Whenever and wherever Sanso may pop in
So the Story goes...
Sanso stood at the entrance to the cave, looking out over the valley. He loved the rich orange-red rocky cliffs and towering stone pillars, and recognized them at once. He remembered this place! A vague nostalgia swept over him, he’d loved it here, hadn’t wanted to leave…… A song started playing in his head …… ‘we wept when we remembered Zion’… mmm mmm mmm mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm……… when we remembered Zion….
What an extraordinary cave it was, Sanso thought, when he’d wiped his eyes and his nose on his indigo blue shawl. Every time I see a light at the end of one of the tunnels and follow it to the cave entrance, it leads me to another time and place.
The rain started to fall, gently at first, and then the valley was filled with the strange pale green light of an approaching thunderstorm. Reluctantly, Sanso made his way back into the cave.
Sanso was used to travelling alone. He’d been exploring this cave on his own for several years now, and it suited him, on the whole. No need to confer, or compromise, or rush to keep up, or slow down to let others catch up. He could follow his own impulses without hindrance. He did meet others on his travels, but only at the cave entrances, or rather, the times and places that the cave entrances revealed. He never felt an urge to settle though at any of these places, always compelled to return to the caves mysterious and ever changing labyrinthine tunnels.
The disembodied voices and coloured wispies were always with him in the tunnels. Sometimes one would be louder than another for awhile, then another would assume prominence. The bleakest coldest times were when he wasn’t noticing them; that’s when he found himself going round and round in circles, lost in the maze.
The electric blue wispy had been around alot lately, comforting him with little explosions of pinprick blue lights, and a golden mustard yellow one. English, not French mustard, he reminded himself, although he didn’t think it mattered and wondered why he’d thought it.
Sanso had been almost crawling for some time in a particuarly cramped and difficult tunnel; bent double for most of the time, his back was aching and he longed to stretch out. The thought of going back, retracing his steps, was unbearable, so he continued, and tried not to be discouraged.
‘Find something to appreciate, Appreciation is the key’ the voice of the blue wispy sounded amused, but in a kindly and endearing sort of way. Harumph, muttered Sanso, easy to say! It would help if there was something to appreciate!
Just then Sanso heard another voice, muttering something over and over again. ‘… dragon egg dragon… egg dog egg … dragon dog egg…’ What the heck was that all about?
The transmugrification was about to start.
He had been checking out every living being in the cave, and wanted to make things less complicated for them, without startling them too much. For creatures, that was easy, he could communicate well with them, and they knew the changes would be temporary.
But for humans, let alone gripshawks, that was more difficult as they could play deaf as pleased them.
Hopefully, the gripshawk was in good hands outside the cave, and that was probably better for her, as she would probably have hurt herself more than was necessary in not listening to the exhortations to stay calm.
As for the young adventuress, she was sleeping joyfully, and the little glukenitch that Leörmn had left to her side to keep watch and warn him in case she would be too distressed was silently watching over her.
Írtak was aware that the process was about to begin, as he had been trained by Malvina to listen to the flimsiest changes in the cave, and how his body was responding to these subtle modifications. This one would probably become of great dragon rider, but for now he was young and needed to hone his abilities. His father had been renouncing of telling him what was best and most reasonable for him to do, and allowed him to spend much time in the cave. He was not really interested by these magical things, but he knew they were important for his son, and was encouraging, in his own manner.
As for Malvina, she was unaffected in a way, because she was part of Leörmn as much as he was a part of her, and it was like they were moving hand in hand. These hiding and seeking the eggs were like a playful game between them, because their interests were different, but all in all, they were one, and trusted each other completely.
The more troublesome was perhaps Sanso, the wanderer. This one seemed trapped in between Worlds. The caves at times also acted as portals between Worlds, and this one had been unknowingly crossing the Worlds, as the delimitations between imagination and reality were only in words, and did not really exist. Leörmn was hoping he would not appear in the midst of the ruckus.
So, on one of the wooden decks near the apartments of Malvina, he sat, overlooking the glowing eggs, and bathing into the music.
Closing his eyes, he felt every part of the cave as if it were an extension of his own body, which was in fact much bigger than this current appearance, so big in fact that it was the World itself. And every creature breathing in it was a very cherished part of his body, and he slowly breathed in and out.
