A Friend's Sacrifice (part c)

From the Story Arc: A Sistah's Burden

Previous Story in the Arc: A Friend's Sacrifice (part b) by Gaia's Soldier (Tuesday, August 30, 2005)

Next Story in the Arc: A Friend's Sacrifice (part d) by Gaia's Soldier (Friday, September 02, 2005)

(posted Tuesday, August 30, 2005)

This high up the wind was icy. The slender woman pulled her heavy black cloak tight around her body. She bared herself against the chill that crept under her hood and stung her face. This was not the most comfortable place for communion, but it was private and there was little chance of interruption. Sister Hecate was not certain the reason for the ancestors’ call tonight, but she wasted little time arriving to a good spot to answer it.

It took a great deal of concentration to sit on the hard ground in perfect stillness while the cold made her skin feel numb. It took even more to still her mind, which raced with the worries of what she must do. Even the most experienced magi would find this task a challenge. Hecate had spent most of the day trying to get Aura to allow her to have another magi in attendance, but the woman could be quite stubborn. It was for this reason she was thankful the call came when it did. Hecate had made a choice. A choice to save a friend if she could. A choice that would change everything. Perhaps she could draw on their power as well, their knowledge. If the ancestors were willing…

The other world came into view. The void was gray today. The voices silent. Hecate shivered even though she could no longer feel the wind. “I am here.” Silence answered her. This had never happened before. They had never left her alone here. Something was wrong. “Hello?”

After several moments a voice could be heard, but it was far away, echoing. “You are late child.”

“I had to find a place where we would not be interrupted. What has happened here? Where are the others?”

“Nothing for you to be concerned about, Little One. We are handling it. From what we have seen you have enough of your own problems to be worried about. First that message from Belladonna Aura about this Uncle Joe fellow and now Gaia Solder’s little problem.”

Hecate frowned. “It is not a little problem to her.”

“Of course not.” The tone was surprisingly condescending. “So you plan on a transference. Fine idea. I believe the works of Hemmanestra and Fellinaras both mention such a thing in detail. You should start there.”

“Yes, I know. I was hoping… Well I was hoping you and the other ancestors might be willing to assist me...”

“Oh, you’ll be fine, Little Magi. We have so many more pressing matters to attend to here. The life of one mortal is far too trivial for our time currently. You’ll do fine. We have taught you well.”

Hecate was trying not to become angry. Her guides had never been so callous before. “If you all are unable to help me perhaps I should find others of the craft to assists…”

The spirit cut her off sharply. “No. No. The ritual is a private one. Your friend would not want anyone to know of her embarrassment, would she? The living are so sensitive about such things. Besides, they might try to stop you from taking on your friend’s burden. The groundlings are so quick to fear what they do not understand.” The voice cooed soothingly. “You should know that above all. Even your friends look upon you with fear…”

“They do not!”

“Oh, Little Hecate. They do. That is why you are alone. Alone that is until they have need of you. When have you been invited to a party?”

“Never…”

“Or out to the beach with a group of them for a day of games and fun?”

“Never…”

“And what man has even been able to look past his own fear enough to even ask you on a date.”

Hecate whispered. “None.”

“It is alright, Little One. You will always have us. Go run along and help your friends. They depend on you for theses things. We know how much you like to be needed. We will handle things here.”

“But, you called me…”

“No. No. Must have been a mistake. No one called for you.”

Hecate was shocked by the suddenness of her return. The icy wind once again chilled her and she shivered harder then ever, though only partially from the weather. Something was very wrong in the outer realm. Why hadn’t the others come to greet her? Why had she felt the call if none had been sent?

She made her way back down to the city. Hecate could see the lights of the houses below. Families. What did they do, she often wondered. Did they talk and laugh sharing the details of what had occurred in their day? Did they yell and scream, ears closed to reason in their indignation? Did the love each other even when the city around them fell into madness? Sometimes she hated them for the blissful ignorance they shared. Peace she would never have.