The Gossamer Gate
By Wendy L. Callahan - http://www.wendylcallahan.com
Cover Art by Erin Lark
Published by Persephone Press
For Phoenix Song Cyrcle and anybody who still believes in faeries.
The Gossamer Gate
I was a Witch of no small power; one who lived a wonderful life with friends I loved, served as High Priestess to a coven I adored, and I could have had almost any man I wanted. I was one of the fortunate people for whom many things seemed to come easily. The beautiful Victorian home in which I lived was an inheritance from my beloved Nana, the grandmother from whom I had learned Witchcraft and Goddess lore. I made a comfortable living by running a shop, where I dispensed the proverbial herbs, magickal tools and wisdom. Through writing, I shared my love and knowledge of the Craft. Teaching others was my joy.
All of these achievements were impressive for a woman of the age of twenty-five; still freshly in the Maiden years, not yet in my Mother years. I had chosen not to have children; however I was spiritual mother to my coven and my students.
At the same time, I was well aware of my place as a human being who had much to learn in the world. I would have gladly passed on the honorifics or lived without the titles bestowed upon me, so long as I was able to help others along their path. No matter what, I was content – pleased to be there for others and to spend my life in the pursuit and sharing of knowledge.
The one thing that seemed to elude me was love.
Then again, I was not exactly looking for love. It was something that I considered a complement to an already-full life.
The problem was that the love I had for someone was not returned.
At least, not in the romantic way.
He was a friend, a confidante, and I would go so far as to call him a soul mate. He would have scoffed at the word; however he also acknowledged to others that I was his closest friend. Our birthdays were within a day of each other. If you have any knowledge of either Western or Chinese astrology, you will know that this made us completely compatible.
We certainly were. There just was not that romantic attachment on his part. I had accepted this, and refused to pine for him. There were too many other wonderful things in my life for me to waste my time wishing for something I could not have.
Then again, it seemed I had refused to accept the idea that I could love anybody else…
Subconsciously I knew the truth.
The truth was that I had given up on love entirely.
It was a disservice to myself, I knew that much, but it was easier to cloak myself in wit and intellect, rather than give in to the natural human emotions that I experienced on a day to day basis; rather than give in to longing and desire, I pretended that those feelings did not exist.
It took a dangerous quest that threatened to take me out of this world forever to change my mind about love.
“Khiara. That was a great class.”
“Thanks, Matt.” The High Priestess turned to smile at the student. Khiara Haley was warm and unpretentious, and far more modest about her accomplishments than most people expected. Her care and concern for her friends was genuine, and most people wondered how somebody so kind, intelligent, and talented could still be single.
She was not the ideal of “beautiful”, but she had a charming personality and was nice enough looking to be called “cute” on a day to day basis. Her hazel eyes were usually a warm shade of gold, which matched her dark, honey blonde hair to create an aesthetically pleasing effect that was difficult to ignore. If her lips were not quirked up at one corner in an almost-shy half-smile, then she appeared to be pouting slightly, which was equally becoming. She nearly always wore a look of concentration, whether she was reading a book, giving a lecture or listening to a student’s questions or woes. She was not the type of Neo-Pagan who liked to hug people, as so many were, but instead preferred to give people their personal space. Yet she was always attentive to her students and friends, and her lack of fondness for physically emotive expression was accepted among others in the larger Pagan community.