So the Story goes...
Arona was lost. She had been lost for quite some time now and had got over the initial surprise this realisation had given her. It was not very often now that she questioned her decision to leave the others. She had tired of their endless journeying, always in circles, always moving and yet never seeming to move beyond the confines of the small village.
One day she told them she was leaving. She wasn’t even sure if they heard her but still she set off, wearing her heavy black cape and carrying a small bag of her most treasured possessions.
Arona had not been sure of the cape, it was so heavy, yet she feared the cold nights and loved the security of it’s warmth. It had been a gift from her parents, a long time ago, when she was just a child. Wear this cape and one day it will bring you happiness, her mother had said.
Her mother said many odd things and had left on a journey of her own a many years ago, so Arona had never really been able to find out what she meant. Magically the cape had grown with her body, moulding itself to her.
The worst of the winter cold was over now and Arona found the cape almost unbearably heavy at times, yet she could not quite bring herself to leave it behind. Sometimes she would take it off, relishing in the lightness and feeling the warmth of the sun on her body. She always put it back on though, just in case she needed it one day.
Arona pulled out a well worn map from her bag. The map had been a gift from a travelling wizard who visited the village a few years ago. Arona had given him food and shelter and he repaid her kindness with the map. He seemed to think it was quite generous of him and Arona had thanked him politely. To be honest it was not really much use to her as she had no sense of direction, not even knowing which way north was, and not knowing where she was going anyway. She preferred just to follow whichever way seemed lightest at the time. But it was handy having the map because when she met others on the journey who asked her where she was going, she would wave her map at them. It made her look good, she thought, and saved her from too many questions.
That day as she sat on a rock pretending to ponder her map she became aware of a faint sound of music in the distance. She had not heard music for such a long time. Once on her journey she had passed a wandering minstrel and begged him to play for her so that she could dance. In exchange she had lent him her cloak for a while to keep him warm.
She felt the music beckoning her.
Fiona loved Quintin’s drawings. They had a feel of magic and lightness and she was entranced by them. They were like the children’s films she had been watching lately, with many layers to them and touching something inside her mind, a distant memory which felt strangely close.
Her own drawings felt heavy to her, and she had made a decision not to paint again unless she felt inspired. She did not really understand inspiration, only knew that she was tired of trying so hard.
where… the sound…
of my tears hits the ground
Just like the rain
Just like the rain…
Just like the rain (Richard Hawley)
Dory has felt like the singer lately, “walking a world of empty streets”, but this had been a fruitful time to gather much information on herself; and now, there was something new she felt was coming her way. Or perhaps it was the other way around, she was coming to it, but in fact, it couldn’t matter less.
It had been, now she thought of it, it had been like a settling down of winter, so that the magic snow could appear, and be laid upon the barren lands, to provide a renewed enjoyment and vista on the landscape.
And the drops of the rain created a playful symphony of waves on the surface of the pond she was looking at through the window, and she rejoiced with the goldfishes of what was to come now.
Fiona realised she had run out of catfood as her black cat Ivy leapt up on the desk and began talking and rubbing against her face. Ivy was a very determined cat, and life would be unpleasant till this little issue was resolved. Maybe she should get some eggs too, all morning eggs had been coming to her attention for some reason. She wasn’t hungry right now, but maybe would be later.
Dory was often saying how her animals reflected something that was going on in her life, at the moment it was the need to focus on herself more. Fiona wondered what Ivy reflected. She had never had a cat more persistent in getting it’s own way. Or more talkative. That doesn’t really sound much like me, Fiona reflected, but it did feel like there was something there she wasn’t quite getting.
The other funny thing Fiona noticed was that she kept drawing the music card. She had a box of Angel cards her friend gave her, and had been fiddling with them. Three times the music card had fallen out from the pack. “The angels guide you to immerse yourself in beautiful music”, hmmm she thought to herself, beautiful music … maybe that will drown Ivy out …
Dory was floating. The warm waters of the lagoon rippled underneath her, relaxing and soothing. The sun was going down, and the sky was quilted with puffy pink clouds above her, the coconut trees black silhouettes against the blue-green horizon. Lazily, her gaze drifted towards the beach. The lemurs were dancing their magical dance amongst the trees. Balti chuckled behind her. Oh I forgot you were there Balti! He chuckled again. You wouldn’t relax, Dory, unless I promised to hold you, you thought you might drown. Dory had forgotten all about drowning.
