Goddess of the Gate
By G.F. Rundle
When Zera touched my cheek, I could not help but cry. I knew that this would be our final kiss, our words here the last we would share.
“I’ll miss you,” she said, and as the gateway to the spirit world behind her flexed with cold malice, I almost believed her. Almost. the look on her face was sad, tired.
“Don’t think about me, Galen.” She tried, laughing a little at herself. “This is a one way trip. I won’t be coming back.” She smiled softly. “Don’t waste your years crying over a phantom. Just pretend that I never existed.”
“Okay.” I lied, and she could see it in the tears as they slid from my eyes. “I will.”
“No, you won’t, but its okay.” She smiled again. “The pain will fade as you get older, build a family, make new friends and new enemies.” She brushed an edge of hair out of my eyes, smiled, and then she was gone, and where she had stood, only a cracked and empty altar waited, a gentle breeze playing with the husks of dead leaves.
In the silence, I swallowed, resolved from that point forward to remember her, to tell others about her, and to pray to her for guidance whenever the path ahead seemed unclear.
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G.F. Rundle teaches at an elementary school in a rural mountain community and has been called both “cute” and “sexy” by passing motorists. His middle name is the same as a German town that a lot of people don’t initially believe exists until they see photos of the welcome sign.
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