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      Bea sighed loudly, and dragged a tissue across her sweaty face. Leonora obviously hadn’t heard her, so Bea sighed loudly again.

      What’s up with you now? asked Leo, who wasn’t really paying attention to Bea’s incessant whining.

      Oh I dunno, I just don’t know what I want to do, Bea grumbled. My head’s in a fog. I’ve got hundreds of ideas, but I don’t want to do any of them badly enough to even think about starting anything. So then I try to sort a few thing out, you know, so I can bloody find things again, and I just end up with a big pile of bloody miscellaneous. It’s the bane of my life, all the miscellaneous stuff that defies categorizing. I should have been called Miss A. Laneous. I start to sort things out and then I get sidetracked; I never finish any sorting out, I just end up with more and more miscellaneous….her voice trailed off miserably.

      Leo swiveled round in the computer chair, took off her glasses and glared at Bea. Bea, you know you always find what you need by trusting that you’ll find what you need when you need to find it. You’ve told me that time and time again. You’ve droned on and on about that, how you love finding ‘just the thing’ and ‘by accident’ and now you’re sitting there moaning and groaning because for some inexplicable reason ~ Leonora rolled her eyes ~ you think that having things neatly ordered would be a better way.

      Well, it would be nice to be able to find what I’m looking for, Leo, Bea retorted.

      Well if you found what you were looking for right away, you silly cow, you wouldn’t find all those other magical bloody surprises by friggen accident, now would you?

      There’s no need to be rude, Bea said sniffily.

      Now it was Leo’s turn to sigh. Why don’t you bugger off outside and find something to appreciate, you grumpy old bat. “Oh! look at this, Bea!” Leo exclaimed, “Look what I just found by accident!”

      Leo swiveled the computer screen round so that her friend could see.

      Illi sat up and surveyed her surroundings. The sky was a deep azure blue, the sun was making twinkling stars on the waters of the lagoon, a warm gentle breeze rustled the coconut palm leaves, and birds sang and twittered in the foliage. It was indeed idyllic, and Illi decided to simply enjoy it, while her new ideas formed into a reality.

      Illi was enjoying a new found freedom in her contentment, in not pushing her energy in frustration, and meandered happily around the island taking mental snapshots of a thousand delightful and marvelous wonders, appreciating even the smallest most insignificant things. Time lost all sense of meaning: there were deep velvet indigo skies full of sequins, and there were abstract multicoloured sunrises and sunsets; there were cottonwool clouds in cartoon shapes suspended on a canvas of blue. It mattered not the day or night; there was no longer a sense of time passing, just a glorious collage of appreciation and beauty.”

      Bea read the excerpt reluctantly, and harumphed.

      Oh for Gut’s sake, Bea! Leo was getting exasperated. Try appreciating miscellaneous floundering fog then.


        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?


          Chris Robin’s brief sojourn in the past had been an interesting one. He’d only spent a couple of hours in the year 2034 and had unfortunately arrived during a rainstorm. He arrived back in the year 2163 soaked to his skin, but grinning like a Cheshire cat. Armed only with the time travellers password, ‘Tarty Nun’, Chris had expected to spend alot more time trying to making contact with a TF, or ‘timetravellers friend’ than he did; he was astonished to see a tarty nun almost immediately upon arrival.

          The girl was giggling to herself, and reciting limericks as she wandered aimlessly through the bushes, looking really quite fetching in an interesting little garment. As she brushed past him, seemingly oblivious to his presence, he heard her whisper the password. “… coming… in … tarty nun…..”


            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.


              Elioctyl had been trying in vain for years to attract the attention of the museum cleaning lady, Ella Marie Tindale.

              Ella Marie had lived in Alabama all her life, and her parents before her. Some of her ancestors were native to this land, some from the distant shores of Africa. She loved the stories of the old ones, passed down through the generations, stories told at family gatherings and celebrations. Ella Marie had never learned to read, but she remembered all the stories word for word, including her own stories. Ah, her own stories! She kept her own stories to herself, she never forgot the horrified silence when, as a child of five, she had voiced one of her stories at a family gathering. A silence had descended like a pall in the dining room that day.

              She shivered at the memory as she dusted the glass case covering the mummy, and Elioctyl, seizing upon the moment as a possible chance to get Ella Marie’s attention, whispered loudly.

              Ella! It’s me, you silly goose, it’s me, I mean YOU!

              Duster suspended in mid-air, Ella Marie quickly looked around to make sure nobody was watching her. All her life she’d been one step away from the funny-farm; she knew she had to be careful.

