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      Roshan sipped his tea thoughtfully. I hope you know what you’re doing, Gayesh.

      Gayesh smiled confidently at his uncle. Stop worrying, Roshan! It’s all going perfectly to plan. Nishanti will be here in a few days; she will act as bait for the others. Becky is already here, and doing well. I don’t anticipate problems with Becky.

      Roshan snorted.

      Gayesh continued: Bea and Leonora have been contacted, although they are not objectively aware yet. We may have to send someone back; we need their cooperation.

      Roshan raised his eyebrows. And what if they don’t cooperate?

      Gayesh replied with a sinister chuckle, Leave it to me, uncle. Things are coming together perfectly.


        Becky visited the nursery at The Facility every day, and smiled vaguely at the triplets, relieved that they were thriving and being well cared for. She had spent several happy hours ordering a new wardrobe online, charging it all to The Facility, whose staff were being wonderfully kind and accomodating. She spent the days reading historical novels, lounging on the recliners on the numerous patios and balconies, or strolling through the colourful leafy gardens, or floating in the cool lotus filled pools, without a care in the world.

        The past few months had been draining, exhausting. The unexpected break from everything that was familiar was doing her a power of good.

        One hot still afternoon, Gayesh, the director of the facility, called her into his large airy office. The antique ceiling fan ruffled the papers on his desk. The papers were part of the antique decor, giving the room a nostalgic 20th century air.

        Becky, we have been observing you while you’ve been staying with us, Gayesh said kindly. And we would like to make you an offer.

        Observing me? asked Becky, feeling a trifle violated.

        Oh, you know, at the essence level, dear, replied Gayesh, with a gentle smile. Your essence did agree, we couldn’t be intrusive, of course, as you know.

        Oh well, if my essence agreed that’s ok I guess, answered Becky, mollified. What’s your offer?

        Gayesh explained at length the purpose of the Facility, while Becky yawned and studied her new shoes, her mind wandering…

        …….and so, in a nutshell, Gayesh was saying, If you give us permission, we can send a cloned Becky back to Galle, and the husband Sean, while you, my dear, do whatever you desire. You can be mother to the essences already lined up to manifest via your, er, the clones, body (and may I point out that none of our undercover clones so far have been uncovered, shall we say), which will facilitate….Gayesh chuckled….your new found freedom! You will be a free Becky that nobody knows exists! Free to wander hither and yon, without any responsibilities…..what do you say?

        I accept your offer, sir! Becky said, jumping up to shake Gayesh’s hand.


        In reply to: Scrying the Word Cloud


          various ASPECTS OF tracy WENT within
          perhaps ONE OF THEM KNOWN AS glorIA
          WOULD BASK IN THE hand OF flove TOO
          SEEING WITH HER OWN eyes
          THAT WHICH WILL BE replied
          NEEDS NOT BE googled
          IN stone sleep probable SELF laughed
          LIKE A baby LOOKING AT veranassessee
          AND vincentius HAVING spiderS track
          THE TIMETRAVELING bunny…


            Franiel lifted the metal latch and pushed open the creaking door of the old shed. In the darkness he could make out of the shape of boxes and other various objects, then, as his eyes became more accustomed to the darkness, he saw the motorbike propped up against the far wall.

            What are you up to young man?

            Franiel jumped and spun around. It was Lydia, just returned from her journey to the market.

            Oh hello again! You startled me … Phoebe suggested I check out the motorbike, see if I can get it going.

            Lydia looked grave. Did she now? Well it’s been many a long year since that piece of junk worked. Anyway so you’ve met Madame Chesterhope then, and what did you make of her? She was giving Franiel that deeply penetrating stare again. Franiel wondered kindly if perhaps she was shortsighted.

            Oh very nice … and I met Vincentius the parrot too.

            Lydia chuckled. Did you now?

            Yes, actually Phoebe told me a rather unusual story.

            At that Lydia broke into gales of laughter. Let me guess, about mixing the aura and the egg?

            Yes, that’s right, replied Franiel, his face breaking into a smile too as he realised the absurdity of it.

