She’d always loved the word ‘immaculate’, until they explained. Even after Gabriel, it wasn’t clear this was a permanent commitment. Not just a virgin but The Virgin.
The hydra-headed dragon came to her door at night. She smelled corruption on its breath and pitied it, its skin scored with self-loathing, its terrible amour with death.
She looked it in the eyes, saw herself: a tinselled effigy; her Eternal Life sentence a juggernaut of pain and terror. She ran out of the town, into the clean silence of the desert.
How many desperate decades of the rosary reeled backwards to her then; countless pleas for intercession. She saw she was to star in a two-thousand year long tragedy, a non-speaking part.
That timeless trap, the allure of making all the difference … And though the khamsin whispered tears … miracles … make nothing happen, she stopped running. Across the sand the creature crawled to drag her into history.