“Hatred is a fire only man feels, he does not hate the beast that comes in the night. They don’t hate death. They hate each other.”


― Meagan Spooner, Hunted
Image Source: Pinterest

Alexandra Drăgana

Scene 16

Rolf trotted along the path that followed the escarpment above the field just inside the treeline. He kept a wary eye on the throngs of people below him. They were not his prey today. Still, they were never to be trusted except for his Alpha, they made better meals than packmates. He stopped and looked around, looking for odd contrasts that didn’t belong in the forest, his home. His labored breath held for a moment as he scented the air. He sensed the interloper and the aromatic esters of gun oil and nervous sweat. He trotted on, following the scent as it grew stronger, pungent, swirling in his nostrils, and fueling his fury.

Rolf’s brothers and sisters scented this insurgent essence and howled their acknowledgment. Rolf halted on his haunches and replied, his hot breath a vaporous funnel of haunting sound. He sensed the sea of people below growing nervous and fidgeting. Let them be fearful. Rolf hurried now as the adrenaline of the hunt pressed him and caused him to salivate from his gaping maw. Fangs the size of a man’s little finger glistened in the rays of light penetrating the forest canopy. Rolf’s burning chest yearned for the taste of blood.  He ran in a dodging pattern toward his prey.

✻ ✻ ✻

The priest now queried the Duchess Elect. Would she accept the role of Duchess of Wallachia? She did. Would she rule with justice by the laws of the people? Yes. Would she live to see her people live free and well and would she regain the lands of Wallachia for her people? Yes. The priest’s voice resounded through the speakers and echoed across the silent sea of people standing reverent and proud. This was their moment of glory.  

Marius listened to his surroundings while monitoring the action at the pavilion. Rolf howled again in response to his pack hunting someone or something in the forest. Marius could tell they were closing in on a knoll at the back of the parade field. The perfect high ground for a sniper. Marius laughed to himself. It’s too late for our enemy. The wolves have unnerved them and will tear them apart before they can fire a shot.

The hunter slowed his pace and looked back at the Lady Drăgana through the gaps in the trees. She was seated on the Dacian Throne. The priest handed her the sword and dagger of Wallachia. It was done.

✻ ✻ ✻

Alexandra lowered the sword and dagger to her lap and placed her hands over the blades, their jeweled and golden wire hilts glittered in the filtered sun overhead. The girl who dances with knives would surely dance well with these, she thought.

Anxious sweat that cooled on her skin regained the warmth of fulfillment, of recognition of her terrible task, of realization this moment was her fate. All that had passed before in her life brought her here to do this one thing. She would regain the lost land of Wallachia with blood, vengeance, and the hatred necessary to spill the lives and souls of her Army of believers into the soil of time.

The wolves howled again and Alexandra felt herself grow moist with a sensual tingle as the sound punctuated her thoughts. The Society of Wolves emerged from the darkness of defeat to hunt again. She knew she was the ultimate Huntress in these lands, so let the hunt begin.

✻ ✻ ✻

The Count and Viscount of Răzvan kneeled at the Duchess’ feet and pledged their swords and lives to her. The Duchess accepted and vowed to hold their lives and service dear to her heart. Cezar looked up into her eyes and saw her courage. His harsh query into her eyes was met with unblinking awareness. An awful burden lifted from the viscount as he rose to his feet with his father and saluted the Duchess of Wallachia. Next, in a continuous procession came the royalty of the land she now ruled, each pledged their lives and loyalty, their soldiers and wealth to defend and honor her reign.

At long last, it was her time to address the people who cheered her without pause. Scanning the crowd of uplifted faces, Alexandra saw their unwitting devotion to the idea of being their own masters again.

The Duchess stood in a wide stance like a fighter and struck her sword and dagger together over her head with such force that an arc of sparks flew above her and rained down in a thousand points of light. The crowd went insane with celebration. Alexandra saw in her new subjects a fulfillment of destiny that she was some kind of symbol of their future. No matter what they thought or interpreted, the warrior duchess was their’s and many would lay down their life for her if necessary. A champion’s smile crossed her face.

