Fiction

Eclipse

The popular girls at school hated me because I dared to be different. I didn’t wear my hair their way or wear the clothes endorsed by their favourite celebrities. I didn’t even skip class their way. They skipped Science and Woodwork and I skipped Home Economics. Nobody was going to teach ME to be a housewife.

The popular girls at school hated me but I wasn’t without friends. I didn’t strive for their approval, I was perfectly fine with staying exactly as I was, thank you very much! Lianna says that is why she wanted to be my friend. I was just me. Different, unique, unashamedly me and she knew from the first day we met that she wanted to be my friend the most. What I love most about her is that’s exactly how I think of her too.

Our friendship sparked a change within me. I began to love life like I never had before. Lianna introduced me to new kinds of music, a new appreciation for art, and what it feels like to have a true soulmate. We shared our first kiss the day we left school and took our first date at a local museum that was showcasing important women in history. Slowly but surely, we fell in love. Our love revolved around celebrating our differences and being proud of our individuality whilst glorying in our similarities and our togetherness too. Even together we were different from most people that we knew, but Lianna and I, we didn’t realise how different. Not until the eclipse.

I didn’t pay any attention to the build-up of the coming eclipse. It didn’t mean anything other than being something vaguely interesting to watch one day. That is, until Lianna told me a story she had heard from her grandmother about the Goddesses of the Sun and Moon.

‘Contrary to popular opinion, the sun and the moon are not male and female deities; they are both female.’

Lianna stroked my hair as she talked, her head tilted back slightly as she searched her memory for the details.

‘Their names are Sola and Cherika. They met when they were sent to the Pantheon to learn what it means to be a Goddess and how to rule over their subjects. They formed a great friendship that turned into a passionate love for each other. Brahma, the God of Creation became angry and jealous because he wanted Sola for himself and planned to wed her. He created the Moon and banished Cherika to be trapped inside. He left her to circle Earth, hoping she would forget about Sola and fall in love with Geb, the God charged with watching over Earth.

‘Sola defiantly continued to refuse Brahma and plotted to free Cherika so they could be together again. Sadly, Brahma learned of Sola’s plans and, in a fit of rage, he created the Sun and trapped Sola inside. Sola and Cherika were heartbroken but their love for each other remained steadfast. They spent thousands of years trapped and separated, until Geb took pity on them and began visiting them both in their unique prisons, passing messages to the other whenever he could. He became a trusted friend and confidant to both of the goddesses and together, they devised a plan to reunite them without Brahma ever finding out. Geb was able to subtly communicate with and influence the humans on Earth. He found two young female lovers and blessed them with the ability to perform the magic required for the task.

‘At the event of the first eclipse, when the sun and the moon crossed paths in the sky, the two young female lovers on earth began a magical ritual to draw the essence of Sola and Cherika into themselves, under the guidance of the Geb. They found a secluded spot, stripped naked, and let the enegery of the eclipse wash over them as they chanted the words Geb had taught them. Sola and Cherika’s bodies lay in their prizon cells within the Sun and the Moon, but their souls were drawn to earth, where they were free to be together, glorying in their love, unknown to Brahma. The magic froze the women’s bodies exactly as they were until the next eclipse was seen on earth, when they passed the souls of Sola and Cherika on to another couple before carrying on with their lives.’

I was fascinated with this story and so when Lianna asked if I wanted to go and watch the eclipse with her, I agreed. On the day of the eclipse, we wandered to a nearby park and settled down on a blanket in each other’s arms to watch the moon cover the sun.

As the moon began to cover the sun in the sky, I suddenly felt dizzy. The sensation grew as the sky slowly began to darken, causing my vision to blur and the world to spin crazily under me. I lay on the grass and clutched at the ground as the earth began to buck and roll under me. I fought the growing feeling of nausea with my eyes tightly shut. My heartbeat racing and my breath coming in short gasps. After what felt like an eternity, the world abruptly stilled under me. I scrambled to my feet and span slowly on the spot, taking in the suddenly unfamiliar surroundings. The sky had darkened to an inky midnight blue. Stars sparkled and winked down at me and a deafening silence filled my ears until it hurt. My heartbeat thundered in my ears and my body began to tremble.

‘Selena?’ Lianna’s voice came from so close behind me that I span round with a squeal and stumbled backwards.

‘Lianna? Where are we?’

