By Sarah Rosales, Academy for Information Technology
The goddess of legacy lies in a land of daisies and daffodils. She is a minor, yet important, deity. Many mortals seek her out for the purpose of securing their legacies. Everyday, the goddess receives mortals who want to be remembered in the world in any way they can be.
Today, a man and his young bride walk up to the temple of the goddess. They bring with them a bottle of wine as their only offering to her.
“We seek the goddess of this temple. We offer our drink to share with her,” the man says. They bow and pour the wine into a cup and place it on the altar. All is still for a moment.
“I hear you mortals. And I smell cherry wine.” A short woman appears behind the couple. They had not heard her footsteps. The woman has a thin veil placed on her short, blonde hair. She is dressed in a long, light, yellow dress that drags behind her. She smiles in delight at the sight of her favorite drink and quickly whisks the bottle and cup away, then promptly sits on the altar.
“I am the goddess you seek and I will listen.” She takes a sip from the cup. She finds herself satisfied with the taste, but it is not the best cherry wine she has been offered. The couple must be from a humble background.
The man looks up to the deity and says, “Please bless my wife with a healthy son. We hear you protect many people’s legacies, so we hope for you to protect ours, as well.”
The goddess listens and sips her wine. She pours herself another when the cup is empty. Humans are all the same, she ponders. When they do not believe they can achieve something grand, they end up settling down and bringing a child into the world. They think that maybe their child will do something great. It is a cycle. Sometimes, they are right. Other times, they are not.
“I can place my blessing on you and your wife, but I cannot guarantee that she will bear a healthy son.” The couple looks to her with confused faces.
She continues, “As a small deity, I cannot grant your wishes with certainty. She might bear a daughter, or she might not bear anything at all.” The wife’s face shows fear at this and she grasps her stomach. “I recommend you go to a fertility deity.” The goddess takes a languid swig of the bottle.
The man stands up to the goddess and says, “We cannot afford to go to those kinds of temples. They ask for too much of us. We come to you, because you only ever ask for a small thing.” He gestures to the bottle in her hands.
The goddess laughs to herself. “A small thing for a small blessing…” She downs the wine and puts the bottle down. She begins to float and the couple looks at her in wonder.
She lazily hangs in the air and says, “I will never forget a face. I am not an all powerful god, but that is an ability I have. I have met many humans like you, and I remember what each has asked for. I am responsible for every living person’s legacy, not those who have yet to walk the earth.”
As she floats in the air, the goddess moves her body to face the couple directly. She is shorter than both of them, but with the wine’s effects, she can meet the eyes of the tall man. Like a queen ready to pass judgement on her subjects, she stares at the humans with all-knowing hazel eyes, a gaze that pins them down to where they stand. They feel a shiver course their bodies.
“So I ask you now, do you still want my blessing on yourselves?”
The woman gently tugs at her husband’s sleeve. Her eyes plead, and he seems to understand. The goddess observes that the wife has not spoken since she stepped into her temple. Is she hard of hearing? Or perhaps mute, the goddess thinks.
The man says, “We want the best for our family so we would like your blessing. Please.” The couple bows towards the goddess.
“Very well then.” She leans forward to place one finger on each of their foreheads. A small light shines where she touched them. They feel warmth run through them briefly, but it goes away just as quickly as it had come.
The couple leaves without any other words and the goddess of legacies is once again left alone in her sunny field of solitude. She lightly places her feet back on the floor. Seeing that it is still midday, she decides to take a walk amongst the daisies and daffodils. The sun kisses her face as she leaves her temple. She inhales the familiar scent and sighs. She can not remember a time when these flowers were not gazing at her with their yellow eyes. They are the only things to greet her from morning to night. When there are no visitors, the goddess strolls alone with her thoughts. These can last for hours, and often, she does not notice the sun disappearing behind the mountains nor the moon coming up to greet her.
“Such a beautiful field…” She whispers to herself as she runs her hands through the flowers. When she looks to the horizon, there is only one thought that clouds her mind—her wish to leave the field for good. Most deities are comfortable with settling their immortal life in one place, being worshiped and prayed upon, but not her. She has lived too many years and has seen far too many humans be remembered for the wrong things. The goddess stands on top of a battlefield, each flower representing a stranger who lost his or her life to a war that was waged in that field a long, long time ago. She lives among these lost souls to watch over and remember them. For as long as she lives, they will live too.
The goddess lays herself in the dirt. Petals are scattered on the ground, and the wild birds circle the field. Maybe today her wish will be granted. If not today, maybe tomorrow. She will wait with each day that dies in her divine prison. As the goddess closed her eyes, just for a moment, all the sounds of the world stop, and she breathes in the lines of another person’s story.