He envisioned a great light pouring from the volcanic insides of the cavern, which inundated the cave in a misty warmth. It was a loving light that neither glukenitches nor schpurniatz feared. And the sinuous insides of the caves expanded and straightened in huge corridors, and doors disappeared, and gorgeous paintings from the mind and craft of Malvina decorated the walls in rich colours.
And near the platform, inside the hall, a huge table sprung from the floor, for the banquet that was to come.
And a new egg was laid somewhere in the cave, glowing of an emerald tint.
This “one” was a bit different though…
Sanso was very hungry. He’d been living on the fungus that grew inside the dampest parts of the cave, but the recent stretches of tunnel had been much drier, sandy even. He hadn’t found a cave entrance for days and longed to step out of the cave into air and sunlight and green things, and find something fresh and juicy to eat.
Beginning to feel quite despondent, and with the hunger and thirst making his body ache terribly, he sat down, crumpled into a heap on the sandy floor. He lay back, stretching out flat and slept for what seemed like days.
He woke up mumbling the name Eggleton, which reminded him of a dish he’d encountered at one of the cave entrance worlds. He’d wandered into a beautiful strange green and rainy land, and followed the delicious aroma of something that seemed so delightfully familiar, that he couldn’t quite place, something that reminded him of mornings. Coffee! He remembered now. The smell of coffee had led him to a door with big brass numbers on it: 57. He opened the door and peered round it, wondering if he’d be welcome. It had seemed as though nobody was there, but a table was laid for one, with scrambled eggs on toast (freshly cooked as if whoever had prepared it had known eggsactly when he would arrive) and a steaming pot of black coffee.
Sanso stretched and realized his many aches and pains had been eased by the sleep on the soft sand on the cave floor, and the dry atmosphere, and slowly opened his eyes. Lying flat on his back, he was looking directly up at the tunnel ceiling. There was a door in the ceiling, strangely parrallel to the floor, an odd position for a door, he thought. His heart lurched and his stomach growled again with hunger as he noticed the large brass numbers on the door: 57.
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.
“His name is Archibald”
Sanso and the parrot jumped. Who said that?
“I did” said India Louise.
Both Sanso and the parrot blinked. A little girl in a woolly jumper was standing right in front of them.
“Where did you come from?” asked Sanso, as the parrot inquired “How did you know my name?”
By the time Illi had finished reading the newspaper article she felt thoroughly confused. Mechanically she folded the newspaper neatly and then lit a cigarette, resting her elbows on the breakfast table and her chin in her hands. She gazed through the ribbons of blue smoke and the dust drifting through the sunbeams, wondering if she was dreaming, dead, or alive. It was becoming so hard to tell the difference.
Oh well, I’ll think about it later, she thought, and mentally popped it into her clue and riddle box. Her mind wandered back to the story she’d just been reading, and the charming illustrations. The drawing of the young man in the white robe had seemed familiar, and she liked his name too…Sanso, The Wanderer.
As she imagined him, she felt herself lurch ever so slightly sideways, and as she did, the image in her mind of Sanso became suddenly life-like…incredibly so! He was looking at her in astonishment, and taking a step backwards, saying Lordy! not another one appearing out of thin air!
Illi looked around and found herself not in the sunny breakfast room but in a sandy cave, with a little girl in a wooly jumper, a young man in a white robe holding a large rusty key, and a parrot.
Suddenly Illi didn’t care anymore whether she was alive or dead, dreaming or awake. This was beginning to look like fun.
Illi was getting bored waiting for Dory under the door on the cave ceiling with this motley crew. Sanso was looking slightly bemused, but smiling happily, as if he was enjoying the company after years of travelling alone. India Louise was yawning and fading in and out, there one minute and gone the next, and then back again. The parrot had flown off to look for Dory.
She was squatting next to a hole, a dry hole in the desert with the hot dry wind flapping her shawls. A boy, her son she thought, was leaning towards her, earnestly talking, and then a decision was reached…..
Then the scene changed and she was in a swirling mist, a pea souper, must be London. Illi’s thought intruded slightly into the scene, making it wobble and the images jumble up. Illi saw a tuppence on a grey pavement and as her eyes rose she could just make out through the mist a sign for an exhibition of artifacts. Illi felt herself drawn to the picture on the sign and felt the hot dry wind and the flapping of the shawls in the wind on her face again. The flapping was getting louder and louder and Illi opened her eyes.
