The Sand Goddess and Demise

The Sand Goddess strained against the chains which shackled her to the cold stone floor. She could not see her surroundings through the darkness, but she could feel the claustrophobic confines of her small prison. The air was thick — too thick to allow her to breathe freely. And so she suffocated, feeling the pain of death, over and over again.

Yet, she could not die.

She could not decide which was worse: this seemingly never-ending death sentence, or the gaping hole in her heart, caused by her sister when she had severed their bond. Hylia — blood of her blood — had deserted her.

Trapped in this cycle of horror, the Sand Goddess felt a hand cup her chin to raise her tear-stained face from the ground. She could not see the intruder in her despair, but she took comfort that she was not alone. She felt the large, rough hand caress her cheek, almost lovingly, before she was alone again, and suffocating once more.

The Sand Goddess opened her eyes to the sunlight that flooded in through the window in her private chambers. She could breathe freely again but that was as far as her respite would go. Rubbing at her red and raw eyes, the Sand Goddess felt as though she was falling… falling… always falling, because of the loss of her twin. She knew that when she slept again, her nightmares would take hold and she would drown in the sorrow of Hylia’s desertion all over again.

But something had changed. Someone had appeared, interrupting her despair. The Sand Goddess grasped at the memories of that interruption. But like a hand cupping water, the memories slipped away from her and she forgot them.

The Sand Goddess fought weakly against sleep, but, finally, her eyelids flickered shut, and she was shackled to the floor once more. She choked, suffocating. Her hand pushed against the impenetrable walls of her prison, but instead, she felt flesh! The memories of the intruder came flooding back and she spluttered out, begging for help.

“I am here, and I will help you,” a low, growling voice answered.

The Sand Goddess recognized the voice as belonging to a man. She continued to splutter at him, until she felt the chains at her wrists break loose. With that release, hope trickled into the hole in her heart.

“Who are you?” she wondered at him.

The growling voice replied, “You will know, in time.” He continued as though he had not just denied her the common courtesy of a name, “Your people have been oppressed. You have been made a mockery. Together, we will right these wrongs.”

So grateful for this minute freedom within her nightmares, the Sand Goddess nodded into the darkness, uncomprehending as to what she was agreeing to.

Each morning the Sand Goddess awoke from her nightmares and obsessed over the man who made nightly visits to her sleep. With every visit, he would loosen her chains, freeing her from her mental restraints. She still had not laid eyes on him through the darkness, but she felt as though she knew him. She could hear the echoes of his husky voice in her waking moments. His growling promises that her suffering would end, were a life-line in this unforgiving sea of heartbreak and damnation.

The Sand Goddess clung to his words when she woke, just as she clung to his body in her doomed dreams. She strained to remember the flex of his strong arms as she fell helplessly into his embrace, and the proud shape of his face as she traced his jaw-line with her delicate fingers; a sensual distraction from her torment. The Sand Goddess even began to prefer her nightly terrors over her suffering in the light.

He filled her senses. He was music to her ears, weaving his spell around her. His caress was a pleasure and a punishment at the same time.  She would breathe in the thick air of her prison, just to take in his musky smell. But she needed to see him.

“What do you look like?” the Sand Goddess whispered into blackness.

He was silent for a moment.

She wondered if he would answer her.  Perhaps he had chosen not to reveal himself.

“I am a shadow in the twilight,” he replied, carefully. “Until you return to the light, you cannot see me.”

His words reverberated in her mind, you cannot see me. The Sand Goddess was not accustomed to being unable to do something, or to have anything denied to her! She bristled as she attempted to swallow her irritation with him. If he couldn’t give her what she wanted, then she wanted him to leave!

Suddenly, he released her from his embrace and seemed to fade away, taking his comfort with him.

The Sand Goddess reached out, groping desperately for the solidity of his body. “Where are you?” she gasped, as the weight of her nightmare crashed around her once more. She was shackled again, her lungs tightening as she choked on the thick air. As her panic set in, the Sand Goddess realized that without him, she was doomed to suffer the full terrors of her subconscious. “Please!” she spluttered, begging him to return to her.

