The Raven Princess

Posted: August 3, 2010 in Short Stories

They stood; thousands of them, packed together in ankle deep fog with sweat pouring down their faces and arms waving frantically towards a pinkish brown sky. A thunderous boom echoed through the air leaving their bones quivering, and before the end of that boom, a second followed and then a third joined by a chorus of howls. Fire shot up towards the sky, a billow of smoke coiled from the earth, and out of the clouds she emerged.

It was hard to believe that only three years earlier, while working at Wal-Mart in the frozen food section she would meet the man that would change her life forever.  He wasn’t a tall dark handsome man, but he was good to her.  He always smiled when their eyes met, and he had tried so hard to get her number.  The thought of him made her happy and sad at the same time.  He had always believed in her, always thought of her as a Princess.

Her head was low, but there was no mistaking her long midnight black hair as it snapped in the wind like a living flame. She made three determined strides forward and stopped, timing it so that her feet planted a shoulder’s length apart. She snapped her head up, lifted her hands and the thunder stopped. She surveyed the crowd. All eyes were upon her. She opened her mouth and screamed, falling to one knee and raising one arm towards the sky.

“You should be a singer,” he whispered in her ear.  They lay together on a blanket of green grass gazing up at a sky filled with clouds.

“I can’t sing,” she laughed at his suggestion.

“You have a very sincere and sweet voice.  Your heart is full of passion… that is what people crave, sincerity and passion.  I think you should sing.”

She turned her head and their eyes met.  She should have kissed him then… she should have… but she didn’t.

The crowd went wild! You could barely hear the words she began to form as she slowly lifted herself from the ground. This was it, the moment she had been waiting for, the stars were aligned, the moon was full and the weather was perfect for August. She fed upon the crowd as they did her; it was a symbiotic relationship of sights and sounds.

She heard it on the radio in the break-room at work.  A freak thunderstorm had shown up out of nowhere and multiple bolts of lightning had claimed the life of one Emanuel Shajhef Quinton.  Her heart sank, and that moment changed her life forever…  “You should be a singer,” she heard him say to her, and the moment when their eyes met for the first time… tears rolled down her face… “I should have kissed you,” she said softly.  But she didn’t, and she would never get the chance again, so instead, she dyed her hair midnight black; formed a band, and began to sing.

“That night he came… into my life… stealing away the way I saw my innocence! Like a midnight star, you only see at twilight, my heart was gone but my soul lived on…”

Her words raced through the audience, powerful, enigmatic almost ethereal!

“The many tears I cried, no one around to see… revenge of the heart, my destiny… and like a midnight star, you only see at twilight… my heart was gone but my soul… my soul lived on!”

She finished her set the way it began, and as she turned to leave the stage the perfect sky was blackened with cumulus clouds.

She reveled in the sounds the crowd made for her. They loved the Mari Seven, and they were chanting her name!

Mari! Mari! Mari!

She looked up, just as a bolt of searing light tore through her body!

Everyone screamed as her body was ripped to shreds and burned to ashes.

Her last thoughts, “The best performance of my life can’t be my last!” Then she knew no more.

* * *

Her long silk black hair flowed on the evening breeze, causing strands to whip into her face. She took in deep breaths and sighed. Six months have passed since that fateful day, the day her life ended on earth and began in this new wondrous and strange world. But it was for the better. On earth, she was tormented by that obsessive stalker Javier Rosenthal, her number one fan and he kept sending her flowers; candy and somehow showing up at her dressing room door. She had a restraining order on him, but he didn’t care. He kept harassing her. She remembered being afraid for her life, but that kind of fear is gone now. Now she was a singer for God, the One God, in a world where her songs wove true magic. She was the Raven Princess, the one and only Mari.



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