‘Is this a dream?’
I’m soaring through the air. The wind is blowing into my face. My eyes start to water but I do not close them. I want to see this.
The evergreen leaves of the huge camphor trees are passing me by.
The ground is getting closer.
My arms are heavy at my sides. I make no attempt to stop my impact with the concrete.
I lay there on the searing black ground and I can’t move.
Pain invades my senses; I feel that I hurt from the inside out.
Not from the bones that I must have shattered but from something much deeper within.
This torment, I’ve been hurting for a while, an agonizing pit that was ripped out from inside of my heart.
My limbs refuse to move after i managed to turn on my back and I can now only look up at the heavens.
The clouds pass slowly overhead; the rustles in the green trees are familiar music to my ears.
I recognize the dark roof ,tower over me. The same roof I was just perched atop.
A moment ago, a lifetime ago, I fell, I leaped, and plummeted down like a comet.
Why would I do that?
Why can’t I remember what brought me up there? My eyes are closing of their own, I want to wake up from this nightmare, the darkness feels so peaceful.
The sun is shining through my fluttering eyelids, blinding me and I have no strength to fight to keep them open.
I feel the patches of light that are gleaming through the tree canopy against my skin.
I need to know what brought me up there.
Why can’t I remember?
This thundering pain in my heart, a gaping hole I cannot fill.
A loss, I am sure of it. A terrible loss of something very important had brought me up there.
Something very dear was taken from me.
My senses are getting duller; I can’t open my eyes anymore.
Nothing exists but darkness and the rustling foliage in the evergreen trees.
And the sun, the scorching sun with its bright burning light that forces its way through the leaves to caress my broken body.
Reykjavik, Capital Region, Iceland
‘Was it a dream?’Darkness.
That voice! He knew that voice! It haunted him in his sleep; It rang as clear as a bell in his ears.
He must have still been dreaming.
That voice again. She was smiling. He knew this for sure. He didn’t even need to look up to see her to confirm it.
He knew she was smiling down at him, he could hear the glee in her voice.
“Erobre! Wake up! “She was persistent, the little creature. “Erobre! Wake up and come play with me! I am so bored!” He could hear that she was trying to pout but she was still beaming at him.
He felt her lips brush against his, and her hair tickled his skin as she leaned over him.
“Doll…sleep now…” He mumbled.
He didn’t want to wake up only to find her gone again.
He felt her tender fingers caressing his skin, fluttering down with the lines of his body and then she kisses him again.
She leaned back and he could smell the air now.
Crisp, clear of the smog that seemed to be everywhere in the city of his ominous dream, you could not get away from it clinging to you, smothering you but now it was gone.
A fog has lifted from his perception and he could sense the fragrance of the flowers around them.
He breathed in the fresh grass he half lay on.
Her favorite flowers. They surround them. In his mind, he imagined their royal blue bloom.
A flash of what must have been a memory invaded his mind.
He saw them at the lake, it was night and the moon reflected in its crystal blue waters.
He could hear the liquid cascades omitting from an underground source, fresh to quench the thirst of the growing trees on the banks of the lake.
The overgrowth around the wide reservoir dipped the long tangled branches into the water, seemingly bowing in reverence at the source of life.
And that is where he saw her in his memory, she was leaning forward over the water, a nymph imitating the evergreen trees and for a moment he feared that she might tumble in before he would have a chance to catch her…
In his memory he opened his mouth to speak, to call out a warning to her but then she leaned back and looked at him and he found himself by her side, giving her his hand to help her up.
“Oh! It is so beautiful!”
She said in his memory as she accepts the rose he wasn’t even aware he was offering to her. She brought the rose to her face and took a deep breath with her eyes closed and he could see that the rose he gave her was a blue rose, pale and radiant in the lunar light that bathed the earth in its mystical glow.
“I fear a day would come when magic might run out from this world and there will be no more blue roses.”
She said, a sad tone in her voice.
“It will never happen,” Erobre remembered himself assuring her.
“The blue rose is the symbol of my family,” He told her proudly. “I will never let it fade from creation. On my honor, I vow this to you.”
Erobre remembered her smile.
He remembered pulling her close to him. He was at least a head and a half taller than she was, ‘my little doll…’ He thought. That is how he was used to calling her…and she called him
‘my beautiful love.’ She said it then and beamed at him.
Erobre looked down into the face that smiles up at him, her arms wrapped around his body.
He gazed into those big green eyes and he had leaned down to kiss her. “Your lips are so soft…” she murmurs against his…
And then the memory ended.
His eyes snapped open and he looked up.
That was not Elske’s voice.
Elske…He was sure he had just had a dream about her, laying there in her arms.
