So I decided to write a short little something for The ReMyth Project I mentioned in my last post.
A soft curl of wind brought sounds of the slow movement of water to Marie’s ears. The quiet splashes could mark simple movement or the death of a million creatures that birthed, lived, hunted, devoured, mated and died in this balance of earth and water. The wind turned, the quiet sounds were gone, and Marie was swept back into the celebration. She focused her aged eyes on the young girls in front of her, dressed all in white they danced and leapt their way around the circle. Even those who closed their eyes avoided the ring of torches that encircled them. Some swirled so close that the fire set off cascades of red/orange/yellow in their brown skin, lit their clothes with the shadow of flame so that for that moment they were fire itself but they never got too close, always aware.
Then the drumbeats that moved their feet stopped and like dolls whose strings had been cut they all fell to the floor, exhausted. All, except for one girl, she stood in the middle of the circle stock still. Her form was tense and every muscle strained against earthly existence, against the bonds that held her to her body.
Marie raised herself to her feet, slowly, coddling the joints that pained her so. Though in part she knew that she lied to herself about her aches, Marie could not recall a time her body did not ache. It was not the ache that slowed her movement, she was simply tired. It had been a long life and she longed for freedom from her responsibilities, from the constant ache in her heart. Marie knew of the rumors that flew through the white mouths in town – that she was the devil’s mistress, that she would live forever, that she could bring death upon those who angered her.
None were true but the rumors served their purpose.
The police and courts did not care about her people, only she did. The rumors helped to protect them and for that and that alone she allowed their continued existence. She knew the part the story of her played and so she had stayed, living way past the normal human allotment of years not because she willed it but because the lwa did. They wanted her to wait.
Standing in front of the girl Marie took in the youthful curves of her body, the whites of her eyes bright and shining, the rapturous look on her face. A part of Marie dreaded this, putting all the responsibility on one so young but she had always been a servant of the lwas and that would not change now. She leant forward and placed a chaste kiss on the girl’s full lips.
Marie felt her body relax and looked down at the wrinkled face in front of her. Raising an arm, she cradled the loose flesh of a cheek in her hand and spoke.
“Your time is done. I will stand.”
With that the old woman sighed and her body crumbled to dust, it swirled in the wind and finally flowed from the circle, moved out to rejoin the swamp the old woman had always loved. She watched the movement of the remains through the air for a long moment. Then, Marie Laveau, turned to her congregation.
Quickie – wrote in in about 40 minutes, let me know what you think.