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© Eily Nash and eilynash.com. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Eily Nash and eilynash.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
Come to me, my own True Love
I will show you wonders above
Behold! Diamonds of Celestial Light
Cast upon a blanket of darkest night
A story of Love begins to unfold
An ancient tale once more told
For you and I, my Own True Love
Are written in the stars above❤
Eily Nash 2016 ~for my Husband
A cautionary tale of Dapper Dan and my timely escape from becoming his reluctant muse…A true story…
….I was taking a little trip down memory lane and thinking about the many times I have accidentally got myself in trouble through misplaced kindness.
‘How could kindness cause trouble?’ I hear you ask.
‘Intentions being at odds with expectations,’ is the answer, I guess. One person intends one thing, the other expects something else…as was the case with my accidental ‘clandestine coffee date’ with dapper Dan…
It is hard to resist a cute dog out walkies with their human. Teddy the little Yorkshire Terrier was a handsome boy and very engaging with it, he knew just how to get attention. I would stop and fuss over him and pass a few words with the man attached to his lead. Eventually the dog died and I didn’t see Dan anymore.
Then one day I bump into him and have a little catch up chat. I should have remembered that dogs and their owners are often similar in temperament, the late lamented Teddy could wrap any female in a five mile radius around his cute little paws. Dan tells me he is lonely. He tells me his long term live in girlfriend left him. He says he misses company.
I reassure him that he is a fine looking gentleman, well dressed and well kept and has such a charming manner that he will certainly meet a lovely new lady.
He says he likes to go to town in the mornings to sit and have his coffee and just watch the world go by and it would be nice, just once, to sit with someone. He has spun such a tale of woe that by now I am feeling so sorry for him and offer to buy him a coffee and watch the world go by with him for a while. I arrange to meet him at Costa coffee at 11am. He brightens considerably and we go our separate ways.
I go home to my lovely husband. When he asks me what I am up to the next day I tell him about my latest act of kindness, my coffee morning with a lonely gentleman. He looks a bit dubious, but says nothing…BUT says he will meet me afterwards at around 12ish and to keep my phone on. So all is good and next day off I trot to do my good deed🙂
I rock up at Costa and Dan is sat, dapper as ever, just as he said watching the world go by with his drink in his hand. I buy me one and him another. We are chatting away and it’s just like having coffee like with the girls…or so I think…
I tell him I am writing and have finished a book. He seems interested. I tell him I like witchy things, his eyes glaze and he rapidly looses interest. He starts talking about himself. He doesn’t stop. He tells me art is his hobby and he belongs to the local art club and that he has had work in their exhibitions.
‘Oh how wonderful! How impressive!’ I enthuse, from what he has said he doesn’t get much encouragement and I am on my mission to brighten his lonely day whilst enjoying a yummy Flat White.
His gaze travelled over my rather fetching and well stuffed co-ordinated outfit of lime green T-Shirt and skinny jeans. In the interests of honesty I have to ‘fess up that channelling a plump caterpillar was not a good look, all the same he took in a rather too long and appreciative glance of what my friend Angelica calls my ‘assets’ I am thinking he didn’t need any encouragement after all…O’er…and well, Ewww…
‘Yes, indeed, the nude life models are my thing! Why don’t you call around to my place, I am more than happy to show you all my work, day or night, in fact, anytime at all. I am always on the lookout for my next muse, Eily My Dear.’
It is fair to say by this stage that one was not amused to be his considered his unlikely muse! I almost broke out in a cold sweat envisaging the lecherous Lothario immortalising me in oil.
My mind went into overdrive…O’er what if I ended up imitating the lush lovely in Luis Ricardo Falero’s ‘The Witches Sabbath’. Dunno how I would have explained that to Mr Nash😦
Oblivious to my obvious discomfort Dan tells me just how much he is missing female company. He tells me just how much he admires the female form. He tells me his Lady left him ‘cos of his cheating. But he is now over her as he has a new interest…Hmmm…
The penny is slowly dropping. Time for evasive action methinks.
Saved by the ringtone! Hubby calls.
‘Yakety yak yak…’
‘Yes Darling, I’m just finishing coffee with Dan, see you at the fountain in 5 minutes.’
An incredulous stare from across the table.
‘That’s my husband,’ says I, ‘sorry I shall have to fly!’
‘Your husband??? You TOLD him you are out with me???’
‘Errr…yes. And? He likes to know where I am! Sorry he can’t join us BUT I have an urgent need to join him, like right NOW!’ I prepare to take flight, and not on my broomstick.
So now Dan is looking at me like I have just invited him to a swinger party. At the speed of light the reason for our coffee dawns on me. Open mouth I gasp ‘Surely, you didn’t think we were on a date???’ This was not my expectation!
The look I got back said it all. His dishonourable intentions were clear!
Shocked, I made my excuses and left. I never went for coffee with him or any other ‘gentleman’ again…
My very wise husband cried laughing. ‘Is art the new come up and see my etchings line?-that will teach you young lady about going on coffee dates with other men!’ says he gleefully.
Was he jealous of my accidental clandestine meeting with dapper Dan? No…not at all…After all he was an octogenarian! Mind you he didn’t look too bad for an old boy of 80…
Mid winter. A fog began to descend over the grey London skyline. Dusk had stealthily crept in and stolen the remains of the day away. Oakington Road, an elegant terrace of Victorian villas took on a ghostly air, cloaked in numinous mist. The warm orange glow of fires burning cheerfully in elegant parlours gave a reassurance that all was well within each dwelling. Smoke snaking from tall chimney pots into the chill air warned the creatures of the night to stay away.
