Into the pot the blood of five men was poured. This was followed by the tears of their grieving widows and the eyeballs that shed them. A new life was coming and their strength would be five fold.
The heart of a fawn – pure and fresh – was added to the mix along with the skin of a snake. The smell was pungent and strong. Annabelle stopped. If she drank it herself she could have it all. Even Francesca, the greatest supreme witch her people had ever seen couldn’t stop her. She almost put the ladle to her lips and tasted but she stopped herself. The child would grow and their unstoppable need to take Francesca’s place would consume them. Annabelle could wait. It would be more poetic that way. They would destroy her the way Francesca did her parents and her brother. They say that each generation gets stronger. Annabelle was positively salivating at the thought of what the baby could grow to be capable of.
Muffled screams disturbed her thoughts. The woman was crying again. At least what was left of her. Her left arm was gone and her right leg below the knee. Her torso was badly torn.
“Shut up!” Annabelle barked feeling a little disgruntled at being drawn from her day dream. “I’ll be done with you soon enough. I’m waiting on this blasted oven heating up.”
The woman sobbed. What conscience Annabelle had didn’t extend to strangers . She had taken an interest in the royal baby though. It could be the answer to the curse that followed her. The baby would be with them that night.
The moon was fat. Francesca’s screams of birthing pain echoed through the castle. Nurses ran back and forth bringing more warm, wet towels. As the queen gave birth the nurses were granted more authority than the king. They gave the instructions and Roman could only stand idly by and wait for news.
It all fell quiet. Vasinov had taken the king’s responsibilities that evening but Roman wished he had his closest friend by his side to guide him through the anxious waiting. His heart thumped against the wall of his chest. it had been a long time since he felt like such a helpless boy. it had been a number of years now since he felt he was no longer master of his own castle.
The screams fell silent. A nurse finally emerged from the queen’s chambers.
“You may come in, Your Majesty,” she said. The entire front of her pale blue dress was covered in blood.
Roman floated in a dream towards the new life that awaited and the person he felt he knew so well without having ever met.
Doctor Hogran wore the widest grin of pride. It was a deviation from his usual professional stoicism.
“A prince is born,” Francesca said.
Wrapped in the same blanket he was given as an infant the king was handed his son.
“A future king,” Roman beamed.
He sat on the bed beside his wife. the doctor left him alone and cleared the room of the nurses.
“The greatest ruler this kingdom will ever know,”
The pale skinned baby with the beginnings of coal black hair already had the weight of the kingdom on his shoulders. His climb to the throne would not be so easy.
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