— If you have an idea, then tell it quick, said Akita, this place gives me the creeps.
— Remember how Kay’s having this nice werewolf form in his shape-shifting bag of tricks?
— Yes, but he cannot really hold it for very long… Wouldn’t be easier if you just teleport us or something?
— Well, the thing is, yes, that would work for us, but that would take too long to teach you, not to say the parents. We can’t really count on their cooperation for now… and it’s perhaps better that way, because I’m not sure they would really believe they can do it anyway.
— So the real question is, Kay interrupted, how do we move quickly with two stoned weights?
— Exactly. My suggestion is that we combine our energies. I must say I’m quite fond of the werewolf outfit, it’s brawny and forces respect, and besides, you and Akita know how to operate it.
— I think I get your point. So how do we do?
— Just let Kay merge with you, and I’ll facilitate the anchoring, said Araili.
Kay started to swirl around Akita in a swoosh of air, while Araili faded into the background to become a force-field around them, getting tighter and tighter, until all three were a ball of light and poofed back in the form of a twelve-feet tall impressive werelynx.
GRRRREAT, growled Akayli the beast. Let’s move on.
Baring his claws, he delicately tore off the mummifying silky threads to unwrap the two parents, and taking each of them under the hairy soft grey arms, sprung out of the nest to the forest in quick bounces.
The portal has opened, we must hurry said Araili
Araili had felt something more, that he didn’t want to share yet with Akita and his spirit dog Kay. He had felt that something, or someone was trying to make its way from the wortex. However, the whole area was tightly held in a sort of quarantine by the giant spiders. Their genetic ancestral memory was aware of previous huge bleedthroughs like this one, and they had what humans would call “prophecies” amongst their kin, of such occurrences being heralds of tremendous upheavals.
Araili, who was extending far beyond this guise of a lynx that he had taken now, smiled when he thought of how some of his earthly medieval focuses would have been similarly frightened by natural events like eclipses.
It did not take long to them to find Anita’s parents. They were right at the spot that the big arachnid had just left, wrapped in silky spider bandages with little skin left to breathe.
Claude had finally came out of what he thought was just a strange tree, but then, his preternatural senses where telling him something was wrong. This place looked different. No, this place felt different.
And smelt different too.
There were soft sounds, crawlings he could hear, very near his place. They were coming from him, but he would fight.
He jumped on a tree, and in a few vigorous movements, was perched on top of it.
He almost gapped when he saw the black circle of huge spiderly creatures around his tree.
They were staying at a distance from the wortex. But for how long… He couldn’t wait for his death.
From the top of the tree, Claude jumped unscathed. Taking a look around, he found exactly what he needed.
Breaking a few sharp bamboos poles, he started his move to the black circle in a prodigious and accelerated run.
From atop a nearby tree, Armelle was considering the whole scene. The wortex would probably last a few hours, perhaps a bit more. Anita, Rafaela and Yuki were about to be here soon, she had warned them of the spider circle, so that they would hide until she has found them a way to get through.
She had not expected someone to come out of it. That may be her way…
Phurt was coming closer and closer now. She could feel the surge of power, and the trepidation raising all the hair on her legs. She couldn’t possibly confront all of the sisters. Not yet.
She had to find a way to get past.
As if Arachneiax, Goddess of her kind had heard and answered her plea, a dying cry, confusion, and call for help came to her senses from a border of their circle. A perfect diversion…
The woman’s voice raised softly in the dark, like a velvet caress, or the sound of a purring cat.
Life was long before I met Georges. Not unbearable, but so long and lifeless. Days would pass, and nothing new would happen but the same matter the previous days were made of.
Though I no longer align to these limitations, I was once human, born to Earth, as Georges was, in a not so distant past. Like most of my people, I was not feeling special. But my will was strong and my desire to survive too. I survived poverty, lust and violence. In the crucible of these emotions I’ve melted my fears, and it was there I found Georges too.
A curtain raises in the dark. A palace in an exotic tropical place. Brunei? Al doesn’t know this place…
A young dark haired woman in a small room, around sixteen, perhaps a bit less, disheveled. She looks wildly around her, her rags stained with dust and dirt.
