Merlin 3:22 “Hecate”
Wandering and wondering the day, heartfelt the longing for closure and respite composure Ana worriedly contemplates a life should that Nickolas not be found, her hand and heart touching her stomach now slightly more pronounced with pregnancy. Merlin in a conscious battle with ennui so secluded in thought blinks lengthily, slipping into sleeping in the saddle focused breathing against the gait and jolting himself awake, closer and closer each time with more gravitation. In the cerulean, the phoenix’s wings flap and evenly soaring sound of fire thru the air, directing itself and Troy to Merlin and Ana, after landing giving fright to the horses he gives a practical slap to Alerion’s face causing it to depart with feathers forcing the sound of the warm gusting summer breeze.
Troy: “Where is Nicky?”
Ana: “We don’t know, but we will.”
Troy: “What do you mean you ‘don’t know’?”
Merlin: “Where were you?”
Troy: “I was up and out and met a woman in the sky, she gave me this bow, and she had a beautiful egret.”
Merlin: “I bet inked beneath a private cloth.”
Troy: “No, she flew an, egret, a stork or something, I was preoccupied. She was like a Valkyrie, soft unto the sky.”
Ana: “She strung your bow, and to thank her, gave your arrow …why aren’t you with her now?”
Troy: “It’s a fresh bow I swear this, and I’m no punk, she left afore I awoke; I looked without gain, so I came to you both. So, whence is Nick?”
Merlin: “Taken, by vampires, so we need you to scout for a set of shining black coaches.”
Troy: “And intercept?”
Ana: “No, some of them were warlocks, theirs black magic, which does not use or suffer much to spells of fire.”
Merlin: “Reconnoiter them on the branching roads northward, make certain he is by their captivity, and brave us the news of import. Any village suffering a vampiric attack is worth our interest’s sake.”
Troy moves to Ana, puts his porcelain hand on her stomach, and kisses the unborn child.
Troy: “I will find the father of your blessed child, take forward your steeds, we will talk again.”
Troy pats a horse and he begins to walk backwards then puts his fingers in his mouth to whistle with clarion note, backwardly walking looking to the sky until the phoenix, feathers of wood-like grey and orange, lands behind them, mounting and taking flight in the same. For Merlin and Ana, the deference of fate illumines their current conversation.
Ana: “Our nine worlds, all counterpart hells of the others, this is not well and good.”
Merlin: “What is the value in knowing why we are here?”
Ana: “You once stated there is no reason to trouble the gods for our dilemma, dare we call them, or do we search forever?”
Merlin: “So we are here, how shall we do?”
Ana: “We are not alone. Watch for dangers, the air ahead of us is thirsty and dark with death.”
Merlin: “Would you look at that.”
Over and down a faint hill the road turns and straightens for a great length, strewn on the path dozens of dozens of dead soldiers, lying and blocking any wagon that does not intend to crush the bones of those who should be buried. An old woman searches them for the cause of their death finding no wounds of battle, above the ravens circle, waiting for her to depart, waiting for her to finish finding coins and jewelry, Merlin and Ana wait with equal aversion.
When they turn their horses to another direction, a younger woman stands beside them invisibly. She scares the horses toward the woman in road. In confusion and discomfort, Merlin sees a third woman, full of pregnancy and awesomely near, hitherto horses wary of her more than she of steeds, as he recognizes her.
Merlin: “It’s alright, Ana, I know who they are?”
Hecate (mother): “We are one, Merlin.”
Merlin: “Let me introduce you to Hecate, the triple goddess, the maiden, mother, and crone, tamer of chimeras, and queen of moonlight itself.”
Ana: “Why do they call you the triple goddess?”
Merlin: “Show her.”
As Merlin takes up his reigns and steers steed on terrain, two other witches appear from nothing and thin air, the young girl a blond maiden in white farm-dress standing behind them, and the crone woman with fading strands of hair. Merlin dismounts and Ana does not.
Hecate (maiden): “We are doubt of fires, so strong that–”
Hecate (mother): “the trinity is what you seek, even as men name ideas to group other ideas–”
Hecate (crone): “we are the essence of the word,”
Hecate (x3): “We are past, present, and future.”
Hecate (crone): “What do you think, Merlin?”
Merlin: “You know the chorus I prefer to hear.”
Hecate (mother): “Put to death by another mirror-king and fed to the queen of spiders?”
Merlin: “I absolutely think larvae would have left me if they ate their own.”
Hecate (mother): “How is that a logical statement?”
Merlin: “I could have killed a villain and sated their appetite for flesh …I’ve always wanted to do that. I prefer to sleep with prettier combinations of six legs.”
Hecate (crone): “Fie–”
Hecate (maiden): “You–”
Hecate (mother): “Merlin.”
Merlin: “Tell me, where are we?”
Hecate (maiden): “Somewhere near–”
Hecate (mother): “the confused city Per.”
Merlin: “Any other day such troubles needn’t be worth a look.”
The distant aged woman, picking pockets under the suns, from they who all but gone object bereft of actionable tongue, on this day the dead left to bury these fallen sons, the green leaves blowing in the sunlight, the broader sense of summer for ought wayfarers, puts a knife into a dead man’s heart.
Hecate (maiden): “Tell us–“
Hecate (mother): “who is this–“
Hecate (maiden): “the rider?”
Ana: “I am Ana, greetings witches.”
Hecate (x3): “Witch…”
Merlin: “What happened here?”
Hecate (crone): “A spell of poison for the lot, see the blood in the eyes black after red–“
Hecate (maiden): “…perhaps a water witch.”
