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      Veranassessee (V’ass) Eloha, swimming like a naiad in the waves of the sapphire sea bordering the island of Tikfijikoo, was back in a few powerful strokes on the wooden planks of the pier from which she had just fallen.

      Trained in many martial arts and in the art of concealing her emotions, she effortlessly managed to maintain a perfect composure despite the fact that this unexpected moment of inattention may have cost the loss of the precious box of rare Blue Bonnet spiders —the venom of which was needed for the good success of the “treatments”.

      Sharon and Gloria, still cackling unceasingly, thanked Armando, the pilot of the seaplane, who had entertained them no end with his stories of mysterious wreckages and lost aircrafts.
      Now they’d just landed on this paradisaic island, and a gorgeous woman dripping in water was extending them a firm hand, greeting them.


      Al was wondering who had jinxed his last entry in the play, that he had to write twice, since some invisible mischievous hand had just made him lose the first in the /dev/null dimension.
      Good thing the Sumafairies bent over his crib had been gifting him with a good memory…


      Welcome at Tikfijikoo, where your kewlest dreams come troo.

      V’ass was satisfied. Though, most of the box had been lost, she had managed to save two couples of spiders, which would be enough for the two turkeys. :yahoo_chicken:
      As for the remaining ones, let’s just hope they’re all dead and drowned.


        It had been a long trip home, and Dory was glad the journey was over. She sat on the patio in the warm winter sunshine, surrounded by affectionate wet doggy noses who prodded her arm, making her slop her fresh squeezed orange juice. The birds twittered and screeched in the lemon and olive trees. She closed her eyes and sighed with pleasure. Home!

        The screeching turned into a long drawn out yowl, and it was a moment or two before Dory realized that monkey Charlie had rounded up a gang of his canine buddies for another cat mauling expedition down at the bottom of the garden. Dory leapt to her feet and ran down the cobbled path, shrieking at the dogs to stop. She rescued the limp and traumatized, but thankfully unhurt cat, and wondered again what she was reflecting to herself every time her dogs ganged up on one of her cats.

        Shaking slightly, she sat down again in the patio chair, cradling the wide eyed cat, her fur standing in sticky peaks of dog saliva. Dory had stroked the fur smooth, and relaxed. Home! It was great to be home.


          Annabel Ingman beamed at Felicty. She was delighted that the interviews were going so well: four perfect ‘dead guys’ already, and 57 more applicants to interview.

          Welcome to the team Felicity, I’m sure you’ll love it here. We focus on fun, not facts, so just say whatever you want to, and you’ll be fine.

          Felicity returned the smile. I can’t wait to start, Annabel, thanks.

          Oh, by the way, what’s the name of your DG?

          Hhhmmm, Oh, er, Oliver Twist, replied Felicity, Yeah, Oliver Twist.

          Oliver Twist, cool, so that’ll be the ‘Ask DOT’ session then. See you on Friday!


            Thanksgiving, 1847

            That last business trip in British Honduras had proven fruitful to Aldous. It had almost made him forget about the blue bull of the Disperso family.
            Because Aldous was a collector. No one truly understood what were his motivations, but he was driven by the highest ideals. Some treasures weren’t deserved by the profane, he was thinking as he was munching on a tender juicy turkey leg.
            He belched with profound depth.
            Yes, he was doing everything with utmost depth and dedication.

            Take that blue bull for instance… A gift from Indian officials he had managed to have them bring here. Its real place was in a zoo, with a small fee at the entrance of course, but most importantly some information on how it was acquired and by whom. Definitely not in the farm of some hillbillies just because they have happened to win that stupid rodeo contest.
            In any case, he would put that right again in due time.

            Let’s think of more pleasant things. Like these mahogany traders who had came into contact with remote Mayan tribes. Mahogany was nice, but Mayan treasure were even more interesting.


