A Time to Watch/Sharing Dreams

Forever Never/The Dawn of Illusion
by Cheryl Pennington
Exhausted and content, the band of friends slept well within the cave of the Warrior, awaking to a new and bright day, albeit it full of unanswered questions.   The Sorceress bears the weight of her unspoken question as the spark of connection she shares with Laoch continues to flicker…..
A Time to Watch
Mor contemplated the recent experiences of Its children.  There was no plan set for Inion’s humankind; therefore  there was nothing to prophecy, all things existing at once . Only the very moment one experienced was real. Still, there could be thoughts, ideas which could become a unified dream, just as each of their Creations had become manifest through thought.  But could one know of a creation thought even before it was formed within its owner’s consciousness? Existence was becoming ever more intriguing-and complicated.
“Eternity must maintain balance within Existence. We must pay closer attention to Ar’tine. Do you understand, my Son?”

“Yes, Mother,” answered Mac. “Ar’tine has not gone to Domhan since the night he toyed with M’na.  Bandia can entertain him with a new project on one of their other worlds. Perhaps this would ease his impatience for As’me’s return.”

Mac consciously practiced Unconditional Love for his son in spite of all that had happened, and continued to happen; but he sensed somewhere within his core, at the place of Mac an Mor’s inception, that this was not going to ever be enough to light the god’s dark soul.
Mac sent both God and Goddess into the farthest realms to work on worlds yet in the early stages of their development. These worlds did not support living beings.  Not yet. Physical creation was still too new, too experimental, to be spread quickly. Ar’tine’s talent for exquisite creation were not in question. His work with the rock and ore of Domhan Eile were impressive. Metals derived from the solid form of his world could be physically changed and formed into very useful items.

Mac began to question his own Wisdom in allowing Ar’tine to be involved in the creation of new tribes now living on Domhan.  The dark one had filled them with wisdom in his own style of creation, teaching them as well the gifts of working with stone. But what if he had also filled them with those traits which were not so desirable?  Mor’s son knew they must be careful and not move too swiftly.  These physical beings needed time to develop spiritually before gaining too much power over creation.  There was that thing again. Power. Why did it seem so negative? Mac, of course, knew the pitfalls of power as well as the consequences of its misuse. “It is my own fault he is so imbalanced,” Mac berated himself.

Mac was thankful for the protection ceremony Naofa  initiated for the Warrior, Laoch.  He knew there was nothing certain about the next “now” moment; but he well understood the love of power that drove his son, the idea that consumed his unsettled consciousness.  Mac felt certain that if protection were akin to prevention, then perhaps the inhabitants of Domhan should hold ceremony continuously…

Sharing Dreams

Every soul in the dwelling slept soundly and with no visions to molest their sleep.  Laoch awoke feeling refreshed and was well pleased there had been no return of the dark form.  He wondered if this was due to the miracle on the ledge, or if the fact that he clutched the white stone in his fist throughout the night had kept the nightmares-and the dark one-away.  Perhaps it had been both; but it was of no consequence in the early light of morning, for he pushed the nightmare from his mind and arose with the first hint of light to go fishing.  Now the air was filled with the smell of sizzling fish and simmering grass flower tea, nudging the others from their sleep. It would be a perfect start to their day.

Laoch wasn’t sure how much sleep Eolas and Eagna had,  for he could hear them most of the night, moving and making soft noises together-happy noises.  At one point he considered looking in on them, but was stopped by the new something that their sounds stirred within his own body.  It was as if a fresh view of living had been touched in him after eating the strange fruit. He wondered if Naofa  heard them as well, his hand still tingling from the feeling of hers upon it the night before, warm and enveloping as she comforted him through his awakening. His musings were interrupted by the sound of soft cursing from deep inside the cave; and he grinned to himself, knowing the cause for this small outburst. Naofa was at odds with the bats in his cave.