              Are you speaking to ME? she asked the mummy, incredulously. She’d spoken to trees before, and heard them reply, but never a mummy.

              Sheesh! exclaimed the mummy, At LAST! Over 3,000 years I’ve been whispering to you, and finally, you heard me.

              Ella Marie looked furtively over her shoulder, and then whispered back: Well, what for? What do you want?

              I want you to get me the fuck out of here, that’s what!

              Ella Marie clamped her work worn hands over her ears. You mind your language! she admonished the mummy. I don’t wonder I wasn’t listening to you all those years, coming out with language like that! Pfft….

              Metaphorically speaking, the mummy raised its eyebrows and sighed.


                Smiling warmly, and stretching luxuriously and rather felinely, Illi woke up from her dream. The sun had been shining in her dream, as indeed it was on the beach of the sand dragons where she had fallen asleep all those many moons ago. She had many projects underway in her dream, lots of interesting ideas to be sorted out and she knew that many dear ones had been with her in the dream: hiding under tables, and in cupcoards….some in the fridge, some in the lavatory cistern; lending energy and support, albeit behind the scenes. That they were not visibly helping didn’t mean that they weren’t there, in a spirit of helpful cooperation, Illi knew, and she felt comforted.

                When Illi had fallen asleep, she had been bored, hopelessly frustrated . The delights of the island paradise had palled rather quickly. Sure, she could create whatever she wanted, and she had had fun for awhile creating sand creatures and so on, but she had realized that she missed the surprises, the interactions with others, things not going according to plan… her objective plan, at any rate.

                Illi was beginning to accept the fact that she was ‘dead’, at last, but she was starting to see that it wasn’t the ‘end’, but an opportunity for a new beginning.

                Illi sat up and surveyed her surroundings. The sky was a deep azure blue, the sun was making twinkiling stars on the waters of the lagoon, a warm gentle breeze rustled the coconut palm leaves, and birds sang and twittered in the foliage. It was indeed idyllic, and Illi decided to simply enjoy it, while her new ideas formed into a reality.


                Illi was enjoying a new found freedom in her contentment, in not pushing her energy in frustration, and meandered happily around the island taking mental snapshots of a thousand delightful and marvellous wonders, appreciating even the smallest most insignificant things. Time lost all sense of meaning: there were deep velvet indigo skies full of sequins, and there were abstract multicoloured sunrises and sunsets; there were cottonwool clouds in cartoon shapes suspended on a canvas of blue. It mattered not the day or night; there was no longer a sense of time passing, just a glorious collage of appreciation and beauty.


                  The glowing light was showing a familiar face…

                  — So the boy is wavering?
                  — Yes. He is uncertain of the path… Does seem to have difficulty to trust his calling and take responsibilities being the owner of…
                  — He’ll do that. We can’t let him run away from it, nor afford the time of little vacationing. Did you secure the item?
                  — Yes. But you know it is worthless unless willingly handed over by the previous owner, right?
                  — Certainly. But I feel he’ll soon wish it back.
                  — I have words of cankerous corruption, endemic to where he was sent.
                  — Precisely.

                  :fleuron2: :fleuron2: :fleuron2:

                  Glasgow, Scotland, February 25 th 2068, Wrick Fundation

                  — So Cuthbert has refused?
                  — Yes. With his sister busy with her first-born, she can’t take on that much responsibility either.
                  — This is most regrettable. Lord Wrick’s will was perfectly clear though. Should none of the twins accept running his empire, all of its wealth would be used for humanitarian projects of the Fundation.


                  A week before, Orkney Islands

                  Cuthbert, you must accept.
                  — Please, don’t wear yourself out Pope. Your body is weak.

                  Cuthbert’s face was drenched by emotion. Despite his small frame and his scrawny body, Lord Hilarion Wrick’s strong will was still present, as if etched on his face by all the years of reign. He wouldn’t take a “no” for answer, even now he was dying, just as he had never accepted it in his nearly 120 years of existence.

                  Cuthbert, listen to me. All this time you and your sister have spent at the Manor, all of the time I spent with you, this was not meant for naught, you know that. I was not some old decrepit rag of an elder waiting for his death cushioned between the laughters of his great-grand children. I noticed how you and your sister handled at an early age what I have been showing to you. The books,… the mummy even. This was only a test. What I had not found in Sean, nor in his son, I found out in you and your sister. Mind you, it took me that long, but it was worth the wait, and I know how to be patient.
                  — You’re repeating yourself Pope, I know this story. I am very grateful for all that you did, all the knowledge I owe to you, but I can’t accept. It’s just… too much! I just want to spend these moments with you.
                  — You just cannot whine throughout all of your existence Cuthbert. You chose to be born here, at this moment, in that family. There is no point in refusing what you have placed on your path.
                  — I’m not whining! It’s just that… I just want a normal life! answered Cuthbert vehemently
                  — Very well then. The face on the Lord was resolute despite his writhing in pain. You will have to see how much life is nothing meant to be normal. In the meantime, I would appreciate your letting me die alone.


