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Anabel and the Knight   Oh the Absurdity!

Started 5/5/18 by whitebutterfly54 (redbutter54); 37592 views.
In reply toRe: msg 102

Without knowing why, Anabel began talking.  Painful sobs wracked her body as she as she unleashed all the torment and grief surrounding her painful past.  Abandoned by her parents and abandoned by the Knight, the love of her life, when he allowed himself to be taken in by the witch, Arabella, simply because he felt neglected.  Of course Anabel had been preoccupied with her castle duties, but what choice did she have?  The memory of the dragon brought feelings of guilt and unworthiness.  Maybe something lacking in her had caused the Knight to stray.  Anabel thought she had buried all that pain, but now suddenly it was bursting forth like a corkscrew to a well shaken champagne bottle. 

Arabella, the master manipulator, forever craving only what she can’t have.  All the lies, deceit and pain the witch caused to possess the Knight only to become quickly bored with him.  Once her attention turned to Hansel, the Knight became a forgotten relic thrown to the wolves (so to speak).  It was a lot to forgive and the stress forced Anabel’s spirit animal to emerge.

In reply toRe: msg 103

When the Knight’s beastly savagery got the better of him, Anabel was right there to help him overcome his wolf instincts.  Would he do the same for her?  She had nightmares about a judgmental and unforgiving Knight who, in an attempt to erase her existence, would seal her in the family crypt to spend her eternal life clawing away at the coffin seal, a coffin fastener of adamant nails.  All too easily he would find solace in the arms of someone else.  Would the price of love be just an infusion of suffering without the binding fate of devotion?

Anabel shared a lifetime of emotions and laid bare the fragility of her state of mind.  Initially, her words spewed forth like the gushing water over the marble fountain but now she was spent.  Now she was as dry as the old broken well. She felt comforted by the darkness and the abyss of silence that enveloped her.  Looking into the soulful eyes of the holy man brought clarity to the fog of the future and perhaps a new dawn of hope for her parched soul.

In reply toRe: msg 104

Rushing along the well-worn path through Elvyn Forest, Anabel thought how ironic the whims of fate that her arch-enemy was the only one who could help her now.  And help her she would or both would go down in the everburning flames of their mutual intertwining secrets.  Stumbling over rambling tree roots and broken bits of a stone gargoyle, Anabel reached the old crone’s door.  She flung it open with a lion’s strength, steeling herself for a battle with Arabella.  The witch didn’t even flinch as Anabel’s brute force crashed through her labyrinth of doom, showing little hint of her presence.  She was bent over a boiling cauldron ringed by a fire circle, all nestled inside an old fireplace.  Arabella’s prophetic eyes, like shining jewels filled with shards of knowledge, kept their gaze on the cauldron even as Anabel breathlessly stood in the doorway.  Something seemed different about Arabella, but right now, Anabel couldn’t have cared less.  Not a word passed between them as Arabella walked to the medicine cabinet and, as with the Knight many moons ago, began rummaging through her odd assortment of ingredients.

Arabella had more in common with Anabel that either would care to admit.  The witch’s father, Lord Chamberlain, was a vampire and responsible for many horrible deeds around the castle.  Her mother, Gabrielle, was completely unknown to her.  Witches, by their very nature, didn’t attract many suitors so Arabella, feeling lonely and unloved, became obsessed with the Iron Knight when he came to her for help.  He was positively resplendent, a perfect example of bravery, and represented all she had been deprived of her whole life.  She would do anything; hurt anyone, to possess him.  She was unstoppable.  The eye of truth was totally lost on Arabella; she refused to see how the Knight only loved Anabel and how she was nothing more than a momentary diversion, a temporary shoulder to cry on.  With only a pinch of vanity left to salve her wounded pride, Arabella concocted a potion that would render Anabel unconscious.  Then the Knight would be hers and hers alone.  But once the wicked deed was done, Arabella learned the hard way that “wanting isn’t as exciting as having.”  She quickly bored of the Knight and couldn’t imagine what she had found so attractive.  In the end, the witch ruined his life, endured the wrath of his father, King Oeland, and the entire werewolf clan and made a mortal enemy of Anabel.  All this was now in the past and Arabella didn’t need an honesty spell to confess to the bloody secret or a potion of candor to render her apologetic and contrite.  Anabel had presented her with the perfect opportunity to make amends, to extend an olive branch of peace.  This was a chance that may never come again.    

