Perhaps one of the most… odd… things about the Queen of the Succubi is her tendency to occasionally take the right answer when given and turn that on its head…
Probably more than she should really…
By TeraS and Jay
Jay nodded as she talked about the circle of power and looked about to identify as much of it as he could. Now that his eyes were opened to what to look for, he was able to pick out the raised stones that marked the circle, and thought he spied faint, eldritch markings upon them. “Yes,” he murmured. “I begin to see, now.”
As she placed his hand against her skin, his lips parted and he sucked in a quick breath, eyes widening minutely. A faint flush brushed his skin, and his hand involuntarily cupped her cheekbone. When she lowered his hand away, a faint tingling remained in his palm and lingered deliciously.
Jay listened closely as she spoke, his head nodding slightly in silent assent.
“Patience may not be a trait of the young, but I am no longer as young as I once was.” A shadow seemed to cross his face as he said this, as of an old wound once sharp but now a dull throb. His head tilted slightly as he continued. “I think you will find more steel in my character than fire.”
At this, he turned and took a step away. His hand rose to his mouth as he blew out a long, slow breath. After a moment’s thought, he whirled around again. “But I know what you mean when you speak of questions.” His eyes had become vibrant, alight with intensity and focus. “There are so many questions that cannot be answered. Why does the veil between sleeping and waking make me feel deafened and blind when I awake? Why do the faint snatches of dream tell me there is something more before they fade away into mist? Why is it that I am utterly convinced that five senses is far too few too see the rainbow in all its splendor?”
Jay half-turned to his left and his eyes focused on one of the ancient stones. “How is it that when I pause on the threshold of dreaming and waking, a door seems to appear in a direction that defies space and time? And how is it that when I reach for that door, all I can touch is an empty hole for a key that I miss with all my heart?”
“And one other question. One final, burning question that sears me with its urgency.” Now his head lifted, and his eyes regarded the cold stars as they wheeled overhead. “But alas, though the desire for the answer remains, the question is … forgotten. Torn asunder, and I know it not.”
He turned his head again and regarded his visitor with inquiring eyes. “So tell me, Bliss. Are you the answerer of riddles? Can you draw a line that neither remains straight, nor turns? Are you such a creature that you can see the door that has neither frame nor hinge but is nonetheless closed?” He locked eyes and his voice lowered to a whisper. “Do you know the door of which I speak?”
She allowed a wistful smile, “Perhaps my one fault dear warrior is that I cannot simply answer a question for the sake of answering it… Nay, for that would be unfair to the one asking would it not be? And in truth, and you know this, you would not accept the answer on a silver platter that you would rather find on your own… or an answer given by… as they say… a silver tongued devil is that not true?”
The wind blew her wrap around her legs a bit and then, crossing her arms, raised a single finger to point past him over his right shoulder, “But they would know would they not?”
When he dared to look behind him, he would find standing there four men in silver armour of a forgotten age, shadowy, ethereal forms that shimmered and seemed to be on the edge of being torn apart by the breezes around them. It was not clear whether these were spirits of the glen, ghosts of the past, or a moment in time that she had pulled from the past for him.
Plates of metal covered their chests, back, arms, and legs. A bucket like helmet protected their heads and a hinged metal visor to covered their faces. But in spite of that, he would be able to see the glint of eyes regarding him and examining him closely.
Each of them, save one, held a broadsword in their hands, pointed to the ground and at rest. But one knight in the lead held a shield in his right hand, to the side, where he could not see the markings upon it. But all seemed to looking towards him with intent and purpose… whatever that might be.
But they were there unmoving and still, caught for the moment here and yet not here with them both.
Her tail moved behind her slowly like a cat’s as she asked, “Do they open thoughts within you warrior or are they nothing but symbols of the past that mean little to the here and now… Or are they that door you seek?”
“And do you dare to pass through that door now or shame yourself and them forever more?”
A hard choice to come that might be the answer, or just bring more questions…
We’ll see which.