erhaps in my child’s mind I made my mother into far more than what or who she truly was. I was probably all of four years old when she died. My mother was everything that I am not. She was so young, innocent, and full of life. Like me she had dark hair, but unlike me she had blue eyes. Perhaps it was her blue eyes and sweet song that attracted my father, Gan Ceanach. The things I do remember is that she was the one who taught me about the plant spirits. She taught me to interact with them and listen to them. Perhaps it was her innocence that made such a thing natural to a child. In that world, what little I remember of it, I felt safe and loved. The world was full of things that begged exploration, and there was nothing anywhere within it that was not exciting and wondrous to me.
Then, all of that ended.
My mother put me to bed as she always had. Although this night, she was attired in the garb of a Priestess. She was giddy, excited, as I am sure now she thought at last her moment had arrived. She would admitted at last to the High Lady, Morgienne’s inner circle of Priestesses.
“Get some sleep, Lamb, “she breathed a kiss against my brow, “and in the morning when you awake we shall go into the forest and you will at last meet your father.”
Morning came, but my mother was not there. Instead there was Morgienne. Her face was always a cold mask, even when on anyone else pleasure, or displeasure would have shown. There was no compassion there. She informed me that I was to look upon her now as my mother, since my real mother was dead. There was no explanation to the child that I was. There was only the cold, hard truth that my mother was dead. I didn’t understand. All that I know is that I didn’t even cry. I was too stunned to cry.
I took Morgienne’s hand as she led me from our cottage. We went to the funerary grounds and there, dressed in the robes she had been wearing the night before was my mother laying on a pyre of carefully stacked wood, flowers bedecked her body from head to toe. Morgienne led me beside her and took her place on the dais, her dark blue robes rustled softly, punctuating each of her steps. When we stood in front of her throne, she looked down at me and then turned her gaze toward the grounds below where every other priest and priestess had gathered. Some were openly weeping, Others whispered quietly and stared numbly. At last Morgienne nodded to the priest that stood next to the pyre with a lighted torch. He lay the torch against the wood that had been bathed in some sort of aromatic oil that caught fire immediately.
As the flames consumed the pyre and my mother along with it, the tears of the people below turned to wailing, others who had been stoic and not wept now dried their eyes. Was it from the sting of the wood and oil smoke, I wondered, or was it from true emotion? Why wasn’t I weeping? Was I, even then, just as cold as Morgienne? Was the woman whom I had known as my true mother just a dream that I woke up from? To this day, I still have no answer to these questions.
Perhaps I never will.
Muse: Fanny Fae
Fandom: Original Character / Folklore /Mythology
Word Count: 583