ocean kissed sands wink diamonds into the night
the whisper of waves caresses nerves taut with panic
the sea-foam surf is a balm to troubled spirits
and the abyss of down-soft waters beckons as a lover’s embrace
out there, somewhere, is a ship
using stars to guide a course to infinity
eternity, too, has a path to follow
and a destiny to fulfill
standing on the rooftop of a once-thriving inn
I wonder at the fate that pulls me ever closer to death
isolation has become a way of life, my existence
against all my efforts to turn away from the void before me
the sea calls to me, pulls at my soul with seductive purpose
I hear voices carried on the misted winds
promises that I can’t quite define
but which haunt my heart and inflict greater agonies
I turn away to pursue the sandman of my dreams
despite the knowledge that there will be no respite there
no escape from transient demons and specters
no shelter in the arms of Morpheus
eyes close and breaths lengthen and deepen
then he comes to me, the devil who torments my being
with sensuous murmurs and erotic promises
he shows me what my life is without, what I deny within myself
the dream begins…..
the gentle sway of the ship is the rhythm of passion and sex
the lap of waves the stroke of a lover’s tongue over a swell of quivering flesh
the surge of the tide is his possession of my eager body
the fall befits our writhing ascent into heaven
who are you? I ask in mystified wonder
am I afraid of his answer, or anticipating it?
he laughs, a hearty, faintly mocking reverberation of humor
and my blood runs cold, then hot with rage
he is magnificent, this proud pirate who steals
with the exquisite skill of a thieving seducer claiming his virgin prize
dark hair streams and smoky eyes gleam with anticipation
and this is what I have been born to desire?
lover…. friend…. enemy…. destiny….
his hands have taught me love and pain
his heart has scarred me with hatred and unbearable pleasure
mentor…. destroyer…. confidant…. father….
you drove me to his arms, intent on betrayal
and in the end it was I who was betrayed, by myself
he touched me, and I was whole in his hands,
balanced on the edge of discovery and despair
I went willingly to his bed and his heart
asked desperately to remain prisoner to his destiny
he kissed me, a soft caress that vowed so much more would follow
and I stood before him, naked in all ways, desiring
things I could not yet name, but knew within me
and he held me with his gaze, searching for deceit, finding only trust
his hands stripped me of everything, while giving everything back
his mouth, soft, wet, suckling at my breast, gave me the taste of euphoria
hot, rigid velvet sheathed within my clutching body tortured me with ecstasy
and his possession defined my being and made me what I am
sorceress…. companion…. seer…. hope….
I am Mahjrah’s mate, and his life is mine, as mine is his
though we both have often wished it were not so
and I have betrayed my beloved captain…..
comrade…. strength…. protector…. deception….
what we did was wrong, yet it, too, was predestined in so many ways
Mahjrah made you my champion, and that story is as old as time itself
and now I stand before him again, waiting and afraid
trembling with need and terror, and reawakened love
yes, I love you, Mahjrah, always and only you
and somewhere inside you, I feel the poison of my treachery
you are uncertain, even as you stand solid and ever strong
the serpent of doubt and suspicion has bitten deep
that venom mingles with the heart’s blood of our bond
and I do not know which will emerge as the stronger power
still, you have taken me again, in passion and welcome
my body has been reclaimed, even as my spirit hides in shame
try as I may, I cannot forget the rapture that you gave me
and all I am able to offer you now is the frightened shell I have become
you deserve far better, you have asked for little,
given everything without question or price
until now, when a challenge far greater than others removes our choices
now you charge me with the task of finding our home
I have always thought my home was in your eyes
but the romanticism of that whimsy is a joke in the face of this harsh reality
you demand a gateway to another life
and I must find a way to obey this command
close enough to touch, to feel….
the parallel of this prison in which we have been trapped…..
Part Two: a short scene…
The captain heard Gianni’s yell of warning in the instant before the ship was scooped from the ocean, twirled on an invisible hand, then dropped. As the vessel plummeted from the sky and began to spin, voices rose in terror. They crashed into the sea seconds later, and men sprawled across the decks, clinging in horror as the reason for their peril began to coalesce.
Rising up from the raging waters was a swirling, spraying inferno of ocean. As the tempest solidified, the second ring began to appear, forged by magics he understood on only the most basic level. Fire, impossible though it was, crackled to life on the writhing surface of the ocean, and it, too, began to ascend slowly on either side of the vortex. He knew, instinctively, that when the tongues of fury met at the apex of the portal, the configuration would be fully shaped and at its most powerful.
The storm-gate, now under the control of the woman he loved, and his sworn enemy.
And they were to go willingly into that demonic force. And hope Veranna would be drawn through the portal with them.
Screaming to be heard above the torrential winds that were speeding their headlong rush into the void, he ordered his crew to tie themselves down and stay alert.
A short distance from them, The Pharaoh’s Ghost struggled as they did…