Enters a tall woman. She doesn’t seem local. British perhaps. She’s elegantly dressed, thin mouth, high cheekbones, apparently in charge. A maid follows her. She can speak the girl’s language.
— Where is my mother? Let me out of here! she starts to cry
— I’m afraid this is not possible, Salome. For your safety,…
— What do you care about my safety!
— For your safety, Salome, hear me, try to behave. The Sultan is not a man without a heart. He loves beautiful women, and that is what probably saved your neck, considering what all what your mother did wrong to him refusing to pay taxes and her obstinate and bare-faced smuggling. Listen Salome, this might save you, and might save your mother as well.
The curtain falls on the scene, where Salome hopes to have found a friend of captivity with this woman.
A few years later, still in the golden cage of the harem, occasionally asked to service the lustful and violent Sultan, I start to go explore the depths of my misery. My inner world was a safe sanctuary, a haven from the pit of hell where I was now living, after my childhood years of hard work in the forest. There, where no one was given the key to enter, I became aware of him. I first thought he was an imaginary friend, a messenger from the other world, greeting me to a sure death. But he was real. He started to talk to me. About what I could do, like him, be a Traveler, if I wanted to.
The curtain raises again. Young Salome is lying on her straw mat, in a seeming delirium. She moans, whispers, weeps, laughs. No one in the harem seem to care any longer. She is probably possessed, but the Sultan still find her suitable, she can’t be touched.
A roar can be heard in the palace. The big black-bearded Sultan Ojylam the Second, ogre look on his face, summons his guard.
— Don’t worry Salome, the voice of Georges whispers in the dark. The Sultan is mad at Madame Chesterhope. She has just fled with his precious crystal skull, but he won’t find her. She’s a skilled Traveler too, as soon you will be dear Salome, once you have learnt my last tricks, and we soon will be united.
— Why that stupid crystal skull?
— Don’t worry about it… This one is the Birds Skull. It carries lots of information and magic in relation to the Birds Realm, but it should be the least of your concerns. We’ll find Madame Chesterhope even if she’s clever at hiding between dimensions. Only concern for you must be to get out of here.
— The Sultan will know I told her about it… I should have known, he was so proud of this object, and so protective too… And she was so curious…
— That’s why we must hurry now.
And so we were united for the first time. Lots of other lives have occurred afterwards, different paths at times, but always we have found each other again. Eternally bound, in a most sacred bound…
Tina sat for some time in the cafe after Becky had left, pondering the implications of Becky’s secret. Becky was right, it was quite exciting in a way, however the repercussions left her reeling … honestly you would think a time traveler would have more sense …
She scratched her head absentmindedly, her scalp had been very itchy lately. She wondered if she had better stop using her homemade egg hair shampoo. Well that was a bugger. She had been planning on marketing it through her business… HEGG FIRST SHAMPOO, with cute little egg people wearing shiny glossy wigs on the label … and, as a special limited time offer, she had been going to give away free Holy Water Conditioning Rinse as well. Sam had kindly agreed to bless it for her with this didjereedoo.
She looked up just as a female entered the cafe, straight jet black hair, large dark sunglasses, fishnet tights and knee high boots. A black trench coat completed the stunning ensemble. Wow! thought Tina, She looks amazing, so eneggmatic and sexy. As though she had heard her thoughts the woman turned, and upon catching Tina’s eye, hurriedly looked away and walked quickly out of the cafe.
How odd, thought Tina.
Later, as she was researching black wigs on the internet … of course she could change the colour and structure of her hair through mind techniques, but that was still a bit slow for Tina, Al entered the room.
Tina, are you busy?
Your latest comments in the reality play are really really great. Most entertaining and unusual.
Uh, thanks …. Tina said cautiously.
I was just wondering however whether you had considered the time frame of your characters?
Oh yeah course … you know .. give or take a few years .. or so …
There are a few discrepancies I noticed, he went on, and it really does become rather problematic, some might say “messy” even.
Tina rolled her eyes and grunted non-commitedly.
