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Published by: api-25934750 on Mar 29, 2010
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06/29/2012

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The Moon’s Own Darkling Daughter:
An Illness Mytho-Narrative
Rebekah Wheadon
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To my mother, who kissed my tear-stained cheeks and held my tremblinghands and found the shining piece of the puzzle that saved me (even ifshe didn’t realize it at the time).
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This is the myth:
 
In the middle of a chill January night, the demi-god slipped in through the basement door. It posedher no issue: a finger to the lock, a click quiet as the flakes of snow drifting lazily to the ground. She slith-ered over the pine floorboards, glanced at the wide-eyed cat with the smallest of smirks, and moved on-wards. Past the stairs, past the dark bathroom, until she reached the door
the door she had meant tofind.
 
There were many gods who could pass such thresholds uninvited, but she was not one of them, notone of their careless number, she was not one who operated without rules. And so the demi-god pressed herpurple lips to the painted wood, flicked her tongue against the barrier, and sighed, hissed, to the child wholay inside:
I shall gift you a new self, child of our hearts 
.
 
A flutter of heavy eyelids, gray-purple with sleep and weariness and grief. Stained. Bruises, morethan lids.
 
Another whisper-hiss pressed up against the child, licked her goose-bumped skin:
We shall reforgethe girl that was and make her anew, a mewling infant, as fresh as mandrake, as ancient as yew.
 
The stirring of sleep-heavy limbs under covers, thick as snow, thick as the crust of the earth, butthe words slipped past. Such things are of no matter to the syllables of gods. The girl
s lips moved, formedstrange sentences in her half-sleep. The demi-god stroked a long-clawed hand against the door, nails leavingwhite-cool trails in the air. She cocked her head to one side, smoothly as a serpent, and again hissed to thechild inside.
 
All these I shall gift you, darkling daughter, 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, weshall make our trawthe.
 
The girl ran corridors in her mind, the labyrinthine land of grief, of loss, wherein all things thatmight have been said are spoken and taken away in a single breath. She ran these paths, thick and dark
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