Sunday, August 1, 2010

Dialogue (fiction)

The woman wound her way between the standing stones. The hem of her dress was ragged and blew around her ankles in the autumn breeze. Her hair looked like it hadn't been combed today, though there was still beauty in its wildness. The stones themselves were overgrown with moss, vines beginning to twine up the solid grey. Here and there she paused to pull a brown weed, murmuring an apology. The action was halfhearted, slow, but the expressed regrets were real. As she entered the center of the circle, she brushed a lock of purple hair back and looked around her with a sigh.

And stopped. "I should have known I'd find you here," she whispered, then spoke with more assurance. "Welcome, Lady. Forgive the condition of the temple. I... haven't been here as much to take care of it."

The other woman brushed a sun-browned hand over the surface of the altar, sprinkling dried flower petals onto the ground. Copper-colored hair shifted enticingly around her shoulders as she nodded without a trace of anger in her green eyes. "I'd noticed, but I'm not offended. I knew what you were doing."

"Yes," sighed the first. "Of course you did. You always do." She took another step forward into the circle. "What brings you here, Goddess?"

Blonde, short-cut hair blew in the breeze as the woman by the altar answered, the tilt of her head exposing a long, slender, kissable neck. "Because I knew you'd be here. And I wanted to hear you out. You're very angry at me right now."

That brought the purple-haired one up short. She opened her mouth, closed it, and looked down. "I'm not entirely sure I even believe in you any more," she finally said. "It's not personal. It's just how it is."

Mahogany eyes crinkled at the corners with suppressed laughter. "Come on, child. Even you know better than that. You've always known I was there. And you know better than to think I'd believe you. From the moment I first came to this circle and met you here, you've known you were mine. Being away from the temple you built with your own heart doesn't change that."

Humiliated, the first woman looked away from the searching gaze of the black woman standing by the altar. "I remember. You never look the same way twice, but I always know it's you. Every time. So you're right, that's not it."

One short, sharp nod. "So what is it then?" Gently asked, but not to be dismissed, the question hung in the air.

"It's just... I keep questioning these days. I don't know if I'm the right one to serve you. Not this way. Not this life. It gets harder all the time, Lady, and every time lately I think I have it figured out something else happens. It would be so easy if I could just scream out what I'm thinking, but that's something that I know better than to do."

"Oh. I see. You don't want to take this role now because you're not perfect?" The purple-haired woman looked up to behold the silver-haired, sun-worn queen holding her scepter. She was as beautiful as the Lady always appeared, but there was a blankness in the blue eyes that gave no hint of the emotion behind the question.

"You would put it that way, wouldn't you? I prefer to say that I'm wondering if I have my shit together enough to do what you want me to do. I have to: it's my responsibility. And yet I keep getting thrown off course."

"But you believe in me. Even if you don't believe in me as a force, you believe in what I am." That wasn't a question at all.

"Yes..." She drew out the sigh and took a few more steps closer to the altar. "I believe in what you are. How can I not? When I look in the eyes, hear the voices of the ones who are still with me, how could I deny that? I don't even know how to tell them what they are to me. I just want them to know, to intuit it. But that's not fair to them. So I try to show them, but I'm poor at that, I think."

"Let them be the judges of that. And remember, I didn't ask you to take care of everyone in the world." The Lady beckoned. "Come closer, child. I won't strike you down."

With those words, the purple-haired woman closed the space between them and knelt at her Lady's feet. "I wish you could understand, Goddess... it's nothing one like you would ever have to experience. You never doubted yourself."

Raven locks swept the grass as the Lady shook her head. "Of course I did. That's half the bad press I got in mythology, you know. But you miss the point. I didn't choose you because I was looking for perfection."

"Why did you choose me, then, Lady? If it wasn't to improve myself for you, do everything you asked?"

Warm, callused hands cradled the purple-haired woman's chin. "I chose you because you have the power to be strong, and the strength to admit it when you're wrong if you need to. This role isn't for everyone. It's not even for most strong women." She paused. "You can improve yourself, but the fact is that you will always be human. And that means having a softness to you. For all your love of turtles, you can't always hide in your shell when times are hard. You know that."

A glance down, a flush. "I was in my shell, wasn't I?"

The only answer was a simple nod.

"Fair enough, Lady... I will do as you ask. I will serve this role. But tell the universe to ease up a bit?"

"It's hard to feel the strength within when your body hurts, when the hormones surge and fall, when you are finally realizing what people are telling you when they tell you who they are. Even if that's not who you so very much wanted them to be. Release that, child, and grieve your dreams... but don't grieve long. You have too many other dreams to bring to reality." The Lady kissed the purple-haired woman on the forehead and faded into mist on the autumn breeze.

The woman knelt for a long time, staring at the violets blooming on the ground by the altar, a little cluster of blossoms everywhere the Lady had stepped. Finally, she tossed back her hair and looked around.

"Well," she said to the waiting stones. "It looks like I have work to do."


  1. Lady Ru'etha, I really like this. I see a number of subtle elements in play here that I can personally relate to.

  2. Just remember, tHe Goddess only asks only what you can give and what you can bear, no more.

    And you have such wonderfulk dreams inside you: I look forward to seeing them come to life.

  3. Well I really enjoy this.
    I can't count the times I felt like Raven. But the important is that we still hang on and always keep moving forward, cause like Raven we all have work to do...