Thanks Sweetie, I knew you wouldn’t mind sorting it out, said Al.EricKeymaster
Bugger Narani whisspered Phurt, why not just kill them, these stupid two-legged animals. Why the pain of keeping them alive? Good thing the daily dose of sedative venom had them quiet now. They would only scare the mooing preys. Stupid, stupid.
Of course, it would be easy to just sink a little more than usual her sharp tooth into their neck so fragile. A regrettable accident…
Phurt couldn’t help but smile a grin as wide as her hairy eight-eyed face. But she wasn’t known as the Doctor of Breath for nothing. Her mere breath could be as sweet as a jasmine scent or terribly deadly. She had never missed a target, never could have.
She was no mere Spinner; how could the Mother have put her to such a slighting task. Degrading. For her, the most promising Hunter of her generation to be doing this while they all were securing the hole perimeter.
She would have to go. Something was nudging her to move, something like a fluid water sound, that whispered that nothing could happen to those prisoners. No one would be fool enough to dare to enter the Nest.
Ahaha, why would she care? Nobody would know. And the little ones would alert her in any case.
With a prodigious jump, she sprung to the forest in the direction of the hole. She couldn’t be denied her destiny.
— Is it gone now? a voice whispered under a pile of giant ferns
— I think it is growled Araili’s voice Thanks to the Snoot’s power of suggestion, I suppose… The Snoot might find spiders eggs delicacy enough to help us in our rescue operation.
— Shall we go there now? Kay? Ready to go and report back if everything’s clear?
Rafaela was not finding it very difficult to jump on the rocky slopes. It was only difficult for her to remember to stay physically focused so that Anita wouldn’t fall to a certain death. And of course, even more difficult to resist to the attraction of nibbling a few crunchy thistles and brambles that grew here and there.
But Yuki’s attention was here to remind her, and so far, their progression had been smooth and easy.
Anu who was having the time of her life jumping on the coarse back of the goat giggled at her clueless question.
— I think the spiders are moving too. We’ll be reaching the hole before them, and the Snoot tells me they won’t be moving close to it. But they won’t let anything or anyone get out of it. Let’s hope dear Armelle will spot a path for our friends.
— Not to worry, Rafaela said matter-of-factly, Army is good at spoohtting. She’s the best I know at that.
— OK, let’s move on…
Claude was finally seeing a pinhole of light, at a close distance. He could just continue to crawl out his way to the light, and he would soon be release. And to cheer him up, he reminded himself that no man nor beast he feared, with his phenomenal strength agility and speed he now had. Too bad he didn’t have any time to get a proper super-hero attire he smiled to himself.
On Tikfijikoo, the Magpie’s energy maze-cloak was now lift. The fury of the cyclone was now in its full power, and the Magpies were starting their swift deployment.
The item was left unguarded in the operation room, as far as they could tell, and in the chaos of the elements, surely a few magpies would be unnoticed.
They had to move quick now. The portal would be opened soon too. They couldn’t come back without bringing “it” back with them.FloveParticipant
Oh what absoloote rubbish, giggled Elizabeth Tattler, taking another large sloorp from her 4th glass of red wine and putting large determined scribbles through the last chapter of the latest Noovel. It was the continuing saga of the Tifijikoo Island story. She really had to finish it, old whats-his-face was on the telepooh to her daily now, demanding to know when it was to be finished.
More Sex! he had shouted at her last time. More sex, we want the bloody thing to sell don’t we!
Well I have shut you up haven’t I, she snorted to herself, thinking happily of Dr Bronkelhampton passed out on the couch wearing a pink dress and mascara running down his face.
More sex eh? Hooommmm, Elizabeth did not particularly believe in putting extraneous sex in her noovels. At the same time that character Veranassessee was annoying her a bit with all her indecisiveness. And what a bloody mouthful that name was. Was it too late to change it? hooommm probably. She had modelled her roughly on the cleaner, Finnley, quite an attractive girl despite her pooty face and superior, bossy ways.
Make your writing detailed, with accurate depiction of suction noises
You know Robbie-pooh what is wrong with this?
Robbie-Pooh, Robbie-Pooh, cackled Robert X.
IT’S BOORING, The damn characters never do anything. Right well, time to fix that. She took another few slugs of her wine.