One house stood apart from the camaraderie of its neighbours, no warmth or light was to be found within. As dusk gave way to night the fog began to lift. Gas lamps were extinguished and weary folk made their way gratefully to bed, giving thanks to the Lord for the day that had just been done and the morrow yet to come. The interior of number four was just as bleak as the façade. The winter’s night seemed to penetrate through the outside walls into the very heart of the despondent house. Cold and eerily empty, apart from the first floor bedroom where two figures lay snuggled under a damask counterpane upon a huge mahogany bed, a dark island in a sea of grey shadows. Heavy brocade curtains, slightly drawn, dressed the large sash windows. Although slightly closed they admitted a sliver of pale moonlight. Beams deftly cutting through ominous clouds scuttling across the sky came creeping into the gloom, illuminating the scene within the room. Furnished with heavy, dark mahogany furniture of a bygone age it was out of step with the world unfolding beyond melancholy walls.
A young child sat up on the huge bed, cornflower blue eyes wide open, scanning the gloom for an unknown yet threatening Presence. She drew the counterpane tightly around her small frame for security. Warily tucking the edges under her little heart shaped face, framed by a mass of tumbling golden ringlets, she looked almost fey. The rich cloth seemed to provide a degree of safety and comfort. The big bulky frame of her Father afforded a wall of protection as he lay sleeping heavily. His stentorian snores reverberating around the room offered reassurance, breaking the mounting terror of creeping silence. Huge, menacing shadows thrown up by arbitrary beams dancing through the darkness were too much to bear and a strangled sob escaped into the room. The Father stirred, and seeing his tiny daughter wide awake, urged her to snuggle down and sleep. As the capricious moonlight fell across the floorboards, it revealed a languid shape lying comatose. The flaccid form slumped with an empty brandy bottle clutched in a lifeless hand. A bottle of laudanum, also empty, lay close by. The little child was worried.
‘No Papa!’ She shook her head, her golden ringlets swaying, and eyes luminous and anxious, enquired tentatively ‘Is Mama cold lying there on the floor? Should Mama get into bed too? Shall we cover Mama with her shawl to keep her warm?’
Thinly veiling his feelings of revulsion and contempt and voice laden with disgust, the tired man reassured her. He did not look at his wife. He did not need to. The scene had played out so many times before and would continue to do so ‘Til death us do part…
‘Mama is fine, Violet, she has merely had another fit of the vapours. Mama is where she wants to be and we shall leave her there undisturbed. Go back to dreamland, my sweetkin.’ Then he rolled over and went back to sleep.
Violet burrowed under the covers, and snuggled into the soft counterpane. Mama was fine, Papa knew best and reassured she slept the rest of the night soothed by the deep sleep of the innocent. In her dreams she called for an Angel, an Angel of Love and Light, and the Angel hearing her call came.
The room was suddenly bathed in a luminous golden glow and the Angel stepped out of the light with her arms outstretched. She held a gossamer blanket, woven from the light of the stars in the heavens above, and gently she wrapped the child’s Mother in love and light and tenderness. For the Angel knew the woman was bound by the demon of addiction.
The demon hissed, ‘She is mine!’
The Angel also knew that barricaded into her own pain, it would take a lifetime to free the woman from her captor. How long that life would be was written in the stars. The demon pushed the laudanum bottle across the floorboards. The woman stirred and reached for the bottle and taking it from the demon she greedily drained the last dregs. In his clawed hand her tormentor held a fresh bottle. The woman lunged at him, eager to feed her hungry addiction.
‘It is yours, but not whilst you hold onto that useless thing. Let it go!’ he spat, and averting his gaze, pointed a gnarled claw at the Blanket of Light.
The Blanket of Light felt good and through the haze of drugs and alcohol the woman knew she should keep a tight hold.
‘Go away!’ She cried, wrapping the blanket tightly around her body and peace soothed her unquiet soul. The demon left and the woman slept, fitfully. She was still a beloved child of God and deserving of love and forgiveness and understanding.
The Angel prayed silently and bestowed a quiet benediction over the child and her lost Mother and also the man who had long forgotten the truth, as he slept in his warm bed. The woman he once loved lay abandoned on the cold hard floor, lost to the demon of addiction.The rank smell of stale alcohol and the bitter pungency of the opiate that had pervaded the air began to dissipate. A fragrant blend of frankincense and attar of roses filled the room. The man did not smell the fragrant perfume purifying the space around him, his child and his wife. Nor did he see the celestial blanket of stars wrapped around her. He did not see the Angel of Light standing at the foot of the bed, waiting. The demon would return. The woman would fight. Without the help of the man her redemption would only come the other side of the veil.
But how would he hear her cry for help when he was unable to feel the Presence of God when an Angel calls…and so the Angel wept…
© Eily Nash 2015
The sun was low in the Western sky. Warm fingers of pink and gold gently caressed a sleepy sky. It wouldn’t be long until it vanished in a blaze of glory behind the imposing steel sculpture of the ‘Angel of the North’. Another day on Earth nearly done and the promise of a new dawn still a distant dream.
The woman sat on the grass beneath the Angel’s outstretched wings, her gaze fixed on the far horizon yet her thoughts were lost in a place even further away. A place where she had once felt happy and safe. A stranger stood watching her, unobserved. She didn’t see the him or the steady stream of people descending the path back to the road below, nor did she see the flashing blue lights of the emergency services weaving through the traffic on the dual carriageway of the busy A167. The light was fading fast and night would soon come riding in. As the shadows started to close around her, the stranger was very aware of two sinister figures, dressed in black, making their way against the tide of footsteps towards the woman. Resolve crossed the man’s face and he approached her before they could reach her. He made sure that they were very aware of his Presence. The shadowy figures retreated back down the path to the road below.
“Hi, how are you?” he asked.
The woman, jolted out of her reverie, looked up. The stranger, dressed in a crisp white linen shirt and deep blue jeans, stood by her at a respectful distance. Instantly she knew she could trust him.
