Billy-Ben Turner was a happy man. His crops were doing well, he and Ellie were still very much in love, and today she would give birth to the couple's first child. Ellie's labor pains had started early that morning, just as the sun was rising. She had awoken Billy-Ben with a shake to his arm.
"Billy-Ben, it's time."
"Aw, go back to sleep, Ellie. You've had those pains before."
"No, Billy-Ben, I mean it. This time it's for real. Ooh!" She grimaced as another contraction started.
Billy-Ben saw the look on her face and, alarmed, he hurriedly dressed and went for the midwife.
"If'n it's a first baby, there's no hurry," Sally Jean, the midwife, told him. But by the time they returned home, Ellie was doubled over with pain.
That had been over twelve hours ago, and the baby still hadn't come. As Billy-Ben paced the floor, he fantasized about a strapping boy he could teach to hunt and fish, or a dainty girl Ellie could teach to cook and sew.
After what seemed like forever, the bedroom door finally opened, and Sally Jean stood there with a bundle wrapped in a white blanket.
"Congratulations, Billy-Ben! It's a little girl," she said.
Billy-Ben grinned as he gingerly took his newborn daughter into his arms. The baby's dusky blue eyes stared straight into his own, and he felt an icy chill run down his spine as he read her thoughts.
Why do you look so surprised, Billy-Ben? You always knew I'd come back to you one way or another, didn't you?