It begins, as most dreams do, in the middle of it. Meaning, you’re not really sure how you got there. It just.. IS.
The place starts to feel familiar as the walls and rooms start to solidify. You’re in a hotel; no, a bed-and-breakfast. A mansion that’s run like a bed-and-breakfast. The feeling of familiarity is fleeting and vague, yet you know it’s there. Like a word on the tip of your tongue that just won’t quite come out.
You’re a ghost-like presence, a translucent being wandering the vaguely defined rooms and halls. This room has a secret passageway, which leads to… the pool! Oh what a glorious pool, with ornate marble statues and granite trim. Yet it is not for you. No, you slide back through the room and wonder how to keep yourself busy. You read notes in the guestbook, written to the innkeeper, with words of praise or suggestions. None of it is memorable. You find some dishes out of place and bring them to the kitchen to wash. Apparently you can hold objects, despite your less-than-corporeal state of being.
But perhaps you aren’t so ghostly. You feel that you’re meant to tell somebody something. To pass on a message. Your gut tells you that you will be able to touch and be seen and heard by those you’re meant to see. A voice – is it your own internal monologue, or something else – waxes philosophic: “We are sometimes asked to put into words what no human should have to; and so, in the end, we decide it’s best not to.” Still, you must get a message to someone.
You begin to talk with a man sitting by the pool – he must be the one you’re meant to speak with! He sees you and hears you. Your touch is cold but your voice is warm. The man is having lunch with his family near the pool. He attempts to introduce you to others, but not all of them can see. Not all are meant to see. One woman does feel your presence and hear your voice, albeit quite softly, if you rest your hand on her shoulder. But you are not here to tell her anything of importance. It was merely nice to be heard by more than one person.
Before you have a chance to convey your message to the first gentleman – nay, before you even understand what said message is supposed to be – you become aware of another dreamwalker. His presence feels unnatural. He resembles Joshua Jackson, the actor, for some strange reason. Your instincts tell you that his name is Danny.
Suddenly.. “Danny’s bad. Danny’s BAD!” A young boy’s voice cries out.
Danny’s eyes darken to pure cold black spheres, and he lays chase to the boy. You now feel it is your duty to save the boy from whatever fate this Danny has in store for him. He only has one arm, you realize, in an abrupt and macabre revelation.
You toss and turn through material and immaterial barriers as you try to catch up. You phase-shift through doors but have trouble keeping pace.
Alas, you awake too soon. You hope and pray that the young boy is safe, and Danny is merely a figment of someone’s imagination.
Please note: I have no qualms with anyone named Danny. Dream-interpreters would likely have you believe that there’s some trauma in my past related to a person with this name, but I can assure you there’s not. It is funny that, in most of my dreams, names are rarely, if ever, a thing that gets remembered. But I don’t usually write down notes immediately after waking up, either — in this case I did, by which I constructed this story. So take it how you will. Even if your name is Danny — I still like you, and I don’t think you’re a child-mutilating psychopath. =P
Here is the rest of last week’s poem from K. It’s fantastically clever, in my opinion. Moving too. However, I seem to be missing a page. There is mention of three riddles but this only covers the last two. And “the gentleman retorted” to something but we’ll never know exactly what. Still, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Love and light. ❤
And the gentleman retorted “I have come to wage a duel, To confirm that my intelligence is far above a fool.”
“Now I’m sure I heard you wrongly – thou has voyaged here in vain, To engage thy wits in combat just to classify your brain?”
“Thou may mock my motivation, but I’m known throughout the land For the genius that I govern and the quickness I command.
Does thou fancy thee deserving of the challenge I propose?” “Very well, my bold opponent – I accept it, I suppose.”
“Oh how wonderful!” he rallied through the rapture in his voice, “Thou has granted me a purpose by the nature of thy choice.”
“I’m contented to oblige you, but I’m sure that you will see, I am truly not the intellect you hold me here to be…”
“Let us start!”, he said, “But start at what? – You’ve yet to choose a game That will prove the greater aptitude upon the victor’s name.”
“Very well,” the man responded, “as it follows we shall play: I will ask of you these riddles to embark us on our way.”