✻ ✻ ✻

A lone figure lay across the tall grass on the high ground at the back of the parade ground. The sniper’s rifle scope drifted across Alexandra’s chest some 500 meters away. He admired her body, which was tall and slender yet presented an athletic, feminine aesthetic. He did not hate her. What kind of man could hate such strength and beauty? He thought of what pleasure it would be to mount her, to pull her head back with her long black hair and strike her hard, pulling her back into his groin. He felt the drug of violent lust surge through him. Not now, duty called as did the damned wolves. He was paid well to kill her, and he had to do it now before it was too late to escape. Muscles tensed. The sniper shifted his weight to become one with the ground. He braced himself and held his breath. The gods damn those lupine devils, he whispered to himself as he took up the slack on the trigger to the breakpoint, locked his body, and prepared for the recoil.

Go To Scene 17

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151 thoughts on “The Agony of Ecstasy-Scene 16

    1. Thank you so much Kymber. So glad to see you drop by and enjoy this dark mystery. I’m behind in my reading again but will definitely drop by for a visit soon. Hope you are having a wonderful Holiday.

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                    1. Hi Sha’Tara! This is a personality code from the Meyers Brigs personality profile assessment. It stands for introvert, iNtuitive, Feeling, Judging as the primary motivators in the personality. It is the rarest kind representing only 1% of the total world population with male INFJ being 1/2 the one percent. We are so rare, no one knows how to deal with us cuz we ain’t like ya’ll. We different. But, if you like us, you are bonded forever because we are very loyal people. No need to shower, we like you just the way you are. 😉

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                    2. Ohhhhh! I should have thought about your vampiress charms. Where is my head? Oh yes, the abominable Christmas shopping. Distracts me every year. This is going to work. If you can talk people out of their land holdings, we can have the people’s Kingdom secured in no time. What should we call this new Empire of the world?

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                    3. Hi Kymber! Hope you had a wonderful Christmas. I’ve been thinking of this new Kingdom of the World and what to name it. I haven’t come up with a fitting name because I keep seeing a Steampunk vampire like theme with a delightful dark sense of humor. Not sure that fits yet, but it is a vision that is hard to shake. Like your new avatar.

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                    4. Taking over the world seems to be harder than I thought. I think things will go smoother after we figure out who we are and what we’ll be called. As an example; if we were called The Kingdom of Wall Mart, the subjects would be Wall Martians. That does conjure up some videos of People of Wall Mart. That’s when I get the uncontrollable urge to shudder. So, it pays to be deliberate and careful in such high matters of State. 🤪

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                    5. This shuddering awareness of how far our genetic code has fallen from the intent of the original creators is precisely why we must take over. It’s a totally selfless act only an INFJ can truly grasp. Our WordPress Army will thrill at the opportunity to serve our goal to wash the planet clean with poetry and good literature of the dark gothic steampunk vampire nature. You should be the Empress of Simultaneous Sims and I’ll be the Emperor of Universal Conundrums. Wow! This is fun stuff. 😃

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                    6. Ahhh, that gives me an idea. You know how we INFJs can detect meaning from the smallest intimation of body language. We could address our people as Loyal Subjects and if anyone coughs or breaks wind, we’ll know they aren’t loyal and we’ll have them working on a mayonnaise farm somewhere until they become loyal again. 😁

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                    7. I like where this is going. I know exactly what you mean about detecting meaning from the smallest intimation of body language. This ability comes in very handy and will assist us greatly in our endeavors. To the mayonnaise farm they go! 😀

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                    8. Yes, maybe instead of off with their heads, we’ll be benevolent leaders and just send them to the mayonaise farm. “Off to the Farm.” If they are truly sorry for their violations of good order and discipline we’ll let them go to the College of Towels and learn how to fold them there. 🧐

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                    9. Hi Sha’Tara. Glad you are on board with our take over the world plan. I think I would use my despot authority to roll back the cost of living so one doesn’t have to work two jobs or do 80 hour weeks. 30 hours of wages should make one independent enough to enjoy four straight days off. Share your ideas of world domination and you can be a Majordomo. I’m off to practice my maniacal laugh and off with their head screech. Muwaaaa haaa haaaa!

