Doamna de fier…vechi a liberalismului romanesc-de DAN POENARU

Recentele convulsii din sanul Partidului National Liberal datorate pe de o parte orgoliilor lui Crin Antonescu si deciziilor sale intempestive  iar pe de alta parte actiunilor cel putin ciudate ale lui Calin Popescu Tariceanu au generat reactii surprinzatoare la nivelul membrilor partidului.

Proaspat reconfirmata europarlamentara Norica Nicolai nu s-a remarcat pana in prezent  prin nimic deosebit in activitatea sa politica. A fost intotdeauna un interlocutor civilizat in talk-showuri, a argumentat intotdeauna  indelung desi n-am reusit sa desprind vreun mesaj consistent din toate luarile sale de pozitie. Acest lucru insa s-a schimbat aseara cand doamna Nicolai a fost invitata lui Rares Bogdan  la Realitatea TV.

Mutarea PNL din grupul liberal ALDE in grupul Popularilor Europeni a determinat luari drastice de pozitii iar Norica Nicolai nu putea sa evite un punct de vedere public in legatura cu aceasta  pirueta politica. Chiar de la inceputul dicutiei pe acest subiect, ea a lasat sa se inteleaga ca a gasit  o cale de mijloc , nedorind sa  devina partizanul vreunei tabere.

Am ramas pe post, curios sa aflu care este acea “aurea mediocritas”, acea cale de mijloc pe care a gasit-o cu multa intelepciune ilustra liberala.  Norica Nicolai si-a inceput tirada cu o pledoarie  pentru liberalism in general, reliefand valorile promovate de acest curent politic si accentuand moralitatea care trebuie sa prevaleze in fata mercantilismului atunci cand vorbim  inclusive de  optiunile  politice de grup. Doamna parlamentar a tinut sa sublinieze ca spre deosebire de liberalism, doctrina populara este “ o doctrina conjuncturala”  deci sub nivelul ofertei liberalismului.

Pana aici , toate bune. Am retinut dorinta doamnei Nicolai de a nu-si pierde identitatea politica, lucru foarte corect in esenta. Nu mai ca dansa nu s-a oprit aici cu discursul ci a continuat, contrazicand cu sau fara voie toate cele afirmate anterior. Asa am aflat ca  pe Norica Nicolai n-o deranjeaza de fapt atat intrarea  in grupul Popularilor (sic!) cat modalitatea in care aceasta trecere a fost pusa la cale.

Nu “doctrina conjucturala” o deranja  pe ea; problema era ca hotararea respectiva a fost luata intr-un grup restrans iar doamna Nicolai a fost pusa in situatia de a afla despre asta de la televizor. Cu alte cuvinte: “ Tradare sa fie dac-o cer interesele partidului, dar s-o stim si noi!” Si uite asa a ajuns Farfuridi, caraghiosul personaj a lui Caragiale sa capete o interpretare feminina in Romania secolului XXI.

Surprizele insa nu se opresc aici. Spre sfarsitul talk-showului, trecand peste intrebarile usor puerile ale moderatorului, doamna Nicolai a aruncat in discutie o adevarata torpila. A tinut sa ne precizeze ca dupa parerea dumneaei noul presedinte al Romaniei trebuie sa fie “ un roman”- nu un neamt, nu un maghiar sau alta etnie . Ca sa ne bagam asta mai bine la cap, doamna liberala ne precizeaza ca sintagma “National” din denumirea PNL reclama o astfel de optiune.

Sa vezi si sa nu crezi! Spusele distinsei liberale (ce da sacadat din cap atunci cand crede ca a rostit cuvinte mari) m-ar amuza daca nu ar fi de o gravitate atat de mare. Afirmatia facuta retrimite orice om de bun-simt cu gandul la epoca de trista amintire a Partidul National-Socialist a lui Hitler (Nazist). Cred ca doamna Norica Nicolai este singulara in aceasta sinistra interpretare.

Eu consider ca sintagma “National” pe care liberalii au inclus-o in denumirea partidului este un indemn pentru dezvoltarea natiunii romane, in a carei componenta intra etnicii romani ce doresc sa traiasca in armonie cu toate etniile de pe teritoriul tarii. Natiunea nu vizeaza, in nici una din definitiile intalnite pana in present, discriminari civice de nici un tip. Asadar aceasta sintagma simbolizeaza o conceptie incluziva si nu una excluziva, cum tocmai ne-o livreaza doamna Nicolai.

Mi se intampla pentru prima data ca in calitate de cetatean roman de etnie romana sa ma simt jenat fata de concetatenii mei de alta etnie vizati de o astfel de aberatie. Se impune, cred ca CNA-ul sa ia act de afrontul adus celorlalte etnii si sa sanctioneze conform legii lansarea unui astfel de mesaj in spatial public. In ceea ce-l priveste pe moderatorul Rares Bogdan, incapabil sa sesizeze gravitatea unor astfel de opinii, i-as recomanda sa abordeze emisiuni cu un grad mai scazut de dificultate gen “ Iarta-ma”, “Din dragoste”, “Dansez pentru tine” etc. In acest fel, nivelul competentelor sale va coincide in mod armonios cu emisiunea.

ENCOUNTERS 2

INTO THE NEW WORLD

 

 

 

So here they were, two young humans coming from different worlds, landing on this unnamed planet, escaping from a menace that blasted away a whole reality. They stood on the rim of the grassy plateau, trying to assess the scenery unfolding at their feet. From the height of the steep hill they watched in amazement the ocean of mist filling a landscape that remained hidden for now.

The milky white swirl of vapor gently rocked under the touch of the rising Sun-star, its ethereal waves washing over the sharp mountain crests rising underneath the unearthly flow. Like giant dragon backs, the highlands cut into the layers of nebulous hazing; dark tips of fir trees punctured the eerie blanket, pointing out the deep forest that breathed in the life giving spray of dew.

As the glow of the sun increased, iridescence rose from the intimate touch of light and the aerial blanket. The two youth exchanged a quick glance and begun the descent into the unknown.

The slope tamed as they came down almost running, sometimes slipping and stumbling on the long, wiry grass, laughing and fighting to catch their breath. By the time they reached the bottom of the valley the sun had dried up the dew and the protective mist vanished into the thin air. The sky above was unbelievably blue and the air was crisp and fresh.

-I feel at home-said the young man. Are you sure this is not another reality of Earth?

The girl shook her head.

-I don’t think so. According to my readings we are far from your home. And oddly enough, this planet shouldn’t be here. So maybe we should keep an eye open…

The soft mosaic of grass blades and wildflowers ran into a mild forest and a pathway of rocks and pebbles was leading the way inside it. Except for this unexpected feature, there was no sign of intelligent life around them. They followed the inviting way and stepped into the forest. The light discreetly changed and enveloped them softly, dancing on the contours. This was a different environment than outside of the woods.

Here the light recreated reality and the pathway pointed into a shimmering spot not far from them. In the middle of a small clearing there was a pointed arch of stone filled with a sizzling luminescence. It resembled to a screen that awaited a touch that would give a sense to that brightness. They stopped a few steps from it, taken aback by the oddity of this finding.

Driven by the arousing curiosity, the youth tried to walk around that strange feature but wherever he turned, the arch faced him unchanged…He gave up with a nervous chuckle after a few tries and returned next to the girl.

-It doesn’t want to show us its back-he said smiling at her.

-It looks like a hologram but it feels real-she added. I wonder what this really is…

Boldly, the young man stepped forward and touched the light; he instinctively retracted his hand.

-It’s a strange, pricking sensation-he said pensively, looking at the dimly pulsing glow.

-Let me try-said the girl and she cautiously dipped her fingertips into the golden blaze.

Nothing happened.

-We keep missing something-she said. I can sense it but I cannot point it out….

He gently placed a palm over her hand.

-Maybe this….-he started but before he could finish the sentence, the light burst out, seeping them in.

They landed and a gush of wind showered them with bright, swirling leaves of yellow and crimson. They were in the same spot but it was autumn all around, with sunlight pouring into each leaf, melting in shades of fiery red, orange glow, light magenta, deep wine red, bright yellow and soft amber….Between the thinning dots of color hanging by the tips of the branches the sky peeked down to the land with incredible azure eyes….The arch of stone had vanished, leaving the two humans captives in this new moment of time.

The warm wind twisted another handful of leaves; as the rush died out, they gracefully landed like a swirl of butterflies, adding one more layer of blazing colors to the softly rustling carpet of the forest floor. Under the caressing touch of sunlight, musky and bitterish scents rose in the air….peace filled the surroundings. Then a faint sound, a choir of strange cries replaced the silky hush of the falling leaves. It came from above…

The circle of trees retreated, enlarging the clearing; large shadows swam across the forest. One by one, rainbow-cranes landed, flapping wings, bowing and hopping in a complicated dance. They touched, acknowledging each presence, and then swirled one by one in large circle in the middle of the clearing. Sparks of rainbow-colored lights burst from the tips of the huge, feathery wings, turning into sharp, thin rays and then they entwined above the circling into a bright dome of light.

The cries of the birds toned down, turning into a low hum, reaching the inner world of the two young people. The soothing tremor of that sound eased the tension built up inside, opened the doors of awe and magic and lighted up their hearts. Holding hands they stood there motionlessly, watching the swirl of the graceful birds picking up speed until the entire procession became an intently radiating ring of pure white light. Inside that glowing circle, a bluish shape emerged….