                    The cave was silent, except for the sounds of water springing from one of the wall.
                    The night was long and full of dreams. Georges and Salome were here since a few weeks now, and the were spending a lot of time with Malvina, talking about many things from different places that Irtak had never heard of. One was called New York City, another was called Vienna, another was the Smoo Cave and there were so many more… Malvina seemed to know most of them. That was the first time he ever wondered how old she could be. Since his arrival here, it had never come to his mind that she could be “old”. He knew she was wiser than most of the Elders, but she seemed so young.

                    She had magic. Maybe that was the key to her youth.

                    He felt Heckle and Jeckle stretching their attention in their dream state. Their bodies were lying together on the warm sandy floor, and their light bodies were playing around. He could see them flickering in and out of the room. He could follow them if he wanted, but his mind was full of the places their guests had described.


                    Georges and Salome were lying on an improvised bed, made of a snoot fur on the warm sandy floor. He was holding her tenderly. Their energy gently merged in a single movement. They were fully opened to one another and Salome was creating an inner landscape for them both to play in. Sam’s body was lying nearby, and her spirit was frolicking around in this inner landscape.

                    They were sitting in the center of a clearing, at night time. The sky was full of stars and Georges did recognized the sky of the Murtuane. An owl was hooting not far away, sated after her hunt. They could feel her contentment, the hunt was good, several big mice tonight…

                    Malvina was with them, and appreciating of the environment. She had had few occasions of going to the Murtuane herself. Even though she was so close, living on the Duane, its planetary sister.

                    Where are we exactly? asked Malvina.
                    Not so far away from the purple beach of Kandulim where Jarvis once came. Jarvis is a focus of Georges. And he surprised me once… Salome recalled that event with amusement.
                    Georges grinned widely and chuckled.
                    Yes, I can remember.

                    Malvina sighed with relief.
                    You are aware that my sisters are coming soon to the cave.
                    Yes, we could feel the calling, so to speak. This is the crossroad of many probabilities, and it is connected to many, though not as spread as the shift in “our” dimension is or was, depending on when you project your attention.
                    It was Malvina’s turn to grin now.
                    Yes, I am aware. It will be soon time for us to move the cave into another location.




                    Sam got on her legs and barked, quite surprised by this sudden blinking in and out of the dragon.

                    HAHAHA, we didn’t even have the time to seem surprised. said Georges. Lëormn was quick. And he likes being in himself.

                    Salome got on her feet and stroked Sam playfully. The dog was licking her face with affection, and stopped suddenly. She seemed to have heard something.

                    The owl hooted again.

                    My sisters are closer than what I first thought. This owl is an aspect of Oorlaith. Malvina’s gaze became distant for a few seconds. She won’t come tonight with us, though she gives you her fond appreciation. She’s currently busy with a man you already know… Leonard. Another one like yourself :)
                    Salome raised one eyebrow.
                    Leonard his here too? That’s an interesting information :) things won’t be dull with him if I dare say so. ;))
                    I think he’s got a crush on her. He’s doing some stuffs for her at times… and he’s still with his dog.
                    Sam barked a few times, waggling her tail and Georges grinned.
                    You remember Moufle, eh!? Well, do you know where you’re going Malvina?

                    She looked at him intensely and then at Salome.
                    You might be surprised.


                    In reply to: Synchronicity


                      I just read Eric’s last comment and noticed that at the end of it it is about Dutch experts and creating a dam and stuff :p well today I was in the metro and heard 2 men talking about a similar subject, architecture stuff and sharing there experiences and thoughts. I wanted to make it a sync :) since I wouldn’t read the comment yesterday but today.

                      And also I wanted to write something because it was such a long time since I last wrote something or had any impulse to write a comment in the story… it’s more like all is currently suspended.


                        Khris was bodyflumping in a rain forest.
                        She was almost flying from one tree to another tree, jumping from the mossy floor to the top of the forest, and even higher at times, some times suspended in the air, redistributing the gravity around her.
                        It was tremendously fun and she was flumping with Eschraiel. Usually blond guy with blue eyes and quite a fun temper. He was enjoying bodyflumping too. They were with some other friends and some were hiding like ninjas, setting booby traps, physically and energetically.

