By Delia Lavender
I do not own the T.V. series L.O.S.T, Jacob, Richard, Locke, Ben
or any other character aside from Rebekah/Arzu
Jacob brought her gifts of fruit and fish. Esau brought her the choicest portions
of the game he hunted.
She preferred the gifts of Esau.
Jacob called her Rebekah...but Esau had named her Arzu. He said that it
Handsome Ricardus also brought her gifts. He brought spheres of crystal
holding pictures in their depths. The cards he brought portrayed people whose
faces changed as she laid them out.
She liked the gifts of Ricardus best.
Ricardus said that the cards were special. They were called "Tarot".
Of course, Rebekah was special too.
She'd been a child when she'd come to the Island. She didn't remember much
about the shipwreck, only that she'd nearly drowned.
But the waves had carried her close to shore. She'd barely heard the shouts of
The dark man had reached her first.
She hadn't understood the words of her rescuers. But later, after she'd learned
English, she developed the ability to remember and interpret:
"Esau, give her to me."
"I touched her first, so she is mine."
"But it was I who called her...she is the Seer."
"You cannot have everything, Jacob. I have been lonely..."
"She is too young. Her gift might be corrupted."
"But of what use is she to you? And what is it you cannot see? You...who
sit and weave like a woman! What would you ask of her...to carry your wool?"
"She will balance us. You will see. Give her to me, Esau...my brother."
And she had balanced them - for a very long time. Esau, the dark man who had
dragged her from the water...and Jacob, the pale man who had saved her life.
For ages, it seemed, their arguments were silenced. She lived with Jacob in his
house in the statue's foot, and Esau visited them often.
She learned how to dye the wool Jacob gave her, and he wove shifts for her out
of grey linen. He wove a sash for her, with designs in black and white.
"You must always wear these colors, Rebekah, for you are the balance between
dark and light."
"But...when I am older...may I have a scarlet shift?"
Jacob had hesitated. "When you are older, Esau and I shall take you to the
Temple. There you will be dedicated...and you will change no more. Then you
may have a scarlet shift. You will have a new sash to wear low on your hips,
in the manner of a woman."
It was very exciting. Rebekah was eager to grow, to be a woman, to have a
But much time needed to pass, before she was ready.
In the meantime, she learned hunting and fishing from Esau. She learned to
herd and shear Jacob's sheep. Every afternoon was occupied by Jacob. For
hours he would spin or weave, listening to the stories she'd read in the
crystals, the cards, the fire or the bones.
"You are the King Of Wands, Father Jacob. See...you sit on your throne
surrounded by water...the throne is an island."
"Yes, yes, Rebekah. And where is Uncle Esau?"
"Oh, today he is the King of Pentacles. See his dark robes? He looks
"Do you see yourself, child?"
Rebekah scanned the cards, looking swiftly from one to the other.
"Sometimes I'm the little girl in the Six of Clubs...and you or Uncle Esau the
gift giver. Often I see myself in the Two of Pentacles - the juggler. But
today I am the lady of the Nine of Pentacles."
Jacob's spinning wheel slowed. "How can that be? You are still so very
"But see? See her falcon? Yesterday Merlin flew to my hand."
"Ah...I understand." He chuckled a little and the wheel's speed increased.
Jacob was always amused by the name Rebekah had bestowed on her parrot.
She had always enjoyed the stories he told her...especially the ones about
Arthur the King and his wizard, Merlin.
Rebekah read the cards everyday, hoping to see herself in a queen...
* * * * * *
Time passed very slowly. But gradually...very gradually...she grew taller and
her body began to fill out. Father Jacob had to weave her more shifts.
She remembered the dances of her mother's people. Slowly, as she recalled
the sinuous movements, she was able to recreate them. Esau had found a
drum among some wreckage and, after drying it out, he was able to
He found a veil of yellow silk hidden away in a sea-tossed trunk. This he
also gave to her.
As she grew more practiced in her movements, she remembered how her
mother had looked when she danced. So Rebekah wore a thin old shift that
clung to her form, and she opened a seam on one side, so that her legs
And she wore her sash low on her hips, in the manner of a woman.
