Frankish Vision V: Fantôme

There is a ghost in this house

 

There is a ghost in this house

There is a ghost in this castle

It can be heard when no one opens their mouth

It can be felt when no one speaks at the dinner table

 

There is a haunting presence

 

It is felt in the blooming flowers of the printemps

It is felt in the miserable, burning été, without stop

It is felt in the splendour of l’automne

But it is especially felt in l’hiver, when you thought it was gone

 

It does not want vengeance

 

I see her sitting on the empty chair

In the kitchen, I see her fretting with her hair

I see her playing with her childern, the memory

Through the fields and streets, I feel the lingering energy

 

She wants justice, closure

That you will never give her

So I am haunted, in your stead

And so shall I be, to this injustice,

wed

This universe that exists spans the bredth of that which will make you burn

You will be taught to unlearn

I yearn for that which I must learn

To God I go, sword in hand, to Carolingian graves, to make me turn

Amen

Frankish Vision IV: Flourish

To emerge from war,

Scarred

To feel petrifying fear,

Barred

To feel mine life,

Waste

To detest my own,

Face

To be consumed,

Sloth

To be a thief,

Goth

To be a Merovingian,

Lust

To hate where once was none,

Rust

To lose all hope,

Void

To paint the walls black,

Destroyed

To continue this journey,

Rough

To flourish, is to say,

Enough

For I have had my mother hold me and in tears, beg me to live

And I am tired of being held back from hearth I miss

So, enough of this childish nonsense

Enough of this fattening redundence

Break these ashened pillars of apathy

My body painted in the new math of me

My sight, returned

Flourish, the new word

A marriage to my own kingdom

Pax Francorum, forever ringing

Frankish angels, sweetly singing

Frankish angels forever singing

This universe that exists spans the bredth of that which will make you burn

You will be taught to unlearn

I yearn for that which I must learn

To God I go, sword in hand, to Carolingian graves, to make me turn

Amen

The Princess, The Tiger & The Pear

Chapter 6

She had been dreaming, that she was in a place other than the deep, dark dungeon of the ogre. It had been another room of darkness, but of a gentler kind.

Then there had been a light.

Geometric lines and edges, that were soft.

A sweet hum, melodic.

Then her eyes opened.

She took in her surroundings; the first thing she saw was a spacious ceiling made of clean stone, painted white with the black points of many tiny stars.

She blinked a few times, moving her sore neck to her left and right.

She had awoken in a fine, restful bed with silken sheets, comfortable pillows and blankets. More than that, she was in a cozy room with walls painted in gentle blues and other lulling colors. Next to her bed on the opposite wall was a tall window, which overlooked to an expansive forest and clear sky.

Maybe her dream hadn’t been a dream at all.

She pulled the blankets off of her and stiffly stood up. As she moved her blonde waves, she saw that she was wearing a long, silken night gown. She gently moved to the window and looked out and saw besides a forest, a small town, bustling in the afternoon light. People were strolling between stalls, carrying goods, dressed in simple clothes and busily talking to each other and the merchants they encountered.

Truth.

Truth, it wasn’t a dream!

“Wooh!” Aline cried, throwing her arms in the air and jumping up in excitement. She went back to her bed and rolled around on top of it, clutching the pillow and laughing hysterically. Tears of happiness were welling up in her eyes. For the first time in a long time, she was smiling and so, so happy.

She was free!

She slowed her excitement though and stopped rolling on the bed as she started putting her memories back together.

Wait, where was she and how had she gotten here?

She remembered running from the burning house and-

Aline’s senses were suddenly alerted as she heard the door to this room suddenly open. She quickly turned her head and saw an older woman, dressed in the outfit of an attendant staring in at her.

“Oh my goodness!” the lady cried while Aline jumped out of her bed. “Don’t be afraid, cherie!” said the attendant.

“Who are you?” Aline asked.

“I am Henriette, handmaid to King Grande and his son, Prince Beau, the young man you rescued. Do you remember?” The woman’s voice was as sweet as rose petals dipped in honey.

Aline calmed herself, but still looked at the woman warily. Then she remembered her run through the forest, a deep pool and a young boy at it’s bottom. She remembered diving in cold water and seeing nothing but dark depths and the distant shape of the boy.

