Her Dark Reflection
This Flash Fiction contains mentions and details of rape. If you are uncomfortable with this topic then please bear this is mind before deciding to read on.
Her Dark Reflection
By Kristy Nicolle
The sound of the filling tranquility pool does little to help my restlessness. Lying awake beside Nemesis, staring up into the projected constellations of her dreams usually calms me, but tonight, after today… after Haedes and everything he’d said, I cannot find the soft blanket of the darkness in which to smother myself.
I cannot find peace.
What is it that troubles me?
Is it the knowledge that my only daughter, the welcome dark shadow that came upon my life after that night in the sacred halls of The Eternal Kingdom, is in danger?
If she is, then it is my fault.
I sigh out, staring into the flawless reflective surface of the mirror that’s gilded gold, gleaning pure against the sapphire facets of the walls that are speckled with diamond dust. They bring the night sky alive right here in the bathing chamber of the home I share with Nemesis, so far from where I had begun life in this world.
The Eternal Kingdom was nowhere near this ostentatious, not even close. Though, where Olympus is certainly rich, I’ve heard that Hermopolis, city of eternal Pharaohs, and The Mercury Heavens are wealthier by far. I sometimes feel out of place among the sparkle, craving something purer, simpler, that follows my roots all the way back to where Cherubs, Saints, and Archangels float through their days. I envy them. A spiritual certainty like rich black coffee, invigorating if not a little bitter, running through their souls like unstoppable rivers.
My soul is fractured, fractured between the product of the worst night of my life, my spiritual wellness, and the justice for which my partner so stands.
My pink irises stare back at me from the surface of the mirror, like bloody diluted pools, the extreme pallor of my skin making them seem wild and untameable against the undeniable darkness of the four surrounding walls.
I turn away from my own guilt-ridden expression, heart pounding in protest beneath the white veil of my skin, a flimsy excuse for protection against the atrocities of this so-called heavenly existence.
My hands warm as they drift to the golden faucet of the tranquility pool, stopping the flow of the water that is not clear, but a rich silver like liquid mercury or starlight made solid and tangible. It coats my fingertips as i test the temperature, naked body shivering.
I step in, long limbs elegant and fragile as the spindled bones of my skeleton groan with the memory of all they have lived through. The tranquil water is hot as I sit, my white skin flushing too easily as glistening star speckled steam rises in plumes around my naked body. Blood rushes to the surface of my flesh, and I blink once, twice, remembering the same flush, the same burning of liquid upon my skin in the wake of Moloch’s destruction of who I had always thought I would be. I had tried to wash myself clean, but even centuries later i am still tainted.
His enormous hands had violated my purity, had brought bruises to my inner thighs, and terror to my breath that diminished until it was wisp like and I no longer wanted to indulge the urge at all. His eyes had been merciless pits as he had stolen from me, as he had crashed into me during prayer and sent me flying across the pure white crystal of the floors, made sparkling and fiery by hundreds of surrounding candles. They flickered, wavering in their illumination with every single vile thrust, every irreversible blow to the dignity I had worked so hard to compound and compile.
It had shattered everything I believed about forgiveness, and about Him. The stories I knew by heart became fiction, and the beliefs I’d held for so long turned to ash upon my tongue. But all was not lost, for the bitter taste had sent me searching and brought me to her, my salvation.
For it was not forgiveness I wanted, not redemption, nor purification, but revenge. I wanted power in those moments where I had been reduced to a flesh puppet for his pleasure, and in the months after where I felt his seed kick and tear at me from the inside. For you see, he had not only raped my body, but my heart. He had made me love his seed, his child. Made me soft to his face, to his way, as I watched it grow within Lucifer.
Some things just aren’t forgivable.
Nemesis was the first person who ever assured me that I was right to be angry, that my rage was justified. That my heart and soul could be soothed not by prayer and confession, but by violence and vengeance, by the clutching of power once out of my reach followed by a refusal to ever let go.
I have done that. Found my power. My place among The Aetherial Court… and yet, until today I did not realise what I had traded for that power.
I lift a leg from the silver water, watching it drip metallic and shimmering, the sapphire ceiling overhead alight with Nemesis’ power, the constellations of her favourite love stories lighting the room below. I gaze up at them, at the romanticism they represent, my gut churning as bile rises in my throat.
Was allowing Zeus to banish Lucifer worth a seat on his court? Was the loss of a part of me, be it tainted or not, worth this control, worth my ability to cleanse Moloch’s trace from the world and keep others safe?
These are not new revelations to me as I sit among the liquid starlight and raise a hand, watching it drip slowly from my fingertips. These are age old questions.
So why do they trouble me now?
It was Haedes. He had brought my decisions into question, for though Zeus would deny it, Haedes is well known for speaking the truth despite who he may unnerve by doing so. Perhaps then that is why Zeus has such contempt for the man, because his fragile ego finds itself rattled within the glass cabinet he regards with such high esteem whenever the God of The Underworld comes around.
My lip curls as I recall the way they had practically drawn out their cocks and measured in the meeting chamber today. Zeus’ biceps had looked ready to burst, and if I’m not mistaken, I’m also certain I saw some glimmer of lust, or perhaps even hate, behind Hera’s faithfully unreliable mask of calm. Ares had, as ever, done his father’s bidding and made himself into nothing better than an immature bully, something I find nauseating despite my silence. Then again, perhaps it is not his fault. His father is using him to ensure greater sway over the court. For what child would refuse their father? Maybe Ares doesn’t even notice. He’s certainly not the brightest lightning bolt in the sky.
The revelation comes to me.
I am feeling guilt.
For an immortal being, a Goddess, and a highly ranked one at that, I find emotions almost impossible to deal with, having pushed them so far down into darkness that I’ve almost forgotten how to name and recognise each one. They come to me now as strangers, wandering in and out of my psyche without introduction, warning, or invitation.
Her face drifts across the forefront of my mind too, so clear I could almost swear I see the pale blue eyes, broad forehead and white blonde hair staring back at me from the quicksilver contents of the tub.
I had used her, used her darkness, the controversial nature of her lineage, to leverage myself into power. Now, she is in danger.
Haedes says war is coming to Mortaria, and Thane… well, the woman who claimed to love her so dearly has returned to her mother’s side seemingly unphased.
The snake of it creeps through the long grasses of my conscience, slithering like he had across my skin, and leaving nothing but pain in its wake.
I sit among the scent of the glittering steam, rich with the serene essence of jasmine and lilac, the moonstone of the surrounding floor tiles looking cool as my skin begins to prune and my eyes water against my consent. I throw my arms back over the lip of the tub, somewhere between trying to relax and debating abandoning the bath altogether.
I don’t move any further though, not from the waters of the tranquility pool, nor does my mind shift to absolve me of the guilt I have so recently greeted as a stranger but should have known as an old friend.
Instead, I merely wallow in it, finding my own broken expression staring back at me among the steaming molten starlight in which I’m immersed.
I stare at her, my dark reflection consuming me entirely.
Did you want to know more about my fantasy infiniverse?
Check out my books-
BOOKS CURRENTLY AVAILABLE FROM KRISTY NICOLLE
THE TIDAL KISS TRILOGY- A MERMAID FANTASY ROMANCE
TIDAL KISS SHORTS AND NOVELLAS
THE ASHEN TOUCH TRILOGY- A DARK FANTASY ROMANCE