The parrot was back, and Dory was with him.
As the parrot set off in search of Dory he came to a fork in the tunnels. Down one tunnel he would find Dory, and down another tunnel he wouldn’t. HHMM. Well, I’ll just do bother, he decided, (chuckling to himself that he’d said bother when really he meant both) and probability parrot one set off down the right tunnel and probability parrot two set off down the left. Probability parrot one (or PP1 for short) did indeed find Dory, and was heading back towards Sanso and the door in the ceiling with Dory tripping along behind him, when he came to another crossroads. PP1 went right, and PP3 went left, and so on, and before long the caves were full of parrots.
Raising an eyelid, his cheerful wrinkled face smiled at the little girl.
— And how can I be of assistance, dear little one?
— Grandad, this book is full of wonders, but at times it’s like some characters have their own life, and I don’t always understand what they do… In fact, she added thoughtfully, I don’t understand them most of the time…
— Hahaha, laughed the old Lord, but they have certainly their own lives, as they are living in your imagination. What can I explain to you?
— Well, let me think.
India Louise took a moment, and asked again
— For instance, this woman who just run in the cave, she seems to meet many people here, but I am confused. Is she dreaming, or are they real?
— Well, as a matter of fact, let me express to you that they are all real, even if you think that she dreams them. However, I am understanding of what you are saying, and I shall acknowledge your perspicacity. These characters are not all from the same areas of consciousness.
Here, we will explain for the reader that these books were not unknown to Lord Wrick who had spent lots of time during his youth playing with them. How they were lost and found again is the subject of another story, and we will not divert the reader’s patient attention for much longer on this issue.
— Areas of consciousness?
— Yes, you see, let me explain. That individual that you call Dory, she is in a physical world. But she is aware, to an extent, of other realities that overlap her own reality. Just as her story overlaps your own reality my dear one.
— And Illi? Who is she?
— This one is also Dory, but another personality of her, in another time. She has just passed away, quite recently. She is beginning to slowly become aware of that, and she connects with other of her personalities, and at times blends with them, like the other Illi, the cat-like creature, who is still in the physical reality of Malvina’s world.
— Mmmm, this is quite intricate…
— Hahahaha, yes, it seems so, but it will not be so puzzling when you don’t try to attach your current limited perception to this story. This story is you my dear. You are the story.
— Well, and Sanso, and Georges then, are they dead or what? How come Dory can see them?
— These ones are special, they have mastered the crossing of the Worlds, and can move through them. They move differently though. Sanso comes from a lineage of an ancient tribe of Zion, and had learn from them how to activate some portals, but only through the physical world of Dory, in their own time. He is not yet aware that he can also move through time as well, or even through other Worlds —worlds that he has no conception of yet.
Georges is more consummate in that art. Their meeting is not coincidental. You will see that.
— Thank you Grandad, it’s becoming a bit less confusing.
— Just flow with the story my little one, don’t hold on too much, or you will find it too difficult, and you will stop to find fun in it.
Sanso was beginning to feel an urge to move. Waiting under the door in the ceiling in the cave tunnel, just watching India Louise and Illi fade in and out of view, and waiting for Dory and the parrot to return was getting boring. He was a wanderer by nature, and so he wandered off along the tunnel. He didn’t stop to wonder which tunnel to choose when he came to a junction, he just went with whatever one he happened to choose. He didn’t really mind where he ended up, that was the thing. This philosophy had always seemed to work well for him, because he ALWAYS ended up somewhere interesting; somewhere where he couldn’t imagine not being, once he was there, as if it was always the ‘right’ place to be, and at the ‘right’ time to be there.
The cave tunnel was becoming wider and less cramped. Sanso straightened his back and quickened his pace, and started to sing.
Hello Dolly, oh helloooo Dolly, do de dooo de do do dodedodedooooo……. chuckling to himself and wondering where on earth did THAT come from….. Oh helloooooo Dolly……
and walked right into a coatstand, of all things, getting splodged in the face with a rather smelly wet blue cape. The coatstand teetered and Sanso grabbed it to stop it falling over. There was a note pinned onto it:
Watch my shifting, Tell the time; Shape me wet, and Lose me dry; Colour me pink and grey and gold, and Find the secrets that I hold, What am I?