She danced on the shore, whipping the veil around her, her long hair flying
Father Jacob had joined them. He played a flute while Esau drummed. She
had thought her dancing would please them, but she sensed a growing
tension between the men.
Esau drummed madly, face red, sweating, his eyes never leaving her.
Jacob played his flute and watched Esau, his expression stern and unrelenting.
They had resumed their enmity.
Jacob had told Rebekah that she wasn't to dance again...that it was unseemly.
Rebekah became unhappy. It was while dancing that she remembered her
mother best. She was weeping behind her favorite tree when she heard
Father Jacob and Uncle Esau arguing.
"Why do you do this Jacob? Although her father was French, her mother was
"And because of this I must allow the Island's Seer to dance like a trollop?"
"She has grown. She is young and her blood is hot..."
"I think that it is your blood that is hot, Esau."
"She must marry, Jacob. You must give her to me once she has been
"Never, Esau. She is the balance between darkness and light...between us.
The balance would be lost, should one of us take the Seer to wife."
"I do not believe that. She is fated to be mine."
"You are besotted...but I will find another woman for you. Rebekah is very
lovely, and that presents a problem. Even Richardus has asked me for her..."
"What! Richardus? Jacob, you can't...!"
"Be easy...I refused him. A Seer should never marry..."
The men wandered away and Rebekah heard them no more. All she could
think about was Richardus.
She had longed for him. Whenever she looked into the crystals...whenever
she turned over a card. He was The Magician - just as she, as she matured,
had become The High Priestess.
The Magician and The High Priestess were mated.
How could Father Jacob do this to her? She had dreamed of Richardus a long
time. Now he would never take her...he would never marry her without
Jacob thought she was still a child. Why had he never told her what she must
relinquish, in order to honor her calling?
Rebekah wept in frustration and rage. She was tired of living in a foot,
watching Father Jacob spin his wheels. She hated tending his sheep and
carding his wool. But she was powerless...
And then she paused. She was powerless - but she wouldn't always be.
Once she was dedicated, she would be equal to the men. Richardus might
be lost to her, but she could still avenge herself.
And she could do it with Esau. There was nothing wrong with Esau. He
would help her gladly.
And meanwhile...she would wait. She would wait for her dedication, for her
scarlet shift. And whenever Jacob asked her to look in the crystals, in the
cards, the fire or the bones...she wouldn't mention everything she saw.
* * * * * *
Men said that she "was as well-built as the great statue of Tawaret."
Rebekah was not sure that was a compliment. Tawaret, after all, had the
head of a crocodile.
But as he gazed into the eyes of the enraptured Richardus - and into the eyes
of the desperate Esau - she decided that no insult was intended.
Rebekah worked hard to stay in the good graces of Jacob.
Jacob, she observed, actually saw less than she and Esau assumed he did.
And that was why she was important. Jacob, although he saw much, did not
see ALL there was to see.
Of course, neither did Rebekah. But her gift, in certain respects, was broader
and more finely tuned than his was.
She saw, for instance, the growing murderous impulses of Esau toward his
brother. She saw it and said nothing to Jacob.
"Rebekah...do you see Uncle Esau today?"
"Indeed. Today he is the Emperor...he is maturely considering matters." She
did not add: "He dreams of cutting your throat."
"That is good news. He has been much scattered and hostile of late."
And in this way time passed. Rebekah swallowed her anger and attended to
her duties. She cared for Jacob's sheep, his wool, his house.
And, in the fullness of time, Jacob, Esau and Richardus took her to the Temple.
The process of transformation was not an easy one, but she remembered little
afterward. She seemed to recall darkness and a pain as in dismemberment.
And for a while it seemed that she lay in fire, although it did not burn or
Meanwhile the men paced worriedly outside.
When she next emerged she was wearing the scarlet shift, decorated with
black, grey and white beads. She wore her new sash low on her hips, in the
manner of a woman.
Jacob came forward to kiss her cheek. There were tears in his eyes.
Richardus bent low and kissed her hand.
