I suppose … that Queen Tera comes to find me in my darkness and gives me a lesson about whether things are …
Light or Dark
One of the things that Tera has to deal with—and, for that matter, so does everyone that calls the Realm “home” and happens to have horns and a tail—is a question that is asked over and over again by those who don’t have a clue:
“Are you evil or good?”
There is an obvious reason for this question—the horns and tail—but at the same time the question itself brings about questions about the one that asked the question in the first place.
This, then, is what underpins the question: perception.
In any event, Tera often finds herself being confronted and asked the question. As she doesn’t like to hide her tail or horns, this is something she finds herself dealing with to the point she could almost set the train schedules, if there were any in this particular universe, by.
Sometimes the question is asked in some sort of court, a tribal council, a meeting of elders. Regardless of the place, of those asking the question, Tera’s reply is true to herself for she can do nothing less: “I find it interesting that you ask about evil first, then good. Why is that, I wonder?” The questioner then suggests, or insists, that she is trying to avoid the question, which usually results in Tera pinching the bridge of her nose and sighing: “No. I am trying to understand why you have seemingly made up your mind.” This generally makes her questioner snort in derision, make a snide comment or, if it is an especially good day, their answer makes her smile. Much of the time there is reference made to one deity or another, while insisting that she is not of the light. Her answer is, again, seemingly obvious: “All beings are their children, no matter their look, existence or purpose.”
It is not, sadly, a rare occurrence when they take offence at her reply. There comes a long, quite forceful, statement of what they see as fact. She, of course, listens attentively, sometimes tracing a fingertip over her lips in thought. Allowing them to say their peace, whatever it may be, is only being respectful.
When they are done, out of breath or otherwise, then, at that point, it is Tera’s turn. “The thing about having preconceived conclusions is that they are, for the most part, illusions. Your books speak of good and evil. They offer means to see if one is, or is not, one or the other. Your wiser souls have transcended that level of knowledge and seen beyond, to place their vision upon that which Goddess wrote long before you came to be.”
Her expression generally shows slight disappointment in her accusers. They look at her in defiance, about to interrupt, but she holds up a single finger: “I allowed your words. In the spirit of understanding, one does allow the other to have their moment as well.”
Bluster comes, an attempt to find some sort of law, word, or anything which would put an end to her reply. However, before that can go even a bit too far, there comes another voice, sometimes of an elder, other times of an inquisitive younger soul. Once in a while a child asks a seemingly innocent question. Having no recourse, and feeling foolish for the first time in their encounter with her, they sulk back to their place and watch.
“The question is not whether I am good or evil, as has been asked. The question is, why is it so necessary to ask? What has happened here that when a different soul arrives, seeking nothing from anyone, save to learn, that some are threatened by this?” The Queen moves away from the chair, or witness box, or some other place she has been settled to in order to walk among the accusing souls and consider them. As she passes some by, there is clear attraction to her. Others are repelled; the reasons are their own. Some are indifferent, others impatient to return to their lives.
Somewhere in the room she pauses, her tail moving slowly behind her. Guards in the room tense, the judges are concerned. The prosecutor flinches. The audience, or spectators, depending on the venue, await the next moment with anticipation.
“Light is within each of us. Dark is as well. For each soul, each life, a choice is made to embrace one or the other, or so you might think. In truth each and everyone here has been both, one or the other, or shades thereof.”
Her smile is, always, bemused. “I am not the right hand of Goddess, though I know her and love her dearly.”
This admission brings gasps.
“I am not the hand of evil, though I know of them and have no time for them.”
This brings confusion.
“I am the Queen of my Realm, the Eternal of my King. I am called sister and loved for being so. I love, with joy and passion, my dearest loves, I hold them with me always.”
This makes some give pause and look upon their own lives.
“I am the mother to a son who loves me.”
These words bring nods from those that know what these words mean. They are far more than words alone.
“I am the Dear One of my heart. The singularly most cherished words I know.”
Silence comes over the assembled masses, as she has their attention now.
“You ask me your question and yet do not ask the question of yourselves. You seek solace from the questions within you by projecting your own shades towards me. I cannot help answer your own questions, but I can offer this.”
Her focus is on the assembled souls, her gaze accepting, as it always is, as she always is. “If you ask me to leave, I shall. I hold no ill will. If I am allowed to stay, then, I hope, we can learn from each other.” Turning back to the judge or elders or other authority, she concludes, “The choice is yours, it always is. You must choose, whether light or dark; none else can.”
She walks back to the place where it had all started, waiting for their answer. Either way, she thinks, Goddess knows what will come. In one way, there will be light shared, in another the light will be the moment she was given with them. Regardless of the outcome, she knows one pure thing:
Light and dark are not good or evil. No one should ever see them as being the same.