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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    • #471

        Oörlaith was picking star-thistles buds that were growing on the ruins in the Marshes. She had always felt attracted by the putrid Marshes, for many reasons.
        There was something in her own demeanour that made creatures and people comfortable around her, and she had always felt in herself that natural balancing and accepting qualities that makes a good Healer.
        But it was a complex matter, and her choices of explorations had always stirred much incomprehension in the various people she had met over her life. And she had met lots.

        Of course, the first ones where her own parents. They were opulent burgomasters of one of the major towns of Cromash Tur, and from the date of her birth, Oörlaith was destined to marry one of the Warlords of these regions. Something that was sound and portent of good fortune, as her parents kept saying. Warlords were always in need of fundings for their expeditions, and in exchange would be providing a modicum of security for the commerce and other activities. It was thus all good for everybody. Good exchange of practices.

        But very early in life she had known her path was not that one.
        Nothing as plain and simple… and boring! one must admit. Her parents would have not, though.

        As far as she remembered, she first had a living proof of her potentials when she healed a small bird back to life. A miracle, for the poor thing had been maimed by an rabid chipmog pillaging birds nests for eggs, and throwing the little hatched bird off the branches. Chipmogs were no more evil than the bird she knew that, and their show-offy nature was even a blessing in disguise, as she had been quickly alerted of the incident.
        She was four year-old.

        Only later did she became aware of how she could best learn to develop her magical potentials. Her parents wouldn’t have let her know about such things as how to become a Grand Sorceress, for they did not really know much about it, and also for it was considered unfitting to her rank. “Simpletons”, she couldn’t help but think.
        But the day she became aware of the legendary Island of Mörk, she instantly set her goal to be counted among the best of their Learned Ones, whatever the price for her.

        And notwithstanding her relatively young age, she got by her own to the Island, and was trained there too… But then again, it was not as easy, as she rebelled against some of the Laws of Magic passed down by the Teachers, Laws that were thick and dry as a century old grimorium full of abstruse formulæ.
        Hopefully, she ended up with misfits as much she was, her dear sisters Roselÿn and Malvina.

        When it was time for them to part on their own adventures, she again surprised many (but not her dear sisters) by stating that she would settle near the Marshes. The legends surrounding this place, as well as the huge potential for practicing healing in one of the most difficult environments were immense incentives for her.
        The Teachers had warned her of the immense energy that filtered in these lands, as it was a coordinate point where things had already gone awry in the past. She had almost laughed at them. Of course she was aware, that was all about that. Definitely not for the faint of hearts.

        Her companion Andarión, who was in his/her preferred shape a majestic water dragon, as wise as it was a crackpot at times, had been aware of her intentions as soon as they had first met. They had chosen each other quite purposefully, though she was not entirely aware of her role in these discoveries. But undoubtedly he was an asset.

        And as she was picking her mauve star-thistles, humming like a raving madwoman, her sharp eye was on the look for the legendary golden one which would mean the dawn of a new Era…


          Arona was startled to hear some rustling, but she was not sure where it was coming from.

          hello, she called. Hello! anyone there?

          shhhh said a grumpy voice

          oh well! that’s a bit rude, thought Arona, buggered if I feel like shushing.

          Where are you? she called

          I am on the other side, said the voice, Now will you be quiet?

          On the other side of what? wondered Arona, somewhat bemused and perplexed. She wondered if the voice meant the other side of the tree she was leaning against, so she got up and tried to peer into the darkness, but could not see anything. She thought she could smell chocolate though. How very odd!


          Beattie and Leonora ordered another two gin and tonics. The longer they had to wait for Bartolo, the less they minded waiting; the generous measures of gin and the friendly banter with the locals in the venta was warmly pleasant and convivial. Bartolo was the ‘runner’, the man who knew about houses for sale, or available to rent in the valley, and he was several hours late.

          Jose Maria had been eavesdropping on the conversation, and suddenly had an idea.


          Aldous Mc Gaughran (nicknamed Ogrean by his employees), was taking deep puffs on his voluminous cigar.
          A bit podgy in his white tight suit, the face dripping in sweat, he was eying with barely dissimulated lust the young dancer on the scene of the saloon while sipping his cognac and playing poker with his oily fingers.

          The blond bewitching dancer was drawing attention from miles around, and was known by her stage name: Twilight. :yahoo_billy:
          She wasn’t really a blonde, but she had been convinced by her two brothers :yahoo_hiro: :yahoo_april: to use a wig not so much to make her more desirable as she was already, but more to be able to keep a certain amount of anonymity.
          Seeing Ogrean’s glances, she was more than glad to have listened to her brothers.

