Circle of Eights, Stories

Forums Yurara Fameliki’s Stories Circle of Eights, Stories

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  • #78
    EricEric
    Keymaster

    Introduction

    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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  • #671
    EricEric
    Keymaster

    In the flying car, Al was mentally reciting mantras and drawing symbols, and was distractedly participating in the conversation which he could follow thanks to telepathic transfers he grasped from his friends conversations.
    His gums were now much better, and he had recovered a wonderful smile with shiny pearl-white teeth.

    The car interior was now a bit small for them five, and Tina’d had to press herself on Al and Becky, who was almost disappearing in her boubou full of folds, her head wedged against the hat and the hat against the roof of the car.

    Can’t we get some air in there? asked Tina, who was feeling she needed to breathe more.
    Err… Let me check

    Sam’s friend was looking clumsily at some buttons for one to release the hood.

    Watch out! Becky cried, propping up her hat which had fallen on her eyes.

    They had narrowly missed a bunch of balloons floating in the middle of the buildings.

    Jeeze! It’s no better than the submarway this thing… Becky was being fidgety at everything and was wishing for the whole wedding preparations to soon be over.
    Is that a frog we hear? asked Armando who had finally released the hood, having Becky clutch her hat, as well as little Chump, with the strong wind now blowing on their heads.
    WHAT? FLOG A TIRE? Tina was shouting now, seeing now all the benefits of being able to telepathically communicate…

    A click on a button. The hood was again put on top of the car.
    Bit too noisy, hey? said Armando
    Well, didn’t really mind said Albert dreamily

    Oh dammit! Is there a damn frog in that car’s engine or what? Armando was stressed.

    Tina looked at Sam in the rear-view mirror and spluttered affectionately. Al had just mentally expressed he was experimenting with new yeast actions in his digesting system, and that there was some minor inconveniences on which he would have liked some discretion… His belly was swelling funnily and making gargoyling noises…

    Ahahah, a frog… perhaps even a blue-bullfrog with all that frogging noise! Tina was feeling surprisingly exuberant.

    #672
    FloveFlove
    Participant

    Twilight was in a reflective frame of mind. She had felt real sad saying goodbye to her brothers, and that Blue Bull Elroy had won was worrying away at her. She’d had a dream about it the other night, the bull had got loose and it was all her doing. Well she didn’t remember much more than that about the dream, but it left her with a worried feeling.

    What is is honey? asked Mama Belle , who had been watching the quiet girl and had seen the shadow pass over her face.

    Oh it aint nothing much, I am just being addled brained. I were thinking about my brothers.

    Well honey, you just say your prayers for them at night, and leave them to the Good Lord to mind out for. One thing don’t do nobody no good ever is worrying.

    Do you believe in God, Mama Belle?

    Mama Belle chuckled. Sure I believe in God, even though all my life people said I must be born of the devil to get this way. Her eyes took on a faraway look. When I was little my mother said to me, “God must sure love you Belle. He knows you one of his special children to give you such a hard testing in life. He knows you can take it.” Well I took that to heart, and fact is, far as I know, we only got one shot at this life. So I might as well make the best of things I reckon. The sun still shines on Belle honey, don’t you worry.

    Must be hard for the sun to get through all that hair though, thought Twilight, feeling a bit sad for what her friend had been through.

    Them’s the freaks I reckon, those ones that pay just to come and have a look see.

    :fleuron:

    Dear Elroy and Jo

    I am having a fine time here, meeting some real nice folks. Mr Elson has got a plan to put some of my dancing in the show, in an act along with Bleep and Flop, that’s two of the little folks, Bleep is only 3 foot high, and Flop is not much more than a few inches taller. Well it will be fun and it means I will get paid more than just minding them babies.

    Felix Otterworthy, or they call him “the Otter Man” on account of the fact he ain’t go no legs, is a very learned gentleman. He has said he will help me some with my writing if I would like. Well, that is probably the thing I feel most excited about. He read one of my stories, and said it showed “some potential”.

    So it is all going fine. I can hear them now doing the first call of the day, so this is a short letter for now.

    My friend Mama Belle says I should pray for you boys. I said, “I reckon them two are beyond help”.

    Well I am only making fun, got to go now, Be sure and write me something back.

    lots of love Twi

    :fleuron2:

    ROLL UP! ROLL UP! WELCOME TO FABULOUSLY GREAT FREAKUS CIRCUS! THE GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH! See extraordinary acts and amazing feats! COME AND MEET THE FREAKS! See the Man with Two Heads, yes that’s what I said, TWO HEADS. Meet the ugliest woman that ever walked the face of the earth, that’s if you can stand to look at her! ROLL UP! ROLL UP!

    Another day at the circus was starting.

    #673
    FloveFlove
    Participant

    Franiel felt an unaccustomed tiredness. The changes of late, his own indecision as to his path, were taking a toll and his spirit felt heavy. Despite the admonitions of Aum Geog to make all haste on this journey he decided to rest, and finding some soft grass under the shelter of a tree he sank gratefully down into it’s embrace.