Let’s go to the dance, Balti, she said. The dance of the lemurs . We can float closer to the shore and then we may hear the music.
Dory had been taking some days of vacation in Madagascar, as she had delayed that break in her passionate archeology studies for much too long already. But it was now the beginning of the rainy season, and there hadn’t been much people here in her hotel, which was not displeasing at all, even if she usually liked more exchanges.
Hopefully, today had been a bright sunny day, a sort of relief in between torrents of rains that had poured, and she had seen some organized excursion which had caught her eye. A funny enticing winking lemur picture on a wall, when she had walked to have her breakfast, and that was all she’d needed to enlist.
Dory yawned and stretched. She was wrapped in a lovely feeling, but as usual couldn’t recall any details of her dream. Lately though, she’d get a phrase, or a snapshot to give her a clue. The Dance of the Lemurs. How silly is that, she thought, whatever does it mean. She popped it into her Clue Box with all the other riddles and clues.
Dory was enjoying her holiday. She loved the bambu bungalow with the open sides that allowed the mysterious scents to waft though with the warm breeze, and the wispy images to float right through her. She wriggled on the water bed, and then lay still, and let the ripples smooth her.
Dory was feeling so refreshed from all the floating… in the warm lagoon with Balti, on the water bed with all the coloured wispies drifting though and gently caressing and tickling her skin… I’m in the mood for dancing , she thought and jumped off the bed singing I’m in the mood for DANCING… lala la la lalaaaah…
Just then a funny little man with a huge cheeky grin appeared and held out a tray. Smoothies! Coconut and berry smoothies, and pink cakes, croissants and oranges, and a box of cadbury’s chocolates. Dory slurped and munched and gobbled and slurped some more, and underneath where the chocolate was, she saw a brochure.
On the front cover was a picture of a cave. OOHH A CAVE! Dory loved caves! Let’s go to the cave today, Minky! she said to the funny fellow with the impish grin. Minky winked.
Fiona could feel herself on the verge of doing something radical. In fact she had decided. She was not sure what exactly she had decided, but definitely a decision had been made. She had noticed how often she had been deleting her posts lately on an online blog she kept.
It was clearly a sign.
Fiona enjoyed deleting. Quintin and Dory were rather odd about her deleting. Quintin especially, who apparently never deleted anything. She wondered if this was reflected in other aspects of his life. Maybe he was a hoarder, barely able to move for all the things surrounding him. Dory tended to be a bit of hoarder, she often confessed to this trait. Nothing wrong with hoarding of course, thought Fiona. It is perfectly fine.
Fiona resisted a sudden impulse to go and delete her whole blog, for now anyway.
She was not quite sure what form her decision would take, but realised she felt distinctly peaceful.
Yann had been having these strange dreams and impressions since he’d been in that cave during his last trip to Scotland. In the cave he had that strange impression of a dragon roaring, but he’d rationalized that with the noise of the falls, it was quite deafening. It’d been raining for so much time that the amount of water streaming through that cave was amazing… the visits had been suspended because they feared floods and they couldn’t really explore the cave then. All he could do then was picking up a pebble for Fiona, a pebble he had still to send her
After that, he’d had the weirdest impression to be observed by dragons… they felt quite big, and event though he tried to tell himself it was some effect of his imagination, he was still uneasy about that.
The imagery of dragons had continued with his discussion with Quintin, who told him he had drawn that very cave… in which there were dragon eggs and their keeper. A strange harper woman. When he’d been shown the painting, Yann had that feeling of déjà vu, and the kid attending the newborn dragon on the upper right of the picture had aroused an intense desire to do that very action.
“The tunnels had been changed again”, he thought first.
That weird thought made him laugh and he couldn’t tell to Quintin why… yet.
And last week there was his friend Anastasia who was coming back from a trip to Budapest where she had seen so many dragons in the hotel, in the museums, and there was that parade, they were calling that the dragon’s parade, and it was music and parties all the Saturday night. She enjoyed that tremendously. She even told him she had the impression of being a dragon when looking in the mirror right after that night.
