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Rated: 13+ · Short Story · Fantasy · #1939634
A daughter craves to dance in the fire's of summer. 6/21 prompt of Writer's cramp
Word count 2144

Summer's Festival Denied

The courtyard was awash with the chatter of gleeful nobles as they waited their turn to bestow, upon the crown, their gifts to help celebrate the summer's festival of the sun. Each careful to bow or curtsey showing their reverence to the three meter tall, golden statue of Isistee, the Sun Goddess of Novatus and only daughter of Sul, the life giver. With her pleasing, all were promised a bountiful year. Not even the King would dare to deny her power over the land.

Just behind the king’s thrown. In the hall that led to the court from royal quarters. A stately priest in long robes of red silk, covered in silver filigree, stood barring the way of a red haired girl.

“Yes, it is right that we give Isistee praise, and show her our love,” said the priest to the girl before him.

“I am old enough to attend. My maids are permitted.”

“The festival is not for the young, nor the innocent. Its rituals demand that all who attend give into the spirit of the sowing; all must obey whatever the Goddess commands, even if it is to give themselves openly to the possessed. Their dementia is the will of the Goddess. Their passion is the result of her fiery lust for us; their obedience proves to Isistee that we are thankful for her fathers blessing our world with his warmth and light. That aside, your father decrees that this night, you must stay within the palace keep. You are to remain pure.”     

“But I thought that was the purpose of these fancy painted masks worn by everyone. Are they not to protect the fame of those in the fires light?" The girl pulled the colorful ceramic face from the top of her head to cover her face. "See, how are the whispers of the heretics to harm me if they do not know who I am,” said the girl?

The priest looked down at the girl longingly, “I agree that it is shameful you are forbidden to share your gifts with the spirits of Isistee. But it is not I who does so; it is your father who commands this. He is the one who declares you too young to attend.”

“I don’t need his, yours or anyone else’s permission; I am a woman grown. You will see, you will see ... I swear it!” Katra turned and ran down the hall for the stairs that led to the upper chambers.

Katra shut the door to her bedchamber and swung the locking bar across it. At her fireplace, she released the hidden latch to the secret passage, after passing through the hidden doorway, she closed it behind her.

She struck a sulfur match and used it to light a torch. "Ingrates, the lot of them! What rights have they to say I am too young for the Trios-Sol. I am a maiden fair ... does my blood's blossoming not give me the right to attend the summer festival?" she said as if she spoke to the flames of her torch.

Katra moved quickly through the tunnel, at its end she descended the circling steps until she reached a room with only one iron door. From around her neck, she removed a gold chain and pulled the pendant at its end from the inside of her dress. She placed the gold amulet into a recess that matched its shape in the center of the door and turned the mechanism until she heard the lock release. On the other side of the door, she had to bend over to move beyond the low ceiling. At the far end of this secret passage, there was a small break in the stone wall through which she slipped.

On the other side she stood up, now she was in a larger cave its roof four-meters above her. It was dark and held a foreboding emptiness. There was nothing to give any sense of direction nor that any living thing had ever been there, save for a pile of stone that looked much like a broken table. Next to those stones, on the floor, lay the dried bones of long dead men, with their rusted armor and old weapons surrounding them.  Katra held the torch above her head, trying to see the far side of the cave. She looked to the corner, where the opening to the outside world should be, but instead of a doorway there laid a mountain of bluish-green rock.

"Oh No!" She said, "How is it you are here? Move at once, I wish to pass."

The cave remained unchanged, the only sound or movement in the dark was the fog of her breath in the cool dank room of black stone.

"I said awaken, you great lout. I need to pass."

Again, nothing happened. Katra picked up a fist-sized rock and threw it at the pile of stones before her.

"Do not ignore me; I am Princess Katra De'Bacle, first-born of Nitas! I command you to move!"

At the top of the rock pile, a stone rumbled, turned, and upon it a face appeared. A set of eyelids opened, and glowing pits of lime-fired coal peered at the girl.

A very slow, deep, methodical voice said, "The way is closed."

"Closed? Did you not hear me; do you know the pain you will suffer should you disobey?" And Katra's foot stomped the hard packed floor.

"I am the gate, set by the shaman, by his voice alone I may move," said the stone face.

"Melliferous ... you idiot, you know damn well who I am, I have no time for your games. Move aside so that I may pass!"

"The daughter of the shaman ... is not human ... she is Satyr," said the giant elemental creature as he rolled into a sitting position before the girl.

"Yes, I am Satyr, but here, in this world, by his command, I wear the guise of a human. You oaf! Ugh ... why are you doing this?"

"The way is closed." The elemental said, once again.

"Okay, you demand proof … then you shall have it."

Katra sat on a nearby boulder, removed her boots, then took off and folded her dress carefully setting it on top of her suede footwear. From her pack, she retrieved a vial of dark red liquid.

As she returned to the spot before the stone guardian, she yelled at him. "Behold, I give you your proof," the vial of liquid touched her lips, and she drank from it. In violent convulsions, she twisted in a corrupt dance of pain.

