Walk a Dream-Chapter 10. Epilogue

Chapter 10.

  She was shivering, shaken by an inner fever. The memory of the night was still fresh in her mind and as she pushed herself slowly off the cold surface, conflicting emotions washed over her. For long minutes, she was penduling between an intoxicating elation and an unexplainable panic. She has fallen in love and that love lived in the no man’s land between dream and reality. How can anyone keep its sound mind in such circumstances?

   But this love wasn’t meant to last; Kai knew it well. The more she learned about Jordan, the clearer it became that she, the average girl in front of a mirror was meant only to be the dream-holder and rememberer. Something was abruptly changing in the life of her unexpected soul-twin and they were both running out of time.  “But what was that change?”-wondered Kai. There was no one to answer that question now… Kai took a deep breath and decided to join the reality of the morning.

   The night came under the auspices  of the Peach Moon. I saw it rising cautiously above the dark line of the hills. The sky was spotless and deep blue. The faintly glowing pink contour emerged gradually and soon we were facing each other, the Moon and I. It looked at me with its saddened face, with that silent cry frozen on its face for eons. Its eyes were crying invisible tears and my heart sank in despair.

I’ve ran to the gates breathlessly! The world behind them was dead silent and hollow. The forest was emptied of footprint memories, emptied of laughter echoes, emptied of innocence…The spells of the Wizard had been scattered by a chilling wind of forgetfulness. Gone were the mermaids and shores, gone the stellar abyss of swirling light and love….The leaves of poetry were growing only in my heart by now. The Blue trees retracted in the void and I couldn’t reach them anymore. I fell to my knees crying…Then I remembered the house. Maybe, just maybe Joren was still there! I jumped to my feet and sped towards the house in the mist.

 As soon as she reached the premises, Kai knew that hopes for finding anyone around were thin. The house felt just as empty as the space surrounding it. The girl cautiously opened the door and passed along the corridors until she reached that special door. Before she could touch it, the door flew open and Tyler’s angry face looked at Kai, shouting:

-You’re late! They’re all gone!!! No one is here anymore!! No one!!!

His breath was freezing cold and Kai stepped back for a moment. The pain inside, the sense of loss built up inside her pushed to the surface and she felt her entire being crack under the pressure. Her final armor shattered, liberating her true being. Tyler had already vanished into thin air and all she was left with was à dim glow in the distance and the sound of little ringing bell. Jordie’s bell. The girl launched herself towards that spot of light, flying with wings of flames like a Phoenix.

-Jordie! -she shouted. Wait for me!

Fueled by her heated emotions, she crossed the warping space and caught the globe of light before it reached the wormhole between the two connected worlds.

-Stop! -she yelled. Stay for a moment! Talk to me! Don’t leave all my questions unanswered!

Cling! Cling! The little bell echoed in her ears and for à moment, she felt  two small arms encircling her neck.

-Don’t be upset, nice Kai! I have to go now! They are waiting for me.

Kai held him till he dissipated, giggling and Joren’s face emerged in the light.

-We have to go, Kai. Jordan is about to wake up. Hisher healing journey is now complete, thanks to your help too. We were all bits and pieces painstakingly brought together in long time, to mend the spirit of Jordan. Himher will be whole again as heshe will regain consciousness. Remember us, Kai! When the dream will end, nothing and no one will be the same as before.

As the last words reverberated in the space, an invisible hand touched gently Kai’s tearful face. She recognised the touch and she recognised the kiss. It tasted like summer vine.

“ Goodbye, girl”-whispered the voice inside her mind. “Don’t forget me…”

The ball of light touched the boundary of worlds and exploded with a thunderous blast. The connection collapsed and Kai crash landed in her bed. On the other side of the world, a young woman woke up all of a sudden in her hospital bed.

  She gasped and shook her head, then relaxed. She recognised her family members and her doctor. She couldn’t remember the reason of being in hospital; she was feeling well and in one piece.

-Did I miss something?-asked Jordan, raising an eyebrow. I feel like I slept for a hundred years. It was fine but I would like to go home now. May I, doctor?

   Everyone burst into relieved laughter; Jordan was himherself again.

