“This can’t be real. I must still be dreaming” I said looking at my image in the mirror, which reflected a striking beauty with curly hairs tumbling down on her back adorned with beautiful wings which were dusted with golden shade at its tip. As I moved to one side, the wings came into full view. A pair of wings just like Ralf’s but different in color and texture. Ralf was supporting me to stand in front of the mirror as I examined my wings. I tried to turn to face him, but lost my balance falling back with the weight of my wings. Ralf caught me “You are not strong enough to support the extra weight of the wings on your back.”
“I wanted to see my full wings” I said trying to turn
“Hmm, try to flex your muscles supporting your wings, they will unfurl, but try gently. You don’t want to bruise yourself with sudden movement.”
Following Ralf’s instructions, I tried to flex, but nothing happened at first. Ralf showed how it should be done. Then after some trials I managed to unfurl my wings to their full span, they were over four feet on both sides, shimmering with gold on inner layers. When the air breezed through the feathers, I could feel the wind calling to me. “When can I fly?”
“Baby steps darling. You just woke up somnolence, from which you should had come out two days ago. You should first get your strength back and then I can teach you.”
“I don’t know what you mean by somnolence, but I don’t ever want to back over there again.” I said remembering the scary Hecate’s screaming. It still buzzed in ears and I went still, until Ralf shook me. “Solange, what’s wrong? Speak to me darling.”
“When those bat like creatures…”
“The creatures you are talking about are called, Kongamato. They are the servants of witches, who have crossed over to evil.”
“So all good witches, evil witches and angels are true and not fantasy we are taught to believe?” I asked, thinking how ignorant I was till day
“No fantasy, they are as true as we are. It is guardians responsibility that humans’ do not have to worry about them, but these creatures have mingled with humans’ and learned to stay hidden by masking their scent with humans and their offspring when they come of age, prey on their fellow humans who might have been their friends once the madness takes over.”
I fell silent hearing what Ralf said about the world which is so different from what I had believed. Everyday Ralf and his guardians were fighting to keep us all safe and we don’t even believe in them.
“What are you thinking of Solange?” asked Ralf lifting me and walking towards a swing on the porch which faced the beautiful mountains, and the three moons that adorned Empyrean sky.
“When I was unconscious, I had a very strange dream. I keep wondering if it’s real or was it just me imagining an evil creature.”
“Tell me about this dream.”
“Although it started as a dream, it soon turned into a nightmare, where this creature that called herself as Hecate tried to kill me. I just feel if I had not let my arrow fly, I would never have woken up.” I said shivering. Ralf immediately engulfed me in his arms. I took strength from his fierce protectiveness.
“Angel, tell me everything about your dream dear.” Said Moirin from the door to the porch
Hearing her voice I tried to sit up away from Ralf, but he wouldn’t let go, giving up I sat with him supporting my back and recalled the entire episode.
“Hecate has grown more powerful than what I remember. She had always been able to dream walk but I never knew she could interfere with somnolence and influence the angels in somnolence.” Said Evelyn worry lines crossing across her face as she handed me a dagger
I took it from her and all the hopes that what I experienced was a nightmare went up in smoke. If dagger is real, then the fact that I have to choose to either release my mother or Lucifer was reality I needed to face.
“Solange, you have a responsibility which goes beyond your need. You should keep that in mind,” Said Evelyn and Aunt Gretchen at the same time, both their eyes having gone colorless like they were under some spell. Hearing them I got up and walked towards the edge of the porch. “I need to think what needs to be done. Can I have some time alone please?” I asked
Ralf walked up to me and lifted my chin. He looked into my eyes, “No matter whatever is your decision, remember I will always stand by your side. Do not think of running away from me.” Saying he kissed me with passion so deep it brought me to my knees.
“I am not going to run” I said stubbornly
“No, but you were considering that possibility. I can see it in your eyes. If you do, then I will never stop looking for you even if I die.” Saying he walked with stiff back out of the room
“Angel dear, Guardians have to go without their soul-mates for centuries and to lose the one who can bring happiness to their life is not taken kindly by them or their families.” Explained Aunt Gretchen gently
“Ralf has not completed the ritual which will bind you to him for life, because he wants you to accept it than be forced into it. But that’s not how guardians function. It goes against their nature to not bind when they find their soul-mate.”
“Soul-mates?” I asked surprised at what I was hearing
“Ralf didn’t mention anything to you?” asked Evelyn
“I said before and I will say again. Men are fools. You better make Ralf pay for it. I didn’t get a chance to do that with Ralf’s grandfather, but I want to see you put Ralf in his place then maybe Cearul and Connal will stop acting like fools where things concern us” Said Moirin shaking her head side to side
Smiling at the retiring figures of three wise old women, who didn’t look a day older than me, but have been witness to centuries of the world as I only had heard or read about, I sat down on the chair with the dagger in my hand. It was the reality I had to face, and Ralf had taken the only option I thought possible forcing me think of an alternative way to save my mother and also lock Lucifer in the prison he was in.
The dagger lay heavy in lap and I traced the pattern on it with my fingers. I followed the pattern on it. It was like puzzle which went in circles with no end. Just like that my surrounding shifted and I found myself on the same dais Hecate thought me to draw safe guards. Just then it struck me, she was not teaching me to draw safe guards, but rather was teaching me how to open them, so that I would follow the pattern to release Lucifer. My blood was the key as she had said. If my blood could release him then so could it lock him away, I just need to draw a safe guard that could never be unraveled. “Everything sounds so simple, but how am I supposed to draw a pattern when I have no idea how or what holds them together?” I said aloud frustrated.
A voice whispered “only your belief and hope will make the safe guard strong enough that it will turn into an endless loop. A loop which has no beginning or ending.”
I opened my eyes trying to find who had said that, but I found myself alone lying on the chair as the moons started rising high above the Empyrean sky.