YOU’LL BE following yourself BEFORE YOU GET started, WEARING THAT wig, Rose. Come HERE! TINA pulled IT OFF moments LATER, within SIGHT OF EVERYONE. THEY ALL smiled BUT everyone WAS cool. (Maevel WASN’T surpriseD TO BE creating handsOME perfect AND weird CHARACTERS.)
IT seemed THE PERFECT synch WHEN blue joe THE action MAN, KNOWN TO bed EVERY known HUMAN skin IN TOWN ~ WITH NO particular PREFERENCE ~ WAS FOUND getting A faceLIFT TO help IMPROVE HIS laugh.
Given THAT sam’S FACE HAD weatherED ALOT TOO, tracy WAS full OF thoughtS OF GAINING fair points FOR A BIT OF magic. HER quiet friends, AS WELL AS HERself, HAD bookED THE APPOINTMENT. Nothing, NOT EVEN THE WEIRD aspects OF THE days, easily FORGOTTEN, COULD SHAKE THE focuses understandING.
Images IN THE sky APPEARED, AND THEY wondered ABOUT THE STRANGE sound…….
Thought became hands:
Beginning sleep synch;
Surprise Truth ~
Anadron and Goldarny were joining their energies. They had discovered another dimension in their explorations and had decided to do a scout peek, for a few minutes.
Their first exploration together. It was quite thrilling and new to them.
They had chosen a cell of the sand hive, to be quiet and kept warm during the process.
They joined their hands letting their awareness encompass the other’s awareness, they blended their focus and created Andrimiñ. The qualities they merged in this new aspect could be translated as a male.
He had not yet a shape. The shape would be created as soon as Andrimiñ would enter that new dimension. Andrimiñ was their messenger, their explorer. He would gather and explore the dimensions and as he was connected with them and not fragmented he would always be connected with their own focus in Asaris. He was still new and they had just merged basic qualities so they could taste the dimension through his experience.
Arona curled up in front of the fire with little Yikesy. Vincentius was telling Yikesy one of his intriguing and colourful tales of far away, imaginary worlds …. there seemed to be men with toads and a girl who liked to dance and a strange blue bull creature that everyone wanted to get their hands on. To be quite honest, Arona couldn’t really follow it, but she loved the sound of Vincentius’ soothing voice. She sighed happily, it was so nice to be back.
Sirielle looked through the crystalline window.
A humpback whale was passing by. Sirielle loved the song of the whales. Gorgean whales like this one were males, singing all during the rut to attract females miles away. Every season they would keep most of the same music, adding variations at times to the melody. This one was a sly one, Sirielle could tell. With its beautiful purulent budgeonic spots on its back, it was an old mighty male whale that she had seen already the past seasons, but its song had changed ever so slightly. It had probably plagiarized some of the most successful songs from other whales to become more attractive and that would make him a bit over the top.
At least, the females had a good parade for such insistent huge males, they could just put themselves upside down, close to the surface, so that the indelicate male could not have access to the holy of holies.
Sirielle felt so close to the whales.
Today, she had noticed the first changes on her body. She was growing gills, and soon would be able to breathe underwater. She was already a proficient swimmer, from a young age, as her hands and feet had grown swimfins. But the most interesting modification wouldn’t occur before a certain age.
When she had entered the room of Crystals, she had been a bit disappointed. She had expected some great ceremony with old wizened long-bearded robed priests to operate the crystals, but there had been only a young man not much older than herself, and a distracted middle-aged woman.
The Crystals had the ability to beam some specially focused light and provoke realignment of the patterns of the body. It was like the vibration carried by the light and enhanced by the crystal would be modifying the vibrational quality of her organism, and make it change itself quite naturally from the inside.
She couldn’t wait to go out in the oceanic depths and test her newly grown organs to swim with the huge cetacean.
Valparaíso, Chile, November 1997
Cillian Mc Gaughran was finding that dying was longer than he expected. Since Fidelma’s death, twenty years from now, he would have vouched pain would get him on the other side quickly. But it was as if every object his wife had touched was letting him know of her presence. Perhaps they were holding him here…
He couldn’t wait to be reunited with his dear wife. Sixty six year-old wasn’t old enough to die for many people, but it was enough for him. The world was changing too fast. He decided he had to let go of all these objects. By and by, he had released every one of them… But one.
Of all of them, this one was very dear to him. An old family artifact that was handed down in the family for as long as he could remember. It was said to have been the property of a famous dancer during the Gold rush period and was rumoured to bring good luck… Lord knows how it came into the family…
It was dear to him because he had given it to Fidelma when she was having her chemotherapy, battling the blood cancer she had been diagnosed with. It looked wonderful on her delicate features. The wig had not aged since all these years.
It would surely finish him off to release that last object.
Cillian had heard some exuberant stories of a new company named eBargey where things were auctioned on the Internet. New technology he was finding a bit hard to follow the progress though he was not ignorant of it due to his years spent as a high rank officer in the US Army.
That could be a great way to release the wig. Auction it off, and see how high and how far away it could sell… Perhaps it would find a perfect match.
Chris Bronkelhampton had always loved to cross-dress since he was a child. He was a fine collector of wigs and had many lined up in his secret closet.
