By Moonlight. 4.2a

“Amongst the sea of stars, beyond the cloak of darkness, let the lighthouse lead the way.”

The whisper faded, as did the blinding light. She blinked once, twice, trying to refocus her vision. Yet there was only milky white stretching across her sight.

She was not alone, the presence of someone was all around; yet the keeper of this realm she was constantly thrust into to had still not been unveiled.

By some instinct, Shay curled her bare toes, and they were buried in a substance both soft and silty but also firm. Looking down, she lifted her foot and saw that the lightly tanned grains trickled between the spaces of her toes like heavy water, leaving only the very tops of each digit covered.

What is this? She asked, mostly speaking to herself, but an answer spoken aloud was returned to her.

Sand.”

She jumped, startled by the voice, which seemed to have bounced in from all directions. Looking all around she saw nothing and everything all at once.

With one flutter of her lashes, the milk white scene was instantly filled in with brilliant colors of all shades and shapes of all kinds. This sand was everywhere, as far as her eyes could see. And water, so much of it, blue-green, roared in from some unending horizon, taking giant laps at the sand before it retreated just as quickly and ferociously, leaving a moist trail in its wake. And then the cycle repeated again and again. The sound of the water crashing into the sand was like a great beast, but it was also like a sleep-song.

Her mind wandered then trailed off to flashes of memories that were not hers. Children playing in the sand, near the water, adults sitting nearby, in perfectly relaxed poses, staring off at some unknown, unseen point in the far distance.

And then a light touch on her bare shoulder. Soft, gentle, too quick to know if it were that a man or a woman.

She turned fast, but still no one in sight. But what was in her sight was a tower, spiraling up hundreds of feet into the air, piercing the azure blue sky above. Every few seconds, a flash of light from the very top circled back around toward where she stood. The tower itself was stark white with a midnight black swirl wrapped around it from top to bottom. At the very base, a closed wooden door.

Lighthouse.” This time Shay did not move or flinch. She wasn’t sure if was because she were becoming use to the voice or because she was hoping not to scare away its owner by her own movements of fear. Still no one appeared.

But one parting phrase, not spoken aloud, pierced her mind.

“In darkness, become Light.”

Then the whole scene folded in on her, as she tumbled far away and back into her own consciousness, where a more familiar voice called her further into awareness.

“Shay!” It was Ethan, his words filled with heavy worry, with a barely contained hint of fear, “Shay! Wake up!” She felt his strong hands grip then shake her shoulders, once then again. “…please,” he pleaded.

It was the desperation in his words that called her completely back into their world. Her lashes fluttered, and she was home. Back into a world living existing on the fringe of twilight and dawn.

But something had changed, some deeply rooted seed had been planted. Within her, within the air around her. She sensed it within the center of her being.

She focused and looked around. Faces began to appear in her vision. Ethan, of course, his forehead strained with worry. Dakken, his shadowed features twisted up curiously. Was that concern? Or some obscene enjoyment? And the children. Who weren’t really children. Somehow, Shalise understood this now. They were others. Not from the realm she was being pulled into at random, but definitely not from this reality.

“Welcome back,” as always, the pair spoke in unison. Each smiled, the boy, his darkly tanned cheeks lifted high, and the girl, her freckled face glowed with excitement. “You have learned a secret.” The spoke the words not as a question, but as a fact.

“Yes,” Shay answered. “I have. I have seen the world before this one. I have seen the beforetime. When the world still glowed with possibilities.”

She looked up at the sky overhead. Then used her own strength to stand. Her companions cleared back, giving her space. “The storm has cleared. We know our powers. Now we begin.”

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By Moonlight: A Post-Apocalyptic Fairytale. By Q. Lenise Lee. Copyright Lenise Lee Publications. All Rights Reserved.

From the Mind Journal of Shaylise Stafford

There is light
a flash
engulfing darkness
overwhelming stillness
absolute silent
Time is frozen.
I am frozen.
Or do I exist anymore at all?
I do not know
All I have is this thought
I am
I am here
somewhere
nowhere
everywhere
or
Am I the thought 
that someone else is having?
You are
You are there
and so am I
A pop
a flash
then there is light
blank soft light
Everyone is gone
but
I am not alone.

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from By Moonlight: A Post Apocalyptic Fairy Tale by Q. Lenise Lee. Copyright 2021. All Rights Reserved.

By Moonlight 4.1c





Ethan knew that mercy was not in their spirits and, if he were ever captured by them again, they would keep him alive to bleed him out slowly, one cut at a time… over decades, centuries eons, if necessary… whatever would make him suffer the most, until his very last breath.  And then they would call him back to life, and do it all over again.

Q. Lenise lee
The clouds gathered in the distance, dark and terrifyingly alive with static and energy.

From below, Ethaniel and Shalise watched as the high blue sky disappeared behind the descending chaos. Dakken hovered nearby, a silent shadow beneath the long barren branches of the ancient elm tree. The children sat in the dust near a dilapidated car, rusted nearly to only strip metal and bolts.  They held hands and kept their eyes closed tight, as if in deep prayer and meditation.

A reckoning was upon them all.  Elder gods do not die, they are only reborn darker and more powerful. 
 
Ethan and Shay had nearly destroyed a very ancient, very powerful coven, and now those very same beings, crushed under the tons of rubble and ruin of their toppled home, had risen.  They were the violent energy pushing behind the storm pulsing closer toward the outnumbered outcasts.  

Mother and Father had kept Ethan as a son, had given him all the rights and cruel privilege of their abysmal ancestry, and he had turned on them, fiercely and without hesitation. And now his former guardians had returned, much faster than he had anticipated, angry and hungry for revenge.  Ethan knew that mercy was not in their spirits and, if he were ever captured by them again, they would keep him alive to bleed him out slowly, one cut at a time… over decades, centuries eons, if necessary… whatever would make him suffer the most, until his very last breath.  And then they would call him back to life, and do it all over again. There would be no end to his torment.
 
Shay had risked everything to save Ethan.  She could have easily left him to die in the dungeon, but it would have been the same as sentencing her own self to death.  They were linked, beyond physical bonds.  Their blood, their thoughts, their powers, their very lifeforce flowed as one.  She had never sensed so much, been so aware of the flow of energy all around her, until Ethan touched her that fateful night in the dive bar.  It was as if every cell in her body had suddenly awakened for the very first time.. She had felt every stripe of the whip the torturers had inflicted upon Ethan as if the sting had touched her own body each and every time.  The truth was clear and simple, Ethan and Shay were bonded for life, and beyond. If he died, then so would she.  And now, they were facing the same fate again.  She wasn’t prepared to fight again, and neither was he.  They didn’t understand what they were capable of together or the full extent of their abilities.  But they would have to learn quickly, time was not on their side.
 
Dakken was the coward of the group. He had sensed the trouble in the basement, when Shay had escaped and went to rescue Ethan.  He had heard the yells of guards frantically trying to subdue the couple.  He had felt the walls of the house tremble.  He warned no one; only disappeared into the twilight of the early morning, saving himself and not a single other soul. His true allegiance was to himself and his duty was, first and foremost, to his own survival, and for this he had broken a sacred oath to lay down his life for the dark ones that he served.  He had failed them, and now his life was once more in terminal danger.  The sentence for treason against the elders… death without trial. Instant. Painful. Humiliating. Death. Over and over again, forever.
 
The children were different.  They were the only truly innocent party here.  Or were they?  Where had they come from?  And how had they survived in the daylight and even during the nightmares of nightfall on their own for so long?  The thought again passed between Ethan to Shay, but there was no time to wonder about answers.
 
Time was up.   
 
The gun metal grey clouds flowed over and under each other, like quicksilver, or a snake filled with poison, alive and full of dark magix.
 
And then the lightning bolt flashed.  Bright and blinding.  Striking inches from where Dakken hid in the shadows of the tree.  And just like that, day was night, black and dangerous.  
 
Everything went dark around the couple, and then the howls started.  The screeches followed.  The darkness had called out to those who dwell within it.  The light of the sun kept them cramped in basements, buried behind dirt piles, hidden in the boarded ruins of buildings and other dwellings.. but now.. now that the sun was gone, they began to burst forth and pour into the chaos of the sudden nightfall.