In reply toRe: msg 105

After that brief indulgence in a breath of memories, Arabella went back to her brew, and with a fine flourish, filled an old bottle with the liquid fire.  Anabel was dubious of the witch’s role as peacemaker but knew in this place at this time, she had no other choice.  The sign of ferocity within Anabel could either be a death bearer or healing pain depending on this potion. With her mind clearly focused on the Knight and Daphne, Anabel brought the cup of glory up to her lips and prayed mightily this wouldn’t be a deadly gulp, but a live potion that would throw her a life line.   

Almost instantly a new breath of life filled her; the old flower of suffering was replaced by something vibrant and glorious.  The charm of true feelings lightened her heavy heart allowing the blooming love of family and life to wash over her, ridding her forever of her bloodsucker past.  For just an instant, Anabel and Arabella’s eyes locked in a silent acknowledgement of their woven fates of bitter loss and heritage of sorrow

In reply toRe: msg 106

Despite the blast of darkness and soaring cold, she flew down the forest path as if by means of levitation.  The northern lights danced around the edge of dusk with the moon glow acting as a twilight guide through the forest.  A bright guiding star that resembled the eight-pointed star fancy ornament that adorned their Christmas tree was her wind rose home.  This new wind of freedom propelled her on the road to unknown marvels towards that new horizon

Snow began falling steadily resembling the blizzard bowl of a snow globe.  But even in the dead of winter with the only blooms the holly and night orchid, Anabel swore she could smell the jasmine scent from the blossoming branch of the tree of life.  She ran past the rock garden and around Daphne’s tree swing, at the top of which sat the grim eagle’s owl nest housing two tiny owlets.  At this time of night, their large eyes and unique language (whistles, chatters and hoots) were the only evidence of the nestlings.  Anabel wondered if her sudden burst of energy was attributable to the vial of sun amber liquid.  Maybe a side effect was that of a vivacity potion; saving her from certain slumbering vampire’s death and infusing her soul with an inner energy.  As she continued climbing the castle’s stone path the appearance of a rose petal butterfly took her breath away.  To Anabel, there was no clearer sign of renewal and rebirth. 

In reply toRe: msg 107

She followed the Christmas lights up the path to the castle’s door.  There was a tiny flicker of light and Daphne’s ringing laugh coming from the direction of Daphne’s room, so she headed in that direction.  There was the Iron Knight, the absolute love of her life, reading a storybook to their daughter.  He looked up and, for a moment, saw Anabel as he did the day he met her…eyes the color of an emerald tablet and hair like an obsidian whirlwind.  The instant their eyes met, Anabel knew without reservation they were destined to be together forever.  She loved him and he loved her.  It was just that simple and just that complicated.  Their love was a gift of the gods and its eternal flame provided all the strength and courage she would ever need.  Someday soon she would explain to him about tonight, the horror, shame and mourning of the soul; then salvation, redemption and finally forgiveness. 

But right now, she submerged herself in the deep light of his love, and that was enough.

