ONE.

The girl was born on a panting July night, still and dark, with no breath of wind to stir the heated air and no moon to illuminate the shadows. The mother, who could sometimes see the future by looking someone in the eyes, said she would be a healer, would perform miracles, and named her Mirabilaria. The midwife, who believed in the prophecies of the heavens, looked to the sky and agreed, for it was a new moon, and the night of the new moon is when children with a spark of magic are born.

Still, the midwife thought, the girl did not look like a miracle worker. Early born and small, she had skin as pale as the Yule Moon and hair like a shadow. And though she had cried when she came out, and fussed as the midwife wrapped her, she had yet to open her eyes. The midwife shook her head. "She is too small for such a large name," she said briskly. "Best call her Mira for short."

The mother, too exhausted from the hours of childbirth to do anything by stare at her daughter adoringly, did not object. The midwife gently touched her arm. "You need to rest. You've had a difficult birthing…" The mother shook her head, still staring as if in a trance at her child.

And then the girl opened her eyes.

The midwife drew in a gasp of breath. The eyes were bright green, like spring growth, and so intense they almost glowed. The eyes of a healer…. The girl cooed and stared at her mother, and she sighed, closing her eyes and leaning back into the pillows so the only person who witnessed the slight green haze hovering around the baby's clenched fists was the midwife, who, even on the night of the new moon, had never seen anything like it before.

The mother sighed again and smiled, opening her eyes. "I feel so much better now," she said, looking down once more at her daughter.

The midwife, still in shock, shook herself. She was a professional. She had to attend to her duties, no matter what happened. So she turned to the certificate she was to turn in at the Department of Citizenry and asked briskly, "The father, where is he?"

The mother's voice wavered as she answered, "They took him away three months and a fortnight ago."

"A convict?" asked the midwife, her quill poised over the paper.

"No! The war." She answered.

"Ah," said the midwife, a note of sadness creeping into her voice. "The war."

And on the line next to "FATHER:", she wrote, "deceased".