All these I shall gift you, child of our hearts, but first — first I demand entrance. You shall let fall the necessary sigil, you shall grace me with the words required. And then, dear one, and then, we shall make our trawthe.
The girl ran corridors in her mind, the labyrinthine land of grief, of loss, wherein allthings that might have been said are spoken and taken away in a single breath. She ran these paths, thick and dark woods, cities of iron and glass and darkness, but she heard the hiss betweenthe concrete and the hoary moss. She heard the hiss and the promise and she asked:
what is your name?
And she heard:
I am Nasiddos, Scyllian daughter of Hekate, a yelping witch-pup in acave, a yawning gash in the ocean.
The words crept up from the grates in the street, fromunderneath the gnarled roots and snatching branches in the city-forest of her mind. And the girlcaught hold of them, white and sharp and effervescent, and she clutched the words to her chest,snatched the name from the air and held it, rustling, to her throat.
What is it
, thought the girl,spoke the girl,
that you want of me?
Precious one, fair child of the moon and the stars and the depthless oceans, we seek tomake you anew. The cracks in your soul bleed themselves dry and the blood seeps through the porous earth and we taste it in the air, on the wind of the underworld. And we listen, my mother,my sisters, and I, we listen to your plaintiff cries, in the dark of the night, we watch your frail body, the darkness of your self, and our hearts weep.
The girl turned a corner in the labyrinth city, the endlessly mathematic forest, and shegazed at the dark sky above her, the faceless void before her. She could not see where she shouldgo, but she felt the name rustle against her cold skin and stroked it gently, murmuring into itswhite-truth:
What must I do, to leave the bowels of this place?