It was a porcelain-blue egg, smooth and nacreous, levitating in the after-glow of the dancing cranes. The birds had already vanished when the first crack ran over the surface of the giant egg. Moments later, the thin rivulets united and the shell fell apart, releasing the young Phoenix into the light. He shook his feathers, stretched its wings and faced his human companions. The glowing red eyes watched them intently, reaching far into their mind and soul. An unexpected sadness washed over them, radiating from the sparkling rubies. The young man and the girl were taken aback by this sudden flow of despair.

-What’s wrong?-whispered the girl.

The bird flapped its wings, spreading a shower of bits of light around. He sighed….A slightly rasping voice sounded in both their minds:

-I….cannot….fly….

It was a startling confession.

-But why?!

The unspoken question painfully echoed through the connected minds.

-Please help me….there’s a darkness taking away my fire….

As the voice faded, so did the image of the young Phoenix dissipate into the light. Tranquility settled above the clearing. The wandering wind breathed in and out…The girl shuddered and she drew close to the youth; he held her and they stood there in silence.

 

Later they set up a tent as the evening breeze turned into a chill and the night fell over the clearing. They eat in silence, leaning on each other for comfort. Outside the tent the world was already changing. The small planet was speeding through space to meet his second sun. A new world was about to emerge at daylight.

 

He woke up in the middle of the night with a strange feeling of pressure on his chest. Tired and confused, he opened his eyes trying to grasp the meaning of that unsettling feeling. A thick, almost tangible darkness surrounded him. He searched for the flashlight but it was nowhere to be found. The blackness had erased the visible world and muffled all the sounds. His ears started to hurt under the pressure of silence.

The young man realized that in fact he woke up in another dream and that the space around him was an illusion at best. He staggered to his feet, took a deep breath and focused into the nothingness in front of him. Just as he imagined, the shadows around him slowly thinned and there he was, in the middle of a road that lead through an arch of trees with branches hanging low above him.  Not too far a light was signaling the end of that tunnel of greenery. He walked towards the light…

A gentle night wind was swaying the branches, fingering through the leaves. The forest responded to that caress with a soft, hushed whisper. The road ended abruptly and Space itself faded into the light. The youth halted for a moment, unable to decide how to handle the absence of spatial guiding lines. He decided to wait until the shape that was emerging from the glow cleared. He watched the familiar face, the amber tanned skin, the rivulets of wrinkles, the deep-set, piercing brown eyes and the friendly smile.

-Grand-father-he whispered. What are you doing here?

-You came for answers…I am here to help you-said the old man and sat down. He invited the young man to join him.

The youth stepped in cautiously; despite the all invading light, he could feel hard ground under his feet. By the time he sat next to the old man he knew that all these things were projections of his mind and that the questions bothering him had the answers hidden deep inside him. All he had to do was to find the way there and unlock them.

-The young Phoenix unable to fly is your core. Those broken pathways inside your soul lead into a darkness that unable you to take flight towards the horizons you dream of.

The young man sighed.

-What can I do, Grandfather?

-Look inside your heart. Forgive yourself and let your heart mend…

The deep, soothing voice echoed in his mind, reverberating on the soft walls of his soul, stirred the surface of the inner ocean and moved along the intricate web of pathways that walked the hidden land of his heart. Memories burst out in colorful bubbles, carrying images, whispers, feelings, touches, swirling around like a  blazing procession of silky butterflies…A gush of wind swept across the labyrinth, cutting off the delicate flow of colors, scattering them all over the ups and downs of his soul. He faced the wind and the thickening mist that oozed from cracks, broken walls, shattered windows and burned down bridges, releasing moss-scented chill, smothering the light of happy days.

Mistakes, misdeeds of youthful impatience and rush through life took form and kept crawling out from the hidden depths where he had buried them, unable to get over heartbreaks, pains and shames. So many times he had found himself unable to walk back on words and gestures, found himself numbed inside, speechless, tongue-tied or simply just too obstinate and proud to admit his own failure. So many times he had rushed through the life and soul of others, blazing, burning, taking but not giving, shaking off the ashes with an impatient gesture, ready to ascend to new horizons without even looking back. But sooner or later life might hit back so the hunter became game and this time he was the one who got hurt. By the time he matured enough to realize what he’d been doing to others and himself, his heart and soul had almost burned out…He plunged head first in his work and buried all the pain and hollowness. Here he was now, facing the swirling, coiling shadows coming from all sides of his broken inner world, threatening to wash him away and smother any inner light. For a long moment he felt lost and numb….he couldn’t find a reason to fight all this back. While he was contemplating all, the darkness built into a tidal wave, shattering the bridge under his feet, pushing him upwards, on the tip of the rolling darkness. He closed his eyes and drifted away with the flow…his last glimpse of memory, the image of a blue and golden bird, grabbing him and carrying him away, before the surge of pain engulfed him….

 

She stood beside him, watching his silent struggle with the shadows invading his dreams. She cautiously touched him, the small hand lightly feeling the wild heartbeats…things were speeding up inside and she decided to step in before things got worst. The curtain fell over the gold spotted blue eyes and metamorphosis began. The magic bird flew gracefully over the hissing snakes of darkness, grabbed the young man seconds before he fell into the abyss of hopelessness. She held him close and flew desperately, wildly, her gold feathers blazing, chasing away the overwhelming shadows, cutting into the grey fogs blurring the horizon, tearing up the veil of hurt, bringing back the light of hope above the ocean of soul rolling in and out the shores of the heart…She flew with her precious weight until they reached the boundaries of soul. They burst out and returned to themselves, falling back into the deep but now calm waters of sleep.

The old man gently caressed the young Phoenix.

-You can fly now, my child-he whispered. The Universe is open before you.

The bird shook its feathers, flapped the fiery wings and swooshed towards the heights of the night skies. A long trail of burning stars, crimson and gold followed him and showered above the clearing of the forest. Moments later the contours of the scenery blurred out and the material world disappeared. Space and Time expanded, wrapping around the sleeping bodies. Stars and comets gathered around them as the final act of the scenery started unfolding. Each and every inch of the two youth turned into bits of light; as the process ended they woke up from the deep sleep and looked at each other in amazement. They were both woven of light.

She playfully spun around, poked him and plunged into the open space with arms wide open. She caught a Space –current and glided along with it, swirled and turned to her companion. She smiled and called him to follow her.

The young man raised a palm in front of his eyes watching it for a second, chuckled and took a deep breath. Inside his soul the ocean was swinging peacefully and the grain of boldness and curiosity started to grow and fill the inner space with new dreams and desires. He sensed the changes the gold spotted eyed girl left in his soul and smiled inwardly. He followed her, caught her hand and they took aim towards the miracle-filled depths of the Universe.

The arch of stone re-surfaced in the clearing. The pointed, slim opening sizzled and lighted up while the soft breeze of Spring hummed through the branches, awakening the silky emerald buds scattered along twigs and branches. The portal was set for new adventurers. Magic filled the realm of stars….

I have a dream….varianta Tariceanu de Dan Poenaru

Asa cum era de asteptat, in urma deciziilor lui Crin Antonescu asistam la o precipitare a vietii politice in sanul miscarii liberale. Mai intai decizia de a iesi din USL a avut ca efect demisia lui Tariceanu din Partidul Liberal si iritarea unui grup restrans de membri marcanti (vezi Chiliman sau Iliesiu). La ora respectiva gestul de demisie a fost intempestiv si parea gratuit, chiar caraghios, protagonistul pliindu-se pe lozinca “USL traieste” inventata si sustinuta cu viclenie de PSD-isti. Personal cred ca motivatia spargerii USL se poate regasi in conflictul dintre orgoliul de prezidentiabil a lui Antonescu si smecheria de sforar a lui  Ponta. Pana aici miscarea lui Tariceanu era sortita esecului, gestul neavand ecou in sanul partidului sau al electoratului in ciuda ajutorului oferit de PSD.

Numai ca, dupa alegerile europarlamentare, in mod cu totul surprinzator Crin Antonescu a facut greseala dupa greaseala in numele partidului. UNU:pierderea identitatii partidului prin abandonarea grupului liberal ALDE in favoarea popularilor europeni. DOI: decizia de fuziune cu PDL-ul. Aceste doua gafe reprezinta o sansa neasteptata pentru Tariceanu a carui miscare politica de azi incepe sa devina credibila iar imprastierea liberala de la inceputul anilor ’90  se repeta. Desi nu nutresc o simpatie pentru fostul premier Tariceanu, sunt nevoit sa apreciez ca miscarea lui se instaleaza pe calea corecta a liberalismului romanesc, acesta sustinand atat distantarea  fata  de orice fuziune pe plan intern cat si pastrarea identitatii liberale pe plan extern. In aceste conditii Tariceanu inceteaza sa mai fie perceput ca un outcast  si isi marcheaza revenirea in prima linie a politicii printr-un discurs fulminant in care face apel la istoria si traditiile liberalismului romanesc pentru a -si legitima noul proiect politic. Interesant este ca in enumerarea pe care o face, prezinta unele realizari politice si economice importante dar sporadice pentru Romania, faptuite de lideri istorici ai partidului. Uita insa ca printre fondatorii Partidului Liberal de acum 140 de ani s-au numarat personalitati importante care au facut parte din “Mostruoasa coalitie”, grupare politica ce a dus la abdicarea lui Al. I. Cuza, cel care in scurta lui domnie, prin reformele sale a dus Romania din Evul Mediu in Epoca moderna.

