Our journey began with a single step, a group of tattered and rag tag survivors of life’s harshest lessons. Each mile of the roughshod road we travelled was marked with a tombstone, laying below each a shell, a trophy of a battle won.
Creatures we are, each and every one, all on our journey, started alone and in fear. We have reached the forest, and it is littered with the blood and bones of those that came before us. It is smothered in crimson, it flows from the River below, and it screams as it bleeds into the ground.We rest here, and our own blood flows like wine, filling our ears with light, giving us release.
As a phoenix we have risen from the ashes of our experiences, our own journeys, scared and abraded each word a droplet of our own Elixirs of Life. Most have immersed in the Rivers, awash in the blood that flows there, replenishing from the hard road we have followed, some groom and rest, laying on their backs and drinking in the force that surrounds us, mesmerized by the singing of the trees.
I spot the Path across the River, just beyond the further shore, one we must cross soon, lest the monsters find their release and screech in the night, devouring all in their way. My companions seem to be settling in, perhaps it is best to wait for the rising of the moon. I creep in the shadows away from the light of the fire, preferring the darkness to cloak me. At the Rivers edge, I see much. The blood of the ages streams before me, singing me to its depths.
Glancing back, I see the army, one of Light and of Darkness, their own inner lights bright in the growing gloom, many colours mixing and dancing together in kinship and love. It touches my soul, brings me pride, and makes me snarl in delight. I turn back to the River, to watch it glow in the night. To reach the other shore, I must immerse in the waters, and this leaves me in fear.
Will I still Walk the Path if I bathe in the waters? Will I drown in the delight of the River’s voice? I feel eyes upon my back, and know I am being observed. I am Steel and take the first step. My brethren need not fear, as Governess I take the risks for them.
The water is warm, like fresh spilled grue, and I splendour in its song. It gathers along the edges, licking the shore and dancing away. The river is vast and wide, yet the shore is so close I could touch it. I wish to be closer to the Path. I desire it as a lovers kiss, and it calls to me, like the tones of a million years. Deeper I tread, feeling the bones and skulls of the ones Passed before cutting the soles of my feet as I walk.
There is a roar from further up the River, its crimson current racing downstream. I am in danger of immersion, and I am in Fear. Suddenly, I am awash in the blood of all who dwell here, past and present, each moment of their lives singing in my ears. I feel the eyes of my family, companions and embolden myself The shore is so close, and just beyond, a field of poppies red as the summer sunset, and my Beloved Path.
I pull myself to the shore, stopping to rest and bleed, replenish myself, and lick my wounds. I was none the worse for wear, scared, scared and bruised but still in one piece. From the embankment I smell the most delicious aroma, fresh bread and wildflower honey. Across the wide flowing river I see my kindred souls, the fire burned low and their lights dancing in the crimson forest. They need the rest, and so I turn back to my own journey, climbing up the embankment, towards The Path.
It is a heart stopping sight, the field long and stretching, all a mass entanglement of scarlet poppies, their heads nodding and swaying in the gentle breeze. The River, The Path, which way to go. I wished to lay and rest in the fields, to touch the earth, feel it breaking in my hands, lie back and stare at the strange stars above me, to sleep wrapped in that crimson blanket, and dream.
The breath of the wind is light upon my face, the breath of a million flowers heavy in the air, their dance so lovely and mesmerising. My kindred souls are resting, I could rest myself, and move on towards my goal soon enough. I remove my inky cloak and lay it down in the middle of the field, a dark spot in all the gloriousness. The stars above sparkle like jewels on velvet, a heavenly nightlight…I wonder…drift….dream….
Castle strong, a fortress, walls wide, its walls bleed. A banner blows and whips atop the tallest tower, tattered and bloodied and beautiful. It is Home, I am home and I am glad. Within the courtyard I hear the sounds of revelry, voices joined in song and prose, a roving band of troubadours perhaps. As I enter the gates, I see my family, Crimson royalty, princesses and Duchess, Angel and Phoenix, vampires and demons, Poets and executioners, our leader, all together, creatures one and all and beloved. My heart soars. I am close to the river, along side The Path, in the field of Popppies…scream joy!
I awaken to the sounds of voices ringing in the air. Daylight has broken. I stretch my sore muscles and yawn, rising to my feet to see my brethren have arrived. They are in awe, faces alight with the promise of things to come, as they wander through the field of crimson; the poppies sing to them, welcoming and hideous. I see our leader and his right hand conversing to the side, and am curious. What they must think….
My sisters are in delight, gathering and twisting the stems into crowns and quills, dancing and singing as they go. This place is sublime. It is feeding their souls, and I am pleased. I again don my cloak and begin to wander towards the fortress in the distance. Before it lies my Beloved Path, my kill place, and I want to be there. My sisters and brothers are drifting alongside, eyes on the prize. It is our home, they don’t realize yet, but they will. It is built for us, our family, palace we can finger-paint our stories in blood on the walls, all gather in the great hall to howl at the moon, or sit by the giant stone fireplace and just be.
Drifting forward, I see it. There it is…The Path and I am elated! OH JOY! I am alone however and turn to find my brethren standing back, unsure. I smile and beakon them forward. I wish them to Walk the Path with me, to wander as we slay, together. The first to step forward are my Darkest Sister and Duchess; They take my arms and smile, excitement in their eyes. They want to see, and so they shall.
Our leader is brave and steps forward with his First General, and the rest follow behind. My heart bursts and I take the first step. It is beautiful and leads forever on, leading us to our home, and to worlds beyond. The River runs here as well, its waters feeding the field, the trees and the bloody castle walls, constant and true, and my brethren are in delight. They can do both, bathe in the River and Walk the Path, and be the force we truly need to be.
We are home now, a happy brood of darkness and light. We play in the poppies, hunt on The Path, and bathe and replenish in the Rivers. As for me, Governess no longer fears the Waters. She will not drown it them, and I Walk the Path with glee, slaying all in my way, with the love of my family behind me. Home.