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Fw: THE MEMORY DANCE
"Leisa Clark" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
ROUND UP THE USUAL DISCLAIMERS: Callisto, Xena and Gabrielle belong to the
MCA/Universal and Renaissance Pictures, but I am using them with
respect and with no monetary or commercial gain. The other characters belong
to me and the rights to them are solely mine. I owe a lot of thanks to all
the people who asked if I had written anything else (until
now, "not really"); however, this story is very unlike my last fan-fic
endeavor, "Aphrodite's Apothegm" (shameless plug). Hope you enjoy it
anyway. As always, comments and feedback are more than welcome.
Oh yeah, before I forget - the story does involve some sex between two
women, but it's nothing TOO graphic. Read my other story for that! But
if you are too young (sorry, Peta) or easily offended (I do NOT mean you,
FolkBabe), just read something else and give us all a break. But if you
break it, you bought it. If you want to complain about the so-called
smut on the internet, go to www.getalife.com.
**This story is dedicated to my Muse****
Author's note: This is an experiment in boredom, written while I was at my
office supposedly working! Once I got started, I couldn't stop. I got hooked
on the idea of what happened to Callisto after her family was killed by Xena
and before she found Xena again (had she ever lost her?). Where did she go?
Who trained her? Because of the historical time frame
of the Xenaverse (which is subject to change at the whim of TPTB, as we all
know), Callisto had very limited choices when she chose to learn to
be a warrior and exact revenge on Xena - 1) she could have disguised herself
as a boy, or 2) the Amazons. As a child, she had the hatred and
passion, but not the skill needed to kill Xena. This story has lead to
outlines for several more. Only time will tell if I get around to writing
them. In the meantime, enjoy!
**THE MEMORY DANCE**
by L. Anne Clark
My mother came to my tent before dawn, carrying a small oil lamp and a
cloak. The night had turned cold unexpectedly and I was happy to be snuggled
warm in my bed. I did not react kindly to the thought of being disturbed.
My mother shook my shoulder harshly, knowing of my reluctance to easily
awaken to start a new day; especially in the middle of the night. I turned
my back to her, groaning in annoyance.
"Get up. You're needed," she spoke in a gruff tone.
"For what?" I growled, pulling the warm fur covering over my head and
willing my mother to disappear. I was an apprentice Midwife and Healer, but
my mistress, Meraya, was off with the hunting group, where many injuries
were more likely to occur. At home, there were two women expecting children;
neither for the first time and not for many moons,
so Meraya was confident about leaving the camp in my incompetent hands. She
was positive I could handle the minor cuts and burns that were part
of our daily routines. But this was something different, unexpected.
"A stranger has arrived and she is badly hurt. She is not much more than
a young girl and she is half dead." My mother stated.
Panic coursed through my veins. I was not skilled enough to handle a
beaten child. Sometimes village women sought refuge at our fires following
abuse at the hands of their fathers and husbands, but we never questioned
them about what had happened. We welcomed them and offered them a place to
stay until they were healed or safe. We did not pressure them to stay when
they returned to their abusers, as many did. I did understand that men
already saw us as a threat and that if we were to coerce women to join us,
then there would only be trouble. But I did not like it.
Many times before, I had helped Meraya set bones and stitch cuts with
horse hair or cat gut, but I had never been called upon to tend to such
wounds personally. I also sincerely questioned my lot in life. I
was a Healer who had no interest in healing, preferring instead to write
stories and ballads on the parchment I traded from wandering peddlers. I
kept these scrolls hidden from my mother's searching eyes, even long after I
became a woman and moved to my own tent. I wanted to perform my stories at
bardic circles and during camp gatherings. She wanted me to be a Midwife.
My mother grabbed my covering and tossed it roughly aside. "Annilea,
that's enough! The child is injured and Artemis bless us, you are the
closest thing we have to a skilled Healer. You have an obligation to her as
a sister, much less as a Healer."
My mother was right, of course. I stumbled across my tent and found my
healer's tools - a bag made of finely cured leather, new and unworn from
disuse. It was filled with herbs and bandages.
