Tina reflected. Well I like the fact that he speaks in a gentle voice like me. Her voice trailed off. However, it’s just that it does sound rather simplistic, I mean …..
Oh thank god, the phone is ringing, I have created help so I won’t have to finish what I started to say.
Let me show you something, Dory. George reached into a big red and orange and purple kilim carpet bag ( Dory wondered where it had appeared from; she certainly didn’t recall seeing there when they arrived) and pulled out a large sheaf of printed papers. He passed it to Dory.
George grinned enigmatically and said, Indeed.
Dory flicked through the pages, reading a bit here and a bit there. Glancing up at George she said, I guess you couldn’t possibly carry the whole book round with you all the time in your carpet bag, the whole book must be enormous!
Oh, the whole book is always in my bag, he said.
Really? Dory asked in a disbelieving tone.
With a hmpf, Dory returned to scanning the pages. Before long she was overcome with waves of nostalgia and familiarity and deja vu, even a sort of backwards deja vu…a vuja de…Dory snickered to herself…
Why is this chapter called remembering, George? If I had written this chapter I’d have called it forgetting.
Ibn al’ Gruk was weary.
That lone grake he had seen flying over the desert settlement this morning had baffled him.
Usually, such creatures where not migrating at this season, and this one was lone too, which was all the more baffling.
The old gripshawk had seen many things in his life, but this was surely a presage of importance. In the myths of his people, the big colourful birds were once thriving in the desert oasis, where they were thought to have appeared in the Old Times. But having been extensively hunted down as food for the gripshawk tribes, they had moved away, and the balance had been broken.
It had prompted lots of the tribes to move apart, in search of food and exchanges, and few of them were now still living in the deserts as they did in the old ways. Many of them, for many generations now, had been creating cities on the coast, and the most flourishing one was Chafik’ An, where a traveling portal had been erected by the humans from Lan’Ork to facilitate exchanges and trades.
All of that, despite his old age (that his long mop of white angora hair under his chin could account for), Ibn al’ Gruk had only heard all of this through the lineage of his ancestors, but he had seen some of the conflicts that had been created, and he understood that change again was in the air.
He felt like he could weave a new tale to entertain the settlement tonight, and perhaps give them inkling as to the new changes to come.
For he felt changes were coming, and that they had been in motion already.
The night was clear, and lots of people had gathered around the big bonfire. They all loved these regular meetings where everyone would meet and share food, drinks and over all, gaiety.
He started to drum low deep sounds and cleared his throat.
A fit of cough got him by surprise, but it was just a hairball that he spat in the fire, which set ablaze immediately, providing some dramatic effect that hushed everyone down.
“In a mysterious land far far away,” started Ibn al’ Gruk, with a growling voice…
Egypt, 2657 B.C.
Lekshen had dreamt of Set that night. The god had appeared to him in one of his familiar forms, that of a long snouted animal .
Lekhsen was wondering why the god had requested such a task for him to do, but he was certainly in the perfect position to accomplish such a task.
Like Set, Lekhsen came from Upper Egypt, the arid land, and he had managed to get a high-ranking responsibility in fertile Lower Egypt as a scribe thanks to the unification efforts of Pharaoh.
But Pharaoh’s daughter had just died… right after her 10 year old brother, and Pharaoh’s himself felt He would not live much longer.
Which would mean that the closest male in the family would be likely to get on the throne of Egypt. And that would be bad news for people like him, as the brothers and brothers-in-law of Pharaoh did not appreciate much His policy.
In the dream, the strange creature had asked him to hide something with the mummy of Pharaoh’s daughter. It had told him people would forget about how Set was fighting for Ra, the Sun, each night that the bark was traveling on the dangerous underworld waters. They would forget, and would demonise him and his people, and he, Lekhsen would have to write the story, and bury it with the Princess. His status would allow him to do it unscathed.
“Would people ever remember they once were One?” had asked Lekshen to the god.
“Only you can tell” had the creature answered.
Do you understand? George asked with a penetrating stare.
Dory sighed, yeah yeah yeah. I must have read the concept a hundred or a thousand times, but I keep forgetting! Why is that George? I understand that in theory, but I always seem to forget, when the crunch comes to shove…her voice trailed off confusedly.
When Dory finally woke up from her coleslaw induced stupour, she felt quite befuddled. What a peculiar trip it had been! I’ve taken some recreational drugs in my time, Dory thought, but I’ve never had a trip quite like that one. She wondered what on earth George had drugged the coleslaw with. Dory closed her eyes again, recalling snatches of the hallucinations.
Being chased by bandits on hairpin mountain roads with a small baby girl in the car; being held at gunpoint by Idi Amin in an Afrian court; running, running, gasping with terror, chased by old fashioned Bobbies on pushbikes, and dough faced bowler hatted debt collectors…..
Dory’s heart was pounding again as she recalled the images that rolled along like a crazy movie montage, a psycho thriller, a horror movie…..
……being held down under the bathwater as a baby with a vicious scowling face looming above her; fighting with a witch in the garden shed for tense petrifying hours; monstrous demons snaking blacky out of ouija boards, and madness and asylums; a man lying in a double bed dying from self inflicted stab wounds and she was shouting and calling and nobody hearing; running, running and gasping, shouting for help and no-one was there…..
Well, Dory pulled herself together, No point in dwelling on it, it was just a freaky bad trip.
Coffee? George asked.
Dory’s head snapped round. Huh? Oh! Gosh, YES please! You’re still here are you? Dory rubbed her eyes and shook herself a bit. Just the mention of coffee had already started to snap her out of her unpleasant reverie.
You WERE? Dory was momentarily non-plussed. And then, Well why did you let all that awful stuff happen then? Why didn’t you help me? You just stood there and watched?
Quintin couldn’t sleep.
Now he was thinking, he had delayed it for too long.
