The Lost Butterfly-revised. Ch. 1e

Chapter 1e.

Angela soon became a regular to their house. Yoshiasu had to return to work so he asked his long-time friend to look after Fuyuki. She happily complied; she liked the young artist so she took him under her wings.

She took him out shopping and helped him to buy his own clothes. Yoshiasu was earning well so money was not a problem. Angela also bought colors and all the material he needed for his art and encouraged him to draw and paint. Not surprisingly, Fuyuki’s artworks sold well; though the first buyers were mostly from their close circle of friends, soon the outsiders got to know about his art  and liked it too.

It was Angela who introduced the young artist to the world of computers and Internet and she was pleasantly surprised by the quick progresses made by her apprentice. Getting in closer touch with the real world, helped Fuyuki to build up some confidence and a protective wall. He was still very vulnerable on the inside but this was known only by Yoshiasu and Angela. But being so much around them, made Angela aware that tension was building up under the surface in the life of the two young men.

As Fuyuki seemed to become more independent, Yoshiasu was  becaming more and more distant and busy. He even refused to go out with the two of them, pretending that he had urgent work to do. This particular change in his behavior hurt and puzzled Fuyuki. Though he did his best not to show, a veil of sadness started to dim the light in his eyes. One day, he finally burst out:

-Angela! Please talk to Yoshiasu! He is constantly avoiding me. I must have done something wrong that he doesn’t want me around…

-You did nothing wrong-she said, trying to comfort him. He is just tired and jumpy because of his work.

Fuyuki shuddered.

-I hope you’re right- he said in a small voice. Because I have no reason to live if he doesn’t want me anymore…

-Fuyuki!-protested Angela but the young man has already shut the bedroom door behind him.

Despite her best efforts to get Yoshiasu to talk to her, things were just not adding up. There were days when Yoshiasu was becoming almost monosyllabic, while Fuyuki was trying to put up a brave face. This went on until one day, when Angela showed up right in the middle of the storm. Looking at them, it became obvious for her that the two men had recently fought over something.

Yoshiasu quickly disappeared in the kitchen. “I’m making a coffee”-he said, while Fuyuki’s eyes were red and his voice broke as he spoke to her.

-He’s angry; help him, please. I’ll be fine…-he said though  obviously he wasn’t.

Angela patted him on the shoulder and went to the kitchen where Yoshiasu was fumbling with the coffee pot.

-Why is Fuyuki crying? What have you done to him?-asked Angela.

-Nothing-mumbled the other.

-Yoshiasu, what are you doing?-Angela was getting angry. Why are you pushing him away? It’s so obvious that you’re in love with Fuyuki.

Yoshiasu slammed the pot.

-This is exactly why I don’t want to tie him down to me. I can see that he is getting better and for the first time in his life, he can make a choice for himself. I don’t want him to stay with me simply because I was the one that nurtured him back to life. It wouldn’t be fair to him.

Angela shook her head in disbelief; she then grabbed Yoshiasu by the shoulders, shaking him vigorously.

-My friend, you are a fool! You are an even bigger fool that I’ve expected. I can understand your moral concerns but it didn’t cross your mind that maybe Fuyuki has already made his choice and that is you?!

-How would I know?!-shouted Yoshiasu.

Angela slammed her palm to the table.

-What do you expect from him, a solemn declaration, written down or what? For God’s sake, you don’t even realize how lucky you are! Here is this sophisticated, beautiful young man who sees no one but you and you’re uncertain…About what are you uncertain? Let me tell you something as a good friend: I can vouch for Fuyuki’s feelings. He loves YOU, that’s for sure! But seeing how you treat him I come to doubt YOUR feelings towards him: is this really LOVE as you pretend or just infatuation? Make up your mind, man, before it’s too late! After all he has been through, Fuyuki doesn’t deserve this!

