Deliah

Siobhan

She awoke with a start, her heart racing in her chest. She swallowed several times to try and push the dust away and all she could manage was to cough weakly and try desperately to focus her eyes on anything, anything at all. Her body was numb, unfeeling in every way. Her eyes darted back and forth desperately trying to find…something. She had no idea what it was, who it was, just that she needed to find it because it was important. Yes, important, that’s what it was. With an extraordinary effort, she raised her back off the ground, her eyes finally settling, fixing on one thing.

Her arms, or at least what used to be her arms. Now they were not but mangled pieces of flesh-covered bone. They were broken, shattered in dozens of places. Some of them sticking out of the skin, others at angles that should not exist. There was no pain, none at all. She sat up farther, her back screaming as she did until finally, she was sitting straight. Then she saw her legs.

They were worse, so much worse, than her arms. They were at a dozen angels, flesh torn and blood dried where someone had left them to knit the way they were, not setting them in place where they should be, not caring that they would cripple her beyond hope.

Then it all came back to her in a flash.

Deliah, that was her name. She had been hanging for the slaughter of her friend, for reading the future, the reading that saw this very moment where she remembered everything while she was in a twisted and deformed pile of broken bones and twisted flesh. She did not know how she got to where she was, or how long she had been unconscious. Looking at her arms and legs both, it must have been weeks. The flesh had begun to heal over the breaks, the bones setting hard into place with calcified nodules exposed everywhere. Deliah took a deep breath, not a calming one, no there was no calm in the foreseeable future. She knew everything that was to come, and she knew that the next little while would be a hell, an agony that would make her want to live no longer, but the other side of it would be everything she had worked so hard on, a plan realized.

She looked around and saw what she knew would be there. All of the trying to remember what she was looking for was realized in that glance. She blinked back tears as her weak and crippled arm reached and, with a massive effort, picked up the stone beside her. She wept loudly, not wanting to do what must be done.

Even as she slammed the rock down with all of her force, breaking the broken over and over again, even then she did not lose hope no matter how much her body screamed, how much blood she lost, how much agony moving each bone back inside her caused her.

Never. Was. Hope. Lost.

——

Hours? Days? Time was meaningless through the pain. Every movement was agony, every breath was the weight of the world pressing down on Deliah’s chest. She looked over her body, or what was left of the old one. All the bones were in place, at last, even the memory of it made her close her eyes and nearly panic. They were where they should be and with time and a blessing from a deity she tried so very hard to despise, she would at least be able to walk again. Her arms were easier, the bones thinner, knitting faster than the ones in her legs.

She could not remember the last time she had been free of pain, had not been covered in blood and piss, snot and shit. She had made it, over days, to a small creek. She had greedily drunk from it when she could. The small fish that were too dumb or slow to get out of her hands had nourished her the best they could.

Anger flowed through her like blood. She was mad at creation itself and everything less than that. She knew it was coming, she knew every detail and yet she was still not ready for the agony and weight of it all. How dare some thing she did not see or know curse her with the ability to see the future the way she could. How dare this goddess in the darkness presume to make her do things. Why would anyone want to know the precise second they were going to die? Deliah could close her eyes and see the vastness of time in front of her and not be surprised by any of it. It was a burden she did not want, did not ask for, would try all she could o to rid herself of.

There was the future that she knew, but then there was the future that could be, and that single thread of hope is what kept her as sane as she was all this time as she sat in a pile of her own filth, most bones in her body broken, the shape of her body permanently disfigured. Why? Why was she punished for something that came from a Goddess they all claimed was all-knowing and loving?

She would have her answers, one way or the other the truth would come.

Truth and Love Are Oft Close Friends, But Not Until We Add The Sameness Of The Spirit Do We Find The Blossoming Of The Soulmate Emerge Into The World.

