A Tale As Old As Time


The waves caressed her skin as the sands accepted her fully. She became entrenched in those sands, her body nestling deeper and deeper into the sand until the waves started to cover her face.

If she remained undisturbed for much longer she would've drowned, but then, we wouldn't have a story now, would we?

Two shepherds found her, a son and a father. The son was scavenging shells when he noticed the white cloth. They dragged her out of the Holy Sea. Astonished by the woman's beauty, both stood dumbstruck. She was alive, that much was clear, but remained unconscious.

The father and son fetched the rest of their household. The mother, a plump happy woman; the daughter, a plumper, happier woman; and the little brother, who was only two and just learned the word 'Dada'.

They were all astonished by the foreign beauty. Her skin, her eyes, her hair - it was like she came from the Gods.

The daughter noticed the beauty's neckless. It was made of alien material none of them had ever experienced. The necklace ignited a remembering of an old folk tale in the mother. She quickly prompted the father and son to go and bring supplies from their shed: a brazier, a book, and a goat.

The sun was high when the mother slit the goat's throat. The blood stained the woman's white dress as the stench of the dead animal filled the air. The mother then put the goat's intestines inside the brazier and started reading from her book. Her voice became stronger and more confident as she recited, culminating in a powerful chant.

Finally, she beckoned the daughter to give her the woman's necklace. Once thrown into the brazier, the mother's chanting ceased.

And the woman's eyes opened.

The family jumped back and the little brother started crying. They all took this for a miracle, you see. The mother wasn't a Holy One, yet she performed a ritual that woke a slumbering beauty.

A slumbering beauty that wore the Necklace of Kings.

Or so they thought, but the truth is of no consequence to this story.

The woman sat up, surveying her resuscitators with a curious eye. While the rest cowered, the mother stepped forward with open arms. Her tone was repentant and sorrowful. The mother saw this as an opportunity to bring fortune to her house. Remember, she was happy. But happiness rarely is an obstacle for the ambitious. So she tried to plead to what she thought this... entity would want to hear.

It was a shame then that said entity understand nothing coming out of the mother's mouth.

At this point it's confusing to make distinctions, so we will call the sleeping woman: Flora. Flore, bless her soul, did what felt was right - she smiled. This reaction was a stark contrast to the mother's tone, halting her plea in its tracks.

Flora stood. The family stepped back. Flora then bowed a simple bow, a common bow. A bow that was right out of their scriptures. In turn, the family fell to their knees, their heads in the sand.

Now, you might be asking yourself, did Flora know to do this? Was she manipulating the poor simpletons? The answer is dreadfully boring I'm afraid - no. Flora did not know why she did what she did, it felt natural to her. To explain it in ways you could comprehend, her mind was like a newborn baby's - if that newborn baby's mind was already fully developed.

Confused? Well, a small addendum then - she was not of the mortal realm. She was also not what the family imagined. She was herself. And herself was divine.

Flora let the family take her to their shed. They treated her like a delicate flower - if said delicate flower was also poisonous. Flora did not speak, for she did not know how. She could not understand when they spoke to her. Instead, she had an intrinsic understanding of the world that will seem impossible to your puny mortal brain. Flora used this understanding to guide her as she tried to understand her place in all of this.

It turns out even gods get confused, especially when reborn.

Days passed and the family slowly but surely became accustomed to the deity living under their roof. The mother, still as ambitious as ever, decided to take Flora to the village square.

The shepherds, farmers, craftsmen - all saw her for what she was. They offered tributes, one that Flora declined. They offered praise, all of which Flora denied. They offered servitude, something Flora had no concept of.

In the end, the Mother got what she wanted - the tributes that Flora denied taking. Flora did not care for the exchange of mortal trinkets. At the moment, she was content just observing.

Content until they were leaving the village, and something pulled at her celestial string. This pull came from off the beaten path - in the opposite direction of the farm. Fiona, finally compelled to do something, followed this scent like a hound on the hunt.

The mother, grown bold by comfort and audacious by a newfound wealth, tried to stop her. She grabbed Fiona's hand only to be blasted backward by forces beyond her comprehension.

The mother landed hard, breaking her hip. She called out in pain, but no one came to help her. The villagers saw her as an outcast, unworthy of the Holy Maiden's attention. And the supposed Holy Maiden was not even aware of what she had done to the woman who brought her into this world. The mother had to leave her riches behind to carry herself home, broken and unhappy.

Anticlimactic? Well, rarely are the lives of mortals of import compared to the expanse of reality. Speaking of which -

Flora found herself at the base of a mountain. The tallest mountain in the land as it so happened. At this base was an unconscious woman, a woman in a dress not that dissimilar Flora's, except it was brown and torn. Her skin was also bruised and scarred, whereas Flora's was pristine. Her hair was fair whereas Flora's was black. And her necklace was jagged and sharp, whereas Flora's was smooth and dull.

Flora felt a completion, a completion holy to even someone such as her. She took the necklace, its sharp surface piercing her skin. She flicked the blood onto the woman and tossed the necklace aside.

Then, Flora bent down and kissed Fauna.

Fauna opened her eyes.

"I found you." One said.

"I found you." Responded the other.

As the world sprouted a new.

This was A Picture is worth a Thousand Words contest entry.

The contest image:

Describe what you see: I see fallen grace. | Describe what you feel: Empathy.

Obligatory shout-out to the 🍕PIZZA🍕 gang, 🤙 gang. 🤙

Thanks for reading! 👏👏

Another piece that I used to challenge myself. This time, again, no dialogue is allowed! Well, only a little dialogue, and at the very end, so it doesn't count! 😅

I've been using dialogue as a crux in my stories, so I wanted to practice telling a story where it's not present. Hope it was enjoyable!

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Cover image source.

Thanks for stopping by and stay safe! 🙌


An intriguing story the further I read the better it became.

Flora changed into Fiona I wonder why?

Thank you for joining pic1000. 👍