Home > Kalona's Fall (House of Night Novellas #4)

Kalona's Fall (House of Night Novellas #4)
Author: P. C. Cast


 

1.

INTRIGUE BEGAT CURIOSITY, AND CURIOSITY BEGAT EXPLORATION …

Once upon a time, long, long ago, there was only the Divine Energy of the universe. Energy was neither good nor bad, light nor dark, male nor female—it simply existed, a maelstrom of possibilities, clashing, joining, and growing. As Energy grew, it evolved. As it evolved, it created.

First came the creation of the realms of the Otherworld—endless vistas filled with the dreams of Divinity. These realms were so beautiful that they inspired Energy to continue creating, and from the womb of each of the Otherworld realms great solar systems were born, tangible reflections of the Otherworld Old Magick.

The Divine Energy of the universe was so pleased by its creations that it began to shift and change as vortexes of power within itself, mothlike, were drawn to the different universes. Some Energy was content and rested, eternally existing in a swirling orbit of stars and moons and beautiful, but empty, planets.

Some Energy destroyed its creations, more content with itself than with possibilities.

And some Energy continued to change, evolve, and create.

In one Otherworld realm the Divine Energy was particularly questing and precocious, restless and joyful, because more than anything it desired companionship. So, from within the verdant groves and sapphire lakes of the Otherworld, the Divine fashioned fabulous beings and breathed life into them. The breath of the Divine carried with it immortality and consciousness. The Divine named these beings Gods, Goddesses, and Fey. He granted the Gods and Goddesses dominion over all the Otherworld realms, and tasked the Fey with being their servants.

Many of the immortal beings scattered throughout the endless Otherworld realms, but those who remained pleased the Divine greatly. To them the Divine gifted an additional dominion over all other immortals, that of the stewardship of one particular planet in their system—a planet that intrigued the Divine Energy because it reflected the green-and-blue beauty of the Otherworld.

Intrigue begat curiosity, and curiosity begat exploration, until finally the Divine could not resist stroking the surface of the green-and-sapphire planet. The planet awoke, naming itself Earth. Earth beckoned to the Divine, inviting it within her lush lands and her sweet, soothing waters.

Filled with wonder, the Gods and Goddesses watched.

Enchanted by his own creation, Divine Energy joined with Earth. She pleased him greatly, but Energy cannot be long contained. Earth understood and accepted his nature, never loving him less for that which could not be changed. Before he left her to rove the universe, seeking more companionship, Divine Energy gave the Earth his most precious gift—the magick that was the power of creation.

Young Earth, fertile and sultry, began to create.

Earth sowed the lands and the oceans with her gift of creation, and from them evolved such a magnitude of creatures that the Gods and Goddesses from the watching Otherworld began to visit her often, reveling in the diversity of the living Earth.

Earth welcomed the immortals, children of her beloved Divine. She loved them so fondly that she was inspired to design a very special creation. From her bosom, she formed and then breathed life into beings that she fashioned in the very image of the Gods and Goddesses, naming them humans. Though Mother Earth was not able to gift her children with immortality—that was a gift only Divine Energy could bestow—she placed within each of them a spark of the Divinity that had been shared with her, ensuring that even though their bodies must always return to the earth from which they had been made, their consciousness would continue eternally in the form of spirit, so that they could be reborn again and again to Mother Earth.

Created in their image, Earth’s children enchanted the Gods and Goddesses. The Gods and Goddesses vowed to watch over them and to share the Otherworld with the Divine spirits within them when the inevitable happened, and their mortal bodies died.

* * *

At first all was well; humans prospered and multiplied. They were grateful to Mother Earth, each culture holding her sacred. The Gods and Goddesses visited Earth’s children often, and humans revered them as Divine.

Mother Earth watched, noticing which of the Divine’s children were benevolent, and which were impetuous. Which of them were forgiving, and which were vengeful. Which of them were kind and which were cruel.

When the immortals were benevolent and forgiving and kind, Mother Earth was pleased, and showed her pleasure in fertile lands, quenching rains, and crops aplenty.

When the immortals were impetuous and vengeful and cruel, Mother Earth turned her face from them and there was drought and famine and plague.

The impetuous, vengeful, cruel deities became bored with drought and famine and plague and stopped visiting the living Earth.

Mother Earth was satisfied, and she retreated within herself, resting from the strain of creation, sleeping for eons uncountable. When next she awoke, she looked for the children of the Divine, and was hardly aware of their presence at all.

Calling Air to her, Mother Earth sent a message to the Otherworld, beseeching the children of her beloved to remember their vow, and inviting them to return to her.

Only one immortal answered her plea.

The Goddess manifested during a clear night when the moon was almost full, on a rugged isle yet to be named. As Mother Earth became conscious of the Goddess, she saw the immortal sitting before a grove, her delicate hand outstretched toward a curious wildcat.

“Where are the other children of the Divine?” Mother Earth’s voice was the sloughing of hawthorn leaves in the grove.

The Goddess lifted her shoulder in a gesture that Mother Earth found surprisingly childlike. “They have gone.”

The ground trembled in response to Mother Earth’s surprise. “All? How could they all have gone?”

“They said they were bored and became restless.” The Goddess shook her head and her long, fair hair glistened in the moonlight, changing from blond to silver.

The leaves of the grove trees shivered. “So like their father,” Mother Earth whispered sadly. “Why must they all leave me?”

The Goddess sighed. “I do not know. I do not understand how they could ever be bored here.” She stroked the wildcat that had curled lovingly around her feet. “There is something new every day. Imagine, just yesterday I did not know this wonderful creature existed.”

Pleased, Mother Earth warmed the breeze that carried her voice from the grove. “You must have been formed from one of his more tangible dreams.”

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