Bonds of Silver

Bonds of Silver

Her eyelids felt as heavy as lead, and trying to lift them amplified the pounding in her head manifold. She had the sensation of being carried on some dark current of nothingness on a tide that threatened to smash her against a barren shore and leave her stranded. When she finally managed to open one eye, she was able to discern the contours of an armchair opposite her bed, and a woman sleeping in a contorted position. The headache was unbearable, and the tiny flickers of light in her field of vision felt like stabs of an ice pick. She tried to crane her neck to the right, but abandoned the effort as waves of pain shot through her from different parts of her body. She could hear herself whimpering and moaning before hearing a noise.

"Are you conscious…I mean, awake?" a voice trembling with worry asked her.

She managed to open her eyes fully, and the initial blur dissipated to reveal a pale face with dark circles around the eyes and pupils widened in fear. When she felt a soft squeeze on her left arm, recognition like a bolt of lightning flashed across her mind.

“Mom,” she whispered. “Where am I?”

“You are in hospital, Lydia. You were in a car accident, but you will be alright, honey. You are badly bruised, but fortunately, nothing seems to be broken.”

Her mother’s words were muffled with sobs of what now sounded like relief. Lydia tried to smile and squeeze her mother’s hand but could not.

Her mother extended her arm and pressed the nurse call button, and a few moments later, a nurse came in.

"Is everything alright, Mrs. Dallas?"

“My daughter is conscious. That must be a good sign.”

Lydia's field of vision was now clearer, and she was able to take in her surroundings. The nurse was tall and svelte, with a high blonde ponytail, and reminded her of the beautiful Scandinavian girls she had met while travelling through the Nordic nations in her last year of high school. The nurse’s smile was radiant and reassuring.

A few minutes later, a doctor appeared and examined Lydia. The pounding in her head somewhat lessened, but her right leg was throbbing with pain. In a feeble voice, she was able to answer the doctor’s questions and even ask a few about her condition. Two ribs were cracked, she had hematoma all over her body, and a laceration across her head, but overall, her condition was not too serious. She could have been killed had she not swerved her car just in time to avoid a direct collision with a drunken driver. The doctor expected her to recover fully.

When she complained about her headache and the pain in her chest, the doctor said the nurse would bring her a strong pill that would help alleviate the pain and help her sleep.

The nurse left but quickly reappeared with a small plastic cup holding a pill. She raised her bed and held the cup of water to her lips so that she could swallow the medication. The nurse also suggested to her mom to go home and get some rest as Lydia would sleep deeply as soon as the drug took effect. Lydia smiled at her mom and nodded, signalling to her that she should, indeed, get some rest. Her mom kissed her cheek, smiled back with her eyes brimming with tears, and said she would be back in the morning.

Lydia did not have to wait long for the pill to start working its magic. The pains shooting from her right leg and chest died down as she felt herself sink into a warm sea of drowsiness. She felt she was floating among the stars, and the night sky brushed against her skin with a velvety touch. The stars seemed to murmur and vibrate, and the murmurs changed into a mysterious celestial symphony, lulling her into a deeper and deeper sleep. Then, voices and sounds of the rustling of fabric pierced her state of slumber, awakening her abruptly.

“Hurry up, my lady! The banquet will begin soon, and your mother has already asked about you.”

Lydia looked around, startled and astonished that she could feel so alert while sleeping, and then remembered the phenomenon of lucid dreaming.

She was sitting at an intricately ornate writing desk, and in front of her were sheaths of paper and an inkwell with a silver quill. The room was spacious and furnished lavishly. Crimson red curtains covered what looked like a tall window; a large four-poster bed had a blue brocade canopy above it. The rugs on the floor were woven in various shades of blue and pink depicting floral patterns. 

She stood up from her desk and smiled at her lady-in-waiting.

“Mary, tomorrow I shall show you my latest poems. This last one is my favourite. Imagine a river painted with argent moonlight and lovers meeting secretly on its bank and hiding under a willow tree, in which fairies live.”

