“Did she say what it was she wanted?” Diana asked, grabbing Gwenn’s hand as they walked through the aisles of columns toward the temple.
“No, but I think it’s about the new temple in Athens,” Gwenn said, squeezing Diana’s hand.
Diana stopped, a strand of red hair falling out of tight bun. Her bright blue eyes filled with tears and the grabbed both of Gwenn’s hands.A thought crossed Diana’s mind, filling her with fear. “Oh…you don’t think she will separate us, do you? No…no, she can’t.” “Hush,” Gwenn said, pulling Diana into her arms. “No, of course she won’t. That was a silly thing to say.” She rested her forehead against Diana’s and looked into Gwenn’s eyes. Diana looked into the deep green eyes of her life long friend and slid her hands into the lush, brown curls as she tried not to cry.
They had been claimed by the temple on the same day, thirty days after their birth. Born on the same day under the correct stars, The High Priestess had declared the two Star Sisters, and from that day on, they had barely been apart. And when they had been part, they had nearlyslipped into a state of uselessness. The very thought of having to live without the other was enough to drive them both to thoughts of suicide; as Star Sisters, they were each other’s purpose. Without the other, their lives had no meaning.
“I’m sure everything will be alright,” Gwenn said. She pulled away, still holding one of Diana’s hands.Dianna had always been the more anxious of the two and it had been up to Gwenn to keep her calm during their hard nights of training and fasting. On the other hand, Gwenn always relied on Diana to keep her grounded; there were times she had found herself contemplating playing the political game of the temple, something conveniently discouraged in by the teachings of the temple.Diana always reminded her to keep her ambition in check.
They walked up to the temple and entered into the grand hall where the braziers burned bright and the smell of crushed flowers choked the air. Sitting on her throne, before the goddess Aphrodite, was the High Priestess. She was a the epitome of beauty; long blonde hair, round features and a sheer piece of fabric draped over her body. She had only recently claimed the mantle of High Priestess, the former Holy Mother dying suddenly in her sleep. Only older than them by a few years, The High Priestess was able to put all of the sisters on edge. She looked down at them as they knelt before her and fingered a piece of paper in her hand.
“Rise, Star Sisters,” she said. Gwenn and Diana obeyed, still clasping hands. “The two of you have served us very well. And over the years you have proven your worth in the eyes of the great goddess of love.” Gwenn and Diana waited for her to drop the next sandel. They could feel the weight of the moment hanging over their heads. Then the High Priestess opened the paper and began to read aloud.
“Aphrodite, goddess of love, fought often with her sister, Ardora. Born beneath the same stars, the two fought for the right to hold dominion over the reigns of the passions of men. Beneath the same stars that saw their birth, Aphrodite triumphed over her sister and claimed the dominion of love for herself.”
She stared down at them once more. None of them spoke for a moment. Then Diana broke the silence. “That is not a part of The Great Truth, Holy Mother,” she said. Gwenn squeezed her hand signaling her to keep her mouth shut. The High Priestess nodded and then stood. She walked down the steps toward them.
“No, Sister Diana, it is not. However, this piece of text had been recently discovered in our libraries and at one of the most fortuitous of moments.” “How so, Holy Mother?” Gwenn asked. The High Priestess’s eyes gave her a look of mild annoyance. It was no secret to her that Gwenn had shown interest in the position of High Priestess and it didn’t seem to sit well with her one bit.
The new temple has been built in Athens and I was praying to the goddess for a way to decide who to assign as priestess there. This new piece of scripture has answered that for me.”
Diana still looked confused, but a sudden realization dawned on Gwenn. She squeezed Diana’s hand tighter and said a silent prayer to Aphrodite, begging to prove her wrong. But the goddess was silent.
“Two sisters born under the same stars…” The High Priestess said. “Just as our goddess and her failed usurper. She who lives will hold dominion over the love of men. It is no accident you two were brought into the order. You will fight and the winner shall–” “No!” Diana stood, jerking Gwenn’s hand upward. “Holy Mother, that can’t be!” “Be silent, child.” The High Priestess said calmly. “ As sisters of the Great Truth, you are bound to the decrees of the Holy Mother! The bond between sisters is a strong one. The bond between Star sisters is even stronger. But stronger than all of them is the bond between mother and daughter and I am the mother.”
Gwenn opened her mouth to speak but the High Priestess cut her off sharply. “ME! I am the Holy Mother. Not you, Gwenn. The Goddess has chosen me and I will not allow you to argue that point. All daughters should listen to their mother! It is written. So it shall be.” She snapped her fingers and more of their sisters came out of the shadows. Both Diana and Gwenn were grabbed and pulled away from each other. Diana and Gwenn locked eyes and shared a look that they knew all too well.
I love you.
