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  • #1193

      Georges and Salome’s journal

      From Salome’s account of her introduction to the Turmak People (Part 3)

      Cil and I have stayed on the Murtuane longer than was required for the report on the events occurring here. Though it was not required, it proved invaluable for me to gather much information on both the planet itself, but more important, on the interconnections with the other planets and the Guardians themselves.

      A pivotal point in this exploratory mission was the impressive encounter with one of the few still focused Nirguals of this dimension. N’meôrl, as he introduced himself to us, out of concern for the current events came to contact Cil despite his looking askance at the Guardians on the whole.
      As it appears to be, due to their acute awareness of how energy can be manipulated to create one’s own reality, some of the Guardians became to view themselves as superior in knowledge and skills as to the other conscious creatures roaming on this dimension —most of whom already having far more understanding of things deemed “magical” in my own earthly dimension of origin. However, viewing themselves as such (though by no means the standards in the Guardians societies) had them manipulate some of these others; mostly to entertain themselves or to experiment, without concern as to the others’ reactions.

      Frown upon by many Guardians, this practice was tolerated notwithstanding, and had created a few pockets of what the Guardians called “slaves”. Inquiring to Cil as to how people with such thin veils between their subjective creative source and the objective realizations could become “slaves” to others, she had struggled a bit to explain to me at first. Allowing her to reach into my awareness for associations or analogies with similar energetic displays, she surprised me —surprised is even a mild word for my initial reaction— by telling me it was the same as our religions. Struggling initially to understand her point, I find myself, if not entirely agreeing with it, at least being able to explain what she meant by that. To her, people were ultimately free unless they themselves were tricked into bondage. But bondage could be of various nature, and she continued to explain, physical bondage was the less efficient of all. “Guidance”, on the opposite, with the proper construction of suggestions and beliefs, could yield very efficient results.
      So, those “rogue” Guardians were nothing else but priests? The difference between this association and Cil’s distaste for them seemed too strong. Perhaps I would have to reassess my own beliefs.

      So, apparently some of these Guardians had been responsible for disturbances. Cil seemed to understand that something grave was happening, but when she tried to explain to me, once again words or clusters of thoughts seemed to fail her. She found in my memory some analogy which seemed again quite besides the point, though very intriguing.
      She said it was similar to what our medicine men were doing with their needles. She probably had reached into my memories of traditional acupuncture medicine. She went on to compare the planets as a single body, with bumps and hollows in energy; usually, the body knows how to harmoniously balance both of these, and a bump can reflect into a hollow and vice-versa. Sometimes, when people create illnesses, the practitioner will move these to help. But something else was happening here: the flow was artificially changed, she said.
      “What was the point in that?” I asked. She pondered for a moment, then answered without judgment that it was probably for the sake of the experience.
      “The Nirgual is mostly warning us that this experience may not lead to an equilibrium before long. That it may profoundly modify the energy on the planets, and not for the better. The Murtuane and its Turmak people have mostly had a stabilizing impact on the very energetic events happening on the Duane. Modifying this could quickly take things out of our hands” she said worriedly.


        After he sent his reply to Yann, Yurick took a deep breathe in appreciation of all that had been done the last past days.

        However tedious, all in all, it had allowed him to stay away from other people’s trauma, and stay focused on his own issues. Now, the feeling of the energy at hand was starting to become lighter. Like a thin ray of light poking through a thick layer of rainy clouds, announcing that the silver lining was more than just a consolation. It was announcing the sun to come.

        He took the book of stories that had been unburied (like his pleasure to write) from the bottom of the sofa’s cushions when they’d received hosts last week-end, and looked with amusement at the opening note about the “random quotes”.

        A strong sense of an inkling started to dawn at him.
        Thanks to the random quotes —or more appropriately said, to convenient synchronicities— “stuff” was never lost or buried in the insides of that ever-growing story, which was eating with gluttony at the edges of its expansion. Things were popping up here and there, reminding of old loose threads, or pertinent inclusions or links to be made.

        But there was more. He, for a long time, had thought that imagination was expanding things to make physical reality look smaller in proportion than it was. Like when they’d looked at Dory’s pictures, and everything looked so big on them. Even the mere thought of nine dogs was huge. But when they’d met her, and Dan, and the dogs, it was all so much smaller. Even seeing Dory manage her dogs made having nine dogs seem manageable.
        But the reverse was true: physical reality had its way of dwarfing imagination. Not so much making it smaller, but compacting it, making it fit in an unbelievably condensed and small space.