They all had been thinking of it, talking and glossing over it for so long. Some had dreamed of it, feared it, asked for it to bugger off. Lots of pains and struggles, but it had only been clever or not so clever ways to delay the unavoidable.
Now, he had an urge to insert it. How come he had not thought of it before. All he had to do was insert it in his reality.
Well, that would sure mean lots of changes, but after all, no pain no gain.
Or no abundance.
ABUNDANCE abun·dance [ ə-ˈbən-dəns ] “The ability to do what you need to do, when you need to do it”
That’s how Pasha, a Russian friend of Dory had defined abundance — speaking of Dory, now Quintin was seeing how she was ahead of the herd, and a bit of a coal (slow) mine canary too. Quintin would have changed all the world’s dictionaries to have that new definition everywhere. What a task…
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. Struggle would be needless, and all that would be needed to do would be to stop paddling upstream.
What a mess it could be for salmons and control freaks as himself.
Perhaps worse, it would change everything, even “past” events where everything would also be allowed, now.
In-of-body travels (rather than the too classical “out-of-body”), meeting other selves appearing out of nowhere, talking with dead people, or sugarplum fairies, traveling instantaneously to meet Tchaikovsky and have him change his dying swan for a stuffed talking Mother Goose, flying, shape-shifting, manifesting objects out of thin air, the possibilities would be extraordinary… All in that physical reality where everyone was struggling to prove none of this was possible.
But if everything would be allowed, then be it! And he would go and live in 23, Dragon Alley, Phœnix Ville, Sunnyvalley with Yann (and the others of course, if they wanted to) and do whatever they wanted to do.
OK. That’s a deal then. Release the camouflages, open the watergates and leave the damn dams to beavers and loosers.
Let’s insert the Shift, now.
And let the fun continue, and worry wither away.
Well, and what’s that Shift all about?
“You are also bored in the experiences that you have created to this point. You have experienced. You have created in the manner that you have designed previously. Now you choose to be creating in an expanded experience, allowing more of your awareness, more of an opening to consciousness, more of your own creativity and your own abilities, and you are discovering that your abilities are within physical focus limitless. You have merely limited yourselves as an element of your beliefs, but as you are also moving into acceptance of your beliefs, you are widening your awareness and you are allowing yourselves to view how many more abilities you hold and how very creative you are, and not creating your limitations with such severity. Those elements in your reality that have been thought to be impossible are not impossible!” 1
Becky woke up in a sweat. Her bedclothes were tangled and what remained of her pillow was on the floor. The room was full of downy feathers.
Sheesh, said Becky, pushing sweaty strands of hair out of her eyes and reaching for her cigarettes.
What a dream! Wow, I wonder what that witch did to deserve that! Becky couldn’t quite believe she’d had such a violently aggressive dream. All she could really remember was attacking a witch, and slapping her repeatedly, and punching her, screaming all the while DON’T…EVER….DO THAT AGAIN Wangwangawanga…… DON’T DO IT wangawanga… then the witch had turned into a goose, but still Becky kept punching her, causing the poor gooses feathers to fly everywhere, and all the while Becky kept shouting WANGAWANGAWANGA……
I can’t believe I did that, even in a dream! Becky hated violence so much that she walked out of the room if a violent scene was showing on the television, and she loved witches and geese.
That poor goose! Becky decided to go back into the dream, to smooth what was left of the gooses ruffled feathers, and apologize.
She stubbed out her cigarette, and settled back against the pillows and closed her eyes. Now the goose was looking at her reproachfully, in between straightening her plumage, and huffing and tutting a bit.
I’m awfully sorry about that! I don’t know why I did it. Becky hoped it was a forgiving kind of goose, and not a vengeful one.
It matters not, I suppose, grumbled the goose, I must have created being slapped around by a sweaty madwoman, though gawd knows why.
Were you a witch in another focus? Becky asked. Because I was angry with a witch initially, not a big white goose and I don’t know how I came to be pummeling you. Come to think of it, I don’t know why I was attacking the witch either. The witch did look unpleasant though, but you look nice enough….
Well I don’t look very blimmen nice with my feathers in this state, dearie! And don’t remind me of that dratted witch focus, gawd, I was horrid. Not surprised you lashed out at that one!
Becky started to relax. Things were looking promising. The goose was turning out to be rather sweet.
But as you can see, continued the goose, I am not a witch, I am a big white goose now, a rather sweet one too, even if I do say so myself, so let’s hear no more about it.
Becky smiled broadly at the goose. I appreciate that very much! Oh by the way…what’s your name?
The City, year 2257
Janice had just awoken from a strange dream, where she was watching big round cabbages being harvested in what looked like Quintin’s father garden. They were all firmly rooted on a black irrigation pole across the garden, and people were using strange devices to turn them all delicately and pick them afterwards. In the dream, there were black puppies too, sleeping in the straw of a kind of hut nearby. And she had seen another creature, and had been surprised first because it was unlike anything she had ever met, even in dreams. It was hairless and brown as soft mud, and was hiding in the neighbour’s garden. Then it had crossed and came to play with her…
Janice was lost in her thoughts strolling on the way to the common dome, when she met Rodney, her father’s friend.
They had been recently trying with her father Jacob, and also Qixi to connect with their shifting focuses of the Ancients, two centuries and half before their time.
Some of them, they had found, had been playing a sort of game of story-telling and clue-sowing… (Janice was laughing as her father’s friend, the scientist Arkandin, always insisted on seesawing instead)
Perhaps her dream was telling her that the crop was ripe, and it was time to harvest some from it. She told her dream to Rodney. All at once, he was quite excited and they started to feel they wanted to chat more freely. So they went into one of the Medraw Caps that was available and soon imagined a comfortable environment for themselves to explore more.
Janice could hear Al or Quintin complain about how things were getting confusing.