 

EPILOGUE

    I have walked a dream like no other and my heart was captured, my spirit released and liberated. I am myself more than I ever was. The love I encountered was brief but intense and it lives inside me, imprinted deeply in my soul along with all the magic it carried. I am a rememberer, a storyteller and a dreamer.

I’m not an ordinary girl anymore.

 Do I remember you? Of course I do! You’re the Magician who released the Wild Girl from my inner world. You found her, hiding in her Secret Garden and you opened the door, showing her the way. You’ve let her follow you, believe in you, trust you and in the end, fall in love with you. Was it something planned? I doubt….But you and I, we got caught up in our entangled wild dream. You and I, we found a love that could’ve been…if only we would’ve met in real life. So You have dreamt me and I continued that dream, finding you.

   Our love was swift, passionate, fiery, creative, all consuming….despite its illusory existence. You have broadened my horizon, deepened my inner world, enriched my emotional life. We have built a love like no other: both incredibly beautiful and maddeningly painful. This love cannot die. This love doesn’t want to die. This love is so much a part of me that denying it would mean to deny myself. I didn’t know how much of you has built itself inside me, until we both woke up and the wandering in our connected dream was over.

 After picking up all her shattered bits and pieces, the Wild Girl banged the gates of the Secret garden behind her and locked them. She lives there, wandering on the shores of the Ocean of Memories. I visit her sometimes and we talk through the bars of the gates. With you gone forever, she won’t come out anymore. But we both miss you sometimes; so we recall your face, the sound of your laughter, the  softness in your eyes….

   Dream over.

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The Invisibles-Chapter 2.

-Cora! Are you ready? Can I come in?

The voice of Galaor was slightly nervous. Coming back abruptly from her reverie, Cora opened the door and embraced her father.

-I’m ready, Dad, don’t worry. Look!-she said and turned round. The sunlight was dancing around her, sparks bouncing off the slender figure dressed in a blue-green dress and tunic, embroidered with gold rimmed leaves. Cora’s fiery hair was combed into an intricately tressed tail  held together by blue and green hair-pins. She took her father’s arm and left the room, walking confidently towards the Ceremony Hall, followed by her beaming mother and excited little sister. The rest of the family and friends were walking behind them, whispering to each other about their beautiful Queenie.

   The high doors of the hall opened, letting in the ten young girls and their escorts into the spacious chamber where the most important Court members were waiting for them. Soon as everyone gathered inside, the sound of the Soul Bell started to ring, announcing the arrival of the Queen. It was a deep sound, seemingly coming from the body of the Tree around them, enveloping the audience in waves of soothing music,serene yet solemn. The hind wall of the room opened and the Queen  stepped forward.

    Cora watched her, mesmerized by the majestic gracefulness of the elderly woman. She was tall and lean, her face preserving the original beauty, despite the marks of so many ages. She was wearing a long, amber colored dress decorated with emerald vines and miniature blue butterflies. Her white hair was flowing freely around her shoulders, creating a halo around her face. The wings of the Queen were glossy and translucent, with purple-blue iridescence. But the most striking feature were her eyes: deep blue with a gaze that could see behind any pretense.Still, the appearance of the Queen was exhaling benevolence and kindness. People around her bowed respectfully as she walked towards the circle of blushing and nervous Queenies. The young girls bowed deeply and the Queen gestured them to rise so that she could see each of them. The First Lady joined her, carrying the silver tray containing the Royal Acts of recommendation.

  Wise Matriarch of her little nation, the Queen stopped by each Queenie and handed out the enscripted roll, saying a few words of  personally tailored wisdom and encouragement. She gently touched their forehead with her hand, sharing protective magic that was coming from the Tree. When the Queen finally stopped in front of her, Cora sensed the powerful aura surrounding her. They looked each-other for a moment and Cora felt her heart opening like a flower under the scrutiny of those eyes. The Queen  put the roll in the hands of the girl and then she gently touched  her forehead.  Cooling sensation ran through Cora’s whole body and for a fraction of a moment, she felt a total communion with the Tree. She was the Tree from its intricate web of roots embracing the land, to the last trembling leaf up in the highest branch. The flow of magical sap was rushing through her veins and her heart was filled with emotions. There was awe and joy but also concern and surprisingly, there was fear. Something malevolent and menacing was lurking beyond the boundaries of their land….But what could that be?

