Maria felt down the length of her ceremonial dress, shivering at the smooth fabric of silk under her fingertips.
Shaking, she took a deep breath in. She had never felt this nervous before but she had never had a reason to, either. Today was her big day! She had every reason to be nervous. At least a little.
She had seen her friends go through the same ceremony before. Or maybe ‘friends’ was too much of a title. No one really had friends here, there was never the time or a point to it. But nonetheless she had come to care for some of the other initiates, and she had felt happy for them when their time had come.
Today, after years of preparation and anticipation, it was finally her turn.
Today Maria would be the Blood Sacrifice the ritual demanded.
A soft knock on the door pulled her out of her daydreams.
Clearing her throat and allowing herself one last look in the mirror, she nodded to herself. She was ready for this, and would not let the High Priestess down.
“Are you ready, Initiate?” It was custom that one of the younger girls escorted the Sacrifice to her ceremony. This one had only arrived a few days ago, and Maria hadn’t had time to learn her name yet. There had been so much to do before her big day – the cleansing bath, the whipping, the drinking of teas made from special herbs designed specifically to heighten her senses – and now that it was finally time she felt a little tired.
She wanted to ask the girl’s name, but stopped herself. Names no longer mattered, especially her own. Her old name, Maria, was gone. She was 849 now. Just another initiate to be given to their Gods.
Her heart almost couldn’t bare the honour of it.
849 nodded. “I’m ready, Initiate.” The younger girl blushed. It was an honour to be addressed by the Sacrifice. Ten years ago she had been the newest pupil, and it had been her duty to collect the Sacrifice. She had blushed then, too.
849 followed the girl through the elaborately decorated corridors and halls, all the way to the circle beneath the stars where the Gods would take her.
Their walk seemed to last an eternity, but finally they arrived. The ten men and women representing their ten Gods were already there, wearing only the masks befitting their Gods.
“Approach, 849.” She bowed deeply, and did as she had been asked. Her whole body was giddy with excitement, her heart was beating so hard it hurt. Not long now, and she would be as her destiny demanded. As her duty demanded.
She stepped into the circle, dressed with intricate designs to stop hostile spirits from entering their ceremony.
“Shed your earthly burden, 849.”
In one swift movement, her dress fell around her feet, exposing her even more than the representatives before her. It was only right – before the Gods she would have to be pure, or they would not accept her.
“Sit.” She obeyed.
Now that the ceremony was so close her mind was racing with everything that was to come. First the representatives would fuck her, in turn or together she didn’t know. It wasn’t for her to know, only to allow it. Then, they would kill her. Her blood would be an offering to their Gods who slept below. It would soak the earth and soak right through to their home, where they would use it to grant them a bountiful year.
It was such an honour, and she was grateful that it finally befell her.
All of my 10-Minute stories are improvised, unplanned, and unedited apart from spelling and grammar mistakes. The idea is to kick-start the dreaded Monday with a short, creative exercise without thinking about it, and simply writing for the sake of writing.
For all other 10-Minute shorts, take a look here.