Essence of Re Chapter 1
The shadows danced around the temple walls like restless spirits as she prepared for the rites that would set her free. This place that had always been her sanctuary would now become her tomb. As her eyes glanced over the rough, torch lit walls where her story, her life, was chronicled in images and words, she imagined the last paintings that would adorn them. Her death would be recorded for all those who came after to learn about and to understand why. Her heart would be given a fresh start to once again be able to feel love instead of the anger and hatred that was consuming her soul. Her mind felt clear for the first time in what seemed like an eternity. An eternity since he was taken from her, since she sought revenge for his death.
As she laid the scroll and vial next to the knife that would end this suffering and pain, a hand stilled hers. She looked up into the face of her oldest and dearest friend. His face was deeply lined now, just a hint in his eyes of the boy who had come to this temple seventy-five years ago so naïve and curious. She had watched him grow into a fine man, a kind and intelligent priest and she had watched him grow old as she remained forever young knowing that someday, she would lose him to death. They had both always assumed it would be his, not hers. He had sacrificed so much to serve her and now she watched as the betrayal he felt slid down his cheeks in the form of tears.
“How can you turn your back on your destiny?” he asked.
“My destiny was never to be alone,” she replied.
“Your destiny was to guard the human race from evil. You are still capable of doing that,” he stubbornly replied.
“Live out my destiny, eternity, without the man I love by my side? What a cruel fate that would be.”
“He will be reborn,” he said.
“Prophecy tells us that his soul may only be reborn if mine is also. We are meant to live as one, never alone, never apart. We shall both be reborn,” she said.
“But when?” he demanded. “How long must this earth go on until your souls find each other again and fulfill prophecy. Will evil have time to take hold? Will everything you have fought for in this life be torn to shreds? You leave us to fight your battles. You speak of your own cruel fate but what of those you leave behind? You are so willing to leave us to our own cruel fates without the protection destined us by Re himself. Does the gift you have been given mean so little to you that it can be tossed aside so carelessly?” he asked.
“I have given my life to prophecy and destiny. I have done my duty. But there is an emptiness inside of me now that cannot be filled. An emptiness that began the moment I was told of his death. I feel it growing, tearing me apart from the inside. I fear the woman I would become left to this cold, lonely future. I have done evil in my search for revenge and I still don’t feel sated. The rage inside me still burns as brightly as it did when my overwhelming grief gave way to anger. I am not the woman I once was. I know that this is difficult for you to understand but being reborn together is the only way to truly fulfill destiny’s claim on my soul and his. Please, dear friend,” she pleaded as she laid her other hand on top of his, “if you have ever cared for me, let me salvage my soul and the essence that I carry inside of me. Help me find peace and clarity once again so I can continue the fight against evil instead of becoming evil myself.”
Pain filled his eyes as her words tore at his heart. Knowing that this was a battle he was not going to win, he finally nodded and withdrew his hand from hers so that the ceremony could begin. The essence would be bound to a vessel and would wait there, guarded, for as long as it took for her to be reborn. He prayed that that would be soon. As brave as he had always been, his eyes closed as she plunged the knife into her heart.