Madame Victoria

Victoria, a wonderful name that had served her for more years than she would care to admit. She would, in moments of humor, admit to stealing it from the Queen, she had loved the way it rolled off of her tongue the first time she had said it aloud and decided to simply become Victoria, and she had been doing that ever since. In time another name would take hold of her mind and she would become the person that name required her to be. Victoria lent itself to pomp, circumstance, elegance and wealth. All of those things were pleasant so the transition was an easy and quick one. Buying some properties here, having a fleet of horses there. It had bee decades before she had to use a little glamour to make people come back to the path she wanted them to walk on because it was a simpler time. There was no Internet and Television, hell radio wasn’t even a thing yet. So when she claimed her wealth and showed it, she was respected on that alone. It is when the communication became so blasted easy that she had had to modify a few things.

The knock upon her dressing room door made her shake herself from her cobwebbed mind and she made sure she used her voice to maximum effect as she answered the knock. “But a moment lovelies, I am putting my face back on, can’t let a Goddess be seen without her makeup now can we?” She waited for and smiled at the laughter she had expected and quickly moved her hands over her body and her clothes shifted into what she needed. No longer on stage, the regal bearing had to go, she needed intimate, approachable, so it was simple cloths, muted colors, showing off the marks just so that they would understand what she was and where she came from, to a point.

Standing, she walked to the door and prepared her best smile as she pulled it open. Before her was quite a dapper man, mid-fifties she suspected. His smile as real as any she had seen in some time and she looked over to Lou, who gave her a subtle nod and she opened the door wider and the man walked through the door.

Now is when the reasons these people came to see her would become crystal clear.

The man had sat down, his hands politely in his lap without showing nerves. His eyes followed her but not with the puppy dog-like adoration she sometimes saw in the men, and women, who came back to see her after the show. No, he wasn’t here to try and play Fuck the Fae, there was a deeper purpose to it and seeing as she knew precisely how much Lou charged people to even knock on the door, whatever he was here for was very important to him indeed.

—–

He looked up at the woman as she closed the door without noise and made her way to the very comfortable divan in the corner of the room. She looked at him with eyes that expected absolutely nothing. No rush or worry, nothing except patience he had never seen in anyone before. he had a feeling she could recline on that divan for years without moving a muscle and not be irritated with him at all if she so chooses. Sadly, the man had a limited amount of time to be here, so he took a chance and decided to get right to the point.

“Madame Victoria, I know that you must have a great many people come into your room and ask you for favors ranging from the rudimentary mundane to things laced with that which is phantasmagorical in all of its essences. I am here to ask of you a boon, yes, but I hope that you will hear me out before you decline.” His eyes looked to hers to see what her reaction thus far.

She smiled softly to him and sat up, her fingers steeples in her lap as she spoke. Her voice was not as honeyed as it had been on stage, but, of course, it wouldn’t be now, would it?

“Firstly, I haven’t heard someone utter the word phantasmagorical in over a hundred years. It is a word that has sadly fallen out of favor in the day and age of the text message and the acronyms for virtually everything. Secondly, I give you my word on the Darkness that Consumes that I will listen to your request and give it every bit of my attention before I judge it as a deed I am willing to do.”

He swallowed as he heard Victoria speak the oath on the Darkness. He was not an expert in such things, but he knew it was not words that her kind used lightly, the consequences of being an oathbreaker were dire if the memory served. Even he had heard of the Wild Hunt and their eternal mission to bring oathbreakers to justice who had sworn such an oath.

“For your pledge to even hear my plea I will gladly give you everything in my name.” He straightened his back as he sat as his mother had taught him so very long ago. “My name is Bertran, I was born in the year of our Lord eleven hundred thirty and five in the cathedral at Carlisle in Cumbria. My dear mother was an indigent who felt shame at having a son out of wedlock, her beau having left her after they had consummated their relationship, his promise of marriage a lie, and she was an outcast. her family disowned her and only the church would allow her sanctuary to give birth to me. We lived there until I came of age, helping in the maintenance of the church, my mother taking her vows when I left to seek my own life.” he stopped speaking and noticed that Madame Victoria looked at him with piercing eyes, seeking anything she could from him. She spoke, her voice not hiding the emotion welling up in her throat.

