The sacrifice was ready,
She had been anointed and wore the garments of the virgin.
Mambo, Priestess of the cult of Isis, led her into the darkness outside.
Cult members waited,
Prayers of evolved into chants and hollering.
Aneeka, the sacrifice, had prepared for this since the coming of her blood.
One sacrifice offered to Isis each solstice,
An honor, assurance of local prosperity
Three priests waited in the Copse of palm trees,
As the evening tide hummed against the shore.
Between them sat a gold encrusted chair; their sacrifice’s chariot.
Raised and carried through the enraptured crowd to the stake,
Aneeka secretly prayed for a reprieve.
She was raised and duly chained in preparation for her rite of passage.
The crowd fell silent as Mambo dropped to her knees before the offering,
Priest Samedi parted the sea of worshipers riding aloft on horseback.
Halting the mare at Mambo’s feet caused Mambo’s eyes to roll back, chanting feverishly.
Three priestesses carried flaming torches to Aneeka’s tethered body,
Crushed white bone dust fell from Samedi’s hand,
And he dusted Aneeka’s eyes.
The torches flickered and burned out.
A silhouette manifested in the moonlit path;
A goddess clad in a huge ivory gown embroidered with red and gold,
Her lashes blackened and voluminous,
Her lips scarlet and her neck strapped with gold.
The graceful, terrifying creature drifted to her sacrifice.
She halted in front of her offering and with elongated talons stroked the girl’s youthful cheeks.
With a willful glance the shackles fell,
Sharpened nails reached down to the girl’s neck and made an incision,
A stream of blood ran down her throat staining the lace that secured her bosom.
Isis licked the warm fluid,
Sank her teeth into the cut sucking at the life force.
Aneeka’s youthful skin shriveled and dried,
Deep wrinkles formed,
Her eyes sucked back into her skull,
Her body withered.
All went black, eclipsed by a dismal gloom,
The moon fought back as Isis and Aneeka faded into the night.