Darkness in the Garden/Deception Arises/Forver Never


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?  

 Darkness in the Garden“Ahhhh…..how good it is to breathe the air of Domhan again,” hissed a nearly inaudible voice arising from a dark form sliding across the ground near a familiar stand of trees that watched,  like shadowed sentries, just outside the entrance to Foirfeachta.  The whispering mist hovered a few moments above the ground, soaking in its warmth and drawing from the Essence of life that permeated every physical creation on Bandia’s world. There would be no other way to make its transformation; and Ar’tine had no way of knowing just how long the effect would last. The hissing came again as the shadow beast began to move toward the entrance of The Garden, where low hanging  blossoms swayed gently in the darkness, their astonished white faces highlighted by the glow of the new moon.

“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

Naofa felt stifled as she tried to sleep that night, her rest accosted by angry waves thundering against the craggy, gray shores of her home.  She felt the damp night air coming through the cracks in the stones, smelled the fresh salt lingering on the breeze, and suddenly had the urge to plunge herself beneath the crashing waves and taste the salt on her tongue as she bathed herself in the coolness of those dark waters.  She climbed from her bed and, covering herself with merely her cloak, she headed down the slippery path to the rocky shore below.
She hadn’t gone very far when she thought she heard-no, she knew she heard the voice of a female. It whispered, as though in prayer, fervently, tenderly and with earnest desire. She turned her head to see where it was coming from and at once saw the light of the new moon glinting off the lake’s surface, just beyond the rise.  She had used the dark waters of her homeland before, gazing into the murky blue depths when the moment arrived to go to the Garden for M’na to give birth.  But the waters had been rough, waves beneath the wind had called to her in the voice of her Goddess Mother.
 On that other night,  she moved as in a dream, scaling  the cliffs, down to where she finally stood gazing across the dark surface of that mysterious lake.  Gray mists had surrounded her then and she felt them seeping into her mind, muddying her thoughts.  Without hesitation she had dropped her clothes at the water’s edge and stepped into the drink.  She remembered it now as cold but comforting; and as she moved through the water, not so much as a ripple appeared on its surface. When she looked down she saw her reflection clearly, so clearly that she thought she was in the company of another, created just like herself.  As she peered in wonder at her brilliant reflection, she became aware of the waves lapping the shore, more intensely.  The moonlit water began to part down the center, pushed open by some strange apparition of her dream.  It had all seemed so real.  Suddenly, bursting from the hidden depths of the water and stretching toward the night sky rose a being Noafa had never seen before on their world.  Looming above her was a being, half female-half fish;  and quickly she recognized the face of her goddess mother. It had been she who told the Sorceress, beneath the moonlit night, that it was time to go to the Garden to help M’na.

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.

Naofa gasped in horror as she saw it-saw him-for surely it must be, now in the dark form sliding above the ground toward the Garden
through the forest, into the clearing and right into M’na and Fireann’s home.  It was without distinct shape or recognizable feature, but Naofa knew immediately what this was. What she didn’t know was its purpose. How could she warn those in the Garden? It was too far
to travel either by foot or by beast and too distant to fly, even if she had time to change form. She watched in captive silence as the Shadow creature slowly, silently made its way up the steps to the doorway; and she felt it gaining energy from the earth as it moved.
Then it began to transform.  She could feel Its strengthening energy even across the great distance that kept her from warning the couple. The dark,  misty form was fading into transparent mist, swirling and taking shape. It became brighter and denser. Like a frightened bird, Naofa’s heart was beating against her chest as she saw the gray form changing and sprouting legs-eight of them!  The red eyes were now surveying its own transformation with dark satisfaction. It blinked and a bright shimmering energy cloaked its new self.  Another blink dimmed its eyes, changing them from blood red to an opaque white- but not the bright Light of Eternity as should be glowing from the body of Mother Inion in her transformed state.  Still, those eyes were no longer red, although Naofa could still see the red behind them through her vision in the lake.

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.