“The two shall be bathed, purified, and blessed before the trial.” The High Priestess said.
“Jocasta, please…”Gwenn said. The sisters gasped and The High Priestess looked as if she had been struck. It was a grave misstep to speak the name of the High Priestess once she had been given the title. But Gwenn continued.
“Please. We grew up with you. We played in the sea together. You taught us how to swim. Please don’t do this. I beg you.”
The High Priestess, formerly Jocasta, stepped forward and grabbed Gwenn’s face with a soft, unyielding hand. “It is written,” was all she said. But a flicker in her eyes added something else to the sentence. It is written…you little cunt.
Gwenn and Diana were pulled away to the dark chambers of the temple, each calling the other’s name as they were torn away from each other. The High Priestess called out the rest of
the instructions as they were ripped asunder.
“They will fight beneath the stars, away from the light of their mothers. They shall leave no mark! Only one will survive!” Diana’s wept openly as her sisters stripped her and washed her. She was a pale woman covered in flecks of brown that a few sisters tried in vain to scrub from her body. Her breasts were round and full, a gift from the goddess that would never be used to give suck or please man.
As her sisters washed her though, her pink nipples did harden and the forbidden sensations began to rise in her stomach. Her fear kept most of that at bay. She tried not to think of a life without Gwenn; to think of such a thing would surely kill her where she stood. Her mind then began to wonder if there was a way out of this horrible, sudden predicament. But every plan that came to mind required Gwenn’s help. And Gwenn wasn’t here.
The sisters used a small knife to trim Gwenn’s nails down to her finger tips. As with the fight between Aphrodite and her sister, no mark was left behind. It was a fight of pure strength that would end in death. Diana stared into the flame of one of the braziers, seeing many futures before her. She could fight, kill her Star Sister and claim the temple as her own. She could spare Diana and die in her place. She could even try to escape with Diana to some far off country where they would live out the rest of their days in peace…
It all seemed wrong. Not just those options, but the entire premise. How could it be that such a text was only now found? Why had the goddess cursed her and her beloved Star Sister?
“I will be praying for you,” one of the sisters said, anointing her skin with precious oils. Her hands slid down Gwenn’s collar bone to the tops of her high, perky breasts. Her nipples hardened at the sister’s touch and as the oily hands cradled the heavy orbs, Gwenn began to picture herself being treated this way every day of her life. As Priestess, she would have servants at hand…sisters to tend to her needs…
“Thank you, sister.” Diana said as the woman’s hands slid across her stomach and down to her mound. The tingling sensations there were almost enough to make her forget the deadly future before her. Night fell and when it did Diana and Gwenn were led into the Garden of Aphrodite. It was a lovely, quiet place filled with beautiful hedges, flowers and mosaiced pools. It was a place where the sisters could enjoy the beauty of the world without the threat of sin tempting them toward the dark.
But tonight would be a different story.
Beneath the light of the moon and the stars–the very same stars they had been born under–the two Star Sisters would fight. One would live and one would die. The High Priestess looked at their naked, oil covered bodies in the light of the moon.
“One of you will be making a lovely sacrifice tonight.” She raised her hands over them and rested her palms on their heads. Her touch nearly sent Diana into another fit of weeping. But this time, unlike all of the other’s when Gwenn had been by her side, her sister did not take her hand.
“When I return tomorrow, I will proclaim the winner the priestess of the temple of Athens. The other shall be burned. Do not disappoint our goddess. The goddess will not accept anything less than a perfect vessel. Do not defile the skin. The soft…delicate…skin…” She ran a hand along Diana’s breast and Diana gave a shudder.
With that, she was gone. The gate locked behind her and Diana and Gwenn were left alone to fight beneath the stars. “Sister…” Diana said. She ran to Gwenn and embraced her, her slick, oil covered body sliding smoothly across her sister’s. Their breasts pressed together, their hardened nipples poking hard into the other’s soft flesh. “We can’t do this. We have to run. We could still–” But then Gwenn’s arms wrapped around her back and began to squeeze.
At first she thought it as an embrace, but when she couldn’t slip her arms from her sister’s grasp, she began to realize that something was wrong. “Sister…” “I am sorry, Diana,” Gwenn said as she squeezed harder. She had not intended to fight. Not immediately. But when her sister’s warm, naked body pressed into hers and she felt a surge of pleasure and love, she knew it had to be extinguished. She squeezed with all of her might and as she did, Diana began to struggle.
“No…No…” Diana moaned. She managed to free her arms and they immediately went to Gwenn’s brown hair and pulled her head backward.
“You can’t do this…please.” “Auuugh…” Gwenn moaned as her head was pulled back to see the stars. She squeezed Diana into her even tighter, their breasts growing tight and hard as they pressed together.