            Lydia wiped the tears of laughter from her face. ’Ere Lad, I told you things are not what they always seem. She thought for a moment. I’m parched from my long walk, I am going inside to make a brew. Why don’t you join me? If you are going to be stopping then there are a few things you need to know.


              Becky arrived at the cafe twenty minutes late, looking breathless and disheveled. Scanning the room with a wild eye, she spotted Tina engrossed in a magazine in a booth in the far corner. Flopping down on the leatherette seat, Becky ran her hands through her hair and said Holy Moly, Tina, I don’t know whether I’m coming or going.

              BREATHE, replied Tina, in a deeply resonant voice, a trifly mischeivously, Becky thought. Breathe into YOU…..

              Oh bugger off Tina, Becky said affectionately. Thanks for coming at such short notice.

              Well, out with it then, Becks, what’s the panic this time? What fine pickle have you got yourself into now?

              Becky glanced surreptiously over her shoulder, and then leaning over the table whispered to Tina, Promise you won’t tell anyone? Not even Sam and Al?

              Tina frowned. Not even Sam and Al?

              Seeing Becky’s crumpled face, Tina quickly agreed, saying, Oh alright then, but what’s the big secret? Not that there ARE any secrets….

              Yes there bloody well ARE secrets Tina, and this is one of them! Promise not to tell ANYONE!

              Alright, alright! Calm down and spit it out, for Gawds sake! Tina said.

              Remember when I was in the park? In that tarty nun outfit? Becky continued, in a loud whisper.

              How could I forget?

              Well, something happened! In the bushes, with this guy, a guy from the future, a time traveller.

              Tina raised one eyebrow in disbelief.

              It’s no good looking at me like that Tina, I’m telling you it happened. And what’s more, I’m pregnant, and he’s the father.

              Tina’s mouth fell open in surprise, and then she said, You TART! You haven’t been married a week! You haven’t even been on your blimmen honeymoon yet!

              Well, actually, replied Becky huffily, Don’t you think it’s kind of cool?

              What happened then, Becky, do tell! Tina was intrigued.

              And Becky proceeded to tell Tina all about it, first entreating her again not to tell anyone.


                Blimey, Sha, them waves are huge! The sun’s gone in, an’ all.

                It’s alot blimmen warmer than back ‘ome though, Gloria, replied Sharon. Wind’s picking up a bit, innit?

                I’ll say! Did you ‘ear someone shout? asked Gloria. Oh bugger, it’s started to rain!

                Oh give over, Glor, it’ll pass over in a minute. Keep yer knickers on, will ya? It’s a tropical island, the weather’s supposed to be nice and ‘ot, innit?


                  Another probable Becky hit send on her computer, and grinned wickedly. She had amused herself greatly writing her new storyline for the Reality Play, it had taken her mind off her cold.

                  Becky wandered into the kitchen where Sean was clearing up after dinner and gave him a kiss. That rhubarb crumble was delicious darling, wherever did you learn to cook like that!

                  Aha, replied Sean, It’s a secret recipe of Manon’s, she made me swear not to tell anyone. The secret, he continued, and dropped his voice to an enigmatic whisper, The secret is the groiselles.

                  Sean picked up the empty crumble dish to put it in the dishwasher, revealing a handwritten note that had been underneath it.

                  Sean recognized Becky’s handwriting, and smiled fondly at her. Oh, what have we here! he said, and started to read. Becky was frowning, perplexed. She hadn’t written a note to Sean in THIS probability!


                    This is a bloody odd place is you ask me, said Gloria. The weathers nice and all, but it’s all very ODD.

                    Yeah I know what you mean, replied Sharon. Some odd goings on around here, I can’t keep track of it all. My head just gets fuzzier and fuzzier.

                    ODD, now there’s an odd word if ever there was one. ODD, she said, savouring the sound of it. ODD. Odd…. ODD….

                    The more you think about it the odder it gets, agreed Gloria. She picked up a twig that was lying next to her beach towel, and wrote ODD in the sand. It’s like a tart and two half tarts, she said.

                    Sharon propped herself up on her elbows and peered at her freind. What? What tarts? Don’t tell me we’ve got competition arriving on the island.

                    Not that kind of tart, Sha, pie tarts. Look, look ‘ere at this word ODD. It’s like a pie and two half pies. If the pies weren’t halved it would be OO.