‘I must have fallen asleep while she was playing with my hair. ‘
He thought as he beamed at her. He imagined she loved his mane more than he did.
She expressed her admiration towards his dark long locks the first time they met.
Many years before Erobre remembered a dark day.
The sea roared with a vicious storm and colossal waves crashed inland.
He remembered seeing the boats, flickering across the dangerous surge of the angry sea, dots of light in the smothering darkness.
The Ljósálfar onboard fled from the neighboring ice lands. The small settlement was invaded by a cruel enemy.
They called them the Germanic people. Creatures whos mortality had made them vicious and barbarous.
They were a petty kind, killing even their own for what scarce resources they could find.
It was a wonder such race even existed at the rate they seemed to have been plunging and murdering each other but rumors had it that they also tended to breed at an alarming rate, advancing as a swarm of deadly plague upon the lands they conquered, devouring anything ,everything and anyone in their path of destruction.
Erobre only heard of the atrocious acts they had committed against his kind and what small game they could find in the ice lands, their decimation of his people had made his skin crawl.
His father had ordered a rescue mission for those who could still be saved and now there he stood overlooking the rocky harbor, waiting to welcome his brothers and sisters home.
He noticed her right away, a fair maiden with flaming red hair standing out in the crowd of dark mahogany and bright yellow strands.
She looked a bit ill as she shakily left the boat. Erobre gathered she had been seasick from the harsh waves that rocked the vessel that carried her from the ice lands and he continued to watch her as she came in up the rocky beach with the crowd.
He had been waiting for them with his court to welcome the new arrivals and offer warm clothes and assigned dwellings allocated by his father
For a while the red-haired maiden was lost to him in an ocean of somewhat familiar but foreign faces but then as the night grew deep and the stars grew bright his now people gathered around makeshift fires they lit along the rocky beach and began singing in remembrance for their fallen brethren, in gratitude for their saviors and in hope for the future.
He had seen her again as he was making the rounds, greeting his fellow fey and listening to their hardships.
She seemed lost, perhaps, he assumed she could not find her family amongst the crowd.
He had never really believed in true love or finding your soulmate but when he saw her he did something he never has done in public before, he began to sing.
Elske heard erobre singing. She didn’t know who he was at first but his voice carried on the wind and filled her with warmth. Its beautiful melody made her heart soar higher than the night sky.
She followed the harmonious tune until it led her to a roaring fire and her heart skipped a beat when she came across the tall young elf who had drawn her in with his song.
He looked at her as she approached with eyes the color of amber, his long hair, black as the night bellowed in the wind, a dark halo around his perfectly sculpted body that couldn’t be hidden even under his long leather coat.
She introduced herself and he beckoned her to join them around the open flame.
They spoke until the break of dawn and as the fire began to die out she allowed him to pull her closer, he held her in his arms, praying she would not notice how hard his heart was beating and she, in turn, curled in his embrace, her small frame perfectly aligned in the sanctuary his body created from the cold.
Out of the fog of drowsiness and exhaustion she boldly snaked her arms under his coat and marveled at his smooth body, an alluring fire seemed to imitate from within him, Elske allowed her hand to travel up his hot skin and into his voluptuous hair, those were her words, and then she kissed him.
His lips were soft and warm and his taste sweet nectar.
Later she told him that she felt as if she was standing on the edge of a cliff and she feared that if she fell, she would never be able to climb back up, she would lose herself. In the end, as it turned out, she had to gather up the courage to jump. She admitted that she had never felt such deep connection, such powerful emotions before. Something had awoken within her, an irrefutable hunger for the godlike being that tenderly captivated her heart in his grasp.
“Who are you?” Erobre recalled her asking.
“Erobre! There you are!” Erobre remembered the twist in his gut as his brother approached them and the look of disbelief that obscured Elske’s lovely features.
He remembered feeling almost hollow when she detached herself from him.
“Prince Erobre…?” She whispered.
And he remembered himself as he just stood there, lost. He didn’t want to lie to her.
He introduced his brother who was apparently looking for him and then he offered to take Elske to her assigned home.
Her family was there waiting for her.
Years passed until they spoke of the kiss again.
They did keep in contact, more than that, they became very close friends.
Erobre had never stopped loving Elske.
And he knew now that in all the years of their friendship she always wondered what would happen if she took that leap when she finally did, she admitted to regretting not doing it sooner.
Over the years that passed since their first meeting both Erobre and Elske met and saw others however neither relationship they had been involved in lasted very long.
As time passed Erobre began to practically ignore every other female fay save Elske and avoided those that Seier had tried to set him up with, even Elske tried ones (agreeing it was a stupid notion at the time).
They did, however, became very good friends, their friendship was still going strong all these decades later.