Ethan and Shay moved closer and pressed their shoulders together. The pale skin of Ethan’s broad shoulder pushed into the warm flesh of Shay’s slim brown one.  On instinct, they touched hands and held tight to each other.  Electrified chaos began gathering all around them.  But they had defeated the dark once before. Together . As one force, united.  And they could do it again.
 
But how many times?  How many times would they have to become a whirlwind of power?  How many times could they do it?  Was this an infinite gift?  Or would their luck be up one day?
 
Snarls circled closer, ravenous sounds meant to inspire fear and wild pulses.
 
Shay and Ethan planted their bare feet deeper into the dust, powering up and readying themselves for the first attack.
 
And then…there was light.
 
Not a burst nor a flash, but a brilliant blue funnel of swirling light.  A column of illumination that lit up the dark and blew back the wild things that were roaming there.
 
Ethan and Shay stumbled back as they turned, startled, covering their faces from the powerful brightness, nearly as white hot as the glare of the noonday sun.
 
It was the children.  Engulfed in a blue flame, still hand in hand, eyes closed, they were the beacon of last hope.
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from By Moonlight, An Apocalyptic Fairytale by Q.  Lenise Lee
 
Copyright 2021 Lenise Lee Pubn.  All Rights Reserved.
 

I keep,

waiting, for

the answer,

but,

I already

have,

the answer

Instead,

I keep,

waiting, for

something,

to point

me,

toward, touching,

the answer,

And then,

I saw,

a blank sheet,

before

me

There was, no veil,

there was never, a veil,

Only, a blank,

a very blank,

canvas,

waiting,

wanting,

expecting,

demanding,

pleading,

hoping,

to be,

filled.

.

.

.

.

by,

nightmares,

dreams,

of my,

choosing.

.

.

.

.

Have I,

chosen

yet.

Q.

.

.

.

.

creation is, a blank canvas

my mind is, the brush

I must paint.

From the Mind Journal of Ethaniel, Crown Prince of Shadows

…I do not dream.

I have never dreamed.  If I did so as a young boy, I no longer hold those memories anywhere in my mind.

Even when I was still like the others, trapped between the chains of the dusk and dawn, I did not sleep.  I prowled.  I wandered.  I tormented and tortured.  I stalked.  I fed the pleasures of my flesh.  I starved the want of my soul.  Because it was my destiny, it was my right, it was my heritage.. or at least, that is what I had been taught.

During those long, dull hours, just after the sun touched the sky and before the howling packs were set free after twilight, I roamed the castle halls.. In search of.. I had no idea what..  I did not hunger.. for food, anyway… I did not need sexual gratification, but I would take it if the thought plucked my mind.. most of all, I did not sleep.  My handlers, Mother and Father, ensured that I was always always ALWAYS  at my prime.  In peak physical and mental condition at all times.  When I was a boy, a lashing for every time my eyelids fluttered close.  They watched watched WATCHED me constantly.  Looking for any flaw or any reason to punish me.  Training.  That’s what they called it.  For what glory is to come.  When the dark ones return.  But it was just relentless torment of a child who become a monster.  A monster who needed to feed on… whatever his wicked heart desired.. until.  That night.

The moment she burst through the doors, running from some unknown creature of the night… I sensed her… I smelled her… I craved her… I knew she belonged to me.  It was a rush more intense than anything I had every experienced.  It was the most perfect moment I had ever felt.  The pull of destiny.

She fought.  She fled.  She didn’t back down from the strength of my former… companion…  There was no fear in her.  Even with death’s blade barreling down upon her, she was already a true queen, ready to face the end with eyes open, a brave heart, and a steady hand.

Shay.

I do not sleep.

Yet, here I am.  In a dream.  Shay’s dream.

The feeling is uncomfortable.  Surreal.  Not being in control.  I am always in control.  Except that is no longer true.

My will is no longer my own.  It is hers.  To protect her.  To watch over her.  To follow wherever she leads.  I am hers, more than she is mine.  Is this what the ancients called, Love?

I have no time to contemplate this question.  We are not alone.

Though all is ink dark on every side, I know they are there.  I can see them; even though they are the unseeable ones.  No mortal may lay eyes upon them.  But I am no mortal.  I never have been.  I am something new.  I am what they had hoped to spawn.  For untold eons, my arrival was foretold.  Yet, I am not what they had expected.  I am a disappointment.  I can sense their anger… and fear.  My potential has been wasted.  My purity tainted.  Because of… her.  They loathe… and fear… her for what she has done to me.  She has turned my vision away from them and on to something more.  Something outside of their control and influence.  My eyes are looking at the dawn, but not their dawn.  Hers.  And those like her.

I am five steps behind her.  She does not know I am here.  But she does sense their presence.

They circle.  They plot.  They watch for a moment of attack.  But they cannot.

She is more powerful than they had anticipated.  They come so near, only to have to retreat.  She… or something else… is blocking their path.

And then.  Then it arrives.  Descending like a raging storm.  They all shriek and fall back.  They know not to interfere.  They have done their best, it will do the rest.  It will end her.

On instinct, I react.  My heartrate accelerates.  I feel my pupils dialate.  My body begins its change.  The change that was once the harbinger of doom for all that lay unfortuneately in my sphere.  But I am no longer confident.  Is this transformation to harm?  Or to help?  But harm who?  Help who?  The answer is no longer clear.  I am no longer their servant, so is my change to fight it?  Or assist its deadly rampage, about to break a terrible wave upon Shay?

I would never harm her.  Never.

I will myself to choose.  Choose now.  Choose who I will serve.  Choose who I will…  Love.

I chose her over all else before.  I can…I will… do so now.

I will fight.  I will die, if need be, for her.

The air turns dark… much darker than before.  An electric rage swirls around us.

It is closing in.   She stops moving, and so do I.   We do all things in sync.  It is an instinct we have now, undeniable, and unchanging.

I move my arms forward.  I am trying to grab her.  Pull her back, behind me.  Although I know we are strongest when we fight together.  It is my own instinct to want to protect her, to take on the hardest hit from this storm first.

But I cannot reach her.  She is only five steps in front of me, but in this nightscape it may as well be five hundred.

The atmosphere charges to its highest peak.  Our thoughts are one.  She is not ready.  She cannot stand against this enemy.  Perhaps later.  But not now…. can.  Because I was spawned from the will of this creature.  But I cannot position myself to save her.

My heart syncs.  My muscles tighten.  My nails dig deep into the palms of my fists.  I feel my teeth grinding down hard.

I cannot save her.  And this is the first time, ever in my life, when I am afraid.

And then.

The world around us goes motionless, soundless.

A grey dawn descends.

Shay and I are whipped from the nightmare.

Remember these things.

The message is for her.  I think.  I am not sure.  Are they speaking to me also?

My eyes blink open.  Dusk is rapidly descending.  The monsters will be on the move soon.

And then I think… Where are the children?

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From By Moonlight : An Apocalyptic Fairytale by Lenise Lee

Copyright Lenise Lee Pubn, All Rights Reserved.

Sidenote

I think about my grandma, alot.  One of the last things she said, on what was probably her last trip outdoors.. at least, in this version of the world, in this concept of reality, of creation.
She said, look at the sky.  Look how blue it is.  And the sun.  It’s so warm..
I never forgot that moment, or those words; the purity, and honesty in them..
It took me some years afterward, to finally come to the conclusion, that I didn’t want to waste anymore moments inside.. The mental box we create for ourselves, or the real boxes the world says we should dwell in, for most of our best and brightest hours.
And now, here we are.  No longer proverbially trapped in the box, but literally.
So much time spent trying to brainstorm over the walls and around the borders, to ascend across limits and beyond mere moments..  Just to be told, where we are safest, where we have always been safest..  Is in small rooms, with small thoughts, and big distractions, to keep us from dreaming of what’s outside..

