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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2229555-Lost-magic
Rated: E · Fiction · Fantasy · #2229555
Shania runs away from home in search of their true destiny.
Tales from Twitter is a collection of Tweets that I edited into a coherent whole.


Chapter one


"Mother please . . . "

"You-are-not-going-anywhere, you're grounded,"

"Would you just listen to me?"

"No and I had it with your excuses. You've duties to fulfill,"

"No,"

"What do you mean, no. Now hey . . . w-where do you think your–"

***


Cannot believe this. This is not happening to me. I-am-not a failure! I am more than that. Damn it.

"Shania finally . . . I've been looking all over th–,"

Chapter eight

Opa is relentless, harsh and quite demanding. Much like most of my kin . . . back at home. That bird, however, is not bound by the limits of mere people. It has no concept of such a thing. And therefore, it has all the audacity and power tease me all-day-long! Hah! The nerve of this creature is truly unrelenting.
The view is still spectacular, and hard to grasps; even when deeper in the town. Bridges and arches come and go, and where roads meet, alleys curve; with such intriguing art that I simply-cannot fathom. But the view . . . and the things to discover is a mirage in it self–feels like it for sure. As to what is real, definitely threatening, is the fact that this pesky beast, pecks at my head, every time I slow down or miss a few steps; completely disregarding the fact that I have no wings to carry me.
This is a maze, and there is so-o much to see. It is such a shame, to miss all of this, for the sake of . . . I do not even know why, to be honest. But I keep pushing on, and try to be honest to its task; despite I do not agree with it. Yet, the things that we pass by are calling me from within. The connection to this place, just as with Uluk, is still there, and burning strong . . .
We are only a handful of moments in to our journey, and I am already thinking of stopping and letting it go. Not because I lack spirit or faith. No. Quite the contrary. There is one thing that defines me, more than anything in the world, and that is: Not listening to others, just because I have to, or they told me to. A simple, yet distinctive opposition. Judgment is my own, my own alone! This owl, nor Uluk, cannot change me, no matter how hard they try, "Why do I've to run anyway? What's with the rush,"
Opa fails to catch my words, as the view opens up on a small hill. I mean . . . All this wonder, just an arm's reach away. Why do I have to throw it away? Who knows, it might be a while before my journey brings me back–if ever. Missing all of this is a cardinal sin on its own! Hm. The bird can wait. I have things to do.

Luckily the owl misses my absence, as I look around. From corner to corner, I discover a vibrant place, full of energy and life, but nobody to see. Pots are full of water, grains and sweets, even herbs are hanging inside, above the now cold pits. Strange flowers grow in neat little rows around each porch, while small trees sprinkle life onto the field of grey.
Before I know it, I end up at on the side of a peculiar-longhouse. Not an ordinary one, that is for sure, as it has longer and wider beams, poking out the side. It is from stone, much like the others nearby, but it is part of a larger assembly: One that I cannot see the end of. Like a gathering in the forest, it towers above the rest. Filling up every inch that is up for grabs. It almost looks like a giant lizard of some sorts, that nests on top of a hill.
Wait a second. Something is strange: There is no door in the frame, but I feel a strong gust; whenever I approach. Curious this is. Most curious . . . This makes me wonder, and I grab a stone, and throw it inside. It vanishes in an instant, to my great-surprise. Another magic, I suspect is at hand, "Where did it go?"–I laugh–"Guess it's time to find out!"
The sheer thought of jumping in alone exhilarates me. It can be bad, or good . . . or both. Who knows. My teeth are grinding vigorously, "I must find out what's in there,"
My foot barely touches the entrance, but the force of the wind is so strong that it yanks me in, right away: Walls and corners, barely pass in front of my nose. It carries me rapidly through hallways, stairs of long. Suddenly, my body lands on the floor, and my hands struggle to defend my parts. Yet, there is only, and only one thing that can come to my mind,"Whoa . . . This-was-awesome! I want to do it again!"
Who cares about ancient relics, art or long lost books . . . or cutlery, when you can fly from one place to another, in such rapid fashion as well! Magic might not be so bad after all.
My imagination lights up, and makes me want to try all possible ways to jump in and out of these rooms. Without pondering too much, another round comes near. And another one. Trying out all sorts of silly things, just make it that more the fun. Even pretending to be someone else, copying their stance before jumping in, just feels so natural–and not bonkers at all. I enjoy this quite much, as it is the kind of thing my heart misses the most. So-o do not dare blame me, if I make the most of it!
More rooms, halls, and everything in between passes in front of me, while these magical winds keep me happy and afloat. But then, after who knows how much, a chamber of several doors appear; right next to each other. To choose my destination, I turn for the aid of my trusty index, "I-don't-know-which-to-choose, but-I-hope-I-will-not-loose,"
My rhyme helps me out greatly, and points me to the largest of gates: One that has the most thought and time in it, with runes all around. It is cleanly cut by craftsmen; of that I have no doubt.
But in order to seal my choice of path with a grand entrance, I turn around, raise my arms, and fall on my back; straight into the void. Without knowing, this time it turns out

