The portal has opened, we must hurry said Araili
Araili had felt something more, that he didn’t want to share yet with Akita and his spirit dog Kay. He had felt that something, or someone was trying to make its way from the wortex. However, the whole area was tightly held in a sort of quarantine by the giant spiders. Their genetic ancestral memory was aware of previous huge bleedthroughs like this one, and they had what humans would call “prophecies” amongst their kin, of such occurrences being heralds of tremendous upheavals.
Araili, who was extending far beyond this guise of a lynx that he had taken now, smiled when he thought of how some of his earthly medieval focuses would have been similarly frightened by natural events like eclipses.
It did not take long to them to find Anita’s parents. They were right at the spot that the big arachnid had just left, wrapped in silky spider bandages with little skin left to breathe.
Claude had finally came out of what he thought was just a strange tree, but then, his preternatural senses where telling him something was wrong. This place looked different. No, this place felt different.
And smelt different too.
There were soft sounds, crawlings he could hear, very near his place. They were coming from him, but he would fight.
He jumped on a tree, and in a few vigorous movements, was perched on top of it.
He almost gapped when he saw the black circle of huge spiderly creatures around his tree.
They were staying at a distance from the wortex. But for how long… He couldn’t wait for his death.
From the top of the tree, Claude jumped unscathed. Taking a look around, he found exactly what he needed.
Breaking a few sharp bamboos poles, he started his move to the black circle in a prodigious and accelerated run.
From atop a nearby tree, Armelle was considering the whole scene. The wortex would probably last a few hours, perhaps a bit more. Anita, Rafaela and Yuki were about to be here soon, she had warned them of the spider circle, so that they would hide until she has found them a way to get through.
She had not expected someone to come out of it. That may be her way…
Phurt was coming closer and closer now. She could feel the surge of power, and the trepidation raising all the hair on her legs. She couldn’t possibly confront all of the sisters. Not yet.
She had to find a way to get past.
As if Arachneiax, Goddess of her kind had heard and answered her plea, a dying cry, confusion, and call for help came to her senses from a border of their circle. A perfect diversion…
A few moments later she was not so sure.
What’s the matter?
Oh you know … I am a bit distracted …too much going on I guess. She did not want to tell him that she could feel the presence of Mahiliki strongly in the room, his sweet trusting face gazing reproachfully at her. He would be worried about her, worried about the storm. She wondered how he was getting on.
I understand, he smiled ruefully, it’s hardly perfect timing is it? Anyway that wasn’t the reason I asked you to meet me here, but I guess it just seemed like too good an opportunity to miss.
I am sorry, she said, rolling her eyes.
Maybe some other time. He handed her a robe.
Sure. She wrapped it tightly around her. Anyway, the Doctor?
Your hunch was right. The Magpies are operating on the Island, and they plan to strike soon.
Course they are!
They looked at each other. Well, maybe it’s a bit soon to tell eh? she said doubtfully.
A dishevelled head popped out. You both don’t look no bloody different to me, ‘cept you’ve put weight on, she said honestly.
Well that bloody does it, said Glor, We’d better find that Vessie, find out wots wot!
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.
— Hey, I’ve found a brownies carton wrap in the trash Yann!
— Mmm, and you really think it’ll be enough? a doubtful Yann answered to Yurick
— Oh, don’t worry, there’s also a couscous one, and an Ureu biscuit one, answered Yurick with a wide grin
— Well, if you say so then, smiled Yann, contemplatively rolling his eyes à la Finn.
A few hours later, their patch-ckage solidly wrapped up, they had it sent to their friends.
When, in the post-office, the big black lady with piercing eyes (drôlely resembling Rita, a friend of Dory Yann had seen in a dream who went wedding dress shopping recently) asked them if there was anything of value in the package, they almost burst out laughing.
Yann had the mind to answer, only some stuff… as if of no consequence.
Elioctyl looked down on her body being wrapped in mummification bandages and sniggered. Dear funny silly alive ones, with their darling little rituals. How sweet they were to think their physical processes would make a ha’porth of difference after their last sweet breath of terrestrial air.
Look at Hoofut, taking it all so seriously! He thinks that if he takes every possible care with those strips of cloth and smelly unguents, that he…yes he alone!…has the power to direct my next adventures. Silly man! But he means well, bless his leather sandals. And Tarfel too, see how he cries when he’s sure Hoofut isn’t watching. I see the tears roll down his leathery cheeks, I see him brush them away with the back of his hand, and sniff and snort, and then spit on the floor. He pretends it’s the malodourous vapours of the embalming mixtures that’s making his nose run, but I can see.
