Truth and Love Are Oft Close Friends, But Not Until We Add The Sameness Of The Spirit Do We Find The Blossoming Of The Soulmate Emerge Into The World.

Madame Victoria

Victoria, a wonderful name that had served her for more years than she would care to admit. She would, in moments of humor, admit to stealing it from the Queen, she had loved the way it rolled off of her tongue the first time she had said it aloud and decided to simply become Victoria, and she had been doing that ever since. In time another name would take hold of her mind and she would become the person that name required her to be. Victoria lent itself to pomp, circumstance, elegance and wealth. All of those things were pleasant so the transition was an easy and quick one. Buying some properties here, having a fleet of horses there. It had bee decades before she had to use a little glamour to make people come back to the path she wanted them to walk on because it was a simpler time. There was no Internet and Television, hell radio wasn’t even a thing yet. So when she claimed her wealth and showed it, she was respected on that alone. It is when the communication became so blasted easy that she had had to modify a few things.

The knock upon her dressing room door made her shake herself from her cobwebbed mind and she made sure she used her voice to maximum effect as she answered the knock. “But a moment lovelies, I am putting my face back on, can’t let a Goddess be seen without her makeup now can we?” She waited for and smiled at the laughter she had expected and quickly moved her hands over her body and her clothes shifted into what she needed. No longer on stage, the regal bearing had to go, she needed intimate, approachable, so it was simple cloths, muted colors, showing off the marks just so that they would understand what she was and where she came from, to a point.

Standing, she walked to the door and prepared her best smile as she pulled it open. Before her was quite a dapper man, mid-fifties she suspected. His smile as real as any she had seen in some time and she looked over to Lou, who gave her a subtle nod and she opened the door wider and the man walked through the door.

Now is when the reasons these people came to see her would become crystal clear.

The man had sat down, his hands politely in his lap without showing nerves. His eyes followed her but not with the puppy dog-like adoration she sometimes saw in the men, and women, who came back to see her after the show. No, he wasn’t here to try and play Fuck the Fae, there was a deeper purpose to it and seeing as she knew precisely how much Lou charged people to even knock on the door, whatever he was here for was very important to him indeed.

—–

He looked up at the woman as she closed the door without noise and made her way to the very comfortable divan in the corner of the room. She looked at him with eyes that expected absolutely nothing. No rush or worry, nothing except patience he had never seen in anyone before. he had a feeling she could recline on that divan for years without moving a muscle and not be irritated with him at all if she so chooses. Sadly, the man had a limited amount of time to be here, so he took a chance and decided to get right to the point.

“Madame Victoria, I know that you must have a great many people come into your room and ask you for favors ranging from the rudimentary mundane to things laced with that which is phantasmagorical in all of its essences. I am here to ask of you a boon, yes, but I hope that you will hear me out before you decline.” His eyes looked to hers to see what her reaction thus far.

She smiled softly to him and sat up, her fingers steeples in her lap as she spoke. Her voice was not as honeyed as it had been on stage, but, of course, it wouldn’t be now, would it?

“Firstly, I haven’t heard someone utter the word phantasmagorical in over a hundred years. It is a word that has sadly fallen out of favor in the day and age of the text message and the acronyms for virtually everything. Secondly, I give you my word on the Darkness that Consumes that I will listen to your request and give it every bit of my attention before I judge it as a deed I am willing to do.”

He swallowed as he heard Victoria speak the oath on the Darkness. He was not an expert in such things, but he knew it was not words that her kind used lightly, the consequences of being an oathbreaker were dire if the memory served. Even he had heard of the Wild Hunt and their eternal mission to bring oathbreakers to justice who had sworn such an oath.

“For your pledge to even hear my plea I will gladly give you everything in my name.” He straightened his back as he sat as his mother had taught him so very long ago. “My name is Bertran, I was born in the year of our Lord eleven hundred thirty and five in the cathedral at Carlisle in Cumbria. My dear mother was an indigent who felt shame at having a son out of wedlock, her beau having left her after they had consummated their relationship, his promise of marriage a lie, and she was an outcast. her family disowned her and only the church would allow her sanctuary to give birth to me. We lived there until I came of age, helping in the maintenance of the church, my mother taking her vows when I left to seek my own life.” he stopped speaking and noticed that Madame Victoria looked at him with piercing eyes, seeking anything she could from him. She spoke, her voice not hiding the emotion welling up in her throat.

