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Sacrificial Maiden

Discussion in 'Fiction' started by Mariposa, Mar 24, 2015.

  1. Mariposa

    Mariposa Vivacious Visitor

    Oct 7, 2014
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    My name is Rachel. This is the world of Marshe. We worship the sun goddess Rachelle. Death and cannibalism are important to our daily and religious lives. Sex, self-sacrifice, and inflicting consensual bodily harm are the cornerstones of our religion. We celebrate four holidays: the summer solstice, the winter solstice, the vernal equinox, and the autumnal equinox. The summer solstice is a week long festival that starts with a feast at sundown on the solstice and continues until the time as sundown on the solstice a week later. The feast on the solstice is the highlight of the festival. Every year, 300 young women are eaten alive to honor Rose's sacrifice for her mother Rachelle. On Rose's eighteenth birthday, she volunteered to be her mother's dinner. This is my year to be dinner. Again. Yes I am, or rather was, Rose. I have yet to return to glory. After tonight, I will reclaim my divinity. Anyway, the winter solstice is a week long orgy starting at sundown on the solstice and ending at the same time as sundown on the solstice a week later. There is a giant bonfire, lots of food, and aphrodisiacs. Of course the bonfire is also religious and a human sacrifice is made, typically in the form of one young woman per bonfire, and a volunteer between the ages of 18 and 20, in honor of my oldest half-sister Lorraine, the goddess of fire, who burned herself alive to claim her birthright from her father. The equinoxes are 24-hour sacrifice days. The highlights are the mass hangings and the solo sacrifices that try to outdo the last. However, one sacrifice from this year's Spring Equinox Festival has been recorded for posterity sake. One young woman from my home city had herself beat to death by the temple dominatrix.
    I walk through the temple dining room towards the temple gardens to relax and pray. 'Just five more hours.' I think to myself as I check the wall clock. The monks and nuns are hard at work in the kitchen preparing the side dishes that will go with me, my best friend and roommate Chrissy, and Lora tonight. 'That smells almost as divine as you! It is teatime. Go get something in the tea room!' My stomach grumbles. I turn on my heel and head back to the residential section. "Quiet you! I get eaten tonight. I will not eat today!" I yell at my stomach.
    "Starving yourself again, Rach?" Chrissy asks, stopping me in the hall. "I bet you also purified yourself at least six times by now." She laughs.
    "Yes, I am starving myself. No, I have only purified myself five times so far. I am about to purify myself for the sixth time." I answer. "How many times have you purified yourself today?" I ask concerned.
    "So far, I have only purified myself twice." Chrissy replies, avoiding my gaze.
    "Hang it, Chrissy! If 9 o'clock comes and you still have not purified yourself a third time, Mother Carole will pull you!" I scream.
    "You just worry about yourself and let me worry about me!" Chrissy screams and storms off to the gardens.
    I continue to the residential section. My shoulders droop and my walking speed slows. Lost in thought, I almost run into Mother Carole.
    "Forgive me, Rachel. I was not watching where I walked." Mother Carole says as she deftly sidesteps me.
    "No, it was my fault, Mother." I reply softly.
    Mother Carole turns back to regard me. "Rachel, I know you. You are disturbed about something."
    I turn to face Mother Carole. "Yes, Mother, I am upset. I just had a fight with Chrissy."
    "Speaking of Crystal, have you seen her recently?" Mother Carole asks.
    "Yes, Mother. I last saw her about five minutes ago heading for the gardens." I reply, less than eager to see her right now.
    "Thank you, Rachel. Tell me about this fight you two just had. You will not blow me off easily. We are currently out of rosewater." Mother Carole says.
    "Yes, Mother." I return. "Chrissy stopped me on my way back to the residential section to purify myself for the sixth time. I myself was heading for the gardens and decided to purify myself again closer to 8 o'clock rather than this early."
    "Why the change, Child?" Mother Carole asks.
    "Mama Rachelle led me through the dining room to the courtyard doors instead of through the main hall. The brothers and sisters working the kitchen know what they are doing. Tonight's feast will truly be worthy of Rachelle." I answer.
    "Indeed it will." Mother Carole says. "The kitchen staff are not the only ones making this feast truly worthy of Queen Rachelle. Your presence on the table will add to the feast."
    "Thank you, Mother. My only regret is the high solstice is next year." I reply.
    "I regret that, too. I can pull you for next year if you would like." Mother Carole returns.
    "Thank you for your kind offer, Mother, but save Rachelle if you need to pull Chrissy." I reply, wiping a tear just for saying it, much less thinking it.
    "I think I understand how you feel." Mother Carole says, opening the water closet door for me. "I myself was chosen, but I backed out and have regretted it ever since."
    "Mother, you backed out to join the church. You chose to live your life for Mama Rachelle. You have nothing to regret." I reply.
    "I regret not sacrificing myself. My best friend went into eternity without me and is waiting for me." Mother Carole counters.
    "Mother, I will intercede with Mama Rachelle on your behalf tonight." I reply, taking both Mother Carole's hands in mine.