to be quite the different ride: Rows of homes come one after another, then towers and forts pass me by; while the wind is carrying me straight to its source. No curves, no alleys pass me by, as countless of paintings on each and every ceiling appear: Some of lines of families, pets and past lives, while others tell tales of the old; all in motion and vibrant just as my life.
The smell of burning coal, or roasting meat, catches me by surprise. Just as much as the sounds of brewing liquids, or the smell of books of old . . . Advancing deeper reveals the vastness of this space, and that how much wonder is out here, where nobody lives.
Then my breath escapes me, as the grand stage opens up beneath me: A sheer drop down, as far as I can tell. The wind also picks up pace, which worries me a bit, as the countless of sharp pillars are staring me from above. But reaching the center is more pleasant than my first thought. The gust puts me down gently, light as a feather.
Standing up makes it clear how endless this cave is, with ponds of many, as far as the eye can see. Some bathe in pale colors, others tend to change, but all of them are calm and pristine, and can see-through with ease. Not even a drop from above can disturb their shine.
Taking one of the paths reveals to me that life is indeed here, in the shape of spells: Swirls open up and close as I pass one of each. Moreover, sounds and voices storm out as well, whenever one of these pools opens. This reminds me of the night before; reminiscent of how Uluk travels. This might not be the right choice, but it compels me to look for more.
Trying to make out where to go, is not an easy task, as it seems. Especially, when you have this much to choose from! But with time, my patience is growing thin. Urging myself to choose or let it be. That is when a cloud of fluff, remnants of some form of haze, catches my attention. This pool is dark, and mysterious, and different from the ones around. And that makes it unique, and interesting.
Leaning closer reveals nothing at first, other than the sound of swirls. But then loud noises, screeches of some kind burst up from below, and echoes in this endless hall. This makes me jump, and pulls me back to safety, "Phew. B-best to leave it there . . . I suppose,"
Somehow Opa shows up, on the far side of the cave, and starts yapping of something that I cannot understand; nor want to really. This feels such a drag that once again I am bound to a task that I havem–nothing–to do with. But when I make a move, to catch up with the owl, a hand of cloud reaches out, and pulls me in, right into the eye of the storm.
"Not now Tavvi,"

"Hmpf, What did you do this time?"

"I've no time to speak,"

"How come?"

"I'm leaving,"

"W-what? Seriously?"

"Yes,"

"For real?"

"Yes,"

"B-but what will everyone think? You can't–"

"Don't care. I've to go,"

"Where?"

"Beyond the mountains,"

"Not again–"

"Listen, please! Don't tell anyone. I'll be back . . . soon,"

"Pff, I'm not worried about you. I'm worried about what will come afterwards,"

***


There has to be something out there that is calling me. Otherwise why bother me. Can feel it in every inch of my body. It is driving me mad! I am more than what my peers want me to. This needs to change at once. My defiance is what who I am. You-all-just-wait. Just wait!

***


"Finally-some-peace. Could get used to this you know," "Ugh, I'm talking to myself again . . . "

Hear hooves closing on my spot. The more I listen, the closer they get. They slurp water like nectar, with those weird, twiny tongue of theirs. Such a small creature, with tiny bright eyes.

The flow of the river masks my movement, but the wind does not. They notice me, and disappear instantly.

***


Two days later, none the wiser. But I get this sense that someone is watching me. My food is running low, so some fishing is in order. Can see some ducks landing, close by.

Watching these birds soothes me. Their freedom and playfulness inspires me, and warms my heart. But the peace only last for so long: A dark shadow swoops down, and snatches one of the ducks. The birds panic, and scatter. Even the forest starts to rustle. That is not a good sign.

Long moments pass, before everything calms down. My waterskin fills up quickly. Even the water tastes different. Cannot tell why. Suddenly, I hear a whistling behind my back. There is nothing there. Maybe that shadow is back. My hands are shaking, whilst holding my lance. I hold tight. My heart races. Not sure on what to do: Stay or flee. Then a branch breaks off a nearby tree, and a doe cuts through my path. Almost knocks me over. It is similar to the one from a few days ago. Tracking them is not easy as well. They move fast, and leave almost no trace.