    Just a short sleep, he thought drowsily.

    He was awakened by some gentle drops of rain falling on his cheek. Not knowing how long he had slept for, and seeing the darkness of the clouds in the sky, Franiel realised he had best find some shelter of a more permanent nature to wait out the storm.

    Franiel, he heard his name being whispered in his thoughts, it was no louder than a clear sky, but rang as clear as any sound he had ever heard.

    Follow me!

    And Franiel followed. Though he knew not what spirit it was leading him, he went swiftly to the entrance of a cave set in the side of the hill, as though he had known of it’s whereabouts all along. Just in time, for with a deafening clap of thunder, the heavens opened.

    From the shelter of the little cave Franiel looked out and felt a mixture of exhileration and awe at the power of the mighty elements he was witnessing . Though he kept his body dry, he sent his spirit out to dance in the rain, and laughing softly to himself, he at last felt the greyness of the last few weeks begin to ascend, as though lifted by the hands of angels, said the soft voice in his head.

    Who are you? whispered Franiel, feeling an inexplicable and sudden longing.

    :fleuron:

    It was the next day before Franiel was able to continue his journey. Making himself a small meal of bread and cheese from his provisions, checking that his precious cargo was secure in his pack, he set out feeling refreshed.

    #674
    FloveFlove
    Participant

    Dr Bronkelhampton gazed at the impassive bandaged covered face of Sasha Goldenwort propped up in the corner of his office.

    Stupid fool, she said. What a bloody mess you are in now.

    I know, it’s all gone horribly wrong really. What shall I do?

    Sasha snorted. What! you are asking me? I let you perform your stupid untested experiments on me, clearly I am not the sharpest tool in the toolbox. No, don’t ask me for advise, I see my main mission in life, oops sorry in death that should be, is to haunt you for the rest of your sad little life.

    Don’t be hard on yourself Sasha, and in a way you died for a noble cause. Others won’t have to suffer the way you did.

    Oh Bugger off, said Sasha

    Chris? Nurse Bellamy popped her head around the door. Are you busy? I thought I heard you talking.

    Dr Bronkelhampton!”, Nurse Bellamy, please for God’s sake, can’t you get anything right!

    Nurse Bellamy flinched. Dr Bronkelhampton was acting so peculiar, she was worried about him. And It was all the fault of that little upstart, Veranassessee!

    :fleuron:

    Veranassessee wished she had thought to ask her boss to remind her what Plan B was. It had sounded good at the time, but now she found herself somewhat at a loss. She sighed. Sometimes she felt like chucking all this secret agent business in and marrying her devoted boyfriend, Mahiliki, on the neighboring island of Fukitupi.

    Well she was just going to have to play it by ear!

    #675
    EricEric
    Keymaster

    But what the heck is he doing? He’s not gonna puke into my car! Armando was giving short anxious looks at the rear having finally noticed where the frogging sound was coming from.
    Oh, no… Al is very professional Tina was giggling. You know, he’s a top consultant on health issues. He’d tell you that better than me, I’m just a cosemotologist, but he knows what he does
    Oh really? Armando sounded interested
    Indeed… Al started
    Cosemotologist? interrupted Armando, almost flying over a wild goose crossing the path of the car.
    Yes answered Tina, batting a few eyelashes in the process.
    It has to do with this new thing, like using emotions as make-up?
    Yes, sure. It’s pretty effective for black spots, for instance, I’m not telling that for you of course. Here’s my card, if you’re interested in some private consultation. I also do sebum-blotches analysis, all you have to do is apply your face on a sheet of paper…

    Oh, wasn’t that mean, Tina? although Sam was finding the discussion hilarious, he knew Armando was quite ticklish on his appearance.

    And what’s the use of his swelling and frog sounds then? asked Armando, in a subtle attempt to move the focus of attention away from him
    Mmm… I’m still experimenting, but it’s an alteration of some of our common digesting bacterias, to have us efficiently process some of the new foods. But as I see it, the process of adaptation of these new bacterias may have some unpleasant side effects of swelling. Fortunately, I’ve found some old beat in the MuSoundeum that seems to help dissipate the swelling effects… I suppose the singer is still alive now… Perhaps you even know her, she was called Britta Toothpicks

    Good grief, here it is! Armando was visibly very relieved to have the rooftop of their destination on sight. He started to descend abruptly, making Chump bark at the slight air decompression, and in a matter of minutes, at the sound of frogs and Britta Toothpicks’ beats, they had all landed safely on top of the River Soup Restaurant and Salsad a new hype all-you-can-eat restaurant, where people would sit on boats and scoop their food out of the soup-river.

