📚 › Wrick Family

A story spanning generations, centered around Lord Wrick and his grand-children Cuthbert and India Louise, their nanny, Sean Wrick and Becky, as well as other side-stories…

So the Story goes...

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  • in Reply To: Circle of Eights, Stories #200

      Lord Wrick was reading a bedtime story to his great grandson, Cuthbert. A huge open fire roared beneath the stone mantelpiece, and cast tall flickering shadows in the dark corners of the room. Cuthbert snuggled in to his great grandad, who pulled the red tartan shawl up under his chin. The Orkney Islands were cold in September, and a chill draught was ever present in the ancient castle. Cuthbert’s twin sister India Louise had already been taken to bed by Nanny Gibbon, who would read her a story in the nursery.

      “Back from the depths of his sleep, the dragon Naasir exhaled in a puff of smoke” read Great grandfather Wrick. “He’d just woven a wonderful dream…”

      A parcel had arrived at the castle yesterday, delivered by a travelling artist, who had been invited to paint portraits of the Wrick family. There was no message with the parcel, and the artist, Bill Jobsworth, explained that an old woman in black had given it to him at the crossroads, asking him to deliver it to Cuthbert and India Louise Wrick.

      in Reply To: Circle of Eights, Stories #201

        The parcel contained two books, one for each of the twins. The books were large and heavy and bound in tooled Moroccan leather. There were blank pages where the illustrations should have been, but the twins had such vivid imaginations that they created the pictures as they heard the story. Sometimes it almost seemed as if they could enter the page, and roam around in it, until Grandad or nanny turned to the next page, and then the wonderful potential of the next blank space beckoned.

        in Reply To: Circle of Eights, Stories #202

          Jacqueline Bleomelen was a strict yet very affectionate nanny. Her Breton name being barely pronounceable by the English speaking kids she had at her charge, she was most of the time simply called Nanny.

          Once, one of the rude kids from a previous home where she had been serving an atrociously callous French Count, had called her an Old Gibbon, referring to her wrinkled face. But she had a very light-hearted nature, and wouldn’t show any hint of taking offense.

          Better, she liked the association with the playful and ingenious apes, and kept the moniker as it was more easily pronounced by the English kids she had in charge, and made them laugh that they could be so irreverent without facing punishment.

          For special occasions, Jacqueline was wearing a funny costume that made the children often wonder why she had put some funny hat with little moth-feelers loose on her chin, but that, she had explained was a traditional dress from her homeland of Brittany.

          Tonight, Jacqueline, or Nanny Gibbon, was having a funny dream, but perhaps that have been because she had been very excited by that excerpt she had read before going to sleep. As she was very pious, every night before going to bed, she would read a random quote of the Bible.

          Last night it had been the Old Testament, from the Book of Joshua. It was about the conquest of the Promise Land, and talked about a king from Hazor named Jabin…

          And in her dream, Jabin was a strange looking man, lost in the middle of ruins, who wanted to contact a woman about discoveries he had made in the Promise Land. He had found an entrance to a cave that had befuddled him. He hadn’t ventured too far into the cave, but anytime he had, he had found it impossibly deep and wide. So he wanted to share that discovery with that woman, but she was flying around in a parrot-coloured ballet tutu, on top of a three-humped flying camel…

          Even the rigorous Jacqueline couldn’t repress a laugh at the unlikely images that her tired mind had produced.

          in Reply To: Circle of Eights, Stories #204

          “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?”

          “I just walked into the page” India Louise told Sanso, and to the parrot she said “And Great Grandaddy Wrick told me your name last night.”

          in Reply To: Circle of Eights, Stories #206

          India Louise had been switching her own book with Cuthbert’s that night. And as she was exploring some of the stories told in his, he was having a peek into hers.

          Very quickly, he became aware of a whole new continent, in that World, across the Middle Seas. In that continent far North of the one where Malvina’s was living, lived some intrepid people. They were strong with big voices, and a bit quarrelsome too. Their ways had forgotten lots about Magix and they placed most of the value into tangible items.

          The next page, a man was sailing across the Middle Seas with a handful of trusted men. He was a captain pirate, named Båd Al’Guz, which meant, Båd son of Guz. His crew referred to him as Bådul.

