Vignettes of Ruin and...

Amoris, Revulsio & Terribillis: The Wolves of Obscura (Part I)

In The Nightmare on April 30, 2012 at 10:53 am
V was sitting on the edge of the bed, putting on grey knit socks. Light streamed in the half open sash window. The sound and scent of the sea filled the room.

We were laughing at something. I can’t remember exactly what about, but it was a gentle amusement. It occurred to me how rare these moments could be. It had become so unusual to share a feeling of mutual and equal appreciation, but that golden morning, we loved each other.

All the strain and resentment we tended to trade in seemed a remote memory. For the longest time, the crushing experience of his addiction laid waste to my personal esteem and taste for life. I could not help but hold it against him, every time he so much as looked at me strangely. And he couldn’t help but hold it against me- the guilt I made him feel for actions he could scarcely recall.

Somehow though, we had come through it. The madness was stilled- for a time at least- and we were okay.

I moved to the window to take in the view when I noticed a large white wolf, sitting in the long grass behind our house, watching me. He was exquisite, with fierce yellow eyes, that bore deeply into me. A nervouseness and a fascination nestled in my belly.
“How long will you be gone?” I asked, tearing myself away and turning to V, as he pulled on his leather jacket.

“I’m not sure, I just want to knock in on my Dad-“

The sound of a vehicle pulling into the drive distracted me.

“Who’s that?” I wondered aloud as I went to peer out the window. To my surprise, it was my sister getting out of a shining black car. The sun reflected off its gleaming windows and mirrors. I had to shield my eyes.

“I don’t understand, she never said she was coming?” I looked to V as though he might give me an explanation for her unexpected arrival.

“You’d better go and answer the door,” he said, smiling. I smiled back at him, but I no longer felt comfortable or happy. The presence of my sister disturbed me. She would never visit without first making an arrangement. I ran down the stairs, feeling worried. I barely remember opening the door, but there she was. Her dark hair glossy and magnificent, her opaline skin blemish free. Her eyes, the colour of Connemara marble, were filled with tears.

“I’m so sorry,” she choked, stepping into the hall, opening her arms to me

“I don’t understand,” I said. “What’s happened?”

“I heard about V- god, how awful! I’m so sorry, I’m so sorry.”

“What do you mean? Everything’s fine…“ I stopped. A flash of white movement beyond the drive way caught my eye. That white wolf again. I had seen him somewhere before today. I just couldn’t recall where.
He stood at the gate and resumed staring but I did not feel threatened.
“You’re in shock. I understand! I don’t blame you! Who could blame you?” she said, her voice filled with compassion.

“M, everything is fine. V is upstairs. He is okay.” I spoke calmly, with certainty.

“He is not okay. Come on. You know.” I was backing up the stairs with her words creeping after me.

“He is dead.”

I turned and fled to the bedroom.

It was empty.

My sister had quietly followed me, while I stood in the middle of the floor, desperately looking around for some vital clue that would disprove this new reality.

“It was on the news,” she said. “How he was found. Cold.In a ditch. His belly slit up to his throat.”

My heart was pounding rapidly.

“I’m telling you, I was just talking to him. He seemed so real…“ And then I began to cry.

She put her arm around my shoulder and led me to sit on the edge of the bed- where he had been sitting.

“I knew it would happen eventually. But I didn’t know I would feel like this,” I said, which probably seemed a ridiculous thing to say, given the circumstance. But after so long a time dwelling in an armour of desensitisation, the intensity of feeling overwhelmed me.

I left my body for a moment and found myself caught in the space between worlds, beholding myself as a spirit might, wistfully gazing upon someone they had been close to but perhaps regrettably did not love enough in their waking life. I saw my skin become paper thin and creased with age, my brown eyes grow sad, fixed on some faraway place not yet revealed to me. The rest of my days were laid out before me, like points on a well weathered map, drawing long shadows as the sun laid to rest on a perpetual evening. And the thing that occurred to me most was how lonely I was. It took my breath away and I couldn’t speak, though I wanted to say it all out loud, I wanted him to hear it, wherever he now was. If he knew how powerfully I felt, it might be enough to somehow bring him back.

I looked up and caught sight of our watery reflection in the mirror. To my utter shock, I could see V, staring at me from the corner of the room!

I wrenched myself from my sisters grasp and looked to where he stood, but there was no one there. Frantically, I looked back to the mirror and there he was again, a blue-tinged smile spread across his ashen face, cold and slow.

Then I started screaming.


I woke up suddenly, finding myself in the spare bedroom in the grip of a fearful sadness. My heart fluttered erratically in my chest like a moth suffocating in a glass jar. There was a weight upon me and as I pushed against it, I grasped handfuls of coarse warm fur, felt hot breath on my cheek. I reached for the curtains to let in the light- it was then I caught the ghostly sight of the white wolf, his image dispersing like mist in the morning sun. But the fear had left me. I felt comforted by the wolf, like perhaps he was guiding me through dream to a place of understanding. I went barefooted, in my nightdress, across the hall to where V lay sleeping. We had had a terrible flight the night before- we had both been so angry. But now I wanted to forget it all, so unimportant it seemed! The wolf emerged from the shadows of the room and softly crept to my side. I stroked his ears and he sat, quietly. I knew then that I was still dreaming, and who he was.
Amoris, Wolf of Obscura, the White Shepherd.I knew I had encountered him before, though he was a rare sight compared to his brothers Revulsio and Terribillis, who often disturbed my sleep. Amoris was here to send me back, but that was okay because he had helped me realise something.

In dream, my sorrow had been so exquisite and complete, I realised only then just how deeply I had come to feel compassion and love for him.

The terrible truth about what I have been through found itself without its lifeblood of anger and regret, and from its decay and rot in our dark foundation, I had found a seed of a truth that maybe I could grow with.

“I’m ready, ” I thought calmly, and truly opened my eyes.

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