Friday, 23 August 2013

Future Echo

Here I was once more. Stood within a graveyard, one of many I have visited in my time but perhaps the one most often. For here I knew every corner, every crevasse, and each arch of stone or crumbling alter. Many hours I had explored, fingers guiding my way, breaths drawing in the scents just listening to the sounds. The way each footstep resonated differently with each step, drawing a mental map and painting a picture that built up layer by layer with every visit. Until I knew every shadow and the way the moonlight bent each this way or that depending upon the season, the month, the week, the day; ever changing slowly but surely. For years I had come here. It almost felt like a home.

At the iron gates I watched as the visible shadows parted for my arrival, rolling back against the shady background of unseen outlines of trees and headstones. I bowed my head toward them in respectful gratitude for their welcome for always were they inviting, never did they turn me away. 

My arrival was much as it always was, booted steps drawing me toward the mausoleum around which the uneven rows of mossy headstones sat upon wavering hillsides of damp, sodden earth. Rain-washed gravel guided my path with ominous crunching underfoot, my head swaying slowly back and forth seeking for late night visitors. Occasionally I found others here though seldom mourners, more likely those seeking to feed rather than to peacefully muse or grieve. Yet tonight something caught my attention. 

Pain flickered behind my blindfold as hidden eye-line lifted and I felt myself consumed by the feeling of no longer behing alone. My pulse flared abruptly then with a deep inhale became more settled. Someone approached. Someone’s reflection caught between two domains and some might say…a third. Someone I’d not been seeking for. Or perhaps I had quite without realising, though not here. Not here in the graveyard. 

I had been restless for days now with no understanding as to why. Such anxiousness seldom failed to reveal good reason even if not quite at first. The fates liked to test and to play. My voice held intrigue when the single word drifted from my lips.


Slowly I smiled, straightening to stand as the hinted shape moved closer. Like a ghost the willowy priestess drew in from the distance, drifting between the gravestones. She did not seem to be aware of my presence as she moved in an almost sorrow, long skirts a cloud of trailing mist that rippled over the dirt with seemingly no feet to tread. I squinted, causing my eyes to burn but I was looking for something, trying to peer within her darkened hinted curves. It was possible I was dreaming, though never did I sleep. Still dreams came to me in waking rest and sometimes upon their own whims entirely, striking at any opportunity and usually ones inconvenient for such did the fates like to tease. What was she doing here? Here of all places?

Angling my frame I turned towards her, stepping to round the headstone that lay between our paths and whispered her name once more. The syllables lingered upon the night air as if in lament. With slow delicate gliding did she continue her journey, heading in direction of the mausoleum that now stood in eerie quiet behind us. Feeling my own hand extend outward towards her I drew in a sharp shuddering breath as she made no response other than to step right through me. 

Immediately my body stiffened in anticipation of a cold breeze, a deathly breeze but I felt none at all, just a passing whistle of wind that was filled with many layered whispers...questions...musings; some in panicking fear, few in curious intrigue and others in brave demand. Yet still her shadowy aura remained sadly serene and unspoken as her misty tendrils departed through my flesh.

It seemed she would continue out of sight as skirts of trailing mists moved onward, snaking over stone and dirt without blemish of either. “It is yet undecided” I called softly and inclined my head toward her and at this she seemed to pause, ghostly face swayed over her shoulder and I felt her look not through me but rather deep inside and with it did emotions stir I had not before felt in her presence.  She spoke not but she nodded slowly with an almost acceptance of having to bide her time in this strange domain. As my breath caught with a strange bewilderment I realised what she was. Not a ghost, not a memory nor a pure figment of imagination. She was an un-passed, the yet to come, a future echo; for now the fates undecided upon her fortunes.

This was not the Gabriella that others may have witnessed moving soulless through the forests. This one could only be seen by unique few. The un-destined elf moved onward, her willowy form disappearing into the mausoleum and out of sight as if vanished into nothing, a lingering yet now unseen presence biding her time. Waiting. I lifted my head to the sky and then down towards the ground. My feet ached to follow but I was rooted to the spot for the uncurling weight of responsibility I felt. The balance was unsettled, far more than I had perceived. And it was my responsibility to try and set it right.


© Rachel Ellen, 2011

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