“Please commence with thy enigmas – I will truly try to win.” “Listen carefully, my rival – let the duel of wit begin.
‘Three informants, clad in black – running forward, never back; All unknowing where they’re going – simply following the track.
One is thinner than the others, he is young and fast of pace – Clearly swifter than his brothers in this never-ending race.
Then the runner in the middle, standing tallest of the three, Is the second of the triplet that we always seem to see.
For the one of most attention is the shortest and the last – Tells most slowly in the mention of the moments that have passed.
Always going, always there – they, the victims of our stare; These familiar friends of time and space that keep us in their care.'”
With that rhythmical advancement of the colored man’s design, He asked of his opponent, “Give your answer or resign!”
“Thou art truly apt and skillful in the puzzles you invent! But I fancy me familiar with the riddle you present.
Yes, I guess of thee the mystery you read to me in rhyme, That the answer can and only be the triple hands of Time!”
Now, enraged by his continual decipher of the maze, Twas forced of him his last of strength to camouflage his rage.
“Does thou think of thee so clever that can scoff at what I ask?! Well, I challenge thy discernment with this third and final task! –
‘Tis a thing of great importance when its features are not known, Yet a thing of little interest when the face of it is shown!'”
His breath was short and labored as he spoke the final line, Then he leaned a little forward and awaited a decline.
But a moment past the brief and blunt recital he had made, The opponent now responded with a logic he relayed:
“Such a transient accretion to the two achieved before. Though no lesser of confusion that the prior pair had wore!
The solution, I imagine, is unlike the common lot – ‘Tis a thing of great importance when you know its features not…’
Not an answer of the riddles in the books upon my shelf – Why the answer to your riddle is a Riddle in itself!”
Bloomed a sudden realization that occurred upon the two: One aware of his achievement, while the other sank in rue.
The aggressor fell in failure, on the ground upon his knees – “Dear sir, from whence thy wisdom comes, I’m forced to question, please…”
And the winner, only humbled by the victory achieved, Looked upon his fallen partner whose disdain had taken leave.
“Through the toils of our endeavors hide the wonders of the land. These astonishments reveal themselves to those who understand
That the greatest revelations will be shown to an elite: Those who welcome comprehension and dispose of their conceit.
Walk in modesty of knowledge and the wisdom will appear; Go ye softly through the clamor and the music you shall hear.”
I’d like to share another one of K’s works. Sadly, it is also incomplete. As was her life here with us. She and I had so much left to do, to experience together, to share. But these little pieces of her that she left behind for me to find, do, for a brief moment, by a small fraction of measure, help heal my soul. And I hope they do so for yours.
The paths of two equal and opposite men Had crossed on an evening so fair. The wind was aloft in her heavenly den, And soft was the breath of her hair.
Each equally clever and gifted in thought, The men had agreed to a duel – A match to determine the answer they sought: Which one of the two was the fool?
A gentleman clad in exacting extremes, Consisting of darkness and light: A monochromatic portrayal of schemes, From black to the starkest of white.
A colorful figure of yellows and blues, With bold interruptions of red: Symbolic of all in the spectrum of hues, From down on his shoes to his head.
And so they contended to reap the reward Of bearing a title so grand, But only the sharpest of wit would accord The rank that the both would demand.
The paths of this equal and opposite pair Had crossed on a unit in time. And during this moment the couple would share A daring discussion of rhyme.
It is here that we see a gap, a break in the verse and the tempo. There must have been a missing page, which I of course regret not being able to find. The poem does continue, albeit with a different meter and rhyming scheme. Thus, I will share that with you next time. Until then, love and light. ❤
This is something that K began to write after she had started discovering her inner talents and her spiritual connections. Sadly, it remains incomplete — a prologue to a story that will never exist, at least not in this world. Perhaps some day when I see her again, I will be able to sit beside her feet, and listen to the wondrous story that her beautiful mind had only just begun dreaming up, before she was abruptly taken from us. I know that she has long since finished this tale, and looks forward to telling it in full, to those who have ears willing to truly listen.
