Our Here Be Magic theme this month is “Fantasy Romance Favorites” and while I like to be a team player, today is the 100th anniversary of Titanic striking the iceberg, so my mind is wrapped around that. (My grandfather had a distant relative who was a Second Class passenger, who did survive.) I’ve been immersed in Titanic-related topics and blogs for the past few weeks, and of course my latest book WRECK OF THE NEBULA DREAM is science fiction adventure loosely based on the events of Titanic.
Still, I do think the last few scenes in James Cameron’s Titanic are one of my favorite romantic fantasies – when Rose “returns” to the ship and on screen the wreck slowly transforms itself back into the beautiful luxury liner she had traveled on, loved and lost Jack on…culminating in the scene where she reunites with Jack on the grand staircase, surrounded by the rest of the lost passengers. I cry but I LOVE that scene!
I’ve always been fascinated and comforted by the idea of reunion with special loved ones after death (I assumed Rose had passed away, up on the deep sea exploration ship – after all, she was supposed to be 100 or so at the time the movie events took place).
Hollywood shares my fascination – who can forget the movie “Ghost”, for example, with Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore, plus Oscar-winning Whoopie Goldberg? Again, an ending that makes me cry but in a totally good way.
A few years ago, my mother was losing her battle with breast cancer, standing very close to the door into the next world – which she kept telling us she saw clearly – “a big, golden door, standing open, right there, can’t you see it?” and obediently I would turn and stare where she was pointing across the hospice room but never caught a glimpse of what she was so comforted by. She described how, just across the threshold, my father was waiting for her, her father…and my own husband, who passed away in 1988. All waiting to greet her….
I’ve only written one such scene in my own novels, in PRIESTESS OF THE NILE, based on the very specific beliefs of the Ancient Egyptians, but informed at least a little by listening to my mother share her last few words on this earth. Here’s the excerpt:
Eventually, Merys took a deep breath and stood, using the wall for support. She smoothed her skirts and straightened her jewelry. Every Egyptian, even the children, knew at the end of this tunnel lay the Hall of Judging, where her heart would be weighed and her spirit’s ultimate fate decided. It is no less and no more terrifying than what I have already endured. It doesn’t matter what happens to me now that I can no longer have Bek. A flash of painful sorrow shot through her at the thought.
She walked on. A lighted chamber lay ahead and as she entered the enclosure, she found Anubis, Thoth and Lady Ma’at waiting as she expected. Anubis had the semblance of a man from the neck down, well muscled. From the shoulders up, he was a sharpfeatured, ebony-furred jackal. Long, pointed ears framed a feral face. Cold emerald eyes glowing with uncanny brilliance scrutinized her as if assessing whether she was to be his prey in some otherworldly hunt.
Breathtakingly beautiful, Lady Ma’at had a kind face and welcoming smile. She was clad in fine white robes, and many intricate necklaces formed a multicolored collar swathing her elegant neck. A scarlet ribbon headband threaded its way among the glossy curls on her head, holding a large feather, which curled gracefully back over her hair.
Thoth sat behind her, cross-legged on the floor, in the manner of all scribes. Merys rejected a mental picture of her father, working on his scrolls in the village. I won’t think of him anymore. Thoth held a sharp reed pen upraised in one well-formed hand and clasped a small oblong tablet in the other. His head was in the form of an ibis, with an elegant, long curving beak and fine green iridescent feathers. Merys had often seen such birds in the shallows of the Nile.
Her attention was drawn to an unexpected fourth participant as he strode forward from the shadows. “Sobek!” Her heart raced and tears clouded her eyes. She ran to him and he met her halfway, sweeping her into his arms and hugging her tightly with his great, brawny arms until she couldn’t breathe. “I never thought to see you again,” she whispered. “I hoped maybe I would catch a glimpse of you in the Afterlife someday.”