              Jose Maria couldn’t sit still. It seemed as if more had been happening in the past few weeks than had happened in the whole of his 49 years. His mother dying and unexpectedly leaving him 123,000 euros would have made little difference to him had he not re~aquainted himself with Paquita. She was the real treasure; if he had had to choose between the money or her, he knew he would have chosen her. Thankfully he had both, and now they could both go to Tikfijikoo together. If the treatments worked, all well and good; if not, they had each other, and they would return to a quiet life on the old family farm in the Andalucian mountains.


                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.


                  As Arona started to turn away, Lucille called her back.

                  Arona, my dear, I have a gift for you. A story.

                  Oh, I don’t think I have time for stories, but thanks anyway, said Arona, anxious to get going.

                  A little bit rudely disregarding Arona’s objections, Lucille continued:

                  Once there were several people standing around a lake in which the full moon was reflected. They discussed the reflection. One person said it was an egg, another said “No, someone must have drowned, it is a bald head”. “Rubbish” said another, “clearly it is a balloon in the water.” One thought the moon was yellow, another thought the reflection of the moon was very emotional. Someone else thought it was soft. Why they had quite a discussion about the reflection of the moon and each one had a separate and disparate view of things. Of course they did, they were looking at it from different perspectives. All were looking at the reflection and not the the moon itself shining in the sky.

                  Arona, Lucille said intently, Each person’s perception of the moon reflected in the water, tells us as much about that person as it does about the moon itself. Remember that.

                  Arona tried not to giggle, she felt Lucille was getting a little carried away with this moon talk.

                  Lucille, undeterred, continued; That’s the best any of us can do, is offer our own perspective. But it is just a point of view. Don’t you worry about who others think you are, unless that’s what you choose also. You be free. You trust yourself Arona and you will shine brightly like the moon.

                  I understand, said Arona, as the flork cried out again, with incredible and stunning synchronistic timing. And she did, although she really did think Lucille had got a bit garbled in the telling of it, yet she did get the gist of the unusual little story. And after all, she realised, her own perception of Lucille had changed rather dramatically since that first encounter. Why, now she seemed like quite a sweetie, and really quite profound, in a complicated way. How very odd

                  Lucille cackled and winked. Hmmm thought Arona, well, buggered if I know….


                    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.


                      New Venice, November 2101

                      Midora was sleeping peacefully in her baby’s bed, and Oscar was dozing on the sofa, exhausted by his new role as a mother.

                      Bart was slowly finding himself back to his old studies. Just before Oscar became pregnant with their child, he was occupied with an old parchment his mother Indy had given to him.
                      She had said they had found it years ago with Oscar’s mum, her friend Eugenia. It was under a glass frame, among many other stuff she had accumulated along the years, mundane bric-a-brac flirting with sublime antiques —such was her mother strange decorative style…
                      Bart had known the parchment all his life, and her mother had sworn he would have it when the time would be right. During all this time he had thought she would most probably forget it altogether.

                      When Bill, his father had disengaged, two years before (only two months before the New Century’s festivities, at the age of 79) Indy had said she needed to make some room in her apartment, and get rid of old things which were full of memories. After all, she was only 49, and Bill hadn’t wanted to see her wither in sadness, that would be such a waste.
                      She had given him the old parchment.

                      Bart had always been so close to his mother, probably because she had him so young. She was 16 when they had married with Bill, and Bart was born right after. Of course, she always played the old flattery trick when people said she must be his big sister; it wasn’t actually far from the truth.

                      When he was younger, Bart had fearful dreams, of dying in atrocious pain, full of rash, at a young age in an alien and sunny place.
                      Curious as to what hint it may have been, Indy had been connecting with him to the energy of the dream. And together, they had tried to find the reason of that manifestation in the young boy’s dreams.
                      Despite her having such a fleeting memory, India Louise was skilled at connecting to other focuses, and particularly group ones, and Bart had found many information thanks to her. And the fearful dreams had disappeared.
                      He had found he was a young prince heir of the throne of Egypt, who was supposed to marry his sister. But both had died very suddenly. It was not quite clear as to whether the illness was the result of a plot from their father Pharaoh’s enemies, but the death was very unpleasant.
                      So unlike Bill’s disengagement, which was peaceful and full of love.