                        It was really a mess.


                          As soon as Anadron noticed the signal, he sent an energy thread to his friend Goldarny. The whole community was buzzing in the collective innernet of Asaris, the signal couldn’t have been clearer. It was one of the legendary devices sent to this world a few centuries ago. There were originally 9 of them. One had been broken or “lost”. The eight other devices had been silent for many years, and the Asarisi had thought the knowledge of these devices had been lost by the inhabitants.

                          Among many collective threads and more private ones, Anadron and Goldarny were exchanging energy.

                          The device had been lost for so many years that the Council had suspended the explorations to this world many years ago. Following the Salitre Massacre, their policy was if they were not contacted first they would not interfere. One of the eight remaining skulls had been almost activated for communication. Not quite yet. So they would not send anyone.

                          Both friends were thinking the same thing. Andrimiñ was currently away in another dimension, one with many portals… could he loose his way home? They were both quite novice at these explorations and they were indeed curious, very curious.


                          What was considered a green star was shining upon the land of Nerumyil, giving the purple sand of the beaches some shimmering magpie shades. Falghrus had been observing the human since one of the Daughters of the Sea had brought him here. He couldn’t see any reason for her action… The Zentauras were discrete and respectful creatures… mostly respectful of one’s position in the society, and Falghrus was not one of the few Ambassadors of his People. Interfering would have been very misplaced. All he could do was send a magpie to alert the Council, and it would decide the right thing to do.

                          One of his first reactions would have been to kill the man. None of them was allowed in this territory. Nerumyil had been hidden to their perception long ago. If that creature of the Sea hadn’t brought him here, he could never have reached the beach on his own. He had respected his position until now, though he had tried to dissuade the man to stay longer with his mental abilities. He was one of the Gatherer, but he had a few skills that he could have developed if he had chosen the path of a Healer.

                          But that creature again had warned him, almost breaking the rule. The man was under her protection.
                          The beach was a neutral territory. Between the Land and the Sea, no soul should be harmed. This was usually respected between the Zentauras and the People of the Sea. The humans were not part of this rule. And Falghrus had them in particular distaste.

                          This one seemed quite weak. He would have helped him end his suffering without the protection she had decided to accord to him so graciously. But he won’t stop his observation… he would find a way.



                            ‘Ere!, I saw you take that.

                            Let go of me, I didn’t do nothing.

                            I aint blind and I aint stupid, lad. I saw you put your thieving hand in this ladies handbag. Now what you got?

                            Nothing. Just this coin. It’s for me mam, she’s at home poorly, dying, and we aint got no food. ‘Ere, take it. it won’t happen again.

                            You’re right it won’t happen again because you’ll be going to the gallows I’ll be bound. I know your face. You’re one of them Magpies. I’ve ‘ad my eye on you for some time. You’re clever at covering tracks I’ll grant you that, but not clever enough it seems.

                            Look Mr Constable, I don’t know nothing about no magpies, they thieving birds aint they? It was for me poor old mam, I swear to God, if I be lying may ‘e strike me down dead.

                            No more blasphemy from you. I expect the good Lord’s got better things to do than spend his time striking down lying thieves. Thing is you’ve been been caught thieving from this lady and it’s not looking too good for you right now.

                            And I will thank you Ma’am for your courageous co-operation. said Constable Marshall O’Riley, turning galantly to the finely dressed woman, clutching her handbag tightly to her person. You have been victim of a heinous crime, and I would wish to trouble your gentle self no more with this matter. But I will thank you for your details and be assured I shall call upon you should we need you to give further evidence.

                            No sooner had the lady gone than Constable O’Riley turned to the young thief.

                            Now you listen to me carefully, young lad. I have an idea that, if you play your hand right, might save you from hanging.

                            I’m listening.

                            You and me is not two figures to be seen together, except for somewhere private. I want you to talk to the one what leads your little gang. I have an idea that could be of mutual benefit. I will let you go now, and you be here tomorrow same time, and I will tell you where the meeting will be held. I’ve ‘ad my eyes on your gang for quite some time, all I needed to convict you was to catch you red ‘anded, and I got that now. So If you ain’t here, I know where to find you lot, and I swear I’ll drag you in front of the magistrate. Do as I say though and we could all be laughing.


