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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    • #151

      Illi didn’t want that smelly old cape anyway.


        Dory was feeling so refreshed from all the floating… in the warm lagoon with Balti, on the water bed with all the coloured wispies drifting though and gently caressing and tickling her skin… I’m in the mood for dancing , she thought and jumped off the bed singing I’m in the mood for DANCING… lala la la lalaaaah…

        Just then a funny little man with a huge cheeky grin appeared and held out a tray. Smoothies! Coconut and berry smoothies, and pink cakes, croissants and oranges, and a box of cadbury’s chocolates. Dory slurped and munched and gobbled and slurped some more, and underneath where the chocolate was, she saw a brochure.
        On the front cover was a picture of a cave. OOHH A CAVE! Dory loved caves! Let’s go to the cave today, Minky! she said to the funny fellow with the impish grin. Minky winked.


        Leörmn was indeed very kind hearted, but he was also quite playful too, and wanted to be as extensively welcoming as was possible. Which meant, they would have some fun with that assertive young woman in visiting as much as possible of the cave.

        Arona was heavily cloaked as if the cave were dark humid and cold, but in fact, it was all of the above, except cold. Leörmn grinned widely when he saw her surprise at the steamy temperature inside it.

        Oh yes, he said you didn’t expect us dragons to feel comfortable in that grassy land where every dolt can make rain happen at any minute without warning… Then he added at least, we have some proper heating, but you’ll see that in due time…

        Arona was adapting slowly her gaze to the light steam, and could see more clearly the inside of the cave. Right now, they were only in a wide tunnel, with many creaks and at times, smoother parts of the walls with paintings on them.

        Oh yes, said Leörmn flippantly another hobby horse of Malvina and he proceeded along the tunnel without further ado.

        Her attention caught up by the richly decorated walls, Arona didn’t notice that the sly dragon had disappeared in front of her, and she was now standing in front of three openings at the end of the long tunnel.

        Rats… she thought, exasperated by the heat, the heavy cloak and now the waggish dragon. Of course, she still could hear the sound of the harp, but she was not in the mood for more treasure hunt.

        Hey there! That’s no fun! she cried in exasperation. But in her exertion she only managed to awaken the colony of bat-like schpurniatz nested in the cracks of the upper walls.


        Írtak was exploring the tunnels again. Leörmn had changed them for the 4th time since he fall down one of them, discovering the cave and everybody inside. Everybody meaning Malvina, the dragon and the eggs.

        Leörmn was changing them each time he was laying new eggs, making it so difficult for Malvina to find them and bring them back to the rookery.

        F LoveF Love

          Fiona could feel herself on the verge of doing something radical. In fact she had decided. She was not sure what exactly she had decided, but definitely a decision had been made. She had noticed how often she had been deleting her posts lately on an online blog she kept.

          It was clearly a sign.

          Fiona enjoyed deleting. Quintin and Dory were rather odd about her deleting. Quintin especially, who apparently never deleted anything. She wondered if this was reflected in other aspects of his life. Maybe he was a hoarder, barely able to move for all the things surrounding him. Dory tended to be a bit of hoarder, she often confessed to this trait. Nothing wrong with hoarding of course, thought Fiona. It is perfectly fine.

          Fiona resisted a sudden impulse to go and delete her whole blog, for now anyway.

          She was not quite sure what form her decision would take, but realised she felt distinctly peaceful.


            Sanso stood at the entrance to the cave, looking out over the valley. He loved the rich orange-red rocky cliffs and towering stone pillars, and recognized them at once. He remembered this place! A vague nostalgia swept over him, he’d loved it here, hadn’t wanted to leave…… A song started playing in his head …… ‘we wept when we remembered Zion’… mmm mmm mmm mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm……… when we remembered Zion….

            What an extraordinary cave it was, Sanso thought, when he’d wiped his eyes and his nose on his indigo blue shawl. Every time I see a light at the end of one of the tunnels and follow it to the cave entrance, it leads me to another time and place.

            The rain started to fall, gently at first, and then the valley was filled with the strange pale green light of an approaching thunderstorm. Reluctantly, Sanso made his way back into the cave.

            F LoveF Love

              For a moment Arona panicked, then she stood completely still while the strange flying creatures settled back down, and tried to think.

              She knew what she had to do, she had to sense which tunnel felt the lightest and then follow that. A perfect test for her intuitive abilities she had been learning to follow.

              Look where they have got you so far, whispered a little voice in her head … or she thought it was from her own head … or was it ?…. everything felt so strange all of a sudden.

