I am no mortal man, or so I was told last night, by one who calls me a warrior poet. Is that what I have become? Given that circumstances have dictated that I have had to gain some proficiency at arms, I cannot argue the former, but I am not so sure of the latter. While I will admit that words are my medium of choice, such words as have flowed from my pen have rarely ventured into the realms of poesy, even if I am prone to reading such things voraciously. Certainly, I cannot argue that I am nothing but a mortal man. That is no longer my fate. What fate there might be, I do not know, only that I am marked by fate, and many paths lie ahead of me to choose. This, I have learned, in that other world of dream. Or was it a dream? Or did I really go to that other place?
A voice called me; sensuous, soft as a summer breeze, a caress that called me to that other place. That other place that exists, in my dreams, and outside of them, within me and without. That place where dreams and the faerie realms come together. Reality or dream, I do not know for sure, save that it is real to me, and maybe that is as real as real can be.
It was Faermorn who called me; that most beauteous queen of my dreams, if no longer queen of the fae. While Gwyn is my first and most constant love, I can no longer deny that Faermorn holds a part of me, even from beyond the mortal realms, and that she has done so for a long time, even before she gave part of herself to me in the Quickening. She called to me, and from my dreams, I went, to that place they call the Summerlands, where life and death are one and the same. She called me to a crystal pool, wreathed in fountains and mist. Her aspect was bright, goddess-like, as if she were all woman-kind, including, for a moment, my mother, but the shapes of light resolved into human-seeming form, and it was the queen I had known, even if she seemed more the woman than the queen. Nathaniel, she named me, in a voice that breathed across my sense, and warrior poet.
I knelt, that seeming the only reaction I could muster while I gathered my senses, reeling from the shock of seeing her again. For a moment, I could not bring her name to my lips, calling her only, Majesty. She urged me to my feet, telling me she was no longer Majesty. She was always here, she told me, and she had heard my heart calling. Her touch was wondrous, as was her voice; for all that she seemed more the mortal woman in form. Gone was the sadness and regret that had tinged her soul before. Now, here was nothing but joy and completion.
I regained my feet, knowing now where I was, and had to reassure myself with a touch to my own breast, that I yet lived, that my heartbeat had not left me. “Majesty,” I called her, then corrected myself, the sound of her name a thrill that ran through my heart, “Faermorn, then, if I may so call you.” I asked why I was there, what call she had heard from my heart. Her smile lit up, brighter and softer than the sun, all that love could be. This place was within me, she told me, it was within everyone if they knew where to look. Her smile focussed on me, just for me. Dear heart, she called me, telling me that she was always with me, as was my mother, or so I interpreted the other she referred to. She told me that it was good to speak with me, face to face. My heart, she said, held the legacy of both dark and light within me. She offered her hands, so soft and delicate, yet strong, to me, and for all that she wore a mortal form, she seemed one with the sunlight that glowed within her.
I took those hands, and did not want to release them, kissing each one and holding them in mine, idly stroking the backs with my thumbs. I told her that I often regretted that we had not spent more time in each other’s company, face to face, before… before she came to this realm. But that time was gone. I spoke of the dark and light, speculating that one could not be without the other, even of there were those that would say that you could only choose one side. All I knew was that sometimes, it seemed there was too much of both. I spoke briefly of what had assailed the land since she had gone. I spoke of what Gwyn and Janus had wrought since then, and finally spoke of what had been foremost in my mind of late, that Gwyneth was with child.
I would not have thought it possible, but the radiance of her smile grew, as she leaned forward and kissed me on the lips, tangling her fingers with mine. She told me, with great joy, that she knew. I supposed that this should not surprise me, being outside of time, or so I assumed. This was a new beginning, she told me, to celebrate the reunion of the dark and light, by which, I thought she meant the courts. Or perhaps not, since she also said that there was a balance in me, between the two forces. Was that another reunion? I know I have being trying to integrate those aspects of my nature, but one is partly innate and partly gifted, whereas the other was imposed upon me, so I do not know how that can be a reunion.
Her next words were more worrying. She told me that I was marked by fate and had many paths ahead of me. I wasn’t so sure I liked that. I was minded of the old quote about those the gods wish to destroy, they first make mad. While I am fairly sure that there aren’t any gods out to get me, Nemaine notwithstanding, I was not sure I liked the idea of being marked for particular attention. That, I said, could lead to what the old curse called ‘interesting times’. I accepted that it was long past the time when I could expect to live an ordinary life, but it would be nice to do so sometimes. One other question came to my mind. Since I had mentioned Gwyn’s pregnancy, there was a question still to be answered, concerning myself and Janus.
She was leaning towards me, offering a kiss, and that I could no longer resist. The radiance of her, the scent of her, and the temptation of her was too strong, and here, it did not seem to be glamour, but just herself. Surprisingly, she seemed to desire it equally. The touch of her lips was electric, and I could feel the Wyld rising. She spoke of Gwyn, even as we kissed, telling me that I had already gifted my energy to her, and that my energy would be carried forward, as would the king’s. Could we both be fathers with one mother? I had heard that such things were possible, albeit rare, among humans, but who knows with the fae? She shifted closer, her body leaning against mine, and I could not help but be aware of the woman, this embodiment of sensuality, so close and in my arms. The very epitome of desire was in my arms, and yet I could not help but remember the poems and stories I knew so well, and that gave me pause for a moment.
“Our poetry and folklore are full of dire warnings of what happens when a faerie queen takes a mortal lover,” I said to her, smiling, and making no move to retreat, “but this is just a dream, right?” She moulded herself against me, and sealed my fate with her words, telling me that everything was a dream and told me that I, her warrior poet, was no mortal man. That made me smile and I kissed her fingers as I replied. “Then thrice-doomed I am, is that not so? … A warrior turns not from peril … rather he seeks it out and faces it… with joy in his heart… A poet pays no heed to reason… rather he listens to his heart… he lets passion rule over sense… and he follows his muse wherever she leads… And if I am no mortal man… then there can be no surcease to my torment… Thrice-doomed I am indeed.”
What passed thereafter, I can not recall. I think we kissed, and again, and there was that dizzying desire that comes of the faerie queen, but what occurred after that, my memory does not serve me. Memory fades, is it is wont to do in dreams, if it was a dream. Or perhaps she sent me back from the Summerlands with just the taste of her lips on mine, a small favour bestowed by a queen on her subject. Which it was, I do not know for sure. Perhaps, as she said to me, everything is a dream. Dream or not, some things I take away as truth, however those truths came to me. One concerns the paths ahead of me, but all I know is that there are many of them. The other concerns my dearest love, my living queen, and what we may have wrought. Perhaps I am a father after all. That, only time will tell.
* Midnight Queen – By Inkubus Sukkubus, go check them out.