Chapter 1: ~Season's Blessing~
The elderly woman leaned over the basket. The blanket was moving with life to her surprise. She looked around and picked up the basket. Cradling it to her naked black chest. She tried to hush the life wrapped in the blanket.
"Hush now little one." she cooed as her wrinkled fingers pulled back the cloth to a pale painted baby. It cried louder than any of her children. She studied the baby carefully then gasped. Her brow was arched with bloodstones. The baby's cries died as her eyelids lifted to show hazel pools. The woman's eyes widen and stared at her brow.
"Dolo! Dolo!" The woman cried, running to her hut. In the doorway was a tall built man with a strong face.
"What is it, Gola?" His voice was soft as he eyed the basket in her arms.
"Look at her brow!" She held up the pale baby to Dolo. The baby cooed softly and held out her pink fingers, asking to be held.
"Gola, we must tell the village elder." Gola looked at the small baby, her fingers clutched a small charm. Gently, she pulled the charm out of the baby's hand. In Gola's palm laid a stone elephant. A leather string had been fashioned to fit in the holein the elephants back. She stroked the charm and looked at the baby, what an odd gift the gods had given the village.
The two, walked quickly to the village elder. The woman named Gola, craddled the pale baby in her arms. She had tied the elephant charm around the baby's neck for good luck. Dolo drew back the leather that hung over the enterence of the hut. Each enter silently and waited for the wise woman to awaken. The mud walls around them created a damp, dank, dark environment. Slight flickering from a melting candle was the only light.
"Gola, what if this baby belongs to our enemy tribes? We cannot keep it." Dolo said from beside her. Gola held the baby closer and nuzzled the soft hairs on the baby's head.
"Then they have to come and get her." She said crossly.
"Bring...the...child...here..." It was the wise woman. Her dark skin made her blend into the darkness. The beads in her hair shook as she sat up in the small cot infront of the couple. Gola presented the wise woman with the baby and stepped back to Dolo. Gasping, the wise woman stared at the baby and put a withered hand to her forehead and chanted softly;
"Gode bo, gee my die krag om te sien hoe hierdie kind is bedoel vir ... hierdie kind seën met krag, want sy kan die antwoord op ons vermiste kind te wees." The baby cooed and placed her pink fingers along the old woman's wrinkled face. "This baby will need to be taken care of..." She said shakingly. Gola and Dolo nodded and stared at the baby. "I present the baby to it's new parents..." The old woman hobbled over to Gola and held out the baby. As motherly instinct took over, she grabbed the baby and held it to her. "Take care of her...her spirit will not be easily tamed for she is the Season's Blessing to our village.." She trailed off as she hobbled back to the cot.
As Gola and Dolo stepped out of the dark hut, they looked at each other.
"Seisoen se seën? Season's Blessing?" Dolo asked softly.
"Kia...Season's Blessing." Gola looked up at Dolo and smiled. The baby gripped the elephant tightly and in the sunlight, the stones sparkled and glistened over her. But Gola and Dolo didn't know that she would change the village completely...