Fiction by M Teresa Clayton
Long ago in the days of old, there was many a story told; many a tale they spun in the night, underneath the full moon’s light –
I would stand beyond the elder’s laughter and wait for the silence that soon came after - after the drunken had stumbled home; then the Lady of the Moor would roam.
The Lady of the Moor would roam and call my name unto her, there - there in the mist of the moor she would whisper to me, come… she called me unto her, there…I stood motionless against the moon in silhouette, The Lady and I, at last, had met.
There in the Moor where she would implore, implore me to come with her and explore the fears within me, where darkness was cast. Was it what would come or hauntings from the past?
No, I shan’t move a muscle to give myself away. I am present here; here where I will stay. As the Lady of the Moor would lift her ghostly hand and give me yet another command, "Come when the moon is dark and black against the sky, we shall take wing and we shall fly.
I returned there night after night to see her there, The Lady of the Moor; The Lady Fair.
Her skin as white as the moon and her voice lilting o’er the Moor harmonizing with the loon – Her feet never touched the ground nor skimmed the water nor grazed the reed surround, I stood in a splendored yet terrifying trance as I watched her dance, o’er the Moor, she danced. No music played that I could hear; no sound but the singing of the Lady and the loons upon my ear.
Again she would summon me to take her hand and rise, take her hand and leave this land, into to the open skies. Every evening the fires were lit and the elders would sit and tell the stories of the past,
nd again I would try to find the unspoken words they left behind, like spells that had been carelessly cast...
The Lady of the Moor would watch from yonder shore, this time my name she did not implore, Silence from the Mystic Queen who walked alone pointing up to the heavens and an empty throne.
But no word was spoken from this apparition, this ghost, which would someday surely be my host. I watched her from behind the reed, no hurry to join her there, the Lady Fair, there was no need.
Tonight I will gather my fears and cast them away, this night I will hear what the Lady would say.
Tonight I will listen to her word for word, not knowing that I would be changed by what I heard.
Tonight I shall come nearer and nearer still, I shall give the Lady of the Moor my broken will.
Tonight I will come to know her and she will unbind my earthly ties and set me free, free to seek what I must find...
I will rise tonight with the Lady of the Moor from this earthly plain, unbound and free forever more.
I will rise with the Queen of the Night and I find my home and take my place upon that throne.
I watched the elders gather their wood and set their flame, the events here leave them delirious and lame. The stories of the ancients always told, the laughter and the stories have all grown old, and old are the memories that leave me wanting more, the truth untold of the Lady of the Moor.
After the last had stumbled up to their door, I arose to approach the Lady of the Moor. No need to call my name, no need to summon me here, I have loosened the ropes; cast away the fear. I stepped into the mire beyond the reed and watched for her to turn and take the lead. But she stood tall and still as if uncertain – would she reveal what lies beyond the mist; behind the curtain?
Take me beyond the veil of the forgotten truth and show me the measure of my youth?
Again she spoke my name and turned away, “do not enter the Moor inside of day… The truth you’ll see is waiting to be found and you will fall and wail upon the ground. – Do not hasten your journey beyond the gate, but again, nor stand before the moon and hesitate… I will not leave you within the night; I will guide you to that place of everlasting light.”
"Do not walk in the light towards the moor" – these were the only words she did implore; This Mystic Apparition, the Lady of the Moor – words of wisdom I was sure to ignore.
Upon the bright illumination of the sun I set out toward the reeds, this day had just begun. I began to remember along this way, the gruesome truths of that fateful day, that fateful day...when I was but a small curious child and the land of the lost was wicked and wild.
I remembered, The Lady drowned beneath the water and her screams were silenced 'neath their wicked laughter.
I began to run faster and faster until I was standing knee deep in their bloody swill. The Lady lay motionless upon the wave, with many others who lie with her in this shallow grave. What was this I see before me in this place? I turned each body over and recognized each innocent face.
The Lady of the Moor and her followers true, each walked into their death, each one, they knew – and then as the sun was setting in the west, I found myself weary and in need of rest, in need of rest...
So I lie down along the marshy shore and waited for her to appear, the Lady of the Moor.
I awoke to her peering o’er me there, the mossy ropes tangled within my hair. I asked her, “My Lady Fair – what is left of the souls out there, have they followed you, followed you somewhere?”
She never shuddered from this exposure and stood tall and sure in her composure, “Tis time for you to see just one more… one more face”, spoke the Lady of the Moor. She pointed to a girl and said, “Now you can set her free.” I turned her face around and saw it was me – I was among those who walked forever more, with the fair Lady of the Moor, the lovely Lady of the Moor…One more look and then we shall leave this place – another look into her face, her deathly face... And the rush of all those tales of old, they laughed and laughed as they were told. They drank themselves to numb the pain and dull the memory of her cursed name.
The Lady of the Moor was none other than the Goddess, Witch, and my Earthly Mother! Tears filled my eyes and my chest heaved with cries for all the children lost and all those aged lies. I fell to my knees and pleaded to understand and the Lady of the Moor gave one last command. Come stand tall and be forever proud, sing your songs to the moon and sing them loud. Death has been your shroud for much too long, now you must follow to where you belong.
I never looked back at the light of day, I followed this Lady, we were on our way, on our way…Finally I was going home never to roam the earth alone; she placed me there before the throne - and at once I knew what it meant; how she remained faithful and true – All the children bowed down – all of them knew.
The Lady of the Moor stood watch at the door singing – they always knew that the Queen was you. 'Tis never I - 'twas always you.
I took my place upon the throne and slowly began to sing and make this place my own... my own story had now been told to the end and the lives of those below would surely rend their own fate as they predicted in the stories they told, each would drown in the icy cold of the waters they call the Moor – the end of their story forever more and forever more; the sins of their fathers would be cast and the watery grave would have them at last!
But for those of us who seek nothing more – have found the Lady of the Moor – the lovely Lady of the Moor.