Bodelia's Anguish

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Chapter 2

Bodelia was rooted to the spot as she watched Bren’has lift Imbhane from the pool, his hands caressing her arms as he let go. The goddess’ eyes narrowed as she noticed her sister’s straight white hair did not concealed the fact that the water made her pale blue garment transparent. Bren’has’ eyes drank her in, which left Bodelia with no doubt as to his intentions. He wrapped his arms around Imbhane and claimed her lips in a hungry kiss.

A heat Bodelia was unaware she could possess built within her chest. Unable to look away, she balled her hands into tight fist and watched as Bren’has lowered Imbhane to the grass and continued to devour her. When his knee pressed between Imbhane’s she didn’t stop him, instead she parted her legs obviously welcoming his advances. She felt a pain in her heart as she watched her sister’s body arched to his hand as it skimmed over her from hip to breast.

Bodelia looked away and swiped at the angry tears that fell on her flushed cheeks. Taking a breath in hope it would calm her, she peered around the rocks again. They were still there; this wasn’t some bad dream or illusion. She could detect no magic in play here; her status as Most High Goddess gave her advantages, one being able to detect magic, the other to read the thoughts and emotions of all living things. She felt the passion and love coming from the couple embracing in the grass and her pain turned to anger. What magic were the couple using to hide their secret? Rage vibrated through her body and soul until the ground around her feet began to tremble.

It wasn’t until the couple were pelted with tiny white stones from the nearby cove that they acknowledged what was happening. Above them dark clouds swirled and rumbled. The ground trembled again as Bodelia advanced to where they sat in the long grass, dazed. In a voice she barely recognised, Bodelia declared; “You will be brought before The Council of Immortals for your betrayal.”

Bren’has pushed away from Imbhane’s clutches and kneeling, he implored her. “My beloved…”

“How dare you call me such while you still have her taste on your lips?!” She roared. Under her breath she began to chant, the sound almost like a growl. The lagoon lost is solidity, sound and colour swirled together as Bodelia summoned the council.

“Please Bodelia, this was not our fault.” Imbhane knelt up, her hands reaching out in supplication towards her sister. The chanting stopped and their surroundings quivered. As the lagoon lost focus the water churned and swirled, as did the greenery around them. A thick fog gathered around Bodelia’s feet and legs, reaching outwards as if looking for an anchor point.

Fixing Imbhane with a cold stare, Bodelia resumed her chant; it was hard to not to feel her sister’s rising panic. A deep sadness swept over the space between them. Concentrating on the chant she tried to block it all out. Yet, something was missing. Her eyes turned to Bren’has, who tried to glare back at her. An odd feeling swept over her, dark and unyielding. He was fighting to obstruct her magic, trying to keep her from knowing his thoughts.

White flames licked the edges of reality and a low hum filled the spaces in between. The fog around them formed the pillars and steps of the temple in elaborate white wisps that arched upwards and joined to form the ceiling. Where Bodelia’s feet stepped the air around them rippled. She climbed the steps and sat upon the golden throne that materialised as she turned to face the council. The ability to instantly know the reason for their summoning was an advantage of time that no immortal needed. Yet, as Bodelia looked around she was glad of their powers. It would lessen the distress of those involved. The goddesses and gods of the immortal council sat on her right; all wore expressions of disgust and anguish. Their beautiful bodies, robed in radiant, lively colours, were rigid and unmoving. The outer cloister held the astral forms of other immortals. When the walls and floors of the temple shimmered, their unsubstantial state flexed out of focus. Mumbling from those gathered quickly changed to an eerie silence.

With a sweep of her hand the accused stood before them, still clothed in damp garments. Above their heads an orb of light churned as images of their affair gave witness of their guilt. Together, they were brought to their knees, the floor around them sending ripples as far as the eye could see. The quiet voices of the council spoke the word ‘guilty’ in unison. Though the declaration was quiet, the enormity of their verdict reverberated through the immortal realm.

A stifled angry cry escaped Imbhane’s lips. Her body swayed as if she would faint. Tremors of fear sent tiny ripples towards Bodelia as if to beg for her mercy. She leaned towards her co-accused for strength but his elbow pushed her upwards to kneel alone. Bodelia had not missed this small gesture of disloyalty towards the Lesser Goddess. The anguish at his actions triggered another emotional ripple across the misty floor towards her and the immortal council.

Sitting back on her throne, Bodelia held her head high. Her outward appearance was that of strength and resolve. Inside, her heart felt heavy and for the first time in her existence she felt weary. Her pain and anguish resonated around the tall arches of the temple and tension added to the abyss that advanced just beyond. She would not allow darkness to enter their domain; she would not allow it to corrupt the other immortals. With determination, Bodelia stood and faced the shamed. The sentence for them was all ready imprinted on her mind; however, the ripples created by her sister’s remorse eased the heaviness of her heart. Could she truly carry out such sentence?

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