Wiping the sleep from my eyes, I followed my mother out into the night,
our path clear from habit as much as from the moon's dim light. We had been
camped there since my fifth year and it was home. We hoped one day to build
a village and fold away the tents that marked us as nomadic wanderers. I
knew the camp down to the smallest blade of grass.
The young girl was lying in the clearing near the stream, huddled and
shivering under the light cloth someone had thrown over her. Old Kamira, who
had once been our Queen, but who had stepped down when she did not have the
good grace to die in battle before old age overtook her body, was tending
the girl. As I quietly approached, Old Kamira nodded
and stepped back, giving me the same respect she would give Meraya. That
Upon closer examination, I realized that our guest was not as young as
she had first appeared and was, indeed, a woman closer to my age or a little
older, even. Her straw blonde hair was matted in blood and her face was
sticky and wet. Her thin arms were bruised and covered in blood and dirt.
I knelt beside her and touched her forehead. There was no response.
Dipping a rag in cool water from the stream, I tried to clean away the blood
and dried mud to see exactly what injuries she had incurred. Her breathing
was shallow, labored, but at least she was still alive. Barely. It took a
long time to clean and treat her wounds, but once I had a clear view of her,
I gasped in surprise.
"What's wrong, child?" Old Kamira placed a worn, weathered hand on my
"She has been in battle. More than once - see." I pointed at the scars
lacing the girl's body, some old, but many more still pink from recent
healing. They were sword and dagger cuts, of that I was certain.
"Battle? Surely that's not possible. She's not Amazon as far as I can
tell, and I have not heard of many village women taking up arms and going
into battle. Even the Destroyer of Nations is considered unusual in that she
leads an army. She rarely recruits women, and not this young."
"She could be a mercenary soldier...."
Kamira scoffed, "She's practically a baby."
I nodded and carefully began tending her wounds as I thought. An idea
finally occurred to me. "Kamira, do you suppose she's Roman? I have heard of
giant arenas in Rome where men and women fight one another to the death..."
"Unfounded rumors." Kamira objected.
"Just tend to her wounds, Annilea," my mother spoke harshly, "if she
lives, she can tell us herself."
She survived in spite of my bungled attempts at ministration. When
Meraya returned, she thanked me, as was customary, but she did not praise
me. After tending to the girl's wounds, we had prepared a litter of branches
and leaves to carefully bring her to my tent, where I could watch and care
for her. I gave her my blanket and laid beside her for warmth, then waited
for her to awaken.
It was an entire day before her eyes fluttered open. Her gaze met my
inquisitive stare, and she frowned. "Where in Tartarus am I?" she exclaimed.
"I hope someone got the name of the Titan that hit me."
Sublime ignorance defied logic and rendered me free of all sense. "You
fought a Titan? And lived?"
"Beautiful...and dumb, too. I like that in a woman," she remarked.
I blushed. There was something about her low, feral-sounding voice that
chilled me to the bone. I certainly had never considered myself to be
beautiful; my hair was too red and my eyes too green. Nothing about me
seemed to fit right and I was awkward and uncoordinated. She was the
"My name is Annilea," I said hopefully, as I moved away from her
"People call me Calli. You didn't tell me where I am, Annilea." The
sound of my name falling from her lips weakened me, though I could not tell
you why. I sat at the edge of the tent and purposely fidgeted with my
"A few klicks North of Amphipolus." I replied. Although she spoke our
language, I still believed her to be Roman and therefor attempted to impress
her with my use of Roman terminology. The camp had once sheltered a runaway
Roman Slave and in exchange for helping her, she had taught me some of the
curious language, Latin.
Calli nodded, "I am close to her birthplace and she is still stronger.
It's a wonder I survived at all. Well, no matter - I have time. I won't
approach her again until we are equals."
"The Evil One - the Destroyer of Nations. The destroyer of Cyrra, my
small world that meant nothing to her. She has a demon's heart."
