NOTE: I took the challenge sicahue presented in my Ancient Astronauts post, and continued the story using the same writing prompt.
The small girl busied with twisting long braids into each other, creating one long rope down the prefect’s back. Meanwhile, another servant girl, about twelve years of age, looped a red scarf about a long, lean torso, holding it taut as it fastened right under the breasts, as she was trained. Both girls stepped back and allowed the prefect to adjust accordingly. A light nod to each of the girls’ directions caused them to smile appreciatively as they bowed. The younger girl motioned for a headdress adorned with grouse and ptarmigan feathers. The prefect lifted a hand, “Not yet,” then stepped forward and kneeled before the slate alter in the center of the room. The girls genuflected, brought their arms to cross over their chests, and entered into a chant with their master.
The room glowed brightly from behind the three. The two girls turned and squinted towards the light. The prefect, eyes still closed, drew a knowing smile across her face. The girls, recognizing the being approaching, lowered their eyes and bowed. The receiver looked astonished.
“About time my prodigal daughter came home. You’re about to miss the ceremony, girl! Come here, give me a hug.”
Key still in hand, she didn’t know what else to do other than hug this unfamiliar person.
“Master, should we fetch her garments?”
“Only if Ga wills it.”
“Hold it. My name’s Gail.”
The prefect laughed. The two girls entered into a laugh.
“Every day’s an adventure with my daughter. So I’m to call you Gael now? Well then, instead of Mother, you can call me Candy. Sweets! Marzipan! You never cease to entertain me, Ga.”
“Oh right,” the prefect lifted her chin as she stroked Gail’s face, “Ga-el.”
Gail widened her eyes and quickly scanned the room. She had gone from a simple, solid door in the middle of a plain to a large, palatial room, lit only by arched windows cut along the rock walls. The woman calling herself Mother (Marzipan?) was dressed in a long black sheath with a red waist cinch. Behind her was an alter with a large gold statue of a wide eye. The two girls assisted her with placing a large gold plate over her chest and a large headdress.
“Daughter, aren’t you going to help me with the ceremony today? Lots of babies to bless. It was an especially cold winter, remember?”
“Uh.” Gail watched as the two girls approached her, hands folded in front of them, smiling as they awaited her response.
“Uh.” She tucked the key into the satchel hanging off her waist.
The prefect adjusted her headdress in the standing mirror once more, then returned to Gail.
“I suppose your wandering today has made you tired. I’m fine to do the ceremony on my own, but, my dear starchild, if you are to advance in the priesthood, you need to spend more time amongst your charges.” Marzipan wrapped her arms around Gail in a tight embrace. The cold gold burned her cheek.