To have prescience of my future, I must know my past and the struggles of my ancestors. – Hyperion Sturm

AofE 11a

Alexandra Drăgana

Scene 11

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.

Go To Scene 12


Image source: Skoll and Hati from Norse mythology, Pinterest.

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74 thoughts on “The Agony of Ecstasy_Scene 11

  1. The Duchess has finally returned. And what a vivid description of the process! Those memories clashing over her body… To be forced to relive those most gruesome moments of your past existence; to feel the pain “in every conceivable way” (I see what you did there) and to find safe haven in the eyes of your soulmate… You leave me without words. Oh, I almost forgot. Dari! Dari again. Why would she try to bring Alexandra and Cezar together? It’s like she can’t wait for them to jump in bed together. Suspicious she… Anyways, as long as it is Cezar she’s pushing Alexandra towards I guess it’s okay. By the way, how did you come up with Cezar’s name? “Zar” to “Tzar” means king in my language so I just adore his name. It sounds powerful and royal in my ears.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah ha! You are very clever Na Mirea. Alexandra was smitten by Cezar from their first glimpse of each other in Master Cho’s gym. Dari knows that their destiny cannot be fulfilled until the two are joined and bound by love. But, Dari is also someone very important to Cezar as Alexandra has noticed. Alexandra is the only one in the trio that does not know what terrible plans are being hatched but she has her intuitive suspicions. Cezar is indeed Ceasar, or Tzar, the King as his name implies. A little twist there in the name. 😉. Just guessing here, but if Cezar marries Alexandra, he becomes the Duke, a powerful General to the Romanian Royal family and quite influential. His Warrior wife will have her own influences in which Dari stands to gain a lot. With power and wealth comes subterfuge as all of Europe is intimately aware off and so there will always be those who wish to stop another’s rise to power. There seems to be plans within plots within strategies within tactics and the threads of this ancient and royal tapestry are hard to follow. 🤫 Then of course, there are the Wolves. 😳

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes the name Caesar is the origin of the name for both the Kaiser (as in German Emperor) and Czar (also spelled Tsar) for the Russian Emperor.

        During the First World War, the King of the Bulgarians also called himself the Czar of the Bulgarians.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Wow! I admire people who are so well-read and knowledgeable in different spheres. Hats off! A decade ago the mentioned Czar’s grandson was elected as the prime minister. People do love and admire their kings.

          Liked by 2 people

          1. There is a very close connection to the Caesar’s of Rome and the country’s adaptation to the Reign of Kings. Eastern Europe was especially unique in this aspect as the regions of Moldovia, Romania, Bulgaria, the Balkan States, and Hungary were constantly changing alliances and leaders throughout their history only complicated by the war with the Ottomans, then WWI and WWII and finally the Soviets. The Wallachians lost their Dacian ties early in their history settling for principalities aligned with Germany or Hungary with Queens from every European country like Germany and even Greece. This is the backdrop to Cezar and Alexandra’s story. Denied their birthright by violence and subterfuge, they return time and again to bring the old Wallachian lands back under Dacian rule. So far it hasn’t worked out. But in that sense you can see what they are up against. Since you live there, you probably understand this is fine detail. Feel free to educate us at any time.

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            1. This is why it was Pope John Paul II’s dream to re-unite the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches – to get “the Church breathing again with both lungs” as he put it.

              Because so many of the geopolitical problems in both Eastern Europe and the Balkans for centuries have been caused by the fact that peoples and rulers in the region have been divided into both Catholic and Orthodox.

              For example, Prince Vlad III of Wallachia (the original Dracula) was Catholic.

              He was originally a hero to both Central and Eastern European peoples for fighting the barbaric Ottoman Turks.

              It was only after the Protestant Reformation in Western Europe that Vlad Tepes came to be regarded as a Devil and Antichrist figure in Western Europen Protestant countries primarily because he was Catholic,

              Not for impaling the Turks on wooden stakes (who in my opinion deserved it).

              If Vlad had been allowed to impale more of the Muslim hordes on wooden stakes, groups like ISIS probably wouldn’t have been around to cut the heads off Christian men, women and children in the Middle East as well as rape non-Muslim women.

