Circle of Eights, Stories

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      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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    • #1071

      Lady Eagleston enjoyed staying in the warm potting shed, taking her time to enjoy, appreciate and admire the ecstatic beauty of the blooming orchids. She let her thoughts wander for a few moments in the pleasant place smelling of cedar.

      Her old friend, Hector Coon had sent her a rather unusual present this morning: a few bits coming from a watermelon’s rind strangely carved with unusual symbols. What an eccentric charming old fool this Hector
      They both loved to do each other unexpected presents of which they would then try to find some underlying meaning. Not that there was any such meaning to be identified most of the time, but it was some time pleasantly spent.

      So, she had thought the only place safe to bring the bits to was here — mostly to protect them from the furious cleaning practices of Finnley, who wouldn’t have the pleasure to throw them to the garbage this time. She had seen his disgusted look when she had opened the package with excitement.
      Well, now what would he imagine she was doing in there?… :yahoo_whistling:


      This door is influenced by the energy you irradiate.

      You have to trust your energy in order for it to lead you to the most fulfilling place.

      Irtak drew his hand closer to the rippling surface of the door. Its aspect was so changing that it was like he was seeing all the tiniest elements that composed the matter, whatever it was. Hesitating, he asked Leormn.

      — Are you trying one of your tricks on me? It’s like I’m hypnotized.

      He’s not trying to lure you in… said Jeckle.
      The vibration you are currently feeling is the resonance of your energy with the one filtering through that door. said Heckle. I suspect it comes from another realm…
      But it is close to this one, Jeckle added. His muzzle quivered with excitement. I feel a friendly energy filtering from the other side.

      The waves of curiosity emitted by his friends were compelling, and Leormn could feel it. He himself was very interested by what he could feel was some kind of counterpart of himself. He was familiar with the energy but it was somewhat different from his own.

      Our strong desire is maintaining the door open. We can go safely through it and return in no time… he suggested in a soft persuasive tone.

      Arona, who was feeling a bit forgotten, grunted and added a tad dubious :
      — I’m not sure we should do it. We should tell the others… Where are they by the way?

      Apparently, the dragons and the boy were more fascinated by what was leaking out of her drawing. She’d been a bit surprised that one of her creations… if one could call the few brushstrokes a creation… that it could produce such an odd reaction. She couldn’t help but notice that the two words were anagrams.

      Leormn looked at her with a renewed interest.

      I’m feeling you are connected to that other realm, dear Arona. We all are in a way, but it’s like your lineage came from that… gate. Would you dare find out about your origin?

      She looked at him dubiously. His gaze was so intense that one moment…

      — Are you serious? she asked.

      He grinned… Who knows… if you don’t go you may never find out ;)) and I’m sure the others can take care of themselves when we are gone.

      Saying that he jumped on the other side like he was acting on a whim.

      The twins looked at each other and followed him… and Irtak was next…
      What was she to do?
      It was almost as if the door was staring at her. Challenging her… and she didn’t really like to be alone in these dark corridors.
      She jumped in and felt completely stretched out for what seemed a few seconds. She almost lost sense of who she was when an image started to form in her mind.

      It expanded until she was surrounded by a warm sensation of well being and lightness. She was completely safe in this place.
      A sudden woosh and a sensation of cold. She fell on the floor, her members suddenly failing her. The light was completely different and she couldn’t hear anything. Panic began to overwhelm her and she realized she couldn’t emit any sound either.

      As suddenly as it was gone, her sense of hearing reappeared.

      Who was shouting like that?


      The directedness in the tone was enough to make her recover her balance. She stopped shouting and began to notice her other senses… nothing particular at first, but she had the weird impression that it was different. Looking around her, she saw that the dragons were sniffing around like puppies and Irtak was following them like one of them.

      — Where are we? she asked Leormn.
      The sound of her voice was lower-pitched than usual, and Leormn started to laugh at her look of dismay.

      Hahaha! I don’t know yet… but we have all the time to discover.