Suddenly I understood what Calli meant and my blood turned to ice. "You
"The Amazon Warrior Princess," Calli asserted.
I grew angry. "She is NOT one of ours. We would have put her to death
long ago for dishonor. She is not subject to our laws and she has never
threatened us, but when we speak her name it is only in whispers."
"Are you an Amazon?" Calli asked abruptly as she traced the length of my
body with her clear, blue eyes. She chuckled. "You don't look at all like
an Amazon warrior."
"So sorry you disapprove." I retorted, speaking without thinking first
and quickly ignoring our rules about hospitality that deemed all guests to
be held in a place of honor. "I am a Healer. Well, almost. I'm
the reason you're here instead of watering the ground with your blood. Nice
of you to be so grateful."
"Feisty wench," she commented, cooly appraising me. "I'm not sure
whether I should thank you or kill you."
"Given a choice, I would have to chose the former." I snapped.
She laughed, low and throaty. "So, you are a verbal fighter. Can't say I
"I can fight - I have killed in battle, but I don't like it. I
learned to defend our territory when you were still at your mother's
breast." I argued.
Calli twirled a lock of her long blonde hair around her finger,
thoughtfully. "The taste of revenge will be like ambrosia spiced with the
blood of anyone who gets in my way. I will have vengeance some day."
"What did she do?"
"She killed my family." Calli locked eyes with me and I realized that I
was looking at eyes that had never cried, eyes that were cold and
treacherous to the soul. But somewhere inside was a little girl who
Calli healed quickly, so perhaps unfulfilled vengeance is an excellent
motivator. Within a week, she was up and about, joining the daily sparring
and weapon's training. That she had already been trained was obvious, but
she was reticent about discussing her past. She behaved respectfully and
taught a few of the younger girls some tricks, so no one minded that she was
there. She stayed for several moons.
And she stayed in my tent long after she was healed and should have
moved the visitor's tent. She no longer needed me to tend her wounds, but
she made no effort to move. Nightly, as a hush fell over the camp, we had
fallen into the habit of talking to one another. We shared our hopes and our
dreams. Hers were only centered on destroying Xena and her
intensity worried me. But often, she turned the conversation around until it
focused only on me. She would listen to me in the dark tent and rarely
comment. It was a relief to finally talk.
But by the light of day, we barely ever spoke, as our routines set us so
After my emergency rescuing of Calli, Meraya took it upon herself to
increase my training tenfold. "You may have saved Calli's life," she
admonished, "but you were sloppy about it."
My diminished enthusiasm was apparent to her, as my knuckles were
usually raw from being rapped by the bone she kept solely for that purpose.
Twice, my mother called me to her tent to reprimand me for
inattention and hostility towards Meraya's teaching. she blamed my
distraction not on Calli, but on the prose I was writing continuously.
Something about Calli had sparked my muse into action and the stories
spilled forth from my quill faster than I could write them. In her brusque,
spartan way, Calli had offered more praise and enthusiasm for my writings
than my own mother had ever allowed.
"I don't understand it, Annilea," Calli began one night as we were
preparing for bed. She was sprawled out on my fur, lying on her back and
fidgeting with her hair. She had been eating fruit a few minutes earlier and
now she was restless. "You call yourself an Amazon, yet you never stand up
"What do you mean?" I joined her on the bed roll and we were lying side
"Your mother wants you to be a Healer, but you want to be a Bard. Some
of the best Bards are Amazons, so I don't see a problem."
I didn't answer. I closed my eyes and traced my finger along the scar on
my left shoulder, a wound long-healed, that I had acquired while fighting on
Border Guard when I was barely ten years old.
Calli would not relent. "I mean, it's not as if you are bringing a
Centaur home and asking your mother to call him `son'. For Hera's sake -
what is so bad about being a Bard?"
"Nothing. You don't understand, Calli. My mother was a great warrior,
but she lost her hand in a battle with raiders. Since she could no longer
fight, she considered herself a burden and left the Amazons to
marry my father. One night, he beat her so cruelly that she went into labor
early. An Amazon midwife saved her life and mine, so my mother vowed to
Artemis that I would be a Healer. She dedicated me to Artemis, Calli."
