He held the newborn in his hands, unable to move or speak.
Mirth dropped back onto the cot. Sweat dripped from her. “Is she… he…”
A wail startled Hawkyns from his reverie. He laid the babe in her mother’s arms.
“She is here? So soon?” Derry’s voice startled him. He turned. Derry pressed him towards the door. “Out. Ye have done yer job. There are things I must see to.”
Relieved to be freed from such terrifying confusion Hawkyns walked to the abbot’s rose garden and settled on a bench. The air was calm. The night was warm. He looked down at his blood covered hands. Many times his hands had been bloodied. Sometimes they had caused death. Other times, they held a friend on the edge of death. But this moment was blessed. He had held new life. Joy and grief swept through him. Joy for the birth mixed with grief at his loss. The tears streaming down his cheeks were in anguish for the child he would never hold. His son. Damnation to the dragon that stole them. His blood is the blood I want to rinse from my hands.
Walking to the nearby mill pond, Hawkyns washed his hands, wiping them dry on his pants then returned to his spot on the bench. Tiredness climbed up his legs and through his body. A faint ray of light shone in the east. The birth of a new day.
He had met his angel and learned her name. And witnessed the birth of a new life. What wondrous experiences would this new day hold?