Circle of Eights, Stories

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  • #78


      Back from the depths of his sleep, the dragon Naasir exhaled in a puff of smoke. He’d just woven a wonderful dream —for all dragons and creatures do dream of course, even if most humans doubt it.

      Yawning, Naasir stretched out his long slithery body. Fully stretched, his body was an impressive sight to behold. He was quite old by human standards, while in fact, he was still in his youth, and could very well stay as rambunctiously lively for many other long centuries.

      He had given the final touch to a new world he had been creating in his dream time for many nights now, and was rather proud of it —even if dragons knew no such thing as pride, his feeling at this very moment was very akin to being proud.

      He had filled this world with many wonders, dragons of course, and other creatures yet to be named. And magic was all pervasive in that world, and so slightly cloaked, that it could be used by many.
      It would be a great playground he thought, for he was not a possessive and dictatorial dragon. In fact, he could feel some others were about to step in, and tell and live the story of that world.

      Sighing in delight, like a sleepy cat of majestic dimensions, he cuddled again, about to sink deeply into the harp music playing in his mind, ready to dream and let that story be told again…

      Another Never Ending Story

      Malvina. That name had been thrown into a conversation Yann and Quintin had had together, during which Quintin had felt images come into his awareness. He had instantly liked that name.
      He was feeling the aura of a woman, long hair of a pale rosy color, with a noble bearing. That name had been around, and they had played with it to find more impressions.
      And they had felt it linked to breeding of dragons, in a sort of rookery.

      They’ve both felt her connected to Malika, an online friend of them, whose gentle touch and kindly influence, as well as her passion for dragons seemed to fit in quite interestingly.

      Then on an impulse, Quintin had begun to paint an image around it, letting his feeling guide his movements. He’d loved the peaceful environment he’d drawn, and even if he was not wont to share “unfinished” drawings, he immediately shared the initial sketches with Yann and Fiona.

      They both loved it, and Fiona even considered for a moment adopting one of the cute baby dragons to be born.
      “Buckberry” : that was the name Quintin felt for the baby dragon… But he did not see any character in that picture for Fiona. She would have to decide to step in, to get that baby dragon. What character would she be? A young impetuous rude adventuress, or an o(w)ld wizened witch? Perhaps a bit of both?

      These thoughts were now coming back to him.
      Ever since he had seen Yann’s pictures, those taken when he’d been in Old Albion, he had felt that something strange was manifesting.
      One of these intriguing coincidences: the picture of a cave that Yann has been visiting looked so strikingly similar to Malvina’s Rookery… And that playful kid in the cave was probably linked to Yann.

      So, now that the painting was finished, perhaps he could have people join in the fun. All that was required was imagination…

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    • #431

      Ooops… All that farting was as exhausting as being in labour, thought the mummy.

      (What!? no farting mummy icon :yahoo_rolling_eyes: )


      Inspired by the courageous example of Finn, Quintin was thinking of changing his name too.

      There were too many Quintins out there, and he needed to find something more suitable. Michaela had mistaken him again for another Quintin, and of course, Quintin had heard Elias laugh in the background.
      Yann’s battery of his new phone was charged at 33%, so that was probably a confirmation too.

      Why not something like Yurick
      Looking for a confirmation, Quintin found this.

      YORICK: Altered form of JORCK. This name was used by Shakespeare for a court jester in his play ‘Hamlet’. :yahoo_skull:
      JORCK: Danish form of GEORGE

      So that was it… Having recently read some poems from George Gordon Byron, Quintin thought that it was in perfect sync.
      Yurick was henceforth adopted.

      Interestingly, Yurick noticed that it was the 303 rd comment posted. So it was obviously another confirmation. Perhaps that with his new name, now Yurick wouldn’t need 3 confirmations in a row…


      Vincentius wanted to know where Arona had been heading.

      She rummaged in her bag and pulled out her map to show him. Then her honestly got the better of her. No idea really, she confessed. How about you?

      No idea either, said Vincentius.

      Arona tried to look serious, then cracked up laughing and after a moment Vincentius joined in. Arona could not help but note what a lovely musical laugh he had. Definitely no snorting, and for a moment she thought fondly of dear wandering Sanso. I Wonder where he is now?

