Chapter Fifteen: The Blue Knight

     Truthfully, I did not know how to react towards such news, such sudden and deep regret.  I put away the letter, picked up a candlestick, and wandered down the hall.  Passing by the hall of portraits, I felt her eyes glowering, the image of Lynoria, lit by the phosphorous gloom of crackled lightning.
     Was all lost?  I felt the cross at my neck.  It seemed useless now.  I also felt another bauble at my neck — the little charm given to me by Raven, and I felt something well up inside me, a deep sadness.  I tugged at it, felt the chain about to snap, as I heard a strange sound . . . something outside.
     Wind whistled through broken rafters, that is all.  Or so I thought.  I now wandered aimlessly and felt all alone.
     Where, where would I go?
     I passed by the spinet and the mirror.  There.  I stopped.  She was me.  Lynoria.  I was her now.  I screamed and smashed the mirror with my own hands, bits of glass stuck in my skin.
     “Lynoria!” I shouted.  “Leave me, now!”
     I stumbled, prayed to God.  On my knees I felt blood welling up beneath them from the glass on the floor, and a halo of glass arcs cut my clasped palms.  No, no escape.
     It was well past late afternoon when a strange sound again returned my attention, and I saw the ghost of my missing beloved, Stephane, standing by the broken mirrors.
     “They are coming,” he said. And he showed me, in the broken pattern of the mirror shards, the images of the the vampires of Andarian crossing the sea.
     “Come to me now Elvira,” he said, “I am coming for you.”
     At this, I felt that something did not seem right.  t was as if I could hear Lynoria’s voice mingled with his now.
     I backed away and ran down the hall.  I ran until I reached the front of the mansion, then I ran to Raven’s path, towards the sea . . .
     I would wait for them there, I would fight, I would not surrender.
     The sea was restless.  Blue and restless.  The late hazy sun still shone and I felt a strange unease, like a spell of sleep.
     Was I dreaming?
     Beyond in the distance, a gleam in the froth of water.
     I stopped, my bare feet in the soft sand.
     It was . . . a helmet.  A figure neared now.  A clamoring song like dulcimer struck my ears — rang in my head like bells, a droning toll, mesmerising . . .
     The figure appeared closer.  It was a shiny shape, like metal, like blue metal, either reflecting sky, sea, or water . . . it did not matter now.  I only stared, could not speak.
     I watched, this metal thing, it was clearly visible now, a knight.  A knight in armour.  He reached out to me; now he was hip-deep in water.
     Through the open visor I saw his eyes, blue as the sea.  I recognised him, or thought I did.  He spoke to me now, in garbled underwater tongue.  Around him were strewn seaweeds, and flowers of a field . . . flowers from the forest . . . blue periwinkle, lavender . . .
     “I’ve come for you . . .” he said, “I’ve come . . . for you.”
     In his eyes I saw reflected back the image of myself dressed as a bride in white, waiting for him, at the banks of the Rhennish river. And I wept.
     He reached towards me, and I know then it was Stephane, come back for me in this ghostly form.  I took his armoured hand, entered the salty brine sea.
     The dream called life was over. I was going home . . . under the depths of the grave called the sea.

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