The circle is unbroken in the finale of C.R. Gardner’s The two Faced Goddess.
The Two Faced Goddess pt 9 – The End?
Silence echoed in the Goddess’ chamber as they watched the fire consume her, spinning her ashes into the air in a flurry of dirty snow.
‘Marek!’ cried Prince Alex, catching his wounded brother as he fell.
‘You did well, Alex,’ wheezed Marek, blood bubbling at the corner of his mouth.
‘Help me! Someone, please!’ said Alex, lowering Marek to the ground.
‘There is nothing to be done, Princeling,’ said the Grievous One, kicking through the Goddess’s ashes. ‘His wounds are fatal. Say your goodbyes. At least you have that.’
‘Surely there is something we can do!’
‘No, Alex, I’m dying.’
‘Who will lead our people?’
‘But Father gave you the ring!’
‘Not because I was destined to rule, Alex, but because I was destined to die.’ He coughed black blood and his body began to glow. ‘The Goddess was looking for nine rings…Look around you, Alex.’
Of the company Sofia had led, nine glowed – a golden light illuminating each of them from within.
‘Constructs! But so real. Incredible!’ said the Grievous One.
‘What do you mean?’
‘Constructs are not real,’ said the Grievous One.
‘We’re real enough,’ said Dorian. ‘We love, we bleed, we laugh, we cry, but we’re not exactly human. The other Goddess, Erris, created us to keep the rings safe from her sister. We’ve served our purpose, now it’s time to die.’
‘Why?’ cried Ana, throwing her arms around him. ‘We just lost our mum, Dorian, and now you’re saying we’ll lose you too!’
‘I’m sorry, Ana,’ he said, blinking back tears and unhooking her arms from around him. ‘The only way the worlds can be safe is for the rings to be destroyed, so we must die.’ He turned to the Grievous One, ‘The rings, please.’
‘And if I choose not to?’
Dorian smiled, ‘It makes no difference really. The Goddess’s imprisonment magic changed our biochemistry. We are already dying,’ he said, rolling up his sleeve, revealing an arm with golden fiery lines moving through his veins. ‘Without us, the rings will disintegrate.’
‘I see,’ said the Grievous One, placing a ring in Prince Marek’s open hand.
‘Thank you,’ he said, closing his hand over it. It flared with light so bright they turned away. ‘Good-bye, Alex. You will make a fine King.’
‘Good-bye, Marek,’ said Alex, ‘I’m sorry for all the times I wished you were dead. Now that you’re dying, I realise it’s not what I want.’
‘Thank you,’ said Marek as the ring ignited and a golden inferno ingested his flesh and bones, sending his ashes spiralling into the air.
‘It is time,’ said Dorian, holding out his hand to the Grievous One.
She said nothing, but placed a golden ring into his hand. Doing the same for the other seven, glowing constructs.
‘I have a boon to ask,’ said Dorian, glowing brighter.
‘If it is within my power it will be done.’
‘Do the same for our brethren on the other worlds.’
‘I will do what I can, but with the Dark Lord gone I am not sure how my brothers will respond.’
‘Why must you die, Dorian?’ cried Ana.
‘If we don’t, the battle for the rings will continue until all the worlds are gone and only darkness remains. Believe me, Ana, it is better this way.’
‘But the Goddess and the Dark Lord have gone!’
‘Others will rise up to take their place.’
‘It’s all so much like a Tolkein story…’
‘Because it is,’ said Dorian, ‘Tolkein’s imagination took him into other worlds. What he never understood was that these worlds were real. His stories were based on a truth he thought was just his imagination. Good bye, Ana. Look after your sister, Ty, and Chi Sun, I charge you with their care!’
‘Good bye, Chi Sun,’ cried Chi Lyn, glowing brightly, ‘My love for you was real, even if I was not!’
They became golden pillars of flame, burning so bright that the survivors had to look away. Ana buried her face into Ty’s chest and sobbed, while Chi Sun stood rigid beside them.
‘This is not happy ever after!’ Ana sobbed.
‘There is no such thing! If there was, none of them would have died, not even my Commander!’ said the Grievous One, her claws slicing through the lid of the Goddess’s sarcophagus. ‘Let us leave this place,’ she said, stalking towards the stairs.
‘And let us follow,’ said Chi Sun, his voice heavy.
Ana followed with tears in her eyes as the ashes rained down, her anger at the unfairness of it all discharging as she walked through the ashes that had once been the Goddess. ‘It’s all your fault!’ she cried, kicking at the ashes. Something glinted among them and Ana picked it up. In the palm of her hand lay a golden ring.