Things are improving … slowly, but improving, thankfully. Still, I haven’t a lot of time or energy to actually get back into writing something that is up to my standards … After all, the space between my horns is a very strange place sometimes when it comes to what I think about myself …
Yet there is that question about energy … Time is another discussion, altogether …
One of the things that some cannot quite understand is why those of the Realm do not act in the way that others that are similar to their kind do. Of course, there are those that call themselves a Succubus or Incubus, and they do … things … things that mark them as being evil, or deadly, or worse. But no succubi of the Realm is like that.
The reason for this difference—and it is an important one—is something that Tera is often called on to explain to those that are entering her Realm for the first time. The discussion, generally, goes something like this:
“But you’re a Succubus, so you take souls.”
“Why do we have to take souls? What purpose is there in doing so?”
“It’s what you are.”
At this point, Tera tends to look down towards her feet and comment: “Well, I don’t seem to have any hooves.” She would raise her right hand next and regard it a moment before continuing: “I don’t seem to have red skin either.” Flicking that same hand through her hair, she would add: “I’m not stereotypical, not by any means.”
“But you are a succubus.”
Her tail would move behind her slowly, then: “No. I am one of the Succubi. There is a difference.”
“I don’t see it. You have horns and a tail, so you are a succubus.”
A tap of a finger against her lips is usually followed by: “I also have a heart, a love, a family. I have sisters, brothers, sons and daughters. I have family whom I love and who love me in return. I am more than my horns and tail. But I am at peace with myself, with who I am, what I am, and most of all, the choices I make.”
Her head tilts to the right—her smile is, of course, bemused as she continues: “I choose to be better. I choose not to give in to my darker self. I choose not just to be better, but to make others better themselves.”
“But you are a succubus, nonetheless.”
She shakes her head slightly: “There your view of me is flawed by what you believe to be the truth without experiencing it for yourself. You expect the worst, but do not take the chance to see whether you are wrong. You assume that everyone and everything with horns and a tail must be untrustworthy.”
Next follows a long uncomfortable silence as the other thinks about this a moment.
But Tera continues: “If I were a succubus, then I would not allow you free will, for doing so means that you can change your mind. If I were evil, I could simply take whatever I wanted and leave you with nothing, or less than nothing. If I were the creature you expect me to be, then would I not have taken you, taken from you, and left you?”
At this point, the other must choose which path they wish to tread: to turn away or turn towards. The choice is theirs; it always is. She waits for her guest to choose.
Some cannot accept there are other possibilities. These depart, she nodding in understanding for their choice. Sometimes beliefs are set in stone, cemented into being, and can never be changed no matter the words, actions, or proof that is provided.
That is one choice: one’s free will.
Some decide that to risk … isn’t. These take her hand and ask her to show them more of her world—the joys, the wonder, the lives led, the moments encountered. She offers to teach the ways of the Realm: perhaps not perfect, but, like all intelligent beings, they are learning, as well.
When the time is right, when the moment comes, when the question of “How?” comes, then Tera takes each guest by the hand and leads this new resident out of the city of the Realm and into the world that surrounds it. The walk is long, stopping along the way to rest … sometimes … sometimes for other pursuits. But that is, of course, between Tera and the other.
Eventually, a clearing appears, and in the middle of that space is an ancient tree. It always seems familiar, as if one has seen it many times in the past but never quite taken notice of it. No matter the world, the dimension, the time, or the place, the reaction is the same: “I know that tree.”
Tera then walks to the tree and lays her hand upon the trunk as she explains: “Life is all around us. It is in the air we breathe, the worlds we travel. It exists in many ways, shapes and forms. We cannot destroy the energy of life, only change it, alter it, move it from there to here and so on. It does not end, but is taken from one to another and then beyond.”
Her fingertips caress the trunk lightly as she pauses and whispers something that cannot quite be heard, but seems to be meant for the tree itself. Her hand draws away and, as it does, the leaves in the tree rustle as if touched by a wind, but there is none. The scene seems odd and yet comforting at the same moment, as if there is some kind of message being passed between them.
The newcomers are, always, confused by this; they never actually say so, but their expressions do, and so Tera explains: “We give of ourselves to make others better. We offer, and others choose whether to accept or not. The gift is returned in the passions, knowledge, moments, and more that is part of who we are, who they are, and all that is around us.” She then offers her hand to the other, who is drawn into her embrace, her tail twinning around the supplicant as she continues: “That which gives is the imagination, and, in that, our being is for eternity.”
And, under the shade of that timeless tree, life, shared, continues unabated …