              So she looked at each tunnel in turn, and even looked back the way she had come (but to be honest, she loved an adventure and did not really want to turn back) and she felt the left tunnel beckoning her.

              Huh let us hope it is the one leading furtherest away from that dragon, she thought grumpily

              You don’t mean that came the little voice again.

              No, thought Arona, I don’t mean that really, even his silly dragon face would be better than this aloneness.

              She moved quietly forward, not wishing to disturb any more flying things, and entered the tunnel.


              Illi set off at a brisk trot in search of the cave. A deafening clap of thunder made her flinch and lose her footing. She slipped, and slid down a steep slippery wet bank, tumbling and rolling out of control. Arrgghh! How embarrassing, she thought, I hope no-one is watching….OUCH! She banged her head on a strangely perfect long oblong stone, which catapulted her into the air and into a cork oak tree. Lordy! She clung onto the knobbly grey bark, trembling and gasping.

              Well, I may as well have a smoke and catch my breath, she thought, at least it’s fairly dry here in this tree. She inched upwards until she found a comfortable fork in the branches and leaned her back against the trunk, fishing in the pockets of her tartan jacket for her Camels and her lighter.

              Ahhhh….that’s better! Now, where are we? Illi felt more optimistic, and surveyed the terrain. AHA! In a little dip behind the tree was a dark hole in the ground. That will lead to a cave, I’m sure of it! Illi lit another smoke, musing that she might never have found the cave entrance had she not banged her head on the strange oblong stone, and hurtled into the tree.

              Feeling much more enthusiastic, Illi climbed down out of the tree and went to investigate the dark hole in the ground. HHmmmm…no sign of a rope, or steps, no light, she wondered what to do next. A voice boomed in her head TRUST! Trust is the key!

              Suddenly feeling very devil-may-care and adventurous, Illi dived into the hole head first… wwwwhhhheeeeeee HOOOOO…… the free-fall was exhilarating, exciting, wildly fun….and then a little voice of doubt crept in, Are you stark raving MAD?

              Whallop! Illi landed on something soft, something sodden and smelling a bit of mold. Momentarily stunned, she just lay there, in a heap on the soft wet lump.

              “Holy MOLY” the soft wet lump shouted “Get OFF me! How incredibly RUDE to land on me like that without so much as an introduction!”

              Illi trembled.


              Moving along the wet and mossy tunnels was not as easy as he had first thought. The way the power of the dragon worked was not just like creating new tunnels and filling the old ones… he was just recreating the whole cave keeping some stuffs he liked and rearranging others. He’d been keeping the sandy rookery for Malvina all along as she had convinced him to do so. But was it only for Leörnm, the eggs would have been lost with all these reconfigurations.

              “It is not a matter of importance to a dragon”, he said to Malvina once.

              “That’s why you’re here for, I’ve created you to keep some of them and allow them to hatch.”

              Since his arrival in the cave, Írtak was fascinated with all these galleries… he had the dim impression that it was not only the expression of the dragon fantasy but was expressing much more of his being… He’d been busy trying to find any sense but nothing yet.

              An unusual noise.

              He stopped and listen to the sounds of the cave… there was clearly a human voice, swearing it seemed, and quite grumpy… who could that be?


              Leörmn had been moving along very swiftly, shapeshifting into a tiny weaszchilla so as to move around unnoticed by Arona.

              He had laughed a tiny squeak when he had heard her gasp “Rats”, but it had been muffled down by the flight of the schpurniatz. That was another test for the girl’s endurance, and she had brilliantly passed.

              Of course, as he could change the cave’s tunnels into his mind, he would not have let Avona fall into a pit… Well now that he thought of it, that could have been interesting and quite funny, but she probably wouldn’t have appreciated that kind of humour.

              But the dragon also was not really giving her clues as to how she could perceive the tunnels, because after all, she was also choosing her way, in a sense.

              You are so wicked! laughed the delightful vibrant voice of Malvina in his head.

              Oh yes, he answered mentally, and I see that you enjoy it too


                Yann had been having these strange dreams and impressions since he’d been in that cave during his last trip to Scotland. In the cave he had that strange impression of a dragon roaring, but he’d rationalized that with the noise of the falls, it was quite deafening. It’d been raining for so much time that the amount of water streaming through that cave was amazing… the visits had been suspended because they feared floods and they couldn’t really explore the cave then. All he could do then was picking up a pebble for Fiona, a pebble he had still to send her :D

                After that, he’d had the weirdest impression to be observed by dragons… they felt quite big, and event though he tried to tell himself it was some effect of his imagination, he was still uneasy about that.