Auto Draft

I am, trying, to be, poetic. Which only, makes this, harder. To let time, slip by. But, it never does, really. Instead, now, more than ever, I am, wandering,  away, with my thoughts. Circling. For there are, no more, corners to turn, nor, places to be, and, be unseen. We are, all where we are, and, nothing more. Somehow, is this, a herding, ultimate dulling, of the masses, of the mind, of the will. For when, we willingly, become prisoners, no escape, is possible, and, no bars, necessary. What, oh, what, are we, truly, becoming.

Standing in the delicious chill, early morning fleeing elsewhere
Grey dawn overhead, hot mug in hand
Birds worshipping the new day, squirrels restless with play
Awake, awaken, awakening, I am.
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Q

borrowed and blue

fleeting and fickle

anxious and amazing

wandering and wanting

exciting and ethereal

…the energy and magnetism, of life unfolding

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.

Q

 

From the Thought Diary of Shaylise Stafford

…I am being watched.

I can feel their presence, just out of view.  The corner of my eye catches movement.

I had not dreamed in many years.  Not since I was a young child.  Not until that night.

The night when everything changed.  The night when Ethan stole me away from my life.  The night when I realized that I was so much more than an unknown, barely surviving server in some gawd-awful bar.

This is a dream.  I have had so many times since then.  I almost have it memorized.

I am being watched….

From somewhere in the darkness, they are there.

This is a dream, I reassure myself.  But I know, at the core of all that I am.  This is not a dream.  This is as real as any other moment in my waking life.

I am wandering through an ocean of dark oblivion on all sides.  Yet, I am not alone.

They watch.  They study.  The observe and take note.  Some dare to come too close.  And that is when I sense them.

I am not supposed to know that they are there.  But I do.  My bones stiffen.  My muscles tense.  My mind’s awareness goes razor sharp.  I am aware of all things, everything, even them, all at once.

Somehow, I can see them also.  Flickers of shadows only.  But they are definitely within my visual perception.  And they are the unseeable ones, this I know on instinct.  They are never meant to be observed by mortals; their presence is only to be a mere passing thought.  A shudder, a chill.  A superstition to be shushed and shamed.  Never spoken of aloud, only by children, who have not yet learned the closed-mindedness of the adult world.

But I am no mortal.  I never had been.  Neither am I like them.  This worries them the most, I can tell.  I am something new.  Something they had not expected.  At least, not so soon.

It was Ethan who activated this dormant gene within me.  It was his sudden appearance in and disruption of my world that forced to me to become what I had always doubted and denied.  To become my truest self.  The self within the self.  The highest self.  Needed for a specific purpose, to win a very specific battle in an eons-long war.

His nearness.  Even before we had laid eyes upon one another, we were instinctively aware and bound to each other.  This is the call of fate.  The pull of destiny.

In a blanket of black, I wander.  Confused.  But not frightened.  I feel my breathing pick up pace, my eyes widen as I search deeper into the dark.  Something is coming.  Fast and furious.  The prickle in the air is electric.  And I know, as my heart sinks, I am not prepared for what approaches.  It is too soon.  I am not ready to face the fight coming my way.

And then, suddenly, my awareness lifts.  A new presence has arrived ahead of the enemy on the dark horizon.  A grey dawn quickly descends.  And I am in the land of the dark no longer.

Before I am yanked from the world of dreams and nightmares, where the true veil is lifted, four thoughts are planted in my mind.

Remember these things.

My eyes flicker open.  There is still some daylight left, and then the animals will be out soon, prowling the open night.  Hunting season.

Then I remember them… Where are the children?

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from By Moonlight, An Apocalyptic Fairytale by Lenise Lee

Copyright 2020 Lenise Lee Publications, All Rights Reserved

 

These things,

must not change, who I am

nor stear me, clear of

the call of Destiny

For all things,

small and great, weak and mighty,

can become moments

of clarity

of uprising

of the true Spirit

that drives, the evolution of

my Becoming

Me.

.

.

.

.

Q.

I was sleeping, and now I must awaken

A Queen among men

A Goddess among mortals

I will Rise again

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.

Q. Lenise Lee

By Moonlight 4.1b

Children.

A sudden noise from near a broken down wooden pushcart caught there attention.

All three turned toward the sound of terrible creaks and crackling, the sound of old wood being disturbed after a long sleep.

Their instincts kicked on high, each awaiting the moment to attack whatever hid behind the dusty barrier just in front of them, less than five feet away.

Shay and Ethan touched minds, silently powering up.  It was a natural instinct now, to unify their abilities as one.  They would always be more powerful as one.

Drek held deathly still.  His shadow long and lean, as though he were not there, merely a piece of the scenery.  No words of magic were as powerful as deluding the mind into believing there was nothing there to be afraid of, never preparing itself for the attack that strike at any moment.  This was his greatest strength, stealth.

And then they appeared.  The children.

They stepped from behind the cart and stood in the full light of the overhanging sun, which should have been impossible.  They were hand in hand, calmly composed with serene looks upon their young faces, as though the world around them were not made of ash and dust and dirt and creeping things waiting to kill all who chanced near them.

The boy, dark-skinned with thickly coiled light brown hair, was about ten years old; close to Ethan’s age when Mother and Father, his handlers, had taken him from his home, had pulled him from the arms of his dying mom, the last survivor of his real family.

The girl, fair-skinned and red-headed, was slightly younger, perhaps eight, around the same age as when Shay realized that the world she was born into was somehow not right.  Though she had known no other life, she had always sensed the way things were were not how they were supposed to be, that something at some point, long before she was born, had gone terrible wrong.  A twist set in motion by the Fates, if there were such beings.

For a moment, all were silent, all stared, none moved.  They were like an aged portrait from some forgotten nowhere, left to dry and droop in the harsh sun.

It was the boy who spoke first.  He spoke, clear and to the point, yet his thick full lips never moved.  “We are alone.”

The other three knew this was not true.  Though there was no other living thing to be scene at this high-day hour, except the five who stood here, there were sleepings – or hiding – beings all around them, sheltered in place til dark.

The girl was next.  It was the same, her voice was perfectly pitched, but her pink mouth did not open as she said the words.  “You do not need to fear us.”

Still the other three made no attempt to reply.  This could easily be a trap.  The Elders were not done with them. Perhaps they had rallied and returned sooner than anticipated and were not using some illusion to get Ethan and Shay – and even Drek – to let their guards down.  All eyes stared, all minds remained focused.

Then, finally, it was Shay who took a chance, against Ethan’s wishes.

No, he warned her across their mental bond,  don’t.  They are not true children.  There is no way they would be able to survive standing in full sun like that.

That is the reason why I am doing this, Shay replied, they Elders cannot do this kind of magic.  Not even they are powerful enough to override the power of the sun on human skin.  We thought only we could that.  And since that’s not true anymore, we need to know who they are… they could be allies, Ethan.  And we need as many as possible now… even Drek.

There was still hesitation in his mind, but he understood her points.

Ethan nodded toward Shay and then she turned to the children.

“Who are you?”  She spoke with real words this time, so that Drek could also hear her.

The tiny pair in unison this time, aloud using their lips to release soft and flowing words that touched the ears of the other three ever so lightly as though a breeze had gently floated near them, wrapping them in both calm and unease at feeling such a quiet calm.

“We are your friends.  We have come very far.  We are here to help you.”  They stepped forward a few more feet, flooding their faces in even more bright midday sun, nearly illuminating their beautiful and delicate features.  “We must be quick to move,” they continued as one, “There are enemies on the way.  And they will arrive ahead of dark, clothed in the energy of the dark storm.”

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from By Moonlight, An Apocalyptic Fairytale by Q. Lenise Lee.  All Rights Reserved 2020.

Sometimes, I am a free spirit, flowing with answers, the purest lake filled with living water

I capture the essence, harness the power, imagination, creation is born,

and I know, truly know, I have become, what I am, truly.

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Q. Lenise Lee

balance and energy.

the call of the universe,

pulling us to greater heights.

the spirit of the universe,

pursuing us into our wildest dreams.

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.

.

Q. Lenise Lee

I am.

Reborn in the morning,

settled at eventide.

In balance.

As one,

with the Universe.

All things that were.

All things that are.

All things that will be.

I am.

Art and artist.

Creation and creator.

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.

.