    #676
    EricEric
    Keymaster

    A hotel room in New Venice, January 2034

    Sean had agreed reluctantly.
    As his father Lord Wrick had been aware for some time, Sean had been heavily drinking following the death of Margaret, and though he could still speak with her, he had a hard time not to take her as an illusion from his guilty mind.
    So, wary of the impacts on his grand-children, Guinevere and Peregrine, Hilarion Wrick had demanded him to personally take care of their education, and have them move with him. The year before, he had acquired an old mansion in the Orkney Islands, in a healthy location far from the buzz of towns, and was in the process of having it restored. Its previous owner, Baron O’Dolly seemed to have disappeared and Lord Wrick had seized the occasion, as there was a nice big area of land around the place. Restoration would soon be over, he’d said, and he was wishing the children would move in the next spring.

    Of course, Sean had known that his father’s proposal was no mere proposal. With the wealth and lawyers he had at his disposal, even if he would have to wait years, he could get what he was wanting. Even if he was to crush everything in the process. So he had agreed.

    Why do you feel sorry? You are no fit to raise children, and Becky is certainly no better than you… the ghost of Margaret was saying
    You know what it is, I feel so inadequate… What will my children remember of me?
    Don’t be stupid, they love you… And I’ll talk to them… On the contrary, loving the old bat won’t be as easy for them

    This almost brought up a smile on Sean’s face.

    Yes, you’re right, and you are right for Becky and I… Perhaps we’ll have children, but for now, I suppose we want to enjoy being together, and take a deep bracing breath.
    Then stop being so gloomy and go call her. Perhaps you even want to start looking for an apartment in New Venice for both of you, to make her a big nice surprise for your wedding. She didn’t seem so fond of the idea of staying in Dublin for extended periods of time.
    Yes! And I’ll book our honey moon too… She wants to see so many places I suppose I’ll have to book a cruise over the world. And perhaps get tickets for the first trip in the cross-oceanic tunnel… Thank you Margaret, I’m so full of projects…
    Why, thank YOU, she said with a bwink (a simultaneous blinking and winking, in ghost’s jargon).

    #678
    EricEric
    Keymaster

    With all these alternating aches in his body, Yurick’s legendary patience was easily worn out these past few days.
    Of course, the news of his very near-future moving with Yann, which had finally come to be, was to be something he wanted to dance on, and rejoice and laugh with a delightful ravenous chuckle —or something a little less scary, for that matter…
    But these seeming dysfunction of his body (of course they were seeming, it was only a transformation… like a baby growing its first teeth… and who said it was to be a bed of roses for the caterpillar, under the pretext that it was inside a warm silky cocoon?) were making him very sensitive to lots of things. Other people’s energies for once, even if buffering them was becoming easier now…

    A loud ring from the telephone… Again, that woman looking for Océane. “There’s no Océane here”, he’d said, with the congeniality of a civil-servant who would have been disturbed two minutes before the morning coffee break.

    Having hung up, Yurick was thinking… Those wrong numbers may be important messages from my essence.

    And all he could think of… was that Yuki had definitely fingers too big for the dial buttons, especially if he was looking for Ogean!
    Anyway, in a few days time, it would be another one’s trouble to pick up those calls.

    #677
    AvatarJib
    Participant

    Yann was feeling very tense since a few days. He had difficulties focusing on his inner self.
    Everything was distracting him and pulling his attention on the outside.

    Well a many changes were happening at once in his life. And one of them was Yurick’s arrival in 11 days.

    Yann had changed.
    Or rather he was expressing differently. He had felt that thinking about being something or someone was generating an absolute about self…
    Self is not something and it is not one quality or several qualities… self expresses continuously and it can express all.
    Hahaha, and currently it expresses tension… well what am I to do with all that?

    He sighed and felt relaxed, looking at a bird perched on the top of a blue car. The bird was making small jumps, and this movement was sort of massaging him inside. All the tensions were released. Yann smiled and thought of his friend.

    #679
    AvatarJib
    Participant

    Yann was introducing many magical aspects of his inner world in his everyday life world.
    It was becoming like an anime.

    He had been having images of a blond guy, often laughing and giggling. Really mischievous at times. Who was he? In his dreams he was with a weird fox, a nine-tailed fox. What on earth was the significance of that!?

    #680
    AvatarJib
    Participant

    Khris was bodyflumping in a rain forest.
    She was almost flying from one tree to another tree, jumping from the mossy floor to the top of the forest, and even higher at times, some times suspended in the air, redistributing the gravity around her.
    It was tremendously fun and she was flumping with Eschraiel. Usually blond guy with blue eyes and quite a fun temper. He was enjoying bodyflumping too. They were with some other friends and some were hiding like ninjas, setting booby traps, physically and energetically.

    It was really a mess.