                      So yes, people were not far from the truth when they saw them as brother and sister.
                      According to Indy, the parchment was found within a cache inside the sister mummy’s sarcophagus, and might be linked to their shared focus. But her own psychic skills only extended as far as to notice connections, not as to go into more depths. That investigation, he would be able to do.


                      Egypt, 2657 B.C.

                      Lekshen had finished writing down what the long snouted god of his dream, Set had dictated to him.

                      It was a strange story, of Set being the god of the pariahs, throwing down structures of the Holy and the Truth, for the sake of expansion. Lekshen couldn’t understand all of what he had been talked into writing, but he had felt an intense activity and thrusts of gushing energy passing through him.

                      He needed sleep before hiding the text with the mummy.


                      Paris, 2007

                      :tile: That symbol, Quintin had dreamt repeatedly about it… It was a tile, he was sure. It could be oriented in two ways, and, depending on its orientation, it meant either injection or ejection of energy structures. It was linked to the family of the Speakers.

                      Let’s insert it again then, he smiled to himself.


                      When he connected with the symbols written on the parchment, Bartholomew was astounded. The energy was so familiar.
                      There was a book coming from his mother. She had inherited it from her aunt, Guiny… She probably got it herself from her mother Margaret, or perhaps her step-mother BeckyBart wasn’t too sure…

                      Finally, he found it. Inside the cover, there was a dedication. To you, dear Becky, happy birthday! With love, Kathy (2017).
                      Kathy, Kathy… A flash of a rainbow-coloured anaconda into Bart’s mind… Must have been one of Dory’s friends.

                      “There was once a god who was not a god — who was not a god, for you are dealing with legends,” he said, nearly whispering. “There was a god in ancient Egypt, and his name was Seth, and he was disreputable. And he threw aside establishments, whenever other gods rose up and said, “We are the truth, we are pure and we are holy,” this disreputable god stood up, and with a voice like thunder, said: “You are nincompoops!”

                      “And the other gods did not like him,” Seth continued in his story-telling whisper, “and whenever they set up their altars, he came like thunder, but playfully, and tossed the altars asunder, and he said “Storms are natural, and good, and a part of the earth, even as placid skies are. Winds are good. Questions are good. Males and females are good. Even gods and demons are good, if you must believe in demons. But, structures are limited!”.

                      “And so this god, who was not a god, called Seth, went about kicking apart the structures, and he gathered about him others who kicked apart the structures. And they were themselves, whether they were male or female. Whether they thought of themselves as good or bad, or summer or winter, or as old or as young, they were creators. They were questioners.

                      “And whenever another personality set itself up and said, “I am the god before you, and my word is law,” then Seth went about saying, “You are a nincompoop,” and began to kick apart the structures. And so you are yourselves, in your way, all Seths, for you kick apart the structures, and you are the black sheep of the religions, and the black sheep of the scientists, and the black sheep of the physicians, and the black sheep of the your mothers and your fathers, and your sisters and your brothers.

                      “And yet, the mothers and the fathers and the sisters and the brothers listen,” Seth went on in that quiet voice in that quiet room. “for they do not have the courage to be the black sheep…”

                      Conversations With Seth, Volume 1, Chapter 9, by Susan Watkins


                        Tina was sitting in a cafe waiting for the others to arrive.

                        She was studying the play with a bemused and perplexed expression. Good grief, where was her head at? Not only had she saddled poor Arona with a baby, now she had a hunky nanny to contend with as well.

                        She had been intending to bring Arona to the banquet in the cave … and had somehow got distracted.

                        She read what she had written in astonishment “bronzed skin pulled taut over rippling muscles”….. “He came bounding athletically over” …. “deep, melodic voice” …and to cap it off calling him Vincentius!

                        He didn’t even sound like her type, way too perfect, she mused. Thank goodness Al is nothing like that.

                        Still, she wanted to trust the process and follow the pictures that came to mind when writing the play, even if she didn’t know where they were going.



                          Finn felt the time had come to call a meeting.

