From her Kings are born. From woman, woman is born, without woman, there would be no one at all.
With long flowing dark hair, regal eyes and nut brown skin, She rose from the earth and the scent of jasmine lingered in the air from where She had been. From Her fingers sprung saplings, a strange, golden light emitted from Her palms and from Her feet grew long, dark, tightly knotted vines.
Plump and soft with bountiful breasts or tall and slender with a flash of anger in Her eyes, She came in many names, shapes and forms. Leaves, thorns, berries delicately adorned Her hair as She trod on soil, foliage, fire, clay, mud or rock.
She made the land fertile, brought light where there had only been darkness, hope where despair existed and water gushed where only ash had lain before. The desert bloomed and the scars of many disappeared as they began to thrive.
“Never leave us,” people pleaded when they saw Her. “We cannot imagine our world without you.”
To this She would gently smile and reply, “I am everywhere and always among you. How could I ever leave?”
The people breathed a sigh of relief and rejoiced: their world had become brighter, more beautiful and meaningful than before. They made oaths and took solemn vows that they would defend, cherish and protect the ones who gave life. They were convinced that nothing, or no one, could destroy their happiness.
It began gradually with a chill. It had accompanied a group of merchants after they had returned from six months of trading goods. They had come back with a strange glaze in their eyes and an air of malice hovered around their lips.
They looked upon the softness of their world with disgust and the piety of its people with disdain. Everywhere they looked they saw a way of life that was backwards, hindered progress and left them open to being attacked.
Their brows furrowed with mirth and tightened with repulsion at the adoration She received. White-hot anger surged through their veins and turned their hearts into molten rock, their eyes blazed with fury and any shred of compassion that they had dried up.
They had found the source of their fury, but knew that they couldn’t achieve their hearts’ selfish desires by themselves.
Their poison eventually seeped into the land, hearts and minds of the people as they turned on each other and slaughtered those who gave life.
The scent of jasmine no longer floated in the air. Instead it became so heavy and thick that it clung to people’s chests and burned their skin. Where water once ebbed and flowed, stood skeletal stems, dead foliage and deep grooves now slashed their way through the once lush riverbed.
It didn’t take long for Her to see what had happened to a land and a group of people She had fervently loved, nourished and protected. They came for Her with fire, weapons and blind fury.
It was Her fault. She was responsible for their plight. She had betrayed them and had to pay with Her blood. They vowed to destroy Her for causing them this pain and they didn’t care how long it would take. They vowed to forget that She ever existed and burned every single effigy that they had of Her.
She ran from the mobs. She ran from the fire. She ran from the earth that had given Her life. She ran from the light that had guided them. She ripped the saplings from her fingers, the vines that gripped her ankles and cast them aside. She ran headfirst into the darkness and vowed to never return.