Shalabat cries too when no-one is watching. He rests on a cushion beside the pool, waiting for the completion of the process on my lifeless body, waiting for the ceremonial rites to take place, waiting, wondering, worrying about the future….he has every faith in Hoofut’s skills, and Tarfel’s too. But he wonders what will happen to his people now without Elioctyl.
Ah, and I wonder too, but I don’t worry. I make a pact now, in love for these dear ones, to leave a piece of me in energy in the mummy they create out of my bones and skin. The mummy is for the terrestrial ones, a poignant reminder, a mystery, a relic, a treasure, a clue! and for them, I give it life, energy, meaning….I will return from time to time, in ethereal body form, to those who ponder this mummy, for generations to come….
Dear… And I always thought Beattie was a male name… Isn’t that funny? Al mused as he felt wrapped into the gortex (a kind of water-proof vortex specially fit for skimpy undies under torrential rains) of Becky’s thoughts…
Not that it mattered.
— These are MY eggs! Nobody touches my eggs!
— Oh come on, you’re not gonna make these ostrich eggs hatch Cathy… Better have them made into a nice big omelet for our guests… Fleur said with a tentative smile.
— And why use MY eggs for that?! Moooom, she’s trying to steal my eggs…
— What’s with all that fuss here? a coarse, yet sensual female voice said in the background of the kitchen.
— Mom, she wants to make an omelet with the eggs that granddad gave me…
— Calm down Catherine, will you… Is that true Fleur?
— Err… Madam Wrick, I suppose it was only a stupid joke… Thing is that wasn’t such a bad idea… There will be quite a few guests tonight, and… she began to falter as the eyebrows of Dorean Wrick were taking a more severe look. Err… I’m sorry, M’am, I’ll send Raster fetch some food for a nice meat pie, will it be nice?
— Perfect. That settles the matter then… Catherine, go back to your room, and let Fleur work. I’ll send you a maid to help you be prepared for our guests arrival.
— Yes, Mum.
What a silly idea Theobald, her father have had, to give her step-daughter those eggs for her birthday… Big funny green eggs. He’d said they were ostrich eggs, but there were no ostrich in Mexico, as far as she knew. Of course, now the little girl’s only idea was to have the birds hatch and to mount them and ride in the slopes of Ireland.
This family was definitely insane, Dorean was thinking.
At least, she had thought her own branch of the family tree had been spared by the folly of her relatives and their attraction for occult and intangible things, but with that odd gift, it seemed to her more than likely that her father had followed the steps of his wricked brother… Or perhaps it was only an old man’s way of passing time. But knowing her father down-to-earth nature, that was not like him. He didn’t do things out of a whim, and there was probably more than met the eye having to do with the funny eggs…
A few days ago, shortly after New Year’s eve and stepping into year 2034, she’d had received an unexpected parcel from her cousin, Sean Doran. A couple of wrapped books, he was asking her to keep in store for him. She always had liked her cousin, though they had only met two or three times when they were children. Thing was, family matters were more a wrickage than anything else, and they had barely kept in touch over the years.
She had distractedly opened the big ornate leather-bound books only to discover they were blank. What was the purpose of all of this, she didn’t know. But unlike most people, Dorean wasn’t interested in others’ businesses. She would keep the books, whatever they meant.
And she had more pressing matters now.
Her guest were coming. Elvira and her demented husband were moving back, and were due to arrive tonight after a rather long expatriation in the lands of Russia. Having met that strange and impressive individual, the perspective of getting away in a foreign land leaving all the past behind, all of this had most probably saved Elvira from her depressive mood…
But she had been so isolated from her past that Dorean suspected that these almost thirty years abroad would have changed her profoundly.
Oh for fucks sake Tina, you can’t get sick! You are a saint!
Oh yes, she is, responded Tina weakly.
V’ass placed the box carefully on the pier as soon as he got off the boat, and pulled his false handlebar moustach off with a yelp. Next to come off was the bowler hat, and shake out her tumble of blonde curls. V’ass shrugged off the charcoal grey pinstripe suit jacket and unbuttoned the crisp white shirt. With a long sigh of relief, she started to unwrap the bandages that had squashed her ample bosom to her chest.
As the bandages fell in loops on the floor, they wrapped themselves around the box, and in an unfortunate twist of fate, when V’ass bent over to pick them up she inadvertently yanked the top of the box off.
Oh…MY…GOD! V’ass shrank backwards as hundreds of huge blue spiders spilled out of the box. She lost her footing, and fell backwards into the sea with a splash.