Chapter two


For the first time in my life, I am free. Free from all the constant nerves. No-more saying no to life; or to myself. Even the numbing curl inside, vanishes immediately. There is no pain, no more shouting, yelling to be; my stomach is at ease. My arms and legs, and especially my neck, feel light and sweet.

No thoughts of ill, no shackles to drag me down. It is just me and the world . . . and my endless dreams. The gentle wind of the night carries away the fuss of the wild, and leaves only whispers from strange and distant worlds. My soul floats peacefully. While everything changes, bit-by-bit, and soon I realize that I am the only foreign among the wild. All is new, yet somehow strangely familiar . . .

Then the moment comes to a tender end. The watchful eyes of the sky shine down upon me, as time and space cease to exist. There is nothing else to do, but to free my mind, and let the spirit of all find their light. Then I hear humming, a lullaby of some kind. Wait. I recognize it, as it sounds just like mine! But my lips are tight. This confuses me, as I do not know why. Yet my heart signs it line by line.

While it lasts, I understand that everything is in a flow, and that my relentless is a key to hold. Old and new must live together, and must stay alive, so that wisdom lives through the enduring-night. I also sense that there is more to this. Thoughts from both sides find their way: They hunt and fight, and leave no question in sight. My mind wishes to know more, just as my voice starts to fade. And the once quiet world around me comes to flame. Small and big, all start to dance, while the shine of my light carries me back to the land. The heavens are also falling behind, and I too choose to turn on my side, to carry on with my rest . . .

Chapter three


That dream, from the other day, is still leaving me to wonder. As flying above the clouds, and feeling the shine of the Moon rarely happens, if ever. But it is not easy to make sense of it; especially of my part.

However, there is definitely something new in my spirit. To longer the distance, the more I can tell. Catching odd things about life, ones that I rarely pay attention to, is becoming the new. Which I do not mind at all, in fact I enjoy it quite well. The energy of this place is truly spectacular, and lets me discover new things each and every day; like these boulders right up ahead, on top of that small hill.

Stepping closer makes me realize–something that I am not-entirely-sure if I wish to admit at all–but I suddenly feel a special connection to these rocks. I get the sense that the purpose of these to guard, and watch over these stretch of the lands. And that they bless those around, with good luck and fortune; they are indeed the Warden of these hills.

Stepping closer reveals its power: a deep and slow humming, coming from its cores.

"Am I hearing this right? No-way,"

Surely, I am in the wrong. Yet the closer I get, the louder I hear it. We have nothing like this at home. Nobody knows of such things either . . . Are my dreams of young are true after all?

There is more to it I find. Some of the stone give shade to vibrant flowers and all types of shoots. There are also a couple of nest, hiding in smaller cracks. Life just seems to buzz around, like bees on a hot summer day. It is hard to believe that such joy can exists, in such a remote place. While the stones look over and stand with great pride; bearing the marks of their long history of might.

And there is still more to what meets the eye! There are berry bushes giving shelter near the base, while vines twist high on the side. And there are these small, candle like holes, around a larger one; the size of my hand. The foliage is lush, but I make good progress, and find a small plate that is in pieces. However, I am getting the sense that my fidgeting is not entirely welcome; may be even rude.

I leave it there–just in case–and look on the other side. Writings of short and wide, all in one large pile. Cannot read any of it, as I do not understand these lines. But my relentlessness pays off: There is a shiny piece of rock, in one of the inserts. My curiosity takes the best of me, and encourages me to reach out.

I feel that this is a mistake in the making, but I just cannot stop. Something is driving me to do this. Not sure what it is this time; and that worries me a bit. Then the ground starts to shake, and starts to weaken beneath my feet. Have no time to act, and I try to latch onto the vines. But those only hold me for a moment, the ground gobbles me up in an instant, and I vanish from plain sight.

Chapter four


My legs do hurt from the fall, but nothing serious. Massaging them fixes everything. Luckily, all my gear is still with me . . . well at least as far as I can tell in the pitch-black tunnel. It is quite the claustrophobic I must say: it is half my height, damp, and the air is most stale. On top of it, my exit is no more: it is now consists of solid rock. This leaves me with little choice, and I decide to go uphill; in hopes to escape.

The path twists left to right, often goes up and down. In some places, I can feel marks of teeth on the side of the tunnel, or bits of long past objects. This place challenges me . . . a lot. But that is not holding me back. 