He had just managed to do a risqué plastic surgery operation on a kingpin that would grant him all he had ever dreamt of. He leaned comfortably on his chair, rubbing his hands gleefully.
Something on the computer screen caught his eye. On the newly auctioned items there was something that he wouldn’t have dreamt of acquiring in his wildest dreams.
Bathsheba didn’t feel even a bit guilty for not telling that fool V’ass about the habits of Blue Bonnets. Cash was cash; he’d paid handsomely for the spiders, and Bathsheba congratulated herself. She wasn’t creating V’ass’s reality after all, now was she? He had chosen to buy the Blue Bonnets; His choice. His choice too to pretend he was a man; Bathsheba wasn’t fooled for a moment, she knew V’ass was a woman underneath those manly clothes.
Bathsheba cackled, and set about attracting the next fool into her shop.
Ted Marshall swaggered into the saloon and ordered a tequila. He adopted a casual pose against the bar, tipped his pith helmet back with one casual finger, and surveyed the scene. He cast a disninterested glance over the dancers, and tut tutted under his breath when he recognized Twilight. That girl was too big for her scuffed boots!
A charismatic character caught Ted’s eye, a handsome man in a stylishly crumpled white linen suit, stretched taut against his bulging biceps. Success, drive and determination seemed to exude from his very pores, the slick sheen of raw power.
Ted edged himself closer to the larger than life character, and glared at the tall lean man who had just walked in.
All that farting had been quite exhausting, but the mummy felt that she was reincorporating vigor more quickly now, as the old fartesque energy was giving way.
This was a quicker process than birthing, but also more disturbing.
She slowly started to unwrap her bandages.
She smiled as she saw her peach smooth skin on her hands.
Malvina had clapped her hands and made the food and drinks and decorations disappear in the reception hall of the cave, feeling the time was not to big parties right now. The guest had moved again, and she had not been in the mood for party either.
She had not yet managed to reestablish contact with her sisters and that was a more pressing matter.
Leörmn had been retreating into his seasonal slumber, and would not be of great help at the moment, so she knew it was also time for her to get back to simple things and not worry about what was not yet here. Probabilities had simply moved, they would come back.
The silgreen tree had bloomed, and she wanted to brew some potions with its flowers. She would then go with Irtak to the village sell some vials of potion, and perhaps they would take the opportunity to see Huÿgens too, as he sometimes needed such potions for his langoats.
For Illi the cat, that cave filled with slimey scaly beasts was now out of her way.
This dead Illi experience had been so intense she had almost believed there indeed was a pink indigo dragon right were she was at the entrance of the cave. But the impression had vanished all of a sudden, and she had found herself with her mind again her own only, without the echoing thoughts of that deranged other.
She had found a tree nearby, and comfortably seated on some high branches had been mediating with the help of trance inducing betel catkins that she carried with her as she traveled.
She had seen some weird stuff, like farting bandage wrapped people putting cobblestones to make a way to the sky, but that was enjoyable. As nothing really could make sense that night, she decided to go to sleep on her tree.
In the morning, a snorting sound made her raise her pointy ears. Just below her tree, a man was eating and singing, looking at some map, obviously planning some interesting adventure…
— How pitiful we left that sabulmantium to the snorting man… Mandrake said, we could have had a peek into Arona’s adventure… Not that I am concerned, she is so brave, but you know, she’ll always be my little… What am I saying? mumbled Mandrake temporarily confused.
— Oh, you mean, Arona had a sabulmantium?
— Mmm, well, of course… We projected hairy cows and stuff… (I’m really saying the stupidest things today, might be that herbal tea, shivered Mandrake, licking his paw and combing with it the unkempt hair on his head)
— Interesting… But you know if you want to have a look, we can do otherwise. Let me see…
— (trying to make yourself important, huh) thought Mandrake
Vincentius took a little blue bag tied to his belt, and threw a pinch of a smelly mossy powder on the smoldering embers.
A thick greenish smoke started to rise making Mandrake retreat carefully (or tactfully he would say) in his favourite place behind the pile of logs to look at the discomfiture of poor Vincentius without having to overwhelm him too much with his own superior sharp intuitive senses.
But to Mandrake’s surprise, the smoke steadied like a moving wall, and images started to foarm.
About time you woke up, came a familiar grumpy voice from behind a pile of logs. Mandrake emerged. And I don’t have fur balls, he added, haughtily.
Mandrake, thank God! Arona had been a little concerned that , given the amount of time presumably had passed, Mandrake may no longer be with them. Tactfully she kept this to herself, given Mandrake’s especially truculent mood.
Please tell me what happened now, she said to Vincentius. I think I am ready to hear.
Vincentius looked uncertain, sighed , but agreed to tell her the tale. Afterwards, Arona was silent for quite some time. She stared thoughtfully at the fire, mesmerised by the dancing flames, gently stroking Mandrakes silky black coat.
Oh bugger, she said eventually and stood up decisively. I really think I have to go and see that old lizardy croney woman, and without delay.
I wish you wouldn’t, but I do understand, said Vincentius sadly.
I don’t understand, said Mandrake crossly, twitching his tail impatiently and narrowing his green eyes
Thank you so much for caring for him, she said to Vincentius and gave him a huge hug.
On the way out of the cave she ran into Leormn.