Msg 335.109 deleted
In reply toRe: msg 108

(Using all words from the June 2018 update)

For her role in helping Anabel, Arabella appeared outwardly like some paragon of virtue, but inside she was smoldering.  Her eyes couldn’t contain her wickedness as she silently watched Anabel greedily drink the potion.  The naivety of Anabel and cunning of the witch would have been evident to everyone, except Anabel.  The witch was reminded of the old children’s tale of the girl in red, her basket of pastries, a wellness symbol, and the danger in the dark.  The irony of that story caused Arabella’s lips to morph into a scary grimace…she was more of a big, bad wolf than the Knight!  But although Anabel was in desperate need of the witch’s help, she was understandably very wary and insisted on a thorough description of every ingredient.  Arabella obliged, but Anabel had no idea of the ruse Arabella planned.  The emerald bowl contained the fabled light of hope, the final ingredient for the potion.  But the witch had switched that ingredient for the amber bowl, which doomed Anabel to a slow luxurious fading from human back to her barbarian instincts.  The witch positively cackled at the idea she was Anabel’s executioner and her potions were the striking mace, able to take out both Anabel and that insipid Knight. 

Arabella was so deep in her own thoughts after Anabel left that she hadn’t noticed the pendulum of eternity on the skeleton clock wasn’t moving.  Time had gotten away from her and she had a very important appointment to keep.  Not wanting to raise the ire of her benefactor, the witch grabbed a flimsy shawl to throw over her shoulders, her only protection from the cool night air.  Rushing through the forest, Arabella literally ran into Mowgli, a very special boy and her most reliable helper.  Mowgli was literally one blood with all the wild animals and kept the witch in constant supply of herbs, flowers, spices and fungi essential for her potions.  She apologized and was thankful Mowgli was busy with a Friendly Fox which kept any pleasantries to a minimum.  Rapidly moving past Ancient Park and Cloud City, she finally reached the footbridge to Dark Tower.  The bloodred sun was setting and a bird of prey soared overhead in its flight over the abyss, winged death in search of a victim.  Passing the stone dogs at the entrance, she ran through the Tower to the Library and made a beeline to three particular evil tomes.  The witch pulled each one, the Blood Volume, Book of Dancing Shadows and Book of Evil, in just the right order causing a ringing richness of creaking metal to fill the room along with a whoosh of air that felt like the north wind.  A previously invisible passageway opened and Arabella disappeared into its velvety darkness.  Following a single pinpoint of light, she began the long climb up to the invincible turret.  Arabella’s anticipation grew just as that pinpoint of light grew bigger and brighter.  The walls in the turret room were adorned with tapestries and flags, all bathed in the ruby glow emanating from the narrow rectangular windows.  Like a phoenix rising from the ashes was her father…larger than life.  The Lord Chamberlain stood, regal in the fashion of Merlin, silhouetted against the flaming red sunset.  His eyes blazed, his long red coat now bore the golden fletch insignia indicating the highest rank in the Council of Vampires and his usual golden orb scepter replaced with a bone scepter.  The smug smirk masquerading as a smile proved the undeniable affirmation that dear old dad was no longer sporting the sappy do-gooder façade.

Lord Chamberlain walked over to an old monarch’s throne, sat down and waited.  Arabella bristled when her father treated her as a lowly royal subject, but to clash with him would be an unequal battle.  Being a silent companion was not one of Arabella’s strong suits, so she dove into her latest triumph.  The Chamberlain wasn’t really interested in Anabel’s plight other than being glad her voice wouldn’t beat out his anymore on the Council.  But there was something more rummaging around in his brain.  Anabel was quite beautiful and endearing; sometimes seeming to be the saddest flower in the garden, which only added to her appeal.  A real heart collector and his heart hadn’t been immune.  Arabella’s self-congratulatory prattle inevitably filtered through and he knew it was nothing more than his daughter’s immortal greed of Anabel’s life, especially the Knight.  Suddenly, a different picture began to take shape in the Chamberlain’s mind…a kindred spirit to share the burden of ruling, among other things.  His interest was indeed piqued at the thought of Anabel being under his control, subject to his beck and call.  But the icing on the cake would be Arabella’s reaction, like a giant’s fury, to learn Anabel was her stepmother.  And that priceless grief would make it all worthwhile.

