Al was concerned about Tina. He wondered why at times it was like their moods were at the antipodes of each other. Like one was in summer when the other one was in winter. Of course, seasons had gone awfully awry in the past (well, in people’s perception at least), and cherry trees were at times blooming in the late autumn, so that was hardly a good metaphore. Enfin bref…
Sometimes he wished they could move to a part of the Earth were the differences were leveled or not so dramatic, but of course, that would be focusing unduly on what seems awry, and not appreciating the differences for what they brought in understanding for each other.
Like most people now, Tina and him were living in a free relationship, not bonded by written contracts, just by a mutual wish to be experiencing a common exploration. But lately, especially with the play writing, deep issues had surfaced between them, and he was no longer sure of what they were exploring, as it was like shifting sands. Of course, now, most people were shifted themselves, thanks to the new generations of children who were exceptionally gifted in accessing their own essence. But for them, in their mid-30s, there were still issues linked to their old patterns of thoughts, many deeply ingrained ways of thinking, coming from many generations before them.
That T.R.A.P. attraction thing was a good example of the differences. It was mostly an attraction park for his generation, not really for children, as they were greatly able of doing these kinds of inner-travels without the aid of technology —not that they didn’t enjoy it either.
Al was thinking of a gift for Tina. He wanted to show her that she had really transformed Jadra, or that they had come a long way since the wandering in the cave tunnels, or that everything started to make sense, even the invisible friend Blohmul…
Well, there were still mysteries around him, (not mysteries really, but things yet at the state of seeds, or potentials) but he was no longer a hair on the soup they cooked. He was the blue fox of Mævel, and more interestingly, that cursed god was the son of Mirÿnda, the Goddess of Mirth —but that, Tina had not realized yet…FloveParticipant
Hi Torsten, said Tina, giving her old friend a hug. Thanks for calling and saying you had some time to chat, hope I didn’t sound odd when I answered the phone, Becky was there, and I didn’t want to tell her. I am trying to pretend I am normal you see, she laughed wryly.
I really need someone who isn’t involved with the play to talk to though, I feel like I am going a bit weirdo, bottling everything up. And it is affecting the play and my relationship with the others.
I can’t find my place in the play the others are writing. See it is the play “the others are writing”. I feel as though I am drifting through it, trying to find my way amidst the structure, if you can call it structure, they give it. And that is the way I am feeling about life, I can’t find my place in it
At the moment I claim to believe in magic, and that I create my own reality, but I certainly don’t feel it the last few days. She thought for a moment. Well other days recently have been golden, it is all magic. I find it everywhere. Yes, I have had days like that, but the last week or so I can’t find it.
I felt as though I couldn’t create what I wanted to.
What if you could?
All of it? It would be a miracle though. My rational mind tells me it is not possible. And in that lies the source of this pain.
So you don’t believe what you claim to believe
Tina thought for a moment. I keep feeling the eyes of that Blue Mule character I told you we created on me. That’s not his name, but I keep getting stuck on the spelling . Well actually I didn’t create him. The others keep creating new characters, every time someone does a typo, it is “hey! new character!” Anyway this was ages ago. And in the play there was a picture that one of the characters, Quintin, did, and whenever I say “I can’t”, then I feel these eyes of Blue Mule challenging me, and it’s like he’s saying, “ well what DO you believe then?” and it is like a real challenge in these eyes.
…..it’s just that it does sound rather simplistic, I mean ……Tina frowned at the script.
Well, it depends doesn’t it, Becky replied. As it’s a fictional recreational piece of performance art, certainly it wants a few complications, a few twists, a few riddles…..
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 legend of Mævel — (Part II)
The young fairy princess, whose secret name had been forgotten, and thus her very existence to whoever had known her, grew up as a beautiful child.
Mævel she was, and the youngest of the clan too. Her delicate features stood out of the many children that Jorg and Ilga, her human parents already had, and they first saw her as probably their most useless child, being frail and unfit to the works of the woods. But she’d been saved from a sure death, and that had proved to them that the child was some odd gift from the Gods.
Mævel looking at her brothers and sisters, was constantly reminded of how different she was, as small and fair and fragile as a sparfly’s egg. She helped her mother Ilga as much as she could in the kitchen, preparing meals for the clan. Her parents did not know how she could ever get a husband, as she would never be much of a great cook either.
So, she was feeling not fulfilled by what she was doing. She loved her parents, and sisters, and brothers, but there was something else that she did not know how to express.
During the springing and sunny seasons, and even the rainy and icy one, she would go after her works had been done to the little meadow brook, and watch for hours the little rosy trouts dancing in the clear waters.
