On the 12th of Feb I asked who would want to write with me and gave out a writing prompt for people to have fun with. My monthly writing group #WriteHereWriteNow picked up the challenge and we had a fun session comparing responses. I only have one of those responses to post sadly but was happy this prompt was enjoyed.
Here's one of the responses:
“Why couldn’t you have been born a girl?”
That was apparently the reaction of the Goddess Artemis when I was born. I don’t know why she wanted me to be female. I haven’t really had a chance to ask.
When I was born I was taken to the hill of the old ones like all other new-borns. I was presented to the Gods for appraisal. My parents waited with baited breath to see why I would be come. The clouds the cover the hills and hide the immortal realms from our own parted. And the moon Goddess herself appeared and struck my father down. My mother turned to flee, dropping me from her arms, the child who’s birth had anguished the moon.
The Goddess caught me in her arms almost before I had begun to fall and while cradling my tiny body in her arms she had pursued my mother killing her with a blade forged from the moon’s light before falling to her knees, tears streaming down her cheeks as she turn her attention to me.
“Why couldn’t you have been born a girl?” she cried as my uncomprehending eyes gazed at her divine features, unaware of the chaos that had just occurred and roused me from my sleep.
“If you had been born a girl everything would have been okay. But you were not. And the time is almost upon us. I am sorry.”
With those words she placed me gently on the stairs that scaled the hill and left. I was just a baby. Orphaned in a fit of the moon Goddess's rage and then abandoned. And yet despite being unable to understand the enormity of the events that had already happened and those about to begin I understood the words that had been spoken to me.
If I had been born a girl everything would have been okay.
If I had been born a girl I would have been raised by a family.
If I had been born a girl the time the Gods feared would not have come to pass.
I do not know what difference being born a girl would have made. The Gods disappeared when I was two. I would not have been able to do anything anyway. I was too young. But it was my fault.
The world began to fall into ruin. Crops started failing, earthquakes split the land, rains came and the rivers swelled until they burst, the mountains shook off their inertia revealing the raging fires of the volcanos from which they were born. And the Titans returned. Humanity was enslaved.
Why couldn’t I have been born a girl. It’s something I’ve wondered ever since that day.
And now I find myself on the hill of the old ones once more. And finally I understand one thing. The Gods have not left us. They have been waiting for one who could open the gates of the moon and release them from the Titan’s prison. The one who shares a spirit with the Goddess Artemis.
I was not born a girl. And so the gate remains locked.
But I share the Goddess's soul. And I am a girl.
This was defiantly darker and more serious than what I had in mind but a thrilling tale that could start a fantasy epic.
Here's my substantially less exciting response:
“Why couldn’t you have been born a girl?”
That was apparently the reaction of the Goddess Artemis when I was born.
"Let me fix it for you!" She cheered afterwards, my literal Godmother with a capital 'G'.
The pale woman with hair flowing white charged forward but my mother held a baby me closer to her chest and glared the god down.
"No. Arty, get away from my son!" She snapped at the goddess stopping her in her tracks.
The tall god pouted at her, "Please?"
"No." Came my mother's final verdict.
Artemis didn't look happy but she crossed her arms with a huff, "Fine. He's still being a huntress though."
My mother relaxed slightly but still looked unamused, "Can't you make one exception Arty, I mean, if he doesn’t like being a girl."
"Why won't he like being a girl? It’s the better gender. I'm sure he'll want to be permanently a girl after being a girl for a bit while hunting for me." The goddesss grinned.
"Yes...because that's how dad felt and great-grandfather..." Mother sighed.
"Yup!" Artemis missed her sarcasm.
So that's the short story of why despite being male, my body was undoubtedly female. Artemis just smiled at me as I stood over the training ring. I sighed resigned to it the same way the grandfather has been. Arty does not do men in her huntress ranks nor does she allow anyone from my family to not be in said hunter ranks. She said it's to keep us safe but I don’t know what from.
The Huntress' in the ring below me were all actual girls. They pulled back on their bows and for the most part hit the target with decent accuracy but that was mainly due to the power Artemis gave them as hunters, they still had to work on their own skill.
Not that any of them thought they'd ever need it. I'll admit even I thought that at this point Arty just had huntress' because of tradition over actual need.
How wrong I was.
"Kris!" Came Arty's call.
I looked round to see her wave from the thrown of her realm and, after taking one last glance to make sure my trainers weren't shooting themselves in the foot I made my way up the pearl steps to my Godmother.
"What's up Arty?" I asked, my voice still deep like the man I actually am.
The usually bright face of the goddess frowned.
"I need you to go to the human realm and check something out. I'm worried about something my hounds reported." She told him.
That worried me. It takes a lot of worry Arty.
"What is it?"
"One of my huntress' has died. Their hound came back to me injured it seemed they were killed in battle." She told me, frowning less like a morning mother and more like a child with a broken toy.
I was stuck on the idea of a huntress dying in battle. There shouldn't have been anything to fight. I don’t think a Huntress has ever had to use their powers for generations. I had to know what was going on so I nodded.
"I'll get what you need, Arty."
"Good!" She smiled, "I'll get some cover for the trainees. Take Skylos with you and don't forget to be careful." She told me, waving a hand.
To my left, the world swirled into and spun into a vortex for me to step through and by the vortex appeared a wolf-like puppy the scampered up to me happily wagging its tail.
Admittedly I'm not very happy with my own response. I don't feel like I got my idea across well though I'm not sure if that's down to my on and off writing block lately or that I can't get my idea down in 500 words that isn't just explanation.
I'll have a new writing prompt out for you on Monday 19th March. If you fancy reading anymore random bits of writing you can sign into the website and have a gander at my previews and extras section.