Once a year there was a knock at the door. Two times, then nothing. No one else heard, only me. Even when I was a baby in my cradle. My mother didn’t hear. My father didn’t hear. My sisters continued sleeping. But the cat looked up.
When I was old enough I opened the door. There she was. A lady wearing a grey coat. She had a branch from a hawthorn tree, the one that grew outside my window. She spoke, but I didn’t know her language. A big wind had come up and the door slammed shut. When I opened it again, she was gone.
But I knew what she wanted.
The one word I’d understood was daughter.
I asked my mother to tell me about the day I was born. She couldn’t remember. I asked my father. He had no idea. My sisters were too young to know where I’d come from. When the grey lady next came I asked the same question. I could tell from the look on her face. She knew the answer. She went down to the marsh, where the tall reeds grew, where the river began. I ran to keep up. She slipped into the water, all grey and murky. She waited for me to follow. I didn’t think twice. I took off my boots. The water was cold. I went under fast.
Check back next month for a new fairytale.