Oh God, said Agent Gabriele. Who gives a shit about the Doctor or bloody magpies. I can’t stand this any longer. I must have you Agent V. He lunged towards her, ripping open her robe and exposing her naked body.
You are so beautiful. All I ever wanted is you. That’s why I demanded this assignment on the Island … to see you again. I have not been able to get you out of my head. You’ve been driving me crazy
NO NO, cried Veranassessee weakly, but her body said YES YES
Agent Gabriele kissed her on the mouth, making strange and passionate slurping noises, and, unable to resist any longer, she gave in to his need for her.
Mahiliki stared anxiously out at the storm. He could think of nothing but his darling Veranassessee. He must know if she was alright. He must go to her. He grabbed his car keys and drove like a madman to the airport.
( Hoommm, thought Elizabeth, I really don’t know anything about small island airports and planes. Well booger that, I will research them later on the internoot )
Are you mad? said the pilot. There’s a freakin cyclone, or hadn’t you noticed?
Yes, I am mad, I am mad with love. Fly me there or you are a dead man.
ahahahaahah, laughed Elizabeth happily.
His door was open. He had his back to her, looking out at the storm. Veranassessee knocked lightly on the door and entered. He turned towards her.
You’re wet Agent V, he said, his eyes running slowly up and down her body.
His gaze came back to her face and their eyes locked. She felt her knees go weak. God does that really happen?
Why had nothing changed? She had not seen him for so long, had almost forgotten about him. She loved Mahiliki… didn’t she? She had managed to convince herself that Agent Gabriele was in the past. That was where he belonged. He was a fantasy.
She was not a child anymore.
God, but he was gorgeous though. Dark, sexy, he gave off an aura of untamed passion just barely suppressed below the surface. His face was more mature, more closed off than before, but still almost unbelievably handsome. At one time she had known every line of his face, memorized it, retraced it over and over in her imagination. She thought she had known him.
He smiled. Better get you out of those wet clothes, you’re dripping on the carpet.
Still holding his gaze, almost defiantly she pulled her dress off and let it drop in a soggy heap on the ground.
She wanted this didn’t she? She turned and closed the door behind them.
Malvina became aware of Irtak’s return when she felt his mossy green energy, his attention was here again and he would be here in a few minutes. The twins’ energy was more erratic, their attention fluctuating swiftly as usual, they were here and there and though they weren’t… a feeling of accomplishment was accompanying their return, so she knew that it had been done… and… oh! (Alienor’s Oh…) they also left a surprise
In her periphery, she sent the news to Leormn who was already aware of it of course, a dragon was always aware… how could she forget that?
Cutting short, she opened herself to her friends, to inform them they would depart soon, and she was requesting their help. They could prepare the jump before the young lad returned.
Using Leormn’s skill, she reshaped the main room of the cave, cleaned it a bit too, and added some fountain at the entrance with a stream flowing from it to the inside of the cave. A glob of light on top of it was creating a soothing atmosphere.
Georges and Salome were drawing some runes at the entrance of the cave, some of them learned in another dimension, blended with some tiles of their own. They would be used to focus the group energies to the desired time and place.
Well I don’t want to let them down, Sam, she said mournfully.
Sam laughed and said, You won’t be letting them down, silly. They’ll find another entry point. There’s no shortage of pregnant women in this dimension, you know.
But I feel like they’re mine already, Sam, I feel responsible for them now.
Laughing loudly, Sam reminded her that resposibility was her own core truth, and not an absolute one. Other essences are not your responsibility, you daft goose!
I know that, but I feel somehow connected to them now. I’ll always wonder about them, worry that they made a bad choice and chose a horrid entry point…her voice trailed off, and then she giggled. I’m talking absolute rubbish aren’t I?
Frankly, yes, dear, winked Sam. Anyway, aren’t you confusing two separate issues here, Becky? In the future probability that you viewed, Sean was a drunkard, and you had many children. They are not necessarily connected, you know. Sam winked again, and Becky blushed and whacked him over the head with the cushion she’d been clutching.
Oh stop! I haven’t even been on my honeymoon yet!