There was a moment of deep silence. Angela poured the coffee in three mugs while Yoshiasu stood there, bent over the kitchen table and head in his palms. There was a soft rustle at the door. As they both turned, they saw a pale and shaken Fuyuki leaning against the door frame.

-Yoshiasu, I cannot tell you if this is love-he said in a soft voice. I have never known love before. All I know is that I don’t want to go on without you. Don’t let me go! Please…

Yoshiasu pushed everything aside and quickly closed the distance between them. He cupped the young man’s face with both hands and looked deep into those beautiful lilac eyes.

-Forgive me-he said in a coarse voice. I love you so much…I’ll never let you go. Never!

As Fuyuki folded in his arms, he buried his face in his hair.

-Hmph…That’s better-coughed amusedly Angela. Now let’s have that coffee and talk about the plans for the winter holidays.

The evening turned up fine and they all agreed in spending Christmas together with their friends at an inn in the nearby mountains.

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The Invisibles-Chapter 9.

-We have to use this summer to train for the assault against Asterius. His guards are powerful and loyal to him and they have also ferdogs that can inflict lethal wounds during the fight-stated Satoru at the meeting of the community.

-I could train more Shadowcats till then!-offered Galen, a tall and lean Changer, with feline features. They are not afraid of the ferdogs.

-I will pick a team of helpers and we will teach the fight techniques to anyone willing to join-added a bulky man. My friend Ogren has already volunteered!

Satoru nodded approvingly.

-Great! I agree with these action plans but we must keep in mind that things might end up nasty t and the ones left here in the forest camp must be protected. For now, the training will be the first stage of the preparations. But we need to find a way to get inside the Citadel unnoticed. I need every person to come forward with its idea, no matter how improbable-sounding one and share it. There has to be a weak point in the protection of the city even after the measures ordered by Asterius!

~~~~~

Up in the Citadel, the High Commander of the White Guards was overjoyed by the success of his play put in action. It reached a shocking, bloody end, delivering a hard blow to both his enemies: those who were helping the Invisibles and the Silver Tree. It muffled even the discontent inside the Council of Elders where Asterius knew that he had some opponents. But no one knew that he was slowly damaging the Silver Tree to determine it to grow a seed, one that he would then plant and manipulate for his purposes. His loyal followers, the Guards under his command and his nephew, Rolf Asterianus, they all looked up at him as to the savior of the Citadel.

He smirked at the thought of his future power and poured himself a glass of heavy red wine.

-Cheers…to me!-he said to his reflection in the window glass. Beware, you crippling and you, monsters! Your days are soon to be cut short….

But while Asterius was celebrating his victory, Satoru and the outcasts were busy in creating the plan of the attack. Savian’s thorough knowledge of the Citadel was of great help and they were searching every inch of the white walls to find the weak points. The data gathered through the air mail brought by the pigeons was used to create the map of the White Guardians’ shifts. The pressure of time was almost tangible; the great damage suffered by the Silver Tree was raising the question of how much it will resist and how its demise might affect the land and every living thing. There was nothing similar described in their known history and people were fearing the worst. Cora was keeping in touch with the Silver Tree in her dreams, the only time when the Tree, being alone, was confident enough to communicate with her.

And even then, the dark shadow threatening its life was present somehow.

“It’s killing my Tree…”-cried the little, fluffy Spirit. It came today and poured some horrible thing in the water! He said: -You have no escape! This is killing you bit by bit but not before you finish your work! Then the seed will be mine!”

“But who is he?!” -exclaimed Cora.

“Oh, he’s a horrible, horrible person….My Tree is so afraid…You must hurry! I don’t know how much it can resist!”

“Tell the Tree we are almost ready but we need to find the way to get in!”

“ Hurry up…….Pleeease…..-veiled the Spirit, fading inside the red mist.

Cora woke up exhausted and thoughtful. So much to do, so little time for it!

