Jaclyn and the Beanstalk
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Mother crinkled her nose. “Don’t fret. You’re of marriageable age now. We must think of finding you a husband or your time will pass. I’m only thinking of your future, Jaclyn. I want to see you settled soon. Your father and I are not getting younger.”
“Getting married and bearing children is not for me. There’s much work to be done.”
I slipped my arms around her waist and pressed my head to her back. I inhaled deeply as warmth enveloped me and her love replaced the fright from my nightmares.
Safe. I am safe. No monsters.
“Our life is good here. Why would I want to fix what is not broken?”
“’Tis what we do. People will talk.”
I scowled, anger boiling through my veins. I tended to not raise my voice, so I softened my tone out of respect.
“I will not be handed to a suitor I do not love.”
Mother patted my arm. “My child, you have much to learn. Love comes later. I did not love your father at first.”
“I will not follow other people’s ways.” Pouting, I shuffled my feet on the dirt.
She released a deep sigh. “Oh, Jaclyn. Your time will come. Everyone has a destiny. Everyone has a story to tell. Some more than others. We shall see what lies ahead for you. Fate will lead you to the path you are meant to take.”
I wished I had eyes for the future. I wanted to know a demon would not seize my soul, and I wanted to see a path without the nighttime cries. They must be monsters. I’d never heard a human throat make such tortured sounds.
What fate awaits a girl who hears monsters at night?
Illness swept through my stomach. A shudder racked me, beginning in my gut, forewarning me.