So I’m not actually here. Leave a message after the beep. But I did want to give you a post anyway so here you go. And with thanks to Lynn for another great lyric.
A hint of a Wiccad series I really want to write. Enjoy!
We’re all Grieving
I went walking one late winter afternoon. The day was quiet, I often missed the songs of the birds once the snow fell. My cloak was sodden from each step I had taken. The snow was ankle deep and I sunk down into it with each step. But it had stopped falling, the clouds had cleared and I had places to be.
It was a day of power. The days of power were days when magic swept higher across the lands and the veils between the worlds thinned. They were my favourite days. The hollow in my soul seemed lesser.
And on those days, the souls of those Between could be reached.
I longed for the council of my dearest moon witch, Diana. She was my wise woman, my conscience, and often my strength in the hardest times.
The age had taken from me again and I was near to alone in this place. War raged between the Kings and Queens of the lands and the people paid the terrible price for seeking victory. As it has ever been.
War had taken my son. War had taken my daughter and my grandchildren in the most brutal of ways. The Wiccad had been decimated and many who had stood with us had fallen. I was the lone survivor of this massacre and I had not been strong enough to save them all. Not quick enough. I had killed and brought souls to ruin but it had not been enough.
Diana could help ease my guilt and give me the strength to go on. She had before, she had to again or I might fall to darkness, as my sister had so long ago.
Darkness and madness.
How I wished to collapse into my grief and let it consume me. Give into the violence that called for death.
I had done it before, lost myself to become a dark queen of death. I slaughtered without mercy and nearly lost myself.
He had restored my reason.
He was not here now.
And I wished to slaughter the English monsters who had lost themselves to brutal pursuits.
A madness had gripped their souls and poisoned their minds. To kill innocents with such brutality and glee. They had returned to dark ages and terrors that I hoped we were done with. The Wiccad had fought so hard to bring light back to the world.
I had returned too late to save the children. I shall never forget the smell of hot metal and burned flesh. Their screams stopped before I had even got close enough to hear them, and yet I felt that I could still hear them in my own ears now. I would have those soldiers scream for me now, I would have them burn and have them discover that they did not need to go to Hell to feel the burn of the fires.
“No! You must restore balance not tip us closer to destruction and failure. Creation is needed. Love.”
“Justice. An eye for an eye. Justice is a balance. For every light they extinguished, I will take a dark flame from the world.”
“And then only nothingness will remain and all will have been for nothing.”
“Oh, Diana. I wish for nothingness. This hurts too much. Far too much.”
“I know. I know, my love.”
She stood before me in the snow. My greatest friend, standing there in her blue dress. She left no footprints on the snow, and her hems did not become soaked as mine did. The cold did not touch her in her thin dress.
She stepped forward and embraced me and yet, despite her lack of impression on the snow, I felt her. Her arms wrapped around me and held me tight.
“I wish them death and pain.”
“And which of them can be removed without impact. Which life is not part of the tapestry?”
“I do not care anymore. I lose and I lose again. Let the world end, let the world burn, and let it all end.”
“And what of the Third Age? What of the times to come and the souls to come? What of the souls to return? Do you not owe it to them? To me?”
I scowled at her words. Did I owe it to them? What was I owed? So many lives to come. So much love yet to be. I had a task, an obligation, could I be done with it? I wanted to be. No. I wanted the pain to stop.
“The pain will stop. Love and hope will heal your soul.”
Her magic was strong this day, the shortest day of the year when the moon shone brightest and longest. Diana filled me with moonlight, the silver light between the bright and the dark. The magic of balance. A healing calm. It did not drive out the pain but it reminded me of the love, the hope, the pleasure. And in that place between I found my serenity and my strength.
“Thank you, my friend.”
“You are welcome. And I hope you do not resent me for it now. You are needed and it is not for your sake alone that I helped you with your healing.”
I sighed. Of course, I was needed. I did not resent her for it. This was the task I had been given in the beginning and I had accepted it willingly. “Where must I go?”
“To Scotland to begin with, and then to France,” Diana replied. “A queen has been born and as with most Queens she will not be safe.”
“She has hardly just been born. How can they, how can you ask me to protect Hal’s by-blow after what he just ordered to spite me?”
“The Queen I speak of is related to that King but she is his great niece, she is two weeks old and shall be Queen of Scotland. Her name is Mary and she will have need of you. Death stalks her. And do not close your heart. When that King dies, for he has scant years left, even his by-blow may have need of you. Do not let the sins of the father poison you against the soul of a child.
Again, Diana spoke words of wisdom I did not wish to hear but they were wise all the same. I could not let another suffer for what her father had done, for the man he had been…still was. She should have her own chance to become friend or foe.
“I will begin my journey then, and try not to curse Hal to madness and a painful and lingering death.”
“You already bear the marks of such curses, Megea, do not even joke about such things. Words and intention have power. Be safe, love. I am always with you.”
The sun hit the snow and it was suddenly blinding. When the brightness waned the figure of my friend had withdrawn back between the worlds, back between life and rebirth. She had done what she had intended to do.
I had a new task. A purpose. Grief remained but transformed to determination.
I would find this young queen and I would protect her. And if Hal came against her I would take it as a divine sigh to cut him down and I would not pay a price for it.