The girl who lived
4 words had been on her mind for what felt like forever, ‘The girl who lived’. As much as she wanted to these words would not fade from her memory.
Dóchas was the old Irish word for Hope. What did that even mean, Hope, she had lost any sense of that word years ago. That her father once called her Hope was more of a source of anger and disgust for her.
She sat upright in her bed drenched in sweat, she had that dream again. At times she would gladly have dismissed this as nothing more than a nightmare, but all of it actually happened. She didn’t want to, but she remembered it all as if it had been yesterday.
A long time ago somewhere in Ireland.
She was born in, what would later be known as, Derry. Her father was the chieftain. He called his daughter Dóchas. She never got a brother, so much to her mothers displeasure she turned out to be a warrior, she learned to fight from a young age, she ended up being the best at the use of bow and arrow and sword fighting of all her peers. It was her 16th year when there was a long draught, the harvest was not going well and that was putting it mildly. Half the village would not have enough food to last the harsh winter. So it was decided that they would make a sacrificial offering. It was to be a sacrifice in more ways than one. The chief himself chose who was to be sacrificed, no other than his own daughter. Well she was called Hope after all. All preparations were made. Hope had no say in this, nor had her mother. Even though Hope had thought of running away and living out in the wilderness, she decided against it. As her father and the elders of the tribe put it, it was the best chance they had of surviving the winter.
There was this boy who secretly hoped he could win Hope’s heart for himself. When he heard that she was to be sacrificed to Áine, the Goddess of the Land, so she would bless their lands and all that lived on it, he came up with a dastardly plan. This boy always had been impetuous, that was one of the reasons why Hope never gave him a second glance. He still hoped that if he saved her she would be eternally grateful to him. Being the hotheaded, silly boy that he was, he didn’t pray to the goddess of love or anything remotely like that. In his mind there was only one that could help him: The Morrigan. The Morrígan was primarily associated with fate, especially with foretelling doom and death in battle. However this wasn’t a battle, it was an ill-fated attempt at getting the object of his obsession to be his.
The eve of the sacrifice
So on the eve of the sacrifice the boy managed to get to Hope and told her what if he could save her from her fate. She looked at him with disdain and said: “the need of the many outweigh the need of the few. anyway what could you possibly do, now go away.” He stormed out muttering under his breath that she would regret having said those things, that she would be his. He was more determined than ever to do this now.
They had erected a little makeshift altar right in the village square, everyone was there, hope was wearing a ceremonial gown, she was led to the altar by her mother, her father was waiting there with the ceremonial dagger that was to be plunged directly into Hope’s heart. As Hope took her place upon the altar thunder & lightning appeared out of nowhere and three female figures appeared out of the lightning bolt.
“We are the Morrigan” the three females started to say in unison. ” this petulant man-child” and they pointed at the boy who had been talking to Hope earlier, who was now hovering in mid-air with an expression of sheer terror on his face. ” had the audacity to call upon us to grant his wish to save this girls life. we feel charitable today therefore he may take her place. They turned to him and said: will you die in her stead so she may live. Speak” and obviously when told to speak by a Deity you tell the truth, so he said: “that wasn’t the plan, you said that she would be mine, how can she be mine when I am dead?” A deafening scream of the word: “SILENCE!” was then heard. “You insolent little worm, you dare to speak to us in this manner. Now this is our verdict. You petulant little coward will serve as an example what happens to those who dare question the Morrigan” and in front of everyone he turned to stone. Suddenly there was a pedestal and the stone statue that was a living, breathing person mere seconds before was put upon it. “Now to you towns folk we are well aware of your plight and what you were planning to do. Sacrificing this girl to appeal to Áine? That is grotesque why do you worms insist on killing your offspring to appease us? Áine Goddess of the land, you know what that means? Give as an offering your last bit off food, and you will be rewarded. Go out and hunt and you will be rewarded, pray for mercy to Áine and she might take pity on you. But sacrifice your precious offspring who can help procure the harvest and help you hunt?” There was something utterly terrifying about a Deity exhibiting a mixed expression of disgust and anger. “ We have seen how good she is with bow and arrow, how proficient she is with the sword and this young warrior you want to sacrifice? We should let you all die a horrible death for this farcical display of worship. If Áine was here i think she would want you to sacrifice yourself for this” and they looked at Hopes father. ” But we have grown tired of this and as all of this seems to be about life and the lack of respect for it Here is our ruling: except for Dóchas for the next 10 lifetimes every firstborn of your bloodline shall die at the age of 16. You however Dóchas who so freely gave your life away and who snubbed this boy without realising how foolish, deranged and lovesick he actually was shall life for all eternity! You shall be remembered as ‘The girl who lived’. This is our ruling so shall it be!” And they disappeared as they arrived in midst of thunder and lighting.
Present Day New York
Hope didn’t have this dream every night anymore. Even your subconscious gets tired of the same old shit after all these years.
She called herself Jennifer these days. Well her previously chosen name, Genevieve, sounded too old-fashioned and her real name, well that she had not used for so many years.
It was a cold and blustery November evening in Brooklyn when she was walking along the Brooklyn bridge and had this all too familiar feeling that someone was watching her. She didn’t like the feeling much, but had learned through the years to play the game. To play to her strengths and their weaknesses. Most men that were watching had less than savoury motives for doing so. Obviously she assumed the same this time.
Marius had been sitting at the top of the bridge as he had done many nights before when he spotted a young lady walking across the bridge. Something in the back of his head kept saying to him she is dangerous. How could a young girl, she looked no more than perhaps 16, be dangerous he thought to himself. That’s when he noticed the handful of less than savoury looking men following this young lady. Then an inner monologue started if he should go and make sure nothing would happen to this young lady: ‘forget it, this is the 21st century! Chivalry is dead, she more likely then not can defend herself and will do a very good job of it!’ His counter argument was: I don’t give a shit what century this is. Half a dozen men against 1 young lady isn’t fair! End of!’ When he finally caught up with her the guys that had been following her were already taken care of.
“You needn’t have bothered yourself to come down from your lookout, I can take care of myself. ” it is more my favorite spot in this city.” He replied to her. “So you’re a vampire, I must warn you I’m much tougher than I look!” She said to him, as most vampires she met just wanted to get in her pants and drink her blood! “You must have met the wrong kind of vampire before.” Marius stated as a matter of fact. As he was about to add something to this she just turned around and walked off. Marius was left standing there, not knowing what to say or do and that hadn’t happened in a very long time. That feeling he had about her, it was starting to bug him? How could someone this beautiful and this young look so impossibly weary of the world and the people in it?
Just walking away from the vampire like that was risky, you never know how these creatures react. After a reasonable distance Jennifer carried on walking, while looking back. The behaviour of this vampire had her puzzled. She had never before met one such as him. Could it be that he was the one she had heard loads of stories off over the years? There was this legend of the ancient vampire who seemed to have taken it upon himself to keep the status quo between humans and vampires. That however was something to ponder over for another day. All she really want right now was a hot bath and a glass of wine.