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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    • #851

        “Wow, it was starting to become a hell of a smoky place place in there!” Al was thinking. “Better bugger off before I get asphyxiated” as a tornado of numbers and probable numbers of plans started to whirl in a tornado coming in his direction.

        Poof he was back home.

        “At least, Becky was home…” he said to apparently no one. “So I suppose everything is alright now.”

        You should have listened to me Al sweetie, Tina answered, while brushing her luscious hair in the bathroom. I’ve told you Becky was fine. Though I wonder where that strange reindeer-legs-addicted chaperon of hers disappeared…


          Leah Muir, born and bred in Glasgow in Scotland, first visited Marseille on a business trip. She was the personal assistant to the director of the “Twin City Exchange Programme”, Robin Abbott.

          Leah fell in love with Marseille. Truth to tell, she fell in love with a racy fellow she met in the Café De l’Abbaye one tipsy afternoon, Enri Baccalao. Leah convinced her easy going boss to let her stay in Marseille for the rest of the exchange programme, and she moved into Enri’s apartment.

          Enri was a gregarious and popular man, and his artistically shabby home was always full of people. Leah soon became great friends with a delightfully witty young woman of Italian and Burmese descent, Luce Mong.


          Leah picked her way carefully across the living room, stepping over the sprawled limbs of sleeping guests. The party last night had been a wild one, and overflowing ashtrays and empty bottles littered the room, not to mention a rag taggle assortment of snoring bodies. Leah picked up her laptop and made her way to the kitchen. She rubbed her eyes and yawned as the kettle boiled, and checked her emails.

          L.E. Muir
          R. Abbott &Co

          Choosing to deal with work correspondence after a few cups of coffee, Leah clicked on the next one.

          Luce Mong
          c/o Leah Muir

          Hhmm, it’s from Becky Vane Wrick. I wonder who that is? I wonder if it’s that gal we met in Long Pong last year?


          Of course I will introduce you, said Phoebe calmly, Franiel, meet Vincentius.

          That’s funny you say that, said Franiel recovering his marbles after a bit of an aghast moment. This name sounds oddly familiar… Is… he a talking parrot?
          Oh, yes of course, said Phoebe Chesterhope, though that’s not the least of its particularities she added with an eerie smile on her thin wrinkled mouth.
          The others, you said she snapped back, her gaze suddenly sharp as a sword. I suppose you’ll meet them, unless you’ve got already.
          I’m not sure to know what you’re talking about, Milady said Franiel slightly perplexed.
          Oh well, I can see from the clothes you are wearing that you’re coming from a place of peace and sainthood. This place is a haven too, in many ways. This place has been kept as such since a few centuries, and I intend it to stay that way. Though the Others are devising ploys always more clever to have a hand on this place. For that, I know how to keep a keen eye on what’s happening, she said with a troubling wink to her parrot.
          The valley is surely a nice place, said Franiel not sure of what he should say.
          To the contrary. It’s full of marauders if you ask me, but for good reason. Uleÿa’s valley is a place not easily reached, and there are not many portals around here. No official ones at least… So in a sense, it’s an exchange of good will between me and them.

          Franiel was not sure he wanted to delve more into all this intricate political web of alliances and plots, no more than he wanted to be involved in religious beliefs and fanaticisms…

          I can see you are a little troubled, but you’ll find your place in all these events, assuredly, Phoebe said gently. But be certain that whenever you are wanting yourself out of them, you sure will find yourself right in the midst of them, without you even knowing it.
          I only want to be a good man, and do the least evil in this World, I suppose finally answered Franiel after an awkward moment.
          This, I am sure is true… You know, I’m a little bit of a witch, I mean, intuitive person, and I can pick up images from yourself. I’m not sure about some of them, but most of them are as clear as the waters of Uleÿa. Take your time to feel at home around here. Vincentius will answer you if you need anything, in any case better than Lydia or Derwent.
          But… I mean no offense here, dear Lady,… Vincentius is but a parrot, isn’t it?

          Phoebe sighed for a moment then took Franiel by the arm, so quickly and firmly he didn’t see it coming, and couldn’t move, hypnotised by the firm grip of the woman.

          Listen carefully, my friend. I can see you can be trusted, as much as your mind is thirsty for the truth, so I will tell you. Vincentius is no mere creature. He’s the result of a little experiment I had once with a former guest of mine. Another divine being, as pure and innocent as you, going by the same very name of this creature. I captured a spark of his radiant aura, and mixed it with an egg I had kept for the occasion. And so it was born. A perfect spy, as well as a faithful friend.

