The Divine Astarte was the ruler of many worlds, times and realities. She was one of the last of her race. Her people had seeded many worlds with life, and had power like unto that of the gods. Her son, Theonas, the demigod, was born to transform the world, and revealed to all men the Mysteries.
The Orphic Mysteries, Introduction, p. 21.
Holy Mother, I have passed as you commanded to the Dark Realm. I have seen the world transformed, and the Light spread to all the worlds. To all that hunger after justice, I will seek to reveal the Mysteries. Long life and victory, to you! Theonas, Prince Imperial.
“The time has come for you to visit your uncle, my dear Theonas,” said the Divine Astarte, the Goddess. “You will find him to be a man of power.”
“Where does my uncle dwell, Holy Mother?” I asked.
“Your uncle, Chronos, lives in a Cosmos out of our time and reality. Chronos did war with our Father, the Storm God. He slew him, but was cast out of this bubble of existence, into yet another by the act of our Sire. He cannot return, and we are safe from his evil intentions,” explained Astarte.
“So, I may journey to him. But why?”
“We are among the last of our race. You would do well to better understand those of us that yet live. We also need to know what he may plan, and if he does wish us ill,” spake Astarte.
“Very well, Your Imperial Highness. I will go, when you do command,” I did reply.
“Very well, my son. I will open the portal now, and send you forth,” the Goddess said, raising high her royal orb. A rainbow of light filled the room. The face of my mother seemed to waver before my eyes, then I felt a pain in my chest, and closed my eyes. I opened them, to find myself standing on a rocky beach. To my left was a pounding surf – and before me sat a man on a throne.
“Chronus, Chronus! This is Theonas, son of your brother – the Lord of the Storm. I, Astarte, ask you to receive him with honor!” so came the voice of Astarte, fading into silence. I looked at the being on the throne. He was a man of middle years, with white hair. He was surrounded by a throng of others, forming an arc behind the throne.
“Theonas, dear lad, I have been given tidings of your visit by your mother. You resemble your father well. You have his red hair, and green eyes. You are most welcome,” saith the God of this world out of time.
“Thank you, Uncle. I have journeyed far, and I give you tidings from my mother,” I said. A woman, with dark hair, and dusty skin, like unto my mother, did step forward. She advanced to my side, and embraced me.
“I am called Pandora, and have long waited to see another person from my own realm,” said the dark lady. “I will be your companion, Theonas.”
“I do thank you, my lady,” I replied.
I glanced at those near the dark throne of Chronus. To the left were creatures, covered with green scales. They wore coats of mail, and conical helms. They were armed with pikes, war axes and sabers. On the left were men and women, of grim visage, all wearing white tunics. They seemed to be of many exotic races and worlds, and of many hues of skin.
“Go with the lady, dear boy. She will take you to your quarters,” saith the Dark Lord. “I will give you tidings to convey to your Holy Mother on the morn.” I bowed, and drew my sword, and gave the salute of the warrior. Pandora took my arm, and led me away. As we strode along the strand, a chariot appeared in the distance, moving at a high rate of speed. The chariot wheeled, and came to a halt at our side. The charioteer was a woman in mail, with a conical helm.
I lifted Pandora onto the chariot platform, and then stepped up beside her. The Charioteer nodded and smiled. She then lashed the four steeds with her reins, and we then raced back down the shore.
In the distance, I could see slender towers, white in hue. We soon neared the towers, rising from a massive stronghold, with thick walls of white stone. As we neared the gates of the fortress, they swung open to allow us to enter. Inside the walls was a large courtyard, with a tower rising into the sky. There was a wide flight of steps, leading to a double door in the tower. The doors also swung open, in invitation.
I followed Pandora up the steps, and into the hall inside. The room was filled with tables, and contained a hearth with a fire. There was a strong odor of cedar, when we came near the fire. There were tapestries along the walls, with battle scenes depicted in subdued hues.
Pandora led me to a flight of stairs, and up to a wide level, thence into a room. She led me to a convex chair, and bid me sit. She clapped her hands, summoning a group of women bearing a horn of mead and platters of food. Tables were carried forward, and the Dark Lady bid me to partake.
I sipped the mead, and sampled the many dishes before me. As I ate, Pandora did to me convey some explanation of this World out of Time. “Chronus has gathered about him men and women in search of power, lost souls who sought to escape demons, real spirits or ones eating out their own soul – and yet others who slipped by mischance into his power. Chronus desires to rule other worlds, and hopes you may give him dominion over any realm that you desire to cast into darkness. If you need to punish any men, or destroy any cities, he will gladly open a portal for you,” said Pandora.
“If any flee from us, they may seek refuge with him, mayhaps,” I replied. “His realm seems to reek of pain, and I sense lost souls calling out, seeking escape.”
“Yes. I too have done penance here for eons, for nearly forgotten sins. Now, I wish to return, and to dwell among others of my own kind. For I am of the same blood as you. Your mother was born on the same orb that gave me birth. If you grant me leave, I shall return with you.”
“Will this be permitted by the Lord of Time?” I asked.
“Yes, I do not belong here. Nor do my servants. I pray that you will free us, and lead us forth into sunlight and Spring Time.”
