I’d say I’m at least 60% of the way done with this now. There will be others featuring Katherine, although I don’t know how many I’m going to post.
One of the places to which I’d applied messaged me back today to confirm that they had received my résumé, so cross your fingers that they call me again.
Good News by Samael is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
But even if this was the case, the only person anyone had eyes for was Katherine, and as word spread who she was, people started giving her a piece of their mind, yelling and swearing and saying all sorts of things that I don’t much feel like repeating. It was awful, the things they thought she’d done and I couldn’t help wondering that if they really believed she was so evil, why did they feel safe in saying the things they did? And if she was so evil, why had she come alone, surrendered herself, cooperated with the guards and even then did nothing to defend herself? But in their minds, I suppose, silence was confirmation of guilt and the mere fact of there being a real woman behind the rumors meant that all the rumors had to be equally true. I wish I understood them. All I knew is that their rancor made me sick to my stomach until finally I couldn’t take it anymore and I took a deep breath to shout back at them.
Katherine’s hand came down around my shoulder. I don’t know how she did it, but somehow she had managed to get me between the guards and I was now walking by her side. I stared at her, now suddenly nose to nose with the source of so much controversy, and all I could see in her eyes— I wish I could name their color, but in my mind’s eye, that color is clear, and I don’t care if that only makes sense to me—was the sense that none of this had come as a surprise to her. She didn’t need me to defend her because nothing they could say was anything she hadn’t heard before, and knew with certainty that she would hear again. The words still hurt, but shouting back at them would be like throwing my weight against the ocean to put a stop to the waves.
I remember that thought so vividly. To this day, I have no idea what an ocean is.
“I would welcome your company if you would like to walk with me,” Katherine said to me, and it seemed like everyone had stopped to give us this moment together. I don’t remember if we were still walking or if the crowd was still jeering, but I could hear every word she said. At this close, I could see the light making rainbow flickers dance off her eyes. They weren’t human eyes, but I’d never seen a demon with such coloration either. I couldn’t look away, but I managed to nod, my heart beating so hard that I thought I could almost hear it in my ears.
It was only after I had agreed that I realized I knew she wanted me to come with her. Until that moment, I had considered myself a tagalong, just waiting for someone to realize I was there and shoo me off. I wasn’t sure how it hadn’t happened already. “They won’t let me come with you,” I protested, even though I had already committed myself. To tell you the truth, reader, I think I was just trying to offer her a chance to tell me to get lost. I was standing between four guards and none of them seemed any wiser, so I think part of me already knew that she was doing something to keep them from noticing us. What that could have been, when demonic magic can’t make someone invisible, I still don’t know.
Katherine gave me a secretive smile and replied, “ ‘Hide me from the secret plots of the wicked, from the scheming of evildoers, who wet their tongues like swords, who aim bitter words from ambush at the blameless.’ “
I was confused by her answer, but I thought I recognized the quotation. “That’s from the Bible, isn’t it? One of the Psalms?” The words hadn’t been the same, but our pastor had read us the same verses before and I knew there were supposed to be many translations of the Bible.
Katherine nodded slowly, her expression softening. “Yes, beloved—“ Reader! “—though I prefer to leave it unfinished. The world has suffered enough without invoking the visage of the warrior deity again.”