              And now there’s a schism within Eastern Orthodoxy itself this year with the Patriarch of Moscow breaking Communion with the Patriarch of Constantinople for recognizing an autocephalous Patriarchate of Kiev in the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.

              And now there’s the apostate Pope Francis who wants to unite the Catholic Church with all religions including probably (and most preeminently) satanic luciferianism.

              Liked by 1 person

            2. Yes, we have a unique arrangement here on the Balkans. We are surrounded by countries who used to be our allies and enemies at different points of history. We have done horrible things to our neighbours and we have had horrible things done to us by them. There’s still tension between the people here, especially given the fact that we all claim to have the right over a certain patch of land that used to be within our borders centuries ago. Not to mention, the bloodsheds, stabbing in the back, the people who live outside of our borders and have forgotten their origins. It is complicated to say the least.

              Liked by 1 person

              1. In my many travels and my love of cultures and their social constructs, I’ve found the only other place in the world that can compare to the Balkan States is central and southern Africa. To be sure, they are very different, but the expansion of cultures and the conflicts at the pounts of contact at the contested borders, there is the history of conquest internally and externally. By divisiveness they are conquered, freed, and conquered again by more powerful forces. This is the story behind Alexandra and Cezar. They will unite their people, build allies, and reestablish the Dacian Dynasty or so they believe. Others still have a vote on who rules who and there is the subterfuge of the story as well.

                Liked by 1 person

                  1. I would enjoy your company and help in writing this epic. I think the fact you live in the area the story takes place and are intimately familiar with the culture and history makes you the perfect voice of authenticity to keep my rambling head elves from straying too far. Jump in with both feet any time you feel like it and keep the boys and girls representing well.

                    Liked by 1 person

      2. I am enamoured by all the possible plot lines and loop holes I can imagine. Right now Alexandra is similar to a chess piece being moved around and placed on the board by different players. I can’t wait for her to regain all her inert strength. She is a queen in my eyes already.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Oh, good analogy. Yesss, a chess piece in which she has not recognised her opponent or their next move. But, she will. The new King of Romania needs a queen and a woman like Alexandra may be the queen he needs. However, I think Cezar wants her to be his queen and help him rule his domain. It should be interesting how this works out.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. That’s why it is so intriguing for the reader to experience the story through her eyes. Everything is covered in a veil of mystery; everything is an enigma and we are slowly putting the pieces together along the way. Oh, and Cezar – king and she the queen… I’m totally onboard this ship!

            Liked by 1 person

  2. I closed my eyes as I feel Alexandra’s moment of truth. This is it. The part where she embraces her calling, slowly gathering the answers to all her queries. Her wild mind is something I truly admire—and that’s because you make her and you create that special force that makes all readers love her. I have to admit, i really love her! 😍 can’t wait til she put back all the pieces of the puzzle and be more… I agree with George and Chris, you are absolutely incomparable! Such a clever and imaginative mind full of passion ♥️

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much for your awesome comments and insights into Alexandra and her story 🤗. You and my other readers are helping to write the story and she is soon rising to the top of her game to lead a return of the ancient lands of her people that has forever been the prize of greedy and corrupt outsiders. There are things they will endure that are difficult to read but illustrate the power history has on the lives of every generation. I hope to have time to put up the next chapter soon.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. We have such an ecclectic and intriguing little writing group here on WordPress with you, George, Chris, and myself. We lift each other up and our writing reflects the shared enthusiasm and support. I do feel blessed to be a part of our shared interest in the literary arts.

          Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Amanda. It’s a high complement indeed if you were feeling the scene as it unfolded. I do my best to bring the emotional state of the characters to bear on the story and I’m thrilled you could indentify with them.

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    1. Thanks for dropping by Chris. I’ve got several chapters all outlined but just havent had the mojo to type them out and post. My work has burned all my reserves and now I’m home with food poisoning from trying out a new restaurant. It’s time for a little break to recharge the ole zen.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. It would be my pleasure to describe my culinary near death experience with the joint and recommend it to feral hogs and muskrats. Those two critters have iron stomachs and might actually benefit from the viral probiotics their food contains.

          Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow! Exquisite writing, my friend. “…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.” You have such a romantic way with words. I’m glad you revealed her purpose, you’ve kept us in suspense a while now. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh, I’m so glad you liked that line Lauren. I think I need to tweak it a little but I had such a clear vision of that scene. The first part of this story moves slow as it takes Alexandra a little time to fully awaken to her past but then it promises to explode with mystery, action, and of course a timeless bond between Alexandra and her Viscount. But I also have big plans for Dari. Stay tuned, it could potentially get better. 😉

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Mr H,
    Your words make purposes and visions crystal clear. Another candled has been lit in the darkness and I can see the words forming on the page clearer than before, nuanced and perfected with glittering details, absent before, now ringing in my ears clear as a bell.
    This Soul Story, is perfection

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you M. We are making our way to the jump into the action and meaning of the story. Much will be revealed along the way. I do hope you enjoy the story though parts of it may be a tiny bit shocking.

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    1. Thank you Ortensia! My head elves don’t like skinny supermodel prose. They always go for the curvy full figured sentences. How have you been lately? I’ve been a bit swamped at work and havent had a chance to visit much.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you Chris! It’s a tremendous compliment coming from you and George, two power houses of prose. I’m blessed with 2020 third eye vision. It’s the regular two eyes in front that need corrective lens. 🤓

      Liked by 3 people

  5. “The sting of blades slashed her throat, breast, chest, thighs. In and out, in and out in ever-increasing tempo…” reliving this brutal rape/murder scene was incredibly vivid. It seems that only Dari can cleanse her of this memory and bring her into the present, to move on with her true purpose. Beautifully written. I can feel her pain and disgust.

    Your descriptive prose is beyond compare, there’s no way I can come close. Hopefully, the brutal memories of Alexandra will serve as motivation as she brings hope to the people of the ancient lands of Romania! You hold me spellbound!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Really appreciate your pep talk George. I suspect Lagertha the Shieldmaiden of the Vikings could take a lesson or two from Alexandra now that she is awakening to her fate. Love and vengeance are strange partners but nothing makes one more fierce in battle than to fight to preserve the life of one’s love and land against a cruel and merciless foe. Good and evil are often hard to discern on history’s bloody fields of battle. Or something like that.

      Liked by 3 people

        1. Stick to Hemingway, he has more readers these days. I tried like heck to trim all the fat out of my writing as that is the new standard. But, my precise prose ends up being so boring my pet turtles started staying underwater to avoid listening to me read my droll literary spittle. I just had to put some meat back on those paragraphical hips and an orchid in the long curly sentences.

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          1. I used to be a “copywriter.’ no meat. I’m working to add some zip, zing and pizzaszz! That’s why descriptions are challenging for me. My think keeps screaming at me: “What the fuck do that clouds passing over head casting shadows and the owls hooting have to do with this guy about to get his head chopped off!” LOL! But I keep referring back to Stephen King: Descriptions ARE the story…and you do that so well!

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              1. I punish my head elves severely by reducing thier internet porn and home remodeling shows by 10 hours a day until they relenquished and I got my coffee. Those head elves are easily distracted then nothing gets done. 🤪

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            1. I agree with Stephen King, but like all things its a precarious balance. For me, when you add the environment of the headlights shifting through the curtains and party goers outside the hotel, it really just sinks me into an authentic feeling as the real scene unfolds. But, you do it sparingly and use it to great effect. I do struggle with the balance and more often than not I go to great lengths explaining what butterfly farts looks and sounds like in the middle of a pivotal moment. But hey, its all about mastering the craft and for the eccentric underclass like myself, that means a LOT of practice.

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              1. I do it sparingly because I have to force myself to do it! LOL! I love the way you pick up on it…like I’m writing about the dust mites in the guys nose trying to “get to” what I’m really trying to say, and then you comment that you love the dust mite part! I’m always impressed you noticed something “I just threw in…” Your descriptions are beyond compare so don’t hold back! They make Alexandra all the more mysterious and beautiful…as if she is creating this wonderful environment by her very presence! In your case, the descriptions ARE the story because it’s as if it ALL flows from Alexandra!

                Liked by 2 people

                1. LOL, I’m eccentric AF. I think authors like Nabokov and Herbert of Dune fame really create a dense and immersive story with their descriptive style. True craft right there. We’ll keep it rolling until the general poulation begs us to stop and the literary police close in with their flashbang adverb neutralizers.

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