Honeymoon: Kiev of Memories Past


We are husband and wife, Merida and I.  And legally so on two planets and 6 nations.  I had whisked my bride away the night after our wedding in Sosaria through the portal to Earth which of course drops us off in the deep underground heart of our Paris compound, the Palisades.  With its underground tunnels, we made our way through to the private airplane that had been commandeered by Marius to fly us anywhere we wished to go.  My beautiful bride wanted so much to see my long lost homeland of Kiev Rus, which is now modern day Kiev, Ukraine.  Ahhhh to be back there, struggling now to remember a young boy named Andrei.  That mortal life had long ago been extinguished and much of it remains a distant, not easily recalled, memory.  But there was nothing I wouldn’t do for my Meri.

Kiev is rich in culture and history. It is one of the most historic places to visit in East Europe. It is now the capital of Ukraine and its biggest, most robust city.  It borders the Dnieper River, which pours its waters into the Black Sea after transgressing its fury through Russia, Belarus and Ukraine. The river is the 4th largest in Europe making my home a place of commerce and wealth, primarily that of energy resources. At the time of my birth, however, Kiev was under siege by the Turks and had been severely ravaged and destroyed.  Many of its people were captured and sold into slavery.  I was one of those people.

fairmontMy wife and I landed in the grand hotel that is now known as the Fairmont, which of course had the Royal Suite reserved just for us, compliments of Pandora. Seeing as how we’re royalty in this world, it isn’t too difficult to travel in style. Of course, upon our arrival we were met with valet boys, bell hops, and our very own personal butler, but luckily as I had promised no formal announcements were made to the general public as we’re foreign dignitaries and not of Ukrainian citizenry.  My poor Meri had been a bit nervous about it in Venice when we visited. We were escorted to the private elevator and handed key cards for its exclusive use as the butler, named Konstantin, was giving us a full dissertation of all the wonderful amenities that were available to us.  As the elevator doors closed, Meri leaned over to me and said, “What no announcements?! Do they not know who we are?!”  The smug look on her face told me her sarcasm was just as much evident in this planet as it was in Sosaria.

The bell hops had already landed with our luggage and the maids of the floor were already hard at work at unpacking, ironing, and steam cleaning all our clothes. The Royal Suite was elegant, classically elegant, with its deep rich reds and browns. Just the type of room that Pandora would love and when I asked about her, Konstantin told me… “Well of course my lord, whom else would you think designed it?”  Somehow that did not surprise me.  I tipped all our wonderful help and after an hour or so the maids departed with all our clothes wonderfully, and neatly, hung in our immense closet and folded into the felt-lined drawers of hand-carved chests in the finest mahogany woods.

Kiev-Opera-HouseThe following night, I took my lady to the Opera.  The Kiev National Opera House had been running the play by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky known as Iolanta. One of Marius’ favorite. The opera is about the overtly dramatic fantastical life of a French duchess, Yolande de Bar, daughter of King Rene of Lorraine, who is born blind but whose family refuses to tell her that that is what she is.  They keep her blind to her own world, a cruelty worse that realizing your own shortcomings and learning to adapt if you ask me. She is betrothed to a Duke, but neither him or Iolanta wish to be married to each other. Enter Count Frederick Vaudémont, who was a distinguished gentleman and son of an opposition to Iolanta’s family in connection with the succession of the Duchy of Lorraine. Frederick discovers Iolanta in her secret hidden garden and he instantly falls in love, despite her blindness.  He explains to her a new world of light and colors and love; true love. At this Iolanta falls just as in love with him.  She is then cured of her blindness much to everyone’s fanfare.  It is was amazing to see the parallels between this story and our own, so much that it moved my Meri to tears as I held her close.  And thus began her love affair with the opera.

Andriyivsky Uzviz

Since, of course the days are closed to us as Merida is still quite young in the Dark Gift, I had to manage some night time visits to some of the places I wanted her to see. As Baron of Venice, that isn’t such an offset request as most royals of the world prefer a much more closed off, less populated visit to certain places.  To the people that arranged these visits we seemed quite accommodating to the fact that they have regular day time business hours to keep. But often some places would be a drastically different experience if we were able to go during the hustle and bustle of the day.  One such place is the town square known as Andriyivskyy Descent.  It is a sight to behold, but during the day its an area of great draw to tourists as the streets are lined with market vendors that sell a variety of art and souvenirs.  I would imagine as Meri gets older and more resistant to the sun, we will be more able to tour the place in the light of day. But regardless, at night its a romantic place with cobblestone sidewalks.  Meri took in the place with her enchanting eyes, at one point closing them and standing very still. When I asked her what she was doing, she simply said, “I am envisioning a little boy walking through these streets happy and content.”  I told her that of what I could remember, I was never happy nor content.  A sadness blanketed her face, and she threw her arms around me and said,  “We’re more alike than even I could have imagined for I too was never happy nor content, until now.”  Oh, how I love her so when she shows me her vulnerability so we quickly found a hidden spot where I could show her just how much I loved her. *winks*

Kamyanets-Podilsky-CastleOn our very last night in Kiev, before we headed to the motherland of Russia, I arranged for a private night-time tour of the old ancient castle at Kamyanets Podilsky.  So just at dusk, they closed one hour early for us, my bride and I made the long romantic walk up the castle’s long path.  This castle in its time was certainly something quite out of Sosarian grandeur. It is amazing to me how two peoples from two different planets could invent much of the same things without ever knowing of each other’s existence. But I knew there are forces beyond our comprehending that orchestrated all our development.  I suddenly remembered why I am always so drawn to churches…  I had in my youth been deeply devoted to God, to the Holy Trinity.  I had shut out so much of that world from my vivid memories that it had become just a sliver; not hardly anything to spend time on.  But yes, I had been a religious zealot and I had wanted to become what we could call today, a priest. Oh, how the mighty have fallen. Instead of a priest, I am a vampire… married to another vampire. Damnable creatures forsaken by the very God I worshiped most of my youth. Condemned to live in a world of darkness never to enjoy the bread and wine that mortals commemorate in remembrance of He.  But it makes you think… the bread is supposed to be the body… the wine is supposed to be the blood.  So if you see it in that way, vampires are the holiest of them all.

The following dusk we boarded our private plane out of my native land and off to Mother Russia. In my hand I held the tiny fingers of a delicate woman, who wears my rings, who now dons my name, she is titled like me, she is a vampire like me.  As I look at her, with her flowing red hair, resting her head on my shoulder as the plane leaves my past behind, I can only think… “Look what I would have missed out on had I been a priest!”

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