"She had no right to do that to you."
"But it is done." I said.
Calli was silent. I could hear her breathing in the still night air. We
were both quiet for a very long while and my thoughts wandered away from
her. I was afraid about what she was thinking.
I thought about the test that Meraya had planned for me the next day and
wondered if I would ever manage to memorize the names and functions
of hundreds of flowers and herbs I would probably never even use. Meraya was
disappointed with my progress. A woman of seventeen years should
already be a fully skilled Healer and Midwife, not struggling like a child
reciting her letters and numbers. But as much as I tried, I did not have
much interest in differentiating between hyssop and hyacinth! It was clear
to me that I had no aptitude for the job; why was it clear to no one else
I felt Calli stir beside me as she sat up. She looked at me for a
moment. Our eyes met and we each held the gaze. It was not a challenge; it
was more like utter submission. As we looked at each other, we both
seemed to be relaxing and letting the other in. Neither of us wanted to be
the first to break away, so I was startled when, without dropping her lock
on my eyes, Calli leaned into me and her soft lips met mine.
I gasped in shock and she pulled back.
"Why did you do that?" I caught my breath.
"Pull away..." I ran my fingers through her hair softly. It felt like
silk and smelled like honey. "Will we regret it if we don't....or regret it
if we do...." I continued, but my words were interrupted when
Calli kissed me again.
"No regrets, Annilea. There's no time for regrets in our lives. If you
live in fear, nothing is ever done. If I hadn't been so afraid, my family
would still be alive. I watched that evil bitch Xena destroy my village and
I couldn't even scream, much less pick up a weapon." Her muscles tightened
and I recognized the familiar prelude to one of Calli's tirades. I had to
I placed my hand on Calli's cheek and gently drew her to me. Our lips
met in incredible softness and as our mouths opened, I felt her tongue
intertwine with mine. Soft. Gentle. So unlike Calli.
"No regrets," I murmured, pulling her down onto the fur bed roll. We
continued to kiss, our hands slowly running along each other's bodies. Calli
was so hard and thin, pure muscle and strength. As she began to
unlace my sleeping shift, I froze for a moment. Calli had been right in her
assessment that I was not an Amazon in appearance, and that was something
that bothered me. I was soft and plush, with a strong body, but one that was
not perfect in anyway. Legs too short and the belly and breasts of a mother
goddess, but with firm, round buttocks. Not at all
perfect like Calli. What would she think of me?
Calli did not give me a chance to mull on my insecurities very long. She
helped me out of my gown and took one soft breasts between her teeth. The
nipple immediately hardened as Calli gently sucked. Air expelled from my
lungs and I was suddenly aware that I had been holding my breath. Calli did
not seem to be noticing my flaws. As she suckled my
breast, I pulled off her muslin garment, exposing her tan, scarred skin.
"She has healed well from her injuries," I thought for a moment, but all
thought flew from my mind as Calli pressed her body fully against mine and
took my lips with hers. We shared our breath, we shared every ounce of our
being and the tingle I felt burned to my core. I was a raging inferno of
desire and need.
Feelings of unreality. Gentle sigh. Head spinning, tingling. Intense
passion filled with incredible kindness...directed at me? Did I deserve
it? I felt warm. My cheeks were hot, flushed. I shook. I couldn't breathe.
A chill ran down my spine as Calli ran her fingertips along my side,
lightly raking my skin with her nails. "Is she thinking of me the way I am
thinking of her?" I thought. My mind wandered, but it continued to
settle in the same place. I didn't think it was possible to fall in love
with this woman I barely knew, but I was falling, spinning out of control
"Don't think," I told myself, "Don't. Just be."
I became part of Calli.
