In the dead of night, on the year’s longest night.
Decades ago I saw this castle for the first time, spires soaring into the jeweled winter sky.
On this night, when drums of darkness triumph over the sun, our coven is still celebrating Nightside Mass around the corner.
A decadent party for them…pure torture for me.
A festive crowd, with a dismal vacancy.
My footsteps on these checkered tiles should be the miracle of a lifetime.
Forbidden spells have been cast.
Instead it’s my desperate cry for help.
Obscene ransoms paid.
My fingers squeeze the offerings jammed in my pockets.
Hallowed doors click shut.
No turning back now.
Stone cherubs flash impossible smiles and flags flutter in dead-still air.
Candles spark to pale, blue life as I pass.
No thunder claps.
Flames flare to a sapphire burn when I kneel in front of the altar.
No bolts of lightning. Yet.
In my left hand, a crimson rose. In my right, a string of flawless diamonds.
Black wisps of smoke flash across stained glass.
I offer my prayer, to anyone willing to listen.
Silence, broken only by rustling in empty pews.
The love of my life is missing.
The eternal, binding ceremony is mere weeks away.
Gone, in search of answers to ancient puzzles.
In the dead of night, on this sacred night,
I beg you, my ancestors…help me bring him home.