Frances Brown was the Flower of Arizona, the Star of New Mexico, and the darling of the Campbell Family Circus, a small traveling show that stayed alive by hook, crook, and whatever means necessary until it ended in a hail of bullets and blame. Frannie grew up with the circus; she was found outside the main tent when she was barely a week old, tucked into a cardboard box filled with cotton batting. They named her after the snake handler's favorite python, and set her to work. By the time she was six, Fran could ride bareback, fling a knife knowing she'd catch her target, and charm the wallet right out of a townie's hand.
Fran left Arizona with Jonathan Healy after the circus closed, and the pair traveled to Buckley. Neither had marriage in mind when they arrived, and at first, all Fran wanted was to head back to the desert, where things made sense and the sky was a proper size. Then Enid led her into the woods and introduced her to the anuraves—little feathered frogs who flocked in the trees near the swamp. Fran was charmed, and dubbed them "frickens," a name which promptly stuck. She decided that maybe there was virtue in staying after all.
Frances Brown married Jonathan Healy, to the surprise of no one save for perhaps Jonathan. They had two children, Alice and Daniel, and buried one, long before he should have died. She did her best to do right by her family, and by herself, and by the world that she'd chosen to belong to.
No one ever made a choice for Frances Healy. She made all her choices for herself, and on the February evening when she walked into the woods and never walked back out, well. She made that choice, too.
They say she was the best.
They're not wrong.