She tried to convey to both of them that they could be excited about it, as it was expanding their understanding, but they weren’t very receptive.
Somewhere Al was saying to Becky
— The more you try to fix it, the more confused I am
— Hahahahah yes! Becky was answering, I guess so! Ahahahah! Al, what a fabulous dance of confusion we do… The Confundo Tango
— Ahahah, yes!
Al started again to moan:
— So who’s dead, who’s the shapeshifter? Who’s the human, who’s the cat?
(Rodney was laughing, as for him, he could accept the confusion as much easier, letting him free to wander around!)
— Illi was a woman, a shapeshifter who shape-shifted into a cat, then, she died. Becky was saying (Rodney added mentally “Now, she is disengaged” as he knew that “death” was a confusing word.) She was an archaeologist
— Okay, that’s cool, that’s what I thought, Al acquiesced. Then thought back of what was said of her and wondered… Anyway, it will probably find a perfect answer …
— I got lost myself when two Illis appeared, and a grip-thing as well
— Because I didn’t want the grip-thing to be dead! Al couldn’t help but laugh. That would have been too easy, like wiggling out. Not using your imagination within the context of objective imagery to sort out “things”…
While Rodney and Janice were seeing that their other focuses were kind of stuck in their explanation, they had time freeze and both decided to come back to their “now” to start from their understanding.
A funny thought had come to Janice, that she shared with Rodney.
— Oh, the funny thing you know, about Becky having written to Sean…
Rodney nodded. Janice continued:
— It just appeared in my mind just moments ago, at the same time you (well, Rafaela) inserted into the story of Malvina. That Becky would have been asking Sean something, and that perhaps it would have helped him talk to his father in the future.
— Well, that Sean is SUCH AN ENIGMA! bumped Rodney a bit excited by the implications.
— What do you mean? asked Janice, who just remembered that Sean Doran has a cousin named Dorean.
— Who is he? Where is he? was asking Rodney now.
Rodney was having a hard time remembering what had been inserted yet in the story about him.
So Janice manifested the Wrick family tree in front of them, so that he could see better. She started by manifesting an acorn, then threw in on the grass, and it sprung forth in a little sapling with signs hanging from its branches.
— Well, it’s all in the script, answered Janice, he’s Lord Wrick’s son.
— Oh boy, I am in trouble again for not keeping up with the facts! Rodney sighed, and laughed…
Janice laughed “So that you can surprise yourself again!”
Janice stopped the growth of the family tree for a moment and started to comment it.
— See, in Becky’s time of the reality play, Sean is Lord’s Wrick son, and has just lost his wife Margaret, and got his two young children around their 10s.
— When is Becky’s time then? Rodney wondered, I hadn’t though of that…
— Becky’s time for the reality play is around 2033…
Then Janice had the tree grow again, and sprout more branches from Sean’s children:
— …Now, Sean is the grand-father of the twins, except than the twin’s time is around 2057 if it had not changed yet. It’s so carefully woven, but it’s fun how it effortlessly came to fit in.
— TRUST AND ALLOWING AND GOING WITH THE FLOW cried Rodney and Janice in unison, in the realisation of how well all this was.
Rodney was beginning to remember it all.
— I just remember the part about Sean, so he is still a bit of a mystery
— Yes, absolutely
— We don’t really know do we why Hilarion didn’t mention him
— Oh, there’s also the Margaret newspaper thing… Janice fumbled in her memory to find the proper link that would display the image of the newspaper cut just at the right of the family tree. Adding with a wink “with more dates to get bearings”
— Ahahah, I’d love to have pocketfuls of ball bearings said Rodney who manifested a pocketful to distract him from the load of information. OH YES! he cried, I had forgetten about this! What an incredibly HUGE story this is…
Then, all of a second, Rodney erupted in an uproarious laugh
— AHAHAHA, I had just forgotten to de-hallucinate these pince-nez spectacles! Now, it is much easier to read!
Janice was laughing so hard, she thought she would shatter the hallucination with the wobbles of the soundless sounds.
Then she added:
— Sean is born around 2000, a bit before.
— OK, maybe he went to help the Tuaregs, Rodney was accessing some information now. Maybe he was the one who put the mummy in the locked room that India found.
— You know I had something funny in store for the mummy mystery, Janice couldn’t help but laugh again. I imagined we could have inserted Old Manon, coming down to secretly drink from her old malt whiskey’s flask, and finding them messing up with her old dear stuffed cat…
— Maybe the mummy was the same one that Dory saw in the oblong hole in the ground outside the cave, Rodney was still accessing flickering images swirling around his head. And Sean was there helping the Tuaregs and moved it to safety.
Of course, years previously, Illi Fergusson, the archeologist had buried the mummy there too for safe keeping.
Now, Janice was hooked:
— Was it where Illi learned about shapeshifting tricks from the old tribe?
Rodney noticed Janice’s funny remark and laughed before continuing:
— The Tuaregs were conducting secret coleslaw experiments in the desert. In combination with sound and irrigation techniques, they were going to run the entire Sahara into a broccoli field.
Janice was amazed at the cabbage “coincidence” and irrigation stuff with her dream of that morning. Of course she knew there where probably mis-interpretation of the imagery coming from Rodney’s visions, but something made sense.
— Around which year? she asked
— Arrggh I don’t know!… Then, taking a breath of dream air, Rodney said “1923”. When Illi learned shape-shifting trick, 1923.
— It makes sense, said Janice who was now thinking of other dispersed informations about Illi Fergusson.
— Yes, she learned from Dashine Ashara… Although who that is, I don’t yet know.
— Wow, said Janice. She had felt a connection with the “da’sheen” sound. She continued: somewhere, Illi Fergusson has said: “my parents were aristocrats”
— Yes, answered Rodney who was accessing again, they were, and they knew the Wildes .