***


Not sure how far until I reach something . . . Which troubles me. And I am getting that weird feeling that this is not the right way to go either. Not by a long shot. I think I am lost.

Whilst pondering in once place, I start to feel that the air is running out. My body starts to heat up, as I struggle to breathe. The tight space, the utter darkness, the constant crouching, and the atmosphere of the place are also not helping. I am starting to think that I may never leave this place; which is ridiculous–I really-really hope.

***


Shush! I hear something. It is coming from behind. I hear echoes of an army of quick steps. One by one, all in one continuous row. It must be moving quickly, by the looks of it. And be something large, because the ground is now shaking beneath me . . . That thing is getting closer and closer. Time to move!

This scares me more than I can admit. I follow the curve of the path, and hope that there is an end to it soon. Not knowing however, I miss my step, and fall down to a pile of rubble. From bad to worse I feel. So-o-o this is where the smell is coming from; I can tell. It hits me like a wall, and immediately forces me to gag. Bones crackle with my every move, and bits of flesh, fur, worms and who-knows-what, sticks to my body as I descend. This is a nightmare, truly is.

Then this massive thing swoops above my head, and lands at a considerable distance. There is now enough light that I can tell that it has dozens and dozens of feet, all in their own portion. And all of those move in a wave of two. Disgusting. And the sound that it makes.
Ugh . . . Am I seeing this right? What the hell. Is this even real?

To my surprise, it misses me, and heads forward in a hurry. As I descend, I almost break in spirit, and wish to quit–right that instance. By the time I reach the bottom, I am hanging by a thread. The heat is now unbearably hot, the air shortens my life every time I breathe, my legs are shaking like jelly, and my energy is draining fast–what is left of it anyway.

There is another corridor, where the creature went. I have no choice but to follow in pursuit. At least now, I can stand up right.

"Please let this be over,"

I start to notice that the air is not so stale anymore. Which gives me some form of hope. Then I find the next room. I freeze in that instance. There are cocoons as far as the eye can see, all around the size of a larger bison. What are these abominations I see.

They slowly swing, as I walk among these. I realize that these cocoons are full with larvae; all trying to chew through their cage. Fortunately, they cannot escape. I quicken my steps, in hopes to find my way out for good. I am sick of this rotten place. Seriously. Enough of it.

My sense of urgency blinds me, and I fail to notice the thousands of flies and bugs that are swarming around me. These little pests start to bite with such great force that I scream audibly "Leave-me-be,"

The world around me shrinks, and all I can think of is to run, run like the wind. I care none of these anymore, none of the threat. I hasten my steps as much as I can, and head to wherever I find. Tunnels, rooms all pass me by, as I am rushing towards the end, with the speed of light . . .

Chapter five


I am out in a deep ravine. Still running like mad. And pushing my limits to the very end. My legs buckle almost with every-other-step, and struggle to keep up with my thoughts of these heavy threats. The fear for my life is so intense that I cannot control of what is happening next . . .

A sudden outlines of a person shocks me well, and halts my movement. I quickly bounce back to reality, and begin to feel again. Nothing is chasing me anymore; as far as I can tell. Occasionally I scratch myself, as my rashes start to burn.

More carcasses paint the ground; all the way to the bone. Tools and weapons lay near them. Remnants of a battle this must be. I am still chasing to catch my breath. No matter how much I look behind, I see no threat.

But when I turn around, the creature jumps out of the blue, and wants to gobble me in two. I barely manage to escape. The beast moves around fast, as I try to aim. My lance hits them on the side, and bounces right away. I can clearly see the anger coming from that thing.

Dust and tiny pebbles fill the air, as that filth flails its body around. I throw rocks and items I find, which only angers them more. Then it pins me to the ground, and blocks my chance to escape. It opens that large, filthy mouth of theirs, and goes for my head. I pull out my trusty knife, and stick it into the closest leg. Luckily, the armor is thinner there, and I manage to pierce it.

The creature screams, and then tosses me to the side. I meet the wall with such force, that I lose my sense and everything fades away. For a moment, I have no idea what is going on. When I finally wake up, I see that the creature is having difficulties getting rid of my knife. But it only lasts for so long, as it realizes that I am still on hope. I see it coming to end it all. As my last resort, my hands search the ground, for something worthwhile.

In the very-last-moment, before my deadly fate, I find a sword and shout "Let-me-be!" With such a force, comes a blade that lights up with the shine of a pale rose, as I touch it. And cuts deep into the head of the beast. It screams, wiggles, pulls away, and flees back to its rotting cave. The world goes dark and I lose my wake; as I try to catch my breath in pain.

