The Summoning (The Sacrifice)

They gathered, a multitude of men, robed and cloaked, to the spot in the very center. They surrounded a single clearing, ringed with trees that were twisted with age, shadowed by the darkness of the night sky and illuminated only by the light of the moon. They stood close together, lest something else try to enter, their eyes riveted on the figure standing alone in the center of the clearing.

She stood alone, clothed in the blood red of her clan, her dark hair cascading freely about her, her wrists encircled with gold, her eyes ringed with black. Even in stillness her body spoke of sensuality, her eyes spoke of power, her fingers spoke of longing and passion. She stared, unseeingly at the ground at her feet. They knew, she knew; this moment, this single flash in time was what she had lived for, what she had been bred for. To her, nothing beyond or before this night would matter.

"You come," she murmured blankly, her lilting soft voice carried on the breath of the wind.

"We come," the men responded. They watched, mesmerized as her eyes slid closed, as she rose on the balls of her feet, as her back arced and her fingers traced along the air. Eyes followed with heart aching intensity as she started to move. None had ever seen anything like her, watched anything move in such a way and they all knew that after this night they never would.

Her hips swayed, moving from space to space in the air smoothly, easily, with out a thought. Her wrists slid through the air, her ankles crossed, her head tilted. She moved through the clearing with agonizing slowness and yet with amazing speed. Each flicker melted into the other, becoming one long, undisturbed movement. Her body twirled, moving slowly around the circle, touching one here, another there. She danced to a beat that none could hear but all felt. A beat that pounded itself out in their veins, that made itself heard with every beat of their hearts.

The dance changed; her movements shifted. The wind rose, keening in agony and love; caressing her. The trees shook, trembled, shuddered with her as she drifted through the clearing. The ground rose up, dropped away, roiled along with her, willing her to continue her hypnotizing call. Her body twisted away from the earth, calling up to the sky; loving it, willing it to her. And then twirled away from the sky and called down to the earth, begging it up to her. She fell to her knees, rose, then fell again. Her hips shook, her bracelets trembled, her entire being quivered as she called, again and again.

Then it stopped.

The trees stilled. The wind quieted. The earth ceased its never ending movement. For an instant in time, everything halted.

The woman froze in the center of the circle. Her back arced. Her body rose onto the balls of her feet. She threw her head back. Her lips parted, her mouth open and she let out a sound so terrifying, so frightening, so passionate that the men in the circle hesitated to stay still. A shudder passed through the air, rippling the grass, shaking the leaves. And still her voice did not falter. It rose, getting louder, higher, yearning and wanting laced into it so perfectly no one could mistake its purpose.

And then it, too, stopped.

Perhaps they blinked. Perhaps their minds' faded for an instant in time. Whatever it was that had taken place it had robbed them of an instant.

She no longer cried, her body no longer danced, she no longer called. Instead, she stood erect, her back still arced, arms raised to the heavens, eyes closed.

He watched her through hooded, golden eyes, tracing her figure, lingering over her curves. His lips brushed past her cheeks, along her neck. Still she did not move. His arms wrapped around her, pulling her back, into him. His fingers dug into her flesh, through the cloth of her shirt, tracing her form.

Not a cry escaped her lips as he tore, ripping apart his caller. Her body collapsed, dripping blood. The work of art that had been the woman in the center fell, her face serene, her features calm.

His dark features remained apathetic, his white robes untouched by her blood, his silver hair carried on the air. Gold eyes – cruel eyes – gazed out at the gathering.

"Who has summoned me?"

Not my best work; a piece for my creative writing class written months ago. Reviews make the writer happy. .