                The imagery of dragons had continued with his discussion with Quintin, who told him he had drawn that very cave… in which there were dragon eggs and their keeper. A strange harper woman. When he’d been shown the painting, Yann had that feeling of déjà vu, and the kid attending the newborn dragon on the upper right of the picture had aroused an intense desire to do that very action.

                “The tunnels had been changed again”, he thought first.

                That weird thought made him laugh and he couldn’t tell to Quintin why… yet.

                And last week there was his friend Anastasia who was coming back from a trip to Budapest where she had seen so many dragons in the hotel, in the museums, and there was that parade, they were calling that the dragon’s parade, and it was music and parties all the Saturday night. She enjoyed that tremendously. She even told him she had the impression of being a dragon when looking in the mirror right after that night.


                Malvina enchanted harp had been playing for quite some time now, an old tune from her homeland and she was beginning to feel like she wanted to improvise some new music.

                She had been combing every nook and cranny of every hole into the many tunnels spreading inside the cave this morning, and was quite exhausted now. Of all the few pearl-like eggs that she had found, only two looked like a promise of new baby dragons. Others would probably dry up and become hard glassy balls, that she could polish and sell in the market of the village.

                These round balls were mostly bought by rich merchants who used them only as decorations, or as a ostentatious display of riches. Few of them knew that imbued with dragon magix, they could be used as focal points, especially for two people to communicate through them.

                Malvina did not care to explain to the buyers, as long as they were only interested in the mundane. That was somewhat saddening at times, because when people started to forget about the innate magix pervading the Worlds, they started to loose their power to steer their own ships. And sometimes, for some of them, they would just create strange things out of nowhere, like sudden rains in a clear blue sky, only to remind them of this power. But for the less fortunate of them, they would just wallow in the mud and cry to the sky, forgetting that they were creating this for a purpose…

                But now, the harp was calling for her, and she knew it would delight the little Buckberry and the guests she could feel were approaching, if not here already…


                Hells Bells muttered Arona to herself , this had better not be some sort of a test that dragon is putting me through

                As she stepped forward into the darkness of the chosen path, she had a sudden sense she was walking off the edge of a cliff.

                Arona had been practising quietness for a long time. The journey had been lonely at times and offered her many opportunities to practise her skills. There were so many parts of her wanting to have a say, discuss, analyse her every move, so that she would become paralysed and unable to move at all. In desperation almost she had learned to still the voices and find that part of herself she most believed herself to be. The part which believed in the existence of magic.

                Well done, and shall you fly?

                Arona hesitated. It was that voice again. She was not sure if this new voice came from her own thoughts, but she felt not.

                Great, she thought, perfect time to finally lose it. Stuck in a dark cave with a troublesome dragon.

                Shrugging her shoulders she went still inside and moved her body forward.

                Leormn (with two little dots above the “o”) felt deeply humbled when he saw the extraordinary bravery of Arona.

                It was hard for the proud dragon to consider, but he did wonder if sometimes he went too far with his joking. After all for him the cave was a playground, clay he could mould at will, or at a whim. Perhaps one could even call it a work of art, he thought proudly.

                But he did realise that for the girl, who was newer to the ways of magic (although showed the most tremendous potential he grudgingly had to admit), he realised it represented something far deeper, a dual potential, the hope of light, but also the possibility of the deepest darkness.

                For a moment he even considered revealing his whereabouts.

                She is fine , Malvina answered his thoughts, she loves the challenge. It is what drew her here.

                F LoveF Love

                  Fiona rushed excitedly to the mailbox when she saw the postman.

                  Damn she muttered, still no pebble from Yann.

                  She wandered dejectedly back inside to do her housework.


                  Illi woke up and groaned. Her back was aching and she felt like she’d fallen down a hill, or plummeted into a hole. I thought sleep was supposed to be relaxing, she grumbled as she shuffled off to make coffee. Ten pairs of eyes followered her every movement, assessing her mood. Some of the eyes winked at the other eyes, and nodded…yes, let’s remind her, she’s useless at these clues, ok guys, everyone ready…steady…GO!

                  Illi jolted unpleasantly and painfully as a dreadful cacophany of dog barking erupted around her, and warm squirming bodies tumbled everywhere.

                  How can I possibly focus on SELF, you stupid creatures, when you keep barking like that! Illi sighed, she knew she was getting it backwards, but her whole world was topsy turvey, nothing was as it seemed anymore. Which comes first, the dragon, or the egg?

                  dragon or the egg, hhmm, egg before the dragon? or the dragon before the egg….irritated because the dogs barked? or dogs barked because I was irritated? eggs, dragons, eggs, dragons, dogs, eggs dragons eggs…..

