The sun is just minutes from rising and the night is growing lighter. An alter made entirely of blue marble, jade, and amethyst is illuminated. Two tiny babies lie on top writhing and screaming in discomfort. They are naked, only a few days old and the chill of the stone slowly seeping into their bones will surely kill them. The larger of the two will not stop screaming while her twin just sobs quietly.
Their frail mother stands a few feet away determined to finish what she came here to do but her eyes are bloodshot and red raw from her constant tears. But she is not alone. Her husband stands beside her a pillar of strength. The pair couldn’t be more different.
He has hair as red as the now rising sun and eyes as blue as the deepest ocean. He is stockily built with muscles straining to burst out of his clothes. A birthmark or perhaps a tattoo- half hidden by his clothes- runs down the side of his neck. It is grass green and seems to depict an upside-down triangle with a line through it. An unusual choice for anyone let alone a man that looks as though he could rip your head off with his teeth.
His wife hides herself away in the protective arm he wraps round her. She is small, thin and mousy with lank, wispy, brown hair and pale, brown eyes. She seems to be constantly trembling from cold or fear and her skin is paper thin showing the outline of every bone. You can see a pale lilac tattoo on her left ankle almost exactly the same shape as her husband’s except it’s the right way up.
She’s still crying but her husband gives her a hard look and she hastily dries her tears. They turn and walk away leaving their children behind.
They remain stranded on the alter. They scream but there is no one to hear. But they have to keep crying. If they don’t they’ll die. First one girl goes silent then the other. The air is deathly cold.
It seems the twin’s fate is sealed but then a middle-aged man- maybe in his fifties- walks his dog by the clearing where the babies lie. Hearing their screams he gives a gasp of surprise and rushes over to them, his blue eyes wide.
Cradling them to his chest he looks desperately around for someone, their mother perhaps, anyone to tell him what to do. But the clearing is deserted. So Sam (for that was his name) had no choice but to take them home to his wife. She would be angry, he knew but he had no choice. He couldn’t just abandon them, not when their own parents had already done so.
Sam was terrified of is wife. He was ashamed to admit it but it was the cruel truth. He was scared of his own wife. Bertha was big with huge beefy arms and huge rolls of fat spilling over her tight floral skirts and bulging beneath her worn apron. Her hair was in blonde curls that were hair sprayed within an inch of their life and her face was a ruddy red. She liked everything just so and always immaculately clean. If something wasn’t up to her high standards then Sam knew he would get the sharp edge of her tongue.
Of course he knew he could leave whenever he wished- Bertha was never violent she just shouted a lot- But he loved her. She had a soft heart under all that bluster and she was an amazing cook besides. So he stayed. But god knows what she would say when he brought two stray children home.
He couldn’t fathom how someone could just run off and abandon their kids like that, he had always longed for kids but Bertha was unable to give him any due to her being born with no womb. Sam had known these girls all of five minutes and he already loved them as though they really were his own. He could only hope Bertha would too. Juggling both the dog and the babies nestled inside his coat Sam hurried home before they all died of cold.