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      The low vibration of his didjeridoo was filling up the room. His apartment in NYC was wide open, and a fresh breeze was caressing his naked arms. Sam had learn how to circular breathe in order to play the didjeridoo while he was in Australia. He loved the sound of it, the vibration passing from the hollow trunk through his arms, his mouth, his whole body.
      His didjeridoo was undecorated as he was more interested by the sound than by its appearance. A clear E flat.

      Sam was playing around with the sounds he could do with this instrument, a blending of harmonics and of seeming animal cries. He was also introducing sounds that he connected to various friends of his. His open windows had let some bees in the apartment. The rhythm of his music and the rhythm of the fly of the insects were creating a kind of pattern that was hypnotic, and he soon felt his body expand as he was keeping on playing and breathing.

      He was letting more of his awareness of other energies and he could see that among his friends were various people from the aboriginal tribes he had met during his trip, and also the Nanaconda.


        Midora was perplexed. These books were like an open-ended uncharted territory. That territory was so vast and fractal-like in nature that each attempt at following a single thread seemed daunting. There were always details growing like a reckless plant from the entry points where she started her investigations. Badul seemed lost in this jungled maze.
        Last time she’d tried to connect, she ended up with another focus of his, a child, vaguely related to the crystal skulls hunt.

        All it requires is a proper compass to navigate the thought suddenly appeared in her mind as clear as daylight, carrying with it a trail of concepts and clusters of associated ideas.
        One in particular…
        She’d had that book of designs she’d always loved to read when she was a child. It was full of colorful symbols which were called by the authors “tiles”. The authors associated some properties to them, and she remembered one which was about a compass…
        So she had found a compass… Now, she would have to learn how to use it. The introduction of the book said:

        The tiles presented in this book all have different functions; they can be primarily understood as focal points which enhance specific uses of energy. […] As far as we know, they can be discovered in many situations, either objective events (e.g. something that catches your gaze in the street) or in the subjective (dreams, visions, inspirations etc.). In both cases, the recognition is instantaneous, as each tile carries a distinctive energetic signature which is the essence of its “function”, so to speak.
        As such, it can be used theoretically in both situations (subjective and objective), though, as far as we have explored, subjective interaction with them seem to be the easiest and most quickly rewarding way of accessing them.

        Subjective interaction, yes that was child’s play, she would have said, though she could vaguely understand why people before the Shift completed had more trouble accessing it. Objective wasn’t so difficult, once you get to the idea that it’s all one, and you can easily switch from each of the attentions used to focus on them.

        The only thing that doesn’t seem to change, she thought, is the numbering. Even when the events shuffle through the pages and reorder themselves, or even when the very energy of the event subtly changes, their numbers were the same. She could start with that.

        She cleared her mind, envisioning the compass, then took a deep breath and asked herself a question, Where do I find Badul?
        Slowly, the compass started to shift and turn, while numbers started to roll in front of her mind’s eye, and like a lottery, at each draw a number appeared, slowly revealing a number: 1-2-3-8

        She eagerly leafed through the books to find the reference. Well… that was more perplexing than ever, that seemed like a totally unrelated story.
        But now, she was not so sure about that, as she read the entry and wondered about the fact that it seemed once again different from the first time she’d read it.

        And now, she marveled as a new entry started to write itself under that one. It was the first time she actually saw an entry write itself. Those she had spotted that were not here before, she just assumed they had appeared instantaneously. But not this one… and it started to link Franiel’s and Badul’s explorations…


          How restless that dragon is, thought Arona. Always shifting this or that, always talking in his damn riddles. She thought fondly of Buckberry, and how peaceful and content he seemed by comparison.

          She was no longer sure where she was. She had gone over it a few times in her mind, but try as she might she could not make sense of Leormn’s cryptic explanations. Or that Malvina either, although at least she is a bit more pleasant about it.

          Anyway, wherever it is, it feels a bit grey, she decided matter-of-factedly. And I am missing the others, even that grumpy Mandrake if the truth be told.

