The Crossroads of the Aether
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On a cool crisp morning on an English moor a girl child was born to the house of Johanausson. As she lay in the arms of her mother her father gazed down upon her with the adoration of a first time parent. She was the most beautiful creature he had ever seen. And, as he glanced at her mother's tear stained face he marvelled at how closely his new daughter reflected the face of his beloved in her features. The child boasted a thick head of dark brown curls and her heart shaped face seemed like a china dolls.
He felt the pressure of his noble line crying out for a male heir, but the birth of his new baby girl overshadowed that primal need. Tears began to escape his eyes as he stared at his wife and child, emotion swept over him like a tidal wave that threatened to drown him. The child would be the last of his line. She would be his only heir. His wife has suffered great physical distress during the birth. Not only had she lost a lot of blood but also the physicians had whispered to him that she would bear no more children. Now, he faced the daunting task of telling her her dream of a house full of children would be no more. He feared his beloved wife would blame that tiny life she now clutched to her breast.
Turning from the bitter sweet vignette of his new family he walked slowly from the room. His footsteps sounded hollow in his ears. They would try to force him to divorce her, the remaining elders of his family. She had never been their choice of a mate for him. Where pragmatic planning and the gainful arrangement of a suitable wife from the many noble ladies of the Royal Court of England had failed to seal the family's place in society, love had championed all naysayers in his choice of a mate. She was a fragile beauty that had stolen his heart from the moment she entered court as a ward of a lesser Lord. And from that moment all their fates had been cemented into a path of woe. But, he would not let them force a divorce upon his union, not now or ever. They both bore rings of white gold that bespoke the phrase "For Ever" upon their fingers. And, to him ever was eternity and beyond, even if it meant he would never have the chance at a male heir.
Thessalonica ran across the verdant lawn of the sprawling manor giggling and screaming with glee as the large Great Dane avoided her tiny chubby fingers with an adept avoidance manouver. Although he never let her touch him he stayed close enough to the child to beckon her on in their game of chase. Lord Rayth watched with adoration at the antics of his beloved child and cherished every shrill cry. He was all she had now. Her mother sat locked in her chambers mad and a danger to everyone including herself. He closed his eyes for a moment at the rising bitterness that rose in his chest from the fleeting image of the woman he loved tied to a chair all the hours of the waking day to prevent her from harming herself. He heard the bubbling laugh of his Thess fill his ears and suddenly the pain seemed to subside for the moment. He still had not lost everthing, his ever still existed in that tiny creature that tumbled into the grass with a squeal. She still smiled up into his face through the eyes of his child, a smile he would never see again but on the lips of his Thess.
As a woman her father had always been her most dearest blessing. They were closer than most fathers and daughters. They shared their joys and their sorrows, and none were more inseparable. Holding his lifeless hand in hers she remembered her promise she had made just before he closed his eyes for the last time. She would care for her mother as long as she lived. Glancing at the ceiling toward the room in which her mother now lay tears began to chase each other down her cheek. And, at that moment she vowed to find a cure or die trying to prevent the sickness from creeping into her mind. Her father had warned her many times that it had taken all those who had come before her mother in her maternal family line. She would be damned before she would be strapped mad and wild to a bed for the rest of her natural life.
That night a bloodcurdling scream jolted her from her sleep. The manor erupted into chaos beyond her bedroom door. As she was struggling to pull her arms through the sleeves of her bed jacket a rapid banging caused her door to rattle on its hinges.
"My Lady! Come Quick! It is your mother, she has flung herself from her bed chamber window, oh God...." The Head Housekeeper's voice wailed from the other side of the door.
Thessalonica ripped the door open and wildly grabbed the shaken woman by her shoulders.
"What on God's Green Earth have you done? Did you not bind her properly?" She shook the woman in a rage.
"My Lady, her chambermaid mistakenly informed her of your father's death and she tore herself free, there was nothing the poor girl could do."
"Damn it, Damn that child, when I get my hands on her....."
"All she kept saying was "For Ever My Love" and then she threw herself off the window sill, please don't punish the girl, she didn't know."
Thessalonica felt something small and cold in her bed jacket pocket. She reached within and pulled out her father's wedding ring and in the flickering candlelight she read the words For Ever scrolled across its surface.
"Oh Papa" With those words she collapsed into the woman's arms.
Years later she searched the world for a sign, that the illness that afflicted her mother could be bested before it took her as its next victim. She studied under numerous experts of the human mind diligently learning from field work and careful studies of any culture she could meet. Until the day that Thessalonica met the dragon. To clear her mind from her queries about whether madness was brought upon by the flotsum of life's woes or by something that a person was born to bear, she ventured into a cave near her camp. They had been studying a hill tribe in the wilds of South America. There she was confronted by a large scaley beast. At first she believed she had met her end as she locked eyes with the massive serpent. But, it just lay before her and did not move to harm her. It did not even show any sign of interest. Suddenly in her mind a voice whispered forth.
"Do you hear me woman?" The large head rose and slowly tilted slightly with the query.
"You have always heard others haven't you? Always been inflicted with the thoughts and feelings of those around you, no matter how you strove to block it."
It struck Thessalonica at that moment that the dragon spoke the truth. She had always been able to capture thoughts in images from those around her. Steal into their hearts and minds. It was the reason she was so adept at nursing the ill of the mind to health. Her father had always chastized her for speaking of it and after a while she just began to think it was part of normal life. Treating it as if everyone had such an ability and just never spoke of it.
"You feel my pain now, don't you Thessa? And, you can help me like no other." The dragon's lips drew back into a frightening toothy smile.
As Thessalonica stared at the sharp teethe now gleaming before her she also felt her mind exploring the space between her and the monster. She reached out with her thoughts and was bombarded with the onslaught of misery. Seeming in a trance she reached out with a shaking hand and walked slowly toward the giant reptile until her fingers brushed its scaley cheek. Closing her eyes she allowed the creature to slip into her mind and flood it with images of terror and turmoil. What pain they shared that day.
Many months later and after multiple visits to the cave the two bonded like two kindred spirits, both orphans and misfits in a turbulent world. Thessalonica came to know her friend as the dragon Elangdra. She managed to bring her friend from the deepest of misery to a state of contentment with her lot in life. And, Elangdra felt an immense debt of gratitude towards her human. One day in a tragic accident while Thessalonica was making her daily trek to the cave her feet slipped on the slippery rock and she fell from a great height. Her skull was crushed and she was on the edge of death. Elangdra felt her heartbeat slow from a great distance, such was the bond they shared. She flew out in search of her friend, desperate to reach her before it was too late. When she came to rest beside Thessalonica there was but only a moment to spare before her life essence spilled from her soul forever. Elangdra made a pact with the spirits of her ancestors that day. She pleaded that they spare her friend, they bind her life essence with that of Thessalonica's, giving her the strength of a millenium of dragons to heal her shattered body.
From that day forward Elangdra has resided within Thessalonica. Their hearts are bound together as one, beating in unison. In one body lives two souls. Thessalonica remained the outer shell and Elangdra possessed the inner most regions of the woman's soul. At times Elangdra may emerge, but most of times many only see a woman gazing back at them.
Now I hope that this blog serves as a warning to all those inclined to open their homes to wayward animals you might find in the wild. They may seem in their hour of need to be sweet lost creatures in desperate plight. It may seem those big endearing eyes are crying out to you and that adorable face is just too hard to…Continue