A small crow wakes me up. My head hurts, and its noon again. Have no idea what day it is, or what is going on with me. All I know is that I need to go, and find some food, water and a place to rest. By the time I reach the end of this ravine, it is apparent that poison is running through my veins: my mouth is drying up, it is hard to breathe, and a fever is chasing me.

The empty bank slowly-drags me to a path, where these white and purple flowers bloom in light. For some reason I know that I must eat one of those with haste. I grab a few and munch them up, then continue to drag myself along the walk.

Surprisingly enough, I start to feel better, as I reach a pile of stones; in shape of a milestone. It fills me up with hope, as I approach. For a brief moment, I feel that I am safe and nothing can harm me. Then I catch a group of fireflies, circling above the stones. They shine bright, as the Sun disappears for good.

I take my chances and soldier on. Not long before, I find an old camp, next to a bunch of bilberries. I quickly collect a pile of dry grass and twigs, and start a small fire. The food tastes nice, and eases my hunger; and just as much my sickness. But I know that it is not over yet, as the darkness descends. I am uncertain of my future.

My thoughts linger around the fire, as my fever returns. Although, those tiny-sparks amaze me much, as the pile burns. I wish to rest, but no sleep comes to me. All is silent, but the pit. I turn around, and grab more twigs. That is when I grasp that someone is staring at me.

Chapter six


Chill runs down my back as I lay my eyes on what I think is a midew in the flesh; at least twice the size of me. However, the meeting is odd, as I recognize a similar aura that of my grandmother's in them. But much, much stronger . . . and more importantly: real. I cannot believe this. I mean . . . I-I can. Most certainly do!

They wear black feathers on their head, carry a huge dress with countless of strips of long knits, braids and what looks as talismans tome; some of those even reach down to the ground. They have decorations of those mysterious crystals, in rows of many that stretch from shoulder to shoulder, and even more jewelry on their arms, waist and around their neck.

They also have a fine, gracious staff that is of several spines of shoots, all in one-great-bond; reaching up beyond their height. And at the very top, a wooden owl quietly rests, and carefully watches my every move.

But that is not what stumbles me the most: It is the looks of their master's. They are not like me, not at all. Their eyes glow with mysterious flames and shine bright alone in the night. While it seems that their age is old, much older than life itself; just as much as their presence tell me. And their skin, if I can even call that at all, is from bits of broken gems, all sizes and shapes, crudely living together, and shine in the shades of white, and sparkle in the warmness of Summer, and the harshness of Winter. And I swear . . . I swear I hear sounds of tiny chimes, clinking as they move.

"Who are you, and why are you here? Speak-up-now!" they demand, as they are leaning closer.

"B-because I had to,"

They straighten up amidst their doubt "O-oh . . . Is-that-so,"

"Yes-it-is. That's no lie either,"

They ponder for a moment, "How come?"

"I feel I had to. None seem to poss–"

"O-really . . . You think highly that is sure,"

Their comment crushes my soul, "I'm not more than others, but see and feel things none can do!"

They laugh at me with a raspy taste; a response I always get, whenever I speak from honesty. I try to change the tide of things, "You're here because of me. We're connected in a way . . . I think," "Otherwise why the visions, the stones I touched, or the creatures I
saw . . . And especially the one that hunted me,"

"What is this blade you speak of?" they ask with tense.

"The one from the ravine, I found a few days ago. It shone as bright as the Sun, when–"

"Lie. That-cannot-be. More of your lies around me!"

As their anger grows, my pride dwindles. As an act of last resort, I pull up and decide to grab the staff. The owl screeches out of fear, and for a brief moment, all of the stones shine up on midew's gear. Then they recognize what is happening, and free themselves from my grasp quickly. They step back with worry, and prepare to fight.

We stand there in silence, staring at each other, what it seems like eternity. While the wolves howl at the Moon, and the wood crackles in the pit. But my energy flees faster than I can grasp, and leaves me hurt; as I fall on my side. They step closer and wave the staff, and speak words I do not understand. The owl hoots and jumps on me, with a dark pearl between its beaks. It feeds it to me, and it eases some of my pain. I feel a sudden relief as my senses slowly return.

"I'll take you home . . . and help you out. We shall leave with haste,"

Would say more to them, but my lips are dry . . . They whistle loud towards the woods. Moments pass, and soon a great wolf arrives. They gesture, and I climb the beast, with vibrant eyes and fur that swims in ash; is soft yet warm to the touch.

