Saturday, November 13, 2010
Amulet of the High Priestess
Transfixed, I watched her approach; my breath caught in my throat. Undulating as she walked, her hips swayed as to some unknown music playing in her mind. Raven black hair cascading down to below her waist caught the light that filtered through the canopy of this ancient forest, to give it sheen. Large azure blue eyes stared through me; unblinking and wicked. Her tan skin, almost bronze like glistened with the thick humidity that condensed upon touch.
Exotic smells of oils and balms and richly scented flowers mingled with the heady aroma of damp earth and burning wood. Her breasts were large and firm. Free of all encumbrances, they gently embraced the large golden amulet suspended from a string of fresh water pearls, almost translucent. Guards in tribal headdress and carrying lances menaced my slightest movement. As she neared, they bowed in reverence. She raised one bejeweled hand.
“Why have you come to our land?”
I felt the sharp point of a lance at the back of my neck nudging my immediate response.
“Forgive me. I am a doctor and conducting research into remedies found naturally in the plants that surround us. I was unaware I was intruding.”
She smiled and with a small wave of her hand, the guards retreated a few paces.
“Stand and face me doctor.”
Though said in a soft and musical tone, I felt compelled and commanded to obey instantly.
“I am curious doctor; do all the people where you come from have green eyes and pale skin like yours?”
Our eyes were locked in a searching stare; a tiny polite smile curling her lips deliciously.
“O your Majesty. Some are brown and some are blue; though, not many would have a blue so lovely as yours.”
Her mouth grew wide and she started to giggle.
“Why do you call me Majesty? I am not the Queen. I am the High Priestess! You stare at my amulet. Does this interest you? Have you lied to me? Are you here to steal it? Answer me! Now!”
Her smile had turned instantly from a smile to snarl, and contorted her beautiful features as the guards once again raised their lances and drew near.
“No, no, no, High Priestess! I am as I say. Please, you must believe me. I do, in fact find the amulet quite beautiful, but I would never consider stealing it. Please…”
Her face returned to calmness as she waved the guards once again to retreat.
“Our lands have always protected us. From Mother Earth we receive our food; our medicine when we are sick; her wood for burning when we are cold. We are bound to serve her, and she, in return allows us to live and die in her gentle arms. I will summon our medicine woman. She will show our medicines, and then you will leave this place doctor and never return. Our guards will escort you safely out of our land.”
A great sadness overcame me as I uttered my acceptance to her terms. I knew that though I would keep my promise, others would not. My appearance here would only be the beginning of the end of paradise for the High Priestess and her people. I watched as she removed the amulet and gently removed one of the pearls and held it out to me.
“Take this with you doctor; to remember me and my people. Never forget.”
She smiled and gave a gentle nod, then turned and walked slowly back to where the villagers waited for her to recount what had just transpired.
That was 41 years ago. And today, as I look at the pearl in my hand, I wonder. But, I will never know. Did she survive? Did her people survive? Is their land being raped by godless and heartless machinery till nothing remains but gaping muddy holes where once paradise on earth stood? Are this pearl and my memories all that remain of that paradise? The amulet of the High Priestess is lost, for all time and Mother Earth weeps and spills her bitter tears on the muddy ground.
Inspired by the photo prompt at Magpie Tales