“What the hell are you?” I shook as I faced the owner of the voice, a giant woman made of moss and dirt with a ram skull for a head.
“I am called Reka, Goddess of Nature. What is your name, little one?”
I bit my lip, “Leah Grant.” I answered, a little too weirded out and scared to question her divine status.
“Oh but that’s not right, is it little one?” She tilted her head to the side. Though her features didn’t change her expression seemed to.
“You can call me Grant.”
A happy flutter interrupted the fear in my heart.
The fennec fox jumped onto her shoulder and licked her skull. She pet him, “My friend has been watching you since you picked up my relic.”
She pointed to my hand, dirt falling from her arm as she moved. I looked down, seeing for the first time that I was wearing the jewelry I dug up. A chain bracelet connecting to rings on my fingers and thumb by small silver chains. “I have a soft spot for the underdogs of nature, little Grant.” She stood, her body shifting inhumanely as she moved. “And you are like a trampled flower but you refuse to wilt and I-”
“I’m not a damn flower.” I crossed my arms over my wrapped chest.
Reka halted her approach to me. “Oh uh right… Then you are like a… wolf? Who has been abandoned by the pack that should protect him-”
“I wasn’t really abandoned. I was locked in a basement, cut off from my friends, got my ass beat.”
“Will you just let me make my analogies?” She sighed, “Little Grant, would you like to be my priest?”
“Pray to me. Worship me. Make your sacrifices to me. And I will give you power. The power you need to make them pay for what they’ve done. The power to not suffer anymore.” She held a hand out to me.
I clenched my fists, keeping my arms folded over my chest. “What kinda sacrifices? What power? What do you even count as ‘worship’? This is all a little vague if you ask me.”
“Apologies, little Grant. Why don’t we sit down and have a nice chat about it.” Reka walked back to her throne of tree roots and sat down. She waved her hand and another, smaller chair of roots formed, “Come sit with me and talk, little Grant.”
I didn’t really like her calling me ‘little’ all the time but I couldn’t argue the point with a woman 5 times my size. I took a seat next to her and the fennec fox jumped into my lap, curling up against my stomach.
And Reka began to talk and talk. Her voice gentle, soothing, calming as she explained. After a while her voice lulled me to sleep.
When I woke up I was in my bed and the fennec fox was nowhere to be seen. I sat up and coughed my ribs aching. I stretched, trying in vain to make them feel better. I looked down at the relic on my right hand.
“Leah!” My parents called the name that was dead to me.
I curled my right hand into a fists and slid out of bed. Time for my first sacrifice.