Dar sincopele culturale ale domnului Tariceanu nu se opresc aici. Simtindu-se cu sacii in caruta s-a lasat purtat de patosul oratoric  si a esuat in ridicol. Perla discursului sau o consider apelarea la celebra expresie ” I have a dream” (Eu am un vis). Dorind sa-si ralieze auditoriul si probabil electoratul dupa modelul “Udrea cu blugii”, oratorul Tariceanu a transferat paternitatea expresiei respective grupului suedez de muzica pop, ABBA.  In felul acesta  ni se dezvaluie vastul sau orizont cultural dobandit  in adolescenta. Numai ca orice politician care se respecta cunoaste sursa acestei declaratii emblematice;  este vorba de celebrul discurs al luptatorului pentru drepturi civile , Martin Luther King  Jr, rostit in 1963  de pe treptele Memorialului Lincoln, in timpul marsului spre Washington. Acest discurs este marca incontestabila a luptei pentru drepturi civile in Epoca moderna.

Daca domnul Tariceanu nu stie acest lucru sau se face ca nu stie este la fel de grav pentru el, atat ca politician cat si ca om. Si uite asa, din gafele regretabile ale lui Antonescu, castiga teren inginerul semidoct Tariceanu care incearca sa abureasca populatia Romaniei (cum a mai facut-o dealtfel) cu imaginea de om serios, cu pretentia ca vorbele sale ar avea consistenta. In realitate competenta lui  nu se ridica cu mult deasupra unei forme fara fond.

ENCOUNTERS (1)

 

Eons have passed by since the star was dying. It has already engulfed all his children, melting into the boiling mass of expanding Hell planet after planet. Unique worlds had died a slowly and painful death as the star that have had brought them to life became their killer.

Now all was coming to an end.  The space around the former planetary system was twisting and wavering under the pressure of the red giant. In this remote corner of the Galaxy, a final act of a once blazing life was gathering to the unavoidable ending.

Despite the huge distances that separated them, the neighboring stars watched the agony of their sister with mounting anxiety. They knew that the final blast was near but its triggering moment lied inside the glowing body of stardust and gas.

Ignition came in a split moment, shaking the Time-Space fabric from its intimate core of eternal entwining. The tidal wave of cosmic energies swept across the surroundings and echoed on and on through the void between the scattered stars. The deafening roar of the dying sun hit everything in its way, bent Time and Space, twisted the wormholes and clogged the pathways with smoldering ash and choking stardust.

The Cosmic event blew away the graceful starship caught in the huge blast of energies. The delicate shell cracked and released the handful of iridescent capsules throughout the unknown space. The seeds of life drifted away, carried by cosmic currents until they landed on thriving planets, barren soils or hungry stars.

One of these tiny capsules swirled through the atmosphere of a blue planet that circled a mild-tempered yellow sun. The slim silver shape spun until it reached the soft soil of a lush green forest that ran all over a magnificent island. In the moment of silence that followed the landing, hot steam rose from the heated metal, slowly dissipated and the sliding door opened, releasing the traveler from outer space to its new home.

The young man was scrolling down some pages on screen while his mind was drifting. It has been a long and busy year, with lots of projects, exhibitions, crowded social events and complicated relationships, haunting loose ends…He definitely needed a vacation. The healing power of Nature was what he needed the most; all the harmonious beauty left untouched…The Island he was dreaming about was such a small gem, an emerald-green spot of life hidden in the vastness of the ocean. Born out of the passionate embrace of fiery volcanoes and the foaming waves, this unique place embodied all his dreams of Paradise.

He turned off the computer and stood up. Night was seeping into the city and light started to flicker in the windows. He started towards the terrace when the cosmic tidal wave hit the planet; Space-Time fabric wavered, reality bubbled up and spread all around. The room spun around the youth; he felt his stomach rise suddenly, his vision blurred and he lost balance. He banged his head to the door and passed out.

 

A playful ray of light tickled his eyelids; a slight thumping echoed in his skull, reminding him of the fall he took the previous evening. Cautiously moving, he opened his eyes and looked around; he wasn’t at home.

The room was furnished with light bamboo and sisal furniture, the colors were warm and joyful and the light pouring in through the large window was not the sick one that used to shine above the city. This light was teaming with life. Curiosity aroused, he woke up and looked outside: he took a step back as he faced the Diamond Peak in its full height and magnificence, guarding the bay. He was on his dream island…

 

The creature looked around with eyes wide open in childlike awe; the place was rich in colors, scents and shapes. Various sounds entwined harmoniously, completing the natural beauty of this planet. The silver capsule closed with a hiss and the alien started its journey throughout the rainforest.

The small shape moved silently and swiftly through the dense greenery. It was a humanoid with androgynous features, a translucent body and wide, ink-blue eyes spotted with gold. Whenever it stopped, its body changed color, mimicking the surroundings, blending perfectly in the pattern. Only the pair of unusual eyes betrayed its presence, but in the symphony of colorful leaves and flowers it could be easily mistaken for the wings of an exotic butterfly. The creature watched the world unfolding around him with eyes glittering with excitement. Its strolling through the forest ended at a rocky part of the shore so it sat down on a higher cliff and lost itself in daydreaming. The ocean rolled waves after waves, sprinkling droplets of water above the rugged land.

 

“ If this is a dream-thought the young artist-at least it is a pleasant one.”  He dressed up and descended in the hall. He made a few enquiries at the reception and relaxed. Except for the unusual way of getting here, his vacation seemed perfectly legitimate. The room has been booked and paid two weeks earlier; his bank account was comfortably filled up so all he had to do was to enjoy…whatever it was.

The island was full of beautiful, happy people, tourists and locals as well. He could easily mingle with them and let himself pulled into the stream of uninhibited energies. He chose to skip that and walk along the shore of white sands. He loved the feel of sand under his feet, the way the foam left behind by the waves seeped into tiny holes, the various sea-shells scattered on the beach, artful remnants of marine life…He took a fistful of silky sand and slowly poured it into the playful breeze. The small grains danced for a moment in the air like stardust in the mighty Universe.

He kept walking until the flow of people ebbed into nothing and he found himself all alone. He almost stumbled over the melting remains of an intricate sand-castle. The sea had already reclaimed some of it, but the artful shape spoke about a skillful dreamer. The youth sat down and guarded it until the last mound of sand was obliterated by the eternal thru and fro of the water…It was a small, cathartic moment…like the ocean had washed away all the sand-castles built in his heart…leaving a pristine shore inside, ready for another magic built.

He stood still for a moment, giving in to the feeling and then dismissed it; he wasn’t ready for that. He saw a gathering of black cliffs soaring from the water and decided to swim there. The water was smooth and pleasant, with no dangerous currents in the area. He explored the depths for a while and took a quick ride to the surface. He held out a hand to catch the cliff when he brushed against something warm and soft. He caught it instinctively: it was a human hand, small but firm. He heard a cry of surprise and the hand slipped off his grip.

The moment he surfaced, the youth searched for the person he had caught but there was no one around. A flicker of intense blue and a sense of movement towards the rainforest was all he glimpsed. It was an awkward moment but it looked like the island had some surprises for him.

That evening he joined the fiesta in the town, drifting along the narrow streets with singers and dancers…Later, he leafed through the local and the international newspapers but none of them mentioned anything about the strange events that brought him here.

He asked around about local myths and strange creatures but nothing fitted his encounter. He went to sleep with more questions than answers but decided to let things unfold at will. He felt a surge of adrenaline; he was ready for more mysteries and adventures.

First time in the morning he took the diving gear and returned to the remote beach. The morning was bright and the weather had been calm for days; the ocean was rocking back and forth peacefully, lacing the white sands with ribbons of elusive foam. Sunlight perched the translucent waters and played hide and seek with the lively colored schools of fish swimming between the solidified lava shapes. It was like the fiesta from above has descended into the water world, shining, dancing and moving to a rhythm that no one could hear. In this world inhabitants were speaking a very different language….

The young man swam along the island wall until he found a ragged opening leading probably inside a submerged cavern. |Eerie blue-green phosphorescence was shimmering inside the narrow corridor, inviting him to explore the area. It was risky but after checking on the air supply he decided to take the challenge. He slipped easily through the opening and swam carefully along the corridor. Small, crablike creatures were crawling on the walls, their delicate armor shining in blue and green; they were like tiny, living chandeliers, placed there to light the way for the bold trespasser. In the deep silence and waving light, caught between the thick darkness of the surrounding walls he felt like swimming through outer space, along ever changing constellations and glittering stars. Suddenly, the watery Universe opened into a huge cavern, inundated by the light that was seeping in from above; the ceiling of that submerged cathedral opened towards the skies like a magic eye.

The surrounding walls were covered by curtains of marine life in all shapes and colors, draping the rough edges of rocks, turning the heights into a swaying, colorful panorama. The shower of light filtered through the dense body of liquid created a swirl of energy that caught the youth in its subtle magic. Alternating layers of turquoise shades and golden rays drew mysterious shapes and designs on the walls…The young man followed the slowly changing patterns until his eyes started to recognize a story unfolding from that shift of shades and shines. Just like the soft sand castles crumbling under the caress of the waves, the play of light inside the underwater magic castle wrote down stories of the heart buried deep in his soul, unfinished, undiminished like the fire slowly burning under the smoldering ash…A sharp bright ray penciled the slim shape, delicately flowing see weeds created the illusion of the soft, long hair, star-like anemones opened wide, like those hauntingly beautiful eyes buried in his memory…The elusive shape moved on, floated in front of him, swam ahead, calling him with loving gestures. His heart thumped and he followed her instantly; the cavern ended in another straight leading probably to a row of underwater sea caves.

Like from a broken dam, all the bitter-sweet memories burst out from the depths of his soul, lighting up the water world. The magic image of the unfulfilled love took a firm shape and her closeness made the entire vision even more passionately painful. He kept swimming after her, oblivious of the fading light or the shortening supply of air. He had no eyes but for her, no heart except that filled with her warm presence, no need but the one to bridge the gap between lost memories and his own fantastic reality.

