Saturday, 25 August 2012

The Ghosts Of The Past

Chapter 2: Becoming One with Shadows

The princess gazed mutely at the funeral pyre. Jet black ashes were scattered obscenely in the air. Ravens were feeding upon the half charred body of her younger brother. With a mind numbed from grief, her thoughts went to her elder brother. He was hailed as ‘The Warrior’ among the natives. “A warrior who slayed his blood brother”, thought Mathilda, the princess. She saw her shadow forming and shattering on the cremation grounds. She recalled the healer’s words, “The shadows are the dwelling lands of devils existing within us”. She shuddered, and thought about the evil-spirits that might have danced in her brother’s head when he massacred his own blood. With a last glance at the bonfire of dead, she mounted her horse, and rode to her forlorn castle.

She shuffled by a couple of inns and many a pasture. The natives pointed at her animatedly, dropping their farm wagons, wherever she went. She crossed the kingdom swiftly and the enormous citadel came into her eyeshot. The dark clouds loomed ominously above the three towers of the castle. A serpentine was shadowed on the orchards and grounds where once Mathilda found amusement with her beloved brothers. “Omens”, she whispered. The healer had looked in his hazy glass sphere and had already warned her of the fiend that had attached itself with the crown, way before her brothers became one with shadows. “Omens and Sorcery are beyond the acceptance of the folks of this realm, but one can’t overlook their existence”, her heart whispered.

The princess entered the fortress through a gigantic iron gate, trotting on her mare. Two swordsmen bowed to Mathilda as she jumped gracefully from her horse. Rather than approaching the council, she made way for the holy shrine of their kingdom. “Lord Father can wait, The Old Gods await no common men”, she remembered her teachings from the adolescent days.

The natives regarded the Shrine as the North Pole of their lives, a star that shines the brightest during a night sky. Mathilda walked in slowly, absorbing the radiance of the deity that stood 10 feet tall in front of her. She approached her Goddess elegantly and stooped down in front of her feet. The sparkle from a chandelier, hung from the roof, illuminated her shadow in the room. With the betrayal and bloodshed reeling inside her mind time and again, she comforted herself as she must pray for the living.

The dead have found their boulevards, it is the living that must be brought back to their predestined paths”, she said it aloud, to her Goddess. She bowed her head as the past zoomed in front of her eyes. Crooked as the hind legs of a cur, her younger brother betrayed his blood for the treacherous crown, a crown which he did not deserve. A crown which righteously should have rested upon the brows of her elder brother, the warrior, was snatched under moonlight. What occurred after that will be cited in every bloody leaves of history which an infant will read and lords will talk off. Fratricide and deceit was the blade of a resentful knife that was shoved into her younger brother’s belly and the sinner had fled the kingdom into an exile far away from these appalling lands.

Shadows killed first of my brothers, and gloom drove away the other into a world of blackness. Ravens feeding upon the dead are an omen of things to come. Shadows are greyer than ever and are longer than the graves stretch. Your light is what we require in hearts where despair has sunk in. I do not ask for the souls that have passed, but for the humanities that are living in this scorching realm. Free them of their sins and a new sphere awaits these redeemers”, her heart whispered to her Goddess, as she got up and left the shrine. “Redemption is what one desires to rise from the ashes”. 

[To Be Continued...]

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