          Franiel recoiled in horror… What have you done?!

          Oh, don’t be so dramatic, my young friend Phoebe said with a little giggle. No one has been harmed, and even if at times, there seem to be some side-effect when my former guest seems to see or speak through my parrot, it all has gone very well… And no, I don’t intend to do it to you… Don’t give me silly ideas, ahahah.


            Becky waited anxiously for a reply from Luce and was quite weak with relief when a response came within the hour. It was short and sweet and simply said: Of course you can come and stay! What fun! Luce and Leah XX

            Her cold forgotten, Becky booked a flight to Marseille for the early hours of the following morning, and sent Luce an email with the flight details. Next, she trotted into the bedroom and pulled a suitcase out from under the bed and hurriedly packed, wrapping the YouDo doll up in a sarong.

            Now was the hard part, writing a note for Sean.


            Sean Wrick woke up in a 24 hour diner, finding himself slumped over the cold dregs of a coffee cup and a half eaten slice of raspberry tart, his head pounding and his mouth dry.

            Oh no, he groaned when he glanced up at the TimeBridgers wall clock, What am I going to say to Becky now.


              Another probable Becky hit send on her computer, and grinned wickedly. She had amused herself greatly writing her new storyline for the Reality Play, it had taken her mind off her cold.

              Becky wandered into the kitchen where Sean was clearing up after dinner and gave him a kiss. That rhubarb crumble was delicious darling, wherever did you learn to cook like that!

              Aha, replied Sean, It’s a secret recipe of Manon’s, she made me swear not to tell anyone. The secret, he continued, and dropped his voice to an enigmatic whisper, The secret is the groiselles.

              Sean picked up the empty crumble dish to put it in the dishwasher, revealing a handwritten note that had been underneath it.

              Sean recognized Becky’s handwriting, and smiled fondly at her. Oh, what have we here! he said, and started to read. Becky was frowning, perplexed. She hadn’t written a note to Sean in THIS probability!


                Sam looked puzzled at the flurry of new comments that had appeared like a cluster of ripe “groiselles”.
                Having been plugged on the Reality Play Channel, he had been enjoying the activity like a buzzing hive of frantic bees in the background, but decided to get back to his forging of a Jedi light saber.
                The recent didjeridoo adventures had given him some particular insights on how sounds could be manipulated to model matter, and he had decided to adapt a tutorial he had found on the network on how to craft a light saber from carton wraps and glowing sticks. Except that he would do it almost from scratch, starting with a jar of vegemoth…

                As for Al, as he couldn’t resist a peek, he started to wonder what this red currant frenzy was all about. He knew well enough “groseilles”, as his aunt would make delicious red currant jelly in the bayou. But “groiselles”, he checked quickly seemed to be an ancient variation of the word… How odd… Becky’s clue-sowing (a bit Cluseau-ing, indeed :detective: ) talent was really shining in her typos…


                The wind howled. It screamed in fury. Cyclone Ycart in all its majestic glory was ripping over the island, screaming out its rage, like a demon swirling from hell.

                The rain started.

                Veranassessee shivered and cursed beneath the onslaught. Water saturated her long hair, plastered her thin cotton dress to her body and rain ran in rivulets down her face.

                She looked wildly around, trying to suppress the hysteria rising in her chest. She screamed out their names, but her voice was carried away by the winds. Breathing roughly, she paused, drawing in a calming breath.

                Then she saw them.


                She stared in bewilderment. She could barely believe what she was seeing. Mavis had been right when she nervously told her Sharon and Gloria were having a picnic on the beach. There they were like two beached whales, apparently oblivious to the waves lashing perilously close to them.

                For a moment Veranassessee was sorely tempted to leave them to their fate.


                  Leah was strolling on Marseille harbor, going to the fish market to buy some seafood for her guest’s arrival.
                  She smiles when she sees that behind the swarm of noisy people, her big black-bearded fish-smelling friend Sarkandin is there as usual, regaling people of his antics and provoking exaggerations.

                  “Hear, hear! It’s fresh, and only 5.7€ a pound… Yes Madam, can you believe it, 5.7 euros!”


                  Finally catching up with the fluid communication of the Snoot, Yuki realized that they had to move swiftly.