          She closed her eyes and began to paint colours over the grey. She was not sure what to paint at first, so she just dabbed bright blobs of colour haphazardly onto her mind’s canvas. The colours began to run into each other and form shapes and it it seemed to her they wanted to take on a life of their own. So she let them, and it was not long before she found herself in a meadow of spring flowers.

          That’s much better, she thought, taking a deep breath and lying back in the soft green grass.


          As she lay there her mind drifted sleepily, butterfly thoughts every now and then resting on some bright petal in her field of flowers.

          Just living is not enough, said the butterfly as it danced by her head, one must have sunshine, freedom and a little flower.

          Oh! said Arona excitedly, recognising the words from a far away time, You must be the butterfly of the story! The one my grandmother used to tell me when I was a little girl in the Village.

          Perhaps I am! danced the butterfly and it whirled and twirled and swirled in the sky.

          Arona rolled her eyes in exasperation. Now you sound a bit like that wriggly dragon. A simple yes or no would suffice.

          The butterfly landed on her nose. Now listen here you! Don’t go blaming me. I am YOUR imagination!

          Oh good point Butterfly, said Arona graciously. She pondered a moment … Well in that case …

          And next moment Mandrake, Vincentius and Yikesy were sitting in the meadow with her.

          Oh THERE you are Missy, said Mandrake. Might have known you would be lying around in some spring meadow leaving Vincentius and myself to look after your little sprog. Tsk Tsk, he tutted.

          hmmm, thought Arona, that’s not quite what I had in mind ..

          I would have said it’s exactly what you had in mind, whispered the butterfly, fluttering by her ear and then off again until it disappeared into the field of colours.

          Arona turned her attention to Vincentius and Yikesy, sitting a short distance away in the meadow. She noticed how smooth and golden Vincentius’ skin looked in the morning sunlight, and how deep and melodic his voice was as he told Yikesy one of his seemingly endless repertoire of stories. Imagining a gentle hug and a kiss on his sweet, but it had to be said incredibly ugly face, she sent Yikesy into a peaceful sleep.

          Oh great idea, smiled Vincentius with a wink. What I had in mind all along really. Perhaps you could also imagine Mandrake chasing a field mouse or something?


            Elioctyl looked down on her body being wrapped in mummification bandages and sniggered. Dear funny silly alive ones, with their darling little rituals. How sweet they were to think their physical processes would make a ha’porth of difference after their last sweet breath of terrestrial air.

            Look at Hoofut, taking it all so seriously! He thinks that if he takes every possible care with those strips of cloth and smelly unguents, that he…yes he alone!…has the power to direct my next adventures. Silly man! But he means well, bless his leather sandals. And Tarfel too, see how he cries when he’s sure Hoofut isn’t watching. I see the tears roll down his leathery cheeks, I see him brush them away with the back of his hand, and sniff and snort, and then spit on the floor. He pretends it’s the malodourous vapours of the embalming mixtures that’s making his nose run, but I can see.

            Shalabat cries too when no-one is watching. He rests on a cushion beside the pool, waiting for the completion of the process on my lifeless body, waiting for the ceremonial rites to take place, waiting, wondering, worrying about the future….he has every faith in Hoofut’s skills, and Tarfel’s too. But he wonders what will happen to his people now without Elioctyl.

            Ah, and I wonder too, but I don’t worry. I make a pact now, in love for these dear ones, to leave a piece of me in energy in the mummy they create out of my bones and skin. The mummy is for the terrestrial ones, a poignant reminder, a mystery, a relic, a treasure, a clue! and for them, I give it life, energy, meaning….I will return from time to time, in ethereal body form, to those who ponder this mummy, for generations to come….


              The room was chilly and silent when she awoke. The transition between her dream and the reality was like a cold shower on her aching body. It was still the middle of the night, even the guards were noiseless. She managed to bring her body close to the wall with the only window far above her head. Her thin clothes weren’t sufficient to keep the warmth into her flesh and she couldn’t restrain a shiver. How painful this could be after such a vivid dream.

