A hundred years have passed and I have fought in the Dark Wars beneath the circles of power which dot the lands of The Above world where you, my chosen Ember, live. The forces of the Nything were strong this century and we finally managed to drive them out of The Below world into the light of your world. They are a common foe and we suffered many losses. Fear not, for I am well, though weary of the fighting. Spirit and Life battled valiantly and our Master is quiet now as he rests, satisfied with our temporary victory.
Wounded, the Nything sought vengeance in The Above and killed many members of many factions. Great leaders were killed in battle that afternoon and their names will be remembered in all our hearts and minds for centuries to come. The factions rallied together briefly and drove the Nything from your world, though I fear they may return.
My darling Ember, or should I call you by your chosen name Melisande? I trust you are well and survive the trials of The Above? As promised a century ago, I returned to the Circle of Power and waited for your return. I searched the camps after the battle with the Nything to see if you were there, but my messengers found no trace. You had never been there, as far as they could tell. At once I was both relieved, saddened and angered. Relieved that you had not fallen to the hands of the Nything. Saddened that you were not there to be by my side and honour our agreement. And angered that you may have fallen before the hundred years had passed and that I had not been there at your side if that time came.
Those two nights that I can walk in The Above world were empty. My halls beckoned you to my chambers yet the calls fell silent, unanswered in the shadows around the cold flagstones of my castle. My tears drowned the ruby-coloured silk sheets that covered my bed only to evaporate into the stars of the night along with the fire of my passion. I wanted you. I needed you. But the dark, inky-black carpet of night smothered me, suffocated me. Without you, I could not breathe for you are my breath, my life, my love. To smell you is to breathe in life itself. To taste you once again would be to drink from the cup of the gods, the sweetest nectar, the aqua vitae itself. If I do not see you, I fear that I am blind. The Below is featureless compared to the depth of your beauty. If I do not hear you, then I fear that I am deaf. Your words stir my heart and remind it to beat another hundred years. I sense you in the darkness, but I cannot touch you and without touch, I have no form, no shape, no definition. You are my purpose for living, for fighting another hundred years. Sweet Ember, all my battles shall be in your name, all my lonely nights shall hear your names whispered on the chill wind blowing through the empty halls in the hope that the kind breath of Spirit carries my thoughts of love swiftly to your door.
As Above, so Below.
With undying passion and limitless love, your
First Published 1999.
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