Oh, she said, Vincentius said you allowed us to use the room. Thank you so much. And she kissed Leormn on what she thought would be his cheek, however, a little unsure of Dragon anatomy, it may have been technically a snout or something.
Arona walked rapidly for several hours, trying to concentrate on the directions given to her by Vincentius and hoping that she was headed in the right direction. Eventually she started to tire and her determination faded. She sat down on a rock and closed her eyes. Her shoulders slumped in weariness and she despondently wished she was back in the cave with the others. She felt deeply sad.
And is this something you really must face? asked a kindly voice in her head.
I have no idea really, she answered despairingly. I don’t know. I mean I thought I knew. I thought if I didn’t then I would always be in fear. When I looked into the flames of the fire it all seemed clear. I needed to understand and face it, I thought anyway….
hmmm, said the voice. Well the best advice I can give you is to trust yourself.
Arona opened her eyes and saw, to her surprise, a small cottage in the distance. Why, I don’t remember that cottage being there a moment ago, she thought. It looks just as Vincentius described. How remarkable. I was closer than I thought! Her spirits rose.
Outside the cottage the old crone was bent over, digging in a small vegetable plot. A basket of cabbages sat by her side. She stood up at Arona’s approach, wiping the dirt from her gnarly hands on her apron.
I have come to get some answers from you, said Arona, firmly crossing her arms and ignoring the outstretched hand.
Alright little one, Lucille said soflty. Why don’t you go and wait in the orchard. I will go and fix us a nice, cool drink of lemonade.
The orchard was full of old fruit trees, their twisted trunks reminded Arona of Lucille herself. From one of the trees hung an old swing. Arona sat on it, holding the rope, and gently rocked herself back and forwards, thinking. She had to admit, she was, quite frankly puzzled. The visit so far wasn’t going as expected.
She kept rocking, faster now.
She hit her heels into the hard earth again and again.
I don’t know. She tried to dig these words into the earth with her heels.
Then she sidestepped her feet in crab-like movements in diminishing circles. The ropes of the swing twisted tighter and tighter.
Arona leant backwards and stuck her legs out straight in front of her. The ropes unwound and sent her spinning. weeeeeeeeeeee hoooooooooooooooo!
She looked up into the sky. Blue sky through the trees with racing spinning clouds. She felt dizzy.
She stood up and braced herself against the seat of the swing. She held onto the ropes and pushed hard against the seat beneath her. She bent her knees under the swing. She kicked her feet forwards.
She wanted to go higher. She bent her legs back under the swing. Then kicked them outwards. She stretched her body backwards and arched her back.
I don’t know, she whispered.
She sat upright. She bent her legs back under the swing. Then kicked them as hard as she could. She leant her body backwards. She stretched as far as she could. On the rebound her heels hit the ground hard, but still she wanted to keep going higher and higher.
I DON’T KNOW! she shouted, as loudly as she could.
Lucille returned with the lemonade.
How do I know if it is safe to drink this? Arona asked. You have cast one spell on me, how am I to know this is not another?
Okay, well that makes good sense, thought Arona, gratefully drinking the lemonade.
Leörmn the dragon had been retreating silently what felt like a long time ago. For most of the dragons, as they grew in age, needed to occupy more and more of their time in dreaming.
But dreaming was not an idle occupation as human sometimes were prone to think. He was phenomenally active in the Unseen when he dreamt, and most of the times, he didn’t even have a dream corporeal existence such was the intensity of the activity, that he projected in many many many different ways at the same time.
At times, he slowly woke up, barely aware of all of what he had done. In one fragment, some other focuses of his friends were in an odd classroom, and were asked whether they had read some transcripts of a trance conversation with a dragon. At the beginning the pupils had felt reluctant to answer, but some bold hands had been raised, and he knew these people, they were closely related to him. The teacher had been telling them how different the energy was, and how intense, for it was not the same kind of consciousness… Of course, Leörmn knew all of that, but it was one of the many things that had occurred during his sleep. Because all of that was a reality, occurring in other frameworks, other dimensions, other scenes, but all of them were happening.
And in another one, there was this young man who had just changed his name, looking through a sort of big flat glubolin at some parchment map that one of his friend had put in front of his eyes, and the young man was amazed at how close it looked like the map he had seen in his own dream, with rivers outlined…
Leörmn felt immensely grateful for all of these personality essences exchanging with him, and enhancing and widening his own exploration, and he felt like he wanted to modify once again the cave. He would create some guest rooms into the cave for them, if they wanted to use them. They would be furnished as they wanted to, and reflecting what was their comfort, and dear to them…
At Malvina’s request, he had already created one abode for Irtak, but now, he would also create one for the finckely Arona, the wandering Sanso, who in turn could invite some of their own guests.
And so once again, the cave was transmugrified…
November 9 th
For Yurick, or perhaps shall we say, The Artist Formerly Known As Quintin this sequence of sequence of 911 has the signification of a reminder to be paying attention to self, and being present to himself.
The last few days have been, in appearance, quite devoid of exciting new installments of the story, yet, we nudge him not to judge this lack of activity on his part as categorically as he has been used to do. It was a time of self-retreat, a time we have shared with many other essences, as all is connected.
