The Story Of Axilles and Astrogarde - Part 10 – A devestating change of heart
Married to a loveless king, divorced from a free and carefree life, Onya felt everyday
as if she were ploughing through an endless field of stone. Everyday her sighs grew deeper and her gaze more distant. “Freedom, my dearest companion, with you I was never alone.Now I miss the embrace of the wide open world. Now I miss the gaze of my future. Now I am married, now I am halved”, she thought, “And yet love might make up for the loss of freedom and yet,sadly, I who will soon be queen of this entire nation may never be sovereign over my husbands heart, that title belongs to some other woman”.
But her sister Chrysomma had found her a way into love, “Give half of this mixture
to your prince and when tommorow the rooster crows, his love shall awaken”, she said.
“Ohh, this little bottle contains so much, it is much more to me than just the keys to a kiss,it is all my hopes and the end to my tireless aching.”, said Onya, studying the small philtre of love potion in her hand, “But are you certain that it will work? The more that I have thought about it, it seems odd to me that such a thing as a medicine to inspire love exists when every acre of this world appears almost entirely blighted by a lack of love”.
“But what if the power of this potion were to fall into the grasp of thieves or tyrants;
Evil men who would make the whole world love them only to rob or enslave it. It is for the good of all people that wise old women keep its ingredients a closely protected secret and only use it for little things like helping women to woo men”, said Chrysomma.
“That seems logical and what have I to lose”, said Onya,her face brightening and so later in the evening, when Prince and Princess were sitting down to dine, Onya slyly poured a few drops of the love mixture into Astrogardes wine and watched in silent hope while he drank.
“What a good wine this is”, said the Prince, smiling and draining his goblet.
“You do not know just how good”,thought Onya, “My love mixture has neither taste nor smell and yet a few drops within the cup shall fill your heart full with such sweetness and flowers that you will be intoxicated forevermore. A few droplets will send ripples through that little hard pebble of your heart,my prince. A few drops will spit out old love’s candle and put new love’s blazing torch in its place. A few drops and I will softly overthrow that mystery pretender who, while enthroned in your heart, is a thorn in mine and when the rooster crows tommorow all the marriage vows we made shall be made true”.
And evening laid out its stars for night and night put on its crown for morning and the rooster crowed in the courtyard of the palace seven times and upon the seventh crow Prince Astrogarde awoke with a different heart inside of him but the new heart did not seem to fit exactly right and so,though he adored the woman who lay next to him he could not help but feel that something strange and wrong had occurred. “It is like I have forgotten something or someone important and yet I cannot think what or who?”, he told Onya.
“But you do remember me and you remember that you love me,don’t you?”, asked Onya.
“Yes, ofcourse”, he replied, “And yet I am troubled and confused”.
Prince Astrogarde struggled for days to remember the something which twinged in his brain.Part of him was seduced but part of him resisted and yet, overtime, the resistant part grew too weak and the seduction grew too strong.
And so, the thing most feared by Axilles had taken shape and when weeks passed without word or visit from his friend, Axilles began to worry and pressing his locket
against his heart he willed himself into the home of his friend and there,invisible,he watched with horror as Astrogarde and Onya embraced and kissed and he noted,with anguish, the happiness upon Astrogardes face and the glow in his eyes, “You do not do that out of duty, you do it out of love and your love was only meant for me”, he thought, “Oh god! I would rather that she had murdered Astrogarde than made him happy, I have not seen or smelled a corpse that has filled me with as much horror or revulsion as his smiling body and I would not feel toward bony death what I now feel towards that evil heart-stealing witch Onya”. Then Axilles, weeping into the palace walls, too weak to lift his locket, wished, while sighing, to return home and brood and think about what must be done.