I ran my tongue along Calli's neck and onto her shoulder, then back
again, settling at the muscle protruding from her neck. I could feel her
heart pound as I licked at her pulse point and felt the blood rushing from
her heart. Calli let out a moan and tossed her head back. I circled her back
with my hands, feeling every inch I could reach. Calli slid
down my body and once again, took my breasts in her hands. Pushing them
together, she alternated licking one hard nub and then the other. She sucked
at the tips and teased them with her tongue. My
heart began racing and moan escaped from my lips without control. I was
usually in control. Calli was taking me where I had never been.
I felt Calli shift and reach for something beside her: the slices of
mango she had been eating when we were undressing for bed. Without a word,
Calli took a piece of the fresh, orange fruit and held it to her lips.
Sensuously, she placed the fruit in her mouth and bit the fleshy soft part
from the outer rind, drawing it erotically from her mouth. Then she took
another piece and held it in her hands over my body. She
squeezed the mango between her fingers. Pulp and juice dripped onto my skin
and I jolted a bit from the cool wet feeling. Calli held her finger to my
mouth and sucked the juice and fruit from it, licking and sucking
until it was clean. Calli leaned over and began to do the same to my body,
eating the mango from my skin. I writhed in pleasure. The sensation of her
tongue and the juice dripping down my body caused chills from head to toe.
Calli followed the juice as it headed down my body.
When she reached the forest of hair that hid my most sacred and secret
place, Calli placed her entire mouth over it, breathing out warm, moist air.
She split my outer lips open with two fingers and covered me
with her tongue.
A cry escaped from my lips. Nothing had ever felt that wonderful.
Calli's tongue inside of me was like magic. It felt soft and gentle, yet
also hard and demanding. Wet heat burst from me.
There was light. My mind was an explosion of color and sound. I bucked
against Calli, grabbing her hair to pull her closer. She did not seem close
enough. I wanted her inside of me as part of me forever...
There was the unmistakable sound of someone clearing her throat behind
us. My mother.
"Son of a bacchae!" I yelped, both startled and annoyed that my mother
had invaded my privacy. Momentarily panic stricken, I jumped up, bumping
Calli's mouth with my hip bone. There was blood, mixed with mango pulp and
my own juices dripping from Calli's lip, but Calli did not move or speak.
Her eyes wore a mask of fury; anger directed at my mother.
"Annilea," my mother's voice was sharp. "Meraya needs you. Trasia's baby
is coming. Go. Now."
I quickly stood and grabbed for my clothing. My mother physically
prevented Calli from rising, standing between us like Cerebus at the
gates of Hades. I hesitated, recognizing the recalcitrant look in Calli's
eyes, and started back towards them.
"Go, Annilea. NOW!" my mother yelled.
"You have no right to tell her what to do." Calli's voice was
controlled, the fury intensified by the quiet tone.
"I am her mother. You are nothing to her. I have sacrificed and suffered
to make Annilea into something. She is not as talented as the other children
and she doesn't have the skills as a fighter. I didn't want her to be an
outcast. I have devoted my entire life...."
"HER entire life..."
"...to making her someone I can be proud of. You are causing her to
bring me shame. I told you to leave Annilea."
I fled. The last thing I saw was the anger and pain on Calli's face as
she wiped the blood and juice from her lip. This time, she was looking at
Calli did not speak to me for several days. She returned to my tent long
after I had gone to sleep and left before I awoke. I threw myself full force
into memorizing the indigenous plant life around the camp. I was unable to
write anything on my parchments and no stories crept into my mind. I felt
lost and alone.
Finally, I followed Calli to the training classes and watched her spar
with some of the young girls. She was harsh and brutal, more so than I had
ever seen. After she came close to injuring my cousin Torva,
Krasin, the Arms Instructor, grabbed Calli's sword and ordered her away
until she could behave in a civilized manner. Calli stalked off,
deliberately grabbing another sword as she left.
I glanced over to be sure Torva was not injured and followed after
Calli. She went to a small clearing at the edge of the forest and drew a
circle in the dirt with the tip of the sword. Balancing herself within the
circle, she executed complicated parries and thrusts, combined with flips
and spins that made my head reel. She stayed within her boundaries with such
fluid agility it took my breath away. She was so good! She could easily lead
an army, but she was so young. She was not an amazon - who had trained her?