The midew lifts up their hands and speaks to the sky. Then strikes down with their staff, straight to the ground. The earth shakes, and a storm gathers in a bowl, and swirls around us with a mighty force. My grip tightens, as the world starts to spin, and quickly slips out of my mind. The storm lashes at us, much like waves on the sea, and leaves us nothing else to see. My strength wavers, and I am uncertain, how much longer can I stay alive.

I feel sick, and try to hold my best, but there is nothing more inside that can keep me from falling to my doom. I lose the world around me, and drift off to stillness. In an endless spiral, that is pulling down my chest . . .

Chapter seven


Tranquility surrounds me, and my thoughts are vacant from my mind. No straining, nor crushing of any sorts trouble me . . . just the energy of the cosmos. Clouds of little fates, slowly dripping through the sky, and tell the tales of a thousand lives.

I can see it . . . see it all, as the The Universe is an arm's reach away. I touch it, and cause ripples through the sky. One by one, each and every star and cloud, start to dance, then return to their formal stance. Playing with the sky, spoils me tremendously, and brings me such joy that I can hardly contain myself . . .

***


My arms are wide-open, and I slowly drift. My heart is now pure and has no regrets. I feel weightless, like a feather in the wind, while vivid colors of orbs of lights, trying to pass me by. Some vanish without a trace, or spin forever, while others burst into clouds of dust, giving birth to more.

But for better or worse, the land of dreams closes its doors. I slowly squint, and grasp the first rays of a new dawn. Turns out I am floating on my back, in a pool of sacred tears; drifting to side-to-side. I look to my right, and see an exit nearby. I gently paddle with my arms, and start swimming closer to the edge.

I am completely dry, as I step out from the pool. It is a weird feeling that soothes me much. I feel different, almost entirely anew. My past life seems long gone, and my age carries no meaning . . .

Few steps later, I am standing on small balcony. It is truly a view of an unimaginable extent that boggles my mind: The sky lies on its back, while the land is hanging up high; at a great distance, seeing it like an island. This place on the other hand, is swimming among starts, from dark to bright, and have forms of clouds and dust, and many more, as far as it reaches; beyond the light. Like an ocean this is, which births life when calm, and breaks hearts when not.

This realm, wherever I am, rests on the radiance of one of these majestic clouds that gift their energy and might of excellence to the sky; slowly scattering into nothingness. These form valleys, mountains, pillars of all kind, so that they can collect the essence of life, in countless of streams that all confluence to one great flow; at the edge of these lands. And gushes into the depths of the unknown, with such force and magnificence, that it urges my eyes to break into tears . . .

All feels light, just as the stones and foundations of this city: Layers upon layers of these flat and round pieces, forming intricate shapes on small and big curving houses, that all share their own space. Some even tower up high, or dwell deep into the clouds, defining all mind and reason, or gobble up plenty of land; just as much as a fort. Cannot help but wonder, how is it that this place is so-o enchanting and real; yet there seems to be none present, as far as I can tell.

"Finally you up I see . . ."

"Am-am I dead?" I ask the Midew.

They laugh at me, but with grace, "No-no-no. Not at all. Not that I know,"

I pinch my cheeks for being so foolish, "I'm sorry. Had no idea what's going on," "Where's this place then?"

"I am Uluk. The Observer,"

Their sudden introduction confuses me "O-oh . . . I'm-I'm sorry, I'm-I'm Shania. N-nice to meet you," "Where's everyone?"

"I am the last of my kind. Others may live, not so-o sure,"

"I'm sorry to hear that . . . What-is-this-place?"

"You should know better Midew,"

"Don't understand,"

"This is The Realm of Further Beyond, where all end meets and all begins,"

"Uh-huh . . ."

They snicker at me, "Come," they speak, as they gesture to follow. We walk down the spiraling staircases, and quickly leave this chamber, venture through hallways of many, even pass rooms with countless of ancient relics; to finally-leave their fortress of a home.

Our path takes us down through narrow corridors, with steps that are only useful for giants. We pass under arches and gates, cross bridges and pathways, right up until we reach a larger square that ends at the edge of a cliff, near the great falls. I see carvings all across the ground, and great statues of creatures that both resemble people and other forms of life; in a weird and confusing way.

The stars are shining bright, as the Sun climbs higher on the horizon. We stop at the center of it all, where Uluk raises their arms, and slowly guides the staff around; pointing out the world around us.

My inner child quickly awakes, "This-is-amazing!"