                          She closed her eyes and waited to see which of the others would appear.

                          Yuni1 arrived first. Yuni had first arrived in her meditations about a year ago, a playful, mischievous character, gnomelike, who nonetheless had always given her very wise and practical advise. Armelle the wise Owl appeared next, silently, her loving energy enveloping Finn. The Indian also appeared. Finn did not know the Indian’s name, she called him White Feather and she was pleased to see him there, having not seen him for some time. A playful Lemur came bounding over. There were several other energies present and Finn knew they would make their identity known if needed, but she could feel their support.

                          I have been feeling quite heavy for several months now and it has been becoming more intense. I am tired of it. It’s as though I am wearing the cloak of heaviness again. I don’t understand it, and I don’t know how to take it off, Finn announced to the assembled group.

                          I want to know if you can help me?

                          Yuni spoke first, or rather he waved the faith document2 at her. Finn winced. She remembered the document well. I didn’t know you meant this long, she said quietly.

                          Armelle gave her a gift. When Finn opened the box, there was a joyful explosion of light and colour. There was also a key.

                          The key is Self Trust, said Finn, answering Armelle’s unspoken question.

                          White Feather had been whittling a piece of wood. He handed it to Finn. It was a staff. This symbolises powerful magic, he told her.

                          Finn felt herself withdraw, not wanting to cause offense and reject the gift, yet not feeling worthy.

                          This is your decision, said White Feather

                          Finn felt Armelle smile at her. She took the staff and thanked White Feather.

                          Do you remember the boxes you made as a child? asked Armelle

                          Finn nodded. It was one of the games she had loved to play with her older sister, transforming old cardboard boxes into designer rooms. They would painstakingly and lovingly decorate the interiors to create new worlds. Once the rooms were created they may play with them for a few minutes, but would pretty soon be onto the next one, it was the creating they loved.

                          Cast your mind back a few years, Armelle said. What were the things you wanted then?

                          Finn cast her mind back.

                          You have it all don’t you, said Armelle gently.

                          Yes I do, said Finn. Everything I wanted I have in my life.

                          You have created powerfully Finn.

                          Why do I feel so heavy? I suppose because what I thought I wanted has changed and I am trying to still keep it the same. Finn wanted to cry.

                          I don’t really know what I want anymore though.

                          What do you know? asked Armelle

                          I know how I want to feel.


                          Finn was on a raft, floating downstream. She closed her eyes and decided to let the river take her where it will.

                          1Finn had tried to spell Yuni’s name as Uni initially, interpreting him to be symbolic of one of the “faeries of the Universe”, however Yuni had been adamant that was not the correct spelling. When Finn looked up Yuni only meaning she could find was “man from Iunu”.

                          2 The “Faith Document” was like a legal document Yuni gave Finn to sign, indicating that whatever happened she would keep trusting. Finn was surprised to note when she looked up in her records that this was November 1 st, exactly a year ago.


                            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 legend of Mævel — (Part V)

                              Mævel, opening her eyes, found herself in the middle of the forest. It was still dark and the sky was covered with a dark blue haze. Now, she had to find her friend the fox
                              How could she do that, in such a wide forest, she started to whine.

                              Well, why not start by asking… hooted a rowl nearby.

                              Mævel was surprised. She had thought these hot pink speaking owls where found only in legends, not in woods nearby…