Calli was thin, but sinewy and strong. Her arm muscles ripples with pure
strength, although she was barely a grown woman. As she hefted the sword and
fought an unseen foe, power flowed from her pores. Finally, glowing with
sweat, but barely straining for breath, Calli stopped and faced the
direction where I was hiding.
"I know you're there, Annilea, you can come out now." She spoke quietly,
"Are you alright?" I asked, coming into the clearing.
Calli jabbed at the air with her sword. "I'm fine. How nice of you to
ask." Her honeyed voice dripped with sarcasm. She made a few more thrusts at
her invisible opponent.
"So much anger and hatred..." I observed. "Such focus."
Calli stopped and turned towards me. "What do YOU know about it? About
anything? Still clinging to your mother's skirts like a baby. Protected and
cared for - you don't even know how to think. You let your
mother do it for you...."
"Well, at least I *have* a mother..." I spoke without thinking, defending
myself with my cruellest weapon: words. They were the cruellest I have ever
Calli charged at me, sword in hand. I barely had enough time to lift my
walking stick and defend the blow aimed at my chest. I pushed Calli back,
using her own sword for momentum, then spun around and caught her leg with
my staff. Calli staggered, but did not fall. She regrouped and re-attacked.
This time, her sword crashed against my forearm, tearing at
the skin. I dropped my staff, falling to my knees in the mud, holding my
hand on the open and bleeding wound.
"I hate you....." I said between clenched teeth and tears.
Calli took my chin in her hand. "If I hated YOU, you'd be dead."
I did not say a word, but I quietly cried. My arm was burning, the blood
spilling down my arm and over my hand.
Calli tossed her bloody sword aside and knelt beside me. Taking my hand
away, she put a finger against the wound she had inflicted. "I think it
looks worse than it is, Annilea." Her voice stroked me like
soft fur and chills spread across my body. I shivered.
Calli ripped the bottom of her skirt and tied the fabric around my arm,
gently, with compassion that denied the fact that she had caused the injury
in the first place. Then, she cradled my head to her chest
and rocked with me.
"Oh, Annilea, I don't know what to think any more. You bring out so much
in me...I don't know how to react to you."
"Well, killing me is certainly a reaction," I replied sardonically and
almost humorously through the pain.
For a moment, I actually thought Calli might apologize, but I should
have known she would never do that. I was stirring up something inside of
Calli, but it was not enough to elicit any real emotion from her. All she
felt was hatred...hatred and obsession with Xena, a woman I was beginning to
loathe as well for what she had done to Calli. And how many like her?
There was no room for a loving Calli and no room to love her. She was
filled with cold, black, vile hatred. I could not be the one to light a
spark in her. I was not strong enough.
"Help me to Meraya's tent," I said quietly. "I want her to look at
Calli nodded and did as I asked. When I returned to my tent several days
later, she had moved to the visitor's tent.
My arm healed slowly. The sword had grazed the bone, but luckily nothing
was broken and no arteries were severed. Calli had been very correct when
she said that she could have killed me. Only strength and
controlled restraint had prevented that.
A minor infection set in, followed by a fever, and I was delirious for
days. During my time recovering in Meraya's tent, I was subconsciously aware
of Calli's presence on several occasions. She would sit at my side and
stroke my hair and cheeks, not speaking a word. Once, in my mad ravings, I
called out to her but she turned and fled. An apparition perhaps? Maybe I
only wished she could be there.
When my fever finally broke and Meraya was confident the infection was
gone, she sent me back to my own tent, relieved from all duties while I
fully recuperated. My tent was lonely and empty without Calli.
Since I was excused from hunting, gathering food and cooking, the only
thing I was suited for was minding the babies while their mothers prepared
for the upcoming Summer Solstice festival. Trazia's baby was a boy, as yet
unnamed, for she would be giving him out to be fostered as soon as he had
lived for a complete moon cycle. I had been there as
Meraya cut the umbilical cord and broke the bad news to Meraya regarding
the gender of her child. We did not hate male babies, we just did not
embrace them as we would have a girl child. Male children were usually
fostered out. Rarely did women want to keep their boys very long, knowing
they would be sent away when they reached puberty. It was better to give
them up before knowing them.