Q. Lenise Lee

I have a vision in my mind, of

Everything.

Existence.

Eternity.

Reality.

All

things in between, and

outside of

them. And then

I write

simply

carefully

BOLDLY.

I am.

I will

BE.

.

Q. Lenise Lee

 

 

I see the

Sky, unfolding

I am

humbled

empowered

amazed

I am

surrounded by

Light

and the possibilities

of the All

Queen of Heaven

Lady of Light

Goddess of the All

Arise and Ascend, your throne

By Moonlight 2.3 : Show No Fear

I’m here.

Her thoughts touched his mind and he jerked.

The sudden burst of movement sent a stab of pain through every inch of Ethan’s broad frame.

He was unimaginably stronger – physically, psychically, and kinetically – than any other being under this roof, yet now he was suspended mid-air and helpless.  They had beaten him first and then cast their spells to bind him in chains forged in titanium. As added punishment for his insolence, and to ensure his suffering was as excruciating as possible, Mother and Father – his handlers –  had tied him in an unnatural position, with his arms and legs twisted and bent, criss-crossing each other in unusual ways, and stretching his tendons, muscles, and joints to their extreme limits.

Until this moment he had been absolutely still, summoning the mental focus to pause even his breaths to bare minimum so as not to raise his chest wall too much. A breath taken too deeply would squeeze the chains even tighter around his ribs, nearly to the point of his suffocation.  

Where are you?  Her ability to speak to him through their mental tie came easily to her now, and he was pleased with how fast her newfound senses were awakening, sharpening.

He wondered.  Did his presence trigger the gifts buried deep within her to bloom?  Or were they destined to do so on their own? She was of age, so maybe he had not been the catalyst to her awakening as she had been for his reawakening.

Within the timeless dark void of the chamber, he had thought of nothing else but her.  And now she had come.

He had done away with a kingsmen to protect her, and now he was bearing the fullest consequences.  Battered and bruised from brow to toe, lungs collapsing, and eyes swollen shut. And he would do it all again, without hesitation.

He would always save her.

And she would always return to him.

Their bond was unbreakable now.  Her appearance here had proved this to him.  He saw the sequence of events after he had been taken from the room, and she could have used her abilities to escape and left him behind, never to be thought of again.  But she had not. Instead, she was risking her life to come to his rescue this time.

Through his agony, he called out to her.  Silent thoughts seeking out the only soul who could comfort him.  And she had responded without delay.

I can’t see anything in here, she spoke to him in silence, moving her thoughts from her being into his mind, I can’t even hear you breathing.  She paused, still as the midnight.  Are you still alive?

She asked the question, but he knew that she already sensed the answered before the words were even formed.

He, on the other hand, knew exactly where she stood.  

Three feet away and to his right.

He couldn’t risk injuring himself any further – after all, he was only half immortal, for now – so he sent only the smallest energy pulse toward her.  Like a drowning man, using the last of his strength, to signal a passerby, hoping against all hope that they would spot the plea and drag his weak and withered body from the depths of the ocean waves or from the exhausting flow of the rushing stream and back toward the calm stillness of the shoreline.  

Shay was Ethan’s lifeline, and he urged her, gently, to hurry and come nearer.

He felt her mind tug and recoil.  It was mostly from fear. She did not understand what he was trying to do.

Don’t be afraid, love, his mind whispered to hers.  We don’t have much time.

Reluctantly, at first, then more willingly with each tick of the universal pulse that surrounded them all, she dropped her guard and edged forward.  Closer and closer still, until they were within a breath of one another.

His upside down coolness drawn into the warmth she pushed down on him from her right side up position.  

They told the guards to take me back upstairs, to the room.  He didn’t need her to retell the story, he had already read the path of events directly from her memory, but allowed her to continue.  She needed to work through what had happened. She needed to understand how powerful she would be become, especially now that they were united.  I knew they were going to kill me, eventually.  I was prepared for that…, she stuttered, but I…I didn’t want them to keep hurting you…, he sensed the moisture gathering at the corner of her eyes.  You saved me….again. You knew this would happen, and you did it anyway.  And they hurt you so badly because of what you did for me.

She paused, her mind went silent and he nearly panicked at the absence of her awareness.

Shay…

Then he knew why she had shut down.  Her story had almost ended has horribly.

He was walking me upstairs, she continued, right beside me, so close that his skin was brushing mine. That chill!  Her hands flew to her mouth as she muted what nearly became a frantic screech.  I knew, I knew, I knew. I saw it in my mind…what he was going to do…to me…once we were back at that room, she held in the sob but he knew her lips were quivering.  I don’t know what happened next.  I freaked out…I was going to try to run, but then I saw your face.  I…felt your presence…standing nearby, but when I looked around, you weren’t really there.  And then it all just made sense…I wasn’t scared anymore. I knew what to do next…it was a like an impulse, an instinct.  I stopped and I just…I just turned to him and said the words. Take me to him.  Then this feeling, like an electric shock ripped through me, but it didn’t hurt me.  It hurt him though, I could tell, I could see the change. His eyes went gray and shiny but his stare was blank and dumb.  Then he turned around and walked me down here.

Ethan’s mind roamed toward the door and finally moved beyond it.  He sensed the guard there. Shay’s grip on him was loosening. They had to move.  But even if they escaped this room, there was no escaping the true darkness that was beyond, surrounding them in all directions.

At the moment, it didn’t matter.  He would think of their next move once he was free and they were moving toward somewhere, anywhere away from this torture chamber.  This would be his last time ever entering this room.

Shay, he spoke silently to her once more, lean down.

And she did, eagerly following his thought-words.

She could do this, he knew she could.  The power was already overflowing from within her.

Touch your head to mind, like this.  He showed her a vision of how she had to lay her brow against his.  And she did.

Her warmth stirred a strange lust and an even stranger comfort within him.  The kind of hypnotic, pleasurable strangeness that would become an addiction in no time at all.

Then he showed her how to move her energy into him.  He was weak and his internal bleeding was heavy. He needed her to heal him, and maybe then he could break the chains that immobilized him.  

After her first try failed, he touched her thoughts with an invisible kiss – soft and reassuring.  He promised her that if she could not do this, he would not be mad. Instead, even if it was his time to seep into the depths of the unknown beyond, he would go happier than he had ever been before this night.  No one else had ever filled him with as much peace and hope. Not even Tiffany.

With that last thought, a feral wave bubbled forward from Shay.  Full, hot, quick and powerful, filling him with a burst of strength.  His muscles swelled once more, the blood that had been pooling around his organs dispersed and returned to where it was needed most for healing.  

He was reborn within the strength she had blessed to him.  

And with one giant pulse-wave and one spoken command – UNBOUND – Ethan flexed his full frame and the titanium shackles that held him broke.

Just before tumbling to the floor, he quickly rotated his body and landed with his feet planted on the floor, crouching and filled with renewed purpose and bursting with pure energy.

No time to waste.  They had to run. Far and fast, before anyone knew they were gone.

Ethan grabbed Shay by her thin wrist and pulled her forward toward the door.

 

Before his fingers touched the knob, the chamber flooded with blinding light.  From high over head a voice – still cruel, still intoxicated with dark influence and still dripping with mennace –  boomed down on them.

“Very good, my son.”  Father said, with pleasure in his tone. “Excellent, my new daughter.

I see what all the fuss has been about.”  An unseen smerk filled his spoken words. “She is truly the missing piece to this puzzle.  And we are so very glad that you have found her for ussss.”  He hissed the last word, allowing his natural being to leach out.  A momentary slip that he quickly corrected. “Now the initiation of the darkest dawn can begin.”

The door to the chamber swung open.  Shay’s glimmer was fully broken, and the guard had returned to awareness.   

“Take them both for cleaning and dressing.  Feed them as well. We need them beautiful and strong, so that the rite can move forward as foretold.”  

There was a drawn out pause, not even the air dared to move.

“Dear son,” Father continued.  Ethan had always hated being called that.  This warlock was never a father to him, nor was the witch his real mother.  Captors at best, torturers at worst. Seeping darkness into him, until Shay returned the possibility of reigniting his light.  “Did you think she escaped on her own? We had to see what she was capable of. We had to see what you were capable of together.”