                              You are in a legend, sweetie retorted the rowl.
                              — Oh… Surely the legend of someone else then. Who’s legend it is, I am in, dear rowl?
                              — Oh, you can call me Aromelle, sweetie. It’s your legend of course.
                              — No kidding? Phew, what a responsibility… I shouldn’t tell you that, but you seem like a rowl I can confide in, err… I’m no hero, I’m not even educated, and I pass winds like any impolite woman or polite green ogress would do… And having everyone know that would be kind of embarrassing… What a legend that would be…
                              — Then we’ll just say to the bards to skip that part… said wise Aromelle. Now, you wanted to ask something?
                              — Oh yes, I have to find the blue fox.
                              — And would you mind being a little more precise about that fox. I know thousands of blue foxes sweetie. Hoohoo, perhaps that’s an exaggeration, but I know quite a few, of others’ legends… You’re not the only legendary one coming into these woods to ask for advice.
                              — Oh, I’m sorry, blushed Mævel
                              — No need sweetie, snapped the rowl, in fact I know exactly who you are looking for… Wouldn’t that be Gulniforgf, the hunchback one-eyed cleft-lipped ogre cursed by Nærvel, the Goddess of the Waters? she said with an encouraging wink
                              — Oh, by Ghört’s sake, no!
                              — Hoohooo, no need to swear. Of course it isn’t, I knew that, sweetie. That must be Mifilthion, the toothless bald thousand-year-old troll cursed by Agnima, the Goddess of the Flames, you are looking for, hum? she said slyly
                              — Oh, no, no, no… Mine is Blohmrik, he said he was a god…
                              — Oh, but you know, everyone is a bit of god in a way, so that’s hardly…
                              — He said he was cursed by Lejüs
                              SHOOSHOOO, the rowl flapped her wings visibly distraught. That can’t be him! Poor thing… Aromelle added plaintively, you know in these matters of curses, you have to deal with the cursing one, and Shaint Lejüs is a tough one to deal with…
                              — Oh, for a moment I was afraid that you’d say Blohmrik was a deaf varicosed warty dwarf… I don’t fear that Lejüs, said bravely Mævel… perhaps a bit hastily, she thought to herself
                              — Oh, no, he’s a nice fine man, sweetie, you both would do such a perfect couple…
                              — And where do I find him then, Mævel was getting a bit impatient with the winking hooting hoot
                              — Well, that’s easy, you just happen to have appeared on top of his burrow.

                              What a waste of time, was thinking Mævel… She couldn’t wait for much longer, and after all, the burrow could be a nice place to rest.

                              With a quick thanks to Aromelle, she entered the tunnel in front of her.


                                Even with the help of the buntifluën, which translated the foreign expressions between the men of the Seas and him, young Tomkin had some difficulty to explain some concepts to the men.

                                When the three boats had landed on the warm shores of Golfindely, Tomkin had been a little anxious about the ominous looking men, especially the giant one, with the big ugly baby face who seemed to be in command.
                                But apparently, Tomkin had found a faithful friend in the black and white myna, and the ugly baby-faced giant had been interested by his unusual talent of being able to understand and communicate with them.

                                I had been two weeks now that the men had arranged a settlement for themselves on these friendly shores, and Tomkin had been quickly adopted by the whole crew.
                                He soon made friend with Jahiz, Austor and even the wild man in shackles —who had told his name unwillingly in energy, that the buntifluën had helped to translate. Tomkin was finding that the wild man, Cpt. Razkÿ, had been a greatly interesting adventurer and had known many places of the lands from where the men came. In fact, he reminded him of Captain Bone.
                                The most difficult to deal with was the chief cook Renouane, who was complaining about the lack of some kind of unknown vegetable to do the meals. Jahiz had comforted Tomkin saying they were all fed up with “cabbage” anyway.

                                The villagers around had become slowly aware of the presence of the foreigners on their lands, but they were relatively accustomed to seeing strange people, and upon seeing that these ones were friendly with Tomkin, they returned to their Scotch bonnets harvests, without much more of an afterthought.

                                Tomkin had helped them to learn basic words of their language, words of greeting (“wallahu”), of thanks (“alami”) etc.
                                But the ugly baby-faced giant (who had said he was “Badul”) was interested in many other things.
                                And the concept Tomkin was now struggling with, to clearly explain it to Badul, was that of the traveling portals.

                                Badul had somehow intuited that the strange shift in the environment they had met in the middle of the Rift, was something due to Unseen action. And when he had heard Tomkin speak about these methods for traveling easily, he had been interested in understanding more of them.
                                Until now, it was a frustrating experience, as the young boy only knew such and such, probably told to him by some others, and not having actually experienced one himself.
                                But the information was good to learn.