And much of her young years passed, and she learned how to cook, how to sew and how to wash clothes and many other tasks that could help the family. She had improved much in her skills and could do wonderful adornments to her sisters and brothers clothes. But noone cared about the adornments, which would be useless for them. But they loved their little sister nonetheless, though they did not understand.
Soon, all the elder brothers left the house, one by one, and the sisters too. And as Mævel turned twenty one, she was left alone with old Jorg and old Ilga.
That day, her parents had offered her a pearl white ribbon, for her to tie her hair, and they had thought it would probably please her, as it was as useless a thing as their mind could imagine. And indeed she was delighted by the gift, and to please her parents, she had danced and sung in the night, barefooted on the floorboard, her shiny golden hair swirling around her, as they both loved her to do.
The next day, Mævel went to the brook to wash some clothes, when she noticed a reddish bluish spark of light coming from the forest nearby. How strange she thought. Perhaps it is only my imagination. But soon, a plaintiff cry came from the same direction, and she was deeply moved by the cry.
Leaving her clothes to dry up, she went to the forest, knowing she could trust her instincts and that no wild beast would harm her. Calling to see if someone was there, a voice called her, crying “here, here!”
Behind some fern trees, she was surprised as she saw a wounded blue fox. Was it the fox that had spoken?
— Yes, that was me, answered the blue fox
— Oh, a talking fox! You are wounded, aren’t you? asked Mævel
— Yes, a stupid arrow from a stupid hunter… I can’t extract it, would you help me?
— Of course, answered Mævel, hold on a second.
And she leaned forward to draw the arrow from the fox’s leg, holding fast so that it would not hurt the creature. She was just knowing what to do, as if she had done it many times already. Then she drew out her white handkerchief, and bandaged the bleeding wound, tying it tightly with her pearl white ribbon.
— I must leave now, said the fox, I am greatly indebted to you, young lady
— Will you tell me your name?
— I am called Blohmrik. And may I inquire as to your name?
— I’m called Mævel, but you can call me Mæ
— Such a lovely name…
— How come you are a talking fox?
— I was not always in the form that you see now. This form is due to a curse from the God of the Forgotten, from which I foolishly tried to stole secrets when I was a young god learning magic.
— Ooh, so you are a god? Mævel was amazed
— Oh, smiled sadly the fox, as you are also, though you probably don’t realize. Gods are not so different than what you think…
— Oh, really? So there isn’t anything I can do for you, is there?
— You have already done much for today Mæ
Mævel was blushing… She dared ask to her new friend
— And will I see you again?
— Perhaps sooner than you know.
The City, year 2257
Janice had just awoken from a strange dream, where she was watching big round cabbages being harvested in what looked like Quintin’s father garden. They were all firmly rooted on a black irrigation pole across the garden, and people were using strange devices to turn them all delicately and pick them afterwards. In the dream, there were black puppies too, sleeping in the straw of a kind of hut nearby. And she had seen another creature, and had been surprised first because it was unlike anything she had ever met, even in dreams. It was hairless and brown as soft mud, and was hiding in the neighbour’s garden. Then it had crossed and came to play with her…
Janice was lost in her thoughts strolling on the way to the common dome, when she met Rodney, her father’s friend.
They had been recently trying with her father Jacob, and also Qixi to connect with their shifting focuses of the Ancients, two centuries and half before their time.
Some of them, they had found, had been playing a sort of game of story-telling and clue-sowing… (Janice was laughing as her father’s friend, the scientist Arkandin, always insisted on seesawing instead)
Perhaps her dream was telling her that the crop was ripe, and it was time to harvest some from it. She told her dream to Rodney. All at once, he was quite excited and they started to feel they wanted to chat more freely. So they went into one of the Medraw Caps that was available and soon imagined a comfortable environment for themselves to explore more.
Janice could hear Al or Quintin complain about how things were getting confusing.
She tried to convey to both of them that they could be excited about it, as it was expanding their understanding, but they weren’t very receptive.
Somewhere Al was saying to Becky
— The more you try to fix it, the more confused I am
— Hahahahah yes! Becky was answering, I guess so! Ahahahah! Al, what a fabulous dance of confusion we do… The Confundo Tango
— Ahahah, yes!
Al started again to moan:
— So who’s dead, who’s the shapeshifter? Who’s the human, who’s the cat?
(Rodney was laughing, as for him, he could accept the confusion as much easier, letting him free to wander around!)