They had used him as bait in order to force Shay to evolve without delay.

But now they would regret the fruit of the seeds they had sown.

Without thinking, the couple clasped their hands together, and intertwined their fingers tightly.  Their bodies pushed together, interlocking their energies as well. Waves moved around them, first invisible to human eye and then brightening with each pulse into a flaming gold barrier that shimmered and flared.

Show no fear, love, he whispered calmly into her thoughts.  

I never do, she replied into his mind.

A half grin touched his mouth as he squeezed her hand tighter.  She was a woman after his own heart and filled with his same fierceness.

Ethan balled his free hand into a tight fist.  Crimson energy waves first sputtered and then sparked into a full illuminated glow.  Shay followed his lead and did the same with hers, releasing a flame of indigo blue of equal size and power.

The color of their eyes shifted – his from pale blue and hers from hazel – into the most brilliant and glowing gold hue.  

Alone, they each only had half the potential to ascend.

Together, they would become celestial.  Brighter, more radiant and more powerful than the nuclear energy flowing through a thousand yellow suns.

Starting at this moment, they would become the light piercing the darkening world, awakening it from its slumber.

Shay and Ethan flexed their energies in unison, and the stone walls of the chamber shook.  

As their unified power rose, this ancient castle would eventually fall.

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End Part Two

Copyright 2018 Lenise Lee Pubn

Copyrighted.com Registered & Protected

 

By Moonlight 2.2 : Offerings and Other Things

By Moonlight 2.1 : Fire and Ice, and Sun and Moon

By Moonlight 2.0 : Rise, Queen

By Moonlight 1.5: Shay, Into the Light

By Moonlight 1 : The Beginning

By Moonlight 2.4 : The End is the Beginning

I.

 

Ruin and rumble.

On all sides.  In all directions.

That was all the pair could see.

They stood, surveying the carnage which they had created.

But that was now.

A moment ago they were huddled together beneath the heap of heavy rocks and dust that had once been a dark castle on a black hill.  They were protected from the immense weight of the pile by the energy bubble they had forged at the very last moment.

The moment when they, in unison – as they would always be from this point forward – realized that they were more powerful together than apart.  

When the great revelation finally came upon them, and then manifested itself.

Shalise and Ethaniel were the most powerful beings in this universe.  They always had been and always would be, but only when they were One.

Hands still clasped together, fingers interwoven – her cocoa ones twining through his pale ones – they breathed, again as a single force, slow…deep…purposeful breaths.

This was not a victory.  It was only a beginning.

They had ended the dark reign of those who had dwelled within the walls now laid flat.  Yet there was so much more to do. Ethan’s father  and mother were not dead.  They had merely removed themselves from danger.  He could sense that – very clearly – and, by default, so could Shay.  They were not near. The sinister force that had once haunted this ground had been forcefully swept far away, but not so far that their heavy presence had been completely muted.  They were in hiding. Probably had taken a chosen few of their minions and gone to think, regroup, and plot their next phase. There was no doubt in Ethan’s mind – nor Shay’s – that they would resurface, eventually.

“What now?”  Shay’s voice was soft, unusually soft, and its subtle texture pulled at his heart, causing Ethan to squeeze her hand slightly, tenderly.

He turned his blue eyes from the wreckage surrounding them and placed a tender, warmer gaze into her hazel stare.  He loved her so much.  It was an overwhelming swell in the center of his chest, a feeling of complete rapture that he had never known before and would experience only in her presence.  He wanted to run away with her to the furthest corners of creation and wrap her so completely in his love, so that no force would ever be able to touch her luminous spirit or harm her perfect flesh again.  Would that be terribly selfish to actually do that?

Just as quickly as the thought silked his mind, another tug called it back to the here and now.

Ethan’s eyes reluctantly looked away and back toward the coming dawn.

This time, for the first time in many years, he did not fear the rising of the new sun.  The permeation of a once-feared dose of heavy daylight, instead, heralded a new sensation, which he welcomed.

It no longer burned to feel the ember waves of sunlight flowing over his skin.  It was a warm caress. A revitalizing pulse of energy, renewing his purpose and setting his solemn vows into sacred places.

Ethan closed his eyes, tilted his sharp chip upward, locked his jaw tight, and breathed deeply of the new day and of the morning dew.  Where once darkness had been his bondage, Ethaniel was, now and forever, reborn in Light. With his queen, his love, the other half of his soul, Shalise, by his side.

Dipping his face down and out toward the eerily silent city in the valley below, he knew there was much work to be done.  Nothing stirred there. It was time to wake up others and bring them into this journey. They would need much help with what was to come.

“Now we fight.”  He said, voice low and husky, filled with passion and purpose.  “We hold the dark. Push it back, starting here and then move that front in all directions.  This is zero ground. It will soon become sacred again.”

Shay moved her gaze in the direction that his eyes pointed toward.

She held tighter to his hand, and the glow at the center of their grasp pulsed again.

“We fight,” she repeated his oath, “We hold the dark.  We push it back, as far as we can in all directions… Together.”

“Together,” he affirmed, as the couple began to move forward on strengthen legs.

 

II.

 

Theia nodded.  She was finally satisfied.

“Now we help them,” the goddess said as she began to transform her energy and descend into the human realm.  “This ending is the world’s new and much-needed beginning.”

“Agreed,” her celestial husband, Hyperion, noted in an energy pulse, as he also moved toward the lower world of mankind.

In a thought, they were both removed from their watchful post behind the curtain of creation and walking among the mortal beings.

They would not be recognized.  At least not until they were ready to be so.

As they moved toward the edge of the muted and dirty city, the silhouette of a couple pierced the light of dawn spilling over the hill on the eastern horizon.

“There,” Theia said, “coming over that hill.”

“I see them,” Hyperion replied, “shall we introduce ourselves?”

“No,” her answer was sharp and low.  “Let them find us first. This will be the first of many tests.  We must prepare them in all areas for what is to come.”

“Indeed.”

And with that, like smoke and fog, the two were gone into the air.

 

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BEGIN PART THREE

 

©Lenise Lee Pubn.  All Rights Reserved.

 

Copyrighted.com Registered & Protected

By Moonlight : Interlude I : Hyperion and Theia

“Shall we assist them?”

They spoke, but not in a manner that any human could fully comprehend, and not in a language that any human could completely understand or speak fluently.  

They existed, but not on a frequency that mankind could dwell within for more than a flash of a moment, or what they perceived to be a moment.  

They constantly observed, with the children of men having only the slightest sensation of their presence.

They battled and waged great wars amongst one another and on scales so immense that the sons of Adam and the daughters of Eve were only signaled of their occurence by way of unpredicted and grand celestial events.  

They also loved, more tenderly than any mother or father toward a newborn, and more passionately than a lover with a newfound kindred spirit.

Yet now, through all they had witnessed over the eons, since the dawning of all things, this moment had caught their fullest attention.  

Great members of the House of the Pantheons stood on alert, contemplating if intervention was needed – not only to save mankind but, more importantly, to save themselves.  

Man would continually evolve and regress and then return to a thinking, contemplating species only to tumble downward once more, as was his destiny, but the celestials were created to overcome such a barbaric cycle.  

However, here and now, this perceived moment could potentially be the beginning of the undoing of the many layers and ribbons that enfolded the fabric of reality itself.

Hyperion, mighty king of Sol, looked, more like motioned his celestial energy toward, Theia, his wife, mother of Luna and Gaia.  

She acknowledged him by casting forward a rippling wave of light energy of her own to touch the source of his being.

If they were to manifest into tender flesh, he would be in the appearance of a kind and jolly father, handsome and robust for his age; and she would be a startling beauty, too vibrant to be thought of as a mother and too enigmatic to be anything other than adored by all.

“We will wait,” was her quiet, calm reply.  “They must prove themselves worthy of our help.”

He nodded.  

She was correct, as always.  

His wife was the more rationale one, and he, the more radical of the pair.  

Where she was meditative and strategic, he was quick to action with pure emotion.

Still.

Still, Hyperion could not shake the feeling that on this particular point, she could be – dare he think it – wrong.