                  Illi sighed, and made another cup of coffee.

                  And then as if by magic an extraordinary thing happened….


                  Ye Gads, how bizarre! mused the soft wet lump, I could have sworn something landed on me. Where did it go?


                    Sanso was used to travelling alone. He’d been exploring this cave on his own for several years now, and it suited him, on the whole. No need to confer, or compromise, or rush to keep up, or slow down to let others catch up. He could follow his own impulses without hindrance. He did meet others on his travels, but only at the cave entrances, or rather, the times and places that the cave entrances revealed. He never felt an urge to settle though at any of these places, always compelled to return to the caves mysterious and ever changing labyrinthine tunnels.

                    The disembodied voices and coloured wispies were always with him in the tunnels. Sometimes one would be louder than another for awhile, then another would assume prominence. The bleakest coldest times were when he wasn’t noticing them; that’s when he found himself going round and round in circles, lost in the maze.

                    The electric blue wispy had been around alot lately, comforting him with little explosions of pinprick blue lights, and a golden mustard yellow one. English, not French mustard, he reminded himself, although he didn’t think it mattered and wondered why he’d thought it.

                    Sanso had been almost crawling for some time in a particuarly cramped and difficult tunnel; bent double for most of the time, his back was aching and he longed to stretch out. The thought of going back, retracing his steps, was unbearable, so he continued, and tried not to be discouraged.
                    ‘Find something to appreciate, Appreciation is the key’ the voice of the blue wispy sounded amused, but in a kindly and endearing sort of way. Harumph, muttered Sanso, easy to say! It would help if there was something to appreciate!

                    Just then Sanso heard another voice, muttering something over and over again. ‘… dragon egg dragon… egg dog egg … dragon dog egg…’ What the heck was that all about?

                    F LoveF Love

                      The silent humid inky darkness closed in on Arona as she chose her path. She could not see the way but it did not matter. She trusted the darkness and the silence. She knew the way and yet could not have explained that even to herself..

                      She felt the music before she heard it. She did not know where it came from but the sound grew in intensity until it filled the whole space. She heard voices singing and could not understand the words and yet she felt her spirit soar and fly though her body did not move. The music was achingly beautiful and Arona felt her face wet with tears of happiness that something so beautiful existed.

                      Arona did not know how long she stood like that listening, but even after it ended she could still hear the music softly in her mind.

                      As she moved forward on her journey Arona saw a faint glimmer of light up ahead and moved towards it. The source of light was a burning candle, valiantly offering some respite from the darkness, and illuminating a door at the end of the tunnel.


                      The quiet voice of Leörmn, who was not only shaping the cave but also aware of the living creatures in it, upon feeling the trouble of the poor flattened glukenitch, mentally told it not to worry.

                      Glukenitches were slimy wet creatures fearing light, and thus kept most of their time living underground. They lived in colonies generated from a single individual, and they shared the same mind. It was thus quite easy to communicate with all of them at the same time, and that often proved quite useful, for people not at ease with teleportation, as glukenitches, despite their not very engaging looks, were most helpful creatures.

                      They especially liked the cave where Malvina had settled down, because there was this moisture and steam coming from the hot springs which allowed them to live a relatively peaceful life. They used to eat almost everything, not too regarding as to the nature of the things they consumed, and were quite useful recyclers of garbage. Their droppings had a bluish halo to them, which made the inside of the tunnels glow with them until they had completely dried up, and coalesced into a glassy substance.

                      That is, until Leörmn had it all changed again.

                      So Leörmn was quite fond of these creatures as they were of a great help to keep the natural balance of the cave.

                      Don’t worry he told the glukenitch mind, gripshawks are not as carefree as they seem; most of them are simply known for their dreadful sense of direction, and also at times for their limited attention span…

                      Oh yes, answered the mind now I understand, this one buggered off without any notice… Could have asked for directions, but we guess it would have been useless anyway… Perhaps this one thought I would eat it. As if we were such undiscerning creatures…

                      As the adage goes, “Not even the Elders could know what’s in the mind of a gripshawk”… answered Leörmn enigmatically…

                      You know, added the mind, without meaning to be disrespectful, it’s twice now we’ve got people falling inside this hole… Perhaps for your next transmugrification you’ll like to block it. At least, the first one, that boy, was much more polite and engaging, but you know, we cannot have all the Worlds move in here as if it were Shaint Lejüs Festival…


                        Dory was lost. She got sidetracked on the way to the cave, darting into a shop that had shawls and capes in deep pastel shades displayed in the window.

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