— Illi was a woman, a shapeshifter who shape-shifted into a cat, then, she died. Becky was saying (Rodney added mentally “Now, she is disengaged” as he knew that “death” was a confusing word.) She was an archaeologist
— Okay, that’s cool, that’s what I thought, Al acquiesced. Then thought back of what was said of her and wondered… Anyway, it will probably find a perfect answer …
— I got lost myself when two Illis appeared, and a grip-thing as well
— Because I didn’t want the grip-thing to be dead! Al couldn’t help but laugh. That would have been too easy, like wiggling out. Not using your imagination within the context of objective imagery to sort out “things”…
While Rodney and Janice were seeing that their other focuses were kind of stuck in their explanation, they had time freeze and both decided to come back to their “now” to start from their understanding.
A funny thought had come to Janice, that she shared with Rodney.
— Oh, the funny thing you know, about Becky having written to Sean…
Rodney nodded. Janice continued:
— It just appeared in my mind just moments ago, at the same time you (well, Rafaela) inserted into the story of Malvina. That Becky would have been asking Sean something, and that perhaps it would have helped him talk to his father in the future.
— Well, that Sean is SUCH AN ENIGMA! bumped Rodney a bit excited by the implications.
— What do you mean? asked Janice, who just remembered that Sean Doran has a cousin named Dorean.
— Who is he? Where is he? was asking Rodney now.
Rodney was having a hard time remembering what had been inserted yet in the story about him.
So Janice manifested the Wrick family tree in front of them, so that he could see better. She started by manifesting an acorn, then threw in on the grass, and it sprung forth in a little sapling with signs hanging from its branches.
— Well, it’s all in the script, answered Janice, he’s Lord Wrick’s son.
— Oh boy, I am in trouble again for not keeping up with the facts! Rodney sighed, and laughed…
Janice laughed “So that you can surprise yourself again!”
Janice stopped the growth of the family tree for a moment and started to comment it.
— See, in Becky’s time of the reality play, Sean is Lord’s Wrick son, and has just lost his wife Margaret, and got his two young children around their 10s.
— When is Becky’s time then? Rodney wondered, I hadn’t though of that…
— Becky’s time for the reality play is around 2033…
Then Janice had the tree grow again, and sprout more branches from Sean’s children:
— …Now, Sean is the grand-father of the twins, except than the twin’s time is around 2057 if it had not changed yet. It’s so carefully woven, but it’s fun how it effortlessly came to fit in.
— TRUST AND ALLOWING AND GOING WITH THE FLOW cried Rodney and Janice in unison, in the realisation of how well all this was.
Rodney was beginning to remember it all.
— I just remember the part about Sean, so he is still a bit of a mystery
— Yes, absolutely
— We don’t really know do we why Hilarion didn’t mention him
— Oh, there’s also the Margaret newspaper thing… Janice fumbled in her memory to find the proper link that would display the image of the newspaper cut just at the right of the family tree. Adding with a wink “with more dates to get bearings”
— Ahahah, I’d love to have pocketfuls of ball bearings said Rodney who manifested a pocketful to distract him from the load of information. OH YES! he cried, I had forgetten about this! What an incredibly HUGE story this is…
Then, all of a second, Rodney erupted in an uproarious laugh
— AHAHAHA, I had just forgotten to de-hallucinate these pince-nez spectacles! Now, it is much easier to read!
Janice was laughing so hard, she thought she would shatter the hallucination with the wobbles of the soundless sounds.
Then she added:
— Sean is born around 2000, a bit before.
— OK, maybe he went to help the Tuaregs, Rodney was accessing some information now. Maybe he was the one who put the mummy in the locked room that India found.
— You know I had something funny in store for the mummy mystery, Janice couldn’t help but laugh again. I imagined we could have inserted Old Manon, coming down to secretly drink from her old malt whiskey’s flask, and finding them messing up with her old dear stuffed cat…
— Maybe the mummy was the same one that Dory saw in the oblong hole in the ground outside the cave, Rodney was still accessing flickering images swirling around his head. And Sean was there helping the Tuaregs and moved it to safety.
Of course, years previously, Illi Fergusson, the archeologist had buried the mummy there too for safe keeping.
Now, Janice was hooked:
— Was it where Illi learned about shapeshifting tricks from the old tribe?
Rodney noticed Janice’s funny remark and laughed before continuing:
— The Tuaregs were conducting secret coleslaw experiments in the desert. In combination with sound and irrigation techniques, they were going to run the entire Sahara into a broccoli field.
Janice was amazed at the cabbage “coincidence” and irrigation stuff with her dream of that morning. Of course she knew there where probably mis-interpretation of the imagery coming from Rodney’s visions, but something made sense.
— Around which year? she asked
— Arrggh I don’t know!… Then, taking a breath of dream air, Rodney said “1923”. When Illi learned shape-shifting trick, 1923.