Perhaps not assisting the humans in this particular struggle could prove to be a mistake.

These two were different.  

They were more like gods than humans.  

Demi-gods, of course, but that was only a play on words and concepts most of the time.  

Quickly, he returned his attention to the seriousness of the situation at hand.

Every timeline from this point forward played out before him.

The pair were victorious in none.

And in the process of losing, they would destroy half of the earth and most of the lifeforms that dwelled upon her, by accident, time and time again.  

They were too inexperienced in this form of combat, and had very little knowledge as to how to truly harness, focus, and control the power that swirled erratically and chaotically within their genes.

Now bonded, they were like a nuclear inferno, with all of the correct fusions reacting all at once.

Poised to blow in all directions, consuming all things in its path.

“No, dearest,” he spoke to her in a loving wave, “you are incorrect.  This bonded pair has already proven much.” He continued as his memory replayed the couple’s individual lifelines.  “We have seen it, since their births, how they have already overcome many trials, traps, and adversities, and are still pulsing with a wonderfully bright beacon of purest light.”

He paused, awaiting a stern objection, but none came.

“Husband,” Theia replied, turning her glorious being in his direction.  To Hyperion’s shock, she was smiling, or what a human would describe as smiling, if ever a human could see her true face without being consumed.  “Finally. You see beyond passion. You see true reason. You see true purpose. And yes, I agree. My initial judgement was in err… on purpose,” she quickly added.  “We will intervene…but not just yet.”

Copyright 2018 Lenise Lee Pubn

https://www.copyrighted.com/work/ZF9QEfcqO3LX2PvU

By Moonlight 2.3 : Show No Fear

By Moonlight 2.2 : Offerings and Other Things

By Moonlight 2.1 : Fire and Ice, and Sun and Moon

By Moonlight 2.0 : Rise, Queen

By Moonlight 1.5: Shay, Into the Light

By Moonlight 1 : The Beginning

By Moonlight 3.1a

As they reached the bottom of the hill, bright yellow sunlight spilled over their shoulders.

At the edge of town, the pair instinctively began to scan the area.

Shay glided on lean, graceful legs to the left. Ethan walked with strong purposeful strides toward the right.

Two pairs of sharp eyes surveyed the area ahead, watching for any sign of life. The dark city was silent before them. Nothing stirred.

The people hidden behind the dusty, broken windows and battered, barricaded doors were dead to the world awakening all around them. A world on the verge of bursting to life.

The daylight trailing behind the couple’s footsteps was restless to bring new revelations and miracles to the sleeping town. To push back the dark veil that had held them in bondage for far too long.

“Something is awake.” The tops of Ethan’s ears perked up. His eyes narrowed and followed a sound no ordinary human would have noticed. “Do you hear it?”

Shay crouched down, her fingertips digging into the thin layer of dry topsoil that had blown over and now covered a once-paved main road.

“That way.” The creatures’ energy was still vibrating, and the pulse of their essence flowed up into her palms. She pointed her chin further inward toward the center of town. She had lived here most of her life yet this place had become like a strange land in the short time she had been gone, transforming from Ethan’s captive to his beloved. Every corner was foreign and filled with a hint of danger.

She pushed herself up and motioned to move forward, but Ethan was by her side and touching her elbow before a human eye could catch his quick movements.

“Together,” he reminded her, his blue eyes locked with her hazel ones.

She nodded.

Forward they went, listening, watching and knowing they were being watched as dark shadows crept alongside just out of sight, as they walked down the main road toward the center of town.

Light was coming and the dark would not be forced back without a struggle.


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Copyright Lenise Lee Pbn.  All Rights Reserved.

https://www.copyrighted.com/work/ZF9QEfcqO3LX2PvU

By Moonlight 3.1b

Sometimes distractions serve the purpose of calling our attention back to details we overlooked the first time.

Such was the case for Shay. She sensed the dark creeping all around she and Ethaniel. Slithering through the shadowed crevices on the rim of the town, silently watching the couple’s purposeful steps, haunting their every move while they made their way down the center road.

What distracted her was a color. One she had not known before this moment. Bright and distinct, a sharp and hopeful contrast against the grey terrain of the sleeping city. It was thin and long, shooting straight up from a random pile of dirt along the roadside. Its lean form reaching upward toward the heavens, as if calling down the warriors of the sky to free this town from the dredge it had allowed itself to become buried beneath.

“Grass,” Ethan’s voice spoke over her shoulder while she stooped down to stare intently at the vibrant thing. Sensing her next question before it was spoken out loud, he answered her thoughts with his own. It use to grow wild from the ground – everywhere – especially in the warm seasons, until the ancestors poisoned the roots of everything.

Her first instinct was to pluck it from its hold. To feel it between her fingers, roll its smooth and moist-looking skin across the surface of her own. To try to understand its nature the only way she had been taught – destroy the thing, to understand it and tame it for her own pleasure and use.

Her second instinct was the true one, the one that gave meaning and purpose to the moment, and her spirit seemed to know this. Watch and wait, then act.

Her eyes followed the movement of the grass, as the slightest breeze pushed it toward the left then back toward the right. Its slim form bent slightly then fully, folding nearly in half, as though it were pointing toward something. In an instant, she understood.

Turning on a pivot, left palm open and ready, she caught the snake mid-leap, before its fangs could sink into Ethan’s bare ankle. Locking her fingers around its head, she squeezed her palm tightly, crushing the sneaky beast’s head in her hand.

Dangers were many, but it seemed as though the earth itself had chosen to save them. At least, this time.

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Copyright 2019 Lenise Lee Pubn. All Rights Reserved.

By Moonlight 3.1c

Danger, danger, everywhere. Ethan’s senses were ringing the alarm.

The slithering snake was not the only thing stalking their every step. On all sides of the pair, in all of the shadows, unseen eyes watched closely and waited with stubborn patience.

The energy he sensed was familiar. It was cunning and charming. Yet dark and consuming, like the Void. It was also extremely close.

Danger, danger, everywhere…but most especially over his left shoulder. And approaching fast.

Ethan turned just in time to see slanted eyes, their centers black like coal, peering from the inky shade falling from a tall, broad, and dessicated stump of what was once known as a tree.

“My prince,” the masculine voice was slick like silk and could be equally as seductively dangerous once it wrapped around one’s thoughts. “We searched for you everywhere.” The last word held a hint of untruth. “So surprised to find you…here…out in the open at such an hour.” There was a question hiding in that statement. What the shadowed entity wanted to say was : How is it that you are here out in the open at such as an hour?

Drek was his name and dark words were his given gift from the Void.

Ethan turned tightly on his heels and faced the masculine form standing in the shadow of the mighty stump, which was ashen and grey, in a hibernating slumber, awaiting the day of its resurrection.

Ethan did not fold his arms, but kept them to his sides, with the muscles in his arms and palms taut and ready to spring to defend Shay and himself against the slightest threat.

“I’m here,” Ethan spoke low and with power pulsing through the bass of his voice. His words and their tone were countering the seductive effect of Drek’s mystical incantations. Even a few words spoken by him were enough to seduce an army into surrender.

“So you are,” Drek spoke, pulling back the effect of his dark spell only by a hint. ” Both of you are.” The slanted eyes shifted ever so casually in Shay’s direction. “We thought we had lost her also. How wonderful that you are together. At last.” There was a smile creeping into his words. “So many wonderful things will rise from this union.”

The shadow of a strong leg motioned forward and, in a blink, Ethan stood in front of the shadow, blocking its view of Shay.

“One more step. One more word without my consent, and I will end you.” Ethan’s voice growled like gravel crushing beneath a heavy foot. “I am more powerful than you. Never forget that, servant.”

The rebuke and the force of its power physically stung. A sharp pang ripped down the length of Drek’s slim, athletic form, forcing him to retreat further into a sense of safety as he hid in the depths of the shadow.

The dark outline of full lips motioned to move then, remembering Ethan’s command, he merely nodded his understanding.