      While they were busy laughing, they did not notice the woman arrive, but all of a sudden there she was, an old, bent, withered crone. An apparition of pure ugliness. Their laughter stopped abruptly.

      Laughing my little lovelies were you, please don’t stop on my account said the crone. What a perfectly delightful sound. Music to my poor old ears. And she cackled gleefully.

      oh Lordy, muttered Mandrake, his patience wearing thin with all the, what he considered, unwarranted and unnecessary joyfulness.

      and what a cute little pussy cat, said the old woman, her long gnarly fingers gently resting on Mandrake for a moment. Mandrake snarled.

      and a baby, said the old woman, reaching out to Yikesy who was cradled in Arona’s arms.


        “Oranges and lemons”, say the bells of St. Clement’s

        (The crone started singing to the baby)

        “You owe me five farthings”, say the bells of St. Martin’s
        “When will you pay me?” say the bells of Old Bailey
        “When I grow rich”, say the bells of Shoreditch

        (Madrake tutted and raised his eyebrows)

        “When will that be?” say the bells of Stepney
        “I may express to you: Whenever you choose to create it”, says the great bell of Bow


          Arona knew enough magic to notice that the old crone was up to no good with the annoying lemon song…
          I sounded like a curse, and she’d better take appropriate action without delay.


            Yann decided he wanted a dog… he’d been dreaming he and Yorick had a dog for a few nights now… it was like the energy wanted to be manifest again… or was it some effect of his imagination?


            Yurick was singing [*]

            Well, all you need is love and understanding
            Ring the bell and let the people know
            We’re so happy and we’re celebratin’
            Come on and let your feelings show

            F LoveF Love

              I really should do something about this, I think this song may be a curse, thought the astute Arona, as the singing crone took Yikesy from her arms. Yet she found herself unwilling to move, a strange lethargy had overtaken her. Can I move? she wondered. She felt so strange and heavy.

              Slowly Arona turned her head towards Vincentius. Perhaps he had a suggestion as to what she should do. But Vincentius had disappeared. This should be rather perplexing. But oddly it didn’t matter to her. Nothing seemed to matter anymore.

              I am in a dream perhaps? I feel as though I may be in a dream. That’s the answer, I will give in to this sleepy feeling, and then I will be in a dream for sure. When I awaken everything will be alright.

              She lay down on her side on the ground, and pulling her knees up, curled into a little ball and closed her eyes. Laughing with Vincentius seemed such a long time ago. How quickly everything can change, she thought sleepily.


              Leörmn the dragon had been retreating silently what felt like a long time ago. For most of the dragons, as they grew in age, needed to occupy more and more of their time in dreaming.
              But dreaming was not an idle occupation as human sometimes were prone to think. He was phenomenally active in the Unseen when he dreamt, and most of the times, he didn’t even have a dream corporeal existence such was the intensity of the activity, that he projected in many many many different ways at the same time.

              At times, he slowly woke up, barely aware of all of what he had done. In one fragment, some other focuses of his friends were in an odd classroom, and were asked whether they had read some transcripts of a trance conversation with a dragon. At the beginning the pupils had felt reluctant to answer, but some bold hands had been raised, and he knew these people, they were closely related to him. The teacher had been telling them how different the energy was, and how intense, for it was not the same kind of consciousness… Of course, Leörmn knew all of that, but it was one of the many things that had occurred during his sleep. Because all of that was a reality, occurring in other frameworks, other dimensions, other scenes, but all of them were happening.
              And in another one, there was this young man who had just changed his name, looking through a sort of big flat glubolin at some parchment map that one of his friend had put in front of his eyes, and the young man was amazed at how close it looked like the map he had seen in his own dream, with rivers outlined…

              Leörmn felt immensely grateful for all of these personality essences exchanging with him, and enhancing and widening his own exploration, and he felt like he wanted to modify once again the cave. He would create some guest rooms into the cave for them, if they wanted to use them. They would be furnished as they wanted to, and reflecting what was their comfort, and dear to them…
              At Malvina’s request, he had already created one abode for Irtak, but now, he would also create one for the finckely Arona, the wandering Sanso, who in turn could invite some of their own guests.

              And so once again, the cave was transmugrified…


                What do you mean, no mummy icon? asked Al to Sam, when he read back the notes…
                It’s right here


                Mmm, something tells me it was not here moments ago… I wonder how it appeared, Sam mused.


