To have prescience of my future, I must know my past and the struggles of my ancestors. – Hyperion Sturm
The hall of mirrors and pigmented memories on canvas bordered in elaborate gold leafed frames spun lazily in an erratic path like the flight of bees. Alexandra heard the buzzing vibrato of diaphanous insect wings in her mind as she struggled to maintain her erect posture and attentive smile. She wove her arm inside the crook of the Viscount’s elbow and held him tight to steady herself.
The ever-present handmaiden placed her Lady’s hand on her shoulder and held her trembling fingers as she reached around Alexandra’s waist. The trio froze momentarily as Alexandra’s face tilted up to the Gothic beamed ceiling and her eyes fluttered in rhythm to the thoughts and visions cascading through her mind like a waterfall of sepia colored vignettes.
A deep concern wrinkled the brow of Cezar. His eyes narrowed in the dark shadows of his eye sockets. He caught the urgent glance of Dari.
“She is communing with the Eidolons of her past, My Lord.”
“The Revenant returns to us, my dear Dari. She seems more affected than ever before,” Cezar replied with edginess tainting the consonants of his voice. He wrapped his arm around Alexandra and slid his hand over Dari’s arm and squeezed reassuringly as they both held on.
Alexandra glanced around at the many paintings and as visions of her past took on the pallor of phantasms drifting in and out of her body, she began to feel the emotions and touch of others that gave her ecstatic life and love as well as the agony of despair and death. Cezar, in all his forms, caressed her, encouraged her, made love to her in oceanic waves of rushing tides. In and out. In and out. Dari’s face appeared as she whispered their feminine secrets shared only between them and no one else across the aeons of their shared lives.
Hands choked Alexandra as she shook from the assault of the images in her eyes. Booted feet kicked her. She felt her tormentors in her mouth and deeper in her throat cutting off her breath. At the same time, she felt the stab down below, the thrusting of their hate-inspired lust tearing her womanhood, and from behind as they stole her dignity and eventually her life.
The enemies of her people penetrated her physically and emotionally in every conceivable way and the emotions, like the sensations, rushed over her like an electric shock, burning her, and snapping her body in writhing contortions as she fought back. The sting of blades slashed her throat, breast, chest, thighs. In and out, in and out in ever-increasing tempo as the faces and bodies of her tormentors collided with her. The one who dances with knives cut them down as they surrounded her with their torments.
The apparitions of violence faded and there was only the warmth of Cezar and Dari remaining. Alexandra felt their love wash her bloody skin and close her torn flesh. The touch of the only love Alexandra’s soul had ever known healed her. She felt Dari’s soft hands on her body as she was cleansed of the filth of her agonizing experiences.
Her Cezar’s lips closed on hers and his hands caressed her fathomless ache as their eyes adored each other and lifted her despair like disturbed dust from finely waxed wood and drifted away in beams of light on unseen currents of air.
The reborn Revenant opened her eyes, and the room returned to the present in bright colors of cream and gold. The mirrors up and down the hall reflected the scene like languid pools of spring water. Alexandra’s wild heart and strength took hold and brought her back to her senses.
“My Lord, Dari, forgive me. I felt so faint for a minute.” Alexandra looked first at the Viscount’s face and then her beloved companion. She sensed them differently now. She felt a near overpowering connection with them. Their smiles brought her own to bear. She hugged them both and wanted to press her body against them and feel that they were real. She loved them, and now she knew why.
“Welcome back Alexandra.” The Viscount beamed with elation as he held her to him in an embrace that left her short of breath with warm flashes washing over her enlivened skin. Dari pressed her body against Alexandra’s back and lay her head on Alexandra’s shoulder as she reached around to Cezar’s hips and pulled them all closer together.
“Do you know why you are here, Alexandra?” the Viscount probed her ear with his soft baritone. Another wave of shimmering warmth filled her stomach when the words and Cezar’s breathe registered in her ears and on her neck. Alexandra felt her toes curl inside her shoes and a feeling like she had taken one too many cocktails at happy hour.
“To take back what was stolen from our family and our people,” she replied, the words coming from deep within her mind. The locked doors of her past were flinging open and neural networks were connecting her to the terrible purpose of her existence.
The group separated and in silence, affirmed the words of their returned Duchess Drăgana.
“Then let us go meet our people and lift their hopes and restore their pride and honor,” Cezar announced in a firm voice of conviction. The three inseparable souls joined hands and walked to the door to begin their arduous campaign to return the ancient lands of Romania to the rightful heirs and their people.
Image source: Skoll and Hati from Norse mythology, Pinterest.