Light of Agate (PART III)

But the oracle just smiled gently – I don’t need roofs over my head, as I need to see the night sky before sleep comes. Nor I need warm clothes, I need to be able to feel the winter breeze so to can better understand warmth of pure hearts when I meet one. Children? I had children. Gods summon them and left me here, to serve my time on Earth with this gruesome endowment, heralding destinies and predicting misfortunes like an old ill-omened raven. But my hut doesn’t contain such things. Every time I enter a new gift for someone awaits. This lamp was there for you and for others it does not exist. So you see, I cannot sell it or give to any other but you. It exists only for you. That stone is a piece of nature that sought you out, and it belongs to you as much as you belong to it.

It is called Light of Agate. – the oracle went on. – It will enlighten even the darkest nights, drive away black of Pluto’s dwellings if it needs. Mystics of ancient times made it, giants that walked the earth before men when titans and gods fought for dominance. It is an artifact of old magic ways, magical ways of Gaia. –

It took a great deal of convincing and pleading before Psyche finally accepted that valuable gift, but she made promise the old woman that she will come to her father palace where she would welcome her, and display her gratitude by sending her off with many presents for her village –fruits from faraway lands for children, warm linen for winter days and bows and arrows from her father armory. – I will come and bask in the warm hospitality of your father palace. – said the oracle with some strange, omniscient air in her voice.

When time came for parting, the old woman warned Psyche one more time:

-Demons dwell and bread in darkness, and there they prey on their unwary game. Light of Agate has a mild but lively glow and drives away demon shadows. Let this lamp burn by your bedside at night.-

Those words found their home in the mind of Psyche. Truly, Light of Agate had a beautiful and unusually variegated glow and pierced blackness with a resolve of a sharp blade. And yet it somehow soft light didn’t upset the eye, so Psyche kept the lamp lit in her chambers when she went to sleep, allowing its soft brightness shine into the world of dreams and chase away nightmares that sometimes lurk in it. But every night, when all state affairs were finished, her father came to her chambers to check on his daughter and blew the lamp off so it wouldn’t bother her rest.

Time has passed as it always does. Psyche grew even more beautiful. Her fairness became renowned far beyond borders of the kingdom, and word of it reached even places of heaven, sea, and the underworld, where gods reside and conjure misdeeds of all sorts to strain mortals and make them yearn for things they cannot have. Many gods came to hail glorious splendor of maiden Psyche and left enchanted by that mortal of immortal beauty. A day came when Venus herself, goddess of love and beauty, came to witness Psyche’s ravish. Blessed with woman’s curiosity, she even entered inside Psyche’s chambers converted to her old nursemaid while she laid in her room in a sound, peculiar sleep. There she found Psyche, long hair loose and flung around her long, pale white neck like a most beautiful scarf. When Psyche saw her nursemaid, she pleaded her to comb her hair, like she did so many times before. Venus, reluctantly accepted, envious of her beauty. But the love goddess always could come up with a plot, so she combed her hair with so much vigor and power, pulling it and ripping it out like it needs weeding, hoping that it will provoke the princess bad temper, and that she would strike the nursemaid, or with harsh words hurt her at least, so Venus could punish wanton girl with fitting punishment of gods. But Psyche said only:

-Nanna, you’re hurting me, please be gentle.-

And when the nursemaid continued raking even with more clout than before, Psyche said one more time with a painful smile: -Nanna, please, tears are coming down my face.- As the nursemaid continued to do the same in even stronger way, Psyche turns around but instead of striking her or cursing with foul words, she gently took the nursemaid by her hand, and asked: – Have I pained you somehow, Nanna or the world was mean to you so you cannot hold back your anguish now?-

<<Go back to previous part of Light of Agate story

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