Mama said I’d know when the time was right. She skipped all the magical menses bullshit and woowoo sparkly nonsense. She sat me down and told me straight.
“I can’t tell you one way or the other if you got the gift or not. If The World wants you and you got what it want, it’ll call. Stop worrying about it and go do them dishes.”
I waited until I was thirty goddamn years old. I had accepted it. I would not be like other women in my family that way. I did not have the magic.
Two weeks after I turned thirty I felt it. I saw the Shadows gathered in the corner of my living room and I felt the heartbeat of The World. I felt the pull, I felt the need deep in my belly. Lower than lust, deeper than need, it pulled at the marrow in my bones.
The World did not call me home as I thought it would. Not my real home at any rate. It called me home to a swamp full of dank nightmares and thin places. When the air touched my skin, that is when it all really happened.
“Sss, errr, esss, ood. Mmmmm.”
The first voice came on the first current of hot wet air, the rest joined it in a susurrus of hissy, sibilance that I felt on my arms. I felt the little silky summer dress lifting away from my body, I felt them as silken paws of sensation.
I signed desperately. The World, may have been speaking, but it did not listen. These were not things of the world and my body wanted them. I wasn’t speaking to them, I was talking to me.
My body opened to the voice of The World as it had never opened to any lover. My skin craved subvocalalizations that thrummed against me as if my skin was nothing more than the thinnest thing between air and something full of liquid and fit to burst. I was broken. Naked and brown in a hot swamp thousands of miles away from my Mother and on my knees.
I heard none of it. I felt it in the waters of my body, I felt fricatives devouring my cunt and the plosives I yearned for exploding against my eyelids and the tender flesh at the nape of my neck.
The World took me more completely than any lover and touched me deeper than any God. It called me to touch me with fingers made of language I will never hear.
I don’t know what it means. This was not my Mother’s calling.
I am the living secret of The World. I am deaf to the world and my body feels the true voice of The World and I don’t mind. I’m no Mage or Warrior, no Beholder or Scrivener. I am only a Secret.
The World wants me and it will have me.