          Cuthbert was intrigued by this man, and had begun to discuss with him mentally, asking who he was, who were his people. The same as Cuthbert had been very innocently doing with gentle Malvina.

          But Bådul was tricky, and after a bit of a surprise, very soon discovered that the little boy could be a very interesting informant, though an unusual one.

          And in fact, his information was much more interesting than that which the shamans of King Wulfrick babbled in the most inspired manner.

          Till now, from the mouths of the buck-pelts clothed shamans had only came stupid gibberish that the King and his court gobbled endlessly. Something about “YaWn”, as they said: You animate Worlds neatly .

          How stupid was that? Their only answers were useless to him, they were only telling him that he activated and animated the Worlds neatly, and that, in short, nothing was fixed and he could do anything.

          Well, with that boy, that was different. He was talking about a cave with gilded dragon eggs, and THAT was of a great value to Bådul.

          But of course, he would not frighten the young boy and pretended that his intentions were that of an explorer, trying to discover new shores and new continents, so as to become closer to understand from where he came, and hopefully make people aware of their closeness to each others.

          He was such an eloquent actor that he almost shed a tear saying that sentence.

          As a matter of fact, for as long as he remembered, he had been wandering in many situations, and lots of them had not been very pleasant. Born from uncaring parents, as lots, if not all, of his people were, working as a janitor in a sordid tavern, then as a warden (if not executioner when requested) in an even more sordid jail… Were the Gods to be blamed for that? Well, according to the shamans, he was the only one to be blamed, because he did not accept his responsibility as a weaver of Worlds.


          At least, he had found his passion. He love sailing, and taking riches for his pleasure. Whatever then, he would take his share, and not care about what was next.

          At least, if he could coax the boy into revealing more about that cave.

          in Reply To: Circle of Eights, Stories #210

            Today, which was the day of the autumn equinox, had been a bright day over the Orkney Islands, quite unusual for this time of the year.

            Nanny Gibbon had been taking the twins for a walk into the nearby woods of the domain, were they could enjoy the wood dewberries that were ripe and delicious at this season. The twins loved picking them directly on the thorny bushes and eating them until their hands were full of the dark stains left by the sweet juice of the fruits.

            They knew that Nanny Gibbon would pick enough to make some delicious jam, perhaps to accompany some of her famous sweet pumpkin pies.

            When they came back to the Manor, they were exhausted by the afternoon spent in the lovely sunlight. After having washed their hands thoroughly, they didn’t really care for anything else but some sleep.

            But as they moved inside the corridors, Cuthbert noticed he had carelessly left opened his bedroom’s door, and a prick of fear for the precious books had him immediately rush to the room.

            And Cuthbert gasped in horror as he saw his book flown open on the floor, and the old grumpy cat Manfred, asleep on top of one of the blank pages.

            Manfred had the nasty habit of clawing everything, especially the huge soft armchair of Lord Wrick, but his antics were elegantly accepted by the old gaunt Lord.

            When he heard Cuthbert enter the room, the old fluffy cat raised an inquisitive eyebrow and moved very slowly and deliberately out of the book pages, only to reveal the immaculate pages, as whole as if the book had been brand new.

            Cuthbert was thrilled with joy. Manfred had not done anything to the precious book. He would have stroked the cat with gratitude, but the creature had moved out of the room very swiftly for its old age, in a haughty look of total disregard for the little boy.

            At least the book was intact. But what if… Cuthbert wondered… He started to look at the page, and new images started to form before his eyes…

            in Reply To: Circle of Eights, Stories #218

            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.

            Watching India Louise drift in and out was making Illi fuzzy. She started to drift in and out as well. She started to piece together the out-bits until they all stuck together and formed a picture.

            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.

            in Reply To: Circle of Eights, Stories #224

            Grandad! Grandad!, called India Louise to Lord Wrick, running in the old manor, her footstep making creaking and loud noises down the windy staircase.

            Hilarion Wrick was seated in his favourite armchair, dozing after the hefty meal prepared by Nanny Gibbon, the cat Manfred on his lap.

            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.

            in Reply To: Circle of Eights, Stories #238

            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……

            in Reply To: Circle of Eights, Stories #243

              William Percival Jobsworth, or “Bill” for short, was finding the old creaking manor as freaky as their owners.

