Plantress' Drabbles

Mother

© 2007 by Plantress

This page was last modified: 2007/12/02


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She had found out what was going to happen in her fifth month, although looking back on it, she should have realized something was wrong. Her pregnancy had never given her the same problems that the others had, and if anything she had felt as if she had more energy than she had before she had become with child. Her husband had laughed and said she had grown more beautiful as her belly had gotten bigger. They had been looking forward to the birth of their child, their first-born. Everything had seemed to be going perfectly.

Then one day the dream had been shattered. A group of guards from Sanctuary had arrived, headed by a Gold Saint.

The Saint, someone who looked to be little more than a boy, had asker her very politely to come with him up to Athena's temple. She hadn't dreamed of refusing.

There was something in the boys that didn't book any room for arguments. Her husband hadn't said anything, and neither had her family or any of the other villagers. Even they had wanted to, what good would it have done anyway? There was no one who would have been able to stand against a Gold Saint, a man who had been chosen by the gods.

The journey to the temple was a blur to her. She had tired to keep with the guards, she really had, but she had fallen behind. The Gold Saint had simple sighed, then picked her up. He had carried her the rest of the way there. He had been gentle, but the sheer fact that he was carrying her as if she weighed no more than a feather had shocked her.

She didn't remember going through the twelve temples, to shocked to really think clearly. They had arrived at the temple at last, and then the Gold Saint had put her down. He had walked in ahead of her, and it was only when she had been pushed forward by one of the guards that she was able to follow in the Saints footsteps.

Inside she found that the Gold Saint had the others, all twelve standing in two rows that flanked a throne at the center. In it was seated a man in a mask. She began to tremble as she realized that she was in the presence of all the most powerful and important beings in Sanctuary.

She realized that the Gold Saints were looking at her, and she had blushed. The Pope had sighed and called her to come over to him. She had forced her feet to move, walking slowly between her those rows of eyes. It felt as if she were being watched by hundreds of people instead of just twelve. When she got close enough the Pope himself had stood and walked toward her. She had been too stunned to move when he had loomed over her, and too scared to take a step back when he had placed a hand on her stomach. There had been a moments tense silence then she heard him draw in a breath a say something to the Gold Saints.

There was an explosion of noise from them and suddenly they were all talking at once, and some where crowding around her. She had been confused and hadn't been able to answer or even form a coherent sentence, and it was only when an old woman wrinkled with her age, had pushed through the crowd and grabbed her elbow that she was able to focus on something.

It was the old woman who had dragger her out of the hall, scolding the assembled Gold Saints as she did so. The only person she seemed to show any respect to was the Pope, and even then she just bowed slightly before she dragged both of through a door that had been hidden behind a drape.

Inside was a very lavishly decorated room. It was here that the old woman had sat her down on the bed and told her everything. Told her that the child she was carrying was to be Athena, that she was the mother of the goddess's mortal form. She was also told that although she would be allow to go where she wished, she would not be allowed to leave the temple until the baby was born. Her family would be told what had happened so she would not need to worry about them.

Then the old woman had left and she had been all alone in a room that was as large as her entire house had been. It was there that the stress she had built up all day finally caught up with her and she collapsed on to the huge bed, sobbing into the pillow until she finally feel asleep.

Over the next few days she had gotten used to life here in the temple, and began to love it. She was dressed in clothes much finer than she was used to, and given beautiful jewelry to wear.

There were servants to care for her every need, and she was able to eat what ever she wanted. Everyone who she meet in the temple, from the guards to the Pope himself, treated her with respect. She actually came to be sort-of-friends with the Pope. Although she was surrounded by people all day, he had been the only one to make her laugh and he had brought her news about her family. It had been an idyllic life for her, and one she forgot was going to end.

When the baby came she felt as if she was being torn in two from the pain. The world had faded in and out of focus, and she was had been sure she was going to die. The old woman was her midwife and she offered her no sympathy, only urging her to finish with it.

At, at last the pain had ended and a baby's cries had echoed in the small birth-chamber. The old woman had nodded then turned and showed her a small bundle wrapped in a soft white cloth, and topped with a crown of purple hair. She had reached for her child, the baby she had worked so hard to deliver, but the old woman had simply turned and walked out of the room.

She had cried out in alarm, then tired to go after her, but the other servants in the room had restrained her. Then, they had simply began to clean her up and dressed her a clean gown, treating her as if she were no more than a large doll. They had ignored her pleads to tell her what they had done with her child, then turned her over to a group of guards. She has begged them to tell her what had happened to her child.

"Athena has been taken to where she is supposed to be." One of them had snorted. "And you have done your duty to Sanctuary. It is time for you to return home!"

They had manhandled her down the stairs, dragging her toward the village. When she fell, they would simply wait for her to stand again, and would only haul her roughly to her feet if she took too long.

At last, after what felt like ages they had reached her village. She had seen her husband standing in the door way of their home, and had broken away from her escort, to throw himself in his arms sobbing. The guards had said something to her husband, then she had heard them marching away.

He had drawn her inside and muttering soothing things under his breath.

The next day, her family and nearly everyone in the village had come to congratulate her and to ask questions about the temple. They all wanted to know what if had felt like to live up there.

None of them understood why she was so sad, none of them seemed to care that she didn't want to talk. They claimed it was an honor to be chosen by the gods to carry Athena. She had laughed a bitter laugh. They didn't understand, to her it hadn't been an honor, it had been a punishment.

She hadn't been able to hold her daughter, and now never would.

The End


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