She looked back at him standing in the shadows – tall and looming over her shoulders. He smiled and waved her ahead; he would be watching out for her. She bent down again to complete the impossible task that she had set for herself. Butterfly thoughts flitted here and there while she chased them with her flimsy net. Hop, skip and they would disappear…she was too scared to turn and look at his disappointment. The days leaked into nights; nights faded into sunlight but her quest remained incomplete.
Prodded on by the whip of his tongue, she caste aside all hopes of normalcy. Dreams of what glory might follow, her name in bright and bold…these were the rewards he promised as he pushed her to search more, do more, be more. Blinded by the fame and appreciation, she failed to see what lay in front of her. When the Herculean task was finally completed, he deigned to bestow upon her the use of his name. He caught her trying to scribble her own in a corner so that history might not forget her; and hell rained down. How could she defile such great work by claiming the credit for it? Did she not know that the words out of a priest’s mouth would sound more authentic than if it were spoken by a shepherd’s daughter?
They took her away the next day to be locked away in the darkness of her fears. They vacuumed the place of sunshine and joy, assured that she would one day merge with the gloom and understand her true place in the scheme of things. But she knew that she could live away the rest of her days knowing that no matter who held the torch, she was the one who lit the flame.