Imagined for mlmm tale weaver 157: fairy tale enchantment I thought it was time I actually posted something I’d started for Michael’s prompts!
Left in her “parent’s” door yard wrapped in an ancient quilt and snuggled into a loose woven willow basket with note attached: “Here is my gift to you.” And in fine print: “As Is: under enchantment. No returns or refunds allowed.”
Her adoptive mother, in grief at the loss of her own daughter, took the odd-looking bundle in. She unwrapped the child with mismatched eyes, a face and body not quite symmetrical and an extra toe on each foot. She saw “Gift” as unique not freakish. Which was well as her new child was a belated changeling from a family with dubious credentials. Her randy uncle, waylaid by pleasures found in Widow’s boudoir, missed the appointed midnight – a super blue blooded moon – at which point to exchange Gift for Angel. Thus, ironically, both babes fulfilled their names.
Her parents carefully watched their unique daughter, expecting some morning she would awaken in the form of beetle, frog, dragon, fly, swan or other such transformation.
But she grew as normal though she needed wide shoes to accommodate her extra toes and tended towards clumsiness. Mismatched eyes obsidian with sparked gold flecks and emerald with silver. She wove ribbons into her plait of nut brown hair snaking down her back. Although her voice was not the most melodic, she lilted to herself, making up songs that suited her mood.
She showed no special talent or skills; no indications of the forewarned enchantment. Only the telling of her morning “travelogues” presented at the breakfast table, bowl of pottage getting cold as she described the dreamscapes she visited the night before. Often, her parents checked to be sure that Gift was indeed in her bed, not flying over frozen seas with large white bears, or swishing between giant, ancient trees, her nightgown puffing out around her, suspended above undulating grasslands, or watching trees change into their autumn clothes. Her parents decided perhaps this was the awaited sign of enchantment – Gift could physically be in one place while spiritually observing another. Out-of-body travel.
She kept quiet about her other “flights of fancy,” as her mother called the travelling tales. Gift imagined her birth mother – an exotic beauty who wore scents of jasmine and roses, and dresses of silk and brocade. One enchanted evening, while strolling in her gardens, her birth mother came upon a handsome stranger. His voice caressed her lovingly; his touch gentle and pleasing. Under some enchantment herself, her mother then allowed the stranger to be her lover – for one night. He cautioned he must leave as the orange fingers of dawn snatched the moon from the sky. And Gift was herself the product of this incredible union.
While her parents never pretended that Gift was theirs by blood, they kept the fine print on the note secret, hidden away in an inlaid wooden chest under their bed. Gift eventually discovered it, confirming her feelings: that some enchantment, some spell surrounded her as a second skin. Given to her by her father as her inheritance? Or transferred; wrapped around her mother like a cloak?
When she reached the age of six and ten, she announced her desire to travel; to seek out her birth mother. Her parents, unable to give good reason why she should not, other than their love for her, allowed the parting. Gift turned her face towards the frozen seas and ancient forests. Searching for the scent of jasmine and roses; a glimpse of richly embroidered silk and brocade.
flying girl by artgalla (deviant art)
And from South Pacific:
Some enchanted evening, you may see a stranger,
You may see a stranger across a crowded room,
And somehow you know, you know even then,
That somehow you’ll see here again and again.
Some enchanted evening, someone may be laughing,
You may hear her laughing across a crowded room,
And night after night, as strange as it seems,
The sound of her laughter will sing in your dreams.
Who can explain it, who can tell you why?
Fools give you reasons, wise men never try.
Some enchanted evening, when you find your true love,
When you hear her call you across a crowded room,
Then fly to her side and make her your own,
Or all through your life you may dream all alone.
Once you have found her, never let her go,
Once you have found her, never let her go.