You Were: The Sacrifice

July 6, 2010

(Who Were You? #10)

(Above: Reliving the glory days.)

We’re going way back for this one. I’m not even sure which country we’re visiting–or if countries existed back then. All I know is this:  There was a really big, angry volcano right in your backyard.

You were just a little girl when people in your village began to speak of your beauty. Most of them offered their compliments with sad little shakes of their heads. You see, beautiful girls didn’t last very long in your neck of the woods. At the age of fifteen, before they had a chance to get too friendly with boys, they were tossed into the volcano to appease the god who lived inside.

The crazy thing was–it never worked! If it had, you might have accepted your role as protector of your people. But it made no difference how many virgins the god was given, he still sent a lava flow right down Main Street at least twice a month. You weren’t the sort of girl who went to a firey grave for nothing. So around about the age of twelve, you started looking for a way to save your own butt.

Your first thought was to make yourself ugly. You hacked off your lustrous, long black tresses, only to find you looked super-cute with a pixie haircut. You stopped bathing, only to discover that your skin began to shine. Even the tattered rags you insisted on wearing looked amazing on your willowy form.

One afternoon, you were sitting with your wise old grandmother, staring mournfully at the volcano in the distance. “Pack up the family heirlooms,” she suddenly said. “I can smell the lava coming.” Sure enough, an hour later, the houses across the street from yours had been consumed by liquid fire. “How did you know? Did the god tell you?” you asked your grandmother. “God? There’s no god inside that @*&$@ volcano,” your grandmother said. “When you live with a volcano for eighty years, you get to know when the $@$*#’s in a bad mood.” (Your grandmother cursed a lot.)

That’s when you had your brilliant idea.

You began studying the volcano for hours each day. Eventually, you knew how to interpret every plume of smoke, every tiny tremor, every whiff of sulfur. You could predict, within minutes, when the lava would come–and whether it would swallow the village or miss it all together.

It was only a few weeks before your fifteenth birthday, when you decided the time had come. You stepped into the square at the center of your village and addressed the people. “You have angered me, and I have called the fire,” you told them. “In an hour’s time, it will destroy two houses. If you throw me into the volcano, I will destroy the whole town and everyone in it.”

The people laughed. Back in those days, they didn’t take pretty fourteen-year-olds with pixie haircuts and grubby faces very seriously. An hour later, they weren’t feeling quite so lighthearted. Still, the village elders insisted it must have been a fluke. So three days later, you called the fire again. Four days after that, you summoned it once more.

Finally, the villagers got the message. The god from the volcano was actually a goddess. (That wasn’t exactly the message you were trying to send, but you figured you’d go with the flow.) As a result, you were granted supreme power over the people of your island. You immediately did away with virgin sacrifices. The only tributes you demanded were five handsome boys to act as your personal servants. (That’s as far as your imagination stretched at that particular moment.)

Then, once your rule of the island was unchallenged, you had the second of many brilliant ideas. You ordered the whole village moved to the other side of the volcano, out of the lava’s path.


2 Responses to “You Were: The Sacrifice”

  1. bravechickens Says:

    I enjoy reading these posts, they’re so good! And you learn small snippets about other cultures/eras in history too 😀

  2. Lianne Says:

    You just made me BEYOND excited! LOVE this one. ❤

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