I have a feeling that though it may help the parents get their feet back on the ground, the son and daughter will only become bitter. Whatever I do must not include the parents or even the society they live in.”
Cher looked frightened. “I sense you Robert. Whatever it is you are planning, it will hurt you.”
“It is a small price to pay, look at my Cherine, she feels it too, but she has not protested….”
“Why should I Robert, whatever I say you will do what you want anyway.” I stared at her in dismay and she stared back, her face impassive. As that special cheeky look came into her eyes, she opened her mind to me…that was chortling with glee. “I got you! You are silly, you saw how upset I was when we checked on Dommi.”
“Dominique.” I automatically corrected. “Wait here, I have to jump back to our home for a moment.”
Grinning, I told her, “I want to ask your mother whether I’m allowed to put you over my knee.”
Soon as the teasing was over, I pulled her to me. “If we met a spoilt Cherine, would you understand my need to do something, whatever it cost me?”
“No. If it was a Cherine, I would do it.”
“That would not work love. You would think of her as being yourself in a way and that it gives you the right to be harsher.”
Rob spoke, his voice soft. “This is not for you to endure, I will do whatever is needed. I don’t understand what it is you plan though.”
“Both Cherines and you fit in my plan.” I told them the idea I was toying with and they all stared at me with shock and some horror. Cherine mostly kept out of it, but the other two climbed into me. During the argument, Alki arrived with Marian. Everything had to be explained to them and I thought for a moment Alki would take a position against me. Marian spoke first though.
“Robert is right. If my daughter had become like her and this was the only way to make her a Cherinian, I would agree.” She spoke to Rob. “Do not try to do this. Neither you nor my daughter are hard enough.”
“That is a nasty thing to say mum!” Cher blushed.
“No Cherine, your mother was only facing the truth. I have learnt to do things I would not want any Robert do. When this kind of thing happens, it closes the heart just that tiny bit. It also toughens me so that should any Cherinians be in danger I can be the protector. My Cherine, when she has all her memories, has adapted herself to how I am and seeing that happen to her has cost me more than anything else. She would be the first to insist I do not allow this to happen to any other Cherine.”
“What Roberto is saying is, that his experiences are maturing him and he does not want the two of you to mature. He wants you to remain two innocents playing in some garden of Eden.”
“Alki!” I stopped myself and continued in a softer tone. “I have been accused of this many times. Your interpretation is coloured to sound like an accusation and I accept it as it stands. That does not mean I am willing to discuss it. What I ask of them is hard enough.”
“What of Marian and myself. What of the other Cherinians? If there is a price then we should all pay it so that we treasure our Dominique.”
“Your Nicko too, I hope. Let’s play it by ear and as we need others I will call on them.”
“Shit! It is not right that you must be the bad guy and us the good ones!”
“Rob, understand me. She has to bond with you. You cannot be the bad guy. None of you can.”
“It doesn’t mean I have to like it.”
I grinned. “If you did, I would not do it for you.”
I needed to think and taking Cherine we went for a walk on the beach.
“My love, one thing is hurting me. I wanted this to be a special time just for the two of us. It was like a dream come true having you back again, but things keep on happening. I had dreamed of making you so happy that when you come back as an adult you will be filled with lovely memories. Instead I have ended up dragging you from world to world with their problems taking up our time. I cannot blame anyone else, it has been my dream for them that compels me…but it makes me sad.”
She sat on the sand, cross-legged. I sat opposite her, my hand gently caressing hers. She looked at my hand and I sensed I must not speak, so I waited.
“I think I will say to you that my dream as a little girl was that you would love me. I needed my fear to be taken from me and to spend nights and days in your arms and heart. My dreams did not go any further than that Robert. I did not think your mind would open so that we could become one. I knew that you are a good man, but I would not have dared to imagine you as you have become.
I do not see things in the same way your Cherine does - I am still little and it hurt me in the beginning to find I had to share you. Taking this trip has made me see how much more our love means and sometimes I wake up and look at you and I wonder how I could have been so lucky. I understand how you feel. You want all the Roberts and Cherines to be the same as us and now I want it also. Seeing you struggling to make it happen for them has been the loveliest thing you could have done for me ’cause it showed me how much you love me. I am happy Robert.” She looked into my eyes and then down at my hands again.