— And it was said too: “[…] a nurturing presence that reminded Illi of the maid she and her parents had in their cottage in South Africa”… like her parents were traveling a lot.
— Ah, South Africa! Illi’s parents emigrated to South Africa with Sir Abingdon Portfellow, an elderly scholar on ancient artifacts and embalming.
— Seems she knew John Lubbock too, said Janice again, reviving old data banks of information. Dates seem okay, so if she was around 30 in the Tuareg adventure, she could have met him.
— Wow, said Rodney, this is even more interesting…
“But we may sit at home and yet be in all quarters of the earth.” Janice had just summoned the voice of the naturalist and archaeologist. Rodney applauded “Lubbock said that? cool quote!”.
— Yes, like Illi’s quote, which was from him “What we see depends mainly on what we look for”. I wonder if that’s one of your (Illi’s) overlapping focuses, said Janice…
They were both amazed at the magical cooperation they were doing at that moment. Janice would have loved to share all of that with Qixi and Jacob, but probably their energies were present at the moment too, though not focused here.
She then remembered something else:
— Oh, and there is something else! Quintin’s dream of the woman detective. Let me fetch it she said, summoning now Quintin’s memory to talk to them.
… by night, near a museum in London, in the 1920s. She was investigating a case of a strange disappearance near a small replicate of an Egyptian pyramid that had been put here for display. There had been an exposition of ancient artifacts in the museum, which had been recently unearthed by a team of archaeologists and graciously lent by Egypt’s officials. Strangely enough, the woman detective feels linked to the story, and is probably Dory…
Date fits again, she said in awe.
— Perfect! said Rodney. She was of course Dory too, but in that focus she was Illi Fergusson… he slowed down, then said No! wait! The detective was another one of my focuses. The archeologist who stole the mummy for safekeeping was Illi.
— So you are both the thief and the detective, the one who creates mystery for yourself, how interesting, giggled Janice.
— Yes, and not only that Janice! Rodney was taking a mysterious air… I am the mummy too!
Janice bust out laughing imagining Rodney in bandages. Yes, of course!
Then, she had a name come with that: Apsh’un Shet she said, very self-absorbed.
Now, that was Rodney’s turn to burst out laughing.
— “I am not sure about that!”
— Doubting my insights… mmm, how rude… Janice frowned then laughed again.
— If you call me that, I may have to make you out to have a speech impediment
— Sounds a good Egyptian name for me though, seems it means “Light of the Dawn”
— Does it? Oh that sounds nice…
— Well, in some Egyptian dialect, yes. She was a Princess…
— Hahaha! Reminds me of Aspen Shit. Rodney doubted Janice could be serious about that name, but Janice was now the one to be accessing some information.
— Bit bossy Princess
— Which dynasty?
— III rd, answered Janice, who fumbled in links of consciousness to find some timeline to project for them.
— What year?
Janice projected the timeline below then said
— I’d say around 2657 B.C., in Ancients way of telling time.
They both marveled at the splendid team work they had been doing, and hoped that the other focuses involved would be able to get some parts of their insights too.
Rodney was seeing something else
— There is also, a very fascinating link between Tassili in the Sahara and Egypt which is a mystery AND there is a connection with Egypt and Scotland too…
— Illi the gripshawk comes from the mysterious land of the Sands, south of the map fragment
— We may unravel more than we think… Illi is an other dimensional focus of the Illi essence…
— Yes she is. She is a connection too, being “lost” in the land of dragons after hopping through traveling portals…
— And they communicated because they are helping each other
— Which is why she doesn’t always ‘fit’ into this reality’s energy configuration
— And they have some difficulties at times with translations of other dimensional stuff
— Yes! resulting in confusion!
And they both laughed again, looking at the great tapestry of clues that was woven before their dream eyes.
— Well, I’m sorry to have to tell you Becky Pooh, but your script is getting awfully confusing… Al was saying swaying his head in dismay.
— What?! Becky nearly spluttered her cappuccino on Tina who was munching marshmallows at the cafeteria of the rehearsal room.
— Yes, you see… Al was once again lost in his thoughts… This Illi is driving me crazy, once she’s here, then she’s elsewhere. At one moment you said she was dead, and I went to great extents to try to clarify…
— Muddle, interrupted Becky Pooh, Muddle…
— … the whole thing, Al continued imperturbably, and made clear, or so I thought, that the Illi cat was alive, and the Illi human was indeed dead, but now Tina makes the Illi in the dream of little Chiara the cat again… Could you both explain what happens. I’m completely lost.
— AHAHAH, LOST! cried Becky so insanely, so that all of the others looked at her with eyes wide as saucers.
— Well, there could be lots of explanations of course, interjected Sam, whose energy was always soothing to incorporate in the midst of heated discussions on the reality play they were all writing.
— Yes, of course there are! It all makes perfect sense, said Becky.
— Oh sure, said Tina, except that you don’t really make Illi do anything…
— Do I?
— Well, they were near the cave, but you won’t face the scaly stinky dragons anyway, said Al a bit disappointed.
— Why can’t you imagine them all fluffy and pink if it’s easier for you? said Sam. Like Chinese dragons, why not? A bit dog-headed, wouldn’t that be easier for you?
— Mmmm. Becky was pondering.
— And what were your suggestions to explain that insane dream? asked Al to Sam.
— Mmm, let me see… Perhaps it’s from another timeline. No one has said when that dream has occurred, so it may be before, or after the events happening right now.
— And for the cat seen by Chiara, said Tina gently, that could just be her seeing the essence of Illi, and seeing other of her personalities…
— Well, seems to make sense… acknowledged Al and Sam, all turning to Becky to see if she agreed.
Chiara got quite a fright and spun round quickly. She stood gazing at the funny cat creature who had shouted BOUH at her, momentarily uncertain as to whether to burst into laughter or tears.
