Written by Meiraj Najm Khan
“They call us the Black Mark, Your Majesty. We whisper in the night, hear wrong and right, and answer to who so ever we believe is within our sight,” explained the leader of the group of gypsies. The King and the whole courtroom of the castle fell silent at her words.
I noticed she was the only one among her people who was old and ugly. The rest of the gypsies on the other hand were a sight to gawk at. Their skin shined like white gold and their eyes gleamed as if made out of gems.
There was no doubt that these women were no mere human beings, as an aura of mystic magic surrounded them. Every man in the court seemed entranced mercilessly in the enigmatic beauty of these women.
“Do you have a name, maid?” the King, my father, asked at first. It seemed odd to me that father would call such a woman a maid, because for everything the woman could be, she was no maid.
The hall grew silent as the old crone shuffled towards the King’s throne and whispered audibly. Her confident voice clearly identified her as the spokesman for her people.
“You need not know, sire. We go and come with the wind.”
“Then shall I know why do I owe such an unexpected visit from the Black Mark?” questioned the King; a little annoyed for the first time since the women had entered the castle. But the old woman answered unbothered.
“We bring sad tidings for you, Your Highness,” they paused and a cold shiver passed through everyone’s bones.
“And what are these tidings?” the King asked, incredulously.
The crone seemed to have taken offence to the king’s tone because her toothy grin suddenly turned grim and she answered “On the fourth full moon of this season, a youngling will enter this world through this very kingdom and your own will pass to the next.”