                              Elizabeth Tattler gasped and clutched the right side of her chest. For a moment she wondered if the sharp pain she felt was a heart attack, and was greatly relieved when she realised it was located on the other side of her chest. After some investigation of her cluttered desk, she realised she must have fallen asleep on the pyramid shaped pencil sharpener her friend Yannie P had given her for her last birthday. It was made of fake blue diamond and was really rather beautiful; she could see thousands of suspended dust particles in it’s reflected light. But it was damn sharp! A thought flashed through her head, was the gift really a cunning plot to murder her? She shook her head at her own absurdity, anyway, fortunately the five layers of Angora-Mongoat wool jerseys she was wearing had protected her from more serious injury.

                              She could not help but notice how the consistently the quote of the day seemed so in tune with her moods. It was almost uncanny:

                              Bugger your feelings~ Tobipooh

                              Damn right! If she listened to her feelings she would go home and sleep for a week. No time for that, no time for a nana nap even! She had a novel to write.


                                Outside the apartment, the sky was a pale grey, with some delicate hues of more silvered clouds of smoke spewed out by the brick and concrete chimneys. Winter time was a few degrees warmer in the big city than in the countryside, on most of the scales he could think of: temperature, decibels at least,… and certainly a few others he didn’t know of.

                                Yurick (or Quintin as he was still known) was spending some time at his friend Gustav ’s place, Gustav having moved a while ago from Vienna to Paris, for a new job opportunity in the gaming industry. Gustav was living for a large part in a fantasy world full of trolls, ogres, thieves, demonists and other creatures, which made his conversations always fascinating. It was like he could get his own information about some shifty aspects in consciousness, and they were translated rather undistortedly through these fantasy adventures.

                                To Yurick, Paris felt almost less familiar than these other dimensional worlds, and bearably less colourful. But when he’d come back the day before, he had found not much changed, and the ambivalence he felt towards Paris wasn’t a stark dislike, as he could have felt some months before. Furthermore, as he was becoming closer to Yann, colours were coming back into his perception of that odd reality.

                                And it seemed that Yurick was developing an uncanny propensity to see 23 or 53 each time he looked up at the clock. Making him wonder if that could have any use at all ;)).


                                  oh for fucks sake Becky! Where did that come from? Tina resisted an urge to laugh hysterically.

                                  Wow said Becky, isn’t it great! It just came from nowhere!

                                  fun, fun, fun, muttered Tina. It is just fun, none of it matters.

                                  hahaha said Becky, yes, isn’t it fun! and I thought it would give Al something to do. He seems to spend alot of time fretting about his hair and nails lately,


                                    Jose Maria stood sadly in front of the plate glass window. He avoided looking in mirrors, tried to forget his disfiguring scars, but occasionally he caught sight of his reflection in a window, and it always came as a shock. He avoided leaving the finca as much as possible, but had felt obliged to visit his frail and aged mother in the Residencia old folks home. His uncle Juan had come trundling up the dirt track to the farm in his clapped out old Citroen van, with the news that Josefina was expected to die within the week, and Jose Maria had agreed to make the trip into town.

                                    A pointless trip really, Josefina hadn’t recognized him, had called him Sally at first, and tried to kiss him; and then later she’d shrunk from him in fear, calling him Pierre.

                                    Three days later Josefina was dead. Jose was required to make another trip into town, much to his dismay, to the funeral. He stood quietly at the back during the ceremony, next to his cousin Paquita, who was attempting to hide a bad case of acne behind her long black hair. Jose Maria smiled at her kindly, and she smiled gratefully back.

                                    Paquita and Jose stayed close to each other for the rest of the day, and Paquita’s family invited Jose to spend the night at their apartment in town. Jose hesitated, but when he noticed Paqui’s hopeful expression, he relented and accepted courteously.

                                    Long after the rest of the family had gone to bed, Jose and Paqui sat on the balcony overlooking the industrial estate and the superstores, in companiable silence. Jose’s scars, and Paquita’s acne no longer visible in the darkness, they had both relaxed, and wondered vaguely why they’d never really noticed each other before.

                                    Paqui broke the silence. Well, you’ll have no worries now about money, Joselito.

                                    What do you mean? asked Jose.

                                    Well, Josefina won the lottery, and you’re her only child, Jose, it will all be yours.

                                    Jose’s mouth opened and closed like a goldfish. Lottery? Oh you must be mistaken, my mother doesn’t have any money. WHAT lottery win?