— It makes sense, said Janice who was now thinking of other dispersed informations about Illi Fergusson.
— Yes, she learned from Dashine Ashara… Although who that is, I don’t yet know.
— Wow, said Janice. She had felt a connection with the “da’sheen” sound. She continued: somewhere, Illi Fergusson has said: “my parents were aristocrats”
— Yes, answered Rodney who was accessing again, they were, and they knew the Wildes .
— And it was said too: “[…] a nurturing presence that reminded Illi of the maid she and her parents had in their cottage in South Africa”… like her parents were traveling a lot.
— Ah, South Africa! Illi’s parents emigrated to South Africa with Sir Abingdon Portfellow, an elderly scholar on ancient artifacts and embalming.
— Seems she knew John Lubbock too, said Janice again, reviving old data banks of information. Dates seem okay, so if she was around 30 in the Tuareg adventure, she could have met him.
— Wow, said Rodney, this is even more interesting…
“But we may sit at home and yet be in all quarters of the earth.” Janice had just summoned the voice of the naturalist and archaeologist. Rodney applauded “Lubbock said that? cool quote!”.
— Yes, like Illi’s quote, which was from him “What we see depends mainly on what we look for”. I wonder if that’s one of your (Illi’s) overlapping focuses, said Janice…
They were both amazed at the magical cooperation they were doing at that moment. Janice would have loved to share all of that with Qixi and Jacob, but probably their energies were present at the moment too, though not focused here.
She then remembered something else:
— Oh, and there is something else! Quintin’s dream of the woman detective. Let me fetch it she said, summoning now Quintin’s memory to talk to them.
… by night, near a museum in London, in the 1920s. She was investigating a case of a strange disappearance near a small replicate of an Egyptian pyramid that had been put here for display. There had been an exposition of ancient artifacts in the museum, which had been recently unearthed by a team of archaeologists and graciously lent by Egypt’s officials. Strangely enough, the woman detective feels linked to the story, and is probably Dory…
Date fits again, she said in awe.
— Perfect! said Rodney. She was of course Dory too, but in that focus she was Illi Fergusson… he slowed down, then said No! wait! The detective was another one of my focuses. The archeologist who stole the mummy for safekeeping was Illi.
— So you are both the thief and the detective, the one who creates mystery for yourself, how interesting, giggled Janice.
— Yes, and not only that Janice! Rodney was taking a mysterious air… I am the mummy too!
Janice bust out laughing imagining Rodney in bandages. Yes, of course!
Then, she had a name come with that: Apsh’un Shet she said, very self-absorbed.
Now, that was Rodney’s turn to burst out laughing.
— “I am not sure about that!”
— Doubting my insights… mmm, how rude… Janice frowned then laughed again.
— If you call me that, I may have to make you out to have a speech impediment
— Sounds a good Egyptian name for me though, seems it means “Light of the Dawn”
— Does it? Oh that sounds nice…
— Well, in some Egyptian dialect, yes. She was a Princess…
— Hahaha! Reminds me of Aspen Shit. Rodney doubted Janice could be serious about that name, but Janice was now the one to be accessing some information.
— Bit bossy Princess
— Which dynasty?
— III rd, answered Janice, who fumbled in links of consciousness to find some timeline to project for them.
— What year?
Janice projected the timeline below then said
— I’d say around 2657 B.C., in Ancients way of telling time.
They both marveled at the splendid team work they had been doing, and hoped that the other focuses involved would be able to get some parts of their insights too.
Rodney was seeing something else
— There is also, a very fascinating link between Tassili in the Sahara and Egypt which is a mystery AND there is a connection with Egypt and Scotland too…
— Illi the gripshawk comes from the mysterious land of the Sands, south of the map fragment
— We may unravel more than we think… Illi is an other dimensional focus of the Illi essence…
— Yes she is. She is a connection too, being “lost” in the land of dragons after hopping through traveling portals…
— And they communicated because they are helping each other
— Which is why she doesn’t always ‘fit’ into this reality’s energy configuration
— And they have some difficulties at times with translations of other dimensional stuff
— Yes! resulting in confusion!
And they both laughed again, looking at the great tapestry of clues that was woven before their dream eyes.
Illi was beginning to really appreciate being dead and the freedom it provided to create whatever she wished at a moments notice. She’d enjoyed being a shape shifter while she was alive, often changing into a rather odd cat-like creature which was one of her favourites. She’d had tremendous fun over the years, confounding people with that one! Is it a cat? Is it a person? Is it a goat? A mongoose? hahaha what fun she’d had!