She smiled. “No buts, Robert.” She giggled. “I guess I forget you can see into my heart.” I nodded. Her fingers traced a line over my arms. “Robert…”
“You really need this?”
“If I told you I also want to?”
“Of course you do!” Her dark eyes were on mine. “I don’t want to hurt you though.”
I got a coughing fit as laughter erupted from within me. I grabbed her and placed her on my lap, my lips gently adoring every inch of her face.
“I’ve grown up a bit my love.”
“Okay. After you save Dominique?”
“Straight after. Cherine, can you play your part? Can you extend your empathy beyond the obvious so that you see the ultimate intention will be for her good?”
“I won’t like seeing you as the bad guy.”
“It is like being in a play my love, but I will be like one of those actors who totally immerses himself in his role - you may feel her suffering, that will be real, but when you are shocked by me you will also be able to feel my heart. It is that which I fear. Will you be strong for me my love?”
“Am I allowed to cry?”
“Only if you are in my arms.” I gently teased. I could not say it, but it is not her empathy, it is her heart, her ability to give herself so totally to love that is the miracle I treasure.
Dominique arrived home at four in the morning. They sat in the car with the man kissing her and trying to push his hand up her dress. She laughed, teasing him. “Not now. Next time we go out pick me up early and we can go to your flat.”
She entered her home still amused, for she had no intention of going out with him again. She sensed movement, but I quickly placed the pad with ether on it over her face and she hardly struggled. Soon as she was unconscious, I jumped.
Two hours later the scene was repeated and I jumped to within a minute of the time Dominique was left lying on a cot. I waited outside, well hidden, but monitoring them. After the groans and surprise they forced themselves to get up and walked out the hut. They stood in shock. They saw they are on a tropical island, at the edge of a white beach. This was impossible, as they knew that even if kidnapped, they could not have been taken so far during their short sleep.
The personae I have chosen to use is something that approximates the appearance of a Neanderthal, ugly and brutal with small hard eyes. To keep things simple, I am Greek, but can speak English. I named myself ‘Kyriakos’. As they walked on to the beach, I came crashing through the bush.
“Who gave you permission to go on the beach?” I felt the terror in them, but Nicko stepped between his sister and me.
“Who are you? How did we get here?”
My large hairy hand swung across his cheek, knocking him to his knees. “Get back inside.”
“There isn’t a bathroom.” Dominique whined.
“Tough shit. Get back inside right now.” I raised my hand and they backed off. Nicko was pale, but Dominique was flushed with anger. He pulled her and they went back inside. I sat outside under a palm tree. Four hours later Nicko came to the door to ask for water. I swore at him and walked towards the door in a menacing manner. I was of course using my gifts to appear far more menacing than my appearance warranted.
I let them suffer through the hot day. Late that afternoon Dominique insisted on coming out, determined that I would not hit her. I hit her, blood filling her mouth as her cheek was cut by her teeth. Nicko came out and I stood by until he took her inside. I left them and going into the bush knelt until the trembling passed. I wondered how I will last if I need to do this again. Cherine came into my mind and soothed me with her love, which in a way made me feel worse, even as it helped me.
Rob came out of the trees, his appearance, as it is for all his ‘family’ that of a poor and rough person, in other words, a rougher version of Robert Teller, but he does have the softer gentle eyes of a Robert. He left a bottle of water by the door, knocked timidly and ran away, delaying just enough for them to see him run away.
Kyriakos did not appear the next day and Rob brought them water and some food, quickly disappearing before they could thank him. As he ran away he turned and put his finger to his lips. Nicko nodded.
I returned to find them full of bravado again. Brutally I knocked it out of them. By the fourth day they sat inside, carefully waiting for me to walk away before dashing out to use the nearest cover for their toilet. On the fifth day I brought some food and water and placed it in front of their door. The door did not have a latch and I slammed it open.