"Hmm . . . You should know Midew,"

"I'm not one of them . . ."

They shake their head in disagreement, "Yes-you-are. Much like your eldest of mothers,"

"You mean grandma?" "No-no-no. They're just one of the clan's spiritual guides . . . merely a healer I'd say,"

"Insolence,"–they strike the staff down with such anger, it makes me jump–"Do not look them down,"–they point at me–"Nobel or not, it is your destiny!"–the lower their guard–"Nobody is just a healer. It is only long forgotten. That is why your eldest knows . . . Why-why you are here,"

"W-why I am here,"

"Yes."

I ponder a bit, trying to figure out what this all means. Maybe the stories of grandma, or the visions, or many senses of the wild are the culprits after all. Or maybe none of those. And then I remember of the stones, "So-o that's why the stones light up, whenever I get close to one?"
My sharpness pleases them "Very good, Yes . . . But there is more to learn,"

"And what about that monster that nearly killed me,"–I clap–"Shoot, I didn't even thank you for saving my life! I completely forgot, it was rude of me. I'm sorry . . ."

They just gently nod in return.

"Then-why I am here,"

"Seems it is time for the old songs to return,"

"Why now?"

They ignore my question, as their interest in the sky starts to grow. Seems, that it is more of a pressing matter, than listening to someone's stupid questions. Nevertheless, I try again, "Why now, Uluk?"

They stumble a bit with their answer, as if the stars are talking to them alongside me, "Perhaps . . . for . . . for good reason,"

Minutes pass by, before they hear my out, "Uluk! You-need-to help me, I have no idea what's going on, or what to do,"

Luckily, some most of their sense returns, "You must find your way, I cannot help. But Opa will lead you . . ."

I am getting impatient "To where Uluk, to-where?"

They mumble something I cannot understand. Their owl comes to life and flies off the staff. Then Uluk turns away, and casts a spell, and disappears into thin air; just as fast as I can tell. The owl hoots at me as it lands, and tilts its head, trying to figure out what is wrong with me.

I give out the loudest of sighs, "Guess it's me and you . . . old buddy . . . What was it. Ah-ah! It was Opa if I recall correctly,"

The owl hoots at me and pecks my feet.

"Ow that hurts! Wh-why did you do that?"

It hoots again, and flies off. Guessing that this is its way of telling me, it is time to move . . .

Chapter eight


Opa is relentless, harsh and quite demanding. Much like most of my kin . . . back at home. That bird, however, is not bound by the limits of mere people. It has no concept of such a thing. And therefore, it has all the audacity and power tease me all-day-long! Hah! The nerve of this creature is truly unrelenting.

The view is still spectacular, and hard to grasps; even when deeper in the town. Bridges and arches come and go, and where roads meet, alleys curve; with such intriguing art that I simply-cannot fathom. But the view . . . and the things to discover is a mirage in it self–feels like it for sure. As to what is real, definitely threatening, is the fact that this pesky beast, pecks at my head, every time I slow down or miss a few steps; completely disregarding the fact that I have no wings to carry me.

This is a maze, and there is so-o much to see. It is such a shame, to miss all of this, for the sake of . . . I do not even know why, to be honest. But I keep pushing on, and try to be honest to its task; despite I do not agree with it. Yet, the things that we pass by are calling me from within. The connection to this place, just as with Uluk, is still there, and burning strong . . .

We are only a handful of moments in to our journey, and I am already thinking of stopping and letting it go. Not because I lack spirit or faith. No. Quite the contrary. There is one thing that defines me, more than anything in the world, and that is: Not listening to others, just because I have to, or they told me to. A simple, yet distinctive opposition. Judgment is my own, my own alone! This owl, nor Uluk, cannot change me, no matter how hard they try, "Why do I've to run anyway? What's with the rush,"

Opa fails to catch my words, as the view opens up on a small hill. I mean . . . All this wonder, just an arm's reach away. Why do I have to throw it away? Who knows, it might be a while before my journey brings me back–if ever. Missing all of this is a cardinal sin on its own! Hm. The bird can wait. I have things to do.

Luckily the owl misses my absence, as I look around. From corner to corner, I discover a vibrant place, full of energy and life, but nobody to see. Pots are full of water, grains and sweets, even herbs are hanging inside, above the now cold pits. Strange flowers grow in neat little rows around each porch, while small trees sprinkle life onto the field of grey.

