More excerpts from the ongoing Fiendish Pleasures Chronicle. It feels like I’ll never finish!
The guard brought her to the tavern, the gardens and the castle itself. No one had seen the one named Tammi. Seems no one had seen her for at least a week, if not longer.
The red-headed woman nodded, her excitement spent hours ago. She knew it was a false hope, that she would see Medea again. She wasn’t ~her~ daughter, but for all intents and purposes she was the closest relative she had. The last time Vedis had seen her daughter she was being tortured by her brother, a scene that the homunculus didn’t wish to review.
Her vision was awash in red none the less.
She nods to the guard and gives him a reassuring smile, “No worries. I will find her on my own.” she watches as he returns to his post making her way back down into the vaults silently, the weight of the knowledge that Vedis’ daughter had been here mere weeks ago heavy upon her shoulders.
The guard at the door to the laboratory straightens as she approaches, opening the door for her to pass through. She had been here long enough they had begun to recognize her. She spent much of her time in the lab, though they had long since stopped asking why. Maric was kind giving her a bed to sleep upon, but she could not go long without her mirror. Even now she felt the weight of her flesh upon her bones, the ache of hunger that heralded her weakness. Her body demanded to be fed. But not yet. For now, she had one more thing to accomplish.
She lifted the hem of her skirt and made her way down the stone staircase, each step heavier than the last.
The mirror’s silvered surface reflects her weariness back to her. Her perfection wrapped in black silk. She watches it with ebony eyes until the flesh had run off her bones, melting back down into the castle’s welcoming floor. Then even the bones sank down through the now empty black dress, the castle reclaiming what it had given her, and only she remained in the mirror.
The mirror. The place of her birth. She was Vedis’ curse, the memory of all the long eons of her life. Most creatures of great length of life forgot things. Weather on purpose or not. Little details slipping past them into the night of forgetfulness. As if their brain could only hold so much information before it had to overwrite with new.
Not Vedis. The Fallen remembered everything. The smell of burnt feathers as she fell into the newly rendered Hell. The cold touch of silver when Gabrielle placed the cursed collar upon her throat. The taste of the Sultan as he kissed her goodbye when he gave her over to his heartless son. The color of her daughter’s blood as Asmodeous tore her womb from her body with his metal cocktip.
She remembers everything. And those memories had been stored within this mirror when the Morning Star had dispersed her back into the primal force of her being.
But this mirror was a portal, first and foremost, and that portal was hers to command.
The Memory of Vedis reaches out to the cosmos, walking through the darkness of the mirror’s interior, looking through each window as she passes until after a long time, she comes across one that catches her eye. It was a window that looked into the interior of a bar, a small quiet place with dark wood on the walls and low hanging lights that barely lit the tables beneath them. There were several people scattered about the room drinking wine, but the woman in the corner was who she fixated on.
She had glanced up from her wine only once, glancing into the mirror with violet eyes that glowed briefly as she frowned and glanced away. She seemed to be intent upon a gentleman by the bar, watching him with a predatory look the red-headed spirit knew all to well.
She paused in her wanderings to draw closer to the window of glass that stood between her and this fairly normal looking scene. The woman looked familiar but the shadows that hid her from view made it hard to be sure.
The man at the bar stood up, and his movement had the violet eyed woman’s face lifting once more.
“Medea…” She gasps. The woman was the spitting image of her daughter, a black haired beauty in the prime of her life. Violet eyes watching the man step to the door. She stands, glancing to the mirror once more as if to check her appearance.
She had little enough time to react, the mirror shifted, and the ghostly vision of Vedis appears in the glass and for the first time, she caught the woman’s attention entirely. The glass of wine drops from her lifeless fingers and she steps over woodenly. It was then that the Memory of Vedis knew she had the right woman.
As Medea lifted her fingertips to brush the glass she opened the portal and pulled her through, ignoring the gasps of those left behind. It was over soon enough that they would doubt their memory of the events. Had the woman been there at all? Only the shattered glass on the floor would be proof of her having ever existed.
Medea, for her part, took the portal with good graces, and horrible balance. Dropping to the ground once through only to bolt up onto her feet once more, staggering in wonder as she takes in the full form of her dead mother’s apparition.
“I am not your mother.” she hurries to reassure her, “Only her memory. We are in need of your help, back in Mysthaven.”
“Just…her memory?” Medea looks around at last, finally able to drag her eyes from the vision before her. “Is… this the mirror?”
Vedis’ Memory nods, “It is.”
Medea smiles, “I helped to gather the pieces. I am glad it was not for naught. Does Galyanna know about you?”
“Yes. She and I spoke several days ago, and she ran off to Hell to speak with the Morning Star. We have not heard from her since. It is why I come searching for you now.” She could feel a pain in her breast at the sight of her daughter, nay, of Vedis’ daughter, whole and healthy before her. “I am…I am glad to see you.”
Medea nods, slowly. Uncertainty playing about her face. “I…I wish I could say this whole mess is over, and you were my mother in truth.” she murmurs finally, “But for what it is. I am glad to see you as well.”
Silence reigns over them now, as both of them struggle to come up with something to say, to address the issues that hang between them, but there was nothing to say, nothing that would bridge the gap between them.
“I will raise her once more.” Medea says, emotion heavy in her voice, “I will return you to your proper place within her mind.”
The Memories nod, “As it should be.”
She steps forward and takes Medea’s hands, “Will you return to Mysthaven? Will you help us find Galyanna and return the Queen to her rightful throne?”
The younger demoness nods, “I will, though Tammi, the woman I am possessing right now, will need to return here at times, for her own reasons.”
“You may use the mirror. It will return you here now that I know where “here” is. Just ask, and I’ll open the portal for you and Tammi once more.”
Medea smiles and hand in hand they walk back to the beginning. Only Medea steps through the mirror as the portal opens in the lab once more.
“I must stay here for now..” the Memory of Vedis says at her questioning look, “I hunger, and leaving while in the mirror I need no sustenance. Leaving the mirror now would be fatal for someone, and Maric has made me promise not to hurt his own…and he claims them all.” her smile rueful she blows Medea a kiss, “Let Maric know where I am. He will know how to recall me when he is ready.”
Medea inclines her head, then turns and heads up the stairs, “Gotta save Galy’s ass eh?” she mutters under her breath, “Well ain’t that something new.”