All I was in the end, their end, was a monster. The villian. Why is it that humans can’t see past their own tiny lives? Everything happens for a reason, and every villian has their place. I won’t deny I seemed the villian, but it’s all to serve the greater good, a good only I could forsee. An alternate future, a new possibility, life at the right time instead of death to end it all. The timing was off, the delay was necessary. Their three priestesses couldn’t even see it. But I could. I could. I did. And I acted.
I was always feared by the people anyway. The unaging woman who lived in the woods. The eccentric who fancied herself one of the faerie. Still others whispered worse, some would’ve had me burned. I suppose I aught to count myself lucky that I had no property worth the taking.
As the humans abandoned the old gods for new, they began to fear the old gods as something evil. I think it was simply because they were so ancient as to be beyond any comprehension to humankind. Regardless, one kind of magic replaced another, and the old was feared, even reviled. But in the end, they all came to me. Even the queen, who wanted desperately to have a child. She approached my cabin, deep in the woods, seeking news of the babe she carried. She had to know its destiny. A stronger vision I shall never have. Child of two houses, the thorn of her fathers and the flower of her mothers. The Briar Rose I called her. Born at the wrong time, I said.
“The child shall prick her finger on an old spinning wheel, flighting curiosity will bring great sickness, and then death.” I suppose I shouldn’t have said it so bluntly, for the Queen of Roses misinterpreted it all, and I became the villian. Faerie of the old gods, seeking to keep the world in their darkness by cursing the realm’s own princess in the womb.
While they whispered darkness of me, I poured over the tomes in my collection, seeking an answer to this riddle. The Briar Rose, this Briar Rose, was not to be born at this time. She could do great things, she was destined for great things. I could not let her die, and yet, I could not have her live before her time. She would be too soon to change anything, is that why she was slotted to die so young? Even so, she would then be too late to change anything. I had to save her, and yet also find a way to extend her time on earth.
Daily, the Three Priestesses of Light, women of the new religions, prayed over the unborn child, and the day of her birth arrived. The entire realm was invited, save me. This I expected, and it did not bother me. I meant to save the girl, invitation or no.
In invisible silence I listened to the proceedings, the great ritual, and even the Briar Rose’s betrothal all on her birthday, all leading away from the destiny she could achieve, the destiny she was meant to achieve. The three priestesses approached with gifts from the new god. The first, gifted beauty in all things, the second, gifted grace, and the third, the high priestess, decreed that the old had no power over the new, her gift was life she claimed, and life in abundance.
It was then that I appeared, right beside the cradle holding Briar Rose. “The old has no power over the new? And yet you forget that the old still live, we always have, and we always will. These gifts are all trifles to the Briar Rose. By the old gods, I decree, that the child be given destiny. Indeed, she shall prick her finger on a spinning wheel, but she shall not die, she will only sleep, until such a time that her destiny begins to fall into place.”
It amazes me how many different variations of this story have come to be known, and in every single one of them, I am the villian. But then, the story is written by humans, with such little forsight. How could they hope to comprehend the ways of someone like me, who sees all that has been, all that is, all that will, and even, all that may be. It is that last that begins this story where oral tradition proclaimed its end.