                                Bringing back this technology to his land would probably be more interesting than some decorative glowing egg, he was thinking…


                                  Young Becky shouted to Dan, Dory’s coming back! She sent an email saying she arrives in Malaga tomorrow night!

                                  In actuality, Becky had already known that Dory would be coming back soon. Despite being only a child, she was what would later be known as a Shiftikid, and her telepathic prowess was already well-developed. Well, in point of fact, all children had been born with telepathic skills, all throughout the ages, but the customs of the times had eradicated these gifts usually before the children reached puberty.

                                  The young Becky had been in communication with ‘the dead guys’ as they were currently affectionately known, since before her birth. Thanks to all the links on Dory’s computer, Becky had quickly assessed that she herself was Sumari belonging, and Ilda aligned; of an intermediate orientation, and a political focus. She recalled from before her actual physical birth that she had chosen ‘Exploring Connections’ as her intent for this physical focus.

                                  Becky had purposefully chosen Dory as a step-mother, as her intention had been to grow up in an environment conducive to her explorations. Dory was also Ilda aligned, and her passion for anthropology, archeology and other cultures and times was naturally a great help to Becky and her favourite game of ‘Focus Hunting’.

                                  Becky started to make long lists of all the other focus connections she found, although she had a habit of forgetting where she had started a list, and often started a new list somewhere else. (Dan sometimes commented jokingly that it was almost as if Becky had inherited the ‘forgetful gene’ from her step-mother Dory…..Dan, like most people in those days, believed that genetic characteristics were ‘handed down’ from physical parents).

                                  Becky spent many happy hours playing the focus hunting game, and at times had some difficulty in separating the various other focuses from the current focus she was interacting with. This wasn’t a problem with Dory, or with some of her contemporaries, but often caused some misunderstanding with people who were unaware of their other focuses.

                                  Becky was delighted that Dory was coming home soon. She was looking forward to hearing about all of Dory’s adventures, and she wanted to share her own funny stories about the current ‘Perception Wave’ they were all experiencing.


                                    — The legend of Mævel — (Part IV)

                                    Mævel’s mind was made up, she was leaving tonight. She took a few of her belongings in a little bundle, and all very silently, moved to the door, the bundle in one hand, and the key in the other.

                                    But when she tried to put the key into the lock, she noticed something was wrong. The key was way too big for the small lock. What was the purpose of materializing a big key unfit to the locks that were in front of us? she wondered.
                                    Perhaps the key will have another use, she said to herself, and she put it into her bundle, and wondered whether she could find another way to get out of the bedroom.

                                    « Use your magic,… you don’t need to play by the rules » a tiny voice whispered in her ear.
                                    « What does that mean? » she asked, befuddled, as perhaps her parents where right after all, she was becoming nuts… Well, that might attract squirrels and have them gnaw a hole in that wall, she said giggling to herself.
                                    « You don’t need draw squirrels,… you can draw a door directly »

                                    What a strange idea, Mævel thought, drawing a door… It sounded so funny at the moment, that she could feel her heart lift and her spirits as well. What could she use to draw that door… Her gaze ran quickly through the bedroom, looking for a bit of chalk, or charcoal, or whatever else. What a terrible thing that she was so obsessed by dusting, as there wasn’t even a single dust bunny left to draw that door.

                                    « Now, will you pay attention? »
                                    « I beg your pardon? »
                                    « What did I told you? »
                                    « Mmmm, let me think… Oh! I don’t have to play by the rules… »

                                    So, in a bout of genius, Mævel ran her finger on the wall, starting from the floor, straight upwards, then to the right, and straight down again, until… well, nothing happened.

                                    « That wall hasn’t budged any! »
                                    « Are you sure?… Look closer »

                                    And Mævel saw that the wall had become like a shiny surface of water, right inside where she had drawn the limits of that imaginary door. And when she pressed her finger, it was simply going through it, as though the surface had just been an illusion.

                                    With a thank for the helpful voice in her head, she was about to cross the surface, but was stopped in her track by a moment of hesitation. Could she change the destination behind the wall as well?
                                    Why not, after all, she didn’t have to play by the rules.