“I shall never be accustomed to them! Dark night’s creatures, darting across the top of my head without a sound.  And they leave such a mess,” she stated as she ran her fingers through her long locks and tied them back with a length of twine. Seeing Laoch’s amusement in the face of her frustration, the Sorceress forgot her ranting, regained her composure and arranged her tunic nervously. She didn’t care to be a spectacle nor make a scene;  and she couldn’t understand this sudden  awkwardness that came over her while in his presence. “I don’t have these creatures in the sea caves at all; and if they are present, they do not show themselves to me.  I rarely go deep inside the tunnels, so I am not affected by their…living habits.” Naofa shuddered involuntarily and laughed nervously as she breathed in the crisp, morning air and sat down.  Knotting the twine around her hair with a final tug, she placed her hands on her knees, looked at the Warrior and took on a more somber tone, inquiring after Laoch’s sleep.

“Were there any visitors to your dreams last night?” He shook his head and held out his hand, still closed in a fist.  Uncurling his fingers, he revealed the smooth white stone lying in the center, like a tiny perfect egg against the brown earth. “Did you hold it thusly all night?” Naofa asked, unable to hide her amazement. The Warrior nodded.  He reached out his hand to return the treasure to its rightful owner; but the Sorceress shook her head a bit too vehemently, causing hair to slip from its binding and fall around her shoulders so that she had to stop and tie it again. Every move she made seemed to etch itself in the Warrior’s mind.

“No, no, there are others where that one came from,” she insisted.   “This stone from our ceremony is my gift of peace and comfort to you.  I am satisfied and very pleased that our efforts were successful. The true message is that anything is possible when summoning and trusting in the Light.”

Naofa shifted uneasily where she sat, lacing her fingers and gathering her courage to speak.  “I have not been completely honest with you my friend,” she began.  Seeing his look of concern she quickly added. “No, do not frown so, for I do not mean to say that I have deceived you in any way.  But..” she searched for the right words to begin. “I had my own vision not more than a few cycles ago.” Loach sat beside her and leaned in as she continued.

“It was a dream, actually, but a dream such as yours; for it was driven by the thought of darkness.”  Naofa hesitated, uncertain of how to share the details without alarming her friend.  “The difference was that in my dream..there was a…creature,” she said deliberately and slowly so as not to ambush her friend’s new sense of peace. He merely nodded for her to continue.  “I was in my home, and as though seeing through a window within my dream, I could view Foirfeachta, bathed in night and the sky littered with stars.   As I gazed toward the blackness there came through the night sky a flaming arrow being delivered by a most fierce creature.”

Naofa stopped talking for a moment to gaze at the markings on Laoch’s chest, something which did not escape the Warrior’s awareness. Trying to understand the awful vision that now stared back at her from that chest, she continued. “This creature set fire to all of Foirfeachta and its family. I heard them cry out in agony and felt their pain and suffering but was helpless to aid.  It was a great leathery beast that breathed roaring fire and laughed in the wake of its destruction. So, you see, when I saw your new tattoo, well, I..I was concerned..”

Dawning crossed Laoch’s face as he comprehended the the fear that must have burdened the Sorceress’s heart before she knew the truth.  This knowledge was painful; but he didn’t know what to say, how to help.  He poked the fire, pushing the cooked fish to the side, and remained thoughtful for a moment before he spoke, revealing his own worst fear.  “Tell me, Naofa, did you see the soul of this beast?”  Before she could answer he asked another question, most certainly not one she had expected. He took a deep breath.  “And did it have my face?”

Taken aback at the stark honesty of his question, she immediately sought to reassure him.  “Laoch, no, this creature bore the markings of darkness, most certainly, but there was no resemblance to you, no thought of you at all within my dream.  Still…understanding the dark force in Ar’tine as I have come to…and knowing that you are-connected-to him through creation, I wanted to come here-to  help  shield you-before he could find a way to use you.” Her voice became strong with deep conviction,  “And it would seem I was wise in doing so.”

She reached out to touch Laoch’s shoulder, but he instinctively withdrew from her. It was not that he found her gesture offensive.  In fact, it was quite the opposite; for her touch had now taken on a new dimension for him and he wasn’t at all certain what it meant.

