Of Fire and Ice : Excerpt update (Criticism Welcome)
Contributor
Written by
LeTeisha Newton
July 2012
Contributor
Written by
LeTeisha Newton
July 2012

Perhaps life is much more than the miniscule specks of sand that dot the horizon and disappear in a rush of decimating winds for mortals. For the gods, however, it is but a blink in their time span. That is quite possibly the reason why, at times, they chose to manipulate outcomes and turns of events for their own gains. Such is the mark of my life. Small and momentarily entertaining for them, my life was grueling and cruel for me as I grew closer and closer to my acceptance of mortality. Why not? Has it not been said that to be god touched is but a curse wrapped in the guise of something looking of a gift? You may not believe so, and I shall understand. For a moment, though, cast aside such thoughts. God touched is of nothing to wish for.

To start, I should tell you I am the child of a whore, begotten in the bed of a whore, and, as such, must too then be a whore. Do not pity me. To be honest, I quite enjoy the work. What woman does not, if she be honest with herself? What wives must needs do for no coin I do for much, and, dare I say, I garner much more life of their aforementioned partners then they do. To be a whore, for me, is more than the feel of a phallus in me, the scent of sweat soaked bodies, or cries in the dark.  It is power, magick, and pure, uncontained energy rushing through my bloodstream. Power at my fingertips in ways not many can ever imagine. The name Kavion e’Avarice would sing into the ages. I suppose I could have left that way of life behind. I am a Mage after all. Still, with my type of magick it is easiest to manifest in the manner in which I did. I chose the life I lead and it took me to wonders others can only dream of. Whose life, then, do you think is better?

Before you choose to show sympathy, or worse yet, shun me, let me begin by saying mother never wanted this life for me. Prize of the House of Leviathan she was strong enough to paralyze by controlling the waters around her. A true child of her sect, she followed under the Granddamme Yjasmin, one of the only stronger then her. Her patrons came to her for rains in the drought, swells in riverbeds, and the restoration of their fields. Not in the least, in the end, the valley betwixed the hills of thighs. Not as glamorous, I assure you, as perhaps the children of the House of Light, who had the skill to make things grow. Nor was it as necessary as the children of the House of Selene who could stave death itself. Surely, though, it was more powerful then the House of Noch that was not above resorting to death for its patrons’ pleasure. The King still would contact them if needs be. Galea, poor woman that she was, only made the mistake of baring a child that did not fit her House. A child she bore that was more perfect then she, and yet not of her power. A child who, of coal eyes, blood for hair, and the moon for skin who was to be of the House of Avarice, the worst, and strongest, of them all. Suffice to say I would not be of the Light Mages. As they would say: If it harms none, do as e will.

The eyes are the windows of the soul and, for those of our kind, also the mark of our path. As soon as my squalling form opened black eyes to peer at my mother’s blue she tossed me away from her, even as the tears fell. In that moment she knew what she bore. I do believe, if she could have, she would have snapped my neck if she had but been alone. It would have been better to have a dead child then one she knew would one day could very well go crazy from power. Dark Mages are prone to it you see. Mother, sweet weak, pathetic mother, I do not hate you. What do you understand of power and the balance therein? Without power life itself cannot exist. Without said power, nor would I. Be grateful that Leviathan cast me out of his path. I would not have survived under his touch. As my kind would say: If it gives ye pleasure, do as ye will. He is not as forgiving.

Granddamme Voltira was not an easy woman. Of the twenty in her working House, half were perilously close to going mad. Avarice was a mad god in the end. Brilliant and King of the Gods he may be, but quite mad. For the simple pleasure of laughter he had killed thousands, and would one day banish the whole world of life and start anew. I dare say, only the god Charon was worse, father of Soul Mages. Soul Mages were nearly extinct I do believe, and there was a reason for it. It was best to enjoy what we could do with our skills until we reached madness.

She had a cold stare made worse by the white of her hair from age. It was all the more startling to look at her with the plumage of her third-eye crystal spanning from the center of her forehead and branching around her scalp.  Onyx stone: the mark of a Dark Mage. One day I too would sport the crown that marked the power I held. It would also mean how much I could charge for one to lay with me. The larger the crown then the larger the purse I could ask for. In turn that led to the more patrons, the larger the crown, which added to the purse.  It was a never ending cycle that I quite enjoyed.

She peered at my small nine season form with ill-disguised hatred and contempt. Her great hall was made to intimidate. Black onyx stone surrounded those who came in like a polished mirror waiting to suck away one’s soul. From the floors to the ceiling, everything was covered in the darkness like stone. Even the Granddamme, in a still dress that seemed to be carved upwards from the floor dripped of the stone. No wind moved the fabric, no rustle of her movement. It was like blades of onyx shifted silently as she glided toward us, slipping smoothly back into the ground from which it came. The body forming dress sheeted over her as she stepped, the neckline tight around her neck to her chin so that her head was held high with no effort and points hung down over her hands to end in a complete finger ring on each of her middle fingers. It was a suit of armor, encasing a still wondrously beautiful woman whose magick still surrounded her.

