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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    • #891

        His teeth had been nudging him for a few days, or maybe a few weeks actually. Last Wednesday, Yurick and him had a chat with their friends Michaela and Elias, and Yann told them about his questioning.
        Now, he was wondering about what was the meaning of all that in his new understanding of his reality. He was having the impression that he was in a complex video game and that at the beginning he hadn’t been told about all the fun stuffs he could do in it. Many aspects of this video game were unraveling and still he was feeling cold feet about jumping ahead.
        Yann was noticing that his teeth were nudging himself mainly when he was doing certain things, like judging himself, finding himself unworthy, trying to force himself in certain directions, or to force his body. It was like his body was an amazing communication device from him to himself. It was continuously giving him information, not only about his environment like temperature, smells, lights and images, but also about what would have been hidden like weather patterns, mass excitement or balance, mass tension or release…
        Elias had told him and Yurick that their energy was constantly open to each other, in a continuous merging and exchanging process. They were quite aware of that now, and at the beginning of their relation it would have been overwhelming, but now it was really fulfilling in many ways. Even when they were not in physical proximity, they would be together and feel each other. But they were also more centered upon themselves and they were not as influenced by the mood of the other as they had been ;)) they had reached a more balanced relationship and were beginning to intensify the movement.
        Yann had also begun to be aware of a humming tone, inaudible, but very present. It was humming under the veil of this reality and he had been told it was one of his language of communication. This was very intriguing and it was overlapping his interest in his body and his teeth, he was wondering about the effects of this humming tone on them.


          Al took another pleased look at the animated stereographic pictures of himself he had been pleased to see in a special feature of Wisp. Oddly enough, he usually didn’t care to appear in such an outlet of officially held beliefs (now that most people were indeed living those previously-considered-odd concepts described issue after issue, it wasn’t like it was unofficial experiences any longer), but considering the amount of readers, he couldn’t have just turned down such a proposition of coverage.

          After putting the magazine into the drawer, Al voiced the cyputer on. An expensive acquisition this cyputer, but Tina and him had agreed that this new artificial-consciousness device would be worth more than a try, and probably would help them with putting some order in the entangled threads of their story submissions. Well, of course Tina had been slightly reluctant at first, as she had felt her taxonomy skills being rebuked, but Al had tenderly reminded her with a wink that they would be soon more equipped than sooo last-century Becky Pooh.
          Tina had bit her sensual glossy crimson lips when she almost spilled the beans about Becky’s expected kid who would probably teach her a trick or two on the new technology. Little did she know that Al knew a few things about this adventure

          The suave voice of the cyputer asked if he cared to read the new additions on the story.
          Oh good… Al rubbed his hand with expectation, and started to carefully listen to Tina’s last additions.


          Al had felt quite stimulated by what he had just had the cyputer read aloud with Tina’s sampled voice, and had to refrain himself from writing another long comment just after that. Essentially for Sam’s sake who would complain about Al being a pooper of big comments… ;))


          The day had been long. Actually, from an outside perspective he had been apparently sleeping almost all of it, so it was not appearing as if it could be a really exhausting day at all.
          But Al had been extending his body researches in the subjective. He’d started to play again with his various dream bodies he had known the existence of for quite a while now, though he hadn’t yet found the time to experiment with them fully enough. An idea he owed to Sam, who he had been pleased to hear about his unusual experiences in the Australian bush, or more accurately, in the Dreamtime.

          Playing with these various “bodies”, or qualities of attention and perception, he was aware that his thoughts on the recent events occurring in their story was still unfolding in the backstage of his attention. A rehearsal perhaps…
          Nevertheless, he was delaying the actual representation, for he felt he was not yet ready for it.
          He could feel lots of information waiting for him to download them and process them. But he wanted to do it with clarity.

          Last try had not been very convincing… He had dreamt of a midget Tina, in a flowing mauve and lemon chiffon dress. Of course, in the dream he had taken great care of not hurting her feelings, all the more since she seemed so fond of the dress. He couldn’t really tell her that the dress was giving her an enormous butt and that she was rolling her hips comically when she was walking… Impossible…
          While dream-Al was searching for words to truthfully convey his appreciation of whatever little thing that could be left to appreciate on that dress, dream-Sam had been quick to tell dream-Tina she looked like fairy Nuf. What had he said! She soon started to weep noisily. Fairy Nuf, as anyone knew, is a purple-clad plump grumpy fairy, with a pointy hat and she couldn’t possibly look that bad.
          Speak about clarity…

          Al tried again to concentrate. Taking deep breathes.

