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Granny Kate's Story "The Changeling"

Short story By: Mistress of Word Play

There are many different cultures where you find reference to a changeling. They are children of fairies or trolls who are raised by humans. This was written for Zero and Harley.
I hope they enjoy it.

Submitted:Oct 7, 2009    Reads: 246    Comments: 24    Likes: 24   

The young girl sat by the fire and watched the flames consuming the logs. Her Granny Kate was busy in the kitchen fixing hot chocolate. How the girl loved her Granny's hot chocolate.

"Do you want marshmallows in your cocoa?" her Granny asked.

"Yes, please granny," she answered.

Granny Kate never used that instant cocoa she always made it from scratch. She used real milk and powdered cocoa.

It was the best. Then she would put five marshmallows in the cup.

"Heavenly," she said out loud.

"What was that?" Granny Kate asked.

"Nothing, Granny," she replied.

With two cups of the steamy cocoa in her hands Granny Kate walked into the oversized living room and sat down on the sofa with her granddaughter.

"Here you go Marie," she said handing the cup to her.

"Thanks," Marie responded taking the cup from her Granny.

"Will you tell me a story?" Marie asked.

Granny Kate took a slow sip of her beverage and for a moment gazed deep into the fire.

"Have I ever told you the story of the Changeling?" she asked her granddaughter.

"No," Marie said shaking her head, "is it very scary?"

Granny Kate snorted and shook her head signifying indeed it was.

She pulled the young girl toward her, cleared her throat, and began to tell her tale.

"Once not too long ago there was a child born to the Queen of the fairies. The child was of great beauty. This caused more than a little concern from the fairy folk for they felt the Queen had mated with a human instead of her own kind. Rather than cause chaos and discord among her people the Queen took the child to a human couple who could have no children of their own.

The couple embraced the child and raised her as their own. They named her Glory for she was as beautiful as a morning glory. She had piercing blue eyes and hair the color of moonlight. She was short by the standards of humans, but no one seemed to notice because of the radiant personality which she possessed. Glory led a relatively normal childhood. She grew more beautiful each day and it seemed she had a natural talent for playing instruments.

There were times though her human parents became concerned. She would slip out late at night and they would find her sleeping by a lake which sat at the edge of the forest. On one such occasion a necklace had appeared about her slender neck. When questioned about the object Glory said she did not know where it had come from. The chain was made of pure gold and hanging suspended on the chain was a tiny gold acorn. Glory took a fancy to the bauble immediately. She wore it day and night.

On her eighteenth birthday a boy who had grown up with her came to Glory's home professing his love for the girl. He had worshipped her from afar, but now he made his intentions clear. He asked Glory and her surrogate parents for Glory's hand in marriage. Glory was elated and consented.

Ah what a wedding the two young people had! Such a wonderful party!

Glory and her husband Dave built a small house close to the lake. Their lives were perfect. Glory gave birth to her daughter two years later. The baby was angelic. She was the image of her mother. It seemed they had all the good things life could give. Still late at night Glory would slip from her home and travel to the lake. Her husband never seemed to be too concerned about this because Glory had explained to him this was normal behavior for her.

As the moon waxed to full on her twenty first birthday Glory for the last time walked to the lake. She watched the moon as it rose and reflected across the lake's surface. She saw her reflection in the lake as well. Her delicate features changed as she watched. Her pale skin slowly changed to a hideous shade of green. Her facial features which had been so delicate and exquisite changed as well, into something dark and sinister. Her eyes which Dave had loved so much turned jet black. There was nothing left of the young woman that anyone would ever recognize.

She screamed as the transformation came to an end.

Dave awoke from his sleep and listened. He heard a rustling sound near the foot of the bed. A candle sat on the bed side table and he lit it. Never in his life had he seen such an obscene thing. It was as if the creature had crawled out of one of his nightmares.

Whatever the thing was it started toward him. He cried out at the monster and started to strike it with great force.

He feared for himself and his family. Glory not understanding that Dave did not recognize her began to fight back.

Where her fingers had been long and slender they had become clawed. She ripped and tore the softer skin on Dave's face his back, and chest.

Soon there was silence, a deadly silence, for Dave lay on the bed. Glory had shredded her beloved to pieces. For a moment she stood over his lifeless body and a tear fell on his corpse, then just as quickly she fled.

The next morning a neighbor came to call upon the happy couple. A cry came up from inside the house. The baby had wakened and with no one to feed it was crying and screaming. The neighbor after not getting a response upon knocking entered the home.

Nothing could have prepared him for what he found. A cry went up through the township. The baby had been whisked away to Dave's parent's home and the town folk formed as a group. Whatever creature had done this it would be dealt with.

The procession of armed men searched the forest. Toward nightfall they found the beast hiding in a tangled mass of shrubbery. I think it was Tom MacDonald who shot the thing as it charged toward the hunting party. A cheer went up from the men. They dragged the monster back to town. Not until they arrived back to town did they notice the necklace around the creature's neck. They gifted it to the baby. "

Marie sat in silence. Her eyes had doubled in size.

"How horrible!" she cried.

"Yes," Granny Kate said.

"What happened to the little girl?" Marie asked.

Granny Kate had gone to the fireplace. She poked the fire and then took something from a small box that was on top of the mantle. As she walked toward Marie she pulled a gold chain from its resting place.

"You see," Granny Kate said rather sadly, "This was your mother's."

There in her grandmother's worn, rough hands dangling from her Granny Kate's fingers was the tiny gold acorn necklace.


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