Prologue: A Mirror of Water

     I have often looked for auguries and omens.  Mirrors, looking glasses, and other objects of foreknowledge.  After the rain I have often gazed into ponds and pools, not expecting what to see. It is myself I see, amidst the various selves of my soul; but even he is reflected there, for a moment, then not at all.  It is at such a time that recollection begins to devour the serenity of my soul, and yet a sweet languor, an utterance of some hope or private longing.  A sense of harmony or balance seems restored, a knowledge of some power at work.
     Here, beneath the green divan of trees, I restlessly wander; my thoughts are like waves, distinct yet unformed now, and I long to drink in the sights of other places, to drown in view of them, again as this water reflects my seemingly calm visage; to hear the chords of my soul resound as music, rich as the soul of it.  Here, beneath moon and night sky, the trees, the mirror of dusky marsh water, my heart, drowning . . .
     I am reminded of infinity and a slow calm envelops the senses. I submit to stillness.
     Despite all of this, despite this, I am still uncertain.  The portrait on the wall, Lynoria, looks down on me so glaringly.  I feel her eyes becoming mine.  The night sky smothers me now, and I do not know when . . .  I will truly see the light again, for I live only in darkness.
     A mirror of water reflects my worries twice.  What is it I saw beneath me?  Flooded with sky . . .  a hushed tone resounds as  a thousand and one mirrors of water; tales to be told, their pages rustling like leaves, like bells in the crackled foilage, delicate like glass.  Many years ago I saw my future in a round ball of glass, like fire.  “You must have trust” spoke the green-eyed witch in a low voice, a sea-wave of abalone slivers combing her brilliant red hair.    had been visiting the blue and red city of Inferias, and Madame, pretty as a fiery mermaid, procured a “Message from The Spirits.”
     What I saw turned into water, and the image broke before I could think or even imagine more clearly (just what I saw is still a dream).  But the Madame sighed, for she saw something else . . . “A strange thing,” she said, “A man who turns from you now, and the water freezing to ice, a whiteness all around, so unlike Inferias . . . like being blinded by pure whiteness.”
     But it is true.  All of it.  The spirits do not lie, do they?
     Was this a positive admonition, or a warning?  I never listened to danger bells, in fact, I ran to them all the more.  The calm sea always distorts my senses; inner turbulence pleases me somehow.  And so it was that I, despite my calm nature, was seething, dreaming, and roiling, I dreamt of the light on the horizon, the gleaming aura of Adonai, the sea of blue topaz, of deep and thoughtful eyes I had once known in strange visions.
     Since youth I was not as others.  My mind was austere; my heart, different somehow.  Despite this I still had an invisible will, the birthright of the d’Ravnosil, a willpower that defied all — and a penchant for the solitary.  Despite that I was born into gloom, a family of utmost high berth, but so many secrets unimaginable; we, the grave d’Ravnosil.  Some say even damned.
     My earliest recollections of home are not happy ones. I remember the long hallway and the faces, like trapped spirits in flacons, looking down so disapprovingly.  One of them looked just like me.  Often the servants saw her ghost, thinking it was somehow me, but I do not really remember.
     The grave but elusive countenance of the dead Lynoria still haunts me.  I touch my face: it is hers. But, I am not dead.


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