Saturday, January 23, 2016
Of Fathers and Fruitful Union
Five pairs of eyes stared at him, waiting for some kind of reaction. Were they kidding? What did they expect him to say about a notion so fucking ridiculous, it didn't deserve a response? Even more amazing was the fact the damn woman...fairy...demon...whatever the hell she was...thought him stupid enough to blindly swallow the pile of shit she was dishing out. Head resting on her hands, she looked at him with a mixture of calm amusement, the tilt of her head and the turning up of the corner of her mouth proof she thought the whole thing a huge source of entertainment.
As if she could read his mind, she shook her head. "You are most wrong, Dark Knight. I take no joy in your confusion, though I find the look on your face priceless. Revelations of this magnitude should be met with celebration and peace of mind, not anger and fear. Alas, I am afraid the situation does not allow for such luxury."
The concept that she had known exactly what he was thinking, disturbed him even more. He could feel a rage born of helplessness creep into his head, and in his lap, his hands curled into tight fists. She reached out and laid a hand on his arm.
"Deep breaths, Mortal Prince. Your anger serves no purpose. I am not the enemy...only the messenger. Once all is revealed, you will understand... and believe." She pulled her hand back and folded her arms across her chest, her eyes never leaving his stare.
Beckett fought the overwhelming desire to grab her hand back. The physical contact had filled him with a rush of euphoric pleasure that rivaled a line of purest opium, and he found that he could now hear her thoughts without them being spoken aloud.
"It is quite the experience, is it not, my Knight?"
"Spin it anyway you like, Maeve. It's mind rape, nothing less. Get the fuck out of my head!"
"Always you are filled with anger. It consumes your soul, and keeps the truth from you. There is no rape, Ridre Dubh. We speak this way because we can, open to each other in a way that exceeds Mortal boundaries. My thoughts are not available to simple mortals. Watch and believe."
She leaned in toward Ian who sat beside her at the table, and placed her palm on his cheek.
The young man gasped, and then sighed, his face taking on a sloppy grin. She giggled, and then asked him. "How fare thee, young mortal? Are thee well?"
He nodded, his head bobbing in a relaxed stupor. "I fare well, my Lady. Quite well, indeed."
"What am I thinking, boy?"
"What do you mean, Your Majesty? I do not understand the question?"
"Can you read my thoughts?"
He looked at her, confusion winning over the lingering pleasure. "Surely not, my Lady. Can you read mine?"
She laughed and gave his cheek a soft pat "You truly have a sweet heart, boy." Turning to her left, the Fairy Queen gave Roxanne a scolding glance. "Your lady is a fool to question such devotion." She leaned back in her chair, her hands resting on the scrolls in her lap. "As I have said,
my Knight...you hear my thoughts and I yours simply because of who you are. Surely, by this point in your life you have realized that you are...different from those around you?"
Up popped a flashback from his childhood, and it was shoved from his mind with an imaginary fist. Some things were best left in the past. He nodded in the direction of Maureen. "Can she do it as well? Read our thoughts?"
The Queen shrugged, a decidedly human gesture that appeared strange on her. "In time, I believe she will have the ability. She fights within herself, unsure that what she is...the things she can do ...are according to the Creator's wishes. It is difficult to shake years of learned dogma, especially when her brother pushes at her. You, on the other hand, lack any faith in church based tenets, so it does not hinder your ability. But your Lady shows great promise...much talent, in truth...and I will see that she fulfills her potential...including this silent communication." She leaned in toward him, a grin that spoke to mischief. "And once that happens, my dear Knight, your days of hiding yourself from her will come to an end. I imagine it will provide endless merriment."
He waved her off, realizing the other mortals at the table were lost as to what was going on. He sat upright in his chair, a symbolic gesture to convey the idea he was taking back control of the situation. "I'd prefer that we speak as human beings, one on one and out loud. Say what you came to say, and then get the hell out of my cabin."
"Very well, Ridre Dubh. I will not push you to embrace reality until you have seen the truth with your own eyes." She placed the parchment scrolls on the table, and began unrolling them. "As I have said, these are the ancient writings of my people, our past, present and future."