“Actually, that’s it! Quintin had feared the implications, as lots of people did.
It would mean everything would be allowed. Everything would be true, even the most blatant contradictions would be harmoniously living side by side.”
She’d had a hard time explaining to Sean about the probability glitch in which the note had appeared in the ‘wrong’ reality. He understood the concept of probable realities eventually, but he was hurt and confused as to why Becky had even thought to make up that probability in the first place. Becky hadn’t told him the full story about the dream, feeling that it may in some way be a self fulfilling prophecy if Sean knew that (in one probability, at any rate) he ended up an alcoholic, not to mention all those children! The very thought of all those children was enough to make Becky break out in a sweat, and she wasn’t inclined to add energy to that probable future.
She did her best to placate her new husband and take his mind off it, even going so far as to don the shrunken tarty nun outfit. But after the romantic interlude, when Becky had fallen asleep, Sean was unable to stop thinking about it, and he wandered dejectedly into the kitchen, and poured himself a large whiskey.
In an ironic twist of fate, a glimpse into a probable future had affected the present, and Sean’s descent into confused drunkenness began in earnest.
Becky’s heart was racing and her breath was coming in short rasping breaths. I need to change probabilities, and I need to do it fast! There’s not a moment to lose.
Maybe I can change the past, she thought, change it to a probability in which I didn’t marry Sean in the first place. Oh Lordy, but how do I do that exactly? Her head was spinning.
Maybe I should just run away, now, pack my bags and disappear before Sean gets back from the bar.
No, that won’t do, she said, biting her lip in consternation. I want to keep the wedding presents, especially that YouDo doll.
Becky rummaged through the pile of magazines, looking for the script of the Reality Play. Oh dear god, if I change probabilities Al and the others will kill me, it will make such a mess of the threads.
Becky was distraught. What shall I do! she exclaimed, wringing her hands.
BREATHE, a deeply resonant female voice said. BREATHE into YOU, that’s right, BREATHE…..
Becky stopped wringing her hands and drew a shaky breath.
That’s right, the voice continued, BREATHE into YOU…..
Becky took another deep breath.
Oh for heavens sake, Becky interrupted rather rudely, That’s enough of that blimmen breathing for now, thank you very much, now bugger off, I need to think.
The voice in her head changed to a masculine one, that said with a chuckle, “THINKING” is absolutely FATAL, my dear, just DO what ever is easiest for YOU.
You mean, do whatever I want, and bugger everyone else? asked Becky. Wouldn’t that be a bit inconsiderate? I mean, don’t I have a responsibility to the others?
What Seth and Elias stuff? Haha, just kidding, of course I remember it all. Reading about it and actually DOING it, well, they are two different things……her voice trailed off, and she frowned, deep in thought.
Thinkin’ aint doing, said the voice.
Becky sneezed again, and shivering, reached for the box of tissues. She was choosing to align with those old fashioned ‘catching a cold’ beliefs because, frankly, she wanted to spend a few days wrapped up in her dressing gown idly flicking through magazines and taking naps and not doing anything much.
Sean appeared with a tray.
I’ve made you a nice pot of Earl Grey, and buttered some scones for you, dear. How are you feeling? I’ve done the laundry but I think the nun outfit has shrunk.
Becky blushed. Oh well never mind that, eh.
I’ll get you another one, Sean said hopefully.
Maybe a trench coat and some thigh boots instead, suggested Becky, recalling her drenching in the park in the tarty nun outfit. More practical.
Sean grinned and sloped off to do some dusting. Call me if you want anything, he called over his shoulder.
Becky picked up another magazine from the pile next to her. Crisp, it was called, and had a photograph of Sue Flay and the Ova Tones on the front cover.
The low vibration of his didjeridoo was filling up the room. His apartment in NYC was wide open, and a fresh breeze was caressing his naked arms. Sam had learn how to circular breathe in order to play the didjeridoo while he was in Australia. He loved the sound of it, the vibration passing from the hollow trunk through his arms, his mouth, his whole body.
His didjeridoo was undecorated as he was more interested by the sound than by its appearance. A clear E flat.