Illi surveyed the long glittering white beach on her paradise island. There must be a million billion grains of sand here. I think I will conjure up some sand sculptures, fill the beach with fantastic magical creatures….
Illi picked up a bambu cane to use as a magic wand ~ not that she needed a wand in order to perform magic, but she rather liked waving a stick around.
Abracadabra the magic palabra, fairies and goblins and sprites!
In an instant the beach was full of sand sprites, a veritable sea of impish little figures as far as the eye could see.
HHHMM, though Illi, they are all so small, I’d like something big I think, for contrast and added dimension.
Abracadabra the magic palabra, centaurs and unicorns and giants!
Lordy, the giants had flattened whole tribes of sand gnomes. A few less giants, I think! Illi waved her magic wand of cane again, and disappeared all but one of the giants. RaFa the Giant, you may stay on my beach, Illi graciously declared to a kindly looking character of monstrous proportions who had considerately appeared at the very end of the beach so as not to flatten the sand sprites.
On impulse, Illi found herself chanting the spell again…Abracadabra the magic palabra, DRAGONS appear on my beach!
Four splendid sand dragons appeared in the shallows of the lagoon, sensuously sepentine in appearance, and sparkling in the tropical sun.
Tomkin had a keen eye, and despite the dazzling light reflected on the calm glittering surface of the sea, he could see a little dark shape detaching itself from the three bigger forms, and that little dark shape was quickly identifiable as a bird.
Apparently the bird was not from these lands, it was black with white strips, or perhaps the contrary, and was flying like a grake drunk of having gorged on overripe Scotch bonnets.
Obviously the bird was exhausted, and crashed on the shore where it was nearly knocked out by the grogonuts which fell with big *thuds* from the grogonut tree on which it had just finished its erratic course.
Seeing the whole scene from the top of the fatly mossy cliff, Tomkin decided his curiosity was a much more pressing matter than taking care of the herd of grakes, so he ran to the little rocky path which led to the beach below.
Apparently the bird was still alive, and more surprising even, that was a talking bird. It could speak strange words.
And even stranger, though Tomkin knew none of these words, he could understand all of what the bird wanted to communicate to him.
What an odd thing, he wondered… The bird was requesting some food apparently.
Tomkin fumbled in his pocket for some bread crumbs, when the gift of the Captain fell on the sand.
Could it be?
Tomkin’s heart was racing. Could it be that there was magic after all in this strange simple gift? The Captain had said it meant all was connected. That could explain why he could understand that foreign bird… And perhaps it worked on other talking creatures and people too…
A whole realm of potentials seemed to open in front of young dreamy Tomkin, who was quickly brought down to more earthly matter when Rudy the myna pricked his hand with its beck for the bread crumbs, projecting to him “Give it to me! Give it to me!”.
— The legend of Mævel — (Part I)
as told by Cpt Bone to young Tomkin
In the time of the Gods, the King of the Fairies, Aldurion, fell in love with a beautiful mortal named Theÿa.
He wanted to make her his Queen but only the Elder Gods could bestow the gift of immortality upon mortals.
So he went to see Ghört, the God of the Airs. Ghört could certainly grant him what he requested, but for that, Theÿa would have to be transformed into an air sprite. Aldurion wouldn’t be able to hold her again. So he declined the offer, and went to see another Elder God.
Then, he went to see Nærvel, the Goddess of the Waters. But Nærvel could grant him immortality if Theÿa was to be transformed into a water sprite. So Aldurion declined again.
Then he went to see Agnima, the Goddess of the Flames, and then Selvaniel the God of the Woods, and Margilonia the Goddess of the Earths. But all of their conditions were the same, Theÿa would have to be transformed into an immaterial and immortal elemental fairy. But Aldurion couldn’t bear to have her changed into something else than she was.
Then, only one of the Elder Gods was left, the one than few of the Immortals dared talk to, and of whom most mortals were afraid, to the point of systematically using the Old Speech respectful form of address (“Shaint”), when referring to him.
So Aldurion came to see Lejüs, God of the Forgotten.
Lejüs was greatly pleased to see him. When Aldurion had finished exposing his request, Lejüs took a moment to ponder. Giving immortality was none of his wonts, as he was keeper of the Forgotten. But he was not without compassion, and seeing Aldurion’s plight, he offered to grant his wish at the condition that, not his wife, but their first born child, would become Forgotten.
Aldurion was so hopeful that all he saw was that the condition seemed so small, based on a future event that perhaps wouldn’t even happen… All he wanted was to have Theÿa as a Queen, and so the deal was made.
So became Theÿa Queen of the Fairies.
A few God’s Years later, which meant in human years much more than a few years, Theÿa became pregnant.