                Nonetheless, the mummy farted again… and this time there was a light smell of roses in the air…

                :mummy: :yahoo_rose:


                :mummy: :world: :mummy: :world: :mummy: :world: :mummy: :world: :mummy: :world: :mummy: :world: :mummy:


                  When Arona woke up, still groggy, she found herself inside a cave, near a crackling fire of dry wood smelling of pine sap with blends of rosewood and sage leaves.
                  Vincentius was tending the fire and boiling some marshmallow scented tea when she opened her eyes.
                  Apparently the baby was nearby and sleeping too, except that it was no longer a baby, but Arona would have recognized the endearugly face whatever its age. Was Yikesy really an Ugling baby with shape-shifting powers? Or had she simply slept for years?

                  Arona was doubting, was all of this even real, for Ghört’s sake? Or another plot of the wicked witch she had met moments (moments?) ago?

                  Vincentius smiled at her.
                  Was he even Vincentius?

                  How are you Arona?
                  Bit weirdo she snapped, wanting to test the acceptance of Vincentius who would certainly soon reveal his true nature if he wasn’t truly Vincentius.
                  Weirdo is perfect smiled Vincentius, You are really tough, I thought it would take you longer to wake up


                    Dory woke up on the plane with a start. She’d had the strangest dreams, of crowds of people. So many people in her dreams! Mob crowds, lots of mob crowds, and then busy working crowds of people bustling around working on something, some ground plan. Then there was the train lines right next to the sea, and thinking, saying to someone, We have to wait for them at home, it’s on higher ground, and upon seeing how close the train lines were to the sea, saying Oh they will never reach us if that’s the way they’re coming, because the big waves were coming again, and would swallow up the train. In the big wooden house on the hill there was Dan, unwell, mentally unwell, from taking those pills the night before without Dory’s knowledge. Dan’s sister told Dory in the dream, He’s staying here with us, and then Dory lunged at her, clawing at her face. As she left the house, she turned to Dan’s sister and said You realize that I do love you (even though she often hated her). Then there was the tall black man, who was he?
                    Dory called to a stewardess for coffee and wished desperately for a cigarette. The man with the eyes that winked at her, who was he? Before she fell asleep, his face popped into her head, and zoomed into crystal clarity, and his eyes blinked or winked at her in mutual recognition. He looked familiar but still she couldn’t place him….dark and swarthy, with peircing eyes….

                    F LoveF Love

                      Marshmallow? asked Arona, suspiciously, taking the cup from Vincentius and sniffing the steaming brew.

                      Isn’t that good for getting rid of furballs in cats? Oh cat! oh, where is Mandrake? Arona started to panic, it was too much for her. She looked at the funny looking sleeping child, wiped her brow dramatically and lay back down again. Give me a moment will you? This is all rather a lot to take in.

                      F LoveF Love

                        About time you woke up, came a familiar grumpy voice from behind a pile of logs. Mandrake emerged. And I don’t have fur balls, he added, haughtily.

                        Mandrake, thank God! Arona had been a little concerned that , given the amount of time presumably had passed, Mandrake may no longer be with them. Tactfully she kept this to herself, given Mandrake’s especially truculent mood.

                        Please tell me what happened now, she said to Vincentius. I think I am ready to hear.

                        Vincentius looked uncertain, sighed , but agreed to tell her the tale. Afterwards, Arona was silent for quite some time. She stared thoughtfully at the fire, mesmerised by the dancing flames, gently stroking Mandrakes silky black coat.

                        Oh bugger, she said eventually and stood up decisively. I really think I have to go and see that old lizardy croney woman, and without delay.

                        I wish you wouldn’t, but I do understand, said Vincentius sadly.

                        I don’t understand, said Mandrake crossly, twitching his tail impatiently and narrowing his green eyes

                        Arona went over to the sleeping Yikesy and studied him with fond interest. He is not getting any better looking with age is he? She kissed him tenderly on the cheek and whispered in his ear.

                        Thank you so much for caring for him, she said to Vincentius and gave him a huge hug.

                        On the way out of the cave she ran into Leormn.

                        Oh, she said, Vincentius said you allowed us to use the room. Thank you so much. And she kissed Leormn on what she thought would be his cheek, however, a little unsure of Dragon anatomy, it may have been technically a snout or something.