Pouring and mixing herb and tincture, she soon had a thick, vaporous mist filling the room.  She murmured fervently, chanting prayers of strength, calling upon those in the Realm to hear her and help her to reach their daughter in time.
“M’na, hear me, M’na see me!”, she called into the vapors. “Pleeease….”   But would the female hear her call before it was too late? On and on, Naofa would call throughout the night in the hope of preventing disaster. Stepping out into the dark night, she sent a call to the Essence of Domhan to awaken for the sake of its Keeper.  If only she had heard the voice sooner….
to be continued…….
This reminds me of one of my favorite pieces of music by Alkaemy, from The Merlin Mystery set.

14 thoughts on “Darkness in the Garden/Deception Arises/Forver Never

  1. This is yet my best installment. After the last, “A Plan/ A Prayer”, where the prayer is heard by a different being and not the Creators, I couldn’t wait. And you’ve just left me hanging. You must continue this, Cheryl, please. Next week? Can I hope? A story, it seems, gets better and more exciting when the antagonist awakes fully.


    1. I promise Peter. Hopefully tonight! He is also coming into himself gradually, and realizing his power. My hope through this work is to portray the progression of our souls’ direction from the beginning, before we became overrun and obsessed with constant emotional stimulation, when peace was all we knew. If people think my story boring, I hope they can realize why I feel our world has become so noisy. Perhaps peace itself was too boring for our human natures. Just some of my mind wanderings…


      1. You got me right there. Today, there were these people in the estate, a very noisy lot. They were so loud I got out to see what was going on. But they were only meeting friends. I wondered why there is no silence anymore. Has there ever been silence or has it always been this much chaos? Then it occurred to me that in Nairobi, you cannot find a quiet place, unless you climb to the top of Mt. Kenya. The world is noisy, as you say. And your story is not boring.


      2. I know that is one reason we are drawn to Costa Rica. There are so many quiet places. I am so sensitive to sounds and even the emotions of people interacting around me. Crowds can be maddening. And thank you so much.


  2. Your stories are balm for my soul, dear Cheryl. And the Alkaemy piece moved me to my core.
    I have always felt I have been incarnated as a British Celt more than once.
    Do not pity me the least bit when I say my roots are dying in the air in this lifetime. Just feel my gratitude for your soothing presence, please.
    You help me reconnect with so much.
    Cherishing you,


    1. My friend Leon, if this is the only reason I was inspired to write then it was for a divine purpose. My greatest desire is to add Light and Peace to a world so often only lit by the flame of mortal passions. I, too, feel a strong connection to the Celtic world. It was a deeply spiritual time, when the Earth’s natural power was understood and apprecaited. As always, sending much love and light for you and Plutonia.,


  3. You did? We don’t get that in our town. I have never met a Muslim or Hindu or Christian who like to start an argument over faith. The ONLY people I ever encountered who enjoy knocking faith are non-believers. That’s my honest experience.
    To me the thing that is invaluable is manners. Knowledge doesn’t rank in my my top three.
    I don’t understand your town so I hope you understand 🙂


    1. Thanks Frankie! That is an edited photo. I have not had much time to paint lately. Gotta choose my “poison” but sooon. I hope to have time to do many things. I appreciate your support. Hope your week is going well. I could sense some of your frustration in your last post. Or maybe it is just your zealous nature seeping through. :)) Keep sharing those insights. Sending you some good vibes, my friend.


      1. To be honest it was sparked by yet another comment somewhere about “religious wars” and the like. It seems to me the only people who partake in religious wars are non religious.
        It’s a sign of a low IQ to dismiss another person’s faith as being silly. The guy in my about me page must be rubbing his hands with glee. They are trained to worship a flag from childhood. It’s too late for them, the brain has been washed.
        I know their type. All talk.!
        Thanks for the vibes 🙂


      2. Yeah, I dealt with some of that over last weekend. Even the “belief” there is no God is a belief. Anytime there is a belief there will be those who feel they must defend and push. Knowledge and understanding are invaluable.


      3. There are many born again Christian churches here so they can be pretty pushy when you get em going. At least there are no more Catholic/Baptist wars like when I was little. It is one reason I don’t associate with a particular church but appreciate the spiritual resonance within most faiths. The churches I grew up in ended up battling amongst themselves and splitting into offshoot churches over style and belief details. It was just too much for me.


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