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                    10. Majordomo? I’m sorry, but I’ve been training for decades to become a 1st class witch-wizard and it’s a historical fact that anyone seeking to be king, emperor or otherwise world ruler must have an all powerful wizard or witch at his beck and call. I will seriously consider THAT position… (lifting her arms over her head, joining forefingers to bring down just a tiny but well-aimed bolt of lightning to take out just one street lamp post… just one).

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                    11. Awesomeness abounds! I should have been more aware of your skills sets and career plans. We emperors can be a bit self indulgent at times. Considering we had not filled the Witch-Wizard position, it’s yours. 😁

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                    12. I’m totally thrilled. Our new Kingdom is getting off to a great start. If you are familiar with Terry Pratchett’s Discworld, then you know where we are headed. Sorcery was an integral and important part of everything that goes on in Discworld.

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  1. Also, I have no desire write commercially any longer–I am having too much fun writing my story and learning about how to write from WPers’ like you and from the great books people have recommended. Just thought I’d share.

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    1. I feel you bro! My stories may find publication if they pass the commercial smell test, but the goal now is to grow and learn in our safe and truly inspiring little guild of words. I think I have found my tribe and I feel good here.

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    2. Now you have me re-wired, or fired up to “push” my currently in re-edit mode futuristic sci-fi novel on my blog… I mean, what could it hurt? Either it will be read, or it won’t… and I can pull it anytime to indie publish, like on Smashwords or something. (I still boycott Amazon, so won’t be going there directly although it’s my understanding that Amazon is a central vacuum system that sucks everything else within its gaping, blood-filled mouth…)

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        1. Thanks George. I’m thinking, two blog posts a week, on specific days, maybe 4 pp each (based on MS Word – Times New Roman 14) layout. I’ll see how that translates on a blog post. If too long, cut back, of too short, add a page or two… I’ll watch the “Like” list. 🙂 There’ll be a warning: very much adult science fiction; graphic sexuality and violence – not to titillate, but to make a very serious point about misogyny expressed to the extreme. Does it have a good ending? What, from me? Get real, she says…

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          1. Can’t wait. Aggressive schedule. Hope I can keep up. Violence? Wait…you didn’t read my violent scenes because…violence! Make me want to read yours all the more!!! Sexuality? Wait. I could use some lessons here and apply them to Akira. Go forth, Sha’Tara. Begin posting!!

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    1. I use Pinterest. I try to locate the contributor for recognition but if not, I just attribute to Pinterest. It’s very easy to do. I just save the picture to my desktop, modify it slightly in size, color and light then smack that puppy on the WordPress wall.

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  2. Salient points on “How to Grow a Novel.” So far, excellent chapter on dialogue: clear, simple, easy to grok. I will try to incorporate what I’ve learned in my next post…after Christmas most likely. All FYI.

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    1. Thank you My friend. I will try my best to put out a few chapters over the holidays as its the only time I have to write with a clear muse. Heavy sex scene coming up which will not be what everyone expects. Muwaaa haaa haaaa! In a harsh land with harsh rules, love is often a powerful expression of controlled and orhestrated violence in the mind and body. I will attempt to redefine the meaning of mixed martial arts, “ground and pound.” But of course, I will attempt it in a socially responsible way. 😈🥰

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  3. What a cliffhanger! You always make your readers anticipate the next chapter with eagerness. Rofl and his brothers and sisters are mesmerising with their vampire-like thirst for blood.