Illi watched Chiara’s trembling lip with some concern, especially when she saw the very large creature who was with her. Illi felt it may be prudent to make a hasty retreat, however, before she could make her getaway, a rather loud voice shouted out from behind a gigantic pebble:
I WISH YOU WOULD ALL GO AWAY
And a tiny figure emerged. A very small and rather rumpled looking pink fairy, with a grumpy expression on her pretty face.
I SAID I WISH YOU WOULD ALL GO AWAY, she shouted again, this time stamping her foot angrily and glaring at the assembled trio.
Is that really what you want dear? Asked Roselyn. Because we can go away if you like.
At which the little little pink fairy burst into loud sobbing noises and threw herself on the ground.
Oh dear, said Roselyn whatever is the matter?
‘Laughter is Priceless’ .
— Hey Genie! Look at this. India Louise held a gold locket up to the lamp. It’s inscribed on the back, look: laughter is priceless.
— What’s on the front? Eugenia asked, moving closer.
The locket was egg shaped and had an unusual south pacific motif on the top, and an inscription in comic sans font on the bottom. Open it, Indy, see if there’s anything inside. Eugenia shivered. OOOhh someone just walked over my grave, she said, shuddering again. It’s weird in here, eh.
— Yeah, bit scarey really, India Louise giggled, fumbling with the locket catch.
— The legend of Mævel — (Part I)
as told by Cpt Bone to young Tomkin
In the time of the Gods, the King of the Fairies, Aldurion, fell in love with a beautiful mortal named Theÿa.
He wanted to make her his Queen but only the Elder Gods could bestow the gift of immortality upon mortals.
So he went to see Ghört, the God of the Airs. Ghört could certainly grant him what he requested, but for that, Theÿa would have to be transformed into an air sprite. Aldurion wouldn’t be able to hold her again. So he declined the offer, and went to see another Elder God.
Then, he went to see Nærvel, the Goddess of the Waters. But Nærvel could grant him immortality if Theÿa was to be transformed into a water sprite. So Aldurion declined again.
Then he went to see Agnima, the Goddess of the Flames, and then Selvaniel the God of the Woods, and Margilonia the Goddess of the Earths. But all of their conditions were the same, Theÿa would have to be transformed into an immaterial and immortal elemental fairy. But Aldurion couldn’t bear to have her changed into something else than she was.
Then, only one of the Elder Gods was left, the one than few of the Immortals dared talk to, and of whom most mortals were afraid, to the point of systematically using the Old Speech respectful form of address (“Shaint”), when referring to him.
So Aldurion came to see Lejüs, God of the Forgotten.
Lejüs was greatly pleased to see him. When Aldurion had finished exposing his request, Lejüs took a moment to ponder. Giving immortality was none of his wonts, as he was keeper of the Forgotten. But he was not without compassion, and seeing Aldurion’s plight, he offered to grant his wish at the condition that, not his wife, but their first born child, would become Forgotten.
Aldurion was so hopeful that all he saw was that the condition seemed so small, based on a future event that perhaps wouldn’t even happen… All he wanted was to have Theÿa as a Queen, and so the deal was made.
So became Theÿa Queen of the Fairies.
A few God’s Years later, which meant in human years much more than a few years, Theÿa became pregnant.
When she announced the news to Aldurion, he was suddenly reminded of the deal he had made with Lejüs, and was quite distraught, as he had not revealed it to Theÿa. But he remained quiet, hoping that Lejüs would have forgotten about the whole story (well, that was forgetting he was Keeper of the Forgotten).
So Theÿa gave birth to a little baby girl fairy, with golden wavy hair and bright eyes. She, like her mother, had no wings, but there was magic in her. They named her Araoni.
But Lejüs had not forgotten of course, and came to see the Royal couple to claim the baby. Aldurion pretended that the mother and baby was still very weak, and he would have to come back in a few God’s Days. Lejüs agreed, and left complaisantly.
Aldurion was at a loss for solutions, but Theÿa was a fairy with lots of ruse, so he decided to reveal it all to her, hoping that she would have a solution.
Theÿa asked him time to think about this, and told him not to worry.
Later, she had an idea, quite brilliant she thought. All she had to do was to find another child to give Lejüs.
So she gave baby Araoni to one of her diligent nurse, the old fairy Gretchÿa, telling her to find a house were a blond new born girl could be exchanged and proceed to the exchange of the babies.
So Gretchÿa went across the lands of the Worlds, but only in one home she could find a blond baby girl. The new-born baby girl was almost dying, as the parents were a careless couple of peasants, already plagued with many children, and they could not bother with children hesitating to live.
Gretchÿa was heart-broken when she did the exchange, promising to baby Araoni to get her back soon. The young human baby girl was weak and yet unnamed, and the old fairy nurse knew she would probably not live long, and be claimed by Shaint Lejüs. So all was good.
When Lejüs came back, he smiled as he saw the baby girl, and left with her without much more words for the Royal couple.
Lejüs smiled, for when he had taken the young baby, the parents had instantly forgotten about her, and so did everyone having ever known her…
The human parents, surprised to see the condition of their baby improving beyond all hope, named her Mævel, which meant marvel of Maÿ the month in which she was born.
Oh well bugger it, said Arona, I have had enough of this. Perhaps we had better just play it by ear if no one really knows how this thing works.
Which is really, although not in so many words, if I may be so rude as to remind you, what I was suggesting, said the charming Sanso, rather rudely.
Well yes, that is true … but whatever, let’s not argue, shall we just get going? Are you ready Mandrake? All of a sudden Arona was feeling unaccustomably energised and assertive, and was totally fed up with herself for wasting time so much time sitting around. This was causing her to be a bit sharp with the others.
You know my problem? she asked, rhetorically, although of course Mandrake felt compelled to offer a reply.
Hmmmm and which one would that be?