“You speak to truth to me Bertran of Carlisle. You are not of any Fae line, nor are you of the darkness that makes the immortal promise to the weak, tell me now why you have lived nearly nine centuries as a man of flesh and blood and no magic and have not died. Tell me this now and swear upon the Darkness your words will be true or I shall deliver to you the Hunt myself.” Her words sounded bloodied even to her own ears, but she needed to know how this man existed. She felt not afraid of him, to be with someone even a thousandth of her own age made her feel youth she had not felt since the glaciers still shaped the world.

Victoria swallowed hard, her eyes welling with tears as she read the man’s story in the same writing that adorned her body She learned everything he was at that moment. The magic of the writing told her more than simply words. She composed herself, dabbing at her eyes with the sleeve of her shirt.

“Forgive my emotion, I thought all of them had died long before you were born. No, you are of them, you are the descendants of those that gave me the godhead. So, as the Goddess you did not know your whole life, I swear on the Dark Goddess herself, may her wrath upon me be eternal if I break my oath, that I will do anything you ask of me if it is in my power to do.” She stood and quickly made her way to him and kissed him softly on the forehead. As she did the lines, on her and him glowed as the sun as like recognized like.

Oppositions, For What Is A Chess Game If There Is No One To Play Against? What Is The Purpose Of A Game If You Know All The Results In Advance?

Siobhan

Siobhan had divided the world betwixt the loves that she cherished more than any other, but that does not mean for a moment that the Dark Goddess was idle, she did not disappear into the Darkness from whence she came and was left to be forgotten by the thousands of generations from that moment until this one. Whilst Beithíoch and Neart guarded the entirety of the worlds Siobhan had created with them, the Dark Goddess created more things than anyone ever thought Her responsible for. They gave credit to authors and songwriters, the idiocies of radio, television, and movies. They took it from…..However, perhaps I am getting ahead of myself, however, let us go back to the moment where Siobhan walked into the Void of the darkness and pick up our tale and tell it as it should be told.

—–

The world safe, Siobhan walked to the home she had always known, the dais not empty, even without Beithíoch and Neart to sit with her for they were always in Siobhan’s mind and heart. She could tell what they were doing every moment if she so desired, but she trusted them implicitly and would only check in on them when she felt a need come across that she did not find an easily explained thing.

No, there were things that only Siobhan could take care of, things that Neart and Beithíoch would be able to comprehend in the slightest. Their great wisdom combined would not understand why Siobhan had, in the paradise universe she had made for all of them, created an enemy for herself. Not just one enemy at that.

As the metamorphosis was occurring, there was a need, a raw and burning need to have in the world something to strive against. Something to pit her will, her power, her charms, everything that Siobhan had at her disposal, against. So in the greatness of the moment, she had allowed the seeds of these adversaries flow from her and into the Universe. She had not cheated however, she did not know where they were, what they could do, even how strong they were in comparison to her. She had purposely allowed that knowledge to be kept from her. It is not a battle if you can so easily defeat them that you against is it?

—–

In the depths of the glacier, there was not cold and dark, but a paradise of color as the light reflected infinitely off the ice and rainbows like dust motes populated the air. The people that sat and watched them with awe were simple people, yes, but they had within them the power to harness the power of the light they fawned over. They had with them the power to direct it, intensify it, manipulate it. They were savages who had not been shown the free meat of the kill, infants who had never known the struggle.

Tall they were, all of them almost the same in the soft pink of their skin and white of their flowing hair. Thin and well-muscled, piercing blue eyes that saw anything that the light touched.

Save one.

There was a little boy, exiled by choice, whose skin was black like the night they had never known and eyes red like the fire that was sometimes used in the sacred rites. He had never once fit in with the people of the cold, he longed to feel the sun on his skin and to feel it coursing through him, allowing him to take, to kill, to destroy without thought. He did not think himself good or evil, those words were meaningless to him. he simply saw himself as strong and they as weak and they needed someone to show them the proper path to get them to rule the places of Light and to drive the Darkness out and forever purge the land of it.

he knew he could not do it yet, he was but three seasons into the thousand season life and still, his strengths were coming, all of them twisted like deformity of darkness that had afflicted him since his birth. His mother had tried to love him, she had never once shunned him, but he could tell he disgusted her, disgusted them all.

