J R A T I F I E D
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The Original
Inanna was born in a land that no longer has a name, one that has fallen and been rebuilt upon many a times. She had been born to a poor, uneducated Shepard. Inanna despised her father. He was tactless, unintelligent, a commoner laughed and spat at. She always wondered why her mother's family had ever agreed to marry her to him. Her mother was beautiful, made popular vases and jugs from red clay and had some education. Her grandparents had taught her mother to be a head-house bride, a daughter men would come from other worlds to marry. She was groomed to be expensive. It wasn't until later years that Inanna found out why the woman had been married to someone as pathetic as her father. She was pregnant with another mans child.

Sadly Inanna was indeed her father's child, she was told the boy her mother had birthed was given away and forgotten about (by everyone other than her mother). Other then the lost boy, Inanna had no siblings. She spent her time studying music, sculpting, and doing chores around the small hut.

Inanna was only ten when suitors began appearing asking for her hand in marriage. Men would exclaim how she had the palest and most beautiful skin of all the village. How her hair was full, long and curly like the ocean waves. She sings like a bird and moves as daintily as a cat. How her brown eyes shone brighter than any other child's. Her father (under his wife's requests) turned each man down. He pleaded to his wife, warning her that she was aging quickly and would attract unwanted attention as an unmarried woman. Her mother refused and simply stated, "I had a dream that a very powerful man is coming for her." The young girl hated the way her mother said such a thing. The people began to talk, call the woman crazy and stingy with her pretty child.

Inanna was forced to stay closer to home as she developed into a woman. Her father kept a wary eye on her. Once her mother taught her all she knew, she had other women come to teach her things that she could not do.

It was her sixteenth year when a different kind of suitor came for her. The man had skin as pale as hers, his eyes were blue, his cheeks red and his hair light and golden. He explained how he had traveled over seas to find a daughter like theirs. He offered to pay with land, beasts, exotic furs, and much more. Her father openly begged his wife to accept. Mother did not believe he was a good man and asked he stay in the village for three nights to let her decide.

Inanna had barely caught site of the suitor. She found him to be gorgeous and smart. She snuck around and watched him barter with the villagers and how awed they were by him. He spoke her native language (an ancient form of Sumerian) with a slight accept and smiled often. In her culture, smiling broadly was something only proud warriors did. Inanna wondered if he knew that.

After following him all day she was content and turned to go home. Suddenly he was in front of her. "Hello," his deep voice said quietly. A small smile sprang to her face in the corner of her lips. She bowed her head. "You are Inanna, correct?" She watched him, curious of how he ever came to hear of her, and finally nodded. "I am called Magnus." His blue eyes never left her. "It means 'greatest'." He looked very serious and then another smile broke out and Inanna couldn't help but to laugh.

On the third day her mother sat the man down. She called upon Inanna, knowing she was listening from behind a fabric door. Blushing, she sat beside her mother, keeping her eyes on the floor. Magnus smiled a small smile at her demeanor. Her mother looked from the man to her daughter. She finally nodded and that was that. Her father made the rest of the arrangements and the next day they said their goodbyes.

She was hoisted upon a cart where 4 men then lifted her into the air to begin the long trek through the desert. It was a week since they had left her seaside village when the true man showed himself.

Magnus was cruel. He beat upon his slaves, screamed at his crew, and while happy one moment was unbearable the next. Inanna considered running away, to her mother and father and safe home. She imagined what the village would say and how they would outcast her family.

The men made camp for the night on the edge of the jungle and the desert. The jungle was known as evil to her people and dreaded the thought of going inside where a demon could snatch her up and devour her. Magnus sat beside her near the fire. He smiled and ran his hand over her hand and gently petted her hair down. "You will make a beautiful bride." Inanna, though now frightened by this man, suddenly felt comforted. "How many days until we reach your home?" He chuckled as if it were a stupid question. "My dear, it is our home we are going to! Not mine." He didn't answer her question, but she decided to forget it anyhow.

Very late in the night she was awoken to a sound outside of her tent. Hearing it again, she sat up very quickly. "Magnus?" She asked quietly, hoping it were him coming to her in the night as her mother said he eventually would. It was not. Two of his men grabbed her by her ankles and dragged her out. She kicked and scream and yelled her grooms name. Once they managed to hold her down and get a good grip on her she stopped thrashing long enough to see Magnus standing by and watching. "Bind her wrists and ankles. Hurry up, we don't have time to lose." She stared, it felt as if he had ripped her heart out through her throat. She could not speak or scream, stunned with tears rolling down her soft cheek.