      — Can’t we come back to the cave now? I don’t feel comfortable here… look at the sand, it’s purple… maybe it’s some kind of bacteria or something, maybe it’s contagious…

      He gave her one of those irritating wink. She was about to retort bluntly when she realized there was no way back.
      The door had disappeared.


        Wow, thought Al when he heard the cyputer tell him the last entry by Sam, and I thought I was the big pooper…


          “What on earth is Al suggesting now, I wonder” mused Becky, who was catching up with the latest additions to the Reality Play. Frowning, she wondered how to handle it. It was often a challenge when one of the other writers interfered with her story line plans.

          “Well, be honest, Becky” she said to herself “You were floundering a bit with all this boring tropical romance stuff, wafting around the Facility with nothing more interesting to do than sip cool drinks and wink at Gayesh.”

          Becky put the sheaf of printed pages on the table beside her, lost in thought. The warm still evening air was beginning to be stifling, and she felt trapped, smothered in the blue velvet embrace of the night, sickened by the scent of the perfumed flowers and rotting fruit, and suddenly bored beyond endurance.

          “I’m going back home” she decided. “I’ll leave a deposit of cells here, swap places with Becky Tooh, and she can come back here and take her chances with Gayesh and the clone experiment.”

          Perhaps her babies and her lush of a husband back home would be more exciting.

          “I can always swap back again later if it gets tedious in New Venice” she added, having a moment of trepidation at the thought of her responsibilities as a mother of triplets. She liked to keep her options open, keep an escape plan on the back burner.

          With a light heart and a spring in her step, she grabbed the papers off the table and ran upstairs to pack.

          “Maybe a stop over in Long Pong on the way” she decoded. “Oh look at that!” she said to herself “I meant to say decided and wrote decoded instead. Pfft” she grumbled “That must be because I’m worried about decoding all the other strange additions to the Reality Play that have been spewed forth lately. Sheesh, do Al and Sam honestly think I will ever catch up now? Oh bugger it all, Long Pong, here I come!”


          Lady Theresa Eaglestone, know as T’Eggy to her friends, waited in the potting shed at Pilston Manor (which was how the locals pronounced Pillaughpiffleston).

          “There” said Becky with a grim smile “Much easier. As if I would remember how to spell that!” Not for the first time, Becky wondered if it might be a good deal easier to write her own Reality Play and forget all this collaborative nonsense. It was hard enough to remember her own story lines, never mind trying to keep track of all the other bizarre additions as well. “Now who the devil is Hector Coon?” Thankfully this Pillaughpiffleston thread was a new one, and Becky had a fairly free rein with it: nothing was yet decided regarding the location and time frame, so if she was quick about it, and made her entry before the others, the ball was in her court.

          T’Eggy (Becky continued to write) shivered in the cool breeze that was blowing into the draughty old potting shed. She turned the the carved watermelon rind over and over in her hands, puzzling over what possible significance it may have. Surely it was a clue, or at the very least a symbol of some aspect of inner reality, but what? And what did Hector know that she didn’t know?


            It is so tiring having to carry on this charade of being a butler, thought Finnley, as he peeled off his constricting disguise.


            “Rotffflll”, grunted Hector Coon when he entered the hall of Pilston Manor where he had been invited by T’Eggy.

            “What on earth are you about Finnley with that tutu of yours?!Fancy yourself a ballerina now?”

            And where is T’Egg… I mean, Lady Eagleston?


              T’Eggy jumped and quickly shoved the mysterious watermelon rind into her pocket as Finnley’s silouette appeared in the doorway.

              “Lady T’Egg, Sir Coon sends his apologies and wishes to inform you that he has been called unexpectedly away and will no longer be able to join you for dinner this evening” the butler ceremoniously announced. T’Eggy noticed Finnley’s eyes on her bulging pocket, somewhat inappropriately, she thought. Her previous butler, Harring, had been much more discrete. There was something fishy about Finnley. T’Eggy couldn’t put her finger on it — Finnley appeared to be the perfect butler ~ his credentials were impeccable — but there was more to him than met the eye, of that she was sure.

