“The Last Trek of Illi Fergusson” explores the disorientation of one’s own identity beyond death, and into the afterlife. Illi Fergusson, a renowned anthropologist, is the central character, as she embarks on a final journey beyond the veil of death. At the moment of her passing, Illi experiences a succession of confusing moments, as she fails to recollect her life, while bouncing around events and merging with other selves from different dimensions and timelines. As she travels deeper into the realisation of her own demise, she must confront her deepest fears and desires, and ultimately decide whether to move on to a new lease of life or to stay in the realm of bland wishful fulfilment.
Through Illi’s journey, the reader is taken on a mesmerising and chaotic exploration of the afterlife, with many strange and otherworldly landscapes, encounters with enigmatic beings, and fleeting moments of insight and revelation.
With its combination of vivid storytelling, down-to-earth inquiry, and spiritual exploration, “The Last Trek of Illi Fergusson” is a book that will boggle the mind. It is a powerful reminder that life is a journey, and that the ultimate destination may be not far from where we are, if we look closely enough.
So the Story goes...
Illi was wondering which way to go. Sitting on a flat rock, damp and cold from last nights downpour, she sighed and shivered. Thunder rumbled in the distance. Hhmm, she tought. I said tought, not taught, she thought, I must be in Ireland. Hhmm, she thought, I said taught not thought, I must be a teacher in Ireland. The thunder rumbled closer. Or maybe I’m a pupil and I’m here to find my teacher. The thunder sounded further away this time, it must mean I’m here in Ireland to find my fellow pupils, she thought.
Illi sighed. Why was she thinking about teachers and pupils? This was a dream, she could do anything she wanted, anything at all, and here she was thinking about teachers and pupils!
The rain started to fall, gently at first, and the trees were sighing ahhhh so Illi did too, ahhhh so cool, so wet, so wet… so wet! The fig tree giggled and the olive tree winked at the fig tree, and the plum tree, who was watching, snickered behind the morning glory.
AHA! Illi was having an AHA moment. I’m not in Ireland anymore. Olive trees don’t wink in Ireland! Where am I now?
Illi rubbed her eyes. It wasn’t thunder, it was somebody learning to play a harp. She stood up and sniffed the air, trying to pick up a whiff of colour to tell her where the… (gonna get power cut, more later)
Well, Illi thought, I could shelter under this heavy cape, but what would be the point of that? It’s smelly and dark under there, at least the rain is light and clean. What I need to find is a cave. I’ll create a cave to find! Wouldn’t be much fun to just create a cave, Illi reasoned, what would be the fun of that? Much more fun to find one, as if by accident! Then I can still play the old chance and fate game, if I’ve a mind to.
Illi didn’t want that smelly old cape anyway.
Illi set off at a brisk trot in search of the cave. A deafening clap of thunder made her flinch and lose her footing. She slipped, and slid down a steep slippery wet bank, tumbling and rolling out of control. Arrgghh! How embarrassing, she thought, I hope no-one is watching….OUCH! She banged her head on a strangely perfect long oblong stone, which catapulted her into the air and into a cork oak tree. Lordy! She clung onto the knobbly grey bark, trembling and gasping.
Well, I may as well have a smoke and catch my breath, she thought, at least it’s fairly dry here in this tree. She inched upwards until she found a comfortable fork in the branches and leaned her back against the trunk, fishing in the pockets of her tartan jacket for her Camels and her lighter.
Ahhhh….that’s better! Now, where are we? Illi felt more optimistic, and surveyed the terrain. AHA! In a little dip behind the tree was a dark hole in the ground. That will lead to a cave, I’m sure of it! Illi lit another smoke, musing that she might never have found the cave entrance had she not banged her head on the strange oblong stone, and hurtled into the tree.
Feeling much more enthusiastic, Illi climbed down out of the tree and went to investigate the dark hole in the ground. HHmmmm…no sign of a rope, or steps, no light, she wondered what to do next. A voice boomed in her head TRUST! Trust is the key!
Suddenly feeling very devil-may-care and adventurous, Illi dived into the hole head first… wwwwhhhheeeeeee HOOOOO…… the free-fall was exhilarating, exciting, wildly fun….and then a little voice of doubt crept in, Are you stark raving MAD?
Whallop! Illi landed on something soft, something sodden and smelling a bit of mold. Momentarily stunned, she just lay there, in a heap on the soft wet lump.
“Holy MOLY” the soft wet lump shouted “Get OFF me! How incredibly RUDE to land on me like that without so much as an introduction!”
