In October 2011 I did a Halloweenie Spooktacular Series on Open Salon. I always intended to return to this piece of writing and expand it. Here is the beginning of The Seeress of Salzburg in reprise as a way to begin again.
As we sat transfixed, I could almost feel the wall of the room surrounding me, coming closer and closer, moving me in ways I had not thought possible. I became claustrophobic, breathless and yes, afraid. The lights had been lowered so that the room was almost in darkness, with the exception of the moon's light through the stained glass windows, and the candles in front of the seeress.
She was beautiful and calm; her eyes half closed beckoned us to be calm, to not fear. She said nothing but we could hear. Our beings listened to the silent waves of calmness that she began to bathe us in. We were more than beginning to believe in her, we were sure that she had the power of prophecy.
Coming here on this night to Schloss Monchstein was not the kind of thing that generally sent chills up and down the spine. It was a lovely old castle turned restaurant and hotel which over looked the city of Salzburg high on Monchsberg Hill. The tower in which they sat that night dated from the fourteen hundreds and was a kind of cornerstone to the place. It was a residence, a monestary, then a part of the University of Salzburg since 1654. Then it from that time it had several owners and in 1917 became a hotel. It had various modernizations and owners until the present time.
On one of our first visits there we had walked up the Monchsberg and were happy to find the hotel open and took a lovely lunch with our friends in a very private room. All the attention of cook and staff made it a memorable experience and one that will remain so always. Well, until this night.
Invited back to dinner and this event was the idea of one of our friends who was a professor at the university. There had been some activity lately at various locations in the schloss itself which suggested a supernatural source. We came to be a part of the party because of my sensitivity and ability to see. It was suggested that the seeress, would draw additional strength from someone like myself and it would make the experience that much more successful for all.
I had no trouble flying in as the committee paid for me to do so. I had not been back to this place in at least ten years. While others might find it odd that I would welcome this opportunity, they do not understand how attached I had become to Salzburg when I lived there.
The seeress was calm, her skin milk white, her face ageless and her hands large and yet delicate. She seemed to use them to hold back and pull forward air in the space around her without much movement. She could seem to wave away what she did not want and pull toward her what she did.
After many moments had passed, she opened her eyes and asked me to come and sit close to her. I did so with some trepidation, as I knew already she sensed my less significant power. By agreement, she was not told who I was, what I was or how I had come there. I was just another guest of Rolf's at the dinner party. We all knew who she was and our purpose in being there, but I was the extra seeress.
When she called me to her, I did not waver. I felt welcomed and unafraid. Her eyes seemed to register more than recognition with me. As I sat beside her on the tuffed settee, she said to me, " I see you are back, your presence here has been missed by more than one, in fact by many."
I knew better than to be taken aback at anything she said, still, there were few people I had kept in touch with since my first days here as a student. I could not fathom her use of the word many. Her calm was undisturbed by my thoughts, she immediately said to me," Yes, he missed you, she missed you, but the trees you used to walk under missed you, the mountains, especially the Untersberg, and of course me."
I look into her eyes very deeply and saw the face of a dear woman who had been a kind friend to me, who had since died, these many years past, of cancer. I was startled, but held myself. This woman was telling me she was my friend from over 35 years before, a new body, but a very old soul. How I had missed Beate! Suddenly I looked at the seeress differently. We held each other's hand. It was not lost on me that I was the aged one and she the youth now, we were still the same as we had always been, mentor to mentee.
"I have called you back to me. I needed your help. I did not think that you might come if I spoke to you in a dream, I needed to be more practical."
Now I was laughing out loud. "Well, I am here, what is it that we must do?"
The rest of the guests seemed to be frozen and looking far off. Beate had sent them in a small trance so that we could speak privately. She now looked back to me and said, "We are ready. Everyone, please hold the hand of the person next to you, we will begin."
It was only then that I noticed the cameo on her finger, it was the same one, that I had told Beate years ago that I loved. I had found a similar one in an antique shop and bought it for myself. In fact I realized they were identical. I had worn mine on the same hand, the same finger as the seeress.
Later it occured to me that they were a matching pair, perhaps a pair of earrings split up long ago and made into a set of rings. I would ask her later, Beate would know.
Copyright 2011 by SheilaTGTG55 (writing and photograph)