                    You soft ‘narna, Glor, Sharon giggled. What are you on?


                      Crisp fluttered to the floor as Becky drifted off to sleep. She was having an odd dream, in which she was hugging Sam. I’m so glad you don’t drink Sam, she said, emotionally, in the dream.

                      Well, I do have an occasional pint down at the Duck and Firken, you know, he replied.

                      You know what I mean, Sam. All those years with Sean, hoping it would all work out…her dream voice trailed off sadly….

                      Hey Becky, it wasn’t a waste! Look at all the lovely children you had!

                      Becky felt her dream self smile ruefully. Well, it hasn’t exactly been a picnic either, you know….

                      She woke up sweating and confused. Good grief, all WHAT children! What a dreadful nightmare!

                      She was wiping the beads of sweat from her forehead when Sean popped his head round the door.

                      I’m popping out for a beer, Becky, won’t be long.

                      Holy Moly, Becky whispered under her breath.


                        Ella Marie put the encounter to the back of her mind, and whistled loudy and kept her eyes averted when dusting the mummy case during the following months. It wasn’t until the floods of the following spring that she heard Elioctyl’s voice again, urging her to take action, that now was the perfect opportunity.

                        Pssst! Ella! Do it now, NOW!

                        NO! shouted Ella Marie.

                        Suit yourself, Honey, replied her husband Arthur, pouring himself a cup of coffee from a thermos and screwing the lid back on.

                        Ella Marie spun round, saying HUH? Yes, I mean yes, please.

                        Arthur raised an eyebrow and tutted. You said No, Ella, who was you talking to anyway?

                        Oh Lordy, Art, I was just saying NO to all the flooding, NO more rain, and all….Ella Marie replied, but her mind was racing.

                        Art Honey, why don’t you wade round to your mothers and see if she’s ok, why dontcha, and I’ll start moving stuff up into the attic. River’s gonna burst its banks tonight, I reckon, we oughta do what we can now.

                        Don’t get lifting nothing too heavy, ya hear? Leave anything you can’t manage for me, I’ll do it when I get back, Arthur replied.

                        As soon as Art was out of the door and down the porch steps, Ella Marie raced out the back door and into the garage. The adrenaline was pumping through her veins, and she felt light as air, and fit as a twenty year old. Her flashlight beam swept the garage…she didn’t know what, precisely, she was looking for, but she knew she’d find it.

                        Aha! Ella Marie spotted a coil of washing line rope, and a tarpaulin. Stuffing the flashlight into her pocket, she grabbed the surfboard off the hooks on the wall and dragged it outside, the rope and tarpaulin under her arm. Quickly she tied the tarpaulin to the surfboard, tethering it to the garage door handle while she went back inside for the oars out of the uninflated dinghy. The flood water was past her ankles now, inching towards her knees, as she set off for the museum, pulling the surfboard behind her, thankful for the power blackout and the dark streets.


                          Bea stretched and yawned, and threw the bedcovers back. The early morning sun was streaming in the windows, catching the coloured glass bottles and crystals on the windowsill and making rainbow mice scamper over the floor. Horus, the Siamese cat, crouched with tail swishing, ready to pounce.

                          Bea sat up and swung her legs out of bed, feeling around with her feet for her slippers; a rainbow mouse crawled up her leg.

                          “Ouch! For fuck’s sake, Horus!”

                          Horus stared at Bea, unperturbed, and then yowled, asking for breakfast.

                          “Come on then Horus, let’s go and put the coffee on, are you hungry? Lovely day again! I wonder if Leonora’s up yet; doubt it! Come on then, hut hut!”

                          Bea wasn’t sure why she always said ‘Hut Hut’ to the cat, but Horus seemed to know what she meant, and followed her into the kitchen.

                          “Oh, it’s Eggleton painting day today, Horus!” Bea said to the cat, noticing the big basket of eggs on the kitchen table, For the Eggleton Hunt on Thursday.

                          Horus yowled and twisted himself through Bea’s legs.

                          “Ok Ok!” she replied, and opened a can of BocaBits with Atun. For herself, she made a large mug of black coffee with plenty of sugar, and lit a cigarette.

