Author's Note: Rated 'M' for a reason- contains mention of rape, although no graphic descriptions.

This is a legend based in the same universe/reality as my other story Corridors of the Mind. Although this can be read on its own, it would probably make more sense if you read Corridors of the Mind first.

Thank you for reading!



Aparajita: She Who May Not Be Conquered

It wasn't always like this. We weren't always like this. History remembers times when we were revered as the children of the Gods, and when our lives were un-shadowed and our magic was free of this blight.

We used to be the exalted, the revered. The worshipped.

But it all changed.

Our very power changed, twisted; until the Gift became our blackest curse. Our authority faded, withered; until there was nothing left.

Until we were no longer the blessed. Until the words witch and accursed were one and the same.

It all changed. All because of you.

Aparajita…

We remember how you would sing hymns to Kali on dark new moon nights, the scarlet hibiscus twined in your dark hair.

Did you know, even back then, that your name would be raised to the height of the Gods; that we would go down on our knees and grovel at the feet of your idols? That your name would be the most potent malediction known to our kind?

Did you always know, that you were never just another human girl.

We- he- should've, should've realized it the moment he set his eyes on you. The moment he saw the blood-red power of the Goddess wrap around you, her fiery midnight magic whispering in your ears.

I've always wanted to know- could you hear it? Could you hear the magic hum around you? Or did your human blood drown out its song, just like it does for the rest of your kind?

Who knows? Maybe you had a magic of your own; deeper, more powerful than any of us.

Because it was a spell that you lay on him.

Just once, only once he saw you; and he was caught. Riveted by your dark, kohl lined eyes; your sinuous form flowing as you danced, your silken hair flying in the wind.

Just one glance and the seven fold vows of his marriage crumbled to nothing. His son growing in his wife's womb was nothing.

His powers, his magic, his Goddess. Nothing.

He was yours, but you weren't his.

Thrice he secretly asked for your hand in marriage, and thrice you refused him.

You aren't worthy of your wife or your family, you said. Not even of the magic that's inside you.

No other human had ever dared to say that to a witch's face- but you were never like other humans, were you?

You know, he did try to forget you. He did try to go back to his family, back to his wife and his infant son.

But it was you who crept in between him and his wife at night. It was you who laughed at his ear when he held his son.

It was your voice that answered when he evoked the Goddess.

His yearning for you tormented him day and night until he couldn't take it anymore. So he came back to you, and this time he pleaded- went down on his knees and begged you to accept.

You laughed, and you said, why would I want to be with you?

And you turned and left.

They say it was then that the madness bled into his mind, twisting his love for you into anger. Hatred. Bloodlust.

He came to you that night, didn't he?

Forced you down and entered you, violated you; marked you as his own.

Except that you were never his.

And as the light left your eyes, your lips moved to form one word.

Die.

Your lifeless eyes took up the cry and screamed it back at him, your cold body wrapped the word around his mind like a heavy blanket; and in that moment, the whole world seemed deathly silent- even his magic refused to sing.

The whole night he waited for something, anything to happen. But nothing did.

Nothing did. Not then.

He went back to his old life, to his family; but the fear never really left him- and no matter how much he prodded his magic to reveal what was to come, he never got back any answer. Just a sense of the noose closing around his neck.

His son blossomed into a powerful witch; his magic was like a fiery tornado, beloved of the Goddess and our kind.

It was on the new moon before his initiation that it happened- and it started with a fever, a heat that built up between his eyes; and then radiated out into his entire body.

As the night grew, the boy felt as if a wild animal was loose inside him; clawing, ripping him from the inside out to escape.

Then he knew: it was his magic that wanted to leave him.

And bit by bit, mote by mote, it did.

Until he lay dead, just like you'd said.

What started with his son soon spread to all our kind, felling us all without fail. But he lived. Oh, he lived to tell the story of how he had brought the curse of the human girl on us all. He lived to mourn not just his son's death, but the death of an era, of his kind.

So we forgot his name and unlearned the spells that he had written; erasing all traces of his memory from our histories.

And we made you a Goddess. Worshiped and revered you. Begging, pleading you to undo what had happened, what you had done.

But you were gone.

You were gone, and you never returned.

You never returned.