It started when she was thirteen. It started because she was always cold. When she was cold her knees would knock echoes down the mountains. The sound tested avalanches. It was a thing that was sistered to womanhood. A movement from within, like the beginnings of an itch.
She started like her mother and her mother before her and before her and before. It lived in her bloodline too far back to map. Like all things it must have started somewhere. It has something to do with the myth of her saint. The saint all women of her family share. The saint that changed her mind in the middle of the book of Kings and became something she was not supposed to be.
It started with her the way it starts with other women. But that is where the sharing ends. Her blood continues until it is a gushing, trailing path. Blood exiting a body at that rate changes the expected color of it. Close to her lips it is a cobalt. By the time it reaches her knees it is something else.
By the time she is fourteen she can control it. She knows when it is coming and can predict its mood. Her mother teaches her how to harness its power. And soon it is clear that she is a natural talent. She begins with the scripts her mother assigns but is quickly able to converse with her saint freely. When the saint stops visiting her mother and instead chooses to remain with the girl they know it is a sign.
Before the saint lived in the woman of her family’s wombs she had a vision. This was before the book of Kings but after the book of Esther. The vision was of a young girl that was able to commune with the spirits through her openings. Her intimate conversations will pull the moon closer and change the path of the seas. We will know the girl by the color of her blood and the tenor of her voice. The women of her family think that she is the girl from the saint’s vision.
The woman of her family will not tell her what they think they know. They will think that telling her will keep the vision from coming true. It is a superstition. The women of her family can feel her difference by how the blood comes to them. By the time she turns seventeen the thoughts will turn into certainties. The girl has known from birth who she was going to be but kept it to herself like all the women of her family do.
Dana Green is currently pursuing her PhD at the University of Denver. She holds an MFA from The University of Massachusetts. She has a pet. He is a cat.