“I am in pain…” She answered, her voice barely a whisper. A tear rolled down her pale cheek.
He reached out and gently sweeping her long black hair out of her face, wiped it away. A flicker of gratitude in her midnight blue eyes showed she had welcomed the tender gesture.
“Cassie…” she held out a slender hand, he noted long sensitive fingers and a very restrictive gold band on her wedding finger. The purple bruising around her slim wrists and the faded green one on her cheek, cleverly hidden by her make-up, did not go unnoticed either, nor did the imprint of angry red finger marks on her slender neck.
“D.I North.” His grip was electric, his smile dazzling.
“Detective Inspector? No Uniform? Your day off?”
“I prefer to work plain clothes, find it’s much easier to assist those in need of the specialist help I provide.”
“So do you have a first name?” he saw she was intrigued. He saw her tears had stopped. She didn’t pull her hand away, although he was very aware the thought crossed her mind.
“Raphael,” voice as warm as the rays of the setting sun.
“Are you from around here?” both his name and golden looks spoke of a faraway place.
“Yes and No.” Cassie noted where he was economical with words he was generous with the heat emanating from his hands. Healing hands. The concern of a stranger was too much to bear and Cassie blinked away hot treacherous tears. If she allowed them to flow there would be a tidal wave and she was unsure she would be able to stop. Sliding her hand out from his grasp she wrapped her arms tightly around her slender frame. He noted she trembled slightly and not from the cold. She was fragile and indeed in pain, and not of her own making.
“So what has brought you to Gateshead, Raphael?”
“Work. You...” It took a moment for his words to register.
“You!” his smile was a warm benediction.
“D.I? Detective Inspector? What have you detected about me? Why would you even concern yourself about me? What Department do you work for?” She searched his enigmatic eyes for answers to her flow of questions and saw only compassion reflected back.
“I work in the Justice Department. Cassie you said you were in pain, I see your body has been battered and bruised and you are suffering a great deal of mental turmoil. I detect your pain is emotional. You have been hurt. You do not need to be ever again. Your heart is lost and lonely and you search for something you cannot find.”
“Yes… I seem to have lost my way, Raphael. I feel like I have been abandoned, a stranger in a strange land and I just don’t understand the protocols of this world. There is nothing but pain in this place. People hurt each other just because they can…” A sob rose in her throat. “Those who say they love you lie and cheat and beat. They harm where they could heal. I have had enough suffering and pain and my heart aches and not just for myself.”
“Yet the heartache brings with it a great gift Cassie. It brings empathy for others. It brings the gift of healing and Divine Grace, the pathway home.” He placed his hand on her bruised cheek, willing the pain in her Soul to leave.
A simple act of kindness. Too much to bear, she peeled his hand away. “I wish that were true Raphael. I am searching for home, I look at the stars at night, searching, longing…I know home isn’t here and I so want to go home.”
“Cassie home is not a place!”
“If it isn’t a place then where do I find it?”
“It is the very essence of Love and it dwells within your own heart. When others hurt you and lie to you or cheat or beat you then the sin is on their soul, not yours. It is not a reflection of you – it is a reflection of them. Time on Earth is finite. When one human seeks to diminish or degrade another, in truth, they only diminish or degrade themselves. Be the best person you can and always be true to yourself. Every act of kindness, no matter how small, is important and is recorded, as is every act of unkindness, nothing is unseen. In the fullness of time and with the help of my ‘Department’ the scales of Justice are always balanced.”
“If only that were true…”
“The power of Light is far stronger than the forces of darkness. Divine justice will take care of everything.” He fixed her with his benevolent gaze, eyes deep with the wisdom of the ages.
“We know he hurt you, he never will again. It is over. The scales have been balanced.”
“How?” confusion reigned in her face and voice and she started to shake violently and the tears came and fell like bitter rain.
Raphael reached out and drew Cassie to him into a strong, protective embrace, almost as if an Angel had wrapped her in the pure essence of unconditional love. Understanding permeated Cassie’s consciousness and she unequivocally knew that Raphael spoke the Truth and she would never need to search in vain for home again, home was within her own heart and her heart was not a prisoner to another.
The rapidly approaching blue lights came to an abrupt standstill, whilst their continued flashing and wailing siren signalled ‘emergency’ on the road below. Cassie finally took note of what was happening. An open topped red Mercedes lay overturned on its side and the paramedics were attending to a young woman slumped unconscious on the dashboard of the passenger side, her long black hair hid her face. The driver’s seat was empty.
“That’s my husband’s car! Where has he gone? What’s happened? Who is that in my seat? How did I get all the way up here?” Confusion and fear tore across her face as her questions tumbled out into the chill of the evening air.
Down below two men dressed in black suits were putting something into the back of a black vehicle marked ‘Private Ambulance.’ One of them turned and fixed his stare on her and Raphael. Even at a distance she felt a wave of malevolent energy and shuddered. Raphael pulled her close to him. Like shadows in the night the foreboding men slipped into the van and it melted into the line of traffic. Cassie stared, realization slowly dawning.
“Those men, they have taken him!” she exclaimed pointing to the traffic, but there was no black vehicle to be seen. Puzzled she turned to Raphael for reassurance.
“There was an accident, Nathan had been drinking heavily. There was an empty vodka bottle on the rear seat. He was speeding and the car skidded out of control hitting the trees. But you know this. You wanted to break free of him and leave. You had sent urgent and fervent prayers to God to free you from the devil that was your husband. He beat you and forced you into that car against your will. Cassie, you were lost, trying to find your way home. I was assigned to help just you. Nathan is now beyond my assistance. The ‘Watchers’ have taken him to the place where he needs to go.”
“How do you know these things? Who are the Watchers, where have they taken him and shouldn’t you be down there with the other Police Officers?” Panic gripping.
