The haze which had drawn me to this place and the woman started to clear. The beautiful forest surrounding the training ground dissipated into thin air revealing a black sky with ominous clouds. The woman’s disguise started to peel off revealing something hideous resembling as half woman and half bat. It shrieked at high pitch which pierced the air such that if normal person was standing in front of her, he would have bled to death, but it didn’t affect Solange. She stood her ground pointing her arrow at the abomination.
The shriek stopped and suddenly everything went silent. The forest was now nothing but black abyss with only her and abomination. She flew up but Solange kept her aim at her heart. The woman stopped mid-way in her flight and laughed “You think you can kill me.”
“Yes if that’s what it takes.”
“You are so naïve, shouldn’t you have a physical form for that arrow to hit. I am just in your head” she said laughing
I kept quite not falling into her words and asked with more steel in voice “Who are you? Why did you tell me how to release my mother?”
“Maybe I feel sorry for you. If not for your mother, I would have raised my daughter with me, but I had to let her go so I ensured so did Savita. I know the pain my daughter went through staying away from me.”
Knowing well enough she was dancing around the real reason I said “What does it matter, even though Evelyn loved Martha like her daughter, she turned just like you. Evil”
My statement brought out a kind a fury in the abomination and it shrieked “You dare call Hecate’s daughter evil” swooping down towards me with the claws unsheathed. The minute she came in straight angel of my arrow I let it flying praying it would hit its mark. The arrow hit Hecate’s heart and everything went black in front my eyes, I fell into the abyss engulfing me, with my air supply being cut off. I tried to scream and let the fear out, only to realize I lost my voice and just that abruptly I heard someone inhale and scream “help!”
I tried to reach out to Solange, willing her to come back, but the blackness surrounding me wouldn’t let my voice reach her. Just then I heard her pain filled voice calling out for help; I was pulled out of my forced slumber and ran towards the room Solange was, to find her in throes of a dream. I reached closer and did the only thing that felt right, I held her closer and kissed her praying she would hear my heart and come back. Few seconds passed like a millennium and slowly Solange opened her eyes, tear trailing down face. She held on to me and said “I knew you would save me!” before slipping away again.
“No, no, don’t do this me”
“Ralf get yourself together, Solange is out of somnolence. She is just asleep.” Said Moirin placing her hand my shoulder
“How do you know Grandma, if she is not gone back into somnolence?” I asked wishing I could shake her up from this stupor
“Look at her Raphael. What do you see?” Said mother standing on the opposite side of the bed Solange was on.
I slowly put Solange on the bed and stood up. It was most spectacular vision I had ever seen. The bed was lit up with cascade of colors lighting up the room with the brightest light I had ever seen. After several minutes, the light cleared to reveal Solange resting on beautiful wings I had ever seen. I wanted to wake her up and fly to dance in mid- air, but that would have wait.
“She is the one, truly blessed by Athena.” Said my mother and Grandma at the same time
Mother came to me and hugged me saying “You are worthy of her, remember this son.”
I looked at her puzzled. Then she said “I am saying this because, when you think of bonding with her, do not back away, because you are meant to be together and stop the evil which plans to destroy our world. Solange needs your strength to bury the evil from where it threatens to awake.” Nodding my head I walked to my chamber to change into different set of clothes.
My body felt as if it was floating high above the meadows I had come across when I first came to Empyrean. Ralf held me in his arms flying with me laughing with me, stealing a kiss. I held on to his arms never wanting this dream to end, for this was the only thing which felt real and I was not ready to let go, but then I felt it again. A delicate stroke on my left cheek, a tender touch which broke my heart, for it felt like the touch of lover who was missing his sweetheart. That brought me out of my slumber and woke me up to find Ralf’s handsome face creased with worry lines holding my hand and praying that I would return to him.
“I never left, so no question of coming back” I said trying to bring a smile on his face. But I was not ready for his reaction. He bundled me in a fierce hug and kissed me on my lips. I gasped at his reaction but slowly eased into his embrace. He lifted his head and said “Never ever do this me to again, I will never survive it” I smiled at him understanding that we had finally found each other and I was not ready to let him go ever. We both were brought to our senses by Aunt Gretchen who witnessed everything.
“Hrmphrmp… Isn’t it very hot inside all of sudden Moirin. I am going for a walk would you care to join.” Said Aunt Gretchen to Moirin who readily agreed and walked out the room
Looking at their retreating figures we both chuckled and held on to each other. Slowly my shyness overcame my fear and I pulled out of the embrace looking everywhere but Ralf’s face. Trying to change the awkward moment I said “It is one of the softest beds I have ever slept on.” Hearing Ralf laughed out loud and pulled me off the bed carrying me to a mirror on other side of bed. As he was lifting me I felt a tug in my back and the heaviness left me wondering me what was on my back, but the minute I stood in front of mirror, I gasped at what I saw. The lady who saw standing in front of me was not the fearful small town girl, but an angel with the beautiful wings dusted with gold that shimmered in the lights it caught. I looked at Ralf in the mirror “As they really mine?”