                  — I think it’s our chance to move to another place. Well, of course we can do it already Rafaela, please don’t interrupt. I mean, Anu, you have a chance to leave this place and get back to your dimension…
                  — And what about my parents, Anu asked preoccupied.
                  — Mmm, that’s another thing I had not yet thought about…

                  There, Akita interrupted.

                  — I know where those beasts gather, me and Kay could do a raid to their place, we can have a chance to free your parents when the spiders go for hunting.
                  — I could help too, Araili said menacingly, baring its sharp teeth.

                  — Oh fine then, Yuki said… A rabbit won’t probably be of much use to you then…
                  — And of course, you have forgotten how to shapeshift, almost said Armelle, but she only rolled her eyes twice while bitting her beck. (quite a feat to witness, the narrator thinks)
                  — I’ll follow the Snoot’s indication and lead the way to the pinhole, Yuki continued. Rafaela will come with us, to take Anu on her back, so that she doesn’t get hurt in the rocky cliffs.
                  — Beh, said Rafaela, with a wisp of fresh herb tinted drool on her chin
                  — No “but”, please. Armelle, I count on you to show our rescue team where the pinhole is located. No we have to move quickly. The pinhole is getting bigger by now, and though time lasts usually longer here than in Anu’s dimension, there are fluctuations we can’t forecast.

                  And the two groups parted.


                  Meanwhile, Claude was finding his progress inside the tree (but was it really a tree?) more and more difficult, as though the conduit was getting smaller and smaller. He paused for a moment.
                  A deep cracking sound seemed to be heard in the distance. He had to continue…


                  “Actually, that’s it! Quintin had feared the implications, as lots of people did.
                  It would mean everything would be allowed. Everything would be true, even the most blatant contradictions would be harmoniously living side by side.”

                  Becky smiled at the marvelously appropriate Reality Play entry that she’d found whilst randomly reading back through their script notes.

                  She’d had a hard time explaining to Sean about the probability glitch in which the note had appeared in the ‘wrong’ reality. He understood the concept of probable realities eventually, but he was hurt and confused as to why Becky had even thought to make up that probability in the first place. Becky hadn’t told him the full story about the dream, feeling that it may in some way be a self fulfilling prophecy if Sean knew that (in one probability, at any rate) he ended up an alcoholic, not to mention all those children! The very thought of all those children was enough to make Becky break out in a sweat, and she wasn’t inclined to add energy to that probable future.

                  Becky explained that she had written the note to Sean (in the Reality Play) to tell him she was leaving him merely as a method of introducing some new characters, but Sean was deeply wounded.

                  She did her best to placate her new husband and take his mind off it, even going so far as to don the shrunken tarty nun outfit. But after the romantic interlude, when Becky had fallen asleep, Sean was unable to stop thinking about it, and he wandered dejectedly into the kitchen, and poured himself a large whiskey.

                  In an ironic twist of fate, a glimpse into a probable future had affected the present, and Sean’s descent into confused drunkenness began in earnest.


                  Blimey, Sha, them waves are huge! The sun’s gone in, an’ all.

                  It’s alot blimmen warmer than back ‘ome though, Gloria, replied Sharon. Wind’s picking up a bit, innit?

                  I’ll say! Did you ‘ear someone shout? asked Gloria. Oh bugger, it’s started to rain!

                  Oh give over, Glor, it’ll pass over in a minute. Keep yer knickers on, will ya? It’s a tropical island, the weather’s supposed to be nice and ‘ot, innit?


                    Sam was having a weird dream in which he was having a romantic relationship with Becky after having influenced Sean in a slippery sleepy slope.
                    As the vision was developing itself, it appeared that they obviously had loads of children, like 7
                    Some of them were energies he was already familiar with, some he had glimpsed during Becky’s broadcast the other day.
                    Some others were newly added to this dimension and Becky and him were gladly offering them an entry point, so to speak… and there was the potential for a few more.
                    Sam smiled, because in wanting so bad not having these children, Becky were adding more fuel to this probability :) no matter who the father was. She may have been struggling with it, but it was one of the main point of her focus.


                    Dr Bronkelhampton was eager to come back to the fridge to see if one of his patients had taken the bait.
                    So far, his new discoveries have been promising. The use of honeycomb was a clever move, that would drastically lessen the need for expensive and cumbersome machineries. All he had to work out was the dosage.
                    He was not sure the induced mutations wouldn’t be deadly…
                    After all, that was what guinea pigs were meant for.