But outside the caverns and labyrinths of rocky corridors a tempest was building up at the horizon, wiping out the sunlight with eager hands. Inside the steep and narrow way the light went out and in a split of a moment the illusion of the lost love disappeared, engulfed by darkness. The young man stopped and reality came down on him with shocking earnest: what was gone was gone. No matter how much he yearned for that love, it was lost…the moment it broke. Days and years that had passed, built around that memory a shrine of unearthly magic and beauty; but the truth was that of an ending of no return. Just like the sand castles crumbling on the shore, time has eroded that love, turning it into a memory. He had to let go. He had to let her go, slip into the treasure chest of memories and look ahead. His soul opened a new page, white, pristine, full of awe and expectations. It was about time to write a new, fulfilling chapter.

At that moment he realized that this might prove harder than he thought. He was immersed in the deepest darkness ever, stranded in a narrow channel that lead somewhere into the unknown, while his air supply was dangerously thinning. His mind sped up, searching for the best chance to escape.

Then his wide open eyes caught a familiar glimpse of blue and gold followed by the faint shape of a somehow human body made out of glowing golden spots. The shape stood there for a moment, catching his attention then plunged ahead, showing the way out. The youth followed without hesitation; there was no time for questions…He could feel the waters becoming increasingly agitated under the constant pressure of the events unfolding outside.  As they came closer to the end of the struggle, the waters calmed down and they got out in another remote bay, swam up and found another alignment of rocks, in the shade of the forest.

The young man climbed easily and he put aside the diving gear. He filled his lungs with the refreshing breeze, enjoying the salty taste filling his mouth. He looked around, searching for the creature that has lead him to safety. He saw no one; only the faint noise of a body leaving the water and some wet spots indicated that he wasn’t alone. He decided to wait. This second encounter has definitely aroused his curiosity. There was a light tickling in his mind and a faint question took shape:

“Are you fine now?”

“ Yes, I’m fine. Who are you?”

“I’m…a human”-came the long hesitating answer.

“Why can’t I see you? “

“ ….I’m ….adjusting. Wait….”

-I am waiting-he said out loud.

The answer was a small chuckle; the air in front of him thickened, a human shape emerged and the strange, gold speckled blue eyes watched him with deep curiosity. It took some time until the creature became fully visible: it was an androgynous human being, with shortly cropped hair and dressed in an iridescent overall. The creature took a deep breath before speaking:

-I am a stranger here.

The voice was light and pleasant; the young man laughed.

-I have imagined that. You’re very peculiar. How did you end up in the cavern with me?

-I was…curious.  I have followed you ever since you scared me to death…when you caught me.

The creature grinned.

– I tried to warn you about the storm-it continued-but you were lost in chasing something.

The youth’s face clouded for a moment.

-I saw something…somebody dear to me-he murmured.

The creature shook its head.

-It was your imagination only. There was nothing in front of you except some shadows in the water….That cavern has a strange power field that dimmed your senses but enhanced your fantasy.

-How do you know that?-ha asked, surprised.

-From the look of your eyes….you know, such places are deadly traps if you lose grip of reality.

-Not anymore; I’ve learned my lesson. Anyway, thanks for your help!-he said and touched the creature’s hand.

A wave of glow ran over the body of the small human and the golden spots brightened inside the blue eyes. The creature gently retracted its hand and tilted its head. They both laughed.

-You got shy-said the youth, watching attentively.

-It’s…strange…your touch.

-Unpleasant?

-No…just different…new…I don’t know yet…

The creature smiled.

-It’s not that easy to adjust to an unknown world.

The young man agreed; this reality has given him some moments of awkward adjustment.  They both stood up and headed to the forest, trying to short the way to the resort. The creature was leading the way while the young man watched it. The alien was medium high, graceful and mobile, with long limbs.

-Hey, Starchild- he said. The creature turned.

-Pardon me for asking but what are you: a boy or a girl?

-I am what you want me to be-came the swift answer followed by a playful flicker in the eyes.

The young man smiled inwardly; he summarized the day. His heart felt lighter once he got over his hidden heartbreak. Now something new was opening ahead, like the sky that cleared into bright azure after a ravaging storm. He took that bitter-sweet, beautiful memory, closed it into a glowing bubble of time and placed it carefully on the shelves of his soul. He sighed and returned to reality.

This wasn’t going to be a dull evening; he’s got himself a cheeky alien. He shook his head incredulously and followed his companion.

They split up as the reached the edge of the forest.

-I have to go back to the capsule; I still have work to do on the adjusting…-said the creature with a faint smile. Enjoy your vacation! Don’t worry, we’ll meet again…

It withered while speaking and faded into the background; the youth hummed but followed his way to the hotel. He could use some time to piece things together.

 

As the sun quietly slipped into the ocean, the tips of the rolling waves turned into liquid gold and deep carmine. After the daily stir, the vast body of water exhaled in hushed sounds and it was gently rocking. The ocean regained its peace and turned into a glowing mirror of the flaming skies and the waves died out in small ripples fingering the shores.

Crimson and amber melted then turned into deep shades of purple minutes before the night covered the land in its cloak of black velvet. Only a fistful of stars were twinkling above as the clear-cut, round face of the Moon took over the heavens. She glanced to the Earth, brightened up and filled the scenery with silver linings. The air cooled and it was trembling imperceptibly under the flow of light; hidden flowers of unearthly beauty opened their soft cups, releasing a harmony of scents into the wandering breeze.

As the hours slowly moved towards midnight the scenery changed; smooth skinned dolphins emerged from the silent depths and crisscrossed the silver toned surface, jumping and swirling in a happy dancing and boisterous run, splashing sparkling droplets of water in the air. Sheen of clouds covered for a moment the face of the Moon, dimming the light. When the thin vapor dissipated, the Moon has turned light blue.

Laying on his bed the young man was recalling the talk he had with his alien companion through the forest.

“  – Realities are infinite and they keep bubbling up all over the Universe. They are like cherry-blossoms; some of them ripen and become fruitful, others wither and fall. This one is unstable but its fate is hidden yet.

-How do you know? – he asked.

-There is a faint glow in the contour of objects, one that is undetectable for the human eye. But I am enhanced through bio-engineering so I can see it all around.

-So what’s the problem with that unstable state of reality?

-We’d better return to our previous reality; we might get lost in the Space-Time fabric if we’re not prepared.

The young man looked around and sighed.

-Are you sure this return to the previous reality is mandatory? – he said with regrets. There is nothing left there for me…I loved being here.

-Hmmm…-the creature’s face turned thoughtful. Let me think about it. I’ll give you a proper answer once I’m ready with the calculations. “

His mind slowly drifted…till it reached the realms of the Land of Nod. The swirl of sweet scents seeped into his room lead by the powerful vanilla. He woke up dazed and looked out the window. He faced the Blue Moon that hung up like a chandelier above the Diamond Peak. A strange veiling echoed in the night, calling him out. The youth decided to comply and descended to the shore. He walked along until he got to the spot where the dolphins were playing. He found a comfortable spot next to a palm tree and sat there, watching the joyful movement of the sea creatures.

 

 

Inside the silver capsule there was a constant low humming, like the buzzing of those small flying gems that kept speeding from one flower to another inside the rain forest.

The familiar sound soothed the soul of the alien; it was going through changes. The process was difficult mainly because it implied an inner rift that threatened to shatter the fragile creature. To fit into this new world it had to split personality and transform according to the final choice. So, it closed the eyes and dived inside its own mind, recalling the image of his terran companion. If they were to travel together through this place, it needed to meet his expectations and win his trust and collaboration. There was much passion and a constant thirst for freedom and fantasy emanating from that young man, a drive towards unknown horizons that probably brought the two of them together.

It wasn’t that much of information but at least it gave some guiding lines for the adjustment. The creature remembered the strangeness of his touch that electrified for a moment its entire being, so it made the final choice and set the whole process in motion.

The buzzing of the apparatus around became louder, the light brighter and the creature drifted into unconsciousness. She woke up stiff and dizzy around sunset; she stood up moving carefully and looked into the polished screen that served now as a mirror. She exhaled, stretched and watched the image with curiosity.

Her traits have softened, curves replacing the angles, smooth skin covering the cheekbones. The eyes widened and rounded a bit, the lips were full and pink. She still looked a bit boyish with that short, spiky hair but on the whole she has turned into a decent replica of a young terran woman. She made a quick mental check upon her special abilities and relaxed; they were untouched. She turned back to the main computer and started a complicated chain of calculations about the available realities.

It was almost midnight when she finished her task and decided to search the shore for the young man. She could sense him somewhere close so she hurried towards the edge of the rainforest.

The air was hot and sticky with excess of moisture inside the complex entwining of trees, roots, shrubberies and crawling lianas. Birds were crying out in sleep and unseen animals were growling from time to time in the dim, bluish light. Only the erratically flying fire-bugs lighted up the premises like miniature magic lanterns held by invisible hands. As she approached the shore, the light turned even stranger; she spotted the blue disk glowing in the midnight sky and stopped for a moment puzzled by the unexpected color. She stepped out cautiously in the open and spotted her terran friend. He was sitting in the sand, leaning against a palm tree, gaze lost in the distance where the boisterous creatures of the ocean displayed their joyful show. She silently approached and sat next to him. He turned towards her, surprise in his eyes but then he laughed pleasantly.

-Your eyes are the same-he said. But you look quite human…

-I am human-came the reply. And among so many peculiarities I hope I will blend easily even with that feature. So, what do we have here?-she asked, pointing out to the ocean.