Esau embraced her and grabbed her buttock.
Father Jacob was not pleased. He upbraided his brother bitterly.
"My hand slipped." replied Esau, defiantly.
Death threats were exchanged.
"This is a great occasion." said Richardus "Can we not keep the peace on
this most joyful of days?"
And so Jacob and Esau held their tongues, in deference to Rebekah.
And Rebekah concealed her amusment.
Later, she and Richardus took a walk together. Richardus presented her
with a small mirror in a jeweled frame.
And Rebekah saw the increased beauty the transformation had given her.
Her dark hair, streaked by the sun, glittered with metallic bronze, copper
and gold. Her eyes glowed amber from her smooth, tanned face. Her
lips were red, her cheeks flushed.
And Richardus gazed at her, a tender expression in his dark eyes.
"If your father permitted," he said "I would ask you to marry me, Rebekah.
But it is not to be. We both must honor the will of Jacob."
"Yes, beloved Richardus. We must honor the will of Jacob." she replied.
Richardus did not see Rebekah cross her fingers behind her back.
* * * * * *
Rebekah changed after her transformation. She no longer referred to Jacob
as "father" or Esau as "uncle".
She no longer wanted to live in a foot with Jacob, but insisted on moving to a
lovely grotto near the waterfall. As she told Jacob, it was only appropriate that
the Sibyl have her own cave...
And she insisted her call her "Arzu".
She no longer showed him the respect due a father. It hurt Jacob to see it.
She began dancing again, and invited Esau to accompany her at her new
Although she expected to give herself someday to Esau, she was still badly
startled when he cast aside his drum halfway through her dance. She was
even more startled when he picked her up and carried her to her sleeping
"Esau...what are you doing? Esau, what is wrong with you?"
"Oh, close your mouth!"
She became frightened. She found that she was less prepared for this than
she had thought. And how was love expressed between humans? Would it
happen as it did between sheep?
"Let me go, Esau!"
"Never...I love you, Arzu!"
She was screaming in panic and pushing him away when his head parted
from his body. Her tight, grey shift was flooded with blood. She struggled
out from under his body as his head rolled over near the fire pit.
And she continued to scream. Jacob was standing over Esau, his longest,
heaviest knife in his hand. He lifted his head to look at her.
"I am sorry this happened to you, Rebekah, but you have been foolish and
disobedient. Now you must return home with me. Leave this grotto now...
I have to burn his remains. And understand that the chaos emerging from
this act will be the result of your own fatuity. Go. Go quickly."
And she did. For a very long time she remained in the foot, watching Jacob
spin his wheels. And, as she always had, she tended his sheep and dyed
And she saw herself in the Ten of Wands...carrying a burden of intolerable
* * * * * *
"Ah, Rebekah," he would tell her later, after she had matured and they had
forgiven each other "Your sin was not so great. You were young...and much
can be forgiven the young. Esau had no right to take the Seer. He was old
enough to understand the sanctity of the Rules. The greatest sin is mine.
I did not offer the knowledge you needed...and it was I, Jacob, who sought
bananas and harvested my brother's head!"
But Rebekah knew that she was equally to blame. In her anger she had
denied Jacob the very information that would have warned him about Esau's
instability. Tragedy could have been prevented.
Rebekah wore scarlet always, in memory of Esau's death. She wore scarlet
with a sash of black wrapped around her waist, for she no longer wore her
sash "in the manner of a woman" anymore...
Unless she danced for Father Jacob. Jacob found her slow dancing conducive
to meditation. Her swaying was quite hypnotic, he said...it reminded him of
But there was no balance on the Island anymore. Bad men prowled the
jungle, and Jacob escorted Rebekah whenever she left the statue's shadow.
And together they kept watch over Esau's spirit.
For a long time Rebekah saw him in the Five of Swords "He is resting, Father
Jacob...I see him in the effigy on top the tomb."
"What is resting may not be at peace, daughter."
Later she saw him in the Eight of Swords: "He is bound and cannot move,"
said Rebekah "But I fear he is awakening. He is aware of his surroundings."