Illi woke up and groaned. Her back was aching and she felt like she’d fallen down a hill, or plummeted into a hole. I thought sleep was supposed to be relaxing, she grumbled as she shuffled off to make coffee. Ten pairs of eyes followered her every movement, assessing her mood. Some of the eyes winked at the other eyes, and nodded…yes, let’s remind her, she’s useless at these clues, ok guys, everyone ready…steady…GO!
Illi jolted unpleasantly and painfully as a dreadful cacophany of dog barking erupted around her, and warm squirming bodies tumbled everywhere.
How can I possibly focus on SELF, you stupid creatures, when you keep barking like that! Illi sighed, she knew she was getting it backwards, but her whole world was topsy turvey, nothing was as it seemed anymore. Which comes first, the dragon, or the egg?
dragon or the egg, hhmm, egg before the dragon? or the dragon before the egg….irritated because the dogs barked? or dogs barked because I was irritated? eggs, dragons, eggs, dragons, dogs, eggs dragons eggs…..
Illi sighed, and made another cup of coffee.
And then as if by magic an extraordinary thing happened….
Ye Gads, how bizarre! mused the soft wet lump, I could have sworn something landed on me. Where did it go?
Illi was getting used to being dead. At first she thought she was still alive, when she fell down the hole and landed on the smelly wet lump. The realization dawned gradually, so that it wasn’t too much of a shock. She had started to notice a strange dreamlike quality to everything, and no sooner had she imagined or thought of something, it materialized around her instantly.
She was somewhat familiar, a nurturing presence that reminded Illi of the maid she and her parents had in their cottage in South Africa. Except that BelleDora had big hairy feelers, like a huge velvety moth, and that her father and mother wouldn’t have been careless enough to recruit a maid with such laisser-aller.
She was perhaps dead in that dirty hole, but she was obviously still alive in this dirty hole. They all claimed she was something hairy and funny… a what’s the name already? A grim shawl? whatever…
She was having a hard time putting all her thoughts together. She felt like she was many people at once, and none of whom were of great help to her current adventure…
Perhaps she would have to play the game to discover more of what or who she was?
So she asked BelleDora to explain more about this strange land.
And BelleDora was more than eager to provide some answers…
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.
At first, she had been remembered of stories of possession by evil sprites (or djinns) that she had heard in her youth, when Ibn al’ Gruk, the old angora storyteller was entertaining the desert settlement beating the rhythm with sonorous drums.
So, she had pushed, and rebelled, and fought, as fiercely as any other gripshawk skilled and trained in the hand-to-hand martial arts would have done.
But the other Illi wasn’t so easily vanquished.
Then Illi had collapsed. She had sorrowfully abandoned the fight to the dreaded adversary.
All of this had been occurring in a twinkle of an eye, but for Illi, the fight had been during ages and ages, while she was trying to focus on what BelleDora was explaining to her about the land where she was now.
And when she had abandoned the fight, everything was again so easy. She did not care any longer, she was free again. Her evil twin could do anything, it could not matter less.
But the evil twin had been in fact doing the same, and she had struggled to keep the focus coherent to her. Didn’t want stupid moth-looking people in her reality, or even spare hair on her face! But that other one was strong, and fierce. And stubborned too!
— Who are you? she finally had asked
— I’m Illi, had the other answered
— I am Illi.
— So we are both Illi…
— Yeah, that may be it, but we are quite different.
— Are we? You feel quite like me, despite your stupid affection for smooth baby face.
— Well, wouldn’t it be for that, I can see some resemblance…
— Will you let me continue my trip?
— Oh, I would have, but you’ve hijacked mine, said Illi Fergusson.
— So you think.
— And where does your trip leads to? asked Illi F. who wasn’t too sure of her trip either
— From traveling portals to traveling portals, to discover all that can be discovered on this world. Magical creatures, I distrust them, but the lands and people are fascinating… And what about yours?
— Hmm, hmm, pondered Illi F. for a moment… Well, I’m dead actually, but I didn’t expect being dead to be so busy. There are so many things to discover, and I like that. I see funny looking people, and this looks like fun. Like a minute ago, I was in some kind of funny cave, with a parrot…
— A what?
— A parrot, you know, a kind of talking bird full of colours…
— Mmm, some kind of demonic creature for sure. Would have slain it without an hesitation!
— Hey! You see, that’s why I didn’t want you to come with me.
— Well, seems like for a moment, we don’t have much more choice…
— At least, look at the bright side, with us merged like that, each of us can provide the other one with some sound experience on each other’s worlds.
— Well, that’s not as airy-fairy as it seems…
— Well, thank you for that, I’ll take that as a compliment.
— You really are dreadfully serious at times!
— Hey, I’m not anybody you see. My parents were aristocrats, I’m not the common hairy lot.
— Ahahah, you’re funny.