When she announced the news to Aldurion, he was suddenly reminded of the deal he had made with Lejüs, and was quite distraught, as he had not revealed it to Theÿa. But he remained quiet, hoping that Lejüs would have forgotten about the whole story (well, that was forgetting he was Keeper of the Forgotten).
So Theÿa gave birth to a little baby girl fairy, with golden wavy hair and bright eyes. She, like her mother, had no wings, but there was magic in her. They named her Araoni.
But Lejüs had not forgotten of course, and came to see the Royal couple to claim the baby. Aldurion pretended that the mother and baby was still very weak, and he would have to come back in a few God’s Days. Lejüs agreed, and left complaisantly.
Aldurion was at a loss for solutions, but Theÿa was a fairy with lots of ruse, so he decided to reveal it all to her, hoping that she would have a solution.
Theÿa asked him time to think about this, and told him not to worry.
Later, she had an idea, quite brilliant she thought. All she had to do was to find another child to give Lejüs.
So she gave baby Araoni to one of her diligent nurse, the old fairy Gretchÿa, telling her to find a house were a blond new born girl could be exchanged and proceed to the exchange of the babies.
So Gretchÿa went across the lands of the Worlds, but only in one home she could find a blond baby girl. The new-born baby girl was almost dying, as the parents were a careless couple of peasants, already plagued with many children, and they could not bother with children hesitating to live.
Gretchÿa was heart-broken when she did the exchange, promising to baby Araoni to get her back soon. The young human baby girl was weak and yet unnamed, and the old fairy nurse knew she would probably not live long, and be claimed by Shaint Lejüs. So all was good.
When Lejüs came back, he smiled as he saw the baby girl, and left with her without much more words for the Royal couple.
Lejüs smiled, for when he had taken the young baby, the parents had instantly forgotten about her, and so did everyone having ever known her…
The human parents, surprised to see the condition of their baby improving beyond all hope, named her Mævel, which meant marvel of Maÿ the month in which she was born.
India Louise shivered in the draughty corridor and glanced furtively over her shoulder. Bill! she hissed into the keyhole. She tapped softly on the door again, afraid of waking Manon in the next room. It would be difficult enough to explain to Bill, let alone trying to explain to the nosy and rather batty cook.
She wrapped her dressing gown tightly round her, and felt the weighty key clunk against her thigh. Eugenia and India Louise had been playing ‘let’s pretend’ with the key that Grandad Wrick had thrown on the bonfire (that India found in the ashes the next day and thought would make a super present for Eugenia….. they both loved odd little gifts).
For days they’d been wandering around the many corridors and wings of the Wrick castle, and Eugenia’s ancient rambling Sandlebright Hall. On fine days they’d explored the grounds, the aviaries and stables and hay barns, the meadows and follies, the lodges and farm cottages, through the spinney to the river and the boathouse, and back through the rose arbours… imagining themselves in different times and places, as different people, making up stories and weaving the key into each little story…… the murder at the boathouse and the key to the mystery… the key to the kitchen and the affairs of the cook… the parrots and the key to the bird cage…… the key to the captains trunk in the attic…
Until they found the place where the key didn’t fit into the story…that is to say, the one place that should have needed a key, The Locked Room that only great grandad Wrick ever went in, was unlocked.
Sanso didn’t notice that the creature called Madrake was rolling his eyes. While he explained to the rather odd but delightfully enchanting Arona the finer points of sabulmantium technology, he was thinking about what Arona had just said about her mission. Her overall mission, she’d said, was to learn all about magic.
Sanso wondered what his own mission was and didn’t think he had one. Unless his mission was a glorious infinite wandering, threading multicoloured silken skeins of clues and riddles, people and places, weaving them in and out of time and to each other….the never ending tapestry, ever changing and splendid in it’s magnificence…..
Arona was looking up at Sanso with barely hidden astonishment, and he blushed ever so slightly when he realized he’d been speaking out loud. Shouting actually, his deep voice booming out with joy and passion, his wild gesticulations causing Arona to flinch and take an involuntary step backwards.
Suddenly both Arona and Sanso saw the funny side, giggles erupting into gales of laughter until tears rolled down their cheeks and they collapsed on the floor whooping and snorting and wiping their eyes, not really knowing, in the end, what they were laughing at…..FloveParticipant
After Sanso heard the voice “the reason you are looking for is right under your nose” he thought he had better go and have another look at that smelly, well was it smelly? hmmm perhaps not, just a bit mouldy, old cape. Just in case it was a clue and he had missed it.
He was surprised and delighted to see Arona, who was still sitting quietly meditating.
Oh, goodness, said Arona startled, Who are you?