Sanso didn’t hesitate for a single moment. SAND!
Sanso grinned with delight at guessing the riddle so quickly, and then laughed out loud. How clever am I, he said, I guessed the answer to my own riddle! Still chortling, Sanso gave the wet cape a fond pat and set off again.
The tunnel was widening and eventually broadened into a cavern. Bright sparkling shafts of sunlight were beaming down from several holes in the cavern roof.
Sanso blinked a few times and squinted until his eyes became accustomed to the light. The cavern was huge, and everywhere he looked were paintings and markings on the walls, even the places impossible to reach. Some were creatures, some were symbols, in black and red and yellow and orange.
Sanso was entranced. He sank down to a sitting position, and then stretched out flat on his back, gazing at the markings on the walls. He stretched his arms out, filling his palms with sand and then letting it go, and trailing his fingers through the sand…sand…..
Sand! I may have got the riddle, thought Sanso, but I didn’t get the POINT of the riddle being there in the first place!
HHMM, I’m not so clever after all……
‘I will tell you’, the voice was saying, ‘that the reason you are looking for is probably right under your nose’.
Sanso wondered who the voice in his head belonged to. He heard voices all the time, so many different ones, and he often didn’t know one from another.
‘You might need to step back in order to let it come into focus’….
After Sanso heard the voice “the reason you are looking for is right under your nose” he thought he had better go and have another look at that smelly, well was it smelly? hmmm perhaps not, just a bit mouldy, old cape. Just in case it was a clue and he had missed it.
He was surprised and delighted to see Arona, who was still sitting quietly meditating.
Oh, goodness, said Arona startled, Who are you?
Sanso had stopped listening and was gazing at the round glass ball filled with the sand shapes.
Good Lord! he gasped, Is that a sabulmantium ! And a very early model too. This is a classic! The later models are much more complex, this is very fundamental, but beautifully made.
Oh really, well it is great fun
Fascinating she said, and Mandrake rolled his eyes.
Sanso didn’t notice that the creature called Madrake was rolling his eyes. While he explained to the rather odd but delightfully enchanting Arona the finer points of sabulmantium technology, he was thinking about what Arona had just said about her mission. Her overall mission, she’d said, was to learn all about magic.
Sanso wondered what his own mission was and didn’t think he had one. Unless his mission was a glorious infinite wandering, threading multicoloured silken skeins of clues and riddles, people and places, weaving them in and out of time and to each other….the never ending tapestry, ever changing and splendid in it’s magnificence…..
Arona was looking up at Sanso with barely hidden astonishment, and he blushed ever so slightly when he realized he’d been speaking out loud. Shouting actually, his deep voice booming out with joy and passion, his wild gesticulations causing Arona to flinch and take an involuntary step backwards.
Suddenly both Arona and Sanso saw the funny side, giggles erupting into gales of laughter until tears rolled down their cheeks and they collapsed on the floor whooping and snorting and wiping their eyes, not really knowing, in the end, what they were laughing at…..
He’s taken that glass sand thing, too! All that laughing had jumbled up Sanso’s memories, and he couldn’t recall the name of that Glass sand thing
(that glass sand thing, Becky made a note to look it up and correct the script later)
That creature’s made off with it!
Oh, bugger off, Sanso, Mandrake wouldn’t do that! Arona spoke sharply, forgetting her manners in her panic. What would a Mandrake want with a glass sand thing? Arona almost stamped in frustration at not remembering the name of that thing, and in front of Sanso, too.
Sanso didn’t hear her anyway, he was striding purposefully across the cavern towards the waterfall.
Well wait for me! Arona ran to catch up with him. How do you know he went this way?
I don’t, Sanso was honest, But when I gets an urge, I gets an urge, and I follows it.
Mandrake there you are, what ever are you doing. I was so worried I had lost you!
Mandrake was quite touched, but managed not to show it
I couldn’t stand all the snorting anymore.
Ahahhaahh laughed Arona, I know, so funny, he sounded like a little pigbouh
Anyway Mandrake, don’t you worry, I am no fool, no way would I just blindly trot off after someone who said ‘when I gets an urge, I gets an urge, and I follows it.’ That’s mad.
Good thinking! said Sanso enthusiastically. Yes, much better than my daft idea. Good plan Madrake!