He began descending from the turret into the very bowels of Dark Tower and shot a look back at Arabella which she understood all too well.  Scurrying ahead of the Chamberlain was a small nameless homunculus, neither gnome nor elf.  The cyclops’s trophies around his n
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**The Story continues using all words from the September 21, 2018 update

As the cursed doctor pulled the door shut behind him, the light from the moon scythe melted away the aristocratic lines of his face to reveal an unnatural scary grimace.  His black bag had a cursed sign lock inlaid with lava shards unique to all doctors of the Vampire Clans.  And his long black coat sported the chosen one’s sigil with a purple royal crystal in the center indicating a very high rank.  As the castle’s lights receded into darkness, the solitary figure neared the end of the fence and turned through the ruined gates.  The rancid smell of moldy pumpkins and a rotten scarecrow was a testament to the face of time that elapsed since he first set foot in Midnight Castle.  His plan was just about complete. 

Entering Dark Tower through the dungeon, he wound his way past the sunken tomb of the king’s crypt and up the winding stairway to his lab.  Annoyed that his assistant, a hobgoblin of sorts, was nowhere to be seen, the doctor went about his preparations alone.  As time passed, he became more and more irritated and stressed knowing an entire year’s work hung in the balance.  The hobgoblin minion walked in at the height of this frenzy then stood frozen as the doctor brought up his infamous bloodsucker’s wand into a punishing club.  Instead of cracking the head of his assistant, the doctor hit the crystal lantern hanging overhead and sent stained glass shards flying everywhere.  His face, bloodred with anger, was no longer that of the cursed doctor…but that of Lord Chamberlain!

The haughty Lord, lost in his own power paradigm, used all the tricks of the trade coupled with his unlimited power to slowly break Anabel’s spirit.  Like a water cascade, his indoctrination of Anabel was slow, steady and constant.  Lord Chamberlain wasn’t about to give credit anywhere else, but someone did lend a hand.  Arabella, still licking her wounds, saw Anabel’s plea for help as a means of retaliation.  She no longer wanted the Knight, but she couldn’t abide Anabel’s happiness either.  So she concocted a little revenge potion to give Anabel’s blood thirst a boost.  Lord Chamberlain was incredulous at how obtuse his daughter could be at times.  This had been the Chamberlain’s modus operandi since the beginning; place a sphere of souls on life’s stage of the fallen and watch them dance.      

******************************

Anabel’s mind was a maze of madness these days.  The cursed doctor sanctioned by the Vampire Clans was to be trusted unconditionally.  But although a year has passed, Anabel’s bloodthirst was still part of her.  Her own legacy from the past, her predator’s fangs, retracted but didn’t disappear.  Her brain felt full of cobwebs and sometimes she couldn’t tell up from down; right from wrong.  Anabel wanted to believe the doctor was directing her towards the righteous path of becoming human and away from the paths of the dead she had been headed towards. But he maintained an iron grip on her illusion of reality and there were times she believed he held the key to all secrets.        

Anabel looked up at the midnight sky to greet her night companion, the full moon.  A ferocious howl echoed in her head but was it real or imagined?  In her tormented brain, the doctor’s whisperings echoed over and over again.  His unrelenting barrage against the Knight, calling him a fallen warrior whose reckless bravery and spikes of egoism enabled her dark side to re-emerge.  The doctor even planted the seed that perhaps Arabella and the Knight were inseparable fellows after all in their quest to be together and drive Anabel mad.  Arabella could then just step into the life she always coveted…Anabel’s husband, Anabel’s home, Anabel’s child.  The single thread of sanity Anabel clung to was Daphne, her beautiful innocent daughter.  Had she turned a blind man’s eye to the cold calculation of the witch and the Knight?  Had her ideal life with a loving husband and beautiful child been nothing more than a lurking chimera, illusory and impossible? Was their virtuous union anything but?

