Whispers from a fading dream ripped through her body, startling her from a restless sleep. Sitting up in the middle of the stuffed cot, she used the back of her hand to swipe away a heavy layer of sweat and oil from her brow. She looked down and saw that her hands were shaking. Her breath was ragged and she could barely breath. Her chest was heaving high with deep sobs that refused to release from her lungs. Silent screams were the worst. The burning behind her breasts was nearly unbearable, like the flare from a blowtorch was crisping her skin to shriveled shreds. When she realized what was causing the pain, she immediately recoiled. Her thin legs lifted from the edge of her shabby mat and yanked them back so that she could hug them to her chest and pin herself at the head of the bed.
With her back against the cool plaster of the wall behind the bed, her eyes watched the cause of her mania. The last beams of daylight were slipped through the thin slit used for ventilation and slid across the tiny single room quarters. Even the muted illumination of the pale orange was strong enough to cause a gnawing pain behind her eyes, forcing her to coward deeper into the darkness of the corner she was now trapped in. She shut her eyelids tight and buried her head between her knees, seeking desperate relief from the glow spilling into the assigned room of the apartment building. There was at least another full hour of torment to endure before the last drops of late twilight disappeared from the sky then sweet relief would finally come.
This was not the same world she had been born into. Somewhere along the way, everything had flipped. Night was day, and day was taboo – forbidden, dreaded, to be avoided at all costs…even lethal, like now. After so many years of hiding in the shadows, even the darkest skin was white as smoked ash and the palest skin was nearly transparent. A society of vampires? Hardly. A pack of ravenous heathens condemned to dwell in darkness? Very possibly that is what they had all become.
For the next hour, while the last embers of sunlight slid into a merciful twilight, she fought off panic and tried to ignore wispy strips of pain ebbing across her skin. The moment purple overtook gold in the eternal struggle for dominance of the sky, the first howls pierced the air. Strangled high-pitch screeches fill the early night. Time to move. And move fast.
..to capture a fleeing heart requires a miracle..who will be my savior? ~iamlenise
“Theseus…Stop.” Phaedra held her hand up, as if that one gesture alone had the power to make him halt his retreating footsteps. As if by will alone, she could somehow undo his stubbornness.
When his thudding steps, clad in heavy leather sandals, would not pause but continued onward toward his fate…his inevitable doom, she called out to him once more.
“Please,” she whispered on the heels of a raspy breath that made her lungs ache.
He stopped, but refused to turn toward her. It pained her to part with him under such terrible conditions. No husband and wife should ever separate on the wake of a turbulent disagreement. All she sought was to save his life. To keep him living…breathing…walking…existing upon this earth with her, if only for one more day. Had she been able to convince him to forestall the start of his campaign for one more night of blistering love making, one more day of heated kisses…perhaps she would be able to erase the notion of marching into certain death from his mind completely. She nearly laughed. Her mighty champion would never abandon his honor or forsake his duties…not even for her…not even for their unborn child, still nestling in its mother’s warm womb. The man Phaedra had chosen to wed, had given her heart and even her soul to, would give every drop of his warrior’s blood, even his very life, if it would save his people from slavery and annihilation.
They climbed the upward path, through absolute silence,
Up the steep murk, clouded in pitchy darkness,
They were near the margin, near the upper land,
When he, afraid that she might falter, eager to see her,
Looked back in love, and she was gone, in a moment.
Was it he, or she, reaching out arms and trying
To hold or to be held, and clasping nothing
But empty air? Dying the second time
He loved her. He could hardly hear her calling
Farewell! when she was gone.
The double death
Stunned Orpheus, like the man who turned to stone…
hearts so joined
One shared the other’s guilt…
Where rivers run, still holds them, both together
Here I am…again…fingers poised above the keyboard, mind wandering away by the pull of the soul-stirring musical echoes from Pandora’s box. The magic hovering in the crisp spring air draws me from my shell and out into the sunlit sky beaming with endless possibilities. No matter my mood, no matter where life has led me…like a gentle turn of the breeze, I return to this one place…ever so eager to spin a new tale of romance. Though my pen has been ominously dormant for a long season, spring evokes an undeniable urgency to create sweet, haunting dreams of what could be…if only he and I could finally intertwine…goosebumps flood over golden-brown skin at the thought. Now, here I am…again…standing at the wandering crossroads, my mind strangely drawn toward the twilight-shadowed path this time. A dark hero, brimming with passion and peril, seems to be struggling to be freed from his solitude and to emerge from my fingertips…It’s always darkest before dawn…A smirk tugs the curved corners of pink lips…A flash sparks from sienna-shaded eyes…A pacing mind dares to take a closer step toward the edge of forever and to peer into the mystical beyond…………