“If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”


Sun Tzu, The Art of War
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Alexandra

Scene 23

Water from a retreating tide washed over Alexandra. She could not see nor hear anything but the pounding drums in her skull. She felt everything with acute awareness, and to feel is to live even with the excoriating pain of lost battles and dead lovers.  She struggled to move. The heavy chain mail and wet leather pinned her down under its weight, and only her right side was free. The rest of her body was mired in the sand next to the towering white chalk cliff. The water flowed over her legs and retreated leaving chilled flesh in place of the ache that enfeebled her in the sand.

She struggled, held down by the relentless grasp of the shore. The wash of water moved over her hips, her stomach, and flowed down into the sand warming against her flesh mired in the pungent grave that fought her for possession of her body, not her soul. She felt her soul unconquered as she sank deeper with every wave.

Surrender came to Alexandra like that moment of sleep when all the uncalled thoughts cease, and the darkness is not blasted away with dreams of the incubus who haunts and demands her flesh.

Distant sounds, first like a peal of rolling thunder, and soon scattered marsh sparrows chirped against the background of gentle sea lapping at the shore. Alexandra tilted her head to hear them. Another damp wave registered under her arms, across her breasts in tantalizing sweeps, first warm, and growing to a nip of frost. She detected fingers touching her. They were tender. There were love and devotion in the touch that drifted across her body, not the hungry tearing, twisting, pinching, demanding slaps and hits she was intimately familiar with; the burning pain of others who possessed her. This was different. She relaxed to focus on the hands that soothed her.

“That’s good, My Lady,” Dari cooed as she bathed Alexandra’s body. “You’ll feel much better after a sponge bath. I used some essence of lilac to help relax you.”

Alexandra moved, relented, and gasped as the warm sponge went over her. She heard Dari speak.

“I’m sorry, My Lady. You must endure this insult. Injury affords no dignity. I thought it better I bath you instead of the nurses, who you have yet to meet.”

Presence drifted away. Alexandra lay in the sand content to let her handmaid work to free her from the grasp of her sodden grave. Dari appeared in a strange halo of her vision. Alexandra saw Dari look down into her face and she felt comforted by the love she saw in her handmaid’s eyes.

Alexandra struggled back into her consciousness and considered how this life had afforded her only a deepening pain and anxiety. Even as she fought for physical superiority and a disciplined mind, she had endured the terrible hurt of those lessons she gained in mastering her art at the tutelage of Master Cho, her savior. Only he had never violated her body or trust. Only he remained in her heart as her time carried her downstream to her destiny.

Again, she slipped away under Dari’s hands. Visions of Cezar walking down the shore toward her focused her mind with a stunning grip. His armor seemed ragged, his helmet a testament to the battle they had lost. Alexandra’s heart lifted as he limped toward her and Dari. He lived. That was all that mattered. The three of them were reunited again. They would go on together, lick their wounds, and later hunt down the bastards that invaded their lands. She would lead alongside Cezar as they stormed into the villages of the invaders. She would bring her wolves next time and see how fat they grew on the flesh of her enemies.

Alexandra screamed her oath to Cezar as he stood over her with piteous eyes. I swear by Gebeleizis, the god of battle, I will go to their villages and every woman whose womanhood is bearded and used by the men will be whored to our soldiers, and the hairless virgins will live as slaves until they too are old enough for whoring. We’ll kill every male of our enemy that dreams to defile a woman with his manhood.

“Alexandra, my queen. We must rebuild our army and learn from this day. We must come to know ourselves and our skill in battle better. Our fierce hearts have led us to slaughter. It is not our blood we seek but, theirs.” Cezar’s voice echoed in Alexandra’s ears.

He speaks the truth. My King must give me sons to lead our Army while the King and I seek to subterfuge the oppressor’s secrets.

“My Lord, lift me from this grave so that my handmaid and I can join you,” Alexandra beseeched Cezar through her tears of pain and frustration. She looked up as he stared across the sea. She knew it would be a long journey home with the few of their army that still lived.

In Alexandra’s vision, Cezar stood bloodied yet strong and dignified against the blue-gray sky of a waning sun. I will die before I betray my love with weakness and dispirited thought, she heard her voice ring in her head.

Lost in her drug-induced visions under thick bandages, Alexandra did not see the envy in Dari’s eyes as she looked at her bandaged Duchesses sylph-like body. Nor did Alexandra know of Dari’s new challenge to become the Wolfmaster or her deepening love for Marius. Alexandra knew one thing in the worlds and lives she inhabited; fate is inexorable and her allegiance with Dari held secrets that sealed their future together.

Go To Scene 24

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71 thoughts on “The Agony of Ecstasy-Scene 23

    1. Thank you Lauren! Yes that dream thing can be a killer to keep up with. Alexandra’s dreams are key to her past and future but I have to be careful here or I might get the WTF award for most confusing story ever told. 🧛🏻‍♂️🙀

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        1. Yes, the title does set the scene well. The Agony of Ecstasy is my working title. I may have to change it to something more fitting like, ‘50 Shades of Gray Wolves.’ I gotta get that part right if I want to publish it. 😉

          Liked by 1 person

                    1. Muwaaaa haaaa haaaa! Okay so the front is Dari across Marius’ knee facing the reader with a smile on her face and the back of the book is Dari’s backside facing the reader and Marius has a smile on his face. Good idea Ray. This is going to sell a lot of books. Maybe nobody reads the story but they like the cover.

