The dark shadows traced across the kitchen as the moon hung low in the window. The silent footsteps of a careful intruder left little to hear for anyone listening. Long ago the girl had been warned that this day would come. She had shrugged it off at the time but as her 30th year drew closer she could almost feel the cold skeletal hands creep up her back to make due on that fateful prophecy. She had lead an easy life for too long now… it hungered to end it all. Turning to the stairs it started to climb. She had pictures littering the wall to show of her life lead up to this point. She had traveled around the world, found wonders, love, heartbreak, life long friends and learned so much. As it crested the top step it paused. Where a single strong heartbeat had always marked the path to the woman, now stood a second smaller line. Thin and pale but there all the same. Following the new line it came upon a door set ajar. Inside the room bathed in pink and soft light lay a small child wrapped gently to keep the night chill from disrupting her. It turned from the child to look out at the door across the hall as a familiar figure filled the doorway with a mess of curls crowning her head in a mocking fashion to remind it of the pain and loss suffered.
The woman smiled at the bright blue sky and thought of her husband. He had been gone from this land for a long time now but he always enjoyed a beautiful sky and mild weather. She thought fondly of him. She had also started thinking fondly of the baker down the road who always had extra of her favorite bread ready for her when she came calling. This man was young. Younger than her, and he was well loved by the people of the town. How well loved the woman was not aware for he spread his seed as he did his bread among the women of the town. Including the King’s beloved niece, left in his care by his late sister. The woman looked back to her cart to see a small quick hand reach out and take a rose. The figure may have been cloaked but the woman could tell at once it was a girl. Most likely a street urchin looking to make a coin. The woman caught the girl and mocked her in front of the town as someone ran for the guards. She had never seen the royal family and had no idea that the girl she mocked was the King’s niece. After being returned to her uncle the girl was set to be wed off within the fortnight ( two weeks) to ensure her morality stay with her. This however did not sway the girl from finding a way to bring the woman who made this happen forward before the King and be cast with a punishment of death for stealing bread. The young baker, who dare not speak out against a girl with so many of his secrets, had called out the woman as a witch who cast a spell on him to give away his bread and was causing him to lose livelihood. The woman was set to death for a witch, starved and stoned. However, after being pummeled she had not perished, she lay there bleeding. She watched the young man who she had thought fondly of cast down a rock on her, and quietly walk away. Then the girl came at night, wearing the cloak she was caught in, she called to the woman. “See witch, I always get my way. I was blessed at birth. I only hope my stone is the one to kill you so as to insure you pay for what you took from me.” With the last of her passing life she called out to the girl as she felt the cold set into her bones. “Girl, spoiled girl that you are, live your life, but know this, when your 30th year comes to pass I will come for you to end your line. I will never leave the banks of this world until I know that your line ends by my hand.” The girl scoffed at her and cast down her stone, landing solidly on her heart letting out the anger and hate the woman held for the spoiled child and latching her curse onto the heart of the girl. As the years ticked by and the girl was married off, she had given birth to 4 children, all healthy boys. The line that drew the witch to the girl was solid but on her 20th birth year she gave birth to a small pale girl, this is when the first thin line appeared, and the witch knew that in order to be freed from this world she must claim the life of the LAST of the line. Meaning the last girl born in her line by the 30th year. Fate made their lives full and easy in seeming to know what horror would come at 30. Each girl then continued to bare a female child before nearing 30.
The mother who had woken to check on her sweet new angel looked up and locked eyes with the pale thin witchy woman in front of her. The woman gave off an almost ethereal glow. As their eyes met the story of her family curse played in her head as it must have played for her mother. This was the threat that she was warned of at 15. The images slowed as it showed the clock ticking to midnight in her mind. She was 30 now, but like her mother, she had missed the curse because of her child. Now the Witch would be watching this child grow and waiting to come to her and claim her for the curse on her 30th year.