He Was Foretold
Kids in the community shook in their boots and whispered warnings of “Mitch the Glitch” whenever he came near. Rather than feeling ashamed, he made certain to let them all see him smile. The nickname was quite catchy.
Michael Declan Moriarty was the youngest and puniest of the otherwise robust Moriarty clan – a clan long renowned for producing gifted children. He was the bane of his father’s house and damn well knew it before most toddlers discover a knack for toddling.
The consequences of bearing a tenth son of a tenth son had been too great a threat for poor Mrs. Moriarty – she gave up after that final push and died on her birthing bed. The community tactfully turned their backs after a wordless funeral and asked no questions about the dreaded child left in a basket at home, tended only by the family cat.
Michael Declan Moriarty survived the first ten days of infancy without bringing destruction down on his father’s head. Hands tied by something so tiresome as biological duty, Mr. Moriarty hired a nanny. In that same hour the cursed father exacted his foul mood on the family cat – the grizzled tabby was evicted and the other children were promised retribution if they dared mention the creature from that day forward.
It is custom for children of the community to speak their names aloud in the presence of another on their first birthday. Michael did so when prompted by his nanny – the homely young woman was struck comely that morning. Ravishing, even. (Ritual instruction orchestrated by a person outside the bloodline is forbidden. The nanny was duly punished. )
Though the first tangible proof of his power resulted in tragedy, young Michael was thrilled with the new found ability to gain his father’s attention. White roses bloomed and climbed the stark walls of the family manor the next morning – granite walls that had stood bleak and imposing for one hundred generations.
When the songbirds arrived at dawn the following day, old Mr. Moriarty’s screams of despair could be heard for miles.