During the stormy night under the starless heavens, thunder and lighting reigned the sky. Bolts of violent light blasted through the heaven like the raptures of human veins. Stiff uprooted trees lay dead in the trembling grass, frail huts shivered at the sound of the cracking fury and the living buried themselves from the rage. This was the night when Gods cracked their whips at the sins of men and the winds, full of evil, haunted the scattered villages. It was a violent and tempestuous night, ordered to conceal the secret birth.
Upon the hill in the middle of nowhere, a lone stone-built mill stood unswayed by the roaring elements. The old sturdy building was the only protector of Alia and her company. Aided by good fortune they discovered the mill before the sunset, before the evil spirits in the air destroyed their hope of being saved. Inside the rugged walls, the group rested, listening with relief to the howling wind outside. They heard the evil whispers of their enemies concealed in this wind, but the wicked hands would not reach them here. If the storm outside would not be forgiving tonight, this mill shall be their only saviour.
A group of matrons hunched over Alia, whose ails declared the arrival of birth. They tore their rags and laid them under her, propping her up from the cold flagstone. Another they soaked in rainwater through a small window in the wall and laid it on Alia’s head. Her screams soon wrestled with those of the wrathful wind outside, until eventually Alia’s pain muffled that of the storm.
She cried and cursed, screamed and prayed as she wrestled with the nature. At one instant she pushed the matrons away and at other pulled them in tightly with her small, soft hands. Her strength rose and fell with each breath, but her spirit remained unwavered. Banished from the comforts of her home, robbed of her wealth and status, devoid of the doctors that were to deliver an heir to the throne. These thoughts gave her strength. She will bring this heir to this world to execute the revenge on those who killed her husband and stole the crown. She will suffer through a thousand agonizing days and nights to push the living body out of her womb. She will nurse the soft innocent lips with the milk of her breasts and protect the helpless soul until it is of age to reclaim the Kingdom. She will teach the child to lead and will tell all about the father’s adventures. The boy will reinstate the family’s name to power.
The storm had quietened. Silence reigned supreme. A daughter has been born. The baby girl who did not cry and whose screams did not echo in the barren chamber. She looked upon her mother, her eyes fixated on the tired, sullen eyes. No, she did not cry. She was the daughter of the great warrior, the great king, Crion the Brave.
Alia’s cold and weak hands held the warm body. She gazed back to the child with blank eyes, looking right through her. It was a strange sensation. She was her mother, but the first feeling towards the small being cradled in her hands was hatred. The feeling that she was a mistake; a failure of her duty to her husband and his fate. For a fleeting second, she despised the child in her hands and responded with disgust to the baby’s smiling face. Alia felt an urge to slam the body on the hard floor and trample it with her bare muddy feet. For it was a boy that was promised and not a girl.
The raging disappointment ceased. The baby smiled and Alia burst into tears, ashamed of the tragic thoughts her mind was capable of conceiving. She nestled the daughter tightly to her chest and frantically whispered to the small body. I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry. She prayed for forgiveness for her motherly crimes. This was her baby and she will love it. She extended the small naked body in front of her “You are the daughter of the great King and, upon the Gods, I swear to you… Ariel. You will rule this Kingdom and punish those who punished us. I swear to you.”
Warm innocent gurgle rose from the small soul and Alia started back. She saw that Crion’s mischievous glint in the eyes of her daughter. A magical vision of the supernatural deeds. She saw the world where Ariel was queen. She witnessed her enemies dying by thousands. She saw the heads of those who killed her father upon the stakes in the Royal Gardens. She saw the destiny of what is to come.
The high priests promised the arrival of a son to rule the Kingdom for a hundred years to come and Crion’s brothers, with the help of the high priests, conspired to murder him and his family. The family’s demise brought upon by the boy that was not born. A boy whose unbirth brought the death of the father and corrupted the lineage. A boy who took it all but never appeared.
If a spirit of a baby boy brought upon these storms, then let the living girl undo what was done.
Aldas is a writer and editor from Dublin, Ireland. He holds and MA in Creative Writing and dreams of a career as full-time writer. His work has been published in Cabinet of Heed, Terrene, The Fiction Pool and elsewhere. His website: http://aldaskruminis.com/