-Dolphins and a blue Moon for now…I haven’t seen anything like this in my reality.

-Look!-she exclaimed. There, inside the water…

The family of dolphins were whizzing and whistling excitedly, swimming in large circles around the place where the water has started to bubble up. Eerie phosphorescence lighted up that growing mass of swirling water from inside. It looked like something huge and powerfully glowing was rising from beneath, pushing the heavy layers of liquid upside in an artesian splash. In a few moments, the huge ghost-ship surfaced in its long lost glorious appearance, lighted up and blazing under the azure eye watching from above. The sudden movement set the waters into a frantic movement and rolls of waves hit the shore, spreading electric blue beads of foam and light over the soft sands. The glowing pearls scattered along the shore, sizzling for a moment, the slowly fading. Some of those ephemeral jewels rolled next to the two young humans. They watched the unfolding play of foam and light in amazement. The girl touched one of the pearls but quickly retracted her hand.

-It’s …hot-she said, surprised by the finding. And it felt strange-she added pensively.

-It’s magic-he said dreamingly. And there is more to come, I guess…

The ghost-ship slowly moved towards the shore pushed by fantastic creatures. Some of them were swimming ahead, their long hair gently flowing in the warm breeze of the night. Their tails shone in the shower of strange light pouring from above. With their beautiful faces, long, glossy hair and shapely, naked bodies ending in powerful fish-tails it was no doubt that they were mermaids.

They were diving and dancing in a mesmerizing motion into the gently rocking waters, opening the way for that bright ship woven from golden rays and silver threads of mist. The air filled with strange sounds, a magic chanting that numbed the mind of the two humans watching the secret midnight show. The powerful scent of vanilla mixed with the salty odor of the ocean, deepening their state of dizziness. The procession of mermaids was quickly closing in, heading straight to them. As the waters were becoming shallow, the mermaids rose on their tails, like walking on the waters. They were undulating, smiling, arms held out in loving expectation. This was a display of perfect beauties born from the wonder- holding depths of that water-beast, the ocean. The call of the mermaids was painfully alluring, pushing the couple of humans to their feet. The enchantment was overwhelming….

But the enhanced vision of the gold-spotted blue eyes saw beyond the display of unearthly beauty: rows of small, razor-sharp teeth, barracuda-like were gleaming behind the friendly smiles. The instincts of the alien girl kicked in as her mind jumped into red alert. She grabbed the wrist of her companion and pulled him with a jerk to the forest behind them. He looked at her in dismay and freed his hand.

-What?!- he exclaimed, anger seeping in his voice.

She turned pale and the blue eyes rounded in fear.

-I don’t know but something is very wrong! It’s an illusion! Something is reading your mind! Come, we have to hide!

He shook his head incredulously.

-No. You must be mistaken. What danger could hide behind such a beauty? Go if you’re scared. I stay; I want to see them.

As they fought upon the proper decision, the light around them changed. The selenary disk turned blood-orange and the tree-trunks glowed in crimson. Sticky sap oozed from the branches…She heard a strange, rasping noise that made her skin crawl. Panic flooded her body; from the hidden corner of her ancestral memories a horrifying image emerged with a paralyzing force. An ever-changing, intelligent but ruthless creature, feeding on dreams and desires, a vampire of the mind had landed in this reality, squaring them out easily. The highly strung energetic minds, with intricate pathways and neural highways roamed by the rainbow –colored spots of bio-energy, carrying complex ideas and strong emotions were like light-houses in the night for the hungry creature that thrived on them.

So it tapped into the most active one, read the fantastic imagery born inside and recreated it through the play of light, scents and a choir of insidious sounds. As the monster prepared to lash out and catch his victims, the young man regained his control; the stench of rotting flesh hit his nostrils. He saw a hungry mouth bursting out between the branches, lancing towards the girl frozen by fear. Instinctively he jumped ahead and pushed her to the ground. As the monstrous limb retracted for a new attack, they both stood up and ran away, holding hands. They reached the tiny capsule and stumbled inside, breathless and trembling. The door sealed with a hiss. They were safe.

But outside, a very discontent creature was shaking the world. With an enraged growl it plunged into the forest, tearing it apart as the powerful sound-wave blasted through the thick greenery. The earth trembled and caved under the tremendous pressure. The tempest erupted above the ocean, pushing the waves inside the opening of the forest, washing away the last remnants of standing trees.

The unleashed fury broke the fragile equilibrium of this reality, the explosion breaking it to pieces, spitting the small seed of metal into the abyss. Time and Space waved opening new windows of reality. The small capsule picked up speed and boldly targeted the unknown.

 

 

 

He was laying on his back on an entirely different kind of surface. He still remembered the hard one inside the space capsule, with the two of them crammed inside a tiny place. He felt grass tickling his face; the air was crisp and breathable. The grass-blade tickled him again, held by a small hand that appeared before his eyes. He heard a muffled laughter. Oh, well. At least that was familiar. He turned on his belly and looked into the twinkling gold spotted blue eyes with a serious face.  She smiled playfully.

-My dear friend, I found you a new reality. Unfortunately, you’re stuck here with me…

He watched her for a moment and sighed amusedly.

-I hope that I’ll survive to that.

The small planet looped between her two suns. It was a new day for adventures.

THE JOURNEY

The wizard descended on the shore; the flight proved to be exhausting. The sun has already set behind the ragged line of the mountains, its crimson light dying out slowly on the ragged peaks.

The ocean quieted down, moving back and forth slowly, like a huge beast. Foam bubbled under the young man’s feet before it faded, suckled by the thirsty sand. The azure of the summer sky deepened into ink-blue then turned velvety-black. One by one, stars lit up in the skies, like diamond specs scattered in convoluted patterns all over the canopy.

The salty breeze swirled around the tall, slender shape, ruffling the rebellious strands around his face. The wizard shivered and wrapped himself into the cape. The night was just beginning…He had to wait till sunrise; these shores were dangerous places even for a bold and gifted bearer of magic like him. So he sat on the sand and leaned against a boulder. What was he doing here? What incomprehensible need has pushed him to take this flight? The high pitched veiling of the sirens was still ringing in his ears; they almost succeeded to bring him down. He had to gather all his strength to shut them out and follow his way.

The fiery red corral-island that housed these dangerous beauties dwarfed into the distance as he sped over…Now, here he was, safely ashore, puzzled by his own need to reach this remote land. As the hours passed by, the constellations turned in the skies and the breath of the ocean chilled into laces of mist. The young sorcerer fell asleep.

He woke up suddenly; he wasn’t alone anymore. Somebody was watching him. He heard a soft laughter and turned towards the sound. Half hidden in the constantly shifting shadows there was a small human shape sitting atop of a rock. She was looking at him with a slightly amused smile on her face, her dark eyes twinkling.

-Forgive me for interrupting your dreams, Wizard but the night is almost over and we need to talk.

He peered at her intently, trying to figure out who she was. He had never seen her before, yet there was some familiarity in her presence that he couldn’t grasp.

-It was I who summoned you, Wizard; I wanted to share something with you. Watch!

She held out a hand and drew a magic sign in the air. Something flickered but she quickly captured it. She then turned towards him, opened her fist, showing the grain of light nested inside. The golden seed pulsed quietly.

-What is that?- the young man asked.

-That…is you. Can’t you feel it?

Warmth arose from that glowing and enveloped him; it seeped inside until it reached his heart. It felt strange and he shuddered under that touch. Outside, the light brightened up, changing its shape. The Firebird took flight, spreading his wings, igniting the skies and diving into the dark abyss. It kept shining there, leaving a trail of light behind.

-I called you because time has come to release you. Your destiny is not this tiny ball of dust, no matter how beautiful. You have all the might and strength to light up the far depths of the universe. Go! Rise and shine, child of magic!

The glow from above showered back upon him, blinding him for a moment, then it faded out. Silence surrounded him and only the breath of the ocean rippled inside that. The spirit of the planet has vanished. A thin line of gold and pink lighted out the horizon. A few moments after, the sun started its daily climbing on the ladder of the sky.

The wizard stood up, stretched his limbs and took flight. His journey has begun.

 

 

Inside the Lost Island

 

The Wizard looked around. He wasn’t going to leave this place without inspecting it a bit. After all, the Lost Island was a place of legends and many of those inhabiting the main land doubted its existence.

The narrow limb of sand ended up in piles of boulders massed at the feet of a steep, rocky slope. Wild, dark bushes crawled upon the ragged land and a thick forest filled the horizon at a further distance. The morning fog was still lingering above the landscape, hanging rows of glittering beads of dew upon cobweb and grass blades.

As the sun rose higher, the ocean became restless, rolling its waves against the shore, spreading laces of foam upon rocks and scattered pebbles.

The young man took a deep breath from the salty breeze and flew towards the mountains.

 

 

Cloaked in invisibility, the Spirit of the planet watched him silently. She always kept her children under protective watch, but seldom interfered with their lives. This young magician proved to be a real enigma. He wasn’t born on the planet; the comet that brought that golden seed of light has long faded out somewhere in the dark belly of the Universe.

The child that was born from that magic grain grew up oblivious of his legacy. As special abilities surfaced with each day of his life, he started to face awe or discontent of those around him. He fought back, struggled to preserve his inner self, lost and won, got scarred and healed…the final result being hard to grasp, even for the spirit guarding him from the shadows.

She closed her eyes and reached out towards the young wizard. It was a trancelike state of mind and soul; she could feel him through her palms and fingertips. As she connected to him, she opened her eyes and sighed. Unseen, she would follow him through his journey inside the island.