“Come outside, I brought you food.” I think I felt more pity for Nicko. He had given in faster than he would have otherwise, because he feared I may attack his sister. He had also decided that if I see her often, I may decide to rape her. Not yet timid, still sullen, they came out. I gestured for them to sit and eat. “You have probably realised by now that you have been kidnapped. We are demanding twenty million dollars from your father. I will tell you the truth. Even if he pays, we will not return you. The only reason we are keeping you alive is in case it should be necessary for us to send them photos as we cut off pieces from you, or a video of you screaming and bleeding.”
They both shuddered. “He hasn’t got that kind of money in cash.”
“Then he better sell his ships.” I seemed to examine him, hoping to plant a thought in their minds. “Do you think your parents love you enough to make the sacrifice? You better hope they do, if you do not like suffering. If he pays, your death will be clean. If he does not, we will take our time and send him videos.”
Nicko was green enough to think he could negotiate. I taught him that all negotiations will be conducted by my fists. Dominique tried to intervene, her nails aiming for my eyes, so this time I had to be more ruthless. I stood over them as they crawled back into their hut.
“I don’t have time to waste watching you two useless cowards. You are on an island and there is no one here to help you. There is still a family of the original inhabitants who are hiding. From the remains we have found it seems they are cannibals and they must be very hungry by now. Stay close to the hut and only go onto the beach. Do not go inland. I will return now and then to tell you how it is going with your father - and if he is being reasonable, maybe I’ll also bring you something to eat. You better be here, or else I’ll find you and make you wish you were both already dead.” I went over to Dominique, my eyes coldly passing over her body. “Perhaps next time I need to punish you I might have a more pleasant way - for me that is.”
I sat on the beach, far from them, my arms around my knees as I furiously fought my reactions. I did not have the right to gain surcease, not while they are suffering.
That night Rob went to their door. “Do you speak English?” he asked from outside.
“You speak English!! Why are you helping us?”
“That man, he came with friends and killed everyone. I took my family and hid. If you stay here he will kill you.”
Nicko came out. “He has already told us he will. How can we get off the island?”
“No way, or else I would have taken my family a long time ago. Will you come with me? I will hide you where they cannot find you.”
They were afraid to, but whatever happened would be better than staying, they decided. Strangely, it was Nicko who looked into Rob’s eyes and decided he trusts him. Dominique did not bother, but agreed they must take the chance. Battered, bleeding and aching all over, they followed him into the brush. They stumbled along for over an hour while I sat watching them through the eyes of Rob and shivered at what is to come. I already felt like crying.
They entered a cave where they met Rob’s wife (Cher), their daughter, 8 years old (Cherine) and their son, 10 years old (Alki). The family were shy, but made them welcome. Cher took care of their cuts and they shared the little food they had. Rob sat on the floor as they talked the next day, first warning them of the dangers, but also explaining they do not have a choice as my gang always kill those they’ve kidnapped.
“It is not good you stay here with us, we suspect they might know where we hide by now. We know of another cave where you will be safe. We will bring you food. There is a pool of water inside and it is very clean.”
The cave the family stayed in was small and there was no privacy, so the move was understandably welcomed by both Nicko and Dominique. That night they were taken to their new home. Alone again, Dominique cried for the first time. Nicko let her cry and lying down he turned his back to her and pretended to be asleep. Her distress only accentuated his inability, his helplessness, and he was sick with his shame.
Rob would send over one of the children at night with a little food, just enough to leave them still hungry. They were so painfully shy and timid that finally on the third night Dominique reached out and tousled the dirty hair of the little girl.
The next day they heard a gunshot and after a while they heard me (Kyriakos) shouting and swearing, threatening them with terrible things I would do if they do not give themselves up. That night no food was brought to them. They spent the night awake, the emptiness in their belly making their fear feel far worse. In the morning Nicko decided he had to go out and look for fruit as they were hungry. Dominique would not stay behind. I watched, waiting until they came out of the cave, but were still hidden by a bush. Cherine then walked out with a small parcel of food in her hands. They saw her and decided to wait for her. Suddenly they saw me as I dashed from cover and grabbed the child.
