“Let me go!” I screamed out as the sets of hands firmly latched to my wrists dragged me toward the mouth of the volcano the group of us was gathered upon, I kicking and screaming shamelessly while the priest recited the blessing.
“…our actions have angered the Earth and Hotarnet has been awakened. To atone for the grievous errors of our ways, may Hotarnet accept the blood of a virgin and be appeased.”
“Stop this! You can’t do this to me!” I shrieked, thrashing like a wild animal while the heat spewing from the mouth of the volcano sucked the moisture from my skin, the temperature almost unbearable.
All the while, I heard the distant chants and cheers arise from below, the villagers gathered at the base of the volcano to first-hand witness the sacrifice to the magma god Hotarnet. I would not have picked such a blessing for myself; my only reward for being a nearly forty-year-old virgin. Personally, I thought this was just a covert way to get rid of me, or at least spare a younger and prettier woman the same fate. They always picked a female for virgin sacrifices. Either they were sexist, or men were ‘unshackled’ from their virginity far younger than I speculated. Stupid, shallow humans…
My feet digging in upon the earth and rock, I was pulled against my will until we were at the very edge of the rim, I glancing down with horror into the magma-filled mouth far below, listening to the burbling of the magma as it churned deep within the volcano, the only signs of its impending eruption in the form of the ash and smoke beginning to expel from the mouth. My eyes widening as I peered in, the priest’s final words echoed through the air, “And now, we present Hotarnet his virgin. May he forgive us for our transgressions.” As his final words carried over the wind, I felt the hands hurl me forward, I screaming as I plummeted headfirst in a freefall into the mouth of the volcano.
It was almost a religious experience—the irony, I know—as I fell through the air, weightless with my long golden hair and the white robe tied about my body billowing upward, currents of heat rushing against my skin while the sounds of the molten rock agitating deep below growing louder the further I dropped through the air and darkness enveloped me.
Amidst that darkness, an eerie red glow began to illuminate my immediate surroundings. Throwing my gaze about, I looked around and tried to discern the light’s source, only cried out when a figure appeared before me, his form remaining upright while we plummeted through the air and down further into the volcano. “You humans and your obsession with virgin sacrifices,” he remarked with almost a yawn.
I studied him during my freefall, noting the mid-tone skin and dark hair with matching eyes, the regalia that adorned his frame, and I recognized him for who he was, absolutely stunned at the revelation. “Hotarnet,” was all I managed to get out, speechless to see the magma god himself before me.
“In the flesh, so to speak,” he remarked, cracking a hint of a smile upon his characteristic stoic and unimpressed expression. He glanced at me for another moment. “I really hate your customs,” he then muttered.
“I’m not much of a fan of them myself,” I concurred.
“Still,” he then mused, pensively studying me while he rested his chin in his hand, the sight of him shooting downward with me while seemingly standing upright something of a contradiction to me, “you could serve me, as opposed to all those that have been offered before; you are a more appropriate age than the usual sacrifice.” Drawing his hand from his chin, he folded his arms over his chest as he declared, “A bargain then. Agree to my offer, and I shall spare your life.”
Looking downward, I saw the red glow of the magma beginning to come into my view, the heat nearly unbearable already. “I don’t have a lot of time, so if you could get to the point…” I quipped.
My remark drew a chuckle from him and he fully smiled, which I presumed was a good thing. “I need a mortal vessel to bear my progeny; you will do nicely. In return, I will deliver you to the surface unharmed and my power will course through your veins to carry out my judgment as I see fit upon your species.”
“I don’t think I have much of a choice if I want to live,” I responded, more than a little wary of the price he was exacting.
“That’s not good enough of an answer,” he rebutted. “Either you agree and live, or disagree and perish.”
Glancing down one final time, seeing the molten rock nearly upon me, I drew my gaze quickly to him as I hastily responded, “I consent!”
“You have made a wise decision,” he responded with a smirk, then he abruptly vanished, a fiery ball of energy radiating out in his place and immediately coming to envelop me, I groaning out as I felt a strange sensation within my abdomen and a warmth searing through my veins. Turning about in midair, the sudden surge of energy enveloping me drew me to right my body before I innately conjured a protective fiery shield about me and I flew upward.
Seconds passed and I saw daylight once more, emerging to hover in midair over the rim of the volcano, the priest, the sacrifice entourage, and the villagers below reacting with fright as my hair and robe flowed unnaturally about my form, fire emanating from my void eyes while I called out in a rich, vibrant tone, “Your sacrifice has angered Hotarnet! The price for your insolence is death!” Raising my hands, the streams of flames burst forth from my fingers, the priest and his followers screaming and fleeing, several falling into the volcano while others tumbled down the side of the volcano in a desperate attempt to be spared from my fiery wrath, Hotarnet’s desires fueling my own thirst for revenge. While they fled in fear, I threw my arms up as I commanded, “Come forth from Earth’s core, oh, boiling mineral and rock, and rain down upon these humans as a testament to both my power and their egregious conduct!”
The Earth immediately began to shake as the magma surged upward, erupting into the sky. Spewing forth, the magma rushed down the sides of the volcano, the screams of the humans before me muffled as the molten rock absorbed them and fireballs shot forth from the volcano, a cloud of ash and dust expelling high into the sky while I watched the magma coat the landscape, erasing the mistakes and bringing about death to usher in new life.
“Yes, new life, my vessel,” Hotarnet reaffirmed, he privy to my every thought and emotion as a result of the pact I had agreed to. I watching the destruction unfold below me, I felt little regard for my fellow humans as they were wiped clean from this world, Hotarnet’s arms gingerly enveloping my torso from behind to allow his hands to come to rest upon my abdomen, he once more drawing my mind to the life I now harbored inside of me. Timidly reaching my hands in to cover his own, he furthered, “Now that my will has been carried out, you will return with me; ensuring your well-being and my progeny’s safety is my utmost concern.”
“Yes, my Lord,” I responded dutifully just before the two of us vanished, he taking me to the astral plane.
I've enjoyed artistic creativity since I was a little girl. Traditional drawing and writing prose and poetry seem to be my primary forms, however, I'm dabbling with digital drawing/painting at the moment and still seek to branch out into other medias such as photography and traditional painting if/when time permits.
Unfortunately, my job really inhibits my abilities to participate in the majority of these, however, I am expanding my collection of buttons and crafting a FAQ in preparation to open at least some of these when I have some time. Anything I list as "I don't do" is up for change in the future; they're not static.