“ Follow your fire, my child-she heard. Follow your fire….”

The whispers of the Queen brought the girl back to reality.

“I will-she murmured.

Music exploded around her as the ceremony resumed as the Queen left the Hall. Families, friends, people surrounded the Queenies, congratulating them, sharing their good wishes and hopes for their safe and victorious return. Cora regained her composure and smilingly joined her loved ones. After all, this would be their last family afternoon together for a while.

-Amita! Come, let’s take a flight!- she said and picking up her little sister, she flew out of the room, up to the top of the Tree. The giggling of the little girl filled the air.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

When she opened her eyes she found herself standing inside a glowing, reddish orange mist. The only firm thing was the ground under her feet. No sound, no directions. Nothing, just the faintly pulsing mist. Then, a deep sigh and muffled sobs broke the silence and she turned abruptly towards the source of the sounds.

-Hey! Who are you?! What happened?!

In response a sudden vortex appeared inside the orange mist and it seemed like something was coming towards her.

“ Me and my big mouth…”-thought Cora.

Up before her stood a huge bulge of white fluff, hovering above the ground. The face of that ghost-like creature was childlike, with sad little dark eyes.

-My Tree is dying….-it veiled in a small voice. Nobody helps it and I’m frightened and lonely….

Cora’s heart sank.

-What Tree? Where is it?

But before the creature could answer her, a strong draft of bone-chilling wind push them apart and all she could hear was a faint cry.

-Help meeee……Don’t leave me alone…..!

-Don’t be afraid! I’ll find you!!-she shouted.

-Who do you want to find?-asked Bella. Did you have a nightmare? You were shouting in your dream.

 She was sitting on the edge of the bed with a worried expression on her face. Cora shook her head with a reassuring smile.

-No, no Mom, it was just a silly dream. I am little nervous about the flight-she chuckled.

Bella sighed. She was nervous to. All of a sudden, she wished her daughter was an ordinary girl, not a Queenie. But it was too late for that, so she better helped Cora to get ready for the flight. She helped her dress up and served her favorite meal for breakfast. Galaor joined them, checking each strap on the flight suit and giving his final pieces of advice. Amita rushed in and jumped in Cora’s arms, covering her face with smacks. Hugs, kisses, tears and goodbyes shared, at the sound of the Core Bell, the Golden Doors of the Tree opened wide and the row of Queenies took flight in the crisp air of the morning, followed by the loud cheer of the gathered Arberiens.

-This will be a long year-whispered Bella, leaning close to Galaor and holding Amita in her arms.

-This will be a long year-thought the Queen, watching the colorful flying squad diminishing in the horizon.

    The Golden Doors closed with a thud behind them, marking the beginning of a journey into the unknown.

 

                                                                              ***

 

Somewhere faraway, under another sky, a  young woman was hurriedly preparing her confused and frightened son. The child couldn’t understand the reason why his mom woke him up at night and why she kept silencing him, why was he dressed up and why was she wiping her eyes on and on. He saw his mom taking a small bottle from a hiding and slip it in her pocket , then turning off the faint light. She took his hand and spoke to him in a muffled but firm voice:

-Avik, listen to Mommy. Don’t say a word outside. Just hold my hand and follow me in silence and if I say “run!” then you run and don’t look back! You understand?

-Yes, Mommy!- came the answer in a little voice.

The young woman unlocked the hind door and slipped into the night with her child. She wasn’t going to let him suffer the fate of the other Changers; nothing could frighten her off and she couldn’t care less for the so called fate of the Tree. If the survival of the Tree was coming at the price of the life of an innocent child then something was wrong. Very wrong. Avik was her son and  she was determined to save him no matter what the White Guardians were saying. Her child was not going to become an Invisible, he wasn’t going to starve in the streets of the Silver City, unseen by the others, unable to get help, food, shelter. Her child was not going to be found lying lifelessly in a corner, pushed aside like a piece of garbage. The mind of the young mother was swirling with heavy questions.

 How did they end up  giving in to such horrors? She held the little boy closer and they hurried down the dark street. It was a long way to the northern wall and she wanted to get there before dawn.