All of them would pay for it, all of them would know that the Light was the power he would take from them and before he killed them all as he had the first few who strayed too far, they would worship him as the Lord of Light and would know all of their dreams would be destroyed before he ripped them apart and feasted upon them.

—–

Her hands had been bound behind her back, her arms then raised above her and she was hung by her wrists. The agony was intense and continuous. Her screams echoed off the trees and there was no one who could not hear the woman who had killed one of her own and been caught looking at his entrails, blaspheming the rites of her people and looking for dark portents in the blood and viscera that occasionally she would shyly place into her mouth and close her eyes in pleasure at the taste of the mother of her childhood friend.

She had not resisted when they came for her, she had never tried to deny anything that she had done. Lying was for lesser beings, besides, she truly did know the future and even all the agony she was to endure was not that which would kill her, and in that there was an infinite comfort.

So, pain raged through her as her shoulders dislocated first. The pain was dulled as she passed out from it and when she woke again her legs felt so heavy. She looked down and saw they had tied boulders to them, her elbows and wrists screaming in pain, her ankles and knees near the breaking point. They did not want to kill her, they would have done so if that is what they craved. No, they wanted something far more ruinous for her.

Among her people the worst punishment was not the things they were doing to her now, no those were simply the opening moves in a longer dance. Her people were not kind, they were worshipers of a dark goddess that no one knew the name of and they regularly sacrificed their own to her. What they were mad about is that she had not dedicated to the sacrifice when she had butchered her friend. So now, she would be rendered a cripple, then other and far darker things would be done and finally, she would be left alone, shunned and forsaken to wander the world without their darkness in her eyes, with no love for the dark goddess in her heart.

Little did they know she had known and planned for precisely that.

Let The Games Begin. The Eternal, The Cosmic, The Forever and The Powerful. Let Them Begin and They Will Never For A Moment Think Of Ending.

Siobhan

The very air shattered, the noise beyond deafening, as Neart and Beithíoch returned to Siobhan with forms new and magnificent. Seeing them there, Siobhan felt the tears roll down her face as the beauty of both of the overwhelmed her. She had known of course, but to see them here, their faces and perfect forms so bright and new, it was so perfect that there was no other word that could be used to describe them.

Beithíoch stood hundreds of feet tall in the cavernous void they stood in, his skin was black and red with Siobhan’s amethyst eye emblazoned on his chest. His great wings, even as they barely moved created winds that would topple most trees. Higher still his beautiful face was the serpent now, a perfect mix of beast and fear, violence and perfection. His eyes glowed a deep amber in the darkness and even from below Siobhan could see it perfectly. Her heart nearly skipped a beat as he lowered that vast body to the floor and laid his head on the ground so his eyes were level with his. There were tears in his eyes and Siobhan knew they were not of sadness or despair, but of the greatest joy.

She next looked to her wonderful Neart, the creation of creations and marveled at how magnificent all of those legs looked on her, the muscles evident even in the void of lack that carried her. Her beauty magnified a hundredfold by the frame that supported the head with its eyes aplenty. Following Beithíoch’s example, Neart carefully folded herself downward in a way that would not seem possible to look at her and cast her gaze at Siobhan and each eye wept the same tears of Beithíoch.

“My sweet loves, here you stand before me in the truest expressions of yourself. The inner beauty that was made real, desires made flesh and all the things you did not want, removed from you forever.” Siobhan ran a hand down the faces of both of them and sat down between the two massive beings and told her tale.

“I knew there would need to be a way to distribute my justice in the world. I knew that, while I could see all, I cannot be in all places without losing attention to another. So, to you my loves, I decided to give dominion.” She looked at Beithíoch and smiled wide. “To you my greatest love, I give the and all things that look to it for meaning and hope, for love and for answers. You will speak with my voice and you will give the people what they desire for my power courses through you in ways you have yet to discover. You will ask me nothing, you will do their will because I know you cannot do anything that I would not approve of.”

