The Birth of the Prophet
On the coldest it had ever been in a very long time, and the moon was high. There was a woman with fair brown hair lying on a blanket in the middle of the village with the people looking at her, jittering and excited. Her husband, a man with pitch black facial hair but bald on the top, was holding her hand. She was screaming and straining her body. Her stomach was hefty and firm. She savagely shook as she waited for the town shrink to appear to help her with the birth of her child. Sweat poured down her face and her teeth were gritted so hard she might have broken them. She let out a loud howl against the night sky. Everybody grew worried with anticipation. Where could the shrink be at this time of night?
Minutes, which seemed to be hours, went by and by and still they waited. Finally a decision had to be made.
“Derek…” said the wife meekly. The crowd began to murmur quietly.
“Yes Kila?” Derek whispered bringing his face closer to hers. She reached for his face and stroked his cheek softly.
“I am going to finish this. I can’t see you cry anymore. I can’t stand this. I will summon the magic within to give me all the power to give birth to our child,” she stated clearly. She broke out into a coughing fit. She finally stopped and squinted to see Derek. His face was horrified. The crowd grew fretful and became silent.
“But if you do that you’ll die!” his voice was stressful and his eyes were watering. He had to hold back the tears, for his wife’s sake.
“My only wish,” she began after a silence, “my only wish is that you take care of this child and love them no matter what.
I will be in them. The trees, earth, sky.”
She looked up at her husband for the last time, pulled herself up into a sitting position with her legs spread, closed her eyes and began to chant. She stopped when the pain became unbearable and then began again. She had to pause again and shriek. She couldn’t do this on her own she didn’t have enough strength.
Derek, not wanting to lose both his child and the love of his life, looked up towards the sky and began to chant. Kila looked at him with solemn eyes and then towards the sky and chanted too. Soon afterwards the group looked up too and chanted as well.
They stood there for minutes before Kila squeezed her husband’s hand and he looked at her with wide eyes as she gave her last breath and her head fell to the blanket. Her face held a smile and the look of satisfaction. Derek let out his tears, bent over and kissed her on the cheek.
A cry pierced through the air. The baby had been born.
“Get blankets and water quickly!” somebody shouted. The people scattered to get the supplies as three women helped Derek get the baby clean. They wrapped the baby in their own shawls on this chilly night and one lady, with blazing red hair, handed the baby to Derek.
“Congratulations, it’s a girl.”
Derek kindly thanked her over and over and took the baby. She was tiny. Her eyes were closed and she let out a yawn that made Derek smile. The three women gathered around behind him and began to compliment him.
“You’re a very lucky man Derek,” said the eldest woman with silver hair flying everywhere due to the breezes. She cackled when she saw Derek panic when the baby let out a startling cry.
“What are you going to call her?” asked the fair-minded lady with the green eyes. Her mouth was covered with a scarf and her scarlet hair was tied back. She reached over and stoked the baby on the head and immediately she stopped crying.
Derek shugged his shoulders.
The third lady didn’t say a word for her mouth was bound with twine, a practice to help keep the mind concentrated with the eyes rather than the mouth. She scooted closer to the baby and ran her fingers down the side of the baby’s cheeks.
Derek and the three women sat there staring at the baby. What was so astonishing about his baby?
He cuddled the baby closer to his chest. People came rushing by with blankets and hot water. Derek handed his baby to one of the women while they cleaned her up. The shawl that the baby was wrapped in smelled like peppermint.
“Maybe I should call you Mint,” he let out a laugh when he said this for the baby’s face cringed and seemed to shake its head. The moon rose higher in the deep ocean of endless sky.
He gazed at his wife’s empty face and thought about what he would do without her. He couldn’t do anything without her. Some burly men with black hats on came by with a white blanket. They laid it upon Kila and then lifter her up slowly and took her to the shrinks house do go through the pre-burial processing.
Derek received his baby again, bid the three women good night and walked through the door into the cozy fire lit area.
“Ezilliabeth…” Derek muttered suddenly. It was surprising to him as well, he never heard of such a name before in his life. He looked at his baby.
“Yes, Ezilliabeth, I think that is what I will call you. My daughter, my precious little Ezilliabeth,” he cuddled the bundle close to his heart and kissed her on the forehead and let the fire flicker as the night slowly passed by.