Candace Ducatillon
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The Raven

user image 2014-03-23
By: Candace Ducatillon
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A raven sits atop a nearby rooftop - seemingly glaring at me - only me.

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The way to the Villa Vesuviana is familiar and usually an enjoyable walk from my dwelling on the south-eastern stretch of La Rocca, but not in this moment. Presently, each step is filled with trepidation; anxiety growing in the pit of my stomach as I get nearer my destination.

News of a visiting personage - Emira Xiamara of Andalusian descent- who claims to be a "medium" with the ability to call upon spirits from the world beyond - has been led to our seaside shores summoning those who are brave enough to be in the presence of her mysticism to perhaps receive messages of, or news from, those departed.

Should I dare to speak publicly, my intention is to seek knowledge, clues, or leads to the whereabouts of a baron who crossed my path on horseback many seasons ago on a moonlit late autumn evening whilst I was traversing the French countryside in search of a place to lay my head and rest Sir Pinto, my equine companion since arriving on the soils of the Old World. Gone on mission much longer than the norm without having sent word of delay, I fear he has contracted severe illness or met his demise. His efforts in assisting me locate lost family relations and neighbours in the aftermath of our horrific expulsion from the mother country have been ceaseless and noble indeed; not an easy endeavour given how scattered about as seeds on the wind we have become ... left to our own resources to build new lives from nothing amidst facing the dangers of the elements, the wilderness, the native peoples.

Quite the crowd has gathered and I enter the room timidly. I have chosen to veil my face in the hopes I will not be recognized and questioned in the days to come. To speak of what brought me here is not something I relish. Being fairly new to the Island, I wish to maintain my calm as much as possible and perhaps eventually be comfortable enough to settle and uncover new facets of myself in these virgin climes.

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Persuaded by the mystic's charm and mysterious chantings, one by one people begin telling their tales of woe, worry, pain, and eternal hope. To help with facilitating contact with the departed, we are prompted to leave a personal belonging on the table in the centre of the shrouded room. I have brought with me an old parchment envelope within which the baron once sent me word and reassurances. Sitting close to the table, I do not need to stand and bring attention to myself ... I simply reach forward and gently place it there.

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I cannot put into words what follows. The medium is speaking gibberish, her body convulsing, ghostly apparitions and flames appear. Is that satan himself? Is this sorcery?

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But no ... wait! Lady Xiamara begins to address people's queries - and they are gasping in recognizing facts and details she could not possibly know of. Suddenly she shouts out, asking that the noise cease and the room become quiet. Noticing the piece of paper that I left for her energies, she reaches for it, searching the room for a sign of recognition as to its owner, but chaos ensues with the clamour of everyone pressing her and she collapses to the floor in a heap, completely spent.

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The room comes to an abrupt hush. Is she dead? Has she been punished for trespassing realms not meant for our inquiry? Will our humble Island ever be the same again ... ?

But what is this now suddenly visible on the other side of the room from where she has fallen ... in the entranceway?

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Are my eyes deceiving me on the cusp of all this upheaval? I take a slow deep breath then close my eyes firmly, but upon reopening them, I discover this young girl's own green eyes peering deeply into mine and I immediately feel a warm rush course through my veins and sense an intuitive knowing - that this lass is a part of my family, or my heart - somehow.

And as Lady Xiamara rouses, the angelic vision leaves ... swiftly, yet softly. Tears come to my eyes. My heart pounds unbearably. T'was but a wisp of recognition; not enough to truly know for certain.

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The crowd quietly disperses once Lady Emira assures everyone she is fine, but must rest and regain her strength. As I make my way home, I accept that I may never know the fate of the baron, yet I have been granted a gift, a peace, of a different kind.

I become aware of the raven again. But this time, he is not gazing upon me. His attention is on the great beyond .

Candace Ducatillon
23 Mar 2014 06:28:29PM @candace-ducatillon:

Dear Readers,

It was suggested to me that my story would be better posted in this Blog Section rather than the Blogger's Corner of the Discussion Forum, so I have copy/pasted it over. Unfortunately, I have lost all your appreciated likes and comments by doing this, but I did take note of them and I thank you all most heartily for your support and feedback. Lady Candace


Aldo Stern
23 Mar 2014 09:53:49PM @aldo-stern:

nice.


Kristianna Fotherington
29 Mar 2014 02:12:56PM @kristianna-fotherington:

What a well written and exciting story!! :D


Conte Granara
29 Mar 2014 04:07:53PM @conte-granara:

Very nice! and Interesting too!


Lady Leena Fandango
31 Mar 2014 06:51:32AM @lady-leena-fandango:

Wonderful story Candace :))