Chuck gave us a Twitter link to Magic Realism Bot; and it's so much to scroll through and see and read the weirdness there! Anyway, we had to pick one and write - so I chose: 'A baroness falls pregnant with the Universe'; and it took on a life of its own.
Liona woke in the middle of the night with a start, feeling the chill of the breeze from the window on her shoulders. She was sure she had pulled the covers up over herself; and did so again as she looked around the darkened room, lit only by the full moon outside.
She felt as though she wasn’t alone; and hadn’t been along since the untimely passing of her dear husband, the Baron Timothy Heathford Roderick Stein. Yes, she had become a Baroness almost overnight – well, it felt as though it was overnight – and yet their marriage had lasted over two decades.
He ruled over the lands surrounding their large mansion and the estates beyond, as well as the three nearby townships; however he had never been a horrible ruler. His title never came with people thinking they were going to be thrown from their meagre homes if they could not pay their taxes; instead, he’d give them work in the stables, around the gardens and around the mansion and help them with money if they needed it.
Yes, her husband was a good, wise and wonderful man; never quick to temper and Liona had never felt the harsh back of his hand. However, when she travelled with him to other estates, to meet with other high-ranking men, Liona learned quickly that those men treated their women like cattle, tormenting them, hurting them and making sure they lived in fear of them every day they were married.
It was certain that Liona and Timothy had an arranged marriage, as their parents had been before them. However, when she met Timothy on their wedding day, at the altar, all her fears washed away as he looked her up and down and he smiled, and asked her one single question: ‘Do you fear me?’ her answer was: ‘Yes.’ Taking her hand gently, he kissed her gloved hand, looked into her eyes and whispered, ‘Please don’t, for I am as scared of this day as you are of me.’
After he spoke those words, Liona found she had most certainly found her Prince, her man who would treat her the way she was supposed to be treated. Yes, her parents found her the right man.
But why had she woken in the middle of the night?
It had been three years since Timothy had passed away; and she ran the estates on her own now – which was something unheard of, but it worked.
Something didn’t feel right. She felt as though somebody – or something had been in her bed with her. Switching on her light, she pushed back all the covers to find nobody by her side, and yet, pooled around her was a glowing, blue/white liquid.
“What in the ...” touching it, she pulled her hand away to find her hand was covered in: “Stardust.” Turning her hand over, it glittered and glimmered catching the light like diamonds would, however, before she could call for her inhome doctor, the glittering vanished from her hand and from the bedding, as though it never existed, “I’m tired... gotta be tired. There’s something going on here.” She turned off the light, pulled up the covers and tried to go back to sleep.
Three days passed by and strange things began to happen.
Liona watched a butterfly flit around the garden from flower to flower and as she watched, she found she could hear its thoughts, and stepped closer: ‘The wind, keep on the wind, the wind, keep on the... oh sugary flowers, I can smell-em you know.’ The butterfly landed on a rose and slowly opened and closed its wings as it extracted nectar from the flower.
Shaking her head, she wondered if she imagined what she just saw and turned away to leave the rose garden, brushed past a dead bush and it immediately came back to life right before her eyes! As she watched it with widened eyes, she stumbled backwards and passed out.
A cool cloth woke her as voices sounded, “I’m not sure how long she had been out there. I was going to uproot that dead rose bush, but it looks like it had turned around – but I can’t see how it could; it has black spot and root rot.” The gardener’s voice whispered.
“I’ll take care of her.” The doctor said, “Now, you keep this to yourself.”
The door closed as her eyes opened, “What’s happened?”
His kindly elderly face leaned close to hers, “You tell me. It seems you are pregnant.”
“What? I can’t be. I’m too old.” She pushed herself up to a sitting position as her maid pushed plump pillows behind her, “I’m over fifty years old, it’s not possible.”
“Well, you are; and I have ordered in a Wise Woman to find out more because you touched a rose bush out in the garden on the verge of death and it came back to life.” He whispered.
“So that really did happen.” Her hand touched her stomach, “I had a strange presence here in the room the other night – on the full moon – and I didn’t know what it was.”
He sat back as the Wise Woman walked in, turned and looked at her, “Oh my Gods.” She shuffled the doctor out of the way, touched her forehead, peered into her eyes, and placed her hand on Liona’s stomach, “Yes, you are surely pregnant, Baroness Liona, but not with a child of Human origins. You are pregnant with the Child Universe.”
“Yes. You are glowing with stardust and have heard the conversations of butterflies.” She nodded.
“Oh no this will not do at all.” Tutted the doctor, “She is Human.”
The Wise Woman turned, “Not entirely. Both her husband and her are Fae Folk – this is why they were not violent. And this is why you Liona can carry this pregnancy to term.”
“Which is how long?”
The old woman shrugged, “This I do not know. I’ve never seen this before; but I do know you are pregnant with the Universe.”