As I spoke, a light appeared in the distance, bobbing and weaving as it moved closer towards us. I began to make out shapes of trees around us, and saw that we were standing beside a small pool. Reeds crowded the edge, rustling and whispering secrets that a soft breeze carried into the sky. The surface rippled and bubbled as unseen creatures broke the surface in search of food, or maybe out of curiosity, wanting to know why we had disturbed their peace. The dancing globe of light was revealed to be a lantern, held by a young woman not much older than ourselves. Her eyes sparkled black in the dim light and her chocolate brown skin glowed faintly, sparkling like it was embedded with millions of tiny diamonds in the muted glow from the lantern she held in her right hand. The fingers of her left hand were linked with those of another young woman, whose skin was as light the first woman’s was dark, with strawberry blonde hair and eyes so pale they looked like glowing pools of ice. Her creamy skin glowed like pearls, shimmering with the barest hints of pinks and blues.

‘Welcome to Eclipsim.’ The woman with the lantern spoke. ‘You have been chosen by Sola and Cherika of the Sun and Moon to carry their essence until the next eclipse. They are the sun and moon goddesses who came to earth to…’

‘….to live in the bodies of humans so they can be together away from Brahma? Are you serious? I thought that was just a story.’ I turned to Lianna in confusion. ‘It’s just a story right?’

‘Well…..I….thought it was…..My Nana told me it was true but I never actually believed her. It can’t be real.’

‘It can, and it is. I know how unbelieveable it all sounds. I was exactly the same as you when it happened to us back in 1999. I assure you, it’s real.’ The woman with the strawberry blonde hair gazed directly into my eyes as she spoke, the passion in her voice matching the serious look on her face.

‘We would answer all of your questions if we could, but we only have until the end of the eclipse to finish the ritual.’

I hesitated, looking at Lianna.

‘Just one question.’ she said to the strange women, whilst looking at me. ‘Why us?’

‘Your love for each other is what drew you to our…..their attention. Its so strong and pure that its fiery and calm at the same time.’ The woman with the sparkling diamond skin explained. ‘Sola and Cherika knew you were the ones, however, when they learnt of your names. I am sure you know, Selena, that your name means..’

‘Moon Goddess.’ I interjected, my mind whirring.

‘ And you, Lianna? Do you know what your name means?’

Lianna sighed and looked down at her hands as she picked at her fingernails.

‘To some it means God has Spoken. But it also means….my Nana told me it means Daughter of the Sun.’ My jaw dropped.

‘You mean we have…Sun and Moon names? Why didn’t you tell me when you told the story of Sola and Cherika?’

‘Because…well…you know…it’s kinda corny. Isn’t it?’

‘I’m sorry, but we really don’t have much time. We need to know if you are willing to take on the honour of accepting Sola and Cherika into yourselves. I know it seems unbelieveable, but think of it this way. You just need to speak the words we tell you, and if nothing happens, you’ll find yourselves back in the park when the eclipse ends, as if nothing ever happened. Okay?’

‘Sure, why not? I’m pretty sure this is all some kind of dream anyway. Lianna?’ I turn to look at the love of my life. She smiles and my heart flutters against my ribcage.

‘Lets do it.’ She answers, squeezing my fingers slightly.

The two strange women speak in unison, their voices ringing in unison.

‘Repeat after us. Virtutem eclipsim…’

‘Vir..tutem eclipsim..’

‘…patitur animarum de sole et luna…’

‘…pati..tur animar..um.. de sole et luna…’

‘…in corporibus nostris.’

‘…in corporibus nostris.’

The pale skinned woman takes my hands gently and I watch, my eyes wide as the strange pearlescent glow on her skin flows through her hands and slowly covers my body. The faintest hints of pink and blue and purples swirl in the light from the lantern now set on the ground nearby. I glance over to Lianna to see tiny sparkling diamonds breaking out all over her skin at the same time they fade away to nothing on the stranger’s dark skin. Lianna looks so beautiful in that moment that my soul aches to hold her. Gradually I become aware of hints of thoughts and feelings that are not my own. Cherika is gazing lovingly through my eyes at Lianna, but I know it is really Sola she is seeing. I let out a small sigh as the strangers step away, and I reach for Lianna. Our lips meet tentatively, but the strength of our love is amplified by Sola and Cherika and the kiss deepens, drawing a soft moan from us both. We lay down together by the side of the pond mere moments before the ground begins to shake and roll underneath us once more. I cling on to Lianna and close my eyes, willing it to stop quickly.

