Drawing in pencil on paper. Illustrations of various Fantasy trips and dreams. Enjoy!
Drawing in pencil on paper. Illustrations of various Fantasy trips and dreams. Enjoy!
She woke up gasping for air, her face wet with tears. Leaving the embrace of this dream was becoming increasingly difficult. Each time she was stepping outside the gates, the call of the powerful emotions left behind was tearing into her heart.
She wiped off her tears with a sigh and jumped from the bed. It was getting late. She went to the bathroom and washed her face, then confronted the image in the mirror. Dark eyes, chestnut hair. The average face of an ordinary girl, living and happy, comfortable life. She had no reasons to complain. She had all the reasons to be cheerful and content about her life during the day. But her nights….
Well, that was an entirely different thing. Her nights were opening into another world and another life. It hadn’t been always like that. Her sleep used to be just as quiet and peaceful as were her days. Then everything changed. It happened one night, one particular night when the Moon knocked on her eyelids and she woke up, slightly confused and with an eerie feeling…
She was sitting on her bed, in full moonlight, shivering at the touch of a faint breeze. The walls of her room were gone and she has awaken in an unfamiliar milieu. Wrapping the blanket around her shoulders, she stepped down and walked into the surrounding light. This place was shrouded in a silence so deep that she could count her own heartbeats. She walked cautiously, trying to decipher some contours inside that glow. Emerging under the reign of the Moon, the space unfolding before her wasn’t entirely dark.
Only a few steps further, the night ended abruptly before the pair of round gates opening in an old wall of bricks. The landscape visible behind the intricate pattern of bars was in full daylight and she could see a grassy pathway curving into the patch of summer forest. The girl stopped at the gates and gingerly touched them. A strange current seeped through her fingers, running down her spine and shaking her confidence. It was a kind of warning and for a moment she felt like she was intruding in someone’s intimacy. She suddenly realised that this wasn’t her dream anymore. Somehow she has awaken in someone else’s one and the gates she was facing were guarding the entrance of another person’s soul.
The weight of the discovery was overwhelming and the girl turned back sharply, running to her bed left in the moonlight. She curled up under the sheets and closed her eyes. The wave of dreams washed over her, sending her back to the swirling river of fantasy. Hours later she woke up at home, carrying only a faint memory of her awkward trip.
But when her eyes popped up the following night, she knew exactly where she was. The gates were there, slightly cracked, inviting her. This time, she took the challenge and entered the realms of the opening land. The grass was soft under her feet and the air was warm and fragrant. The sound of the excited giggling of a small child reached her ears:
-Kittyyyy! Kitty-kit!! Wait for me!Kitty!! Where are you?!
A little boy, four or five years old perhaps, came running, chasing a small white cat that was escaping towards the forest. With a playful spring, the ball of fur disappeared in the greenery ahead, leaving the child baffled but determined to pursue his goal.
-I’ll catch you, kitty! I’ll catch you!
He ran into the woods with arms open, eyes shining in expectation. The girl looked around for a parent but she saw no one. Oh well, this was a dream and logic was the last thing you would expect….Still, she felt responsible for the child so she hurried to catch up with him. Under the canopy of the forest it was pleasantly warm and the light was playing in dots and shimmering patches around her. She caught a glimpse of the child’s white shirt and she sped in that direction. The kitten was nowhere to see…
-Kitty! Kitty?! Come back! Kitty…..
The small voice was turning upset and tearful.
-Hey!-shouted the girl. Hey, little one! Wait! Don’t go further! It might be dangerous!
But the child didn’t seem to hear her. His whole world was focused on his quest for the runaway kitten. Eyes glued on a moving spot of light, he jumped back to action shouting joyfully:
-Here you are! I saw you! I saw you, kitty! I’m coming!
The girl ran after him but despite her best efforts, the distance between her and the child wasn’t shortening. The pathway under her feet was propelling further the little boy, while somehow it was slowing her down. She fought the strange feeling and gathered all her strength to run faster. The contours of world washed into a blur and her vision tunneled towards a shadow-filled perspective, with its only bright spot the small, running silhouette of the boy. The fragments of giggling and laughter were bouncing in the air, disorienting the girl. But she kept running and finally she saw both the child and the kitten.