A very fine point which has been brought forth by Elias a few days ago (in Yurick’s perception of time) has been that you want to appreciate the process. His illustration was that of a beautiful flower bud that you hold, and that you don’t want to tear open, but rather let itself reveal its splendor, and also, its surprises.
It has prompted Yurick to remember something, which had lots of meaning to him.
Some years ago, when he was in Kyoto’s forests, he picked up an acorn, as he liked to have seeds or tree corns in his pockets. Back from his trip, in his home, there was this big pot of earth were an old plant had died from the summer heat, and he planted the acorn in it.
And he waited. Till he had to move, some months later, having renounced to have the acorn grow at all, as the soil’s surface was remaining desperately flat. Perhaps it had rotten altogether. Before leaving the apartment, Yurick started to rummage with his bare hands into the soil, to look for the remains of the acorn he believed had rotten, only to find it perfectly healthy. And even more, it had grown lots of long roots.
So he took it back home, where it was planted and still continues to grow at a rapid rate.
Looking at the now big sapling reminds Yurick how that process of growing roots was important for the plant, as they were essential for the oak to be able to survive the winters colds and the summers heats.
Such is the importance of these moments were inspiration seem to be scarce, or away. It is ever present, growing its roots very carefully inside the soil of your being, and expanding your connexions, redefining some, bringing new nourishments to yourself… The effects are not always immediately visible, but things never cease to move.
Be prepared to be amazed by the colors of the flowers and leaves your seed produces, for as Yurick’s oak was an unusual kind of oak (a chestnut oak ), the very seeds that are in your pockets or waiting in the soils of your dream gardens may reveal their own surprises…
On Mount Elok’ram, the old abbot Hrih Chokyam Lin’potshee was gardening.
Despite his old age, and his being at the head of the Monastery, Hrih Chokyam was always doing his hour of gardening with great application and talent, as was asked to everyone, from the youngest to the oldest monks studying here.
The Monastery was a place of healing and teaching, dedicated to Margilonia, the Elder Goddess thought to have created the Earths. As a matter of fact, gardening was the simplest —yet most effective— way to fully appreciate the grandness and the interconnectedness of the whole of creation.
Hrih Chokyam remembered when he was a little child in the vast fertile plateaus in the Eastern part of Dam Adbor, bordering the high mountains. He had always loved the mountains, better than the plains, or the towns where the wars and plots were fomented endlessly. So he was wandering many times in the mountains, to collect herbs and also just for the fun and exhilaration of climbing higher and higher, and seeing the world as a small thing that could be placed into his hands.
His parents had wanted him to become a farmer, but some wealthy neighbours had thought he was showing signs of being able to do much better, and even proposed to have him pursue a career in the administration of Dam Adbor’s capital.
Young Hrih had considered the proposition for some time, and one day, went deep into the mountains to make his decision.
There he’d got this powerful connection with an enveloping warm manifestation of Margilonia, who prompted him to go higher than anyone had ever been on the top of the mountains, were a natural point of great potential magical energy was. Here, she had conveyed to him, he would have a monastery built, a perfectly clear channel for this yet untaped magical energy.
Ninety nine years ago that was.
Hrih had been higher than any human had ever been, in the search of this point, knowing he would feel it resonate with him. The mountains, he had learned were not as empty as humans had thought, and there were many other kinds of sentient beings living here, far from the wars below.
Interestingly, assisted by these magical sentient creatures and Margilonia’s energies, building the structure had been easy. He had never thought harnessing magic would be that easy, perhaps just because the traveling magicians coming at times in the village to do some healing or just funfair exhibitions were making that very difficult, and requiring lots of training.
The truth was, magic was everywhere, only people had become blind to it, or just lazy to use it. But old Hrih, even if his eyes were not as sharp as they used to be, could see it clear as day. Magic was in everything. Especially in one’s own very existence.
That was the first of the things people coming to learn in the monastery had to understand. Deceptively simple, yet the most difficult lesson for many of them. He had to admit, he had struggled quite a bit with it too, during the endless wandering into the vast mountains. But there had always been a root to eat, or some fresh mushrooms or eggs apparently left here just for him… He laughed now, thinking of it.
Hrih’s life had been so fulfilling. He knew he was weak now, and would not see the springing season, and he was thinking he had to choose someone to take care of the monastery. Few people went to stay here, for as they had learned and applied what was to learn, their own passion was coming back to them, and they would not need to stay any longer.
But a few days ago, a young one had come, announced to old Hrih by a singing rosy finch.
As usual, all was provided when things were ready for it.
Hrih had no doubt that the hesitant young man would be the next one to hold the title of Lin’potshee, or “Precious Elder”.
Becky had to admit she was impressed with Tina’s latest addition to the Reality Drama Play. Inserting a ripplingly virile and handsome nanny was a stroke of genius, and was a concept that she, Becky, would bear in mind, should she ever decide to have children herself.
Seeing Sean again, if truth be told, had made her slightly broody. Yes, he was often slurring his words, but he had such an endearing twinkle in his eye, and he was so charmingly affectionate that she found him hard to resist. Becky recalled their passionate affair in the Middle East and the Sahara :weather-clear:…there hadn’t been any drinking in those days…well, Becky corrected herself, other than the occasional pot of herbal tea of questionable ingredients. Oh, those passionate nights inside the steamy tent, with the desert winds howling around them! Clandestine meetings, when Sean’s wife Margaret was too absorbed in her botanical experiments to notice his absence…..