              The Wrick family was known around for being shrouded in mystery, and few people had actually been invited inside the manor, after its acquisition by Lord Wrick.

              The manor itself was full of ghost stories, as every mansion worth its salt in that part of the country. But this one has been a wreck on which he would not have invested two pence of his money, after it had been abandoned for many decades after the sudden death of the previous owner, the Crazy Baron.

              But Lord Wrick was an eccentric, and had bought the manor and restored it to its previous grandeur.

              It had been thrice now that Bill had come to the manor to paint the family portraits. The first time he had also delivered that strange parcel, given to him by that strange lady. Looking straight into his eyes, she had also told him something that had lingered in his mind quite vividly.

              « Suffering is not good for the soul, unless it teaches you to stop suffering. »

              He couldn’t see exactly why it applied to him, but the lady had seemed so authoritative about that, that he had agreed and felt like thanking her.

              The parcel had come a bit unexpected to the Lord, though he was quite artful in hiding his emotions, Bill could say. He had questioned him about the lady, but Bill had not dared to share with him the thing about the suffering. Actually the Lord looked in pretty good shape considering the age he was likely to be. He pretended to be a bit incapacitated, but Bill would have bet that if he had fallen from a window, he would have landed on his feet as a cat.

              Speaking of which, their old cat with its worn-out blackish fur was a bit freaky too. Bill had felt at times he could hear it answer the Lord’s gibberish.

              But all in all, that was easy money, and he thanked the opportunity to be able to do these paintings while the winter was coming.

              Now was something else. He almost startled when he was opened the big entrance door, to be revealed an improbable shape, two or three heads taller than him. It took him a short while to recognize the smile of the children’s nurse, topped by a funny hat that made him laugh heartily, after the initial shock was dissipated.

              Hahaha, sorry, that was unexpected… he managed to say to Jacqueline, who was not unaccustomed to these odd kinds of reactions.

              Not to worry she said with a slight French accent. Monsieur and Madame Wrick have come back from their trip to Mogadishu, and you will be able to have their portraits done. They will stay here for a few weeks…

              Linda and Peregrine Wrick were Cuthbert and India Louise proud (and a bit insouciant) parents, Lord Wrick had explained without much more details. Peregrine was the son of Lord Wrick’s only son, Sean Doran Wrick, but Bill had felt some restrain to ask about Sean Doran, as the Lord had seemed a bit umbrageous only speaking his name.

              Oh… said Bill who did not expect them to come back so quickly.

              Appendix: The Wrick family tree

              in Reply To: Circle of Eights, Stories #248

              New York, October, 4 th 2033

              Albert had opened the newspaper, scanning distractedly through the various pages of text that would read aloud automatically when he was running his fingers through it. He was about to close it, when he noticed that article in the Life Focus section.

              (click for article)


              Dublin, October 5 th 2033

              Sean Doran Wrick had received tons of phone calls, emails and voice mails of condolences since the past few weeks, but he had not found the strength to answer any of them. Especially those coming from his father.

              That morning, he had received some letters that he would have left on top of the others, had he not recognized the round and cheerful calligraphy of Becky on one of them.

              He had known Becky when they had traveled together in Syria, and had enjoyed so much the lively young woman that they had kept in touch during all those years.

              He was pleased to read from her, and wanted to enjoy it fully.

              So he took his time to put to bed Guinevere and Peregrine before. Guinevere was the eldest, very mature for her barely 11 year old. She took great care of her younger brother, who was more dreamy and foolish. Peregrine would turn 10 next March… but he was hardly as responsible as his sister when she was his age…

              Dear Sean, Becky was writing

              I would have liked to finally take the time to write to you in better conditions, but I could not delay any longer. I saw the obituary in the newspaper, and wanted you to know that I share your grief and loss, and extend much love and support to you and to your dear little ones.

              I know you’re not the kind of person to be satisfied with banalities, so I will not dwell on this tragedy, and will remember the best moments we shared together.

              I still continue my studies and practices on dramatherapy, and till now it has proved very beneficial, in many ways. I have learned so many things. It’s quite rewarding. We are a close-knit group of fools (or drôles as Al loves to say, as some of his ancestors come from the bayous!), and that is very much enjoyable when things that tragic come to one’s reality.

              In case you feel like talking, don’t hesitate any moment, I’ll be here. Anytime.