That was it.

“I… I remember some.”

“Good, good. Now, stay where you are, the prince would like to see you very much.” Henriette gave a big, sweet smile, while moving a gray bang from her eye. “Don’t worry dear, you are safe here. Oh, and there are fresh clothes for you in that cabinet there. We’ll knock before we come in.” And with that, Henriette closed the door, and Aline heard a few shuffled footsteps of the old lady walking away.

Aline stood there for a moment, swaying. She turned her head and saw a mirror, and saw that she was still in her sleeping gown. Next to the mirror was a large dresser, which after she opened revealed many fine clothes. She grabbed a turqoise dress, an additional cloak and fixed her hair before sitting on an adjacent chair.

Yes, she remembered much now.

She remembered her encounter with the tiger and the promise of her rage for a way out.

She remembered the ogre exploding in a wreathe of fire before her.

And she remembered carrying with her the chest that held her mother Aurore’s heart.

Immediately, she began furiously searching the room for the chest. She had carried nothing else with her during her escape, but had the prince left the chest back in the forest?

“Are you looking for this, cherie?”

Aline, who had been looking under the pillows she had just been sleeping on, turned her head to the doorway. There before her was the boy from the forest that she had saved from drowning, dry and dressed in fine accoutrements. And in his hands was the chest. Behind him was an exasperated Henriette.

Aline eyed him carefully. He was handsome, with dark hair that fell in fine bangs. He had somewhat small eyes, and his cheekbones were well shaped. Once she was sure of him, she remembered some of Aurore’s points on civility. Aline smiled and gave a tiny curtsy.

“Um, bonjour my dear. My name is Beau.”

“The prince of these lands,” chimed Henriette spoke behind him. Beau looked back at his handmaid, cheeks slightly blushed. “Yes, Henriette, I just didn’t want that to be the first thing I said.”

Henriette swatted the young man’s ears, causing him to flinch in pain. “Prince Beau, your cheeks should be redder than that! Cherie, I’m so sorry, I told you we would knock first but this young man was so excited to see you that he barged right in!” Henriette’s frown at the young man was scarier than the kindness of her face would have led you to believe.

Aline giggled, for she found this exchange humorous and a relief compared to what she had just been through.

“It’s fine, sweet Henriette, I had already changed. Then, Aline’s gaze became strong and her attitude serious. “Prince,” she began while clearing her throat. “May I take my chest back?”

“Oh, of course,” said Beau, as he actually stepped towards Aline and placed the chest before her. Aline took it and as she did so, Beau reached into his pocket and gave her a familiar dark key. Aline took both, walking back and putting them under her pillows. That would have to do for now. After this, she looked at Beau.

“Did you?,” and as she spoke, she motioned to the spot that hid the treasures. Beau shook his head.

“No, of course not, and I kept chest and key with me at all times. No one else but me and Henriette know of it.” Aline’s shoulders dropped in relief, deeply exhaling.

“Merci beaucoup,” was all she could say.

There was a moment’s pause.

Beau stepped forward. “My good friend, what is your name?” Aline blinked, then gasped as she realized she had not introduced herself yet to anyone here. She immediately stepped forward, taking the prince’s hand and looking him in his dark eyes.

“Je m’appelle Aline,” she said, her naturally melodic voice sounding lyrical as she spoke her name. Behind her eyes, she thought about how long it had been since she had heard, let alone spoken her name.

Aline.

The prince looked into her eyes, then squeezed her hand. “My pleasure,” he whispered.

They barely had a moment to say anything more before loud, angry footsteps could be heard. Aline and Beau turned around to see a tall, broad-shouldered man dressed in splendid garments suddenly in the doorway. He had long, dark hair, a long beard and the same eyes as Beau. Aline could immediately tell that this man was Beau’s father. But whereas Beau’s light eyes held a gentle incandescent shine to them, his father’s eyes radiated fury.

“Boy!” he roared like a wyrm. “Why are you here right now? Why aren’t you hunting right now?”

“Grande, please,” Henriette began before the king looked down at her, swords of impatience stinging into her vision. Henriette, now forcibly humbled, then meekly silenced herself. Beau then stepped forward.