“Once upon a time”, they say… As if there was only that one time. As if it has long passed into the fields of long-ago. But what if that Once Upon a Time is now, eternal; and what if your time to be in that Faerytale place has returned… because in that once-upon-a-time world, that place of enchantment, you and I could move between the worlds with ease and trust. And when we grow tired and older, and we are heavy of heart, we would take ourselves to a tree and lie down upon our mother the earth.
All trees are sacred, but this one was older and wiser than even the oaks. A sacred thorn tree under whose branches we would go to sleep, and dream of bright realms. A place where faeries dwelled, and healed, and charmed us back to health and wholeness; where the heavy weights that were bound about our hearts were unlocked, one by one, with faery keys. And how we laughed and feasted, and loved, while in this realm.
And when we were whole, and wild, and healed again, we awoke under that same tree, and knew that we were returned from a realm where time has a different meaning. Where life has enchantment. Where flowers speak and animals teach, and where our faery kin had rewoven the energies of the world into shining, beautiful shapes.
For the truth is that our faery kin have, for aeons, cleansed and brightened the skies, have whispered “grow” to the crops that feed us, and shielded the old forests from the gaze of those who would hunt them for their wood. And when we had been given the key to the faery realm, we too were strong in body, mind and soul, and we danced under the moonlight and were bathed in the bliss of life. We weaved the energy between the stones; we knew how to shape time.
We allowed ourselves to go into the faery realm to be reborn, made whole and clean again. For there we could rest, and be revived again to our whole self. And when we were strong in our relationship with our faery-kin, oh how we shone! For we were bright, and we glowed with our connection to the source of all goodness and light.
And then, well… and then. It is time. It is that Once Upon a Time again. Time to return to our relationship with the wild places, the bright ones, the faeries, and our wildish scenes. For as we do, miracles of healing will occur. Just as faeries cleanse and purify the water, the air, the earth, the fire, and the spirit, when we reweave our sacred alliance with the faery realms, we too begin to heal. From our sadness, our loneliness. From our hearts that cry out for the poetry that is the soul of the world.
If you yearn to shine once again, if you wish to reclaim the heart of you, who knows how to be well, to be happy, to be whole… If you wish to clear illness, guilt, and untruths from your life, and truly, deeply heal and transform, then this story is your set of keys to that faery realm. And there you will be reborn.
This story is the key to those wildish places where not only can you be restored, but you will find sacred union, connection, true health and wholeness. Be blessed, enter this enchanted place and be prepared for your heart to fill, your souls to sing, and your body to fill with the energy of the wild green world. Take the key, and keep it safe. And know that you are welcome to return to these realms, and come home to us again, beloved, as often and as long as your spirit desires.
For a driver, most days aren’t bad — you get the person in that car, and they do their own thing. A few try and talk your ear off, or sit silent, staring out the window. Those type average out. But then you get those that are Having A Bad Day. That phrase will soon make you want to hide — ask any driver. The horrid part is, it may not be anything that actually happens to them; they could get a text or call and it would start. You learn to keep a close eye out for the signs.
Since Alice moved out, much to the relief of our night drivers — the parties going on after she was sound asleep not only made you wonder exactly how hard she slept, but also made walking outside an adventure, not to mention trying to squeeze the car into or out of the driveway — these situations seemed to have slowed. No more Josh “walking his dog” and then coming to chat; the drama of young people and their relationships had moved to another area. And Bob, coming over to pee on tires just as you were ready to back up, was starting to become a distant memory. I should have guessed it was too good to last.
One of the longer-term residents of the neighborhood, Adam, had his ups and downs recently. We were aware of it, as he was of the temperament to either be sullen and walk off his thoughts, or to create ideas and things, and to experiment with solutions to issues that were tough to solve, even for experts. With him in the area, there was never a lack of conversation on widely divergent topics to listen in on, when he and his friends got together — those varied depending on how welcoming he was, and frankly, how dangerous the experiments were.
After a bout with his now-ex girlfriend, Adam had gone into a cycle of Bad Days, and then found something to reignite his passion. He now would wave, and the group of people around got smaller, which normally was a good sign that he was working on something that wouldn’t burn, let off weird noises, or need to be transported someplace “to test it out”. The music they played usually suited our tastes, and even the winter season didn’t seem to slow things much.
