BLAZE- story finalized

 

 

Motto:

“If everything is possible because you wish and believe than I have already enlarged this whole Universe, widen it and fell through it, inside my own wishes….I have opened the gates and let the light in, until blaze filled it all and now, I am resonating to the waves of the  light.
I am and I am not anymore…..only my dreams roaming freely…their wings touching in flight my inner chords…it’s the touching point where joy and pain melt into one, dissolute in glow….”

 

 

 

The silence was soft and deep, rocking gently from shore to shore, ebbing and flowing, ebbing and flowing,  its shallow waves washing the sands of a reality yet unborn.

The glow that filled this place hidden in the deep core of the Space and Time fabric of the Universe was brought up by the ceaseless flight of light-butterflies dancing gracefully in a place that the hour-glass would find nothing to count.

In this meaningful nothingness, intricate waves of energy were constantly building new and new strings of beginning, weaving them into the powerful grid supporting reality, while weightless particles roamed along the confusingly complex pathways as ephemeral realities popped up and died in fractions of seconds. It was here that life and light swirled around each other in a passionate embrace until they became thin threads of fate for the souls that were about to be born. These magic loaded threads floated slowly until they reached the River of Time, dived in its majestic waters and followed the rush of the mighty stream. The silky filaments gathered in the flow, coiling, swirling and undulating, touching each other cautiously, curiously, inquisitively or challengingly, searching, asking, reacting…They tangled, danced then separated, they drifted apart just to reunite a few moments later. In this high-spirited and bizarre dance, some of them connected in a bond that was to become eternal. In the ever-changing reality, this was their only certainty; no matter how far the future would set or stretch them, at one moment they would meet again because their connection was unbreakable.

As the river came closer to the gates of the tangible universe, it gathered speed, dived and bubbled up in huge streaks of murky waters, scattering and mixing up the threads of life before they all fell through the Galactic Waterfall into the abyss of Real Life…

 

 

He stood tall and erect on his horse, watching the come and go of the small community. It was a warm, sunny day of early autumn when the grassy plain was still luminous green and the sky was enameled in the brightest azure.

He was returning after years of traveling and wandering over the remotest, wildest places, driven by an inner resort and by the thirst for a deeper knowledge. He had spent the days and nights of this lonely quest in watching and learning the ways Nature moves, unraveling her deeply veiled secrets to quench his own thirst and for the benefit of his supportive community. As he finally fulfilled his dreams and wishes, his body and heart matured under the strain of Nature’s hardship and he was ready to open up for new feelings and different experiences. His horizon widened, his soul grew soft wings of dream….all he needed was somebody close to share the marvels inside.

Many new faces, smiles, laughter, chit-chat filled the premises as he rode slowly through the village. Despite his stern posture, nothing escaped his intent gaze and sharp senses. He smiled inwardly noticing the reactions towards his mysterious appearance; many of the youth around had been small kids at the time of his departure. He gently kicked his horse into a light stroll and picked up the way to his own tent.

Graceful, slender girls with sparkling eyes gathered in small groups, giggling and throwing playful glances towards him. They fled like colorful birds as he came closer, the crystal-clear sound of their laughter echoing in the crisp air. He kept his pace and his mind wandered…

The girl stopped midway, gazing at him with unhidden curiosity. She wasn’t impressive at first but there was a catching depth in the velvet of her dark brown eyes and when she smiled, her entire being lit up and radiated warmly. He held back his horse and took her gaze. She watched him for a moment and then, as he kept his serious, unmoving composure she shook her head playfully and vanished inside her tent. He stood there, puzzled by the short moment and something moved deep inside him, like the echo of a long forgotten touch over his soul…

In the bubbling flow of the River of Time, two threads collided for a fraction of a second, the momentary touch sending waves of sizzling light along them, back and fort, recalling the memory of a connection made long time before…But time had not yet come for them to be together as misunderstandings veiled the pathway between them. He took her undisguised openness as provocative and her easy going nature for shallow character. On the other hand she interpreted his shy and reserved manner for boyish cockiness and treated him as unreliable and egotistic. The spark that had ignited between them on this first encounter sank deeper and deeper until it faded out…or at least, they both felt that way. In short time, he found his match in a beautiful and quiet girl that followed him closely, just like the Moon follows the Earth while the girl found her balance in the strong arms and supportive personality of another young man.

