The Traveler Chronicles 7

MAUDE’S TALE

PART FIVE: GREAT DAYS

Maude Harrington peered outside the large radius windows to the White Lotus Orphanage’s front yard; her largest dream come to life. She beamed brightly as she observed the children playing with the varieties of outdoor playground equipment available under the strict care and supervision of their trained teachers. The children were as lively as ever; exhibiting their youthful exuberance brilliantly. Maude knew that somewhere deep inside, she truly envied them but for some reason, she felt nothing but joy welling up inside her heart.

Unlike most children, Maude had lived a rather glum life as a child. Her mother had abandoned both her and her father following the kidnap of Maura, Maude’s shadow twin sister. Their family had been torn apart after multiple failed attempts at locating and saving Maura. Maude had made the grim discovery that her twin sister had been kidnapped by the leader of one of the most notorious criminal factions in modern times; the Order of the Black Cloak through the special psychic connection she shared with her Shadow Twin. Years later, Maura had returned to kill her father and their estranged mother before taking off once more and descending into even greater wicked deeds. Maude would later on decide not to give up on saving Maura by joining the vigilante group formed to counter the dark deeds of the Order of the Black Cloak; the Sacred Order of the White Cloak.

The Sacred Order of the White Cloak had taught Maude everything she needed to fight to save her Shadow twin but it had brought on some challenges of its main one being that despite their good intentions, their actions were not as appreciated as had been intended with law enforcement agencies, particularly the Protectors’ Agency, that put a damper on and foiled many activities of the vigilante group.

As Maude was formed into being a fully-fledged fighting vigilante, Maura and other children like her that had been abducted and raised by a Dark Seer named Gia continued to receive dark instruction and descended further into wickedness. The dark seer would go on to invent an insidious ritual known as the Soul Loss Ritual that would see the Subtle bodies (Spiritual Bodies) shared by Shadow Twins like Maude and Maura slowly become rooted with the Shadow Twin while the Prime Body continually lost pieces of their fragmented soul until eventually, the Prime ceased to exist; being turned into nothing more than a mere shell without a soul.

Maude had failed to notice as her Shadow Twin stole pieces of her soul and had instead blamed her loss of emotions on the stress she felt at having not saved her Shadow Twin from the evil clutches of the Dark Seer that had beguiled her. The final straw for her twin sister had been to abduct the Shadow twin of the Prince of Wintria from Timeline B-3 which had been the first to record the unprecedented event; Prince Ismead. The Dark Seer had intended to raise the Prince up in darkness in the hopes of corrupting him enough to become the vessel of the dark force she served; the Entity. In a plausible dystopian future, Gia’s plans had succeeded and as a result, Prince Ismead had grown up to become the Entity’s vessel; the Supreme Overlord.

Maude’s daughter’s doppelganger, Melody, had randomly jumped from Timeline to Timeline in the hopes of saving the young Prince before the Order had realized their dark dreams. Melody had not only succeeded in preventing the dystopian future from occurring, but had also solidified the budding relationship between Maude and her husband, Sven, one of the Dark Seer’s prodigies that had succeeded in killing his Prime among others whom she had meet through her shared connection with her Shadow Twin.

The previous version of Melody Harrington that Maude had met, had developed the counter ritual to the Soul Loss Ritual; the Soul Unification Ritual that had slowly but surely returned the lost pieces of Maude’s soul to her and had ultimately led to the kidnapped prince being returned to his parents safely with the help of Protector Avery Alison that had invested her time and resources into seeing the child safely returned home.

However, Protector Alison had impressed the gravity of the crimes committed by Sven on both Maude and Sven and she had vowed to stop at nothing until she arrested him and made him pay for his heinous crimes. That by itself had prompted Sven and Maude to run away together to a Dyson Sphere colloquially known as the Thief’s paradise; the Realm of Arenthea where they obtained a marriage license soon afterwards and started their life together. A short period later, the two were blessed with their first and only child- Melody.

The couple had lived for 21 whole years together, raising their daughter and showering Melody with all their love. However, Protector Alison made good on her promise and arrested Sven Harrington and he had accepted to pay for his crimes, having been in a loving family and watching his daughter grow up into being the fine woman he knew she could be. He had been tried and sentenced to several consecutive life sentences as a result of his crimes; a devastating blow to their family. They would later learn that Protector Alison had purposefully allowed the family to stay in Arenthea until Melody had attained the Shadow caster’s age of maturity (21 years) before following through on her promise to arrest Sven in honor of Avery’s own daughter, Adalyn.

Following Sven’s arrest, Maude and Melody had been taken to Timeline D-3’s Kingdom of Wintria in the Third Physical Plane of Existence by virtue of Melody being a future Princess Consort to Prince Ismead and in spite of everything that had happened, Maude could not help but feel blessed. The Royal Family had helped her realize what she felt could only be a pipe dream; she had opened up the White Lotus Orphanage that took in children left vulnerable due to the culture of the Black Cloak (to abandon their children and return only to indoctrinate them into the dark order). Melody had come around to accepting Prince Ismead’s feelings and though Maude was overjoyed for her daughter, it meant that she was on her own more than she desired.

Maude had made wonderful friends in the course of running the Orphanage including former White Cloak members and reformed Black Cloak members that had volunteered to work with the children of the Orphanage. However, there was a crushing sadness that eluded Maude; the pain and burden of loneliness and the realization that things would inevitably remain the same.

Sven had been pushing her to move on considering that he would die in prison; but Maude could not bring herself to move on from the man she adored. Her precious daughter was finally embracing her fated match but it meant that Melody was rarely available for Maude. And yet all the sadness and pain she felt was a considerable weight upon her shoulders still eluded her and she could not shed a single tear…

Maude often found herself smiling and overjoyed, focusing only on the positives in her life, unable for some reason, to process and allow herself to feel her negative emotions. Was it a defense mechanism, she often wondered, or was there a deeper meaning to it? Why did she feel so giddy when the world she knew had changed so irrevocably? Wasn’t she sad, even a little bit? Why then, could she not bring herself to cry?

She sighed and stood up, walking towards the playground and realized she had a swing in her step as always. Maude merrily engaged the children and other workers in happy banter and actively played with the children. As always, she struggled to fall asleep, still so full of energy even after such an exhausting day and yet the smile on her face never faded. She had happy dreams as always and the cycle repeated endlessly in the days that followed.

Melody often expressed concern that something was wrong with Maude especially since the latter could not explain her always sunny-side up personality. Life, however, proceeded as it always had in those days and Maude continued to display a positive attitude towards every event she encountered in her life. Every test she took proved nothing was amiss but Melody remained unconvinced, choosing to think and feel that there was more than met the eye about her mother’s state.

TO BE CONTINUED…

Is Maude’s positivity simply her humble resignation to fate or is there more than meets the eye about it? Stay tuned to find out! Take a dive down memory lane and find links to Maude’s fascinating tale listed below. Enjoy!

  1. The Traveler Chronicles 7: Maude’s Tale; Part 1
  2. Part 2
  3. Part 3
  4. Part 4

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