The Gift
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Sitting at a table he looked across at his dining companion. He smiled affectionately at his daughter as she tore the meat from a human forearm, allowing the blood and uncooked juices to flow down her chin. Somewhere in the distance he heard a child scream.


David sat upright and tried to shake away the visions that lingered in his head. Never before had he had such a horrible dream. He swung his legs over the side of the bed and stretched. On opening the bedroom door he heard the faint cries of a baby as if his dream continued to echo around his home. It seemed to get louder as he approached the front door.


Rubbing the sleep out of his eyes, he hesitantly opened the door. On the front porch, in a traditional picnic basket, he could see a tiny scrunched up face topped by a little pink bonnet.


Quickly searching the basket he located a pacifier and a fresh bottle of milk. He also found a satchel on which was pinned a note. He sat alongside the basket, instinctively guiding the bottle into the questing mouth and began to read.


To David Williams,


I have watched you play with your own children for the past three months. You seem like a very caring father. You have a beautiful family and your wife is obviously a wonderful mother.


I have nothing to offer this special little girl. She needs a family who can provide her with a good upbringing and teach her the value of love.


By the time you read this I will be gone and though I loath to part with her, I know she will have a better chance at a normal life with your family.


The short missive was unsigned.


The satchel contained a birth certificate and papers for her name change by deed poll to Williams.


# # #


Over seven years had passed since that morning and the Williams family had readily accepted their new arrival, telling everyone they had adopted the bundle of joy but decided to keep their decision a secret until they were able to bring her home.


On a warm summer afternoon, David was interrupted from his surfing of the TV channels by a knock at the door. He opened it to find a woman nervously standing there.


From beneath her auburn fringe she looked up at him. Her hazel eyes searched David’s face. Satisfied with what she found, her resolution visibly strengthened. David noticed the straightening of the shoulders and the lifting of her head then without fanfare she said, “Hi. I’m the baby’s mother. She is nearly eight now and it is past time I told you more of her heritage.”


“They’re all out at the moment, but I’m guessing you already knew that.” At her nod he added, “You had better come in.”


David waited until she settled on the lounge before sitting in his own chair opposite her. “Well Miss, what exactly do you need to tell me?”


“How is she?” she asked.


“She is the apple of my eye. I count it as a blessing everyday when I go in to wake her. She is smart and funny and wonderful to be around.”


The smile slipped from her features. “I hope that is enough.”


At a puzzled look from the man who had raised her daughter she continued, “Tania was conceived in hate and born amidst chaos. It has been foretold that two children would be born on that day; one of goodness and one of evil. We thought that if she was placed with a good family then she would grow to be the child of good. No-one can be sure until her eighth birthday passes.”


# # #


Two months later, on the morning of her eighth birthday, David crept into his daughter’s bedroom to find her sleeping above her blankets – two feet above her blankets. “Well sweetheart, I guess things are going to be a little different around here from now on.”


Tyarna rolled over in mid-air and softly gurgled, a smile of malevolence on her face.

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