                        Arona walked rapidly for several hours, trying to concentrate on the directions given to her by Vincentius and hoping that she was headed in the right direction. Eventually she started to tire and her determination faded. She sat down on a rock and closed her eyes. Her shoulders slumped in weariness and she despondently wished she was back in the cave with the others. She felt deeply sad.

                        And is this something you really must face? asked a kindly voice in her head.

                        I have no idea really, she answered despairingly. I don’t know. I mean I thought I knew. I thought if I didn’t then I would always be in fear. When I looked into the flames of the fire it all seemed clear. I needed to understand and face it, I thought anyway….

                        hmmm, said the voice. Well the best advice I can give you is to trust yourself.

                        Arona opened her eyes and saw, to her surprise, a small cottage in the distance. Why, I don’t remember that cottage being there a moment ago, she thought. It looks just as Vincentius described. How remarkable. I was closer than I thought! Her spirits rose.

                        Outside the cottage the old crone was bent over, digging in a small vegetable plot. A basket of cabbages sat by her side. She stood up at Arona’s approach, wiping the dirt from her gnarly hands on her apron.

                        Hello Arona, she cackled. I have been expecting you. I don’t believe we were properly introduced last time. My name is Lucille. And she held out a hand for Arona to shake.

                        I have come to get some answers from you, said Arona, firmly crossing her arms and ignoring the outstretched hand.

                        Lucille sighed and dropped her hand. Her pointy chin quivered, and Arona noticed a big wart, with one thick black hair growing out of it, right on the tip of lucille’s chin. She tried not to stare.

                        Alright little one, Lucille said soflty. Why don’t you go and wait in the orchard. I will go and fix us a nice, cool drink of lemonade.

                        The orchard was full of old fruit trees, their twisted trunks reminded Arona of Lucille herself. From one of the trees hung an old swing. Arona sat on it, holding the rope, and gently rocked herself back and forwards, thinking. She had to admit, she was, quite frankly puzzled. The visit so far wasn’t going as expected.

                        She kept rocking, faster now.

                        She hit her heels into the hard earth again and again.

                        I don’t know. She tried to dig these words into the earth with her heels.

                        Then she sidestepped her feet in crab-like movements in diminishing circles. The ropes of the swing twisted tighter and tighter.

                        Arona leant backwards and stuck her legs out straight in front of her. The ropes unwound and sent her spinning. weeeeeeeeeeee hoooooooooooooooo!

                        She looked up into the sky. Blue sky through the trees with racing spinning clouds. She felt dizzy.

                        She stood up and braced herself against the seat of the swing. She held onto the ropes and pushed hard against the seat beneath her. She bent her knees under the swing. She kicked her feet forwards.

                        She wanted to go higher. She bent her legs back under the swing. Then kicked them outwards. She stretched her body backwards and arched her back.

                        I don’t know, she whispered.

                        She sat upright. She bent her legs back under the swing. Then kicked them as hard as she could. She leant her body backwards. She stretched as far as she could. On the rebound her heels hit the ground hard, but still she wanted to keep going higher and higher.

                        I DON’T KNOW! she shouted, as loudly as she could.


                        Lucille returned with the lemonade.

                        How do I know if it is safe to drink this? Arona asked. You have cast one spell on me, how am I to know this is not another?

                        Lucille cackled. Dear little Arona, she said, if I wanted to cast a spell on you I would have done it before now.

                        Okay, well that makes good sense, thought Arona, gratefully drinking the lemonade.


                        Young Becky looked at the clock: 2:22. Dan would be back from the airport soon, with Dory. Impatiently, Becky looked at the clock again: 2:23. She went outside into the warm winter sunshine and sat on the swing under the fig tree, and trotted round in a circle, twisting the ropes above her and squinting up through the bare branches at the blue sky and puffy white clouds. When the ropes would twist no more Becky tucked her feet under her, and spun giddily round; the overladen lemon tree, the plum tree, the orange tree, the olive tree and the nispero tree merging into one magical 360 degree kaleidoscope of colours whizzing past.


                          Lucius was quite franky exhausted. Building roads, always building roads….endlessly long boringly straight ones. He was fed up with it; the only thing that kept him going was his imagination. If he let his mind wander, he hardly felt his aching back. He didn’t think of Rome, Rome, nothing but Rome, like so many of his compatriots, he thought of other times and places, and imagined what they were like.