              She winced when one of her right thigh muscles decided to contract on its own and wouldn’t let go of the tensions. She tried to relax and breathe as deeply as she could, which made her cough repeatedly and that was even more painful. Still she could think. She was with that girl and her dragon again, Lola she was. Though that time the dragon was sleeping rather deeply. She could not blend her mind with her. The other was well shielded and she couldn’t communicate. Even her mind was a prison that she couldn’t communicate with her dream selfs.

              There was that woman again, the Warrior Goddess, but they didn’t fight with her pupil as they usually did. She was more like a channel to another realm. Atiara could barely feel the presence of the others. They were too far in a way that she couldn’t comprehend.

              Oh! Now she was remembering… hope.

              After what had seemed hours of an exhausting fight with ghosts, the vividness of that dream had faded and she had found herself speaking with a young lad. What was his name? He was showing her different symbols, telling her that she had asked him in a dream once and that his friend Ewrick had now finished them. Yann had then showed her this set of symbols.

              She had felt a different kind of power along with the smile of a blue man. Had she asked for this? She couldn’t remember. She had said to Yann that they were beautiful though she hadn’t the slightest idea of what they were. He had laughed and just said that she’ll know soon enough. And there was that guy behind Yann, with his mischievous look and his nine-tailed fox

              All she could hope was that she would remember the set. It seemed important. Well important enough that she had forgotten her painful body consciousness for a few moments. The coldness of the stone under her bare feet was bringing her back to her gray reality. The storm was now closer but still not ready to release its power. She was waiting for it.


                Pondering the significance of his dream , Franiel set out again. It was the third morning since he had woken to find the chalice missing, and he was no closer to knowing where he was going. Yet he had taken the advice of the BBL and felt all the better for it in his spirit.

                Morning! Franiel called a greeting to an old woman who was passing by, delighted to see signs of life, and wondering if it meant he was near a Village. Might I ask where you are taking that basket of eggs?

                A good morning to you young man. Certainly you may ask, I am taking these into the Village Market to sell.

                And where might that be, it is not the Village of Chard Dam Jarfon by any strange chance? asked Franiel, thinking nothing would surprise him anymore.

                The old woman looked at him in astonishment. The Village of Chard Dam Jarfon! You surely have a very long journey before you if you are heading for the Village of Chard Dam Jarfon. No indeed, I am going to the Village of Chard Dut Jep, an hour or so from here.

                Franiel considered this for a moment. And if I keep heading the way I am going, and from whence you have started, where might I be going?

                The old woman hesitated and looked at Franiel with an odd expression in her dark eyes.

                I am not sure if you want to do that, for this is a very long and lonely way you are heading. Unless you are going to the old Chesterhope mansion, and there’s not many who would do be doing that anymore.

                How very interesting, said Franiel, rather intrigued. Is that where you have come from Old Woman?

                The old woman gazed searchingly at Franiel for a moment before answering.

                Aye it is, I work for Madame Chesterhope. I am the only one left now and it has been like that for many a long year, save for old Derwent of course, him who minds the gardens, but he’s not right in the mind that one and Madame keeps him on out of the kindness of her heart, said the Old Woman, and Franiel sensed some deep sadness in her voice, but in the next breath it was gone and he wondered if it was a trick of his mind.

                Why don’t you come to the Village with me? she asked. Are you looking for work? There’s plenty would take on a fine young man such as yourself.

                Would your Madame Chesterhope be looking for someone such as myself by any chance? asked Franiel, For I have nowhere in particular I am headed, and I am in need of some way of keeping myself. And as he spoke the words out loud he found himself wondering at them, yet he felt such an odd sense of anticipation inside himself, as though perhaps there was some new adventure to be had after all.

                Again the old woman looked at Franiel appraisingly for a long time. Eventually she spoke.