        Take that book. Thousands of words, billions of probabilities, endless threads and hundreds of characters, all packaged in a small stack of inked paper. The trick was that when you look at it that way, when you got that small stack of paper in your hands, it all seems so manageable; one starts to get accustomed to it, then fails to see the newness in it each time it’s opened to tell a story.

        Imagination is the true gauge of the vastness of the universe. It’s so easy to forget…


          When Balbina woke up from that which had been her longest and strangest projection out of her body ever, all the memories of this fantastic adventure were oddly still fresh and crystal clear in her mind.

          She doubted that it may have been as real as she has perceived it to be; but the funny rabbit, before they all entered the long dark tunnel, had winked at her and told her there would be signs for her.

          Outside the window, the sunlight was starting to show on the Cordillera de la Costa, the nearby mountains.
          She was feeling strangely rejuvenated by this unexpected night spent in far-away travels, and it was almost as if her whole body was feeling better than it ever was.
          But of course, it was more of the same. Fabella, the nurse would soon enter and great her with a…

          “Did Madam sleep well?”
          “Quite, yes”… Her voice was quivering. Hardly the youthful voice she had during her projections out of the body.

          So, there she was again, in that old people house, and no way out of this mis…

          “What?!” she made the nurse busy cleaning her instruments repeat —to which she was far too pleased to comply.
          “Yes, Madam, your son phoned this morning and told he would come for you…”

          Her son? That was most unexpected.

          What did the rabbit said already? Help would come from the most unexpected corners… Well, she had almost forgotten that this corner still existed!

          “Did he say something else?”
          “Oh, I’m not really allowed to tell, M’am…”
          “But of course, you can’t really resist (little goose)” simpered the old wincing lady in a whisper to herself.
          Fabella was indeed continuing, unstoppable “… but he seems to consider it’s too expensive to have you here, and would love to have you home with him”

          Well, of course, you can’t really expect him to be so generous for no reason Balbina was thinking… But anything would probably be better than this old fools’ home. Even her son’s home.

          Besides, it was located outside Caracas, near the mountains… And if the funny rabbit’s directions were correct, it was very, very close from where her hosts (provided they existed of course) were to re-emerge.

          She’d never imagined that falling into the abyss of sweet madness would be so exciting.


            The corridors were unusually long and Malvina was thinking of urging Leormn back to the cave, but she pulled herself together and began to sing a well known song of her friends’ world.


            Mandrake was trying desperately to relax, but apparently Yikesy wasn’t seeing it that way. Vincentius was so patient that it wasn’t human… well he wasn’t human after all, and Mandrake was beginning to doubt the baby could be human too, his dark rocky face notwithstanding.

            After all he had done to amuse him, the baby’s responses were quite disappointing. His subtle puns, his witticisms and his elaborate jokes all overlooked… And worse, that devilish baby dared pull his tail! Mandrake couldn’t help a disgraceful meow before he ran away from the scoundrel.
            Vincentius had told him the baby was a bit young, but the cat was suspecting a particularly mischievous tendency.

            The baby stopped crying and shouting. That’s when Mandrake realized someone was coming.
            Strange song really, he had never heard that language before… maybe it was just jibberish. He sprang on his feet and sidestepped skillfully another attempt of the little one to catch his tail. It was the occasion he was waiting for.


            Focused on her 100th kilometer, Malvina hadn’t notice she was arrived. Vincentius was attending to the child’s need and she had just the time to notice the cat who had just snaked under her petticoat.

            Mandrake, be careful! I almost walked on your tail…

            — Meow! (that one was quite elegant and he was proud of it) Well, he said ironically, I was trained by the boy…

            She laughed at the idea of Mandrake tormented by Yikesy.

            — He’s Yike a cyclone, not resting until complete exhaustion.
            The trace of bitterness in his tone surprised him, though he began to relax under her smile. That was a long time since he hadn’t purred like that… he really liked her presence and energy, and it seemed to influence the kid also.

            — Are you going to make him sleep? he asked eagerly.

            — Oh no, I’ve merely soothed your energy and the baby is responding quite readily to the newborn calmness of the room.

            — That was rude, he said as if offended, but he was grateful for it. Vincentius, my dear fellow companion in this godforsaken place, he called to divert attention from him. Look at who’s here.

            The semi-god turn quickly his head and bowed it slightly before returning to his main preoccupation.

            — He’s a bit rude too. He had barely welcomed you…

            — Well he’s quite aware I’m not here for him or the baby.


              Just behind the plumpy panting woman who was coming to the campfire, Balbina could see the most interesting waddling goat she had ever seen coming along.

              “And I suspect the goat talks too?” Balbina asked Yuki.
              “Oh, yes… lots even… But don’t expect to understand all she says” Yuki added with a bwink.