Mandrake actually corrected the cat, huffily
To be honest, said Arona honestly, I didn’t really understand all that technical stuff Sanso. So how exactly does this work? Hmmm wish that dragon or someone would turn up now and explain it clearly and succinctly in plain language that we can all understand. I get how to move the sand but then what? How does the compass thingy work?
Oh well bugger it, said Arona, I have had enough of this. Perhaps we had better just play it by ear if no one really knows how this thing works.
Which is really, although not in so many words, if I may be so rude as to remind you, what I was suggesting, said the charming Sanso, rather rudely.
Well yes, that is true … but whatever, let’s not argue, shall we just get going? Are you ready Mandrake? All of a sudden Arona was feeling unaccustomably energised and assertive, and was totally fed up with herself for wasting time so much time sitting around. This was causing her to be a bit sharp with the others.
You know my problem? she asked, rhetorically, although of course Mandrake felt compelled to offer a reply.
Hmmmm and which one would that be?
Ahahahah Mandrake, laughed Arona, well the one I was thinking of was that I think too much. I need to be more like our friend Sanso here. I mean, what does it matter where we end up, it is all a big adventure anyway.
Well I for one, would prefer to end up somewhere in the vicinity of food, responded Mandrake.
Sanso wasn’t really listening but was gazing at the sabulmantium with a look of awe and muttering to himself. This really is a remarkable find. I have never actually used a sabulmantium before but I gather that one uses it as a tool to focus their intention, which is a crucial component of the magical creative process. Tremendously powerful tool and when used with awareness by the pure of heart it has great potential.
Oh great! shall we just get going then, said Arona picking up the Sabulmantium, and next thing you know, after a little bit more wandering down a few more tunnels, which isn’t really that interesting to write about, our three intrepid adventurers found themselves gazing in astonished delight at a most wonderous sight.
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.
She walked, and then she stopped and she waited.
She did not have to wait long before they appeared. A stocky dwarf, whose presence, despite his small stature, immediately inspired respect. He was accompanied by a young woman, tall and graceful, with shiny golden hair. She was very pretty, but it was the peaceful expression on her face which really caught Arona’s attention. The woman was cradling an infant in her arms.
Palani, the dwarf, smiled at Arona and held out some food for her. Some aromatic orange fruit she had never seen before, however she was so hungry by now she devoured it greedily.
Your magic is powerful, said Palani. Arona wanted to deny it, but found she couldn’t. So she just nodded.
The woman smiled. Here she said, holding the infant out to Arona. This is for you.
Caught off guard Arona took the baby.
I really am having the strangest time, she thought. She had no idea what to do with the baby, or why she was the one to look after it. But she held it carefully.
Wait! she shouted urgently, as they walked away
Why have you given me this baby. I can’t look after it. Are you coming back? At least tell me what is the baby’s name?
They didn’t answer.
(Becky wondered if she was making the right decision. Well never mind, she thought, I can edit it out later if I change my mind)
Arona glared at him, but handed the tiny bundle over to Sanso. He stared into the little blue eyes and fell in love with the baby. Poor wee mite, he said, bandied about like this like a baton in a relay race. I’ll look after you. The baby gurgled and Sanso had a strange feeling that the baby was in fact choosing to be with him, and that he had just agreed.
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.
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.
So it was all perfect.
In fact it was all hunky dory.:yahoo_sick:
and off they went.
Sanso was surprised at how attached he’d gotten in such a very short time to the poor wee scrap, shunted from pillar to post already and still barely a week old. He made up his mind to take the baby back, perhaps when it was a bit older.
Sanso breathed a sigh of relief to find himself once again on his own. He’d found the flighty and changable Arona hard work, if truth be told, and was rather offended that she’d marched off with the baby Yikesy without even so much as a backwards glance at him. Sanso was a bit sad to see Yikesey leaving, (or Zacquer as he chose to think of him) but he knew he’d meet him again…somewhere, someplace, sometime…..
He had to admit he was glad to see the back of that horrid cat, at any rate.
Sanso didn’t really have a plan at that point, so he just started walking, walking along the cave tunnels, trusting that he would find another portal/cave entrance soon to another adventure.
Such was his trust and superb state of allowing,that no sooner had he thought of finding a portal and a new adventure, as he rounded the very next corner, a blaze of sunshine streamed into the cave and a gust of hot desert wind.