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Forbidden Desires- Chapter 2
Forbidden Desires- Chapter 2
The Realms were almost completely restored to their former glory. The garden was in bloom and you could feel the magic pulsing through the land. Felicity and Ann immediately ran through the new field of flowers laughing and playing as they turned flowers to jewels. As we neared the river I caught my breath. Asha was standing on the river’s edge in the exact same spot she was in my dream. Breathe Gemma, breathe it was only a dream, nothing more, Katrik is dead, you saw, you saw.
“It’s been too long Most High, we’ve been waiting for you.” My heart jumped to my throat, my blood rushed through my veins like fire, too hard, too fast. I can’t breathe. The world is growing black and I feel as if I might swoon.
“I know.” I hear myself reply though I do not remember forming the words.
“We’ve been waiting for you, it’s time.”
‘Time for what?” I held my breath waiting for the response but once it came it was not Katrik’s voice that answered, disappointment flooded in completely numbing me of all feeling and emotion in the process.
“All is not safe in the Realms.” Asha said calm as the ocean.
“What do you mean? We defeated the Winterland creatures! Took control of the Tree of Souls!” My voice cracked thinking of the Tree of Souls.
“Yes but the barrier between the two worlds, your world and the Realms, is still broken. It won’t be long before the ability to cross between the two worlds is abused.”
“I will rebuild the barrier later, first there is something I must see.” I ran towards the Winterland, leaving a confused Asha and the laughing Felicity and Ann behind.
Away from the garden’s intoxicating air I was able to clear my mind and think more clearly. My dream didn’t come true, Katrik isn’t here, he didn’t come, he’s dead…he’s dead…that’s it…he’s gone forever. The cold hard truth hit like a ton of bricks all at once. I fell to the floor sobbing, I can’t breath…he’s gone…dead…that’s really it…. the end. I realized that while I knew it was just a dream I wanted it to be more…I wanted it to be real more than anything else in this world. I wanted him.
Once my crying subsided I took my usual path to the Winterland. As I neared the wall of priestesses that had been sacrificed to the Tree of Souls I slowed down and stopped at Circe. Circe, my former teacher Miss Hester Moore, had been the original cause of all the chaos in the Realms. When her and my mother tried to sacrifice the gypsy girl Caroline my mother had second thoughts and killed the girl before the evil Winterland tracker could get her ruining the sacrifice. Angry, the tracker demanded that Circe and my mother pay the sacrifice since he could no longer use the girl. Eugenia Spence, founder of Spence Academy and leader of the Order, gave up herself to the tracker in exchange for the girls’ freedom. Once the tracker had her she was taken to the Winterlands where she was binded to the Tree of Souls, the source of the Winterland creatures’ magic, she was eventually corrupted so much so that she led the Winterland creatures in a rebellion with me as their first target. I had believed Circe, my original enemy, had been behind the rebellion until I arrived at the Tree of Souls to destroy it and discovered that she had tried to save me by destroying the Tree of Souls…well I was her third reason for her attempt to destroy the Tree. Her attempt failed and she was killed, I had to destroy the tree myself, but I was wounded in the process letting my blood fall on the tree’s roots. The tree attempted to take hold of me but it was only prevented when Katrik sacrificed himself to the tree to spare my life. As I looked at Circe’s face, now a monument, in the Realms and touched my hand to her cheek I didn’t see Circe my enemy, I saw Miss Hester Moore my beloved friend and teacher. The wind rustled but it almost sounded as if it were saying “thank you…”
I continued on my way through the Winterlands not stopping or slowing down once till I reached it. It loomed in front of me like a giant shadow of a beast, seeking to devour me. It appeared exactly the same as it had always had but that was just it, it only appeared to be the same. I knew it’s past, I knew what had happened there, I knew who’s spirit lied inside it now and it turned my blood cold and made breathing nearly impossible. “You must do this Gemma, you must. You know you have to.” I muttered to myself through my clenched jaw. With a deep breath and closed eyes I walked forward and knelt at the tree. Tears began to blur my eyes; I instantly wiped them away angry and ashamed that I even allowed them to fall. Without thinking I grabbed the tree and I was pulled in. Suddenly I was no longer in the Winterlands, I was in the same place Eugenia Spence took me my first trip to the Tree of Souls.