              Hahaha, Balbina was amazed. That place was the most delirious dream/out-of-body projection she’d had in a long long time. How entertaining.

              “Beh, don’t be fooled, Balbina dear, it’s all real. And you’ll know very soon.” the goat started to greet her.
              “And you are?”
              Rafaela, at your service.”
              “How many more like you are there here? I’ve never seen such a funny zoo…”
              “A great deal actually” answered Yuki “but not so many of them are focused in this form. You still have to meet our dear Armowlle, who is doing some spying business and occasional rescue missions on the island, and our soft Arailynx who is on more subjective missions currently…”

              Balbina was wondering “and why did you say I’ll know very soon?” she asked the goat.
              Rafaela answered with a mysterious smile “Because I’m planning to communicate a way out of this island to two of my little protégés, and I expect some of these people will follow. And you are very likely to meet them in the flesh when they get there.”
              “Really?!” Balbina was amazed. This dream was taking qualities of realness she wouldn’t have suspected the least it to have.

              “Now,” Yuki cut short the amazement moment “we need to have those among our friends willing to leave, to be prepared to leave at dawn.”

              “Okay” Anita, who had been seated on the sand quietly till then, rocking gently from side to side in a calm meditation, said softly.

              “Oh, she really can feel us talking…” Balbina said more to herself than to anyone else. And looking closely at the girl’s energy field, she could see how expanded it was, reaching those of Yuki, Kay the spirit dog, and Rafaela and even hers in luminous threads.

              “Not all of them are leaving tonight” answered Yuki to her unspoken question. “I think Anita and her parents will, but it’s more than probable than the others will stay. Some have business to do here, and others are in vacations huhu…”

              “You’re right, seems like the one with the strange energy field is gone already?”
              “Oh Claude, you mean. Yes. His mummification experience wasn’t too pleasant, and he has unfinished business with the people of the island; no wonder he prefers to stay here on his own.”

              (on the beach, around the campfire, in Regional Area 1, or physical reality)

              Awww, plane-crash you say? ‘ow wonderful… Mavis was chatting with Akita. Ye need to come with me, ye can’t stay ‘ere all night. Besides, Shar and Glaw will be so thrilled to see you. And we were starting to think it was all boring ‘ere; didn’t know they would have real survivors like on real-TV!

              Aaron and his familythey would probably need some better shelter, I assume. This probably would be best for us to come with you… Akita answered. And apparently, Claude has left, so that’s just us…

              Owlright then! Mavis beamed, come with me handsome! she said, clutching the soldier’s muscular arm under hers.
              Don’t worry Akita, we’ll follow you, said Anita to the soldier who was visibly appealed by the woman but was also weary to leave Anita alone with her sleeping parents. Besides, we can see the lights behind the trees, it’s very near…

              See you there Anita! Akita said to Anu
              Bye Akita! And don’t worry, Kay is always with you she said with a mysterious smile.

              As they walked side by side to the facility, Mavis said “Kay? A friend of yours?”
              “Oh, my lost dog… Nothing to worry about” answered Akita absently.


                She was the first to notice.

                First there was a loud bang, that she perceived as a shock wave rippling all around.

                Then, she felt a strange flabby thing with bat arms fall into the ocean, while the other energy was coming their ways. “Wow,” she couldn’t help but think; “they’re having unusual nightly activities around for such a small isolated island.”

                The dog resting by the fire got alerted then, and tried to wake up the others. But apparently, they seemed oblivious to it.

                Then, something stranger happened. The small white rabbit started to talk, as if it had been aware all along.
                “It’ll take a while for him to see you again Kay, just don’t yap like a silly dog… Besides, you’ll disturb our guests”
                “Guests?” the dog answered back.

                The moment after, the rabbit had disappeared from the girl’s lap, and was standing between her and the dog.
                “Welcome, Balbina”, he told her.

                “How do you know my name?” she was aghast, unable to say if it was for the talking rabbit, or for the fact it knew her name.
                Unperturbed, it continued “It’s a busy night. There are lots of things happening, and we hope you’ll stick around. It may be helpful for our friends here.”
                “Er… why not… I mean, yes, sure. And you are?”
                Yuki, at your service. I’m not really a rabbit of course, but that form is convenient”
                “And cute too…” she said tentatively
                “Thank you”

                Balbina had never thought a rabbit could blush, but she would have bet it was the closest thing to a blushing rabbit she had just witnessed.

                “Sorry to interrupt you,” Kay said, but who are the other guests?

                a shrilling voice came as an answer OOOOooohh a campfire! How cuty pooh! Wait till Sha and Glo see that, we could have some roasted marshmallows and pork chops! I’m feeling soooo hungry…”

                “Great… So much for our little secret expedition,” Claude sighed as he woke up.