So they drifted away, pushed aside by the strong currents of life, carrying deep inside the first grain of the blaze that was meant to ignite one day….Years and decades and centuries passed as the planet kept rolling on its heavenly orbit around the bright yellow sun. Generations switched place one after another, history rose and died out while the threads of life kept tangling, stretching, crossing, eluding each other in a swarm of endless moments carried by the sail of Time. He and she met or drifted apart on many occasions and despite the fact that, on a conscious level they remembered nothing about their previous encounters, there was always a subtle flow that kept touching and troubling their hearts, leaving them each time with more questions than answers. A secret yearning echoed inside them, growing in intensity with every moment of closeness.

Inside them, love was unfolding its iridescent wings, spreading her seeds of flame in the hope of the magic moment of full blaze that was meant to come.

 

 

The first day of autumn started in the sound of good-byes chirped by the long rows of swallows leaving for forever-summer shores. Yet the green of the tall forests, grassy hills and deep curved meadows was untouched and light showered from the skies in dusting gold. Under the crisp blue sky the air was rich in fragrances and humanity was rejoicing in nature’s calming embrace.

At this early hour a young woman was heading towards the little art-shop she was keeping with some of her close friends. They were emerging artists, selling their creations, art, small pottery, intricate jewelry, clothes and artful books and things were going pretty well.

Her morning started with difficulty, despite the fact that she had slept well all night. Barely come out of the bed she realized that the reality surrounding her refused to solidify. It was waving and wobbling, constantly slipping through her fingers like she was still adrift in the world of dreams. Things were floating around her and nothing seemed to fall in place. The milk was spilling on the floor as the small cup  set for the cat danced away a few centimeters, the coffee suddenly decided that it disliked the mug and even her hair had a mind of its own this morning. She fought to get a grip on things, over the shifting space coordinates but gave up after a while; resistance was futile….

-It’s Friday, this should be my lucky day-she murmured. Oh, well, let’s see what can be done….

She stopped gazing stubbornly at the cat’s cup until she was sure about the current position of the item. She filled it with milk, scratched the head of the purring kitty and left the kitchen. Washed and dressed up at high speed, she left the house with the hope that a coffee at her favorite cafeteria will fix the day. On the way out she remembered to send a mail to her friend, Margo so she took out the cell-phone and started typing, while her feet ported her on the well known road to the coffee shop.

She finished sending the mail and stopped; her inner sense of direction told her that she has reached destination. Her eyes told her otherwise; she was standing in front of a completely unknown coffee shop, situated on a street she never walked before.

“Here we go again-she sighed. I hope at least that they have a decent coffee here. I badly need one…”

To her surprise the place proved to be pleasant and inviting. The coffee was strong, aromatic, garnished with a fresh-cream flower, sprinkled with cinnamon. Two small brownies were completing the serving and she found a quiet corner under a curtain of colorful Wisteria tree. She decided to get over the awkwardness of the previous events and enjoy the coffee. She set her book, cell-phone and a notebook on the small table. She took a sip from the coffee and leafed through the notebook. The writing of a short-story was a bit behind schedule…

Reality twisted and relaxed, the subtle wave altering the moment in time; the book fell on the floor…

-Is this yours?-the smooth baritone shook the girl up from her thoughts and she turned towards the source of the sound.

Her deep, dark eyes met the ocean green ones of a smiling stranger, holding her out the boisterous book.

 

 

Inside the invisible stream two threads suddenly collided; the spark of the moment washed over them at the speed of light and they brightened up instantly, their light  harmoniously glowing on the same wave…In the swarm of tangling, the connection that had kept them from drifting away and get lost, that lifetime long entwining born out of the magic of the beginning reacted to the closeness in the historic Space-Time flow and contracted until they met again in the embrace they’d been longing for.

 

 

-Is this yours?