                                    « To the forest! » Mævel ordered intently to the wall before jumping in.

                                    The voice smiled to her fondly.


                                      Arona was surprised that Sanso wanted the baby and she was not sure what to do. She felt the baby had been entrusted to her, and felt quite caring towards it. Sanso grabbed it from her, and she could see that he really wanted it.

                                      She would need to feel her way through this. Yikesy started crying.

                                      Mandrake looked at her and rolled his eyes. Do you want the baby or not, Arona? he asked her

                                      Suddenly she felt clear. Yes I do she said, smiling. And she thanked Sanso graciously, for his kind offer, and he willingly handed Yikesy back to her, realising that having a baby was probably not suited to his lifestyle.

                                      In fact Sanso was relieved. The cute little blue eyes had started looking quite rat like when Yikesy started crying.

                                      So it was all perfect.

                                      In fact it was all hunky dory.:yahoo_sick:

                                      and off they went.


                                        You’re not serious, are you? Sanso raised an eyebrow at Arona (who had mysteriously materialized a baby in her arms, in the blink of an eye)

                                        You’re calling it YIKES? Oh well, fair enough….

                                        In a puff of smoke, a Crayola fairy appeared in front of them.

                                        Yes? she said, You called? I’m Fairy Nuf…that’s fun spelled backwards, in case you’re wondering how I got here.

                                        Sanso didn’t really understand what was going on, but had an urge to materialize a baby too.


                                        Thankfully the urge soon passed and he said to Fairy Nuf politely, There must be a mistake, but thank you for calling. I hope it didn’t inconvenience you.

                                        Call me anytime, I’m available 24/7, sweetie….and in an puff of smoke, she was gone.


                                          New Venice, year 2101

                                          In the waiting hall, Bart was pacing the floor recklessly. They were having their first baby, but the doctors had hushed him out, because there were some complications…
                                          All he could do was wait.
                                          They were one of the first couple to have tested the new program that allowed same-sex couples to procreate without requiring the assistance of a third-party so to speak. In fact, it had been hypothesized to be possible a long time ago already. Well, theoretically… because the most challenging part had been to bring acceptance to the people, as the old beliefs were still alive in a few moribund activist groups. But what,… nature was doing even more exotic things in the realm of creatures…

                                          Now he was thinking of Oscar, who had chosen to be the bearer of the child —a girl that would be… will be, mentally corrected Bart to himself. Funny thing about genetics was that male-male couples could have either girls or boys, but female-female couples could only have girls. Only because the male “Y” chromosome was carried by men.
                                          It had been a painstakingly long subject of discussion among scientists and philosophers as to the unbalance it would create, but well, for the time being, it was the chosen design for our human natures.
                                          As long as new ways of bypassing this restriction had not been invented, better enjoy it than stretching one’s mind around it.

                                          Looking at the window which showed the stilted structures above the waters, Bart was thinking how it was all an incredible story… What were the probabilities for that to happen?
                                          Bart couldn’t help but feel grateful for all of his blessings.

                                          At the same moment, the big breasted nurse appeared at the door crying with a large smile “it’s a healthy girl!”
                                          Bart burst into the room.


                                          They had already decided how she would be called. Midora, they had agreed.

                                          When he entered, Oscar Wrick’s young face was tired and sprinkled with beads of perspiration, but he had the happiest look on his face. He was still feeling a bit self-conscious about the changes the pregnancy had generated in his body, but for now he was all absorbed by the little breathing thing resting in his arms.

                                          After a warm embrace, Bartholomew Jobsworth thought that he should spread the good news to the family, at least to his mother, dear sparkling Indy and Bart’s parents, Eugenia and Cuthbert. He also had felt the presence of his Dad, Bill, during his wait and was deeply thankful for all of their support.


                                            Well thanks for that Eric, but I am still non the wiser :yahoo_idk:
                                            When I want to do some easy peasy textile formatting (if I ever find out what it is) I will ask again!!! :yahoo_heehee:

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