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Writing Wednesday: I thought you were happy

Riwenne and her friends are talking about their plans for the future. If they finally defeat the sun goddess and topple the empire, what do they dream about doing? Riwenne surprises everyone with her answer.

I’m Not a Good Priestess

Fairuza stayed silent during the talks. I tried not to stare at her too openly, but I snuck a few glances and realized how weirdly subdued she was being during the meeting.

Then she caught my look and stared at me. “Hey, Riwenne hasn’t told us what she wants yet,” she said, beating me to the question. “I suppose you’ll set yourself up as the grand high priestess of the moon and foretell prophecies of great importance?”

Everyone turned to watch me.

I swallowed hard. “I’m not sure if I’m cut out to be a priestess,” I admitted in a faint voice.

For a long moment, no one said anything.


Janera dropped her fork loudly onto her plate, breaking the tension. Then everyone started talking at once.

“You’ve got to be joking—”

“But you’re the most powerful priestess in Arkia—”

“This is what you always dreamed of!”

“I thought you were happy at the temple with me,” Kyra said, putting her hand on my arm. “Do you want to leave?”

I held up my hands for silence. “Sorry, guys, I didn’t mean to drop a bombshell into the middle of dinner.” I took a deep breath, trying to put my thoughts in order. This was something I’d never brought myself to admit before.

“Being a priestess isn’t what I expected at all,” I said, shaking my head. “I mean, even the ways that we’ve changed what the temple and the priesthood means since we took over. It’s so much responsibility to lead rituals all the time. The rest of the job right now is just sorting through the library and rewriting everything we do to honor the gods. So many boring old books! And I… I do what I can to serve the gods, but it’s not something that I really enjoy.”

Nexita sighed. “I tried to tell you that it wasn’t going to be fun when you first said you wanted to be a priestess. You’re so lazy, Wen.” Her harsh words and her childish nickname for me made it sound like I was just trying to get out of something that was too much work.

I shrank back into myself. “It’s not laziness. I might’ve been good as a junior priestess if I just had to follow someone else. But I’m not cut out to be a leader.”

Kyra’s worried expression softened into a smile. “You’re better than you think. We wouldn’t have done all this if we didn’t have you to guide us.”

“Thanks, but it’s not my dream.” I folded my arms. “And that’s what you asked, right? What would I do if I could do anything? This isn’t what I’d pick.”

Fairuza smirked at me across the table. “Even with all the adoration of your fans?”

I flinched. There was something flattering about having people cheer and chant my name wherever I went, but I knew it wasn’t really for me. “The adoration is for Quilla and the other gods. I’m just the vessel who spreads the message.”


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