“Don’t kill him!”
The shrill voice of a materializing tall figure stunned the man. His sacrificial dagger fell on the stony floor of the temple with a reverberating clang in the darkness.
She repeated. “Why in my name, are you doing this again?”
The gawking man did not bend to retrieve his blade. “You… you’re…”
The black woman-shaped figure moved an impatient hand in the air, jingling her many golden bracelets. “Yes, yes, I am your reverence, your she-devil, Jahi.” Bending to pick up the forgotten blade she continued, “Again, what’s all this? Why do you keep sending me these… these small humans?”
The man adjusted his red robes with shaking hands. “Because…uh… well, you are, I mean we worship you.”
“I know that. But what’s with this?” She pointed vaguely to the black satin-covered altar and the unconscious child on it.
The man bowed low. “Your Most Viciousness, Your Highest in Deception…”
“Enough with the formalities.” Jahi interrupted him. “What’s your name?” she asked while moving the child’s leg with two fingers to sit on the platform, making a face.
“I’m Dahak, the High Priest of your demonic cult,” the man replied. “My… My Lady?” he added consciously.
“Fine, Dahak, my High Priest, why do you keep ‘sacrificing’ these small people?”
Dahak glanced at the child furtively. “We… uh, present you with our own offspring to earn your delectation?”
Rolling her yellow eyes she asked, “And why do you need my delectation so badly?”
Dahak gulped, his eyes darting between her and the child. “Because we need more power to conquer the neighboring nation.”
Crossing her bleaching pale legs, she leaned back on her palms and asked, “What’s your beef with them? Did they steal something of yours?”
“N- No, My lady.”
“Killing someone from your nation?”
“They’re actually against killing, My Lady.”
“Ugh!” She scowled. “I’d despise them for that alone. So what have they done to you?”
“Eh…” His bald head was glistening with sweat against the chill.
Jahi snapped, “Eh, eh, what is it, you miserable creature?” Leaning forward to take the trembling Dahak under her scrutiny she suddenly purred. “Are they worshipping a wrong god?”
Dahak stammered, “Not to my knowledge.”
“What then?” She shrieked, getting up and towering over Dahak who blurted, “They have the wrong outfit.”
“What in hell’s name are you babbling about?” Her long nails were digging deep into Dahak’s shoulders.
“Their men, they wear long robes,” he said.
“My Lady!” Dahak wailed. “That’s for women to wear. They disagree, claiming that men need to move freely and women are at total ease with pantaloons.”
Jahi let go of him abruptly. “That’s it? All you want is they stop wearing skirts?”
“That is fundamental in the values of a well-orga…”
Jahi cut across him, “Yeah, yeah, whatever. Just stop sending these offerings.”
“But My Lady, you are the darkest, the most cunning, and the most powerful she-devil of all time. Surely you find the children useful to form your future army and thus grant us…”
Jahi sniggered. “My army? I don’t need an army to rule and I don’t want your –what did you call them? Children? If I wanted them, I’d have stayed with that pathetic excuse of a creature, your ancestor, Adam.”
Turning with a jingle of her round earrings she looked coldly over her shoulder. “They’re pretty useless to me anyway.” she said. “Stop sending them over.”
“But then the war, My Lady!”
“Ugh, you men and your wars! I’ll make them wear pants. Happy? No more children? Good. Gotta go meet Darius.”
The temple fell into silence except for the steady breath of the sleeping child.
So. Ganji currently lives in Persia where she works as a professional teacher/ translator of fiction. Her main genre to work with is Fantasy and Myths and that has been her field of study with a BA of English Literature and an MA of Art Research. “Kids” is her first published work in English.
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