A thin streak of golden light escaped a gap in the curtains at one side of the room. The fine line of light fell to the stone floor and continued to fall, over my chest and further, until it brightened the opposite wall and enlightened half of the painting of Little Valora.
I lay with half of my back against the cold stone, the other on the ancient, yet handsome, floor rug. My right arm was raised above my head, my fingers wound around strands of my shoulder-length blonde hair. My left arm hugged my stomach, my hand falling limply onto the floor; a small blue flower perched in my relaxed fingers.
I had been lying on the floor for a very long time. A day, perhaps? Two days? Certainly over twelve hours, for I had watched as the sunlight drained from the room and the golden strip of light melted away, and then as it returned once more, brighter than before … then disappeared once again. Two days? Three?
I frowned for a moment, thinking. Yes, two days precisely this very minute. Two days I have lounged on this floor, watching the curtained windows, thinking.
Yes, I had a very many things to think about. It satisfied me just wonderfully to lie alone with just my thoughts for company. Of course it did, I knew a very many things, my thoughts contained almost all there was to know – and if you consider this an enormity of responsibility and hardship on my part, you are correct.
I sighed and closed my eyes for a short, measured moment. When I reopened them I realized that I was humming. Now that I thought about it, I had been humming for 9 hours, 23 minutes straight. I wasn’t humming anything I had heard before. Nothing I had borrowed from anybody in particular. It was a slow, thoughtful melody. It slithered unexpectedly through octaves, though it floated softly from my lips. It switched dramatically from major or minor and it sounded a little like an unknown language, my tongue curved around each note as though it were a syllable of a word. Every phrase ended with something like a full stop, my music was structured in paragraphs. I realized that I was humming a story that echoed the thoughts of my trance, and as my mind fell upon the music, it grew louder and more complicated. Hypnotizing.
It wasn’t long until my mind drifted away into a wide expanse of thought once again. Surprisingly, I had a very inattentive mind. It drifted from thought to thought to person to person to world to world … though when I thought, I became to be in something of a waking dream – a very meditational state of mind where I contemplated, learnt, realized a very many things each day.
I spent little time with others. Even my family, who lived about the Palace in their own towers or areas of our world, we each lived separate lives, entranced in our thoughts most of the time. However contented I was to spend all of my time on my thoughts alone – it was very lonely. Knowledge was a lonely thing. Having gained enough mind-control to prevent myself from delving too far into the future or into my own life, obviously allowed me the little freedom I had gained to choose my own paths without knowing the immediate outcome, though that was often inevitable. Having a very fine line between knowing your own fate was very difficult indeed. Before I had even gained this capability of command over my own brain, I had learnt a lot of what I did not at all want to know, which haunted my every thought. And as much I do know, there is no possible process I could carry out myself to erase the knowledge that I had already bared for … so long. It was a pain I would hold as a burden forever. Knowledge was also a very powerful thing.
I had the power to block out unwanted thoughts, unwanted realizations, but my power of thought obstruction was limited due to the fact there were a many certain thoughts I knew I should block out but didn’t want to. You see, this makes things very … difficult.
My point is that there are many thoughts that continuously enter my mind. Over, and over, and over again. It’s exasperating! I had been lying on the floor of my room for 49.26 hours with many thoughts circulating my mind, but the same one keeps entering, reentering my mind like some kind of persistent child, nagging at my feet for a piece of chocolate, however much I try to discipline this disobedient, and frankly rather tiresome, child, the more he just kept crawling back, shouting louder and louder into my ears, begging for chocolate.
And having the power of omniscience never really helped me understand the concept of children.
Of course I knew of Demonia and her wicked plans, she was old news among the Gods. Those who dared seek details of the future (and of course, this was inescapable) had warned us all of her astute mind and scheming nature. I knew all about her already, and of course I know that she knows that I know this. The elder Gods were correct; indeed, she did have a rather astute mind. She understood more than most and she knew a very many things.
Demonia, as we call her among Gods, is something of a curiosity, until you delve further into her history and come to understand her foul character. Tamesis Brea. Once a member of one of the most powerful families of the God’s. Brea Palace still stands, though it has been empty for generations upon generations. A family of such wisdom - many envied them. They had such an extraordinary control of their minds, though they traveled so far into the depth of their knowledge of the world, for they learnt much. They knew almost more than any other God, and though their abilities lay beyond any of most, they concentrated their energies the most on beauty and seduction and physical power.
Each member of the family formed their bodies to reach perfection in every sense. They had once created a song, more alluring and enchanting than any melody I had strung by own tongue. Any soul would gladly crawl towards them on hands and knees, where they bidden, when their song could be heard in their ears, and not only mortals but the God’s themselves would give themselves up for their new masters.
