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The Fruit of Passion: Chapter 14 – Part IV

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Now that Leo felt the shadow of the great phantom pressing down upon him, his mind worked with a clarity he had never before enjoyed. His parting from the mortal world did not sadden him, although he would have liked to taste more of its pleasures and wonders: to grow old with Vanora and watch his daughters blossom into womanhood.

Far more he lamented that his decision to refuse both his father’s and Belisent’s offer would also drag Vanora to her doom and condemn his daughters to double orphanhood at such a young age.

At times, tempting thoughts filled his heart with honey: to accept such sacrifice, rob someone else of breath and prolong his stay upon the earth. But then shame came rushing at him and slew all traces of temptation. For treating lives as interchangeable pieces upon a gwyddbwyll seemed horrifying to Leo, and he could not bring himself to reconcile with it.

And so, amidst tearful confessions, he implored Vanora over and over again to forgive him and prayed that their children would one day understand and forgive him, too.

And Vanora, amidst kisses and caresses, kept repeating she had nothing to forgive him for and tried to balm his anguish, telling him, ‘’Some prices are better left unpaid.’’

Her words and constant care and devotion generated within Leo a profound sense of serenity. For three sunsets in a row, husband and wife shut themselves in the depths of their cave and, cushioning his head on her breasts and his hands on her belly, they conversed in hushed tones of the future of their daughters, then of how they would live together and love each other beyond the grave and how their souls would soar as one for all eternity– convinced that no earthly or heavenly power could ever thwart their post-mortem union.

For all intents and purposes, both had withdrawn from life and all terrestrial affairs unwittingly, losing all sense and consciousness of them.

And as the third day the sun rose and branded the sky with its golden-red rim, Leo’s body surrendered into a series of final convulsions and then drooped loose in Vanora’s arms, the light of the world fading from his eyes.

Vanora could not help the sigh that emerged from the very depths of her innards. An unfamiliar, unwelcome languidness stole over her limbs as if to chain her to a place where Leo’s spirit existed no longer and had taken the semblance of a prison; a sudden burst of anticipation caused her to quiver. Her mind knew no sorrow at her imminent passing, only the agony of separation and an undimmed restlessness to depart and journey at his side.

Still clutching him, she whispered to his now deaf ears, ‘’You are my life’s end, for no end exists in chases in Arras or in shadows well-mounted. There’s an end in itself in love and the greatest pleasure to know nothing beyond it. So I love you without reason, for there can be no other way. No whys and ifs. Νο maybes and perhaps. You soul, I can hear it wandering beyond the veil and glamour, crying out to mine. Keep the mantle parted for me, too; I am to swiftly follow.’’

The day retracted and, as the dusk fell, Vanora’s countenance turned into one of triumph, her mouth widening into a blazing smile, peace seeping into her and blotting out every other thought and emotion. And the heavier the darkness, the greater the sense of peace that flowed within her entire being.

And come the blue hour, where night and day juggled in a pendulum, Vanora kissed Leo’s cold lips with those watermelon lips of hers. Her heart tripped. Once. Twice. Thrice. Then ceased its beating altogether.

Vanora was no more.

An excerpt from my mythic fantasy novel currently titled The Fruit of Passion.

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Thomas Dylan: And Death Shall Have no Dominion

dylan2

And death shall have no dominion.
Dead man naked they shall be one
With the man in the wind and the west moon;
When their bones are picked clean and the clean bones gone,
They shall have stars at elbow and foot;
Though they go mad they shall be sane,
Though they sink through the sea they shall rise again;
Though lovers be lost love shall not;
And death shall have no dominion.

And death shall have no dominion.
Under the windings of the sea
They lying long shall not die windily;
Twisting on racks when sinews give way,
Strapped to a wheel, yet they shall not break;
Faith in their hands shall snap in two,
And the unicorn evils run them through;
Split all ends up they shan’t crack;
And death shall have no dominion.

And death shall have no dominion.
No more may gulls cry at their ears
Or waves break loud on the seashores;
Where blew a flower may a flower no more
Lift its head to the blows of the rain;
Though they be mad and dead as nails,
Heads of the characters hammer through daisies;
Break in the sun till the sun breaks down,
And death shall have no dominion.

The Arthurian Realm: The Romance of Tristan and Isolde

Under the influence!

884px-leighton-tristan_and_isolde-1902Tristan and Isolde by Edmund Leighton [Public domain], via Wikimedia CommonsThis article was first published on #FolkloreThursday.com as British Legends: The Tragic Romance of Tristan and Isolde on September 27, 2018 by zteve t evans.

The Romance of Tristan and Isolde

The tale of Tristan and Isolde became a popular Arthurian tale during the 12th century, though it is believed to go back much further, having connections to Celtic legends. It is a tragic romance that tells of the adulterous relationship between Tristan, and Isolde, the wife of Tristan’s uncle, King Mark of Cornwall, making a classic love triangle that sooner or later must be broken by death. In many ways it mirrors the love triangle of Lancelot, Guinevere and King Arthur, though it is believed to be older. The spelling of the names and the names of some characters vary and there are many different versions, but all…

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Dormach and the Jaws of Annwn

From Peneverdant

Dormach is the dog of Gwyn ap Nudd, who aids him hunting the souls of the dead. We have only one reference to Dormach by name in medieval Welsh literature. This is from ‘The Conversation Between Gwyn ap Nudd and Gwyddno Garanhir’ in The Black Book of Carmarthen (1350).

In this poem Gwyddno has died and is wandering the misty hinterlands between Thisworld and Annwn. There he meets with Gwyn, who offers him protection and slowly reveals his identity as a gatherer of souls. Gwyn introduces Dormach, then Gwyddno addresses the dog.

In Welsh this reads:

Ystec vy ki ac istrun.
Ac yssew. orev or cvn.
Dorma ch oet hunnv afv y Maelgun.

Dorma ch triunrut ba ssillit
Arnaw canissam giffredit.
Dy gruidir ar wibir winit.

Over the past two centuries this verse has been translated into English in various ways. The most recent and best translation is by…

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