The Vanburen Estate
Terror should’ve taken Tansy as the Triple Goddess took a step towards her with a hand outstretched, yet the sensation that shot through Tansy filled her with power and warmth. It was not unlike the moment at a fundraiser where she had to deliver a speech in front of a crowd of powerful business tycoons, who had to pretend for one evening that they were charitable souls instead of robber barons, and the room fell silent as all eyes turned on her. She, for that brief moment, was the most important person in the room—not the billionaires, not her father, and definitely not whatever group of sad sacks she pretended to have a bleeding heart for this time. Everyone had to listen to what she had to say and, if they were smart, they’d do what she said. It felt fucking fantastic.
Tansy did not hesitate. She reached for the Triple Goddess’s hand as if they were equals and felt the raw powerful essence radiating from her aura. Briefly, Tansy latched onto the feeling like a leech and drained it as she grabbed the seemingly alien creature’s hand, certain that the Goddess had just played into her own. Tansy had tricked a god. And she had also been mistaken. Tansy was not the Triple Goddess’s equal. She was the pathetic creature’s better, who was really no more than a sad shell of an icon whose influence spread no further than a few rejects who sacrificed goats and huffed glue in the woods. Tansy felt radiant.
Then, as she took one step back into the entrance of the manor, reality hit her as it always did—just a little too late. Just like the corporate execs midnight promises to leave their families and abscond with her to Tuscany would disapparate alongside the morning mist, so too did Tansy’s confidence vanish as she realized what she’d just done. She had succeeded in luring the Triple Goddess, but she’d fucked up and used herself as the bait. Not only had she drawn the attention of a dangerous monster and placed herself right beside it, she’d put those who might’ve been able to protect her on the other side of said monster.
“As you wish, my Goddess,” said Tansy as Dominion’s light waned as she drew further from Blu’s melody. The chorus of her voice stayed steady as she took a step back, her foot threatening to drift through Dominions halo but never quite reaching it as the light shifted back with her. Slightly louder, so those outside might hear, she added, “It is so refreshing to see one willing to do whatever it takes for their sibling. You set an example that others really must follow.”
Tansy planned to lead the Triple Goddess to the largest, most central room of the house, and hopefully the others would follow. According to their mysterious benefactor, the Goddess wouldn’t be as attune to her magic indoors. She didn’t know what was the more stupid thing about this plan: putting her faith in a skeleton in a cheap suit or putting it in her family. Step by step she would retreat with the Goddess until she had led her to the game room where one Christmas Tansy had cried in joy as James unveiled a ping pong table and, years later, would cry in private when none of the actual Vanburens would play it with her. It would be nice to see it one more time before the Triple Goddess wised up and crushed her skull.