                When you get to the crossways turn left and keep heading that way for 2 miles till you see the Chesterhope sign. It’s an up and down path for a ways to get to the mansion from there. When you get there, it would be best to keep in mind all is not as it might seem. I will say no more and bid you farewell, for I have still got a ways to go.

                Perhaps I will see you later then! Franiel called after her.

                She turned and looked back at him. Perhaps.


                  A draft suddenly went through the open window, rattling a pile of previously disarrayed papers that Finnley had neatly put on the desk, catching the office cleaner by surprise.
                  (Albert is wondering now what is the gender of Finnley, but probably that has to do with his new exploration and isn’t very important. Al is agreeing with himself on using handy ellipsis)

                  Finnley, perplexed by the thoughts having went in accompanying the rogue wind, closed the opened window. The air was decidedly more breathable, now the emanations of nicobeck were dispersed. Not to mention the trails of that magpie’s droppings. Finnley would gladly do with a bootle to roll them into a big ball.

                  What was with the third-person talking anyway? Finnley was wondering… And who is Al? Finnley knew of a Haley, but no Al for sure…
                  Surely that Tattler’s madness was contagious…

                  Putting the papers back onto the desk of Mrs Tattler (yes, I think she’s a she this one), Finnley notices something that catches Finnley’s eye (“stop messing with my thoughts!” thinks Finnley)…

                  … They were thus one of the first sentient races created by the Powers with limited awareness to populate the lands of Dooane (note: replace all previous occurrences of “Earth” with Dooane, and M’si with Moortuane). Uglings were dwarfish, a bit stout and let’s say plain ugly for most of them. But they inherited a keen mind and greatest forging skills.
                  Uglings revered the Power known to them as the Goddess of the Earths, Margiloonia, as their resemblance with raw clay and unpolished rocks were for them the evidence of such lineage. Combining their craft, they created an exquisite cup in dedication to the Goddess. Huriol, the First Ugling King in these times of Legend was given the cup to care for.
                  The Power known as Margiloonia upon seeing this offering of acknowledgment to her was very pleased and imbued the cup with transmootation powers which could be used by its true owner for healing, and some said, even to resurrect the flesh…

                  A loud knock at the door drew Finnley out of the contemplation.

                  Isn’t that vacooming done yet? I have a book to write! The stridulent voice of Elizabeth Tattler was asking behind the still closed door.


                    And then Al said “I AM that I am”.

                    Phew. Germaine was right, he could just let go of Becky’s feelings like this. That was quite a ride, and Al wasn’t sure he would do it again anytime soon. Perhaps with dolphins, there would be less vertigo…

                    Last Tobi show yesterday had been running earlier with a stand-in for Tobi the ventriloquist. But Germaine the fortune teller with her crystal ball was good too.
                    She had said, with a stern teacher look and her horn-rimmed glasses, to take a breathe, dive into the ball, and feel.

                    Of course Tina, with all the courses she’d taken lately, was well aware of these, but Al was not very fond of diving too much into other’s feeling. He always found himself waddling in other’s muck. Had enough of his own.
                    But now he had the magic words, or at least, the magic finger snapping movement.

                    I AM that I am.

                    Phew… That ride had been scarier and funnier than any scary tartignole movie.


                      On his way to work, Yann was singing. These last few days had been harsh to his self appreciation process, he had lots of judgments against everything he was doing. He had found it quite exhausting and quite detrimental to his relationships with his friends.

                      Well, despite the fact that Archibald puppet had told him about his bucket… or his garbage he couldn’t remember, and not to forget to empty it regularly, he had been submerged with stimuli from everywhere and from everybody, to the point that he wouldn’t allow a single smile inside himself.

