My mother wanted a boy when she underwent the Rite. I understand why, a strapping holy warrior was just what we needed. We’ve always almost lost the war. She got me. When I was presented at the altar for Recognition the divine response was, “Cute little thing, but she’s not mine.” My mother would never join the upper echelons of the priesthood – the Rite’s a one shot wonder.
My mother didn’t remind me that I’d stymied her chances for promotion – often. Only once or thrice a season. She ensured I wasn’t picked for the priesthood, or anything that would’ve made me higher than a temple drudge. I wasn’t sure if she was being petty or if she was worried someone would decide I was demon spawn and that we‘d suffer the consequences of that.
I swept floors, polished armour, cleaned dishes, avoided warriors who wanted girls and was a general dogsbody. I slept in a corner of my mother’s quarters so I was right under her thumb and safe at night.
I told no-one about my dreams of Father or the things I could do.
The earthquake shook the Eastern Tower off the temple. I could see it falling before it moved, one of those things. The training master was up there and would fall to his death. We needed him. So, in the panicked confusion, I did another of those things and jumped to a roof then on and up until I reached the walkway leading to the tower. I grabbed Ersno, a hairsbreadth from safety, as the tower fell underneath him and hauled him to me.
I looked him in the eye and said, “That was close.” Looked him in the eye. He’s a forearm taller than me. I looked down. I was standing on air. “Oh, bugger.”