Sunday, October 31, 2004

 

the child, ten


There stood Mathilda, tall as ever. The veil was laid aside, as was the robe. And the person Starr could now see through the light...

...was not a human being.

Wings - that was the main impression to Starr's mind. Full of wings. And eyes! Eyes everywhere. On the wings, on the hands, on the ...

On the faces. Yes, more than one face. For Starr now saw that Mathilda had no less than four faces! The veil had hidden the three others from her sight before. The face in front, the one she was used to seeing, was certainly human. But to the right was the face of a lion. And to the left the face of an ox. And there was also the face of an eagle.

Starr stumbled backwards from the sight, her mind reeling. Something firm and solid and living caught her from behind lest she fall. The Master. His arms wrapped round her, steadying her. And strength flowed in.

'Do not be afraid, love,' he pressed the words into her ear.

'Who... What...' was all she could manage to stammer out.

'That is still Mathilda. The same one who has taken care of you all these many days. Mathilda is one of my cherubim.'

'One of your... what?'

'Cherubim, dear. Or more simply put, an angel.' She turned within the circle of his arms to look up into his face, her own face puzzled and uncomprehending. He smiled down warmly, disarmingly. 'I command angels,' he said.

And there was nothing of bragging in the statement. Not at all. Simply stating a fact.

Starr leaned against him - really, sagged against him, as if the knowledge he was imparting to her was more than her body could bear.

'You may go now, Mathilda,' said he. 'Thank you.'

'My Master,' said she, bowing. And she was gone, taking the extraordinary light with her.

'I... I don't understand. You have angels?'

'Yes.'

'Then... who are you?'

'I am he - the Master. Keeper of this house. Seeker out of lost souls. Rescuer from the fiery pit. The one who walks through the stars and is not afraid. The commander of the armies of GOD. I am...' and a smile, 'your humble servant.'

'You? But you humble me!' she returned. 'Who am I? - nothing and no one - and yet you have brought me into your home, dressed me anew, fed and sustained me...' Her eyes dropped, then came up again. 'I... I... what is this? What I am feeling within me?'

He gently took her hand, held it. 'Little one. You are falling in love.'

She nodded. 'With you. Yes, I am. But how dare I? You must be very angry.'

'Angry? No, not at all! In fact, it was for this purpose that I rescued you and brought you here.'

'So that I would fall in love with you?'

'So that you would become my bride.'

She gasped. Her heart, everything within her, shattered at that word. His bride? His? Was that possible? Dare she hope...?

'Will you?' he said. Simply. Sweetly. His hand still holding hers.

'Y-yes...'

'It will not be easy at times, my love, to be wedded to me. There are those who will call you a liar. Those who will take your words, which are mine, and twist them out of recognition. Those who will hate you - because they hate me. Understand this.'

'I don't care. To be yours...!' She gasped again, and covered her mouth with her free hand.

'Then your answer is still yes?'

She met his eyes, tilting up her face to his. He towered over her, a full head taller. Still holding her hand.

'Yes,' said she.

He smiled down fondly on her. 'My Starr. I pledge to thee all that I am, heart and breath, soul, strength and being. With my life's blood I sustain thee. With all my heart, I love thee. And call thee to my side as wife.'

'My Master...' she whispered.

'No more shalt thou call me Master, my darling. From now on, my name in your mouth, shall be - my Beloved.'

Her entire face lit up. 'My Beloved!' And with that saying, something sprang to life within her, setting her free, free. 'I pledge myself to thee, my Beloved,' she responded. 'All that I am: heart, soul, mind, body. Spirit. All. To my dying breath. To live for thee, and serve thee. And bear thee children...' She blushed, and cast down her eyes.

He smiled. 'Ah, little one - you know not the truth of what you just spoke! Children you shall bear for me. But not in the way you are thinking.

'But now... Starr, little one. Breathe again after me. Breathe in my spirit, into yourself.' And he sighed deeply, deeply, from the depths of his being. The sweet fragrance of his breath surrounded her. She breathed it in deeply, deeply, eyes closed, rapturous, living in that moment...

'I kiss thee, Starr,' he said. And then he did.

For a long time they stood, eyes delighting in each other, saying nothing. And then he spoke, chuckling. 'I invited you here for breakfast. We should eat.'

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