                      Yesterday, they had received their furniture with Yurick, and in the process of assembling them and putting them into place, rearranging the configuration of the apartment, he found himself appreciating of his new home.
                      When he woke up that night, it was 5:12am. He couldn’t sleep, and he wouldn’t wake Yurick up. He had noticed several times that he had many associations with this hour of the day… like a burden, a new day of work soon approaching all that crap again and so on…

                      All he had to do was just… yes like that, he was appreciating his own being. Himself lying in the bed, the breathing movement of his friend beside him, still and relaxed.

                      When the alarm clock was about to ring himself out of the bed, he was already awoken and he cut it off before it could awake his beloved. It was 7:57am.
                      On his way to the bathroom, Arona the cat was quite demanding of caresses… he took some time and appreciated deeply the contact of her soft fur, long and warm silky hairs.

                      Thus, Yann was singing, and when he arrived at the crossroad just before his workplace, there was that man… and their gaze met surreptitiously. And the man started singing. Yann smiled.


                        Why you supercilious little prout! said the Mummy

                        Steady on Sasha, I don’t think I deserve that. I am a great believer in personal choice. You chose to be part of my experiments didn’t you? Did anyone force you to come here? His voice started to raise petulently. Are you a victim Sasha? Just because one small thing went wrong, an accident, no more and no less.

                        If it wasn’t for these damn bandages I would laugh.

                        Dr Bronkelhampton threw his hands in the air in vexation. Try and see the big picture Sasha dear. How many times have I told you now? My God we have been through this over and over again. Are you listening Sasha? All you can think about is yourself and your own petty little life. You are dead, you need to accept this and move on.


                        Sasha? … Talk to me Sasha dear one.

                        Dr Bronkelhampton? Nurse Bellamy tapped lightly on the office door, and entered cautiously. She could hear Chris talking to himself, again. It was nothing new, he spent hours closeted in his office lately. Though today she started in shocked surprise when she saw him, the yellow wig from the early days of the clinic was perched precariously on top of his bald head, garish make-up roughly applied, yet not hiding the dark blue circles under his blood-shot eyes.

                        He glared at her. Can you not see I am with a client, Nurse Bellamy?

                        She cast her eyes reflexively around the small office, although she did not need to look. It was bare save for a pot plant and that dreadful mummy propped up in the corner of the room.

                        I am worried about you, Chris.

                        He slammed his fist on the desk and turned away from her, staring moodily out the window.

                        Nurse Bellamy’s face reddened with emotion, she struggled to hold back her tears as all the anxiety of the last week threatened to overwhelm her. She reminded herself of the words of her dear nursing tutor Edwardo Lemenox. Always remember your calling as a nurse. When the road seems difficult, take a deep breath and remind yourself you are perfect.

                        She took a deep breath.

                        I am sorry, I mean Dr Bronkelhampton … I need to inform you that three new clients are expected tomorrow …. and we have two here waiting for their treatment to start … and I can’t entertain them for much longer, they are getting restless. Veranassessee is up to no good, and, Nurse Bellamy pursed her lips for a moment in annoyance .. and now she has a gentleman friend here.

                        Dr Bronkelhampton turned towards her quickly, the wig falling off in the process, She has a gentleman friend? Here on the island? Who?

                        Nurse Bellamy’s face reddened even more as she remembered her encounter with the drop-dead gorgeous stranger, the way he had looked into her eyes as he asked where he might find Veranassessee, goodness, she had nearly dropped her coconuts.


                          What’s that, slow down Felicity I can’t understand what you are saying!

                          Felicity took a deep breath. I am so sorry Tina, there has been a dreadful mix-up with the dresses. The dress that arrived for Becky was meant for another wedding.

                          Oh right, said Tina, well I was a little surprised when I saw it, but then, I have no idea what russian wedding dresses look like.

                          Oh yes I am so sorry, it is a terrible mix-up. Yes that dress was meant for a … well the bride was going to arrive in a huge wedding cake and then pop out the top . Oh Tina we worked weeks on it … and isn’t the dress just luscious! pure silk it is … and we had a ladder purpose built and the groom was going to climb up beside her and say their vows on top of the wedding cake on a revolving pedestal .. and somehow the dresses got mixed up … I am so sorry. Her voice trailed off.