They heard me interrogating the little girl, saw me hit her. Nicko struggled within himself, but he turned and looked at his sister and stayed hidden, his face grim with thoughts of revenge. They were hoping I would let the girl go. I obliged them. As she backed away I waited until she was about five metres away, pulled out a revolver and pointed it at her. Dominique let out a cry which we pretended not to hear. Nicko clamped his hand over her mouth. I aimed and pulled the trigger. The bullet knocked her down. I laughed and walking over picked her up by her feet. As she hung from my hand, the blood dribbled down, covering her face.
“Robert, Cherine! I got the little girl. You used your daughter to take them food, so I know they must be nearby. I’ll get them and then I’ll be getting you next and I’ll force you to watch as I carve up your son. Tell me where the Greek brother and sister are or else I’ll have soft little girl meat for supper.”
“All you have is her body. Her soul is free of you. Kyriako, I swear I will get you.” Rob shouted from within the trees. I laughed and walked off with the body hanging from my hands. The brother and sister stayed alone, hungry and grieving that night.
Rob came into their cave an hour before dawn.
“It is no longer safe here, I will take you to another place. My family and I must also move or else he’ll find us. I don’t want to lose my son also, I cannot bear it”
Dominique was torn by her feelings of guilt, but her brother had been agonising over memories that just would not become clear. Nicko took hold of his shoulder and spun him around. “I know you. I have seen you before. Who are you?”
“You are right. We must make you safe first then we will talk.”
“Your daughter…” Dominique could hardly speak. Rob put a finger to her cheek as if the tears there were precious.
“She is free now. We’ll talk later.”
I appeared in the valley below them and lifted my arm, a raw leg of lamb hanging from my hand and my clothes spattered with blood.
As sweetly as I could (for the character I was) I called out, “Come my Greek girl, I have some nice meat for you.” I carried on walking until I was out of sight. I threw the meat away and jumped to the beach where Cherine came running into my arms, first getting rid of the blood on my clothes. She looked up at me.
“That was really horrible of you. They’ll think that was my leg.” She knew, we both could feel their minds. It would not be right to do what we are doing to them if I do not share their pain and fear.
“Cherine, help me, I need you. Come into my mind.” I sat weeping, for I was sharing from my 'victim', Dominique. I closed my eyes as I felt her warm presence enter me.
“It is not as comfortable here, but it is safer. I think I must tell you the truth.” Rob was altering my plan, maybe so as to save me being hurt any more, but I did not react.
“About what is happening here. He lied and we lied. There are no others.”
Nicko was confused. “Why? Why lie?”
“We have a few gifts that most normal people do not. The man who calls himself Kyriakos also does. He is more powerful than we are.” I gave him top marks for managing up to now to tell the truth without revealing the truth.
Dominique showed no interest in the conversation. She was still reliving the death of the little girl and the grisly scene of her leg being waved around by me.
“You might call them extrasensory powers. The young boy, my son, he is not my son and he is not a young boy. You know him and he is a friend of your family.” He waited, but Nicko was not able to understand or believe him and did not try to guess. “He is known to you as Alki.”
“That is ridiculous.”
“I’ll start over again. Kyriakos decided to kidnap you and your sister. He is the bad guy in this situation. Those you perceive as my family and I, we are the good guys. Cherine, my wife, she really is my wife. My daughter, I’ll tell you about her later, but she is not really my daughter. My son is the very wealthy and well known Alki Georgiades. All of us have paranormal powers. Kyriakos is using his to hurt while my group are trying to use our powers to help the two of you.
You must all be wondering why I am telling you the truth now. Nicko, both you and your sister are concentrating on your hatred for Kyriako. That is wrong. Does not that poor little girl who was shot while bringing you food deserve your love? Can you empathise, feel the fear she would have been feeling, the terror and pain of being shot? Can you appreciate her bravery?”
Dominique cried out, a wordless wail, and she made as if to leap to her feet and run out without fear of Kyriako. Nicko grabbed her and rising pulled her to him, speaking urgently, desperately trying to bring her to her senses. As he held and soothed her, his mind was racing. He had almost spoken rudely to Rob when he began all this nonsense about his family not being his family and all of them having paranormal powers. Now he could see the truth and he felt an immense pity.
