Saturday, September 22, 2018

When Worlds Collide - The Book of Remy - Chapter Seven

Cleitus lived in the magical OtherWorld for decades. Time progressed differently in those days. The OtherWorld and the mundane were on separate clocks. While the Romans worked on conquering Britain, and ridding the island of the Druids, Cleitus investigated his new home.

He found ‘gates’ that took him to places he could never have dreamed existed. The part of the OtherWorld which he had been led into was a hub to a hundred other worlds, maybe more, and each contained magical beings of unbelievable power.

At first, he was guided by the siren who coaxed him into her world. She was a seductive companion and soon he lost track of where he was. He would have had no idea of the direction in which to turn to escape her, if he had wanted to. But in time, the decision was not his. She grew tired of her new plaything and left him behind.

At first, he inadvertently stumbled through gates, or was caught in worlds where he frantically searched for a way out, as in the world of the Kraken. He had never learned to swim, even in his long life. Eventually, he learned how to find the ‘gates’ on his own. He needed to relax and listen to his inner soul. His ethereal self would literally lead him to the gates.

He wandered aimlessly encountering every form of imagine and unimagined creatures; dragons, Minotaur, fairies, werewolves, banshee, elves, unicorns, mermaids, shedus, kitsunes, centaurs, gryphon, hippogriff, and so many more creatures that he lost track of them all.

It was in the area which was later referred to as ‘The Deep’ that he met Morrigan the great queen of the Celts gods. She was all powerful, ruling over both life and death. At the time, she was the ruler of the OtherWorld. Morrigan was consort to Dagda, the ‘All Father’ or god of the earth. The two saw Cleitus as a lost soul and they welcomed him into their domain. For the first time in over a century Cleitus’ soul became calm once again…

Morrigan allowed the old Greek to reside within her. Cradled in her bosom he rested for decades in peace until the day the Romans invaded the OtherWorld.


The Roman soldiers had set the forest on fire! The creatures, both great and small, ran from the flames. Will-o-the-wisps cried as their wings caught fire and turned them into floating cinder balls. Foxes, werewolves and coyotes gathered their young and howled to their packs to run. Run for their lives. Shape-shifters tried to run by changing to birds in order to fly above the flames, but they were caught by the crowning fire.

The fire soon became a violent ‘Fire Storm’ with tornado-like whirls of hot air burning everything in its path. The Romans who had set it were rapidly pushed forward by the hot winds and flames of the monster they had created. They had no idea what they were going to face due to their folly.

“Let me help,” Cleitus’ soul pleaded within Morrigan. “I know these warriors. I know how to defeat them.” The Greek could feel the tension within the goddess. “Together we can defeat them and drive them back from whence they came.”

Morrigan allowed Cleitus to do what he did best, Fight! She granted him the gift of his own strong body once again. He had little time to marvel at this event as the Romans rushed forward.

He attacked the first line with his bare hands. He wrenched the sword from the hand of his enemy and a dagger from another. Cleitus and Morrigan, in human form, with Dagda at their side, ripped the Roman legions apart. Those that did not die from his sword or the halo of power thrown from Morrigan’s and Dagda’s fingertips were driven back into the flames. The two gods and Cleitus laid waste to the Romans. Morrigan lived up to her title as Goddess of Death that day.

Afterward, Morrigan and Dagda shoved the bodies of the fallen into the flames. The Roman dead became one with the OtherWorld. The three watched as the fire died, brought to an end by a heavy rain conjured up by Dagda. The All Father then wove his magic into the forest and it became renewed, sprouting ferns and small seedling trees wherever his fog of power touched the burned and smoldering ground.

Morrigan turned to Cleitus. “I am the giver of life and death. I know you long for a place with your gods, but I am unable to give you that which I do not have access to. However, I can reward your valor by returning you to life here in the OtherWorld. You could once more walk among men, as you are now, if you wished.”

Cleitus was hanging on her every word. To be human once again was something unimagined. “I would be thankful beyond words.”

“Unfortunately, nothing can be given without a price,” the goddess continued. “You will walk among men again, but you have taken too many lives, shed too much blood not to pay the price. If you chose to move among man again, you shall never forget your past deeds. There will be little peace for you. And you will be eternally damned to sustain your life with the blood of others.”

“I can be a warrior. I have fought all my life,” Cleitus assured her.

“You will shed blood, but not by the sword. You will feed upon the living. The only way you will live is if you drink the blood of others.”

Cleitus gave her a bewildered look. How could he commit to such an existence? It was not a decision to make lightly. Morrigan was not in a hurry. Gods are eternal, so the passage of time meant nothing to her. Cleitus withdrew to think.

It may have been days, weeks, months, years, decades, centuries… He did not know. He only knew he considered Morrigan’s offer for a long time. He traveled more within the OtherWorld. Once more in his ethereal body, always longing for the touch of another, the smell and taste of food, the feel of clothes on his body and a bed beneath him.

He discovered pockets of humans living quietly among the magical and mystical of this unique world. Humans who seemed to be happy in their existence. He thought about the future and the act of feeding on them, but as he watched a group of four men bring down a large stag and eats it heart for the power it possessed, he began to wonder. Must he drink the blood of other humans? Morrigan had only said the blood of ‘others’. She did not specify other ‘humans’. Could he trick the Goddess?

He chose to stay with this small community of humans for a time, as he pondered his choice. They were unaware, but he helped them with numerous almost insurmountable problems they faced. He knew the way of the magical beings by now and interceded when they thought to overrun the humans. He set himself up as their protector. He discovered the negotiator within him.

It was during one of the encounters with the creatures of the OtherWorld, over the fate of the humans, that he encouontered Nithbeth. She was breathtaking. A temptress without equal. A demon with unmatched beauty. They formed an immediate bond, but he longed for more. He needed to be able to touch her, smell her scent, kiss her inviting lips. His desires outweighed everything else.

He returned to Morrigan with his decision. He wanted what only she could give him. He wanted his human form again, so he could lie with Nithbeth and make her his.

Morrigan sat among the ferns in the depth of the newly regenerated forest of Dagda. “I am pleased you have returned.” She looked down upon the Greek. “You are in love…” It was a statement, not a question. “I feel it.”

“I am, My Lady,” Cleitus answered. “I have come to see if you will still grant me mortality.”

“I did not offer you mortality,” the Goddess corrected. “I offered you a body. As long as you sustain yourself on the blood of others, as we agreed, you will live forever. But remember, you will never escape the memories of your past transgressions. They will haunt you forever.”

Cleitus bowed his head. “I understand.”

“Then let it be so,” Morrigan intoned, as she lifted her hand and flicked a bolt of power off her fingertips.

The power hit him as if he had been struck by a sword through the heart. He was thrown back into the ferns and lay for a moment dazed. When his vision began to clear, he realized he could feel the ground beneath him. He could smell the damp earth of the forest floor and feel the warmth of the dappled sun on his cheeks. He sat up and felt his chest. His heart beat a fast tattoo. He was alive and in what he could only imagine, from the look of his hands and torso, was his own body.

“Now go, my friend and live the best you can with what I have given,” Morrigan dismissed him.

“I will always remember what you have granted me, this day,” Cleitus replied. He bowed and turned. I will always remember.

He chose his new name, the name he would have for eternity, to remind him of his duty to remember his past and make for a better future, Remy. Remy the Willow Gate keeper.

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