                  She was squatting on the sand beach, near the now calm ocean. The light was so dim that she barely could see the devastation, shards of coconut and palm trees spread on the shore, but the sound of the ocean was soothing.

                  Aaah she had hold that pee for too long.

                  “MAaaAVIS!” That suave authoritative voice must have been Sha’s.
                  “COooOMING!” Tsk. One can’t have a pee alone…

                  While she was readjusting her two pieces bath suit, ready to come back to the improvised discotheque, her attention was caught by something on the beach. A fire?
                  She squinted her little beady eyes to discard any of the hallucinatory visions that sometimes she had.

                  BLODDY COMIN’!” a hint of exasperation. “Mrs Sharon Stone, you ain’t the queen here” she thought. “I can go look for adventure meself, if I want to”.
                  Besides, the fire didn’t seem to be too far away.


                  With the darkness that made very difficult their progress, Akita had made them stop near the shore, where they would see any trouble coming and had ordered the small troop to collect twigs and bits of wood to light a fire.
                  The parents were still in a bit of a shock, and were staying with a blank gaze, looking with an air of wildness at the soothing sound of the waves. Anita was playing nearby, drawing things in the sand, muttering words to herself.
                  That was a good thing that Claude was there. Unlike the others, he seemed quite strong, and the adventure didn’t seem to have left him short of resources.
                  He had been on the island before, and had said they had to avoid the constructions, which were all owned by the same people.
                  For all that mattered, Akita wanted to get to the authorities as soon as possible, but he had to compromise: they would settle close enough to have a check around and see if it would be safe to go there.

                  In a minute, Claude had been roaming through the woods and had gathered a pile of wood. That guy was pretty amazing, Akita was thinking. Odd that he had retained his supernatural strength… At least, Akita had imagined that the guy’s strength was the result of the spider exposure, but now he started to doubt it. He had been sketchy to say the least around the circumstances of his presence.
                  As far as he himself was concerned, Akita wished he had retained somewhere his connection to Kay, wherever his spirit dog was. What the creature had said? That veils were thicker, but not impermeable… Or something around that.

                  I think they’re still hanging around

                  What? What did you say? But Anita didn’t answer. Perhaps his tired mind was imagining things.

                  With all that rain soaked wood, it would be difficult to get anything but smoke.

                  I’ve got a lighter Claude handed him an expensive ziraf that flashed moon reflection in his eyes.

                  Let’s get started then.


                  What now?

                  A roaring sound of a flying thing startled Mavis, passing over her head.

                  Mmm… this island’s getting too crowded, me think. Must be another of Vessie’s guests… That gal sure’s got how to use her sex-apple.”


                    When Veranassessee entered the room, looking for the guests, she was startled to discover the awful mess.

                    At first, she thought the cyclone Ycart may have been doing the wreckage, but soon she found out that no wall was gone, so it was obviously coming from inside the facility.

                    What the…

                    The super-calculator computer had been torn apart, and the electronic insides spread out everywhere.
                    The Confregration would be furious that all was left of their precious asset they entrusted the mad (mmm, mentally challenged) doctor to carry out his insane (err… unusual) experiments was a big pile of unworkable chunks.
                    She was thinking of how she could cover up that mess… given that the doctor was still probably reeling in frilly suspenders and silky dresses, she had time to clean up a bit. The Doc would probably won’t notice a difference, as megalomaniac as he was, he wouldn’t admit that a great part of his strides in his researches on spider genome were coming from the super-calculator…
                    That nose of a b… nurse Bellamy was probably cleaning up his drool, so she might have enough time to act.

                    Pushing aside a few coconuts, Veranassessee backed away suddenly…

                    A trail of purple blood now?


                      — 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.


                        A few moments later she was not so sure.

                        What’s the matter?

                        Oh you know … I am a bit distracted …too much going on I guess. She did not want to tell him that she could feel the presence of Mahiliki strongly in the room, his sweet trusting face gazing reproachfully at her. He would be worried about her, worried about the storm. She wondered how he was getting on.

                        I understand, he smiled ruefully, it’s hardly perfect timing is it? Anyway that wasn’t the reason I asked you to meet me here, but I guess it just seemed like too good an opportunity to miss.

                        I am sorry, she said, rolling her eyes.

                        Maybe some other time. He handed her a robe.

                        Sure. She wrapped it tightly around her. Anyway, the Doctor?

                        All taken care of. I left Nurse Bellamy administering warm coconut milk, unbeknowst to her laced with a sedative. The Doctor will be peacefully sleeping for at least 24 hours.

                        And Jarvis?