His senses were now hightened and he could feel the multi-layered energy patterns of the cave created by Leörmn. He could feel the connections with Leörmn and that they were part of him as he was part of them too. His foffing aspect just rippled inside the cave and for a few seconds added a green hue in the energy of the cave, rendering it smoother and a green flourishing moss began appearing in some hidden places.
— There is different probable paths for us to follow. Different qualities and different probabilities to emerge
She smiled, looking at him observing her energy. Their energy fields were merged as often when they were together. Their colors were blending, adding new qualities to their expressed focuses in this dimension.
— We are following all of them, beloved, she said grinning. I don’t want to actualize in this particular focus the quickest though I want to lof a little before.
He was seeing Salome’s energy intertwined and blended with all the energy of this dimension. Some more present, some lighter and not so focused in this particular area… she was observing him observing the blueprints also, they were fascinating… a bit different from what he was remembering from his last visit. They had changed them… well he also had changed them. It was a new exploration. From this particular interest in the new qualities added he felt he was creating new focuses to explore these and also new essences decided to fragment and explore differently, again changing the vibrational tone of the dimension… it was a continuous and wondrous process.
— You are the one who introduced them in this dimension, he smiggled cunningly, I feel others are coming now. They find it quite fun and welcoming here.
They both laughed and She grinned slyly.
— Well I’m a Path Opener, you know..
Leo jumped on her right shoulder and wrapped his tail around her neck possessively. He did that little squick she was so fond of.
— Well this way then my precious :>
She saw him shift his attention sideway a little and his energy hue changed, becoming a bit more mustard, the tunnels around them were becoming translucent and he walked through the rocky mount in the direction of the sky blue energy of their beloved friend Malvina.
Dr Bronkelhampton could not help but smile as she unwrapped the bandages and saw the peach smooth skin underneath. So far, so good. All was going to plan beautifully.
Veranassessee had departed ten minutes ago to greet the two latest arrivals off the plane, and more would be arriving on the island over the next few days and weeks. They would have to be handled with care. Dr Bronkelhampton hoped they would be willing to participate in the experiments, or “treatments”, once they fully appreciated the benefits. But, if not…., she shrugged, there was really no way off the island except by her own say so.
All that farting had been quite exhausting, but the mummy felt that she was reincorporating vigor more quickly now, as the old fartesque energy was giving way.
This was a quicker process than birthing, but also more disturbing.
She slowly started to unwrap her bandages.
She smiled as she saw her peach smooth skin on her hands.
Malvina had clapped her hands and made the food and drinks and decorations disappear in the reception hall of the cave, feeling the time was not to big parties right now. The guest had moved again, and she had not been in the mood for party either.
She had not yet managed to reestablish contact with her sisters and that was a more pressing matter.
Leörmn had been retreating into his seasonal slumber, and would not be of great help at the moment, so she knew it was also time for her to get back to simple things and not worry about what was not yet here. Probabilities had simply moved, they would come back.
The silgreen tree had bloomed, and she wanted to brew some potions with its flowers. She would then go with Irtak to the village sell some vials of potion, and perhaps they would take the opportunity to see Huÿgens too, as he sometimes needed such potions for his langoats.
For Illi the cat, that cave filled with slimey scaly beasts was now out of her way.
This dead Illi experience had been so intense she had almost believed there indeed was a pink indigo dragon right were she was at the entrance of the cave. But the impression had vanished all of a sudden, and she had found herself with her mind again her own only, without the echoing thoughts of that deranged other.
She had found a tree nearby, and comfortably seated on some high branches had been mediating with the help of trance inducing betel catkins that she carried with her as she traveled.
She had seen some weird stuff, like farting bandage wrapped people putting cobblestones to make a way to the sky, but that was enjoyable. As nothing really could make sense that night, she decided to go to sleep on her tree.
In the morning, a snorting sound made her raise her pointy ears. Just below her tree, a man was eating and singing, looking at some map, obviously planning some interesting adventure…
— How pitiful we left that sabulmantium to the snorting man… Mandrake said, we could have had a peek into Arona’s adventure… Not that I am concerned, she is so brave, but you know, she’ll always be my little… What am I saying? mumbled Mandrake temporarily confused.
— Oh, you mean, Arona had a sabulmantium?
— Mmm, well, of course… We projected hairy cows and stuff… (I’m really saying the stupidest things today, might be that herbal tea, shivered Mandrake, licking his paw and combing with it the unkempt hair on his head)
— Interesting… But you know if you want to have a look, we can do otherwise. Let me see…
— (trying to make yourself important, huh) thought Mandrake
Vincentius took a little blue bag tied to his belt, and threw a pinch of a smelly mossy powder on the smoldering embers.