“I’m not an Officer, but you are right, my work here is done and you need to join them on the road below before the light grows too bright and you are unable to go back. The Watchers do not come from the same place as I do, neither they nor Nathan can touch you now as they must return to the darkness, as decreed by Divine Justice.”
“What darkness and light? Who are you?” As Cassie drowned in bewilderment and the weight of unanswered questions, a multi faceted, beautiful and luminous light surrounded Raphael. Then the night closed in around her and she lost consciousness.
Somewhere in the distance the plaintive wail of an ambulance siren tore through the cool evening air, as it urgently wound its way down the Durham Road towards the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. A paramedic deftly held his casualty’s hand offering reassurance, whilst discreetly reading her vital signs on his monitors.
“Incredibly lucky to be alive, her airbag deployed, his didn’t. Astonishing in a car of that value and specification. A miracle. Heart rate 62 and blood pressure 110/70 so all good, nothing more serious than just a concussion and some nasty old bruising by the looks of it,” his voice level and matter of fact as he filled the driver in as to their patient’s status.
His partner deftly negotiated the road ahead. “You saw the state of the car, there had to have been an Angel by her side to walk away alive from that one. The husband wasn’t so lucky, dead on impact. Should never have got behind the wheel in that state and a wonder he didn’t kill her as well as himself otherwise she would have been going off in that Private Ambulance instead of with us!”
“This one is a definite case of Divine Intervention!” The sense of awe in the paramedic’s voice was perceptible.
As the ambulance pulled into the emergency bay of the hospital, through a haze of returning consciousness, Cassie heard their words and sent a silent “thank you” from her heart to her own special Guardian Angel, D.I Raphael North.
The last rays of the setting sun held the darkening sky at bay. Glorious filaments of red and gold illuminated the majesty of the imposing steel structure that is the “Angel of the North”.
With his vast wings stretched out over the surrounding landscape, Raphael sent a silent blessing out through the ethers to all those seeking their way home…
This story was inspired by a sharing from a beautiful Soul and dear friend and will be in my forthcoming book ‘Nightshades’ ~ Thank you S.H for everything, you rock.
By the light of a fire burning bright
The Lady sought love in the night
Desire ignited within her dark eyes
She went to him with innocent guise
In his chamber her Lord did wait
With his black heart full of hate
After Hearts and bodies did entwine
He gave her a goblet of ruby wine
The venom brought her to the floor
He told his wife he loved her no more
It was another who set him aflame
He was callous and without shame
As the poisoned wine her life did take
A final promise she did make
Beyond the grave, his cruel crime
He would rue until the end of time
Eily Nash 2015
In which the Muse is upon Angel as she channels Lord Byron and exposes Grannie as a love cheat along the way!
“Beauty, thy name is Angel… “
‘Oh is that by a famous poet?’ You may solicitously inquire, my Lovelies.
Hmm…It is indeed by someone famous, but not a poet. Someone who, dare I say, may well be a Literary Genius! Have you guessed??? Who comes to mind??? Clever you! Yes…It is by Moi, and it is all about Moi…Who else?! Now you and I, and all the World know I am indeed beautiful, so why am I penning the obvious?!! ‘Cos I can, My Lovelies…I Am The Paws! And like the first canine, like ever, to be a real Author…How cool is that??? No need to answer My Lovelies, the question is purely rhetorical. It is more cool than a polar bear in Ray Bans sunbathing on an iceberg.
‘How did you discover your talent for poetry?’ you may well further solicitously ask me, my Lovelies.
Well it was all because of Grannie skanking with a famous poet and threatening my family security and also our shopping trip to Nieman Marcus…Read on…time for another of our little “Shh…secret sharing sessions”…
It was the day after the whole debacle with GrandPa and the floozie that turned out to be an annual herb, and my abandoned date with that Angel cake and Krios at the Loeb boathouse restaurant in Central Park. Grannie was trying to make things up to me and we were chilling with smoked salmon and cream cheese blinis and chilled Chardonnay in our Penthouse. I was trying to talk to Grannie about something really important. Shopping. But she just wasn’t listening and she had this really stoopid mushy, faraway look on her face. She was muttering something about ‘his words being soooo sublime and how blessed she was to have her perfect man.’ Hmmm…who was this geezer she was ranting on about and more importantly did my G.G.P (Grumpy GrandPa) know? and if not, why not…So in the interests of family unity, getting my own back and shopping, I did the right thing. I once again Face Timed him back home in in England’s green and pleasant land from my Apple iPad in the big Apple.
‘GrandPa, listen up, I need to snitch on Grannie, Erm, I mean tell you something…this is very serious….Grotty Grannie has another man and he has been sending her love letters!’ I solicitously informed him.
‘Grooouuumppphhhh…W.T.F? Didn’t you cause enough trouble yesterday, you little Minx!’ He eloquently answered as he choked on his Gordon’s and tonic. Obviously having had one or ten too many. Just sayin’ G.G.P!
Funny how I got the blame for what was patently not my fault. I decided to be the bigger dog, which is no mean feat when you are less than a foot tall, and ignore his accusation. This matter was way to important for pettiness. Direct action was called for. Westies are renowned for our feisty and fearless disposition, so ignoring his apparent discomfort, I proceeded with my expose of my manky, home wrecking and cheating Grannie.
‘See for yourself!’ says I, turning the camera on naughty Grannie as she sat, eyes glazed, reading some tosh from a card with a pink love heart and red roses on it.
‘What are you reading Grannie?’ I cleverly asked, my suspicion it was a missive from her mystery man was confirmed as she spouted…
‘She walks in beauty, like the night…’ sigh...