But she was not too frightened until she saw Esau in The Fool: "Father
Jacob...he is about to step into manifestation!"
Jacob tried to comfort her.
"This has to happen, Rebekah. We must all face the consequences of our
actions. I will try to influence events...to call the right people."
They seldom saw Richardus, and Jacob ordered Rebekah's silence.
"He had no part in our deeds," he explained "I think it is safest for him to
know nothing. We must tend to this matter ourselves..."
Rebekah, who greatly feared for Richardus, agreed wholeheartedly.
She saw another man besides Esau: "Father Jacob...the new leader chosen
by Richardus - the one called Ben - I do not trust him. He is the thief in
the Seven of Swords!"
"I suspected as much. Ben has always coveted what does not belong to
him. But what of the bald man, Rebekah - the one named John?"
"He has been the crippled man of the Five of Pentacles. So cold...so
alone and helpless. I was much surprised to see him later in the Seven
of Wands...such an aggressive figure, with so much to overcome!"
"He has the strength of his convictions, Rebekah - at last."
"But now I see...The Hanged Man. And the thief nearby and The Devil!"
"The Devil is Esau, my dear. He is trying to use John."
"And we are the figures tethered to the base of his throne!" Rebekah
leaned back against Jacob's knees; he put his hand on her head and stroked
"Remember, Rebekah, that the bonds are light and easily removed...that is
part of the meaning of the card. Do not despair. Even if he kills me, Esau
will not destroy you. He has wanted you too much for too long..."
"But I would rather die!"
"No. Perhaps you can influence him. If you weep when you see him, he
might believe it to be merely a response to his altered appearance. If you
please him enough, it may distract him long enough for Richardus and his
people to plan an attack. Ilanna and Bram are coming soon...they can
explain much to Richardus..."
He signed deeply, then continued "And perhaps, daughter...perhaps Esau can
change. If so, much bloodshed could be avoided..."
"It is enough for now, Rebekah. Perhaps it will not come to this."
But of course it did. When Rebekah saw Jacob in The Tower and the Death
cards, Jacob sent her back to the grotto to live.
"Remember the other facet of the Death card," said Jacob "Which is
"regeneration". I will always be with you."
And that was the last time Rebekah saw Jacob alive.
* * * * * *
She had seen his death in the crystal sphere and had collapsed. Later, she
could see Jacob's bones in her fire pit, although she knew that it was just
And she knew that Esau would come for her. Perhaps immediately...perhaps
later. But he would come.
Despite her grief, despite his lack of a physical body, she could still hear the
instructions of Jacob's spirit. Like a tiny gnat within her ear:
"You must weep when you see him. You must show fear of him - of this
stranger. And later, when he has proved his identity, you must let him
But worse than her fear of Esau was her fear for Richardus. What would
happen to him? Suppose both men sought her out and encountered
"He is receptive and he hears my voice in dreams. I will try to keep Richardus
from you, but if I cannot, you must drive him away."
That would be harder than anything she had ever done before.
* * * * * *
Rebekah was prepared when, on the fourth day after Jacob's death, she
sensed Esau journeying toward her.
She still had the shift he'd last seen her wear. She had rinsed it out after
his death, but the blood stains lingered...they would always linger. She
had kept the shift to remind herself of her own foolishness - her own
recklessness. It was those weaknesses - and her silence - that had truly
killed Jacob. Now she would do whatever Jacob's spirit advised her to do.
Before donning the shift, she once again opened the seam at its side,
lengthening the slit up toward her thigh. Esau had ripped the bodice somewhat,
so that now the neckline reached down between her breasts. She wore her old
sash again, knotting it loosely around her hips.
And when she sensed he was close, she rubbed ashes lightly on her bosom,
face and arms, scattering a little on the metallic sheen of her hair.
She was sitting on her heels near the fire pit, her back to the grotto entrance,
when Esau arrived.
The entry to the grotto was bright with sun, and Esau's shadow loomed over
her as he filled the opening.
She saw the shadow he cast against the rock wall beyond her.
He was carrying something across his shoulders. A boar.