He came to her when his powers first began to manifest. It was during dinner and Deidra said something about Elske that didn’t sit right with him, he could not remember what it was but what he did remember was the red tint that covered his eyes, his blood boil and then the wall behind Deirdra crystalized and exploded with ice raining on the table. Angrily he left and went to Elske and stayed in the house she had taken for herself, hiding from the world.
He didn’t want these powers, they meant he was expected to rule if the situation called for it, it was a burden filled obligation he didn’t wish for, all he wanted was to be free.
Desperate to deny his powers Erobre drank copious amounts of ale during the day and spent most of his nights up in the mountains away from any and every living soul, gliding down the slopes, jumping off cliffs, just him and the blades and the wind that carried him forward.
He had fashioned the ice blades by himself, with sharpened horns of the Capra aegagrus hircus (the Icelandic goat as it was known in the common tongue), he had strapped to the bottom of his winter boots.
Elske remarked that honing those bones was doing a good job in calming and centering him.
Perceiving how well of a job Elske was doing in remaining by his side during this trying time Erobre had to admit that he didn’t manage to be as good of a fay as he would have liked to be.
He was dealing with the uneasy task of being disappointed with himself, the frustration of losing what made him, him, and Elske was just there by his side supporting him, waiting patiently until he found what he wasn’t sure he actually lost.
Erobre admired her for that, she never took offense when she read him poetry and he only talked about perfecting his blades, she only smiled in understanding. He sensed she really got him, all of the demons that resided within his head, all his weaknesses he attempted to cover and she accepted all of them, she was constantly as patient and as supportive as he allowed her to be, and he wished he could be as calm as her.
However peace did not come easily to him and over a course of nearly a decade every time that he had exploded and downed another intoxicating beverage she would beacon him to her humble abode, sit him by the open hearth and braid his hair, telling him that when he felt out of control again and that another fit of rage was imminent he should try to trace the lines of the long thin braid she would hide in his locks and think of her, and the fire and the calm of the night.
One such night while they were sitting by the fire Elske put a gift wrapped in silk cloth in his hands.
“good yule Erobre.” She said, kissing him on his cheek.
Erobre remembered feeling a bit uncomfortable.”But I haven’t brought you anything.”
Elske laughed.”you brought me your company and friendship and I will cherish this gifts forever.”
Something resembling a smile tugged at the corner of Erobres mouth as he pulled the cloth from Elske’s gift. It was a wooden box with a lavish set of paints sitting atop what looked like a leather bound book. When Erobre opened the box he gasped. He had only heard of such colors. Undoubtedly she had brought the pigments from the ice lands. The beautiful wooden box contained a palate of dye and several brushed in different sizes, made of bone and what seemed to be horse hair. The leather bound book turned out to be blank but filled with parchment she must have flayed and dried by herself.
At first, Erobre wanted to refuse to accept such a valuable gift but Elske insisted. She encouraged him to use the brushes as an extension of his fingers, to practice fine movements, perhaps in that lay the key for him finally finding control over his abilities.
“Will you be my inspiration?” She blushed and nodded and that night he sketched her to the light of the fire.
Later that night while he slept by the dying flame he felt the worry and agitation rise within him so he ventured outside meaning to conquer yet another mountain pick with his blades, however, when Elske awoke and looked outside a life-size statue of her made entirely out of ice was standing by her window.
That was Erobres first real fit of control.
That night as he was making the sculpture Erobre truly realized that a world without his Elske would be horrible and desolate place indeed.
He did not know at the time that Elske believed that she had lost her chance with Erobre, that she thought that she had waited for far too long. however, seeing her image through his eyes and realizing that in his eyes she was beautiful, made her second guess her resolve to not pursue a relationship with the fay that she had known for so long.
She decided to finally take the leap.
Another winter bad passed them by and spring rolled in.
Elske had sent word to him one day to meet her by a concealed waterfall deep in the forest that spread below the castle. Erobre was almost certain no living soul save them knew of its whereabouts.
He came out to meet her at the agreed upon time as the sun was setting on an unusually warm day. When he got to the clearing overlooking the waterfall he thought that he was early to arrive but then his heart nearly stopped in his chest.
Erobres breath fluttered as he watched her naked body, standing under the cascading water as it streamed down her curves, he followed the flow of the water lick every bump and crevice, blushing furiously.
It didn’t take her long to notice him.
Erobre opened his mouth to apologize, his legs were howling at his brain to rush him out of there but then Elske did something he did not expect. She stepped from under the stream and reached her hand to him.
“Join me.” She said and almost dazed, without saying a word he followed her in.