          He could feel more and more clearly the presence of the woman. Her aura was beckoning, and she seemed to want to share information with him —pieces of information he would be free to tell others or not, it didn’t matter.
          What mattered was that there was this deep desire for this information which was coming from him; and equally as deep as his, her own desire to share was palpable.

          Salome ” he whispered “ I am ready to see
          He soon started to fall into another lucid dream…


          Master Tfark , I am pleased to hear that this mission will soon bring me what I requested.
          — We are here to serve, Madam, answered obsequiously the chief of the magpies gang. As long as, of course, the promised payment is ready.
          — Wasn’t the first part of the payment satisfactory? snapped the woman with an aggressiveness so subtle that no one could have said that there was even a single trace of rudeness in her voice.
          — Yes Madam, the device you provided worked perfectly. We are eager to continue our little arrangements.
          — Very well. Bring the Arachnid Skull quickly now.


          The woman’s voice raised softly in the dark, like a velvet caress, or the sound of a purring cat.

          Life was long before I met Georges. Not unbearable, but so long and lifeless. Days would pass, and nothing new would happen but the same matter the previous days were made of.
          Though I no longer align to these limitations, I was once human, born to Earth, as Georges was, in a not so distant past. Like most of my people, I was not feeling special. But my will was strong and my desire to survive too. I survived poverty, lust and violence. In the crucible of these emotions I’ve melted my fears, and it was there I found Georges too.

          A curtain raises in the dark. A palace in an exotic tropical place. Brunei? Al doesn’t know this place…
          A young dark haired woman in a small room, around sixteen, perhaps a bit less, disheveled. She looks wildly around her, her rags stained with dust and dirt.

          Enters a tall woman. She doesn’t seem local. British perhaps. She’s elegantly dressed, thin mouth, high cheekbones, apparently in charge. A maid follows her. She can speak the girl’s language.

          Where is my mother? Let me out of here! she starts to cry
          I’m afraid this is not possible, Salome. For your safety,…
          What do you care about my safety!
          For your safety, Salome, hear me, try to behave. The Sultan is not a man without a heart. He loves beautiful women, and that is what probably saved your neck, considering what all what your mother did wrong to him refusing to pay taxes and her obstinate and bare-faced smuggling. Listen Salome, this might save you, and might save your mother as well.

          The curtain falls on the scene, where Salome hopes to have found a friend of captivity with this woman.

          A few years later, still in the golden cage of the harem, occasionally asked to service the lustful and violent Sultan, I start to go explore the depths of my misery. My inner world was a safe sanctuary, a haven from the pit of hell where I was now living, after my childhood years of hard work in the forest. There, where no one was given the key to enter, I became aware of him. I first thought he was an imaginary friend, a messenger from the other world, greeting me to a sure death. But he was real. He started to talk to me. About what I could do, like him, be a Traveler, if I wanted to.

          The curtain raises again. Young Salome is lying on her straw mat, in a seeming delirium. She moans, whispers, weeps, laughs. No one in the harem seem to care any longer. She is probably possessed, but the Sultan still find her suitable, she can’t be touched.

          A roar can be heard in the palace. The big black-bearded Sultan Ojylam the Second, ogre look on his face, summons his guard.

          — Don’t worry Salome, the voice of Georges whispers in the dark. The Sultan is mad at Madame Chesterhope. She has just fled with his precious crystal skull, but he won’t find her. She’s a skilled Traveler too, as soon you will be dear Salome, once you have learnt my last tricks, and we soon will be united.
          — Why that stupid crystal skull?
          — Don’t worry about it… This one is the Birds Skull. It carries lots of information and magic in relation to the Birds Realm, but it should be the least of your concerns. We’ll find Madame Chesterhope even if she’s clever at hiding between dimensions. Only concern for you must be to get out of here.
          — The Sultan will know I told her about it… I should have known, he was so proud of this object, and so protective too… And she was so curious…
          — That’s why we must hurry now.

          And so we were united for the first time. Lots of other lives have occurred afterwards, different paths at times, but always we have found each other again. Eternally bound, in a most sacred bound…


            :buffoon: :yahoo_rofl:


              OMG, what have we done :-O ?