          :yahoo_flag: Ogrean was calling the shots here in that small town, and somehow it would be difficult to refuse anything he would ask… He was supervising, as far as she knew, many traffics. Officially, he was a cattle breeder, but there was obviously more.
          On his last business trip on the coast of British Honduras, officially for dealings of mahogany imports, he’d come back with a self-satisfied look that meant that he had got more than a pile of precious wood… :yahoo_skull:

          The saloon door opened in a creaking sound. A tall lean figure came barging in. :yahoo_star:
          Answering the barmaid’s question, he got himself a glass of the local alcohol. A bitter cactus beer that no one living here would have thought of ordering. Obviously a wandering stranger.
          His scrawny horse seemed to have run tiring long miles.


          It had been real hard since Momma and Poppa weren’t around no more. Twilight was four when they got shot dead, and she could hardly remember their faces now. Sometimes she had memories come to mind, this real pretty woman, brushing her hair at night. One hundred strokes, she would say, make your hair real pretty. It made her feel sad because she wished it were true.

          Her brother Jo, he was only ten when they got killed. He was the one found them. They’d been shot. Jo, he took it real hard. Sometimes he’d get this far away and sad look and Twilight knew he was remembering. She wanted to hug him, but he’d be all shut off.

          Anyways it was real hard to keep the ranch going after that. Her brother Elroy, he was the oldest. He was fifteen when Momma and Poppa died. So he took on being the man of the house. Sometimes he would try and boss Jo and her round, and Twilight would give him a real hard time. She was just jesting though, she knew he was just doing his best to keep the El Disperso Ranch running and she was real proud of him.

          It was real hard though. Winter had been hard. They all were fearing they might have to sell the blue bull just to keep the wolves from the door next winter. Elroy, he was right pig headed though about that bull. Jo would say to Elroy “we have to sell that bull, Elroy and Elroy would get mad and say “no ways we selling that bull Jo”. One day they nearly came to blows over that bull.

          It was the only time Twilight seen Elroy get real mad with Jo. They were real close those two. They were all close really. They had to keep together when Momma and Poppa died. Uncle Bart turned up at the news of their folks dying, wanted to take the ranch, but Elroy , well he got Poppa’s rifle and chased Uncle Bart away. Elroy said he would have shot Uncle Bart had he tried any harder to take the ranch. Twilight would look in his eyes when he told the story and she knew he weren’t jesting. A few others tried to interfere also. Somehow they all stayed together and kept the ranch.

          Elroy won that blue bull. It was real rare and very fine and people would pay plenty for a bull like that bull. Elroy said he won it anyhow. He turned up with it one day, and he was real quiet. Twilight saw him whispering to Jo, and Jo looked real concerned. She thought it best not to ask too many questions and so she kept what she seen to herself. But she couldn’t help but be wondering.

          Twilight wanted to help take the load off her brothers so she got herself a job dancing in the saloon in town. She liked to call it performing though. Sounded more high class. She watched the other dancers till she taught herself to do it. She would hide in the saloon and watch them. That was one good thing about not having a Momma and a Poppa. She could pretty well do what she wanted. She liked dancing and she knew she were real good at it and pretty soon she was the dancer everyone wanted to see. She’d rather have a Momma and Poppa though, truth be told.

          One of the other girls, Anna, she was real pretty too, got jealous and tried to get Twilight kicked out, said she was too young to be dancing . Anyhow Anna had a soft spot for Jo and so he soon sweet talked her round. Jo and Elroy were real good looking boys, and plenty of girls liked them so Twilight was pretty lucky to have them look out for her. ( Elroy said she should wear a blond wig for her dancing, like a disguise, and Twilight thought this was real funny. But she wore it anyway.) Anna got pregnant, and she said Jo was the daddy, but everyone in town knew she slept with plenty of fellows, and Jo weren’t having a bar of it. Anna got real fat with the baby and had to stop dancing and now she lived with some old fellow who was always drunk and would eye up Twilight when she was dancing. Sometimes Twilight would tease Jo about the baby and call him “daddio” and he would get real mad with her. But could be his, that’s the truth. Poor little baby but she were glad Jo weren’t stuck with that Anna.

          Twilight knew the men looked at her. She knew what they were thinking and she didn’t mind. She weren’t no fool though. She had plans. She was going to be somebody, not laid up with some damn sprog like that Anna. Some of the money she earned she’d give to Elroy, some of it she put in a tin can she kept hidden.

          Last night some fellow from out of town came in. A sheriff. She heard the girls whispering and giggling about him. Sheriff Ted Marshall was his name. He was real fine looking and all the girls were in a flutter hoping he would look at them. Twilight wondered what he was doing in town. She hoped it were nothing to do with that bull of Elroys.


