Mark quickly ushered the midwife in. The silence in the room seemed deafening to him and it was all he could do not to scream. The labour had come on during the afternoon and they had hoped the baby would hold on for the night. Alas, it was not to be. The baby's head was already crowning. Sheril was covered in a lather of sweat and the full moon had just crested the horizon.
The midwife bent anxiously between Sheril's legs and checked to see how far along the baby was.
'Oh my, this will never do…' she anxiously looked around the room.
It was all Mark could do to not shake her into action. The baby must be born before the full moon was in the sky. His poor Sheril lie there in pain, gasping and shuddering with every contraction and all he could do was watch. He kept glancing out the window. It seemed that time had stood still.
Mark now hoped against hope that if Sheril didn't push that the baby would be born at sunrise. Then they could welcome the little thing into the world with open arms.
Looking at Sheril, who looked up at him from under heavy lashes and with flushed cheeks. He saw the baby’s eyes were almost visible. With a tremor of fear he made a quick decision. He dropped Sherils' hand, and silently left the room.
He returned just as the midwife was cutting the cord. She patted the baby’s back and cleared the mucus from its throat. Giving a plaintive cry it reached its little hands, beseeching someone to hold it close. The midwife wrapped the poor small thing in a piece of muslin and turned to pass her to Sheril.
"Its a wee girl, Sheril love.” The midwife was a no nonsense woman and just didn’t believe that being born on a full moon cursed someone to damnation. Who could condemn such a darling little thing?
As the baby was placed in its mother’s arms, the two were barely given a chance to lock eyes before the door burst in. A crowd of villagers surged in and someone wrenched the baby from her.
Sheril imprinted the memory of those eyes into her heart and swore she would find them out again. Tears fell from her eyes and she turned her head away, not wanting her husband to see her cry.
The baby screamed as the mob pushed its way out from the little house and they surged away through the hills. It was only when they reached the cliff tops that usually served the purpose for which they had come, that they realized she was gone.
It had been so easy to take the baby.
Lini hated the thought that these so called 'civilised' beings would deliberately hurt an innocent child. She had often flown over the villages on the full moon, waiting for the birth of a child. She had hoped that just once she could save one of those pink bundles of flesh.
Tonight had been the night. She had been close by when she overheard a small dark man whispering excitedly to another, something about the baby being born as they spoke. She had simply drawn her hood close, picked up a pitchfork and followed the crowd. The opportunity to snatch the baby had come easier than she had expected; she had simply been the one to push her way in first and grab the child from the mother’s arms.
Then when the mob had started to pour out into the hillside she had simply taken the baby and 'slipped' away.
She was a cute little thing, with one green eye and one blue. There was also a strange marking on her eyelid.
There was no time for cooing and gushing. Lini moved fast, trying to find a place to leave the poor child, somewhere less judgemental. Suddenly there was a movement in the trees ahead of her.
It couldn't be the humans. They were too far away from her and the baby. She watched, afraid of what might be hiding amongst the trees.
She heard a familiar voice in the darkness. "Lini, oh Lini will you never learn!"
An army of gremlins appeared, dressed in silver bulky armour. That deep voice was so familiar. Who was it?
The ground cracked as the stranger emerged from the trees, and a shadow loomed over her. It was Lord Grim himself. No fairy had encountered Lord Grim and lived to tell the tale that was what Lini had heard.
"What do you want?" yelled Lini, causing the baby to let out an ear-deafening cry. Jumping in little hops, she hushed the baby. Then, fluttering her wings and stepping back, she asked, "Lord Grim, what do you want with us?"
“Us?” he smirked, looking at the bundle in her arms. He gasped with a grin on his face, “Is that what I think it is? The baby the humans were going to rid themselves of”
Lini supported the crying baby and listened to what Grim had to say, “I came here to rescue this little child. I see you came before me. May I see the baby?” his eyes glowed with green and blue as he stepped even closer to Lini’s petite figure.
She opened the hood of her cloak and turned away. "You will not see this child!" she cried, throwing off her cloak and leaping into the air. The gremlins started to climb the trees.
One jumped off the tree and caught hold of Lini’s left leg. Another grabbed the baby out her hands from the right and another stomped her to the ground from above. The gremlins rushed back to the side of Lord Grim.
The child wasn’t safe anywhere. “Please, please” She slid on the grass begging at Lord Grim’s feet, “Don’t hurt her. She is only a child”
He smiled and said, “A girl born under a full moon. My but the citizens are heartless, heartless enough to get rid of this young one,” He continued, “Who said I was ever going to hurt her?”
Lini gasped, “You look so menacing that I could not guess from your shadowed face, sire. I only ask that I may go with the child”
He answered back, “You may go, but without this child”
Lini screamed, “No You can’t take her, she needs to be taken care of by her own kind”
He said ruefully, “And you think you are closer to the form of her parents? No, I shall keep her and teach her my ways”
With a shrill cry, Lini jumped from the ground, and grabbed the child out of his arms. A gremlin marched forward and hit her with the flat side of his axe, knocking her to the ground. She lay on her back with the crying child in her arms.