              She was feeling blank. It was as if she had no memories of what had happened before. At least she had still the notion that she was a she… wasn’t she? It wasn’t really clear, as she had mixed up feelings. There weren’t any physical sensation in the place she was. Indeed, she was having difficulties finding herself. She began to wonder what was this feeling of her she was aware of. To what was it connected? And thus, she realized she was too focused on the question itself to get any answer.
              The letting go released a dam of sensations and informations. She was overwhelmed by all that she was and all that seemed to be thrust upon her senses. But the resistance was what could create pain, she knew that from another time where she was living the same thing. Resisting the communication was like wanting to resist a herd of fleeing raghlors.
              She was feeling a presence in all this mess, something familiar :-?
              Was that herself looking at herself looking at herself looking at herself looking…
              Her memory of what she was trying to do came as lightning. The sudden realization of her numerous tentatives at this exercise made her cry… would she fail again?
              She had to find these other aspects of her, put them into a common direction… but there were so many of hers! which ones should she call to follow her? Which ones would follow her, if any? She felt sudden despair coming from everywhen. Despairs that she was aware did not belong to her, but they were powerful, almost annihilating her will. Images of massacres of people she knew, of people that her other selves knew, massacre that she had perpetrated herself or that she was perpetrating… any sensation of time could fit.

              :yahoo_at_wits_end: :yahoo_doh: :yahoo_crying: :yahoo_cow: :yahoo_whew: :yahoo_skull:

              Despair was imprisoning her and she knew she already had failed because of that. It was shadowing her motivation, giving her that hollow sense of herself, shielding her from…


              Asiir, is that you? The energy was familiar and the name was a translation in her mind. It was an anchor point in all these mess of hers.
              Asiir, help me!

              The feeling was faint, so far away. But as she was focusing more on it, she noticed her different selves were intrigued and gathering around it. And there they were together. A feeling of ecstasy filled her up… and out of her body herself was huge. The presence was gaining in intensity and it was as if it was her who was allowing Asiir’s energy to be expressed toward herself.

              HAHAHAHAHA a thunderous laugh.
              Startled for a moment she almost lost contact with Asiir. But their bond was stronger this time. She was filled with joy and self-assurance.

              At last, you are beginning to understand, Lola. We can go on and take the next step now.

              She was truly riding her dragon, :face-grin: , it was wondrous.

              Well, technically you are lying on the floor of the marshes of doooom, but…

              All of a sudden, everything was gone, she was back to her body, Asiir looking at her and nudging her left arm with her snout.
              WOW, what a crippled body! How many times did she tried? Would he kill her with that, bloody bastard… a feeling of anger was infuriating her, and filling her body up, heating it up. How could he possibly be so inhuman?

              May I recall you I’m a dead guy? and furthermore, my focus wasn’t human… I just appear human to your eyes because you want me to appear like that. You have no representation of how my species could look like, but I may show you…
              … soon.


                WOW, breathed Becky, temporarily rendered speechless, her mind reeling pleasantly as she caught up on recent additions to the reality play. Wow, she said again, feeling somehow foggy, but full of wondrous magical things.


                START! said Tina.

                Becky and Tina were doing a meditation together, and Becky decided to just write whatever popped into her head. She could always delete it afterwards, or edit it, she reasoned.

                “Bagpush got out of the washtub”, Becky scribbled, “ And scooted down along the river line to the marks butty big one by the farm. Heavens above, fishly, what’s that brown thing on the water butt? Gawbsmacker said, don’t be talking like that, shekeltons in a hide to ho where and its first light, fair bright and hey ho the wash go. Abbon Ipswich, slaty flats of corncake, hey dee on the wash bucket, spittin in the hole hey down dooly. Margaret Apsworth laying on the white cotton cake spread, fair dooly down the one hooly. Ay and its a hey ho fair fooly down by the wash pooly, drum rolling in the har fool haley, down by the dash darnly. I said, hey ho the brown tooly, hoggin all the raw tooly, stewing in the far fooly for eight pence an hour. Said Mavis of the green sportwear, theres may flowers in the far horse hair, weel butter in the spar for tucker and muck down in the cow butter, said bree in the bird barny, a flying for the far fooly, well its knees up and out your dooly for the green hay beer fair. Its a fine night for a hooly in the row bottom in the far fooly, said mavis of the tom fooly, in the wash bucket down stairs. Once more, sell a nickel farthing, in the morning and in the darning, and say way more is in the star sign than a wash bucket down stairs.”

                Good greif, exclaimed Becky, What was all that about?

                What a load of twaddle, Becky, said Tina with a laugh.

                Well you know what? It was kind of fun and refreshing to just write nonsense
                I am sick of things MEANING something, Becky said, and then, warming to her subject:

                Lets have some good old fashioned MEANINGLESSNESS!

                F LoveF Love


                  Maybe Al can use the new cyersnooter to sort it out.


