A Masterless Man
Copyright 2012 Sarah Pernell
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Young Wattie was born under an evil star; one that fell like Lucifer from heaven at the very moment of his birth. That was what the villagers said. He’d been born with a caul, too, which they considered made his future misfortune almost certain.
“A life full of trouble and sorrow, that’s what he’ll know,” the midwife predicted ominously as she freed him from the suffocating, ill-omened membrane, “you mark my words.” Hastily finishing her work she handed over the freshly washed and wrapped infant as if the bad luck she predicted for him might somehow rub off with prolonged contact.
Agnes, the child’s mother, laughed uncertainly at the midwife’s dismal prophecies, but she eyed with some trepidation the squalling bundle thrust so unceremoniously into her arms, examining him carefully from top to toe for some tell-tale mark or sign that he was not as other children. To her immense relief she found nothing unusual. The baby was whole and pink and quite perfect in every detail.