Chapter 1

The day Damien brought me home was a joyful day. Isabell had just sold her first wedding cake. It was a 5 layer cake, with real flowers put on top of it. It was not easy to cook a cake, because she had to take a metal pan, heat it up evenly, and pull the cake out without messing it up. It was not easy. Once she laid each layer on top of each other, she would ground sugar into powder with a bowl and growder. She'd take the powdered sugar, and sprinkles it all over the cake. She’d take strawberries from the farm and place them on the outer rims of each layer. She had Damien pick wild flowers, and she'd put them on top of the cake. It was a masterpiece.   

The couple who ordered the cake had just left with their order when Damien walked through the door with me in his arms. I was naked when he found me, so he wrapped me up in his shirt. He was holding me to his chest to keep me warm.

“Isabell.” He called for her as he stood in the doorway of the bakery, shirtless. Isabell was in the back pulling the bread out of the masonry oven. She walked calmly into the room, and stopped as she looked up. She almost dropped the bread pan she was holding. She was surprised to see me in his arms. A baby. There I was as calm as could be. She ran over to me, pulling me from Damien’s arms into her arms. 

“Who is this little angel?” She smiled at me till she noticed the bumps on my head. She was worried I was hurt. She ran her hands across them gently. When she noticed they did not hurt me, she looked up at him. 

“Is she hurt?” There was a hint of sadness in her voice.

“No, I think she was born that way. She only looks a few days old.” Isabell pulled me to her face and kissed my forehead. 

“Poor thing. Are you sure her parents aren’t looking for her?” She was worried I was lost. It wasn’t normal for a baby to be alone in the world. .

“She was all alone in the middle of that grass field. You know the one you like me to get your flowers from?” 

“What should we do with her?” She was now bouncing me in her arms, making funny faces at me to get me to smile.

“Well, I know we already have two kids… and barely have time to take care of them…. But I thought maybe…” He tried to hint at what he wanted. Isabell stopped in place and stared at him. 

“You want us to keep her?” There was surprise in her voice. 

“Yes.” And that was all it took. They took me in as their own. Phebe and Isaiah took a liking to me easily. Phebe saw me as a sister she could one day play with, and Isaiah was happy he had someone to be a big brother to. Phebe took care of me while mom and dad worked. She was actually really good at it. She had been taking care of Isaiah since she was five, so she saw this as way easier, because she was older now, and could do a lot more. She would wake up with mother and father when the sun came up, and feed me. They had a friend who was a farmer with animals, so I drank fresh cow milk.  After she would feed me, she would make Isaiah a piece of bread. He ate sugar on top of it. She was real good at taking care of us.  

Phebe and Isaiah spent most of their day helping mom and dad while I slept. Isaiah mashed grapes and strawberries for dad, and Phebe mixed flour and water to make dow for the bread. Bread was what mom mostly selled. Every once in a while she would get an order for a cake or pastry.  We would one day take over the family business so they wanted to make sure we knew how to do everything. 

As years passed, I grew bigger, and learned to do things too. Because Phebe learned about baking, and Isaiah learned about winemaking, I was free to choose which I wanted to do. I could never decide, so I ended up learning both. I would switch every other week. By the time I was ten, I was able to make bread myself, and mix the grapes and strawberries in the wine barrels. Our parents were alway proud of all of us, but they were amazed I was able to learn both skills. I did not tell them, but I had a photographic memory. I remembered everything from the day I was born till now. This made it easy to learn new things. I only had to see how to do something once and I could do it myself. 

Even though Damien and Isabell never told me I was adopted, they did not have to, because I had a memory I’d seen at night in my dreams of a woman holding me, talking to me. She said that everything would be okay, and how she would always be there for me. I also remember the sound of my father. He was rushing her for some reason. I do not remember their faces, just their voices. I knew Damien and Isabell were not my real mother and father, but I loved them the same. 

By the time I was 16, my mother let me run the shop by myself, while Phebe baked the bread. Phebe was no good at math, so she could not handle taking money, and giving the right change back. Even though she couldn’t do math, her baking was amazing. She had even created a circle bread that she put fruit in the center of before baking it. When it was done, it was a delicious center filling. Mom was so proud of her invention, she started selling it as a special in her shop. She had not named it, but it was popular. Mom said she would one day make something the queen herself would eat. After mom told her that, it was her dream to bake for the queen.

My bumps had gotten bigger as I got older. By the time I was 16, they were more like pointy knots. They were still blue.  It did not hurt, but I could feel something was trying to break through the skin. My mother began to worry for me, so she took me to the town doctor.  He analyzed them to the best of his ability. He told mom that they were like bull horns. A piece of my bones poking out. He said he had never seen a human with them, and wanted to keep me there to study.  My mother called him crazy of course and walked out, pulling me by the arm out the door. 

I’m 20 now, and the doctor was right. My bumps turned into little bone horns; shape to the touch. The blue was more noticeable now. It made me wonder if all my bones were blue. My family did not abandon me though. My mother made me grow bangs to hide them. Under the bangs, I wore a headband. She said it looked like the headband couldn’t hide the bumps all the way, but my bangs would for sure. I had to be careful not to show anyone my forehead. I had no clue that these horns of mine would be the death of my family. They were a sign of who I really was. 

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