ARONA MEETS THE NANNY
Dreamily Arona wandered away from the cave, gently holding the sleeping Yikesy close to her heart. Mandrake the cat followed, elegantly attempting to convey the impression he was there by mere chance, and by some stroke of fortune happened to be heading in the same direction.
Arona had no clear idea where she was going, or what her intentions were even. Still this was nothing new for Arona, who was a bit of an aimless wanderer really herself at heart. She pretended she was looking for magic, but really, she wasn’t so sure anymore what she was looking for.
Arona was momentarily rendered speechless by a vison up ahead. The most beautiful creature she had ever seen sat no more than 5 dragon-lengths up ahead.
Mandrake, she eventually whispered when she had regained her composure, What is this miracle ahead? Is this some maiden’s dream? A heavenly creature come to earth perhaps?
A miracle sent by God to save you? suggested Mandrake
His near naked body a masterpiece of bronzed skin pulled taut over rippling muscles.
But you know I am no hapless fool Mandrake, to swoon over a handsome stranger.
No, indeed. And might I enquire why for art we art speaking so oddly? asked Mandrake
Buggered if I know, answered Arona
Despite the bravado she managed to display at times, Arona was very shy, and would never have had the confidence to approach such a godlike creature. However at that moment Yikesy started to cry loudly. The god looked up from his silent reverie and smiled.
Oh a baby, he said in a deep melodic voice. I love babies. He came bounding athletically over and gazed down at Yikesy. My, that is an endearingly ugly baby.
Mandrake looked unhelpfully back at her, with a rather sarcastic little smile on his face.
Oh I am sure that could be arranged, snorted Mandrake.
Arona glared at Mandrake and decided the time had come to pull herself together. I am so sorry for the misunderstanding, she said charmingly to Vincentius. The baby’s name is Yikesy. And certainly you may hold him for a moment.
Look this is probably a silly question but you aren’t after a nanny by any chance? Oh no of course you aren’t, said Vincentius, apologetically, seeing the amazed expression on Arona’s face. I am so sorry, just wishful thinking on my part. Please forget I said anything and forgive me for my impudence.
Well actually, said Arona, frantically attempting to remain calm, I really have no idea how to look after this baby and I did have a bit of an idea a nanny might be quite useful.
Well this is a fortuitous meeting indeed then!
But I can’t afford to pay you, she said sadly, unconsciously fiddling with her hair and fluttering her long thick eyelashes.
Oh don’t worry about that small detail. I am sure we can come to some sort of mutually beneficial arrangement, and Vincentius winked at her.
Arona drew herself up to her full height, firmly took Yikesy back and said; I will have you know if you are going to wink at me this can’t possibly work. I have no idea what a wink means. You will have to speak clearly if you have something to say to me.
OH bugger bugger bugger! thought Arona. What is it with me and winking. Now I have blown it. BUGGER.
But Vincentius just laughed good naturedly, and musically too of course. Perhaps we will just play it by ear then shall we? I am delighted to be your new Nanny :yahoo_big_hug:.
Gibraltar, Spain, October, 23 rd 2007
When Dory’s partner (well, the last one that is) came back from his shower into the lounge, he found little Becky playing with Dory’s computer as though it were her own.
He had always found strange that his first wife’s daughter had get along so well with the temperamental archaeologist… In fact they mostly ignored each other, but they were so similar in many respect that it was like they didn’t even need to communicate, they just knew each other.
Becky was only 5 (or was it 7? Dan never knew of course, which made Sabine, his first wife, constantly reproach him his lack of care) but she was brilliant. Perhaps that was the father in him talking, but he knew she would be doing great things. At such a young age, she had read The Perilous Treks of Lord Gustard Willoughby Fergusson (written by the Lord’s widow-then-remarried wife Floribunda von Grotto) so many times he had lost track himself (“as always,…” “now shut up Sabine, will you!”) and that was the least of her talents, he could tell.
For the moment, Dan was more wondering about Dorothy. It had been nearly a month she had been away for her vacations in Madagascar. Two weeks more than she had told him… And there was this Jabin man in Tel-Aviv still trying to reach her. Well at least, he had forwarded the message to the hotel, so she would have had it.
She might have delayed her return, especially if she had found some interesting archaeological stuff… well or a more handsome man… At least Dan could understand the handsome man, he laughed so loud Becky turned her head to him.
— Are you alright Daddy?
— Oh yes I am, treasure. What are you doing on Dory’s laptop? Not breaking anything are you?
— Oh no… I’m just having fun with one of Dory’s friend…
— Ahahaha, really? Dan was impressed
— Yes! But I didn’t tell her that Dody Doo was not home, she’s a bit of a worry wort.
— Ahahaha… Dory will come back, sooner or later, don’t worry…
— Oh, but I don’t worry Daddy! I know that she’s well. Now, I’ll tell bye bye to Fionny Fea and we can play backgammon!
The rain was pouring cabbages for several days now, almost the whole week… Baul was fed up with that filthy weather of Cromash Tur. The capital of this 4th kingdom was quite nice and pleasurable, but it lacked sun and warmth… Baul had come to Nâabooli, the capital of Cromash, in order to settle an arrangement. Something quite particular that he couldn’t find in his own land of Erpet Mesh. He’d been travelling for weeks with his guards and servants when he arrived in the city and all that for some foo’kin rain! But something more important than brooding and pouting was on his mind.