— So are you!
And they ended laughing blissfully together.
After a moment, Illi asked again:
— Huh, a funny cave you said?
— Well, yes. With lots of people…
— Interesting… I was near some sort of strange cave too a while ago, that is, before I was found by this nice man and his dogs. Perhaps there is some connection here.
— And could you go there again?
— Not sure if I want to; there were some smelly fumes, smelt like demonic magic in there.
— Oh you see, for as long as I’ve been dead, well even if that’s not so long ago, anyway, the point is I’ve not seen any demon so far… blustered Illi F.
— Oh, and I have to take your word like that then?
— Well, do as you please, but I’m going there again…
— Just wait for me now, will you; let’s try to do things hand in hand, because you’re driving me mad!
And the deal was made.
BelleDora had continued to explain lots of things about her ancestors, but had not really noticed Illi’s attention had been so far away. She was a bit surprised when she found herself interrupted in a middle of a poetic depiction of the coastal plains of the Peninsula of the Dragon Head, where some glistening Capricorns were sometimes seen swimming in the creeks.
— And how do I get back safely to this hole where I was found? asked Illi abruptly.
Huÿgens was not much of a cat person.
He liked his dogs because they were solid, loyal companions, and he could count on them to take care of his herd of langoats.
Langoats were a kind of three-eyed manic woolly and horned creatures, with a big sensing tongue, attracted to every new sound, or scent, or colour, or texture… well almost anything new that came before their eyes (when said eyes were not covered by thick layers of wool that is). And as their memory was short too, all kinds of things were always new to them.
That was why the dogs were extremely useful in channeling their movements; not that the langoats would have hurt themselves, because they were very able to provide for themselves, and jump from the top of a cliff without suffering much injuries. But they could very well loose all notion of their physicality and pop in and out of the fabric of time and space.
When they came back, because they always did magically come back, even after months of wandering, they would at times be reconfigured into another creature, and that would be pointless applying too much effort in trying to bring them back to their previous form, because it was said, in relation to their stubbornness that once a langoat, always a langoat…
Huÿgens had already lost some, especially during the shearing season.
And he had found himself back once with a cumbersome hippoliphant, and a bouncy shulimeek instead of two langoats.
Anyway, langoats wool was a very precious asset, highly sought after, as it could very easily bind with magical spells. Most of the clothes made for royalties were actually made with langoat wool, and it was also said that some enchanters had used langoat wool to make magical tapestries that would shapeshift, and reveal things to their owners.
So losing a langoat was not small concern for Huÿgens, and he had to be careful during the shearing season to leave some mops of hair to cover the three eyes of the beasts, so as to curb their insatiable thirst for discoveries.
But these days, Huÿgens had been very concerned about his herding dog Fjutch. Fjutch was a fluffy black dog he had found when it was still a puppy. He had trained it to become the head of his pack of dogs, when he had noticed the old rheumatic Thöm was taking the puppy under its wing —because the old faithful dog was knowing that it would depart and would reconfigure into a new form, but would not allow that to happen, not before he could have found a reliable companionship for his beloved master Huÿgens.
The healing properties of the langoat milk seemed to had done wonders once again, and Fjutch dis-ease was probably just a false alarm, but it had reminded Huÿgens how much he appreciated his dogs, every one of them, every day he was with them.
As for the cats… Illi, that was her name, had decided to come back to the cave, and he was showing her the way to the place where he had found her. He had asked BelleDora to pack a few things for her. He could not give Illi the beverage she was referring to as “coffee”, as that plant was not found in their region, but in compensation, he gave her a gourd of langoat milk, because she seemed like she would probably need some.
When he left her near the hole, he had some tears in his eyes when Illi hugged Fjutch very tenderly, as if the dog was reminding her of something dear. Illi after a moment hesitation, where she was like speaking to herself and not knowing what to do, finally hugged Huÿgens too, thanking him for everything he had done.
And off she was… free and unfettered as a gripshawk…
When Illi had finished arguing with Illi about having her hug the big man, while this was not manners of her kind, she sighed as she saw that the opening she had first thought was here (yeah, because I fell in there! she said), her senses where telling her that it was now closed…
— How quaint said Illi for herself.
— Well, as a matter of fact, it reminds me of something, said Illi F. There was that delicious gentleman, John Lubbock who said “What we see depends mainly on what we look for” and somehow it seems perfect.
— I don’t know any Grubbeck, grumbled Illi, a bit irritated that the hole, which was there before, wouldn’t be here, now she needed it.
— Lubbock was such a nice person, said Illi dreamily… Perhaps I could just try to have a peek inside the cave, if you let me.