However, something happened, and Adam Had A Bad Day. The music stopped, the people vanished, and the hours-long walks after dark started. There were no requests for rides, or only for short ones — a mile or so and back to pick up cheese-flavored puffed corn (his snack of choice). The silence bothered me, but not enough to really be too worried about it. The rides Adam asked for were quick enough that even A Bad Day shouldn’t affect me much.
The weather has been cyclic — snow, then cold, then nearly spring temperatures, and repeat. We actually had snow on the ground for a few days (and the local police force frantic with accidents, caused by those who forget that even if snow looks pretty, it isn’t nice to drive through once it melts and refreezes). We were being cautious, and telling folks that the ride would likely take twice as long as usual.
Adam called, and seemed up and cheerful — and wanted more than puffed corn. I personally was thankful for this; it was my turn to grab lunch for the office, and I wanted a particular sandwich that was a bit out of the way. So when Adam called, and wanted a ride to that same place — well, life just works sometimes, doesn’t it? I sent the order in from the business fax (yes, I know, but that’s how they wanted it done!) and gathered the keys, my jacket, and left out the door, with anticipation of a fresh, hot sandwich and my favorite fizzy drink in my future.
Little did I know that seemingly everyone in the world had decided that today was the day to go out. Traffic, normally even on a warm summer day, would have been half of what it was now — add in the ice-covered roadways, and you had to plan for potential disaster. One look at the higher-traffic roads, and I decided to take an alternate route. Which wasn’t a good idea — apparently I drove by something or someone that was not good for Adam.
I hear Adam shift, and look in the mirror just in time to see the hood of the hoodie go over his head. This is not good; it’s time to worry when the hood is tugged down. A telltale sign with Adam is that the more you can see of his head, the better things are going. Even when it feels below zero outside. So, hoping that this is only a brief mood, we keep going. And, it looks like I made the correct choice — there was nearly an accident outside the restaurant with someone trying to turn in, and the car didn’t want to stop even to cross traffic. At least I’m going the correct direction just to turn in!
Yes, you guessed correctly – there is a line for the drive-up window. Thankfully not long enough that there’s a danger of getting the car hit, but enough to be a wait. And Adam’s hood is still down. This means that he is now Having A Bad Day. And I’m the only one that is close enough to listen if he wants to talk.
There are days that I physically check from the back seats to make sure there isn’t a bar-tending license, or even psychology degree, visible from there. Some folks just want to talk things out, and that’s fine with me — I can listen and drive in circles for them. But some expect me to have opinions at best, and answers that will work for them in any situation. I once made the mistake of making a comment that solved one person’s problems — soon I had all of their friends in the car for literally weeks, wanting answers. Now I know why gurus choose the top of the mountain. Some of them actually got angry with me that I didn’t have a ready solution to their problem!
And the hood just got tugged down again, thankfully after he passed me his written order, and the money to pay for it. He’s still silent, so the radio plays quietly in the car, competing with the rap from the car in front of us, the new country from a parked car nearby, and something else that was making the entire car vibrate directly across from us in line. I guess I should have be thankful they had the windows up.
Thankfully, they turned off the music before rolling down the window to order. I looked to make a comment to Adam, and the words stopped — the hood was down below the mustache, and tears were flowing. As if sensing my gaze, he turned violently away from the building, and a slight sob escaped.
After several rounds of mental cursing, I decide, since the Bad Day is obviously getting worse without me doing anything, I’d wait until I was spoken to, or one of the other signs that the Bad Day was spreading. I went back to listening to music, and watching the cars go sideways down the road I was facing.
Oh come on! Whoever you are in the blue car — make up your mind before you get to the speaker! You’ve been in line for over three minutes now, and the menu is the same as it’s been for the last six months. You should at least know what you want, and even if they reordered the menu, you should be able to find it in less than the two full minutes you’ve been sitting there staring at the sign. Well, at least the line at the pay window is gone — but I bet I’ll be done with my order (I’m two cars back) before that person gets done paying.
