The Executioner’s Journal

Day Five

The High Lady of the Moon was as true to her word as her Mother is to her phases. What began as tea on a veranda overlooking the city, bathed in the light of her Goddess, transitioned to a tour of the Cathedral, ending with a private look into her rectory. Her chaste glances across the moon-soaked table turned to gentle touches of my hand, and finally, when the door banged shut, sealing us into her bedroom, changed to a stolen, passionate kiss that left me near to tears.

            It took every ounce of will and furtive thoughts of my Camille, seated before our bedroom window, watching the moon. I lied to myself, saying that somehow the Goddess would reflect any indiscretion here on her face, and she would see. The thought of having put pain behind her eyes, of tarnishing the trust she held in me, was more than I could bear.

            I held her by the shoulders, trying my best to keep her at bay. My thoughts turned to the conversation with the Governor. Perhaps that would give me the opportunity to divert her from intended course of action.

            “What is ‘the Kerberos’?” I asked.

            Something crossed the High Lady’s face. As if a shadow had crawled across the moon, and the light dimmed in her eyes. She broke herself from me, and walked, stiffly, to a small table where she poured two glasses of wine. I could tell that she was pondering how best to answer me. She returned, offering a glass, which I accepted. While spurning her advances lay in my wife’s best interests, alienating the woman, did not lay in mine.

            “You do not know the ancient ways and lore of the North. The Kerberos is a harbinger.” She whispered, drawing closer again. “A messenger of death to come. It is said, ‘if the Kerberos sees your face, you will die in a fort-night.’”

            I nodded, sipping at the sweet, chilled wine. I had heard that the northern part of the realm was the closest connected to the old ways. Thankfully, this was an interest of the High Lady of the Moon. I was able to, aside from another surreptitious attack by her lips on mine before I left, to keep her discussing it well into the night.

            When I returned, Favel was asleep. My bed still warmed from the coals he had placed in the pan. I lay on the hard, wooden bunk, shivering beneath the thick skins, the High Lady’s sea-green eyes staring at me in the darkness, the hot touch of her lips still lingering on mine, and her scent surrounding me.

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