Language warning, randomness warning (what? I didn’t get a lot of sleep last night), and the usual lack of editing warning.
The mind is easily led astray, child. There are demons in you, demons begging to be heard. Do you hear them? Do you lie awake at night, their rumble deafening within you?
Don’t lie to me, child. You can’t. I can see it all in the tiniest hint of your gaze. The exhaustion that weighs heavy upon you, the dark beneath your eyes, and the lines drawn deep across your face. I can hear those demons, even across the room from you. So tell me, honestly: do you want them to fall silent?
Than take the knife, make the sacrifice. Give them power, and let their stories be told.
But what if I can’t come back?
Are you so weak that you can’t stand against a few memories? Bah. If this is the truth of it than flee, let them claim you when they’re ready. Yes, good. Take the knife, and let me tell you a story.
The moment breathes, sharp and hard like it’s trying not to cry. Like it’s been punched in the throat. Like the air is fading around it. She can feel it. There’s magic in her blood, working its way through her veins. There’s a trembling to her hands, to her lower lip. She’s hiding in the bathroom, hating herself for the cowardice even as she leans against the door, her whole body weight holding back the outside world as the sobs knock against her bones.
Her hand is pressed into her mouth, until her teeth ache from the pressure and the teeth marks will linger for days. No one hears a sound. No one even realises she’s missing. She leans and cries and breaks apart, but only for a few minutes. That’s all she’ll allow herself.
And then the emptiness claims her. She washes her face, thorough with the cold until every trace of emotion is gone. And then she’s gone, too, back through the door and out into the chaos.
She moves through the room like a ghost, offering help where she can and realising it’s woefully inadequate. It’s never enough. There’s no words she knows to ease the pain, no chants or spells or herbs to break the hold on those around her. So she does what she can, and knows it is futile, and does it all anyway.
There’s a painting sitting against the stark white wall, all rigid lines of colour and visual noise, like layers of paint stripped back. Art like this usually flies past her gaze, unappreciated, but this? She can’t look away.
She wanders back, over and over, lingering close before stepping slightly away, drinking in the colours like a lifeline. She can think, and hear, here. Sometimes, it’s only here.She wanders back on bad days, on good days, on days she has a little bit of time. She worships there, against the white wall with the colours.
And then on one of those little bit of time days, the picture is gone.
His lips against hers feel wrong, so wrong, unwelcome and wrong, and she moves to push him away, and realises she can’t. He’s bigger, he’s stronger, and if she dares open her eyes she can see the dead in his own. It’s not about fucking, not really. It’s about being bigger, and stronger, and in charge.
The goddesses blood within her screams at the insolence. Her hands reach for his hair, gently as a lovers caress, and his groan turns to a roar as the gentle touch turns violent.
She growls like Sekhment reborn, growls like a predator, and something in her eyes gives him pause. He steps back, steps away, staring like he’s never seen her before. He hasn’t, not really. There’s a song in her soul that wasn’t there before, a whisper of power growing stronger.
“If you ever touch me again, I’ll fucking kill you.”
He believes her.
His wife shows up three days later, growling like her own goddess has awoken, a new version of history repeated between them.
Sekhmet smiles, cold and the moon and twice as sharp.
Life lessons are meant to hurt, sometimes. And a goddess with claws was never meant to be passive.
Even death has a hierarchy.
We care about some, romanticise others, and pointedly ignore the rest. He’s not ignored. It’s a competitive sport, the funeral. People fall over themselves to claim the grandest connection, to position themselves at the right hand of the fallen.
The goddess watches, ready to steal control and enforce her will, but for now, she’s content to let the girl navigate the social minefield in her stead.
The eulogies hurt, they actually physically ache within her. Exaggerations of a simple man, whose only real goal was to love his family. She closes her eyes, offers up a prayer for peace and an apology if he’s able to see the farce she’s trapped in.
The wake is a sea of people wanting to be seen grieving, devoid of people feeling pain. The old god sidles forward, eyes like fire, raking over the girl.
She didn’t need Sekhmet. She didn’t need anything of her magic to stare down the interloper.
Endings hurt. They always do. She pretends sometimes that they don’t, but she’s never been that good of a liar. The words linger in the air between then, jagged and cutting and more than she ever wanted.
She wants to rage, wants to scream, wants to rain Hell down upon the world. But it changes nothing, and she knows it. So instead of tearing the world apart, she silences the goddess’s rage, bows her head, and submits.
It’s the end, really. How can the goddess trust her after such a betrayal? How can she trust herself knowing that she’s turned away from painful truths for blind submission?
The goddess fades to nothingness, mourned daily by her unworthy worshiper.
Do you see, child, the moments that made your demons?
And do you think, at all, that perhaps those demons are the strongest parts of you calling for your amends?