When I chose death over life, I saw my great grandmother waiting in the light for me. I saw her and went to her, leaving behind everything that I knew. I would never make it and my last view of the world was waving farewell to an awestruck Tarquin Blackwood and taking with me the spirit of his twin brother Garwain. The ghost that had always been known as Goblin went with God while I plummeted into darkness and oblivion. I was no longer the tall green-eyed Merrick Mayfair. Lost, and in a state of utter confusion – there was no God for me. There was no Papa Legba standing at the crossroads, no St. Peter. Where was my Mèt Tèt, my guardian angel?
Nowhere. Great Nananne was gone and so was all light, sense of love and awareness of existence. This is no place for a soul, whether vampire or human, to be. That I awoke with a memory intact, that I knew I was the famous witch and drunk of the Talamasca, the once vampire fledgling of Louis…was a miracle in itself. You see, I remember well the hollowness of that surreal existence and that such faith and powerful magic brought me back to this world has shaken me to the core. I had lost my beliefs the moment the doorway to the afterlife faded from view and I became nothing, adrift in an empty sea.
I regained them when the sun shone delicately on my skin and didn’t burn me black. I was human, whole and alive. Oh, you wonder how I could give it all up? Faith. I trusted my God of the Roman Church and I trusted all of the Lwa to show me where my path lay.
I had returned, to return. Uncle Vervain always knew that time didn’t tick for me. He saw my fate was sealed in immortality and to that I am bound, but not without dueling doubt and conviction. Before I gained access to my former life through whatever means I could; before I found that number to contact David’s people, I stood outside the doors of Our Lady of Guadalupe on the edge of the French Quarter. I marched into the small chapel and I knelt at the alter and prayed with all my heart.
“Father.” I said.
“Bring me back to my family. Show me the path that I must walk upon as you have placed me once again on this earth.”
That night I made the alter to the Saints and the Lwa and I carefully laid the offerings where they should be and cut my hand, giving my own blood as a sacrifice. I lit the candles and sprayed the rum calling to speak to the spirits. I was desperate and I weaved a powerful spell to speak with whatever deity would come through.
I awoke at dawn with no memory of who had possessed me. The candles had burned down to nothing and I was there on the floor flat on my back in Angelique’s living room - staring at the ceiling as if it was the most interesting thing I’d ever seen. I had no recollection of how the night passed and how I’d come to be unconscious, but I trusted.
The magic was there and it flowed through me then as surely as Louis’ blood once did. I felt it deep in my bones and softly on my fingertips. I could hear it in my breath and I knew that God had heard me and answered my prayer. The Lwa had given me a powerful message. I was whole again as if I’d never left and although I had fallen out of time I was bound to a destiny that I’d cut short. I was not going to reside in heaven – that was clear. Oh, yes, that door was shut tight, but another had opened. My course had been plotted long ago and even though I had abruptly veered away, I was back on and I wasn’t getting off this time. Even though I sought desperately to find my cousin and give back - that which was not mine….it was meant to be. Even as I failed to bring her in, I knew it and felt my destiny.
I will never forget that day and night of desperate prayers and magic. Ever night I light two candles in thanks for my answered prayers. No matter where I am or whom I’m with, I will light the small candles and give thanks for my prayers being heard, my desires granted and my feet set back on the road where they belong.