Novel by S.L Johnson
I woke up from a dream in which there was only Selene and darkness.
Her hair felt like silk caressing my skin, her red cheeks, warm, illuminating, filling the emptiness within. Her green eyes glowing intensely, resembling bright emerald stars in the night. She blended in the shallowness of my dwelling place, where I have lived suspended in time for almost 10 years, existing; my chaotic flat is the true representation of my mind. It perpetuates an intense and tormenting scent of jasmine blossom. It used to be my favourite fragrance, now it's impregnated on the walls, impersonating the essence of my living, from the a day I smashed the perfume bottle against the mirror. Irritation, impatience and rage often my true and most faithful companions, and my comfortable, indulgent solitude . The vexation deep in the heart and the longing, always the longing. It's hard to explain, the longing for someone or something that you miss, but was never there.
At times I picture myself running away from my head, determinedly fleeing from my thoughts. The reality is that there are memories I cannot escape the story I'm about to tell, I tell it not because I want but because I must.
I heard her whispering my name.
Her laughter echoed in the dark; she woke me up.
Her breath caressed my senses, her face was directly above me, her eyes staring into my soul, piercing.
The deliciously disturbing and unexpected visit from my best friend made it impossible to go back to sleep, it was 4 o'clock in the morning,
-Selene, come back!
I begged in the mists of a million thoughts and questions all mixed with fear, excitement and anxiety.
It was her ghost! was it not? Selene is dead, or at least, she is not fully alive, has she just died? I will call her mother tomorrow to find out… I will call her mother tomorrow...
I repeated in my head, knowing there was no way that affirmation was going to get acted upon, the thought of it made me shiver..
Whenever I am under stress or in a bewildering and hostile situation, I feel instinctively drawn to water. I also feel instinctively drawn to water when I'm happy and excited, when I feel lonely or depressed, afraid or insecure. I do feel drawn to water in any and many situations as a matter of fact. I strongly believe that in another life I was a fish.
I make a bubble bath, infusing it with lavender and rose petals, I sat on my bathtub; letting my mind go, thoughtless. Normally, the middle of the night is the time when all my senses are at their highest sensory vibrations.
I desire to feel Selene’s presence once again. I breathe in the fumes that emerge with the rich vapours of natural essence and focus my eyes on the flame of the candle. It glows soft and golden. I always rebuke myself, I know what fire can bring, but this time I want to let it in.
When I close my eyes after staring at fire my inner vision projects dazzling sparks of light flashing.
A while ago I decided to deny the manifestation of anything that reminds me of the magical unknown forces, paranormal occurrences, parallel pathways, the art of wishing and desiring, love in its truest form, all these practices and activities which I became so deeply acquainted with, during my childhood.
I plunge into the water closing my eyes, then, still submerged I open them; Selene’s ghostly figure reappears and assumes what seems an impossible posture above me. She fits perfectly in the bath, hovering under the water; her nose touching mine. She flashes a mischievous grin and then she vanishes again, like mist in the forest at dawn. I gasp, I open my mouth oblivious to the water, yelling...
My childhood screams at me. Selene’s ghost leaves me in reveries, taking the form of unwanted thoughts; memories threatening to break the strict silence they've been forced to keep all these years....
Selene, Tamara, Dama, Luna and I met when we were children aged five and six.
We lived in one of the lost, small villages in the "Fortunate Islands".
Our town is hidden behind a thick and tall forest near the coast of the Atlantic Ocean.
El Pueblo Maldito, ( The Cursed Village), is the name by which many know my home.
It was the first day of a summer, many years ago. It was in a time when the essence of life means beauty, freedom and excitement; when the soul of a child is naturally attuned with the universal flow of all. With no needs, wants or desires other than the constant awareness and performance of joy, in a here and now basis, in a time when innocence finds perfect contentment.
I was five years old and I was enjoying a hot day on the beach. My body was subtly baking under the heat of the sun; I was floating face down on the sea, watching playful little red fish slip through my fingers.
I heard someone speak next to me under the water. I turned round with a start, glimpsing at the face of a girl that vanished when I tried to focus on her. She disappeared yet she kept speaking; I could hear her voice inside my head, louder and louder.
Immediately I was walking down the seashore, driven by a force that overcame my will, as if hypnotised. I was led by the voice of the girl until I reached her:
She was six years old. She had long, wavy, shiny ruby red hair, emerald green eyes and pronounced facial features. She was bending down, looking into the sea, speaking to the fish. She articulated the most eloquent gibberish in an indecipherable language; the sound of it shifted me outside the world for moments, maybe minutes.
