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"The Temple of Gaia is a holy place. If one takes from the Goddess Almighty, wrath will come upon those who sin."Chapter 1: The Thief
The island started shaking. The ground tore itself apart, causing ruptures throughout. Villages destroyed. People harmed. Temples ruined. The island is rebelling against the tides, pushing harder and harder. The land is angry because a sacred item has been stolen.
Kiya rushed towards the Temple of Gaia, the Goddess of the Earth, and almost topples over due to the trembles resonating throughout the island. The island of Aphaea, Goddess of Fertility and Agriculture, survives off of the gift of the One True Goddess. The gift was bestowed upon the island when humans first found the island. The gift was a crystal said to be from Mount Olympus itself, without it, the Goddess will have her wrath.
Kiya carefully moved rock that had cracked from the Temple, and stepped inside. While she walked, the ground shook more forcefully. When she was right at the altar, the ground quieted it’s shaking. The Goddess must know I have come to repent.
Kiya takes off her rucksack hanging from her shoulder and sets it on the altar gently. Shaking, she hesitantly takes out the crystal. The ground shakes with a ravenous force so harsh that her legs give out from underneath her. The crystal rolls out of her hands and smashes against the ground, scattering pieces everywhere. The young girl cries out in alarm, knowing the Goddess will condemn her to the Underworld for all eternity.
The ground shakes with a force that is unforgiving. Debris and rubble cuts into her skin. She starts crying and sobbing as the ground starts opening up beside her. A black mist pours out in endless waves, covering her body whole. The mist lifts her off of the ground and holds her up to a radiant Goddess who was descending from the heavens. “Please, don’t kill me. Oh, True Goddess, please! Have mercy!” Kiya cries pitifully.
The Goddess waves her hand and the mist disperses, dropping the girl from it’s grasp. Her back comes in contact with a rock jutting out from the marble floor. She cries out, but remembers the Goddess in her presence and quickly gets down on her knees. Bowing down so low her forehead touches the ground, Kiya sings hymns of the Goddess’ mercy and grace. It was a schoolyard song for the children, but she needs it now more than ever.
“Get up from the ground, dear.” The Goddess says, her voice a mixture of authority and grace. Kiya immediately stands up, but refuses to look at the Goddess. Her beauty is not meant for a mortal’s eyes. The Goddess lifts the girl’s chin and backs away. “I am not here to punish you. I am here to thank you.”
Kiya’s eyes widen and looks into the Goddess’ eyes, gold and silver. “What do you mean? I destroyed your gift to this island. It’s been here, at your mercy, for centuries.”
“Aye, but it was my jail. The humans learned to capture me by taking a piece of me, that crystal, and giving it to me as an offering. I’ve been trapped here for hundreds of years. But you, you set me free, even if it was for selfish reasons,” Kiya’s cheeks, still sticky with debris and tears, heats up. “No need to be ashamed. I am forever grateful. Now, what is it you desire most? Money? Fame? Anything. I’ll grant it to you.”
Kiya looked down at the ground before glancing up at the Goddess. “I wish for my mother to be here, with me. I’ve missed her so much.” The girl’s eyes are hopeful, but the Goddess sends her a pitying look.
“I’m sorry, young one. I cannot bring back the dead. Once someone’s spirit is gone from this world, they are out of my domain.” The Goddess speaks softly, “Do you wish for anything else?”
Kiya looks up, sadness deep in her eyes, “I would like to have a power. A power that helps things stay healthy, and live long lives. Plants, animals and humans alike.”
The Goddess smiles and snaps her fingers. A vile appeared from the black mist at her feet. “Drink this, and your wish shall be granted.” The vile floats to Kiya’s hands, and the girl grabs it hesitantly.
“You’re welcome, True Goddess. For setting you free. And, thank you for giving me this gift. Now, no one can end up being like my mother.” The Goddess smiles kindly, and tips her head in response. Then, the Goddess, and the mist, were gone. The temple that was in ruin, returned to its normal beauty.
Kiya drinks the vial, and feels a rush of power flow through her. She smiles. It’s the start of a great life for Kiya, and the people around her.