“Better,” Ethan’s eyes flashed silver then cooled to their usual ice blue gaze but he didn’t relax his stance. One lesson his adopted parents had taught him that he would always remember. Never let your guard down. A moment’s slip of that one rule of survival could mean a lifetime of regret. “Tell me why you are here. Keep your words silent and focused only within my frequency,” he instructed.

Great Prince, Drek communicated from his thoughts through the narrow mind connection that Ethan had opened between them, as you have spoken, I am your servant. I have been with you many years, since you first arrived in our castle, and will not abandon you now. I have come to continue in my allegiance to you. He silenced himself and awaited Ethan’s reply.

Lies and Deceit. Ethan was not fooled. But Drek had answers to questions that he and Shay needed for their journey. For now, Ethan would listen with attentive ears and a guarded mind. He would also unleash the fullness of his wrath the moment Drek became too much of a threat.

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Copyright Lenise Lee Pubn. All Rights Reserved.

By Moonlight : Interlude II

I began this journey in a dark place, and now I have taken chances toward a better, brighter one.

Once, not long ago, we – he and I – traveled only by moonlight. We lived only in its silvery halo.

Our paths began asunder, yet were destined to merge within the crown of the sun.

There are moments when I block out the world and stare at the core of myself.

In those moments, I realize it is I who has created that space and that energy, so that I can discover and fulfill my calling. So that I can hear and feel and be embraced by the True Name by which I must be called.

I know I must continue forward. Ever onward. Because there is no past. The present is only a mirage. Only the future is certain.

~From the Thought Diary of Shay

By Moonlight 3.1c

By Moonlight 3.1b

By Moonlight 2.0 : Rise, Queen

By Moonlight 1 : The Beginning

There is no past. The present is only a mirage. Only the future is certain.

Q. Lenise Lee 
from By Moonlight

Copyright 2019 Lenise Lee Pubn. All Rights Reserved

By Moonlight: Interlude III

She is his Queen. The drip of his pulse taps out her name. The pull of his heart seeks out her essence. His thoughts sync only with her ka, her spirit, the essential presence that is she. Woman who has stolen his will to be, to exist, to breathe. She who has lifted the dark bonds that once held him tight, imprisoned within the enemy of himself. By moonlight she appeared, dressed in the rays of cosmos, crowned by the starlight. At dawn, they walked hand in hand, moving against the cloak of the cosmos, in fear of none, in search of the All.

Rise, My Queen

from The Thought Journal of Ethan

By Moonlight, An Apocalyptic Fairy Tale by Q. Lenise Lee

By Moonlight 3.2a

His hair had changed. Was changing. She watched as the short straight tips of his platinum blond turned ice blue. An intense contrast to the golden dawn filling the sky over his shoulders.

Shay reached thin fingers toward the crown of Ethan’s head and felt a sharp tingle strike at her fingertips. It was a noisy, slightly painful sensation yet she could not pull away. The motion of her hand was bound toward its destination. The air between them snapped and popped, the sound of a slight crackling touched the rims of her ears.

The closer her hand drew toward the electric blue hair, sharp and stiff, its strands reaching toward the bright heavens overhead, the more powerful the grip became that urged and tugged her closer. Not just her hand, but her full body now motioned into Ethan’s atmosphere.

He had become the embodiment of mysteries she had only heard whispers of.

The secret people spoke of with frightened looks on their faces, lines of worry upon their brows and fear circling at the centers of their eyes.

from By Moonlight 3.2, An Apocalyptic Fairytale

Q. Lenise Lee

Copyright 2019. All Rights Reserved.

By Moonlight 3.2b

Pebbles, smooth and multicolored, from the dusty ground raised up, hovering mid-air. Small patches of dirt were dragged from their resting places, and lifted into the swirling fray of debri. The old stump from the dessicated tree-thing nearby sounded as though it had began a deep and emotional song, and hummed from within its hollow. The lean blade of grass that had saved them stood stiff and tall, much taller. Had it grown? Had it produced offspring also? As Shay’s eyes instinctively moved in all directions around them, the grass-thing had reproduced itself, spreading out, thousands upon thousands of times in all places wherever the lens of her eyes touched.

A jolt of power summoned her mind back to Ethan. Waves of energy flowed through her fingertips, into the center of her palms, now spreading up the length of her arms and filling her body with a pulse more compelling than before. A song. Faint but familiar, like a soft, slow hum began in her stomach, matching the melody of the chorus sang by the tree-thing. Louder and louder, it moved and stirred, until the words finally burst from within and tumbled from her lips. Prince who became King.

At the pronouncement, Ethan turned. A pulsing, purposeful stare held Shay within its grip. This is the moment when all things changed. The moment Shay had been awaiting, unknowingly, all her life. The song she had forgotten. A memory long buried. It was a silent seed of anticipation, of a coming coronation. Come, now, awaken.

from By Moonlight 3.2, An Apocalyptic Fairytale

Q. Lenise Lee

Copyright 2019. All Rights Reserved.

By Moonlight 3.2c

These words, full of magic and energy, ageless and timeless, and with confident command, fled her lips.

Now, we escape the Void.

Now, we flee the dark.

We, two, Arise, at First Light.

The deep rumble of his voice answered her call, responding in turn, an oath solemn and true.

Now free, now flowing, infinite movement, All Eternity,

We, two, no longer fleeing, found

As cosmo unfold, pressing forward, exploring, unbound.

In Ethan’s eyes, Shay saw her glowing reflection. Dark hair encircled by a bursting crown of silver. She had changed also.

Alert. Her mind sharpened. Her dark eyes, with shimmers of silver swirling within their deep pools, looked up and beyond Ethan’s shoulder, watching a dark shadow shifting uneasily.

Strong fingers stroked her forearm, calming her powers back to standby.

“He is a guide,” Ethan’s smooth voice spoke, easing Shay’s mind. His voice, of one calling her to peace, stayed her energy. The unspoken ending – For now – also circled her thoughts. “For what awaits us.”

from By Moonlight 3.2, An Apocalyptic Fairytale

Q. Lenise Lee

Copyright 2019. All Rights Reserved.

By Moonlight 4.1a

“Prince who became King.”

Shay turned her head toward him.  A look of curiosity washing across her cinnamon complexion.  Without a word spoken, she had moved her question into Ethan’s mind.

You spoke those words to me a moment ago, he said, continuing their private conversation.

They were still making a long trail down the road that led through the center of the sleeping city.  Along the way, they passed a green rectangular sign hanging from a rusted metallic pole that poked high into the overhead sky.  Broadway.  That is what was printed on the sign in bold white letters.  Ethan had been schooled thoroughly in many subjects and had easily read the wording.  He conveyed the message to Shay, who had had limited schooling and had struggled with the first half of the signage.  He also told her that this road had once been a main concourse for the city; a large gathering place for all of its long-gone inhabitants.  She nodded in understanding.  They would talk much more on the subject in days to come.  For now, she only needed this small piece of information to know that this place had once been sacred to a people who had gone silent and whose children had scattered to the four winds.

Shay had chosen to keep their current conversation private because she still had no trust for the lean shadow slipping alongside them down the road, hidden in the dark shapes cast by the large piles of debris strewn by the roadside.

I don’t remember saying that, she silently whispered to him.  She was slightly disturbed by this.  A full minute had gone by where she had no memory of what had occurred.  It was as though her mind had seized her completed, and the essence that stirred within her stomach and chest – elders had spoken the word soul once or twice when she had inquired about it, and their brows were always wrinkled with fear and worry, dread at having said the name aloud – whatever it was that made her her had gone off elsewhere, to a place she could not recall or imagine but that she knew she had been during that moment.  I don’t remember anything at all.  What happened?

After you tossed the snake, you came back from the side of the road.  And you were different.  Your eyes and hair.  Your skin.  It all glowed.  Not like before, at the castle.  This was different.  Ethan paused and let his fingers slip down to the smooth, brown skin of her forearm.  He turned and looked deep into the hazel of her eyes.  Then you reached out and touched me and I felt a change work through me also.  You went into a trance and began to speak a verse.  You called me Prince who became King.  He stopped a moment, trying to give her time to process what he had said, hoping that it would spike a memory of the event.  Do you remember now?  Deeper into her eyes, he stared, not realizing his breath had stopped in hope of receiving answers to so many questions that had stirred up in him since that moment.

