No other day brought pressure like this. The sun rose sluggishly in the sky, none of its normal radiance being cast among the clouds, as if Arithus, god of sun and light, carried a heavy burden this morning. Every window of every house was closed. There was no singing, no dancing. There was not even sight of one man doing work in the fields. Today was the beginning of the week long celebration of the passing, a week that lead up to the sacrifice of one of the virgin women of the village. There were few women who qualified this year, the woman having to be on the verge of turning for her eighteenth birthday, no younger than seventeen and a half, but no older than eighteen on the day. This year, there were three women. Each of poor stature, each close friends. They all sat in a small room in a plain building, now beginning their week long fast, preparing themselves for the honorable choosing. It was a day of mourning at the end of the week, the day that one of them would be taken away, never again to be seen within the reaches of the human kingdoms. Not one female sacrifice has ever been returned in the centuries that this tradition has gone on, but in exchange for but only one life, hundreds more were spared from the wrath of the great dragon, living in the mountains, holding control over the populations of the world from his seat of authority. Sitting in the very plain, hot room, wearing nothing but a white silk dress, like the other two girls, was Maribeth, her long black hair hanging loosely over her shoulders and down her back. With deep violet eyes, she took in the plain walls of the room she was in one more time before letting a sigh escape her lips, she laying down on her little bench just as the other two women had done long ago, they now sound asleep. They would have to live on just water for the entire passing before they could eat again, their first meal, if they were even to get that, being with their new dragonic captor. No one knew if the girls ever survived after their first song sung. The thought sent shivers down Maribeth's spine and raised goosebumps along her naturally pale, smooth skin. Twirling a bit of hair about one finger the girl continued to worry, only drinking when absolutely needing to, doing so and thinking of her furture all the way up until the day of mourning. She wore a more see through woven dress, the same as the other two girls, they all holding hands as they walked up to the foothills, trembling with each step they took, guided by guards to ward off any opposers.