“We must…I must…” Gwenn hissed. Diana’s tears trickled down the side of her face as realization dawned on her. Her sister intended to let her ambition take hold of her.
“I won’t…let you…” She released one handful of hair and brought the other hand down and under her Gwenn’s knee. She pulled forward, bringing Gwenn’s knee out from under her and the two went down to the soft green grass. “You’re not strong enough, sister.” Gwenn hissed, flipping Diana over and pinning her to the ground, pressing her hands down with her own. “Let me end your life quickly…I beg you.”
Diana lifted a knee and drove it into her sister’s stomach, then flipped her off of her. She slipped both arms beneath her sister’s armpits and pulled back, trapping Gwenn’s arms behind her head. Then she wrapped her legs around her sister’s waist, locking her body tight. “There has to be another way!” Diana pleaded as her sister tried to break free from her body lock. “You have to see that…please see that.”
Gwenn gave a vicious roar and drove herself back, slamming Diana hard into the ground, knocking the air out of her. Her arms went weak, allowing Gwenn to free her arms. But her legs remained locked around her waist and all Gwenn could do was wrap her arms around Diana’s head from behind and pull forward.
“It’s all your fault!” Gwenn began to hiss. “If you hadn’t convinced me not to go for the High Priestess position, we wouldn’t have to fight. You’re always in my fucking way…why do you always have to be in my way?” Diana began to sob. Her head was being pulled forward over Diana’s shoulder yet her words cut deeper than any pain she had ever felt. Then, surprising to her, a wave of anger swept through her. She pulled back and tightened her hold with her legs.
“I only ever loved you! Only you, you smug fuck!” The words and their venom surprised her still and yet they seemed to give her enough strength to pull her head free. When she Gwenn began to shove Diana’s legs from around her waist. She managed to nearly free herself when one of Diana’s arms wrapped around her throat and pulled her head back. Gwenn felt the air in her lungs plead to be released and her vision began to go dark.
Dianna had finally taken the plunge and was now fighting back. Gwenn cursed herself for not killing her faster and then for having that thought. Had it really only taken a few hours of pride to lead her into such a vicious state? But then she drove herself backward, forcing Diana into the soft ground behind her. She could feel Diana beginning to bend in half and within seconds, the grip around her throat loosened. Breath flooded in and out and with a burst of energy she tore herself from Diana’s grasp and retreated to the other side of the garden.
Diana howled in pain; her neck had been twisted back almost far enough to break. Now, as she stared across the garden at her former sister, she knew that there was only one way to end this now. “Come, sister…let’s finish this.” She said. Her voice, normally sweet and full of love was now tinged with venom.
Gwenn, still panting and tears pouring from her eyes, nodded and charged forward. Diana charged at her as well. They collided, their slick, perfumed bodies colliding with a wet smack.
Their hands found each other and they began to push with all their might, struggling to take the other to the ground. Their arms went over their heads and their breasts mashed together as their legs crossed each other’s paths in a power stance. “You’d really kill me now?” Gwenn asked, knowing the answer but hoping Diana did not.
“As quick as you’d kill me.” Diana said, not letting the question bother her. Her mind was made up and that was that. They danced their violent dance across the garden until they slammed into a stone wall,Gwenn’s back against the rough stone. Diana pressed one hand into her face as she tried to break Gwenn’s neck by pulling her body away from the wall but Diana wrapped her legs around her sister, hands pulling her in close.
It was here that they both began to feel the slight pangs of longing they had been told to ignore for most of their lives. Diana, though her life was in danger, could almost have kissed Gwenn then. Gwenn felt a similar urge but it passed quickly. Though their oily bodies had slid across each other for almost an hour now, their minds were set on the task at hand. Gwenn used a foot to push off of the wall and the two went hurtling toward one of the pools. Diana went over the edge first with Gwenn on top of her. The cool water slid off of their bodies as they emerged into the cool night air.
For a moment, they stared at each other, dripping wet beneath the stars. Then they rushed for each other again, hands wrapping around the other’s neck. They began to throttle each other and tried to force the other under the water.
For a moment, Diana succeed at holding Gwenn under for nearly a minute, but then she felt a vicious grip on her right breast and the pain sapped her strength away. Gwenn shot up from the water and lunged at her former sister, once again pinning her arms to her body as she pushed her under the water. She knelt and bent her over her knee, holding her in damnable baptism, fighting to keep her under, praying to the goddess to let her die.
Under the water, Dianna struggled to free herself from her sister’s grasp. She kept her mouth shut tight, striving to keep the water from flooding into her lungs. She wriggled back and forth, but to no avail. Light began to fade and the water suddenly became very inviting…comforting even. She considered letting herself go…leaving her sister the victor…
That thought brought the anger flooding back to her. She refused to let her selfish Star Sister betray her for the sake of power. She drove a foot down hard on her sister’s toes and felt the grip relax. She pushed away, slipping through the water like a graceful fish, retreating to the other side.