                        Jarvis is an opportunist, but not dangerous. He was employed by the Doctor as a bodyguard, but has since changed sides. He is now working as a spy for the Magpies.

                        The Magpies?

                        Your hunch was right. The Magpies are operating on the Island, and they plan to strike soon.


                        Sha was gazing dejectedly at herself in the mirror. Glor what d’ya reckon. Are all these bloody beauty treatments working or wot?

                        Course they are!

                        They looked at each other. Well, maybe it’s a bit soon to tell eh? she said doubtfully.

                        Mavis! Sha shook the lump covered completely by blankets huddled on the bed. Come on Lovey, the storm won’t urt you. What d’ya reckon Mavis, ‘ow do we look?

                        A dishevelled head popped out. You both don’t look no bloody different to me, ‘cept you’ve put weight on, she said honestly.

                        Well that bloody does it, said Glor, We’d better find that Vessie, find out wots wot!


                          She put down the plate of honeycomb and turned round slowly, her calm exterior belying the fear which had suddenly gripped her insides.

                          He had called her Agent V!

                          She had to stay calm, think quickly.

                          And why is that, Jarvis?

                          Jarvis, what did she know about him? He had been employed by Dr Bronkelhampton, although Veranassessee had resisted the idea vigorously. The fewer people on the island the better as far as she was concerned. But the doctor had insisted he needed someone to tend the gardens, and in the end she had decided it wasn’t worth making an issue of.

                          I think I might be able to answer that question. Agent Gabriele entered the kitchen. His sudden presence had almost as disconcerting effect on Veranassessee as the revelation that Jarvis knew her identity.

                          A little sideline of our beloved Doctor is to experiment with honeybee mutations. Isn’t that right, Jarvis? And in the process he has discovered a way to alter the chemical composition of the honeycomb. It looks and tastes like honey, but too much of it is deadly.

                          Veranassessee turned to Jarvis. You knew this Jarvis …. but then why leave it in the fridge … and why warn me?

                          Wasn’t me left it in the fridge. I saw it there earlier. I figured the Doctor left it there. Buggered if I know why. He’s an odd one that one. Getting odder by the minute too.

                          A loud clattering outside and they all turned.

                          Winds getting up quickly, said Agent Gabriele in clipped tones. Secure the hives Jarvis. God knows we don’t need mutated bees on the loose. V tell the guests to stay in their rooms and away from the windows, and then meet me in my room. I’ll deal with the Doctor.


                          Bloody windy here aint it. Thought I was coming to a bloody tropical paradise! Mavis was looking outside anxiously.

                          Oh this aint typical. The weathers been grand. We’ve been out bloody sun baking most days.

                          Oh we have! The sun and airs got special beauty qualities here. That Vessie told us that. Encourages us to get out and about.

                          Ere I know what will cheer you up. Lets get a snack from the kitchen. There’s some special ureu beauty biscuits in the pantry, and the chocolate brownies are bloody delicious. Who’d have thought chocolate had special beauty qualities eh. She’s a genius that Vassie. Oh I tell you what, I found some lovely honeycomb in the fridge this morning! Sharon licked her lips in anticipation.

                          Oh I’m bloody drooling here, Sha! You’re a bloody genius you are


                          In reply to: Synchronicity


                            I guess this falls under the category of syncs, though I’ve not yet found all of the implications of this yet…

                            In the various extremely interesting and profound articles I found while browsing the news this morning, I found an intriguing article (FR): “She punches a snake with her bare hands!”. (they could have say “with her bare feet!” or better, “with her bare tits!”, that would have sounded more dramatic, and would have sold best… those wannabe journalists ;)) )

                            Anyways, it tells the vibrant story of a woman named Ruth Butterwurth (sounds like our dear Mrs Butterbutt to me) who punched a python to rescue her kitty from its clutches (well no clutches really, fangs at best) of the monster.

                            The article (which was posted the 23 rd of March, at 14:23, while it’s seems relatively old news) gave a link to a flickr photo with… guess what was on the same page, besides the Nanapython?

                            A lemur, an antelope (looking a bit like a :goat: :yahoo_oh_go_on: ) and a lynx :cat_happy: too. :spider: :y_orly: :yahoo_big_hug:

                            On the python article:

                            In Greek mythology Python was the earth-dragon of Delphi, always represented in the vase-paintings and by sculptors as a serpent. Pytho was the chthonic enemy of Apollo, who slew her and remade her former home his own oracle, the most famous in Classical Greece.