A warm smile accompanied the question and for a moment the air between them sizzled. She lost grip of reality and fell into the clear blue-green waters reflecting her. The crust of consciousness cracked and the long hidden, piled up memories started their inconspicuous flow to the surface of mind. Warmth enveloped her and she delved in bliss…

The sharp sound of the metal spoon hitting the ground broke the chain of spell and the girl landed abruptly into reality. The owner of the green-blue eyes has vanished. She shook her head incredulously and peered into the cup of coffee questioningly. Has this been real or it’s been just something in her coffee? Her eyes caught a glimpse of the small piece of paper hidden between the pages of her book. She took it out cautiously; it was a small, rectangular card, with only a few word printed.

“ JUSTIN Mc CORMACK-Private investigator” –it read.

She read it twice, afraid that the letters might fade out before she could learn the name and the phone number. She slipped the card inside the wallet, paid for the coffee and fled the place. She only stopped for a moment to read the sign above the entrance door of this strange coffee house.

“DREAMTIME CAFÉ-Come back any day”

She tried to shake away the strange sensation setting upon her but time was short and she was already late.  As she finally recognized the street, she sped up towards the art-shop.

“Margo will kill me”-she thought and sighed. The day has just started.

 

 

Luckily, Margo was in good mood and said nothing. Carrie looked preoccupied about something that might have happened during that morning. She has arrived late, stormed in and was reluctant to share. The usually cheerful girl now looked confused and restless.

But Friday was a busy day and soon customers started to pour in and there was no place for daydreaming anymore. The late summer warmth brought flocks of tourists to the city, keeping the small art-shop buzzing with excited people.

Late in the evening the flow thinned and Margo decided to ask her friend about the things seemingly bothering her. Once again Carrie didn’t seem to be ready to talk.

-Relax-she said with a smile. All I need is a good sleep and I’ll be fit as a fiddle tomorrow.

This was a …graceful lie and they both knew it but Margo wisely decided to drop the topic. They closed the store and met with Robert who was waiting outside for Margo. Carrie kissed her friend, declined the invitation for a drink and headed home. She barely took a turn when she ran into….

 

 

Justin took his usual” coffee-to-go” and was about to leave the cozy little café when something caught his attention. It was a sudden movement that triggered his alarm and what followed left him speechless.

The small book rose from the table up in the air, floated peacefully for a moment or two then fell on the floor with a loud splash!

“I knew it, I knew it…-grumbled the young man. That wine yesterday evening was one glass too much…”

He looked around but even more strangely, no one seemed to have witnessed the unusual happening  and no one reacted to the sharp sound the fallen book made by hitting the floor. Justin slowly exhaled, put his coffee on the counter and made a few steps towards the table. He picked up the book.

-Is this yours?-he asked the young woman sitting at the table.

She seemed oblivious to whatever has happened and surprise was clearly mirroring in her eyes as she looked up from her notebook. Their eyes met and for a moment the walls of the room disappeared, leaving them in a space with no contours. An almost magnetic flow of energy was flowing from the depth of her velvety dark eyes, surrounding him with unexpected warmth. In that fraction of time inner worlds connected in a subtle intimacy while sending speeding pulses of glow through the threads of fate twisting and coiling in the unseen Universe.

The young man smiled, placed the book on the table and left.

 

 

By the time he was out of the café, he knew that this was not just an ordinary day. Books floating in the air are not happening on a daily basis, not even to a guy who is pursuing strange life-lines and the truth behind what the eyes see. Even his coffee had a different taste today.

The roasted, bitter-sweet aroma filled his mouth, triggering memories lost in the vortex of Time. The sudden shift in his Spatial-Temporal connection turned into a sharp headache, webbing through the corridors of his mind. He quickly turned and took a short-cut towards a small park nearby, found an empty bench in a remote spot and sat. He closed his eyes, buried his face in his palms and tried to relax until the waters of his mind would quiet down. The layers of Reality shifted and without knowing it, Justin was drifting through the newly opened portal.

Bits of words spoken in a strange, yet familiar language, laughter, clatter of horses and the whistle of an old locomotive surrounded him. The young man opened his eyes and looked around in utter surprise. The scenery has drastically changed; he was standing on the platform of a train station, in the middle of the wilderness.

