A Last Walk in the Garden
Claudia stroll through the garden of Casade Luna in the Twilight accompanied by the happy sound of children playing. As she followed the white flag stones of the Ara's formal garden she came up along side a woman dressed in a palette to match the Twilight; her Aunt; Tsulsala, Wolf Mother, Queen of Hunger, Goddess of Death.
A half dozen laughing girls, and running boys were playing tag in the garden; Mardii children of her sister Pandora's union with Breid; she had welcome most of them into the world with her own hands; for the midwifery of a Mardii child was a delicate thing requiring particular skill beyond most Chattii midwifes; children a gift long denied her, her womb scalded as it was in a moments passion by a Chattii Lover; after the birth of her only child.
Claudia smiled at these precious little ones watching them play, she said to her Aunt, "They are beautiful aren't they."
"Very" her Aunt said, watching them with great intensity.
"And you want them don't you." Claudia continued; knowing they were safe here, safe with-in the boundaries of Casade -Luna the very center of the Ara's power; for while Tsulsala could come and go as she pleased here, as Death can come and go as she pleases anywhere in the Nine Worlds, her power was much diminished here and there was little more she could do in this place thick with the Ara's energies and protected by her blessing.
"Of course I do." Tsulsala said matter of factly, "They would be soooo scrumptious; but you must think me a monster for saying so."
"No." Claudia replied, "You and mother, you are but spokes on the same great wheel, all have their place in the Wisdom of the Dragon."
Tsulsala nodded, "but you, and only you of this house sees that, your mother does not see it, nor her puppet your sister, only you have the vision to appreciate my place in this world. I suppose that's why I've always loved you best. Even when you've set your will against mine, I've never stopped loving you, not for a minute."
"I suppose you want me too," Claudia replied.
"Of course I do." Tsulsala answered, "One cannot deny ones true nature."
"Blood of the Lady, a Queen of Anar in her Prime, such a sweet ripe feast I must be to your eyes." Claudia continued quite matter of factly.
Tsulsala's Gaze shifted slightly towards her niece, "Yes, of Course, you would be a magnificent feast."
"How long has it been I wonder," Claudia Mused, "Seven Generations of Men, or Longer I'ld Guess, have you ever tasted the blood of one they call Blood of the Lady."
Now Tsulsala raised an eyebrow, "Where are you going with this Claudia?" she asked becoming intrigued by her niece's line of thought.
Claudia half turned to Tsulsala, her hand came up to caress the cheek of the Goddess, turning Tsulsala's full mouth to her own she kissed her; not as family kisses family; but as a woman who loves women kisses another; looking into Deaths eyes she said, "How was that, was that small taste as sweet as you hoped."
"Sweeter." Said Tsulsala, her breath rising slightly her gaze drifted back towards the sound of the children, but Claudia was leading this dance now, she caressed Tsulsala's face, gently but insistently keeping the Goddess of Deaths gaze fixed on her own sweet face, her own round eyes, looking unflinchingly into the glass of Tsulsala's eyes; which the sages call the dark mirror.
"What would it be worth I wonder, what would it be worth if I should make your dream come true; The Blood of the Lady yours to Savor; a Feast beyond any you have known for Seven Generations of men? A Gift given to you willingly; It is well known you treasure those priestess who lay down willingly on your serving board beyond all other things in the Nine worlds; what if I was your priestess, What a priceless gift that would be no?"
"What would you have of me?" Tsulsala asked, her lips quivering with desire, her frame shaking with hunger, she Spider Goddess, Wolf Mother, Queen of Hunger was trapped now; her Niece had wrapped her hunger around her as expertly as any Spider might lay out it's silken snare and she could not look away now; Claudia's porcelain skin, her round eyes, her perfectly kissable lips were all the world to her now; She simply had to have this woman; nothing else mattered.
"Them," Claudia replied briefly shifting her gaze to her own nieces and nephews; "I would have them."
"How so?" asked Tsulsala, trembling with desire.
Claudia's hands flowed over her now, caressing the Goddess with sure, knowing hands, and Tsulsala knew, knew this child, this mere mortal who had lived such a tiny march of days was seducing her! And she was Surrendering!
Claudia smiled, "You will forget about them, You will put them out of your mind, You will not hunt them, not one of them; Nor suffer any Son or Daughter of Kur to Molest them, not one of them, nor hatch any plots, nor plot any mischief that brings the least harm to one of them for Seven Generations of men. You will give them room to breath, and time to grow, a chance find their own way in this world for Seven Generations of men.
"And in return?" Tsulsala trembled.
"I will be your Priestess, I will lay myself down on your serving board, willingly gladly, The Blood of the Lady shall be your wine, and my flesh, which by my mother's blessing rivals the beauty of any mortal born of woman, my flesh will be your feast; you will enjoy every last bite of my own lovely body at your leisure; no wicked bite stolen in the night, but feast, a great feast, as long and lazy and luxurious as you like till you have devoured every last mouthful of this sweet body you want so badly.
Tsulsala took a step to the west; fairy lights swirled just beyond her, she offered Claudia her hand.
"There is one more thing, no word of my gift must ever cross your lips, if my people should hear of this they would celebrate me as Hero; and I've no desire to be one of their Hero's; We Celebrate Deaths enough in this place as it is...
"Your mother's dream seers will see this gift you've offered me in time, there is no helping it; but I will honor your will for my part, no word of your gift will ever cross my lips."
"We have a Bargain then?" Tsulsala asked?
"Seven Generations of Men." Claudia said.
"Seven Generations of Men." Tsulsala replied with a Nod; then Claudia accepted her hand and stepped into the Wolf Mothers embrace. Smiling, Tsulsala kissed her lovingly, held her tightly, and gazed down into her eyes; not as family beholds family, but as a woman who loves women gazes into the eyes of her beloved; stroking back a tress of hair to better view that lovely face she whispered, "You have my permission to be Delicious." then arm in arm like lovers, they stroll into the fairy lights; and Claudia de Anar was never again seen in the Worlds of Men.
Seven Generations would pass from the day Pandora de Anar gave birth to her first Girl Child; Lasperanza whose name means Hope of the Murian, to that fateful day when Kegva pushed Sif from her Womb, who would in her turn birth Giselle; who in her turn Gifted herself to the Wolf Mother, closing the circle begun so long ago.
It is said by some that Giselle was in truth Claudia reborn, by others that this was not possible, that Claudia was utterly consumed by the Wolf Mother; the truth is we can never know, but we can know that Claudia would have seen in Giselle a woman worthy of her Sacrifice.
Ama tu Anki.