The Gallery Reveal ~ Masterpiece

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     “Do you know who that is? Do you know the story behind Ciri?”

     “Nay, I just began sketching one day and that was the result. The name came to me just before the portrait was completed.”

     Zander released Gia’s arm before she noticed his trembling. “Sit with me,” he murmured and turned back to the window seat opposite the paintings.

     Gia sat next to Zander and looked at him expectantly.

     The moonlight poured through the window, illuminating her hair. Zander swallowed.

     “Back in ancient Greece there was a young man. He was in love with a girl, the daughter of a neighbour. Their ages were only a year apart, and they had known each other all their lives. He hoped with all his heart that she returned his love with the same amount of passion.” He paused, looking for a reaction from Gia.

     “Go on,” she urged.

     Zander took a steadying breath. “The boy had saved up every coin he had made, and had hidden it away with his late mother’s jewellery. He wanted to make the young girl his bride, but he waited too long to ask her father for her hand. Unbeknownst to the young lovers, her father had promised her to another.”

     Gia’s brows arched over her sparkling eyes and her lips parted, forming a perfect little ‘o.’ Zander forged ahead with the story.

     “One day, in a field behind her father’s house, the young couple gave into their passion for each other. The man her father had promised her to became very angry, as he caught them in their lover’s embrace. Being a large man, he approached her young man and killed him.”

     Gia’s breath caught in her throat.

     “Her intended was then stabbed through the heart by her father, whose life’s blood poured from him by the hand of the evil fiancé in an earlier attack. In her grief, the young lady slashed her wrists and died next to her lover. A plague was placed upon the young man’s soul by the evil fiancé as they all lay dying. None would rest until the curse was broken. The gods, however, were merciful to the young man. They pronounced that he would have certain powers upon his release, while he sought to end the curse…but would relinquish those powers the second he had relations in his newly freed form.”

     “Oh, Zander, what a tragic story.” Gia’s voice trembled slightly.

     Zander watched her eyes, waiting for Gia’s memory to awake, but nothing came. “Don’t you see, Gia? You have painted Ciri,” he said with an incredulous edge to his voice.

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Until next time —

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