    #681
    EricEric
    Keymaster

    New Venice, February 2034

    Al had finally completed his body experiments. The results were encouraging, and would probably help understand more of some bodily processes.
    Obviously he’d had some fun with them, these past few years —it was a nice way to learn more about himself, and to bring some of that knowledge to other people. Essentially, it was mostly to show them that what centuries of so-called “modern medicine” had done was to make them defiant of their own bodies. The mass creations of all these diseases not so long ago was still very much embedded into people’s imaginations. How ironic was that most of these diseases were coming from the body itself.
    So, what Albert was doing in his experiments was to push the limits to show how greatly adaptive the body structure was. It was nothing different than what scientists of the last decennia were doing on laboratory rats with many uncouth cocktails of injections —except that the trigger was for the most part an internal projection, no needing great amounts of artificial adjuncts.
    Becky’s sudden and impressive illnesses, shortly before her wedding had not worried him too much, because he knew that at times the body needed to adapt to new settings and environments, albeit not always physical ones.
    Another thing he knew well enough for having experienced it was that distrust was the most difficult part during this adjustment process. Distrust of the body, of self and of course of others. It was a delicate subject and most of their ancestors way of tackling the subject had been to reinforce the distrust in one’s own body. Pills and antibiotics could do wonders, but they were not that innocuous when they were used as ways to tell one’s own body it was not behaving the way it was supposed to be. As far as the symptoms were sometimes elusive, their physical effects could be quite unpredictable, depending on the patient’s state of mind.

    That reality play they were all writing to record their various connections has always been great fun. They had been toying with the idea of great changes, new frontiers of the mind and spirit and expansion of their consciousnesses.
    It had started during Becky’s infancy, were she was inspired by her step-mother and a bunch of her friends who were doing all kind of meditations and strange “imaginary” stuff. And two years ago, she had found old digital archives and had been amazed at some of the changes that had occurred during so few of the past years of her own existence, much of them mirroring these “imagined” changes.
    So, she had enlisted Sam, and Al and Tina to join in that reality play, to continue the projection into that “Shift” of the mind and see how farther it would take them.

    But there was something that Albert had always found a bit far-fetched was Becky’s confidence in such strides in their expansion of the mind. Doubtlessly he was acknowledging that things were changing —the last discoveries in how magnetic fields affected DNA and thus the bodies had been even compelling enough to have scientists reassess their stance on how DNA and evolution of species worked. But he doubted that everything would be a perfect utopia. And pain was such an inherent and useful part of their human experience that he was not conceiving how any consciousness expansion would get rid of it.

    So, back to Becky’s illnesses which were mirroring his owns, a great deal of them was also about accepting that pain not as a flaw in the way they were creating their reality, but as something real, useful as a mechanism of feed-back. Accepting it didn’t meant cherishing it and holding dearly to it, it merely meant they had to recognize it as a way of the body to bring back the diverted awareness into the body. Well, Al wasn’t sure it would always be necessary to have it, but for the moment, the species was not entirely accustomed to being present into the body. Perhaps when it learns that, pain wouldn’t be necessary…
    To reassure Becky, he had reminded her of how as a child she had grown teeth, and that had been perhaps one of the weirdest most disturbing and painful experience children experience in relation to their bodies, but her parents had been telling her all along it was just growing. She just had to trust her body knew better. Or like Krustis the clown was saying, it sure won’t help a man if he notices a thumping sound in his chest to have it stop…

    Well, in a few days time, it would be Chinese New Year. The large Chinese population of New Venice made it a very loved holiday, and Becky and Sean had decided to wed on that day, February 19 th where they would all step into the year of the Tiger.

    How funny, Al was thinking, leaning over the railing of the balcony, looking at the sunset reflecting over the waters… These funny people that Becky had known in her infancy, the original FGF, they had seen New York under waters in their meditations… And that yellow car…
    They had discussed a lot about this event, and some had been disquieted by that fact, fearing some impeding catastrophe. But all in all it had been a smooth occurrence. Authorities had been aware of the issue, and though they did not yet know all the mechanisms at play, they had been preparing some measures to avoid the city being flooded.
    There had been lots of debates, as most politicians were advocating of building of dams to prevent the rising sea levels to enter the city.
    But the studies of Dutch experts had been the most convincing, and New York City official soon decided to follow the example of the implementation in Netherlands of moving and adapting structures, constructions of buildings and plains liable to be flooded, and even buildings and roads construction on stilts structures, which Dutch had come over time to prefer to the dams, no matter how technically efficient…
    Another imagery of adapting structures with the flow…

    #682
    EricEric
    Keymaster

    Looking at the clearing, where there was seemingly only a little girl on the trunk of a cut down coconut tree, Akita found himself puzzled. A girl, alone, in that dangerous jungle… Might it be a trick from his old enemies? The giant spiders were vicious, and could play some tricks of mind on humans, he’d witnessed before he’d run into Kay, who was granting him some sort of protection. But as far as he knew, they couldn’t do anything that elaborate. They were rather primitive in their projections, and were more inclined to slimy nightmarish visions than cute little dark-skinned girls, however untidy were her clothes…
    Besides, Kay seemed to trust her. And she could see him too. Usually, humans other than partners of spirit dogs couldn’t see them, but at times before they reached puberty, children were able to get glimpses of them, Kay had explained him.