This foreigner, Rob, had not been able to face the death of his daughter, the pointless, senseless and cruel death, and his mind had snapped. Nicko decided that if the fantasy made his pain bearable, he should not say anything to rid him of his protective delusions. He explained his thoughts to Dominique in Greek and as he spoke her sobs grew fainter as her heart reached out now to Rob.
I looked at Cherine and grinned. This was turning out to be an invaluable lesson for Rob. He and Cher had thought to change my game plan and they had succeeded, but not in the way they had anticipated. Our grin broadened as Rob began to correct Nicko - he sensed our amusement and stopped, wishing them a goodnight, he left.
We watched them most of that night. They were both miserable and now Dominique was able to cry for the little girl, her fears for herself making her imagination more vivid.
Before abducting them, the brother and sister had been fond of each other, often amused by the follies of the other, but it was obvious they were each set on their own path and would drift even further apart. Their common experiences and terror, and now their feelings of guilt and horror at the macabre death of a child who had risked her life to feed them, brought the two of them closer.
The feel of a warm soft feminine body in his arms had resulted in a slightly turgid swelling of his penis, but he was ignoring it, his mind tightly shut to the possibility. Her body had also reacted to him, but I sensed her reactions were more the instinctive reaction to death. She too was hardly aware of her body betraying her. I was not interested in them exploring that aspect of their relationship as I want her to bond to Rob. My fear was that it might carry Nicko along. Rob gently told me they would not mind, but he admitted they would prefer Nicko form his own circle as they too see their strength being enhanced by having a multitude of family circles.
All of us gloried in the slight awakening of her mother love as Dominique thought of the girl. Regret and guilt were too strong for her to become fully aware of it, but it definitely is there and I know that within twenty four hours it will be stronger. Cher and Cherine conferred, mind to mind. They had not believed it possible for their judgement of Dominique to change and they were already at the point where they both admitted to each other that if they had met Dominique now, they might have approved her. They also agreed that as far as Nicko is concerned, they do fully approve him now. Being forced to become the protector of his sister has opened him earlier.
Cher decided to break our rules and came to us. She sat with her ‘sister’ beside her, facing me. “Robert, I have been greatly troubled by your scheme. You jokingly call yourself a hammer and I now see why. Right or wrong, you have changed both of them. Before you carry on with the rest of your plan, I have to understand the importance of the effects we still need to achieve. I see now that you are likely to break through the last defensive wall of Dominique and then, with love and Cherinian sharing she will learn to be as your Dominique is. Even the slight taste of her mother love has made me aware of how much we will treasure her. But I am troubled by what we are doing. Are you certain the human heart and mind can take so much brutality without it being permanently scarred? Do you need to provide her with food for further nightmares? Could not love now bring about the same result?”
How I yearned to reach out and smother both of them with my love. I had to control myself though. For I feel our business is not finished yet. “Two Cherines facing a Robert and they ask him about the human heart? It does not seem right. I feel the distaste in you as you feel the way I shut off my mind, not allowing my heart to dictate to it. My loves, I do this so as to allow my mind to see my heart more clearly. Same as sunglasses are worn to reduce the glare, allowing details to be seen. I will speak of what I see, and if your hearts do not agree I promise to listen to you.
Nicko is ready, love will flower and empathy has taken root in his heart. If he were alone, I would abort and give him the truth so that he may close his heart to us, rant and rave, hate us and try to shut himself off from us again. It would not matter, for the seed has been planted and we can win him back again, in a gentler manner. He no longer is the reflection of what he imagined himself to be. Dominique though, I have my doubts. Perhaps it is my imagination and my own fears that colour my responses. I ask that you see clearly for me.
Yes, that magical mother love of hers is slowly awakening, but I do not see it as being strong enough to become what it should be if we do not force it to. I have been in two minds. Carry on with my plan or else take her back to your world as the void and find child after child that suffers and is abused until her heart breaks under the weight of that special love of hers.