“It shall be so, Lady,” I promised. The Lady did gaily laugh, and clapped her hands once more. Her servants returned, and bowed. She did rise from her bench, and beckoned me to follow. She opened a wide door, leading into a room filled with fountains. There were urns, from which flowers sprang forth. The sounds of songbirds did fill the large room.
The lady, and her women, helped me to remove my coat of mail and my tunic, and led me to the pool. The women discarded their own robes, and stepped into the large pool. I joined them, and splashed my face with water. “My Lord, you are welcome here, to my secret garden,” I turned to see a young woman. She had eyes of blue, and light hair, falling down her shoulders.
“I am called Persephone. I too entreat you to allow me to follow you to your realm of light. I often dwell there when I may, but am drawn back here by the Lord of Time, who cannot part with me. His only desire is to garner more souls, and add to his kingdom,” did say the fair woman.
The damsel discarded her white tunic, and dove into the pool. The woman did me sweetly embrace, and kissed me on my neck. “Come My Lord, we must retire. Long have we lived in this dark realm, and have not known the love of a man. Do come,” pleaded Pandora.
I woke in the morning, surrounded by the sleeping forms of the women from the pool. I had been roused from sleep by one or another of the women through the night, seeking pleasure. I was now able to return to the pool and splash in the water. The night had seemed to be overlong, and we seemed to be joined in the night by many women I had not seen before in this place.
Pandora appeared at the fountain, with a new tunic. She helped me to don the white garment. I also donned my coat of mail, and girded on my sword. Persephone also appeared, bearing a white cushion. On the cushion was a golden flute. “Here, My Lord. This is now yours to play,” she said. “Take it, we have waited long for this day.”
I took up the flute, and raised it to my lips. I began to play the flute. The air was filled with the gilded sound, the tune seeming to reverberate, and to fill the space outside the walls of the room.
Pandora took my arm, with a gay laugh. The door of the room swung open in invitation, and I passed thru the opening into the realm outside. I was followed by the women of the night.
I walked thru the great hall, playing the flute of power. From doors along the way, doors opened, to allow other women to hurry to join our number. I passed through the gates into the world outside, and then descended the steps. I found the chariot from the day before waiting for me.
I mounted the chariot, and was joined by Pandora and Persephone. The chariot wheeled, and slowly drove down the rocky way. From the hills along the shore, more people did emerge – both men and women. They fell in behind the chariot, in growing numbers.
In the distance, I saw a dark figure walking toward me. As he drew nearer, I could see that the being was the God, Chronus.
“This is treason!” he called. “Treason!” A blue myst blew in from the troubled sea, covering us all. I lost sight of the Demon Lord, as the myst became thicker. The charioteer lashed her steeds onward, as I continued to play. I turned, to dimly see figures following me. The chariot continued onward, as I played on.
Ahead, I could see a dim light in the distance. The light grew brighter as we advanced. The rays of the glowing orb appeared to burn away the myst, forming a tunnel. The chariot passed onward, as the myst gradually dissipated.
I could now see that the light was the sun, rising from the horizon. All about was a green field, covered in grass. I could hear the music of songbirds, joining in with the tune from my flute. The chariot drove forward. I turned to see a vast throng, darting out into the field of Spring. Some of them seemed to fade into the air, departing to some other place or sphere of reality.
I lowered the flute, to find it glowing from some inner power.
“You have revealed to us the Mysteries. My Prince, you are now the ruler of the Light,” said Persephone, her eyes filling with tears.
She then held me in an embrace. Pandora grasped my arm. “Spring, the world is now in Spring!” I said, in wonderment.
Jerome Brooke was born in Evansville, Indiana. He attended Indiana University – MLS, JD. He now lives in the Kingdom of Siam. He is married to Jiraporn Sutta, a princess of the lost Kingdom of Nan. He is the father of two children. His daughter, Jirachaya, is five. She has been crowned as Miss Superstar 2011. His son Justin, 40, is a sales executive in Shanghai.
He is a member of the bar of the Supreme Court of Indiana. He served as City Attorney, for Ellettsville, Indiana. He also served as Judge Pro Tempore for the Superior Court of Monroe County.
He has written City of the Mirage (Amazon Kindle) and many other books.
His work has been published in many magazines, including World of Myth – Welcome to Wherever – Blood Moon Rising – Blood and Lullabys – Candidum – Danse Macabe – Bewildering Stories- MelBrake Press blog – and First Literary Review.
His work has been described as:
The poems are savage and barbarous … intricate and complex … horrific. …talent, interest, and clarity of diction. Joseph Hart. — Isles of Myst Review
The poems remind me of ancient primeval legends … . The imagery is active and personified. Joseph G Phillips. — New Mirage Quarterly
A terse series of quatrains which evoke the cold and dark realms … of the Ice Age. — Carol Hamilton, New Mirage Quarterly
A timelesss tradition of honor, bravery, and romance. … tales of mediaeval warfare … spell-binding. Charming and seductive … . — Lorraine Tolliver, New Mirage Quarterly
Battle, victories, defiance, perseverance ring melodiously throughout the pages … . The victor within us all prevails. — Paul Truttman, Western Archipelago
Primitive, barbaric, spare, austere, but eloquent … frightening. The images .. are savage. The poems are exciting and moody. — Joseph Hart, Isles of Myst Review
Jeromevbrooke at yahoo dot com