A sudden shriek, however, froze the feet of the helper. Two sets of eyes landed on the bed. There was a rustling beneath the bloodied garment as if something was trying to get out. Without any warning, a tiny fist shot out from between the legs of the girl.
The midwife crossed herself again. “Tis the work of the devil.”
“Shush with thy nonsense and help her,” the woman admonished. Secretly, she knew who had a hand in making sure the wee one was born. His name was not to be spoken.
The midwife crossed herself again before touching the girl, who grew paler by the second. Strength seeped from her, and she collapsed upon the bed. The arm of the handmaiden was coated in blood and tissue as she yanked the child into the world.
Behind the midwife, the woman whispered an incantation commending the soul of the girl to its final resting place. It was the least she could do.
Minutes after the birth of the tiny infant, the midwife wrapped the bluish body in linens. The old woman glanced up with watery eyes. “I do not think—”
With outstretched arms, the woman demanded, “Give her to me. I know what is best.”
The woman cradled the child against her empty bosom and carried her to the window. A sense of power coursed through the night air thanks to the black moon. The woman believed it was a sign of a blessed birth.
Lowering her head to the infant, the woman closed her eyes. Images flickered through her mind, and she saw so much potential. The woman knew what the babe would be capable of, provided she had proper training.
“Thou were meant to be born. Get ready to show us what thy came for.”
Tiny eyelids fluttered and then popped open, revealing bright-blue orbs. The woman smoothed her fingers over the equally bright mop of red curly hair—something that would eventually condemn her—and the color dulled to a more acceptable ginger.
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