Look at her misery, examine the love and empathy awakening in her and tell me if I am wrong, for I see it as being shallow, a nightmare that will be soon forgotten upon her return to her normal way of life. She has not felt the need to protect Nicko, her impulses to save the child smothered by her need to protect herself. She has striven all along to rob everything she has seen of meaning.
Despite her, cracks have appeared and her soul has become aware of pain in others. How long before she shuts her mind to her memories? If we stopped now, would she not be worse off? I think she would become as she was, but she will at secret moments have to face feelings she is not capable of handling. They would only make her more cynical and bitter - especially once she learns the true meaning of this adventure.”
Both girls looked deeply into themselves, sifting through what they have shared of Dominique and then, for confirmation they looked into her again. When doing this, they do not look at thoughts. They search through the feelings and see how deep they are, what influence they have in colouring the thoughts, which are allowed to remain private.
They opened their eyes, looked at each other and turned to me. I sensed wonder in Cher and fear in my Cherine. “You have grown stronger than us Robert.”
I laughed, my heart at last free to open to them. “I am stronger than both of you together in one respect. That is only because I do not have the one weakness you both have.” I sat grinning at them. Cher grinned back, though my own sweet baby was in no smiling mood.
“You have seen something we have not? You are playing with us?”
“Not playing love. What I see in all Cherines makes my heart burst with love. You both allowed yourselves to ignore the signs I saw in Dominique because of your love for your Roberts. You saw the pain this has been causing me, saw your Robert is also suffering and trying to share my guilt, and you both grasped at straws in the hope of avoiding further pain for us. I do not love myself that much that I would need to blind myself to the truth. Cherine, do you know how I found the truth in Dominique? I found it by looking at you, hoping you would verify all was as it seemed, and found you turned away from certain thoughts and feelings. It was your gift that showed me the truth.”
My baby is still too inexperienced at disguising herself from me and I sensed the relief that flooded her. She cannot feel part of me and my equal, worthy of my love, if her gifts do not exceed mine in some aspect, even if mine exceed hers in others. I do not say this as a criticism, I too have the same problem. Not with the other girls to the same extent, but my Cherine, my first and biggest love, she terrifies me, for I cannot see how I can deserve her love.
Cher asked, knowing the answer, “You will kill Alki tonight?”
“No!” Cherine’s eyes were glowing. “No, he must not! Robert, do as you suggested, let her see other children suffer. Let tonight be our night of suffering when you tell them the truth.”
“No love. They must not hear the truth yet, for then we lose her. I will come as Kyriakos and justify myself by showing her how the world treats that which is most precious. Once she cries for the children we may speak of what we see as truth.”
Cher stared at her in dismay. “Oh God, what have you done! You have forgotten that your Robert is the protector? To shoot Alki, his only pain would be the pain in Dominique. To make him see children being abused! That tears at him.”
Cherine began to cry, but I did not pull her to me. I stood up, my face stern, anger glinting in my eyes. As usually happens with me, what I saw as necessary and started as a pretence, my emotions turned real for me as I spoke.
“Cher! Spoken out of love, but your words were knives. They have torn into me deeper than they hurt my little love, for you have made me see what a coward I have been all these years. I have used our travels and experiences as excuses so as to avoid facing the pain of our children. Cherine, all children of all worlds, they too are the children of all Cherinians. If I had saved but one child per week, how many children could I have saved over ten years!! I have proven myself unworthy of being called a Cherinian and holding the love of a Cherine.”
Strong words spoken in bitterness, words I should have kept hidden within those dark places where I nurse all my failures. How easy it is to become caught up in our own emotions and fears and by uttering them wound those we love. To have fallen to bent knees and begged their forgiveness would have only added to their pain. I turned away from their tears and looked out at the ocean. The waves and sigh of the waves as they sank onto the white sand became symbols to me, as if our lovely planet were telling me, I too have been wounded and weep ceaselessly. For the sake of all I hold dear I found cause for a smile and a gleam of hope in my eyes. I kept my voice gentle and tender as I could.
