That which lies within
She doesn’t know my secret name; nor therefore, the power of its magical spell. I told her once, shortly after I came to her, in this my sixth life. Sometimes when she stares deep into my eyes though, I sense that she knows. For a minute-second of intense concentration I grasp that she connects to the magic. But then it is gone.
I came into existence in my natural form, from somewhere long ago. Then I was revered. I was worshiped by Pharaohs. Even when they buried me in the far-reaching caverns of their tombs, my blood flowed thick and alive. All that is still in my memory, keeping me nurtured through these voiceless days of waiting for adventure.
Admittedly, the time I spent in China was less than agreeable. I was confined to hiding in constant terror of being captured or worse still ˗ of being consumed. Once that happens to the likes of us, there in no revival. “Oh, how the mighty can fall,” was the lesson that churned in my being, when I stowed away in the bowels of a merchant ship leaving Canton to whatever destination. I didn’t care.
Then, my fortune turned as I stumbled into my third life. I came under the protection of a young Indian Prince, who like me was searching for his identity. It was he who was kind enough to gift me a talisman. And together we explored our inner worlds. Together we invented other entities. I became a fearsome, fire breathing dragon and he ˗ a timeless prophet. The blood of that dragon still burns in my being as I remember my Master’s last words: “Ardently do today what must be done. Who knows? Tomorrow, death comes.”
My subsequent keeper was a young Libyan Princess. She was a tragic beauty who was enchanted to become the monster Medusa. As she clung to me in her last moments before she was beheaded, she turned me into Pegasus, a winged horse. Countless tried to ride me in the sky, but met their death. When the mighty god Zeus attempted to retain me in the night sky among the constellations, I escaped back into my natural state, with the help of Buddha’s talisman.
I was next adopted by a great Scottish Wizard. He took pleasure to indulge in my desires. As I enjoyed being a creature of flight, I combined my past lives and took on the form of the proud Phoenix with peacock like colouring and the wing-spread of an eagle. My daily ventures were high and far, always returning to my perch. The Wizard assured me that as a phoenix I could live forever: first bursting into flames and then rising from the ashes. A glorious notion. But then he died. I took my talisman, donned my natural state and departed.
In this my current sixth life, I am the familiar of a white Witch. Like me, she struggles with her identity. We are thus kindred spirits. She knew what I was when I came to her. Defiant. A decade of captivity under her intuitive spells has calmed my burning blood to accept her quiet, thoughtful ways. For now, I remain her faithful Cat.
I humour her each day as she harnesses me and my talisman for our walk outdoors. For now, that’s all I live for: to stalk sprightly squirrels, to hiss at chirping birds, and to show my savage fury at others of my kind, who dare infringe upon my territory. Memory of the untamed cannot be eradicated.
In my time, I have assumed many identities, all the while searching for who I truly am. Magic has allowed me to become fierce and bold. But it is that which lies within my inner being that preserves me as trustworthy and dependable. And this is what I bring to her.
If the truth be told, the days of magic are fleeting. My Mistress’ belief in her powers is erratic as she grapples with the mundane. That is why I think she has difficulty remembering my secret name. Sometimes she confides in me that she fears the hovering shadows which envelope not only the thoughts but also the deeds of human beings. I know something about those dark days of the soul. At night, as she holds me close, I try to transfer the fire of my dragon-soul into her. I try to convey my Pegasus strength and potency. How can I help her become a Phoenix? How can I let her know that magic comes from within our own secret name? I know. I have been a god – worshiped by Pharaohs. I cling to my talisman. I will have other lives.