Their story is one of tragedy. The reason, well we remaining God’s condemn the Burden of Knowledge. This family is an example of the consequence of an over-active curiosity, a lust for a power that cannot be given without a fatal consequence. I will not speak her story for it is one of such despondency that I shall not do it the uttermost justice. A story only she can tell – and I know enough to know that one day she will.
In short, Tamesis was a very beautiful and a very wise goddess. One with such power one can only dream of. This power came from her Fathers persistent experimentation with the boundries of knowledge. He had probed further than any into the distant gloom of the future, and of the past, and into a distance unbeknown by any other. He had once been a righteous man. A man of such poise and kindness, a man of such dignity and courtesy, but this knowledge slowly drove him to insanity.
Knowledge, as I had previously stated, is a very powerful thing. Consequently – the Burden of Knowledge.
His madness led to his own family’s death, in very short, though a God never truly dies … their spirit lives on through the ages, unquenchable by fire or water or earth or any power of any mind. A God lives on until the end of time, though their bodies are taken from them in the process of death, and as most powers dwell within the body of a God, they are no longer in power of their own control. They are simply left to watch. To think. To know everything.
Demonia was a different creature altogether. As knowledgeable as she was, as far into understanding she had delved without falling into the trap of insanity and despaire, she was able to bring herself to belong to a body other than her own. A body that was sure to cause a great deal of controversy in the Kingdom, and for that reason she did it, though not that reason alone. The time shall come for you to understand.
‘Aliana.’ spoke my uncle from the doorway. Of course I knew he had been approaching, and, of course, I had known he had been standing there for nine minutes in total, watching me as I thought and I hummed. I knew when he was about to say my name, though I didn’t need godly knowledge for that. We may be omniscient, we Gods, but we are not utterly telepathic. Our knowledge tells us we are able to converse without words and to use just our brains for communication, though we ourselves use our mental block to control that area of thought. We are courteous to one another’s privacy. We do, as we would like done to us.
I gently ceased to hum and slowly turned around to lay on my chest, resting my head on my hands on the floor, the small flower falling before me onto the stone.
‘Thinking of the boy?’ he asked me, an eyebrow gently rose. He spoke in his soothing voice, full of wisdom and that essence of power, more than the other God’s, I mean. Well, being the son of the King of Neumair did mean more than a royal title.
I raised my head and rested it against the palm of my right hand and looked into his eyes for a sedate moment before smiling casually and silently rolling over again onto my back, folded my legs to one side as I stroked the silken material of my white shorts.
‘He seems to know we are keeping a watch of him.’ I say quietly with a sardonic smile. ‘He just marches into my every thought.’
‘I don’t think that’s quite within his capabilities, Aliana.’ he said without a smile, though he had an amused air to his reply.
‘Oh, I don’t know.’ I said quietly. ‘He seems to be rather able to me.’
‘Have you been straying into the future, Aliana?’ he asked me, intrigued. ‘Do tell.’
I bent my neck to look at him behind me, upside-down, before returning my position and taking a silent breath and beginning to hum.
I sung quietly, almost under my very breath, though the hypnotic melody grew louder and faster as it went on, and his story was told. A melody that went from major to minor key. It broke my own heart to listen to its story. His story.
I sensed him listening, growing tense along with the growing of the volume of the melody. When I had finally finished and lay silent on the cold floor, I turned to watch him as he gazed thoughtfully past me, though not really seeing. He had a frown on his face, though no wrinkles littered it. His eyes looked old, wise, and they were troubled, though he had not lived longer than any man of fifty years of human age. A man who almost quite literally bore the whole world on his shoulders.
I closed my eyes and I said, ‘Tell me, what are you troubled about, dear uncle? I understand the boys destiny, but –‘
‘No, Aliana, you do not.’ He said suddenly, returning his gaze, alert, on my eyes. His frown had turned almost harsh, aggrieved, as though it were I who had aggrieved him.
‘What is wrong, Amadeus? I see his will very clearly, and not only his but that of Demonia who’s plan is before all of our eyes …’
‘You see only what Demonia plans for you to see, nothing more, my niece.’ Then his eyes softened and he strode towards me before kneeling down beside me and picking up the small blue flower and holding it up before his eyes. ‘Demonia has wicked plans, I could barely imagine, were I to even try.’
‘Then may I be pardoned, for I do not understand.’ I said, sitting up and watching him, discombobulated. What could I not see? ‘Has Demonia the power to prevent the sight of Gods?’