The cat was sitting in the middle of the path, teasingly moving its tail. There was a mischievous glint in the yellow eyes. With a victorious cry the boy jumped forward to catch him. All of a sudden,Time slowed down while the shape of the white cat broke up into a fistful of butterflies and a pit of darkness opened under the feet of the boy. The girl launched forward quickly to catch him before falling…The child vanished and she bumped into…someone. She almost fell but two strong hands held her up and she heard a voice questioning her:
-Do you always smash into people when you run?
The pathway took off and boldly emerged from the morning mist. We were both a bit nervous as we have left the group and we were heading to an entirely different direction. I could feel the disapproving glances in my back and the murmur of reprobation was carried by the wind to my ears.
We live on a planet of pathways and roads. Each of us has a personally tailored one, a pathway both alive and active, just like the person generating it. The colorful landscapes are crisscrossed by the traces of recent or rediscovered roads; you can find anything from the narrow footpath to the large boulevards, depending on the number and the personality of the pathway-carriers that walked the surface of this special planet. I’ve spent most of my life leading my pathway side by side with others of the thousands of inhabitants of the megapolis,walking day by day between its soaring , fantastic buildings. We didn’t have too many options and we were not making much difference in the turmoil of the city. Still, living here was both safe and comfortable. Oh well, maybe a bit too comfortable for the well disguised rebels we were, me and my pathway. Few of the city dwellers had ever tried to venture outside the perimeter of the buildings. The ones that tried, usually reached the grassland and inevitably turned back in the arms of steel, concrete and glass of our town.
The grassland outside the city was stretching for miles, delving into the blurred horizon where the dark silhouette of a forest was trembling in the light. None of my friends or acquaintances had ever ventured that far. Telltales of dangerous dark depths and monstrous creatures were passed for generations from one another but I was skeptical about the truth of their content.
As I said, my Pathway was just as bored and boisterous as myself. This lukewarm anonymity was becoming tiresome for both of us, so we decided to run away without saying a word. The chosen morning proved to be a cooling early autumn one, with strands of mist crawling lazily in the streets. There were only a few people passing by, still some of them turned curiously after us. The street we had chosen was leading….nowhere, as much as they knew. But for us, it ended abruptly facing a nacreous wall of fog. We both stepped forward, brushing the high stemmed grass and shaking the dewdrops pending on their tips. The Pathway trembled in excitement under my feet and sprang ahead. We were outside the city and inside the unknown.
Moments later, the rising sun hopped higher in the sky, sipping the last scintillating drops of dew. The scenery cleared and filled with sizzling colors. Under the warm touch of the sunlight the silver-green of the grass blades was gradually turning into golden yellow, the grass-ears releasing their tiny grains to the ground while grasshoppers were caught in a frenzy of somersaults. Birds were singing in the skies and under the seemingly endless blue dome, we were running like two crazed spring-bucks. For awhile I wasn’t sure even that my feet were touching the ground as I was riding the speedy ribbon of my Pathway as he was heading towards the towering wall of the forest.
As the day was descending into afternoon, the heat of the sun tempered and the shadows of the trees were leaning more and more towards the field. It wasn’t just a shadow but a constant flow of cold breath emanating from the deep-green, almost black vegetal thick. The forest was growing taller and taller as we approached it, until its silhouette engulfed the last corner of blue sky. The spidery fingers of the trees were pushing the autumn azure away from our reach.
The Pathway stopped abruptly on the rim of the wood. It seemed impenetrable. I was baffled by the fact that I couldn’t find even a faint weed-covered trace of an old pathway passing by. Nothing. All I could see was a dense wall of huge trunks connected by the darkness between them. The canopy was sky high. Baffled and slightly uneasy, we both stopped, pondering if we should follow our way or try another way round. But the wall of vegetation seemed to stretch from left to right indefinitely; the only possible way was through the woods. And it was already getting too late to go back to the city; so we decided to trying our luck walking through the gap opened between two trees. The Pathway moved boldly forward , carrying me as we punctured the barrier of darkness.
