The mobile above the baby’s crib rotated slowly, it’s soft music enchanting the occasion with cheer and adoration. At only three days old, and still unnamed, she watched the dancing animals intently. The shadows of the spinning marched steadily around the room, undisturbed by the mother when she walked into the nursery and took her seat in the rocker to admire the baby. Unsatisfied with just looking, the woman picked the infant up and rocked her in her arms. Witch. The word was uttered in such a low, hushed tone that the mother believed she imagined it. Sorceress. The woman frantically searched the room for the source of the insinuation. Her husband was in his study and the servants in their quarters. Clutching the baby to her chest, the accused woman walked swiftly about the room. Nothing was out of place in the rose-colored nursery. There wasn’t enough hiding space behind the dresser or changing station. Maybe she’d only imagined the words breathed into the air just moments ago. Her paranoia was beginning to get the best of her. She knew that the baby was different. Fully awake and very attentive and only days old. Her husband had attributed these strange characteristics to “good genes”, but she knew otherwise. The child had been born a witch just like her mother. No, not good genes, but genes nonetheless.

She can’t hide that darkness from the father long.

Maybe she can. She’s managed to hide her own secret this long.

He isn’t that stupid. Adult magic is one thing. It can be controlled.

Magic is magic.

No, it isn’t. What do you think will happen the first time she throws a tantrum?

She’ll just be a toddler throwing a tantrum.

True. That is, until the lights begin to flicker and the windows shatter.

Panic had settled over the new mother as she clutched her infant tightly in her arms. Her eyes shifted from the shadows on the walls to the animals on the mobile. The monkey, elephant, lion and giraffe floated silently above the baby’s crib. Anger filled the woman from head to toe. How dare these stupid toys insult her! She reached toward the mobile and grabbed the elephant in an attempt to pull the contraption down. No matter how hard she tried, it would not separate from the ceiling. The lights in the house began to flicker softly as her anger increased. Soon, her anger turned to fear. What would happen when her husband found out? She and her child would be put out on the street. She couldn’t allow that. If anyone must go it would be him. An accidental death would ensure that the woman and child would be safe and taken care of.

The woman lifted the child and walked to the window facing the back yard. There he stood, trimming the azalea bushes that bordered the swimming pool. A sudden wind surrounded him, blowing leaves and trimmings about his face. He backed away from his project while fighting the airborne debris that pelted his face.  He’d forgotten the pool behind him and fell backward into the empty chasm, striking his head on the hard concrete below. The woman sat down in the rocking chair and rocked her new baby as if nothing had happened.


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