Author's Note: Welcome to "Cross". This fic will be made up of a series of drabbles or drabblish vignettes based on the life of the character Priestess. Any and all feedback is greatly appreciated. Thanks for stopping by!
Disclaimer: I claim no ownership of Priest.
Her name had been Rowan. It was a word her mother found in a book along with a picture of a tree. Blood red berries and long thin leaves. And her mother had a love for all things delicate. For flowers and grass and the autumnal mist that fell less and less as the ash clouds from the fallout stretched over the skies and made the world a parched wasteland.
She named her children for things that were lost. Her son was Sage. A boy with amber hair and bleached skin. After his father died, he worked the land, trowel planted in the hopeless dust of the earth, sweat on his brow. Even as a child, as a little girl with plaited hair and almond eyes, sitting on the front porch of their hovel with her doll in her skinny arms, Rowan knew her brother was strong. Special. Blessed.
And she worshipped him with all the reverence of a child-sister who saw the sun in his eyes and in his thin-lipped smile. Sage was special. Sage was blessed. He was the one who could make their worn and faded mother laugh. He was the one made tiny crosses for Rowan out of brittle twigs. And he was the one who would make something of the world, who would take the broken earth and make it bloom anew…someday…someday….
It surprised them then, the mother and the son, when the Churchmen came to take the girl away. Not the boy. Only the girl.
The Priests stood in the low-ceilinged shack, frigid and imposing with their high collars and heavy coats and silver, steely rosaries that swung from leather belts.
"The girl has been touched by God," they told the mother. "She will be brought into the clergy."
And even as their hands reached for her, pulling her from the maternal breast, from the soft, safe bosom of her home, Rowan did not weep.
Her last sight of the hovel, which would later become an uncertain and threadbare memory, was of her mother standing on the wooden porch, one hand gripping the bone-white post that supported the slanting tin roof.
"Godspeed," her mother said and that was all.
She never did get to say goodbye to Sage.
Rowan went with the Churchmen. And they changed her name. And soon, she forgot what she had been called and knew only what they called her.