This is part of the A to Z Challenge. A story told in 26 parts
Dianthe was surrounded by eyes, staring at her. She noticed her reflection in the water. No wonder they were staring. She had an extra eye in the middle of her forehead. She shrugged, better to have an extra eye than have just one.
“Get up!” A harsh voice interrupted Dianthe’s dream. She sat up, cautiously feeling her forehead. No eye, thank the Gods! She opened her two eyes and glared at the stout old woman who stood over her, a disapproving look on her face.
Dianthe knew it was late afternoon, but she’d spent the night helping the midwife deliver a baby—a boy, thank the Gods—to one of the ladies of the court. Dianthe did not know how the rumors started but it was common knowledge that her presence during the labor meant the baby would be a boy.
Dianthe had no magical power, performed no ritual or spell over these women and their babies but she too, marveled at how many times a boy came into the world in her presence. Maybe it was some sort of payback of the Gods for saddling Quirinus with all girls.
She had heard the gossip. That her mother had lain with Quirinus and that she was another daughter of his, albeit an illegitimate one. The evidence certainly suggested it. She had the same unruly red hair, same green eyes, same pale skin as all the other daughters. But when she asked her mother about it, she would tell Dianthe she did not have time to listen to idle gossip and neither did Dianthe. Her mother’s passing three months earlier meant she would never know. Unless…
“Get up!” the woman repeated. “And be quick about it! The king wants to see ye.”