“My lady, your writing about love is most exquisite and makes me sigh with yearning. I hope one day, both you and I experience the stories you have spun from verses. And I certainly wish you a husband who will court and adore you with lyrical love, the way the knights in your poems celebrate their sweet damsels.”

Lydia’s smile was insouciant when she stepped into a bathtub filled with water fragrant with the scent of honeysuckle. She did not bathe for long, as time was running out, and she did not want to vex her parents by arriving late for the banquet.

The dress laid out across her bed was cerulean blue with silver threads running vertically through the soft fabric. The collar was high and ruffled with white lace. Mary combed her unruly red hair and placed a large silver comb encrusted with pearls and sapphires along their rims on one side of her hair, lifting it off her face. She was ready for dinner.

When she entered the hall, she saw that her parents were about to be seated while the other guests at the table were still standing. Her mother spotted her and signalled to her father to wait for her to join them.

"Eliza," whispered her mother with a tense smile on her lips. "You are late again."

"I apologize, mother. I was writing, and time slipped away.”

Her mother's sharp glance interrupted her speech, and feeling contrite, Eliza sat down. After a few minutes, she raised her eyes from her silver goblet filled with wine. Taking a sip, she looked around furtively. Her sister Nora and her husband were seated on the other side of her father. Nora’s affect was one of sternness and tedium. Eliza knew that her sister was unhappy in her marriage, even though Nora never spoke of it. Lustreless eyes often reveal much more than words could ever express.

Craning her neck to the left, Eliza recognized the noblemen and their wives who frequented her parents' banquets. They were drinking and talking loudly, and the din was giving Eliza a headache. She wished she could retreat to her room and continue writing, daydreaming about love and creating worlds with her imaginings.

She noticed a new face at the far end of the table on the opposite side. As she scrutinized the young man with hair the colour of ripe golden wheat, he turned toward her, and they locked gazes. He raised his goblet and smiled at her, and she caught herself smiling back, intrigued and compelled. The next moment she averted her gaze feeling her cheeks turn crimson. She hoped her family had not noticed the looks she exchanged with the man whose presence sent her heart into a flutter.

She looked at the pieces of roasted wild fowl on her plate but felt no hunger. The small piece of meat she put in her mouth was hard to swallow, and she washed it down with a gulp of wine. She wanted more wine but knew her mother would not allow a refill.

His gaze was scorching her cheeks even though she dared not look at him again. Sweet and unfamiliar sensations were swirling in her belly, mixed with an aching pleasure. ‘What is happening to me?' she wondered in sheer bewilderment. It felt as if a mysterious force were toying with her and laughing at her bewilderment and disquiet. It was unfathomable that a stranger, to whom she was not even introduced formally, would produce such an effect on her. Could a gaze cast spells and make the air around her tremble in sweet anticipation?

She mustered courage and looked in his direction, but his seat was empty. Her sigh of relief was cut short by her father's voice, "Eliza, I would like to present to you Lord Grisham's son Konnor, who has just returned home after a long stay in France. The two of you had met when you were children, but you may not remember.”

Eliza turned around, feeling her face drain of colour. Lord Grisham stood behind her father's chair, and by his side was the golden-haired young man who had stolen her breath. Their eyes locked again, and she felt flooded by a mysterious recognition that she had known him from before, not when they were children, but even before she had been born. His eyes were grey-blue, his face narrow, and his lips full and lovely in form. A pale scar trailed the right side of his neck.

After they exchanged pleasantries, she asked her father if she might excuse herself from the table. He nodded, looking slightly bemused by her obvious discomfort. Her father and Lord Grisham were friends and political allies, and she had heard them in the past teasing her about how they were planning for her and Konnor to marry once he was back from France.

She hastily left the banquet hall and entered the garden where summer reigned in its full, lush splendour. The air was fragrant with the scents of blooms and flowers, and she inhaled them voraciously as she stepped deeper into the garden. Once she reached an enchanting white gazebo overgrown with white rambling roses, she tried to compose her thoughts and dissect her feelings, wishing she could pour them into poetry to understand them better. Her thoughts were a tangle of incoherence and turmoil.