Sam was playing around with the sounds he could do with this instrument, a blending of harmonics and of seeming animal cries. He was also introducing sounds that he connected to various friends of his. His open windows had let some bees in the apartment. The rhythm of his music and the rhythm of the fly of the insects were creating a kind of pattern that was hypnotic, and he soon felt his body expand as he was keeping on playing and breathing.
He was letting more of his awareness of other energies and he could see that among his friends were various people from the aboriginal tribes he had met during his trip, and also the Nanaconda.EricKeymaster
It had been more than a week now that Claude had broken loose from one captivity to fall into another.
Not that this gang of strange shape-shifting magpie beings seemed to consider him a captive, rather an impromptu host that they felt obliged to take care of. But Claude wasn’t duped one moment.
His precedent prison on Tikfijikoo had been relatively easy to break out from, thanks to that unasked for gift of preternatural strength he had gained from the experiments he had be subjected to. Actually, had he not almost been driven mad from pain, he would have been on the loose earlier. Thank the Magpies for his recovered sanity…
Security on the island facility wasn’t the highest and most difficult he had been confronted to. They seemed to consider the relative isolation of the island and its deadly sharp coral reef encircling it their main asset in keeping their experiments clear from outside interferences.
Claude snapped back from his thoughts and gazed fixedly at a tender green sprout at his feet while humming a nursery rhyme. An effective trick.
He had to be more cautious… He knew they could read his surface thoughts…
Apparently, he could come and go as pleased him, but as he had tried to find his way back to the island facility, he had discovered that the landscape was changing each time he felt close to it. And soon enough, he was finding himself back to the hidden settlement. He knew enough to suspect his affable alien hosts of playing tricks on his mind to keep him in check. Perhaps they were even bending space around their settlement, as far as he knew…
Not intrusive, and yet not a very different treatment from the inhumane experiments. Except he had no mummy bandages this time…
Know thy foe so went the adage, and Claude was determined to know enough about his new captors to escape and complete his mission.
From what he was guessing, as they had not killed him, they probably would release him (if he was lucky) as soon as their mission would be completed —a mission which was most probably the same as his own. Snatching the crystal skull he knew was there somewhere. He could sense they were after it too.
He was wondering who had hired them to retrieve the thing. Obviously they were not from the common lot of thieves, most certainly not even from this planet, and anyone who had hired them must have been in dire need of the thing.
He had been told by the Baron that the crystals were storing ancient vast knowledge and that accessing it had been only possible since a few decades, actually since the discovery of coherent beams of light (laser). But even accessed, the information stored remained vastly incomprehensible, and deciphering it could take another millennium without appropriate knowledge of its holographic proprieties.
The Baron had told humanity was like a child being given a box of books on relativity… And even the mad transvestite doctor was only toying with the tip of an immense iceberg.
Those Magpies were far more advanced, Claude could see it clearly, and he wondered how he could outdo them, if that was possible. Quite frankly he didn’t know why they had not yet retrieved it. Perhaps they were having trouble locating it too…
That would mean he still had a head start, however short.
A faint barking sound seemed to echo in his head… It was apparently coming from… the gnarled trunk of an old majestic tree… Whispers seemed to come from it too, like a child talking with an adult, and whispers around them…
The tree seemed wide enough for him to enter into the biggest crack of its bark…
Could it be one of their secret entrances and exits? There had to be coordinate points were they could get out of this warped space… What was he risking to try?TracyParticipant
Suddenly THE room WAS FULL OF beetles, WHICH meant THREE times A week lying inside THE story, moving AROUND LIKE A fish. Random living DRIVING AN OLD car ALL OVER THE earth HAVING lots OF dreams OF blue, rather SIMILAR TO comments soon officeIALLY PUBLISHED….. telling hugE NONsense factS WHILST RUBBING white talking hands ALL OVER THE RABBITS, running AND sighed AS MY foot connected WITH A ROCK already taking years TO FORM INTO matter …..
A man was walking on the narrow path shaded by the tall pandanus trees.
Mahiliki was coming back from the sawmill where he worked, smiling to the people he met on his way back home. The island of Fikitupi was a small island in the Pacific, and he knew most of the people living around this small corner here.