Ahahahah Mandrake, laughed Arona, well the one I was thinking of was that I think too much. I need to be more like our friend Sanso here. I mean, what does it matter where we end up, it is all a big adventure anyway.
Well I for one, would prefer to end up somewhere in the vicinity of food, responded Mandrake.
Sanso wasn’t really listening but was gazing at the sabulmantium with a look of awe and muttering to himself. This really is a remarkable find. I have never actually used a sabulmantium before but I gather that one uses it as a tool to focus their intention, which is a crucial component of the magical creative process. Tremendously powerful tool and when used with awareness by the pure of heart it has great potential.
Oh great! shall we just get going then, said Arona picking up the Sabulmantium, and next thing you know, after a little bit more wandering down a few more tunnels, which isn’t really that interesting to write about, our three intrepid adventurers found themselves gazing in astonished delight at a most wonderous sight.
On the shores of Golfindely, a young boy was playing in the carmine fields of ripe Scotch bonnets.
Since the captain Bone had left, Tomkin Sharple was feeling a bit sad.
The old captain always had fascinating stories to tell him, and he would indulge the endlessly curious little boy in telling him for hours all about what he had discovered in all the parts of the Worlds he had been traveling to.
Now, all he had to do was to take care of the herd of grakes of his parents, and while they were eating the weeds of the crops, he would sat on the cliff, looking at the sea, glimmering in the sunlight.
Grakes were funny to play with, as they were big birds, with a slender neck as geese, colourful patterns as mandarin ducks, and Tomkin always had fun jumping on the back of the alpha one, and ride it, leading the whole herd to the crops where they helped the farmers by eating all kinds of nuisances.
But after Captain Bone’s departure, it was no longer fun.
Tomkin was contemplating a strange thing that the captain had given him before he’d left. It was a sort of knot, shaped as a eight, and the captain had told him it was magic and meant that all was connected, but that he had to discover that magic for himself.
Tomkin had asked the captain to tell him about this object, but all he had told him was a legend which did not reveal much about the circumstances in which the old sea dog had acquired it. Perhaps the captain had fooled him about the magic…
Stuffing the thing again in his pocket, Tomkin let his mind wander on the sea waves, dreaming of being a cabin boy on a big boat, when he saw something on the horizon.
At first he thought that it was a group of swimming golfindels, but golfindels were more brilliant and smaller than the shapes he was seeing, and moving less heavily too…JibParticipant
“What are you doing?” said the little girl.
Getting no answer she asked it again.
“What are you doing?”
She approached the strange being that was so engrossed in its activity, or maybe it couldn’t hear her, she thought dreamily. She put her hand through the big (what color was that) beast.
She thought about that a little and tried to seize one of those big berries.
That worked, she could at least grasp one of those, not two, her hands were too small, but one was as big as that ball her father was so fond of playing with… she couldn’t remember what he called it. Well it mattered not, she could grasp one of them
It was a bit warmer than she would have thought. A bit mushy, and very soft. She had a very pleasant sensation caressing it, it was electric and watery and she laughed.
The beast stopped what it was doing. Did it hear her laugh? It began eating the berries again.
She stroked the berry and felt the funny laugh emerge from her chest. When it burst out the beast stopped again.
“Oh you can hear me laugh!” She said, unaware of her hand gently rubbing the surface of the berry.
“Grumpf!” did the beast.
Its eyes were beginning to change, from yellow to a kind of blue with some tiny stars in them. The girl giggled and was suddenly face to face with a little boy.
“What are you doing here” said the boy.
“These are my berries, you can’t eat them.”
She was a bit startled by his first words and she already had forgotten the weird beast.
“I just wanted to play, they are so soft and they make me laugh.”
She couldn’t help another giggle.
The boy still seemed wary of her and began to move.
Huÿgens was not much of a cat person.
He liked his dogs because they were solid, loyal companions, and he could count on them to take care of his herd of langoats.
Langoats were a kind of three-eyed manic woolly and horned creatures, with a big sensing tongue, attracted to every new sound, or scent, or colour, or texture… well almost anything new that came before their eyes (when said eyes were not covered by thick layers of wool that is). And as their memory was short too, all kinds of things were always new to them.
That was why the dogs were extremely useful in channeling their movements; not that the langoats would have hurt themselves, because they were very able to provide for themselves, and jump from the top of a cliff without suffering much injuries. But they could very well loose all notion of their physicality and pop in and out of the fabric of time and space.
When they came back, because they always did magically come back, even after months of wandering, they would at times be reconfigured into another creature, and that would be pointless applying too much effort in trying to bring them back to their previous form, because it was said, in relation to their stubbornness that once a langoat, always a langoat…
Huÿgens had already lost some, especially during the shearing season.
And he had found himself back once with a cumbersome hippoliphant, and a bouncy shulimeek instead of two langoats.
Anyway, langoats wool was a very precious asset, highly sought after, as it could very easily bind with magical spells. Most of the clothes made for royalties were actually made with langoat wool, and it was also said that some enchanters had used langoat wool to make magical tapestries that would shapeshift, and reveal things to their owners.
So losing a langoat was not small concern for Huÿgens, and he had to be careful during the shearing season to leave some mops of hair to cover the three eyes of the beasts, so as to curb their insatiable thirst for discoveries.
But these days, Huÿgens had been very concerned about his herding dog Fjutch. Fjutch was a fluffy black dog he had found when it was still a puppy. He had trained it to become the head of his pack of dogs, when he had noticed the old rheumatic Thöm was taking the puppy under its wing —because the old faithful dog was knowing that it would depart and would reconfigure into a new form, but would not allow that to happen, not before he could have found a reliable companionship for his beloved master Huÿgens.
The healing properties of the langoat milk seemed to had done wonders once again, and Fjutch dis-ease was probably just a false alarm, but it had reminded Huÿgens how much he appreciated his dogs, every one of them, every day he was with them.