She turned her head to Neart and looked at the delight of the eyes that she had been given. “To you sweet Neart, I give the Land. You will roam it, taking the things that do not belong and removing them, nurturing the things that do belong there. You will do all of this and a thousand times more because all you want is a purpose and, now, you, at last, have it. You are the Queen of Spiders now, your predecessor killed with honor and respect by my own hand, her body consumed as her wishes dictated. She died knowing that her greatest glory would succeed her.

Siobhan backed up and looked at those two wonders that she had once called children and wept her own tears.

“Now, go my loves and know that you take all of my power and ambition with you to rule over the world as I have dictated. I am Always, I am Eternity.” With that Siobhan turned and faded into the Darkness, her loves looking at one another and knowing that the world was in need of them, and as soon as they thought it, they too faded into the Darkness, their duties and obligations are known.

Do Not Hesitate To Give. Everything and Anything. Purely Because You Are Told To, Or Do You Even Need That? You Love Her Don’t You? You Want To Make Your Dark Goddess Happy, Yes?

Madame Victoria

The viscous fluid that ran through Victoria’s fingers glowed colors randomly and rapidly as she began to talk about the Great Goddess.

“Her story is told elsewhere by others, so I will tell you a small thing about her that is mine to tell. I will tell you about times when the world was not as it is now when all you saw was what you were directed to see by those with powers you could not imagine. Gods and Goddesses walked amongst you and all you could do was stare at their perfection with abject adoration.” She paused a second, her voice wonderfully decadent, like velvet on the soul of everyone there. Her words touched them in dark and secret places that some of them did not even know they had until that very moment.

Victoria took the fluid from her hands and let it drip on the stage in front of her, the stage disappearing as she did, her chair turning into the stump of a once-mighty tree, the theater about her slowly shifting into a great and natural amphitheater made of the white marble that sculptors sought very dearly. The wind caught their hair and their eyes closed as they breathed in the air of a world long since gone.

“Siobhan is the Dark Goddess, the Creator, and Destroyer of anything and everything. Don’t dare think that she is cruel for the sake of it, however. Every action is measured and calculated, every result fixed and known, every variable accounted for. She is everything, everyone, every place.” Victoria smiled at the awestruck cloud, babes in the woods looking at the colors brighter than they had ever seen, the air so clean you could taste it and enjoy it like a lover’s touch.

“I will teach you a word now. Badhbh. Badhbh is a word that is layered in meaning and mysticism, but all you need to know is that when one sees the Badhbh, the battle has already begun and you will die.” her voice turned dark, clouds covering the perfect sky above them, the smell of blood and other things replacing the cleanliness of the air. Flies could be heard feasting on the dead. “Badhbh is what you will never forget, you will always remember, you will deny.” They were hers now, they would be hers forever now and they happily accepted this fate and that is where the power truly was.

Victoria clapped her hands once, a loud and thunderous thing and they were all sitting back in the auditorium once again, their memories muddied with the pleasure and joy they felt, the last words buried deep in their subconsciousness where they needed to be hidden until…until later.

Standing up tall and letting the wings on her back unfurl completely the crowd erupted with applause and cheers in a dozen languages. They did not notice or did not care, that they had been sitting there for three hours that seemed like a second. Roses were thrown on the stage. Lecherous men throwing hotel cards and keys on stage, a smaller amount of women doing the same thing if a little more discreetly. Victoria smiled darkly and happily and heard the microphone pop into life again.

“Thank you so much for attending, the Goddess will see a limited amount of people for a meet and greet in a few moments. All gifts and tributes can be given to her directly if you are chosen to meet her, all others, please simply throw it on the stage and I assure you the Goddess will know where it came from and you shall receive her blessing.

Victoria kissed her fingertips and pointed them at the crowd, each of them feeling the intimate nature of it on a deep level and the whole of them silencing for a moment as she did it before walking back to her dressing room with a laugh starting on her lips and the old plan in her mind still slowly coming to life.