Finally I get to the speaker, and tell them there will be two tickets on this order. Thankfully, the voice on the speaker is familiar, so it isn’t going to be an issue. I mention the business name, and make sure the order is rang up correctly. I start on Adam’s order, and get as far as the drink before that blue car pulls up to the pickup window. I was almost correct; another two seconds, and I’m pulling forward. Adam is still inside his hoodie, and facing away from the building — did he fall asleep? And since silence seems to be a good thing, I’m darned if I’m going to disturb him to hand him food and drink — so while keeping an eye on the line, I pull out a drink holder for the company, and one for his food and drink. With that settled, I pull up to pay.
There is a comment from the cashier that the fried items are about a minute from done, so I nod and finish paperwork for this half of the ride, while waiting my turn to pick up food. This also allows me to clear things out, and make sure that my logs don’t have drink spilled on them. I’m bad about this — I know I should do it, but some days you get rushed, and then never take the time to put things back. Plus, what better to do while waiting for…
I apologize for that, but this place gives the food as fresh as possible, and make sure it’s correct before handing it out. The drinks for the office came in a carrier, with Adam’s handed out separately. And then, hot, wonderful meals — all in their own bags, and labeled with names for my order. With only moments to get everything arranged, I set things onto the seat, and in the carriers, and got out of the way of the next person. A shift forward a few feet so as to let the next car access the window, and then some moving things around to make sure nothing slides onto the floor if I were to try and stop in a hurry.
Adam is now seriously Having A Bad Day — even the scent of food isn’t enough to bring him out. But things aren’t getting worse, so silence isn’t a bad thing, especially with the roads as they are. Sliding into a pole because you take your attention off the road isn’t an image I want presented of the company. Carefully moving forward, and watching for other drivers, we turn onto the main road; back toward Adam’s house, in lieu of any other communication.
A block later, and the flood of words starts. Adam is still turtled in his hoodie, but that doesn’t seem to stop him. I think this is what must have been disturbing him — the words cover everything from jeans that didn’t fit that morning, to his issues at work, and “finding another job” problems. It’s good that he doesn’t seem to expect a response, because I’d have issues getting a word in! The narrative is broken by sobs, and a request to go home promptly. At a red light, I hand back his large drink, and hear the straw suck air before we’ve gone two blocks.
The hood is up a bit, and the silence doesn’t feel as strained as the ride completes. I sit here, hoping that the telephone doesn’t ring and send him one direction or another. He mentions that a particular friend is coming to visit later, and I sigh silently in relief — that one is a good listener, and may be able to bring him back to normal.
The bill Adam hands me is enough to cover the fare, and he walks off while I’m getting change. Throwing the car in park, I grab his food (which he forgot), along with the change from both the meal and the fare, and catch up to him. He takes the food, and looks at the money, then walks in the house. Okay — even when Having A Bad Day, he still in generous with the tip. I stuff the money from the food bill into his mail box (it’s an old-style through-the-door one) and head back to provide lunch for the crew.
Then discover, while getting out of the car, that I had given my sandwich — the one I’d been dreaming about for days — to Adam!
Shrugging my shoulders, I resign myself to enjoying my drink and his lunch. And it isn’t so Bad after all.
They came through the portal; that’s what we called it. Someone did something they shouldn’t have. The portal came into being during a science experiment; it was a hole into who knows where. They were short, squat and wore some sort of suit; they couldn’t breath in our atmosphere.
There was a war at first. We didn’t win. There were few of us remaining, wandering through demolished cities, scrounging to survive and hiding. They were hunting us. Nowadays they didn’t kill us outright. In fact, we didn’t really know what they did with those they captured — no one ever came back. All we know is they had a weapon that rendered the target docile, even happy to be captured.
I had a companion. Until now we had successfully avoided being discovered. But right now they are tracking me. We had separated to draw them in two directions, hopefully losing them. My friend got caught; once zapped, he gave in. Right now I’m hiding in the rubble of an apartment building, huddled behind a wall. One of them is on my trail and closing; slowly, but deliberately, blocking off any escape route, like a game of chess. I am trapped. Looking around for anything I could use as a weapon, I see a table knife in the dirt. I pick it up, and as it comes through the door, I swing the knife across the tubes running into the face plate…
Thank you to Mr. D4v3 for the guest-post! Very entertaining. Hope you readers enjoy it. ❤