"There you are," said a voice, and she almost shrieked.

“Please, do not be alarmed. I had no intention of startling you.” Konnor stepped into the gazebo and sat opposite her. He held a goblet in his hand and offered her a sip.

“Your parents serve the best wine I have ever tasted.”

As if hypnotized, she bent over, lowering her mouth to the rim of the goblet, and he gently tilted it toward her until wine began to drip down her throat.

They both laughed, and she felt discomfort dissolve within her.

“I hear you enjoy reading and writing,” Konnor said. “Very few girls share that interest. What do you write about?”

“Poetry and short stories. That is how I amuse myself.”

“May I hope you will allow me to read some of your poems?”

Eliza blushed, certain that the treacherous moonlight would reveal her embarrassment. Laughing nervously, she shook her hair, and her silver comb fell on the gazebo floor. She reached to retrieve it, but Konnor was quicker. He held it up high, saying it was his trophy of the night, and he planned to keep it forever. The silver comb glittered in Konnor’s hand before it vanished in the pocket of his breeches.

“If you are to take that comb from me, then you must give me something in return,” said Eliza astonished at the boldness of her words.

Konnor reached for his right ear from which a solitary earring dangled, as was the fashion of the time. It was an intricate silver Celtic cross, encrusted with four rubies in the circle placed over the cross.

After removing his earring, Konnor took Eliza’s comb out of his pocket. In his right hand, he held both objects and asked Eliza to place her hand upon his, close her eyes and make a wish that the two of them would always find each other across lifetimes and beyond death. The comb and the earring would be their soul bond forged in silver.

“There is a silver chord between our souls, Eliza tethering us to each other. I felt it as a child, even though I never dared mention it to you. This bond transcends this moment, this year, and this lifetime. Let us fortify it by a prayer that it never crumbles to dust,” said Konnor and squeezed Eliza’s hand so that she could feel the comb and the earring make an indent in the flesh of her palm. They both closed their eyes again and whispered a prayer for an eternal union of their souls.

“I must go back now,” Eliza whispered, feeling the wild beatings of her heart, but he grabbed her hand before she could leave the gazebo and pulled her towards him.

She looked up at him, and with his forefinger, he traced the contours of her face, her lips, and her neck before he kissed her. She thought she would swoon but gathered her wits, pulled away from him, and ran until she reached her chamber.

“Mary,” she called out of breath. When Mary appeared, she asked her to tell her mother she was feeling unwell and would go to bed.

Mary looked alarmed but did not say anything. She helped Eliza undress and brushed her hair. Eliza asked to be left alone.

As soon as Mary left her chamber, she went to the window, drew the curtains, and looked at the moon. She whispered to herself, 'Is this the beginning of love, or is this sorcery? What are these waves of disquiet washing over me?’

She went to her writing desk, dipped the quill in the inkwell, and wrote breathlessly,

'He came to me fragrant of moonlight, mystery, and magic

Threading my heart with unfelt fevers and longings

His touch was as seductive and soft as a touch of a feather

Enslaving me with love’s unbreakable tether.’

Sleep eluded her all night long as she tossed and turned feverish and intoxicated with emotions she did not fully understand. Only at dawn did she slip into a dreamless slumber. Disoriented, she awoke when the sun's morning rays began to frolic on her pillow.

Mary was bustling in her chamber, preparing Eliza’s bath. She had also placed a cup of chamomile tea on the night table beside Eliza’s bed, as she did every morning.

“How are you feeling this morning, my lady? And whose earring is this?

“It is a gift I received last night,” replied Eliza with a tremor in her voice. Mary looked at her quizzically, expecting an elaboration, but Eliza remained silent.

After her bath, she dressed and sat at her desk to write, but a knock on her door interrupted her plans. Her mother came briskly into the room, followed by a servant who carried a large tray of food and placed it on a round table by the window.

