Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Excerpt from "GODDESS OF WAR"

Gospel of the Goddess
Book I (i)

In the beginning was the Word and the Word was War.
I am the first Disciple, the Dark One, the Follower in the Shadows, and I heard the Holy Words of the Goddess from Her very lips; from Her Dreams I drank the Gospel, the Revelation and the Prophecy.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was Woe.
Even Gods are born, for such is the Fate of all speaking things. 
The Goddess was born as her father's only child: An odd, embarrassing, and peculiar child; but his heir, none the less. They named Her Hilary, a name of honour in the family. The name She would bear in Her human life, the name destined for a beloved daughter, a once much desired and longed for daughter. (ii)

Hilary had been born in a welter of dark blood, a presage to her future. She had been born on the exhalation of her Mother’s dying breath - a tragedy that was common, prosaic and fitting; for childbirth is ever women’s battlefield, and yet none gather from it honour or recognition of valour.

She was born to the wretched screams of her father's pain, her mother having fallen into the stuporous silence of the death-sleep.
Her blueish infant flesh was laved by indifferent hands; she was warmed and declared likely to live and handed to a woman whose only qualification for nurture was the copious outpouring of her breasts.

Of sensibility or tenderness of feeling for the new-born she held this woman laid no claim. She proffered her nipple to the eager mouth with a wince of distaste, and a turning away of her face. The avidity of the child's noisy suckling in that chamber of death disgusted her; the starfish clutch of the minute hands on her flesh repulsed her. She found the child's pallid translucid skin, the virulent red of the fuzz covering the pulsing skull repellent. This was a changeling, surely: Born in blood, destined for pain.

Thus was Hilary welcomed into the world, and this was the loving embrace into human society that Fate and circumstance reserved for her.

Deprived of love - the natural and necessary aliment for every soul - none the less, Hilary thrived. Healthy and stubborn as a weed she grew at an unprecedented rate, and in an era when children died with monotonous and distressing regularity for the slightest of complaints, she was hardy and husky. Strength of limb and lungs assured her of all the necessities that can be guaranteed by ferocity and vociferous complaint.

She grew, she walked and sooner than expected - she spoke.
As the only female in a household of men, Hilary was treated at times as a male, at others with a clumsy confusing deference to her female condition so at odds with her physicality and her personality as to verge on cruelest mockery.

At the age of four she was aggressive, unlovely and unloving. At four she had been aware she was a killer, had cringed in her bed while a drunken man with her father's face screamed at her, screamed and cried, tears and snot combined to soak into his mustache.

“She died, my love died...And what did I get for it? What did I get? You killed her, you little monster! Why didn't you die? Why didn't you die?” He had nearly fallen, clutched at one of the bedposts, stood swaying, and staring down at her. Then he cried out, “Helen!” he bent over, vomited at the feet of her bed, fell. Hilary had inched down to see him sprawled there, his white shirt soiled and crumpled. “Helen...Helen...I am so sorry...Helen...”

Yes, she had been a killer. The next day she had gone down through the kitchen, to where the cook's tabby nursed her kittens, and taken one. She took the kitten out to the broad back lawn, down to the pond, and held it under the water until it drowned. It didn't take long, and it wasn't hard.

She had sat and sucked at one of the long scratches on her hand inflicted by the tabby, and watched the little striped thing float away. 

She was a killer, she had killed her mother, she had killed her father's heart, now she had killed a tabby's kit. And it felt alright. It felt peaceful, sitting by the water watching death, and being alive.

Manuela Cardiga

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