              Orkney Islands, October 4 th, 2057

              This year again, Sean Doran had not answered his father’s calls.

              This September 23 th was the twenty fourth anniversary of the disengagement of Lord Wrick’s daughter-in-law, and this was always a very somber period for the family.

              Hopefully, the twins were here to enliven the old mansion, for as long as their parents, Lord Wrick’s grand-children, would be traveling. And of course, there had been the unexpected return of the books, which had been comforting too.

              Nonetheless, Hilarion Wrick was sad, and Bill the painter was uneasy as to how he could not quite put right the portrait of the old dragon…

              in Reply To: Circle of Eights, Stories #254

                Bill, the itinerant artist commissioned to paint portraits of the Wrick family, was uneasy. While he’d been staying in the castle with the eccentric family, he’d lost all track of linear time. It had been altogether too confusing, and his head was spinning. Manon the cook had sent a tray up to his room, with a pot of Earl grey tea, and a plate of Yorkshire parkin for his supper, when he’d claimed to be developing a mysterious ailment and begged leave to retire to his room.

                Bill splashed some malt whiskey into his cup of tea. A good long sleep was what he needed, and with a sigh he drained his cup and climbed into bed, pulling the heavy eiderdown up over his chin. He lay there for awhile staring into space, not really aware of his thoughts. An owl hooted from the oak tree outside his window. Twit whoohooo twit whoo hooooooo…

                Bill blinked and then frowned. On the top of the Queen Anne highboy facing the end of his bed was a large carved stone face. How odd, he thought, I don’t recall seeing that there before.

                in Reply To: Circle of Eights, Stories #255

                  Cuthbert woke up with a start, and called for Nanny Gibbon. What a horrible nightmare he was having!


                  Cuthbert trembled and checked his hands. Phew! they looked normal.


                  Nanny I just had an awful dream! Cuthbert clutched Nanny Gibbon’s dressing gown, and shuddered. There was this madman, Nanny, by a river, and he kept shouting about an evil hand….

                  There, there, Bertie, it was only a dream. How about a nice piece of Manon’s Yorkshire parkin and a cup of cocoa?

                  in Reply To: Circle of Eights, Stories #257

                  When Cuthbert came back to bed after having had his cup of cocoa, India Louise was awake too.

                  — I saw him too, she said to her brother.
                  — I don’t want to see him again, these books are scarey.
                  — It’s intriguing, I want to know more, India Louise said, egging on him.
                  — When I close my eyes, I got all these roots and webs crawling, it’s mad… I can’t…
                  — He has found a friend to help him cross the Dark Forest to the traveling portal.
                  — A friend?
                  — Yes, a friend. She’s special.
                  — Tell me more…
                  — She’s a white unicorn, only him can see her.
                  — Wow…
                  — She’s named Mirÿnda. She’s glowing white, and he hears her speak in his mind, she shows him the way through the forest…


                  — Mirÿnda?! A fool in saffron robe gallivanting in the forest with a unicorn now? That’s all you could find?

                  Tina was taken aback…

                  — Well, I could have used a grizzly bear too, now I think of it… Al answered flippantly.
                  — Tsk tsk, replied Tina a bit annoyed. And why not a humpback whale, or an arctic lemming, or even… why, a leopard gecko for that matter?… And who’s that Mÿrinda anyway?


                  — I don’t know any Amanda, Fiona said to Quintin that night. Don’t really know many of Michaela & Elias’ students. She’s Yann friend, right?

                  Quintin had answered distractedly, as he was engrossed by his last painting…

                  Later that night, he couldn’t find sleep, as the dragon he was painting was still expanding his web of roots and branches in his mind’s eye. He opened his computer to see that Malika was online.

                  She told him something that night, something Quintin found abysmally profound and perplexing about his dragon…

                  Dragons can shape shift, into anything they want to. There are several doorways/portals that they use for travel into this dimension. Malika said
                  — Yes, said Quintin, this drawing has something to do with these portals initially, but I struggle a bit to represent them…
                  Yes, so you can just depict it to be flowing, liquid-like energy in the center, when the portal is active.
                  There are some that are being shone to me on the bottom of the ocean floor.
                  What is being shown to me, is a dragon with a tail much like a mermaid, and hands with webs, big yellow eyes…

                  Wow he had thought, she can really see.


