The Pet Shop – Goddess Gifts

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Kali packed the final suitcase. This would be the last time she’d ever see the custard colored walls again. That strange crack that mysteriously appeared by the door one day. The wine stain on her cream carpet. It was bittersweet, she’d had only a few short months after her Tribute to prepare for life away from Gaia. She’d succeeded, and those choosing to return home to the island with her would make up the new Circle of Sisters.

Completing the tribute was step one. Many had the potential to make it through the trials and out into the open. Goddesses favored their daughters simply for having the courage to sacrifice their mortal beings in an attempt for closer communion with their deities. The challenge was leaving the island and returning afterward.

The tribute was a form of graduation, quelling the young ladies of the island, preparing them for the real dangers. No longer children protected by their innocence the real world would train them to be ruthless, cunning and careful. The speech Serket blared to the crowd of on lookers, of the guard, of the inner circle riling them all. Each new ORDER marked the continuation of Gaia and the Sirens who lived on it.

Worked into a frenzy the island itself sang the celebration, not only did this order have a new Queen and High Priestess in its ranks, But this group also had the 4 temple priestesses amongst the class. These young women were predestined to be the new Circle of Sisterhood. Gaia would reward their dedication by replenishing its power throughout the island.

Their instructions were clear. By summer’s end the order would board two boats docked at the end of the island and set forward on a 4 year mission. Any woman not interested in returning to the island could do so freely but banishment was the sacrifice for remaining in the mortal world. Most defectors did so knowing that they could never return.

A knock on the door derailed her train of thought. Sanura knocked softly again before letting herself into the room.

Happy to see you’re ready to go. Sanura grabbed the heavy suticase without batting an eye lash and hoisting it onto her shoulder, carried it to the livingroom where the rest of their belongings had been properly stacked.

Glad to see four years of ROTC hasn’t made you unladylike Kali joked.

It was bittersweet, she’d learned to call the bustling city home and would be leaving forever in a matter of days. The three bedroom apartment would be a distant memory in a matter of months. The Philadelphia skyline blazed bright against the summer sun. Four years had come and gone too soon.

Kali had lived on Gaia her entire life only venturing as for as the shoreline before her tribute. After a lifetime of preparation each girl took the sacred oath, promising her body, mind and spirit to the Goddess realm and aligning herself to their will.

It was this moment that she’d thought of her fallen. Four years ago 21 girls pledged their lives to the goddesses of the temple. Only 16 girls  exited that day. Two of the fallen had actually been friends of Kali’s. Maya, daughter of Rhea gifted by Bast; had failed the room of tempation and had to be rescued to the dismay of her mother. She’d been rafted off the island as soon as she’d regained conciousness. Janay, welcomed by the island at a young age; never made it out of the temple at all. Frozen in fear, her body rejected her Goddess Magic and dissolved. Her spirit trapped in the tribute temple until the end of days.

The ceremony was not only a rite of passage but a sacred ritual intertwining the island’s magic with the goddess within. Bathing in the fire and relinquishing there humanity was a necessity. You could never access the full might of the Gods while still clinging to your earthly form. Each of the new Order now possessed the gifts and talents of a Goddess. None were compared to that of their new High Queen, Kali.

She hadn’t had a reason to use her gifts in all her years in the mortal world. She’d only been taught the one spell to get them safely back to Gaia with their cargo. In the dead of night the fog rolled away from the pier in Penn’s Landing a ship that had never been there before docked amongst the other ancient symbols of nautical prowess.

From the ship two women sent by the Queen. Kali would be leading this voyage but they were here to ensure it went as planned.

###

Kali and her sisters surveyed the space. They’d packed everything but their pets. Most of the Order had managed to secure and subdue their true reason for being in the mortal world. Kali hadn’t been as lucky. She was weary of choosing a slave, never having known the men on the island, the “pets” were to be seen an unheard like all other beasts of land.

Tonight that would be rectified, the Goddesses had spoken and if Kali was unable to utilize her talents to secure her first conquest. They would take over and choose for her, she had only until midnight. Only Sanura and Eva knew her secrets.

Months ago, Kali arose from her sleep and wandered through the narrow halls of the off campus apartment. She was being controlled by Sekhmet who’d taken the body out for a spin. The deity had been rading the fridge.

The true life of a Siren Queen was to give part of yourself in exchange for the gift of the Goddess. The Queens of Gaia were hosts for the Deities spirits. Sekhmet and Hathor both could control Kali’s human form.

Sanura had attempted to wake her up, but soon learned that Sekhmet’s vengeance was not something any siren wanted to face. It was revealed that night that in order to remain free Kali would have to do as she’d been instructed on the island.

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