The men followed Magnus into the jungle. They walked for what seemed like forever when they managed across a clearing. In the center was a large stone that looked as if the top had been sliced clean as a table. "Quickly, tie her down." She fought and fought, but in only a moment they had her wrists tied to either side of the table and then her ankles, also one to each side. The stone was cold and rough on her skin. She cried more and more and anger welled inside of her.

"My dear, Inanna. Do not fear. It will only hurt for awhile and then it will be all over." He smiled his charming smile and brushed her cheek with his finger. She turned her head to snap at it. He pulled away and the smile vanished. "See how I am treated for showing kindness?" He shook his head and stepped away. "My book, boy." One of the men handed him a leather bound book. One she would later come to find out that the leather was human skin. The man then quickly lit three torches surrounding the area. Inanna stared into the darkness, where she could see eyes glowing.

"Please, please release me!" She wailed, pulling as hard as she could at the binds. Magnus began reading from the book in a tongue she did not recognize. The sounds of the jungle began to grow louder. The torches flickered and fussed as if there were a strong wind. He took slow steps towards her again. She stared in horror as he sprinkled dirt from the ground on her and then water from a jug. He tucked the book under his arm and revealed a knife. The jungle was even louder now, the creatures screamed, howled and roared. He took the knife to his hand and sliced it open. He clenched his fist and brought it to her mouth, she tried to turn her head away and keep it closed but he pinched her nostrils shut and she gasped for air. The blood seeped into her mouth, throat, lungs with the air. She coughed and coughed. She could hardly hear his chanting over the creatures in the dark.

Magnus seemed absolutely pleased with himself. He began a movement of holding his hands over her stomach then raising them to the air, repeatedly. The torches went out one after another. One of the men screamed. Magnus hesitated for only a moment as he glanced in the direction where the man once stood. He continued his ritual. When the other man screamed and was also gone. Magnus cheered through his fear and screamed his chant even louder.

The screaming of the creatures was so intense at this point, Inanna in a daze and feeling as if she were dying. "Please," She whimpered quietly. Magnus picked the knife back up and suddenly used all his weight to plunge it into her chest. Inanna coughed and stared wide eyed. Blood spilled from her mouth as her eyes would not leave Magnus. The sound of the jungle ceased instantly.

Inanna did not believe she was dead yet, but she knew she would soon be as her breaths were harder and harder to get. A deep laughter and cold fell upon the clearing. A man from no where spoke in a very deep voice, in a tongue like the one Magnus had been chanting. Now it was as if Inanna could understand it though. "You dare call on me?" Magnus dropped to his knees. "Yes, Master! I have brought you a beautiful virgin! I only ask to be in your court!" The stranger chuckled which grew into a loud laughter, staying hidden in the darkness.

"You have gone through all this trouble to be mine?" Magnus shook his head in the dark, "Yes, Master! Yes! I want to be in your world!" He exclaimed to the stranger, suddenly holding out his hands like a child asking his mother for something to eat. The dark figure slowly approached the man on his knees. Magnus starred up at him. The figure had to be at least six feet tall with very broad shoulders. "Master, take me with you!" The figure came so close that Magnus had to tilt his head back as far as he could to face the man's face. "You are a fool, I do not want you." The figure lashed out with long arms and claws on his fingers and snapped Magnus' neck.

Inanna could not move as she stared on in horror. The figure seemingly hovered over the body of Magnus and stood by the stone table. He tilted his head to the side. The man was no man; his body was as black as night and his eyes soulless. He smiled at the girl, his teeth were in fact fangs. "Hello there." Inanna was oddly soothed by the dark man's voice. It was more charming than Magnus's had been. Tears began streaming again. "Am I dying?" Inanna asked quietly, choking up more blood.

"Yes." She closed her eyes as she accepted this fate. "Who are you?" She mustered enough strength to ask. "I am known by many names. I believe your people call me Nergal most commonly." Inanna opened her eyes again to see his smile slowly fade. "You are a God?" He leaned onto the table, his face only inches from her. "More or less. You are not afraid, young one?" She blinked, her life force so close to being snubbed out. "No, I am honored." She whispered, her voice growing quieter. He chuckled quietly. "Come with me, girl. I will make you mine."

He continued, but his voice trailed away. Her eyes drifted again to the darkness, a pair of golden eyes stared back. They were not frightening, they were soft and wise and loving. They assured her that life was not over yet and that she would rise again. Then it was dark, completely and silent. There was no warmth or cold. There was nothing. She felt as if she were floating in the ocean. She was content.