9. The Woman
Light, there was light above her. There was another shape too, but the poor woman couldn’t make it out. Her vision was so blurry. She rubbed at her eyes, and was surprised to find them wet. Why had she been crying? She looked up at the strange shadow as her eyes slowly adjusted. There dark outline morphed into a being, then to a human, and finally into some mystic person. The woman tried to scramble away in fright, but her body spasmed in protest. Why was this stranger staring at her? She wondered if he would try to hurt her or take her baby. She abruptly recalled what was going on.
“Please good sir! You must help me! I need to make it to the midwife! You see my baby, my baby…” The woman was surprised. She felt as though she was screaming, yet her voice was barely a whisper. She realized her baby wasn’t kicking anymore. She felt so weak.
“What do you want me to do about it?” asked the man. His tone accusing, as though he dared her to state her wish. His deep brown hair had a few silver strands that snaked through the rest of his mane, which fell far past his shoulders. He had a beard that was long enough to rest upon his chest. It, too, was mahogany with a slightly gray tint. Even though he looked the same as the other men of the kingdom, the woman was convinced she had never seen him before in her life. His words were like sharp icicles, bursting whatever grasps of hope he had left, yet his voice was like honey, dripping a smooth sweetness that was just sick when it was paired with the meaning behind his statement.
The woman knew that if this was truly her fate, that she was to die here among the fallen leaves of the oaks and soft petals of the roses, she would do her best to keep her child from the same destiny.
“My baby. Please, save my baby. I will give you whatever you ask, just don’t hurt my child,” she pleaded.
To her surprise, he nodded and said, “As you wish,” before he set to work.