"Take the child, leave the fairy," Lord Grim ordered his gremlins. "We'll hunt her tomorrow morning."
The gremlins obeyed, taking the child from the vice of Lini's arms.
Lord Grim looked at the baby. "I'll call her Dira," he said. He made a signal, and he and the gremlins immediately disappeared into the trees
It’s been a year and Sheril lay in her bed with a newborn son in her arms. "Oh Mark he's beautiful"
She was relieved when the baby was born in the morning. Her heart still longed to her first born, but she knew it was too late. Her little daughter was gone. Mark walked closer to his new son and held Sheril's hand, squeezing it gently.
"We'll name him Justen" said Mark
Sheril kissed her son's soft skin, "Justen, how I wish your sister was here" She looked at the sparkle in his baby-blue eyes and back at Mark. "Do you think our little girl could still be living this very same day?"
Mark shook his head, "I doubt it Sheril. God blessed us with another child..." He stopped speaking, seeing people arriving at the door of their house. "Wait here" He quickly opened the door before anyone could knock.
Mark glared at them and asked, "What do you want?"
They stood in a line and watched wide-eyed through the door at the baby. One of the men said, "Congratulations!" Mark lowered his shoulders, relieved at what he heard.
He turned away from them and ignored the awestruck people behind him. "His name is Justen and you will not come close to him. You took my first-born child. I shall never forgive you." And he shut the door behind him.
Lini had been in hiding for a year now, her wings had healed from battling with a few gremlins and she could fly again. She had no doubt that she had to do something about the child being so long away from her parents. When she covered herself with a cloak she entered the town, hearing of a new born child in the same family as before. She could feel a sting in her heart, the family had moved on. She didn’t want to dishearten the family, to tell them of their little girl. She had to rescue the girl herself and in hopes to reunite them, even if it was against fairy rules to help humans.
She had been planning her strategy every single day, making sure of every nook of evidence of the child still being alive. She went flying above the Lord Grim’s fortress seeing through bars of a window, two gremlins playing with a one year old girl. The poor child was crying. The brown hair on her head was tousled by one of the gremlins which made the girl cry even more. Lini so wanted to punch the gremlins for their ugly looks, but she knew that would only make them look worse. One of the gremlins gave a voodoo doll for the little girl to play with. The doll looked horrible with the red hair glued to its head.
Feeling the strangest tinglyness Lini suddenly dropped from the air, her wings were compressed like someone was holding onto her. She hit the ground with a force it felt she had fallen a thousand feet. Her breath was hit out of her chest. Looking around, she saw a black wall facing her. She turned her head and saw she was outside the fortress, she knew the dead trees from anywhere. It had to be the voodoo doll the little girl was given that made her fall like that. It was the only rational explanation.
Lini could feel her ribs being squeezed, at least it wasn’t painful. It was only a little girl handling the doll. She stood up from the ground dusting her black dress and wrapping her cloak over her body again. Annoyingly it kept slipping off. She coughed out a bit of the dust and wiped off a few small pebbles on her cheek. At least no one saw her falling or else she’ll be done for.
Hurrying along the side of the wall Lini listened if anyone was around. The only sound heard was the beating of her heart and small laughter from the little girl up in the tower. She was sure she could get the child back, maybe fool one of the gremlins into giving the child over to her. She knew that idea had to wait, for now it was nearing dark and she had to rest.
After making a small fire a mile away form the fortress. She thought through her strategy again and she got an epiphany, maybe she could sneak in when night rolls in. for now it was sunset and only an hour was left before it will begin to get dark.
Night came and Lini awoke from dozing off. She cautiously stood up taking her cloak off for the flight to be easier. Flapping her wings she started to fly north toward the fortress. The wind ruffled her red hair. The little girl must’ve stopped playing with the voodoo doll, because Lini had no trouble flying. It was all slowly falling into place.
Last edited by Dira (2008-09-29 09:32:55)
This is a very curious beginning, Dira. You have the makings of an intricate world, not necessarily hidden from human perception, but hiding from it nonetheless. You have a unique beginning, already set up with contest and mystery, as well as a strong premise. It's going to be very interesting to see where you take it from here!
There may have been a few itty-bitty technical anomalies, but nothing to distract from the story. Your attention to detail is not overwhelming, but just enough to give us an idea as to what's going on, allowing the reader's mind to fill in the gaps. Good balance there, but you still have some leeway to add more detail to make the scene more vivid in the mind of the reader, if you wanted to in later drafts. You've kept your options open in that regard. Good idea!
Bring on some more, Dira!
Whoohoo. Thanks guys. I'll be posting it up very soon the next part.
Great story so far. I think you're going a wonderful job and besides a few grammical errors, I think you're doing well.
I don't see the grammitical errors. Do you mean punctuation errors, then I'll understand... It be great if you guys could point it out. you don't have to.