 

 

The forest emerged abruptly in front of him. Huge, tall shapes, standing in close ranks, like giant organ columns, with glittering straws of light seeping from above, puncturing the dense canopy of entwined muscular branches. The rugged trunks were of various shades of blue, from the bright azure of the younger trees to the steel-blue of the old ones.  A web of aging cracks filled with darkness completed the features of this living fortress. The light wind that only rippled the surface of the ocean grew into a low, menacing vibration resounding through the trees, like the discontent growl of a mountain lion.

The forest stretched all over the mountain slope, leaning against the high wall of rock. The Wizard descended on a patch of secure land, facing the stern gathering. He wondered for a moment…Did he really need to go through the forest or he could just skip it and fly over the mountain?

He decided that he won’t step back from any challenge set by the island. There was a power surrounding the giant wood, making him restless. He smiled playfully and stepped inside.

 

Inside the forest the air was still and the roar of the wind down toned to an eerie choir of veiling and grumblings. Strange voices, interweaving, circled the trees, plunged under the tangled greenery of the forest floor just to rise again and dissipate into the trembling foliage above.

The thin threads of light added up to a dim, bluish glow where elusive creatures of shadow played hide and seek. No living creature inhabited this forest. It was a huge living organism itself, one that wasn’t taking lightly any intrusion under its dome. Despite that, there was a faint but tangible pathway leading into the depths, so the Wizard wasn’t the first bold trespasser…

He grinned and picked up the pace; the road must have leaded somewhere. As he got deeper and deeper, the change in the mood around him became tangible. The forest acknowledged his presence and things were about to change. There was a stir inside the majestic columns; sap gurgled down the branches, hiding inside the intricate weaving of roots. The Wizard could feel the forest floor moving under his feet, channeling unknown energies to fill up the trees. Even the veiling of the wind died out, replaced by a faint murmur of hushed voices. Though the words were unintelligible, the young man knew that he was the cause of the whole unrest. He made a mental note but followed his pathway undisturbed.

A few steps later the row of trees opened into a small clearing. He looked up and for the first time in hours his eyes met the sky; it was turning dark outside. The patch of sky was an oddity in this place; it was a window opened towards the skies but also one that allowed the sky to peer inside the dark belly of the wood. It wasn’t clear who was watching who…

The magician stepped forward; the grass was coarse and slippery under his feet. The young man looked around and found himself a comfortable spot, drew a protective circle and sat, wrapping the cloak around his shoulders. As the night closed the eye of the forest in total darkness, the voices that escorted him united in a low hum…

 

 

 

He woke up in cold sweat and confused. The scenery has already changed while he slept; a sick pale full Moon was peering down from the opening, like a ghost face. In the light pouring from above the trees were faintly glowing and deadly silence filled every corner. Tension built up all over the place.

Something was lurking in the shadows, a menacing, devious presence. The young Wizard became alert. A strange emptiness built up inside him; it felt like an icy claw had tore up the surface of his soul. Somebody or something probed the depths of his inner world while he was asleep, unlocking the hidden demons. He tensed as he found the seal of horrors broken. Leaning against a tree, he closed his eyes and focused on the surroundings; he extended his senses, touching the void filling the space between the trees. His sharpened hearing quickly detected the rasping sound of a heavy body sliding across the forest floor. The unseen beast was moving quickly towards him.

The youth drew four magic signs in the air, building up a protective wall. It wasn’t much, considering the size of the menace detected but inside this place, his powers were limited. He set on patiently waiting the confrontation.

A low hiss preceded the emerging of the dragon into the clearing. It was a huge, pit-black shape, with constantly changing contour. It stopped at the edge of the circle of light, exhaling steam and ash. They faced each other silently.

The beast slowly changed its features; an ugly face emerged from the dark, fluid dust, a human face with a cruel grin spread all over it. He fixed the youth with cold, evil eyes and laughed, blowing hot ash towards him.

-So-he said derisively, we meet again…You thought you’d never see me again…you thought you escaped…

Numbness overcame the magician as he watched that face in horror. Paralyzed by the haunting memories emerging from his wounded soul, he was unable to push out a breath. Desperately, he shut his eyes….this was not happening!!!

-Awww…you’ve lost your tongue I see-sneered the monster and shifted closer.

He slowly circled the stupefied youth, searching for a breaking point of both the wizard and his magic.

-You’re nothing but a pitiful, useless daydreamer, a powerless sleepwalker, a piece of nothing!!!

The malicious voice thundered around the wood, reverberating in each tree. The dragon suddenly stood up, uncoiling to his full height and he threw himself upon the Wizard…

He missed the hit; seconds before the assault, the magician jumped aside, spun and changed shape. He chose the shape of his protective animal, the wolf.  Hurt and anger built up from inside, propelling him into action. Old scars, ruptured by the flow of slurs, bled inside him, setting him in flames. The wolf growled, his mane rising menacingly. He stood there, confronting the embodiment of his oldest nightmares.

The dragon roared and tried to overturn him but missed again. The wolf moved swiftly, biting hard into the black flesh. Sticky, pungent blood oozed from the wound, leaving a foul taste in his mouth.

The dragon spit fire and set ablaze the lower vegetation. He hoped that the Wizard will return to his human shape, the one that was vulnerable to his deeply cutting insults. This only embittered the wolf, setting him in a murderous rage.

The fight between the two beasts spiraled until it reached its climax. Blood mixed with dark sooth, staining the premises, splattered from the multiple wounds both of them got. As the confrontation heated up, the wolf got into frenzy. His teeth slashed the flesh of the dragon with mad anger…The need for revenge seeped through his body, spread through the veins and filled the heart with inhuman rage. The wolf was changing, loosing the touch with his inner humanity…

The Spirit watched the fight from the shadows. Connected to the Wizard, she could sense him drifting away. While dying, the dragon was winning the battle. He was turning the warm hearted young man into a revengeful monster. Only one bit into the weakened flesh was separating human from beast. The wolf howled and prepared for the final bit…

-No!!!!-the voice of the Spirit broke into his mind and echoed all over his brain.  Don’t!!! Kill him now and you’ll become like him!

Time halted and everything froze for a moment. The fire of madness slowly died out in the eyes of the wolf. He stepped aside, leaving alone the dying monster. The torn, shredded black shape was fading piece by piece…

-Bastard…he hissed, but his voice broke and a pile of smoldering ash was all that was left behind.

The Wizard returned to his human shape and curled up under his cloak. Exhausted, he quickly fell asleep. The Moon showered upon him a dust of silver light.

The spirit left her hiding and sat next to him. She breathed over her palms and a pale glow gathered in her hands. She gently ran her hands over his battered body, leaving a healing sheen of light that mended the wounds.

She then plunged inside his tormented soul, locked the dungeon of darkness and closed the cracks and scars of the inner world. She walked carefully the delicate, twisted pathways, listening to the sound of the ocean of the soul. She stopped at the gates and gave a quick look inside: the stormy waters were quieting down, regaining their balancing move of back and forth.

The Spirit sighed; she was relieved as peace was returning in the world of her protected one. She emerged next to him, revived with a brisk touch the four magic signs and reunited the protective spell.

With one final glance towards the sleeping magician, she faded into the forest. The first battle has been won.

 

 

In the open

 

 

He was dreaming; he was back in his childhood, a delicate boy with bright eyes and rebellious, hazelnut hair. His brother was there to and they were running and laughing, chasing emerald bugs or rainbow butterflies until they both fell on a heap of grass, breathless and exhilarated.

Their mild and lovely mother was following them smiling, enjoying the moments of undisturbed joy. They have camped under the protective shade of pine and fir trees, the powerful odor of the honey like, sticky resin still lingering in his nostrils. The boisterous twins kept stumbling upon each other while collecting branches for the camp fire. They giggled, fought and rolled in the grass, oblivious of the sun dropping behind the golden peaks, of the shadows emerging under the rocks and tree hollows, or of the magic that speckled the night sky with glittering diamonds….

The campfire wrapped them in warm, golden glow and mother finally silenced them with mouthwatering goods. The boys fell asleep almost instantly, tired of so much freedom and out bursting of happiness. They couldn’t see the shadows crossing mom’s beautiful face, the light shimmering for a moment in her gentle eyes…yet he remembered that her kiss tasted sweeter, her hands rested longer on his face, her fingers ran lovingly through his hair and that there was a faint glittering in the corner of her eyes.

The enchanted song of the stream cast a peaceful dream upon all of them. These rare moments were gems cut out from a life that held not too many sunny days for any of them.

There was another memory brought up by the dream…the image of a face looking back to him from the surface of the stream, while they both watched the rainbow-trout zigzagging between the rocks. A friendly smile and playfully twinkling dark eyes…he looked up to see her but there was no one around except the two of them.

He never saw her again until this journey; he recognized the light in her eyes and the faint touch in his soul that seemed to be there from the beginning. He smiled inwardly and woke up healed and ready to follow his journey.

The sun was high up in the sky, showering the land with brightness and warmth. The Wizard looked around in slight wonder: the forest has completely changed during the night. Without loosing its majestic feature, it became tame and pleasant. The clearing opened up towards a well lit pathway, rounding behind a cluster of old oak tree. For the fist time since he entered the forest, the air filled with song of birds, buzzing of bumble bees and golden bugs…

The breeze gently played around, turning upside-down the trembling leaves, channeling the glittering solar dust in all directions.  The young man stood up, looked around for a moment then stepped towards the way opening between the trees. He felt the rush of adrenaline through his veins and laughed…This journey has stirred his interest for sure.