“Father, please, I was just coming to check on the girl who saved me. Remember? I had my guards bring her up here. Her name is Aline.”

The king huffily regarded Aline, but he managed to take a single, calming breath, his cheeks losing only a hint of their red sheen.

“Yes. Yes, thank you. Sincerely, I thank you. Please, come to dinner tonight.” He didn’t necessarily sound sincere, but Aline graciously nodded in acceptance. The king immediately returned his attention to his son.

“As I said, you should have been hunting by now! Our handmaids would have taken care of this vagabonde, and you could have met her in the evening once you were done.”

“Father, I couldn’t wait until then, I owe her too much. And as I’ve told you before I-”

“You what?” the king growled menacingly, interrupting his son. Beau suddenly stopped any action. Gulping, he quickly flicked his head to look at Aline before returning his attention to the king, straightening himself.

“I hate hunting!”

With a surge of speed, the king stepped forward and slapped Beau across his face. The smack was loud and Beau immediately clutched the cheek that had received the blow. He stared at the ground, trying to fight back the sting he felt before it brought on his tears.

“My prince!” Henriette yelled as she rushed over and gently reached down to inspect the spot. Aline walked to Beau, resting a hand on his shoulder, squeezing it to let him know he was all right.

“Go down, get your musket and make up for the time you’ve lost,” the king hissed. “No son of mine will be allowed to be weak,” he said before turning around, his robes trailing behind him like a lizard’s tail. But as he walked away, Aline turned her attention to, stabbing at his back with her coldest, iciest stare.

“King Grande!” she roared a challenge with so much bravada, the king did stop and turn to face her, his visage belying a crease of open surprise. Though he was much bigger than her, Aline walked forward with no fear felt at all to impede her steps. How dare this man strike his own family! She stepped to him, to let him know this fact. But when she had summoned the breath-

Nothing.

She felt nothing.

Aline gasped, suddenly short for air as a cold rush crashed across her spine, chest and forehead. A sliding feeling was felt in her gut, for in her mind, she had reached forth from there to pull out her own fury. But where there should have been a fire, a heat, there was an emptiness that brought a feeling of weightlessness to her entire frame.

The consternation of the tiger prince.

She stumbled, and the king’s gaze regained it’s edge. Aline looked up at him, and he now seemed immensely intimidating to her. And his blooming rage felt as though a hot desert wind had blasted her in the face, causing her to stumble back.

“I said you were invited to dinner. Don’t make me take my invitation back,” the king spoke, grabbing and ruffling the hem of his robes. “Boy, follow me.”

Aline could only wobbily stand there, as she felt Beau walk past her. She saw he was still clutching his face. But he briefly turned to look at her. Somehow, he was smiling.

“Let’s talk later,” he managed to quietly squeak out before he followed his father out and down the hall.

Aline was still weak, but she felt the kind grip of Henriette lead her to sit at the edge of the bed, touching Aline’s forehead to check her temperature, wiping away beads of cold sweat. So distraught was Aline, and in a cold daze, she didn’t even hear Henriette say she would come back with some cold water for her to drink.

The Princess, The Tiger & The Pear

Chapter 5

The ogre’s lair was nothing but ashes.

The orchards, a smoldering ruin.

The barrier that had hid this foul estate for many years, dissipated, burned away by the fires of Aline’s rage. All of this had been burned away by her rage. The rage of a young woman seeking freedom, collecting the light of one who loved her so much.

And overhead in the clouds, a raven, somber and as dark as rotted licorice, quickly flew by. It was scanning the area, looking for details and drawn to this site by some unhearable calling. Now, it seemed to be hunting for a scent.

It’s curiosity had brought it firstly to the remnants of the ogre’s shack. From the air, it payed attention to the way the soft breeze that was rushing through this place was rustling the thick layer of ashes that lined where poorly made floorboards had once been. With it’s sharp eyes, it soon spotted the outline of Aline’s deep prison.

Yes, yes! Something powerful resided here, yes!

It then caught an updraft that lifted it up smoothly, without it having to make the exertion of having to flap it’s wings. From there, it’s head seemed to take notice of an invisible trail that meandered through the burnt branches of the orchard. It then hurriedly proceeded to follow that trail.