Surprisingly there was a faint bluish light inside the forest and for a moment I felt I was under the water. What light could pass through the dense fabric of the canopy was falling in slow motion, dispersing and undulating around us. You would’ve expected a school of fish to emerge behind a tree or to catch a glimpse of a whale swimming gracefully above us.
Looking around, I realised that the forest was not shutting out only the light but it was muffling also the sounds of the outside world. Still, it wasn’t entirely silent. There was an almost imperceptible whisper, surging, receding, surging, receding like the breath of an enigmatic living creature. The more I listened to it, the more eerie it became, sending shivers down my spine. Even my Pathway was feeling nervous, its delicate senses connected to me. I took a deep breath, sending him some reassuring thoughts. Anyway, my curiosity was stronger than my fear.
We jumped over the fallen branches on the forest floor, over the moss covered trunks and the puddles of water soaked fallen leaves. I took a sip of air: it tasted bitter -sweet, like almonds. After awhile,the ground was sloping towards a shallow valley inside the woods. Here, the distance between the trees was becoming wider, lifting some of our anxiety caused by the confined space. We breathed out in relief. Confident, the Pathway sped up and soon, we made our exit into a clearing.
It was a perfect circle on the ground continued by a clear-cut hole made by invisible hands in the dome of sticks and leaves of the canopy. You could see the darkening sky filling with stars. Night was near so we decided to stop here and sleep till the next morning. The Pathway retreated and relaxed at my feet. Curled up on a heap of grass I fell asleep easily. The murmur of the forest was dimming into a lullaby and the air of the night was warm enough to rest comfortably. We were not concerned about wild beasts roaming the place; the forest was visibly devoid of any kind of animal life and you wouldn’t have expected trees to un-root themselves and move away while we sleep. I closed my eyes and drifted away with the waters of the dream….
I jumped from the ground, awakened by a sharp cry that soon turned into an ear-piercing veiling. Uncoiled from its rest, the Pathway was trembling at my feet. Above us, the Moon was turning gradually red; it was the night of the Eclipse and the installing of the Blood Moon was bringing the forest alive. In the thick, honey-like light the shadows of the trees were undulating, pushed from inside by an ancient, long forgotten rhythm, shaking their spidery fingers towards the orange glow above. Caught in the frenzy of tremor, the leaves were cascading on us menacingly. Carried by a sudden wind raised by the twist and turn of the entire forest, the torrents of leaves were pushing us aside, swirling, jumping in the air then falling again towards the forest floor in high speed, like furious vegetal dragons. As the eclipse was reaching its peak, the veiling turned into howling and the whole forest was crying out its pain and fury to the night skies, to the bloody eye of the Universe. So, my friends, if you were wondering where those mythical beasts did disappear from the forest, I tell you: they didn’t. In fact, the Beast was right here all the time, sleeping its thousand years dream. It was this particular night that brought him back to life, shaking off his moss-covered dreams, letting him once again weep over his solitude. The sorrow of the stranded alien, the Forest washed over me and I stumbled, stepping on the roots of a tree. It was slippery and I grabbed the trunk to stop my falling. The touch of bark felt like a lizard’s skin and in a split of à moment, the vegetal giant turned to me….
The Pathway saw it coming and took off , jumping ahead through trees and bushes like a bullet. I crouched and let him carry me, hoping to escape from our pursuer. We smashed into twigs, leaves, branches, thorns and shreds of moss but we kept speeding ahead. We’ve lost the count of minutes and we didn’t even realize that the night was over. The eclipse was long gone and the forest had fallen back under the thousand years enchantment. The shrubbery was thinning before us and light was reigning again beyond the rim of the woods. My faithful companion slowed down its run and we both checked each-other, trying to asses the damages. Surprisingly, we got off this harrowing adventure with only of few scratches and a slightly shaken confidence. But then, we were seeking adventures, weren’t we?
Stopping at the edge of the forest, we watched for a moment the wall of bright light outside. It was almost painful to look at it after so much time spent in the shadow. I’ve sent an encouraging smile to my Pathway and once again, he flew us ahead, puncturing the brightness. We landed on a grassy slope and rolled down chuckling. The veil of warm air was undulating in the valley below but the shimmering contours on the horizon were holding promises of new adventures. We both laughed and stretched our limbs in expectation.