          Ted Marshall swaggered into the saloon and ordered a tequila. He adopted a casual pose against the bar, tipped his pith helmet back with one casual finger, and surveyed the scene. He cast a disninterested glance over the dancers, and tut tutted under his breath when he recognized Twilight. That girl was too big for her scuffed boots!

          A charismatic character caught Ted’s eye, a handsome man in a stylishly crumpled white linen suit, stretched taut against his bulging biceps. Success, drive and determination seemed to exude from his very pores, the slick sheen of raw power.

          Ted edged himself closer to the larger than life character, and glared at the tall lean man who had just walked in.


            Paquita, I found someone to look after the goats! We can book the tickets to Tikfijikoo now!

            Paqui shreiked rather ear peircingly, and threw her arms around Jose Maria. Who? Who on earth did you find?

            Well, Jose sniggered, A couple of blousy old dears, English ones. Wanting to ‘Get away from it all’

            English! Paqui’s eyes lit up. I bet you can even charge them for doing it!

            Well, I am, laughed Jose. They think they’re getting a great deal. Haha! Jose shook his head wonderingly. Life was just getting better and better; the most unlikely and unexpected things had started happening.


            Ted did a double take at the sight of the tall lean man. Fuck me! he cried in astonishment, It’s a doppelganger! Ted’s hand shook as he swigged down the dregs of his tequila; he slammed it down on the bar and called for a refill.


            Dr Bronkelhampton peeled off his long blonde wig to reveal a completely bald, and rather sweaty, head underneath. For the purposes of the experiment it had seemed best to pose as a woman, however soon there would be no need for such subterfuge. Provided all went to plan.

            He gazed out the window at the ocean, the waves breaking gently on the golden sand. The tall coconut palms standing majestically. It was truly paradise. He slapped at his arm, if it weren’t for the heat and these damn mosquitoes!

            Veranassessee should be returning soon with the first of the arrivals. He sighed happily.

            A piercing scream broke his reverie. It had come from the laboratory, where the mummy, as he affectionately called his first guinea pig, or client, had been having another session under the Perlication Y3 Laser.


            Did you tell them about the, you know……Paquita asked Jose, lowering her voice despite the fact that they were alone.

            What? Oh THAT. No, are you kidding? Only a stranger would agree to live in my finca, Paqui, you know that! Everyone local knows about the… you know…

            What if they find it?

            They won’t find it, Jose hoped he sounded more confident than he felt. There had been weird goings on at the finca for years; much more so lately: it was increasing. Ever since he’d found that hole in the side of the large pyramid shaped hill, there had been ghostly goings on, odd sounds, peculiar smells, flashes of coloured lights, all manner of strange and disconcerting events.

            Jose Maria was glad he was leaving. He’d miss the goats, but well, he could hardly take them with him. The goats would be ok without him.

            He couldn’t venture to say the same about the two English dears though. Time would tell.


            Veranassessee carried the box carefully, periodically checking to make sure it was securely fastened. He was sure Dr Bronkelhampton would be pleased with the initiative he’d shown. Buying 100 breeding pairs of Blue Bonnet Spiders was a stroke of genius, he thought. They were known to eat mosquitos, and Veranassessee (or V’ass for short) was confident that he’d made a wise decision.


            Bathsheba didn’t feel even a bit guilty for not telling that fool V’ass about the habits of Blue Bonnets. Cash was cash; he’d paid handsomely for the spiders, and Bathsheba congratulated herself. She wasn’t creating V’ass’s reality after all, now was she? He had chosen to buy the Blue Bonnets; His choice. His choice too to pretend he was a man; Bathsheba wasn’t fooled for a moment, she knew V’ass was a woman underneath those manly clothes.

            Bathsheba cackled, and set about attracting the next fool into her shop.


              V’ass placed the box carefully on the pier as soon as he got off the boat, and pulled his false handlebar moustach off with a yelp. Next to come off was the bowler hat, and shake out her tumble of blonde curls. V’ass shrugged off the charcoal grey pinstripe suit jacket and unbuttoned the crisp white shirt. With a long sigh of relief, she started to unwrap the bandages that had squashed her ample bosom to her chest.

              As the bandages fell in loops on the floor, they wrapped themselves around the box, and in an unfortunate twist of fate, when V’ass bent over to pick them up she inadvertently yanked the top of the box off.

              Oh…MY…GOD! V’ass shrank backwards as hundreds of huge blue spiders spilled out of the box. She lost her footing, and fell backwards into the sea with a splash.


