And so the waters rose.
By what will or art I was uncertain, yet certain I was they had not yet done their worst. The mists swallowed at the shadows, the swamps sunken beneath the floods, the future of my home undecided. Seemed it was a forsaken realm after all.
Eyes turned to me expecting answers, insight, solving of these dilemmas. But others failed to realise that the fates rarely answered such demands. Rarely in the past did I as the Oracle consult the fates for such was more the domain of witches, those that bartered and were not afraid to test them. Those that took great risk of their undoing in meddling in things far greater than themselves. I told myself I held more respect than that for it took much respect and sacrifice to hear their words and to know their truth or their veil of manipulative game. Indeed did the fates like to play most cruel. Sacrifice was something I knew only too well, I did not easily invite it in.
Still some promises I had given...promises to try. Where the orders of authority had only raised my hackles whilst providing a feast of fear, the pleading of children had managed to soften me somehow for such despair I would not feed upon; the aura of children was something that should not be meddled with save for occasional lapse into temptation.
“Oceans part us” I’d murmured aloud with subtle twisted smile, pondering to the fate of the young fae I’d sent upon a little errand. In theory it should have been easy yet I never took theory for granted; it had a way of changing the rules. Bad omen seemed to hint in the air as the taste of drowned and rotting orchids tasted upon my lips. I had not meant to send her into danger, only prove her worth of holding such a trinket in her small greedy hands. Lately I’d not meant for a lot of things yet knew they would come to pass somehow.
“I can never know love”
I sighed, fingers touching at the softly glowing talisman about my neck, ancient carved crystals set between assortments of collected fangs vibrated at my touch. I pictured the one who had spoken these words for as rare gift as it was I could picture her. I’d managed to catch a glance before my temporary bartered sight was ripped away begrudgingly. She had been magnificent beyond all I’d imagined. And I’d spent what often felt like forever imagining. I did not believe in love, not anymore though had once. But I did acknowledge I was still capable of it, just knew it would be against my will....or would it? Much had happened recently, things in me stirred, old desires, old wants, old needs...old dreams...
With my shadow rippling in reflection before me as I stood upon a mound of rock, the peak of which rose up enough for boots to find a place, eerie waters lapped about my feet. Drawing in a deep breath I tasted the fears of many washed in from beyond the outer gate and even the fears within. For fears there were. My mind tried to focus beyond them though both body and mind craved to lapse into self-indulgent distraction. The cost of the Charade still played upon me even though it had not been I that paid the higher price.
"I can never know joy, I can never bear a child, I can never know love. I bound to an eternity to feed on loss, on loss of hope. To feed upon the pain of despair.”
These words again had drifted around my mind since the nerve wracking return to the abyssal chamber where my queen had first spoken them. Like me she knew the cost of sacrifice. Like me she had accepted her own. Payment to those darker and more demandingly cruel than both of us combined. She understood me so well and now she, unlike any other had real insight into my world, what I saw, that to which I was blind to, that which swirled and seeped, sifted within the shadows of a reality that could not be denied. That which I suffered ever in payment for such gifts. In the ever present irony far beyond the Charade had it opened her eyes?
"Malachi, you have always been able to see where eyes could not. You are blessed with a gift...I swear if ever any touches a hair upon your skin, they will feel my wrath like no other..."
As I thought on this assurance my head bowed toward the shadowed ripples. I could only feel and swear the same in return. Slowly I lifted face to the sky then across towards the city of Mortals far past the mountains in the distance. I needed to find way to get there for obligations could not hold me back. With so much at risk, so much to lose there were no excuses this time.
And so the waters rose...
© Rachel Ellen, 2011