I suffered with the cold shock of Nareth's tussle with the portal for some hours after my return, sleeping fitfully. I shivered, a cold, chill fever if such thing could possibly exist, possessed my body while in my mind events circled around me like dreams, nightmares. Fragmentary comments from disparate times and places, coalescing as a whole, a singular stream :-
I am cold, the darkness surrounds me, I stutter, my voice frozen, "Nareth, the cold it is inside me", then Nareth's voice is in my head loud and close, "It is the Void" then someone is there, a large dominating shadow standing over me. "Beq, you have a void in your heart that needs filling but Orchid is not the one. I am sorry..sorry...sorry", Rips words echo through the caverns of my dreams. Then the darkness shifts and moves and as it moves it forms as a mist into a shape, I see the shape and it becomes human, Talem, she laughs, tossing her dark curls around her shoulders, a gun shot rings out, and blood, blood spreads through the darkness, I scream. "Tali!", she fades, flickers and is gone. The void fills the space where she had been.
For a while I lay watching the void, then it shifts again, reforming, a shifting sequence of friends, of feelings suppressed and evaded, buried and untouched, unknown and unrequited Eloise, Anabella, Lizzy, Orchid, Jedburgh, the Professor, Misi, the cycle plays over faster and faster each image vivid and real but fleeting, a memory held momentarily, then fading to darkness only to return in a new from, to be replaced, the cycle gains speed, flickering, dissolving, reforming blurring the memories into one. The darkness moves around the shapes, encroaches, consumes. The flood of memories halts, a single moment suspended before me, Orchid, but not Orchid, standing in my home, smiling. Her lips move she speaks and her voice echoes with the voices of Nareth and Rip, and of me.
"It is the Void"
"void in your heart"
".....in your heart"
".....needs filling....not the one"
Orchid licks her lips, her necks bleeds from an open wound, "...feel your appetite, Mistress....offer you the means...satiate...", now Orchid fades, dissolves and reforms, the void takes a new form; and that form, the pale beauty of Sang Li/Nareth is all that remains.
"I belong to you...to you...to you.
I awake, the images hang there, oppressive, as a storm cloud in my vision. I shiver. There is such cold still. I return back to sleep, and the visions come again....
I eventually rose mid-morning and dressing warmly went to the bakery for elevenses. I saw few people on the streets, the world had been saved and few had noticed it seemed. This fact alone made me smile some. The tea and pastries were, as ever, delightful and I left Myrtil an extra large tip. Whatever the portent of my dreams, however I must resolve the turmoil inside me, today I would enjoy myself, whether Nareth wished to be part of it or not. Miss Red Llewelyn was having her first party and I was not going to miss it. She had retained the services of Rip and Orchid for entertainment with their fire show and after there was to be dancing, drinking and merriment.
I spent the afternoon selecting an outfit and appropriate jewelery and arrived at the party in time for the entertainment. The early evening event passed in spectacular style, the recent snows had allowed the construction, of ice forts and children and adults alike fought with snow balls until the light failed. Those of us remaining moved to the dance floor or the bar. I sat at the side trying not to be seen to be watching as Rip and Orchid span through dance after dance. They were beautiful together. It was then that Jedburgh appeared, she had clearly been demonstrating her prowess with snowballs, her hair was damp with melted ice, the hem of her dress soaked and muddied. I asked her to join me for a dance, she agreed, and we never left the floor until the others had deserted us. It was getting late now, and we walked home, laughing and happy. It had been the evening I had wanted, that I had needed and "she" had been asleep throughout; but that changed soon after.
2 years ago