“I have some news for you, Eliza,” her mother said cheerfully. “After you retreated to your chamber last evening, Lord Grisham spoke to your father and me and said his son Konnor was quite taken by you and would like to see more of you. Your father and I approve of that courtship.”

The courtship began the next day. Eliza insisted that her parents allow her to meet Konnor in the gazebo. They agreed, as the gazebo was located in the middle of their expansive gardens, in which servants worked daily and could observe the young couple. Eliza’s parents knew it was a matter of time before Lord Grisham would ask Eliza’s hand in marriage to his son Konnor, and they could not wish for a more desirable suitor and husband for their daughter. The marriage would strengthen both families' influence, wealth, and military might.

Eliza and Konnor met every afternoon, and even rain did not prevent their encounters in the gazebo. Time stopped when they were together, and the world fell away. Eliza read her poetry to Konnor. They talked about the books they have read, their desires to travel, mysteries of religious teachings, and children they would one day have. Eliza spoke of her fear of another war and of losing him. He soothed her by divulging information about the current state of affairs between their military alliance and the enemy one.

 One day, a wind rose, gathering ponderous clouds, and lightning splintered the twilight sky. A sudden downpour forced all the workers to leave the gardens, and Eliza and Konnor found themselves alone. Konnor took her in his arms, and his fiery kisses drenched her senses with wild ecstasies. Eliza gently pushed him away, gazed into his eyes, and whispered, "It is myself I behold in the mirror of your soul. I am you, and you are me; without you, I shall wilt."

“You shall never be without me. Even death shall not be the last gate, for I shall seek you across eternity.”

When a bolt of lightning hit the ground near the gazebo, and a ball of fire rolled across the lawn for a few seconds before exploding into tiny sparks, Eliza screamed in fear. Konnor laughed, telling her she was safe, and holding her hand, led her back to the manor.

"It is alright; you're safe. It was just a nightmare,” Lydia heard a soothing voice and felt someone squeeze her hand.

“Mary, what happened? Is Konnor still here?”

“You screamed and were flailing your arms…and I am Maggie,” said the nurse.

“But you look like Mary…where am I?”

“You’re still in hospital, but you are recovering quite well. It must have been a really bad dream.”

“It was not a nightmare…it was a dream that felt and still feels real. I must have been transported to a different lifetime,” whispered Lydia looking around in disbelief that she was in a hospital room instead of her luxurious chamber.

“You have been sleeping a lot under the influence of a narcotic painkiller. The drug can produce strange dreams. Can I bring you something? Would you like a cup of chamomile tea?”

“Yes, please…how did you know that was my favourite tea?”

Maggie smiled and said something Eliza could not understand.

When Maggie returned with tea, she found Eliza in a state of agitation. She was on the phone and her hand was trembling.

“Has anything happened while I was gone?” asked Maggie placing the cup of tea on the table beside Eliza’s bed.

“My mom will be here soon. I must talk to her urgently. There are certain things I need to verify. Thank you for the tea. I will be alright.”

While waiting for her mother, Eliza tried to walk in the corridor, but after fifteen minutes felt too exhausted. Her fiancé Jacob texted saying he would like to visit her, too, but she texted back saying she was too tired for visitors. She only saw him once during her hospital stay and could not understand why she had no need or desire to see him.

Her mother arrived looking dishevelled, as if she had just woken up.

“Did you find it? Please tell me you found it.”

Her mother opened her purse and handed a small velvet pouch to Eliza.

Eliza’s hands trembled as she untied the string and gently shook out a piece of jewelry on the palm of her left hand. And there it was. A heavy silver earring in the shape of the Celtic cross with four rubies adorning the circle.

“Mom, tell me again how dad came into possession of this earring.”

“His grandfather gave it to him when he visited him in England the last time before his grandfather’s death. I wish your dad were alive to give you the details, but I seem to recall the earring was passed down for many generations. Your dad's ancestors were nobility. Not much was left in terms of inheritance, and even the titles were lost with the passing of time, but this earring somehow survived. Why this sudden interest in it, Eliza?”