Tonight he was alone, no servant, no guard… he was wearing a black coat made of goat skin on his usual blue and yellow silk robe, he couldn’t wear anything else, his skin was too smooth and delicate. He was spending great amount of money to take care of his body, it was his own pride, and he considered himself as a very handsome and appealing male.
The man he was about to meet wasn’t hiding, but oddly was acting in full sight. Nonetheless, Baul didn’t want to be seen with him, Baul was an ambassador of sort from Erpet and he couldn’t be seen entering in an Assassin’s house. In Cromash, the Assassins were quite a respectable and wealthy, but in Erpet they were outlaw… one of the numerous differences between the two kingdoms, one they would never agree upon. Baul found it quite useful though; many times he’d met Ar’Am Khra, one of the best of this profession.
For this meeting, as always, Baul had chosen a tavern, the Landgurdy, called after one of the former 12 kingdoms. The 4 remaining ones were at war most of the times, they couldn’t maintain peace more than a few years at best, and Baul had found many ways of benefiting of this situation. Merchant, Ambassador, and much more. He was thriving with plotting and it was quite useful to be one of the ambassadors of Erpet Mesh, offering him safety wherever he was going. It was one of the few respected rules that were common between the Warring Kingdoms.
The Landgurdy was quite a crowded tavern, and the owner was a friend of his, though not really officially. There was that private room on the rear of the building, know only of a few chosen “friends”, so they could enter unnoticed by the usual customers and by would be spies. The rear door was seemingly leading into another building, and some arrangements had been made over the years.
Baul knocked the code at the door, and a vasistas was open quickly and closed even more quickly. The door opened then and he entered in the darkness of the house. If anyone opened the door, he or she wasn’t there anymore, but Baul knew the place quite well as it wasn’t his first meeting with the Assassin.
The Assassin was waiting in the small room, square shaped with only a wood table and one chair. No window. One dim lamp.
He was sitting on the lone carved chair. His clients needn’t sit.
They were mere beggers.
The one that was coming now, was quite amusing.
The first time he met him, Baul was quite young and inexperienced in his own skills. Though he was quite ambitious, Ar’Am Khra had to admit it.
The usual reaction when seeing the Assassin’s pale complexion was shivers and disgust. He was used to it and it was a game that he had enhanced with a little bluish glowing dagger tattooed on his forehead.
The dagger was the mark of his profession, though not so obviously exhibited by the others. Cowards.
At that first meeting, Baul didn’t react the way his other clients did. And it was not influenced by his utmost concerns at that time. Beside his inexperience he was quite engrossed in what he had called his “mission”.
Ar’Am Khra did not know of any mission, there were merely contracts.
And he was doing what his clients were paying for.
Accomplishing his contract even after the death of his clients.
He was remembering of an amusing event.
A client had hired him to end the life of another man, and the second man went a few days after to his office to beg him to kill the first man.
The Assassin accepted the contract.
A few days later he killed the second man.
He executed the first one not long after that, thus respecting the second contract.
He never questioned the motives of his clients.
It was not for him to judge or to understand. Though most of the time he did understand quite well.
His main motivation was the payment and his own pride in expressing his skill with subtleties and newness.
The door opened smoothly. Baul entered the room.
Yann and Quintin had an interesting chat during the afternoon. Yann had some new impressions about the map of Lord Wrick annotated by Quintin. Something about the Warring Kingdoms, triggered by a dream of an Assassin in one of them. It was frustrating not to be in the same room so Yann could show Quintin directly on the map, but with Internet there were some other options.
The names of these lands were Ata’Meliu, Dam Adbor, Erpet Mesh and Cromash Tur. These 4 Kingdoms were rather scattered on the Lan’Ork part of the continent, pieces and bits everywhere, though Ata’Meliu was more in the center and the South of the Lan’Ork, Dam Adbor in the East and in the North, and Cromash Tur in the West and South West parts, Erpet was divided in 2 main areas, one located on the Northern land just before the Isthmus of Ghört’s Hammer, and a smaller one lost in the middle of Ata’Meliu.
Yann only had the impression of 2 of the capitals, Naat Medin was the one of Erpet Mesh and Nâabooli of Cromash Tur.
Quintin just sent him the map so he could draw some more comments and sketch the boundaries of the Warring Kingdoms. He didn’t know why, but he felt some movements were about to begin, some reconfigurations of the borders
The unusual overwhelming heat, which had begun with the spring equinox had finally temporarily receded with the appearance of big opaque cumulonimbus filling the sky with a mute thunderous sound. The flickering glow was no longer enough for Raphael to distinguish the small dark characters dancing before his eyes, the storm having let the night pounce on them earlier than it should have.
So, Raphael closed his thick leather-bound book and put it back into his burgundy backpack bag, inhaling deeply the air of the dusk, mollified by the music of the raindrops that ricocheted now discreetly on the rusty steel plates.
