Voice Card  -  Volume 10  -  John Card Number 4  -  Wed, Oct 25, 1989 9:03 PM

This is ONE OF 2 responses to Vol 9 John 13 ("Dolphin & Melanie")...

[This is part 2 of story three of THE FICTION PROJECT; See Vol 9 John 10]

Once upon a time at the edge of a great ocean there was a village and in that village one day was born a boy. The boy had fiery red hair and a little blue mark on his chest that looked like a trident. The midwife had never seen such a child before and when the boy was old enough his parents took him to see the three witches who lived up on the cliff.

The three witches were named Dorothy and Delores and Grace and they lived together as sisters in a hut made out of driftwood and sand and the bones of great sea monsters. The witches made nets for the fishermen that no fish could see and could sometimes tell of storms not yet born. And when the men were gone the witches told fortunes for their wives and could often look down into the sea and tell which of their husbands would return and which would stay with the mermaids.

When Dorothy saw the boy with a trident on his heart she held him up and laughed. "Behold the King of Loveland!" she said. But Delores was saddened by the child.

"Sister! How can you laugh? This child will be eaten alive!"

"By the raven, do you mean?"

"By the lion, sister! Then by the raven."

"I see no lion. But I do see the needle teeth of a kitten. Will it hurt to be eaten by so small a thing?"

Dolphin's mother was frightened by this talk. "Can you truly see the death of my son?" she asked. Delores turned away.

"Pay her no mind," said Dorothy. "My sister chooses not to see the great ship he will sail, and the pearls running through his fingers, and the great castle that he will claim when he becomes king!"

"I can see a knife in his heart," said Delores. "I see the jaws of a lion. I see a spear in his back. I see deadly hands around his throat. And then I see a terrible fall. This child will drown at the bottom of a well."

The third witch stood at the window and watched the ocean. Seeing this, her two younger sisters fell silent.

At first the witches would say no more, and the boy's parents were distraught. They begged the three sisters to be more clear, and the boy's father brought them many gifts, until at last Dorothy agreed to say one thing more.

"My sister sees many deaths for this child, but I can see further. Beware the sea. The king will be conquered. And he will rest in the arms of a mermaid."

His parents gasped and turned white. "You mean he will drown in the sea?"

Dorothy only laughed and they turned away from her in horror.

"If this witch laughs at the death of our son, I dread to think what the witch who cries can see in him," said the boy's mother.

"Then let us find out what it is," said his father, "for otherwise we shall never be able to rest." And he brought more gifts until, at last, Delores agreed to say one thing more.

"My sister sees crowns and castles and sailing ships, but I can see deeper. There is a greatness is your child. The trident heart will know great love."

And now the boy's parents were confused and angry at the witches. What could be better than to find a great love? And what could be worse than to drown in the sea? These witches were up-side-down and backwards! Finally they brought even more gifts to the third witch, but Grace refused their offerings and pointed to the sea instead.

"His future waits for him out there, just beyond the harbor. We will say no more."