 

 

The Spirit was sitting on a branch above the pathway, watching her protégé…the more she watched, the clearer it became that this turned into a journey for her to. Spirit of the Earth as she was, she still carried a human heart and emotions were building up inside her, threatening to burst out and sweep her off her feet…

She knew that the Wizard still had to fight some of his demons before he could properly finish his journey. But all the same, the Spirit was fighting her own demons. She bit her lower lip in frustration and took a deep breath to calm down. Before she could sort out her confusing feelings, she had to warn him about the challenges to come. So she turned invisible and plunged into the shifting greenery of the wood.

 

 

The forest ended abruptly in front of an unexpected natural sighting. The rocky wall in front of him had an almond shaped opening. Beyond that, an endless blue sky stretched, giving the odd shape the appearance of an inquisitive, yet inviting eye.  The young man walked towards that eerie window.

-Don’t rush, Wizard! We need to talk before you follow your call.

This time he recognized her voice and turned. The Spirit was her usual self; sitting upon a fallen tree trunk, with the same playful smile and the glittering of the dark, brown eyes. But the tone of her voice was serious.

-Things are not getting easier, Magician. You bravely overcame your darkest demon but you’re far from the complete healing. The world beyond that eye in the sky is one that changes according the lights and shadows of your soul. Dormant now, it waits for you to give it a new life.

Beyond that elusive world there is a waterfall; that is your final goal, the door that opens to the shore of a new beginning. But until you’re not free from your downfalls, you cannot cross those waters.

Think about it. Don’t go further now. Wait until the night falls; the Moon will lead your steps down there…

-You were the one at the river-he said, watching her intently. I’ve recognized you in my dream…

She laughed silently, spun and disappeared. The young man shrugged. Oh, well…maybe some other time. He stopped in front of the opening, peering down into the depths; under the slowly flowing blanket of mist, a world was reshaping itself. Above them the sky was spotless and the horizon was hidden and blurred.

He sat on the edge of the “eye”, leaning against the rock. He closed his eyes and dived inside, stirring the quiet waters of his ocean-soul…

The Moon was a diamond perched in the skies when he finally emerged from his inner labyrinth. The world beyond the wall of rock was waiting. He stepped through the “eye” and stopped on the narrow terrace. With a swift movement of his hand, he caught some light and blew over it. Spreading the gleaming mist in the air, he murmured a magic spell and waited.

The slowly descending bits of light gathered into the shape of a huge, fantastic bird with a slim body covered in glossy, white feathers and burning, ruby eyes. The Silverbird circled for a while in the skies, flapping the broad wings, stirring the cold air of the night and turning it into a small whirl wind. Finally, it descended and took the Magician on his back. The moment they started the descent towards the dimmed shapes, the Moon unveiled the site all in a sudden.

In that split second, reality stretched and filled with wonder. Down below, sizzling ribbons of rivers crisscrossed around forests, orchards, hills and pastures, ponds and lakes twinkled under the touch of the light, fantastic creatures filled the land and the air…As the Silverbird came closer to the spread of magic, night faded above, the sunlight overtaking the skies, lighting up and painting everything in blazing colors. Down here, the air was fragrant and teamed with life. Unseen birds were uniting voices into the welcoming of a new day. Sunbeams were playing hide and seek with elusive shadows around each tree and grass blade.

The Silverbird landed on the ground and left the Wizard at the entrance of an orchard. A small pathway paved with moonstones lead there. The young man bowed thankfully and stepped forward. The bird stood for a moment; an unseen hand was gently ruffling its feathers.

-Walk safely, Magician…whispered the Spirit, almost inaudibly.

She stood there, watching him vanishing between the trees…She released the bird and faded into the shades.

 

 

It was midsummer inside the orchard, one that brought him back to younger years. The smell of sun-heated grass melted into the sweet-sour aroma of the light-green apples. From the warm, vibrating air and the blazing light a delicate form emerged, one of a long lost memory…

She stood there, just like then, her dark-brown hair gently ruffled by the breeze. She was smiling at him…and they were madly in love. Time suddenly flowed backwards and emotions overflowed the Universe. Hand in hand they roamed happily the pathways opening before them.

They dived in the magic of each moment, oblivious of whatever happened outside their circle of love. But they were both very young and he was flamboyant and restless. New horizons kept calling him and he couldn’t resist; it was a way of life that sometimes shadowed their deep connection. She was having difficulties following his energetic run through the minutes and hours of life and sometimes she lagged behind, torn between the need of joining him and her own insecurities.

But the young Wizard was blinded by the challenges of the new horizons and he couldn’t notice the way she was drifting away…until the day she got lost. The moment he realized that the precious link between their hearts has broken, he rushed back to find her. Suddenly, everything became dull and pointless.

He found her at the river bank, sitting silently on a heap of grass, staring at something hidden in her cupped hands. The youth stopped next to the girl and watched carefully. Nested in her hands there was a delicate heart of glass, with a long crack running on its side. The Wizard bent and lifted the heart; it was warm but badly damaged. The crack slowly webbed around it…

He stopped it with a touch, running his finger along the crack and mending the heart of glass. Finally, only a small scar remained, with a drop of light encompassed in it. He placed the heart in her hands and she smiled at him. The golden light of summer enveloped them both, blurring her contours until she totally vanished.

Like awaken from a deep dream, the Magician found himself alone outside the orchard. The road was rolling under his feet towards a new destination. He shook his head, took a deep breath and continued his way.

-Wonderful, Magician-whispered the Spirit, smiling inwardly. Keep safe, it isn’t over yet…

A gush of wind ran through the leaves and she shuddered. There was a tint of menace in that, a hidden warning…

 

Days passed by as the road of glossy moon-stones meandered through the fantastic landscape. There were days of joy and days of sorrow, days of gleaming light and days of chilling shadows…With each experience, the young man left behind moments of challenge or failure that had scarred the soft walls of his soul. He felt lighter with each step, each encounter yet there was a lingering feeling in the back of his mind about something still waiting.

During this time, sometimes he walked alone, sometimes friends emerged from his past or it was simple strangers walking beside him. Time swirled and twisted, past and present blended and bubbled to the surface of his mind, giving consistence to the ever changing landscape.

He also knew that the Spirit was following him closely but so far she kept hiding from him. He had some questions in his mind he wanted to address her but it looked like time hasn’t come yet for that friendly confrontation. He chuckled; Spirit or no Spirit, she seamed a bit withdrawn and intimidated lately…But he wasn’t too worried; she looked brave enough and his mind was set on his new companion.

The woman was pleasant, well balanced and she proved to be a good company. She told him that she was pursuing her own journey towards a lost city and that she was pleased to have somebody nice and reliable to walk along. Her soft, velvety voice sounded familiar, just like those wide, mesmerizing blue-green eyes but he couldn’t grasp the moment in time when they had previously met. After some futile tries and a proper headache he dropped the inner questioning and just enjoyed her gracious company.

They walked through colorful and crowded cities, crossed green pastures spotted by wild-flowers and passed through narrow mountain gorges. All this time they got along wonderfully, her presence wrapping warmly and comfortably around his soul. He grew to trust her as she got closer and closer to him. But deep down, in the rear of his mind a nagging feeling refused to sleep. That small doubt, that sixth sense stood there stubbornly, like a thorn, keeping him alert.

They were leaving a town as the night was taking over the land so they set a camp at the edge of the forest, near a small, quiet pond. It was an awkward night, with no wind and an eerie silence around. The young man drew some magic signs to protect their sleeping place from roaming monsters.

The sky looked strange with that sheen of lustrous clouds smeared all over it, dimming the stars; the Moon was nowhere to be seen. After sharing a quick meal, the Wizard and his lady companion retreated in their tents. The youth fell asleep almost instantly.

He plunged into the murky waters of dreams and woke up fighting for breath. In the pitch-black darkness he was unable to discern what was trying to smother him. he fought against it, pushing the heavy mass kneeling on his chest; the skin under his touch was cold, damp and slippery. Finally he managed to push it aside, coughed violently and tried to breathe. The aggressor slipped out in an instant.

The Wizard gathered his strength, stood up and stumbled out just in time to see that something big disappeared in the lake. Looking around he realized that during his sleep his companion has vanished. A blood-red Moon was hanging in the skies above, mirroring in the lake. Suddenly the surface started to boil, pushing the red-stained waters to the sky. The young man took a step back as the cascade broke and a furious white snake lanced towards him. He quickly drew a protective wall of magic and faced the maddened beast. This time he recognized her easily; the two sea-green eyes fixed him with murderous rage.

-I promised myself that I will eat your heart the moment you left me. You ravaged my life and torn me to pieces when you left me for a pretty face…ssssssssssssss!!!!

The ugly hiss cut into his mind like a knife. With a powerful hit of her tail she shattered the wall of spell and faced him with poison dripping from her mouth.

The Magician felt the fabric of his soul tearing apart, the heartbreaking pain engulfing him like a tidal wave.

-I have never asked anything from you and never promised anything!!!-he shouted back, pressing the words out in agonizing pain and anger.

She circled around him in frenzy, trying to bite or get a grip; he turned into a bright-blue dragon and fought back. With each swift movement, more and more of the hurtful memories surfaced from his bleeding soul…the breach of trust, the betrayal, the loss of his treasured love, his own life poisoned by the flow of lies pouring from the mouth of that enraged woman. He has had put his trust, his faith, his life in her hands and she tried to keep him in a golden cage…But he escaped towards freedom, found his own horizon of happiness before she caught him from behind.