Dory was lost. She got sidetracked on the way to the cave, darting into a shop that had shawls and capes in deep pastel shades displayed in the window.
Lots of things were moving around, Quintin felt. It was nothing he could have explained in words of the physical world, but he was aware of some deep movement, something like a new beginning.
Lots of others had been moving too, in their own ways, sometimes not quite comfortably, but it was calmer now, like after a tempest, clear limpid sky, and splinters of wooden ships floating gently on the oily surface of the sea.
Dory had been very sick in Madagascar she’d told him, perhaps after having eaten some food, she could not have told why. But now was better… It had seemed a good night of sleep was good enough a medicine for her.
He had dreamed of Fiona too, some shared past lives in the 1860s in a small town in the US, it had been very vivid, and he had felt a great lovingness between them… Somehow they could find each other again, anytime, he knew that.
As for Yann, after that week-end they had spent together, all was clear too between them, they could create the fun they wanted without needing to make it difficult for them, it was only a matter of being accepting of their own choices and impulses, which was at times easier said than done.
Dory felt like a wet blanket. She’d overdosed on colours in the shawl and cape shop, and had to lie down in the back room. As she waited for the room to stop spinning, sprawled on a rather smelly old sofa that seemed more like a glukenitch bed than a sofa, she listened to various snatches of conversations through the thin walls.
That morning Fiona’s boyfriend asked her to marry him. He even had a date in mind. Over the weekend she had told him how she was feeling. She thought she had spoken plainly enough and he had gone away. She had a bad weekend but yesterday felt she was starting to be more herself again. So it came as a surprise, and she had to explain again.
And then she went to bed, and pulled the covers over her head, and let the sound of the rain falling outside soothe her.
She had a funny dream. She was in a courtroom seated on a little wooden chair, wearing a beautiful dress made of exquisite lace. In her arms she held a baby. She had dreamed of the baby before, but in the previous dream she had felt only repulsion for the funny little thing with its exhausted tiny body, and extra long hair. This time she was holding it protectively.
On one side of the courtroom were a group of people looking very serious and professional. She felt them to be mainly doctors and lawyers and they wore dark suits. On the other there were people chanting and waving placards. Some were meditating, others were dancing and they looked like crazy hippy people.
The two groups of people were fighting over something, shouting backwards and forwards, and it seemed to be something to do with her. She was getting more and more tense as she sat on the little chair with her head down and listened to the two sides, till it seemed she might explode.
Suddenly she looked up and she saw a funny Chinese gentleman, smiling and winking at her. He held out his hand to her and, holding the baby gently with one arm, she took it gratefully and they escaped from the bedlam.
When Fiona eventually decided she could emerge from beneath the covers the rain had stopped.
Bugger this! she said
She put on music loudly and danced around the house doing the housework…..
The pebbles were on their way to Fiona… the postman was very kind and told him it would arrive in 10 days max. The funny thing is that when Yann entered the post-office he first went to the automatic machine that wasn’t working, and when he was queuing he felt that it would be to that man he would give the parcel.
There had been lots of movements during the night, he could’t remember a single thing except that he was talking with Archie… weirdo!
And when he woke up, a friend with whom he hadn’t talk for ages had sent him a mail. He had thought the day before that he would speak to her soon. Soon has been very soon indeed.
Dory drifted off to sleep, despite the sounds of the conversations going on all around her in the next rooms. She dreamed of camels and a washing machine that wouldn’t spin with a full load, and then it turned into one of those teeth falling out and rushing to the dentist dreams, and then strangest of all, she woke up with a dream snapshot image of a perfect heart shaped….well it looked like a heart shaped dog turd!
“BUGGER THIS” Dory woke up with a start. Someone in the room on the right had turned the music up and was singing ‘Bugger this’ to all the tunes.
Yann woke up with a strange feeling, like something was changing eggstremely quickly… an odd impression of glowing green and of moisty tunnels and of a strange cat-headed individual, a bit lost and feverish.
This morning, Fiona and Quintin had a small impromptu chat —or rather, prompted by the story they were all weaving, that Archie, the puppet black panther, had been telling them last week-end that it was a magic connection between all of them…
Quintin: Your story was great!
Fiona: Thank you So was yours.
