Azura The Key
Chapter One: Half Breed
Fear the darkness.
Revere the gods for they know best.
These three rules ensured that we stayed safe and saw the next day. These rules were passed from the gods to the ancestors and down multiple generations too numerous to count. They were as old as my village and these same rules seemed like part of a fable. The remnants of a forgotten people who once walked this earth.
The village diviner had one important job amongst their other duties; they were supposed to make sure that no one forgot and that the rules weren broken. In the event that they were broken then there were punishments and sacrifices to be carried out for the cleansing of the land and appeasement of the angered gods. But what happens when a diviner breaks these rules or a rule that did not exist.
My mother was a diviner just like her mother before her. My mother desperately longed for a child, it did not matter if it was paralysed or healthy. She just wanted a child bom of her own flesh. My grandmother was lucky enough to have had my mother before she was appointed as a diviner because in a normal setting, diviners were supposed to raise the child anointed by the gods as their own child rather than conceiving children by themselves.
My grandmother was the only diviner appointed by the gods who wasn a virgin Sometimes I wonder if this singular reason could be responsible for how my mother turned out and why she decided to rewrite her story.
The circumstances surrounding being conceived and my birth are as strange as they are abominable. Like I said earlier, I am not normal and not just because I possess my mothers memories. Memories which were not passed down from mother to child through word of mouth but rather I came into this world armed with them. I have had these memories since the night I was conceived.
My mothers desperate need to have a child drove her mad and made her fearless.
The diviners hut is filled with effigies of gods and symbolic chalk markings on the walls of the hut. The floor of the diviners hut was littered with chicken feathers and splotches of blood and right at the centre of it all sat the diviner.
She is a light skinned woman with intricate chalk markings covering every inch of exposed skin on the left side of her body. She is dressed in a white full- length wrapper with a single waist bead carrying a turtle shell. The left side of her face is also decorated with white chalk markings.
Before her is a circle drawn in chalk with a labyrinth of symbols within it, the symbols are written in blood and at the centre of it is a pile of bloody chicken feathers, chicken entrails and two severed index fingers. After assembling everything, she began chanting.
”A child I want, a child you can give. A piece of me I offer as a gift, take it and grant my wish. ” What had started out as a low whisper slowly increased until she was screaming at the top of her voice.
”A CHILD I WANT, A CHILD YOU CAN GIVE! A PIECE OF ME I OFFER AS A GIFT, TAKE IT AND GRANT MY WISH! ” Then her voice dropped until it was just a mere whisper again.
This went on until the circle and bloody symbols started to give off a bluish glow then she picked up a dagger and then sliced her palm open with it. Blood dripped onto sacrifice from her outstretched hand and then she rubbed the bloody palm on the left side of her face. Suddenly, she was not alone in the room anymore; shadows were cast by the lamp which began to length and take strange shapes.
A flash of blue light erupted from the circle. The light knocked the diviner out and her waist bead cut.
A huge shadowy creature came up from the circle and released a loud grotesque shriek.
I caused the domestic animals to break free and flee. Some ran in to the village square where they frothed at the mouth and died whilst others ran into the forest.
The figure took shape and spoke ”Finally, after centuries of being under the control of the gods. Subject to their whims and treated as mere servants. Finally, our time is here! ” It hovered over the unconscious diviner smiling while touching her cheek and stomach. It squeezed her jaw open and spat a little blue pebble into her mouth, she subconsciously swallowed and her stomach glowed blue around where its hand was. It rose up and threw its head back in laughter then it stopped as abruptly as it started.
It spoke again ”Soon my little pebble will be bor and Ill come back for it, but only when it has reached its peak. Then the gods would be fully under my control forever. ” Then it retreated back into the circle and took the oddly shaped shadows with it.
As the diviner came to, she noticed something in the flickering light of the oil lamp; the last of the shadows were slowly retreating back into the earth.
She rubbed her stomach whilst smiling. The circle still lay before her but consisted of only ashes with smoke coming out of it. She felt around her waist for her waist bead but saw that it lay in pieces on the floor then she stared at her palm where she had made an incision and saw a mark that resembled a branding; the deed was done.
She threw her head back and laughed ”Who said that destinies cannot be rewritten? ”
She walked into the inner room and came out armed with her belongings stuffed into 2 large raffia bags. She left in the cover of the night, she knew sticking around till morning would be very foolish and a suicide mission.
Animals always know when something is wrong.
The moment the ritual started, all animals got tensed up, wild and domestic alike; fur standing up, hackles raised, chickens squawking loudly in their coops and dogs whining. As the flash of bright light appeared, the animal frenzy increased. The light disappeared and everywhere was quiet, animals had fled. Every living creature in the forest and livestock that did not die as well had disappeared , even the most loyal of all creatures too; the dogs.
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