The crone stabs another dead man in the heart then moves to the next body.
Ana: “There is no water here.”
Hecate (mother): “Are you a fire witch?”
Ana: (hesitant) [nods] “Yes.”
Hecate (mother): “A wickedly skilled water witch drains them of their rain, the–“
Hecate (maiden): “effects look strikingly similar to venom.”
The crone stabs another body in the heart.
Ana: “Why does she keep doing that?”
Hecate (maiden): “You mean why I do that.”
Ana: “I do not …yes?”
The young maiden turns from them motivated by distraction, from the distance the old crone approaches carrying several coins and rings and things pouched by her dress. Standing before Ana and Merlin, she drops the metals on the ground, but these things disappear before touching the ground. She slaps her hands together removing dust and dirt. The maiden stabs another man in the heart.
Hecate (crone): “Beware, after their ‘poison,’ a judge witch stood on this road, and took what life remained. The manna here is gone, only death resides, are you feeling it now?”
Hecate (mother): “Tell us the poem I taught you, Merlin.”
Merlin: “’if brackish water doesn’t sink then taking water shouldn’t drink, if having blood is taking death then leaving blood is giving breath’”
Ana: “…and what does, that profuse riddle, mean?”
Merlin: “Aside from not taking a drink from strangers, the judge witch lives by and of taking life, in doing so the blood in their bodies is a cornerstone of black magic, if those vampires mages find them, their hearts cannot beat vampiric disease thru the body as required.”
Ana: “…how cleverly terrible, in what way fares this about ghouls?”
Hecate (crone): “They are no worry for them with us.”
Merlin: “The ghoul cannot walk amongst the moon witch.”
The mother tends to her stomach, turning her ankles, almost dancing with the baby.
Ana: “If it were not unwarranted advances from unrequited inference, what is a judge witch?”
Hecate (mother): “A witch of the fifth alchemy, or the first would some say, the balance to mete life and–“
Hecate (crone): “death, taken from…”
Hecate (mother): “…them what life the water witch had not.”
Merlin: “You saw this yourself?”
Hecate (mother): “We did, from only one league be-hither gave it glare and struck the sky.”
Ana: “We heard a hex from the distance behind a day as the crow flies.”
Merlin: “Do you care to trade?”
Hecate (crone): “I thought you’d never ask.”
Merlin: [to Ana] “This is the fun part.”
Hecate (mother): “I have a fire ring, you wouldn’t much use have for such,”
Hecate (crone): “Bleeding Ivy to sell to vampires,”
Hecate (mother): “War Mint for the faeries,”
Hecate (crone): “Werewolf Bane,”
Hecate (mother): “Clergy-stamped gold,”
Hecate (crone): “an ice frog here somewhere…”
They pull their hands in and out of pockets within their dresses and sleeves, and the maiden drops what she has gathered, the collection of wares dropped to the earth only to magically disappear deceitful to watching eyes, as had the other, as if with one mind both mother and crone turn to the maiden to witness her approach.
Hecate (mother): “…the young one always–“
Hecate (crone): “gets the better things.”
Hecate (maiden): “wolf tears, baby’s breath–“
Hecate (mother): “oops, dead blood, plenty of that with them–“
Hecate (maiden): “dragon blood, snake runes–“
Merlin: “Wait, you trade me for the dragon blood, and I’ll spin you a yarn extra.”
The three witches as one covet the dragon blood vial, closing it in the maiden’s hand while slowly and less concernedly putting else other things in their pockets, crowding each other more like siblings than synonymous. A calmingly unnerving dispensary-saturating disposition all things ruminate, a clouded sky grows thicker if a ceiling of noon thereafter.
Focus they in moment solidarity and pore their shadow eyes at Merlin, to sing him the song allure with a pretty posing question for an askance of its mention foraged spate of thrice retention for a frightful hocus pocus merely more of such invention to implore utmost attention with spell entrancement thru soft declension to all breathing or in war.
Hecate (x3): “How will you pay?”
The crone and mother part from Merlin, opposite directions around him they move toward Ana, the cloud gather continues and the light of magic’s moonlit darkness manifest with them, the wizard’s skin soon with flow of enervation causing his tattoos of protection to ever slightly illumine and glow, hereby the maiden speaks with spiritual possessed powers in her voiced heart.
Merlin: “I have pyrite.”
Hecate (maiden): “Only fools have pyrite, are you a fool?”
Merlin: “I am.”
Hecate (maiden): “As you stand…the dragon’s blood is yours.”
Merlin: “and I need the War Mint, to find her groom.”
Hecate (mother): “You speak of the father-to-be?”
Ana: “We do.”
Hecate (maiden): “Very well, the herb is yours …Merlin, these are the days of war that even you or I would call witchkrieg, only armies, only warlocks, only gold and silver, darkness on the mountains and fires from the sea, take up arms or disappear, Midgard will soon be unsafe for you or we.”
Merlin slowly reaches into his cloak in the vestments closest to his chest, upon pulling out the sulfur silver he stretches it aversively with his hand to her open palm cupped, taking it she reveals the vial of dragon blood and drops it at his feet. The pregnant witch mother of the trinity drops the sprigs of fresh mint on the very ground as is the other. With that moment all three witches Hecate disappear, the thunder quick recedes, and the clouds begin to dissipate. Save for gathering a quotient of the blood tinged with death and black magic discord, Merlin and Ana depart the scene of the hundred murdered apace into the latter of day.