Dawn Of Redemption ~
The next morning Mikael returns with all the men of the village. They destroy the coffins and all the demons are staked then carried out to the early morning sun, where they withered then turned to ashes. All but Elisabetta were destroyed. His beloved was in the sleep of damnation in her locked room far above the dungeon. He now sits with her, waiting for her to awaken when the darkness comes on – and praying, with all his heart, body, mind and soul for this evil beauty he loves. He prays for strength to do what he must.
The night creeps up on him as she arises from her slumber and approaches him. He now whispers, his voice becoming stronger as he regains his senses. “You loved me, Elisabetta. Many times, we loved, and you have not harmed me. Your passion has fired the deepest part of my soul. How can you love me like that, if you…if you are not alive, not human?””
“Yet, I am human, Mikael. As human as you. I just do not have a soul, or so I have been told.” He cringes and turns away . “You DO!” he yells with rage and slams his fist on the table then turns back to her, his beloved . “You do have a soul and I will help you save it and redeem it.”
“Mikael, oh my darling. How can we redeem that which has been damned for centuries? Your God will not accept my soul, if I have one. He will not redeem me, never!”
“Yes, He will. I will pray – I have been sitting here all day praying for you, for us!. I will leave here in a while and will spend the whole day tomorrow in church at my altar and pray for your soul. You will be saved, your soul will be saved and live on in the Heavenly Kingdom. Believe, we must BELIEVE that!” For several minutes of silence as they held each other, Mikael thought very carefully on what to tell her about the soul. He stands up and paces in front of the fireplace as Elisabetta watched him, curious as to his mood.
Then he stopped and looked tenderly at her. “My darling, when a person dies, their soul carries on and returns to Heaven. It is the soul that is the essence of the person. By rights, you should have died centuries ago. Abram did not allow your physical self to die. He kept your body for his own sick reasons. However, your soul did leave you and has been wandering in the spiritual realms, lost and confused. It is so hard for me to believe you are only an empty physical body,” he paced again for a minute or so.
“If you, this body of yours, dies to all senses it can be discarded as it should have been when your soul left. If we pray, and I have been praying all day, your soul can find its way home and maybe be reborn into another life. You have to believe that all this is true. If you can believe, then God will heal your soul. It is also possible that you and I can come back together in our next life.”
He stops and stares at Elisabetta to see her reaction. She sat there looking bewildered. “I firmly believe, Elisabetta, that we will live again and in the life that was intended for us together. Promise me, darling, promise you will at least try to believe.”
Mikael took her hand and pulled her up to gently hold her. Then tells her what he and the villagers had done with the vampires in the dungeon. She shrinks back in horror pushing him away forcefully, then rage overcomes her as she rushes to strike him down, screaming as she flies at him with such great strength and force that it frightens him to the point of hopelessness. They lay on the cold stone floor for several seconds as she stares down into his eyes, ready to rip his throat out. The few seconds she hesitated gave him the time he needed to expose the cross he wore. She quickly shrinks back and stands up, hiding her face from him. Sobbing, she falls to the floor and asks his forgiveness.
Take me if you will ~
Rising back up he cautiously approaches her, and reaches down to take her hand in his. “Take me if you will, Elisabetta, yet do not make me like you. Make damn sure you kill me – for if you make me like you, I would hate you as you hated Abram.”
She looked up at him, her face ravaged with the anger, shock, and shame – tears streaming down. She slowly rose and once again stared into his eyes. For several seconds, several centuries it seemed, she stared at him as memories flooded her mind. Memories she had forgotten about because she could not face them. The pain of remembering was too much and far too torturous. Madre and Padre flashed across her mind and her face showed deep sorrow and pain. She felt something she had not felt since the night her parents were murdered and her home burned. The terror she felt as she ran from the war came back to her. The safety and comfort she felt in the arms of a stranger flooded her mind. Abram! The face of Abram flashed before her and she saw his pain and suddenly knew that he, too, hated what he was.
“I will not go out tonight, Mikael. I will stay in and suffer in pain, as I so deserve.” She hid her face on his chest and put her arms around him. He held her close as they cried together and clung to each other. Tilting her head back she looked up at his face. “You are a man of God, Mikael. Make me like you.”
Mikael sobbed and pulled her to his chest, holding her tightly, burying his face in her long dark hair. “I do not have that power, Elisabetta, only God does. You see, you do have a soul and God will redeem that. There is only one way to redeem your soul and for us to be together eternally.”
Elisabeta whispered with determination and passion. “Then have them destroy me, as they destroyed the others.” Mikael let out a groan of pain and shouted. “No! I will not let them touch you. Never!”
Dawn Of Redemption ~
“You must, Mikael, or we will never again be together. This is our last night together like this. You said we could be as one in His kingdom. Let me see that. Let me be there for you when your time comes. Let me know that what you say is true. Forgive me, my love, for the lies, the deceit. I only wanted to know true love, to feel like a real woman and let our hearts beat as one.”
“I will do it. No one else will touch you.” The sobs jerk his body and the tears drain his heart.
“No, Mikael, do not remember me in agony. Remember me in love only. Let the others come, and quickly, before dawn arrives. Leave me now with this love in our hearts and the memory of being in each others arms.” Mikael leaves her before the dawn breaks.
Dawn of Promise ~
Sixty tormented years later of remembering and longing, an old man labors up a hill slowly with a cane in each hand. Looking to the dawn of promise. He reaches the top and stands with tears in his eyes and passion in his heart as he turns and looks out over the valley to the top of the distant mountain where the ruins of a castle are outlined against the sky. Turning again, he gazes down at the sea below where he threw the urn so many years ago. The sea calls to him. Raising both canes high towards Heaven he sobs and in his weak voice begs, “Take me now, Father. Take me to her.”
As his soul is uplifted the aged body falls from the cliff to the churning waters and rocks below.
© Copyright 2016 All Rights Reserved Phyllis Doyle Burns
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