“Sacred Vow by C.G. Walters is a book that truly casts a spell, transporting its characters -- and its readers -- to a parallel universe where dream visitations and psychic fusions occur and lives are drastically changed. Prepare to be transported to a mystical realm of rites and ceremony, where ritual cups of tea can trigger a visit to "the other side," where the power of language is extreme, and of the strength of desire runs deep.” -Jim Barnes, Managing Editor & Awards CoordinatorIndependent Publisher Online/Jenkins Group Inc.
Installment 7 of 22 Sacred Vow (Dragon's Beard Publishing, ISBN: 978-0-9774271-4-7, paperback, Fiction: Visionary/Metaphysical).
Ian became certain that the teapot was the most crucial element in invoking the visits. During two lapses when he had no visits, however, it proved evident that removing anything else from the room also had a disruptive effect. He could only speculate why, since the combination of those items never caused the experience before the addition of the teapot.
The first period of Katerina’s absence began when Ian removed a balloon-back chair in front of his desk in the study to have its seat re-caned. At the time, Ian had no idea why Katerina ceased to join him in the tea ritual during the two weeks that the chair was being repaired. As the days passed he became quite distressed by her absence. He only hoped that the remarkable circumstances that made her visits possible had not ceased to exist.
On the evening Ian picked up the repaired chair, he had a flat tire on the way home. There was a light mist of freezing rain, which made changing the tire all the more frustrating. He was chilled when he got home. He brought the chair in, placed it beside the desk, and immediately started to make some tea, for a little warmth and comfort.
Concentrating on his warming brew, he looked up to see Katerina sitting in the newly caned chair, smiling and talking to him while she worked on a book of handmade paper.
His body was suddenly filled with warmth, and his heart gladdened.
“It is so good to see you, dear, dear friend,” he said. “Until this moment, I didn’t realize just how much I had missed you.” Ian was so overwhelmed with happiness that he was trembling slightly. He had to put the teacup down until he could recover.
Katerina smiled and nodded. Looking directly into Ian’s eyes, she spoke for a few moments, her facial expressions seeming to reciprocate his feelings. As usual, the only words he heard were his own.
Picking up his teacup, Ian rose from the chair and moved toward her. “How do you like the new caning? Does it sit well?”
Katerina was looking down, tying the binding on her book. Ian saw that she did not know that he was speaking. It didn’t matter. He was so content though, that as he neared her he continued talking.
“Do you think the absence of the chair could have interfered with our visit, Katerina? I don’t understand how it could. We were never able to come to each other before the teapot. I am sure the teapot is the source of our connection.”
Midway through his last sentence, as Ian was standing just in front of her, Katerina looked up at him. Raising her eyebrows, she questioned him for what he had said.
“I said that I wish I could do better at lip-reading. I am sure you can understand what I am saying, but it won’t help much for me to ask you a question because I won’t be able to understand your response.”
Her fingers finishing the knot on the binding, Katerina raised her shoulders and then began talking to Ian about something, very casually. He was sure it was intended to provide some comfort. She reached out to “touch” him.
After a couple of minutes, she quickly turned her head to one side, as if she had heard something.
“What is it, Katerina?” he said.
She lifted a finger, retaining her focus outside his study.
“Is one of your children calling?”
Katerina tilted her head and started to rise. Instead of coming to her feet before him, she vanished.
There he was, teacup in hand, looking at his newly caned chair. Comforted by her return, he moved back to the recliner and admired the caning that Katerina had been sitting on only moments before.
“Welcome back, Katerina,” he said as if she were still with him. “Come back to see me anytime.”
It was rare that they visited in his world, and Ian could not discern what determined who would visit whom. Though Katerina’s world was much more interesting to him, he would have preferred to always have her visit him in his study. When visiting in his home, Ian had independent mobility, the experience of moving about at will. He was also afforded the comfort of being fully corporeal. Katerina appeared to be solid flesh in either environment.
Much to Ian’s pleasure, his and Katerina’s teatime visits occurred regularly after that, and were uninterrupted for a couple of weeks. Then one night, he sat down with tea, and was surprised to find that he remained alone. He lingered, having several cups, thinking Katerina might return.
“What is keeping you away tonight, Katerina? Hope you are having fun. I miss you.”
He was disappointed, but not overly distressed. After all, Katerina did not visit every night.
The next night, still alone, he was a little more anxious. Just drinking tea and letting his mind wander, for no particular reason the incident with the balloon-backed chair came to mind suddenly.
“Oh, no. Is it I that have been keeping you away?” he said.
Ian began to frantically go over the inventory of the room, searching for what he might have done to disturb the ambience of the room.
“Think, Ian. Something tells me you’ve done something that you shouldn’t have.”
Midway through the second cup of tea, he realized what it was. The day before he had moved a Fauvist-style painting of a male angel—painted by a local artist—to another room. Without thought of any consequence, he just decided to try the painting elsewhere.
“The painting; I moved that angel! What was I thinking?”
He rushed to the painting and brought it back to its previous location in the study. Confidently, Ian headed back to his chair. Before he could raise his cup from the table, Katerina had come and gone. He could not remember any of the activity of the visit, but he had the sense that she had been with him. It was as if she made the connection, imbued him and the room with her presence, without ever needing to materialize.
Never again did Ian allow any article to be moved from the study.
Continued next week, Dark Visits
Last week, Katerina (part 2)
CG Walters C.G. Walters primarily writes fiction that focuses on the multidimensionality of our loves and our lives.
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