The Scarred Goddess Chapter 3

Fiction By Bridget // 4/15/2009

You mustn’t think I had forgotten about Shifa. Do you remember that I didn’t see her die? I wanted to find her. I wasn’t sure if she was dead or alive, but I promised myself that soon I would find out.

Lalata was not yet dead, but neither was she recovering. Liuna began to prepare the mourning cloths, but they were kept out of the way, to keep from frightening Lalata. Poor child, she did not understand that she was dying, only that she was very sick. More than once she asked her mother if they could go down to the shore once she was well. Liuna would nod and say, yes, they certainly would, but she would walk away with tears in her eyes.

After that outburst, Finde never cried again. He often left the house for days at a time. No one knew where he went, and no one asked for fear he would cry again. An adolescent boy sobbing his heart out is not a sight one often sees, and once you have seen it, you will wish never to see it again. It is truly heartbreaking, for those of us who still have hearts, as I did then.

My curiosity overwhelmed me. I, along with everyone else, kept silent my wonderings of his wanderings. I could contain it only so long, however, and one morning I sneaked outside about thirty paces behind him. He led me in complicated tangles of paths through the city, winding left at this house, turning right at that merchant’s stand. Finally he ducked out the city gates, somehow managing to avoid the guards that watched there.

I had trouble getting past them, but I managed it in the end. I ended up nearly twice as far behind him as when I had started out. I ran on the tips of my toes to catch up to where I had been. I had always been a fast runner. Back when the gods had been at peace, the other children and I would have races, and I would always win. I was rather proud of myself for that. These thoughts passed through my head as I ran.

It reminded me of my lost friends. Actually, I didn’t know if they were dead; I merely knew that it was likely that we would never meet again. I thought of Coife, my closest friend, and Joyle, the boy I had once found so handsome.

In a way, Finde reminded me of him. The same wild, tangled red hair, the same straight nose, and the same fearlessness that both showed no matter what the occasion.

You may think that Finde was not very brave, but in truth he was. Even now, I do not know how to give a name to bravery; I simply know that he had it.

However, I distract you from the moment at hand. The way Finde had chosen led up the hill towards the woods I had hidden in nearly five months ago. I was wary of returning; I was not sure the memories would leave me alone. They did not. That patch of ground where I had dug up the heona root, this tree where I had often slept against because it was tilted just so towards the ground. All of them flooded back as if to break my heart. Still I followed.

He walked and I followed for a while; an hour or two, I suppose. At the edge of the wood, he stopped. He sat on the spongy ground. I couldn’t look; he was right next to the place where my mother had died. Had been killed. I didn’t want to know whether her body was still there.

He sat there for nigh half hour before he abruptly stood up and turned around. It seemed silly to walk for hours to sit and stare at – I didn’t want to know what it was that he was looking at – for a half hour.

I was hidden behind a tree ten feet away from him, but luckily he didn’t come my way. My face and body were pressed into the birch. I waited until the crackling of dead branches was no longer audible. Then I slowly drew away from the birch and holding my breath, looked at the scene before me.

The bodies had been cleared away, although who had done it was impossible to know. I moved a little closer, until the trees no longer brushed past my head. There was matted blood on the ground. The though that some of it might be my mothers and perhaps my little sisters made me sick. Other than that, the hill looked peaceful, as it had always been.

I followed him more than once in the week to come. The journey seemed to rest his heart as going to the sea rested mine. He never once knew that I followed him. One day he started coughing, and the whole house was in a flurry of motion, and Liuna worried over him terribly, but the next day he was back to normal.

He seemed bitter that he got better while Lalata did not. He worried over her terribly. One day, when he went on his daily trip to the hill, he did not stop at the edge of the woods. He climbed the hill, up to the gates of the courtyard we had lived in, months ago, a lifetime ago.

He wandered around in the room where my father had ruled. At that moment it hit me that I wasn’t sure what had happened to him. I had simply taken it for granted that he was dead somehow. I felt terribly guilty for that.

But, then, what else could have happened to him? He may not have been especially wise (here I felt guilty again for thinking such a thing), but he was by no means a coward. If he were alive, he would not sit around hiding. He would be a prisoner in Mahye’s household, or he would be here, or he would be dead. That meant his chances were not good, since he was plainly not here. He might as well have been dead as been in Mahye’s house. Surely he would not let him live.

Finde didn’t sit down at all this time. He walked down the corridors and through the rooms with a thoroughness that would have made me think he was just an ordinary boy, exploring, but that he showed no interest in anything.
Dust lay over everything. Even if all the gods and goddesses were dead, shouldn’t there be somebody here? A servant or two? The place was dead. Empty.

I felt lonely and almost cold as I looked. Finde didn’t seem to notice the emptiness. He kept wandering about. I gave up following him; he would come back eventually. I wanted to see my old room. There would be memories there, but I needed to be in it just for a little while. Just so I could be around the familiar comforting smell.