~~~~

The Silver Tree took the message and decided to help with its last remaining strength. All it needed was to finish the silver shell for the Seed and then, dig deep into the ground, find the buried roots of the Moon-thorn bushes and revive them. After Avik’s escape, Asterius ordered people to set the bushes on fire and clear the space next to the walls. But these ancient vegetal monsters had roots far deeper than anyone expected and the Tree sent his last drops of life-giving energy to them. Waking up from their sleep, they responded to the appeal and began to dig their way upward. They grew and grew, extending their strong roots under the walls, until they formed a vegetal network under the Citadel’s protection. All they needed was a moonless night and the signal of the Silver Tree. This was the final message, Cora received in her dream and this was the breakthrough they were waiting for. Soon, it would be the long awaited night and the army of Invisibles and their allies was ready to face the enemy.

The night before the attack, Cora and Satoru found themselves teeming with things unsaid, emotions unshared and confessions delayed for too long. The air was dense around them as they sat on the steps outside the house, hands clutched on the cup of linden flowers tea. Finally, Satoru broke the silence.

-I don’t know how things will work out tomorrow….so I wanted to say something-he said, his voice stranded by emotion.

He stopped for a moment turning to Cora and gently ran his fingers through her hair.

-You are the most beautiful and amazing girl that I have ever seen. I look at you and I can’t believe I am not dreaming. I think I’m in love with you….So, if we manage to safely return tomorrow, would you stay with me…forever?

Overwhelmed, Cora swallowed hard before answering. She set aside the cup and put her arms around the young man’s neck.

-I cannot see myself otherwise but by your side….-she whispered.

He held her close, lovingly…. Up in the skies, night unfolded its wings of stars, shimmering in the magical rhythm of love.

THE LAND INSIDE

INTRO:    I have always dreamed of leaving the city behind. I was born and raised in the city but somehow this yearning for losing myself in the open arms of Nature was like a seedling of light that has taken roots inside me from the very early moments of my life. I love and admire the results of human endeavor, the city is comfortable and beautiful and humanity has reached the stars…So why am I so desperate to run and follow the wind on the hills? Why do I miss so badly to walk in the morning dew, in the sea of slowly waving grass, under the dim light of early suns? Why do I need the silent breath of the exhaling land to hide me in the cooling autumn days? What is this creature inside me that feels so caged and who’s rattling the irons of the limiting body? Somebody is sharing with me this fragile shell, somebody’s heart is beating inside mine…Like a butterfly, grown out of its chrysalises, I am struggling to free my wild self and let it fly. So yes, I am closing the door of clear cut lines and precisely set boundaries and I am opening the gates to the unknown. I see nothing before me…but I can feel the call of open spaces and of the high skies above. I’m not a pointless wanderer; there is something, someone in that distant horizon calling out, signaling and the Universe reverberates that call, hoping for an answer…

 

In a world of touchable realities, you need sometimes a protective disguise. An inner world of wildly galloping fantasies is not exactly something to put on display. A person defying well rehearsed and widely accepted role-sets would need a deceptive appearance until it would find the sought freedom.  So, dressed up as a young man, with a backpack loaded with all I might need, I travelled to the remote mountain area where a small cabin was waiting for me. It was situated near the land of Natives and I hoped to get in touch with them and learn their way of harmonious relation with Nature.

Summer is crisp in the mountains and the steep pathway slippery. I climbed for hours through the dense forest, following the narrow road made mostly for deer and mountain goats. Occasionally, I slipped over the lax terrain covered by crawling herbs, the rock slide rumbling down the slope into the abyss I’ve left. My heart was pounding in my chest, I was gasping for breath, silently cursing my need for adventure…Oh, well, city girl on the track…But the place had an undeniable charm with the light filtering through the green canopy in playful dots…There were singing birds orchestrating the symphony of dawn and buzzing, colorful insects warming up in their dance in the light. I laughed off my annoyance and took the road with renewed energy. It paid; soon, the forest thinned and I reached the plateau.  The rock expanded in a generous balcony reaching above the valley bellow. The sound of the rushing river was faintly echoing to this height. The horizon stretched abruptly into a panoramic vision of the entire place. The sun was steadily climbing the ladder of skies, soaking up the thin strands of vapor floating above the land below. I turned to see the cabin; it was there, guarded by the last piece of soaring cliff and the forest that was following me closely. Mission accomplished.