‘And all that’s best of dark and bright meet in her aspect and her eyes:
Thus mellow’d to that tender light which heaven to gaudy day denies…’ sigh…
‘One shade the more, one ray the less, had half impaired the nameless grace which waves in every raven tress, Or softly lightens o’er her face;
Where thoughts serenely sweet express how pure, how dear their dwelling-place.’ Mega deep sigh
‘And on that cheek, and o’er that brow, So soft, so calm, yet eloquent, The smiles that win, the tints that glow, But tell of days in goodness spent, A mind at peace with all below, A heart whose love is innocent!’
Even deeper sigh. Eww. Humphhh…I’d hardly call Grannie’s black and shameless heart innocent, and I was sure G.G.P wouldn’t either!
‘See and hear for yourself G.G.P! Grannie is far from innocent and that geezer’s barely literate…’ I was triumphant! Grannie was caught cheating and totally unaware G.G.P was witnessing her bare faced skanking! That will teach her to ignore Moi when I need to go shopping…
‘Angel….You Minx!!!’ My ingrate of a GrandPa shouted at Moi. This was getting to be a bad habit.
Then Grannie’s phone rang. Then my Oldies had a very loooonggggg convo about Moi. Then unbelievably, and unfairly they both said I am so totally grounded. Again. Porquoi???
Hurrumphh. Who Knew???? The manky card was from him to her. Erm, it seems they had a thing called an anniversary. Seems she likes poetry. Seems she likes this geezer called Byron. But it is OK. He’s dead. G.G.P has nothing to worry about and neither do I, apart from getting down to Fifth Avenue pronto…I need to get ungrounded like right now. Hmm, I have a little idea! If some rubbishy old poet has that effect on my Grannie, then I definitely can do better. Neiman Marcus have some lovely Loro Piana scarfs in. I like them. They look good on Moi. I need Grannie to grab her Amex and buy me a nice Jardin Berbere cashmere one, a mere snip at about $2,000 before they sell out…I want to look good when I finally get my paws on that Angel cake and manage to keep a royal date with Krios. So I have penned this just for her, I think she will be impressed to be immortalised in verse, and more than happy to flash the cash for Moi, don’t you?
She walks in shadows of the night
It’s really best she avoids the light
‘Cos her gaudy mush is a right sight
It ‘d give ole Frankie Stein a fright!
Will the last dance truly last forever? If you choose to dance with the devil it may well do so…as Johanna Faust finds out when she agrees to a dangerous liasion with Old Nick Mephistopheles.
As the Orchestra struck up the music and the dance floor of the Waldorf Astoria glittered into life, Johanna stood up. She reluctantly took the outstretched hand of her long time dancing partner, Old Nick. As he swept her elegantly into the diaphanous throng of chiffon and lace she stumbled over a fellow dancer’s ill placed foot. Nick’s vice like grip on her arm and steely glare ensured she would not cause him further embarrassment in front of his entourage of high rolling financiers, New York Socialites and Hollywood A-Listers. Nick was sure footed in all he did. Being seen as anything less than in control was not an option. Johanna flinched, his grip would leave an unsightly mark for all to see and she blinked away hot tears of anger and shame. It hadn’t always been like this. They were so in step before…
Johanna Faust once thrilled at being in the company of rich and influential Nick Mephistopheles. He wasn’t handsome and his age was indeterminate, but he had charisma and a dark charm. Nick’s business practices were more than shady, but as long as she was on the receiving end of his largesse Johanna didn’t give a damn what people said about him. There were rumours he was part of the underworld, they said there were other women but she didn’t care. Johanna was a night girl. They said he ruled New York City and went for the jugular of anyone who opposed him. Was she afraid? No, it didn’t seem to worry her, it gave her a rush. Greed fuelled the fires of her passion and lust for the man and his money. She didn’t give a thought that there may be a heavy price to pay for his patronage when their first dance had begun twenty four years ago.
“What kind of business are you in, Nick?” Johanna asked with an engaging smile.
“I’m a people person, a collector,” his reply was enigmatic and further enquiries subdued by the string of exquisite black pearls he draped around her slender neck.
“How can I possibly repay your generosity, kind Sir?” She already knew she would do anything for him. The lavish Manhattan lifestyle was highly addictive for a girl from a Brooklyn brownstone.
“Oh, I guess body and soul should be payment enough, Miss Faust, yours and others I send you to collect!” There was a twinkle in his coal black eyes and she thought he had jested. Back then. Back when the dance had begun.
Nick was generous. Johanna only had to express a desire and it was hers for the taking, fabulous jewels, designer clothes, the Fifth Avenue apartment and the prestige of being on his arm.
Nick liked to work hard and party hard. He liked all eyes on him and he had a ruthless and vindictive streak with rivals in both the ballroom and the boardroom. Johanna was a huge asset to his dealings. Nick rewarded most handsomely when she performed. With a Siren’s call her beauty brought victims to Nick’s corporate lair. It was all a game to Johanna, well paid with a hint of danger. She liked that. The glitter and glamour was seductive and Johanna willingly checked in all morality and conscience as the years passed and she continued taking to the floor and dancing to Mr Mephistopheles tune.
Tonight there was unease in the air. Johanna was tiring of their ‘Les Liaisons Dangereuses’ and told him she wanted out. She told him she wanted more, she wanted love. Nick laughed in her face then grew possessive and wrapping his strong fingers around her neck he drew her close.
“Johanna, we have a contract. I own you, body and soul.”
As she tried to pull away he kissed her hard on her ruby lips. There was none of the usual passion, just a stamp of ownership. She shuddered. The ballroom had become a prison and her dancing partner her gaoler. They had sealed the deal a long time ago. When you dance with the devil, there is no way out…
It was time for a new dancing partner. Nick would have to go. As the thought crossed her mind, she saw the Stranger and he saw her. And Nick saw him too. Savagely he grabbed her wrist, and snarled,
“Stay with me, Johanna. Better the devil you know…”
Johanna broke free and without looking back made her way across the empty dance floor. All eyes were on her but she saw no one only the charismatic stranger. He seemed to emit a numinous light. Music sublimely filled the ballroom and she moved inexorably into his arms.
