An old friend of mine had asked me for a fairytale, one of which has never been told. I was hesitant at first. Merely because the only tale I had in mind was not one to be told in the presence of children. No, this tale happens to be far more gruesome, more deadly, and yet more passionate than any other.
But, I suppose I'll leave that up to the reader. In any case, let me see, now how did it go exactly? Ah- that's right.
Well then. Once upon a time. . .
There lived a wealthy Baron and his beautiful, kind-hearted wife. Together they lived prosperously at their large estate with over fifty rooms and over three dozen servants. The estate was known widely across the country for its magnificent gardens and bird sanctuary. Hence, earning the rights to its name- Nightingale.
The place was filled with the finest furnishings and the most priceless treasures given by the Baron to his wife. The Baroness, although happy to receive such lavish gifts from her husband, was still not happy. For she desired the one thing the house could never hold. The pitter-patter of little feet.
"A child," begged the Baroness. "I wish for a child!"
The woman nearly fell to her knees in anguish over the unforgivable truth. Distraught by his wife's grief, the Baron held her in his arms, longingly. He knew that by having a child, all the worries and sorrows would leave him and his wife for good. It wasn't as if the couple had not been trying. But, what could be done? Together, they prayed for a miracle.
. . .
Later that night, a strong, malicious wind blew from the West. The shutters were bangning violently against the house. The horses were restless in their stables. All the torches had been extinguished, leaving the place in complete darkness. The Baroness was frightened. She frantically reached for her husband in the dark.
"Henry!" she whispered.
He woke up in a huff. "What? What is it?"
"Something's wrong. I feel it."
The Baron looked around but found nothing. "Nothing is there."
All grew quiet. Suddenly, a large shadow figure flew straight into the window.
. . . CRASH!!! . . .
The Baroness let out a terrible shriek as she watched the horrible shadow take hape. Amongst the broken shards of glass there they found a raven. Its feathers glistened in the moonlight like the stars over the ocean. After letting out three loud squawks, the raven perched at the foot of the bed.
"Begone, you little demon!" The Baron thrashed.
The bird began coughing, as if it were trying to clear its throat.
The raven peered down at the couple and began to speak.
"The winds of the West Wood have heard your cries for a child."
"Yes," the Baroness confirmed. "We believed it to be hopeless."
"Fret not, my lady." The bird bowed. "For there is someone who may be able to solve your problem."
The Baron scoffed. "Who?"
"They call her Fiona of WestWood. The Cut Wife."
"You want my wife to go to a witch?!" he shouted. "This is blasphemy."
The Baroness eased her husband. "Henry, please."
The raven tilted its head.
"It is true. The old woman does practice dark magic. But I've seen her do the most marvelous things, you would not believe."
"You must go when the moon is full. Make sure to bring three gold pentacles, a handful of deadly nightshade berries, and one silver dagger."
"How will we find her?" they asked.
"The woods will show you the way."
Without another word, the raven flew out the broken window- back into the pitch black night.
(If you like the story so far please feel free to comment or ask questions!)