                    MWAHAHAAHaaahAHha… cough cough… His Machiavellian manic laugh died in a raucous fit of coughing.
                    That had almost ruined his eyeliner.
                    Bugger it


                      When Sam explained gently to Becky about the essences waiting for an entry point into this dimension, the ones that had chosen her, Becky, she was at a loss as to know what to think.

                      Well I don’t want to let them down, Sam, she said mournfully.

                      Sam laughed and said, You won’t be letting them down, silly. They’ll find another entry point. There’s no shortage of pregnant women in this dimension, you know.

                      But I feel like they’re mine already, Sam, I feel responsible for them now.

                      Laughing loudly, Sam reminded her that resposibility was her own core truth, and not an absolute one. Other essences are not your responsibility, you daft goose!

                      I know that, but I feel somehow connected to them now. I’ll always wonder about them, worry that they made a bad choice and chose a horrid entry point…her voice trailed off, and then she giggled. I’m talking absolute rubbish aren’t I?

                      Frankly, yes, dear, winked Sam. Anyway, aren’t you confusing two separate issues here, Becky? In the future probability that you viewed, Sean was a drunkard, and you had many children. They are not necessarily connected, you know. Sam winked again, and Becky blushed and whacked him over the head with the cushion she’d been clutching.

                      Oh stop! I haven’t even been on my honeymoon yet!


                        “Actually, Sam said, you are already pregnant. I don’t know if you had realized it, but it is clear in your energy. You are creating a vortex entry point in your womb.”

                        He winked mischievously.

                        “It all seems to be about influence and suggestion these days, he added with a wink. Remember, you are playing with these probabilities not because you are a victim of them, but because they present an interest to you. And remember also that they would be all actualized by one of your probable selves nonetheless.”

                        Becky did the rolling eyes, and it seemed she wouldn’t stop when Sam burst into laughter and hugged her. He kissed her swiftly and said :

                        “You can call Sean now, he understands more about it than you realize.”


                          In another probability, Becky was in fact sterile, and was glad to hear her friend Tina propose her to be a surrogate mother to give her the joy to have little rugrats err… children… [¹]

                          With a few embryos implanted to make sure one would grow, it came as a surprise that all of them did in fact became healthy babies…


                          Good thing Sean and her could afford a few surrogate nannies too… had thought probable Becky when she’d heard the news.

                          [¹] This was in fact a cluster of probabilities, in which forks equally disastrous had her in turn

                          • adopt a baby, but an administrative mishap has her end up, again, with a dozen of them
                          • get custody of long-lost family member’s children that her lovely maternal heart couldn’t bear to leave to the social services
                          • finding a few babies brought by mischievous storks at her doorstep
                          • ad libitum

                          Malvina became aware of Irtak’s return when she felt his mossy green energy, his attention was here again and he would be here in a few minutes. The twins’ energy was more erratic, their attention fluctuating swiftly as usual, they were here and there and though they weren’t… a feeling of accomplishment was accompanying their return, so she knew that it had been done… and… oh! (Alienor’s Oh…) they also left a surprise ;))

                          In her periphery, she sent the news to Leormn who was already aware of it of course, a dragon was always aware… how could she forget that?
                          Cutting short, she opened herself to her friends, to inform them they would depart soon, and she was requesting their help. They could prepare the jump before the young lad returned.
                          Using Leormn’s skill, she reshaped the main room of the cave, cleaned it a bit too, and added some fountain at the entrance with a stream flowing from it to the inside of the cave. A glob of light on top of it was creating a soothing atmosphere.

                          Georges and Salome were drawing some runes at the entrance of the cave, some of them learned in another dimension, blended with some tiles of their own. They would be used to focus the group energies to the desired time and place.

                          Malvina began playing a melody on her wooden harp, feeling more strongly Irtak’s energy.
                          They would be ready to leave.


                          Keeping in mind the cluster of probabilities they were exploring with Salome, and blending it with Malvina’s and Irtak’s energy, Georges was building a subjective pathway to their destination. They were all sending their energy toward that time and place.
                          Innerly connected with Irtak, they were both resonating with the twins who were already there in a way and helping them to create the connection.
                          It was some kind of cyclone creating process, when the sky and the sea are joining together in a big swirl.
                          The vibration was accelerating as Malvina was increasing the rhythm of her melody, matching the inner drone Georges was creating.
                          Salome was blurring as she was going through a passage of her own, maybe she would pay a visit to another place and join them later, but her energy was helping them nonetheless.
                          It was a moment of letting go of their focus, a moment of letting themselves reconfigure.

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