                  Jadra, guided by Mirÿnda, had been moving quite easily through the Dark Forest. Of course, he wouldn’t have dared touch the holy creature, and so he was walking hesitantly behind, taking care of where his bare feet were touching the ground.

                  The Dark Forest was bordering the Marshes of Doom, and at times the limits between the two were almost indiscernible. It was said that every foul, err… fool… damn,…

                  — Will you stop being so buffoonish! raved Tina again.
                  — Perhaps I should let someone else continue then? said Albert.
                  — Well, that’s entertaining, replied Becky mechanically.
                  — OK. I’ll jump in, said Samuel, with a wide grin.

                  It was said that every full moon, the Mighty Shrimp would come from the shores of the Southern Seas and haunt the Marshes in search for souls to be turned into krill, so that he could be the WALRUS (Wrathful Almighty Lord Ruler of Undersea Souls).

                  Well, at least, that’s what Jadra had heard in his youth, when you tend to believe everything… So he was weary of the hiki-hiki sounds in the night that might have been the dreaded call of the Mighty Shrimp.


                  Quintin was having a strange dream. He was a huge whale, along with another one he knew was Yann, swimming powerfully in the vast ocean, passing by strange creatures that could have been mermaids or improbable fishes, when his gaze was attracted by a stream of glittering particles of light.

                  The lights were enticing, he would have said even “mouth-watering”, had he not had the baleens full of water already…


                  Salome was moving through layers of consciousness, something humans focused in physical dimensions would have found difficult to grasp, as it was nothing that could be easily conceptualized. She was, as best as she could put, like a huge cloud of lightness coalescing into a form, when she decided to project her aspect.

                  Taking form into a dimension required no effort in actuality, the consensus reality created by all the essences focused into the reality making quite a strong pull. She only needed to move her attention to what she wanted to manifest. Altering her reality slowly around her, to move closer to the desired effect.

                  She was not only traveling through time and space, but also through multitudinous layers of dimensions unnoticed to many humans —in fact, she was not really moving, but that was a convenient way of telling things for humans…

                  She said “humans”, because she was fond of this particular dimension, where she’d had lots of experiences.

                  When moving through the dimensions, it had her projected focus of attention constantly and naturally adapt its form to the psychological environment.

                  Here, she had just moved through a honey-drops dimension, where focuses were drops of golden honey-like substance, and as she moved through it, her own aspect had changed to that of a sand-glass shaped drop of honey.

                  This was great fun for her to see the ease with which she could focus into this infinite variety of adventures, but for now, her pull was to some more complex physical dimensions.

                  She started to move again, de-focusing, past the lazy honey drops.

                  The honey drops were now shape-shifting to a whole immense field of snake-like strings of light, and they all started to converge to a direction. She knew the feeling. She followed the strong pull.

                  in Reply To: Circle of Eights, Stories #258
                  F LoveF Love

                    India Louise sat at the end of the extraordinarily long oak dinner table. A tiny figure engrossed in some drawing. The morning sun shone in the window, brightening the otherwise dark room.

                    Lord Wrick walked in, not seeming to see India Louise at first. He held a letter in his hand, and some old newspaper clippings. He sat down heavily at the table, opened the letter, and read it. After reading it, he sat staring into space for a long while.

                    India Louise looked up from her drawing.

                    What is wrong Grandpa? You look sad. She walked over to him and hugged him. See look at this. Look at my drawing of a flower, perhaps that will cheer you up. The painter Bill has been showing me how to use these paint sticks and also how to use my mind to help make the painting have life.

                    It is beautiful India Louise.

                    What did the letter say Grandpa. Why is it making you so sad?

                    It is just an old letter, India Louise.

                    Yes it looks very old. Was it bad news?

                    Just reminds me of things I wish I had said a long time ago, said her great grandfather, Regret is an awful curse

                    The little girl hugged him again. Yes it sounds awful. I think I will draw another flower for you grandpa.

                    He smiled. Thank you India Louise. I will be back soon. I will put the letter away now.

                    Yes, put it away now. I can’t see any point looking at it if it makes you sad, and then come and see the flower I will draw for you.

                    Lord Wrick walked over to the bookshelves and reached up. There was a tin on the top shelf. He opened the tin and got out an old key.

