Once upon a time, long ago, there was a very special child born to a young couple in a land far away. Although very poor, in terms of worldly wealth, they were rich in their love for each other, and for the Lord and Lady.

Now the Lord and Lady knew that there was only one sadness in this loving young couples lives-that they seemed unable to have children.

The Lord and Lady got together one day, and decided that they would reward the young couple for their faithfulness to them. So they waited till the couple was sleeping one night, then they appeared in the man and woman’s bedroom.

Standing on the woman’s side of the bed, the Lord and Lady stood for a moment, gazing down at the couple fondly. Turning their heads, for just a moment, they gave each other a soft smile and a small nod. Returning their gazes to the young couple, they linked hands, and then, as one, they reached down, laying those joined hands atop the woman’s abdomen.

For just a heart beat, a soft glow enveloped their joined hands, then was gone. Once more gazing at each other with soft smiles, the Lord and Lady simply vanished, their work done.

A few months later, the woman was working in the garden, gathering herbs for cooking, and for her rites of honor to the Lord and Lady. All at once the strangest thing happened! She could have sworn she had felt a strange stirring within her body, right beneath her heart!

She paused for several long moments, waiting to see if it would happen again. When the feeling did not return, the woman continued with her tasks. She merely discounted the odd feeling as perhaps something she might have eaten, which had not agreed with her.

The odd movement did not come again until a few weeks later, as she was preparing the evening meal. This time it was so strong there was no longer any doubt, something was going on.

Reaching down, the woman lay her hand for against her abdomen, and this time something miraculous occurred. The moment her hand connected with her body, that strange movement came once more, and, had she not known better, she could have sworn what felt like a tiny hand pressed against hers, but from within.

She had begun to notice that she had been becoming a bit more rounded than usual, but had attributed it to the strange hunger that seemed to have struck her of late.

The woman had said nothing to her mate of the strange movements, up to this time. She had been hesitant to get either his, or her own hopes up, only to have them dashed, as they had been so often in the past. But now, with a fragile tendril of tentative hope once more growing in her heart, she bespoke him of the odd occurrences.

When her mate lay his hand upon her body, she knew that it was no longer a vague hope. She watched with delight, as his eyes lit up with joy. Suddenly he gathered her to him, and began whirling her around their poor little hut, laughing and crying, saying over and over that they were going to be parents.

And he was right, for mere moon cycles later, the woman gave birth to a lovely baby girl, healthy and normal in all ways.

Save for one-for from her back sprouted what there was no way of denying were tiny translucent butterfly wings. Right over the baby’s heart, was a bright red birthmark, which looked just like a full blow rose. So they gave the child the name of “R’ae’ynia”, which in their language meant “Rose”.

The overjoyed couple showered love and care on the girl. The child grew to have a kind and loving disposition. Once she was old enough, she was forever trying to help her parents, and also anyone else she felt needed her aid.

The people of the village never once mistreated R’ae’ynia for being different, in that she had wings. Rather they revered her for her kindness and loving nature. R’ae’ynia possessed one very special gift-she had a singing voice that could brighten, or lighten, even the saddest or most burdened of hearts.

Nearly all in the village loved her, and she was as much at home in their homes as she was in her own.

There was one in the village, however, who most definitely did not share in the feelings of admiration and affection for R’ae’ynia-Shallia, the headman’s vain, arrogant, self-centered daughter. Shallia hated R’ae’ynia just as passionately as all others loved her.

Shallia’s heart burned with jealousy, every time she saw the way the other villagers spoiled and fawned over R’ae’ynia-while more or less ignoring her.

Time passed, and Shallia tried often to cause mischief for R’ae’ynia…some of it meant to harm…but she never seemed to succeed, no matter how hard she tried. Sometimes she even began to wonder if R’ae’ynia had other-worldly guardians.

All too soon, the two young girls grew into women, and began to attract the attention of the local men. Sadly, as fate would have it, they both were drawn to this one particular young man. When he chose R’ae’ynia over Shallia, Shallia, her twisted heart seething with bitter jealousy and rage at being scorned-vowed revenge.

She began to practice the dark arts, withdrawing slowly from life in the village more and more with each passing day. The people of the village began to shun and fear her, as bad things began to happen to any who crossed her.

As Shallia immersed herself more and more in learning the dark arts, her appearance began to change. Her face and eyes grew hard and cold, and a sense of almost tangible darkness began to gather around her.

Finally the villagers, weary of living in fear of incurring Shallia’s wrath, drove her out of the village. Enraged, and vowing revenge, she went to dwell in some caves that lay near the village.

Shallia continued to learn the dark ways, and soon learned to scry. No sooner did she gain that knowledge than she began to spy on R’ae’ynia and the young man who had spurned her.

More than once she tried to perform spells to break them apart, but the spells always failed, for their love was strong and true.

Shallia, her frustrated rage growing each time she failed to harm or cause trouble for R’ae’ynia, took that final leap into darkness. She formed an agreement with a demon, in exchange for a way to rid herself of her hated enemy and rival-once and for all.

Then she performed the darkest deed of all, she sacrificed her own mother and father to the forces of darkness, in exchange for a spell that would destroy R’ae’ynia.

Dipping a red rose in the blood of her parents, she spoke the spell that the demon had given her over it, then she journeyed to Rose’s home, disguised as a young child.

It was common knowledge in the village that R’ae’ynia had a gift for interacting with children. The children were drawn to her, due to her loving nature. So no one thought it odd when, on R’ae’ynia’s wedding day, a young girl walked up to her and presented her with a beautiful, blood red rose.

As R’ae’ynia, with a gentle smile of thanks for the young girl, took the bloom, she pricked her finger on one of the thorns-and to the horror of all gathered there, she was immediately transformed into a butterfly.

Shallia taking on her true form turned to the young man who had spurned her in favor of R’ae’ynia. With pure evil malice dripping from every word, she told him that if she could not have him, then neither would R’ae’ynia! Then, shrieking with vindicated laughter, she ran out into the night and was never seen or heard from again.

Rose’s poor parents and the young man grieved as they searched and searched for the butterfly that Rose had become, but found it not. Finally, heartbroken, they ceased their searching.

But time has a way of healing even the most painful of wounds, and life moved on. The young man eventually married another. The young couple, now childless once more, lived out their lives, with hearts that carried a burden of sadness and loss. Each time they would see a butterfly, their hearts would once more fill with sorrow for the loss of the beloved R’ae’ynia.

Then one soft spring night, the couple, now elderly, were lying in their bed, fast asleep. They had left the window open, for the night was muggy. As they slept, a single ray of moonlight entered that open window, to fall upon them-just as a beautiful butterfly entered in, whereupon it immediately went to hover over the bed.

The butterfly landed on first the woman’s chest, right over her heart, and then on the man’s, and when it once more took flight, headed towards the open window-there were two more with it, bearing the same markings and colors it did…

The colors and symbols of the Lord and Lady.

copyright: marantha dreamweaver jenelle/2011



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