Very slowly, she turned her head and looked over her shoulder, so that he
could see part of her tear-stained face.
"Who are you...why are you here? Leave me...I carry a curse."
"And why is that?" he asked.
Rebekah heard some echos of the old Esau in the man's voice, but the voice
itself was changed. It was slightly higher, more melodious. Yet it possessed
a firmness and authority that was new. He was dark against the brightness
of the entrance, making it impossible to see his features.
"I am responsible for the death of my father," she told him "No one is
welcome here. Please go now."
"No, Arzu...I was the one who killed Jacob. I'm Esau...and I've brought you a
wedding gift." He eased the boar from his shoulders and threw it to the ground.
Rebekah made no effort to hide the fear or consternation she felt, which were
quite genuine. Her hair, flowing well past her hips, had concealed most of her
from his view. As she rose, she kept her movements as slow as possible,
knowing he was watching her as she finally turned to face him.
She heard his breath catch. He stared at her, a large solid man with a
rugged face and a bald head. He was a stranger to her...
Yet his eyes, although different in color and form, held the same expression
of determination and aching lust that she remembered in Esau's.
But there was something else in his eyes as well...a sudden flash of
vulnerability, quickly suppressed.
"No!" she gasped, her voice rising "You cannot be Esau...it is not possible!"
And she turned and fled. Past the fire pit towards the back of the grotto.
He was after her immediately, his movements rapid and predatory.
"Let me go!" she screamed in his face, when he'd caught her and spun her
around "Esau is dead! And dead is dead!" Then she burst into tears.
He pulled her into his arms and she cried against his chest. She could feel
his rough hands roaming over her back and down her hips.
"Arzu...I've never forgotten. It was always you that I saw, in my loneliness -
in my banishment and isolation. Didn't you know I'd come back? Jacob is
gone and you are mine!"
And this time, when he carried her to the sleeping mat, there was no
She did not scream this time, but only touched his face with wonder and
fascination, allowing him to untie her sash, to take her shift from her.
But anxiety forced her to look away, once he'd started undressing. She had
never seen such gigantic boots.
"Arzu...don't look away. There's no need to fear me. I've had time to learn
patience, since our last meeting."
But, despite all the time that had passed, she still wondered if Esau
intended to approach her as a ram did a ewe.
As he lay beside her, however, she quickly discovered there was little
similarity between the actions of people and those of sheep.
Although she did find herself bleating a bit. And Esau possessed a
bellow that would do credit to the largest, most aggressive of rams.
But what puzzled her later, as she lay exhausted in Esau's arms, was
that she hadn't thought of Richardus once.
Wasn't it Richardus she had always wanted?
She remembered the card she had drawn this morning. It was The Lovers...
which was partly the reason she'd expected her visitor to arrive on this
particular day. She was the woman standing by the Tree of Knowledge, and
the man - had been Esau.
Is this what was meant by "loving your enemies"? She doubted that love
and forgiveness must always take so literal a form.
But she had been - and maybe still was - the balancer.
Could she possibly return Esau to a state of equilibrium?
She looked at him as he slept. His face was more peaceful than she'd ever
seen it, even allowing for its drastic change in appearance.
He had admitted to killing Jacob himself. He hadn't bothered to blame his
bug-eyed helper, Ben.
Jacob had possessed enough strength to circumvent Island Law...he had
killed Esau, thereby upsetting the balance that Rebekah represented. Esau,
not so strong, could only kill Jacob by finding a "loophole" - a path around
and through the Rules.
And, because the Rules had been broken, the Island had allowed him to
find that loophole.
But the men were not alone in their guilt, for this War of Transgression had
happened, in part, because of her.
Jacob had killed Esau because of Rebekah. Esau had later returned to kill
Jacob...for revenge and for Arzu.
She was both Rebekah and Arzu. She was the balance between darkness
Esau stirred a little in his sleep, unconsciously pulling her closer. He
uttered a sigh of contentment when she kissed his nose. Soon he would
wake up, and then he'd "need" her again.
She said a mental farewell to Richardus.
And she knew she was ready for the task ahead.