They fused together first tender then lustfull as no other had before. The urgency of their movements spoke of great yearning, they were atoning for lost time. Under the rising moon and the night sky, they pledged one to another, body and soul. Neither of them ever known such profound and sensual connection. Such deep and elevating passion that sprouted from decades-long friendship and blossomed into eternal love.
Morning found them coiled in each other, gazing into each other’s eyes in adoration, there was no need to utter their devotion, their hearts were now bound in a vow of everlasting love that will endure the boundaries of time.
“Erobre.” A serious familiar voice sought him out of his enjoyable memories.
He unwillingly opened his eyes and looked towards the source of the bothersome voice.
He could imagine quite easily who it was that dared to pull him out of his daydreams and away from his beloved elske’s arms.
His big brother, Seier, of course, who else to ruin what looked to be a perfect quiet afternoon by the lake?
“Erobre!” Seier said sternly as he came to a halt a few feet away from them, looking down at him with those dark hazel eyes of his. “I’ve been looking everywhere for you little brother.”
“Don’t call me little brother,” Erobre growled, pulling himself up from the comfort of Elske’s arms and the soft green grass he was laying on.
“Age means nothing to us, Seier,” Erobre said as he stretches his body, throwing his long black hair back.
He brushed some stray leaves from his black cotton robe and left it open over his loose cotton trousers.
With bare feet, he made his way to the edge of the clear water of the lake.
‘Is that really me?’ It took him a fragment of a second to recognize my his own reflection. He thought it was still that powerful dream that haunted his psyche and in the dream, he knew that he looked completely different to the way he did now.
Falling…He was falling…a flash of his grieve stricken face flashed in the line of his vision as he flew by those glass windows.
He shook his head; He did not want to remember that awful dream.
He wiped the sleep from his eyes and looked into the water and his honey gold eyes stared back at him.
There he was. His sharp-edged ears reacted to the slightest shift in the air, his long black hair moves gracefully in the cool wind of the end of summer. He kneeled by the water and sprayed his creamy white skin with refreshing clear waters.
He looked at his brother. As children, they resembled so much to each other their people believed they were twins but now Erobre grew taller than Seier did and his once dark hair grew lighter than his, the result of decades in the sunlight. All those early hours outside, Seier spent sculpting in wood in the courtyard, Erobre could never bring himself to be out in the sun for so long.
“What do you want Seier?” Erobre asked a little too unkindly. “I thought you are seating with the council in fathers absence.”
“I was.” Seier, his ‘older’ brother looked briefly at the ground. ‘Is he avoiding looking into my eyes?’ Erobre could always read him pretty easily. the age difference between us was merely thirty winters, insignificant by the standard of their long lives.
Erobre straightened up and looked him over. He wore the golden robes of their father, the king. Seier has taken his place on the throne while their father fell ill.
His ailment was the talk of the kingdom.
Erobre hated that.
His brother and the high council did what they could to keep the news of his father’s ailment under wraps but at court, no one is immune to gossip, not even the king himself.
His father, on the other hand, should have been immune to anything else.
It was not uncommon for an elder from the Ljósálfar people to slowly let his body fade and his soul reborn in the magic of the blue roses that sustain their worlds delicate balance.
But these were the most ancient of them that returned their essence to the earth, the devout centuries old Ljósálfar who saw this world reborn from ash and ice and grew tired by its many changes.
That was not the kind of elf their father was. That kind of force of nature that was known throughout the land to be.
Erobre was almost certain that what it was that put his father on his sick bed.
He, however, did not yet reveal his suspicions to anyone, not even to his beloved Elske.
He resolved not to worry her, Seier or any of his family until he had his solid proof and definitely not until he took real steps toward flashing out the traitor.
“The council wishes for you to be present in all future meetings and debates concerning the future of our people brother,” Seier told him and Erobre knew Seier could see from his expression exactly what he thought about attending those sleep-inducing meetings.
“What future?” Erobre almost growled. “We are immortal Seier. We will continue to be as we are and always were until we choose to return our spirit to the earth but between you and me I do not see myself ever finding a reason to do so. Unless my body gives out and I will no longer be in control of my faculties.”
Seier let out a loud sigh, a bit overdramatically to emphasize how unfortunate he was for having to deal with Erobre, his unruly little brother.
“Just come to the meeting.” He asked in a tired voice, pinching the bridge of his nose.
“I come in the name of our father. At is his royal command.“
“Fine.” Erobre agreed.
Seier knew that like him, Erobre could not refuse a direct order from the king even if he was his father, and besides almost anything was acceptable in order to get rid of these boring state matters in Erobres eyes and get himself back as soon as possible into the arms of his beloved.
“When?”Erobre asked, defeated.
Seier’s mouth twitched in a malicious smile.