Long ago before the luxuries of modern technologies, there was a man and wife. They longed for a child. They had tried for several years, and were getting very desperate.
The day before the woman’s birthday, the man went to the lord of the land. The man bowed before the lord. This lord was very handsome, with dark hair and even blacker eyes. He reminded the man of a wizard or a warlord. The lord had a reputation that terrified him, but still the man reminds himself of his family’s ever longing sadness and spoke up, “Please sir, help my wife be with child. I-I will do anything.”
The lord considered this. “Why have you come to me for such a thing, how would I be able to help you if I wanted to?”
What the man didn’t know was that the lord indeed could help him, but the lord was testing the man. “I have heard rumors of the potions and magic at your disposal, and as one of your subjects I ask for your help.”
The lord nodded his head, and snapped his fingers. The man had passed the test. A young servant boy comes forth. The young boy is holding a large jar filled with clear liquid. The man takes the jar, looking at it curiously. The lord gazes at the man tiredly, “have your wife drink half of this. She will be with child, you may keep the second half as gift. It will give you a second child.” The lord points at the man before him. “But! Seven years after the child is born I will send a Keeper for something in return for my generosity. If you are unable to give me this payment the Keeper will take the child from you.”
The man stares at the lord, saying nothing. The lord arches his brow. The man hastily agrees, not thinking much of the payment. Only that his family will finally be complete and happy. The lord says, “Good, now leave me.”
The man returns home to his questioning wife. He tells her of his experience, and she too gets excited. Though she worries about this so called payment.
Nine months later they have a beautiful little girl. She had her mother’s vivid green eyes, filled with wonder and life. The tuff of coffee brown hair on her soft head is from her father. One look into his daughter’s eyes and the man is no longer afraid of anyone. Not of the lord, not of the Keeper to come, not of anyone. He would do anything and everything to protect this precious little thing in his arms.
The child grew stunningly, charming everyone she meets. Little did she know, the lord watched her as she got older. He was watching to see what he will get back. He watched to see how well his potion did, how beautiful it made her. All he cares of is his wonderful potions, and poisons.
On the child’s seventh birthday, a knock came to their door. The man and wife jump, they know what that means. The Keeper is here. The door opened to this mysterious Keeper. He strides in, spotting the child immediately. The Keeper goes to her, crouching in front of her. “Hello little one.”
“Hello,” a soft reply came. She ducked her chin, shy. The Keeper smiled at her.
He stood, putting a gentle hand on the girl’s head. The Keeper told them the payment regretfully. “The price is the child’s weight in gold.” The Keeper grimaced. The wife lets out a gasp as her eyes tear up.
“No,” said the man, “you can’t have her.” He takes a step towards the Keeper, just as his wife crumbled to the floor in pain.
The Keeper had sadness in his eye, “in the liquid is also something that binds her to the agreement. If you do not pay me, and do not let me take the child she will die; along with the girl.”
The father falls to his knees. He bows his head in bitter acceptance.
The Keeper picked up the girl, who had no idea what was happening, and walked to the door, pausing to say quietly. “He said I must take her from you, but he never said for how long.” Then he walked out the door. The man’s head jerked up, eyes wide in understanding and surprise.
One month later in a dimly lit room there was the little girl on her hard bed. She was crying, her long chocolate brown hair spilling over the pillows and her round babyish face. Her small body racked with sobs, she misses home. The rooms, her prison scares her. It’s cold, dark and full of unknown shadows. It wouldn’t have been so bad but the thick, black veils covering the doors and windows seem to suck out all the light and happiness.
The door opened, the eerie cloak pushed aside allowing magnificent light into the room, but only to the shape of the door as the light would go no farther. The girl rolled to her side to face her Keeper, who is the only one kind to her in this dark cell. She’s startled to find that the man in the doorway was not her Keeper, but her father. In one hand he holds a gleaming sword, in the other a bright torch, whose flames lick at the veil that kept out the light for so long. The small lass launched off the bed and ran to her father. “Daddy!” The tall man sheaths his sword. Bracing himself he caught her one armed.
He smiled sadly, “hi princess.” Setting her down gently on the floor he hands her the torch. Sliding his callused hand into a pouch he withdraws two identical vials. These vials hold a light purple liquid, with a cork as a stopper. They are as tall as the little girl’s middle finger, with long necks and a round fat bottom. They have dark silver vine like carvings that run across the glass. The edges softly clink together as the man moves his hand. He tells her to take one, delicately she wraps her fingers around the one on the right.
As soon as he takes the torch back from her, she unknowingly clutches it to her chest, wrapping herself around it. He takes a deep breath, “now princess, only one of us can get out of here. Your Keeper gave these to me, one is a potion that will transport you home and one is a poison. Even the Keeper doesn’t know which is which. ” He taps her lightly under the chin, “drink up, your mother is waiting for you.” Tears run silently down her cheeks. She opens the bottle along with her father. Her father wipes a tear from under her eye. She grips his hand. At the same time, they drink.
Then the man disappears and the little girl collapses……