The Pathway jumped forward, carrying me into the light.
When the last November rain died out in the grey and chilling world, autumn closed the door behind her. Brought on wings of heavy blizzards, winter finally set in, reigning upon the land with an iron fist. The cold breath of the earth gradually blurred away the thin line separating the glittering ocean of snow and the morose, ashen dome of the skies.
Crushed under the armor of thick ice, the river was only a faint whisper. The riverbank was buried in the deep snow. The old tree wasn’t sleeping yet. Though his ever thinning sap, retrieved from the web of arteries was now hidden bellow till springtime, he was unable to relax and delve into the three month of dreams. For the first time, he realized that he was too old to endure the harshness of this season.
His cracked and weathered bark was like an old and shabby coat, wrapped around a fragile, vulnerable body. Even his tiniest twigs and branches, his fingers reaching for the sun, were getting old and friable. The tree was tired. His mind was wandering, finding solace in the memory of the summer….Oh, how wonderful his coat of leaves was! And how much joy the bunch of little sparrows used to bring him! They were such a boisterous, lively gathering and they seemed to love to rest and play inside his crown of greenery. He could remember almost every new chick hatching in the tiny nests cradled in his branches…The tree smiled inwardly at those memories.
A gush of chilling wind rattled his empty branches and he suddenly came back to reality. He felt a pang of his heart; he was missing his little friends but he knew they were gone, finding shelter closer to the village and the homes of humans. The wind increased his push and under its merciless grip, the old tree was painfully cracking. He closed his eyes and tried to shut down his mind, hoping that it will lessen the hurt. As the blizzard rose around him, his spirit was drifting away, falling slowly into a void of never-ending calm.
A soft pricking of his thumbs of sticks halted his spiraling for a moment. He opened his eyes with difficulties; the storm has stopped and his branches were full of fluffy balls of grey-brown birdies. The sparrows were paying a visit to their good friend. The tree sighed and his spirit rose in joy once again. Up in the skies, a clear azure window opened in the clouds, and the sunlight poured through it, warming up the old joints of the tree.
-Thank you….-he whispered. I’m so happy you didn’t forget me…Now I can sleep more easily!
The sparrows took flight towards the patch of blue sky, carrying with them the soul of the tree…higher and higher. The old wood relaxed and cooled gradually but deep down, hidden in the labyrinth of roots, a young sprout was dreaming of the warming sun that will call him to the surface….The dream of the tree, carried away on wings of birds was flying free towards the light.
As the Cosmic labor slowed down inside the newborn solar system, the pain of the young planet decreased. The raging fires and bubbling, molten lava retreated under the newly formed crust, creating a warm ocean of flames around the iron core. The surface of the planet stretched, crumpled, rising high or deepening, new shapes and features alternating, redesigning its face.
The cooling of the crust brought with itself a change in the dark, smoky skies: the convoluted canopy cracked with deafening thunder and violent rains washed the smoldering earth. Time itself has forgotten when this entire deluge started, while the depths of the planet filled with waters. Fresh springs, sprinkling rivulets, mighty rivers crisscrossed the lands, shaping and reshaping over and over again the landscape. All these boisterous bodies of water were heading, sooner or later towards the generous stretching of waters encompassing the planet: the Ocean.
The Ocean opened her green-blue eyes in amazement and she fell in love instantly with the Land embracing her. She lovingly embraced the coastal lines, rolled nacreous gifts of shells and pearls on the soft beaches of sand, splashed playfully over the laces of rocks, her fingers of foam caressing the intricate features of her strong and reliable lover. Whenever he rose above her in high walls of lime-stone, reflecting the golden light of the sun in a warming smile, she kissed him, sending her rows of passionate waves to embrace his dazzling embodiment. She then always turned around, leading her strong, deep currents around the planet, singing her song of carefree joy and love under the arch of infinite blue skies. Land and Ocean thrived in their ardent story of love…
Day by day, the Sun climbs the ladder of skies, flooding the planet with life-giving light. By the end of the day, exhausted and dimmed in glow, the star dies in flames of purple and amber, while the Ocean gently rocks his last sparks on the rolling waves. In the setting darkness, star-clusters and galaxies explode in a complicated pattern, ribbons of diamonds tying earth and skies. The sounds of life sleep deeply in the night and silence spreads its silken wings above all.