Just like this horrible avatar of her, soiling everything with burning poison, this former healer, protector and friend tried her best to break him down out of madness and revenge. She had almost succeeded…

Now, he was confronting her for the last time. She had coiled around him, squeezing hard, biting and hissing as he stood there numbed by the flow of pain from the past. She was draining him of energy and will to fight…What was left to fight for? All the marvels of the Universe were less than the love he’s lost; his heart was an endless void. His inner light was slowly fading out…

In the darkness that was gradually enveloping him, there was only a shimmering, small grain of light and a tiny voice, whispering in the depths of his brain:

“ Don’t give up…You’re more than that…”

He faintly remembered the voice, the light and his own quest…the graceful flow of the magic waterfall. With   the last of his energies he focused and pieced himself together. The flow of magic from inside rebuilt the walls of his shattered soul and strengthened his will and his body. The blue dragon blazed with sizzling light and shook down the white snake. He grabbed her neck and swirled her, smashing the monster into the lake. The purple surface split and swallowed up the limp body. The dragon exhaled and changed back to human form.

He staggered to his tent and spaced out.

 

 

The Spirit watched the fight from the safety of her invisibility. While the Wizard was gradually failing to fight the tormenting monster, she was breaking inside along with him. She wasn’t allowed to intervene in this confrontation…yet she was unable to watch him falling apart torn by hurt, despair and loss of faith. Before everything was lost she enhanced her inner message through the subtle connection that kept them in touch.

She whispered her last hope into his drifting mind, trying to hold him back from fading. She reached the bottom of Hell for a moment, but then the message broke through and they both resurrected. Finally, the young man won his hardest battle but at a very high price.

The Spirit sighed and kneeled next to him. She drew a dome of healing energies above him and then looked around. Scattered ghosts of the past were drifting around like fireflies; she collected them one by one and locked them in a bottle. She placed the bottle near the sleeping youth.

There was only one thing left to be done; the Spirit dived into his inner world and carefully shut the door of the heart. Her own heart sunk as she faced the painful emptiness. Though she carried enough love to ignite the Universe, filling his heart wasn’t meant for her to do…The turmoil of the inner ocean was slowly subsiding as she left the intimate premises.

Outside the night was withering under the touch of the first rays of the Aurora painting the clouds in pink and gold. The scenery has already changed; the forest was now bordering a majestic river, rolling its waters towards a misty horizon. The journey was closing to an end. The Spirit bent over her protected one, gently pushed away a rebellious strand from his face and smiled. She then disappeared into the morning light.

 

 

 

 

He woke up to the soothing sound of the river. The sound of the graceful sliding of water sheets above each other, their gliding over rocks and broken tree trunks united in a harmony that washed through every corner of his soul.

He lied there motionlessly, musing over the battle and the memories breaking up from the past. He took a deep breath and stretched like a cat; his hand caught something small and cold…a bottle. A magic one. He could easily recognize the delicate artwork designed to hold the captured spirits. From the touch of the glass and the swirl of blue and gold shapes inside he knew who they were. He also recognized the one that has left this gift: his guardian Spirit.

Her light touch echoed through the corridors of his soul and left a faint trail of tenderness on his face. He felt grateful for her undiminished care and protection…I t was time to move on; the young man jumped to his feet, gathered his belongings and headed to the river.

 

The pair of dolphins waited until the Wizard reached the river bank. They greeted him with joyful whistles and chirpings, arching their glossy backs. He stepped on, took the reins and signaled the departure. The fantastic carriers jumped ahead, cutting deep into the dense flow of water. The cool breeze of the morning ruffled the young man’s hair, colored his cheeks and filled him with expectation. As they followed the rush of the river the banks on the both sides seemed to blur as the expanse of water was taking over more and more of the landscape.  Soon, the hurried flow conquered all the space around; the river turned into an ocean flowing towards unknown horizons.

The droplets separated to fill up the distances and the thick body of water turned into a light but steady flow of mist. Even the sounds softened to a murmur resembling more to the echoes of outer space. The dolphins came to a halt and the Wizard stepped off their back. He thanked them with a bow and they returned into the hazy distance. The young man took a step and he found himself on solid ground; only the ghost of the mighty river was swirling around him. And that was when he saw the stars.

Right in front of him the Universe has opened its gates of diamonds; few steps away the river was cascading into space…He walked slowly to the edge of the touchable world and stood there for a moment: this was the final frontier. From the cluster of blazing celestial bodies, one star was facing him directly.

The blinding white light coming from it surrounded him step by step; he felt his physical body dissolve  in that powerful flow of energy. As his contours faded, he mirrored the star al the most. The thin pencil of rays lighted up suddenly and touched him under the chest, while his own energies sucked into that point. He felt himself igniting like a new-born star and he plunged into the cascade…

Perfectly round, translucent droplets of water passed by, like a shower of crystal pearls, light and darkness filtering in and out through them. As he flew by, they brightened up with his light like a heavenly fireworks…He swirled and peeked back to the cascade: it was falling from the height of the sky, the twinkling curtain of water revealing a huge arch of stone that seemed to support the endless canopy of air.

He changed his course and punctured the waterfall; he landed safely, exhausted but exhilarated on the white sands of the Lost Island. His journey was complete now.

 

 

Curly waves splashed at his feet as he walked along the shore; he breathed in the salty air and relaxed. His sharp senses detected the light footsteps behind and heard the voice he expected:

-You succeeded, Wizard. I’m proud of you.

He turned to face her; the Spirit was smiling but her eyes were filled with sadness. He returned the smile and bowed gracefully.

-Thank you for watching over me. I know you were around in the hardest moments.

-Don’t mention it, Wizard. You’ve completed the journey on your own. I’ve just performed some small tricks once in awhile…

-So, what now? –asked the young man, looking deep into the twinkling brown eyes.

She sighed, turned to the sea and drew a magic sign in the air. She then faced him with a serious expression.

-The comet that arises now will lead you through Space. Our commune journey ends here, Magician. I am a Spirit of the land; you belong to the stars. I cannot follow you…

Her voice trailed for a moment.

-I will miss you but I’ll watch the skies. Each autumn the shower of stars will bring me news about your travel. As long as you remember me, our connection will remain untouched…

He listened carefully while the air around them started to tremble. The comet was arriving. The youth bent over the Spirit and cupped her face with both hands, trying to read what was behind the sadness darkening them. She touched his hands for a moment and then gently pushed him away.

-Go, Wizard, your guide has come!

The comet filled the skies; the young man spun and turned into a blazing Phoenix. He flapped his wings of fire and lanced towards the fiery tail of the Star-traveler. They both disappeared slowly, leaving a trail of sparkling star-dust.

Night fell over the land as the Spirit reached the edge of the forest. She sank into the tall grass, leaning against a moss-patched rock. She closed her eyes. As the eyelids slowly descended, tears cascaded from under, like a freshly erupting source.

The Moon hid behind a sheet of clouds. Parting from loved ones was always hurtful and she didn’t want to intrude. The Spirit deserved some privacy. That night invisible hands scattered beads of tears all over the place. The World woke up to a sizzling landscape, drowned in light and moistened by dew.

The small, dark shape sighed and shook her head. For a moment, the worldwide gleam mirrored in her eyes; she had no reason to hurt after all. Her protected one has completed his journey, got his wings and was heading to new adventures. She smiled inwardly and drew a magic circle. The world exhaled in happiness and she faded into the glow.

 

 

 

 

EPILOGUE.

 

 

The Spirit sat on a high branch, abandoning herself to the sighting of the gently rocking sea. It was a week since the Wizard left but her pain wasn’t subsiding. She found that disturbing; her deepest emotions had overtaken her and she was devastated by the sense of loss. The steady flow of feelings took by surprise the human hearted Spirit.

Ever since that fiery seed of light landed on the tiny planet, she had pursued his life till he grew into the bold young Wizard, completing his journey on the Lost Island. And though she cared and loved all the creatures under her gentle protection, this particular one has found a place of his own in her sensitive heart. They were both immortals but belonged to different worlds. She was an Earth creature; he was a child of the fire that burned inside the stars. A sparkle of that magic has seeped into the heart of the guarding Spirit of the planet and for the first time since she’s been watching over the life on this tiny ball of stardust, her heart ignited.

Now, that fire was consuming her from the inside and all her tears couldn’t diminish the emotional turmoil. She spent days turned into a silver bird, flying over endless fields, hills, lakes and sandy shores, leaving behind raining teardrops falling off the tips of her large wings. She had enough tears to drown the world…

Now she was back on her favorite spot, up in her oldest tree, contemplating her self-inflicted misery and the way out of the heartbreak. She hopped down the ground as she finally made up her mind. With a slight movement of the hand, she opened a new reality.

Inside the forest, a hidden pathway unfolded, protected by low hanging branches. The trees were bearing blue leaves and golden flowers. The Spirit looked at the real world for a moment, sighed and stepped in. A protective spell surrounded the planet while the new reality closed behind her. The road ended in a strange place; endings and beginnings met here, Space and Time waved slowly, planet cores and star-hearts ignited, others collapsed….there was no up or down, nor left or right…Such notions were of no significance here.

The Spirit stopped. She stood still, concentrating. A sizzling halo of light emerged, draping her around; she took it off gently and placed it at her feet.

-Are you sure, child?- asked the deep voice. You are my best apprentice and the Planet loves you. Wouldn’t be better if I remove that troubling heart of yours?

-No!!!…It’s no use; I cannot do this anymore…Release me, please…-she whispered.

-Hmmm…I will not waste such an important life so easily-said the voice. You can keep your heart but you need time to come to terms with your feelings. Sleep now and dream ahead. Time will come for you to resurrect!

A Time-Space bubble built up around her and the Spirit fell asleep inside. From the depth of nowhere a new spirit emerged, took the cape of protective energies and left for the surface of the Planet. The balance of the Universe has been restored.