              “Would M’Lady like dinner brought out to the… ahem… Potting Shed?” asked Finnley, raising an eyebrow disdainfully.

              “Don’t be silly” snapped T’Eggy. “When I’m done here with Phlynn the gamekeeper, I’ll come in for dinner.”


                Hahahahahah laughed Becky. Oh hahahahaah, there’s been another probability mix-up. Is Hector coming for dinner, or not? PLEASE don’t tell me it’s a clone…..


                  That sinister Finnley had plans to do away with Sir Hector, in the library, before dinner.


                    As soon as Finnley was out of sight of the potting shed, he ran like the wind towards the servants quarters below stairs. There wasn’t a moment to lose. Hector Coon would be arriving soon at Pilston and Plan 57 was about to be launched. Quickly Finnley unbuttoned his butlers jacket, dropped his sober grey trousers and inched himself into the pink tutu. Now all he had to do was lure the unsuspecting Sir Coon into the library….


                    The myopic Hector took another look at Finnley.

                    You didn’t wear pinholes glasses before, did you? And… eeek, is that fishnet stockings?


                      Finnley was momentarily non-plussed. Sir Hector had seen through his disguise almost immediately. Finnley had assumed that Sir Coon’s notorious reputation as a rampant ladies man, unable to resist anything in a skirt and stockings, would ensure that he would follow Finessa (aka Finnley) into the library “toot sweet”.


                        Sam remote-looked sternly at BeckyAnd you were complaining it was nonsensical before?
                        Apparently Gayesh didn’t give you entire satisfaction that you have new fancies… with men in tutus :yahoo_doh:


                        “By Jolly, you are a Red spy!” Hector was not duped for a moment that the creature in front of him was here to steal him the precious carving for the benefits of the Russians, like that Harring just before he had been exposed.

                        “But you can kill me now, you won’t get a thing!”

                        He was just hoping he did the right thing in sending the precious information to the feckless Lady T.


                          Yann suddenly felt a rush of warm energy… superimposed was the image of Finn.
                          Looking at Yurick he saw him smile dreamily.


                            Phlynn was late. “You just can’t get the staff these days” grumbled T’Eggy. Where was the dratted man? All she wanted was a quick leg-over before dinner, and now that Hector wasn’t coming after all, she could have spent more time with Phlynn.

                            Unbeknownst to T’Eggy, Phylnn was in the stables, struggling into his pistachio green jewel studded sari. He was late for the rendezvous in the library, and in his haste to don the disguise of a sultry voluptuous sultana, the endless yards of fabric wrapped around his long legs in a hopeless tangle.


                              “That sinister Finnley had plans to do away with Sir Hector, in the library, before dinner.”

                              “Perhaps I should amend that entry”, Becky mused.

                              “What’s that you said, Sugar Plum?” asked Gayesh, nuzzling her ear.

                              “Oh bugger off, Gayesh, can’t you see I’m busy?” Becky snapped, moving her chair away from the amourous doctor. “I have to attend to this before it all gets changed. Now shut up and back off.”

                              The unflappable Gayesh smiled, and poured the powdery contents of a vial into her drink, and waited.


                                “Damn it, where’s Phlynn!” Finnley muttered under his breath. “Plan 57 isn’t bloody working! We won’t be able to lure Sir Coon into the library now with the promise of a little clandestine titilation, we will have to use force. But I can’t do it alone! Where is PHLYNN?!”


                                  Hector suddenly felt outside of his body and became only a spectator of his own life.
                                  It was like he was a master in karate (whatever that was) and he took care of Finnley in the library in no time.

                                  He realized Finnley had a real breast, and quite generous… A surge of adrenaline overflowed his mind and all he remembered after that was the feeling of the carpet on his naked knees and the generous forms of Finnleys in his hands.

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