                          He imagined who had walked this valley before him, and who might walk it after him. He imagined a girl in a swing hung from a fig tree, twirling round and round, and wondered who she was. The image came with a feeling, a feeling of anticipation and excitement, full of enthusiasm and delight. Lucius began to feel a little disorientated, so strong and clear was the image, and wondered why a fig tree was growing right in the middle of the road he was building. He opened his mouth to shout No! We can’t build the road here, this is where the girl swings!….and shut it again quickly. It was getting harder and harder to stay focused on the present and not say anything strange out loud. He looked around furtively, but nobody had noticed.

                          Phew! he said, or the Roman equivalent of Phew, and buckled down to the task of building the road.


                          All that farting had been quite exhausting, but the mummy felt that she was reincorporating vigor more quickly now, as the old fartesque energy was giving way.
                          This was a quicker process than birthing, but also more disturbing.

                          She slowly started to unwrap her bandages.
                          She smiled as she saw her peach smooth skin on her hands.


                          Malvina had clapped her hands and made the food and drinks and decorations disappear in the reception hall of the cave, feeling the time was not to big parties right now. The guest had moved again, and she had not been in the mood for party either.
                          She had not yet managed to reestablish contact with her sisters and that was a more pressing matter.

                          Leörmn had been retreating into his seasonal slumber, and would not be of great help at the moment, so she knew it was also time for her to get back to simple things and not worry about what was not yet here. Probabilities had simply moved, they would come back.

                          The silgreen tree had bloomed, and she wanted to brew some potions with its flowers. She would then go with Irtak to the village sell some vials of potion, and perhaps they would take the opportunity to see Huÿgens too, as he sometimes needed such potions for his langoats.


                          For Illi the cat, that cave filled with slimey scaly beasts was now out of her way.
                          Good riddance.

                          This dead Illi experience had been so intense she had almost believed there indeed was a pink indigo dragon right were she was at the entrance of the cave. But the impression had vanished all of a sudden, and she had found herself with her mind again her own only, without the echoing thoughts of that deranged other.
                          She had found a tree nearby, and comfortably seated on some high branches had been mediating with the help of trance inducing betel catkins that she carried with her as she traveled.

                          She had seen some weird stuff, like farting bandage wrapped people putting cobblestones to make a way to the sky, but that was enjoyable. As nothing really could make sense that night, she decided to go to sleep on her tree.

                          In the morning, a snorting sound made her raise her pointy ears. Just below her tree, a man was eating and singing, looking at some map, obviously planning some interesting adventure…


                          In the cave, where Vincentius was left with the Ugling boy and Mandrake, the latter finally decided to break the ice.

                          — How pitiful we left that sabulmantium to the snorting man… Mandrake said, we could have had a peek into Arona’s adventure… Not that I am concerned, she is so brave, but you know, she’ll always be my little… What am I saying? mumbled Mandrake temporarily confused.
                          — Oh, you mean, Arona had a sabulmantium?
                          — Mmm, well, of course… We projected hairy cows and stuff… (I’m really saying the stupidest things today, might be that herbal tea, shivered Mandrake, licking his paw and combing with it the unkempt hair on his head)
                          — Interesting… But you know if you want to have a look, we can do otherwise. Let me see…
                          — (trying to make yourself important, huh) thought Mandrake

                          Vincentius took a little blue bag tied to his belt, and threw a pinch of a smelly mossy powder on the smoldering embers.
                          A thick greenish smoke started to rise making Mandrake retreat carefully (or tactfully he would say) in his favourite place behind the pile of logs to look at the discomfiture of poor Vincentius without having to overwhelm him too much with his own superior sharp intuitive senses.
                          But to Mandrake’s surprise, the smoke steadied like a moving wall, and images started to foarm.

                          — Hey, this is my little girl, Arona! Mandrake couldn’t help but say.
                          A-lo-na, the slow voice of Yikes/Zacquer said.


                            Al must have had insomnia, thought Becky, as she reviewed the Reality Play Updates in her emailbox. I wonder what he was doing up at 5:00am? Becky had done nothing but sleep for days. She had woken up in the night a few times, once dreaming of Roswell, and once of Galicia. Hhhmm, she wondered, I don’t know why, and boy do I wish I had better dream recall!

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