                          With the third lungful of smoke, Bea recalled a strange snatch of dream, and started to sing:

                          One man went to mow , went to mow a meadow,
                          One man two man and his dog
                          Went to mow a meadow……

                          “Oh!” Bea said “I wrote something down in the night!” She went to the bedroom to get her dream journal.

                          “One man went to mow scattered lettuces.”

                          One man went to mow scattered lettuces? HUH? That doesn’t make any sense. I wonder if Leo can work it out, she’s good with clues…

                          Leo! LEO! OY, Leo, whaddya make of this here dream snap-phrase then?” Bea barged into Leo’s bedroom and prodded the sleeping bulk.

                          “Wha wha whazzat!” Leo woke up with a start. “Bloody ‘ell, Bea! You woke me up! I was having a lovely dream about rabbits, an’ all……”

                          One man went to mow scattered lettuces; what do you make of that? “ Bea asked, as she plonked herself down on Leo’s bed with a bounce that made the bed springs squeak.

                          Leo frowned, instantly awake now and intrigued with the clue. To Bea she said, “Get me a cup of coffee and a fag, and I’ll google it.”


                          Horus, having disinterestedly licked some of the juice off his Bocabits, jumped onto Leo’s lap as she typed the word lettuce into the search window. He jumped onto the desk, knocking a well worn paperback copy of Seth Speaks onto the floor, and on impulse, Leo added the words ‘Horus’ and ‘Seth’.

                          Bea, Leo was laughing, Come and look at this .


                            I think it’s you that gets confused with genders , Al, Becky said gently. Leo and Bea are both old dears, they’ve always been female. Of course, Becky mused, With so many probable realities, are there ever any ‘correct and right and true’ facts at all? Everything seems so much more fluid and changable these days, everything morphs along the way it will. It will what it will, I am what I am……

                            Al rolled his eyes at Becky. You may well morph along happily, Morph Becky Pooh, but some of us need to keep track.

                            Oh, it’s always on track, Al! How can anything ever really be off it? A wonderful glorious meandering labyrinth of a track, admittedly, but with so many splendid intersections, like spaghetti junctions….Come on, let’s go out and play in the sun! Let’s play Follow My Thread in the park.

                            Pffft, Al replied.


                              Meanwhile, Becky was still connecting strongly to the Laughing Monk, Schnortz, from ancient Kuzhebar. Reciting another limerick to herself, she made her way across the flooded street, attracted to a warm and cozy looking cafe on the other side.

                              “The goat floating secret is this”
                              Nanaconda butts in with a hiss.
                              “Stretch out in the sun!
                              Relax and have fun;
                              Now come here and give me a kiss”

                              The flood water rushed past Becky’s ankles, causing her to stagger. Unidentified floating debris bumped the back of her legs and she almost buckled.

                              “Well then, what shall we do now, Deliria?”
                              Asked a white faced and trembling Wisteria.
                              “Go for the kiss?
                              Or give it a miss?”
                              Replied she, “Let’s consult Wikipedia.”

                              Becky reached the other side of the street relatively unscathed and headed towards the Wisteria Garden Internet Cafe.


                                It was taking longer than expected for Sanso and Zhana to find food, and they were weak with hunger when they came across the big toad. There was plenty of water; gurgling brooks and rushing streams crisscrossed their path, crystal clear with icy cool snow melt from the summer thaw. The’d found a few cow berries along the way, and they had chewed a few mushrooms but they wanted something substantial before setting off for the other side of the world. Sanso had left a trail of flourescent green cave lichen, to show them the way back to the cave entrance, which was to be their portal to Nishanti’s place.

                                Maybe the toad will show us the way to find food, said Zhana. Ask him, Sanso!

                                You ask him! replied Sanso.

                                No, YOU ask him. Zhana was inexplicably feeling shy.

                                Sanso chuckled goodnaturedly, and agreed to ask toad. He stood there silently smiling for some minutes, and Zhana began to wonder just WHEN Sanso would oblige. Her stomach was grumbling and growling and she was starting to get impatient when Sanso turned and strode purposefully off to the left.

