by Elizabeth Myrddin
dream embodied a parchmented archetype and told an arcane story.
Wearily, Mavra began scripting it into her Book of Shadows. Her
subconscious had couched the tale vividly. The parallel was conspicuous.
In her hissing, dusty dream, Mavra rushed on horseback toward a
forest which rested inappropriately verdant at the edge of a steaming
yellow desert. The cloying heat wrapped her in a blanket of feverish
discomfort and sharp particles of sand stung her face and bare arms.
As she drew nearer the forest, a pulsing wave of
anxiety coupled with a stab of grief blurred her vision. The horse
reared suddenly and threw her. The white horse, its eyes red and
mad lunged at her, baring its white teeth with inexplicable malevolence.
Edging away from the horse, she scrambled toward
the forest, slipping on the coarse, hot sand while the deranged
horse continued to attack and snap at her with its teeth.
A faceless woman in a long pale gown appeared suddenly
beside Mavra. With a small ivory-handled pistol she shot the mad
horse in the head. Eyes rolling upward, with one piercing shriek
the horse collapsed. The woman left in a whisper, "The horse had
Upon entering the smooth green shade of the forest,
the sand that coated Mavra's hair and skin slipped away like a veil.
Tall and slender, he stood languidly resting his
back against the trunk of a tall pine. His eyes were closed and
he was breathing slowly. Under the canopy of pine branches, Mavra
went to her lover and wrapped him in her long black hair. She folded
her arms around him. His eyes opened and he bent down to place cool
lips upon her cheek.
They sat next to one another on the forest floor
and she placed a kiss against his neck. His skin smelled of sandalwood
and as she breathed, another tide of anxiety rippled through her.
She cradled him closer, resting his head against her breast.
"They want to spill your blood in a ceremony."
He laughed quietly, "It is a ruse. They know that
I am sterile."
In frustration, Mavra gripped his hair tightly. "They
are not mistaken. They are jealous. They adore you desperately and
thus resent you utterly."
Her lover pressed his soft cold lips on the base
of her throat and murmured something incoherent. He brushed his
mouth upon hers and then relaxed as if having been comforted he
could now fall asleep. Mavra untangled her hands from his hair.
He clasped his long cool fingers through hers and sighed drowsily.
Mavra closed her eyes and waited.
The moment was splintered by a vehement clamor not
too distant from where they rested. A stream of forest birds scattered
upward from the adjacent circling of trees, fanning into the air
in all directions. Mavra knew their arrival around the bend into
the clearing was imminent. She gathered her lover into her arms,
entwined her legs around his, and pressed him against her pliant
body. At the speed of concentrated thought, he was altered. She
had transformed him into a tiny capsule.
The chaotic sounds of tearing branches and frantic
footfalls upon pine needles grew nearer. Anxiously, she struggled
to find a place on her person to conceal the capsule and finding
none, placed him under her tongue just as her pursuers tore into
They instantly came to her and two of the three women
clutched her arms on either side while the third stood haughtily
The woman before her spoke pleasantly but firmly,
"Now Mavra. Tell us where he has hidden."
The woman on her left spoke in a silky childlike
voice, yet her tone was edged with spite, "She would play sorceress
and change him."
The woman on her right gave a bright laugh and said
with patient rebuke, "Oh now. Let her take care of this."
Mavra set aside her pen and stoppered the bottle
of black ink. There was yet more to this dream-rendering of a distant
fable, this retelling of an enigmatic and ancient myth. But first,
bitterly and with reluctance, she would contemplate its analogous
portent for her life.
Except for their voices, the three women in her dream
seemed faceless and unfamiliar. Yet Mavra knew them well.
The woman before her in the dream was Lindy, that
certain strain of woman who used sex and a fluctuating sexuality
as a divining rod for self-esteem. All her appetites were greedy,
desperate and vampiric.
Mavra laughed suddenly at her own descriptive thoughts.
She was being cruel yet amusing at the same time. But more important,
she was being precise. She mused further, allowing rage to tinge
[continued next page]