“Do you want to dance?” she whispered seductively.
“Only, if you are willing to forsake Nick’s protection and come with me to the end of time, Johanna.” He brushed her face with beguiling lips which sent shivers down her spine and shuddering she realised his mouth was as cold as the grave.
“I will…” she paused looking back at Nick’s table, both he and his entourage were nowhere to be seen.
As the stranger held out his hand, it dawned on her he knew her name but she did not know his. Just who was this beguilingly beautiful man? With prescience he smiled and answered the question swimming in her mind.
As she gasped, he swept her into his arms and onto the dance floor. The Orchestra struck up the music and the hypnotic strains of Ravel’s Bolero filled the air. The Last dance would truly last forever as Johanna danced with the devil to the edge of darkness…
© Eily Nash 2015
Once upon a Time, (as all self-respecting fairy tales start), a beautiful Princess named Rowena was trying to find her way through the forest. She thought she had become lost, and she panicked to be alone so far from home. As she neared a clearing in the forest she was delighted to see a fine Knight upon a fine horse. The sun was glistening on his amour and he was a dazzling sight. He introduced himself as Prince Tarnish.
The gallant Knight offered her his hand, and pulled Rowena up behind him onto the magnificent steed. And as is generally the way in these matters they rode off into the sunset. The Princess greatly anticipating the happy ending she had been sold with her Prince. Eventually, after a bumpy ride they arrived at the Knight’s castle. Once again, the bright light of the sun dazzled the Princess and she was unaware of her surroundings or where the Knight had brought her to, a fortified castle in the Land of Mendacity. She was so very tired after the long journey. Night fell.
Awaking from a fitful sleep, she opened her eyes and was bathed in pale daylight filtering through the window. With surprise she noted the window had iron bars. Why would such a beautiful castle need such things, what was to be kept out, or who was to be kept in? Peering through the thick black iron bars, which greatly restricted her view of the wide and wondrous world beyond, the Princess saw her Knight, Prince Tarnish. He was preparing to mount his trusty steed and ride out in pursuit of adventure, after all, isn’t that what Knights do? Rescue fair damsels and slay dragons.
In the cold light of day, the Princess saw that the Knight’s amour was not the dazzling white she had first seen. No, it was tarnished in many places. With blinding intuition she realized the Knight had no interest in slaying dragons, for they would be a formidable foe (and also put up one hell of a fight). This Knight sought out tender and pure hearts to run his gauntlet. Hearts he intended to batter with his spiked lances, and just for good measure pierce with the cold steel of his sword. For the pure of heart knew not of his treacherous traps. She also saw an image in her minds’ eye of the Knight. He was sitting astride his mighty horse, whilst she tried to wipe the tarnish from his amour, with the beautiful fabric of her luxurious and dazzling raiment. The Princess valiantly hoped she would be able to shine his amour so brightly that once again it would gleam as if the heart of the sun blazed out from the core of his very being. With deep sorrow, she saw that she was unable to polish the Knights amour, the tarnish was too ingrained. Worse, the beautiful, iridescent clothes that made up her attire were becoming rags. Torn, tattered and shredded beyond recognition with the fruitless effort. The Knight chose not to notice such trifles, and he did not provide his Princess with new garments befitting her royal status. She began to wonder if he truly was a Prince of
if he truly was of noble birth. Polishing Prince Tarnish’s armor was proving a huge challenge to Princess Rowena. This was a job for a serious Alchemist, versed in the magical arts of turning base metal to gold. It was not for the feint hearted or the delicate sensitivities of a Princess versed only in Love and Kindness. To know this grieved the Princess greatly, and in her sorrow many tears fell. Eventually the tears formed a shimmering, glistening pool in which her countenance was reflected. The Princess stared into the pool and it took many minutes before the realization dawned, the desolate and sad beauty looking up was indeed a reflection of her own self. How had this come to pass? In anguish she cried out for help.
A soft voice whispered in reply,
Surprised her request had been heard, she looked for the source of the comforting voice. Could it be there was a fairy godmother waiting in the wings? Turning her regal head towards the discarnate voice, she was met with the sight of not a glowing and magical fairy godmother, but what appeared to be an incredibly ugly, wizened old Crone. In truth the Crone was a Wise Woman, but the Princess had yet to find this out. At first she recoiled in horror to her answered prayer. Beware what you wish for.
The Wise Woman was wrapped in a deep moss green velvet cloak; under which her long and bony fingers gripped an object of deep beauty, an oval mirror, coated in a strange
black surface which gave no reflection.
‘Who are you, old woman?’ enquired the Princess.
The Wise Woman looked deeply into the sad eyes of the beautiful Princess. Her gaze was penetrating, reaching into her very psyche. Her eyes seemed to draw the very essence of the Princess’ character from the core of her being.
‘The help you requested’ she replied.
‘What do you carry under your cloak?’ asked the Princess, intrigued by the black mirror.
‘Your freedom’ replied The Wise Woman.
The Wise Woman told the Princess, as she handed her the object, that it was a scrying mirror, magic of course. It was made from black Obsidian, a crystal for prophesy and truth.
There was a warning on the back of the mirror stating:
‘Truth can hurt,
Untruth’s hurt even more’,
Proceed with Caution.’
‘OK, you read the warning, ‘What do you want to know?’ asked The Wise Woman
Holding the vision of the handsome Knight, not so resplendent in his tarnished amour, the Princess asked,
‘Pray, tell me what lies beneath the Knight’s amour, who is there when the real Knight stands up, is he really a Prince of Noble birth?’