A thick greenish smoke started to rise making Mandrake retreat carefully (or tactfully he would say) in his favourite place behind the pile of logs to look at the discomfiture of poor Vincentius without having to overwhelm him too much with his own superior sharp intuitive senses.
But to Mandrake’s surprise, the smoke steadied like a moving wall, and images started to foarm.EricKeymaster
Wrapped up in the pages too
Of course, as soon as they had stepped into the powerful magnetic field generated inside the T.R.A.P., the reality around them was transphormed as if they all had been into a huge deFørmiñG mirror, that they could shape with their strangest thoughts.
Obviously, they had all started to hallucinate some funny stuff…
It was happening so quick, Sam noticed. Sean’s breath was smelling of whiskey, and Sam felt Sean had forgotten something on his way to New York. He felt compelled to ask him if there was something on his mind…
— Who’s that?
— Oh, he will be so disappointed… Sean started to sob. I’m such a bad father!
— Hey, look, she said, the children are more adept at these games than we are,… if we want, we can have him project here from his bedroom and share the fun with us. What do you reckon?
And she started to yell:
— Peeeeerrrry ! Peerrrry !
The unusual overwhelming heat, which had begun with the spring equinox had finally temporarily receded with the appearance of big opaque cumulonimbus filling the sky with a mute thunderous sound. The flickering glow was no longer enough for Raphael to distinguish the small dark characters dancing before his eyes, the storm having let the night pounce on them earlier than it should have.
So, Raphael closed his thick leather-bound book and put it back into his burgundy backpack bag, inhaling deeply the air of the dusk, mollified by the music of the raindrops that ricocheted now discreetly on the rusty steel plates.
The remaining passengers began to hurry around a meager dinner wrapped in dirty newspaper sheets, displaying energy resources that he felt incapable of. Feeling no hunger at all, he decided to go on the pontoon to taste the moisture exuding in the evening, this celestial water, soothing down the fever of this trip, which drew to a close. The boat continued to rend imperturbably through the obsidian sea, and the thick enveloping fog prevented them to distinguish the lights of the city that he could feel at a distance.
This was not the first time, but at each of his return, the city seemed changed, this time ghostly apparition, once glittering pearl. This was undoubtedly one of the reasons which had him leave it, as others would have done with a lover, to better appreciate this fleeting moment of reunion.
The book had been given to him by a stranger he had met, and was part of his mission; he didn’t usually accept assignments in this city where he was too obvious, but the stranger had assured him nothing illegal would be required of him, just delivering a book.
He had leafed through the book, just to make sure there was no foul play on the part of this strange man with amber eyes that seemed to keep changing colours. But the book had seemed innocuous. Even worse, it did not make any sense for Raphael. The chapters were randomly numbered, and the text seemed to keep changing. Perhaps it was Raphael’s mind which played tricks on him, but it was baffling for him, as he was accustomed to keep his senses sharp as a dagger. Whatever,… The man had paid, and a plump pile of money even.
The insistent rumors of a mysterious illness which had already claimed fatalities within the walls of the city had not deterred him to go there —knowing that the few people caring about him would have preferred to see him flee this destination, so certain as they were to be themselves immune to the contingencies of life. Even the bald adipose captain of the ship, Fat Yong Choi had seemed wary of having a pale-skinned foreigner coming on board of his boat, but he had quickly seen that Raphael was no common traveler.
But there was no longer time to rehash those turpitudes, the harbour finally appearing, like a halo glow from the contours of which some faint sounds escaped, soon to be stifled by the purring and cracking of the bulging vessel.
The winds began to sweep the docks violently, causing the cargo, now anchored, to oscillate wildly, like a huge weeble at the hands of the elements. Fortunately, due to the alarming news from the city, the boat was only half full, and the unloading was smooth. Raphael, unnerved by the long journey, only wanted to walk, but patiently followed the slow pace of the procession which led him outside of the harbour’s enclosure, even before he had noticed it.
Raphael wanted above all to rest, but didn’t care to be bothered speaking to someone. He preferred to sink deep down in his thoughts while walking through the streets, rather than lose this feeling of freedom. Freedom to choose his own itinerary, without a word to say, entirely open to the silence of the streets.
The fine drizzle had indeed deserted the streets making the city infinitely enjoyable for him. It was indeed just as he liked it best, at dusk, just faintly resonating with the sound of his own steps.
Empty — a few passersby in search of a shelter nearby. He imagined to be a ghost haunting these places without life, enjoying the feeling of being the predator felinely prowling in this scene without spectators, shrouded in the reassuring complicity of the night.
