Moira relished the weight of it. She was twenty-feet below the level of the Mississippi, which six blocks away flowed above her head, and the air was heavy. It pressed down on her, particularly this July as the heat vaporized the mighty river. Difficult to breathe, difficult to move, the atmosphere weighed down on the citizens of New Orleans, who otherwise in their madness, debauchery and fervor might blow away, might vanish like a mirage in a desert storm.
On her knees mid her Garden District flowerbeds, her Greek Revival home cracking and molding behind her, Moira connected to the earth. As she tended her garden, she had an ephemeris spread open on the flagstones to make sure she only worked on those plants for which the zodiacal orientations were most propitious. Moira Connery was all Scorpio, hence all water, and by the principal of similarities, like-to-like, was pulled to the river, the bayou, and the dead beneath the ground.
She began her days with her hands in this moist soil, silent. In active contemplation, she witnessed her life. Perhaps later she’d go to the Quarter, to the Museum of Voodoo, where she was at times a soothsayer.
She rose from her knees and slowly straightened, afraid of the sharp pain her arthritis could bring. She opened her mind to images of beauty and power: a perfect pirouette, or a portrait of Nicholas Roerich, collaborator of Blavatsky, Diaghilev, and FDR. Then, the icy stab of pain made her lose control over the gates of her mind, and she choked on the smoke and burning flesh. She, as part of her training, had willed herself in the past to enter astral levels where the horrors of human atrocities had imprinted themselves on the Akashic Record. This, however, was her first involuntary descent into the astral remnants of past holocausts.
In training, someone always caught Moira, but today she swooned and fell across the flagstones, hot and moist, while her ephemeris was knocked aside and its pages fluttered in the bordering mud.
Her eyes fluttered as well as she found herself on a stage in flames, children screaming in agony around her, until her friend Lexis Jordaens ran on to the stage gathered up Moira’s godson Jake, and fled.
When she came to, she knew that Roerich, her ascended master and direct link to the Transhimalyan Hierarchy, had approached her. This was his third visit. The first time, he had come when her parent’s drowned — trapped just below the surface of Great Salt Lake in their sinking car — while Moira watched, and again twenty years ago before her husband Evan’s death. And then today.
She sat up, checked there were no injuries from the fall, and then went inside where the ceiling fans labored in the heavy air. She sat at her secretary beneath the spinning blades and cleared her mind. She had resisted this decision. Had tried to get Lexis to take the threat to Jake seriously. But Roerich had shown her she had no choice. She had to go to Providence.
That decision made, the great river’s weight entered into her bones. With pain and difficulty she supported her weight on her writing desk and pulled herself up to a standing position. She felt so aged that each of her steps was a heroic effort against inertia, but she yearned for the warm soil of her garden. Normally, her housekeeper Annie — eighty years old with more stamina than forty-eight year old Moira had at twenty — would have offered herself as support, but today was Annie’s day off, so Moira gripped chair backs, side tables, and the handles of the antique armoire as she hobbled across the room to the French doors. She limped to her stone bench in the garden and sat. She burrowed her bare feet deep into the wet soil and closed her eyes.
She wished she could stay here, but the boy was by himself, out there in realms he thought were fantasy, but which she knew as too real. Alone, Jake couldn’t prevail, and if he failed, all the horrors of his trance would come to be.
That stupid, stupid girl Karen. Moira had visited Karen’s past and had seen the monsters that had destroyed Karen’s innocence and left her with monstrous lusts of her own. The horrors, to which Karen had been exposed in childhood, now made Karen a magnet for evil.
Yes, she was one smart girl, unusually intelligent. But great intelligence often fueled the greatest malevolence. More than intelligence was needed to counter the damage Karen unleashed could do.
Only purity of heart, and belief that a return to innocence is always possible, could triumph. Evil was never permanent. This was the core belief of Moira’s creed. Even those who burned children could be restored, in eons to come.
She and Jake and Lexis — all who saw the danger and were called towards rectification — must deal with the Karens, with those willfully evil — or they’d enter an age where innocence and childhood were no longer synonymous.
Yet how she wished she could stay to tend her flowers, herbs, and medicinal treasures.
The warmth of the earth crept into her joints. She pushed up from the bench and returned to her office. She began her email to the boy, “You did fine, Jake. You should be afraid, cautious. Do not willingly go to that dance. When you feel yourself pulled into that vortex, don’t just let go and let them take you. You need training. I’ll be there soon, and we will begin our great adventure. You’re one of the blessed, Jake. Love and Light, Moira.”
She clicked “Send” and her hands convulsed into claws. She bit her lip. Evil watched and the battle had begun. Her eyes filled with tears. She didn’t want to be alone. Anthony, her apothecary, proxy, and lifelong friend, could arrange her flight, hotel, and a cab to the airport. With her frozen hands she threw the multicolored scarf, her gypsy scarf, around her neck, and limped towards his office on St. Charles.
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