— What?! Do again your wizzy wooey thing and I’ll strangle you! Don’t know how I would do it, but I’ll do it!
— Oh, you are so sluggishly gloomy! That was just to help you…
— Mmm, sorry for that, I was a bit upset, said Illi. What could you do?
— Just focus on the inside, and carry us both inside… But actually you would have to leave your body here, and we’ll probably see other things that do not belong to this place, but heck! that should be fun, Illi F said grinning widely.
They were interrupted by some munching sounds and ruffling heavy breath.
— What the bejeezus is that?! hissed Illi the cat (who didn’t even know how she knew so funny sounding words as bejeezus)
— Can’t you see? That’s obviously a dragon eating some bushes… How strange… replied Illi F airily.
— A WHAT? I HATE DRAGONS!
— Ahahah, relax, I was just pulling your leg.
— That’s not funny.
— Well he has funny colours by the way. Pinkish purple I wouldn’t dare to wear in London streets.
— That’s REALLY NOT FUNNY!
— Why so? You can’t see it anyway…
— And what if he sees me? Dragons are vicious creatures.
— He’s too busy eating these funny berries, and will probably collapse of exhaustion once he’s full.
— A chance! A vegetarian dragon!
— OK. Shall we try to find an entrance in the cave with my method, or do we ask the dragon? He looks well-mannered by the way.
— Oh, by the eyeballs of the Mighty Shrimp, you tell me…
— No, you choose.
— No, you.
— Ooooh, bugger off…
Once Illi had realized she was dead and could ‘go’ anywhere she liked simply by creating the ‘place’ around her, she decided to take a long relaxing holiday on a deserted tropical island. She would float in the warm lagoon, feast on coconuts and pina coladas and mangoes, play with the dancing lemurs and build fantastic sand castles on the beaches. As she visualized it, it appeared as if by magic all around her…the sun warm on her head, the sand between her toes, the gentle breeze fragrant with exotic blooms and the sound of gossiping parrots filled her senses. She closed her eyes and flung her arms wide in appreciation for the physical joys she had recreated, breathed deeply and relaxed for the first time since she had died. Finally, she felt like she knew where she was, even if that ‘somewhere’ was as ‘nowhere’ as ‘anywhere’ else, just another ‘elsewhere’ really…..
Illi stretched out on her back on the golden sand and squinted up at the cloudless deep blue sky. How nice, she thought, not to have any aches and pains, not to have to worry about shifting and those bloody belief systems, how simply lovely to just BE, with no perceived responsibilities, no interruptions…
Just then out of the corner of her eye, Illi saw movement in the sky. Something was descending onto the island. Illi couldn’t make out what it was, and wished she had a pair of binoculars. Silly Illi, she said to herself, reaching for the binoculars that had appeared beside her. I keep forgetting I can create anything at all.
Holy Moly! A great fat roly poly nun with a huge jolly grin was wafting down from the heavens, with an irridescent turquoise fairy in tow. They were landing on her island! We’ll see about that! Illi jumped to her feet and stomped off the beach and into the mangroves, sloshing angrily through the watery roots….. until she realized she could hover above the ground, which was a much easier way to travel.
Hovering was much quieter too, and the jolly fat nun and the bluegreen fairy were quite unaware that Illi was peering at them from behind a peachy hibiscus bush. In fact, the blooms on the hibiscus had grown to a most ridiculous size, and Illi could hardly see past them. She hovered to the side a bit, and decided on impulse to make her presence known to the intruders.
The arrival of the noisy pink fairy was the last straw for Illi. She imagined her deserted island again and made sure she paid attention to imagining it completely deserted this time. No more fat nuns appearing from the heavens or squalking fairies!
Illi made the new island a paradise….she magicked up staff when she wanted food or a massage, a gaggle of party people for when she felt like dancing, and blithely disappeared them when she was done. Mostly Illi slept. Her favourite spot was near the lagoon on the sand under the coconut trees. She lay and dozed and drifted and dreamed and imagined and dozed some more, trailing her fingers through the sand, pushing little heaps of sand here and there, pulling them back, making channels and watching the sand sift back in and disappear them. She dreamed of sand sculptures, an astonishing variety and all made from…sand! Tiny grains of sand, made into anything at all…..every tiny grain of conscious energy…made into anything at all…..and in comes the tide and washes and ripples a clean new beach….to make anything at all……
Illi was beginning to really appreciate being dead and the freedom it provided to create whatever she wished at a moments notice. She’d enjoyed being a shape shifter while she was alive, often changing into a rather odd cat-like creature which was one of her favourites. She’d had tremendous fun over the years, confounding people with that one! Is it a cat? Is it a person? Is it a goat? A mongoose? hahaha what fun she’d had!
