It was a small offering. The group is demanding, but one so fresh and innocent is always welcomed. And she was fresh as morning dew, and twice as innocent.
She had no right to be so untouched, so perfect. Life gave her everything, and I so little. She should have been full of it all, a glut of knowledge, a surfeit of experience, a satiation of all appetites. But she was not. She glided across her blessed world with no true awareness of her luck, her gifts.
And so I determined that she who did not value her blessings must be shown a curse.
They might have asked who I was to presume, to give her to them, to lead her down that primrose path. And yes I am nothing, so little, my tiny life prescribed by walls of blandness and lack. And she, it seemed, was everything, her life open and glorious. I watched her, you see, and that alone is enough. It is enough to claim her as my offering, so that I may finally be someone, through the gift of another.
A little lamb to their ritual slaughter, drawn by my encouragement to pursue a supposedly wonderful man. Well, he is wonderful in his way. They all are. But to be that they feed on others. Like her. But how was one such as she to know?
They asked me what I wanted as payment. I replied I only want payment in kind. I want her life, once she has abandoned it, all she has, all she was.
“But you will never have her innocence,” they said, laughing. “That is impossible.”
“It is the only part of her I do not want,” I replied.
“Just as well,” they responded.
And of course there was one other thing of hers I did not want, nor receive. Her death. But then, that was never part of the bargain, and was never the prize coveted. Her life, her life, and for that her death.
It seemed a fair exchange to me. Much fairer than life had ever been before.
(c) Helen M Valentina 2016