My beloved daughter
From the shadows, a little girl appeared. She held her head low, so Líra couldn’t see her face, but she knew it had to be her daughter. She had the same white hair.
Líra sank down on her knees and held out her arms. "My daughter", she whispered.
The child, who might have been five or six years old, raised its head. Its big violet eyes – Asael’s eyes, Líra saw with a start – stared at her, expressionless. Now Líra noticed the knife it was holding in its right hand.
"My daughter", she whispered once again, with a voice full of pain and tenderness.
"My mother", the child whispered back, with a voice as sweet as honey and as acrid as poison. Líra flinched when she felt the contempt emanating from the small creature.
"My beloved mother", the apparition purred, "who never wanted me... Why should I come to you now? Because you don’t have anyone else anymore? Because your beloved Asael is dead and you have been deserted by everyone? Now, finally, I am good enough for you... But why should I love you? Who should have taught me love? I know only hatred... The hatred you have taught me, mother..."
Líra sobbed. What was the girl talking about? She was supposed to have hated her? A daughter by Asael?
"But I don’t hate you... I love you... My own child!"
The girl laughed, a delightful sound like silver bells.
"Yes, your own child, that I am... But I don’t owe this to you. If you’d had your way, I would never have existed. You never wanted to conceive me, and when it was too late, you wanted to keep me from being born. But now I am here, mother... I have come to take what you did not want to give to me..."
Líra didn’t understand a thing. How could that be? If she had conceived a daughter by Asael, how could she have hated her? "You... you must be wrong", she stammered. Her voice was rough.
"Wrong? No, beloved mother, I am not wrong. The dead know more than the living..."
Tears fell down Líra’s cheeks. How could that be? The child said it was dead? But here it was... But it couldn’t yet live, she never had born a child... No, this was a vision, that much she understood. But why did her daughter say she had hated her? And why did she think Asael was dead? Did that mean... he was going to die?
The spirit child before her smiled. "See? You are doing it again... Your own child is standing in front of you, and all you think about is your beloved Asael... Asael and you, that is all you ever think about, you and you adulterous lover..."
Líra froze. Could the apparition read her thoughts?
"Yes, beloved mother, I know everything that you think... Even before I was born, I knew your feelings, your love for Asael and your hatred for me... You adulteress... you murderer..."
Inside Líra’s head, her thoughts were a mess. If this was a vision of the future... Then she and Asael had conceived a child... in adultery, before Zurvan’s death. And she... had not wanted the child? Would not want it – all this was in the future... And then? Did the child die?
"Yes, beloved mother, I have died", the creature answered to her unvoiced question, "by your own hand... Oh, how you cried, when I was lying before you, bloody and lifeless... But not for me did you cry, no, your tears were for yourself... for the future you had hoped for, the fear you had to live through, the blood that was on your hands..."
"But... if you are dead... Then why are you here?", Líra whispered.
"Yes, why? Beloved mother... you didn’t want me, but others have taken me... have raised me... have nourished me with hatred and wrath... and now I am here, to take back what you withheld from me!"
The face with the huge eyes, that had been so expressionless before, now contorted into a grimace of anger.
"Give it to me!", the child screamed and raised the knife. "Give it to me, you murderer!"
Líra gasped when she evaded the first poorly aimed slash. "What? What so you want me to give to you?"
"Give it to me", the girl howled and hacked at her mother again and again. Líra, who had fallen to the floor, had a hard time escaping. "Give my life to me!" The next slash hit Líra’s cheek. Red-hot pain flooded her, and blood streamed down her face. Instinctively, she raised her hand to the wound, but that was a mistake, for the next blow pierced the back of her hand. She screamed when the child withdrew the blade with surprising ease. Now it aimed for her womb. Líra doubled over, but the creature no longer paid attention to her, it hacked on in blind fury. She tried to push it away, but it ignored her efforts. How strong it had to be! Her child...
Eventually, it seemed to have found what it was looking for. Líra’s arms were so covered with cuts and slashes that she couldn’t move them anymore. The girl kneeled down in front of her and cut open her womb. Everything was beginning to turn black. But the child didn’t care about her anymore. It went about its bloody business without distraction, as casually as an experienced surgeon, but with less precision. Finally it pulled something out of her open womb. Líra tried to discern what it was through the blood-red veil before her eyes.
It looked like... You Saints, was that possible? Why hadn’t she noticed anything? It looked as if what the child had pulled out of her womb was... a foetus, a tiny thing, not yet discernible as a human being... Her child? By Asael? Together with the blood, her life force flowed out of her body ever faster, but she was able to form one last thought while the creature with the knife lifted the foetus and let it vanish in its tender little girl’s mouth: "My daughter..."
Hier könnt Ihr dem Autor Feedback zukommen lassen.