Friday, April 23, 2010
The Siren's Book; Ayperi's Destiny, Chapter One, by Kristin Manter
When seeking great treasure, great risk is to be expected. When acquiring great treasure, great responsibility is at hand. He who chooses to think of only himself, will live a life prosperous only in despair.
I closed the book and stared at the austere leather binding holding the worn pages together. I had yet to discover why she had chosen me to give this book to. Why it would only open to this page. I was simply afraid to find out. My hands trembled as I drew the book closer to my chest and began walking toward the palace. The sun was only beginning to rise, and the warmth of the sun’s orange and pink hues kissed my face and shoulders with welcome contrast to the cool ocean breeze. My racing thoughts drowned out the sound of the incoming waves, the squawking of the sea gulls. It was I was the only living being on the face of the earth for this moment in time.
Awakened from a dream, a voice called to me. It beckoned me from the warmth of my blankets and comfort of my pillows.
Down empty hallways and through unfamiliar corridors the voice sang, enchanting me into its grasp. I could think of nothing more than finding its source. Not even the cold stone beneath my bare feet jolted me from the spell this thing had cast.
I had called the castle home since my birth and yet, somehow, found myself wandering halls completely foreign to me. My pace quickened as the song became louder, my pulse following suit. The candles in the sconces lining the wall remained unlit, yet I could see through the darkness as if the sun were shining directly above me.
The voice became as loud as steeple bells, consuming my soul. I knew I was getting closer . I had passed many doors somehow knowing that the siren calling out to me was not behind any of them.
The gauzy white linen of my night gown began to cling to my skin, while sweat beaded over my chest and the small of my back. Nearly running now, I wanted nothing more than to be free from its constraints and presence altogether.
Before having the opportunity to rid myself of the damp gown, the song abruptly ended. I stood frozen in place, the haze making me unsure of my location. I turned and looked back in the direction from which I’d come, and saw nothing but a crude stone wall.
When had that appeared? Perhaps in my haste, I had become disoriented. I turned and examined the space to my left, again a stone wall. To my right, was the very same. The walls were covered in ivy as if they had been left unattended for many years. Had I not just come through a hall?
The sudden silence left an excruciating void in my ears, and my belly tightened as fear crept in to fill the emptiness. I had come as far as the song had led me, only to find myself alone and frightened in a room with no passageways leading out. There wasn’t any natural light coming in to lead my way, and only a thick wooden door, and no helpful knob to aid me.
My siren was behind that door. Conflict and confusion ravaged me. My mind, belly and legs wanted nothing more than to run as fast as I could. Yet I couldn’t…
Surely my eyes were tricking me. I had just come down a hallway, yet there was none. Almost against my will if I’d had any, I reached for the door. Desire to meet the songstress behind it consumed me.
My fingers caressed the deep wood-grains of the door, gently following each line as if it held the secret of getting through to the other side. I found nothing.
The voice began singing again, and I felt her begging me to pass through. Tears filled my eyes, and trickled coldly down my flush cheeks. I pressed myself against the door, somehow wishing I could melt through it. Willing my body to become vapor and much like a ghost, pass through it.
As I wept from sheer helplessness, the Siren cried with me. She and I were connected, matching my desire note for note as my knees buckled beneath me. I slid along the door to a trembling mass on the floor. Frail powerlessness overcame me as the realization of my entrapment set in.
The hallway hadn’t reappeared, and I surely didn’t know how to make it.
She continued maddeningly to sing, although there were no words to the song, but I felt her call my name. I felt the urgency, but didn’t understand the cause.
Tears continued to escape through closed, defeated eyes as my sobs slowly turned to soft singing, along with the beautiful voice I heard emanating so closely, yet unattainably. Taking the Siren's lead, our collective tone changed from that of defeat, to one of hope.
I rose to my feet, wiping the tears from my face with the back of my hand. My eyes focused on an ethereal light seeping from underneath the door, the scarce source in the pitch darkness. At first I backed away from it, not so much afraid as unsure from where it came.
Its radiant heat and beauty solidified my suspicions, for it came from no lamp.
It could only come from my seductive siren. My song, our song was the key to her impassable door. Putting a tremulous foot forward, I dipped a toe in the warm fluorescence that escaped from its confines. As if it had the power to dissolve my body, I felt myself melting. Flowing liquid into the light's joy and rapture
I murmured soft prayers that I could stay lost in this brilliant glow forever, but my feet landed on solid ground, legs felt sturdy beneath me. I turned my head to find the massive, oaken door now behind me, an obstacle no more. And when I swiveled around again, I saw in place of the light the most beautiful woman I had ever laid eyes upon.
We continued to sing together as I floated toward her, emerald eyes memorizing me. She sat upon a large stone of quartz where the sand of the beach and the waves of the ocean became one. Dawn was close, and the brilliant stone sparkled in the moonlight, illuminating the mistress, making her seem angelic.
The waves brought with them a soft breeze that lifted her full length of gleaming silver hair away from the porcelain white skin of her face to reveal beneath the veil, she wore nothing. She was unnaturally flawless, long and slender. Her bust and hips perfectly proportionate, tiny waist accentuated the beauty of her feminine curves.
When I was finally within touching distance from her, she raised her arms toward me, beckoning me to her embrace. I had never felt such an attraction to another female but as she wrapped her arms around me, electricity tingled through my body, awaking all of my senses and as our bodies pressed against each other, I lingered in her clean, salty, oceanic scent and rested my cheek upon her bare shoulder as time stopped.
My Siren’s arms released their hold on me and I took a step back, knowing there was a reason I’d been summoned. I watched her intently as she brought her hands together, as if saying a prayer, her lips moved silently.
I looked down to see that she now held an open book, with a plain leather binding and worn pages, looking to be centuries old. I was drawn to the book, much like I had been the Siren.
I knew then, it was the gods who had summoned me to this place and time, to be with this woman.
She extended the book to me, and our eyes locked when she finally spoke, “Princess Ayperi, you have been called to greatness. The weight of the kingdom will rest upon your shoulders. This book holds the secrets to bringing all of your dreams and desires, into this reality. It has been gifted to you by our master, the God Nalag, to be used to ensure the prosperous future of your kingdom. Please, take great care with the power this book yields.” Each word held a note that came together like a melody in my heart. I took the tome from her, focusing on the page open before me.
When seeking great treasure; great risk is to be expected. When acquiring great treasure, great responsibility is at hand. He who chooses to think of only himself, will live a prosperous life only in despair.
When I looked up again to ask the Siren what this meant, and why I had been chosen, and not my father or brother; she was gone.
I closed the gift, and stared at the austere leather binding holding the worn pages together. Why she had chosen me to give this book to, I had yet to discover. Why it would only open to this page, I was afraid to find out.
My hands trembled as I drew the book close to my chest, and began walking toward the palace in the far distance. The sun was only beginning to rise and the warmth that the orange and pink hues from the sun's rays kissed my face and shoulders with was a welcome contrast to the cool ocean breeze. My racing thoughts drowned out the sound of the incoming waves, and the squawking of the seagulls.
At that moment in time I was the only living being on the face of the earth.