I took some time alone in the bower before going down to the river to think. Something about the water clears my mind and helps me focus, and I needed to think. I’d found myself somewhat befuddled and confused after my visit with Maric, and so I waited until nightfall, long past nightfall, and went down to the river.
Since reawakening, I’ve felt somewhat stretched out, as if I’m drawn in black and white and not colour. That probably doesn’t make any sense. Of course I know I belong here. This is my land. This is my kingdom. But the more I learn, the more I realise I may have some choppy political waters to navigate.
There’s the business with Maric. There’s trying to find Janus. There’s trying to find Sia. There’s reconnecting with Aoibheann, who seems different somehow. There’s the probable necessity of instituting diplomatic relationships on some level with hell.
No sooner had I got to the river than Dyisi appeared. I’m blessed to have someone like her in the realm: she has no particular loyalties and could care less whether she has anybody’s protection.
I asked her the same questions I’ve been asking everyone as to what occurred in my absence, and I got much the same answers from her that I’d got from Nathaniel and Wren a few days before. Her stories also mostly lined up with Maric’s, though they differed in the telling.
The night was ripe with moonlight: we were but a few days away from the full moon. The fish were jumping, and I delighted in dipping my toes in the water to feel them swim round my feet.
One of the things I love most about Dyisi is her eclectic sense of style. And of course she, like Nathaniel, knows more than one version of me. She’s seen me in jeans and a t-shirt, the sort of thing that always made Aoibheann uncomfortable. Of course, I feel like a kid next to her, and it’s made me wonder about our future as friends. I sense she has affection for me, that she likes me and appreciates me, but her emotional projections sometimes make my balance a bit unsteady. And wherever she is, she comes off looking like the wise philosopher. Next to her I feel like a bit of tinsel, to be honest.
We were visited by Egena, Hadley-that-was. She is … different. She seemed worried I’d not accept her as her new self. But my hope is to accept everything and everyone as they are, to be satisfied with what they bring to me. And if Egena is reborn as a demoness, well then, she is reborn as a demoness. It felt like she has been judged by some in our realm. And she seemed worried that she’d offend me somehow. Where do people get the idea that Fae Queens are so easily offended? Perhaps I have a difficult legacy to unravel.
She is beautiful, of course. I do admit that her horns remind me stomach-droppingly of Rachel, who also had white roses round her horns. Rachel who is gone and will never return, and the only demoness I’ve ever really known very well — and by all accounts she wasn’t a very good demoness. Perhaps I’ll spend some time getting to know Egena, see what makes her tick.
I admit I didn’t come away with any more clarity than I began with. Every answer seems to bring only new questions, And the whisperings about what happened with My Janus are unsettling. The cold and ruthless King who is described to me is not the man I built this land with. I am confused.
I felt confused enough after my encounter with Dyisi that after I retreated for the night, I channeled all my energy into making the flowers grow around the far pond in the bower.
And I can’t say that it brought me much solace, but at least I can bring the buds in the spring, as the song says.
If only my heart were so easily quickened.