‘You are forgetting that she, Aliana, is a Goddess also, and besides this has strayed further into the realm of the unknown than any other. What is more, it is not she that had bent her mind unto such a dark path, but her Father and Mother who seemingly passed much unto her hands before their untimely end. She holds a greater power than any. She very well may have thought up a way to block the means of our mental-intrusion.’
I stared at him for a moment before satirically throwing my head back and giving a low laugh. ‘A Goddess, also? You say this as though she is one of us, simply fallen from her bidden track. She is no Goddess. Were she so, she would not have these wicked plans. She would not bid these evil things …’ I trailed off and caught a thought in my mind for the 105th time in the last twenty-four hours. ‘… Though I do wonder … why she does not mean to kill him.’
‘By him, I presume you mean the boy.’ Amadeus said, raising a thick, dark eyebrow.
‘A man, to be precise, uncle, for he is older in age than me, and I am no longer a child, be it may, I am being treated like one.’ I expressed, a little antagonistic. ‘You know something more than what you wish to tell me, and this disquiets me, for I can see without straying into your mind and with just the glance in your eyes that it is for me that you worry.’
‘Indeed, it is for you.’ He replied quietly, sadness emitted from him around the room.
‘At least I know it is not of mortal danger I should be wary of.’ I smiled sarcastically. ‘I can see on your face it is barely the peace of death for which I am headed, but an existence of agony? Perhaps betrayal, loss, heartbreak? What is it you see, Amadeus? I say again, do not treat me like a child – that I am hardly.’
He looked at me long and hard, then. His straight nose casting a subtle shadow over his right cheek from the slight ray escaping the curtains of early sunset.
‘I know not much, Aliana, do not be displeased, I am not lying to you –‘
‘No.’ I interrupted his speech. ‘You are simply preventing my sight, are you not, uncle? Are you not stopping me from knowing what Demonia, too, wishes me not to know? And you speak as though it is of only devils to enslave others’ will of knowledge.’
He sighed and took my hand in his left, opening my fingers and placing the small flower from his right onto my palm as he spoke. ‘The boy is not complex. He is not unordinary, yet he will cause you much hurt, Aliana, with Demonia’s help. Demonia plans this. She wishes you to feel the hurt you were never destined to feel. She is targeting the stronghold of the Kingdom, and believe it or not, Aliana, you are the toughest to crack.’
‘Why should this be, uncle Amadeus Paros, son of King Neumair, surely the second-greatest of all in existence? I am merely the daughter of your sister. A sister who was no more than an Earth-dweller. Why should I be of such importance?’
‘You have always known you were unique, Aliana. I have known this. All Gods have known this.’ He replied solemnly.
‘Yes, in actions, in display. I do not wear crowns nor do I wear large dresses and sleep in a golden bed. I am seemingly indifferent to those things that dishevel the other Gods. Those matters that seem of little matter to me, but cause uproar in the Marble Houses. Though, I am no more special than any in power, nor in knowledge. Explain to me, uncle, if you have the tolerance to ease my puzzlement.’
‘It is not just in manner that you are different, it is in thought. Your thought is not only different but you have the emotions … emotions that do not seem to show upon other Gods.’
‘What are these emotions you speak of?’ I said, waving a hand at the word ‘emotions’. Emotions? And here I was boasting to this dear reader about my extensive knowledge of all. Unknowing was also a difficult thing, may I belatedly add.
‘We do not have names for them, Aliana … my point being you have something Demonia is at threat of. I do not know what this is, I am simply stating your differences to … other Gods. She will use this boy to get to you … to harm you in the worst way possible.’
‘And that is how, exactly?’ I asked him, intrigued. ‘Madness is the only form of life I fear. A fate to match that of Demonia and her tormented family is the one worst destiny I could imagine, though I have never seen this for myself …’
‘I do not see this as something within her capabilities as yet, niece, and I do not know exactly how she will use the boy for your torment and mental torture she wishes to inflict, but I believe that is her plan. That, Aliana, is all I know, and more I could guess, but do not wish to share. Please permit me to take leave, for I want to think and to predict. I also want to talk to the King. Please, do not allow my words to take too gravely upon you, dear, though I know you well enough to know they will not, but I please wish you not to dwell on this further through curiosity, and please … sing. Your voice is sweeter than anything the high heavens could ever offer.’ He smiled and kissed my forehead before leaving the room and leaving he small blue flower in my hand.
Before he left the room he stopped at the doorway and without turning around he said, ‘I have never known why you have picked a flower from the world bellow each day, and I do not think I shall ever know.’