                            Mmm, Mrs Butterbutt and draggies? :detective:


                              tjmarshall (3/6/2008 12:43): Here : Wrick!!!
                              :notepad: Wyrick’s documented interests, besides mound exploration and surveying, included geo-magnetism, anomalous boulders, river terraces, beaver dams and sorghum processing. Wyrick is an archaeologist and had access to the site, he could easily place the stone in an area of his choosing and simply “discover” it the next day.
                              (Newark Decalogue Stone)


                                Another sync, today (the 21) is the Lantern Festival (full moon after the Spring Festival) in Chinese culture.
                                Why the sync, you ask?
                                Besides the red (red lantern), and the cute rabbit lanterns, in French there’s a saying “prendre des vessies pour des lanternes”, lit. to take (pig’s) bladder (used as goatskin flasks) for lanterns… To err, believe stupid things…


                                  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!


                                    Looking at the clearing, where there was seemingly only a little girl on the trunk of a cut down coconut tree, Akita found himself puzzled. A girl, alone, in that dangerous jungle… Might it be a trick from his old enemies? The giant spiders were vicious, and could play some tricks of mind on humans, he’d witnessed before he’d run into Kay, who was granting him some sort of protection. But as far as he knew, they couldn’t do anything that elaborate. They were rather primitive in their projections, and were more inclined to slimy nightmarish visions than cute little dark-skinned girls, however untidy were her clothes…
                                    Besides, Kay seemed to trust her. And she could see him too. Usually, humans other than partners of spirit dogs couldn’t see them, but at times before they reached puberty, children were able to get glimpses of them, Kay had explained him.

                                    Apparently either the girl was a simpleton, or she had an impossible chance not having yet encountered the spiders, being as she were, pretty oblivious to what was around her, and speaking to herself or imaginary friends, while fiddling with a small device the like of which Akita never had seen in his life. The thing was making beeping noises much like a radio emitter, and his heart leapt at the idea that she might break some god-sent transponder found in the wreckage from which she surely had been a miraculous survivor…
                                    Kay, who had been observing and talking to the little girl, came back near Akita in a blink.

                                    — Don’t worry for that device, it’s just a game…
                                    — A game? It seems quite sophisticated for a game…
                                    — It’s my Gamegirl Advanced, said the girl, without detaching her gaze from the tiny screen… But the batteries will soon be dead, she added with a lovely pouting face.
                                    — Better the batteries than you, retorted Akita. So who are you? You can call me Akita… And I guess you’ve already met Kay.
                                    — I’m Anita, but everybody calls me Anu.

                                    She put the tiny thing at her side, and smiled broadly at Akita.

                                    — Wow, you have such strange clothes, it’s like you’re out of one of those black and white war movies that my father used to watch…
                                    — No wonder, little girl, we are at war.
                                    — I’m not a little girl, and I don’t think you’re right. We’re not at war!
                                    — That was probably well intended of your parents to hide you the truth, but thing is we are. I’ve been stranded on this island for months now with these loathsome creatures, and all I can suppose is that these spiders are secret weapons from the Nazis.
                                    — Oh, Nazis? Like in Indiana Jones! Anu started to giggle…
                                    — What do you mean? So you know of Nazis?
                                    — Sure, my great granddad fought them on the beaches of Normandy, that was many years ago.
                                    — I don’t understand… Do you have any idea of what’s going on? Akita asked Kay
                                    — Grwl… All of your human quandaries don’t usually make a great deal of sense to me, if you ask me, but I guess her friends would probably know more…
                                    — Her friends? You mean, her imaginary friends?
                                    — Oh they are not imaginary, Anu and Kay chorused.

                                    — Let me try something, Kay said.

                                    And the ghostly dog form contours started to wobble like a poked cube of jelly, becoming a single ball of phosphorescent ectoplastic energy that started to rotate around Akita. Akita’s vision, disturbed by the movements started to blink at a more rapid rate until his peripheral vision started to show some distinct coloured St Elmo’s fires. They were four he could count, at least for the closest ones. At time they overlapped, and when he was focusing on his peripheral vision, he could get more and more stability in these visions.

                                    Kay had stopped, and was again crouched near Akita.
                                    — That’s all? Akita asked in dismay…
                                    — Now you know the trick, answered Kay, almost shrugging…

                                    — It’s really easy, said Anita, beaming at a disoriented Akita. Also… Yuki told me that apparently time is considerably slowed down on this island. And while a month passes here, ten years pass in the world we come from…


                                      Home, at last… Bernie Eleonara Mynd, Viscountess of Shropshire sighed, dropping her hairy salmon coloured hermine fur coat to the butler.
                                      Now, leave me alone Vigor, I don’t want to be disturbed.
                                      Madam, Vigor bowed deferentially

                                      A smoking teapot of fine herb tea was prepared on the glass coffee table just near a black silk pouch. With a greedy look on her face, she untied voraciously the pouch to reveal the crystal skull she had just acquired.
                                      After a few seconds of beholding the priceless possession, she lifted the teapot lid with a stiff face which eventually smiled blissfully at the smell of the fine Earl Fuchsia crop which was infusing.