Moments later the earth is still but I can hear noises. Normal noises. The drone of cars in the distance and the call of birds high in the trees are comforting after the stillness and silence of Eclipsim. I gaze at Lianna, a little afraid to speak. I search my mind for an explanation of what happened and found Cherika. Her presence in my mind is not as pronounced as it was in Eclipsim, but she is still there. It wasn’t a dream. It was all real. Liannas eyes tell me she is going through the same thoughts in her mind. I contemplate saying something about what just happened, but I don’t know where to start so instead I just stroke her hair away from her face and kiss her softly, murmering into her ear.

‘Lets go home.’

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Song Lyric Stories – 2015 – Week 6 – Late!

Hello my lovely followers!

Hello and welcome to (the slightly tardy) week 6 of my Song Lyric Story writing prompts.

This week i thought I would mix it up a little, so the song lyrics are from Get Your Freak On, by Missy Elliot:

“I know you feel me now, I know you hear me loud, I scream it loud and proud”

You can use these words in your story, reference the song, or just use these words purely as inspiration without featuring them at all. Your story should be between 1000 and 1500 words long and ideally should be posted and linked to this post by next Saturday.

I look forward to reading your creations.

Happy Writing!

Song Lyric Stories – 2015 – Week 5

Hello my lovely followers!

Hello and welcome to week 5 of my Song Lyric Story writing prompts.

This week’s song lyrics are dedicated to Brett and his colleagues; from Hungry Eyes by Eric Carmen:

“One look at you and I can’t disguise…”

You can use these words in your story, reference the song, or just use these words purely as inspiration without featuring them at all. Your story should be between 1000 and 1500 words long and ideally should be posted and linked to this post by next Saturday.

I look forward to reading your creations.

Happy Writing!

Song Lyric Stories – 2015 – Week 4

Hello my lovely followers!

Hello and welcome to week 4 of my Song Lyric Story writing prompts.

This week’s song lyrics are from Welcome To The Jungle by Guns ‘n’ Roses:

“Welcome to the jungle, it gets worse here every day. You learn to live like an animal in the jungle where we play”

You can use these words in your story, reference the song, or just use these words purely as inspiration without featuring them at all. Your story should be between 1000 and 1500 words long and ideally should be posted and linked to this post by next Saturday.

I look forward to reading your creations.

Happy Writing!

Song Lyric Stories – 2015 – Week 3

Hello my lovely followers!

Hello and welcome to week 3 of my Song Lyric Story writing prompts.

This week’s song lyrics are from Get Lucky by Daft Punk, featuring Pharrell Williams:

“Like the legend of the phoenix, all ends with beginnings”

You can use these words in your story, reference the song, or just use these words purely as inspiration without featuring them at all. Your story should be between 1000 and 1500 words long and ideally should be posted and linked to this post by next Saturday.

I look forward to reading your creations.

Happy Writing!

Song Lyric Stories – 2015 – Week 2

Hello my lovely followers!

Week 2 of Song Lyric Stories 2015 is here!! I hope last week’s prompt got your creative juices flowing.

This week’s song lyrics are from Dead or Alive by Bon Jovi:

“It’s all the same. Only the names will change”

You can use these words in your story, reference the song, or just use these words purely as inspiration without featuring them at all. Your story should be between 1000 and 1500 words long and ideally should be posted and linked to this post by next Saturday.

I look forward to reading your creations.

Happy Writing!

Song Lyric Stories – 2015

Hello my lovely followers!

I only managed to do a couple of Song Lyric Story prompts last year, but I love the idea. So, for 2015 I pledge to post song lyrics as a prompt each and every Saturday. I will also write a story from the prompt for each week. I would be thrilled and overjoyed if you would join me and link your stories to these weekly posts. I can’t wait to see what you all come up with; the responses to my previous posts were fantastic!

So without further ado, this week’s song lyrics are from Uptown Funk by Mark Ronson, featuring Bruno Mars:

“Don’t believe me, just watch!”

You can use these words in your story, reference the song, or just use these words purely as inspiration without featuring them at all. Your story should be between 1000 and 1500 words long and ideally should be posted and linked to this post by next Saturday.

I can’t wait to see what you all come up with. Time for me to go and work on a story myself!

Happy Writing!

