The Smile that Hides the Storm

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  No Houses
Part of a series called "Writing Wretrospective", in which I go back and rewrite snippets of old stories I wrote way back when.

This one was from a standard "chosen one finds out she has magic powers and does stuff the end" stories. Not very memorable at the time.

Submitted: November 22, 2013

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Submitted: November 22, 2013

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The Head Witch Circe met often with Empress Lilith to pester her for a sample of her ancient vampire blood for her experiments. The prideful and pale beauty refused her every time, but not before teasing Circe’s abrasive nature. Circe and Lilith were among the only Summit members who could stand to converse without resorting to attempted murder. That was perhaps the reason why barely anything was ever accomplished at meetings.

Lilith tugged Circe beneath the veiled canopy in Core’s council room lobby. The witch made a fuss, already reaching for her gem-encrusted wand, when the vampire silenced her with a slender white finger. She pointed across the room to the colossal double doors leading into the sacred meeting room.

The empress ticklied Circe's neck with her icy breath. “Make us invisible, darling. Let’s have a little fun,” she whispered.

The witch hesitantly obeyed, casting a wordless incantation with her wand. Their bodies disappeared just as two people emerged from the room.

Rare was such beauty anywhere in any plane in any time. Such blinding light was enough to stop the hearts of anyone who met that primrose gaze.

She had no title, unlike every other member of the Summit. She was there even before the first ray of sunshine touched the first blade of grass. It was she who every sentient being strived to be. That paragon of mystical perfection held the fate of the world in her fine hands.

The man beside her held the door open so she could glide gracefully out, her train of milky silk fawning after her steps. Even with her all-seeing eyes permanently closed, she knew where to place each foot where it was destined to be. Her silvery head dipped down to accompany her smile in thanks to the man.

His own beauty was nothing compared to hers, and yet it far outmatched all others’. His long white hair slid from his shoulder as he bowed low before her. He was and would always be her silver servant.

The two vanished down one of the rounded hallways leading off to the living quarters, but not before the goddess directed her noble head straight at the empty cushions in the corner. Her eyes remained closed and her mouth remained smiling. Then, she turned and left.

“I knew she would still see us,” Circe said. She snapped her fingers to dispel the veil. “I never expected to see her anywhere besides a Summit meeting.”

Lilith sighed. “She hurts my eyes.”

Circe leaned back into the pillows next to the empress’s hips. That deity was none other than the founder of the Summit. She was its very essence and soul. Without her, the round table of crystal would go dim, void of life to make its existence relevant.

“Fauna,” Circe breathed. “Say, Empress. You’re an old hag. How did she get your part of the underworld to join the Summit?”

Lilith laughed venomously. “That’s right. I forget that your kind is pathetically short-lived. A foot is not often wary of the puny ants it crushes,” she said. The vampire stroked Circe’s trusting neck. “Fauna was not the one to approach me all those ages ago. It was that doll of hers.”

Circe swatted the cold hand away from her throat. “Rayne?” she asked. “I wonder how old he must be, then.”

“He was the one who brought all the other ambassadors here as well. Fauna was the one who made him. Only she knows how old he is.”

“That kind of magic,” Circe whispered. “No one can create a life out of nothing, no matter how much power they possess. That’s the first rule of our world. But she easily broke it.”

The witch couldn’t help but be in awe of Fauna. That awe made her even more curious.

“Has she ever stopped smiling before? The thought seems horrifying.”

Lilith tensed. “You would be right in that assumption, darling.”

“There’s no way.” Circe turned her head to look back at the lounging empress. “You’ve seen it before?”

Lilith nodded. “I thought I felt my heart beating again when it happened. It was when the humans were banished from the Summit. It was when they stole the future from her.”

Circe’s jaw locked. The very thought of such a violation disgusted her. However, her pity for the fate of the violator was even more intense.

“I could never hope to comprehend her thoughts, but Fauna had exposed a single truth to us all on that day,” Lilith said. “I saw a god’s wrath erupt from beneath the cracks of self-made shell. That shell did not used to exist.”

“I see,” said Circe. “As warm as it is, her smile's still a lie. One created to hide the limitless power beneath.”

“Precisely,” Lilith said. “Since that day I find myself pondering. What did she hurt when she let loose her full potential? Or perhaps...” The empress tilted her head. “...the question is whom?”

Circe thought back on Fauna’s silver servant, Rayne. Her doll was always at her side. He was the only one Fauna opened her eyes for. In those rare times, they traveled immediately to the harsh crack splitting his fine face in two. Her smile would seem to intensify, filling all who witnessed it with overwhelming warmth. Not even her smile could mend her creation’s single scar.

The witch chuckled wryly, digging her face into her vampire’s hollow stomach. It seemed that a god could have a weakness, after all.

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