    Apparently either the girl was a simpleton, or she had an impossible chance not having yet encountered the spiders, being as she were, pretty oblivious to what was around her, and speaking to herself or imaginary friends, while fiddling with a small device the like of which Akita never had seen in his life. The thing was making beeping noises much like a radio emitter, and his heart leapt at the idea that she might break some god-sent transponder found in the wreckage from which she surely had been a miraculous survivor…
    Kay, who had been observing and talking to the little girl, came back near Akita in a blink.

    — Don’t worry for that device, it’s just a game…
    — A game? It seems quite sophisticated for a game…
    — It’s my Gamegirl Advanced, said the girl, without detaching her gaze from the tiny screen… But the batteries will soon be dead, she added with a lovely pouting face.
    — Better the batteries than you, retorted Akita. So who are you? You can call me Akita… And I guess you’ve already met Kay.
    — I’m Anita, but everybody calls me Anu.

    She put the tiny thing at her side, and smiled broadly at Akita.

    — Wow, you have such strange clothes, it’s like you’re out of one of those black and white war movies that my father used to watch…
    — No wonder, little girl, we are at war.
    — I’m not a little girl, and I don’t think you’re right. We’re not at war!
    — That was probably well intended of your parents to hide you the truth, but thing is we are. I’ve been stranded on this island for months now with these loathsome creatures, and all I can suppose is that these spiders are secret weapons from the Nazis.
    — Oh, Nazis? Like in Indiana Jones! Anu started to giggle…
    — What do you mean? So you know of Nazis?
    — Sure, my great granddad fought them on the beaches of Normandy, that was many years ago.
    — I don’t understand… Do you have any idea of what’s going on? Akita asked Kay
    — Grwl… All of your human quandaries don’t usually make a great deal of sense to me, if you ask me, but I guess her friends would probably know more…
    — Her friends? You mean, her imaginary friends?
    — Oh they are not imaginary, Anu and Kay chorused.

    — Let me try something, Kay said.

    And the ghostly dog form contours started to wobble like a poked cube of jelly, becoming a single ball of phosphorescent ectoplastic energy that started to rotate around Akita. Akita’s vision, disturbed by the movements started to blink at a more rapid rate until his peripheral vision started to show some distinct coloured St Elmo’s fires. They were four he could count, at least for the closest ones. At time they overlapped, and when he was focusing on his peripheral vision, he could get more and more stability in these visions.

    Kay had stopped, and was again crouched near Akita.
    — That’s all? Akita asked in dismay…
    — Now you know the trick, answered Kay, almost shrugging…

    — It’s really easy, said Anita, beaming at a disoriented Akita. Also… Yuki told me that apparently time is considerably slowed down on this island. And while a month passes here, ten years pass in the world we come from…

    #683
    FloveFlove
    Participant

    The landscape had become oddly unfamiliar to Franiel. He had walked this path to the Village at the foot of the mountains maybe a half a dozen times, yet he felt certain he had never before seen these surroundings. He had never seen this patch of bright yellow flowers with their golden centers, nor this gnarled tree whose branches dropped down over the path causing Franiel to stoop in order to pass by. He stopped, hesitating, should he return the way he had come, find where he had left the path? Yet even while his mind was telling him what he was seeing should not be, he knew in his heart that he had taken no wrong turning. He touched the trunk of the old tree, and asking for wisdom, felt it’s reassuring energy calm his anxiety. The way ahead, though unexpected, felt friendly.

    As fate would have it he had not journeyed much further when he spied a fellow traveler coming towards him on the path ahead, a small figure swathed in colourful robes, wild and dishevelled locks of hair protruding exuberantly from beneath his brown leather cap.

    Greetings Fellow Traveler, cried out Franiel as he drew nearer, My name is Franiel. I am travelling from the Monastery of Margilonia to the Village of Chard Dam Jarfon, and foolishly I appear to have mislaid my way.

    The stranger chuckled merrily. Greetings Franiel, Indeed If that is your destination then I fear perhaps you are more lost than you care to admit. He motioned towards the grassy bank at the side of the path. Perhaps we might sit awhile and talk, for I know that I for one, could do with a rest and bite to eat.

    A splendid idea, replied Franiel, sensing magic in the stranger and enjoying immensely the unexpected diversion.

    So my friend you are a long way from the Village of Chard Dam Jarfon.

    Am I indeed? mused Franiel, How could that be, for that was where I was heading, and as far as I know I did not step from the path, and yet here I am.

    The stranger chuckled again, and his laughter was so infectious that Franiel joined in, not really being able to identify the source of the amusement, yet feeling all the better for it.

    And how important is it that you get to the Village of Chard Dam Jarfon?

    I am on a mission from Aum Geog, the newly appointed Abbot, replied Franiel, as he pulled out the chalice from his pack, to have this cup inscribed.