Then, it ran through here. Whatever it was, it ran through here!

The trail took it out of the husk of an orchard and into the deep forest. Through the leagues of deciduous shade it darted, flying through the thick expanse with skill and speed that only a predator is capable of. It was getting closer, it knew, for the trail was thickening, congealing into a more solid form.

The trail brought the bird to a certain calm forest pool, it’s surface pleasantly littered with petals and leaves. There on the shore, it landed with a sickening pitter and a patter. On the ground, it hopped around like a large bug as it’s eyes followed and traced traced a lingering outline, an impression that was left in the moist dirt.

A person-no, a girl-person lay here. I can tell, it was a girl-person!

Then, it fluttered and hopped, cawing in shrill excitement. It had spotted the flat and square impression of where a small and heavy chest had been. From this spot was a brilliant glare, and the raven was turning it’s head as if having to protect it’s dark eyes.

Yes, yes! The power, the power! The power had been here, yes!

It then flew with renewed energy straight up to a spot high in the darkening, twilight sky. Refocusing it’s gaze, it followed the trail which was now more powerful than it had ever been before. For many miles it followed this invisible yet hotly blazing path. For in the raven’s eyes, the trail wasn’t invisible, but dotted with the pulsing sparks of a powerful magic. The raven was cawing in a way that sounded like pain inducing laughter; it was going to find the treasure, tonight and for sure!

Then, it stopped.

In it’s tracks, between the cool of a lingering cloud.

For though the path was clear, where it was taking the raven, it had not expected. For there, not too far in the distance, was a settlement. There were many simple houses, those that belonged to villagers, many of whom the raven could see were retiring for the night, calling in their little ones and closing their doors. Some were making final checks on their livestock, and a few of the houses had smoke pluming forth from there chimneys. A few young men and women were making their way back from the village tavern, from which loud accordions could be heard when the door opened. Additionally, from the taverns halls, bawdy and cheerful laughter could also be heard-which seemed to be painful to the raven.

The beastie turned it’s attention away from the village and to a grander sight. Up on a nearby hill, overlooking them all, was a tall and mighty chateau. Its towers and windows were high, outlined with a blue frame. It was large and it’s craftsmanship spoke of finery, it’s tiled roof the sort built to keep warmth in despite the bleakest cold. But above all else, its ramparts and walls said that it was capable of strength and military defense. And patrolling its walls, carrying small lanterns, guards could be seen patrolling, carrying swords and muskets. Despite the setting sun, their eyes were bright with alertness.

The raven screamed and fluttered in piercing aggravation.

No, no! I was so close! There will be too many guards for me!

The raven was thrashing about, swatting at the clouds, lashing and viciously stirring at the air with it’s small but sharp talons. Eventually though, its fit had ceased. Its chest began to not puff out so much.

Still, still. I know where the power is. Yes, yes. I know where it is!

The raven’s eyes suddenly glowed an eerie brightness, a color indescribable and that spoke to mischief most vile. And then, a spiraling flame spewed from it’s beak with a shuttering cough, flying before it in the air. At first, the flame was a chaotic mess. But it then formed into the shape of a window, all the while glowing the same strange light as the raven’s eyes had but a moment ago. A window whose purview bespoke of a place frought with ill intentions and wickedness.

Oh, Matthieu will be most pleased with me! Yes, yes he will.

The raven then flew into this portal, disappearing suddenly. The flames quickly dissolved, as if neither flame nor bird had ever been there to begin with, leaving only the wisps of clouds to bear any witness.

Frankish Vision III: Clothilda

This moment is her glory

She shines bright in the morning

Giving arms to the radiance around her

Giving alms to the daughters that found her

For seven years, she has worked to destroy

The shadow tower you tried to build over her joy

Every brick a cruelty, every wall, lain with her stress

And yet now she stands before you in golden dress

An address;

The tower has been illumined away

The knowledge and prosperity made the mortar sway

Until all your groomed evil’s weight collapsed

You cannot escape from your new Tolbiacs

Yet, still she comes to you and raises an offering, open hand

And you remember the moment’s stare, in distant land

When the both of you sat across from each other

And pleadingly, she sought truth you would not offer

Please, please be my lover;

