Give Name to Me
Author's note: This was originally a rewritten myth, but I fell in love with Melissae and she needed me to tell... Show full author's note »
Chapter 1She saw it.
Melissa saw it coming.
The way he was constantly agitated when his wife was not getting pregnant. How he loomed over her with the menacing aura of a tyrant, waiting for a sieged land to produce everything he ever wanted from itself. Almost everyone in the city was aware of the mayor’s obsession with having a child. He only wanted a boy.
Considering the size of the city, this was exponential. Although maybe in his case it was not so peculiar- it was his city, after all. Everyone knew the mayor-Christopher Beautre: he did everything he could for the city. Sometimes he was so active he seemed to be in more than one place at a time. There was, however, one area where his perfection failed him: dealing with children. About a month after his position was secured, any company with interest in bringing the mayor and children together gave up their quest entirely. Though during his campaign he had spent time enough with kids; daycares, elementary schools, adoption agencies and the like were regular visitations of Chris’s, he never seemed particularly fond of the little things running around his feet, each one shouting louder than the last, spitting the graham cracker pieces that did not end up down their throats at his face. After he had won the election, he would not do such as watch a child without a disdainful smirk playing across his lips like a satyr playing to a young woman. Though he did his best to hide it, his political and social actions displayed his one failing plainly.
Which is why those who were familiar with him, as in ninety percent of his city’s population-were so surprised when he announced, along with his wife’s conceiving, that he was holding a massive party for the baby. Bizarrely, he seemed happier than ever before. No one saw anything amiss for they merely thought their dear mayor had had a change of heart.
It is different when it is your own, they all corroborated in whispers. All except for one. While elderly women chuckled over his exuberance and young men iinventedlarities regarding how love brings ruin to the lives of males, she watched him trace complex lines strategically over his wife’s exploding gut. Local news stations called it sweet, and wives chided husbands for their lack of enthusiasm over their own families. She called it ominous, and chided herself for not noticing something was wrong.
Everyday the eccentric onlooker passed by their home on the way to her work, and every day she saw something that made her think more of a poem she knew from somewheree, somewhen, when she was someone else. Be it a paper splattered with a fluid just a shade too crimson to be benign, or a murderous whisper issuing from the basement window late at night when she was walking from her midnight shift, she knew somehow the poem was written for her warning:
Monsters walk among our Live
Not all burn in Sun or
Monsters walk among the Died
Turn to stone at Rise
Monsters want everything
So hush yourself and lie in wait
From everything that it is not
For never shall their wants satiate
Monsters shall come upon you
Wait for nothing but one call
And never will you be the same
You will know right from wrong.
So she watched him grimace as she stepped on her way to the beehive she worked at with an ancient, forlorn tune haunting her mind and lips.
Where do you go when you do not know what to do? When the stomach of a careless woman is ready to erupt with a child doomed to face fate all alone? What do you do when you see the dark horse on the sea’s horizon, but have no weapon? How do you know what to do when you can do nothing, but must do something?
Melissa, a girl with a name meaning emptiness, did not have any idea. No one had ever noticed her as a child and, unlike her body, that fact had not changed as she grew to adulthood. She was never like her sisters, regardless of their shared heritage and race. She had always been the fastest to mature, always the nimblest in the trait of gentility. Always the slowest to be noticed by men, and always the quickest to be maligned by man. It was perhaps why she had come to be the one left to the things deemed lesser in life. She had rented an apartment owned by an aged woman until the poor lady had been laid to rest by a spirit who was on the verge of losing a bet over the woman’s lifespan. Selfish things they were, perhaps a bit too similar to humanity. What man gives care to whether a mouse has any others who rely upon it, when they carry out its limp body from the inside of their home? This need not have been a concern for it who caused the Madam’s passing, for she had none but a woman whose face would slip from your mind the moment you glanced away from her. It was Melissa, or Melissae in the old language, the slippery image girl who buried her. Not with her own hands, but with her own heart did she pull away at the roots in the soil. The dryads shrieked at her for disturbing the pleats in their gowns, but she paid no mind, for it was her pulmonary arteries which pulled at the soil rather than the claw of the iron machine. She had lost all that had ever mattered to her, and it was that night, when Melissa was alone in bed, when the drop of clear, liquid gold slipped from her eye. It flowed down her cheek meekly, as if afraid to leave the warmth of her insides. When it reached the point of her chin, it clung to the cleft as if its tiny drop of a spirit depended on it. If you had licked it, it would have been sweet to the tongue and syrupy to the lips.
There was once, a long time ago, in a world not our own, a girl turning woman like Melissae, but her name meant something else. Something that made everyone think of a glistening sweetness, falling like dewdrops from crevices in trees and fay dancing on lilac flowers.