“Gemma?” a confused voice asked. I stopped breathing. Stopped moving. I was too frightened to move. To scared that if I made just the slightest movement that he would vanish into thin air.
“Katrik?” I whispered. We stared at each other silent for a few moments, tension in the air until neither of us could bare it anymore and we ran to each other and embraced. He smelled just as I remembered him, his hair, his body, everything enveloping me all at once. I allowed the tears to trickle down my cheeks as he held me. “I’ve missed you so much.”
“I know, I’m so sorry Gemma, about everything. I never meant to hurt you. I only wanted to save you.” His voice sang in my ear as he wiped my eyes and started to stroke my hair. “I haven’t stopped thinking about you either.”
“How am I still here?”
“Yes. I thought…I thought that when you sacrificed yourself to the Tree of Souls that you were…killed.”
“Well it would seem that way, wouldn’t it?” He paused for what seemed like an eternity, “No I didn’t die, as long as my spirit lives I live. I’m binded to the magic of the tree. The magic and I are one. I protect it now making sure that it is not misused by the Winterland creatures again.”
“So my dream it can come true! You can leave the Realms!”
“Gemma what are you talking about?”
“In my dream you left the Tree of Souls! You returned the magic to the land as I did and the tree let you go! And we left together! Don’t you see! We can leave the Realms and be together forever if you just return the magic to the land!” His face fell and he remained silent. “What’s wrong?”
“I can’t leave Gemma.” He whispered.
“What? No! But my dream!”
“Was just a dream!” he screamed turning his back to me. I became silent in shock. He turned back to me but his face had changed, his anger was replaced with frustration, hurt…fear. “Gemma…” he ran his fingers through his dark curls and left them there, “I can return the magic to the land and return to the world with you but I won’t.” his words were like a hard slap to the face and he knew it.
“Gemma, Gemma love…” he moved in and held my face “protecting the magic in the Winterlands and guarding the Tree of Souls is my destiny now, it is my duty. I can’t just abandon my responsibilities. I have to stay here in the Realms. I shall not fail…not this time.” Run. That’s all I could do. I ran.
“Gemma! Gemma!” his voice called, drawing me in. I wanted to stay. I wanted him to hold me and to hear that voice whisper in my ear all day but a stronger part of me knew I couldn’t and pulled me ahead. I had to get away I had to get away quickly. I had to run away from my shame and embarrassment, my anger and disappointment. The flood of emotions that was now drowning me. How could he? How dare he! I hate him! I love him! I miss him! I desperately need him! I never want to see him again! All these thoughts rushing in at once, fighting each other to the end. Tears burned my eyes and my legs ached but I just had to keep running. I neared the garden but I didn’t slow down.
“Gemma? Gemma!” Felicity and Ann called, but I didn’t hear. All I could hear was that same thing over and over, what Katrik had said, “I have to stay here in the Realms” those words stung and burned at the same time, like a fire in my brain. But they would not be silenced, the same sentence over and over again just kept ringing “I have to stay here in the Realms”, “I have to stay here in the Realms”, “I have to stay-
“Gemma! Gemma!” Felicity and Ann were now running with me.
“Gemma what’s wrong?” Ann asked trying to reach for my arm but I pulled away.
“We have to leave at once.” Before they could protest I grabbed their hands and made the door of light appear.
Back in the safety of the real world I hid under my bed covers for days crying. I had come to realize that losing the one you love is not the most pain you can experience, for having the one you love within reach but forbidden to you is by far more painful. Katrik is within my reach in the Realms, I am able to be with him whenever I choose. He can even come back to me whenever he chooses. So there it is, the forbidden fruit. He is within reach like the fruit on the tree in the Garden of Eden yet I cannot take him just as Eve cannot eat the fruit. Both tempting and both unattainable, is this how Eve felt? Is that why she was driven to take the fruit? I do not know but I do know that it hurt. A deep searing unimaginable pain had been borne in me and it was there to stay.
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