Eliza began to recount her dreams and the significance of the earring. If she could somehow locate the silver comb, she might find Konnor in this lifetime.

Her mother looked at her with utter gentleness. “Your dreams could have been induced by strong painkillers they have been giving you. It is just a coincidence you dreamt of the earring. After all, you had seen it so many times before and played with it when you were a child.”

“But the comb is so real. I see it before me now. I would recognize it immediately.”

Eliza realized how strange she must have sounded to her own mother, so she steered conversation in another direction.

After her mother left, Eliza wrote down her dream to the tiniest detail she could recall. She spent hours reliving the sensations of Konnor’s touch, the way their fingers interlaced, the smell of honeysuckle and rambling roses in the garden. The evoked feelings seduced her senses anew with their vibrancy and intensity. Normal dreams did not leave such deep etchings in the soul.

At bedtime, she asked Maggie to give her another pill, and Maggie said she would ask the doctor on call if that would be alright. Just as Eliza was about to ring her again, Maggie came with the pill, and Eliza wondered if the drug would allow her to return to her dream.

When she fell asleep and found herself back in the gazebo, she was not surprised but simply overjoyed. It was another lucid dream in which she was fully aware that she was both Lydia and Eliza and that a few centuries spanned between these two women. In her dream, she was madly in love with Konnor, and as Lydia, she was in a relationship with Jacob, her architect boss, whom she planned to marry. Her feelings for Konnor revealed to her that even though she was fond of Jacob and shared a passion for architecture with him, she was not in love with him. It took a dream to crystallize her feelings.

As soon as she saw Konnor, she forgot she had ever been Lydia. They fell into each other arms and she knew it was their last evening before he had to join his father and her own in a battle against the enemy forces. She found herself trembling and sobbing, and he was comforting her by telling her he would be back, and they would have a most resplendent springtime wedding.

It was already dusk, and long shadows stretched across the autumn-clad gardens. Eliza shivered with foreboding, and Konnor embraced her tighter. She raised her lips to his, and their kiss was full of despair and pain of parting. The despair gave way to gasping for air as passion coursed their blood with the fire of molten lava, and they found themselves on the gazebo floor. Eliza wanted to belong to Konnor completely because life without him had become unimaginable. She ignored the sharp pain between her legs and just let go with utter abandon wanting his touch to stay engraved on her skin forever.

After they parted, she descended into what felt like a state suspended between death and madness as her moods changed from violent sobbing to utter lethargy.

Days strung themselves into a necklace of charcoal melancholy moments. News from the battlefield was infrequent, but it seemed the fortune was on their side and victory was near.

And at last, the day came when their men came back. Both her father and brother were wounded but were expected to recover. She asked everyone about Konnor, but they just looked at her despondently until her uncle embraced her and broke the terrible news. Her screams seemed to reverberate across the fields and mountains….

When she became conscious, Lydia saw Konnor standing in the doorway. He was not alone. An older man was with him. They both wore white coats.

“You did not die!” Lydia exclaimed with incredulity in her voice.

“I am Dr. Phillips. I am here to do a consult. This is one of my residents,” said the older man clearing his throat.

“I’m Dr. Mathews. I’m a psychiatric resident. Lovely to meet you.”

Doctor Mathews had a British accent, but that was not the reason why Eliza stared at him. On the right side of his neck, a pale scar stretched and disappeared under his coat's collar. Doctor Phillips said that he came to see her regarding the screaming episodes that the nurse reported. He said that the narcotic given to her for pain normally did not produce psychotic episodes or delirium as a side effect. However, he still ordered it removed from her medication list and replaced it with a non-narcotic medication. He asked her about her pain level, and she said it was much better.

Dr. Mathews said nothing but looked at Eliza with puzzlement in his eyes as if wondering if he knew her from somewhere. At that moment, Dr. Phillips was paged and asked to report to the ER as soon as possible. He said he would check up on Eliza the next day, but Dr. Mathews could stay a few more minutes to talk to her.