Maureen put a hand out to touch them, then quickly pulled it back, beginning to understand the power that seemingly flowed through all things Fay. "Lady Queen...who wrote it?"
She ran a hand over the paper to smooth it out, not bothering to hide her reverence. "No earthly hand has ever touched these scrolls, dear Lady. The words and drawings just appeared at the beginning of our time, wrought by the very hand of the Creator. That is what we believe. It is not unlike the Holy Books mortals here claim as their own, though ours are surely older and without the stain of human error."
Maureen looked over to Kevin, seeking some kind of verification that what she was saying was true, but he looked hesitant and confused, unsure as to whether he should be protecting himself from some inherent evil, or kneeling in adoration before something purely divine. All he could manage was a tentative shrug of his shoulders, leaving the others to make their own personal judgements.
The Queen shuffled through the pages until she came to a specific one featuring a drawing done in aged, muted colors, then flipped the scroll around so that it was facing Beckett and Maureen. "Look closely, and tell me what you see."
They both peered down at the sketch, trying to make sense of what they saw in front of them. It was a beautiful drawing showing a robed man and a fairy woman holding hands, roots springing from their feet, tree limbs and leaves growing upward from their opposite hands. As she looked closer, Maureen let out a tiny gasp, and looked at her husband, who stared at the page in something akin to horror.
Seeing their reaction, Ian came around to the other side of the table to allow for a better look. He bent over Maureen's shoulder and stared at the page, his mouth hanging impolitely open.
"Lordy! Those people in the drawing...they look like you and your Lady, Constable! Except for the wings on the woman, and the beard on the man, it could surely be a sketch of the two of you!"
Beckett pushed away from the table. "What is this? Some kind of ploy to convince us we're part of your crazy little plan? I don't believe for a minute that this is anything more than a scam you created to get what you want."
At his words, the Fairy Queen went very still, and all the color seemed to fade from her being until her hair, skin, clothing...all of her...was a ghastly, pale white. Her words were low and measured. "I do not deny, Dark Knight, that I would do most anything for the safety and peace of my people. But even I would not dare to use the Sacred Writings for my own purpose, even if such a purpose was the greater good. This drawing came into creation over a thousand years ago, a prophesy allowing us a window into the Creator's plans. Believe or reject...I can not change that. But do not ever again accuse me of blaspheming our Sacred Writings, or I shall bring down my wrath upon you and yours."
Ever the peace maker, Maureen took her husband's hand in hers, stammering out an attempt at an apology. "Please forgive my husband, Lady Queen. As you know, he takes very little on faith alone. I'm sure you truly believe that the people in this drawing are the two of us, but you must realize...it's a little difficult for us to accept such a thing. What does it mean? Why do these two have our faces?"
The color began to filter back into her presence, though it did not seem as vibrant as it had been at the start of the conversation. If anything, the Fairy Queen looked strangely tired, as if the moment had taken more energy than she'd admit. "I understand your reluctance to accept what you see here. It is surely mind shaking to see yourself as part of something much larger than you could possibly fathom. But I assure you both, the man and woman in the drawing are, in fact, the two of you. I have spent more than three centuries researching this very prophesy, and wager my people's entire future on the belief that I am correct."
Beckett pulled his chair back to the table and stared at the scroll as if it were a cobra ready to strike. "Explain what this all means. I already know you want me to execute Owen, and truth is, the fucker deserves to go down just on the fact that he's a crazy sonofabitch who's breaking laws on several levels. Not to mention he's made threats against me and mine" He pointed a finger at the Queen, "Which is something you might want to keep in mind, Your Majesty." She scowled in return, but let him continue to expound. "What I don't understand is how this has anything more to do with Maureen or myself. Once Owen is dead, we're done with all this magic nonsense. We go back to Dollyville and lead perfectly normal lives as best we can."
"You have never led a perfectly normal life, Sir Knight. And you never will. It is a fact that you will simply have to accept."
"And why is that? I've managed it so far. That is, before you dropped into our lives and made a mess of things."
"You have managed nothing, Mortal Prince. You have filled the void in your life with
risky ventures and a string of empty relationships. I offer you the opportunity to face the truth about who you are and where you come from. About the true purpose to your life."