As I turned the corner I gasped. This couldn’t be my room. It had been turned upside down, ransacked, torn apart beyond all repair. I couldn’t bear it. I went through my room in a wild frenzy, ripping this rug away from that lamp, trying to find something from my old life. Every precious thing I had owned was broken or stolen. Tears were running down my cheeks as I flew around. Even my bed was broken down the middle. The rich embroidered quilt that had covered me so many nights was gone. I flung myself across the crack and screamed. Sobs racked my chest; I could hardly breathe.

Everything I knew was gone. There was no possible way to bring them back. Mother and Thosu were dead, killed before my eyes. Father was dead or captured. Shifa – I couldn’t even think of her. She was gone, lost. My home was devastated, Lalata was dying. There would be nothing left for me soon.

Finde was gone by the time I had recovered enough to tear myself away from my old room. I was glad he hadn’t heard my scream. I walked back, stopping on the way to pick up some fruit so that my journey wouldn’t be entirely wasted.

Lalata was worse when I got back, if that could be imagined. The small cough had turned into great, hacking, wretched sounds that seemed to come from someplace other than her throat. Her whole body shook with them. She often sobbed in the middle of a coughing fit, frightened of what was happening. With red eyes, wet cheeks, and shaking, convulsing body, she was a pitiful sight.

That night, in one of the rare times when she was not choking and coughing, she asked me to bring Finde. I hid away in a corner after I had brought him. It seemed as if I did a lot of hiding. It was hard to hear what she said, but I could see Finde shaking his head and telling her he didn’t know. She started crying softly, and she threw her thin, pale arms around her brother’s neck. He hugged her back, and for a while sister and brother sobbed in each other’s arms.

The next morning I woke up to a shriek. Mante stood holding his wife in his arms, and she was weeping. My heart stopped. I rushed to the room where Lalata had been sleeping. The sheet was pulled all the way up, covering a small body. Lalata’s body. Sweet, darling Lalata, who was so trusting. Who had such sunny blue eyes. She had died during the night.

She was dead. Utterly and completely dead. I had only known her a few months, but I lay my head down next to her and let the tears fall. There were many.

Finde woke up a little later, as did the rest of the children. While they cried loudly, Finde sat down next to me with a look of anguished pain. Two lone tears made their way down his cheeks. Slowly, he laid his cheek down upon the bedspread and closed his eyes.

Comments

You killed

You killed her.....
*sniffs*
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"I wish I could fly, like dandelion seeds
Following currents, floating in the wind
Leaving behind the old and tormented
Seeking a place to start anew
I wish I could fly like dandelion seeds..."
~Unknown

Sarah | Wed, 04/15/2009

"Sometimes even to live is courage."
-Seneca

Blogging away!
busyscribbler.wordpress.com

I'm sorry! I originally

I'm sorry! I originally intended to have her miraculously recover, but I wrote it as an experiment and it just fit so well. I miss her too. I'm really, really sorry, but I can't bring her back.

"Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway." - John Wayne

Bridget | Wed, 04/15/2009

"I always wonder why birds stay in the same place when they can fly anywhere on the earth. Then I ask myself the same question." - Harun Yahya

Och!

How could you kill that poor little thing?!?!? Write more soon :)
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"It's King Edmund, actually. Just King though. Peter's the High King. I know, it's confusing."--Edmund Pevensie

Ariel | Wed, 04/15/2009

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"To produce a mighty book, you must choose a mighty theme. No great and enduring volume can ever be written on the flea, though many there be that have tried it." -- Herman Melville

I didn't want to! I wanted

I didn't want to! I wanted her to live, but she just died; I couldn't stop it!

"Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway." - John Wayne

Bridget | Wed, 04/15/2009

"I always wonder why birds stay in the same place when they can fly anywhere on the earth. Then I ask myself the same question." - Harun Yahya

Well, I know what it's like

Well, I know what it's like to have your characters just up and die, so I sympathize... But that does not let you off the hook!!
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I'm lost. I've gone to look for myself. If I should return before I get back, please tell me to wait.

Anna | Thu, 04/16/2009

I have hated the words and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right. --The Book Thief

It's not like I can bring

It's not like I can bring her back to life. Sorry! Does this mean you didn't like this chapter?

"Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway." - John Wayne

Bridget | Thu, 04/16/2009

"I always wonder why birds stay in the same place when they can fly anywhere on the earth. Then I ask myself the same question." - Harun Yahya

Well, I mean, you killed

Well, I mean, you killed someone. That doesn't exactly put it in my favorites. But I'm not giving up on the story. ;)

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I'm lost. I've gone to look for myself. If I should return before I get back, please tell me to wait.

Anna | Thu, 04/16/2009

I have hated the words and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right. --The Book Thief

This is basically about a

This is basically about a goddess who is bitter, and this is a story of how she became that way. Besides, my characters die so easily. I don't think any of the main ones will die for a while, however.

"Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway." - John Wayne

Bridget | Thu, 04/16/2009

"I always wonder why birds stay in the same place when they can fly anywhere on the earth. Then I ask myself the same question." - Harun Yahya

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