-Welcome home, Blue Eagle. It’s been a while since you left us…

The voice was a pleasant baritone and to his surprise, Justin recognized the language and the person talking to him. His uncle was speaking their mother-tongue, one that Justin had not heard while he was gone far away from the Native village. They warmly embraced each other and then loaded the luggage on the back of the horses, taking the path towards their home. The lively talk with the man who raised him with love and dignity shortened the trip and stirred the sweet memories of joyful childhood. The air was crisp and fragrant here, sunlight was dancing through the deep-green foliage of the forest and the song of the birds was soothing music for the soul. Oh, how much had he missed them all those years spent in various cities….Though man-made civilization was full of wonders created by the imaginative human mind, nothing could equal the awe of his soul under the star-blazed nights. For a short moment, he felt sorry for the city dwellers, living and dying without knowing what they were missing.

At the edge the village, the two men split and Justin took a longer way, one that led him through some of the narrow paths where he roamed once. Emotions flooded him and the voices, shapes and colors turned into a shimmering flow of rainbow, carrying him away. He returned to reality abruptly, when his horses halted in front of a daring girl. She stood there, in the middle of the road, with a playful smile on her face. As their eyes locked, he remembered. The long lost connection, the effulgence of that originary twist of the threads of fate, the pulsing fire of souls entwined….all of them echoed in those dark-brown eyes…The pain of long rows of drifting away tore through his heart…and he woke up from the dream. He knew now: this was a rare chance in the flow of Time, the chance of reconnecting with the one who had been his soul mate from the early beginnings.

He stood up refreshed and determined. He wasn’t letting this unique chance to slip away.

 

 

She barely took a turn when she ran into….herself. In the dark emptiness of the street, a window opened into the flow of Time and she was standing in the middle of it. Her entire Cosmic Past was flowing through her … She was witnessing the whole process by the mind’s eyes, beginning with the fragile string of fate caught in the rush of the eternal river of entwined, connecting moments to the girl standing still, mesmerized by the unfolding of her personal history…

From her vantage point, the lives she have had carried through had been gentle to her most of the times and even in the hardest moments, love had never left her…oh, well, maybe just now, in the current times. Throughout her many folded stories, she had loved and had been loved by wonderful people and the fulfillment of those emotional connections had always been her highest contentment….Or they weren’t?

For the first time in her whole existence, she came to realize that there was a grain of discontent, a sense of incompletion in all her previous lives, an inner spring pushing her forward to search for something, someone that would fully and thoroughly complete her. In that speedy change of cycles, she had lost the one who could make her whole, the one whose thread of fate had intimately connected to hers at the beginning of their journey. In a split of a moment, she understood that she had been searching for him in each and every love of her numerous lives. She could feel his presence in the flow of Time but there was always some veil, some blur of events preventing them to face each other in the right moment and to reconnect.

Carrie frantically reached out, searching for the light-print of her kin-spirit. This very moment was an unexpected gift; losing the given opportunity would mean another painful drifting away from each-other and she wasn’t going to allow that. She delved deep inside her hidden corners of the heart and spirit, pushing aside any piece of emotion or memory that would distract her from finding that shimmering imprint. In all existence she had never wanted anything so badly, so passionately, so desperately…

And then, revelation came, along with the memory of their latest close encounter, the remembrance of her mistake, the way she misread him and made a different choice….Luckily that misunderstanding held also the hint she’d been searching for.          They say that the eyes are the windows of the soul and that you can see a person’s inner garden looking carefully inside those magic openings. And she has just seen those windows she’d been yearning so long. After all, books are not flipping off the table by themselves every day….

 

She reached home in a trance-like state of mind and only the meowing of the kitten brought her back to reality. Carrie shook off the invisible cloak of spell-bounding and forced herself into the necessary routine. She filled a small bowl with juicy chunks of meat and placed it on the floor; the happy purr put a smile on her face. The young woman peered inside her fridge; she quickly decided that a salad would fit this awkward day.

She showered and sat on the top of the bed, absentmindedly flipping the small rectangle of paper between her fingers.