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  1. It’s an amazing journey H, through this metaphorical world of and dragons, goddesses and warriors, infusing this your drama with breathless adventure that shakes the very heart and deftly drops us into a riveting journey crossing the boundaries of the subconscious, of virtue and barbarity, trials both physical and spiritual. So beautifully crafted, never losing it’s level of enchantment, thrilling and at times chilling as well, the merging of ethereal and realism. Yours is a beautifully crafted book Dan.

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    1. I love this comment, Rene. You have succinctly expressed the intent and exploration of this story. It was concieved in a dream and unfolds the visions of the subconscious into a historical fiction of nearly 3000 years of the past and many more centuries into the future when it is all told. This is the Bayeaux Tapestry brought to life and stretched across millenniums. You get this so well. I will give it all I have to ensure it holds the interest of those that would dare to read it.

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        1. We have only just begun. I’m saving the good stuff for later. There will be twists upon turns upon angles not seen and mirror reflections of faces not there. If I can get a few gasps, a WTF, and maybe a snort laugh because it can’t all be dark and mysterious, I’ll be happy with it. 😊

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  2. This chapter is just stunning. To hear your voice say words unfamiliar to you must be, to say the least puzzling. Ah, and here it is. You have foreshadowed the future complex relationship between Dari and Alexandra long ago. But now the power struggle between the two shall begin.

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    1. You are quite perceptive K. Dari is coming into her own power in many ways. She has been the nameless one who made it all work behind the scenes. She is a kind of altar ego to Alexandra. Alexandra’s suffering through time has made her rage with revenge which is what the Dacians think they need to fuel their rise to power. But, Dari coupled with Marius could bring a new power into play that is not tied to royal blood but something far different. I think this will be exciting to see how it all unfolds. Thank you for your always insightful comments, it does help me focus on the key points of the story.

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      1. I’m Vaping and it’s a nice relaxer, I have so much pain I’m eating gummies, taking CBD oil and leaves! Anything to provide relief. I haven’t taking it all for long enough to get the pain benefits, sounds like 6 months is the magic number. Texas will be the last state to legalize if ever. I don’t understand what a great tax increase would do for the state. Hugs.

        Liked by 1 person

              1. The ones a lot of kids and younger adults have nicotine, I won’t put nicotine in my body again. The more expensive vap doesn’t even leave a smell in the house. David said ok, no smell no, no problem. I’ve heard the creams help, I plan to use for my knees and anywhere Fibromyalgia takes me.

                Liked by 1 person

                  1. If it works, it takes a long time yet I get conflicting info on vaping so I’ll give each seven months than decide. Hope you are well. I’m still recuperating from the fall and now I’m preparing for surgery. Did you know there were four Parathyroid glands behind you Thyroid? It was news to me but some of mine aren’t working, which once removed it would make sense I would feel better. I’m so jaded and starting the year different than I planned. Just six months with wellness is a goal now. 🙂

                    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Amanda. I think I’ll create a running novel of all the chapters in one document for people to read who want to catch up. It’s a little easier than clicking through all the scenes.

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    1. Hi Priscilla! Glad you like this. Alexandra is back to her visions again. There is plenty to entertain yourself with whenever you have time. Glad to have you visit anytime. 🙂 I like your new website.

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    1. Hi Sha”Tara! Yes this scene would be a bit disconcerting without the backstory. Alexandra is a Revenant that returns in a new life with her memory wiped. Each of the Revenants seek each other out in life and in time renew their relationships and the endless quest to reclaim the old Dacian lands for the current generation of Dacians that live in Romania. Alexandra is recuperating from her head wound in a light induced coma. During this time she is having visions of her past lives. Cesar and Alexandra were always linked together as husband and wife and Dari has always been Alexandra’s handmaid. Alexandra is not fully returned to her memory of her past and struggles with her feelings and visions that clash with her present consciousness.

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      1. OK, got it now. I didn’t understand the switch between the modern and the ancient. I’ve got all the scenes together also in one folder so I can read the story chronologically. I had missed scenes 2, 3 and 4 so went and got those today. Now I have everything, from one to 23. Thanks.

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      2. Wow, Hype, I just read and partially re-read scenes 2, 3 and 4 I hadn’t known even existed until now. No wonder I was totally lost in the story. I’m all caught up, so to speak, and thanks. This is fabulous reading, a great tale, perhaps more than a tale?

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        1. Wooo Hooo! I’m sure it’s more than a tale as it came to me in a waking dream in vivid color. I think we arrive at some great message from the Watchers. From the dream it has to do with the darkness of our nature as in the past is our salvation for the future. Balance is necessary but never preferred.

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