                                      Frankly, Malvina seems a bit down, Tina said to Al after having read the play’s entry.
                                      Oh, well, I suppose she has too her bad hair days… sighed Al who had shaved his hair in a mohawk this morning. He was thinking of trying some new beliefs adjustments so that he would be able to regulate more precisely the flow of his hairs…
                                      In fact, he knew it was just as easy as knowing that the hair do not grow, just like trees do not grow.
                                      A bit like the mummy in that old book from Anne Rice who could just absorb the rays of the sun to regenerate his body…


                                      Malika was painting her toenails. Bright fuchsia.
                                      She would spend Thanksgiving with her family, and felt some lightness would be very needed in that environment.
                                      She had decided on a white outfit, with light blue and white coach purse and little heeled shoes.
                                      A little quartz pendant to complete the ensemble would be perfect.


                                      Malvina had finished preparing the vials of silgreen bloom’s potion. There were thirty three of them, all lined up, and now she could go for her walk to the village.
                                      Strangely, she became aware of an energy; in fact two energies. They were diffuse in the background before, but now, they were popping to the forefront, and very intensely.

                                      That was unexpected…


                                      Salome had thought of a gift for Malvina. She had shown it mentally to Georges, and he had smiled in her mind warmly.
                                      And as they walked into the tunnels, they started to gather particles of matter of that dimension around their focus of attention, and slowly started to become translucent bodies, and then fully focused.

                                      The gift was following them.


                                        :multimedia: CUUUUUT !

                                        — Ahahaha, I’m sorry, that must be the sauerkraut we had for lunch!
                                        — You’re kiddin’ or what? I tell you for the 58 th time, it’s supposed to be a dramatic scene filled with suspended horror and… Shite! Perhaps you’d prefer to have it Broadway-like, Teri sweetie? With parrot feathers jabbed into your bum and fairies dangling from the roof singing La Traviata?…

                                        — Err… You can say that’s because of the fermentation gas produced by the mould inside the mummy, and that her reviving her physiological tissues would naturally generate…
                                        — Who the hell is that f*cking know-it-all?
                                        — I’m the historical consultant, John Davis
                                        — Historical WHAT? Betty’s gonna hear me, I can tell ya, as if we’ve got ‘nuff budget to bother with… Aaah, get lost! Now, everyone get ready for the… Ooooh bugger! Let’s do it tomorrow.

                                        Marvin Scrozzezi went to his caravan exasperated. The movie wasn’t going very well, and there were all these impossible deadlines… His worst concern was about the damn budget. He’d thought it was a good idea to hire that expensive castle to do the movie. An adaptation from a book he had found recently.
                                        He had bargained with the author to get the rights, and that had been tough, considering his previous movies were not quite that kind of great historical epic he was supposed to do now.
                                        At least she had not laughed when Marvin had told her his most successful movie was The Return of the Avenging Dame Zombie of the Lake
                                        What a mess… Sure a good night of sleep would make it all right.


                                          November, 1 st 2057

                                          Sean took another glass of scotch to give him some courage to call.

                                          — It’s your twelfth now, that’s supposed to give you courage
                                          — Oh, Maggie, my live is such a mess…
                                          — It’s not, and you know it. Look at all our beautiful children, and Becky who went through so much just out of love for you…

                                          Sean didn’t know whether he was actually seeing the ghost of his deceased wife, or a projection of her, still alive in another part of the Universe, but she always had been a comforting presence.
                                          He had started to see her a few months after her disappearance.
                                          Yes, during that T.R.A.P. expedition, yeah, “live-changing experience” they had said… True, too true… Perhaps the electromagnetic field had messed up with his brains, but now he could see her clear as day.

                                          That had been a bit freaky in the beginning, and when they made love with Becky, he was a bit anxious to see her appear not invited. But Margaret had been discrete, well mostly. At times, he wondered if she had not sneaked into the bedroom and merged her energies with Becky’s, just to be closer to him… Becky’s acts did not always make sense anyway, so that was hardly a criterion to judge of that.

                                          All his live had been like that. A jumble of incoherent stuff. Oh, he had enjoyed it, especially at the beginning. His father Lord Wrick was obsessed with the Shift, and had found some ancient knowledge in his youth. Mostly rubbish by nowadays standards, bunches of rotten books of prophecies handed down to a few chosen ones, who were supposed to be forewarned of doom to come. Now, they knew that they were only a wake up call, but at that time, it was another thing altogether.

                                          Of course, the wealth accumulated over the centuries by the Wrick family had been helpful to access these precious archaeological documents. A few of them had played a key role.
                                          For instance, the in-extenso Life and Deeds of Lord Gustard Willoughby Fergusson, a rare version of the diary of Lord Fergusson, annotated by his daughter, Illi, was telling an account of history much different than the one romanced after his death by his wife Floribunda von Grott.
                                          Thanks to it, Lord Wrick had been able to acquire some inkling as to ancient treasures. Old fool…
                                          It had killed his wife, Artemisia, devastated by the madness of her husband, and it had alienated the other part of the family too.
                                          But all that counted was to make the discoveries, and perhaps enlight the masses.