“Those I have forsaken will have paid the price that woke me, so that I do not look to save only one child. Cherine my love, when we return and you are my lifelong companion and warrior, will you join your strength to mine so that we save as many children as time and circumstances allows us?”
Her wounded eyes stared back at me. “I have seen the pain it brings you. If you allow me to share your pain, I will.”
“You lost your memories, became a child and grew up! What a contradictory soul you have my love. I will accept on one condition. You do this on behalf of all the Cherines and allow them to share as and when they can.”
Rob appeared. “Do not agree Cherine. Demand that you share with all Cherinians. We too have a right to know and help.”
“I’m sorry Robert, I cannot agree. There are too many whose innocence I would destroy. How could I agree to the Gillians sharing? What of the other species who have not shamed themselves by inflicting pain on their young? To teach them of our guilt could have results other than we would have wished on them.”
“Then allow those of Earth, any who are mature and wish to join in sharing.”
“I do not see the wisdom in this. Sharing my pain does not make my pain less, to the contrary, it can only add to what I will suffer.”
“Then why offer it to your Cherine and all other Cherines?”
“Their gift of empathy is far beyond anything you or I can imagine. It forces them to be strong and bear in secret the pain we bear, for they know that for us to feel it in them may shame us. I trust them to bear my pain openly, so that they no longer need to be as strong.”
“Every word you utter brings joy and dismay!” Cher said sadly.
“Perhaps. I hope they bring something else too; a way for every Cherine and Robert to grow even closer to their soul-mate.”
That night I appeared as Kyriakos and they were terrified. “I have come tonight as Robert came to you last night. Fear no violence from me, for that has ended. I do not come as enemy nor as friend. I come as teacher. You have seen the good in Robert and his Cherine and you have learnt of evil from me. Robert talked to you of powers that we have. Do not be surprised that I know of what he spoke, for I am cursed with the gift of knowing much that you will never know. I will not leave though without you opening your eyes and learning what it takes to make one such as I. Within ten minutes I will return, but I will not be in this body. I will return as a force of pure energy. Learn from what I show you and perhaps you will never have to fear any evil within yourselves.”
My words meant nothing to them and when I collected them as the void they were so filled with fear that if my energy did not hold them within their bodies, they would have died. I gave them the time they needed to settle back to a fear they can handle. I showed them their planet and went on a tour till we arrived at the sun.
*You recognise our sun. As gentle and beautiful as it is, giving life to our planet, you can see that it is powerful and unforgiving. So is the human heart. I have been forced to learn of what man can do to man and it wounded me. Then I saw what man and woman could do to children and it tore at me. What you saw on the island, the death of the little girl, it was not real. I needed to shock you so that you are prepared to some small degree for what you will see now.*
I am sorry, but I cannot bear to relive the pain I saw. If they should wish to write here someday, they are welcome, even should it be solely for the purpose of condemning me. As if the hearts of suffering children were beacons that called to me I found them, one after another and we watched as their bodies and minds were torn and abused, often beyond what adults could have borne. I let them feel their hearts, the pain and bewilderment behind the tears and screams, as the part that makes them children died, sometimes even that which makes them human dying. When Dominique and Nicko shrieked their pain and anger I ignored them. When Dominique blazed forth, trying to protect a child, to soothe her heart with that special motherly love, I returned them to the island.
I left them alone - they were not the only ones who needed to weep. I also had to return to the worst cases we’d seen and those adults I took to the penal world, my Cherine silently watching as she accompanied me. She shared what I saw and grieved, but her heart was big enough to still send me love and understanding.
I took Cherine back to the beach first so that they would see her and then made my final appearance as Kyriakos. Dominique had been shattered by what she’d seen and then having Cherine appear, alive and well, tore away her sense of reality. Cher went into her mind and gave her something to cling to and Rob fed her soul with love motes that had the taste of tears, but also promised hope. By the time I appeared she was weeping, but no longer in danger of losing herself within the nightmares I’d forced upon her.