“ JUSTIN Mc CORMACK-Private investigator”

The letters were dancing in front of her eyes….

“ Gods…What’s happening to me? What do I do now?”

She put the card aside and nervously stood up.

“So…what if I call him? Hmmm…and say what? That I had a vision? That…what? Oh, I can’t even remember how he looks….Just those eyes….Like he was seeing right through me…Oh!”

Unexpectedly, she burst into tears….and cried until she regained balance. The kitten was purring at her feet, trying to ease her pain. She picked him up and chuckled.

“Come, Ginger, we’ll sort this out together. Oh, well…I’ll give a try and call him tomorrow.”

 

 

Strange happenings are like the slide of sand… the grains pile up then roll faster, faster… flipping, jumping and springing. Inside the torrent of cosmic particles and flaming energies that keep weaving the protective net surrounding the ephemeral flow of threads of fate, there is a short moment of confusion. In the life of the Universe, it’s less than the flicker of an eye…yet, it is somehow unexpected. This opalescent pair of strings has suddenly decided to reunite and no push or speedy rush can separate them now…The silky core of the two delicate lines are pulsing in harmony, signaling each-other, diving then surging on the surface of the Time-flood. It’s been a while since they first jumped, closely connected, in the river of the future….Draped in the colorful aura of the echoing desire, they stand out in the ceaseless movement….This time, nothing can separate them…

 

 

This is a special summer-night, when the Moon unlocks the gates of the land of dreams and fantasies, reality losing its grip on the world. Caught in the creative strolling of their mind, the more sensitive spirits stumble upon each-others on the intricate web of corridors leading into the Garden of magic.

The young woman wakes up, facing a large mirror on the wall. Her mind knows: this must be a dream, but she doesn’t seem to mind. Her fingertips gently touch the cool, glossy surface…It’s an unusual mirror; there’s no reflection inside…until her eyes meet his eyes. Suddenly, there is no screen between them; her palms are warmly resting upon his palms, his gaze locked into her velvety eyes. The moonlight washes away the contours. In the silence of the moment, two dreaming souls merge into one…

The young man with ocean-green eyes is sitting on the edge of his bed. It’s almost morning. The Moon has faded away, closing behind him the gates of magic; yet the warmth of that embrace is still lingering in his arms and in his memory…He’s not surprised when his cell-phone rings and he hears:

-I think we should meet…

 

 

 

They stand, facing each other. It has been the longest day ever until Carrie was finally able to close the shop and come down to the little park. Justin cannot even remember what he was doing to kill time…It’s all in a blur…They are here… Now.

It’s a remote spot, an oasis of intimacy under the umbrella of a mighty, old tree. For moments, they are unable to speak. Communication flows only through the connected gaze, windows of soul opening into windows of soul. What happened to us? Where were we for such a long time? Why did we drift away? How could this happen? These questions keep swirling in their mind, while they face each other.

Justin feels like he’s looking into the depths of a starry night; there’s a mix of shyness and bold playfulness in her eyes. Carrie gives a small, soft laughter to hide her embarrassment under the gaze of those luminous, blue-green eyes.

-Hi!-she says and smiles.

He is captured by the warmth and light of that smile.

-Hi!-he answers and offers her an arm. Come, let me show you my favorite spot here…

 

 

-So, how is he?

Margo finds hard to hide her curiosity.

-How is who?

Carrie seems oblivious of her friend’s curiosity. She keeps sorting some items from a large box.

-Oh, come on! It’s written all over your face! Ever since that hectic Friday you’re absentminded and glowing. So tell me: how is he?

Carrie seems to search for a proper answer.

-He’s…special-she concludes after a while.

Margo chuckles.

-You know him for about a week and you have already concluded that he’s special? Oh, Carrie…Where is my level-headed friend?

The two girls share laughter.

-Ok. He’s lovely and we get along well. Satisfied?

