Hey guys! So yeah I updated quick...btw copyright Rosa Guy and Flaherty+Ahrens, from now on until the end of the story. Just saying.
Also, I apologize beforehand for this being totally out of accordance with Haitian mythology...the story kind of writes itself and disregards stuff like that...


Chapter 2

Ariane didn't sleep that night. Even when the storm had ended, and there were no more sounds of wind and rain, she stayed awake. She didn't quite know why; her eyes were tired, her body was tired, so much that her head hurt, but her mind wouldn't allow her to sleep.

She kept thinking about what Michel had said about the gods, how they were selfish and unfeeling and only did things for their own benefit. It made her furious with Michel. Ariane revered the gods, held them in high regard, worshipped them. The only god she was ever angry with was Papa Ge, for taking away lives. Ariane didn't think she could ever think of Papa Ge with a pleasant emotion. Asaka, Agwe, and Erzulie she liked, Erzulie in particular.

Which brought her back to thinking about Michel's adamant disapproval of the love goddess, and that brought her anger back. Ariane clenched her teeth, glaring over at Michel, who was sleeping against the wall of the hut. She just wanted Michel to stop lashing out against the gods, both because it made her angry and for his own sake. If the gods heard what he was saying...

Ariane shook her head. Why should she be concerned for Michel? It would be his own fault if the gods cursed him. Besides, he would deserve it. And Ariane wouldn't mind in the slightest. She didn't know how long she had wanted someone to give the boy a lecture, to yell at him. Michel had always infuriated her, since they were small children. Unfortunately for Ariane, her parents were good friends with Michel's mother, so the children would see each other often.

They fought every visit, and one of them always ended up getting slapped or punched, and the other ended up crying. Yet their parents just laughed and didn't stop it. Ariane as a child couldn't understand why, though now she knew. Their parents had thought of it as "young love," and wanted to let it grow.

Horrified that everyone would think of it this way, Ariane started consciously avoiding Michel, which pleased them both. This hut was the closest they had been, and the most they had talked, in years.

And Ariane wished they'd kept the distance.

She sighed, gazing out the window at the now-clear night sky. She could always just go home now; no one was stopping her. The rule was to stay in the hill hut during the storm. There was no rule stating that they couldn't leave right after, even if everyone was asleep. But then they'd wonder where she was...and they'd all worry. Ariane did not want to deal with a worried Michel.

But he wouldn't be worried, Ariane realized. Besides, she didn't care if he was. But she supposed she should probably leave some form of note behind, to let them know that she'd left.

"But I can't write," Ariane mused. "How can I let them know?"

She thought about this for a while, but when she continued to be unable to think of anything to do, she exclaimed "Oh, whatever!" loud enough to make several of the other children shift in their sleep, and left the hut, not bothering to be quiet.

The night was cool, drops of moisture from the storm still clinging to the air. Ariane smiled, closing her eyes as a small breeze brushed her face and swept her skirt out behind her, blowing away all indecisive thoughts. Without even one last glance at the crowded hut, Ariane set off into the night.

Ariane knew the terrain by heart; she had climbed this hill many times before. She knew every inch of dirt and grass, every leaf that clung to every branch. But, somehow, she couldn't manage find her way back down. In addition, she kept slipping on wet grass and leaves and fallen branches, nearly tumbling down the steep hillside tens of times. Stormy devastation did not lend itself to safety.

After perhaps an hour of slipping and catching herself, seconds away from grievous injury, Ariane decided to just go back to the hill hut. Despite her desire to be back home with her family, she doubted that she'd make it there alive at this point, if she managed to get back at all. For all she knew, she'd traveled to the other side of the island and the trees she stood behind looked down on the city of the grand hommes.

But if that was true, then she wouldn't be able to find her way back, either, she realized. Ariane sighed, and plopped down onto the wet ground, shivering slightly when the water permeated the fabric of her skirt. I shouldn't have left the hill hut, she berated herself. I have no idea where I am, where I've been, where I'm going...I'm lost, she finally admitted. And if I keep walking, I'll die.

The only thing left to do is pray. Pray...

"...and hope that the gods listen." Ariane's voice sounded strange in the darkness, and she shivered, uncomfortable and wary. Still shivering, Ariane shifted onto her knees and tilted her head skyward, towards the gods, closing her eyes and opening her mouth to begin a prayer.

Suddenly, a clear voice cut through the night air, weaving a new melody, one that had never been heard before, and never would be heard quite the same way again. Ariane froze, listening to the voice, her prayer stuck in the back of her throat, still waiting to be released. She found herself lost in the song of the voice, swept up in the unfamiliar, eerie melody that had rendered her motionless, physically unable to move a muscle.

Everything was still, all the trees, the birds, even the wind seemed to be listening to the song. Falling rocks had stopped short in their descent, instants away from toppling over into the stilled river. Such was the power of the song.

The waves of music traveled far, penetrating the walls of the huts in the village. And those in the next village...and the next...even the grand hommes, in their city on the other side of the island, heard it. To all, the song was beautiful. To all, it was terrifying. To all, it brought tears. To all, calmed them.

And Ariane was at the center of it all.

Anyone passing by wouldn't see her at first glance. All they would see would be light, bright, white light, spiraling and swirling up into the sky, all of it emanating from one point on the ground. Bright flashes of red and violet crackled through, splitting the glow down the middle of each spiral, seeming to drench the world in blood. Streaks of aqua shot through as well, trying their hardest to push away the red and violet, but all were pushed down, back to the black figure in the center of the light, kneeling, head thrown back, mouth open, who was becoming more obscured by light and darkness by the minute.

The peasants, seeing the bloodied light seep into the world, cried out and threw themselves to the floor, screaming prayers, shouting to Papa Ge, "Don't come around me!" For surely, this red light was the work of the death god. Surely he was coming. The storm had lasted long, many had died, and surely now the rest would as well.

The gods were angry. Had someone lived who should not have? Had someone died who should have lived? Had Agwe wrenched one too many trees from its roots, whipped apart one too many gardens?

Were the children all right?

In the end, the peasants prayed for this most of all. "Please, Papa Ge, stay away from the children!" they repeated, crying out in desperation and fear, fear of the bleeding light, and the eerie song that had not ceased.