Trained to Kill

Saul stood with his back to the derelict kitchen, gazing out the window at the storm raging outside. Serenity stood motionless in the doorway, waiting. She knew he had questions, but he just stood there as the wind hurled the rain against the glass. After what felt like an eternity, Serenity sighed and sat down at the broken table. She massaged her neck, trying hard to mask the tension visible in her body language.

Saul did that to her. She had known him half her life, or thought she had. Right up until she turned eighteen, she’d known Saul as the sexy older guy next door. She knew he drove a Mondeo, she knew he worked for a law firm in London and she knew that he just needed someone to look after him and maybe then he would smile. The thought made her smirk to herself now. Oh, how wrong she had been!

When she’d turned eighteen she had taken full advantage of her freedom to disappear for days on end, turning up when she felt like it, or when she found herself into trouble. The last time she had set foot into her parent’s home had been after she’d been away for a whole week, staying in some random apartment with a bunch of people she barely knew. She crept up to her parent’s house in the early hours of the morning, her eyes barely open as she stumbled up the steps to the front door. She kept her gaze down as she stepped over the threshold and came face to face with the body of her mother, limbs bent into odd angles, blood pooled around her head, laying at the base of the stairs. The next thing she could remember was being in Saul’s study with a paramedic shining a torch into her eyes.

That very night, Saul had told her who he really was. A member of a super-secret organisation created centuries ago by members of the community who wanted to protect their communities from dangerous people. They called themselves The Secure Community Society. Serenity had wanted to laugh at the name, but Saul had looked so serious that the laughter had died in her throat, The SCS would attend neighbourhood watch meetings, walk the streets late at night looking for any instances of trouble, check newspapers for suspicious patterns and…they would take out people who threatened lives in their communities.

Saul had taken Serenity as his protégé and had trained her to be an assassin. The Secure Community Society was a private affair and was definitely not operating under the knowledge of the Crown and Government so it was vital that she learn survival skills alongside her weapons and hand to hand combat training. She had excelled at everything she was trained in, specialising in axe weaponry, coming top of her class and graduating from the Secure Training School a year earlier than usual.

Those 5 years of training had hardened Serenity. She didn’t recognise the girl in her memories. She would never be that person again. The time had now come to take her final test: Kill a murderer, and get away with it. Saul was here because she was stalling. She’d been given 6 months to complete the task. That was deemed more than enough time, even for a first timer. Her deadline was up in just 48 hours.

‘Do you know what will happen to you if you fail to complete the test? Nobody outside of the SCS is allowed to know anything about us.’ Saul’s voice was low and gruff. Serenity could hear the suppressed aggression in it, despite Saul’s efforts to mask it.

‘I am well aware what failure means Saul. They’ll kill me.’ Serenity looked down at the floor as Saul spun to face her.

‘Then what the hell are you doing? You have just 2 days left Sere and you haven’t even submitted a target to HQ. How on earth are you going to satisfy all the criteria necessary for an assassination within 48 bloody hours? How?

‘Within your lifetime you have walked past thirty-six murderers. That’s a lot for someone so young. They have gone on to kill people. Innocent people. You have been trained to save lives, Sere. Think of all those girls out there like you who could one day walk in their front door to find their parents dead. You can prevent that from happening. Can you honestly say that you don’t want to prevent someone else going through what you went through? Well?’ Saul had paced over to stand before Serenity towering over her. She could see the tightness of the muscles in his arms as he fought to control his temper. She was his protégé, his project, and she was letting him down.

Serenity slipped a dagger from her sleeve and in a blink of an eye it was buried in Saul’s chest, puncturing a lung. Serenity finally looked up into his eyes as he staggered backwards, his eyes wide as he looked from her, down to the dagger in his chest, and back to her again.

‘I decided six months ago that my first kill would be the most important, Saul. I would pass my test by killing the person who murdered my parents. I knew I would find them, but I never imagined it would be you. Killing innocent people just to recruit their children into the cause? Why would you do that? It doesn’t matter. HQ approved my target and evidence. You can’t be allowed to destroy any more innocent lives.’

Serenity reached under the table and brought out an axe, which she spun and slammed into Saul’s chest. When his tortured breaths rattled between his lips no more, She threw some petrol around the kitchen and lit a few candles. As she walked away, she fished out her phone and hit speed dial. When the call connected she spoke just two words.

‘Its done.’