    The stranger reached out for the chalice, and studied it intently for a few moments. He took some of the water from his own water bottle and poured it into the chalice. Muttering a few words which Franiel did not recognise, the stranger closed his eyes and held the cup up as though offering it to the Gods. After a few moments he took a sip from the chalice. A look of delight crossed his face, As I thought! he chuckled.

    Now drink, my friend, he said offering the chalice back to Franiel.

    This is the sweetest Nectar you carry in your bottle ! Franiel exclaimed in surprise after taking some sips.

    The stranger chortled, It was plain water from the river I passed on my travels. I gather from your surprise that you do not know the magic of this chalice?

    Franiel shook his head. Well to be honest I have not really given the chalice much consideration, only to briefly wonder at my task. My mind has been more occupied with other matters. Franiel looked at the chalice in his hands, And what more can you tell me of this magic?

    I can caution you to be wary my friend, I would not be so quick to show strangers you meet on your path this cup, for be assured there would be some who would be keen to possess this. He frowned for a moment. What are the words which are to be inscribed on this chalice?

    Franiel pulled the sealed letter from his pack, and, feeling only a moment’s hesitation, opened it; “Bibere venenum in argento”, he read haltingly, then shrugged. I confess I don’t know what that means, I have not been taught in the old language.

    It is a curse of the Ancients, it means “drink poison from a cup of silver”. Seeing the puzzled look on Franiel’s face the stranger went on to explain. The magic of the chalice is to transform. I uttered words of love and the water transformed to sweet nectar. Had I whipered words of hate and fear, had my intention been to kill, I could have changed the water to bitter poison. The power though is not in the chalice, it is in the intention of the one who holds it and who knows of it’s magic.

    Franiel shook his head, bewildered, I can find no sense in this. Why would Aum Geog curse the cup in this way?

    The stranger turned and looked at Franiel, his clear blue gaze piercing and direct, I don’t know this Aum Geog, neither do I know his heart …. I know that you are the bearer of the cup now Franiel. Make sure you are asking the right questions.

    #684
    EricEric
    Keymaster

    « … local time in Sydney is 5:55 PM, temperature on the ground is 55°F (23°C)… »

    Seems like five fives… a hazy Mavis emerging from a heap of plane sheets said, still with her yellow hand-knitted blindfold on her eyes, probably for herself more than for the benefit of her bedazzled neighbours.
    As no one was answering, she continued her monologue while the man near her was looking embarrassed, avoiding the gaze of the cackling woman.
    You know, I’ve always got lots of fives in my life, I was the fifth girl of my family, born May 5 th, “Mavis”, my first name’s got five letters, and the coincidences go on and on, once you think of it, that is positively amazing, I daresay. German say five is “fünf”, so for me, it’s fun and play, when I put that in perspective… Still better to have that kind of outlook on these coincidences as they are piling up so well, don’t you think…

    Still getting no answer from them, she continued imperturbably.

    Oh, great, we are arrived… That journey was exhausting, not that I lacked any sleep for that matter, but you know, my legs got all swollen, and my bladder is playing tricks on me… Good thing I had these socks, you see, the vendor told me they were perfect for long-haul plane trips, not that I can see any difference anyway… Worse thing, if you ask me, was that rushing through the Japanese airport… I would not have made it without the help of this Spanish couple. Man was kind enough to push me on a trolley to the boarding gate… Now, where is this lovely couple,… hope they didn’t leave without me. It seems we all go to the same destination, how funny isn’t it? An angelic spa in a heavenly island… Sounds lots of fun… I can’t wait to see my friends here!

    Mavis was now standing on the seat of the plane, to get a better outlook on the back of the plane, for any chance to see Jose Maria and Paquita, while most of the other travelers were in a rush to go outside, already reaching for their bags and switching on their mobile phones. Truly, as stout and short as she was, standing on the seat hardly made any difference, for she was barely able to see past the high seat, but she finally got what she wanted.

    WOOOHOOO! I’M HERE! she started to wave at the couple, busy reaching for their belongings.

    #685
    TracyTracy
    Participant

    Dory was bored. She didn’t really know whether to be Dory, or Becky, or even Illi today. Maybe I will be someone new, she thought. Hmmm……

    Elvira, how about that. Well, Elvira was just as bored as Elvira as she would have been as Dory, Becky or anyone else for that matter. What happens when the inspiration goes? Where does it go? One minute the world is full of interesting things, and then Poof! nothing is very interesting at all……

    Elvira had lots of interesting things to do, she had many books, and various artistic projects half started or not even started, just thought about on and off for ages, and she had puppies to play with, and a big drawer full of pens and things to draw with. She had a camera that took little videos that was often a lot of fun…but nothing seemed worth the trouble today, nothing at all…..not even that silly wacom thing, and after all that fuss to buy it, too…it was more fun talking about buying it then the darn thing ever was afterwards…..