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    1. Thank you so much K! Everyone is in luck and will not wait long. I have some time off for Christmas and will post several scenes. We’re just getting started here. I actually like Rolf and his siblings a lot. They will remain central to the story. Alexandra has yet to meet the real wolves of Castle Razvan but I don’t think she will wait too much longer for an introduction.

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    1. Oh thank you so much, Rene. I love your description as it speaks to the underlying goals of the story. I think like all men who subvert their heart with duty, he will try to kill Alexandra but Rolf and his brothers and sisters have other plans.

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        1. I’m so glad you like the story and that the courseness of it isn’t off putting. My goal is to show how we overcome the detritus of our lives and that love in all it’s intricate ways is the path that leads us out of the darkness. Passion, and especially a feral lust so natural to our lives can lead us astray, but a pure and simple love is the internal navigation star we were meant to follow. Alexandra is decidedly imperfect because of her experiences in life being so full of violence, but inside she is vulnerable to her desire to love and be loved. The challenge of this new responsibility to her roots will test her to the brink of her limits and we’ll see how she finds her true self in this cauldron of intrigue and maneuver for wealth and power among the elites in Eastern Europe. Old wars always lead to new battles.

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            1. I am so lucky to have such supportive readers like you, Rene. We are only getting started and there are many lives to examine, to include my little buddy, Rolf. I replied to you regarding your muse and a poem for AofE and the message failed due to an error. In case it didn’t make it through, I wanted to say not to worry at all because this is a long story and your muse knows precisely when the right time is and if that time doesn’t come, she knows the reason why and I don’t question the wisdom of muses. Your kind words and friendship inspire me and that is the greatest gift.

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                1. My prescient dreams agree my dear poetic friend. I do believe it will come later at precisely the right time for the story and will be the highlight of what I hope will be an epic tale of enduring love and the earthly challenges that seek to conquer that love. For me, this is the genesis of poetic expression that has endured from the written cuneiform of the early Sumerians to today and certainly into our distant future.

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                    1. I most definitely plan on publishing the story along with some short stories I’ve written and passed the editors deep scrutiny. I have a publisher interested in The Agony of Ecstasy but need to do more work obviously to get acceptance. I will ensure you get a copy for your library.

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                    2. There is a lot of stuff going on in that inner universe of mine. I am very comfortable in there. But, I will admit, it can be a little scary for normal well adjusted people to be exposed to me for too long. 😬🧛‍♂️

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                    3. It is short, and for me, having burned the candle at both ends and the middle, I need to pack as much life as I can in the time that remains. I think that is the source of my incessant Snoopy dancing.

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  4. So someone’s trying to take a shot at Alexandra from a grassy knoll.

    The lupines probably hired someone to take a shot from the tower of the School Book Depository in the land as well but librarians inside the building (on loan from the Calgary Public Library System) wrestled the would be marksman Harvey Oswald Lee to the ground because he still hadn’t paid an overdue library fine.

    I wonder if any of the sparks from the thousand points of light resulted in a burning bush as well as some old geezer who couldn’t keep his hands to himself.

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  5. Ah, you’ve done it again…imbued the scene with details, realism, and sexual innuendo everywhere.
    “She felt herself grow moist with the howling…” You painted such an accurate picture of Rolf, the Wolf, I can see him in my mind running in that dodging pattern toward his prey…and by the time we get to this assassin, he hesitates before shooting her…because she is to beautiful…he wants to fck her instead of killing her! A wise man undoubtedly…I’m confident Alexandra’s beauty and lithe physique will mesmerize him so he will be unable to pull that trigger…this story, with swords and daggers and dancing with knifes has once again taken me out of my little cubby hole into a world filled with magic, wonder, wolves and beauty. Great writing, Hype! Keep it going and take ME to a whole new level of awareness…

