Victoria could feel the energy filling her as the eyes looked to her, seeing what she was, who she was and knowing that they would never again see anything like this exact moment. Her manager, Lou, tried to tell her that she was vain and shallow for thinking that way, but he also didn’t know exactly who and what she was after all. A girl needed her secrets, even if it was from the one person in the world she at least partially trusted. Lou was a good egg to be sure, but no one could know the secrets Victoria carried, so she simply hid them away and made sure to put on the face everyone needed to see.

The lights on the stage were warm and her wings perked as the energy rushed in and the heat of the room filled Victoria. She took her time taking off each glove, her fingers barely moving as the gloves slid effortlessly down skin that was free of blemish, but not of markings. The lines were intricate and told her story, mind you the people who could read that story died off about the same time the mammoths did, but they were there. Every inch of her body from her collarbones to her hips were covered in the script that was made of circles and astrological signs, diamonds and sigils from gods long since dead and feasted upon on battlefields long forgotten.

Each glove dropped, falling to the floor like a petal on the wind and Victoria raised her hands high above her, each line on her body glowing with a perfectly jade light, brighter than the sun for just a moment before it faded and looked at the crowd. Each one of them needing her to look at them, needing from her, taking her in. She winked and made each of them feel an intimacy that was not there, would never be there, before smiling coyly and walking to the stool at the very front of the stage, right before the lights that blazed upward, warming her body in ways these silly people would never understand.

She sat, legs crossed delicately over one another and smiled to the audience before speaking. Her voice loud enough for everyone to hear, her tone friendly and calm as she began an act that she never broke from, a story she told each and every time. She gained from it, and it was an act of worship to the One before her.

“Thank you all so very much for coming to see me this evening. I know it is a terrible experience to drive in this city and I am very happy all the seats are full and no one was forced to miss the show.” Nervous laughter from the crowd, eyes scanning up and down her body like she was a prize bull or even worse and more debased things. She knew their minds, each one of them and all of them at once. It was not a gift, Victoria hated the word gift. It was her being, her essence, her power, and a very small one at that.

Their minds set for the story, some for the first time and others for the hundredth, she reached in front of her where the stage lights were and pulled out a very small bottle, opened it and spilled the liquids into her hands. Rubbing her hands back and forth, warming the liquid and watching it glow, and then watching them watch it glow. When it was just right she cupped her hands as if she were carrying water in them and spoke in a low and sonorous voice.

“Let me tell you about the Dark Goddess, Siobhan.”

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