Forever Never/The Dawn of Illusion
by Cheryl Pennington
“Darkness in the Garden/Deception Arises”
It comes…..but what does it want? And who will be able to intervene in time?
“Tonight we shall both be made satisfied, Mother of Humankind. And my As’me will live again.”
It was this very thought, spoken from the dark soul of creation and expressed upon the surface of her world, that carried across the distance to one who would hear.
Ar’tine was not the only one who saw the workings of Existence by peering into the swirling black depths of his onyx lake on Domhan Eile. There was another who was gifted with the ability to see. And she saw the present as well as the future, although the future was merely a possible unfolding. For they all knew the future was yet to be written; and just how the road turned depended solely upon the traveler.
Terror in the Lake
Now as she walked the same path, she wondered if, once more, she was being summoned by Mother Bandia for a divine purpose
Naofa glanced down at the ocean waves crashing against the rocks of the shore and heard the whispering voice again; and she knew it was not coming from the ocean depths. She realized that the source of her awakening was emanating from the dark waters of the lake yet again. She knew the lake well; for through the portal in its face she could keep a close watch over the Garden Family. It was as a window to all other parts of Domhan; but as she was instructed, it was only to be entered in times of great need for the work of Light. Only in those moments was she able to use the powers of vision that it held for her.
Now in her bare feet she climbed the cool, grassy hillside, reaching its crest just as the moon was at its highest point overhead in the night sky. Naofa could see the reflections of the thousand stars within its surface, making it glow like a warm night filled with fireflies. But these fireflies remained perfectly still, still as the water’s surface. She held her breath, cocking her head to one side, as she listened once more for the voice. Gathering her long locks and twisting them, she tied them atop her head as she took a few more cautious steps. Suddenly, she heard the furtive whispers again, this time all too clearly. The voice was pleading in earnest for strength and comfort. Noafa thought she recognized its owner but was not yet certain.
Her steps quickened as she made her way down to the dark water’s edge and draped her cloak over a rock before stepping boldly into the chilly lake. The scent of the night blooms was strong this evening and it filled her head. Slowly, taking care not to stir the waters with her body, she made her way to the place where the moon struck a ribbon of light across the shimmering surface. Lifting her arms away from her body as she moved, and ignoring the tiny bumps that rippled across her chilled, naked form she, also, lifted her voice to Eternity.
“By the gift of breath you have given me, Spiorad Mor, by the powers of the Eternal Light of Mother Inion, and by the vow I keep to my Mother Bandia; I call upon the power of Vision that is my instrument of protection and Light.”
Naofa turned her face to the full moon and felt its soft glowing fingers stroke her tanned skin. When the voice spoke again she recognized it with startling clarity. It was Humankind’s first Mother-their precious M’na. She heard clearly the whispers of desire the female expressed, longing for another child and approval from the Eternal Realm. Naofa listened intently, as the Mother spoke, heard her promise to raise the new child just as she had Amhain, in Light and Love. She also felt M’na’s intense loneliness within these pleas, her intuition sensing the empty place that lurked within her sister, crying out to be heard from deep within the female’s soul.
Naofa started, feeling she must go to the daughter of Domhan and help her to reason with these feelings. But the lake was not done with her yet. There was more to be revealed. She tried to move, but her feet would not budge and seemed bound within the mud that she stood in. Even as she tried to pull them from the muck, it closed in upon them, like invisible wet hands holding her to the spot. The spirit of Domhan was in tune with its inhabitants just as it was created to be. Obediently, the female waited.
Trying to calm her beating heart, she peered again into the gleaming water. Through a misty tunnel she could see the Garden, bathed in darkness, and saw that all was quiet. In her vision she saw Eagna, lying beside Eolas, murmuring her hope that the Mothers of Eternity would agree to bless them with a child. The Sorceress heard clearly the Wise female’s words, that she felt it was time for Domhan to sing with the sounds of unity in the form of many children.
“Eolas, surely Spirit has seen the wholeness within Amhain. How could the mothers not want to increase this fullness upon our world? Imagine us creating even as our Mothers and Father have done.” The handsome Hunter did not speak, but placed his hand upon the belly of his companion and lay his head next to hers as they both dreamed of the possibilities.
This vision was as clear to Naofa as if she were standing beside her friends. What a wonderful prospect, she thought! More new life on Domhan seemed brilliant. She wanted to return to her home, gather her things and go to her friends, to share in this ceremony.
As she began to rise from the water, a small ripple in the surface caught her eye. It was a glint of red, barely a glimmer, then gone. Her troubled mind urged her to remember. Where had she seen that glint before? Through the shadows of memory she returned to the night of her vision with Bandia. Yes! It was that same glint she saw in her vision before the miracle of Amhain’s birth. As the goddess disappeared beneath the waves again she had caught it from the corner of her eye, but dismissed it as imagination. This was not imagination. When the surface became still again, the vision expanded.
What was this deceit? Her frantic mind raced And why? Realizing her feet were now free from the muddy shackles below, Naofa waded back to shore, the water somehow pushing her forward. She stumbled up the hill; and, not even bothering to pick up her cloak, she ran for home, her frantic thoughts seeking reason and purpose as she ran, breathless, anger rising within her chest.
All she could think to do at this point was to try to reach M’na in time. The fire was now smoldering, and she grabbed a stick to poke the ashes, added a log, and reached above the fireplace to a shelf where she kept her herbs, trying not to upset everything in her haste. If only she could conjure a vision of her own. If only her powers were strong enough to send a message to the Daughter of Domhan.