Illi surveyed the long glittering white beach on her paradise island. There must be a million billion grains of sand here. I think I will conjure up some sand sculptures, fill the beach with fantastic magical creatures….
Illi picked up a bambu cane to use as a magic wand ~ not that she needed a wand in order to perform magic, but she rather liked waving a stick around.
Abracadabra the magic palabra, fairies and goblins and sprites!
In an instant the beach was full of sand sprites, a veritable sea of impish little figures as far as the eye could see.
HHHMM, though Illi, they are all so small, I’d like something big I think, for contrast and added dimension.
Abracadabra the magic palabra, centaurs and unicorns and giants!
Lordy, the giants had flattened whole tribes of sand gnomes. A few less giants, I think! Illi waved her magic wand of cane again, and disappeared all but one of the giants. RaFa the Giant, you may stay on my beach, Illi graciously declared to a kindly looking character of monstrous proportions who had considerately appeared at the very end of the beach so as not to flatten the sand sprites.
On impulse, Illi found herself chanting the spell again…Abracadabra the magic palabra, DRAGONS appear on my beach!
Four splendid sand dragons appeared in the shallows of the lagoon, sensuously sepentine in appearance, and sparkling in the tropical sun.
The City, year 2257
Janice had just awoken from a strange dream, where she was watching big round cabbages being harvested in what looked like Quintin’s father garden. They were all firmly rooted on a black irrigation pole across the garden, and people were using strange devices to turn them all delicately and pick them afterwards. In the dream, there were black puppies too, sleeping in the straw of a kind of hut nearby. And she had seen another creature, and had been surprised first because it was unlike anything she had ever met, even in dreams. It was hairless and brown as soft mud, and was hiding in the neighbour’s garden. Then it had crossed and came to play with her…
Janice was lost in her thoughts strolling on the way to the common dome, when she met Rodney, her father’s friend.
They had been recently trying with her father Jacob, and also Qixi to connect with their shifting focuses of the Ancients, two centuries and half before their time.
Some of them, they had found, had been playing a sort of game of story-telling and clue-sowing… (Janice was laughing as her father’s friend, the scientist Arkandin, always insisted on seesawing instead)
Perhaps her dream was telling her that the crop was ripe, and it was time to harvest some from it. She told her dream to Rodney. All at once, he was quite excited and they started to feel they wanted to chat more freely. So they went into one of the Medraw Caps that was available and soon imagined a comfortable environment for themselves to explore more.
Janice could hear Al or Quintin complain about how things were getting confusing.
She tried to convey to both of them that they could be excited about it, as it was expanding their understanding, but they weren’t very receptive.
Somewhere Al was saying to Becky
— The more you try to fix it, the more confused I am
— Hahahahah yes! Becky was answering, I guess so! Ahahahah! Al, what a fabulous dance of confusion we do… The Confundo Tango
— Ahahah, yes!
Al started again to moan:
— So who’s dead, who’s the shapeshifter? Who’s the human, who’s the cat?
(Rodney was laughing, as for him, he could accept the confusion as much easier, letting him free to wander around!)
— Illi was a woman, a shapeshifter who shape-shifted into a cat, then, she died. Becky was saying (Rodney added mentally “Now, she is disengaged” as he knew that “death” was a confusing word.) She was an archaeologist
— Okay, that’s cool, that’s what I thought, Al acquiesced. Then thought back of what was said of her and wondered… Anyway, it will probably find a perfect answer …
— I got lost myself when two Illis appeared, and a grip-thing as well
— Because I didn’t want the grip-thing to be dead! Al couldn’t help but laugh. That would have been too easy, like wiggling out. Not using your imagination within the context of objective imagery to sort out “things”…
While Rodney and Janice were seeing that their other focuses were kind of stuck in their explanation, they had time freeze and both decided to come back to their “now” to start from their understanding.
A funny thought had come to Janice, that she shared with Rodney.
— Oh, the funny thing you know, about Becky having written to Sean…
Rodney nodded. Janice continued:
— It just appeared in my mind just moments ago, at the same time you (well, Rafaela) inserted into the story of Malvina. That Becky would have been asking Sean something, and that perhaps it would have helped him talk to his father in the future.
— Well, that Sean is SUCH AN ENIGMA! bumped Rodney a bit excited by the implications.
— What do you mean? asked Janice, who just remembered that Sean Doran has a cousin named Dorean.
— Who is he? Where is he? was asking Rodney now.
Rodney was having a hard time remembering what had been inserted yet in the story about him.
So Janice manifested the Wrick family tree in front of them, so that he could see better. She started by manifesting an acorn, then threw in on the grass, and it sprung forth in a little sapling with signs hanging from its branches.