Sprawled on the beach, she looked up and saw me. She stood up and Nicko followed her, his hand on her arm. She stared at me with a wild hate and then shrugging his hand off her she ran at me screaming, calling on me to kill her. She attacked me, her nails tearing at my face. I stood without moving until Nicko arrived and fought to tear her away.
“Leave her Nicko, let her hate be satiated by my blood.”
His fist lashed out and I let it knock me down. He stood above me crying, his fists ready to strike again. “You are the most evil man I’ve ever met!” he screamed at me as he took hold of his sister. His eyes remained defiant, almost daring me to attack.
I changed myself, reverting to a toddler and spoke to their minds. Now you can kill me if you want.
They stared in shock and then giving me a final look of disgust he pulled at his sister and they walked away. I changed to a ten year old. “You accuse me of evil. I did not commit any of the evil you saw, I only made you aware of the world you live in. Look within your own hearts. What were you when I brought you here? Were either of you any better than I? Both of you born to wealth, did you care to relieve the pain in others? Tell me of one good deed that you are proud of. No, the truth is, all you cared about was having a good time. The money you wasted would have kept how many children alive Dominique?”
She turned, in protest. “I did not know.”
“I will not accept that. You have seen the starving children on television, in newspapers, magazines. You did not care to see! You said to yourself, there are too many, I cannot make a difference.” She nodded to herself. I asked gently. “Dominique, even if you could have saved one child, it would not have made a difference?”
“Leave her alone, damn you!”
“Why Nicko? Did you think my words were for her alone? How many children did you help?”
“Robert, enough. We need time to mend hearts now.”
“Cherine, come to me my love.” As myself again we walked down the beach. When we could no longer hear them I sat on a trunk and stared out at the roiling water.
“You did it Robert, they will become Cherinians.”
“So, how do you feel? You have seen the future and what will happen because of you. Do you regret loving me?”
“I still cannot understand why you had to take all the pain. Why wouldn’t you let all of us stand by you, I mean, not now only, through all the years. When I look at my memories of the future, apart from the one thing I did to you, that is my biggest pain.”
I turned her face to me and grinned at her. “Because I am selfish love.”
She jerked her chin out of my grasp, irritated. “I’m being serious!”
“So am I. Give me a chance to explain.” Without flinching, she kept her eyes staring into mine. “One day we hope all of mankind will be as us. When there are only Cherinians, we dream of a world where no children ever suffer. We dream of a world where there is no hunger, hatred or all those things that make this world as it is. Cherinians will become the innocents of the universe. They will not need to remember what pain is; if they can feel it when a word or deed hurts another, they will be careful not to do it again. There will be a few Cherinians who do remember. Those of this time and of the near future.
None of you can remain totally innocent, but I do not want you carrying the worst of mankind with you for the rest of eternity. I want to look at you and feel you and rejoice in whatever purity has been preserved. Please do not ask me, for you or any other Cherinian, that I destroy what I love in you. I’ve offered to take you with me when I go out to save children, but that was my weakness of the moment. The choice will always be yours, but I hope you’ll understand that I need you and all our Cherinians to help me survive what I experience by sensing your pure love and seeing you grow to achieve your potential.”
She stared silently and I felt her come to a decision. “Give me back my memories Robert.”
“I don’t have them love, I’ll take them from you when we get back.”
“I don’t understand. How can I have them?”
“It is a bit of a paradox. I plan to take your memories from you when we return home and bring them to you.”
“If you don’t go back?”
“Then you will lose them to the blue sheet. They would be lost when Noname2 dies.”
“Then I would have to stay like this?”
“I suppose so.”
Amazingly, she was not even tempted. “Robert, I need them back so that I can make the right decision. I don’t know enough to understand if what you said is right.”
“Soon as we are finished here we can return home and I’ll get your memories for you.”
*Robert, we have a problem. I think Dominique feels attracted to Kyriakos and will not love my Robert.*
I hope you enjoy reading this story of fantasy, adventure and love - and should some of it be true for our reality, I hope you will love our Cherine.
Αλέξανδρος Ζήνον Ευσταθίου(Alexander Zenon Eustace)
12th November, 2019
- posted: 12th November, 2019
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