He asked her questions about her nightmares and if she remembered waking up screaming. He also asked her if the painkiller she had been given produced any other noticeable symptoms in her. Instead of answering these questions immediately, Eliza said, “Forgive me for asking this, Dr. Mathews, but you seem to look at me as if something were bothering you. Perhaps, I am just imagining it. After all, I have been under a lot of stress caused by contusions and pain.” 

His laugh revealed a bit of discomfort. "You're right. I am still wondering if I might have met you before in London. You look familiar, and I thought for a second I could have met you at an auction. My twin sister always drags me to these events and introduces me to people. She is the extroverted one. And please call me Kent.”

"I have never been to London, but hope to visit it one day. And I am not a collector and have little interest in auctions."

Then, Eliza began to tell him about her dreams, emphasizing how real they had felt and describing Konnor, her home, and the gardens in great detail. After she described the earring, she showed it to him, saying she saw little mystery in the fact that she had dreamt about it. After all, she was familiar with it; however, she had just learned from her Internet research that men in 17th-century England had worn such earrings.

Kent listened to Eliza spellbound, but when she painted a most vivid picture of the silver comb with its floral swirl leaf design, encrusted with pearls and sparkling blue sapphires and missing a pearl in the centre of the top leaf, Kent almost jumped out of his chair.

“Wait a moment! A couple of years ago, my sister paid a fortune for an antique silver comb. She said she'd felt the comb called out to her, that there was some kind of connection. I did not pay attention to it because I thought it was her excuse for yet another extravagant purchase. I also remember her saying she would wear it for her wedding. Her wedding is in five weeks.”

Excitement and bewilderment flooded Lydia. She asked Kent if he could write to his sister, asking her to take a picture of the comb and send it back to him. He needed no further prodding and texted his sister. He also said he had to leave but would come by later. Before he left, he stood in the doorframe smiling, and the looks exchanged between them thickened with recognition.

After he left, Lydia asked Maggie to help her take a shower and wash her hair. She put a touch of lipstick on her lips and put on the dress her mother had brought during her last visit. Even though she still felt pain in her chest and legs, she decided to sit in the armchair and wait for Kent to come back. Sleep overcame her, and she woke up feeling someone was watching her. Kent was in the room. Wordlessly, he handed her his phone. She saw two pictures of the silver comb from her dream. One showed the comb with the missing pearl, and the other showed the pearl.

“It is the same comb,” Lydia whispered.

"My sister had a jeweler replace the missing pearl,” replied Kent as if reading her unspoken question. And then he added, “Would you like to attend my sister’s wedding as my date?”


Reprinted from the anthology Immortal Tales published by 300 South Media Group.


Jana Begovic


As far back as she can remember, Jana has been fascinated by storytelling. Her love of reading and writing propelled her toward studies of languages and literature resulting in B.A. degrees in English and German Languages and Literature, an M.A. Degree in Literary Criticism, as well as a B.Ed. Degree in English and Dramatic Arts.


Among her publications are academic articles published by Cambridge Scholars, UK, and the Journal for Distinguished Language Study, USA; the novel Poisonous Whispers, published by Roane Publishing, N.Y.; the novel Dragonfly Slayer, published by Manor House Publishing, Canada; poetry, short fiction, articles, art reviews, and blog posts featured in literary journals, such as Ariel Chart, Chantwood, the Pangolin Review, Abstract, Canada Fashion Magazine and The Black Shamrock.  Her short stories were also published in various anthologies published by

Broken Keys Publishing (winner of the Best Year Award in the Ottawa Faces Magazine) and by 300 South Media Group. Jana also acts as a senior editor for Ariel Chart literary journal and contributing editor/writer for the Canada Fashion Magazine. Her first children’s story, Little Dragon was published by Broken Keys Publishing. She has been nominated for the 2019 Best of the Net and the PushCart awards for a piece of non-fiction and a short story published in Ariel Chart.

 She lives in Ottawa, Ontario and works for the Government of Canada as an education specialist in the field of military language training. 

She can also be contacted via her Author Page at


  1. old-fashioned good romance. wish they publish more of this.

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