Chapter 27: Goddess or Whore
Daniel continued to ring airlines to beg tickets back to Rome with not much success. Michael sat down beside Ben who looked drained and exhausted. He hated disturbing him, but he had to ask. So he put his concerns to him.
‘I don’t understand?’ Ben asked.
‘Well, like I said, the cycle of the god and goddess has been constant since the beginning of time.’ Ben nodded as his eyes shifted uneasily to Daniel as he entered the room. ‘And even in pagan times it was always the god that died. Sacrificed to save his people, and the goddess was a constant, ever changing, but constant. In our case, Jesus died and Mary Magdalene supposedly lived on carrying his child inside her.’
‘What are you getting at?’ Ben asked
Daniel moved further into the room and threw his phone on to one of the beds.
‘I know what he is getting at. If Cayne is God then I am the human. Surely it should be the other way round.’
Ben thought for a moment. It had occurred him also, but who was he in the grand scheme of things to question the motives of gods.
‘One can only assume that this is a way of the goddess regaining her crown. Mary Magdalene was turned from goddess to a worthless whore and not honoured. Maybe the divine is trying to make a point.’
‘Which is?’ Michael asked.
‘We need to honour both male and female, light and dark, in order to achieve perfect balance and harmony,’ Ben answered.
Daniel sat down on the bed and Michael saw his face darken as it seemed something had just become apparent.
‘If Cayne is indeed God then does she need to pay the blood sacrifice?’
Michael and Ben looked at one another, that had not been considered and they admitted it Daniel. All they knew was that she must not die with the child inside her at any cost.
‘I may be stating the obvious, but who’s to say that I won’t ever have other children?’ he asked.
‘Because you will never love another like you do Cayne. If she dies, there will never be anyone who will take her place. Your baby dies, then so does your bloodline and without your bloodline then the divine cannot return to Earth. That is the real Armageddon. The human race relies on God walking amongst us for our salvation. Otherwise we all descend into chaos.’
An unsettling quietness fell into the room. Daniel looked towards Ben and felt an old anger rise from the pit of his stomach like a serpent uncoiling. He could not hold anything of the nastiness in any more. It was burning him in the side. The old man or not, he was responsible.
‘And knowing all of this there was no way you thought there could be another way. There was not a time that you stood back and thought maybe I am going about this wrong. You, Ben are a weak man who let his fear stand in the way of doing right.’
‘I know I’m weak and there is no excuse,’ Ben whispered. ‘But Henrick was so certain…’
‘Henrick is the one who’s taken her to be killed you stupid fool,’ Daniel snapped. ‘Well as far as I am concerned if Cayne dies, then it’s your hands that are stained with her blood, not mine.’
The hillside was less crowded than expected.
She supposed that the people had got bored by the spectacle and these punishments were too common place to carry amusement.
She had managed to snuggle beside a tree and as she did she dared to look at the hilltop for the first time.
The sky above looked furious, its dark clouds had now blocked out the sun, so that all that remained was bruised and torn sky.
Exactly how he must be feeling she thought.
With the clouds came a rumble of thunder that rocked the sky some miles away.
A sudden wind blew around her and gave some light relief from the earlier heat.
Shouts from the crowd made her insides jump as she looked above their heads and saw her lover and master being raised.
His face, she could see, was twisted in pain and blood poured from his hands.
He had been nailed crudely to the Roman's tree of death.
To her, he was innocent, but to others he had blasphemed and tried to take control of the people and the people in power did not like that.
However, he was more than that to her.
To her he was her husband and soul mate.
She knew from the very first moment to their last.
She dared to move closer, but still trying to keep her distance from the crowd.
She did not fear them.
Her fears of safety came from those closer to home.
The ones who supposedly followed her lover, but now at his death were nowhere to be seen.
One in particular had been jealous of her from the beginning.
'Women were not fit to rule,' he had said, but her husband had dismissed him and that had angered him.
As she weaved in and out she saw a withered face of a wretched woman.
It was Mary, his mother.
His mother had been young when she had given birth to her love and that youthful glow had remained with her, making her so warm and approachable; however, today there was nothing but pain in her eyes.
She turned away briefly not sure if she could cope with the grief of another as well as her own, yet when the life inside jumped she knew she had to go to her.
The thunder had now moved closer.
She could feel its tremor underfoot.
They had now moved to the feet of her husband.
Soldiers kept the crowd back, but they could still see the torture in his face.
The man she loved, the one whose whole being carried strength now dwindled as he began to sob and cry at the heavens above.
She could feel Mary fall to her knees beside her and she followed.
She wrapped her shawl tighter around her as the wind of the storm began to gather.
A sudden fear gripped her and with it, a sudden realisation of what was ahead for her and their child.
She knew she had to leave this land for somewhere far away and safe, her high priests would know where she should go, she trusted them with her life.
As he breathed his last she knew also the impact this moment was going to have on the world and she was just as much a part of it as he was.
That was why she had to leave.
The baby inside jumped and kicked as its father died and fulfilled his prophecy.
Soon his body was pulled down and laid in her arms for the last time.
As well as the grief and fear, she felt anger to those that had been given their gifts, yet had chosen not to see their lord perform his last act