Written in an attempt to make Sibylla's life suck a bit less. Follows the myths, allowing for alternate translations.

#insert 'stddisclaimer.h'


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{i will show you fear} in a handful of dust

by Incendiarist


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Nam Sibyllam quidem Cumis ego ipse oculis meis vidi in ampulla pendere,

et cum illi pueri dicerent: "Σίβυλλα, τί θέλεις;" respondebat illa: "ἀποθανεῖν θέλω".


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She didn't have a name. She used to, before, but that was years ago, and she wasn't even she if she remembered it. She remembered names, yes, but not who they belonged to; - she might have been Demophile or Amaltheia or Deiphobe, it didn't matter anyway, did it? - she was the Sibyl of Cumae, it was what she was known as, and she couldn't recall a time when she hadn't been called Sibylla, couldn't recall any person who did. Memories of a mother and father, of a childhood, they were faded with age, and she could see a woman with dark hair out of the corner of her eye, but lost the image if she tried to focus on it. It was probably better that way; if she could remember happiness, she would break entirely, she was sure.

(heap of broken images)


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They had been friends, had often spent time together; she was a prophetess, he was the god of prophecy, it made sense, they made sense. They both saw things, knew things, that they could never speak of, because it wasn't their right to. It wasn't time yet for the world to know; they would eventually, but not yet, not now, they weren't ready, they'd destroy themselves in the hopes of keeping them from coming to pass. They knew this, the two of them. They understood each-other, or at least she had thought. But naïveté could be deadly, and often was.

She tried to give him excuses, at first; he misunderstood her feelings, thought that she was just playing around, that she didn't really mean it, things like that, less because she believed it and more as a coping mechanism of sorts. She made a habit of shifting blame onto herself; in her mind, it was better than having to alter her perceptions of others, especially the gods - they were supposed to be perfect, weren't they? They could do no wrong, couldn't they? - and she might have done it forever.

(welcome of indifference)


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She hadn't seen it coming; in hindsight, she ought to have, but she only saw important things, didn't she? and she was hardly important, she was just one person. Tyche, Roma, Fortuna... whatever name you used, Fate didn't care about single persons, she cared about whole civilisations, and that was what Sibylla saw.

He had seemed to glow, but that may have have been the firelight or simple comparison to the outdoors - it had been raining, as it usually was when he'd come, he came to get away from arguing family, most of the time - and she had smiled at him, greeted him, and he pinned her against the cave wall, forcing his tongue into her mouth, and she was fighting against him and against her gag reflex and losing to both, she couldn't breath, couldn't think, couldn't move, and he was pulling off her toga now, and she tried to twist away, pleaded, and he ignored her. His eyes glinted, not with malice, but pride, and those eyes were what she was seeing now, in a face that wasn't his. She glared anyway, and the boy with the blue eyes, shining with pity or maybe disappointment, smiled uncomfortably. "Hey, er. My lady -" he winced, and backpedalled quickly- "Sibylla?" - paused, saw that she didn't seem offended, continued on - "Er. My father is... well, my father, but her doesn't speak for all of us. Or act for all of us, either. Er. I just wanted you to know that."

She watched him, silently, as he walked away, her hands twisting with the fabric of her palla. He never heard her reply.

(entering the whirlpool)


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A handful of sand, ten thousand years. She'd wanted to watch the world grow, told him that she knew the bad things already, and couldn't she stick around to see the good things, too? and when he'd granted her that, she could have kissed him. He was easy to fall in love with, but she didn't believe in love.

Especially not now.

(withered stumps of time)


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She was a spirit that couldn't leave, from dirt she was made and to dirt she was returned, there was nothing worse than being unable to live or to die, and the little glass jar in the back of the cave, it stayed there for years and years, she didn't know how long, until it was so dirty as to pass for clay, and she heard a person.

Remember, remember, she has to remember...

She doesn't recognise the voice. That's good.

She speaks.

(bursts in the violet air)


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Dust coalesced into a human form, light skin and brown hair and brown eyes, the red-haired girl wrapped a blanket around her shoulders and kissed her, and it was so different from the last time, there was love there, not lust, and her lips were soft and her eyes were green and she was nothing like him at all, and it was beautiful, and she buried her head in the girl's shoulder and cried quietly, would have wrapped her arms around her if she had real clothes, and Aphrodite smiled triumphantly. They were perfect for each-other, understood each-other, her daughter was right, and she was so proud of her, her daughter, the saviour of the gods.

(moment in the glass)


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FIN.