They say that mystics transcend human knowledge into the mysteries surrounding life and death. Their intuitions are keenly honed to a fine edge, upon the unseen stone of the spiritual and ghostly energies surrounding us all.
I am a mystic. This is my tale of love found in the lonely shadows of desperation.
Once beautiful of face and figure, stopping hearts and conversations with my appearance at the Mad King's side, I have since marked many score of years. Now, my sallow flesh hangs in rippling folds around my face and sags like limp flags under my arms. My legs have thickened and dimpled as if filled with blood pudding and my lustrous hair, turned ashy gray and dry as autumn leaves.
This destruction of my mortal beauty has taken many long years, but taken me it has!
My place at the side of the Mad King, ended with his own mortality asserting itself one gloomy winter's night as we lay abed, among his furs and silks. I stayed on at Court, fulfilling my role as Reader of Omens and Celestial Signs, Mystic to the King's Court.
I was not particularly bereft of the Mad King's company; Kings can be rather dull when they remove their crown and robes of power. Besides, the transition of kingship was as smooth as the flow of a quiet river this time; not the turbulent rush to power of a flooding brown Nile of the last!
The fact that time had begun to trample across my visage, a shorter journey than could be imagined, and was pulling on my beautiful body like a crazed sculptor, took none, but myself, by surprise.
It only dawned upon my knowing that I was no longer the ardent beauty at Court, when the Young King passed over me as his boon companion and lover early in his reign.
I had preened like a peacock, my body soaked in perfumed oils as if I was being mummified. My straw-like tresses were treated to henna and captured the glint of sunlight when I was presented to the Young King.
He recognized my station as Mystic and Seer to the King, but nodding curtly in my direction, moved forward leaving me to wallow in the wake of his passing.
Rather than fall into the trap of other women, believing themselves immune to the ravages of time, I returned to my rooms and plotted, as any wise Mystic would.
My powers were untouched, in fact, quite enhanced over my many years. I began to study more than the stars; now I studied the dark arts.
I would harpoon the handsome Young King's affections, and haul him to me like a Behemoth of the great seas.
He would become enamored of me, seeing me as beautiful and sexually desirable; an easy feat for me, or so I believed.
I set my ritual in play and brought the darkest forces to bear.
After a long period, I returned to Court to present myself to the virile Young King, I found all facing his ivory throne, arranged like a human Stonehenge at the foot of the dais.
Approaching, I knew in my heart my incantations and dark powers had prevailed. The Young King would see me as the beauty I was once, as I had given him the eyes of the Mad King, his father.
But like all in life's planning and cunning ploys, one must keep in mind the many factors impressing themselves upon our choices. For instance; time is using all of us like balls in a game of croquet, there are no exceptions.
As I came closer to the rigid crowd of Courtiers, I heard soft mumblings and sharp intake of breath. I believed that perhaps my magic had affected all who saw me now. I was once more the reigning beauty among them. A path was made open for me and I nodded from side to side, as I passed through what I saw as my admiring fellows. They too were clearly beguiled.
When I turned my eyes at last to where my conquest was seated, I saw the Young king was as shriveled as last winter's apples. His skin was yellow and scored with deep furrows. His body sagged and smelled of old urine. He was not only old, he was now ancient!
His eyes, like his dead father's, were rheumy and red rimmed, yet he saw me clearly.
"Ah!" he said with a leer twisting his blueish lips. "Ah, here at last is my love!"