Disclaimer: I do not own anything from The Covenant, just what comes out of my imagination.
Chapter One: The Prophecy
John Grace pushed his wife's dark brown hair off her sweaty forehead, stroking the back of her hand with the pad of his thumb soothingly. It was the middle of the night, and the wait was finally over.
A clap of thunder outside caused the chandelier overhead to rattle, the crystal teardrops swaying back and forth and clinking together. The deafening noise caused a muffled gurgle to come from the bundle in the doctor's arms.
"Can I hold it?" Jonathan Peter Grace III asked, standing on tip-toes and tugging on the doctor's sleeve. "Please?"
"Johnny, shush." John hushed his son, unlinking his fingers from his wife's and walking over to the doctor. His eyes were wide and nervous, his whole body shaking slightly. "Well…is it a girl?" He asked eagerly.
The doctor, an aged man with crinkles around his bright blue eyes from smiling so often, mirroring his likeable personality, looked back at John through his spectacles. He held out his arms, the small bundle moving slightly.
"You have a beautiful, healthy…daughter, Mr. Grace." He said, smiling at the end.
Julia Grace collapsed back onto the pillows behind her, gasping in relief. Johnny hopped onto the bed and stood up, peering over his father's shoulder and trying to get a better look at his new baby sister.
John, void of any ability to speak, took the bundle of blankets from the doctor and held it close to his chest, looking down into his daughter's gorgeous navy eyes. A smile broke out across his face and tears of relief sprung to his eyes. For the first time in his entire life, he felt like he had done something right.
Glancing over at his wife, John walked back around the bed and knelt down on his knees, preparing to transfer their daughter to Julia's arms. Julia's dark brown eyes shifted to the baby, an uncomfortable look on her face.
"Our daughter." John said, stressing the word "daughter."
Julia swallowed and a slight look of disgust passed across her beautiful, tired face as the little girl in her husband's arms blinked up at her. "It's about time." Was all she said before turning onto her side and turning her back on the child they had both prayed would come for so long.
John stood up again, pulling the blankets closer around his daughter. He knew what came next, the moment that he had always dreaded even more than the possibility that this darling little girl would never come into his life.
Holding the bundle against him, John made his way through the big house, and down the stairs. The short journey down to the cellar and through the underground passage seemed to be even shorter than usual, with his heart pounding in his chest.
He stopped outside the stone room underneath the family's barn, not even flinching as fire burst out of the torches around the room, the candles lighting without a flick of his wrist.
The stone table in the center of the room, with the stone thrones placed in a perfect circle around it, lit up as well, the flame traveling across the outline of the star almost as if it were being dragged across. John glanced over at the bookcase and a book slid out obediently, flying unscathed through the fire and lying opened in the center of the enflamed star.
John walked to the main throne—the biggest and closest to the table of them all—and looked down at the opened page in the book. He didn't need to read it, really, since the directions had been drilled in his head for years and years, as well as the dread in his heart.
Looking across at the wooden cabinet against the wall next to the bookcase, John took a deep breath. Out of the cabinet came a stone bowl with a carefully placed top, as well as a shiny, polished knife, the jewels on the handle gleaming in the firelight.
John set the bowl and knife on the small stone table-like fixture next to his chair, removing the lid and picking up the knife, feeling the outline of the jewels on the inside of his palm.
John slowly unwrapped the wiggling child in his arms, and carefully laid her down on the table, being sure to first spread out the blanket so that the stone would not send chills through her tiny body. He picked up her small arm, rubbing his thumb over the soft inside of her forearm and causing a gurgling sound to spurt out of her rose-colored mouth.
John forced himself to look at his daughter's face, and his heart broke when he saw her blue eyes dancing and the content smile on her face. He felt horrible, knowing what this act would do to her; knowing what she was destined to do. To be.
And then John remembered his own destiny; and it fulfilling that destiny relied on what he was about to do.
John leaned forward and kissed his daughter's forehead lightly, squeezing his eyes shut as he sat straight again and lifted his hand that held the sacred knife. Holding out her small, warm arm, he slowly brought down the knife.
Her wailing echoed around the room, making it sound like a thousand babies were being hurt, and if John wasn't already past determination, he would have stopped. Every muscle in his body told him to stop, but it was over before he could help himself. And as John watched the thick, dark red liquid drip down into the bowl of Holy Water, one drop spreading out and staining the clear liquid immediately, he felt relief wash over him.
His entire life had been leading up to this point, and now, as the flames around him greatened, nearly reaching the ceiling and causing the entire room to heat up like the inside of an oven, John knew it was all worth it.
Everything that his ancestors had been working toward was resting on his shoulders—or really, his daughter's shoulders, as small as they looked now—and with that one cut, that one stream of wails, and that one drop of blood, everything was going to go into action now. The past years had been like a training session, and now it was all being put to good use. Their revenge was going into action.
The book raised in the air, above the dancing, angry flames, the words John had memorized long ago glowing like they were on fire themselves. John stood, not even hearing his daughter's cries anymore, his eyes following the words across the paper.
A daughter with the power to end the war that was forged five-centuries ago will be born as the haunted tenth month begins. She will be marked as the most powerful of all descendents of the Power and has the ability to win the war to the advantage of the family, or the Covenant of Ipswich. The war will end in her death.