— Well, it’s all in the script, answered Janice, he’s Lord Wrick’s son.
— Oh boy, I am in trouble again for not keeping up with the facts! Rodney sighed, and laughed…
Janice laughed “So that you can surprise yourself again!”
Janice stopped the growth of the family tree for a moment and started to comment it.
— See, in Becky’s time of the reality play, Sean is Lord’s Wrick son, and has just lost his wife Margaret, and got his two young children around their 10s.
— When is Becky’s time then? Rodney wondered, I hadn’t though of that…
— Becky’s time for the reality play is around 2033…
Then Janice had the tree grow again, and sprout more branches from Sean’s children:
— …Now, Sean is the grand-father of the twins, except than the twin’s time is around 2057 if it had not changed yet. It’s so carefully woven, but it’s fun how it effortlessly came to fit in.
— TRUST AND ALLOWING AND GOING WITH THE FLOW cried Rodney and Janice in unison, in the realisation of how well all this was.
Rodney was beginning to remember it all.
— I just remember the part about Sean, so he is still a bit of a mystery
— Yes, absolutely
— We don’t really know do we why Hilarion didn’t mention him
— Oh, there’s also the Margaret newspaper thing… Janice fumbled in her memory to find the proper link that would display the image of the newspaper cut just at the right of the family tree. Adding with a wink “with more dates to get bearings”
— Ahahah, I’d love to have pocketfuls of ball bearings said Rodney who manifested a pocketful to distract him from the load of information. OH YES! he cried, I had forgetten about this! What an incredibly HUGE story this is…
Then, all of a second, Rodney erupted in an uproarious laugh
— AHAHAHA, I had just forgotten to de-hallucinate these pince-nez spectacles! Now, it is much easier to read!
Janice was laughing so hard, she thought she would shatter the hallucination with the wobbles of the soundless sounds.
Then she added:
— Sean is born around 2000, a bit before.
— OK, maybe he went to help the Tuaregs, Rodney was accessing some information now. Maybe he was the one who put the mummy in the locked room that India found.
— You know I had something funny in store for the mummy mystery, Janice couldn’t help but laugh again. I imagined we could have inserted Old Manon, coming down to secretly drink from her old malt whiskey’s flask, and finding them messing up with her old dear stuffed cat…
— Maybe the mummy was the same one that Dory saw in the oblong hole in the ground outside the cave, Rodney was still accessing flickering images swirling around his head. And Sean was there helping the Tuaregs and moved it to safety.
Of course, years previously, Illi Fergusson, the archeologist had buried the mummy there too for safe keeping.
Now, Janice was hooked:
— Was it where Illi learned about shapeshifting tricks from the old tribe?
Rodney noticed Janice’s funny remark and laughed before continuing:
— The Tuaregs were conducting secret coleslaw experiments in the desert. In combination with sound and irrigation techniques, they were going to run the entire Sahara into a broccoli field.
Janice was amazed at the cabbage “coincidence” and irrigation stuff with her dream of that morning. Of course she knew there where probably mis-interpretation of the imagery coming from Rodney’s visions, but something made sense.
— Around which year? she asked
— Arrggh I don’t know!… Then, taking a breath of dream air, Rodney said “1923”. When Illi learned shape-shifting trick, 1923.
— It makes sense, said Janice who was now thinking of other dispersed informations about Illi Fergusson.
— Yes, she learned from Dashine Ashara… Although who that is, I don’t yet know.
— Wow, said Janice. She had felt a connection with the “da’sheen” sound. She continued: somewhere, Illi Fergusson has said: “my parents were aristocrats”
— Yes, answered Rodney who was accessing again, they were, and they knew the Wildes .
— And it was said too: “[…] a nurturing presence that reminded Illi of the maid she and her parents had in their cottage in South Africa”… like her parents were traveling a lot.
— Ah, South Africa! Illi’s parents emigrated to South Africa with Sir Abingdon Portfellow, an elderly scholar on ancient artifacts and embalming.
— Seems she knew John Lubbock too, said Janice again, reviving old data banks of information. Dates seem okay, so if she was around 30 in the Tuareg adventure, she could have met him.
— Wow, said Rodney, this is even more interesting…
“But we may sit at home and yet be in all quarters of the earth.” Janice had just summoned the voice of the naturalist and archaeologist. Rodney applauded “Lubbock said that? cool quote!”.
— Yes, like Illi’s quote, which was from him “What we see depends mainly on what we look for”. I wonder if that’s one of your (Illi’s) overlapping focuses, said Janice…
They were both amazed at the magical cooperation they were doing at that moment. Janice would have loved to share all of that with Qixi and Jacob, but probably their energies were present at the moment too, though not focused here.