                                      Good Lord, that trip was exhausting!… she growled in a very deep voiced that suddenly sounded more male than before.
                                      Didn’t know I had to go as far as Spain to get that darn skull!

                                      Bernie suddenly ripped her fine chignon from her head, revealing a bald head with a few short black hair on the top. She spitted her false teeth, peeled off some wrinkled patches of latex skin, smeared the mascara around her globular eyes and scratched her crotch…

                                      A ruffled sound and a “mmm mmm” suddenly caught her attention off the itchy body parts.

                                      She went to the cupboard, drew a key dangling from a necklace deeply buried inside her ample bosom, then stopped for a moment, and muttered a “bugger” before unbuttoning her tight blouse and removing the corset that was constraining her breath.
                                      Smiling wickedly, she proceeded to open the cupboard, but recoiled at a pale tied and muzzled figure who looked much similar to whoever she was impersonating.

                                      Oh, Lordy, what a stench! There’s no point in making such a fuss Viscountess, this will soon be over… I just needed a few things, and will soon be off, tonight to be precise…

                                      The pale figure whined with pleading eyes.

                                      Oh, just don’t make these eyes at me…

                                      Bugger! I can’t bother with her now, she said to herself, closing the cupboard’s door oblivious to the plaintiff whines. Now, got to move on real quick, before they realize something was wrong with the transaction.


                                      Juan had insisted that they all spent Christmas together before Paqui and Joselito went for their trip. He felt that there was more to this trip that he could grasp, and wanted to share these precious moments now, not wanting to live on regrets.
                                      Now, the new year was here, and he was alone. At least, he’d been more than glad to see Claudio move out. It had all been a lot easier than he’d thought at first. Obviously, when Paquita had said to that maggot that she was going to accompany Joselito to his trip on the whachaname-Kikkoo Island, Claudio had been outraged, probably thinking a good playing victim act would soon make things right for him.
                                      But he’d been wrong altogether. It was not about love for him or the other. It was all about freedom and being what she wanted. And emotional blackmail very quickly proved besides the point.
                                      His father had been proud at Paquita. Her decision obviously was made, and it had been the first time he had seen the frail girl unwavering at the arguments.

                                      The situation had soon proved unbearable for Claudio, who had no longer any reason for hanging around Juan and Paqui’s house, and one day he’d moved out, rather discreetly, not to be heard again. Somehow, Juan was aware of the town’s gossips, that he had acquired some unexpected sum of money, not sure if all very legally, but the thing was that he had decided to take his chances by going some said to Nicaragua, others to Brazil or even to the US…
                                      But who really cared?


                                      On his plane for Valparaiso, Claudio was looking at the letter he’d found in the family trunk. It was a brief correspondence between his grand-father and a certain Cillian Mc Gaughran, and it was linked to the skull he had sold such a handsome price. Perhaps he could get more information about them, if the recluse old man was still alive, that is…


                                      In reply to: Synchronicity


                                        And another movie sync! :yahoo_loser: Watched a cartoon last night on TV called Madagascar .

                                        “Exploring their surroundings, the four friends soon meet the Malagasy locals (a type of lemur given to having loud “rave-like” dance parties :yahoo_oh_go_on: ) and their carnivorous enemies, the fousas (a type of mongoose). As the two sides try to use these four new, strange (and large) friends to their benefit, our heroes are also confronted with the reality of their predestined roles in nature.”

                                        If the King of The Lemurs wasn’t Patel I’ll eat my hat. Hilarious! Unfortunately, despite thoroughly enjoying it, I suddenly fell asleep and missed half of it. :yahoo_rolling_eyes:


                                          Oh you and your delete button, Tina! And what rubbish, ‘we can’t have it not making sense’ Since when did it ever make sense? Don’t try and blame me for your delete disorder, sweetie pooh!

                                          Besides, Tina, you can spell Joe with an E or and A or a U, I still don’t know who the fuck Joe is.

                                          Tina sighed. Becky, have some more coffee.


                                            About time you woke up, came a familiar grumpy voice from behind a pile of logs. Mandrake emerged. And I don’t have fur balls, he added, haughtily.

                                            Mandrake, thank God! Arona had been a little concerned that , given the amount of time presumably had passed, Mandrake may no longer be with them. Tactfully she kept this to herself, given Mandrake’s especially truculent mood.

