Charlotte sat in the corner of the room where no one could watch her knitting. She hummed a little tune while she knitted. A pattern formed in the fabric of the blanket as she finished each row of stitches. It would tell a story of the child not yet born.
She had the Gift, just as the women that came before her had. It gave her power and respect. But her gift came with responsibility. The future of her tribe depended on what her knitting revealed about the child.
This child about to be born was her first grandchild, born to a daughter who also possessed the Gift. Her mother had knit the blanket when Charlotte’s daughter was born. It foretold a good child with a good heart. Charlotte was hoping that this blanket would be the same.
Charlotte paused her knitting to rest her hands. They were getting stiff from the cool air of the room. Or maybe it was just old age. When she picked up her knitting again, she noticed that she had dropped several stitches. Dropped stitches were not a good sign. As much as she wanted to unravel the thread, she knew the dire consequence of doing so. She focused on the blanket, determined to not drop another stitch.
She listened intently as the midwives coached her daughter through the painful spasms. Charlotte’s eyes strayed from the fabric as the elder midwife announced that it was time for the child to be born. Her fingers continued to knit while her eyes were riveted to the bed, her ears focused on every breath her daughter took.
When the baby’s cry pierced the room, Charlotte looked down at her work. The dropped stitches formed a distinct pattern in the blanket. Charlotte stood and threw her handiwork at the clutch of women. “Kill the child,” she said in a somber tone.
Her daughter clutched her newborn son tightly against her chest. “No,” she protested, “you cannot have him.” “We shall see,” the elder midwife said while reaching for the blanket
The elder midwife held up the blanket to see why Charlotte had pronounced a death sentence for the child. The pattern formed by the yarn was a story of a gentle soul who would bring prosperity to the tribe. This was a good omen for the child.
The light shone through the holes where the stitches had been dropped. It was a spider’s web, a bad omen. But it was not intended for the child. As it fell upon Charlotte, she cried out in pain, fell to the floor, and died.