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Calling + Consent

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Adilene had hair the color of a winter sunset, skin as white as milk, and eyes that seemed colorless save when they shown iridescent in darkness. She lived where the City met the Country, and she was known throughout the bustling streets and chirping forests as a woman with pride and capability and strength. When no one would dare the cold, she would wrap herself in a cloak of white and find all the small creatures shivering in the expanses of snow.

She was well-loved and opened her home always to those who needed it, and always came the scent of ink and rich berries. And there came a day when a Girl-King donned a mask and walked to Adilene's home and knocked on the door and presented Herself as a most horrid man with oozing wounds and reeking breath and foul manners.

Adilene welcomed the man into her home as she did all guests and offered bread and butter and honey, but the man demanded a better gift. So Adilene took fish and fragrant herbs and offered that, but still the man was not satisfied. So Adilene took beer and pig and the best roots from the forest, but still the man was not satisfied.

So Adilene swung open her door and offered him a leave before she could call down all manner of spirits and souls for such unkind behavior, and it was then that the Girl-King dropped Her mask and revealed Herself, all dark night sky and tall tree, and for a moment Adilene could not speak but to look at Her, the God who was the World.

And the Girl-God apologized for such rude behavior and asked again for a meal, but only of bread and butter and honey, and they ate together. Later, much later after the sun had perished yet again, the Girl-King pressed Her lips to Adilene and left her a gift, and from there was gone.

Adilene had felt no such great love as she had then, and she cherished it in her heart and grew it bright in her hearth, and her home prospered even more with the blessings of the God.

It was that bright fire that caught the attention of the largest flame, and from His home in the mountains the Firebird turned and saw her, bustling about in the kitchen, and saw her flame, and decided it would be His own.

So He went down to His Oracle and let the boy become full of Him, and from there He too knocked on her door and begged entrance.

Adilene saw Him, all light and fire and brightness, and did not invite Him in. She stood in her doorway and asked what He had come for, as it was known in all the worlds that the Firebird did not come to the call of any man or mortal. And the Oracle smiled and simmered and told her that she had been chosen as the next Oracle of the God of Fire, to be taken in by Him and burned up in His fires.

And she said no.

the Firebird had not heard such dissent in all His life, and each soul in Him rebelled against the word and shrieked and demanded Adilene had herself over that instant for the glory of the flames. And still she said no. And so the Firebird shrieked louder and louder until the world began to snap, and it was then that the Girl-King, defender of the land, stepped behind Adilene and placed Her warm hands around the woman and murmured assurances that it would be alright.

And with the Girl-God holding her body close, Adilene nodded to the Firebird and let Him begin to burn her arms and chest and legs and every bit of her. She offered herself to the flame, and at that last moment when she was almost gone, the Girl-God of the World reached one hand into the flames and plucked Adilene from the heat. the Firebird screamed at the loss, but as Adilene left Him - Him, who had consumed most of her - a daughter of the flesh of Adilene flew from His body. He who had never had kin, He who was so shocked at the birth that it was no hardness for the Girl-God to wrap Adilene in black cloaks and whisk her away to the lands of the Orchard where she would forever lay - He who bore a daughter of white-red hair and colorless eyes and knew all that her mother had known and all that Her father had known and more beyond that too.