“You speak to truth to me Bertran of Carlisle. You are not of any Fae line, nor are you of the darkness that makes the immortal promise to the weak, tell me now why you have lived nearly nine centuries as a man of flesh and blood and no magic and have not died. Tell me this now and swear upon the Darkness your words will be true or I shall deliver to you the Hunt myself.” Her words sounded bloodied even to her own ears, but she needed to know how this man existed. She felt not afraid of him, to be with someone even a thousandth of her own age made her feel youth she had not felt since the glaciers still shaped the world.

Victoria swallowed hard, her eyes welling with tears as she read the man’s story in the same writing that adorned her body She learned everything he was at that moment. The magic of the writing told her more than simply words. She composed herself, dabbing at her eyes with the sleeve of her shirt.

“Forgive my emotion, I thought all of them had died long before you were born. No, you are of them, you are the descendants of those that gave me the godhead. So, as the Goddess you did not know your whole life, I swear on the Dark Goddess herself, may her wrath upon me be eternal if I break my oath, that I will do anything you ask of me if it is in my power to do.” She stood and quickly made her way to him and kissed him softly on the forehead. As she did the lines, on her and him glowed as the sun as like recognized like.

Do Not Hesitate To Give. Everything and Anything. Purely Because You Are Told To, Or Do You Even Need That? You Love Her Don’t You? You Want To Make Your Dark Goddess Happy, Yes?

Madame Victoria

The viscous fluid that ran through Victoria’s fingers glowed colors randomly and rapidly as she began to talk about the Great Goddess.

“Her story is told elsewhere by others, so I will tell you a small thing about her that is mine to tell. I will tell you about times when the world was not as it is now when all you saw was what you were directed to see by those with powers you could not imagine. Gods and Goddesses walked amongst you and all you could do was stare at their perfection with abject adoration.” She paused a second, her voice wonderfully decadent, like velvet on the soul of everyone there. Her words touched them in dark and secret places that some of them did not even know they had until that very moment.

Victoria took the fluid from her hands and let it drip on the stage in front of her, the stage disappearing as she did, her chair turning into the stump of a once-mighty tree, the theater about her slowly shifting into a great and natural amphitheater made of the white marble that sculptors sought very dearly. The wind caught their hair and their eyes closed as they breathed in the air of a world long since gone.

“Siobhan is the Dark Goddess, the Creator, and Destroyer of anything and everything. Don’t dare think that she is cruel for the sake of it, however. Every action is measured and calculated, every result fixed and known, every variable accounted for. She is everything, everyone, every place.” Victoria smiled at the awestruck cloud, babes in the woods looking at the colors brighter than they had ever seen, the air so clean you could taste it and enjoy it like a lover’s touch.

“I will teach you a word now. Badhbh. Badhbh is a word that is layered in meaning and mysticism, but all you need to know is that when one sees the Badhbh, the battle has already begun and you will die.” her voice turned dark, clouds covering the perfect sky above them, the smell of blood and other things replacing the cleanliness of the air. Flies could be heard feasting on the dead. “Badhbh is what you will never forget, you will always remember, you will deny.” They were hers now, they would be hers forever now and they happily accepted this fate and that is where the power truly was.

Victoria clapped her hands once, a loud and thunderous thing and they were all sitting back in the auditorium once again, their memories muddied with the pleasure and joy they felt, the last words buried deep in their subconsciousness where they needed to be hidden until…until later.

Standing up tall and letting the wings on her back unfurl completely the crowd erupted with applause and cheers in a dozen languages. They did not notice or did not care, that they had been sitting there for three hours that seemed like a second. Roses were thrown on the stage. Lecherous men throwing hotel cards and keys on stage, a smaller amount of women doing the same thing if a little more discreetly. Victoria smiled darkly and happily and heard the microphone pop into life again.

“Thank you so much for attending, the Goddess will see a limited amount of people for a meet and greet in a few moments. All gifts and tributes can be given to her directly if you are chosen to meet her, all others, please simply throw it on the stage and I assure you the Goddess will know where it came from and you shall receive her blessing.

Victoria kissed her fingertips and pointed them at the crowd, each of them feeling the intimate nature of it on a deep level and the whole of them silencing for a moment as she did it before walking back to her dressing room with a laugh starting on her lips and the old plan in her mind still slowly coming to life.

A Little Tale To Tell, A Little Tale To Hear, Warm Yourselves For Story Time, Come To The Fire Near

Madame Victoria

Victoria could feel the energy filling her as the eyes looked to her, seeing what she was, who she was and knowing that they would never again see anything like this exact moment. Her manager, Lou, tried to tell her that she was vain and shallow for thinking that way, but he also didn’t know exactly who and what she was after all. A girl needed her secrets, even if it was from the one person in the world she at least partially trusted. Lou was a good egg to be sure, but no one could know the secrets Victoria carried, so she simply hid them away and made sure to put on the face everyone needed to see.