She then remembered something else:
— Oh, and there is something else! Quintin’s dream of the woman detective. Let me fetch it she said, summoning now Quintin’s memory to talk to them.
… by night, near a museum in London, in the 1920s. She was investigating a case of a strange disappearance near a small replicate of an Egyptian pyramid that had been put here for display. There had been an exposition of ancient artifacts in the museum, which had been recently unearthed by a team of archaeologists and graciously lent by Egypt’s officials. Strangely enough, the woman detective feels linked to the story, and is probably Dory…
Date fits again, she said in awe.
— Perfect! said Rodney. She was of course Dory too, but in that focus she was Illi Fergusson… he slowed down, then said No! wait! The detective was another one of my focuses. The archeologist who stole the mummy for safekeeping was Illi.
— So you are both the thief and the detective, the one who creates mystery for yourself, how interesting, giggled Janice.
— Yes, and not only that Janice! Rodney was taking a mysterious air… I am the mummy too!
Janice bust out laughing imagining Rodney in bandages. Yes, of course!
Then, she had a name come with that: Apsh’un Shet she said, very self-absorbed.
Now, that was Rodney’s turn to burst out laughing.
— “I am not sure about that!”
— Doubting my insights… mmm, how rude… Janice frowned then laughed again.
— If you call me that, I may have to make you out to have a speech impediment
— Sounds a good Egyptian name for me though, seems it means “Light of the Dawn”
— Does it? Oh that sounds nice…
— Well, in some Egyptian dialect, yes. She was a Princess…
— Hahaha! Reminds me of Aspen Shit. Rodney doubted Janice could be serious about that name, but Janice was now the one to be accessing some information.
— Bit bossy Princess
— Which dynasty?
— III rd, answered Janice, who fumbled in links of consciousness to find some timeline to project for them.
— What year?
Janice projected the timeline below then said
— I’d say around 2657 B.C., in Ancients way of telling time.
They both marveled at the splendid team work they had been doing, and hoped that the other focuses involved would be able to get some parts of their insights too.
Rodney was seeing something else
— There is also, a very fascinating link between Tassili in the Sahara and Egypt which is a mystery AND there is a connection with Egypt and Scotland too…
— Illi the gripshawk comes from the mysterious land of the Sands, south of the map fragment
— We may unravel more than we think… Illi is an other dimensional focus of the Illi essence…
— Yes she is. She is a connection too, being “lost” in the land of dragons after hopping through traveling portals…
— And they communicated because they are helping each other
— Which is why she doesn’t always ‘fit’ into this reality’s energy configuration
— And they have some difficulties at times with translations of other dimensional stuff
— Yes! resulting in confusion!
And they both laughed again, looking at the great tapestry of clues that was woven before their dream eyes.
Illi was quite pleased with the sand dragons.
HHHMMM, they don’t repulse me like dragons usually do. I think it’s because they are sand dragons, and sand is so much nicer than slimy cold scales. Well! Illi thought, I really wouldn’t know if they are slimy or cold, because, for the love of all-that-is, I would not choose to venture that close!
Illi chose to ignore her rather paradoxical musings on loving all that is, which would by definition include the beastly dragons, and turned her attention to the sand giant slouching patiently at the end of the beach.
Now giants, that’s another thing entirely. I am quite enamoured of giants, and this one looks so familiar!
When Illi was a young child she rarely saw her parents, the eccentric Lord Gustard Willoughby Fergusson and his charmingly batty second wife, Floribunda Chaiise-Loriket. Illi stayed at home in the anscestral country pile in Dorset, Rubbingdon Hall, with Nanny Chraddock while her parents travelled the world in search of giant bones and artifacts. Their travels took them far and wide, from the jungles of South America to the deserts of North Africa; from the mountains of Spain to the arid eternity of the Australian outback.
Illi used to play a game with Cranky (as she affectionately called nanny Chraddock) in the long months while her parents were away, called Wish House. Every room in the sprawling Elizabethan house was a different time and place, and the moment they entered the room they imagined themselves to be different people, in other times. Petunia Duster the maid loved to join in too; consequently not alot of housework got done, but with Gus and Flora always off travelling, nobody minded. Playing was, after all, so much more important than dust. In fact, a thick layer of dust made the rooms all the more mysterious and magical.
Chiara got quite a fright and spun round quickly. She stood gazing at the funny creature, a woman who had a sort of cattish feel, who had shouted BOUH at her, momentarily uncertain as to whether to burst into laughter or tears.