As for the cats… Illi, that was her name, had decided to come back to the cave, and he was showing her the way to the place where he had found her. He had asked BelleDora to pack a few things for her. He could not give Illi the beverage she was referring to as “coffee”, as that plant was not found in their region, but in compensation, he gave her a gourd of langoat milk, because she seemed like she would probably need some.
When he left her near the hole, he had some tears in his eyes when Illi hugged Fjutch very tenderly, as if the dog was reminding her of something dear. Illi after a moment hesitation, where she was like speaking to herself and not knowing what to do, finally hugged Huÿgens too, thanking him for everything he had done.
And off she was… free and unfettered as a gripshawk…
When Illi had finished arguing with Illi about having her hug the big man, while this was not manners of her kind, she sighed as she saw that the opening she had first thought was here (yeah, because I fell in there! she said), her senses where telling her that it was now closed…
— How quaint said Illi for herself.
— Well, as a matter of fact, it reminds me of something, said Illi F. There was that delicious gentleman, John Lubbock who said “What we see depends mainly on what we look for” and somehow it seems perfect.
— I don’t know any Grubbeck, grumbled Illi, a bit irritated that the hole, which was there before, wouldn’t be here, now she needed it.
— Lubbock was such a nice person, said Illi dreamily… Perhaps I could just try to have a peek inside the cave, if you let me.
— What?! Do again your wizzy wooey thing and I’ll strangle you! Don’t know how I would do it, but I’ll do it!
— Oh, you are so sluggishly gloomy! That was just to help you…
— Mmm, sorry for that, I was a bit upset, said Illi. What could you do?
— Just focus on the inside, and carry us both inside… But actually you would have to leave your body here, and we’ll probably see other things that do not belong to this place, but heck! that should be fun, Illi F said grinning widely.
They were interrupted by some munching sounds and ruffling heavy breath.
— What the bejeezus is that?! hissed Illi the cat (who didn’t even know how she knew so funny sounding words as bejeezus)
— Can’t you see? That’s obviously a dragon eating some bushes… How strange… replied Illi F airily.
— A WHAT? I HATE DRAGONS!
— Ahahah, relax, I was just pulling your leg.
— That’s not funny.
— Well he has funny colours by the way. Pinkish purple I wouldn’t dare to wear in London streets.
— That’s REALLY NOT FUNNY!
— Why so? You can’t see it anyway…
— And what if he sees me? Dragons are vicious creatures.
— He’s too busy eating these funny berries, and will probably collapse of exhaustion once he’s full.
— A chance! A vegetarian dragon!
— OK. Shall we try to find an entrance in the cave with my method, or do we ask the dragon? He looks well-mannered by the way.
— Oh, by the eyeballs of the Mighty Shrimp, you tell me…
— No, you choose.
— No, you.
— Ooooh, bugger off…
Just at the moment when they felt stuck again, despite Sam’s moves, Al and Tina, a couple of friends came crashing into the small theater room, and were greeted by an icy cold silence. “Icy” is an exaggeration of course, said Tina, “it just meant I had to put a jacket on again today”.
— Sorry for being late! said Al a bit uneasy.
— Oh you and your uneasiness! said Tina. And I’m sure we’re arriving at the perfect time.
— Oh, well, I’m not sure of anything today, said Becky. I’m sick of being force-fed coleslaw, and rigging down holes for myself.
A silence was on the scene.
At the same time, somewhere on the deck of his ship, Bådul was remembered of the landscapes of his land. He had not really appreciated them before, but now, he was finding them dear to him. They were for the most part a mixture of sandy dunes, from which at times peaks of icy rocky mountains would stick out. Lately he had felt like one of these peaks sticking out of the sands. The sands were shifting.
Somewhere in Malvina’s cave.
Malvina had been polishing the last dry eggs that she had found and that would not hatch. One of them had some interesting perfect round shape, and a very transparent shell, and it gave her an idea.
She asked Leörmn to come.
[1:01] The clock was saying. Quintin had just awoken from a dream about an elderly woman who was showing him some drawings. These were not actually drawings, but in fact, they were called by the lady “glassart”. It was made, she said, of coloured sands, and would be vitrified by some flame. Quintin in that dream had thought the designs rather crude, but had found the idea interesting, and with great potential.
Leörmn came almost instantly, appearing in a puff of teal smoke.
Oh, I see… he said, reading Malvina’s mind. And I think I have the perfect sands to go with it.
— Why hasn’t that pirate, Badass…
— Badul, corected Al
— Whatever, Becky pursued imperturbably, that pirate Baddock used traveling portals to go and look for the eggs? Why the seas? Sounds a bit complicated and with lots of dangers too.
— Good question, answered Al. Well, don’t want to answer for everyone, but in my perception…
— Oh, get lost with your “in my perception” thing, that’s becoming tiring… sighed Tina
— OK. So, for me, they have forgotten much about magic in his land.
— Makes sense… added Sam dreamily… In fact, I’m not sure after all that Badul is only after gold. I think he has found some old desert dragon egg in a cave lost in his country and hopes to revive it, with the help of the people who still know about magic.
— Which would explain the quest… said Al
— Yeah, and he would have hidden that to the rest of the crew, probably… said Tina…
Leörmn had now finished assembling the magical artifact.
— That’s one of our most beautiful magical artifact I’d say, Malvina gleamed
— Oh yes it is. And how would you call it?
— Let’s see…
— sabulmantium !
Everyone cracked up at the word that Al had just blurted out. They had decided to have some distraction to alleviate the stress on the play, and they had a fun improvisation game, saying stupid things that went through their minds.