    "You are sweet, Child, and truly deserving of your divinity, but it is my place to intercede on your behalf." Mother Carole says, smiling.
    "Mother, I was a god and will return to glory tonight. As a god, it is my responsibility to intercede on your behalf." I counter.
    Mother Carole smiles. "Tell me more about the fight with Crystal."
    "After she asked me how many times I purified myself, I asked her. She has only purified herself twice. I then screamed at her about it. Even Lora, whom always seemed to be on bad terms with Meaghana, has purified herself three times already." I reply.
    "Lora liked her privacy and would bathe after curfew." Mother Carole returns.
    "The way she stank, I always thought she was on bad terms with my former/soon-to-be aunt." I reply.
    "Lora was Meaghana's best friend. When looking for Lora, most mornings I found her asleep in the tub with Meaghana hovering near to hold Lora above the water." Mother Carole explains. "However, I want to hear more about the fight. I presume Chrissy screamed at you before storming out to the gardens."
    "Yes, Mother." I reply.
    "Come, Child, take the vomit inducer and laxative. I still need to make the rosewater." Mother Carole directs.
    I dry swallow the fast-acting laxative and wash it down with the vomit inducer. Grabbing a waste basket, I sit down on a toilet. "Mother, after I purify myself, I will help you look for Chrissy." I say between heaves, as poop splashes into the toilet.
    "I would appreciate the help, but knowing Chrissy, she will probably be in the gardens purifying herself." Mother Carole replies.
    "Mother, why do you think that?" I ask.
    Mother Carole smiles at me. "That is where I go when I want some privacy with Queen Rachelle. No one bothers anyone in the garden."
    "No one bothered for Lora bathing after curfew, either." I reply.
    Mother Carole giggles. "I lectured her for official reasons, but never stopped her."
    "Mother, forgive me, but I have never heard you laugh before." I say between heaves.
    "I do not laugh too much these days." Mother Carole replies. "I have not laughed too much since the summer solstice the year I should have been sacrificed."
    "Mother Carole, forgive me for brining up painful memories." I say, heaving in between.
    "Do not worry about me, Child. I will be fine." Mother Carole replies.
    I give one last mighty heave as my stomach finishes emptying itself, and a loud splash sounds as my bowels finish emptying themselves. Shakily, I start to stand.
    "The rosewater is ready." Mother Carole says.
    "I still need to rinse my butt." I reply. I sit on the water squirter and wash the poop off my butt. I walk over to the tub and climb in, the freezing water refreshing after having purified my insides. "Mother, why do we typically purify ourselves from the outside in? I think I like it better from the inside out."
    "From the outside in is just way we typically do it." Mother Carole replies. "I prefer it from the inside out myself."
    "When I come into glory, that is one of the first things on my to do list." I say, my voice hard.
    "I hope you can change it." Mother Carole says wistfully.
    I climb out after fifteen minutes. "Mother, after I dress, I will help you find Chrissy."
    "I would appreciate the help." Mother Carole says, helping me out.
    I hurry back to my room and choose a modest black dress, a black cloak, and pair of black wedge sandals. "The Dark Wanderer." I chuckle darkly at one of my, or rather Rose's, names.
    "You are going with The Dark Wanderer Look this afternoon, I see." Mother Carole says.
    "Yes, Mother. Are you ready?" I ask.
    "Yes, Child. You did say Crystal went to the gardens." Mother Carole answers.
    "Yes, Mother." I reply. "It is after 5. We need to hurry and find Chrissy before time runs out." I reply.
    "What is Queen Rachelle saying about Crystal?" Mother Carole asks.
    I stop and listen to Mama Rachelle. "Chrissy will make." I answer.
    "Fret not, Child. Crystal will be with you tonight." Mother Carole returns.
    "Yes, Mother." I reply. Truthfully, I am not so sure. I still remember being Rose. Mama Rachelle was more than a little empty-headed worrying about me. When Mother Carole and I finally reach the gardens, it is approaching 6. Time seems to be flying. I scream at Mama Rachelle for it, only to earn a blinding, disorienting headache. "All right, all right. I get it!" I scream in admission. The headache vanishes as quickly as it came. Mother Carole and I meet back by the doors, unable to find Chrissy. "Mother, it is 6:30. We have to find her by 8:15 or she will never make it."
    "Queen Rachelle said Crystal would be on the menu. You have to have faith that she will be on the menu." Mother Carole says.
    "Mother, no offense, but what I remember of Mama Rachelle is a woman too worried about her daughter getting enough to eat that the woman gives half her portion to her daughter! I feel Mama Rachelle is too worried about me to pay much attention to Chrissy." I reply frantically.
    We hear a noise that sounds like heaving. "Do you hear that?" Mother Carole asks.
    "Yes, Mother. It is coming from the herbarium." I reply.
    "That sounds like Crystal vomiting." Mother Carole says, scurrying to the herbarium.
    I hurry after her, almost sure Chrissy is purifying herself in the herbarium. When Mother Carole and I arrive, Chrissy is slipping into a pool of rosewater. "Mama Rachelle, you were right after all. Forgive me." I pray aloud.