Sanso had stopped listening and was gazing at the round glass ball filled with the sand shapes.
Good Lord! he gasped, Is that a sabulmantium ! And a very early model too. This is a classic! The later models are much more complex, this is very fundamental, but beautifully made.
Oh really, well it is great fun
Fascinating she said, and Mandrake rolled his eyes.
It’s been a long time since Írtak last paid a visit to his family. But this time would not come now as the twins were just hatching.
The hatchtone, a humming inaudible sound that would help the little dragon break the hard shell, had been resonating for almost an hour now, and Írtak had to constantly refocus and pay attention to himself not to be distracted by the unheard sound. The tone was quite intense and as they were both hatching at the same time the hatchtones were enhancing each other.
Írtak could see the shell resonating with the gluid tones. It was shifting shape slightly, and his eyes were also perceiving a bluid glow around it.
In the hatchtones were the names of the dragons… Írtak was a bit astonished because those names were quite odd, but he was feeling a strange inner giggle of sort coming from some part of himself.
The inner laugh of Malvina was still resonating in his ear when the shell began to crack.
Bill, the itinerant artist commissioned to paint portraits of the Wrick family, was uneasy. While he’d been staying in the castle with the eccentric family, he’d lost all track of linear time. It had been altogether too confusing, and his head was spinning. Manon the cook had sent a tray up to his room, with a pot of Earl grey tea, and a plate of Yorkshire parkin for his supper, when he’d claimed to be developing a mysterious ailment and begged leave to retire to his room.
Bill splashed some malt whiskey into his cup of tea. A good long sleep was what he needed, and with a sigh he drained his cup and climbed into bed, pulling the heavy eiderdown up over his chin. He lay there for awhile staring into space, not really aware of his thoughts. An owl hooted from the oak tree outside his window. Twit whoohooo twit whoo hooooooo…
Bill blinked and then frowned. On the top of the Queen Anne highboy facing the end of his bed was a large carved stone face. How odd, he thought, I don’t recall seeing that there before.
The manor itself was full of ghost stories, as every mansion worth its salt in that part of the country. But this one has been a wreck on which he would not have invested two pence of his money, after it had been abandoned for many decades after the sudden death of the previous owner, the Crazy Baron.
But Lord Wrick was an eccentric, and had bought the manor and restored it to its previous grandeur.
It had been thrice now that Bill had come to the manor to paint the family portraits. The first time he had also delivered that strange parcel, given to him by that strange lady. Looking straight into his eyes, she had also told him something that had lingered in his mind quite vividly.
« Suffering is not good for the soul, unless it teaches you to stop suffering. »
He couldn’t see exactly why it applied to him, but the lady had seemed so authoritative about that, that he had agreed and felt like thanking her.
The parcel had come a bit unexpected to the Lord, though he was quite artful in hiding his emotions, Bill could say. He had questioned him about the lady, but Bill had not dared to share with him the thing about the suffering. Actually the Lord looked in pretty good shape considering the age he was likely to be. He pretended to be a bit incapacitated, but Bill would have bet that if he had fallen from a window, he would have landed on his feet as a cat.
Speaking of which, their old cat with its worn-out blackish fur was a bit freaky too. Bill had felt at times he could hear it answer the Lord’s gibberish.
But all in all, that was easy money, and he thanked the opportunity to be able to do these paintings while the winter was coming.
Now was something else. He almost startled when he was opened the big entrance door, to be revealed an improbable shape, two or three heads taller than him. It took him a short while to recognize the smile of the children’s nurse, topped by a funny hat that made him laugh heartily, after the initial shock was dissipated.
— Hahaha, sorry, that was unexpected… he managed to say to Jacqueline, who was not unaccustomed to these odd kinds of reactions.
— Not to worry she said with a slight French accent. Monsieur and Madame Wrick have come back from their trip to Mogadishu, and you will be able to have their portraits done. They will stay here for a few weeks…
Linda and Peregrine Wrick were Cuthbert and India Louise proud (and a bit insouciant) parents, Lord Wrick had explained without much more details. Peregrine was the son of Lord Wrick’s only son, Sean Doran Wrick, but Bill had felt some restrain to ask about Sean Doran, as the Lord had seemed a bit umbrageous only speaking his name.
— Oh… said Bill who did not expect them to come back so quickly.
Appendix: The Wrick family tree
Georges smiled a bit toothy grin and said ‘I won’t spoil you’
You mean I have to guess? asked Dory, who thought it was beginning to seem like an odd way to make someones acquaintance; first them appearing out of nowhere, and then expecting one to guess where they came from.
Well, pffft, thought Dory, I didn’t ask you to come, here you arrive, unannounced, unexpected and you expect me to play your guessing games!
