The Shattered Dream
Darcy sits in the common lounge at Cloud Tower trying to get interested in a book all the while smiling on the outside but her heart broken and crying on the inside.
At least Riven did his best to let her down gently, Darcy reflects, and there was still that note of love and sincere regret and sadness in his voice. But what should she have expected? It is only natural for him to return to his own kind and to Musa who welcomed him back with open arms. Yes, Musa loves him, she knows, and will be for him the wife and the mother of his child and heir he wants and needs but it did not stop Darcy from boiling inside with rage and jealousy. True, Darcy has her youth, her beauty, her sultry and bewitching wiles so she need only to spend one night at the Hex Café to snag for herself a handsome, young Warlock. But handsome, young Warlocks are foot-loose and fancy-free and to marry one would mean that she would be constantly uprooted to follow him wherever his wanderlust takes him and lose everything related to family, home and clan. The possibility of having children would come much, much later and then she would never be able to rely on him remaining with her or helping her raise their child once “his duty” had been fulfilled.
Darcy is still very much the country girl who finds herself lost in the big city and confused by its ways and ethics. Her home planet, New Witch Haven, is an agricultural planet out in the boondocks of the Alfean universe. The vast majority of the planet’s population is made up of the descendants of the Gaelic speaking peoples from Terra who fled there during a wave of pogroms that swept over Northern France and the United Kingdom targeting these peoples as Witches whether they were or not.
The first years were tough on the new settlers mostly because they had come so ill prepared. The migration to New Witch Haven had taken place at the twelfth hour in haste and out of sheer desperation to escape from their persecutors. Most came with only a few farming tools and the clothes on their backs. Their new home also proved to have many things that looked familiar but were not. As a result, many were fooled into eating a tuber that looked so much like the beloved and staple potato yet turned out to be so deadly toxic that the merest nibble killed within seconds. Yet, the settlers adjusted and flourished.
Darcy closes her eyes as she dreamily recalls the long and happy days spent with Stormy, her parents and her extended family in the fields helping to harvest the saffron-like flowers that were exported as a dyestuff and also for its delicate flavour that was unlike the saffron found on Terra or elsewhere in the universe. Often her hands and mouth would remain stained orange for weeks after picking saffron but those who cultivated it throughout the year and year after year had absorbed so much of the flowers’ pigment that their skin remained orange from almost the day they were born until the day they died.
Darcy again closes her eyes and once again dreams of home on New Witch Haven, a simple but cozy cottage where she and her sister, Stormy, were born and grew up, a place filled with happy memories of her family, of the stables that housed her zebra one of the few beasts brought from Terra that found its niche on New Witch Haven named Dewin. She misses her little pet shove-over called Ialach a harmless six-legged native of New Witch Haven about the size of a lapdog but so covered with shaggy fur that it is hard to tell its front from its back until it begins walking but even then one could not be sure. The soft and affectionate creature had a habit of crawling into bed with her seeking the warmth of her body during the cold nights but often pressing so closely against her that she was constantly telling it to “Shove over!” so as not to be pushed off the other side of her bed. Most of all she missed her father, Marcus, and her mother, Blodwyn.
“I want back home!” sobs Darcy silently to herself. “I want out of Cloud Tower and away from Alfea. If I see Riven’s face again it will be too soon and if I get my hands on that pixie, Musa, I am going to kill her for stealing from me my only bit of happiness.” But she is a prisoner of Cloud Tower. But she has to graduate from Cloud Tower or face the wrath of her parents back home. But she has to explain to her parents how Stormy, whom she is supposed to be taking care of, is now reduced to the state of a woman-child.
Darcy is lost deep in thought when she is approached by a Witch with curly, golden hair, a comely face and large, blue eyes. “A penny for your thoughts?” she asks Darcy and, before she realizes it, Darcy has poured out all her heart’s woes to this strange woman.
“All this grief over a man?” exclaims the stranger in disbelief. “Wise up, Sister. Men are good for one or maybe two things and then they are just useless and underfoot. Who needs that?!” and Darcy laughs for she has heard almost the exact same words from Icy and then it hits her how much she misses Icy and her sister, Stormy.