    Mama Rachelle wraps her arms around me and lays her cheek on my head. "I have grown considerably since we first danced this old dance." Mama Rachelle says directly to my mind and then leaves.
    Mama Carole leaves immediately on seeing Chrissy climb into the pool. I stay behind to help her out.
    It takes Chrissy a full minute to realize I am here. "Why are you here?" She asks.
    "I feel I should apologize for my behavior this afternoon." I answer. "I want to enter eternity with my best friend, not someone I once called my best friend."
    "I apologize, too." Chrissy replies. "Queen Rachelle worked me over well for what I said."
    "She has changed a lot, and for the better." I think out loud.
    We sit in silence for the next ten minutes, just being friends. I help Chrissy out of the pool and into a robe. "Come on. We need to get into position." I smile.
    "It will only be 8 when we get to the dining room. We are not supposed to be there until 8:50." Chrissy replies.
    "The way you walk, it will be 8:45 by the time we get in." I say jokingly.
    "Now, you are pushing it, Rachel." Chrissy smiles.
    We walk back to the dining room, talking and laughing as usual. Mother Carole smiles at us when we enter. "As you know, the feast will be starting in just ten minutes. Line up at the door as you practiced." I fall in at the head, stripping off my clothes. Chrissy falls in step behind me, with Lora at the end. Mother Carole watches the clock. At five till, she gives the word. "You may proceed."
    I walk slowly, leading the procession to the festival grounds. The parade walk is fenced off from the rest of the festival grounds for ceremonial reasons, but we, the maidens are approachable. An old woman approaches me. "Princess Rose, congratulations on reclaiming your divinity." She whispers.
    "Thank you, Milady." I whisper back.
    "I once had the opportunity to play you, but I refused, and I have regretted it ever since." The woman drops my gaze.
    I take both her old, withered hands in my young ones. "I will intercede with Mama Rachelle on your behalf when I see her tonight." I whisper, kissing both her hands in final blessing. "Eat well of me." I smile at her, drop her hands, and continue walking.
    "You have already interceded." Mama Rachelle whispers in my mind. "I hold her blameless."
    "Thank you, Mama Rachelle." I think pray.
    I walk up the stairs to the table, take my place on my platter, and Chrissy and Lora follow. Mother Carole takes the stage to start the feast, both here and across the country. "Welcome in Rachelle's name. We gather this night to honor Rose's sacrifice for her mother, and it is fitting that Rose herself be in attendance. I thank you in her majesty's name for gracing us with your presence."
    One of the priests hands me a microphone. This is not a normal thing, one of the maidens getting speak at the opening, but that is the good thing about being a god. I can rewrite the rules. "Yes, welcome in Mama Rachelle's name. It is the highest of honors to be eaten alive again, especially on the anniversary and in honor of the first time I was eaten alive for Mama Rachelle. Please, eat well of me tonight." I hand back the microphone.
    Mother Carole speaks again. "Thank you, Princess Rose. You honor us with your words and presence. May Queen Rachelle watch over all the young women this night and welcome them with open arms. Queen Rachelle, may we honor you and Princess Rose's sacrifice, not just this night, but every night." Mother Carole steps down from the stage and up to the banquet table. It is customary for the oldest to be carved first, but again, one of the perks of being a god. Mother Carole carves the first slice out of me. The knife digs into the tender, pure flesh of my right arm, and Mother Carole pops off my right arm at my elbow. The feast has officially begun. Pieces of Chrissy, Lora, and myself scatter over the whole of the festival grounds, with the side dishes. I look over at Chrissy and Lora, both having died a minute ago from massive blood loss, with me slightly disoriented not too far behind A woman walks up to the table. "What part do you want, and from whom do you want it?" Mother Carole asks.
    "Princess Rose. Her heart and uterus." A beautiful, soprano voice says, a voice I could never forget no matter how many trillions or quadrillions of years pass. The voice belongs to Mama Rachelle.
    Mother Carole reaches a clean plate, but stops upon recognition of the voice. "Your Majesty!" Mother Carole falls prostrate on the table, the feasters following suit.
    Mama Rachelle cups Mother Carole's chin and raises her. "Princess Rose has found you blameless before me." Mama Rachelle says softly. "Princess Rose has found you all blameless before me." Mama Rachelle says loud enough for everyone to hear.
    The festival goers rise slowly, afraid of being struck down. "Your Majesty, Your Highness, thank you both!" A brave soul calls out.
    "Mother Carole, may I please have my daughter's heart and uterus now?" Mama Rachelle asks softly.
    "Yes, Your Majesty." Mother Carole makes a shallow incision along my pubis, reaches in, and removes my uterus. I gasp sharply as Mother Carole rips my uterus from my cervix and Fallopian tubes. Mother Carole lays my uterus on a plate and reaches into the incision along my abdomen, through which she pulled my liver just an hour before, and reaches up to my chest, pulling my heart from my chest, finally killing me in honor of and for Mama Rachelle.