The Legend of the Goddess
Shiir felt the rhythm of his heart grow faster as she approached him, and lets his feet slide backwards, away from the shore of the pond. Perhaps it was the curious way that she stared at him, perhaps is was the way her body glowed; whatever it was, he had never seen a being like her before, and that was enough to evoke his fear. Although she did not seem interested in harming him, he did not want to learn that he was wrong as he perished at her hands.
The lily pad touched the edge of the soil, then stopped. Shiir’s chest heaved as he watched the woman get to her feet, gripping his spear tightly. The way she moved, it was as though she were a slight as a feather, for the lily pad did not sink beneath her weight. Her toes leaped gracefully from the round leaf and onto the earth, the jewels on her anklets twinkling faintly. The green and yellow sash that wrapped around her body remained in place, covering her chest and hips, as well as her legs.
“I know you afraid, sweet elf,” she said, taking not a single step closer. “I will not hurt you, I promise.”
She watched him for another moment, as he stood there speechless, his spear ready to defend him.
“How is it that you know such fear? I never meant for you to be this afraid of me.” She thought for a moment, and then worried aloud, “You have not met him, have you?”
Shiir blinked his viridian eyes. “Who?”
Shaking her head, she replied, “Of course you have not. Listen to me, dear elf. I am unlike any being that you have met before today. Where you are mortal, my life-force springs eternal. Where you must hunt for meat and gather the planets of my precious world, I find sustenance from a greater power. I am a goddess.”
“A…” Shiir was at a loss for words, although the woman before him seemed to be sincere in what she was telling him. “What is a goddess?”
“I will explain it to you as best I can. The words is your language are hardly enough to truly express what I am, though.” She paused a moment, and then went on to explain, “As a goddess, I am made of the same power that made this world, and all the life upon it. I have been a part of Lorata for as long as this planet has traveled around its star, and I will be a part of it long after your mortal life has ended. I have been watching over the elves ever since the first one was born.”
“You’re saying that you are a power greater than us? Yet you look like us…”
“This is not my true form; I have taken only so that I could walk upon the soil as you do. I felt that it was time that we meet, dear elf.”
Shiir raised a brow, incredulous. “I am dear to you?”
The woman gave a motherly smile, and nodded. “All elves are precious to me. Before you, I have never seen so wonderful a life-form on my world.”
“You.. The elders in the village speak of spirits,” Shiir said, as though he had been thinking of a way to understand what she was saying. “They say that all living things have a spirit inside of them. Is that what you are?”
“Your elders are very wise, and that is partly why I love your kind so much. I am more than a spirit, young one. I am that which sustains this planet, the foundation of all of its elements. With the others, I help to keep life on Lorata flowing and thriving.”
His mouth agape, Shiir listened to her words. It was several long moments before he could gather himself together enough to reply. “You… you are what they wondered about. The elders have been asking one another what is greater than the spirits, a-and now you are standing here before me!”
The woman smiled down at him. “I knew that you would be ready to meet me. Please, lower your spear, and rest you fearful mind. I have been protecting your kind for ages, and I did not come here this day to change that.”
Shiir nodded, and lightened his grip on his weapon. He let out an uneasy breath, trying to relax.
“My name is Jenh, goddess of Lorata’s elements and protector of the land.”
“Jenh…” Shiir repeated, his voice hardly more than a whisper.
Before he could say anything more, the bushes behind him rustled, and he turned to follow his gaze, and realized that he was no longer alone with her in the glen.