Who Binds and Looses the World With Her Hands
by Rachael K. Jones
On days when Selene locked me in the lighthouse, an old familiar darkness would well up within me, itching my skin like it had shrunk too tight to contain my anger any longer. I had grown accustomed to the rage’s ebb and flow, sometimes bubbling near the surface, sometimes dormant as a seed awaiting the right time to break open. But it always rose to high tide on my days of confinement.
I knew better than to complain to Selene. I often watched from the windows of the lanthorn, the little room which housed the lighthouse’s beacon, when the merchants made landfall. From my distant perch, I could just make out Selene, resplendent in dyed blue wool, hands spinning impossibly fast in the bewildered men’s faces. Out beyond the dock, two green arms of land reached toward our island home in an incomplete embrace. That was the Mainland, where sorcerers lived. Long ago, it was sorcerers who built our lighthouse in the stone branches of the ancient petrified tree.
Do not talk to the Mainlanders, Selene always warned, hurrying me up the stone steps which spiraled inside the tree’s heart. She would repeat the warning later at night, when we watched the beacon flash round and round through the window over our bed. I would nestle against her chest, and her hands would dance out tales about sailors, how their days at sea would drive them so mad with lust they would seize any woman when they made landfall. I am sorry to hide you, she would say. I do not want to lose you. The apology mollified the darkness inside me, but never quelled it completely. (Continue Reading…)