Kara said, “You could have told me everything about Mona.” It was a simple statement of truth, not an accusation.
“You would have refused her.”
“You don’t know that.”
Ada raised an eyebrow. “Perhaps, beloved, we should refresh your memory.”
Kara raised her chin slightly. “Fine.”
She took them forward an hour. The world regained color as Ada entered a cottage
with the baby.
She answered from the back room, “In here, my love. How went your hunt?” She stopped in the doorway and stared at the bundle in Ada’s arms. “That is not a deer.” She ran her hands through her short hair, cut for bereavement.
“No.” Ada shifted the bundle to her shoulder as the baby started to fuss.
Kara came over and gently took the babe from her. “Where did you find it?”
“I found her in the forest. She was abandoned by her people.”
Kara soothed the baby as she went to the kitchen. “Let’s see what I can find for you,
little one.” She glanced over at Ada. “Are you certain she was abandoned?”
Ada removed her cloak and hung it by the door. “Reasonably so. There were none of her clan in the forest.”
Kara shook her head as she improvised a bottle using a soft leather glove. “Why would someone do such a thing?”
She shrugged and sat down at the table. “They are a difficult people to understand.”
Kara studied her suspiciously. She asked again, “You’re certain she was abandoned?”
Ada sighed. “Yes, beloved.”
“You saw the mother leave her then?”
“No. But she was alone.”
Kara offered the baby the makeshift bottle. “There, there, little one…” She sat down in the other chair. “I’ll scry her then; find out her story.”
Ada responded noncommittally. “Hmm. Shall I make tea?”
Kara watched her as she moved about the kitchen, wondering what she was not telling her. She sighed then settled the baby on her lap, humming a tune as her eyes unfocused. She caught a brief impression of a woman bent close before mist closed in and blocked her vision. She tried looking forward into the future. She caught glimpses of a child at play while Kara and Ada were practicing their music then she encountered the mist again.
Ada poured two cups and set one in front of Kara.
“Curious,” Kara murmured, “Her past and future are obscured.”
Ada picked up her fiddle as she sat back down and worked at tuning it. “Why would that be?”
Kara shook her head. “I’m not certain. A powerful magic perhaps.”
“Her people must not want her returned or recognized.”
Kara nodded slowly. “Perhaps. Or,” she caught Ada’s eye, “it is not their magic that clouds my vision. Is she a changeling?”
“Hmm, this string is fraying. I had better replace it.” Ada reached over to pull a string from the case.
Kara snapped, “Ada! Is Dree involved in this?”
Ada’s hand paused over the case. She slowly picked up the string. “What possible reason would ze have?”
Kara shook her head. “As if anything that creature does is reasoned.”
Ada removed the frayed string. “Shall I ask someone else to take the child then?”
Kara stared at the baby sleeping in her arms. She answered softly, “No. I’ll
keep her, come what may.”
The scene faded.
copyright 2014, Kimberley Long-Ewing, all rights reserved