When humans were created and flung to the far reaches of the world, one woman struggled to find the second half of her soul. Alone and desperate, she made a decision that would echo through the ages.
Beginning of Time - Phoena
“My love where are you?” The breeze carries the lonely cry of a female, Phoena. Alone and scared she looks for her mate, her protector. Walking during the day and hiding at night Phoena cried to the gods for help but there is no answer. One day as she walks, looking for her love, she comes to an oasis. A lake surrounded by lush green grass. Animals of every kind are running and playing together. Sitting down Phoena dries her tears and decides to make this place her home. Soon she forgets about her love, her mate, and the animals become her companions. She starts to meditate and learn to become intoned to nature and to the small changes it brings.
As she sits meditating one day she hears a noise and looks up. Across the lake a woman stands holding a small child and coming up behind her is a man. The man is Phoena’s beloved. Quickly cloaking herself she hides and watches as this family sets up their camp eats and beds down for the night.
Tears of hate form in Phoena eyes and she comes up with a plan. When the sun goes down and everyone is sleeping Phoena changes her appearance, switches places with the woman beside her beloved. That night they make love and before morning Phoena switches back and watches as they break camp and fade into the foggy early morning. Nine months later Phoena is gifted with a cute little girl and a visit from a goddess.
“You have tricked your mate. You have taken what he should have freely given. From this moment on, any born of your bloodline will never know peace. They will see the past, live in the present and tell the future. One female will be born each generation. They will never know their fated mate yet he will give up his soul in order for their child to be born. Because of your betrayal no female, of your bloodline, will live to see her child grow.” Waving her hands the goddess encloses the oasis and hides it from the view of man, a place outside of the world dimension. Bending down the goddess takes the dirt from the ground and blesses it before forming seven females and blowing life into them. “As one you will be the watchers. Guarding the seer, guiding her, help her to become more powerful. As one you are bound to this place. Never to leave it. Never to know the touch of another.” Slowly, by the will of the goddess, a large building starts to rise out of the ground. Seven pillars hold it up. “This will be the home of the seer and her watchers.” A large fire pit appears a few feet from the doorway. “This fire shall never go out. Lighting the way for those in need.” Glancing at Phoena the goddess smiles. “A child is a gift to the world. Your actions have cursed it to never know love. May you find peace in the next cycle. As I have spoken it has been done.” With a clap of thunder the goddess disappear and Phoena is left to birth her daughter knowing she will be unable hold and love her like she wants to.
Centuries Later - Idola
“I wish I had never been born.” Idola sits down at the foot of her mother's gravesite and cries. She has lived under the constant eye of the seven from the moment she came to be and she hates it. They always make her meditate and practice her magic but as a child all she wants to do is play. “Why did you have to leave me mama? Why?” Lying down, Idola buries her face in her arms and lets all the rage come up and out. Rage at a mother who didn’t fight to stay with her, rage at the seven for denying her any form of childhood, rage at the goddess for cursing her bloodline.
“Idola.” The multi layered voice of her watchers reached her ears. No matter where she went they could always talk to her. “Idola it’s time.”
Today she is twenty-five and her mate has been found. She is supposed to lay with him and have a child, under the watchful eyes of the seven. Closing her eyes Juliet tries to imagine what it must feel like to fall in love and live out a life with a mate and children.
“Idola. Do not make us come and get you. We need to prepare for tonight.”
“I am coming.” Standing up Idola brushes the dirt off her dress and starts down the path to the temple. She can hear the celebration going on in the courtyard and shakes her head at the stupidity of people. To be chosen as mate to the seer was a sought after position and males from every species came forward. They village would be taken care of and their families would be compensated. It was an honor, or so Idola had been told. How could dying be an honor? She wanted to live but knew this was her last year on earth.
As she walks in the back door to the temple the seven gather around her. Never without their hoods and never speaking solo they have become almost like a family to her.
“We expected you before this. Come we must purify you for the ceremony.” Taking her hand, least she tries to escape again, the seven lead Idola out into the courtyard.
After the ceremony is complete and her mates body has been sent back to his village Idola curls up in her room and weeps. Taking out writing interments Idola writes a letter to her child.
“I hope you can find the courage to do what I could not. Get out before it’s too late. No matter what anyone tells you, I love you and would love nothing more then to hold you and watch you grow. Stay strong. Break this curse our family has and live free.” Blinking back her tears Idola hides the letter in a loose stone behind the bed and spells it to only show itself on her child's eighteenth birthday.
Juliet’s Eighteenth birthday
A cage is a cage, no matter how pretty that cage is. Juliet knows this first hand. Growing up with only the seven as her companions Juliet has learned the hard way that she will not be allowed to leave the temple. Every month, once a month, travelers come from all over to have their futures told, talk to those who have past or just to pay respect to the seer. During this time Juliet is expected to act as a goddess would, no unnecessary talking, no running, no eating, no sleeping and the list goes on. Now two days before her duties begin Juliet stands before the seven clinching a letter she found from her mother. She hopes that they will be more understanding now that she is twenty.
“I want to see the world.” Juliet’s legs start to shake as she waits to see what they will say.
“No seer has ever left this place. The goddess has given your bloodline a gift, a gift that comes with a price. You will do good to remember this and except your place in the world.” They turn their backs on her and walk to the dinning hall.
Now trembling with rage Juliet follows them. Later that night after all has gone to bed Juliet climbs out of bed and sneaks outside. Her home may be warded to keep others out but tonight she is going to test if it’s meant to keep her in. When one of the seven enters her room in the early morning, to wake her, Juliet is miles away and finally free.