Sanso was very hungry. He’d been living on the fungus that grew inside the dampest parts of the cave, but the recent stretches of tunnel had been much drier, sandy even. He hadn’t found a cave entrance for days and longed to step out of the cave into air and sunlight and green things, and find something fresh and juicy to eat.
Beginning to feel quite despondent, and with the hunger and thirst making his body ache terribly, he sat down, crumpled into a heap on the sandy floor. He lay back, stretching out flat and slept for what seemed like days.
He woke up mumbling the name Eggleton, which reminded him of a dish he’d encountered at one of the cave entrance worlds. He’d wandered into a beautiful strange green and rainy land, and followed the delicious aroma of something that seemed so delightfully familiar, that he couldn’t quite place, something that reminded him of mornings. Coffee! He remembered now. The smell of coffee had led him to a door with big brass numbers on it: 57. He opened the door and peered round it, wondering if he’d be welcome. It had seemed as though nobody was there, but a table was laid for one, with scrambled eggs on toast (freshly cooked as if whoever had prepared it had known eggsactly when he would arrive) and a steaming pot of black coffee.
Sanso stretched and realized his many aches and pains had been eased by the sleep on the soft sand on the cave floor, and the dry atmosphere, and slowly opened his eyes. Lying flat on his back, he was looking directly up at the tunnel ceiling. There was a door in the ceiling, strangely parrallel to the floor, an odd position for a door, he thought. His heart lurched and his stomach growled again with hunger as he noticed the large brass numbers on the door: 57.
Yann woke up with a strange feeling, like something was changing eggstremely quickly… an odd impression of glowing green and of moisty tunnels and of a strange cat-headed individual, a bit lost and feverish.
Illi woke up and groaned. Her back was aching and she felt like she’d fallen down a hill, or plummeted into a hole. I thought sleep was supposed to be relaxing, she grumbled as she shuffled off to make coffee. Ten pairs of eyes followered her every movement, assessing her mood. Some of the eyes winked at the other eyes, and nodded…yes, let’s remind her, she’s useless at these clues, ok guys, everyone ready…steady…GO!
Illi jolted unpleasantly and painfully as a dreadful cacophany of dog barking erupted around her, and warm squirming bodies tumbled everywhere.
How can I possibly focus on SELF, you stupid creatures, when you keep barking like that! Illi sighed, she knew she was getting it backwards, but her whole world was topsy turvey, nothing was as it seemed anymore. Which comes first, the dragon, or the egg?
dragon or the egg, hhmm, egg before the dragon? or the dragon before the egg….irritated because the dogs barked? or dogs barked because I was irritated? eggs, dragons, eggs, dragons, dogs, eggs dragons eggs…..
Illi sighed, and made another cup of coffee.
And then as if by magic an extraordinary thing happened….
Illi set off at a brisk trot in search of the cave. A deafening clap of thunder made her flinch and lose her footing. She slipped, and slid down a steep slippery wet bank, tumbling and rolling out of control. Arrgghh! How embarrassing, she thought, I hope no-one is watching….OUCH! She banged her head on a strangely perfect long oblong stone, which catapulted her into the air and into a cork oak tree. Lordy! She clung onto the knobbly grey bark, trembling and gasping.
Well, I may as well have a smoke and catch my breath, she thought, at least it’s fairly dry here in this tree. She inched upwards until she found a comfortable fork in the branches and leaned her back against the trunk, fishing in the pockets of her tartan jacket for her Camels and her lighter.
Ahhhh….that’s better! Now, where are we? Illi felt more optimistic, and surveyed the terrain. AHA! In a little dip behind the tree was a dark hole in the ground. That will lead to a cave, I’m sure of it! Illi lit another smoke, musing that she might never have found the cave entrance had she not banged her head on the strange oblong stone, and hurtled into the tree.
Feeling much more enthusiastic, Illi climbed down out of the tree and went to investigate the dark hole in the ground. HHmmmm…no sign of a rope, or steps, no light, she wondered what to do next. A voice boomed in her head TRUST! Trust is the key!
Suddenly feeling very devil-may-care and adventurous, Illi dived into the hole head first… wwwwhhhheeeeeee HOOOOO…… the free-fall was exhilarating, exciting, wildly fun….and then a little voice of doubt crept in, Are you stark raving MAD?
Whallop! Illi landed on something soft, something sodden and smelling a bit of mold. Momentarily stunned, she just lay there, in a heap on the soft wet lump.
“Holy MOLY” the soft wet lump shouted “Get OFF me! How incredibly RUDE to land on me like that without so much as an introduction!”
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