Months went by as the mother’s stomach grew. She rubbed and loved her blooming body and seldom thought of the dark night with the spirit. The day that Jiguang was born the sun shone bright. Her mother is a strong woman, so her labor was quick and filled with joyful tears.
“What a beauty,” she says as she held her quiet newborn wrapped in a red silk cloth. She rubs Jiguang’s soft skin above her brow. Jiguang giggles and wiggles in the wrapping. Her tiny eyes squints with joy and open slightly. Her mother gasps alerting her husband.
As she holds her baby to her breast as the new father walks over. “Her eyes are white,” the mother says as tears build looking at her husband. He puts his head down with concern but did not want his wife to fell incomplete. He kneels beside his wife and newborn baby, hugging them.
“She will not need sight to feel our love,” he says holding them tight.
A low breeze drifted to the families open window. A toad wrapped in pealing skin and dried blood covered its disfigured form, limped to the window. Onto the seal it hopped to perch itself to watch the loving moment. A quiet cackle came from the small monster as it opened its small mouth dripping mud.
Jiguang grew but was a small child with coal black hair covering her foggy white eyes at the age of six. She was a beautiful little girl that knew her limitations. Each morning, her parents would wake her up and lead her to their wooden table to eat. The family would hold hands around their table with eyes closed, being thankful for a new day. Jiguang would say her thanks then let her ears adapt to the morning sounds, while feeling the surroundings around her. Jiguang listened to the wind blow through the trees. She loved the sound of the birds flapping their wings as they pattered off to the world outside her home. She also heard the neighbors, that she has never seen, mutter in the distance. Her senses have grown beyond her age due to the darkness she lives in.
Jiguang and her parents have a strong bond and spend as much time together as possible. Her father is a toy and furniture maker for the village they live in. He is a craftsman at heart and has taught his wife to use her hands to draw designs for him to make. As Jiguang grew, her father put a chisel in her hands that she would use as her eyes. She would hold a branch of wood and use the chisel to shape it. Every girl loves dolls and Jiguang and was accustomed to crafting small dolls out of the small branches of wood. Her father was able to see her skills early on.
The young doll maker would feel her way through her home, to the front door of the small home, then to a bench her father made for her to sit on in front of the house. She would listen to her surroundings. Many of the locals would be going to the well in the town center or the kids would be running around giggling with youth. Jiguang would sit, head held high and eyes closed, gathering sparks in her mind. The steps coming from inside their home are heavy with a bit of a limp. It is her father bringing her a morning happy.
“Hello, my little lily pad. I have a happy for you,” Jiguang’s father says as he gently holds both her hands.
Her father opens her hands and places a branch of wood and a small knife in them. “ I would like you to make a doll for your mother today. I will be taking her to the city for the day and it would be a nice gift for her to come home to,” he says. He moved to kneel in front of his daughter and took her face into his hands. “We will be gone for a few hours, but granny will be over soon. Please wait for her,” he explained.
Now being a thirteen this was a huge responsibility and honor for Jiguang. She sat up a little higher and felt over her father's face, searching for any worried lines on his face. She braised his hair line down to his thick masculine brows to the bridge of his nose. What a happy man, she thought. She then touched across his smile and too his face into her hands.
“I will be right here waiting, Papa,” Jiguang said as she placed her hands on her lap grabbing the tools she was given. Her father patted her leg before walking back into their home to get her mother and prepare for the day’s trip.
A thick mossy breeze creeped around the small home and right under Jiguang’s nose, then back into the forest that was near. Jiguang, eyes closed, followed the breeze as it leaves. A sickening feeling comes over her, but the clean air settles her stomach.
“That was something new. Possible something has died in the woods,” Jiguang says, wiping her face with her small hand. The gruesome little toad is now sitting under the young lady, he came with the breeze and is staying as a favor to the dark spirit.