Marching in the Nighttime
Within echoing Gloam
Amplified by the stone, their footsteps were the thunderous crash of waves upon an ancient and ephemeral shore. The hiss of their long and trailing hems, now ragged, were the receding swell of a fathomless ocean.
As the endless cycle continued throughout the great Machine that was Time, slowly, the Coven, numbering thirteen plus one as written in the Scripture, made their way deeper and deeper into the sacred Corridor of Lumina.
One step at a time, pausing for what seemed like aeons before the next, the footfalls of the solemn procession of Mothers pounded in purposeful unison on the smooth flagstones beneath. Each laboured step hung in the air for an interminable moment as they march on in their near-trancelike state brought on by the sheer exhaustion and fatigue of the long journey.
Beneath their feet, worn into the unblemished masonry, were the footsteps left by countless generations of Mothers before them, as they did now for the future.
A faint, cracked and strained note escaped their mouths as the Mothers chanted, filling the eternal space between each step with their ululations, waxing and waning like the phases of the Moon as they sang the Hymns of Purity. Soon, the whisper swelled into an echoing cacophonous chorus, their individual arias merging together and seeming to vibrate the very stonework itself, before softening once again. All around the Coven, their harmonic chords hovered and swam, mischievous faeries fluttering in a moonlit grove intermingling past with present, bouncing off the perfect angular masonry of the corridor and diffusing ahead and behind them, even perhaps into the future.
The air was choked with the heady, sickly sweet smell of Moonflower incense as it burned from the Grand Mother’s censer, swinging slightly on its chain with every portentous step, a pendulum of straight-backed grace. Despite nebulous aroma, the cold smell of damp earth and stone lingered on the edges of the senses, like spirits reminding the living of their existence.
Upon her head, capping the willowing veil that trailed on the floor, was a crown that cut the smoke-filled atmosphere with its sharp edges like daggers. Behind her and arranged in an ellipsoid where the 12 other Mothers, swaddled in the heavy muslin of their habits and weighed down by think veils that dragged on the floor.
And betwixt them all, young Cassandra, the Moon Bride, walked in time with women around her. Though her eyes were the sightless, milky-white pearls of the Sybils, Cassandra had never faltered.
The pilgrimage was almost over now, the calculations had been exact. Another few measured steps and they would be at their destination at last, in time for the Moon to be at its largest in hundreds of years, before the Eclipse.
In time for the Conjunction, when the lens between their world and the heavens unfocused itself, and they could converse with the Creator.
Images used are CC0 Creative Commons, sourced from Pixabay or Pexels.
Until next time, as always, see you in the comments!
This is MajorMajorMajorThom, over and out.
Scribo, Specto, Lego, Cogito, Ergo Sum
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