India Louise shivered in the draughty corridor and glanced furtively over her shoulder. Bill! she hissed into the keyhole. She tapped softly on the door again, afraid of waking Manon in the next room. It would be difficult enough to explain to Bill, let alone trying to explain to the nosy and rather batty cook.
She wrapped her dressing gown tightly round her, and felt the weighty key clunk against her thigh. Eugenia and India Louise had been playing ‘let’s pretend’ with the key that Grandad Wrick had thrown on the bonfire (that India found in the ashes the next day and thought would make a super present for Eugenia….. they both loved odd little gifts).
For days they’d been wandering around the many corridors and wings of the Wrick castle, and Eugenia’s ancient rambling Sandlebright Hall. On fine days they’d explored the grounds, the aviaries and stables and hay barns, the meadows and follies, the lodges and farm cottages, through the spinney to the river and the boathouse, and back through the rose arbours… imagining themselves in different times and places, as different people, making up stories and weaving the key into each little story…… the murder at the boathouse and the key to the mystery… the key to the kitchen and the affairs of the cook… the parrots and the key to the bird cage…… the key to the captains trunk in the attic…
Until they found the place where the key didn’t fit into the story…that is to say, the one place that should have needed a key, The Locked Room that only great grandad Wrick ever went in, was unlocked.
India Louise wrapped the big rusty key up in leopard spotted wrapping paper and tied it up with ribbon. She’d been invited to Eugenia’s birthday party, and she was excited. To be truthful, she was looking forward to meeting Oscar just as much as she was looking forward to the jelly and ice cream, trifles, and smarties.
Everywhere Jadra went he could feel hostile eyes upon him. He knew why of course; he knew they were jealous because he had been favoured by the Gods. So he kept his hand safely hidden, wrapped in his shirt
Jadra had a plan. He put his shirt back on and pulled the sleeve on the left arm down as far as it would go, till his left hand could no longer be seen. He modelled a new hand roughly out of twigs and plants and walked to the river. On the way he shouted at the top of his voice CURSED HAND, YOU HAVE GIVEN ME NOTHING BUT GRIEF. I WOULD RATHER NOT HAVE A HAND THAN HAVE SUCH A WICKED, EVIL APPENDAGE ATTACHED TO MY BODY.
After shouting such sentiments till his voice was hoarse and he knew he had drawn sufficient attention he threw the hand in the river. He had cunningly weighted the hand with pebbles he had found in a cave so it would sink to the bottom of the river.
GOOD RIDDANCE HAND. MAY YOU ROT IN THE BOTTOM OF THIS RIVER AND NEVER AGAIN INFLICT YOUR EVIL ON ANY OTHER POOR UNSUSPECTING SOUL.
HA! He thought, tremendously pleased with himself for executing such a perfectly clever plan. That should throw the evil hounds off the scent of Jadra Iamamad.
He felt he was not far from the cave now.
Arona hummed happily to herself. She felt so light without the cape and the tunnel was bathed in the gentle light of many glukenitches. Mandrake the cat followed along too, much to Arona’s delight, although she was a little hesitant to tell this to the grumpy cat
Magic magic magic magic she hummed to herself
Arona almost skipped along the tunnel, and, so wrapped up was she in thoughts of magic, that she tripped and fell heavily, hurting her left hand as she put it out to save herself
Ouch, hells bells and warty wizards, she muttered, for it did hurt quite considerably… and then she had some scarey thoughts. She looked around and realised that really, the fact of the matter was, undeniably, that she was still lost in the darkish tunnel.
What if I don’t believe in magic? and her happy mood plummeted.
Oh fuch, she swore, and sat down on the cave floor. FUCH FUCH FUCH FUCH she shouted as loud as she possibly could, and in fact hurt her throat a little in the process and quite possibly the sensitive ears of many glukenitches.
This blessed cave is doing my head in. I want to see the sunshine, or the rain, no matter, I don’t care what the weather is doing I JUST WANT TO BE OUT OF THIS CAVE.
Ooops that was rather loud
After coaxing Mandrake back, as he had retreated quite some distance at her outburst, she sat down and put her head in her hands and tried to think. Did she believe in magic? Well of course she had no choice. Life without magic was inconceivable to her.
She felt a familiar tiredness sweep over her as she struggled to work it out. Perhaps I will just have a small sleep before I continue, and she curled up on the ground, wishing she had her heavy black cape to wrap around her.
As she gave up the struggle and let sleep come she heard some soft words
It’s easy Arona … magic is easy … it is the thread linking all to all
A short while later she woke from her sleep, feeling refreshed and ready to continue.
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