If you’ve been reading along, you know I’ve been working on a religion for my alternative sci-fi fairytale universe. Ah, but that’s not all!
So, working on an alternative, more sci-fi version of Christianity is just part of the story. Because what’s one religion without another? People need other belief systems to choose from and argue about.
But while I have taken the liberty to play around with Bible stories and verses, it’s a whole ‘nother thing to mess around religions I didn’t grow up in and have only a shallow understanding of. I want two more religions to regularly reference. There’s a lot to sort out.
Nonetheless, today, I worked on the backstory of a major character, and this scene has a glimpse into her planet’s belief system.
Thanks for reading!
Approaching the emerald green door, seven-year-old Tasanko Fray didn’t look back at parents. They weren’t even in her thoughts. Why would they be when she was about to enter the most secret place on the planet. The universe as far as she knew. The Omenarium seemed to stretch taller and taller the more she stared at it. But of course, that was impossible.
Next to her lopped the mad pet her mother had made for her—a hybrid thing, a rabbit with wings and a lion’s tail. Her father worried taking the creature would cause trouble. Her mother said that was for their daughter to discover for herself. The odd rabbit reached the ornately carved door first and waited. Tas scratched its head. “Good, Beatrice,” she said. “I bet the Oracle is going to love you.”
She knocked on the door. Quiet. Tas lifted her hand to knock again, but hesitated. She pulled on the heavy, large iron handle and the door swung open. With a hint of a smile, she walked into the front room of the Omenarium. Beatrice hopped in behind her. “This is it,” Tas whispered to her pet. “Just look!”
The pair stood on old wood floors surrounded by six walls that were almost impossible to see because of the shelves and art and number of other things. Tas couldn’t take it all in. She looked up.
The building had six floors, and where she stood she could see all the way to the uppermost floor and the colorful skylight. Sunlight streamed in, breaking into light of pink and green and gold. She gasped and pointed. “Do you see that, Beatrice?” A blackbird flew from one banister to another. It perched and seemed to stare back down at them. “Mum told me about the blackbirds,” she explained to Beatrice, whose wide brown eyes gazed up as if equally amazed. “They’re filled with magic. More magic than even the Oracle!”
“Indeed. Well, your mother would know.”
Tas spun around to face the voice. The Oracle herself stood there, here wild, gray hair piled high on her head, wrapped in strings of tiny pearls and silver beads and a few black feathers. She wore the same black green dress every Oracle had worn, a fine lace from her neck to the floor. Possibly thousands of minuscule beads spiraled up and down the gown, but Tas couldn’t get over the impression that they were stars. The words she’d memorized for this moment flew from her thoughts. She stared.
“I believe you have something to say?” the Oracle asked.
“Oh. Yes!” She took a deep breath. The words came back. “My name is Tasanko Fray, daughter of Kiminoki Rhyse and Abeo Osun, daughter of Hask, its forests and moons. I…” she had to take another breath. “I come to present myself to the Oracle and her enchanters for instruction and…” The word escaped her. She blinked.
The Oracle waited calmly. Beatrice flapped her wings once, catching the Oracle’s eye. “You’ve brought a friend, I see,” said the Oracle.
Tas stepped closer to her pet though the strange rabbit looked unconcerned. “Yes. I won’t be parted from her.”
“One of your mother’s creations. Is that right?”
“Does it, she, fly with those wings?”
“Yes! Though not well. I never seen her get any higher than my knees. And it wears her out something fierce. I asked mum to make her stronger, but mum says she can’t. Once made is made.”
“Well, it’s not my way to deny a student such a unique gift.” She knelt down to the floor to look the creature in the eyes. “Your mother has a talent, though to what ends is yet to be seen.” She stood back up and offered her hand to the girl. “Come. You’re acceptance has never been in doubt.”
Tas grinned. “Mum says you’re going to teach me magic!”
The Oracle waved her other hand at a far off door. It opened. “I’ll teach you much more than that, child. Magic isn’t the only power in the universe.”