                                What the…..snapped Zhana. She rushed after him, angrily shouting OY! Her foot caught on a root, sending her sprawling face down amongst the mushrooms.

                                Sanso turned, and couldn’t help but laugh. The more he laughed, the angrier Zhana became, causing Sanso to laugh all the more.

                                AAAH Ha Ha Ha! AAAHHHH Ha Ha Ha HAAAAH! OOO Hoohooo! If you could see your face all covered in blue mud and red and white spotted mushrooms, you’d laugh too!

                                Zhana started to cry.

                                There there, dear, Sanso said kindly, trying hard to stop laughing, and wiped the mess off the girls face with an old rag he found in one of his pockets. Did you know that Siberian blue mud is a much sought after beauty treatment in some places? This little mishap will do wonders for your complexion, you know.

                                Will it? snivelled Zhana, who had been preoccupied of late with with her adolescent skin.

                                Yes! There is no such thing as an accident, you know.

                                Well, where were you rushing off to, anyway? You promised to ask toad where to find food, and then without saying a word, you dashed off and left me!

                                Sanso looked perplexed. I DID ask toad!

                                No, you DIDN’T, retorted Zhana.

                                Sanso stared at her, wondering what was the matter with her. Then the penny dropped, so to speak, and he realized that Zhana was more familiar with verbal conversations, and had been unaware of the silent communication between him and toad.

                                Zhana, most of our conversations aren’t in words, you know, he explained gently. Listen to the non-words.

                                Huh? it was Zhana’s turn to look perplexed.

                                You do it all the time you know. You are simply not paying attention.

                                He winked at her, and smiled. Come on! The food is this-a-way!


                                  What did you do over there, Elvira? asked Fleur, passing the photos on to Catherine.

                                  Well, uh, we exported frozen reindeer meat, Elvira replied slowly.

                                  Lovely, said Fleur sarcastically, promptly losing interest in the depressing old crone. Frozen meat, how exciting.


                                    There was a tantalizing scent of wildflowers and meadowgrass in the still cool air of the cave, and as Sanso rounded a bend in tunnel a gentle breeze ruffled the folds of his robes. He quickened his pace, gladdened by the welcome promise of an adventure outside of the endless labyrinth. The air felt cool and warm at the same time, and deliciously fresh and clean as it wafted towards him, and with a feeling of immense joy, he heard a snatch of birdsong.

                                    It seemed like many long years that he’d been trudging around in the gloom and the stale air of the caves, although he suspected it wasn’t as long as that. Time played tricks on him, he knew that, while he was wandering around in the darkness. He’d missed Arona, and that strange baby, when he’d first set off alone again, but not for long. He knew when it was time to move on, and so he’d left them. From time to time he wondered if he’d encounter them again, and knew he would.

                                    A shaft of sunlight spilled into the tunnel and Sanso stepped out into the light. The breeze was fluttering the birch leaves high above him, as he squinted up at the pale blue sky. Grinning happily, Sanso took his time adjusting to the light. He sat cross legged on the soft green grass, feeling it springy beneath his hands. Hundreds and thousands of red and yellow spotted toadstools stretched out as far as he could see, carpeting the forrest floor with polkadots of colour.

                                    Sanso looked down at his hands. The creases of his skin and under his nails were engrained with reddish dust, and he wanted water more than anything, gurgling bubbling fresh clean water. He stood up, and shook his robes a bit, and set off into the woods.

                                    Intuition told him which way to go to find water. He marvelled at tiny flowers, and scampering insects along the way, squashing fungi beneath his bare feet which oozed up through his toes with little squeaky noises.

                                    A rabbit ran accross his path and stopped momentarily to stare at him and Sanso laughed out loud.

                                    Oh! Who’s there?

                                    A girl in bright flowered skirts was sitting on the grass in a clearing just ahead, rubbing her eyes.

                                    Whoa, I must be dreaming, she said, and rubbed her eyes again. She peered at the apparition in indigo robes, with skin the colour of tobacco and wild matted hair. Am I dreaming? she asked Sanso.

                                    Perhaps, perhaps not, replied Sanso, who wasn’t really sure. I may be dreaming myself. My name is Sanso, anyway, what’s yours?