The lights on the stage were warm and her wings perked as the energy rushed in and the heat of the room filled Victoria. She took her time taking off each glove, her fingers barely moving as the gloves slid effortlessly down skin that was free of blemish, but not of markings. The lines were intricate and told her story, mind you the people who could read that story died off about the same time the mammoths did, but they were there. Every inch of her body from her collarbones to her hips were covered in the script that was made of circles and astrological signs, diamonds and sigils from gods long since dead and feasted upon on battlefields long forgotten.

Each glove dropped, falling to the floor like a petal on the wind and Victoria raised her hands high above her, each line on her body glowing with a perfectly jade light, brighter than the sun for just a moment before it faded and looked at the crowd. Each one of them needing her to look at them, needing from her, taking her in. She winked and made each of them feel an intimacy that was not there, would never be there, before smiling coyly and walking to the stool at the very front of the stage, right before the lights that blazed upward, warming her body in ways these silly people would never understand.

She sat, legs crossed delicately over one another and smiled to the audience before speaking. Her voice loud enough for everyone to hear, her tone friendly and calm as she began an act that she never broke from, a story she told each and every time. She gained from it, and it was an act of worship to the One before her.

“Thank you all so very much for coming to see me this evening. I know it is a terrible experience to drive in this city and I am very happy all the seats are full and no one was forced to miss the show.” Nervous laughter from the crowd, eyes scanning up and down her body like she was a prize bull or even worse and more debased things. She knew their minds, each one of them and all of them at once. It was not a gift, Victoria hated the word gift. It was her being, her essence, her power, and a very small one at that.

Their minds set for the story, some for the first time and others for the hundredth, she reached in front of her where the stage lights were and pulled out a very small bottle, opened it and spilled the liquids into her hands. Rubbing her hands back and forth, warming the liquid and watching it glow, and then watching them watch it glow. When it was just right she cupped her hands as if she were carrying water in them and spoke in a low and sonorous voice.

“Let me tell you about the Dark Goddess, Siobhan.”

Madame Victoria

Madame Victoria

With carefully manicured nails, long red gloves slid up her arms. The leather soft and pliable after so many years. The red was vibrant and electric, like a stoplight that you barely run even though you knew it wasn’t going to be yellow anymore. Specially designed fingertips allowed her fingers to slide through and show the delightful palette of color that was her fingernails and not show the rest of her fingers or hand, or anything until just below the bend in her elbow. Black boots that came just past her knees and stopped just as her delightful thighs began were already laced up in their convoluted artistry, each lace a magical dance over the others and all of them perfectly arrayed to show the best of the boots and, more importantly, the legs that wore them.

The clock over the door made that annoying twang that told her it was ten minutes after seven. If nothing, it was an accurate thing for at least that. Boots and gloves on, overcoat covering anything and everything in between, it was time for the show to begin.

—–

The audience was, as always, full to the rafters. They even sold tickets for places to stand and even though people bitched about how much it was, no one ever refused a ticket if there was a chance to buy one. If you had never been or were a celebrity that came nearly daily, you never resisted the urge to get the ticket, sit down and enjoy the most spectacular sight in the entirety of Montreal.

The lights dimmed and brightened several times to indicate that the show was about to begin. Everyone with a seat took it, went to their assigned standing spot or, for the lucky few who snuck in, sat high in the rafters above the lights and the sound technicians to see the greatest thing that the world had ever seen.

—–

Standing behind the curtain was torture, she hated hiding from people before the show, then again, it always was such an explosive event when it all happened the way that they had planned it year after year.

She heard the pop of the mic being turned on and she got her face ready.

She loved this part as much as she hated the waiting.

—–

“Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome to the stage one the most fantastic beings your eyes will ever see and the most wonderful woman your hearts can imagine.”

The curtain exploded upward in a puff of purple smoke and there she stood, on stage, at last, every eye of the three thousand souls in the building glued to her. She was the Flame and they were the petit papillon de Nuit to her raging inferno. She waited the three seconds and heard the announcer come back on with a shout, lust and wonder in his voice as he finished the best line in the history of show business anywhere in the world.

“Madame Victoria, the forgotten Faerie Goddess.”

The crowd was so loud it was a white noise that soothed everything Victoria rolled her shoulders a single time and the overcoat fell from her like a shimmering waterfall. Her hair was a deep purple, her skin the most cocoa of browns, at least for the moment. Her eyes were iridescent in the theater lights and, of course, the great double wings that sprouted from her back were the color of old blood left too long in a puddle. She winked at the crowd and walked forward to allow them to feed just as she did.

Showtime.