view this most peculiar object, yet Parentheses knew that she must have it. Like a platinum-haired diver-bird she plunged into the water, her body forming a graceful arc as she slipped beneath the tiny waves. In a heartbeat her pale, fragile hand was on the most peculiar object, which felt strangely warm to the touch. She curled her fingers around it and gently kicked for the surface, leaving a school of confused prackle-fish in her wake.
Back on shore, Parentheses took shelter from the rain beneath the fronds of a holy taco-tree that dripped a saucy aroma. She curled up with her knees against her chest and looked at the small, peculiar object in the palm of her pale, fragile hand. A confusing symbol stared up at her, a symbol that spoke of royalty and of sacrifice; a symbol of victory, a symbol of blood. A most confusing and most peculiar object, and it was warm to the touch.
Parentheses looked back over the dark, wet sand that she had crossed on her way to the taco-tree. Her footprints were small and white, perfectly dry and evenly spaced. No drop of rain lingered on them.
The rain picked up and thundered on the waters of the tiny little cove. The prackle-fish dove to the depths to escape the onslaught.
Parentheses Miller sat beneath the fronds of the holy taco-tree, warm and dry and with her knees against her chest, content today to be the eldest daughter of an English teacher on this little archipelago in the Hambone Sea.