©2019 by Canvas Literary Journal

Published by Cosmographia Books

Background art “Camouflage” by Hyung Jin Lee

Canvas logo by Ali Wrona

The Prophetess

Grace Peng

Autumn (Halloween) 2019

It seemed too quiet to be real. After all, New York City is a city dubbed one that ‘never sleeps.’ But it was dead silent during the blue hour of twilight, no curses spewing out of angry taxi drivers, no beeping phones, no police sirens, no nothing.

Thunder rumbled in the distance and from the Earth issued a raven-haired woman. Her eyes were amber yellow, slit- pupiled, cat-like if you will. She wore no shoes, but shimmering onyx spirals swirled around her ankles and wrists, a circlet of silver thorns perched on her charcoal hair. Despite the fact that it was in the middle of the summer, July 31st to be exact, this woman bore no hint of a tan on her ivory skin, possibly save for beige freckles sprinkled around her forearms. A flowing Greek chiton covered her body, brushing her calves, a rich jet color resembling her hair. The stars above her seemed to glow more brightly than normal.

With a look of displeasure thrown across the woman’s arrogant features, she let a soft hiss of laughter and her right hand flew upwards, palm up, fingers spread. The sky dimmed, only the crescent moon a silvery light in the darkness.

“You can do better than that, Artemis,” she whispered almost chidingly.

As quick as a flash, the woman whipped out a gold dagger seemingly out of nowhere. She cut a deep wound into both of her hands. Golden ichor, blood of the gods, dripped steadily in a slow trickle onto the ground, turning scarlet as soon as it touched the dirt and in all directions through the fertile grass, stopping at a cream circle that suddenly gleamed, Ancient Greek symbols floating around the blood, surrounding the lady.

She closed her eyes, ink strokes of her hair brushing her angular cheeks as a faint bronze glow emitted from her body as the air around her thrummed with energy and power. She flung her hands up, her arms straight, blood lips murmuring words of a long-forgotten tongue, a Summoning Spell.

 

Alligarent crinibus!” she shouted clearly, the Latin word for enchantment echoing throughout the forest, slipping around her to form a rugged plain, an abnormal sight.

The six children came at once. Although, their eyes were wide open, they were not registering anything. The six were all dressed in nightclothes, all at six years of age. Faint auras appeared from the children, ranging from a luminescent snow to a deep violet.

“I am Persephone, children, as you may one day may know me as, or the Seer of the gods. In six years’ time, you shall meet.” This was a statement.

Obediently, the children one by one cut both hands and linked them, blood touching the ground and fizzing, forming a small circle as Persephone floated several feet off the ground above them.

“The blood of the heavens shall have risen,

thrice from bone,

once from blood,

twice from tears,

the half-god six shall ally against fears.

These mortals shall answer the call,

once before the world shall fall;
to rebirth or ashes they shall choose,

to assist or refuse,

as the Earth Mother has let them loose.

Bind the souls to one another,
each fate entwined with all the others,

for they are too weak to work alone.

One of intelligence,
one of the dead man’s spirit,

one of ferocity,
one of prophesying,

one of magic,
one of words,
my blood binds to theirs,

wielding my secrets within their hands,
for darkness awaits in unclaimed lands,” Persephone chanted.

You’d think that after all that chanting, someone would be breathing hard, or collapse if you were floating like Persephone was, but not the goddess of the underworld. A slightly musical hum filled the air as she decided the roles of the Mortal Six based on their talents and personalities. All excess blood was siphoned off the ground and the children were sent back to all corners of the world, but the damage had been done—the Curse of Ages entering their veins. Here they stumbled into their rooms until they had fallen asleep, safe and sound, not even noticing the final weight on their shoulders. One that wreaked havoc for centuries on their ancestors. The Curse of Ages was the only one Persephone had ever predicted and cursed Guardians of the Realms with. The Mortal Six this time would decide whether the people of Earth would survive the Apocalypse or fail during the Apocalypse.

Grace Peng was raised in Dallas, Texas. She is sixteen. When she is not busy writing, she is reading poetry, taking photos, enjoying food, and traveling.