Maggie grins and turns towards a fresh client, leaving Carrie the necessary break to sort her thoughts. The young woman is deeply troubled; how could she tell her friend about this love? Justin entered her life in a very unusual way, along with a series of events that were threatening to shake the basis of her entire life. While her heart ignited all of a sudden, her mind kept protesting….But Carrie knew by now that the reason of the heart overcomes any other reason….because it reads the depths of the soul, where the special light of love lives. She sighs and turns her attention towards the clients. One has to comply also with the needs of reality…

 

 

Justin, on his side, was having his own tribulations. He has devoted his time to read and learn fate-lines and his own was the most thoroughly searched. Though the research he’s done and the ancient wisdom was telling that once connected, fate-threads would never break, life had always been a hard play-ground. The complexity of the Universe along with the contradictory nature of humans made almost everything uncertain and challenging. Reality was a castle of mirrors and shifting grounds and the two of them, just like so many others, got lost, oh so many times….

Something was telling him that this sudden happiness, this happy twist of events might be just as illusory. He shuddered to the thought of losing his love again. With an impatient move, he pulled out the charts from his desk and scattered them over his desk. He was determined to find the next booby-trap before it opened under his feet…

It is believed on this small but marvelous, white-specked blue bead of a planet, that if a butterfly flaps its wings at a certain moment, it would trigger a tempest on the opposite side of the world. On a celestial scale, the butterflies of the Universe, stars, galaxies, clusters are constantly leaving their cocoons of fire-dust and flap their wings of beauty and magic in the vastness of Space and Time. Each such flapping can trigger a tidal wave that would wash away everything that gets in its way. And right now, a mischievous star-butterfly was about to make a sudden move….The lively, invisible river of fate was following its course, oblivious about what lies dormant ahead…

 

In his room, Justin grew more and more aware that the key of the mystery is somewhere in front of him. From the previous talking with Carrie, they managed to sort out that there was a common memory surfacing that Friday, one that might become the turning stone of their future. Justin opened a drawer, searching through the items….and then, he got it! The bracelet made of braided leather stripes, adorned with turquoise and lilac-blue glass-beads, a Native bracelet…He held it in his palms, wondering…

Carrie was equally restless. She had already dismissed any second thought about her relationship with Justin. Whatever this enchantment was, it was worth fighting for.

“How do you know?” asked her friend, utterly surprised by the depth and strength of Carries feelings towards a young man so recently entered in her life.

“I know. Just like this. And I don’t need to scientifically dissect my feelings….I know how and what I feel. It’s…inside, a magnetic pull, a seed of…magic, if I may say so. Don’t grin, Margo; I haven’t lost my mind. If I think deeper, I’d say that I’ve never been so sure and determined about what I feel and what I want then now.”

Carrie shook her head; the air around her felt sticky this late afternoon, like a hidden menace was hanging from above. She picked up the phone and dialed Justin’s number. She felt relieved hearing him; there was excitement in his voice as he took the call.

-Hey, do you read my mind? I was about to call you. I think I found something…Could you come here?

In the depth of the Universe, the cocoon of a butterfly cracked, sending waves through the Space-Time fabric and the River of Time took the hit, jumping unexpectedly over the sudden obstacle. Inside its flow, the delicate threads scattered, collided, coiled in confusion. The glowing pair found itself stretched and pushed towards and unseen direction….

In the clear summer day a lightning split the sky, followed closely by the deafening roar of the thunder…Communication broke and the line went dead. Carrie’s heart dropped; she jumped from her sit, grabbed the keys and left the house in a hurry. Something was terribly wrong; she knew it….Moments before, Reality caved in under Justin’s feet and the bracelet fell on the floor…It’s where Carrie found it; charts, calculi and instruments lied scattered on his desk but Justin was nowhere to be found.

“ Oh, gods….What are you doing to us?”

Carrie swallowed hard to get rid of the lump in her throat; there was no room for panic. She picked up the bracelet…the glass beads were shimmering in the dim light and they still felt warm. She closed her fist over them for a moment and then bent over the papers filled with complicated lines and connections. Luckily, Justin had explained her previously some of the basics of his fate-line research so she could at least comprehend some of his conclusions. On one of the maps she found a particular place marked with red; it was a sacred area in a Native reservation. It held a beautiful valley and a steep waterfall. Watching it closely, it felt familiar in a very peculiar way. It felt…home, though she’d never been around that place, as much as she could remember. But through the perspective opened by the recent events of her life, taking on account Justin’s urge for her to come, the bracelet on the floor and her love and total trust in Justin, she made a quick decision. She grabbed the charts and rushed home; she had a long trip ahead….The bracelet was softly glowing in her pocket.