              A swirling motion emerged from nothing in the hatching room. Irtak was feeling a bit dizzy and his link with Heckle and Jeckle flinched a bit. He was in constant communication with them since their hatching and he had felt his thought process merge with theirs… He’d been feeling weird for some time and had seen images of things that had already happen (normal), or things that had not yet happen (a bit weirdo), and things that could have happen or had happened in another timeline, and things that may appear in this timeline or that were related to another… he had had difficulties juggling with that and if he had been alone he thought he would have kill himself or just loose every bit of control he had thought he had… WTM

              He was learning quickly what Malvina already knew and what had been her own path so to speak when she had bonded with Leörmn. Another weird thing is that since his own bonding with the twins, he was feeling their “father” more and was understanding him better. He was connected to him strongly through them. He was then aware of the arrival of “strangers” and was aware also that the man was connected to him. He could not feel the link yet or understand it. He felt different but so similar to himself. And in a way Irtak was associating this dizziness to the man. What was his name again? The Georges?

              The woman he could see through the twins awareness of their father’s awareness was awesome, he felt strongly attracted to her. He couldn’t understand, but was sure they also were connected. His heart was beating faster, as if meeting an old friend he hadn’t seen for so many years.

              Wodd! he thought.

              He was placing the new eggs in the Hatching Room, it was crowded. He had never seen that. So many dragon eggs.


              Wodd! Another energy surge, like some aspects switching swiftly and smoothly. His perception had shifted again. He felt the reassuring presence of his friends, in the background so to speak, but so close. They knew he had to go through it alone and were just here supportive energies. They were playing and shape-shifting so swiftly, as to facilitate his own movement. At one time they were like a blond girl dancing and a filthy heavy man burping. At another they were like a scrawny horse and a man with a strange hat on his head. At another again, they were just blurred and smelly cherry alcohol… Trying to focus on all those changes was making him dizzier. But he was also feeling the easiness in his own movement if he didn’t oppose the process.

              All the eggs were shining and changing colors, he knew it was their different forms and colors in different timelines and also in different probable lines… He saw for a moment like a big airy fish, translucent and wow so big. It was straddling dimensions and it had a strange shrimpy companion always gravitating around.

              The eggs were all put together, not too close, and not to far away to create some resonance between them… Who would be here for the hatching? Who would bond with them? He was feeling odd as if it will all be taken care of in time.

              — OK! it’s over, now we can join Malvina and welcome our guests.

              He heard himself speaking with so many voices, some young, some older, and some even feminine voices.


              The dragons were wearing their blond wig again, like twin dancers… laughing and having so much fun.


                Fleur reluctantly put her book down. The new arrivals would be here soon, and she hadn’t made any preparations for their welcome dinner. Perpetually engrossed in Balzac books, Fleur did as little as possible in the kitchen.

                What shall I cook? HHMMM. Olive and chocolate pasta bake? Pineapple Anchovy cake? No, too much trouble. I know! Fleur had an idea. A big omelette, that would be easy, with a few jelly beans for colour.

                Oy! Raster! She called for the kitchen boy. Go and fetch those funny big eggs you found down in the caves.


                  Becky found it impossible to resist posting the 357th comment. :yahoo_heehee:


                  Jo was looking at Mc Gaughran. He didn’t like him. Especially since he was so insistant at buying their ranch. It was not the price that was important. Mc Gaughran had offered them much already and Jo was a bit shamefull that he even once considered the offer. They had a little argument about that with Elroy, and he had felt very tore appart opposing his brother. He was very close to him and was admiring him so much.

                  And he was feeling very protective toward his sister. She could do whatever she wanted, that was not the point. The point was he didn’t want other to bother her. And that Mc Gaughran was looking at her a bit too insistantly to his taste.

                  He finished his whiskey an looked at the barman, Thomas. He was a very good friend of Elroy and him and was like a giant dwarf, stout and big red beard. He knew he could count on him to have a look at the man.

                  — Have to go, Tommee, he mumbled. Be back later.

                  Despite his disgust of Mc Gaughran, he also had some stuffs to check about the new man in town. He was feeling a bit unseasy as if some things would be unfolded, things that should better stay burried. He left the saloon like a shadow.


                    Phew, said Becky, That was close! :yahoo_tongue:


                    Eh, Leonora, what a stroke of ‘luck’! Beattie was chortling gleefully.

                    I know! And right next to the entrance too, cool creating, Bea!

                    They clinked their glasses together in celebration.

                    I can’t believe we created DSL Internet cover as well! Heheheh… Too f’kin’ cool, Beattie!

                    And a lemon tree right outside on the patio, how perfect is that! Let’s have another G&T, eh?

                    Wouldn’t say no, Leo, replied Beattie.

                    WHOA! woohoo, did you see the lights flash?


                    Claudio was angry. He wanted revenge. Trembling with rage and hurt, he climbed the attic stairs. His great grandfathers trunk was shrouded in a thick layer of dust, but opened easily enough. Almost sprang open before he touched it, Claudio thought uneasily.

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