                                          Sean had never really forgave his father that he wanted to utilise Margaret and have her fit into his plans of grandeur. Of course, his father had willingly accepted the union, and despite all appearances (for the sake of those rapacious journalists) he had even pushed Sean to do it quickly. But all he was really interested in was her precious discoveries.

                                          — Oh, but I was not innocent, Sean
                                          — I know Maggie, you were obsessed by what we could offer to you, especially when you read about the botanical experiments in the deserts, which were related in that old book. But still…
                                          — We all had grown up through that, you know…
                                          — Yes, and what showed me that, was that I was concerned that the old vampire would suck my own children into his web, but Peregrine was too free for that, and Guinevere preferred to live her live outside of this madness too.
                                          Becky had a good influence. Do me a favour, be kind to her.
                                          — You know what?… Yes of course you’d know,… but let me tell you, so that we can laugh together… I found myself really happy and free when I stole the two magical books out of the Old Fool’s clutch. God knows how he acquired them, but one thing was sure, he was obsessed with them. I couldn’t get the mummy, but the books were a great take.
                                          — And a funny idea to give them to your cousin…
                                          — Yes, Dorean was the perfect person. I couldn’t leave them anywhere, my father would have found them again. At least he wasn’t in good terms with his brother and sister-in-law, so they were safe in their care. And at least, they were more grounded than my father, the perfect keepers for the books… I’m wondering what happened to them…
                                          — That will upset you, but Perry’s twins got them.
                                          — Oh really?
                                          — Yes, and they are having fun with them, as was intended.
                                          — That’s fine then, and we are less obsessed now than we were before, so I guess my father isn’t as much as a pain in the butt as he was…
                                          — You father meant good
                                          — Yes, like everyone, but why can’t we leave people alone at times? People can sort out their issues without the commiseration, and the good intentions… It’s poison even worse… Like I can drink and still be healthy, and nice, and…

                                          Sean started to sob.

                                          — I know, darling, but you’re as much of a sore as your father was… You focus so much on what’s not going right, and you don’t even appreciate that you can talk with your departed wife… That was nothing as easy in the old days.
                                          — Do you think my father talks with mum to?
                                          — I think he would be too proud to admit he is sorry… That may hinder the communication… But Arty wouldn’t bear grudge now. When we let go of the physical, things become so clear, we can only be accepting of everything. Perhaps you prefer to wait for your father to cross over? I can tell you something, that won’t be easier. That much I know.
                                          — You’re right. It’s just that I don’t know how to start…
                                          — Be yourself, talk about what you enjoy, where is your passion now… Perhaps that is the problem. You’re drowning your passion in your scotch.
                                          — You’re right… I’ll tell him Léan will have a baby.
                                          — Oh, he’ll love it!
                                          — How time flies… sighed Sean, I still remember the little sweetie as a blue-eyed laughing baby herself, with Oliver and Illana. She was the only one of the triplet to have inherited her mother’s dark complexion. She’s so beautiful…
                                          — Let’s call your father darling
                                          — Yes, let’s call him.


                                          Lord Wrick had not expected to received that call. Well, he had renounced it so long ago.
                                          He had been a bit shaken, but also relieved. He had proposed, on an impulse, to invite that whole part of the family he barely knew, Sean’s new partner, and all their children for next Christmas in the castle. Sean had told him they would probably come with Becky but that the children were now having their own lives, and it would have to be for another time.


                                          Lord Wrick went to see Bill, who was now painting the portraits of Peregrine and Linda in the veranda.
                                          He would probably have to stay longer, to paint a lot of new family portraits.

                                          That probably would come perfectly, as ever, as the Lord could tell India Louise loved to spend time with the painter. Perhaps she would become an artist too… :sumari:


                                            The rain was pouring cabbages :weather-showers: for several days now, almost the whole week… Baul was fed up with that filthy weather of Cromash Tur. The capital of this 4th kingdom was quite nice and pleasurable, but it lacked sun and warmth… Baul had come to Nâabooli, the capital of Cromash, in order to settle an arrangement. Something quite particular that he couldn’t find in his own land of Erpet Mesh. He’d been travelling for weeks with his guards and servants when he arrived in the city and all that for some foo’kin rain! But something more important than brooding and pouting was on his mind.