"What? That I'm some kind of descendant of a storybook wizard. Gimme a break, lady. It's all bullshit, and we both know it. I can see through your smoke and mirrors for the gimmicks they are. That drawing is a coincidence. Some weird cosmic joke. I know exactly who I am...Theodore Beckett...ordinary human being. I already said I'd take care of Owen. What's the point in keeping all this nonsense about Merlin up. What's in it for you?"
"Because you are not Theodore Beckett...ordinary human being. Something you have felt for a long time, but are unwilling to admit."
"Look, if you met my family...my father...my brothers...you'd know you were dead wrong. They're about as mundane, as ordinary as it gets. Not a wizard among them. I'll agree...we don't get along, and its obvious they don't think much of me, but it doesn't change the fact that we're related in the same stupid, common way."
Across the table, the Fairy Queen sighed, then snapped her fingers, a goblet suddenly appearing in her right hand. "You drive me to drink, Dark Knight. Your blustering and whining is
most annoying. Let us face the facts, for I grow weary of playing your game. The man you call 'father' is surely not yours, as you have suspected for quite some time. And your brothers are only your half brothers, which knowing how you feel about all of them, should come as a relief. The Merlin line runs through your biological father, not the man that raised you, and he has no other heirs."
He wanted to be shocked. Wanted to rail away and call her a liar. But in truth, she only verbalized what he had felt for more years than he could remember, and he fought to stamp out the waves of hurt and rejection that bubbled up from the past. Next to him, Maureen squeezed his hand, and it made the whole thing seem more painful.
"It is time to let it go, Mortal Prince. Face the past, and look toward the future. I can help you fulfill your destiny."
"You can start by getting out of my damned head! I already told you...I'm not communicating this way."
Maureen still clung to his right hand, and with her free one, pointed a tentative finger at the drawing in the scroll. "Your Majesty...what does this picture mean? Is it supposed to be us? Ted and I? Because it does seem to look like me. Except maybe for the wing part. And I could swear that's Ted next to me...if he had a beard. Why do we have roots coming out of our feet, and tree limbs out of our hands? It'd be great if you could kinda explain some of this. Why we're even in your Sacred Writings in the first place?"
"This drawing appears in the writings regarding prophesies. It suggests that two great houses, two important family lines, will join together to usher in a new generation amongst our peoples, both Mortal and Fay. Through years of research and discovery, I have come to believe that you and the Ridre Dubh are the man and woman depicted in the drawing, you representing the Fay white magic side, and your husband the dark magic side of the Sorcerers. The branches off your hands represent future generations that will come through your fruitful union."
At this news, Fr. Kevin finally interjected. "By dark magic, I hope you don't mean black magic? Satanic worship...or anything of that nature? Because if that's the case, we're done now. I can't speak for the others, but Maureen and I walk."
"Creator be praised, I surely do not, though your confusion, Man of Faith, is understandable. The writings of mortals have mucked up the truth of things from the start. White magic or dark magic is not magic at all...not in the sense that you understand the word. Both are entirely centered on the pure energy of the universe, and is not at all based on morality. White magic can be used for good, as can dark, and both can be used for evil as well, depending on the free will of the person wielding it. The difference is in how the energy is worked. The Fay are centered in white magic. We use the natural flow of energy to achieve our goals, using our minds to shape what we will to happen. Dark magic uses the very same flow of energy, but bends it to direction by using out of mind sources, such as incantations, amulets and circles. And to put your mind at rest, neither type has anything to do with the Evil One, who is hated equally by both sides."
In an attempt at bravery, Maureen placed a single finger on the scroll, and when nothing more than a shiver went through her, she traced the roots and the branches on the drawing. "Let me see then if I understand this correctly. You're saying that the woman in the sketch is really me, and I have wings because I descend from your line, the Fay white magic side?" The Fairy Queen's nod encouraged her, and so she continued. "And the man with the beard is Ted, and he is descended from the Sorcerer's dark magic side. Okay...so then, according to the drawing, when we married last year, we began to fulfill the prophesy shown here?"
"You are most correct, Dear One. Your joining together has been part of your destiny...as well as ours... for nearly a thousand years, and we expect a most fruitful union."
Copyright Victoria T. Rocus 2016
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