Ten years later - Juliet
After traveling for two years she came across a handsome hunter in the forest. Right away her soul reached out to his and she knew he was her mate. Unable to walk away Juliet builds a comfortable home in a small cave outside his village. Every night she would call to him and they would spend the night talking and laughing in each others arms. Every morning he would return to his village and forget the night before. For Juliet this was heaven, she was happy, until the seven started calling out to her. Some how they had found a way around the block she had erected.
“It’s time.” The voices of the seven again remind Juliet her time on earth has come to a close. It’s time for her take her place among the women of her family. Tonight she will heed their call.
Dressed in a white gown she will present herself to her mate. Juliet smiles. She looks like a vision in white. Her blond hair hangs in curls down her back and draping her shoulders. Ash is carefully used to outline her pale eyes making them stand out. Her skin shines with the cream she has rubbed on in preparation for this night. Walking into the front of the cave she calls home. She smiles at her mate waiting there. He’s beautiful. Golden eyes with the trade mark long black hair of his tribe. He is a formidable fighter and skilled lover. Tonight he will insure the continuation of her bloodline. Tonight they will create a small being which neither one of them will live long enough to see.
“What troubles you, my love?” His deep voice rumbles leaving goosebumps in its wake. “Come let me take your cares away.”
Juliet smiles down at the vision he makes. Lying naked on a pallet in the middle of a sacred circle. He is lying on his back with his hands behind his head, one leg is bent the knee and his penis is erect and proud, lying upon his belly. A light dusting of hair covers every inch of his body. Kneeling down next to him Juliet runs her hands slowly down the sides of her body.
“I have no worries.” She lies. “I am only thinking of the pleasure to be found in your arms.”
Pulling her gently down until her lower body covers his he kisses her with passion, thrusting his tongue into her mouth.
“You make my head spin.” Leaving her mouth he licks and sucks her neck. “Your taste is like a drug. A drug I must have more of.”
“Take what you need. Tonight I am yours.” For a second Juliet almost stops. Her conscious rears its ugly head. Tonight will be his last night. After she takes his seed she will take his life-force. Without both a seer cannot be born. If she had stayed on the mountain her watchers would have found a willing male, most likely this male. He would have had a choice. It’s too later for regrets. Pulling off her dress she bares her creamy white skin. Clear of any blemish, full ripe breast, flat belly and dark curls covering her sex. Her mate groans. Reaching down he strokes her sex feeling her juices sock his fingers. She shivers. One then another of his fingers enters her, stretching her.
“More.” She moans spreading her legs wider.
Drunk on her scent, drunken by her taste his eyes glaze over and he becomes more animal than man. Coming off his back and flipping her over he spreads her legs and thrust in. They both cry out. Than it's a dance to the end. Thrust, pull. Thrust, pull. Until she can feel her magic slipping out and swelling his spirit, his soul. Everything he is. As he breathes his last his seed shoots deep into her womb.
As her body stops convulsing she pushes his body off her and turns on her side and vomits, until there is nothing left. Getting up she closes his eyes and wraps him in a blanket before sending him back to his village. In the morning they will find him and assume he died in his sleep. Packing what small belongings she has gathered during her travels, Juliet sets off for the oasis.
After flying for two days, only stopping to sleep, Juliet lands at the edge of the oasis and sighs.
“I hate this place.” Rubbing her belly, where she knows her little girl rests, Juliet pushes through the barrier protecting her birthplace and is immediately surrounded by the seven.
“My child.” They talk as one. “You have been gone a long time but it was foretold you would return. You bring with you a child. Born of pain and guilt.”
They start to move slowly towards the temple and stop at the stairs leading to the door. Juliet is stripped and ushered into a lukewarm bucket of water. Dipping their hands into the water the seven walk clockwise around her chanting.
“Goddess, your child has come home full of life. For one to be born another must die. So the you have willed.”
Stopping they reversed directions.
“Evil collected along the way. Step into the light”
The water starts to turn a dark black.
“Allow this mother to rest from her travels. Allow this child to grow.”
They once again stop and face north:
Goddess of Air, of survival lend now your hand
Cleanse your blessed one of all evils
Give her fresh breath to give to the child she carries
They face east:
Goddess of Earth, of nature lend now your hand
Keep the womb fertile
Give the child a safe place to grow
They face south:
God of Water, of purity, lend now your hand
Surround the child and keep evil at bay
Rock the child to sleep
They face west:
God of Fire, of transformation
When the time comes, help this child emerge
From two lives comes one
As the last word of the chant is spoken the sound of a gong rings out, vibrating the air. The water is now pitch black. The seven help Juliet out of the water and wrap her in warm clothing.
“As the goddess has spoken so mote it be.”
Nine Months Later
Juliet lies on the birth bed and prays for a healthy baby. The last few months she spent in meditation and hadn’t been allowed to see anyone but her watchers. Late at night she dreamed. She dreamed of the beginning of time and the end. She traveled to the worlds not yet discover. She saw the future of her daughter and those of her blood who will come later. She wept for the inability to hold her child’s hand as she grew.
Pain rip through her body, bending her almost in half.
“A few more seconds.” Two of the seven stood by her bed, the over five are in meditation. “Push. This time when the pain hits, push.” They both kneel down between her legs holding out their hands to welcome their new charge into the world. “We see the crown. Push.”
With the last of her strength her, her magic Juliet pushes and her baby burst from her baby. The last sound she hears is her baby's first cry.