The next few days were interesting; I did not know yet whether I was a child of mind, heart or faith but the books I found in the Avalon library were amazing and would definitely satisfy even the most inquisitive mind. Some looked extremely old and were to be manoeuvred carefully. At all times one of the d’Avalon brothers was in the library with me; they all seemed to be waiting for me to do something although it appeared to be different expectations from each of them. Etienne was obviously waiting for me to display some of the gifts I was supposed to have. Edmond apparently was looking for someone warmer than his brothers. I found he was a kind man somewhat forced to contend with two brothers whose personalities could have easily trampled his own. And so he had become a man who sheltered his heart, which was probably not a good thing for one whose heart meant the continuation of his line. It was never good for a man of heart to ignore it. So I had learned in my house with my brother and mother. I enjoyed speaking with Edmond. He reminded me a little of my brothers though less free with his feelings. He was the one to tell me about history and genealogy of Avalon. He also explained to me why Avalon valued knowledge as they did: if the Mother had blessed the royal line with heart, the Father himself gifted Avalon with mind. And it was in Essault that the Son had granted his gift of Faith. And the bounds between these houses had always been strong for they were the first three houses in St-Dome. I had never realized my family was such a respected line and I could not guess why they never told me. A part of me hurt. I felt I was never really a part of my family. My mother had not birthed me even though she loved me dearly. I guess it was not fair to think thus but one could sometimes doubt. The Duke… I could not guess at what he wanted from me. And it unsettled me more than I cared to admit.
On my fourth day in the d’Avalon household I was reading a book that Edmond had given me on Brianna. He mentioned with a shy smile that he knew his brother would not give it to me unless I found it myself. He then left me to the book, which was curious, as I had not yet been on my own yet in the library. It was a peculiar book and one that made me uneasy. Apparently Brianna could be in different places at the same time; that was something I could not do, or at least that I never tried doing but it did somewhat to explain why that night on the mountain the women had disappeared when the sun rose on that altar. It was unnerving; how could one be in two places at the same time? In fact Brianna seemed to find herself in more than two places at once but there was no explanation to it beside the fact that she only needed to will it to have her soul travel away from her body. I closed the book. It was not a thing I wished to do; the gods had made us mortal and our body and mind were one, not meant to be separated except in death. I could understand why Brianna would cause concern; what power did she hold if she could separate her mind from her body without dying in the process? And what power could the sisterhood hold if they had the same gift? It was heresy.
I found myself breathing hard and stepping away from the book; maybe it would have been better Edmond did not give it to me. I could not explain why but I was in a state of panic. I did not want any of this, I was only a child whose parents had abandoned her and who was lucky enough to have been taken in by a loving family. Why was I trying to look for troubles? Spots appeared in my vision as I struggled to breathe; I lost track of where I was and the more I tried to regain control the more it escaped me. A dark veil fell on my eyes and for a moment sounds were muffled. I had a sense of someone holding me but could not hear anything. Suddenly a red haze flashed in front of my eyes; I was standing in front of crowd that was jeering and yelling in anger. The king and queen were sitting on the side a contemptuous look in their eyes. In the crowd I saw my parents crying, leaning on each other. Next to them, I met Etienne’s eyes. Why was he here? And they held resignation. I knelt then and I felt the sword as it cut my neck and I screamed. What had I done to deserve the death of traitors? I was still breathing though when I felt something cold on my face and a voice cut through the haze and noise of the cheering crowd.
“Brianna. Brianna.” There was anxiousness in the voice. I was a child again in the temple with Thierry holding me and trying to bring me back from the nightmare I was seeing. As I did then, I struggled to open my eyes. Only this time it was the Duke who was standing over me and his gaze held nothing but concern. Etienne was behind him and his was filled with curiosity. I could hear the question in his mind, he who had so few; he knew I had seen the future or the past but could not guess what it was except it was awful.
“Is there something I can do?” Lord Endymion asked.
At least he did not ask what I had seen: a kindness considering who he was. I pulled myself up as he held me and made sure I did not fall. I was wobbling on my legs, which could barely support me.
“No,” my voice was hoarse. I must have screamed at the top of my lungs. “It’s…” there was no point lying. They knew better than I what I was. “It will pass. It always does.”
Etienne cut in.
“I can’t imagine you have ever seen anything as terrifying as what you just witnessed. You were screaming as if you were being killed.”
He could not know how close he was hitting but I managed to offer an answer in a tone more solid and confident than I felt. I believe I was cold even…
“The first thing I ever saw was my father dying, trampled and gored by a boar. So yes I have seen terrible things my Lord. And I always recover.”
He answered with a cold smile; he had wanted to see what I could do. I guess it was satisfactory for now. But if he expected me to show him how to divide my soul from my body he was going to be disappointed. Instead I turned to his brother.
“I will go back to my rooms. I think I will be going home as soon as I am fit. Probably tomorrow or the day after.”
I let go of him but found myself falling again. It seemed my legs were not willing to carry me just yet. He scooped me in his arms not without gentleness and brought me to my apartments. He helped me sit in one of the chairs and sat in front of me.
“I think more than a couple of days will be needed. This seems to have shaken you badly. It was the book who triggered whatever vision you had, was it not?”
“I could not say my Lord. I will admit though that the book scared me. I am not sure I blame people for being afraid of what I am.”
“You were not ready to see this book.”
“No I was not.”
“You need more time to learn.”
“I will not stay my lord. I wish to go home. And I hope I can trust you won’t prevent me from doing so.”
“I will not. But that does not mean I will not try to get you back.”
“I guess it is your prerogative to petition your uncle for my return my Lord.”
He nodded appreciatively. It seems I was learning fast enough for his taste.
That night, I still went down to dinner. I did not feel strong but I would not insult my hosts by not showing up. Edmond looked as if he was chided for giving me the book and he met my eyes guiltily. I smiled to him; he could not have known the effect the book would have on me. He returned the smile shyly. Their parents acted as if they knew nothing of what had transpired in the afternoon but I thought that very unlikely. They were gracious and efficient as ever. They did not even mention my intention of leaving, which I was sure they knew.
In response to the Daily Post writing prompt Vision