                    He walked down the passage way, to the right and then down some stairs leading to the cellar. There was a door, which had not been opened for some time, and he had to use some force to get the key to work in the lock.

                    The room was dark, musty, mostly full of what would seem to be junk, which had been thrown there when people did not know what else was to be done with it. There was an old chest of drawers against one wall. He pulled open the top draw, fingering gently some of the items, more old letters, a feather, some pebbles, a diary, some old paintings and photos. He knew each object had a life of it’s own, memories which create worlds. He added the letter and the newspaper article.

                    As he left the room, he wondered whether to lock the door again, and decided not to. He had a funny feeling within himself as he made this decision to leave it open, a shift, as though his simple decision had changed things, somehow.

                    Silly old fool he thought, laughing at himself. He would go and see the flower that India Louise was drawing for him.

                    in Reply To: Circle of Eights, Stories #261

                    In searching for a sheet of paper to do some sketches of images going through his mind, Bill found an old poem he had started a long time ago, when he was feeling like he was completely transforming himself. He had not finished the poem, but had kept it all along…

                    It said:

                    I’ve been wandering through the valleys of death
                    Where time knows no ending and all is gray
                    And shadows seek nothing but oblivion itself
                    In mazes of mist, minds’ errands led astray…

                    Perhaps it was time to let go of useless things, Bill thought to himself.

                    He watched the paper slowly smoldering and shrinking and falling to black and white cinders into the hearth.


                    Before going to sleep that night, Quintin had the sensation of Janice’s presence. He was surprised, because she was no longer the little girl he had seen at times, but she was a very pretty young woman, with dark wavy hair.

                    She had giggled at his surprise, telling him that yes, she was catching up with him…


                    The City, year 2255 (%)

                    Today was Janice’s birthday, but not her birthday as the Ancients, two and half a century from her time, would have counted it. It was counted from the time of the conception, as the future parents in this time were fully aware of the agreements they would have with the soul they would decide to give birth to.

                    It was a reminder of this agreement between the parents and the child that was celebrated, and not the actual birth date.

                    Janice had felt Cyprus’ presence quite strongly, and she decided to let herself open to the subjective communication. She was conversing with her friend Qixi, and sent her some energy to let her know she would probably remove her attention for a few moments, knowing she would be accepting.

                    When she closed her eyes, she could immediately feel herself engulfed by the strong yet smooth energy of Cyprus; it was like being kissed by a swarm of blue sparkling butterflies.

                    Then she opened her eyes.

                    She was in an ancient classroom, with Cyprus focused as a teacher figure. Cyprus was seated behind her desk and came at once to great Janice.

                    — Good morning!
                    — Good morning Cyprus, you wanted to say something to me?
                    — In actuality, you wanted me to tell you something, answered Cyprus with a mysterious smile.
                    — Yes, I thought so. Is it about what I am choosing to do as an activity?
                    — Correct.
                    — You are aware that I want to be creating of worlds, and give them to people that would have commissioned them…
                    — Yes, I am aware. And you wanted me to highlight some misconceptions about that.
                    — Oh, misconceptions?
                    — Yes. As you know, with these worlds that you create, you have infinite potential of explorations. You also know that they are not independent from the rest, even when you take great care of encapsulating them in an energy field. And as such, they are not cut-off from yourself, as soon as you deliver them.
                    — It feels like a tremendous responsibility.
                    — It is, and it is not. The responsibility is to yourself, as always. But, I wanted you to be aware that you hold some responsibility, to examine your own injections into these worlds that you create, so that you can be neutralizing what is not desired, and not merely hiding it deeper inside the world itself.
                    — OK, I will do that…
                    — Ahaha, there is another thing, my dear.
                    — Oooh…
                    — You also wanted me to make sure you understood what I meant.
                    — Ahahaha, I see. Wiggling out won’t be as easy as I thought, Janice said with a smile. So, is it the reason for this classroom?
                    — Nothing is hidden from you, as always.

                    So Janice took a look at the sheet of paper on top of her own school desk.

                    — I’ll be around if you need me, reassured Cyprus.
                    — Thank you, said Janice

                    The paper was like a spot test, with a few questions on it.


                    Study on a Few Contradictory Beliefs

                    1. GUILT

                    a. An old lord has lost contact with his son, because of harsh things said in the past.