Misreading this reaction as shame for being his Father’s pawn, Naofa was quick to offer consolation, “Laoch, you are protected by Light. If you are always intent on the work of Light, Ar’tine cannot invade your Essence. We will figure out this vision of the fire breathing creature-I promise.”

“Do you mean the one with the leathery wings and black heart?”  came the gentle but anxious query from over Naofa’s shoulder. It was Eagna, animal hide in hand, brow furrowed in concern. She had been quietly storing their things when she overheard the discussion going on by the fire.  Naofa and Loach exchanged surprised, knowing looks before turning their attention to Eagna.

Motioning for her friend to sit, Naofa poured her a cup freshly brewed tea and urged Eagna to explain the reason for her question.  Eagna took a long sip of the tea. It tasted strong and helped to calm the rising dread that loomed over her soul.  She would need courage to relive the dream she had been working so diligently to forget.  Understanding her hesitation, Naofa urged her quietly, “Go slowly.  Take as long as you need, Sister, Eagna and do not leave any details untold; for it is most important that we unravel the tangled threads of this mystery.”     Naofa brushed a strand of hair from her face and waited.  After a few moments she urged the other to speak, “Have you, too, see a vision of the beast who came to us?”

Taking another sip of tea to wet her lips and boost her courage, Eagna began to slowly relate the details of her dream. Her voice quivered as she told of the great beast that stole her infant child just as it was being delivered to its soft bed.  It rose to a frantic pitch when she described the ghastly vision of the leathery winged thing as it devoured the child just before disappearing into the dark night.  She broke down and wept on the Sorceress’s shoulder then.  When she spoke again her voice was barely an incredulous whisper.

“And in my hands where once lay the treasure of my heart, there was nothing.  Then the beast disappeared into the endless sky.” Eagna looked to Naofa hopefully; for she felt if anyone could understand these mysteries then surely it was she. She, who could see the world of Domhan from her Lake of Visions and bring the Light of Eternity into their midst with her ceremonies must certainly know what it all meant. And what they were to do about it.

Naofa knew what was desired of her and yet she felt helplessly ignorant. She could not make sense of the spell that had been working within their consciousness. Was it really some dark magic; or was it a foretelling of things to come? Could it merely be the awakening within them of Fear?  And if it was one or all, what could be done about it? Things were becoming so much more difficult without the direct instruction of their Mothers.  Within her heart the Sorceress questioned this transfer of power from Spirit to flesh, then immediately felt unworthy for questioning eternity’s wisdom.  absentmindedly, she twirled the strands of her hair that hung freely over her shoulder.

Laoch watched this gesture and thought how beautiful she was, wondering why he hadn’t noticed it before. And why was he noticing it now? He rose to get bowls for their food and another cup for tea as Eolas surfaced from below the edge of the rock overhang. No one had noticed him slip down the steps and make his way to the river’s edge, bringing back fresh water .  Seeing his dripping hair Eagna smiled,  knowing he had taken a morning dip to rinse the dusty cave from his skin.  She wiped her tear-stained face and rose to greet him. The Hunter put down the container and embraced his beloved as though they had been parted for longer than a trip to the water’s edge. Eagna did not want to leave his embrace but reluctantly returned to sit beside Naofa. Eolas was in a perfect mood, unmolested during his own night’s sleep.

“Good morning friends. I trust everyone slept well after our excitement last night. Laoch?” Eolas looked inquiringly at his friend.  Laoch nodded and smiled, holding out a plate of food for Eolas, then one for each of the females.

Naofa was distracted and picked at her fish. After all, it wasn’t her favorite food since she felt so closely related to them these days. Instead she nibbled at the  root vegetables and drank several cups of tea. She looked at Eolas and Eagna, feeling their contentment, and wanted to reassure them that all was as it should be in their world. Finally, she set her plate down and feigned the deep conviction her heart would not allow her to feel.

“Eagna, I do not yet understand the nature of these dreams and visions.” She touched Eagna’s temple lightly. “The mind seems to be an intricate place, full of mystery and shadow.”  Her hand dropped to her lap and the Sorceress decided to take a practical approach; for when all else failed, she could be counted on to do something.  “You know which herbs to bundle and place in the rooms of your home to cleanse and light the dark corners.  And we will all meditate before we go our separate ways today so that the Realm may light the dark places within our souls as well.”