Have you written any more since I last looked at the story?
Quintin: no, I’m not that much inspired… I even considered to wrap in up in a way, but seeing you were all drawing so much from it, I think I will leave it open ever after…
Fiona: no, wrap it up if you feel.
I have drawn what I wanted. I will go and blow up the cave if we don’t finish it
Quintin: Ahahaha! Don’t restrict yourself
Quintin: This one nagged me because there were many people I felt behind it and I did not know how to get them to show up and make their presences known. And I felt that it was loose enough too, to allow people to jump into it; and there was your initial interest in the picture
Fiona: The endearing dragons…
But I had strictly no idea about the rest. It was just a bet, on luck…
That’s funny, because I had a strange impression of a little girl yesterday, in a futuristic city, named something like Janice , and it was like she knew now what she wanted to do, and it was something similar to that, something like creating worlds for other people, in which they could have fun, or heal, or explore things…
Fiona: And did she have any impression of what form that could take? Like books, or games or what…
Quintin: No, it was much more “real” in fact…
Fiona: you know like the card-captor game which I suppose is interactive, so real
Quintin: Yeah, perhaps a bit like that, yes; or like creating a ball of energy in which people can be drawn and experience as they will. It’s only a translation, but that’s the idea… in a way, that’s very similar to a game or a book, but only that it just feels totally “real”
Fiona: So a little bit like I have done with the story, to resolve something
Quintin: yeah, exactly, or with your paintings
Fiona: It can be really useful to take on other personas to do that, even like in drama type situations, being someone else…
Quintin: Yeah, people can unleash their imagination.
And I think there are still lots of things that we can expand in this universe in fact, not only related to the cave…
Fiona: such as? eggsamples?
Quintin: You said it! The eggs and relationships with dragons, all the magical artifacts or creatures. Didn’t you want a baby dragon?
Fiona: Yeah, I told you I did, but you just said some riddle!
Quintin: Did I? That’s not like me
Fiona: Ahahhaha! It is you to the core
Quintin: LOL, damn me!
Fiona: Well, that is a bit strong, but …
Quintin: Ahahahahah. I said you would have to earn his trust? (or hers, for that matter)
Fiona: I can’t remember the eggsact wording, I think I had to work for it though, like you weren’t just handing out dragons on a plate
Quintin: It could bound with you very strongly and help you unravel your unknown magical powers. It’s not just a creature, it’s a complex personality, you cannot just take it like a puppy. There is a sharing between the two…
Fiona: So are you going to allocate baby dragons to people or what? Or shall I just go and find an egg that no one knew was there
Quintin: Ahahah, no, they will not be allocated, they will choose their own partners
Fiona: Ahahaha, one minute you say it is my story! And now you are back in control
Quintin: Ahahaha, the story has a willing of its own too…
Try to do what you want, it’s not a matter of control ; it’s just you’ll know what clicks and what does not…
Quintin: And actually, I don’t think everyone will be interested in dragons…
Fiona: How does a dragon help one learn magic powers?
Quintin: It’s just because there is an openness between the two; let me find something for you, that Elias (you know, Michaela’s partner), has told to me and Yann, when we had them on the phone last month.
: I would express to you that, as you focus your energies with each other, and you allow yourselves to merge and feel into each others’ energies, you may in actuality each discover some obstacles that the other may not necessarily be aware of yet, and you can share that with each other, and therefore facilitate your interactions even further.
Fiona: And how having a baby dragon could help unleash our magic powers then?
Quintin: It helps because it reinforces your trust in your own abilities to connect. It’s not directing, it’s a sharing and exploration for both of them; that’s why they are picky. As you would be picky too, knowing you would share together all the darkest corners…
Fiona: I am not sure if i have dark corners
Quintin: it was a metaphor
Fiona: I know, so was mine
Fiona: I was thinking I feel really accepting of myself
Quintin: Yeah, that’s the point in the little adventure before you meet it.
You have shown your trust in yourself and in your abilities, and your self-centeredness, which is essential, for the dragon doesn’t want a frail personality. Because he drops his defenses too when he shares and bonds.
