Charity’s Ball
By Daisy Jones
Date: April 11, 2016
Ch. 5Lasting Impression

The next morning, Sarah woke before dawn to unanswered questions. With little said, she prepared morning tea as Josiah mindlessly stumbled out the kitchen door to gather cooking wood from the shed. He momentarily reassessed his actions and considered the implications of his experiments and everything that happened the night before. Instantly, he felt an overwhelming need to stay close to Sarah’s side and returned quickly to the cottage.

“What do you know about that thing, Josiah?” Sarah questioned him while busying herself with kitchen chores.

“Not much, not enough, not nearly enough. I was working with a few metals and some other elements in a new sequence with an Egyptian incantation. There was nothing written to suggest that kind of result, whatever it was. I was led to believe the proper combination of elements and chants would create a golden sphere of immeasurable value. I imaged creating a shiny ball of metal that would bring our child good fortune – a handmade birthday charm for a child’s treasure box-nothing more.”

Josiah approached Sarah and wrapped his arms around her from behind as she gazed out onto their picturesque gardens. His lanky frame towered over her petite body as his long reach encircled and lovingly cradled most of their protruding eight month old blessing. “I’m sorry dear Sarah; will you forgive my ignorance?” he whispered softly into her ear.

Sarah responded to his embrace by braiding his hands with her tiny fingers while gently rocking her shoulders side to side as Josiah soothingly mimicked her movements. For that moment, everything was perfect again.

Sarah gathered her wits and slowly turned around to respond to his question. “Of course I forgive you, Josiah. However, our baby may also have a stake in this,” she cryptically replied. Josiah was startled by her response. She looked him in the eye for the first time since last night’s event. In that instant, Josiah realized he had only observed Sarah sleeping in the dark from behind and briefly awake by dawn’s first light. Her face was streaked with burns as if she’d fallen asleep with one arm crossed over her eyes while lying for hours on a sweltering hot beach.

“Sarah! What happened to your face?” Josiah yelled. Sarah looked down again. She slowly backed away from Josiah, revealing more disturbing evidence from the previous night. Sarah lifted her loose fitting smock and exposed her fertile torso as she watched his eyes widen into large protruding circles of disbelief. “What is that?” he questioned as Sarah stood before him with a perfect miniature facial imprint emblazed upon her pregnant belly. He gently touched her stomach and stroked the lifelike impression with all the love and tenderness a parent would display toward their newborn child. The image appeared transposed and impressioned from inside her womb.

Sarah silently watched Josiah react to the perfect tiny facial impression on her skin. “She’s beautiful!” Josiah exclaimed. “Yes she is,” Sarah smiled reassuringly. It was an unspoken belief that the image was feminine, although neither parent could explain why.

They tried to retrace the previous evening’s events, but failed to grasp the cause of effects with any sense of reality that could hold true. The unknown element of ancient Egyptian incantations clearly influenced the outcome of the experiment and Josiah vowed never to repeat it again.

With the ease of nature taking her course, so came and went the final days leading to the birth of their daughter. Sarah began labor shortly before midnight on the last evening in September and gave birth on October 1st, promptly at six in the morning. Proctor’s only midwife was summoned in time, but the labor and birth proved to be a painless and joyful experience.

The newborn’s face was identical to the transposed image on Sarah’s stomach. With little discussion, the name Charity Adams was appointed to the tiny baby girl with a finger grip that could pop blood vessels. Sarah and Josiah sensed their daughter held virtuous traits, manifested by the obvious omission of painful labor and delivery and by her in- womb life mask impression. She was already a miracle child and barely a day old.

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