Abraham took Isaac's hand
and led him to the lonesome hill
while his daughter hid and watched.
She dared not breathe she was so still.
Just as an angel cried for the slaughter,
Abraham's daughter raised her voice.
Then the angel asked her what her
She said, "I have none."
Then he asked, "How can this be?"
"My father never gave me one."
And when he saw her, raised for the slaughter,
Abraham's daughter raised her bow.
"How darest you, child, defy your father?"
"You better let young Isaac go."
Abraham's daughter never thought she could feel such passion as she did now –
For many years, she knew only the bare walls of her small and secluded home. The only human soul she knew was her own father, the dark and brooding Abraham. And the only name she was ever called by was "Daughter."
"Daughter," Abraham would say, and he would ask her to make dinner or be told to leave him be. Always gently, sadly. But sometimes he would plainly tell her, "Go away." To which she locked herself in her stuffy room and listen to the silence.
She did not know her father's occupation, and she learned never to ask. He strictly told her it would never be her concern. He never let her out of the house, never in eighteen years; he never let her breathe fresh air; never let her see another person. He barely even spoke to her – when he did it was never to her face.
Abraham often left the house, but never for long. That was when she figured he went to do his job, whatever it was. She was to stay in her room and not come out until he returned. If not, she was punished. So she never disobeyed.
Soon, however, he began to vanish for longer periods. To be safe, the girl waited where she was supposed to be. After a week, she calculated he was gone for approximately an hour. She waited and watched, soon getting the courage to leave her room to wait. That courage quickly became rebelliousness. She wanted to see the world. She wanted to be free.
No matter what her father said or did.
But no. She would always come back. He would never find her gone, because she would always return.
Five minutes, she counted exactly, after Abraham locked the door, she ventured to pry open the shutters on the front window. The moment she did, she slammed them shut with a shriek of alarm. This was interrupted by a cry – a boy's – of just as much surprise.
"What was that for?" snapped a voice. "Open that back up, will you?"
Abraham's daughter swallowed hard, her heart beating a million miles an hour. She couldn't believe her ears – was there really a boy outside this window? Another person? Who was he? Why was he here?
But she had never heard such a beautiful voice. She had never even seen a boy.
And so came her rebelliousness. She opened the window – her jaw dropped as her remark left her tongue, because the boy was just as wonderful as his voice. Electric blue eyes wide with defiance and curiosity glared from behind strands of thick black hair. he was about her age, seventeen or eighteen.
When he saw her, some of the defiance made room for more curiosity. She blinked back her suddenly strong feelings of excitement and amazement. Without realizing it, she reached out to touch his cheek, which was warm and rough. "Are you real?" she whispered.
The boy blinked in surprise and stumbled back; the girl's hand dropped her with her eyes as he gasped, "I didn't know Abraham had a daughter." His beautiful eyes looked anywhere but at her.
But she couldn't look anywhere but at him, not even to see what the world looked like outside wooden walls. She forced her lips to move. "Who are you?"
Finally – reluctantly – he glanced at her. Her heart jumped gleefully. "Isaac."
"Isaac," she repeated in a soft whisper. A beautiful name.
He furrowed his brow and cocked his head. "Why are you looking at me that way? Have you not seen another person before?"
She shook her head quickly. "No."
Isaac scrunched his nose – it was dusted in light freckles. "No? Never?"
He seemed to consider her. "And you are Abraham's daughter?"
She nodded eagerly, wanting to answer the angelic boy's every question.
"Hmm." He glanced around him almost furtively, and when he looked back at her, his electric blue eyes gleamed with mischief. She felt a trill of excitement. "All right, I've got an idea, Abraham's daughter –"
"Will you come back?" she interrupted.
Isaac's lips twitched, and she noticed some of his playfully sly expression waver. He hesitated to say, "Every day, if you so wish."
By sheer force of will, she refrained from jumping up and down like a child. "Yes. Yes, please. Please come again, Isaac."
His expression didn't waver this time – it fell away…to something…soft. She couldn't explain it, really, but she loved the way it smoothed the sharp angles of his face. He recovered in a matter of seconds, however. He dipped his head without taking his eyes off her. "Yes, I will return. Tomorrow, at the time of now."
She watched him go after whispering, "Farewell, Isaac."
Without fail, Isaac returned to the window at the same hour, day after day. He was sweet and charming, and she could never take her eyes away from him – and he did the same as they leaned in the window and spoke straight through the hour. Each day he would melt from the fresh greenery with a smile, and each day he would melt away with a parting wave. He told her magnificent stories of the world he had seen, of the people and creatures and places. And she would listen contently without a care. Every time she would lose track of time, and Isaac always reminded her when it was time to go.
When he left and her father returned, there was a dull ache in her chest. She missed Isaac when he wasn't with her. He was hers, she knew it, and her anchor to reality now. Her life in her house suddenly seemed a dream, and her father was nothing. She felt she wasn't herself when he wasn't with her, near her, looking at her. But she never, ever told her father. Abraham wouldn't approve.
That all changed in the course of one day.
It was sunny and bright and clear outside, and she opened the shutters to wait for him. And waited. And waited. After five minutes her heart was racing with dread. Where was he? Was he all right? When the hour was half over, her decision was made. She was going to find him.
She rushed to the back of the house, where she knew Abraham kept a bow and quiver tucked in a corner piled high with wood. She slung them both over her shoulder and pounded the door knob with a log until it broke. Then she ran out into the sunlight and into the unknown.
Not far from the house, she found a grassy hill. It was lonesome, standing there plainly in a field of waving grasses and weeds. Few trees stood guard on either side, tall and broad weeping willows. She felt something stir in her chest beside her erratic heart. That's when she saw her father – and Isaac.
Abraham's fingers were curled tight around Isaac's hand, nearly dragging him to the tip of the hill. The girl darted to the willows, hiding and watching. She dared not breath, she was so still.
She watched as Abraham forced Isaac on his knees and cried out. They were nothing but silhouettes in the sunlight. Isaac's head was bowed in sadness, and she wanted to scream and run to him, but she forced herself to stay still. She watched as Abraham drew his sword.
She turned away. She could not bear it. No, no. She could feel Isaac's presence, feel his fear. No, please, no…
Then her heart stilled as a cry rang out, an angelic cry that sang for the slaughter. When she opened her teary eyes, an angel in flowing white robes and silver wings looked down upon her with soft brown eyes. So beautiful, so pure, singing for Isaac's life…
Abraham's daughter leapt from the tree and raised her voice. Barely had she done so before the male angel took her wrist, his eyes and face ensnaring her with their beauty. "What is your name, dear one?" he whispered musically.
Stunned, she said, "I have none."
He asked, "How can this be?"
"My father never gave me one." She was breathless.
Abraham saw her, sword raised for the slaughter. Isaac screamed his pain, screamed a name that was lost over the blood and fear rushing in her ears. The angel had gone, and Abraham's daughter raised her bow.
Abraham snarled, "How darest you, child, defy your father?"
Isaac's face was burned into her memory and her father's imprinted beside it. The arrow trembled in its place as she aimed it at her father's heart. She loved Isaac. She wanted to be free. No matter what her father said or did.
She breathed the sweet air, but she swore there was a tang of blood. She raised her voice. "You'd better let young Isaac go."
The arrow was ready to fly, Isaac prepared for the second something would happen. The sunlight was harsh on her eyes, her fingers blistering from the high-strung bow.
She loved Isaac more than her father.
Abraham's daughter never thought she could feel such passion as she did now –
She let the arrow fly.