Prologue

Of Ocean's Fire

Equal Night Triology Book One by Stacey L. Tucker

The three Great Mothers formed a circle in the sand: Ocean, mother of fire; Beatrice, mother of air; Vivienne, mother of water. Their arms locked like wings, protecting the One. Mystical texts regarded the Mothers as the great secret of the world, but the biggest secret was the one the three Mothers kept: They were not the creators of the earth but the protectors of her truth.

The Mothers broke their circle to kneel in the sand. Between them lay the infant Sophia, cradled in cloth, the precious emerald around her neck. She was restless, instinctually knowing danger was imminent. She whimpered for comfort from the three.

Mother Earth could no longer hold back the darkness ravaging her lands. Massive waves heaved with grief against her shores. Her sky hemorrhaged, dumping red torrents of fury. The blinding fire of time was upon them, and the Mothers’ one goal was to preserve Sophia’s wisdom.

Ocean bent over the baby and rested her hand on her head, her auburn ringlets spilling forward like a waterfall. “It won’t be long now,” she said.

Beatrice placed her hand on the baby’s chest. “This world ends but her truths will live on.”

Vivienne held the baby’s feet in her hands. “There is only one place she will be truly safe.”

Sophia’s cries grew louder, more desperate.

The Great Mothers nodded in unison and closed their eyes. Sophia screamed from her belly, but the women remained vigilant in their task. Light poured from the fontanel on the top of the child’s head and out the bottom of her feet—and then, finally, from her very heart. It dazzled the eyes. Only the Great Mothers could withstand such a sight.

The emerald resting on the baby’s chest pulsed with energy, absorbing her essence. She let out one earsplitting scream and then faded into the realm no human could see.

The Mothers knew it would be a great age before they saw Sophia’s return. But they also knew her light would always burn deep within the hearts of all women who would one day walk the planet.

“Seven times seven generations of women will not know she is there, sleeping beneath their hearts,” Ocean said.

“But they will sense her,” Beatrice said. “They will long for the wholeness she represents. And they will return to the womb of Mother Earth and take part in the joyful dance of creation once again.”

“Every woman will carry the knowledge needed when this cycle is done,” Vivienne said. “She will die a thousand deaths before she remembers her purpose. But when the Second Cycle is upon the earth, she will wash the world clean of rage and hate and restore compassion and love once more.”

They rejoined hands and chanted as the lands crumbled and the sea swallowed the earth around them:

Aleph, Mem, Shin

Aleph, Mem, Shin

I am whole within

I am whole in nature

I am whole in spirit

Divinity above

Fallen below

Union in Trinity

The glowing stone lay quaking with energy at their feet.

“It is done,” they whispered together.

Ocean picked up the gem by its chain. No longer able to withstand the intensity held within its core, the emerald cracked down the middle. As time’s flame engulfed the Mothers, Ocean grabbed for the broken piece, but when she took her last breath she still held only one half in her hand. The other half tumbled into the crashing red sea.