The night sky was peaceful. Everything in it's place and everything quiet. Except the house on the hill. A woman screamed her pain while two children huddled in the corner, scared to sleep. Goro, the man who owned the land and house sat at his wifes side while the mid wife worked away. She was having their third child, their two and four year old sitting in the corner watching. Kia had already seen her mother birth her sister Kokoro, and now as they assumed what was the third daughter, they were watching her being born.
Miyako Koizuki pushed hard as she could, hanging onto Goro's hand. The last baby was on her way, but she was already fading. The room was darkening. Miyako knew she would only live long enough to say hello and goodbye to her third daughter. She knew she would die from childbirth. She looked at Goro, then at Kokoro and Kia, who were watching with fear and curiosity from the corner. She gave one last push, hearing the cry of a baby.
Miyako went limp in her husbands arms, staying alive just along enough to name the little girl.
Perhaps it was because he raised his other two, or perhaps it was because she was a easy newborn, but after the burial of Koizuki Miyako, Saki seemed to have calmed down, as if she didn't' know she had a dead mother. Kokoro was only two, unable to fully take care of her sister under any terms, and would stick her hand into the blankets to hold Saki's while Kia was the one who fed her sister when their father was at the door with anyone.
Saki cried restlessly in her blankets, wanting her food. A woman known as Moriko went over to her, and picked the babe up from her warmth. She took a breast out of her kimono, bringing the crying child to her to feed. Saki latched onto the nipple, sucking for her food. Goro was glad to know that a woman such as Moriko, who only finished feeding herself was able to nurse his daughter.
"Thank you yet again Moriko-dono." He bowed.
"It's not a problem, she needs her food after all, and no mother."
Goro nodded, then smiled as his two children came in the house. They were covered in snow, Kia looking more upset than her sister.
"Daddy! The boys down the hill threw snow at us!"
"You're fine. You'll live."
"Kia! Take care of Kokoro, Saki's nursing."
Kia gently led her little grumpy sister away, past the nursing sister and into another room for the girls to change into warm and dry clothing. Goro sat down, wincing at his bones. He felt this winter was harder on him than before, but then again, he had three mouths to feed, and one was a nursing baby. Saki soon fell asleep in the other womans' arms, and Goro placed her on her mat. The babe slept on while her family quietly moved about the house.
Kokoro watched by the firelight as her father picked up a crying and squirming Saki, who calmed when her father held her. He smiled down at the child, knowing that she would be raised by him and her sisters. The little girl giggled and blew a spit bubble, jumping when it popped then cried. He gently bounced her in his arms, smiling down at her while he shushed her. Saki smiled again and soon fell asleep in her fathers arms. He himself fell asleep holding her.
Kokoro slowly got up, and made her way to the sleeping people, or so she thought. She was surprised to see Saki had woken up. The girl looked up at her sister, her fingers flexing gently, as if wanting to hold onto something. Kokoro slipped her hand in, watching as Saki curled her chubby fingers around her sisters. From the corner, Kia watched, wondering if they would survive this war ridden era together.
It was snowing out and Kia had taken her little sister out sledding. Saki kicked her feet while she laid on her mat, watching her father cook dinner. Her green eyes moved about the shack, seeing the poor conditions but not minding it. She brought her fingers to her mouth, sucking on them. Goro was now told to feed the few month old baby with the food he was supposed to. He picked up the mashed carrots and took them over to her, smiling.
He was surprised when she took ahold of his sleeve, and pulled herself into a sitting position. He chuckled, pulling her into his lap and gently feeding her. Saki easily ate the food he was giving her. After he burped her and held her while the other two came in, quickly changing out of their kimono's and putting dry ones on.
"I wanna hold Saki daddy!"
Goro chuckled, and let Kokoro take her baby sister. Even Kia sweat dropped, watching Kokoro walk around with her sister over her shoulder. Saki simply stayed that way, her green eyes round and watching as Kokoro just walked. She moved in a circle around the hut, not really caring that she wasn't held the right way, she only cared that she was being held. Goro figured while the girls were taking care of Saki, he could make them all supper. He quickly got to work doing so.
Once they ate, he was able to give each of his daughters a bath, and put them to bed while he worked on whatever he could. When it was time for bed, he was not surprised to see the three girls in one mat. But for long, they wouldn't' be able to do that. Goro knew too well that by the time the youngest was a child, the oldest would be a teenager. And he just knew that his time was limited with them.
Goro went to the door and opened it, looking at the sky above. Snow was falling gently. Within a year Saki would be a year old, and he knew in his heart she would be another year towards marriage. He only hoped in this time of war that she would survive with her sisters. Secretly, he wanted all three to marry a samurai.