Only in the Brightness shall we find Light for all, for all eternity.
At the center of the clearing, the Sun burned strongly, its fiery fingertips slashing at the dark midnight sky. Around it danced the sixteen members of the Sisterhood. Their brightly colored dresses—the red chiffon, the purple velvet, and the green taffeta—swirled wide, so that the forest became gyrating flame. Brilliance’s chest tightened at the sight, heart beating fast like the wings of an insect trapped in a jar as the sisters raised their voices in the Light’s saying:
“I dance with the fire in my heart, in my soul, in my veins. I dance until it rises up for me. I dance into the Brightness. Into the Light. Into the Light.”
Brilliance stared deep into the fire. She loved the way it moved like liquid, undulating in shapes and colors. She loved to lose herself in the Light’s power as the flame became a part of her: its pulse her pulse, its breath her breath. The power and the beauty, the two sides of a knife.
The air hung heavy tonight with a coming storm, like
a thick coat in high summer. Somewhere nearby an owl hooted, and Brilliance jumped. Its cry had sounded almost human and in pain. Then the high priestess’s voice cut across the clearing. Her hood was thrown back to reveal flaming red hair crowned with white flowers that glinted in the firelight. Her eyes were as blue as the deepest part of the ocean. The symbol of the Light—a yellow sun—was painted on her cheek. “The Brightness,” she cried. “The Brightness is coming and it’s going to save us all.”
Excitement tore through Brilliance.
“The Light’s Gift will show us the way,” the high priestess said.
Brilliance’s sisters began to move toward the fire, faces hidden by their cloaks, and the Light burned inside Brilliance, as red and bright as a flame.