The Heritage that Wasn’t

To [personal profile] silveradept‘s prompt

It was supposed to work. It was supposed to be right.

Jen’s mother was a kitsune. Her grandmother was a kitsune. Her grandmother’s mother, and her mother, and her mother, they had all been kitsune, as far back as history went and further.

There were no fathers in the history, which Jen had always felt unfair. Her father had, after all, raised her, as her mother’s father had raised her, and so on. The women in Jen’s family did not stay. They weren’t tame, after all.

They didn’t stay, and they didn’t teach. They left a letter. At least, Jen had been given a letter when she turned fifteen. In the envelope – which her father had been saving since he first discovered he had a daughter – was not only the letter her mother had written her, but the letter her mother had written her, and so on, and so on. The letters went back not nearly as far as the history, of course, and the last ones were crumbling and yellow. but they all said almost the same thing.

Your mother is a kitsune, and that means you will be as well… The kitsune are wild and do not stay, but we always pass on our genes… one daughter and one daughter only… do well, my daughter. Thrive.

The letters had come with her when she & her father went off-planet; they took up less than 4 oz. of her weight allowance, but weighed her down with the expectations of ages. “…One daughter and one daughter only…” Kitsune found their fox by the time they were sixteen or seventeen, maybe eighteen or nineteen.

Jen’s twenty-first birthday was on her, and there was no fox, nothing but a girl with an envelope full of ancient letters.

Next: A Heritage Earned

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