Image from http://www.freaksugar.com

The Captive

I’m just about to flip the indicator to turn into my office car park when something sharp digs into my side and a deep voice murmers in my ear.

“Keep drivin’ bitch or I’ll open you up right ‘ere, right now.”

I wince and shy away from the knife pressed to my side, clenching the steering wheel tightly.

“Take the M1 towards Northampton and keep your damned mouth shut. That clear?”

I nod jerkily as I make my way towards the motorway. My mind is spinning with a million questions. What does he want? Where are we going? Am I going to survive this? His breath is hot against my cheek but I just put all my effort into driving.

Once we get out onto the M1 he relaxes slightly. He orders me off the M1 and on towards Northampton, but then at the last second forces me out into the surrounding countryside. I look helplessly at the emptiness as he directs me up a small overgrown mud track. My chances of getting out of here are rapidly shrinking and my control on my fear and panic begins to slip. I scowl angrily at myself as a tear slides out of the corner of my eye.

I pull up next to this group of buildings and people stream out of various doors, surround the car. My shoulders slump as they greet my captor with claps on the back and hugs. My jaw drops when I realise they aren’t all men. A handful of them kiss him passionately, not seeming to mind when he fondles each one in turn. I sit silently in the car, hoping they forget about me so I can leave. My hopes are dashed when he opens my car door and hauls me out, shouting to be heard over the clamour.

“I will take this woman as my thirteenth wife. Make preparations!”

He drags me towards the largest building, the other women in tow, as all the men disperse, chattering and talking. We pass a huge room covered in mattresses on the floor and I’m shoved into a tiny room next door with big bolts on the outside. My captor looks me over with two women draped over him, making my flesh crawl.

“Once I have had my fill of my other wives it will be your turn. Get ready.” As he turns to leave, one of the women slips a knife from a sheath strapped to her thigh and drops it, carefully, behind the door.

Days later the grunts and moans slow next door and he swaggers into my tiny cell. I don’t hesitate and plunge the knife as deep as I can, dodging around him out to freedom….

…and straight into the crowds of people there to ‘witness the marriage.’ The stunned silence deafens me as I stand before them, their master’s blood on my hands. My eyes widen as one by one they drop to their knees, prostrating before me, each one mumbling.

“Mistress.”

Healing

When old Mrs Bishop passed away in her house two doors down from me, a surprising number of ladies appeared in our tiny village. They claimed to be here for the funeral of their “poor friend Sarah” but they could be heard gossiping and cackling with laughter all the way up the street in the days before the service. None of them seemed particularly upset at her passing and I had never seen any of them before in my life. Mrs Bishop had taken me under her wing when I was just seven. I spent every day after school in her house while the doctors and my father attended to my sick mother. She taught me about gardening and how different plants and herbs could be used for healing. My father called it “alternative medicine nonsense” but my mother took comfort in the gifts I brought home and it kept me out of the way of the carers that surrounded my mother’s bedside.

My mother passed away when I was twelve, and my father sent me to live with Mrs Bishop for a few years. He had always been a hands-on dad, but I was approaching puberty and he had no clue how to deal with me. Whilst living with Mrs Bishop she taught me the importance of being a woman, how to meditate and clear my mind, and how to make my own candles. She would put herbs or scented oils in them and taught me which scents would help with relaxation, focus, calming and energising. I found it all fascinating.

When I was sixteen I moved back in with my father. He expected me to take on the cooking and cleaning in the house, so I found myself unable to spend much time with Mrs Bishop. I missed her company. Strange things reminded me of her; cabbage, for instance. I would be in the kitchen preparing dinner for my father and I would hear her voice in my head.

“Cabbage is important for your diet, child. It will help prevent you getting sick like your mother.”

I was twenty five when she passed. The funeral was a quiet affair. I attended on my own; my father was too ill to go too. After the funeral, there was a reading of the will. I wasn’t going to go but I was asked to attend. All the strange ladies were very attentive. My attention was caught when I heard my name.

“To Miss Maria Bradbury, I leave my house, garden, money, and all of my possessions, on the understanding that she will take on my precious healing work. I also leave her my most prized possession: My walking staff”

The ladies in the room hissed in shock and glared at me as I accepted the staff from a man stood before me. An almost painful tingle spread from my hands through my whole body. As I trembled with shock, an old woman turned to me.

“Welcome to the Coven, Witch”