We sat in a circle, with the darkness all about us. Not even the spirit fire was aflame. There was nothing; no sound punctuated the silence, not even the stars dared pierce the night.
The silence went on. Anticipation of what was to come rose and then faded as the stillness swallowed it up, turning that into nothing too.
Soon it was disappointment that invaded my heart. Perhaps the priestesses were right. Perhaps the Lady of Darkness could not be summoned by men, even if those men were the most capable priests in the land.
We had never attempted to summon her before. Why should we now? What had changed? The people had demanded answers to these questions before we broke with millennia of tradition, but the chief priest had declined to answer.
I myself put the same questions to him prior to this gathering. I had wanted to know if the cause was great enough, should something go amiss, should we offend the Lady of Darkness.
“Tell me,” I had said, “what could possibly justify this? What is different now that we must do this?”
The chief priest looked me in the eye and I saw his own fill with tears that began to spill down his cheek.
“I have seen it,” he whispered. “Everything is different now. Everything has changed. The world will be lost if we do not try this. It is the only way.”
And that could only mean one thing: the greatest calamity ever known. The Last Prophecy had come into effect and soon the world would be plunged into an eternal darkness.
Unless of course, the Lady of Darkness could be persuaded to intervene.
This was written for Day 2 of “The 12 Days of Winter” writing challenge. See this page here for more details and a list of prompts.