                    Blimey O Riley, said Becky when she read what she’d written the previous evening. As she read it over again, though, a picture began to form in her mind, a character was starting to form.

                    I was connecting to a focus, she surmised, A focus as a simple country washerwoman. A simple person, choosing to experience a life of simple pleasures, not bogged down with deep meaningful thoughts or ideas; not striving for insights or accomplishments, a pure and simple life for a pure and simple soul.

                    The washerwoman used words differently, she didn’t use words to communicate with anyone, she simply used the bubbling gurgling endless stream of sounds to amuse herself…endlessly babbling, always smiling, infinitely amused with the sheer joyous nonsense of the sounds tumbling from her lips, broadcasting seeds of absurdity in the cornfields and the meadows of the hay hoo down dooly…..


                      Well, it’s well known that abrupt hormone changes can act as a trigger that may provoke certain kinds of logorrhoea , as well as craving for unusual foods… said Al with a roll of his eyes when he saw the cyputer cooling system running all berserk after the new entry was made… 8-X


                      The portal has opened, we must hurry said Araili

                      Araili had felt something more, that he didn’t want to share yet with Akita and his spirit dog Kay. He had felt that something, or someone was trying to make its way from the wortex. However, the whole area was tightly held in a sort of quarantine by the giant spiders. Their genetic ancestral memory was aware of previous huge bleedthroughs like this one, and they had what humans would call “prophecies” amongst their kin, of such occurrences being heralds of tremendous upheavals.
                      Araili, who was extending far beyond this guise of a lynx that he had taken now, smiled when he thought of how some of his earthly medieval focuses would have been similarly frightened by natural events like eclipses.

                      It did not take long to them to find Anita’s parents. They were right at the spot that the big arachnid had just left, wrapped in silky spider bandages with little skin left to breathe.

                      They seem alive. checked Akita. Heavily sedated, but alive… Now, we’ll have to get them out of here quick.
                      I think I have an idea smiled Araili.


                      Claude had finally came out of what he thought was just a strange tree, but then, his preternatural senses where telling him something was wrong. This place looked different. No, this place felt different.
                      And smelt different too.

                      There were soft sounds, crawlings he could hear, very near his place. They were coming from him, but he would fight.
                      He jumped on a tree, and in a few vigorous movements, was perched on top of it.
                      He almost gapped when he saw the black circle of huge spiderly creatures around his tree.

                      They were staying at a distance from the wortex. But for how long… He couldn’t wait for his death.

                      From the top of the tree, Claude jumped unscathed. Taking a look around, he found exactly what he needed.
                      Breaking a few sharp bamboos poles, he started his move to the black circle in a prodigious and accelerated run.


                      From atop a nearby tree, Armelle was considering the whole scene. The wortex would probably last a few hours, perhaps a bit more. Anita, Rafaela and Yuki were about to be here soon, she had warned them of the spider circle, so that they would hide until she has found them a way to get through.

                      She had not expected someone to come out of it. That may be her way…


                      Phurt was coming closer and closer now. She could feel the surge of power, and the trepidation raising all the hair on her legs. She couldn’t possibly confront all of the sisters. Not yet.
                      She had to find a way to get past.

                      As if Arachneiax, Goddess of her kind had heard and answered her plea, a dying cry, confusion, and call for help came to her senses from a border of their circle. A perfect diversion…


                      — If you have an idea, then tell it quick, said Akita, this place gives me the creeps.
                      — Remember how Kay’s having this nice werewolf form in his shape-shifting bag of tricks?
                      — Yes, but he cannot really hold it for very long… Wouldn’t be easier if you just teleport us or something?
                      — Well, the thing is, yes, that would work for us, but that would take too long to teach you, not to say the parents. We can’t really count on their cooperation for now… and it’s perhaps better that way, because I’m not sure they would really believe they can do it anyway.
                      — So the real question is, Kay interrupted, how do we move quickly with two stoned weights?
                      — Exactly. My suggestion is that we combine our energies. I must say I’m quite fond of the werewolf outfit, it’s brawny and forces respect, and besides, you and Akita know how to operate it.
                      — I think I get your point. So how do we do?
                      — Just let Kay merge with you, and I’ll facilitate the anchoring, said Araili.

                      Kay started to swirl around Akita in a swoosh of air, while Araili faded into the background to become a force-field around them, getting tighter and tighter, until all three were a ball of light and poofed back in the form of a twelve-feet tall impressive werelynx.

                      GRRRREAT, growled Akayli the beast. Let’s move on.

                      Baring his claws, he delicately tore off the mummifying silky threads to unwrap the two parents, and taking each of them under the hairy soft grey arms, sprung out of the nest to the forest in quick bounces.