I was waiting for the night. Living in a city deprives you of the real magic of the night skies. The lights we have created are robbing the mysterious beauty of the galactic display. City dwellers seldom look at the skies, even during the day. As I reached adolescence, the feeling of being caged became tangible and so was the need to leave the cocoon. My first encounter with the night skies happened in a remote country side. It was true awe….All the stars came to this first encounter and ever since then, we kept connected. So, here I was…ready to renew the magic.

As the sun was plunging in the thin layer of mist outlining the horizon, the shadows of the night begun their steady crawl to the heights, pushing aside the latest glimpses of light. From cracks and crevices, underneath rocks and boulders, long, spidery shapes of darkness emerged, climbing higher and higher until they conquered the plateau. The bright azure deepened into ink-blue then the darkness wiped out the color of the skies and the night begun. One by one, the Universe lit up its diamond candles and the invisible hand of magic filled the arching infinity with bright patches, blazing swirls and crisscrossing constellations. The cool breath of the land was rising from the dormant valley, carrying the scent of heated grass, wildflowers and spicy resins. Silence blanketed the surroundings and for a moment I had the feeling that I could hear the distant sound of buzzing galaxies. It was there…a faint thud, a mysterious rhythm, like a heartbeat echoing through the star-dust filled corridors of Space…Tadam…tadam…tadam…The whole wide Universe was like a living organism, with light rushing through its veins.

-It’s beautiful, isn’t it?

The voice asking me was deep and pleasant. I almost jumped off the cliff; I quickly turned to see who was speaking but my eyes met only the darkness.

-I’m sorry-the voice was slightly apologetic. I didn’t mean to startle you…

I breathed out heavily and regained my voice.

-Where are you?

-You cannot see me-came the swift answer. At least not yet. But I am sitting next to you.

-Oh..k…-I said and sat back on my spot.

-So-the voice asked again. How do you like it?

I thought for a moment, searching for the words…The opening perspective was shimmering in the light, mist was breathing, moving, waving over the land sleeping bellow. I felt lighter and for a fraction of a moment, I lost the physical contact with the plateau…I shook my head in disbelief.

-It’s…even more beautiful than I expected.

We sat a few moments in silence; I was wondering who was the one speaking under the cloak of invisibility.

-The Moon is about to rise-said again the voice.  Let me show you something before I leave. Look here.

There was a faint rustle in the grassy spot between the two of us and a small ball of glow emerged from the tangled vegetal strands. It hovered for a moment above the place, then spread into a sheen of light while the ground below it rose into a miniature replica of the surrounding mountain range and the forest covering it. I was stunned by the details of the image, the texture of the canopy, the glitter of the river that was rushing deep inside the steep valley.

-Now-said my companion with a tint of amusement in the voice. I have followed your journey to the plateau…

-You did?!-Suddenly I felt a bit embarrassed, remembering my occasional clumsiness.

-Oh, I surely did. I was afraid at one moment that you would bring down the whole slope, so I thought to highlight the safer paths to the local communities for you. Watch this!

I felt a slight movement above the magic map and dots of light appeared, marking the roads and the areas inhabited by the Native clans. I followed their pattern attentively, trying to memorize all.

-I’ll help you remember these. You have to let me touch you…don’t jump up again, please.

I froze and instinctively closed my eyes; there was a light touch of a hand on my forehead. It was…humanly warm. The image of the map transferred in my mind while the warmth of those invisible fingertips ran through my veins, spreading in my body. I relaxed and opened my eyes. At that moment, a bright flash crossed the skies.

-Wow! A shooting star!-I exclaimed.

-Make a wish-said the voice.