Looking deeply into the mirror her gaze was met with an inscrutable black surface, slowly an image appeared in the depths of blackness. She did not see an image of a fine and valiant Knight, intent on righting wrongs and doing chivalrous deeds. She did not see a Knight worthy of the glorious deeds the Troubadours sang of in their love songs and on the strings of their mandolins. She was shocked to see a very horrid and naughty child. He was throwing the mother of all tantrums, his face contorted in rage because he could not have his own way. Sadly, the Princess recognized that this was indeed a true depiction of the Knight. She turned to
The Wise Woman and enquired,
‘Does the Knight not know of Love, Honor and Chivalry and all that stuff the Troubadours sing about?’
‘How could he?’ replied The Wise Woman
‘He is but a child, and he does not know that Love is unconditional. He seeks to receive not give love, from a place of childish egocentricity and willfulness. This child has not been taught well, he faces many lessons before he learns.’
‘Oh, how very sad, that grieves my heart.’
The Princess sighed, for she was indeed pure of heart. She did know about love being unconditional and compassionate. Her heart went out to the Knight who did not know these things.
‘And you, Princess? Are you ready to face yourself?’ enquired The Wise Woman
At first the Princess was afraid, the sorrowful face from the tear stained pool still fresh in her memory. It seemed an eternity since she had seen her true reflection. There were No mirrors in the castle; for the Knight had no desire to see His true reflection and equally had no desire for the Princess to see her true beauty. He knew then the light of her loveliness would illuminate the darkness in his heart.
Slowly she lifted the mirror, eyes tightly closed. And slowly she opened them, unsure what she would behold. The deep black obsidian once again stared inscrutably back. Once again an image formed within the heart of darkness of the magic mirror. An imaged that grew and grew in magnificent radiance. It was the most gorgeous, multi -faceted, pure cut diamond she had ever beheld; emitting glorious, iridescent, magical colors. The diamond glowed and pulsed with the intensity of the very Sun itself. In awe she asked
‘What does it mean?’
‘You see a true reflection of yourself, Dear One,’ answered The Wise Woman.
‘And the Knight?’ whispered the Princess.
‘You saw a true reflection of what he is, Dear One, he is no Prince and therefore not worthy of you,’ answered The Wise Woman.
‘What now, what do I do?’ implored the Princess.
Once again she lifted the magic mirror and gazed deeply into the void of all knowing blackness. She saw clearly the Knights castle, the draw bridge was pulled up and the hatches were battened down, for a fierce and mighty storm approached. Vicious vines were rapidly growing over the castle walls, reaching to the very turrets and parapets. And with all her heart the Princess knew, if she stayed she would be forever entrapped within the Castle walls.
‘Is this all there is for me?’ A solitary tear fell onto the mirror.
‘Look again, Dear One’. Replied the Wise Woman
When she did, she saw a path leading from the treacherous castle. A tiny little path, winding through thickets and thorns and all manner of unforeseen terrors.
The path gradually widened and once free of the castle grounds it opened into a glorious golden path leading towards the Sun. Along the path were strewn infinite possibilities and opportunities. Once again, the Princess’ intuition showed her that if she summoned all her courage and bravely traversed the path she would find her own Eden. The Princess vaguely remembered, from what seemed an eternity past, this path was the very one she had been on. That was before becoming lost in the forest and doubting her ability to travel alone, before seeking the ill-starred protection of the Knight.
‘What do I do?’ she cried to The Wise Woman, who had stood by and silently observed all these things.
The Wise Woman wrapped the Princess in her old, fragile and wizened arms. They felt strangely warm. They felt strong and the Princess was filled with a pulsating feeling of absolute acceptance, peace, tranquility and an overwhelming sense of unconditional, heartfelt love for The Wise Woman. A feeling that was all at once familiar, the Princess felt she had come home.
‘The choice is yours alone, Dear One. It is the way of this land you inhabit, this Earth plane, that you have been given as part of your lessons the double edged sword of Free will. You have free will to stay or go or free will to enslave yourself to another or choose to use the key that you alone hold to your freedom. You always have the gift of free will, use it wisely.’
As these words sunk in, the Princess broke free from The Wise Woman’s embrace, and through her tears which were now falling as rain upon the winter of her heart, she struggled to see the Wise Woman. As she wiped her face, she gasped, The Wise Woman was gone. In her place there stood a radiant Being of Light. An Angel, whose very presence filled the entire room and emitting a brilliance that was truly ethereal and heaven sent. In awe, the Princess realised she was looking into the face of her own Guardian Angel.
‘Know this, Dear One, now you have asked for my help I will support you whichever path you choose. I cannot choose for you, as you have free will. I can and will ease your path and illuminate the way. Know that I have Always been with you and there for you. I have laughed when you laughed and I have cried when you cried.’ The Angel smiled and then continued,
‘Dear One, nothing is lost, herein lays the opportunity for a lesson to be learned. Things on this Earth plane of illusion may not always be what they seem. Can you now see the day you were lost in the forest, you alone had the freewill to find your own way out, and you alone had the free will to choose to accept the Knight’s hand? You could not make the Knight what he is not? The Knight could not make you who you are not.’ The Angel paused to allow the Princess to assimilate her words, and then continued,
‘Dear Princess, a priceless lesson to learn is this: all you need to navigate this sea of life is to let the wisdom of your Soul captain the ship of the Self. The Diamond that you are refracts the Light of Cosmic consciousness you hold as your birth right.’ Her eyes looked deeply into the Princess’ as she continued;
‘Even the Knight holds this light, and when his inner child grows so he too will come to realize this Truth.’
‘Will the Knight change his ways, will he change for me?’ asked the Princess, holding onto a tiny vestige of hope, for she loved the Knight although she did not love the way he had chosen to treat her.
‘In order to love another, first the Knight must learn to love himself; completely free from his ego self, this may take some time,’ the Angel answered.