                      Armelle was aware that everybody would be there in any minute now…
                      The one who had come from the wortex wouldn’t hold long in the middle of these huge creatures. He had managed to injure or even kill a few of them, but though he showed no trace of fatigue yet, his body was bruised.

                      Ah, she sighed, feeling herself on the brink of doing something stupid. Taking a few deep breaths, she hold them until one could see the beautiful snowy owl starting to inflate like a rubber balloon, her size became twice, or thrice bigger than usual.

                      In a few minutes, she was as big as the mythical thunderbirds of the Native myths.

                      Taking a look at her waist, she sighed again. Hope I won’t get any stretch marks…

                      She then pounced on the heap of fighting bodies, and came back in the airs holding Claude in her talons.


                      Will you stop the jig now! You want to make us both end up in a tree or what? an exasperated Armelle snapped at her uncooperative passenger who stopped as soon as the clear voice of the owl had been heard.
                      A talking owl now? Is that a bad spoof of Jurassic Park?
                      Oh stop the sarcasm Armelle said, rolling her eyes almost by reflex at the remark, and quickly coming back to her sense after she started to lose direction in an unexpected loop stunting, scratching her wings in low branches and ending on all fours on top of a big borgulm tree .

                      Greetings little poohs, the grinning Snoot, all liquid fur red with the juice of the fruits greeted them. The Snoot has been expecting you and you


                      They won’t stop those nasty buggers! Tearing apart all our beauty machines! Awww, poor Vessie will be devastated! Gloria said sadly, coming dangerously close to the spot
                      Watch’out Glo! Sharon cried as a menacing magpie came cawing at her while the others were ripping the machine apart in gruesome metallic sounds.
                      Bugger! Bugger! cried Gloria Won’t bloddy poke me eyes! She started to wave her arms and kick out in erratic movements to brush out the bouncing and flying bird.

                      STAY CLEAR! the voice of Sha thundered a few moments after, and before Gloria could notice anything, a big thud with a crunching sound went zooming past her.
                      Bloddy brilliant Sha! Gloria said, spreading the fatty fingers of her hands off her face to look at the magpie crunched under a coconut. Not so proud now, bloddy bugger! she sniggered at the bird.

                      She almost giggled as she looked up on her friend. In a second, she understood how the coconut had been thrown. Ye’re bloody genius Sha! Wouldn’t have thought of using me bra as a sling! she beamed at her nearly naked friend wearing all but wrinkles and padding.

                      Oh the buggers, won’t get away with it! an all bucked up Gloria said, stripping her bra off her opulent breasts.
                      Dammit, they got something! T’s‘all shiny like a crystal ball! Must be a U.V. lamp or something
                      They won’t get away with it! We’ll knock ‘em out one by one those nasty buggers; any more coconuts by yourself sweetie?
                      Got aye few pomegranates here
                      Go fer it!


                      The confusion that Claude had made on the spiders ranks had been all that Phurt had waited for.
                      In her agitation she hadn’t felt the signals that the Mother had been hurt during the fight.

                      The only thing that obsessed Phurt now was that a way was now clear for the giant spider to go nearer the “wortex”. She could feel it, it was coming from the elder tree, the roots of which went spreading miles and miles away.
                      Perhaps she could subjugate that raw power, consume it wholly and become one with it.

                      But, as she went closer and closer, she started to feel as if she wasn’t the one eating or absorbing it, but the reverse was true. She started to struggle as she felt sucked into the wortex, crying as she felt doomed to oblivion, as old Narani had been telling them. How stupid had she been, she should have heard her. And as the Mother was now dying instead of becoming the new Mother, she was now about to die with her.
                      But now was too late for laments. She had to embrace her destiny, and if it meant to die, she would, with pride.


                      They all had felt it simultaneously. Armelle and the Snoot on the borgulm tree, Yuki and Rafaela, waiting with Anita near the perimeter made by the spiders, and Akayli the werelynx, carrying the mummified parents.

                      What’s happening Claude asked to the owl

                      One of the giant spiders went through the hole, and we’ll have to follow her said Yuki to Anita.

                      The good thing is that the turmoil will keep the wortex opened a little longer Akayli thought to himselves.

                      Armelle, go open the way now the Snoot whispered to the owl, then poofed away in a gurgling liquid sound.


                      Me? said Armelle. Well I would, of course, however you may have noticed I am twice my usual size and may get stuck if I attempt to go and open the way. I will be more than happy to lend energy to the process as I deflate.

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