The Parting Glass
CHAPTER
1
Prologue
The baby inside of Rosaline’s very round belly gave a strong kick. It is a little savage that grows in me, she chuckled softly. Another babe was crying shrilly from his crib. Rosaline carefully picked up the beautiful dark-haired creature in her arms and rocked the babe. As the wailing went on, Rosaline felt a plummeting in her stomach, and she became alarmed. Was it the baby? Is it time?
But there was no pain. Just a dreadful feeling that lurked deeply within her. The babe’s cries penetrated her. A mother’s intuition perhaps, but the baby seemed to be disturbed. Disturbed, Rosaline decided to let the babe sleep with her on the bed tonight. Perhaps that was it, the child wanted his mother’s warmth.
The evening sky was full of twinkling stars, their fires burning mischievous tonight. One winked out for the briefest time, but none of humanity had seen it. The fact was that a shadow had flitted by, mockingly saluted the star, and went on his hunt. The star never liked the shadow, shuddering as it passed, but the star was intensely curious as to who the shadow will bring back by the end of the night.
Rosaline woke up to another of the baby’s kicks. She gently rubbed her belly. Yes, a little savage this one, she thought sleepily. Then her eyes shot open. Something was wrong, so very wrong. She reached beside her only to touch the bedsheets. Rosaline was fully awake now, her hands frantically exploring the bed, pushing back the blankets and even the pillows. Then the memory suddenly entered and she sighed in relief. She had fallen asleep when the babe quieted. She awoke in the middle of night, finding the baby finally asleep again. Rosaline had carefully put him back in his crib and returned to her own slumber.
And so now she stood up from the bed and shuffled over to the crib.
The babe was gone. Rosaline would never see him again.
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