So it was that when the remains of the meal were cleared,  Eagna produced the familiar lavender/sage bundles they  had come to know as the call of meditation. Tossing them atop the smoldering fire, they held hands and sent up their song to the Eternal Realm.

After awhile the flames in the fire crackled, rising high above the ledge as the wind rushed wildly through the canyon below.  In unison, as if answering a silent call, they opened their eyes to the morning, just in time to see the Great Vulture dip over the canyon, gliding along the rocks, dipping its wing as it passed the ledge.  It circled the canyon and hung on the currents there for a few moments.  With a golden eye steadily upon them, it flew in and rested on the stone outcropping near where they sat, its talons scattering the fish entrails discarded from Laoch’s work.  The industrious bird hungrily consumed the remains in several bites. It lifted its wings and circled slowly before lifting itself once more from the ledge and diving toward the ground at full speed, darting up just before crashing onto the rocks below.

Loach noticed a single feather that was hanging on the ledge, fluttering in the breeze, and quickly retrieved it before the wind claimed it.  He returned to the group and presented the gift to Eagna, kneeling next to her and smiling,  “A blessing for your unborn child. Do not be afraid. There is no fear in Perfect Love.” She smiled gratefully at this hulking visage of humility.
Tuesday trip to Baru 066.NEF
More later…..( Peter, a new ending for you. ;))
Thank you for reading.  I would love to hear what you think and appreciate any suggestions, comments or thoughts.
Love and Light,

5 thoughts on “A Time to Watch/Sharing Dreams

  1. You have such a talent for description. You set each scene in a way that makes me certain that I Understand it and that adds credibility to the story that you have woven around it. And, as before, the dreams and the reactions to the dreams are close enough to what mine might have been (on a very bad night) to be real. I agree with Paul’s last comment, a real treat indeed.


    1. Thanks so much Dan. Your words mean a lot to me. I appreciate the support and your taking time to read. It is hood to know what I am creating is coming across as I meant it to. You have made my day sir! 😀


  2. So it can be that the dreams are merely projections of fear building up within them? Suddenly they have become aware of their mortality and are frightened.
    No doubt, Ar’tine is angry with them, but even Mor still loves him. Everybody sympathizes with him, understands him. I do not know if he will realize it. Unconditional love means that he shall not be judged, no retaliation, no levity. It means that Ar’tine must be allowed to continue with his ambitions until such a time that he will realize his mistakes and weakness, repent and go back into the ever-welcoming embrace of Mor. But that is merely my opinion. If he is incapable of love, even the slight one that plagues us presently–the tit for tat love where you either give as much as you take, or, mostly, more than you take, or dare lose your partner–love that is itself like revenge–if Ar’tine is scarcely aware of this type, then I doubt that he can comprehend the complexities of Unconditional Love.
    In this story, he inspires dread. If those visions can come true! Aha! There will be no Domhan! Those burning moons, that fire; such fury and vengefulness!
    Anyway, are they going to split from Domhan? Say, Naofa and Laoch move to a different part, Eagna and Eolas, M’na and Fireann? I think if they split it will be easier for Ar’tine to devise his mischief.
    It’s funny, by the way, how Naofa remarks concerning the cave bats. She harbors an ‘aversion’ for them, and Laoch knows it before she voices her discomfort. Has her aversion resulted from the fruit, or is it instinctual? I wonder.
    Ah! But I remember Eolas thinking of those man-eating wolves! It was already a dangerous wilderness! Beast against beast, man against beast, beast against man!

    Thanks for this installation. Much relished.


  3. The narrative and imagery are all very good, with just the right balance of well placed dialogue interwoven to drive the story forward, and for a fantasy novel the dialogue seems perfectly natural and in tune with the theme. What’s most impressive is the way you’ve created real and believable characters amid a world of the spiritual and supernatural. As I’ve said before, fans of this genre are in for a real treat!


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