Before I know it, I end up at on the side of a peculiar-longhouse. Not an ordinary one, that is for sure, as it has longer and wider beams, poking out the side. It is from stone, much like the others nearby, but it is part of a larger assembly: One that I cannot see the end of. Like a gathering in the forest, it towers above the rest. Filling up every inch that is up for grabs. It almost looks like a giant lizard of some sorts, that nests on top of a hill.

Wait a second. Something is strange: There is no door in the frame, but I feel a strong gust; whenever I approach. Curious this is. Most curious . . . This makes me wonder, and I grab a stone, and throw it inside. It vanishes in an instant, to my great-surprise. Another magic, I suspect is at hand, "Where did it go?"–I laugh–"Guess it's time to find out!"

The sheer thought of jumping in alone exhilarates me. It can be bad, or good . . . or both. Who knows. My teeth are grinding vigorously, "I must find out what's in there,"

My foot barely touches the entrance, but the force of the wind is so strong that it yanks me in, right away: Walls and corners, barely pass in front of my nose. It carries me rapidly through hallways, stairs of long. Suddenly, my body lands on the floor, and my hands struggle to defend my parts. Yet, there is only, and only one thing that can come to my mind,"Whoa . . . This-was-awesome! I want to do it again!"

Who cares about ancient relics, art or long lost books . . . or cutlery, when you can fly from one place to another, in such rapid fashion as well! Magic might not be so bad after all.

My imagination lights up, and makes me want to try all possible ways to jump in and out of these rooms. Without pondering too much, another round comes near. And another one. Trying out all sorts of silly things, just make it that more the fun. Even pretending to be someone else, copying their stance before jumping in, just feels so natural–and not bonkers at all. I enjoy this quite much, as it is the kind of thing my heart misses the most. So-o do not dare blame me, if I make the most of it!

More rooms, halls, and everything in between passes in front of me, while these magical winds keep me happy and afloat. But then, after who knows how much, a chamber of several doors appear; right next to each other. To choose my destination, I turn for the aid of my trusty index, "I-don't-know-which-to-choose, but-I-hope-I-will-not-loose,"

My rhyme helps me out greatly, and points me to the largest of gates: One that has the most thought and time in it, with runes all around. It is cleanly cut by craftsmen; of that I have no doubt.

But in order to seal my choice of path with a grand entrance, I turn around, raise my arms, and fall on my back; straight into the void. Without knowing, this time it turns out to be quite the different ride: Rows of homes come one after another, then towers and forts pass me by; while the wind is carrying me straight to its source. No curves, no alleys pass me by, as countless of paintings on each and every ceiling appear: Some of lines of families, pets and past lives, while others tell tales of the old; all in motion and vibrant just as my life.

The smell of burning coal, or roasting meat, catches me by surprise. Just as much as the sounds of brewing liquids, or the smell of books of old . . . Advancing deeper reveals the vastness of this space, and that how much wonder is out here, where nobody lives.

Then my breath escapes me, as the grand stage opens up beneath me: A sheer drop down, as far as I can tell. The wind also picks up pace, which worries me a bit, as the countless of sharp pillars are staring me from above. But reaching the center is more pleasant than my first thought. The gust puts me down gently, light as a feather.

Standing up makes it clear how endless this cave is, with ponds of many, as far as the eye can see. Some bathe in pale colors, others tend to change, but all of them are calm and pristine, and can see-through with ease. Not even a drop from above can disturb their shine.

Taking one of the paths reveals to me that life is indeed here, in the shape of spells: Swirls open up and close as I pass one of each. Moreover, sounds and voices storm out as well, whenever one of these pools opens. This reminds me of the night before; reminiscent of how Uluk travels. This might not be the right choice, but it compels me to look for more.

Trying to make out where to go, is not an easy task, as it seems. Especially, when you have this much to choose from! But with time, my patience is growing thin. Urging myself to choose or let it be. That is when a cloud of fluff, remnants of some form of haze, catches my attention. This pool is dark, and mysterious, and different from the ones around. And that makes it unique, and interesting.

Leaning closer reveals nothing at first, other than the sound of swirls. But then loud noises, screeches of some kind burst up from below, and echoes in this endless hall. This makes me jump, and pulls me back to safety, "Phew. B-best to leave it there . . . I suppose,"

Somehow Opa shows up, on the far side of the cave, and starts yapping of something that I cannot understand; nor want to really. This feels such a drag that once again I am bound to a task that I havem–nothing–to do with. But when I make a move, to catch up with the owl, a hand of cloud reaches out, and pulls me in, right into the eye of the storm.
© Copyright 2020 Marcell Áron Erdei (thearonstory at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
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