The remaining passengers began to hurry around a meager dinner wrapped in dirty newspaper sheets, displaying energy resources that he felt incapable of. Feeling no hunger at all, he decided to go on the pontoon to taste the moisture exuding in the evening, this celestial water, soothing down the fever of this trip, which drew to a close. The boat continued to rend imperturbably through the obsidian sea, and the thick enveloping fog prevented them to distinguish the lights of the city that he could feel at a distance.
This was not the first time, but at each of his return, the city seemed changed, this time ghostly apparition, once glittering pearl. This was undoubtedly one of the reasons which had him leave it, as others would have done with a lover, to better appreciate this fleeting moment of reunion.
The book had been given to him by a stranger he had met, and was part of his mission; he didn’t usually accept assignments in this city where he was too obvious, but the stranger had assured him nothing illegal would be required of him, just delivering a book.
He had leafed through the book, just to make sure there was no foul play on the part of this strange man with amber eyes that seemed to keep changing colours. But the book had seemed innocuous. Even worse, it did not make any sense for Raphael. The chapters were randomly numbered, and the text seemed to keep changing. Perhaps it was Raphael’s mind which played tricks on him, but it was baffling for him, as he was accustomed to keep his senses sharp as a dagger. Whatever,… The man had paid, and a plump pile of money even.
The insistent rumors of a mysterious illness which had already claimed fatalities within the walls of the city had not deterred him to go there —knowing that the few people caring about him would have preferred to see him flee this destination, so certain as they were to be themselves immune to the contingencies of life. Even the bald adipose captain of the ship, Fat Yong Choi had seemed wary of having a pale-skinned foreigner coming on board of his boat, but he had quickly seen that Raphael was no common traveler.
But there was no longer time to rehash those turpitudes, the harbour finally appearing, like a halo glow from the contours of which some faint sounds escaped, soon to be stifled by the purring and cracking of the bulging vessel.
The winds began to sweep the docks violently, causing the cargo, now anchored, to oscillate wildly, like a huge weeble at the hands of the elements. Fortunately, due to the alarming news from the city, the boat was only half full, and the unloading was smooth. Raphael, unnerved by the long journey, only wanted to walk, but patiently followed the slow pace of the procession which led him outside of the harbour’s enclosure, even before he had noticed it.
Raphael wanted above all to rest, but didn’t care to be bothered speaking to someone. He preferred to sink deep down in his thoughts while walking through the streets, rather than lose this feeling of freedom. Freedom to choose his own itinerary, without a word to say, entirely open to the silence of the streets.
The fine drizzle had indeed deserted the streets making the city infinitely enjoyable for him. It was indeed just as he liked it best, at dusk, just faintly resonating with the sound of his own steps.
Empty — a few passersby in search of a shelter nearby. He imagined to be a ghost haunting these places without life, enjoying the feeling of being the predator felinely prowling in this scene without spectators, shrouded in the reassuring complicity of the night.
Oörlaith heard the sound of a barking dog not far from her rookery. They were back with his master, and she knew at once their mission was complete.
A few months ago she had met a strange man, he told her he was called Leonard, and the funny black dog that was following him everywhere was called Moufle. An ancient word for mitten… Well she didn’t ask why he’d call him like that, the dog was so hairy…
Leonard was a lonely traveller, quite ancient as she could feel, but she wasn’t able to know his actual age. And there were some other weird feelings when she was focusing on his energy tone, something to do with time itself.
When she first met him she knew he was the one she was looking for for ages. It’s been such a long time she hadn’t heard from her sisters. Oörlaith’d been having these dreams since they chose different direction many years ago, Malvina and Roselÿn, her precious ones. It wasn’t necessary for her then to keep objective contact with them through the glubolín.
One year ago, the dreams stopped abruptly, and she tried several methods to reach her sisters. None of them with success. All her attempts failed, and she thought first she had lost her own power, but she knew one can not loose power of self, just forget it or create it on purpose. She realized then it was time to recreate these links more objectively.
She couldn’t find her glubolín though. And Leonard arrived. Fortunately enough he had news from some strange events occurring in the land where she knew Malvina had settled her rookery. Was she still here with Leörmn?
Yann had been feeling many impulses to draw scenes from his dreams and from the story they were creating with Quintin, Fiona, and Truth. It was an urge from inside and last night he had a very intense dream activity, most of which he couldn’t remember, it was more like a big forum with many different personalities all exchanging experiences and exploring new avenues.
He was also attracted by old stories he was writing when he was a student, the one involving Georges and Salome, it seemed to him they had taken a life of their own now, and they felt very powerful, and most of all, they felt like really having fun.
One of the drawing that was intriguing him was one that represented a sign of sort, in grayish sparkly clouds. He had given the pic a strange title, Oorlath. Yann had connected the name to an individual and was surprised when Quintin told him about a princess named Oörlaith. He was wondering who she was…
She still had no face when he thought of her… maybe she was hidden for the moment… and he had the strangest thought that she knew Leonard, the man he’d been drawing with his black hairy dog.
Haha, he had felt her smile.
Chiara was looking for the boy she’d met last time in her dreams. Maybe he could give her some berries again, they were really tasty and fluberrish.
But she’s been looking for him for so long she wonder if she could find the way again…
Where she was now felt different. The light? The air? She took a deep breathe and just sat down on the grassy land. She had a quick thought that the land were more rocky than grassy a few seconds ago, but as she was feeling the grass under her hands, she dismissed the thought.