    The Internet, how could anyone be bored with an internet! There must be something seriously wrong with her to be bored when she had Internet! But she halfheartedly googled this, googled that…ho hum, tedium, nothing very interesting there….

    Well, what about your imagination then! Elvira sat up a bit straighter, challenging herself. You can surely do something interesting in your imagination, can’t you?

    She slumped back down again, and sighed. Like what? Well, imagine you are out in the sun, going for a walk…..

    Well ok, then, I am on the beach. At first I feel the sun on the top of my head and I squint at the bright sparkles on the sea. Then, my ears are ringing with cold, it’s a windy cold day after all and not much fun on the beach at all. Oh pull yourself together, woman! Pull your scarf round your ears! It’s a great day for driftwood, just look at those waves rolling in.

    I am trudging along, and the sand is hard to walk on and makes my legs ache. My God, I am out of shape! There are soggy oranges and piles of bamboo sticks, and plastic bottles all washed up in curving heaps. A soggy Marlboro carton; my, are they still smuggling fags from Gibraltar, I am so out of the smuggling loop these days….

    Well, was that it? Elvira chastised herself. Not much of a flight of imagination there, was it? Maybe a walk along the river instead…..

    Oh alright, if I have to…..actually I can’t be bothered to do this imaginary walk either, it’s no use….nothing is really very interesting today. I would like someone to amuse me, charmingly, pointlessly, something funny and light, and delightfully meaningless and simple…..

    And god forbid, nothing to do with beliefs, please! Or any of that weird stuff, like other lives and other dimensions, and talking to aliens and all that weirdo stuff….weirdo, weirdo, stuff! UGGHHH Elvira shuddered.

    Well, one thing I am pleased about, she mused almost happily, I can smoke again now my lungs are behaving. I thought I would be gloriously happy forever if I could only breathe without fear, and already I am Ho Hum about breathing….thought for sure I’d remember to focus on every brilliantly wonderful NOW moment, I did, after that fright with the lungs, but no….back to normal, well, worse than normal really, because now I am not even interested in anything……

    I wonder if I should start drinking again…..Oh don’t be silly, Elvira told herself rather sharply. Well, drugs then, maybe that would buck me up. It’d buck you up alright, but for how long? Well when they wore off, I could take some more.

    Yeah, right…..

    Elvira sighed again. Even Bertie Wooster hadn’t even managed to raise a smile this time, and he always used to make her smile. Reading Wodehouse now made her frown, wondering what ever she had used to find so amusing……

    The birds are making a racket out there, she noticed. Whatever do they find to sing about all day? Chirp chirp…jeeze….. maybe I should take up golf, she wondered. Dan seems to always have an interest, something passionately all-consuming……he never has enough hours in the day for all HIS interesting things….

    Where have all my interesting things GONE?

    #686
    AvatarJib
    Participant

    Its energy was different, new aspects were present now, and they were opposing in a way to the ones the snoot had noticed before.
    The snoot was puzzled and amused, it could remember a time when it was familiar with similar aspects… were they coming to the forefront again?
    It hadn’t felt them though. It was so sudden, but the snoot was curious about itself and it was amazingly blazing in its perception.
    The snoot added some colorful vibration in the surrounding environment, it felt its vibrational quality merging with the one of its forest self and its earthly being and it moved its attention to the most protective aspect. It was buzzing its interest to it and telling it how wonderful it was. The quality was slowly shifting.
    And then a swirling and not so physical aspect began turning around this one. The snoot was surprised at the ease with which this one was moving, and the directions it was opening to the protective one. The snoot was usually expressing quietness and a kind of slowness of time, though it was feeling the acceleration and it was feeling its own quality change.
    The change was quite funny as the snoot was beginning to narrow its focuses.
    It chose the mergence.

    #687
    AvatarJib
    Participant

    Kay wasn’t sure about what happened after that.
    Akita was laughing, a slow and deep laugh. His face was changing oddly as his energy was generating different speeds and movements.
    And Anita was laughing too and speaking about a big pink pig, melting around Akita.
    That’s when Kay began feeling the difference in energy. The 4 other essences were observing with a strong interest what was hapenning to the man, and other essences were arriving… so many of their attentions here, the place was quite crowded and Kay was beginning to feel overwhelmed. All the surrounding area was oscillating dangerously.
    It was like a hole in the veils between the dimensions, and it was frightening Kay.

    Kay took his decision quickly. He jumped. Bit Akita’s leg.

    The sharp pain was apparently enough to stop whatever was happening.
    Akita was shouting, swearing with rage, and that was familiar and reassuring to Kay.
    Whatever it was, Kay would not let it happen again, and the spiders were not involved. Nothing to do with their energy.

    #688
    AvatarJib
    Participant

    Georges and Salome’s journal

    From Georges’ account of his first encounter with Shu Lom Agamon. Part I

    I was quite puzzled by the similarity of our bodies. The encoding was mostly the same, though we were not of the same essence. We were like twins… even the little beauty spot on my butt.