 

 

Margo was in shock, listening to Carrie’s story and planning, so she protested vigorously, trying to bring her back to her senses.

-For God’s sake girl! What’s in your mind? Leaving all behind and go into the wilderness to find what?!

-What do you expect me to do? Sit here and wait for what? He’s disappeared without a trace while we were on the phone….I had this nagging feeling that things were too beautiful to be true…I will not stay here, while he might be lost God know where….Not anymore!

Margo raised an eyebrow.

-What do you mean by that? You said that you have never met this guy before…

-Yes, it’s true; I didn’t. Not in this life. Not the Carrie you see…But there’s a chain of events throughout Time that connects the two of us. We were meant to meet…now and many other times before. But only now I came to realize that he was the one I was always searching for, my kin-spirit…The moment we faced each other, a whole new perspective opened before my eyes and thoughts and emotions just kept flowing between us without words. There is a point in our common history when we drifted apart and he was searching for that when something happened. I cannot think of anything better than to go to that place he marked on the map and…

-And what, girl? What if you won’t find him or anything helpful?

Carrie sighed.

-I have to try…I have this gut feeling that the answer is there. His voice was so excited…I won’t desert him, no matter how crazy it may sound. Please, try to understand me.

She smiled encouragingly, hoping to ease Margo’s anxiety.

-Hey…You wouldn’t let down Robert either, would you?

Margo shook her head thoughtfully.

-No, I wouldn’t. But I would fill a missing report first…

-And say what? That my boyfriend evaporated while we were speaking? What d’you think they would say?

Margo gave up arguing.

-Ok, ok…I get it; nothing will stop you. So, when you leave?

-This week-end. I still have some things to sort out. I hate to leave you with all the work in the shop but I hope that Robert’s sister will help you. She’s a nice girl and I saw she likes both you and the shop.

-What about Ginger? Can I take him home? I’d hate to know him here, all alone…

Carrie embraced Margo.

-I’m indebted to you, girl. Love you, don’t forget that. I know Ginger will be happy with you and Robert. Tom-cats seem to get along well with boyfriends…

They both laughed. After Margo left, Carrie returned to her plans. Getting into a reservation wasn’t an easy thing. She booked a tour through the Reservation, hoping to further sort out things on the premises.

 

 

It was a place of breathtaking beauty. It was Heaven on Earth, a place protected by high mountain walls, with dense, ancient forests and crystal-clear sources running towards a feisty river. The organized tour brought them around certain spots revealing the life-style of those who for so long had lived in total harmony with their revered Mother, the ever-giving Nature.

By now, Carrie knew that she had only three days to find the place indicated by Justin on his map. The young woman followed the group on their first day of the trip, meticulously noticing every aspects of the terrain that might become helpful later. She kept comparing the two maps: the one they got from their tour guide with the one she brought from her love. It was a relief that they were camping for the night in a place close enough from where she wanted to go. The only bothersome aspect was revealed by the comparison between the maps; she couldn’t find the valley on the recent map.

“Well-she thought-Time has altered this place but I’ll found that valley… I’ll find it! I’ll find you! Oh, Justin…where are you? If only you could give me a sign…”

She felt something warming inside her shirt-pocket. She took it out and for a moment, her eyes filled with tears. The bracelet was glowing faintly in her palms. Justin has just sent her a sign.

In the mountains, night is an early visitor. The afterglow of the sun danced a short while on the rugged rocky tops and then went out, leaving place to the ink-blue evening. Stars lit up one by one, glittering, shimmering blinking, sizzling on the high canopy, gathering in bright clusters or coiling constellations. It was a moon-less night so Carrie had all the chances to skip off without being spotted. It was way after midnight when she managed to leave the camp. Guided only by the lights above, a small torch-light and her heart, she kept marching, hoping to get far enough before anybody would notice her missing.