                                    Zhana, the girl replied, Well, Uncle Grishenka calls me Zhanochka, but I…but I….I hate him, and I’m not going back! And much to her surprise, she burst into tears.

                                    Sanso was momentarily non-plussed, and wondered what to do next.

                                    Well, dear, if you don’t want to go back, why, then don’t go back! He wasn’t quite sure what the problem was; after all, he’d been wandering for so many years on impulse and whim he hardly knew any other way to go about it.

                                    I don’t know where to go instead though, Zhana said tearfully. The long dark cold will be here again soon, and I must have shelter somewhere…..who will have me, besides Uncle Grishenka?

                                    What long dark cold? asked Sanso. It seemed light enough and warm enough here.

                                    Oh, my! Zhana was astonished. You ask me what long dark cold? Where have you come from? How is it you don’t know of the long dark cold? Oh! Are you from Nishanti’s place?

                                    Zhana stood up in some considerable excitement. Can you take me to Nishanti’s place? Oh please say yes!

                                    Well, I, er, um…..well, I suppose so. Well, yes! Sanso didn’t want to let the girl down, although he wasn’t altogether sure he knew where Nishanti’s place was. But he was game to give it a try, and the company of the girl would be a welcome change.

                                    Tell me about Nishanti, then, Zhana, and what her place is like. Sanso was hoping a few clues might ring a bell, perhaps.

                                    Nishanti has been my friend for as long as I can remember, Zhana said. We dream together mostly, well, Zhana blushed, Uncle Grishenka says it’s all in my head…he say’s it’s nonsense….

                                    Zhana squared her shoulders and carried on. Sanso had a kind look, and nodded encouragingly.

                                    She hardly wears any clothes, and her skin is warm and brown. The sun always shines and the sky is always deep blue in her place and we play outside all year long. There’s always warm ripe fruits to eat, not turnips and noodles, colourful juicy berries and plump pink fishy things, and there are flowers all year long, and the water isn’t frozen, we can play in the water and it doesn’t turn our hands blue…..

                                    Ah, the other side of the world…hhhmmm…..Sanso rubbed his whiskery chin thoughtfully.

                                    Ok, I can’t promise we can find Nishanti, but I think we can find the other side of the world. But first, I’d like to find some water, and perhaps a little fresh food?

                                    Zhana whooped with delight, and flung her arms around Sanso. Yes, yes!


                                      The landscape had become oddly unfamiliar to Franiel. He had walked this path to the Village at the foot of the mountains maybe a half a dozen times, yet he felt certain he had never before seen these surroundings. He had never seen this patch of bright yellow flowers with their golden centers, nor this gnarled tree whose branches dropped down over the path causing Franiel to stoop in order to pass by. He stopped, hesitating, should he return the way he had come, find where he had left the path? Yet even while his mind was telling him what he was seeing should not be, he knew in his heart that he had taken no wrong turning. He touched the trunk of the old tree, and asking for wisdom, felt it’s reassuring energy calm his anxiety. The way ahead, though unexpected, felt friendly.

                                      As fate would have it he had not journeyed much further when he spied a fellow traveler coming towards him on the path ahead, a small figure swathed in colourful robes, wild and dishevelled locks of hair protruding exuberantly from beneath his brown leather cap.

                                      Greetings Fellow Traveler, cried out Franiel as he drew nearer, My name is Franiel. I am travelling from the Monastery of Margilonia to the Village of Chard Dam Jarfon, and foolishly I appear to have mislaid my way.

                                      The stranger chuckled merrily. Greetings Franiel, Indeed If that is your destination then I fear perhaps you are more lost than you care to admit. He motioned towards the grassy bank at the side of the path. Perhaps we might sit awhile and talk, for I know that I for one, could do with a rest and bite to eat.

                                      A splendid idea, replied Franiel, sensing magic in the stranger and enjoying immensely the unexpected diversion.

                                      So my friend you are a long way from the Village of Chard Dam Jarfon.

                                      Am I indeed? mused Franiel, How could that be, for that was where I was heading, and as far as I know I did not step from the path, and yet here I am.