Fiona: Well I think it sounds scarey now, what if no dragon picked me…
Quintin: There will be instant recognition. And you don’t “need” a dragon actually, that’s what is important: it’s a catalyst, nothing more, nothing less…
Fiona: I felt like I have pictures now to assist me. I link strongly to pictures as a quick reference when I start to feel something like a negative emotion, for instance I may start to worry about how I am going to have enough money, or whatever, and I could quickly link to the spider picture
Quintin: you mean, you create an imagery, right? That is something which I like in your stories and emails; even though it is not necessary to create imagery, it’s always so entertaining, like having these funny creatures pop in the cave!
Fiona: Ahahahaha yes
Quintin: And also, in creating imagery, it helps you seeing it in a more neutral way
Fiona: I suppose it is just a quick trigger for the desired belief. I can link in quickly with the child, when I start to feel left out, for example.
Quintin: yeah, beliefs as an alphabet or a palette, neutral, but that can create words and sentences or images. And the imagery of the child was very similar for me, to that of the playfulness picture
Fiona: Yeah, I know… That’s what I said to you with the playfulness picture
Quintin: Of course, you know
Fiona: That I related most to the figure of blue hat… and big feet
Quintin: Ahahaha, stomping on the poor key-fish
Quintin: Have to go now, thank you for this enjoyable conversation
Fiona: See you!
The singing in the next room was getting louder. As Dory started to sing along, she felt better. Bugger this! she shouted, and leapt off the musty sofa. The trip to the cave! She felt around the floor with her feet for her shoes, and wasn’t altogether surprised to find her magic flying sandals. Perfect, how perfect is that! She looked around the cluttered shop store room as she buckled the sandals straps. She grabbed a bright blue energy blanket off a pile of coloured shawls, a pith helmet off a hatstand, a mini magic tool kit in a terracotta patterned kilim bag, and on impulse, a glass egg timer with bright fuchsia pink sand.
As she ran out of the back door a parrot in an elaborate wrought iron cage squalked ‘Don’t forget the key, dear, don’t forget the key’.
Key? What key?
‘Don’t forget the key dear don’t forget the key dear don’t forget the key…’
WHAT bloody key dear! Dory was really anxious to get to the cave now, but something held her back.
The key, the key… There was something she couldn’t quite remember about a key. She looked around the room in a panic, It could take me HOURS to find the key in here, she ranted. Ok, ok, I tell you what, she said to the bird, I’ll let you out of that cage, you find the key, and catch me up. Meet me at the cave with the key, OK?
Illi felt much better, and was sitting at the breakfast table, basking in the warm shafts of sunlight filtering in through the window, and listening to the birds singing in the lemon tree outside.
BelleDora came in from the kitchen bearing a large tray with freshly squeezed buckberry juice, soft boiled eggs in pistachio green eggcups and bread and butter soldiers, and The Reality Times newspaper.
Illi wasn’t in the habit of reading the news, but occasionally found an article of interest. Todays headlines looked intriguing: Fiona’s Diary: never before published excerpts of the Malvina Dragon saga.
Everything started to happen at once. As Sanso sat up, craning his neck looking at the door in the ceiling, a terrific flapping and squalking noise approached from behind him, starting as a distant vibration and rising in an unbearable crescendo as it rounded the last bend in the tunnel. Suddenly the noise stopped as Sanso felt a weight on his shoulder, and then a thud on the sandy floor. Bugger this, the parrot screeched in his ear. Bugger this bugger this bugger bugger bugger…
Sanso was momentarily speechless, as his eye fell on the key. He picked it up and turned it over in his hand, feeling the rusty weight of it. He turned to look at the parrot on his shoulder, who thankfully had stopped his shrill squalking.
This must be the key to that door, he whispered to the parrot. Let’s try it and see.
Bugger this, sighed the parrot, Here I am bringing the key, remembering everything everyone else forgets, running the show here and I don’t even have a name in this silly story.
Yann found that strange article while surfing the internet. It was about a whole bunch of Italian tourists that had disappeared around the Smoo Cave in Scotland… wasn’t that the cave he visited when he was in Scotland?
The article was continuing with the number of tourists : 57!!!! all they had found until now were their 16 vans. Apparently some people said the cave was haunted and that at times they see the bushes around move in weird ways or some green glowing energy during storms.
Yann wondered about the tourists… where could they have possibly gone?