The Princess bowed her head. She realized that her Knight may never be able to change his ways and that if he did, it would be for himself and not for her or anyone else. She finally realized that to hold onto the hope another person would change to be the way someone else wanted them to be, well that was a flawed hope, doomed to failure. Her wise companion continued to counsel,
‘Remember and hold these Truths: Time is the great illusion, for in Eternity there is no time. You, the Prince and all mankind are in essence spiritual beings; you are in the density of matter whilst you grow through the experiences of being in human form. You are more than you can see. There is much more that you can be. Princess Rowena, the choice is yours alone. You may choose your path, you cannot choose for him the path that you would wish Prince Tarnish to travel, only he alone can decide.
The pure essence of Divine Love resides within you~All that is without is merely an illusion.’
And in That moment the Princess absolutely and unequivocally knew the path she would choose……
THE END…..Or was it just the beginning?
© Eily Nash 2012
Do you wait patiently for me
To come along and set you free
I’ve heard plenty an aged tale told
Of the magic a Dandelion holds.
Is that so little wishing flower?
Do you have such magic power?
I bid of thee, fly free, Blessed Be.
Bring my heart’s desire back to me!
Scatter through the fields and trees
Soft starburst on the gentle breeze
Treasured seed falls to Mother Earth
Within each one the promise of rebirth
…And so the dance of life goes on…
Lady Lily Flame
My Lady, My Love, My Lily Flame
Do you wear a sullied cloak of shame
Has purity and innocence taken flight
To the beguiling dark embrace of Night
Nyx and Erebus, alluring, starless charms
Mists enticing you into seductive arms
My Lady, My Love, My Lily Flame
Guileless innocence, without blame
Deny the Ferryman his Stygian fee
From Thanatos tenebrous domain flee
By flames of Winter burning bright
Take safe passage through the night
My Lady, My Love, My Lily Flame
Capricious gods may play Night’s game
Gates of the rising sun light the way
To sanctuary of Hemera’s breaking day
Purified by the kiss of the Morning Dew
Absolution and Benediction fall on you
~Eily Nash 2015
O’er I am feeling a tad pleased with myself, My Lovelies!
“Indeed, Angel, and just why would that be?” I hear you ask “Is it because you are such a clever little Pupster and your paws have penned such woofiliciously good books?“
Hmm…Yes that is one reason to be pleased, but it isn’t that!
“Oh, could it be that you are so cute, Grannie waits on you hand and paw?”
Well yes, of course she does-that’s her job, and now I have my Butler James he does too… But that isn’t really a reason to be pleased, unless of course you count THEIR pleasure waiting on MOI…So, it isn’t that!
“Of course, it is because you are so beautilicious, you have all those boys chasing after you…Teddy Hot Paws and your True love Handsome Hamish in Tewin, your English country village (you told us all about them in Telling Tails) and Mason the Hollywood Hottie and Shaunessey his Intellectual brother in Manhattan (We met them in Angel in the City) …Oh and of course Krios the Royal Personage you told us all about in your gorgeous slice of chick lit, Angel Cake!“
It is true that I am rather like that other famous Diva Marlena Dietrich.Can I help it if Dogs cluster to me like moths around a flame and worship at my perfect paws.. I like her you know. I like old movies, all that Noir stuff. It gave me an idea for my latest photoshoot…Moi goes Noir!!!
Beautiful Violetta craves excitement and when a beauty pageant is staged in her sleepy Somerset village she is determined to win the first round and go on to become ‘Queen of the World.’ With her head full of dreams, vain Violetta sets of for the bright lights of Victorian London. Forgetting all about the little Mouseling she has left behind Violetta’s heart is set on finding fame and fortune. Magdalena wakes to find Violetta has vanished in the night. Determined to find her, the little Mouseling bravely sets off in hot pursuit after her wayward Mama. Although her journey is littered with many pitfalls, perils and full of danger, taking her all the way from England’s shores to the New World, she never gives up hope. Will Magdalena find Violetta. And if she does, will vain Violetta return back home? Follow Mouseling Magdalena on an amazing adventure and find out just how with a lot of courage and a big heart she becomes ‘Maz the Marvellous Mouse’!
The lovely cover Picture of ‘Lady Mouse of the House’ © Candonyc | Dreamstime.com
School is out and B.F.F’S Jenna and Amy look forward to a happy summer with their much loved dogs Poppy and Patch. But Poppy is acting strangely and wants to be alone and Patch is moping. What could be the matter? When Jenna’s Dad, Vet Corey, confirms pups are on the way the girls are mega excited to meet and greet the little bundles of fur. The pitter patter of tiny paws causes plenty of laughter, tears and canine chaos! The threat of the adorable puppies being re-homed throws Jenna into a tailspin and she runs away. Just who will come to the rescue when Jenna finds herself in big trouble? And can Amy find a way to help her best friend and keep Poppy, Patch and their cute little family together fur-ever?
The gorgeously cute “Dog In Box”
on the front cover is
B.F.F’s Jenna and Amy do everything together and share everything together. They have vowed to be Best Friends Forever! Both girls long for a puppy to love and share. But their apartment block in London’s busy West End has a total ban on pets.
Just when their dream seems impossible, gorgeous poodle Poppy Paws comes tearing into their lives, bringing big changes with her. With an unexpected move to the countryside it looks like the girls wishes have just come true…But have they?
Everything should be just perfect in their new homes and Poppy has wrapped her perfect paws around the girls hearts and is part of the ‘Best Friends Forever’ team. Life is good until ‘bad dog’ Patch spoils things for Jenna, she becomes afraid of the thing she loves most, dogs!
With her friendships with both Amy and Poppy Paws threatened, Jenna desperately needs to overcome all her doubts and fears or risk loosing her friends.
B.F.F’S are supposed to be forever… or are they?
The delightful front cover image “Little Girl with Umberella”