                                      The stranger chuckled again, and his laughter was so infectious that Franiel joined in, not really being able to identify the source of the amusement, yet feeling all the better for it.

                                      And how important is it that you get to the Village of Chard Dam Jarfon?

                                      I am on a mission from Aum Geog, the newly appointed Abbot, replied Franiel, as he pulled out the chalice from his pack, to have this cup inscribed.

                                      The stranger reached out for the chalice, and studied it intently for a few moments. He took some of the water from his own water bottle and poured it into the chalice. Muttering a few words which Franiel did not recognise, the stranger closed his eyes and held the cup up as though offering it to the Gods. After a few moments he took a sip from the chalice. A look of delight crossed his face, As I thought! he chuckled.

                                      Now drink, my friend, he said offering the chalice back to Franiel.

                                      This is the sweetest Nectar you carry in your bottle ! Franiel exclaimed in surprise after taking some sips.

                                      The stranger chortled, It was plain water from the river I passed on my travels. I gather from your surprise that you do not know the magic of this chalice?

                                      Franiel shook his head. Well to be honest I have not really given the chalice much consideration, only to briefly wonder at my task. My mind has been more occupied with other matters. Franiel looked at the chalice in his hands, And what more can you tell me of this magic?

                                      I can caution you to be wary my friend, I would not be so quick to show strangers you meet on your path this cup, for be assured there would be some who would be keen to possess this. He frowned for a moment. What are the words which are to be inscribed on this chalice?

                                      Franiel pulled the sealed letter from his pack, and, feeling only a moment’s hesitation, opened it; “Bibere venenum in argento”, he read haltingly, then shrugged. I confess I don’t know what that means, I have not been taught in the old language.

                                      It is a curse of the Ancients, it means “drink poison from a cup of silver”. Seeing the puzzled look on Franiel’s face the stranger went on to explain. The magic of the chalice is to transform. I uttered words of love and the water transformed to sweet nectar. Had I whipered words of hate and fear, had my intention been to kill, I could have changed the water to bitter poison. The power though is not in the chalice, it is in the intention of the one who holds it and who knows of it’s magic.

                                      Franiel shook his head, bewildered, I can find no sense in this. Why would Aum Geog curse the cup in this way?

                                      The stranger turned and looked at Franiel, his clear blue gaze piercing and direct, I don’t know this Aum Geog, neither do I know his heart …. I know that you are the bearer of the cup now Franiel. Make sure you are asking the right questions.


                                      In reply to: Synchronicity


                                        “Is this a synch or did Tracy already know about the 888th mark having been hit? “ asked Franci.

                                        :yahoo_surprise: Tracy was astonished at this latest synchronicity. “I had absolutely no idea” she replied.


                                          One for sorrow, two for joy, when the moon shines bright or not at all…..what WAS that book, Becky wondered. Years and years ago in an adventure book, a children’s book; was it the famous five? The intrepid six? A clue, a magpie silhouette on a loose brick….the treasure hidden behind the brick…..the adventurous seven? The jingle, the magpie jingle….. in a children’s adventure book…..

                                          Becky, are you alright? asked Sean. You’ve been sitting there staring into space for hours.

                                          Twenty minutes later Becky replied, Huh? Haha, I seem to be in slow motion today, it’s really rather pleasant.

                                          Three and a half hours later, Becky smiled drowsily and said, It wasn’t the famous five, it was the wandering one……the wandering one, after all….


                                            Vincentius, usually of cheerful disposition, had been in a silent and pensive mood all day. Later that evening, while Yikesy slept, Arona gently asked him if he was okay. He sighed.

                                            Do you realise it is Yuletide, Arona? he asked.

                                            Arona did not pay much attention to the passing of time. It was a rather like her map. She did not quite see the point of having a map when she did not know where she was going. Likewise, what was the point of keeping track of time? When one did not know where one was going, it was clearly not necessary to be anywhere at any particular point in time.

                                            So she grunted non-committedly in response.

                                            Is that a special time for you? she prompted eventually, when Vincentius once again lapsed into a gloomy and silent reverie.

                                            He sighed. Do you mind if I tell you a story, Arona? he asked. It is rather long.

                                            I would love that, she replied, meaning it sincerely.

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