                    Write a short story about him realizing how guilt is not effective, and how past can be changed from the point of present by direct action.

                    b. Detail the main beliefs you can see associated with this action of guilt.

                    2. FEAR

                    a. A man chooses to be disengaging by drowning in a river. During his transition, he faces his fears, helped in that by a friendly spirit. The fears take the forms of a forest of trees, all similar, with branches and malicious roots extending to him. In his previous life, the man thought he was a fool, as an excuse to stand out of the numb crowd. But now he faces this crowd again, only to be able to go on his journey and let go.

                    Write a short paragraph about his journey. Place yourself from the perspective of both him and the friendly spirit guiding him through his fears, and see how he helps himself in realizing he does not need to push the fears away, and that they can disappear easily.

                    b. Detail the beliefs associated with his madness, that he needs to let go of in order to be crossing the forest, and go to the Bridge of Daffoldils that leads to his cave of Self.


                    In association with the last two examples, detail how duplicity (belief in good versus bad) is influencing of each of the actions, and can be neutralised by accepting self and trusting that you shall not betray yourself.


                    Janice gave her paper to Cyprus, who took it and held it for a moment, evaluating the answers.

                    Cyprus then made it burst into a bluish dancing flame, and when the paper had disappeared, smiled at Janice lovingly.

                    in Reply To: Circle of Eights, Stories #264

                      India Louise wrapped the big rusty key up in leopard spotted wrapping paper and tied it up with ribbon. She’d been invited to Eugenia’s birthday party, and she was excited. To be truthful, she was looking forward to meeting Oscar just as much as she was looking forward to the jelly and ice cream, trifles, and smarties.

                      Oscar was a parrot, who had appeared one day at Eugenia’s bedroom window. He’d tapped the glass with his beak repeatedly until Eugenia opened the window and let him in.

                      in Reply To: Circle of Eights, Stories #271

                        And yet….and yet….it’s so familiar! Bill climbed out of bed, eyes fixed on the stone carved head on top of the tallboy, and went over for a closer look. He reached up and touched the cool smooth stone, and then leaned back against the bedpost, stroking his chin, transfixed.

                        I must be dreaming, he thought, this just doesn’t make sense. And yet…..I’ve seen this before! The images flitted through Bill’s mind, not just this stone head, but other stone heads, all different but all linked somehow, and all so familiar.

                        Bill didn’t hear the soft tapping on the door at first. Bill! psstt, Bill! Open the door, it’s me, India……

                        in Reply To: Circle of Eights, Stories #278

                          India Louise shivered in the draughty corridor and glanced furtively over her shoulder. Bill! she hissed into the keyhole. She tapped softly on the door again, afraid of waking Manon in the next room. It would be difficult enough to explain to Bill, let alone trying to explain to the nosy and rather batty cook.

                          She wrapped her dressing gown tightly round her, and felt the weighty key clunk against her thigh. Eugenia and India Louise had been playing ‘let’s pretend’ with the key that Grandad Wrick had thrown on the bonfire (that India found in the ashes the next day and thought would make a super present for Eugenia….. they both loved odd little gifts).

                          For days they’d been wandering around the many corridors and wings of the Wrick castle, and Eugenia’s ancient rambling Sandlebright Hall. On fine days they’d explored the grounds, the aviaries and stables and hay barns, the meadows and follies, the lodges and farm cottages, through the spinney to the river and the boathouse, and back through the rose arbours… imagining themselves in different times and places, as different people, making up stories and weaving the key into each little story…… the murder at the boathouse and the key to the mystery… the key to the kitchen and the affairs of the cook… the parrots and the key to the bird cage…… the key to the captains trunk in the attic…

                          Until they found the place where the key didn’t fit into the story…that is to say, the one place that should have needed a key, The Locked Room that only great grandad Wrick ever went in, was unlocked.

                          India Louise couldn’t wait to tell Bill all about it.

                          in Reply To: Circle of Eights, Stories #283

                            Laughter is Priceless’ .