                                            Tonight he was alone, no servant, no guard… he was wearing a black coat made of goat skin on his usual blue and yellow silk robe, he couldn’t wear anything else, his skin was too smooth and delicate. He was spending great amount of money to take care of his body, it was his own pride, and he considered himself as a very handsome and appealing male.

                                            The man he was about to meet wasn’t hiding, but oddly was acting in full sight. Nonetheless, Baul didn’t want to be seen with him, Baul was an ambassador of sort from Erpet and he couldn’t be seen entering in an Assassin’s house. In Cromash, the Assassins were quite a respectable and wealthy, but in Erpet they were outlaw… one of the numerous differences between the two kingdoms, one they would never agree upon. Baul found it quite useful though; many times he’d met Ar’Am Khra, one of the best of this profession.

                                            For this meeting, as always, Baul had chosen a tavern, the Landgurdy, called after one of the former 12 kingdoms. The 4 remaining ones were at war most of the times, they couldn’t maintain peace more than a few years at best, and Baul had found many ways of benefiting of this situation. Merchant, Ambassador, and much more. He was thriving with plotting :face-angel: :face-devil-grin: and it was quite useful to be one of the ambassadors of Erpet Mesh, offering him safety wherever he was going. It was one of the few respected rules that were common between the Warring Kingdoms.

                                            The Landgurdy was quite a crowded tavern, and the owner was a friend of his, though not really officially. There was that private room on the rear of the building, know only of a few chosen “friends”, so they could enter unnoticed by the usual customers and by would be spies. The rear door was seemingly leading into another building, and some arrangements had been made over the years.

                                            Baul knocked the code at the door, and a vasistas was open quickly and closed even more quickly. The door opened then and he entered in the darkness of the house. If anyone opened the door, he or she wasn’t there anymore, but Baul knew the place quite well as it wasn’t his first meeting with the Assassin.


                                            The Assassin was waiting in the small room, square shaped with only a wood table and one chair. No window. One dim lamp.
                                            He was sitting on the lone carved chair. His clients needn’t sit.
                                            They were mere beggers.
                                            The one that was coming now, was quite amusing.
                                            The first time he met him, Baul was quite young and inexperienced in his own skills. Though he was quite ambitious, Ar’Am Khra had to admit it.
                                            The usual reaction when seeing the Assassin’s pale complexion was shivers and disgust. He was used to it and it was a game that he had enhanced with a little bluish glowing dagger tattooed on his forehead.
                                            The dagger was the mark of his profession, though not so obviously exhibited by the others. Cowards.
                                            At that first meeting, Baul didn’t react the way his other clients did. And it was not influenced by his utmost concerns at that time. Beside his inexperience he was quite engrossed in what he had called his “mission”.
                                            Ar’Am Khra did not know of any mission, there were merely contracts.
                                            And he was doing what his clients were paying for.
                                            Accomplishing his contract even after the death of his clients.

                                            He was remembering of an amusing event.
                                            A client had hired him to end the life of another man, and the second man went a few days after to his office to beg him to kill the first man.
                                            The Assassin accepted the contract.
                                            A few days later he killed the second man.
                                            He executed the first one not long after that, thus respecting the second contract. :yahoo_skull:

                                            He never questioned the motives of his clients.
                                            It was not for him to judge or to understand. Though most of the time he did understand quite well.
                                            His main motivation was the payment and his own pride in expressing his skill with subtleties and newness.

                                            The door opened smoothly. Baul entered the room.



                                            Yann and Quintin had an interesting chat during the afternoon. Yann had some new impressions about the map of Lord Wrick annotated by Quintin. Something about the Warring Kingdoms, triggered by a dream of an Assassin in one of them. It was frustrating not to be in the same room so Yann could show Quintin directly on the map, but with Internet there were some other options.

                                            The names of these lands were Ata’Meliu, Dam Adbor, Erpet Mesh and Cromash Tur. These 4 Kingdoms were rather scattered on the Lan’Ork part of the continent, pieces and bits everywhere, though Ata’Meliu was more in the center and the South of the Lan’Ork, Dam Adbor in the East and in the North, and Cromash Tur in the West and South West parts, Erpet was divided in 2 main areas, one located on the Northern land just before the Isthmus of Ghört’s Hammer, and a smaller one lost in the middle of Ata’Meliu.

                                            Yann only had the impression of 2 of the capitals, Naat Medin was the one of Erpet Mesh and Nâabooli of Cromash Tur.

                                            Quintin just sent him the map so he could draw some more comments and sketch the boundaries of the Warring Kingdoms. He didn’t know why, but he felt some movements were about to begin, some reconfigurations of the borders :world:

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