Gwenn let her get to the other end of the small pool before moving toward her again. This time she waited for Diana to lunge a her and then she ducked and drove her shoulder into her sister’s chest. The force drove her back to the pools edge and over it, putting her top half onto the ground once more. They began to wrestle along the edge of the pool, rolling along it until Diana was fully out, trying to crawl away.
Gwenn grabbed her ankle and jerked her back only to narrowly miss a foot to the face.
“Come back here you little bitch!” Gwenn screamed. She climbed out of the pool and chased after her sister. But Diana suddenly turned and charged into her, knocking her to the ground, her head hitting a stone at the edge of the pool. Her vision went double as her sister mounted her and began to press her hands down on her windpipe. Gwenn tried to throttle her sister but found that her strength was wanning. Her head throbbed and a bright white light pounded in the side of her head.
“How could you?” Diana screamed, her wet red hair hanging in her face.
“I loved you. I would have fought anyone to protect you.”
“It… doesn’t…matter…” Gwenn hissed trying to pry her sister’s hands from her throat.
Diana roared at this answer and threw herself fully down onto her sister, her large, full breasts mashing into hers. Gwenn tried desperately to free herself but the pain in her head grew worse and worse.
Diana slid her body up her sisters, her breasts pressing into her face. She brought her shoulders together and began to push them down hard. Gwenn didn’t deserve to be strangled…no matter how painful the betrayal had been. She wanted to kill her with her love.
“Shhh…” she hissed as Gwenn’s hands tried to pull her off of her.
Diana’s words echoed in Gwenn’s ears as she felt her life slipping away from her. She gave one final attempt at rolling her Star Sister over and failed. Tears pooled around her eyes as her sister’s breasts prevented them from spilling. Her nipples were pressing into her closed eyes.
She couldn’t breathe…
Then she relaxed…allowed her body to go limp…
She had put up a tough fight…but in the end, sad, anxious Diana had found a way to overcome her fear. Perhaps Gwenn had taught her that. Perhaps she had helped her in at least one way…
For that she was glad.
Diana pressed down until she was sure Gwenn was dead. She was sure that she had felt her spirit pass through her body when it departed to the Underworld. She did not cry. She did not speak. Instead, she slept. She lay on her sister’s body until morning.
When she did wake, she did not look at the body. She stood and looked at the congregation of sister around her.
The High Priestess looked pleased. She walked past Diana and looked down at the body.
Diana only stared her other sisters down. They were not her real sisters…not really. Her only sister had died yesterday before the sun went down. The woman she had fought last night had been a stranger. She had not killed her sister.
But she knew who had.
“I am impressed, Diana.” The High Priestess said. “I was sure you would be the one we would burn on the pyre. You are now the Priestess of the temple in Athens. You may take your things and begin the journey–”
Diana grabbed the High Priestess’s arm and jerked her toward her. The sisters gasped and began to whisper in shocked little voices.
“Diana…” The High Priestess said. “Release me at–”
“You killed her.” Diana said. “You had to get rid of her because you knew she would try to overthrow you someday. You didn’t care who lived or who died, just as long as you could get rid of her.”
For the first time, Diana saw fear in the High Priestess’s eyes. She tried to hide it, but it
“I…I don’t know what you mean. It was written…”
“You lie.” Diana said. “Which of you found the paper in the library?”
None of the sisters spoke. They looked at each other, a realization dawning on them.
“I found it,” The High Priestess said. “And by our laws that is enough. If you don’t let me go now, I will have you executed!”
Diana released her.
“I am leaving a stronger woman, Holy Mother. I will lead the temple in Athens, but know this.” She looked at the Holy Mother dead in the eyes.
“You will pay for the murder of my sister. All your followers will burn for what you have done…your temple will crumble… and then you will fall.” She spat at the Holy Mother’s feet and then walked from the garden to gather her things, the whispers of her former sisters fading behind her.
On the road to Athens, she looked up at the stars. It had once been a sight that had brought her great joy but now, she felt empty when she saw the twinkling lights of the gods. For the first time in her life, she was truly, utterly alone.
But not in here, sister, she said in her mind. Here, I can speak to you anytime I want. Here I can remember you the way you were. Forgive me…I have forgiven you. And know that I will avenge you. My temple shall rise and theirs shall fall. They will pay. I swear it to the gods.
She did not weep for her sister. She did not scream to the gods. She simply walked the roads, knowing that there was a greater purpose for her now. A purpose she would never have discovered with Diana still in her life.
It was time to begin her new life, and the stars winked their approval.