Illi watched Chiara’s trembling lip with some concern, especially when she saw the very large woman who was with her. Illi felt it may be prudent to make a hasty retreat, however, before she could make her getaway, a tiny figure emerged from behind a rather large pebble.
Hello, said a little pink fairy. I am the Fairy Princess of the Land of the Long White Cloud. Did you fly here? Look I can do magic and she waved her magic wand, said abracadabra and produced some small white feathery fairy wings for the delighted Chiara.
Frowdup she called excitedly. A round green blobby creature who blended seamlessly into the environment like some sort of exotic plant hopped over.
Yes Dear Fairy Princess?
Please could you play the music for us?
Oh delighted to oblige answered Frowdup, producing a flute like instrument.
At first the sweet notes of the instrument floated tentatively on the warm air. They rang like pure crystal, cool and pure, then slowly gained in confidence and multiplied, as though possessed of supernatural powers. It seemed the simple melody Frowdup played was accompanied by a whole orchestra of instruments.
The little fairy laughed in delight and grabbed the giggling Chiara. They began to dance instinctively with the energy of the earth, swaying at first like a tree in the wind, then whirling like the wind itself, soaring high into the air, imitating the flight of a parrot, then swooping joyfully back to the ground. They were connected to the magic of the music.
Whanga, one of the 13 Witches of Loathing was feeling rather bad tempered as she gazed into her glass ball. hmmmm bugger, she said crossly that little Fairy Princess from the Land of Long White Cloud is having way too much fun. She seems impervious nowadays to my magic spells of loathing
Whanga had to confess to being a little puzzled. For a while she felt she nearly had the Fairy Princess in her clutches, but one day something seemed to have changed, and the Fairy Princess did not seem to be so affected by her whispered spells any longer. What sort of magic had she found to protect herself Whanga wondered. .
It had begun to rain gently whilst Finn was in the enchanted fairy ring. She didn’t mind, she loved the rain and the trees protected her from the getting too wet. It felt cosy and magical. She had such a strong sense of the presence of her younger self. The younger Finn was three years old. Finn remembered the day,it was etched in her memory as a turning point, and yet it was also as though she were there again. She talked with her younger self, wanting so much to give the younger Finn a gift to help her make a different choice that day. Finn knew she had to trust with her heart, not reason it with her head, because there were just too many questions she could not make sense of, and magic did not seem to be so much about sense anyway. Anyway,whatever, if nothing else she felt lighter within herself .
Illi was bored with the deserted island and the sand dragons. She wanted some action, some surprises, some…..well, some life!
Phew, thank Flove for that, I’m not dead. Illi had just surprised herself rather unsettlingly, but no sooner had her hand fluttered to her chest in a dramatic little gesture, she remembered hearing somewhere that’s how you could tell if you were dead or alive: no surprises when you’re dead. She waved her hand airily, and laughed. At least I’m alive.
Smiling warmly, and stretching luxuriously and rather felinely, Illi woke up from her dream. The sun had been shining in her dream, as indeed it was on the beach of the sand dragons where she had fallen asleep all those many moons ago. She had many projects underway in her dream, lots of interesting ideas to be sorted out and she knew that many dear ones had been with her in the dream: hiding under tables, and in cupcoards….some in the fridge, some in the lavatory cistern; lending energy and support, albeit behind the scenes. That they were not visibly helping didn’t mean that they weren’t there, in a spirit of helpful cooperation, Illi knew, and she felt comforted.
When Illi had fallen asleep, she had been bored, hopelessly frustrated . The delights of the island paradise had palled rather quickly. Sure, she could create whatever she wanted, and she had had fun for awhile creating sand creatures and so on, but she had realized that she missed the surprises, the interactions with others, things not going according to plan… her objective plan, at any rate.
Illi was beginning to accept the fact that she was ‘dead’, at last, but she was starting to see that it wasn’t the ‘end’, but an opportunity for a new beginning.
Illi sat up and surveyed her surroundings. The sky was a deep azure blue, the sun was making twinkiling stars on the waters of the lagoon, a warm gentle breeze rustled the coconut palm leaves, and birds sang and twittered in the foliage. It was indeed idyllic, and Illi decided to simply enjoy it, while her new ideas formed into a reality.
Illi was enjoying a new found freedom in her contentment, in not pushing her energy in frustration, and meandered happily around the island taking mental snapshots of a thousand delightful and marvellous wonders, appreciating even the smallest most insignificant things. Time lost all sense of meaning: there were deep velvet indigo skies full of sequins, and there were abstract multicoloured sunrises and sunsets; there were cottonwool clouds in cartoon shapes suspended on a canvas of blue. It mattered not the day or night; there was no longer a sense of time passing, just a glorious collage of appreciation and beauty.