Each night, the Ocean is mesmerized by the magic play unfolding high above her. In the soft glow, her eyes are black velvet. The sweet, spicy breeze of night ripples the surface of the water; stars sizzle on the tip of each little wave….But tonight is a special one. A silver light is spreading bit by bit on the thin horizon and the Ocean shudders, touched by a strange, new emotion. She’s captured by the growing light…
The full Moon rises from the depths in all his magical glory, his lustrous brilliance spreading across the skies and dimming the stars. He is the Master of the Night, Wizard of elusive plays of radiance and shadows, Creator of illusory fantasies. From the height of the night, he throws scintillating bridges over mysteries hidden inside scattered pools, mirroring him all over the land. But tonight he has no eyes but for the Ocean; he dives in her unending darkness and smiles….
She trembles under the sudden touch and runs towards the shores, seeking refuge on the sands. He amusedly follows her, lighting up the frothing edges of her waves in sizzling, electric blue. She stops…and turns. The magic of his touch reaches her inner world, spreading seeds of flaming fantasy inside her translucent soul. Under the spell of the moonlight, the Ocean dreams about mythical creatures inhabiting her world. Graceful mermaids, passionate mermen, playful dolphins and foam-maned seahorses are taking over her ever moving kingdom.
She sleeps and dreams, slipping deeper and deeper in the shimmering fantasies. The Moon is watching over her, his net of alluring rays capturing her magic-thirsty soul…
The morning of a new day brings with itself a new world. Inside the delicate glass-heart of the dreamy Ocean, a grain of new emotion timidly burns. Everything has changed during the night. She‘s confused and restless, caught by surprise by the torrents that turn her world upside-down. She runs her waves from one shore to another, exhausting herself in the rush…She bangs and splashes against the hardest shore-lines, cries out in spraying droplets, hoping to ease her growing torment. The more she runs, the closer she comes to realize that there is no way out: she’s hooked. The Moon has imprinted her heart forever and her heart is immortal.
Love of the day and love of the night are dividing her fragile core, one flame burning, challenging the other….She sighs and leans against the firm land; all her tears are burry inside, cascading into the secret abyss of her soul.
Magic is flowing back and forth.
Flame, ignition, blaze…
She slowly sways from shore to shore undern the touch of his silver rays; fingers of foam reach out, rolling the shimmering sparks over the tip of each wave. From the heights of the deep velvet sky he showers her with elusive laces of moonlight.She’s captured and enchanted; he has a power she cannot resist. Invisible threads connect them through the the hollow space, subtle energies flow back and forth as he pulls her up then releases her….He’s always there; even when the rising sun washes away the thoughtful image of his face,shunning the shades of night, repainting the canopy of air in bright azure, she cannot leave his magic circle, she cannot forget the intensity of his touch.
She splashes out in sparkles of rainbow over the white sands just to receed into a distance inside herself, lifted by the same gentle power that moves her constantly.She swirls and twists, she runs around the tiny globe, chasing ribbons of white froth, she soars against the tempests, then calms down softly whispering while the sun dies in crimson and gold in her outstretched arms of horizons.
Invisible to the eyes but eternally engraved in her translucent soul, he reaches through the ever moving layers of water until he touches the core that echoes his name. She opens the gates of her world and fills up her pathways with his light. She’ll keep it glow and blaze during the nights when he fades out and leaves the skies.
Those are hollow and lonely moments when everything seem to crumble inside…She washes the ragged coastal lines, the silky sands, she rolls and whispers and cries out in the anguish of loss…She calms in the arms of the solid land embracing her, the one that is her longtime stronghold and protector. She closes her eyes of turquoise waters, dreaming of the silver god, the Moon , eternal traveler of the waters of Earth and Sky, key holder of her magic driven soul…
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.
-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:
It was a startling confession.
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….