She was hearing birds singing, it was quite funny the way they were bounding from one sound to the other and she could understand what they were saying, much gossips and a few compliments for a new mother nothing really important to her. She Jibbled.
Lying down on the mossy land, she was looking… mossy? wasn’t it grassy? Now it’s mossy… hope that wouldn’t become mothy
She was looking the clouds, some were grayishly sparkling, she was enjoying it…
“Are you looking for something” a voice said.
Chiara quickly sat up and gazed at the fat lady who was standing before her.
“Hahahaha, you found me at least my dear” laughed the woman.
The little girl was gaping at Roselÿn… how could she possibly know her name?
“I feel I know you :yahoo_thinking:” she said dreamily.
“You make me feel like when I’m with my uncle Yann, and… there’s something else… oh!?”
— I saw him too, she said to her brother.
— I don’t want to see him again, these books are scarey.
— It’s intriguing, I want to know more, India Louise said, egging on him.
— When I close my eyes, I got all these roots and webs crawling, it’s mad… I can’t…
— He has found a friend to help him cross the Dark Forest to the traveling portal.
— A friend?
— Yes, a friend. She’s special.
— Tell me more…
— She’s a white unicorn, only him can see her.
— She’s named Mirÿnda. She’s glowing white, and he hears her speak in his mind, she shows him the way through the forest…
— Mirÿnda?! A fool in saffron robe gallivanting in the forest with a unicorn now? That’s all you could find?
Tina was taken aback…
— Well, I could have used a grizzly bear too, now I think of it… Al answered flippantly.
— Tsk tsk, replied Tina a bit annoyed. And why not a humpback whale, or an arctic lemming, or even… why, a leopard gecko for that matter?… And who’s that Mÿrinda anyway?
Quintin had answered distractedly, as he was engrossed by his last painting…
Later that night, he couldn’t find sleep, as the dragon he was painting was still expanding his web of roots and branches in his mind’s eye. He opened his computer to see that Malika was online.
She told him something that night, something Quintin found abysmally profound and perplexing about his dragon…
— Dragons can shape shift, into anything they want to. There are several doorways/portals that they use for travel into this dimension. Malika said
— Yes, said Quintin, this drawing has something to do with these portals initially, but I struggle a bit to represent them…
— Yes, so you can just depict it to be flowing, liquid-like energy in the center, when the portal is active.
There are some that are being shone to me on the bottom of the ocean floor.
What is being shown to me, is a dragon with a tail much like a mermaid, and hands with webs, big yellow eyes…
Wow he had thought, she can really see.
Jadra, guided by Mirÿnda, had been moving quite easily through the Dark Forest. Of course, he wouldn’t have dared touch the holy creature, and so he was walking hesitantly behind, taking care of where his bare feet were touching the ground.
The Dark Forest was bordering the Marshes of Doom, and at times the limits between the two were almost indiscernible. It was said that every foul, err… fool… damn,…
— Will you stop being so buffoonish! raved Tina again.
— Perhaps I should let someone else continue then? said Albert.
— Well, that’s entertaining, replied Becky mechanically.
— OK. I’ll jump in, said Samuel, with a wide grin.
It was said that every full moon, the Mighty Shrimp would come from the shores of the Southern Seas and haunt the Marshes in search for souls to be turned into krill, so that he could be the WALRUS (Wrathful Almighty Lord Ruler of Undersea Souls).
Well, at least, that’s what Jadra had heard in his youth, when you tend to believe everything… So he was weary of the hiki-hiki sounds in the night that might have been the dreaded call of the Mighty Shrimp.
Quintin was having a strange dream. He was a huge whale, along with another one he knew was Yann, swimming powerfully in the vast ocean, passing by strange creatures that could have been mermaids or improbable fishes, when his gaze was attracted by a stream of glittering particles of light.
The lights were enticing, he would have said even “mouth-watering”, had he not had the baleens full of water already…
Salome was moving through layers of consciousness, something humans focused in physical dimensions would have found difficult to grasp, as it was nothing that could be easily conceptualized. She was, as best as she could put, like a huge cloud of lightness coalescing into a form, when she decided to project her aspect.
Taking form into a dimension required no effort in actuality, the consensus reality created by all the essences focused into the reality making quite a strong pull. She only needed to move her attention to what she wanted to manifest. Altering her reality slowly around her, to move closer to the desired effect.
She was not only traveling through time and space, but also through multitudinous layers of dimensions unnoticed to many humans —in fact, she was not really moving, but that was a convenient way of telling things for humans…
She said “humans”, because she was fond of this particular dimension, where she’d had lots of experiences.
When moving through the dimensions, it had her projected focus of attention constantly and naturally adapt its form to the psychological environment.
Here, she had just moved through a honey-drops dimension, where focuses were drops of golden honey-like substance, and as she moved through it, her own aspect had changed to that of a sand-glass shaped drop of honey.
This was great fun for her to see the ease with which she could focus into this infinite variety of adventures, but for now, her pull was to some more complex physical dimensions.
She started to move again, de-focusing, past the lazy honey drops.
The honey drops were now shape-shifting to a whole immense field of snake-like strings of light, and they all started to converge to a direction. She knew the feeling. She followed the strong pull.
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