A moment later, he was by her side, and she could breathe freely again.

“I will only remain here if you wish it so,” he murmured in a low voice, pulling her close to his chest.

Tears of relief dropped from the Sand Goddesses long lashes.  She wouldn’t let him go again.

The Sand Goddess opened her eyes. She prepared for the hideous falling sensation that she had suffered for the last countless months in her waking life.

But it didn’t come.

He had promised her this would happen. He had promised that if she trusted him, listened to him, she would be free! And now she was, thanks to him.

The Sand Goddess placed her dainty feet upon the floor and stood up. She could actually stand! How long had it been since she last stood up? It was euphoric!

But her euphoria did not last long. The Sand Goddess made her way to the entrance of her temple, where she found her people weak and starving. Her once proud Gerudo had been pushed to their limits, hunted like wild game by dark and unspeakable monsters.

The Sand Goddess had done all that she could to help her people, but her divine powers were no match for the number of enemies that invaded her domain. The Gerudo crowded her temple, praying and begging for her help. She witnessed the bloodshed, and felt the loss of every person as though they were her own child. When she could take it no more, she returned to her private chambers to mourn those countless deaths.

Finally alone, the Sand Goddess shed her tears. She blamed herself. She had brought the shadows from the deep upon the world when she had lost control of her anger! And now, her children paid the price! Their blood was on her hands…

“You are not to blame.” stated a deep, growling voice.

The Sand Goddess looked up sharply. She knew that voice! She had longed for it, since she had escaped her nightly terrors! “It’s you!” she exclaimed, blinking her tears away. Scanning her chamber, she saw a darkness within the shadows stir.

He stepped into the light and the Sand Goddess gasped. He was beautiful! He stood tall, with red hair that would have put the brightest flame to shame. His broad shoulders and rippling torso were impressive, even under his leather garb. He had a proud chiseled face. But it was his eyes that drew her attention: like molten pools of amber. They were mesmerizing.

“It is me,” he replied quietly. “Come to me.”

The Sand Goddess rushed to him. She collided bodily with him, feeling complete now that she could actually see him. Gazing up into his hypnotizing eyes, she felt compelled to explain herself to him. To tell him what she had done, and how her people were suffering for it. With every word, she hated herself more. When she was done, she crumpled, sobbing, in a heap at his feet.

He listened intently, before scooping her into his strong arms. “It is not your fault,” he growled. “Now, there is something you must know.”  He set her into a nearby chair and proceeded to tell her who he was, and where he had come from.

The Sand Goddess stared ahead, shocked. Her anger had brought a terrible horde of bloodthirsty demons unto the earth, to murder and pillage the innocent. And with them, came Demise. He, who had rescued her nightly; he, who had broken her chains. He, whom she had fallen in love with. She was conflicted and it showed on her radiant face.

“If you do not want me, then I will leave,” he said simply, as he turned to move away from her.

She reached out to grab his hand; so calloused, perhaps from the use of a sword. “Please!  Don’t leave me,” she whispered.

He turned to look at her, his eyebrow raised. “I have told you before, I will only remain here if you wish it so.”

“I do… wish it so,” she breathed, gazing into his eyes. She could feel herself slipping, as though under his spell.

He smiled, showing brilliant white teeth. He was clearly satisfied by her need for him. “Then you are mine?” he questioned, his eyes glinting.

The Sand Goddess caught her breath. This was her last chance to escape him. She exhaled, her mind made up. “I am yours,” she conceded, willingly.

He put his arm around her waist and pulled her close to him with careful strength.

Her heart raced at their proximity.

“Together, we will take the Triforce, and with it, I will give you the world!” With that final statement, he kissed her deeply.

She would be his, forever.

Judy Calder is an Associate Editor for Zelda Dungeon.  She wrote this story as a branch off from her fan fiction: Koume and Kotake – Creation of Fire and Ice Follow her on Twitter.

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