This is the second part in a series, so if you have not already done so, you might want to read Part I before continuing.
Abigail watched from her bed as her chambers were transformed around her. The windows were closed and the curtains were drawn. Tapestries of the Madonna and child were hung on all four walls. Crucifixes and religious statues sat on every available surface.
“It’s so … dark.” She had almost said, “dreary,” but hadn’t wanted to offend anyone.
“Too much light will hurt your eyes,” said her mother, brushing a stray strand of hair back from her forehead. “We need to keep you warm and comfortable.”
Abigail tried to relax back into the pillows, trusting in her mother’s knowledge. Eventually, she nodded off with thoughts of safety and comfort. She knew she was in good hands.
In the middle of the night she jolted back to wakefulness. At least, she thought it was the middle of the night. It was hard to tell with the curtains always drawn. There was a fire blazing in the fireplace and a candle on her nightstand. She wondered who had left it there for the flame to catch on her bed curtain while she slept. She was ready to dismiss one of her staff when she saw something move in the chair a few feet from her bed. She started and tried to scramble away from whatever demon had snuck into her chamber, but when the demon reached her bed, it stroked her with a soothing hand and hushed her with a soft voice and Abigail calmed down. She knew that touch. She knew that voice.
She turned to face the demon and her eyes struggled to make sense of the shape in the darkness, but as it leaned towards the candlelight, Abigail recognized her own mother’s face and breathed a sigh of relief.
“It’s all right dear, just a nightmare.”
“I thought you were a demon.”
Her mother chuckled and Abigail cast her eyes about the room. “It’s so dark in here. I can’t make out anything.”
“Don’t try to, darling. Your job now is to rest and think cheerful, healthful thoughts. Your mind must be filled with good thoughts in order to bring forth a safe childbirth and a healthy baby boy.”
Abigail nodded at her mother’s good sense and lay back against her pillows. Her mother continued to speak words of comfort in a gentle voice while she rubbed her finger in small circles on her daughter’s forehead. It felt good and Abigail allowed the herself to be soothed back to sleep.
To be continued…