I felt remarkably small looking at her, my body in the flowing azure shift of my mother’s House. We seemed out of place here in this word. In the stillness we were marked for death for marring the perfection. Of the ocean and yet infinitely small against the darkness that was the nights sky and the Great Beyond. Leviathan controlled waters and its power may be strong, so such the spark of growth, or even death as boasted of the other Houses. But nothing compared to the ever living being that was the Great Beyond, and so the House of Avarice was that much stronger. Trembling delicately I pushed closer to my mother’s skirts. I was caught between an odd sense of doom, and desire. I very nearly did not understand the feeling in my youth, but looking back on that day, I see now it was like fear at a great height. It is not the height you fear, but the irrepressible urge to jump. Granddamme and the power she presented was for me my fear of heights. I was drawn to the edge, even as I shied away from it.

“Are you sure you are of this House, child?” Pure seduction. Nothing else could have described her voice. Pure seduction. My little form trembled for a much different reason then as she stood before us.  To be as she was. To have the strength, the presence, the power she had. What would it be like? What would it feel like to command as she did? To control as she so obviously could? The questions propelled me forward to have a closer look, my head held high, back straight. My mother shrank back slightly and in that moment I realized why she feared what I would be. Where I saw seduction, need, want, the urge to jump, and enjoy the fall, she saw fear, madness, and the need to run away. It was then I understood why those of my kind would follow what many others would not.

“Teach me,” I said then, my hand rising to touch the stone of her gown.  “I want to be like you.”

“Ah,” she said then, a smile like none I have ever seen changing the coldness of her face. In that moment she saw one of her own. The hatred and contempt that had been there from the moment we stepped in her domain melted away. I saw the inner working of the Granddamme of my future House. It was not me, nor my mother, that she hated. It was the fear, the weakness she saw there that for a moment permeated her abode.

“Come, little one. Leave all weakness behind,” she whispered to me then, grasping my hand in hers. The jolt of her touch rocked me on my heels. Looking into her eyes, I heard not the shredding of my gown, or the chime of my eye-crystal pushing into place. I did not feel the cold of the onyx rising from the floor to surround me in its embrace. Nor did I hear my mother scramble out of the hall, giving out one last cry that I would never hear again. All I felt was power, zinging through my bloodstream, and the blackness of her eyes becoming fathomless. I was home.

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Comments
  • LeTeisha Newton

    I actually do have a family ring that is a solitary onyx in antique silver. I will not say yet what place the onyx okay withing the House of Avarice and the book but let's just say there was a reason I chose the onyx stone :) 

  • Brook Blander

    I have a fascination with stones/crystals. I collect many and wear them for their properties. As for onyx, it is definitely a stone worth writing about. I see it though as a healing stone. When we think of healing, we think, ailment, disease, etc. I wear a very large handmade ring that was crafted from an antique fork and large onyx stone often. Its quite the attention grabber and conversation piece to others. To me, it is moment by moment healing, quicker than the process of discomfort, ailment, diagnosis and cure. The onyx is powerful. Write it. She has stories in and of herself that could fill shelves of books. If you dont have a piece, I encourage you to get a piece and keep it near you as you write. Listen for her whispers and her bellows. Quite the storyteller, she is. 

  • LeTeisha Newton

    @Nya B

    Thank you for your thoughts :) I have tried to make Kavion e'Avarice, the main character and Galea's daughter, a character and not just the person who is telling the story. I want you to feel her and want to know more about her. Knowing that i have achieved that is a great feeling!!!

     

    I wanted you to be able to see Granddamme Voltira and the House of Avarice as I see it in my mind. Oddly enough onyx is my family stone and it has always intrigued me. I paid homage to it in this novel.

     

    I hope you will enjoy it more as I continue on :)

  • Brook Blander

    Again, I will tell you, I have never cared much for Fantasy, but I am so enthralled in this piece of work. When I read it, I can hear the character speaking. I can hear the calm of her voice with a sense of 'I am mighty' around the edges and I LOVE IT. 

    S/N: I couldn't help being drawn to a potential story in the child of Galea and her 'not measuring up'. I actually reread that section hoping I'd missed more of the story that would magically appear on the second read. Thoughts? 

    I really love the part where she mets the Granddamme and is taken by her into "home". That section was so powerfully, vivid. Before I actually read that her mother rushed away, I could 'see' the mother fleeing. The pacing of it all was perfect. I nearly hungered for that touch just reading about it. 

    Another thing I noticed that I really appreciated in the story is the movement. Your way of transitioning from one time to the next, one location to the next is pure genius!