Over the past year, her life as she knew it became a distant memory.  She had walked further than she thought; all the way to the stone flowerbeds, bereft of any flowering splendor now except the northern thistle.  At the far end was an archer statue with a large stone head, nocking his arrow to nowhere.    His stone quiver was full of arrows, but all that could be seen were ancient feathers poking over the top.  Anabel sat down by her favorite Flower Girl statue and wondered if her entire life had been lived under a gilded cover; like a veil hiding her more unseemly vampire nature. 

She never should have trusted Arabella; that witch had an agenda all her own.  Anabel knew crossing the witch’s doorstep was like opening a hatch to underworld, but desperation ruled her then.
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In reply toRe: msg 111

The story continues using all words from December 2018 and March 2019 updates

 

The holidays came and went with breakneck speed.  Anabel was certain the Lord Chamberlain was masquerading as the cursed doctor and did everything in her power to feign yielding to her dark side in his presence.  But on the inside, her brain seethed and roiled at his deceit and the machinations he put into play to hasten her destruction.  Was all this purely personal because she, a mere woman, was held in higher esteem among the Vampire Clans?  Or, was Arabella somehow involved, still coveting the Iron Knight?

 

Anabel knew she loved the Knight, but their relationship had been strained, to say the least.  She needed some time away, to clear her head and find a way to rid the Chamberlain and, by extension, Arabella, from their lives forever.  But getting away wouldn’t be easy.  The Knight and/or the cursed doctor were always hovering, one with a desperate face of pure despair and the other oozing pure malice.  

 

Almost at her wits end for a resolution, Anabel was rummaging through the attic for a Halloween costume for Daphne.  After reading a book about the Gold Lady of Dance, Daphne chose to be a stage dancer.  Despite all pleas and reasoning, the willful little girl stuck obstinately to her choice…so here was Anabel, pulling old dresses, fabric and froufrou from every trunk to come up with something suitable.  Finally, a dress of pink satin covered with purple velvet burn-out emerged from the darkness of a large trunk.  With some significant alterations, and weaving a scarlet ribbon in Daphne’s hair, Anabel was sure she could pull off something akin to a junior cabaret dancer.  Oh well, hope springs eternal anyway.  Just as she turned and was about to leave, a torn painting caught her eye.  It was an old image of her father, Henry and herself as a child, posing alongside the frosty fort they built from the ice and snow of Ice Rock.  Her heritage flooded back and she was filled with a northerner’s joy like never before.  She had to get to her father; the plan would come later.

 

The Iron Knight almost seemed relieved when she announced her trip, but the cursed doctor was another matter.  He harangued her to death with those same velvety dulcet tones that disguised his true voice.  The pounding in her tortuous head made her yearn for an old anthracitic spike, once used as a migraine cure in some cultures.  But she managed to pack quickly and set out for Ice Rock before her resolve and energy melted away.

 

As the carriage bounced along the nondescript path, Anabel caught sight of the gold moon lighting up the dark steel sky.  It wasn’t a full moon; rather shaped like a reaper’s scythe.  Yet it burned bright like the symbol of eternal flame that represents fire in every Northerner’s heart.   The sacred grove, an ancestral burial ground, came into view and the carriage slowed to miss debris cluttering the ground.  Anabel leaned out and saw an altar piece rising up from the ground, together with a marker engraved with a forgotten kingdom pattern from a thousand years ago.  A death branch, so named because of the red nodules resembling blood droplets encircling it, rolled from the vibrations of the carriage. 

 

She ate a light meal from the sack she packed, then hunkered under the warm minotaur’s wool blanket and closed her eyes.  New hopes filled her heart as she yielded to the oblivion of sleep.  A shining sphere pulled her ever deeper into a dream where a wolf with green eyes, known as the terror of the north by the Northern Tribes, cornered her next to an old cauldron filled with the Vikings’ famous power elixir.  Everyone knew that elixir was potent enough to kill a horse, so in her dream Anabel grabbed an old oaken goblet, dipped it into the elixir and hurled it at the wolf.  Before she knew the outcome of her actions, her mind began to wake and her body felt the crushing cold
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