King’s Sword, Shadow’s Hands
A great deal of our lives was dominated by war. War which enslaved us many times and freed us now and then. We’d always wake up in fear and go back to sleep with the same fear in our hearts. There were times of terror, times when we carried our worst nightmares with us. We’ve seen losses… immense losses for centuries now. We’ve had brothers, sisters, families that were wiped out by time. We had to leave them behind. There was no salvation for them whatsoever. We had to move on. Like we always do. Battlefields and then home – this was our “lifestyle”. And when you’ve died so many times, death seems like a joke to you. A bad joke, mostly. We departed from everyone we loved. Except…us. In our dreams or in our realities we were always together. Bonded until the very end of time. No matter how violent death was, we would always find our way back to the other. In various forms, various places. You would always say to me “How can we win the war? The day when we stop the war remember those you have slaughtered. The sea would wash me away. If I die you shall remain. Don’t, don’t fear the war. For me is nothing to hold. The day when we stop the war. Remember those you have slaughtered. The sea, will wash me away If I die, then you shall remain.” But I never remained. I have always followed you in death, as you have followed me in mine. And you would always gently scold me for that, but you knew this was meant to be for us. No life without the other.
But there were also times of peace, times of serenity. Times in which we were the truest of our own selves. Those that you call the Dark Ages, those were the times of our glory, of our light, of our love. Times when our lives flourished… times that still haunt my dreams as I constantly try to relive them day after day. There was blood, there were diseases, even in times without war… but there was also life. Humanity. They would bow the heads at our passing in recognizance of our royalty. We preserved our noble souls no matter the circumstances… You were my king and I, the shadow hands holding your sword in battles and caressing you in times of peace.
And we would feast and we would dance alongside with them… knowing how hard it must have been for them to know that they were alive for such a short period of time… 50 years… 70, if they were lucky, which at that time was very rare. The passion that they emerged with in the presence of their lovers at balls or fairs. The ceaseless fire in their souls… so fragile, so strong. The way they lost lovers… it must have been devastating for them. I, too, felt but a small part of their despair every time I lost you in battle, my love. But I was comforted at the thought that I would see you again in a matter of cycles. And no Gods could ever separate us for we were of the same matter. But for them… for them it must have been appalling.
I take pleasure in my transformations. I look quiet and consistent, but few know how many women there are in me. You always knew me. Always found me behind any skin. We’ve always kept “low-profile”. We had our corner in the troubled world in which we were us, and places in which we were them. Oh… such a great burden it is when you know so much more… when you get tired of living… Endlessly. So we tried to borrow their joy. Their passion. Their youth. There were mornings with rain when we would take our horses and ride through the forest… through the storm. Times when we lived in the East. We would laugh at the sky as it shot it’s lightning at us. “Odin!”
The Gods were pleased with us. We didn’t seek power, we didn’t get involved in politics, though our royalty has always placed us in the highest positions on the hierarchy. We lived for the other. We lived for us. We were beautiful, we were unstoppable. We would always go to war together, betting our lives on it. We’ve seen Troy burn, Atlantis rise and vanish, empires become anew or getting assimilated. But we always cared for people, no matter their origins. We, sometimes, met some like us… some damned souls. Some we got along with, some we didn’t… and those we didn’t were eliminated with time. We are a force that cannot be stopped, not by man, not by sword, not by magic.
“Do not move, do not go. Sink within this moment. Hold it for forever.”
Time was nothing but a measurement for us. We feasted on the Mediterranean, fought in Namib, gazed at the starry skies of Egypt while we were rulers, made love in Gamla Uppsala, drunk and hunt in Rome, dove in the Faroes, wandered through the streets of Bruxelle and Berlin in Europe… but we never got to live our senescence years. It seems that life didn’t had that on board for us. But we paid no mind. Life after life passed before us… and now we are so old we can barely remember our first life. But we do. And as long as we will, we will always find our way back to the other.
And now, my love, as you stand in front of me and look at me, do you still know that you are mine as I am yours?