It was difficult, to escape the lie of your wing

To unchain herself from your taunts and stings

But she persevered against your relentless sneer

All the courage of the archangels to free from fear

And yet, she understands the power of forgiveness

And for those she shelters, a light through the mists

You kneel to her now, as all will at St. Genevive

Married now to a new, beautiful light and eve

She is the bride of courageous peace

This universe that exists spans the bredth of that which will make you burn

You will be taught to unlearn

I yearn for that which I must learn

To God I go, sword in hand, to Carolingian graves, to make me turn

Amen

Frankish Vision I: Luitgard

Against my brow, upon ground now long hallowed

My heart beats in tandem with the drinks of wine bottles so shallowed

I hear calls from beyond bar door frames yelling “hall’o!”

Yet on this dark road I, myself shall not allow

For instead I feel hollow upon ground long lay fallow

By constricting knives of asphalt and concrete

I know deep beneath lie ancient seeds to flowers sweet

Of a land where life is good and love is as strong mead

But instead I carry on to my abode, alone

I tarry to kitchen, alone, to couch, alone, to bed, so alone

“This does not bode well,” I intone in my temple

Once upon a time, I remember a friend, with laugh fair and smile gentle

Who held my hand in hers-but now she is gone and my heart doth tremble

Yet no one is to blame, just the passing of re’membrance

Remove the ghostly hands to forget thine distant embrace

Run my hands through my locks and against my face

As I sit at my wine stained table and close my eyes

I close my eyes and comfort myself in dimming shroud

My breath slows and the cars and random club songs become not so loud

A darkening cloth of rest, conscious, no longer at test

The melting of the walls and bookshelves

As the walls to my mansion erase themselves

And replace, with forests mighty and castles great

I stand up and partake in the sights of ancient length

Not far is a glowing ocean, vast, and adroit, a gold tower of sublime make

Upon a mountain, towering with mist, rain and fortitude

Towards it I go, with no intention of intrude

With confidence, I walk with sword, shoes, and cloak of blue

With intense, I fight and defeat routiers and wolves

And without incensed, I pass time with elks but not with drunken fools

As I ascend, walking past mud and stone

To the shining door, I reach, alone-always alone

And into a hall, long and made with diamond

Around me, sweet sounding, bells that are chiming

Lily and rose petals start falling as I begin climbing

Distant memories of love, endless, unbounding

Begin resounding in an empty hearth where my heart’s

Fire was lit, rebounding light to tear the darkness apart

And reforge the shards of my quintessence

I remember my mother’s guiding lessons

My mind is calm, prepared for any and all repentence

As I push open a final, silver door-lavender scents

Fill the air, as there, not far and against a window

Stands a maiden fair overlooking the crescending meadows

She is tall, her hair bright like a spindle

Especially in the midnight moon’s light

Her hair falls down the span of her pale back

In artisan-like, royal elegance-braided with excellence and delight

I approach, slowly and cautiously, no retrack

When at last I am by her side, I announce my gentle tidings

And to my surprise, she turns and wraps her arms around me in kindness

Shock gives way to tears in my eyes

As she calmly reassures me that all will be well,

To trust and love with God, and the loneliness in my soul will not dwell

Undo the bindings of resentment entrenched in my matter, get up from where you fell

Live life as the story you wish to tell

And to make no sell of character that would unseam

And I embrace her tightly, this forgiving queen

In this palace room, grand and clean

And to be in the arms of a woman again, fills my heart with joy

And to hold her in mine fills my marrow with joy

And for a moment we sway in the calm breeze, not alone

Like the meeting of the Isere and Rhone

Holding each other, feeling sincere, not alone

I hold her dear

But then I turn to gaze at her features

And I find that I cannot see the grace of her features

Even in fine starlight I cannot find her face

This shining, immaculate place

“My love, why can I not see you clearly,” I ask

And she told me, “My love, your heart is kind and can make the task,

But how can you profess to call me love

When you have yet to know that which is?”

This universe that exists spans the bredth of that which will make you burn

You will be taught to unlearn

I yearn for that which I must learn

To god I go, sword in hand, to Carolingian graves, to make me turn

Amen