The other girls arrived one by one.
Tamara was five years old, her soft dark skin emphasizing beautiful Indian features, her eyes light brown like honey, sparkling with the radiance of her soul. Tamara’s astonishing glance reflected the past life of a heroine, a brave queen warrior of the forest. Centuries ago Tamara was the deity Artemis. Her arriving came with a vision which we all shared; this vision took us back in time.
For an instant we witnessed the goddess’s victory, in one of her greatest battles against giant enemies.
“The beach turned into the thick Savannah rainforest with trees that seemed to reach the sky. Tamara transformed, she was now a woman with a strong built body and straight black hair so long that it almost touched the floor. She was wearing leather shorts and a vest top, black knee-high boots. Her face was painted with black strips, like a warrior. She reached for her arrows and shot with her bow; in a split second an army of monsters surrounded us. They were tall, fat, with one eye only, in the middle of their foreheads. They threw rays of fire from their fingertips aiming to destroy Artemis and her fellow warriors: Apollo and Hermes, and us! I am sure some of the rays were aimed at us, but we were frozen, because of the surprise, thrill or fear, I don't know, but we were nailed to the floor, like strongly rooted plants, unable to move.
The three warriors climbed trees, jumping from one to another, seemingly they were flying, swiftly, they released arrow after arrow, wounding the monsters that turned to dust and fell to the ground.
It happened fast, I held my breath untill the scene turned back to sand and sea.
After Tamara Dama arrived, she stood opposite me. The six-year-old, was bewitching, her unusual charm adorable, I sensed from that very first moment that her beauty comes from her spirit, her unique essence, truly enchanting.
It is obvious that when we look at a rose we are looking at one of the most sublime works of creation. Yet we must see that it is not only the appearance of the rose that makes it so beautiful: it is its fragrance, its essence, it is the legend of all roses; it is what a rose makes us feel and it is what a rose means.
Similarly, it is Dama’s soul that reveals her beauty, not only her golden hair, and her eyes, which perfectly match the colour of the sky on a clear day.
In an instant, Dama became Freyja; the Scandinavian deity that she existed as, in ancient times. We all witnessed how she flew up from the sand to reach a gold chariot that awaited in the sky , it was embellished with diamonds and pulled by giant white swans. She rode flying her majestic carriage in the company of seagulls. One of her flying swans lost a feather as it fell down, right above my head, it caressed my face before it landed at my feet. I stood still watching the glorious Princess of Princesses, she was surrounded by the Valkyries, the warrior women, who trotted on horseback, flying against the blue sky, heading towards the sun. In as little time as it takes to sigh, Freyja vanished in the sky but she smiled through Dama’s eyes.
Luna came and stood next to me, she offered us a dignified salute upon arrival, then we held hands.
Luna is pure grace and absolute peace. Her smooth and luminous complexion frames delicate oriental features. Her hair shines an intense sunshine yellow, almost white when touched by light. I glanced at her; Then I instinctively knew that she is the reincarnation of the deity, T'ai Yuan, the creator and the owner of yin and yang, she who is the master of balance in the universe.
With her sublime greeting, came to us a vision of the inside of a temple which was the size of a city, where millions of devotees worshipped the goddess that shows them the path that leads to total tranquility, peace, and harmony.
It was in the moment I closed my eyes to feel and sense the peach and harmony that floated around Luna and spread to cover us, when I saw me. A strong force took me back to another time, in another place, deep in the sea.
I am a powerful being. My skin glows almost translucent; I am a carrier of wisdom, I whisper mysterious secrets of the beauty and love of a goddess. My curly, long and abundant hair is dark blue as the darkest parts of the ocean. My eyes deep and intense green, immense green, it seems like it is possible to dive into the depth of them. I give strength and victory to the rulers who trust in me.
My name is Gwenhwyfar, I live in the depths of the ocean.
My vision lasted a second but it reflected an eternity.
It could have all been a dream, but what happened in our lives after that magic encounter, taught us that the truth and reality of love are often far from the reach of the narrow and simple human mind. Some truth can only be comprehended with a bare and open heart in hand. Certain mysteries can only be revealed to a pure soul. Until then the secrets of freedom and fulfilment shall remain secret.