An old wizened lady with a toupee was busy weaving pandanus dried leaves into baskets and mats on the front door of her small house, while children were running to and fro among noisy chicken all around the place.
Mahiliki smiled, fond as he was of Nanaiis, whom all children loved deeply, for she always had new tales for them to hear, and cheering words to share. She was quite intuitive, and had said to him years ago that his new girlfriend wouldn’t stay around and have lots of children.
He didn’t want many children anyway… but as Nanaiis had said, Vera had left, not without saying she would come back though.
Mahiliki didn’t count much on it, but he had all the time to wait for her. Life was calm and sweet here, and its appeal was great.
At a short distance, he could spot the hut of O’panié and Twahissi. They were some funny strange hoots these two. Twahissi was the light-haired niece of O’panié and she was sharing with him her love for otherworldly matters. Twahissi’s parents had left her in his care, when they left to open a shop in the main island of the archipelago, and frankly, Twahissy was far more comfortable staying in Fukitupi where all felt magic to her.
Mahiliki smiled when he finally understood they were trying to bury something near the culvert on the side of their hut. For apparently no reason, a month or two ago, O’panié had become interested in old papers and had become convinced that the date line was not only passing on the island of Fukitupi, but even more, it was passing right through his hut, and thus might explain his apparent sudden feelings of time loss.
Some educated people had tried to reason him, but he’d stood fast in his opinion. Sightings of rainbow bubbletons by his niece Twahissi had him convinced even further that there was the possibility to improve this technique of time-travel. For as he crossed the bedroom he could step one day forward or backward! How thrilling it all was!
Guess only the Elders knew what he was trying to bury now…
Mahiliki could not but agree with him, as they were giving the whole village some pleasant laughing, and he had to admit that his enthusiasm was winning him more and more people to his quest. He wondered what sweet Vera would think of all of that, Cartesian as she was…
She was no longer sure where she was. She had gone over it a few times in her mind, but try as she might she could not make sense of Leormn’s cryptic explanations. Or that Malvina either, although at least she is a bit more pleasant about it.
Anyway, wherever it is, it feels a bit grey, she decided matter-of-factedly. And I am missing the others, even that grumpy Mandrake if the truth be told.
She closed her eyes and began to paint colours over the grey. She was not sure what to paint at first, so she just dabbed bright blobs of colour haphazardly onto her mind’s canvas. The colours began to run into each other and form shapes and it it seemed to her they wanted to take on a life of their own. So she let them, and it was not long before she found herself in a meadow of spring flowers.
That’s much better, she thought, taking a deep breath and lying back in the soft green grass.
As she lay there her mind drifted sleepily, butterfly thoughts every now and then resting on some bright petal in her field of flowers.
Just living is not enough, said the butterfly as it danced by her head, one must have sunshine, freedom and a little flower.
Oh! said Arona excitedly, recognising the words from a far away time, You must be the butterfly of the story! The one my grandmother used to tell me when I was a little girl in the Village.
Perhaps I am! danced the butterfly and it whirled and twirled and swirled in the sky.
Arona rolled her eyes in exasperation. Now you sound a bit like that wriggly dragon. A simple yes or no would suffice.
The butterfly landed on her nose. Now listen here you! Don’t go blaming me. I am YOUR imagination!
Oh good point Butterfly, said Arona graciously. She pondered a moment … Well in that case …
hmmm, thought Arona, that’s not quite what I had in mind ..
I would have said it’s exactly what you had in mind, whispered the butterfly, fluttering by her ear and then off again until it disappeared into the field of colours.
Arona turned her attention to Vincentius and Yikesy, sitting a short distance away in the meadow. She noticed how smooth and golden Vincentius’ skin looked in the morning sunlight, and how deep and melodic his voice was as he told Yikesy one of his seemingly endless repertoire of stories. Imagining a gentle hug and a kiss on his sweet, but it had to be said incredibly ugly face, she sent Yikesy into a peaceful sleep.
“Phew…” said the plump lady to her trip companions “it really felt like this trip would never end…”
Paquita rolled her eyes to the sky, sweating as her and Joselito were moving the heavy luggage of the lady out of the hydroplane’s trunk.