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    1. Thank you so much Bro. Your comments and our mutual reading pleasures are what fuels this attempt at telling a remarkable tale. I’m currently reading God Emperor of Dune and it has elevated my awareness to Herbert’s insights into our future and possibly influenced my writing. This scene has a lot going on as would any coronation in an insular part of the world with peasants galore and competing interests for control of power and wealth. I find in my divinations into history, especially in the Wallachian empire that harshness was a way of life and in all that struggle to retain their identity, there was always time enough for the strongest sensuality and love. It’s so thick you can slice it like a strawberry cheese cake. Unlike in our mamby-pamby society of the pudgy pugilist wannabe, there you will find real men doing manly things and that includes a healthy feral lust for the absolutely gorgeous females that live there. I’m thinking our sniper is in for a baaaaaad day. At least he had his moment of pleasant thoughts before all hell breaks loose. 😉 I think Rolf is going to do great things for his Duchess with his bro Marius. Those two are wicked cool.

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      1. Your whole story I wicked cool bro. I’ll order God Emperor next…why not be influenced by the best? Between Hyperion Cantos and Dune are the seeds for ALL sci-stories bro…it’s amazing! And all your stories include a feral lust…which I’m totally into and brings me back to a day that may not have existed in my lifetime…lol!!

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        1. Thanks a lot George. We gotta good little group here of high quality folks. I read the the first 3 Dune books and decided I was going to read the entire chronicle, so I collected all but 4 of all the books which include the son, Brian’s works from used book stores and got some good deals. A lot of people have not bought into the later books because they have a different writing style. It would be very hard to copy Frank Herbert so they didn’t try. I once had a feral lust in feral lands for indigenous feral ladies, but that was curtailed by the time I reached adulthood at age 36. Thus, my mental maturity remains at 35. When I returned to civilization, I had to be potty trained and house broken. It was tough and the neighborhood trees were victimized regularly until I learned how to raise and lower a toilet lid properly. I have a lot of wonderful clothing optional memories from the jungles of South America, certain islands, and Africa. I was relieved to find that Puritanical values had not corrupted all of the world as I had assumed.

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                1. We are on the same wavelength. From ancient times humans have believed in the powers of three. It is believed that this ancient belief influenced the concept of the Holy Christian Trinity. We do seem to be jellin’

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                    1. I listen to a lot of music before I dive into a scene. Music sets my creative energy in motion. I’m just a wigglin’ n gigglin’ then time to hit the keyboard with some word jams.

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  6. I love this. It got the adrenaline pumping. He’s got a job to do, but it can’t be done properly when he’s emotionally invested in his target. Excellent writing as always, Daniel, no matter where I am, physically or emotionally, your words always draw me right in until the end of the chapter.

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    1. Wow! Thank you so much, Sara. I am so glad this was able to reach into your imagination and hold you there. You are so right, when someone invests emotions into their target with such a deadly intent, it can cause the deepest scars if one outlives the moment. Even though the sniper’s view of Alexandra is common in the machismo of men who do such dangerous work, it is still a distraction with deadly consequence.

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        1. I hope to keep the story steeped in that noir mystique. It’s tough to do because I want to tell jokes and do a little Snoopy dancing, maybe sing a little too. We can’t have all that happy frivolity in a noir tale of Revenants and regimes. Still, it seeps in from time to time. Take care of you Sara, and drop by when you can. I always enjoy your company and comments.

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    1. You are correct Ray! He does like her. She would be a worthy quarry for his passions. Ahh, but so much stress with a decision to target someone else and wolves breathing down his neck. What’s a sniper to do? As we used to say in my Army unit. “Hesitation will get you killed and your girlfriend will leave you for a warmer body.”

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                1. You won’t have to wait long because a few new scenes will be coming out over the weekend and Holiday. It’s going to be exciting stuff. Make sure you have a seat belt on when you read the posts because I don’t want you to fall out of your chair and bump your head. 😁

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                    1. Woooo hooooo! You’ve got no worries then. You could even read in your underwear with a cup of hot coacoa and with your seatbelt on, you are ready to read. (Remember to place something over the computer camera to avoid becoming a YouTube sensation by accident.

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