Pride

Dec. 5th, 2007 12:16 am
late_born_myth: (hardships)
[personal profile] late_born_myth
"A hell of a lot of good it does, crying now. You should've cried when all those embassies were laying flowers at my feet, and the people called me goddess. 'Creation has rendered us a new Aphrodite, one with all the grace and virtue of maidenhood' - didn't I say it wasn't right, I wasn't any such thing, I was only flesh and blood, your own flesh and blood, and hadn't you read any stories, ever, no good could come of this?

"Stop it, stop, I can't stand it if you cry."

(Not her most generous moment. It would have been kinder to let them weep and mourn her as she stood there, still alive but for how long? - but she was young, angry past kindness or lies. They would've felt better if she'd broken down and cried herself, wept and torn her bright hair and pled for her life, but she was seventeen and about to die and prouder than she'd ever guessed, prouder than she even saw in that moment.)

"And I notice for all your tears you haven't tried to argue I shouldn't be sacrificed. That you can't spare me. Well, what else is a princess for? I would always have been married for the good of my kingdom, my people.

"Stop crying, mother, father: find me mourning weeds for bridal clothes. Take me up to the rock. I want to meet my husband. I swear, I swear, I want to meet my fate. God."

(And as the torches that had followed her up to the sacrificial rock flickered down the mountain path, she wanted - oh terribly - to call out. The smoke of their passing stung her eyes. Dying, dying a maiden, and alone with a monster who might devour her in one sense or - the gods only knew with what savagery - another; so young, and to die by no mortal means. Take pity on me, my people, please, how have I offended you? I who loved you, loved you all, and only wanted to be worthy of the great things you called me?)

"I am a king's daughter," she whispered to herself, and did not cry. "A king's daughter, no matter what king fathered me. I am the chosen bride." (Of what?)

"And I am not afraid."
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