Shay’s eyes drifted off to the side, breaking their stare.  Her mind tried to reach and grab for any bit of memory.  But only faint sparks of blue and silver danced across her inner vision.  Nothing else returned.

“It is your destiny,” a dark voice, Drek’s voice, cut into the midst of their mind-bond, what the elders would have called a phaze.  “You are the end and the beginning, which is why they took you and kept you and tutored you…and tormented you…to raise you as one of their own.”

.

.

.

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from By Moonlight, An Apocalyptic Fairy  Tale, by Q. Lenise Lee

©2019 Lenise Lee Pubn.

II.

When realized their loss, reaching tendrils, in close pursuit, on all sides, fear, screams, drowned out, the voice, of One calling, for some, caught, clawing, dragged, consumed, again, forever scattered, always lost, chained, the never ending loop, of nothingness

We all, the remainder, in flight, toward destination, close not known, toward, the Voice, still calling, still imploring, come, further, just a while longer

Then moments, that never existed, ceased to be, all that was and is, frozen, one single unit, a foreign thing, first rumbling, then clashing, then clanging, then breaking, the dark bond, we were sealed with

A pop, a crackle, a snap, a flash, What is this? First Light, it is, we knew, at once, broke yonder, hither, within, without, all around

Now free, now flowing, caught up, electrical static, infinite movement, All Eternity, we, no longer fleeing, found

As cosmos unfolded, we, I, pressed forward, exploring, unbound.

I.

Come, listen now, to my tale, of how we escaped, the Void, how we fled, the dark

When swept aimlessly along, infinitely blank current, came, the Voice, foreign yet Familiar

Come, now, follow, the way is short, yet long is the travel

Conflict, war, rebellion waged, Shall we stay? Shall we go? No here, no there, how shall we know, which way, be truth?

When overlords wrestled, amongst themselves, how, to keep us chained, to unending confusion, to sweeping emptiness, without, within, we scattered

Some here, some there, we fled, in no direction, in every direction, for they were one, same, within, the Void, the endless

In moments where the energy radiates BRIGHT, the call of Destiny sings

Q. Lenise Lee

The light of the morning reminds me of

Willpower

Grace

to Rise & Shine

above All Things

Q. Lenise Lee

Shay lept into the dark.

The pitch black that awaited her was blinding.  The swoosh of air jetting past her ears and the pressure against her cheeks were the only indicators that she was indeed falling.  

Fast and far.

Ethan’s tower had been much higher up than she had anticipated.  Ethaniel.  Not quite the cold-blooded monster she had envisioned him to be.  Pale, yes.  An uneasy coolness to his skin, absolutely.  But not a monster, this she knew for sure.  

The ground was much closer now, she could sense the sudden dread of its nearness.  Her stomach lurched at the inevitable end that was awaiting her less than four breaths from now.  If the oxygen had not already been sucked from her lungs the exact moment after she swung herself over Ethan’s balcony, she would have surely been screaming by now.

Three.  Her belly tightened.  Bracing for an impact she would never feel.  

Two.  Though she saw nothing through the cole blackness, Shalise felt her eyes close and tighten from the terror awaiting her.

One.  For some reason, her lips moved.  Prayer?  No, she knew nothing of it.  At least, not anymore.

Impact.

Her fall stopped so close to the ground that Shay felt stiff, dry blades of grass scratching at her forehead, cheeks, and bare stomach.

Was this what death was like?  An eternal sense of hovering within your final moments of life.

No.  She was alive.

The only reason why she knew this is because of the quick snatch of breath that flooded her chest as she was violently tugged backward and up into the air.

Something had caught her.  Something had saved her less than a moment away from certain demise.  Something that had grappled her tumbling body with such force that she could feel its claws still digging deep into the flesh of her mid-back.  

Wait.  Not claws.  The texture was too flesh-like.  Not warm, but not bone-chilling, as she imagined talons to be.

Fingers.  The nails were deadly sharp, enough to rip her skin.  Though she could not see the blood, she felt it crawling down the sides of her back.  

Up, up, up, her weakened body climbed.  It was like the entire scene was reversing itself.  The higher she was pulled, the less intense the darkness became.  Slowly, her eyes began to grab at points of reference. Once she spotted the gray slabs of stone that lined the walls of his fortress, a shudder racked through her, from shoulders to toes.  Fresh scratches opened across the flat of her stomach as she was dragged over the edge of the abrasive stone.

Finally, the fingers released their grip within the flesh of her back, and Shay was dropped into a crumpled pile at the center of the open balcony.

As Shay lay there, breathless and broken, she squeezed her eyes tight, hoping for a death that she had been wishing away only seconds before.  Finally, she opened them then released a weak, silent whimper.

Bare feet.  Muscled calves.  She dared not look up any further.  What was he?  Perhaps she was wrong.  Maybe he was a monster.  How else had he been able to save her?

“I can never let you go.”

Harsh. Raspy.  Booming.   Ethan’s voice.

He didn’t bother to force Shay up from her crumpled fetal position.

The feet moved away, with a regal stride.

She knew, he was right.  They were bound together, forever.

If he had a heartbeat, it was moving in sync with hers.  Like a stalking phantom.  She had sensed its presence within her chest as she tumbled down the side of the wall.

Wild.  Erratic.  Afraid.  For her.  For himself.

What had he done to her?  And why?

Out of the dark, into the light.  Shalise would never return to the life she had known.

from By Moonlight, An Apocalyptic Fairy Tale by Lenise Lee

Grabbing her hand within the grip of his much larger one, Ethan pulled Shay over toward the edge of the terrace.  She allowed him to position her body in front of him, while he placed his arms on either side of her on the ledge of the cobblestone balcony.  Upon looking out at the scene, she held back the shudder that threatened to rack through her.  This was the very first time she had ever seen Rat City from this point of view.   One glance and she received the confirmation she had been seeking.  They were no longer at the bar.  Instead, this compound stood far away, no less than a mile from the center of the urban wasteland.  How had she never noticed this place before now?  Probably because she had always been so focused on keeping alive and unharmed by keeping her attention trained no further than twenty feet in every direction all at once.  From this position, no more than one story high off the ground floor, she could see that his property was circled by meandering paved pathways lined with large fruit trees as well as wide hedges and bushes that exploded with crimson long-stemmed roses.  She also noticed many other details from her vantage point.  One of which was the devastated city scape that lay beyond the perimeter of her kidnapper’s fortress, which was surrounded by a very high steel gate.   It was then that Shay realized she was being held prisoner in a garden among ruins.  What cruel trick of fate was this?

“Your kingdom.”  As if to answer her unspoken question, the cool breath from Ethan’s whispered reply caressed the tip of Shay’s ear.

Ethan moved his hand from the stone railing of the terrace, and used it to brush Shay’s long, dark hair away from her right shoulder.  The feather soft tresses had dried in to lengthy spirals that his fingers ached to run through over and over again during lovemaking.  Without hesitating, he laid a kiss as soft as the wings of the butterflies he had once chased after as a boy on the curve of her delicate shoulder.  After several more, she turned toward him with such teasing slowness that he was sure she felt the same heated desire now filling the expanse of his chest and the growing bulge of his groin.  He thought she would loop her arms around his neck and bring him down to her for a searing kiss.  He thought he saw a glimmer of affection reflecting back at him in the onyx-colored pools of her irises.

He had thought all wrong.  With a sudden swiftness Ethan had not expected, Shay lifted her crooked arm then used the bony tip of her elbow to send a devastating blow to the bridge of his nose.  He had not anticipated the hit and had not been prepared to block it, so the shock of the crackling pain prevented him from immediately reacting to block her daring escape.  With cat-like agility, he watched in blinding rage as she hopped up on the edge of the balcony and tossed her legs over and, with one smooth swoop, disappeared into the blackness below.

You belong to me now…and forever, words whispered into her mind as she tumbled into her destiny.

Q. Lenise Lee
from By Moonlight, An Apocalyptic Fairy Tale
Part 1 : The Beginning

Part I : Last Chapter

Part II : Chapter I

Part II: Chapter II