    Well I didn’t see him naked if you wanted to ask. I could feel it. Our bodies were resonating, especially in such physical proximity. He was as puzzled as I was. Well, even more, because I could feel he wasn’t objectively aware of so many similarities. His essence was well know to me, and all I could do was laughing… inwardly.

    [Part II]

    #689
    EricEric
    Keymaster

    These are MY eggs! Nobody touches my eggs!
    Oh come on, you’re not gonna make these ostrich eggs hatch Cathy… Better have them made into a nice big omelet for our guests… Fleur said with a tentative smile.
    And why use MY eggs for that?! Moooom, she’s trying to steal my eggs…

    What’s with all that fuss here? a coarse, yet sensual female voice said in the background of the kitchen.
    Mom, she wants to make an omelet with the eggs that granddad gave me…
    Calm down Catherine, will you… Is that true Fleur?
    Err… Madam Wrick, I suppose it was only a stupid joke… Thing is that wasn’t such a bad idea… There will be quite a few guests tonight, and… she began to falter as the eyebrows of Dorean Wrick were taking a more severe look. Err… I’m sorry, M’am, I’ll send Raster fetch some food for a nice meat pie, will it be nice?
    Perfect. That settles the matter then… Catherine, go back to your room, and let Fleur work. I’ll send you a maid to help you be prepared for our guests arrival.
    Yes, Mum.

    What a silly idea Theobald, her father have had, to give her step-daughter those eggs for her birthday… Big funny green eggs. He’d said they were ostrich eggs, but there were no ostrich in Mexico, as far as she knew. Of course, now the little girl’s only idea was to have the birds hatch and to mount them and ride in the slopes of Ireland.
    This family was definitely insane, Dorean was thinking.
    At least, she had thought her own branch of the family tree had been spared by the folly of her relatives and their attraction for occult and intangible things, but with that odd gift, it seemed to her more than likely that her father had followed the steps of his wricked brother… Or perhaps it was only an old man’s way of passing time. But knowing her father down-to-earth nature, that was not like him. He didn’t do things out of a whim, and there was probably more than met the eye having to do with the funny eggs…

    A few days ago, shortly after New Year’s eve and stepping into year 2034, she’d had received an unexpected parcel from her cousin, Sean Doran. A couple of wrapped books, he was asking her to keep in store for him. She always had liked her cousin, though they had only met two or three times when they were children. Thing was, family matters were more a wrickage than anything else, and they had barely kept in touch over the years.
    She had distractedly opened the big ornate leather-bound books only to discover they were blank. What was the purpose of all of this, she didn’t know. But unlike most people, Dorean wasn’t interested in others’ businesses. She would keep the books, whatever they meant.

    And she had more pressing matters now.
    Her guest were coming. Elvira and her demented husband were moving back, and were due to arrive tonight after a rather long expatriation in the lands of Russia. Having met that strange and impressive individual, the perspective of getting away in a foreign land leaving all the past behind, all of this had most probably saved Elvira from her depressive mood…
    But she had been so isolated from her past that Dorean suspected that these almost thirty years abroad would have changed her profoundly.

    #690
    AvatarJib
    Participant

    Sitting at her desk, Alana couldn’t focus on the document she was reading. A report from one of her companies. She could feel the energy of that French guy Langlade. He was sent by the Baron, and she knew he was dangerous. She was expecting him this morning, and it was almost 5pm. Well she was a bit overwhelmed because of what was at stake. She couldn’t allow him to take it. She couldn’t allow the Baron to use it. And she couldn’t destroy it either.

    For the moment the crystal skull wasn’t here. She was aware that Langlade knew it. Though it was not for the reason he could imagine. And she wouldn’t reveal it to him… freely.

    She called Mr Isashi. She couldn’t put it off eternally.

    — Allow him in, Mr Isashi. Though take your time.

    — Very well, Aunt.

    — Is Harry here?

    — Not yet, Aunt. Do you want me to summon him?

    — No. Maybe it’s better if he doesn’t show up.

    He looked at her furtively, and she smiled back at him. Her fear well hidden under a dose of confidence. She would never allow it to happen.

    :fleuron:

    Robert was waiting in the living room. He was lounging on a golden couch when the man came back and told him she would receive him. At last…

    Well he was not in a hurry. He was patient, and so was the Baron… for now. And apparently he was to need a lot of patience.
    The pace of the Japanese boy was slow, and he wouldn’t allow him to speed up. Apparently she was nervous and wanted him to feel so.

    The corridor was well lit. Richly decorated with paintings or statues.
    He had to admit she had a refined taste.

    They stopped before a yellow door. The boy knocked 3 times and Robert could hear that the wood was very heavy. As he opened the door, they could hear a masculine voice.

    — You may need my skills.

    :fleuron:

    — Who are you? said Alana. And how did you get here?

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