From the pits beneath her arms, a second set of clawed hands burst out through her skin, on long, muscled arms. Her soft pink skin inked into dark gray leather stretched over taught bulky muscle. Katrina's fire-red hair now raced from poll to the withers, which were once her shoulder. Her hair, now turned fur, formed a thick, wiry mane the same as any great savanna lion.

Two bulbous knots rose on her forehead, and from them emerged long, pointed horns that curved over the top of her head. She rose up on tiptoe, her heels disappearing into fetlock as her hips and legs grew three times their length and thickness. Her dainty feet took on the shape of the cloven-hoofed Capra of Hell's deepest hollows.

Before the pile of belligerent stone, no longer stood a female human child, no infant would ever nurse from her breast of plated muscle. Before, the rock guardian was a full-grown female Satyr of Sheol.

Through canine fangs, a rasping-guttural voice spoke. "Shall we test whose commands you will obey?"

From the pile of dusty bones, armor, and weapons, the demonic creature picked up scimitar swords taking one in each of her four hands. Without warning, she let loose her anger upon the stone creature that sat blocking her path to the outside world.

A rain of spark showered in every direction. She screamed curses as she slashed and hacked at the earthen foe before her. The ringing of tempered steel hitting upon hard stone sung out in repeating echoes to compete with her angry voice. Katra's weapons flayed upon the body of Melliferous for thirty full minutes. Her murderous work showed at his every joint, and covered every square centimeter of his body's surface. The lava of his molten blood oozed from his body with a slow crawl, but as soon it cooled it looked no different from any other spot on his massive stone physique.

Melliferous said. "The way is closed, but if you require still more exercise, I will be pleased to endure your efforts as long as you need."

Frustrated, Hell's spawned daughter straddled the ridge of rock leg beside her; she squatted low and let loose her bladder. The stream of steamy rain ran over the stones and formed a puddle beneath the elemental's hip.

"Oh thank you, Mistress, it has been most dry here."

Exhausted, Katra screamed once more, she thrust out her arms, tipped her head back and cried out another curse. She let her swords fall to the ground with a loud clatter and collapsed on the elemental's stomach. In frustration she wept as her arms moved to lay outstretched as if to embrace the stone creature.

"I just want to go to the festival." said the Katra

"Rest Princess, why do you break yourself upon me?" Said the elemental.

"Why do you deny me ...  I am at best what you have made me. Do you no longer care for me? You above all else should understand my needs?"

"Yes my Princess, I understand that patience is not the virtue of flesh."

Melliferous reached out and stroked her thick mane. He laid his massive hand over her, encasing Katra as if a meter thick stone blanket covered her.

A sensation of safety consumed Katra as she felt the grasp of Melliferous surround her. She could not remember the last time she had laid on his warm body. Although, she knew she was much younger then. His sulfurous scent was calming to her as was the radiating heat of his body. She closed her eyes and fell fast asleep.

Hours passed before anything moved in the cave.  From a crack in the wall, a snake of lava squirmed out and across the cave floor. It stopped beside the elemental and forced its head into a crease in the stone monster's side. It was absorbed as if it were water into a sponge. The grand elemental once more opened his eyes to look upon his young ward.

Lying across his body Katra's skin had turned an opaque orange and red. Below its surface, her flesh flickered and danced as a raging of fire. Melliferous removed his hand; he nudged with care at the satyr on his stomach.

"Mistress now is our time; Sol has returned to the sky. The Shaman commands the way cleared. "

Katra opened her eyes.” It’s too late, it's over, and I missed the festival again. Damn you ... and father! I am old enough to choose for myself."

She moved away from the only creature she had ever known to truly care for her and stood before him. Why can I not hate him, I want to hate him?

She let out a great sigh and took up a new vial from her pack. In this one, a brilliant azure liquid, and she pressed it to her lips. In the glow of torchlight, she began to contort in pain once more, until she was, again, a freckled faced, red-haired, human girl of fifteen summers. She dressed, put on her boots and then her backpack.

"I despise this form! You have robbed me of my coming out. I had planned to dance naked in their fires and to emerge as their new goddess, a queen to be showered in their adoration or bathed their blood. You have robbed me!"

"Your father, commands that you be unsullied by the humans, and we must obey the shaman."

Katra walked away from the immense rumbling rock pile, back toward the passage from which she came.

Before leaving the cave, she turned and said, "Melliferous know this! He has no sons. When he is gone, and the Scepter is mine and I rule in his stead. I am going to have you taken to the middle of the ocean, over the Icker Abyss, and there, thrown in. You will lay in its silent darkness with the weight of a thousand leagues of seawater crushing you to the ocean floor, and there you will stay for eternity."

"Oh, thank you, mistress, it sounds quite peaceful, no more will the noises of spoiled children thunder in my ears. I shall look forward to your reign."
© Copyright 2013 Life's a Beach... says Joey C (iamjoeyc at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
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