                          Tina, making a valiant attempt to contain her laughter, tried to reassure the distraught Felicity … well I am not sure if Becky even have noticed her dress, she was quite preoccupied with applying peachy glow mineral cosmetics when I last saw her. She has some unfortunate splotches on her face, an allergy to red fruit I think.

                          Oh that poor sweetheart, gushed Felicity sympathetically. Oh I wish I could give her a big hug! She is such a sensitive one, I didn’t want to bother her, that’s why I am ringing you Tina. You are always so calm and sensible. What shall we do?

                          Well to tell you the truth Felicity, I have been trying to contact Becky for the last hour, I can’t get through to her number.


                            I had no idea that Russian mushrooms would prove to be such an interesting subject…..

                            Vladimir Soloukhin:

                            While you are sorting out the mushrooms you recall each one, where you found it, how you first saw it, how it was growing beneath this bush or that tree. Once again you experience the pleasure of each discovery, particularly if they were rare and fortunate discoveries. Once again all the images of the mushroom forest drift through your mind, all the secluded wooded spots, where you are no longer, but where the dark firs still lour and the crimson-touched aspens speak their language in low breath.


                              So you have requested audience… a deep voice, hoarse as a water’s torrent running and jumping on a river bed smothered with pebbles, asked from the darkness.

                              Midora was not afraid of the darkness. As best as she could explain it, it was the void of creation, where everything came from, and where all was stripped of intrinsic meaning. It was from this place that she could reach for the answers.

                              She knew this place, she felt memories swirling around, as uncatchable as a swarm of short-lived sparkles born from the reddish embers of a dying fire.
                              In this lifetime, she was only a eleven year old girl, but she was as old as this voice within her. There was a time where she was playing with that voice, a time where her being was not yet, and yet a time which was in her future.
                              She was pure consciousness in that dream time space, and yet, she was feeling more comfortable with physical symbols around herself. So she focused on one of the symbols that she knew would help her stabilize her vibration, and in doing so, all the small particles of golden light around her started to swirl and coalesced into a dream body.

                              She was in front of a cave, in a mountainous area. This body provided her a slowing down of the stream of information that came to her, and she could manipulate more efficiently the interaction with that huge presence she felt. The precipitous rocky environment was a symbol of that steadiness and slowing down and also, for her benefit of her beliefs in that acquiring such information might be a difficult task.
                              Now she had identified it, she could more easily dispel the obstacles on the path to the cave. The cave of course, was her symbol for reaching into her deep inner nature. And the darkness was only a fitting blank canvas for herself to project and translate the energy interactions.
                              All of that she knew, as it was knowledge embedded into herself that she could more easily access into this trance-like state, in her room in that location in space and time of 2112 in New Venice. And she knew that also for she was taught by her parents, Bart and Oscar, on how to access it.

                              The voice was inside the cave. And no sooner had she thought of it that she was finding the whole place morphing into a vast room built into the rock, in the middle of which a majestic golden dragon was slowly breathing.
                              She had translated the vast energy as that of a dragon, but she knew when she felt into it that it had possible variations, one of which being that of a she-phoenix, of various sizes, where sizes where symbolic of its age and wisdom.

                              You may call me Naasir the dragon grinned at Midora. You are right, in a sense, you can consider yourself being born from me, though in your true form, you are equally august and splendid as I am. You will, in time, have access to that form, again. But for now, I can provide some answers to your questions. The only thing is… Are your questions up to the challenge? he added with the most benevolent smirk his wide toothed grin could convey.

                              Midora pondered for a moment, beholding the perfection of her translation of the energy. Each scale on the body of the dragon was a work of art. His half-closed eyes, with an amber shiny center, and teal border were equally mesmerizing.


                              — What is the significance of these books I have inherited from my parents?