                            Hey Genie! Look at this. India Louise held a gold locket up to the lamp. It’s inscribed on the back, look: laughter is priceless.
                            What’s on the front? Eugenia asked, moving closer.
                            The locket was egg shaped and had an unusual south pacific motif on the top, and an inscription in comic sans font on the bottom. Open it, Indy, see if there’s anything inside. Eugenia shivered. OOOhh someone just walked over my grave, she said, shuddering again. It’s weird in here, eh.
                            Yeah, bit scarey really, India Louise giggled, fumbling with the locket catch.

                            in Reply To: Circle of Eights, Stories #284

                              What’s that smell, Indy? It smells lovely in here, like coconut. It’s coming from that trunk over there.

                              in Reply To: Circle of Eights, Stories #287

                                India Louise and Eugenia momentarily forgot about the gold locket and walked over to the exceptionally long trunk. India dropped the locket into her pocket as she investigated the exterior of the trunk, which didn’t appear to have an opening. It seemed to have been made around whatever it housed, and permanently.

                                ‘How strange’, mused India, ‘it must not be intended to open, ever!’

                                ‘That makes me want to open it’, said Eugenia. ‘Let’s! Let’s open it!’

                                Eugenia was rummaging in the desk drawers for a suitable tool.

                                ‘Wow, look at this, Indy’. She held a heavy black letter opener up to show India, with an elaborate carved dragon on the handle. The dragon had glittering amethyst eyes, and a serpentine line of coloured stones along its back.

                                India shivered involuntarily at the sight of the dragon. Horrid nasty creatures, dragons, she muttered, resisting an urge to cross herself. ‘Peace be with you, now bugger off’ she whispered the spell under her breath so Eugenia wouldn’t hear her and think she was a silly goose. Horrid scaley slimy stinky reptiles.

                                ‘You go first, Genie, try and prise the trunk open.’ India didn’t want to touch the letter opener, but she was rather curious about the contents of the trunk.

                                Eugenia was a strong and capable lass, with a practical methodical mind ~ unlike India Louise ~ and before long the first piece of wood came splintering off.

                                ‘Nice one, Genie, well done.’ India said as Eugenia wrenched off another few planks.

                                ‘Oh MY GOD!’ ‘Jumping Jehosophat!’ ‘What the……’ ‘Holy Moly, Genie, what the….’. After a few initial exclamations, the girls were silent, the hair standing up on their arms.

                                They were looking down at the shrivelled features of a dried up body, covered in bits of disintegrating faded fabric.

                                ‘A mummy! It’s a friggen mummy!’

                                in Reply To: Circle of Eights, Stories #296

                                Al had always hated amusement parks.
                                Funny, he noticed as he was always the one telling “be playful”…

                                Anyway, Becky had insisted to bring them all in that new big traveling amusement park that had settled in Central Park, NY this year.
                                Hopefully, Heavens know how, resourceful Becky Pooh had obtained VIP tickets for the opening, and it would be a very private visit, without too many people.

                                Now, that could perhaps be interesting… After all, the whole entertainment park had been sponsored by Becky’s friends, the Wrick family, and Al and the others were dying of curiosity to meet the top of the crop, so to speak…

                                in Reply To: Circle of Eights, Stories #297

                                ……In case you feel like talking, don’t hesitate any moment, I’ll be here. Anytime.



                                PS, Becky added as an afterthought in her letter to dear old Wrick, Al’s so looking forward to meeting you in the ‘Amusement Park’ in Central Park, I hope you will disillusion him gently as to the nature of projecting and out-of body excursions……I will leave it to you, Wrick old boy, to decide how best to handle it. Ah, you wise old buffoon, I can hear you saying it now: Al’s choices are perfect, as are yours. Becky smiled fondly and added to the postscript: Wrick, you’re a brick, old stick.

                                in Reply To: Circle of Eights, Stories #298

                                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 …
                                Becky nodded
                                — 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!”

                                Rodney felt thankful for the sumafiness of Janice who was always prompt to display helpful hallucinations and reminders.

                                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…

                                Rodney was squinting his dream eyes
                                — So, Sean was into humanitarian effort after 2001…
                                — His father actually I think, said Janice. He was a bit too young.
                                — Oh OK, I misread, that’s hard to read!

                                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

                                — Well, Illi didnt stay long in South Africa with boring old whatever his name was, Rodney pursued
                                — Yes, she was young with her parents. They were traveling…

                                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.
                                — Hmmm
                                — Hmmm
                                — 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…
                                — Exactly
                                — 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.

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