Apparently, the welcoming committee either had not been aware of their landing, or simply had forgotten them. Nobody was there to greet them past the wooden pontoon, only the thuds of coconuts falling on the white beach.
One of them rolled towards Paqui, bouncing on the little waves of sand.
She leaned forward to get the hairy fruit, brushing the sand off it with her hands until she spotted something that instantly congealed the blood in her veins.
She shrieked at the sight of a blue spider under the coconut.
“Well, she seems dead enough” shrugged Mavis at the sight of the splattered arachnid. “Now, what do we do… I think I have a bathsuit somewhere in that piece of luggage” she said, designing a mammothesque thing that bore more resemblance to a military trunk than to any piece of luggage.
“Did the pilot leave us there?” asked a pale Paqui to her cousin.
“As soon as we got the last piece of luggage out of his plane… Guy didn’t seem to want to stay here”
“I wonder why… It’s such a gorgeous place…” Mavis was saying distractedly while plunging into her trunk occasionally drawing some outrageously gaudy piece of cloth that seemed like out of a theater’s props. “Here it is!” she finally said, holding a glittering hot pink latex bikini, so tiny it wasn’t leaving much to imagination.
Quite frankly, Midora didn’t know how and where to look for Badul. She had spent lots of time delving into the labyrinth of chapters that composed the book, at first to no avail.
Only after some familiarization with the narrative had she come to roughly understand that the two books where rewriting the pages —or even, rewiring them— so that each time she started over, it was like a similar yet different story. Most of the alternate versions did occur within the same kind of environment, or the same dimensions as the previous ones, but there were always all kinds of small hints that made her get a small hunch that it was not quite the same story she had read before that was taking place now.
She had even become quite good at tracking down these flimsy moments where she found herself wondering what felt “different”, at odds, or simply not quite at the same place. Like in her dreams, these were precious cues telling her to pay attention. More than simple cues, of course some of them where howling at her face that something required her attention. The additions made by her distant relative Dory, or later on by her step-daughter Becky were compelling cases of such occurrences. Asynchronous apparitions of mummies sometimes reminded her of stories told by one of her father and where more generally speaking of symbolic death and regeneration, but when all of these cues where as many portals the details of which she could lose herself in…
Naasir had told her to find Badul. She knew Badul… Like Midora herself, Badul was a facet of the dreaming dragon who was exploring the many facets of itself in an intricate play, and it felt to her that Badul was stuck somewhere in the process and required some attention. In fact, she remembered that in all the versions of the stories that she had read about, Badul’s history was never ended. Each time, he was on his way to explore the new land he had discovered, and somehow, he just never get there.
When she was trying to get to the rest of the story, as much as she would search for it, there were only blank pages.
Perhaps it was for her to write them, like Indy did after she encountered that mummy decades ago, not necessarily to exorcise the experience, but rather to learn more about her connections.
What were her own connections? She wondered.
What did happen to Badul on his way to the clandestine traveling portal of Gralm Tur? And why did it matter? Did he found something about the network, and some link to the skulls which have been an obsession for quite some time for some of the major and most intriguing characters of this inter-dimensional sopoohpera?
Truth was, Badul felt a bit like an oddball to her. She didn’t know how to get close to him. Apparently, when she had read the early articles from her great-uncle Cuthbert, she had found out that he had connected quite well to the daunting character. As a matter of fact, most of his comments had helped flesh out the character, while most of the other participants in the books had been only remotely observing his deeds. However priceless these clues were, Midora knew by now that they were not absolute, and would rewrite differently if the story was asking for it. And in fact, perhaps her own addition would change whatever his fate would have been.
Midora could feel Badul differently now… a young boy, whom she is babysitting, in another life.
Bastian is baby Badul’s name and he’s a toddler, a toddler exploring an unknown world made of colourful toys.
Midora (her name’s Ada in that focus) likes to work for little Bastian’s family. The woman, his mother, looks a bit odd like Morticia Addams, or like a Cher just out of her bed, but Ada likes her. She’s busy traveling alot, and doesn’t have much time to care for the baby.
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