                              As you know, this place is the place were significance fades away, or radiates, depending on the direction in which you look, only to be replaced by fulfillment. Your… books hence, have no significance, I would say, for me at least. What do you want to know about them?

                              — They were passed from people to people, and as far as I understood, they started to be imprinted with these people’s stories, starting from my grand-parents Indy and Cuthbert. But there are still blank pages inside them, and no seeming order from one page to the other. I think that’s why my grand-parents grew tired of it.


                              — What I mean is… I feel attracted to them, and yet I don’t understand how they work…

                              These… are not mere books as your ancestors understood them. In fact, they were crafted by a distant civilization, not denizens from this dimension in which you are presently focused, but travelers, with whom you can still interact by means of this device. When the “books” traveled into this dimension, they retained their initial properties and functioning, but their initial shapes were translated into something as close as you could understand so that you would allow them to appear into your reality. This knowing might help you unravel their true nature.

                              Another thing. Books are energy deposits, in your reality. There was a misunderstanding in that they were thought to be able to liber or to free your memory by imprinting it into the pages, but memories are alive and not separate from you. They live as you live and change them. So, the books are still being written, and that which you can read is the part of the book which is the most probable story in which you choose to insert yourself, so as to explore it. You can alter these probabilities, even if you might doubt it, but as you chose them, they are much a part of your design of your reality, that which you chose to explore. In short, a complete book means the end of your exploration, and prompts for a disengagement for you to continue other explorations, and on the contrary, a blank books means a boundless realm of probable explorations.

                              — Can you tell me why there are two of them?

                              They are more than a couple. These ones are the only known ones that your ancestors happen to have found. Most of them have been destroyed over time in this dimension, as their possibilities were heavily cloaked. They are all linked together, as you will find out. You may gather some answers in finding Badul

                              And with that, Midora was once again floating in an intermediate state hung between space and time, longing for her physical body. She woke up strangely energized…


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                                Yeah, right…..

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

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

                                Where have all my interesting things GONE?


                                  A hotel room in New Venice, January 2034

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


                                      Number Four was dreaming, at least it was what he was feeling. The quality of his vision was blurred and he couldn’t really focus on details. He was in a dark room with another man. Despite the darkness, he could clearly see that the man was very pale. There was a third man, mad eyes and hysterical laugh, and a woman.

                                      The man mad was speaking and assigning them a mission. It was about… skulls? Crystal skulls :yahoo_idk:

                                      All of a sudden his hearing was crystal clear. He had heard the name of the woman… Carla… He was asking her to go and find a Viscountess, find the skull…

                                      Then he turned to the pale man.

                                      Robert, my dear Robber, hinhinhin! I trust you with the Hawaiian witch. Be careful she’s dangerous and very powerful. Don’t misjudge her words or her deeds. Never accept anything, be it food or liquid. Don’t let them touch you either. But I know you already know that. hinhinhin!!!”

                                      His horse-like laugh was unnerving, and Number Four was so excited, maybe he could learn his own name… why was it so slow!? He was looking at the Baron, watching him laugh showing his immense teeth and gum! Number Four almost lost his grip to the dream imagery.

                                      Breathe he told himself
                                      Breathe… Yes, Breathe deeply, YES, YES
                                      The Baron had finished laughing and was smiling like a vulture.

                                      When he turned his face toward Number Four, his eyes were swirling like hell, blazing hot red light…

                                      “My dear one 8-}, to you I trust the most difficult one… My old mad friend on his foolish Island. He has a foolish project, and you’ll serve as a guinea pig…”

                                      Number Four felt a strong twinge, his dream eye was blinking out of control.
                                      The Baron’s voice was thunderous and other dimensional.

                                      hinhinhin! My dear Claude……………………”

                                      The sound of his name was enough, enough of this insanity… all his memory was accessible now, and he began to feel the rage gather inside of him.

                                      He was fully awake now. He was in the middle of a nest, several birds were crying around, trying to raise the alarm.
                                      He gathered his will and released it at once in a fury.