The track was difficult to follow and after a few hours, she reached an almost impenetrable area. It the darkness it was difficult to discern what was in her way and the new map showed nothing on that particular place. Carrie decided to take a rest; she took out the bracelet, looking for some support in her quest. The bracelet kept softly glowing…she squeezed it.

“Justin…”-she whispered.

She stood up and took a few steps forward.

 

 

She woke up to a slight, tingling sensation. She tried to move but a sharp pain in her skull stopped her from continuing.

-Good morning, child.

The voice was low and feminine.

-You’re safe. I’m a friend…

 

Carrie opened her eyes and saw an elderly woman smiling at her. She had a gentle, compassionate air, soothing for the soul. Suddenly, Carrie felt light and relieved from any anxiety. She stood up and her pain vanished.

-Good morning-she said. I can’t remember what happened….

– Last night you slipped on your way and banged your head. I brought you in.

Carrie sighed.

-Where are we?-she asked.

-I have a feeling that we are just where you wanted to be and that this bracelet I’ve picked up from the bushes might be yours.

The girl reached out for the bracelet and held it close.

-Oh…

The elderly woman tilted her head.

-Maybe you’d like to tell me what were you doing on your own, deep in the wilderness, in the darkest night of the year?

The voice was so comforting that Carrie found no difficulty in telling this total stranger the whole story that brought her here. The woman listened carefully and just asked her a few short questions from time to time, helping even more the unfolding of this so unusual flow of events. At the end of the story, she seemed deep in thought. She put some food on the table, inviting the young woman to eat, while she put a kettle on the stove with some water to boil.

-So you’re determined to follow your way and find this young man. This is a big decision, one that might change the flow of your entire fate. Let me ask you: how do you know that he is the one?

Carrie smiled.

-My friend, Margo asked me the same at home. I KNOW. It’s simple as that. From the first time we met, he was like an open book for me. Our minds, our souls connected almost instantly. I know him like I know myself. Every breath he takes, he’s breathing it through me; every beat of my heart echoes his heartbeats. What other proof do I need?

The woman approved with a nod and said.

-None. I knew it but I wanted to be sure that you’re fully aware of the fate you both share. Eat now and rest. I have to make some preparations for tonight. When the Moon will be up high, the road to the Hidden Valley will become visible for a few hours. You and me, we have to be ready till then.

 

 

Night fell once again over the land and the Moon took its place on the top of the skies, showering bright droplets of light, changing the features of the world below. The Hidden Valley slowly emerged, the pathway leading towards glowing in bluish light. The elderly woman gently pushed the young one forward.

-Go, Carrie, go….Follow your heart.

The girl took a few bold steps and crossed the magic line separating realities. The valley was basking in sunlight. People were busy around, moving, working, chatting, laughing…youth and elderly ones, joyful children, stern men and graceful women were following their daily routine with ease and grace. Though Carrie was watching them with eyes wide open in amazement, the others seemed oblivious of her awe…or they were just politely discreet. She stood there for a while, breathing in the spicy scents and the sunny feeling of life…then she started to look for a particular tent, one with a Blue Star depicted on its top. It wasn’t that far and she sped up.  She almost reached the place when her ears caught the sound of a strolling horse. She turned to the source of the sound and froze…

He was standing right before her eyes, tall and erect on his horse, with that serious look on his face. Their eyes met but he didn’t seem to recognize her; he kept gazing deep in her eyes, without a twitch on his face. Despair and sudden disappointment washed through Carrie but she swallowed it. She took a deep breath, tighten her fist over the bracelet and approached the young man. She gently touched the horse’s neck, lift her face and smiled.

-Hello, Justin….

 

The cocoon of stardust cracked open and the star-butterfly took flight, filling Space with sparkles of fire and magic. Deep down on the tiny, blue planet Reality wavered and shifted. Justin and Carrie were standing hand in hand, facing the radiating waterfall of light. They looked at each other smiling and stepped through the spraying blaze. The Phoenix of Love ignited and spread its wings of flame. The two threads, eternally connected joined the flow of Time with a new inner power and light, never to be separated again….

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