A newborn princess is given a gift by an old crone – a gift that expresses itself violently on her wedding day.
“And on this, the occasion of our daughter’s birth, we call forth the three fairies to be her godmothers. Wise beyond even their own years and powerful beyond our knowing, we offer our finest jewels to thee.”
The king stood atop the dais, arms raised. His staff of office was held in one hand with the other bare to show his good intentions. Before him, a select crowd of nobles and rich merchants applauded politely. The queen, so fresh from a harsh childbirth, smiled thinly from her seat next to her royal husband.
Doves were released from behind the throne. Chosen for their purity, their white wings fairly shined in the mid-morning sun. The doves, the symbol of their kingdom, spread in an arc above the crowd. A few unlucky nobles cursed silently when the birds relieved themselves but the ceremony otherwise proceeded as planned.