                                        The preys weren’t so easy to catch. Phurt had some difficulties after they had fallen from the sky, destroying a nest in the process. Most of her sisters were upset and would have killed both of them at once, but Narani had insisted : they had to be kept alive.

                                        The female was the most aggressive, she was shouting and struggling, she managed to knock out 2 of them, they were youngsters, but nonetheless experienced huntresses. The male was hurt. Phurt was surprised at how bigger than the female he was. Most unusual she had thought then… When she had told that to Narani, she had just breathed quicker to show her amusement. Narani was wise and old… very old. Maybe it was time for her to let another sister take her place.

                                        Phurt froze in anguish, she was most astonished by her thoughts. Something definitely weird was happening. Was it what she had sensed before the arrival of the preys? It was changing her from inside. She had to hide this part of herself to her sisters. Narani had never been challenged, there was no recalling of any such event. Narani was the memory of her sisters. Nothing was hidden to her… until now.


                                        Something had changed in the vibration of the collective of her sisters. Narani had felt the modification of the flow since the arrival of that human device. Her sisters had only found 2 humans, a female and her male. There should have been a cub. The mother was still smelling her offspring.

                                        Narani hadn’t tell that to her sisters, they wouldn’t understand. Though the threat that Phurt had felt before their arrival… the threat was from this particular child.


                                          The new shop was splendiferous. It had all people could imagine about pets and stuff, pets most people wouldn’t have imagined existed. There was even a whole division for the pets health, with permanent vets…

                                          The “Rent’a Pet Shop, Boy!” was taking a whole building, with no less than thirteen storeys, and when Sidonie entered the huge hall at the ground floor, which was slightly above the waters’ level, she was awed by the quantity of animals which where stored in the facility.
                                          She didn’t know what she wanted for a start and now she was beginning to feel lost.

                                          A beautiful tall black woman, with short hair and wearing an ample avocado-coloured boubou and carrying a little dog close to her chest passed by her and Sidonie could hear her muttering apparently incoherent bits to herself
                                          Come on Chumpy, the doctor said it will be alright after that surgery, here, here little thing, breathe, breathe and say YES… Oh Lordy, I’m gonna be late, and Sam will be bugged if I make him wait in his friend’s flying car…

                                          Sidonie was mesmerized by the woman, who suddenly turned to face her and said winkingly “I’d rather not go for a squawking parrot if I were you, they can’t keep quiet… and not a magpie either… Al said this new breeds of nine-tailed foxes are great, but I can’t really get used to anything else but dogs… Oh, I must go, need to have the last alterations done on my wedding gown… How can they expect that I remember all of this!

                                          And the woman went running out of the shop…

                                          Sidonie was baffled… A nine-tailed fox… Why not, sounded like a nice idea. At least, she could start by renting it, and if it was a nice companion and Tonio was OK with it, she would adopt it…

                                          She asked a vendor where was the fox section. The vendor took a very professional look to ask her if she meant the new genetically engineered breed of foxes, or the classical breeds, desert, arctic or continental…
                                          Sidonie was lost for a moment, then remember the lady had said they were new breeds, so she asked for the new ones in an intimidated voice.

                                          Upstairs, thirteenth floor, on your right after the jump said the vendor and beware of the shrimpigators


                                            Circles of eight, squalked the parrot, circles of Eight QUAA QUAA QUAAAAAA, he shrieked, as Becky walked into the vets clutching her little dog under her arm.

                                            No need to shout, Maya! Chump, the little wiry terrier whispered to the parrot.

                                            Becky surreptitiously scanned the waiting room to see if anyone had noticed the talking dog, and breathed a sigh of relief. The half dozen people were shouting between themselves at full volume, their voices reverberating around the tiled room, and no-one had noticed. A fat white bulldog puppy winked at Becky, and blew her a kiss.

                                            Lordy, thought Becky, whatever next.

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