                                            Please tell me what happened now, she said to Vincentius. I think I am ready to hear.

                                            Vincentius looked uncertain, sighed , but agreed to tell her the tale. Afterwards, Arona was silent for quite some time. She stared thoughtfully at the fire, mesmerised by the dancing flames, gently stroking Mandrakes silky black coat.

                                            Oh bugger, she said eventually and stood up decisively. I really think I have to go and see that old lizardy croney woman, and without delay.

                                            I wish you wouldn’t, but I do understand, said Vincentius sadly.

                                            I don’t understand, said Mandrake crossly, twitching his tail impatiently and narrowing his green eyes

                                            Arona went over to the sleeping Yikesy and studied him with fond interest. He is not getting any better looking with age is he? She kissed him tenderly on the cheek and whispered in his ear.

                                            Thank you so much for caring for him, she said to Vincentius and gave him a huge hug.

                                            On the way out of the cave she ran into Leormn.

                                            Oh, she said, Vincentius said you allowed us to use the room. Thank you so much. And she kissed Leormn on what she thought would be his cheek, however, a little unsure of Dragon anatomy, it may have been technically a snout or something.

                                            Arona walked rapidly for several hours, trying to concentrate on the directions given to her by Vincentius and hoping that she was headed in the right direction. Eventually she started to tire and her determination faded. She sat down on a rock and closed her eyes. Her shoulders slumped in weariness and she despondently wished she was back in the cave with the others. She felt deeply sad.

                                            And is this something you really must face? asked a kindly voice in her head.

                                            I have no idea really, she answered despairingly. I don’t know. I mean I thought I knew. I thought if I didn’t then I would always be in fear. When I looked into the flames of the fire it all seemed clear. I needed to understand and face it, I thought anyway….

                                            hmmm, said the voice. Well the best advice I can give you is to trust yourself.

                                            Arona opened her eyes and saw, to her surprise, a small cottage in the distance. Why, I don’t remember that cottage being there a moment ago, she thought. It looks just as Vincentius described. How remarkable. I was closer than I thought! Her spirits rose.

                                            Outside the cottage the old crone was bent over, digging in a small vegetable plot. A basket of cabbages sat by her side. She stood up at Arona’s approach, wiping the dirt from her gnarly hands on her apron.

                                            Hello Arona, she cackled. I have been expecting you. I don’t believe we were properly introduced last time. My name is Lucille. And she held out a hand for Arona to shake.

                                            I have come to get some answers from you, said Arona, firmly crossing her arms and ignoring the outstretched hand.

                                            Lucille sighed and dropped her hand. Her pointy chin quivered, and Arona noticed a big wart, with one thick black hair growing out of it, right on the tip of lucille’s chin. She tried not to stare.

                                            Alright little one, Lucille said soflty. Why don’t you go and wait in the orchard. I will go and fix us a nice, cool drink of lemonade.

                                            The orchard was full of old fruit trees, their twisted trunks reminded Arona of Lucille herself. From one of the trees hung an old swing. Arona sat on it, holding the rope, and gently rocked herself back and forwards, thinking. She had to admit, she was, quite frankly puzzled. The visit so far wasn’t going as expected.

                                            She kept rocking, faster now.

                                            She hit her heels into the hard earth again and again.

                                            I don’t know. She tried to dig these words into the earth with her heels.

                                            Then she sidestepped her feet in crab-like movements in diminishing circles. The ropes of the swing twisted tighter and tighter.

                                            Arona leant backwards and stuck her legs out straight in front of her. The ropes unwound and sent her spinning. weeeeeeeeeeee hoooooooooooooooo!

                                            She looked up into the sky. Blue sky through the trees with racing spinning clouds. She felt dizzy.

                                            She stood up and braced herself against the seat of the swing. She held onto the ropes and pushed hard against the seat beneath her. She bent her knees under the swing. She kicked her feet forwards.

                                            She wanted to go higher. She bent her legs back under the swing. Then kicked them outwards. She stretched her body backwards and arched her back.

                                            I don’t know, she whispered.

                                            She sat upright. She bent her legs back under the swing. Then kicked them as hard as she could. She leant her body backwards. She stretched as far as she could. On the rebound her heels hit the ground hard, but still she wanted to keep going higher and higher.

                                            I DON’T KNOW! she shouted, as loudly as she could.


                                            Lucille returned with the lemonade.

                                            How do I know if it is safe to drink this? Arona asked. You have cast one spell on me, how am I to know this is not another?

                                            Lucille cackled. Dear little Arona, she said, if I wanted to cast a spell on you I would have done it before now.

                                            Okay, well that makes good sense, thought Arona, gratefully drinking the lemonade.

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