— Hey! Don’t laugh like that, it’s something very serious actually, said Al tongue-in-cheek. Let me see…
— Hahahaha, the others continued
— Well, it’s a divination device, or a sort of compass in a way. I see it as a globe made of glass, with coloured sands in it, and when you focus on it, the sands take all sorts of three dimensional shapes, and become alive…
— Wow! Tina couldn’t help but say.
Leörmn, as Malvina had been telling him (or vice versa), had put the sabulmantium in one of the tunnels, to a place where he knew Arona would find it, and probably put it to good use for her future adventures.JibParticipant
“HAHAHA! it is your first step now. Let me just remind you that you need not play MY game, the game is yours, ever.” said Georges.
Dory was feeling a bit confused now. What was he talking about, what game? And first step to what? She couldn’t hold to the anger nor the irritation; all of that was feeling not real or not here, or not there for all she knew.
“The direction you follow is your choice, and where I come from is not relevant to this conversation. You may say I come from yourself and indeed you called me and I wanted company. Do you want more coleslaw?”
Without waiting for her answer he refilled her plate with the tasty food.
All those smells,… she could feel so many different things, things that appeared not to be here. A movement caught her attention in her periphery. As she turned her gaze whatever was there had vanished. And this humming, it was like music, but not very clear… if she could just focus more on it, yes like that, she was feeling sooo calm and she began laughing.
“Hahahah… haha. Did you drug the coleslaw?” She asked, trying to appear angry and unhappy, but all she could do was smile and laugh.
The images around her were shape-shifting, there were many colors, some of them she didn’t know could be possible, the walls were melting of sort and becoming transparent, or just fluid maybe…
“Well you see how it’s easy to relax. Let’s see where you want to go now my dear Rafaela”, he said winking.
And everything turned into a great maelström but she felt secure and could feel his presence reassuring, and there were all those other faces and places, some felt very familiar, had she ever been there before?
At first, she had been remembered of stories of possession by evil sprites (or djinns) that she had heard in her youth, when Ibn al’ Gruk, the old angora storyteller was entertaining the desert settlement beating the rhythm with sonorous drums.
So, she had pushed, and rebelled, and fought, as fiercely as any other gripshawk skilled and trained in the hand-to-hand martial arts would have done.
But the other Illi wasn’t so easily vanquished.
Then Illi had collapsed. She had sorrowfully abandoned the fight to the dreaded adversary.
All of this had been occurring in a twinkle of an eye, but for Illi, the fight had been during ages and ages, while she was trying to focus on what BelleDora was explaining to her about the land where she was now.
And when she had abandoned the fight, everything was again so easy. She did not care any longer, she was free again. Her evil twin could do anything, it could not matter less.
But the evil twin had been in fact doing the same, and she had struggled to keep the focus coherent to her. Didn’t want stupid moth-looking people in her reality, or even spare hair on her face! But that other one was strong, and fierce. And stubborned too!
— Who are you? she finally had asked
— I’m Illi, had the other answered
— I am Illi.
— So we are both Illi…
— Yeah, that may be it, but we are quite different.
— Are we? You feel quite like me, despite your stupid affection for smooth baby face.
— Well, wouldn’t it be for that, I can see some resemblance…
— Will you let me continue my trip?
— Oh, I would have, but you’ve hijacked mine, said Illi Fergusson.
— So you think.
— And where does your trip leads to? asked Illi F. who wasn’t too sure of her trip either
— From traveling portals to traveling portals, to discover all that can be discovered on this world. Magical creatures, I distrust them, but the lands and people are fascinating… And what about yours?
— Hmm, hmm, pondered Illi F. for a moment… Well, I’m dead actually, but I didn’t expect being dead to be so busy. There are so many things to discover, and I like that. I see funny looking people, and this looks like fun. Like a minute ago, I was in some kind of funny cave, with a parrot…
— A what?
— A parrot, you know, a kind of talking bird full of colours…
— Mmm, some kind of demonic creature for sure. Would have slain it without an hesitation!
— Hey! You see, that’s why I didn’t want you to come with me.
— Well, seems like for a moment, we don’t have much more choice…
— At least, look at the bright side, with us merged like that, each of us can provide the other one with some sound experience on each other’s worlds.
— Well, that’s not as airy-fairy as it seems…
— Well, thank you for that, I’ll take that as a compliment.
— You really are dreadfully serious at times!
— Hey, I’m not anybody you see. My parents were aristocrats, I’m not the common hairy lot.
— Ahahah, you’re funny.
— So are you!
And they ended laughing blissfully together.
After a moment, Illi asked again:
— Huh, a funny cave you said?
— Well, yes. With lots of people…
— Interesting… I was near some sort of strange cave too a while ago, that is, before I was found by this nice man and his dogs. Perhaps there is some connection here.
— And could you go there again?
— Not sure if I want to; there were some smelly fumes, smelt like demonic magic in there.
— Oh you see, for as long as I’ve been dead, well even if that’s not so long ago, anyway, the point is I’ve not seen any demon so far… blustered Illi F.
— Oh, and I have to take your word like that then?
— Well, do as you please, but I’m going there again…
— Just wait for me now, will you; let’s try to do things hand in hand, because you’re driving me mad!
And the deal was made.
BelleDora had continued to explain lots of things about her ancestors, but had not really noticed Illi’s attention had been so far away. She was a bit surprised when she found herself interrupted in a middle of a poetic depiction of the coastal plains of the Peninsula of the Dragon Head, where some glistening Capricorns were sometimes seen swimming in the creeks.
— And how do I get back safely to this hole where I was found? asked Illi abruptly.
Georges smiled a bit toothy grin and said ‘I won’t spoil you’
You mean I have to guess? asked Dory, who thought it was beginning to seem like an odd way to make someones acquaintance; first them appearing out of nowhere, and then expecting one to guess where they came from.
Well, pffft, thought Dory, I didn’t ask you to come, here you arrive, unannounced, unexpected and you expect me to play your guessing games!
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