The wailing cry of a baby echoed off the walls of a dainty little home. Only one midwife was present at the time, something quite unusual since most had at least three midwives per birth.
A tall man with dark brown hair held his wife's hand during it all and when she finally let go, the relief on his face could not be missed.
Smiling, the midwife handed the small, crying babe to the still weary mother. Sweat dripped down both parents' foreheads as they looked to their new bundle of joy.
"Congratulations! It's a girl!" The nice lady stood up then and left the parents to have their alone time.
"She's beautiful!" She panted heavily as she pressed her child to her breast in sweet tenderness.
Patting his wife's head, he smiled, "more than I could have ever prayed for. The gods surely have granted us a blessed child! I don't care if our child was a boy or girl. She's ours and that's all that matters."
"Agreed," tears rolled down her rosy cheeks and a smile spread wide across her face. Her breathing had evened out to more calm puffs of air. Her husband wrapped her in wool blankets before encasing her in his arms.
"I will be there for you always," he kissed her forehead and slowly rocked her back and forth, listening to her murmur sweet words to their new child. The midwife peeked in to say her goodbyes before leaving their small home.
Neighbors could be heard outside asking the midwife when they could go in to bring gifts and to see the child. However, the midwife had nothing to say and the husband left the neighbors outside to wait. After all, he was spending time with his family and nothing else mattered.
However, if one was to pass these nosy neighbors and ignore the wails of a newborn, they would head across the poor district's town center and up a hill towards the more wealthy class. But then again, these people were of little importance at the time, even the head of the city who was buying some bread was of little importance.
There in the mountains by a little meadow was a little cabin. Their priestess lived there and could be consulted here when not doing her daily duties within the city's Great Temple.
Most towns had one priestess and depending on the size of the city or town, the priestess may have a few helpers, especially if the size of their temple was grand, but that too depended on the size and wealth of the town. This priestess was fortunate to have a few who would help her but she had sent them away quite a while ago.
Upon her hands and knees, she spoke quietly at first, but with each breath she took, her voice only grew louder and louder until her surroundings melted away. Her chanting eventually faded off once she knew her summoning had been answered. Kneeling before the great god of fate and time, the old priestess humbly placed a hand over her heart and bowed her head low.
"You've summoned me. I have answered. Be quick or lose me altogether now," the god, dressed in a simple robe, sat on his swirling marble chair with eyes closed as if in deep thought. Often people would call him the god of simplicity because of his usual pauper outfit: a plain, brown robe wrapped around his elderly looking body and his gray hair neatly pulled back into a low ponytail that reached his waist.
"Allow me to apologize for my disturbing you but I have great matters I would like to discuss," when he gave no objection she hastily continued, " I grow older by the minute and soon will not even be able to walk without help-"
"I am a god of time, destiny, and fate. I see this as clearly as you would see an apple if it was placed in your hand. Stop wasting my time, old priestess," irritation laced his tone and she gulped uncomfortably.
The god always wished to be left in solitude and would rarely speak with anyone. He wasn't one to take sass from a human either. In fact, he'd rather blast her back to her dainty little cabin and meditate without disturbance but he knew why she had come. However, being the kind of person, he is, he will wait to know if they truly know why they, themselves, had come. Something most would find annoying.
"I ask for the prophecy of this new priestess."
Confused, she nodded her head as she spoke, "am I to demand of you? I come humbly to ask for your help. I must know who will lead my people when I am gone."
Humming softly, he didn't speak. Despite the irritation inside of her that told the old woman to damn him and walk away, she stayed where she was and waited.
"You will know the minute your eyes connect with hers." His voice became a quiet whisper in her ear, nearly making her jump. The old priestess held fast, keeping still, so as to not offend him.
He still sat in his chair, his feet retreating back under his frail weight, and took up a position of meditation. Yet, his voice echoed directly right into her ear, underlined with a tone of foreboding and utter death.
"Her innocence will be shattered." A calm breeze generally welcomed in the summer heat, sent a racking chill through her bones. It felt as if death had already come to reap her soul.
"Her trust in anyone and anything will be ripped to pieces." Tears pricked her eyes as a sadness overwhelmed her. Who should have been so unfortunate, so cursed to have such a fate?
"This new priestess will have no training for she doesn't need any. So, be very much aware the power this child holds as she will either be the destruction of your people or the savior of them." His voice retreated from her and death left her side to be burned by the sudden warmth of the sun. Still, tears made constellations on her withered lashes.
"Pray they chose wisely, old priestess, and pray very hard, for these gods above you rain hell upon those who anger them. I guarantee it that your people will be as blind as a newborn lamb. I will hold no sympathy for them as they walk right into the slaughter. Go and never disturb me again." Last minute, the woman straightened herself, hiding her unshed tears and how unhinged she felt.
Before she could even bother to thank him, Tatisic sent her back down below to the mortal world. Slightly irritated, the priestess rested in her rocking chair for the rest of the day.
The old god's decree rang in her ears and throughout her head.
Who on earth could this mysterious new priestess be? One with no need for training. One whose innocence and trust in the world would be stripped of her the minute she was declared the new priestess. One who would destroy her people or save them.