There was one other baby, a girl named Miri, who was old enough to toddle
around on chubby legs, but young enough not to be discouraged when she fell
to the ground. I watched the babies with blatant disinterest, feeling,
perhaps, a little sorry for myself, although I was experiencing the first
freedom I had felt since being apprenticed to Meraya three years prior. My
mother had pledged to Artemis that I would
be a Healer. Out of common decency, if nothing else, Artemis should have had
the good grace to bless me with an aptitude in that field - or at least a
desire for it. Yet, there was nothing I hated more.
Artemis was, is and ever shall be sacred to the Amazons. We were taught
from birth not to question the motives of the gods, yet I did. Nothing the
gods did made sense.
I thought of Calli. Why had the gods or fates chosen to deprive her of
her family and set her on a course that could only lead to her destruction?
There seemed to be no point. She was only a child when it
happened, but that child was still hurt and she was controlling the adult
Suddenly, Miri fell hard to the ground, breaking into my thoughts. For a
moment, she just looked stunned, but when she was sure she had my undivided
attention, she let out a blood curdling wail. I rushed to pick her up and
cradled her with my good arm. Miri placed her grubby hands around my neck
and buried her grimy face in my neck, sobbing frantically.
"You have such a way with people," came the ironic comment behind me. I
turned to see Calli standing there, hands on her hips, smirking.
"Well, you know, it's just my charm. It practically oozes from every
pore." My heart skipped a beat at the sight of Calli, but I tried to keep
the excitement out of my voice. I had missed her so much, but I did
not want her to know that. "That's why you can't bear to be near me," I
tried to sound sarcastic, but my voice broke with emotion. Miri, realizing
my focus had been diverted elsewhere, began to sob again. I
gently rocked her and began humming a quiet tune.
"There was no point to staying there, Annilea."
"I thought we were friends..."
"I have no friends." Calli retorted.
"You're wrong. You have me." I was growing angry.
"I have no time for friends until I have killed Xena."
"When, if ever, will that be Calli? You see yourself as a Fate measuring
the threads of Xena's life, then snip, snip she's gone and you have to live
with yourself. Why not just live now?"
"You can't possibly understand...."
"I DO understand, Calli. I don't think YOU do. I could love you, you
know. I may love you already, but you are so blinded by hatred that you
can't see me. Well, take a good look at me Calli. This is the face of
someone who loves you. Look now - you may never see it again. LOOK!!!" I
Calli stood her ground and as tears streamed down my face, her
expression was blank. She gripped her sword in one hand, but there was
not a hint of threat in her eyes. She looked me for just a moment. Then she
turned and walked away.
I never saw Calli again.
It was a number of years before I ever heard anything about Calli and
many times, I thought she had been killed. Then, I was told how she had
fought Hercules and how she had been made immortal, and later a god. I knew
that her need for vengeance had sent her hurtling off a cliff and into
insanity until there was no saving her. I was told about her hatred
towards a young bard and Amazon Queen who looked a lot like me, and how
Calli had killed her husband.
I learned all of this from Gabrielle, Xena's best friend and the bard
whom Calli hated almost with as much passion as she had for Xena. When
Gabrielle told me what had become of Calli, I cried for the lost
soul I never got to save. For Calli had saved me.
As soon as she left, I too left the camp and travelled on my own as a
wandering Bard. I was very happy and I finally met someone to fill my heart
and make me complete, although I could never erase Calli completely.
Now, Calli is dead at the hands of the woman she had vowed to destroy.
Calli is gone and she has achieved nothing. I need to put my demons to rest.
They say the dead can hear us, so I hope Calli knows how much I loved her. I
hope she has peace.
- from the last scroll written by Annilea, Amazon Bard
*** THE END ***