The answer just stumbled out my mouth.

-I wish this night would never end…

-Granted, stranger-came the reply. See you tomorrow night!

Whoever it was, it disappeared in an instant. I knew it…the place next to me felt suddenly very empty. Though the presence of this elusive, magic entity had been almost imperceptible, once gone, the void it left behind became disturbingly tangible. The thin, silver crescent of the Moon hopped above the horizon and the display of stars begun to fade. Ruler of the night skies, Master of magic and dreams, the celestial traveler took his place on the black velvet and sparkled. I bowed before him and went to sleep.

 

The lighthouse was slowly decaying on the empty shore. Its entrance door was rusting under the corrosive bite of Time and the sea that once soothed the heart of the lonely tower was gone beyond the dark-grey horizon. The sky was ashen and the clouds were hanging like old veils torn by the claws of an ancient sea-monster. This was a place forgotten and un-loved, a space that was barren and, by now, seemingly pointless. I stood there, facing the display of hopelessness, listening to the veiling of the old metal door shaken by the erratic gush of wind.

-This lighthouse needs a heart-whispered the already familiar voice.

A heart? I felt a surge of deep sadness inside me and I woke up in bed.

 

The sun was already high in the translucent ocean of azure when I took the path through the forest. I was heading towards the Hogan of an elderly wise man, hoping to find some answers and to learn about the herbs and animals of this area. The map imprinted in my mind the previous evening was guiding my steps, each bush or dense of trees becoming familiar and soon, I found myself at the entrance of a beautiful tunnel of vegetation. The entwined row arching above my head was leading to the clearing. Through its luminous greenery, the warm light was falling in a delicate gold dust. I ran down through this magic pathway and stopped to hold my breath in the wide opening.

Old Joseph Grey Wolf was sitting on a log, sorting dried herbs for teas and treatments. He knew I was there, before I could open my mouth.

-Come closer, young lady-he said. Have a seat.

I blushed and swallowed down my embarrassment. I sat next to him and we faced each other with undisguised curiosity. He had an interesting face, wrinkled and burned by the sun of many summers. Yet the eyes were ageless: bright, piercing, challenging. Dark brown. Like mine. He studied me swiftly, with a small smile in the corner of his inquisitive eyes.

-How did you know? –I asked.

-A bird told me that we have a light-footed guest coming this way…

I laughed; he was right. Suddenly, I felt liberated from all my fears and my disguise became obsolete and…stupid.

-Grandfather, I have some questions bothering me. I came hoping that you can help me sort them out…

The old man stood up, brought out two cups from his house and poured some tea. He handed out one to me and sat down.

-If you want to ask me about your visitor, all I can tell you for now is that you have to be patient. In time you will learn enough about this spirit to answer your own question. Is there anything else bothering you?

I sighed; the dream was still fresh in my memory.

-I had this strange dream about a lonely shore and a deserted lighthouse…It felt so sad…Does this dream have any meaning?

Grey Wolf shook his head thoughtfully.

-Everything has a meaning if you know how to read the signs. That empty shore is the land of sacrificed dreams; it’s that sad because each time we give up on our dreams, we die a bit from inside…until there is nothing left but the bitterness of a wasted, dull life. There are so many such shores in this world…

-Is that shore my life?

The old man smiled at me.

-That is for you to find out. Remember, the land inside is a reflection of the world outside. You have to give life to that land and you have to find the light that will shine upon it. Listen, see and learn. The answers are both inside and around you. Now go home, Blue Flower. The night is waiting at your door.

We shook hands and I thanked him for his words. Somewhere, deep inside I was feeling a grain of light moving. Though the way home was uphill, I took the steep path easily. I reached the house, fixed something to eat and boiled some water for a tea. Grey Wolf has packed me up with fragrant wild-flower mixes. I prepared the tea and waited for the night to set in. Would my invisible friend show up?-I wondered…

The night unfurled its flag of shadows and darkness while the dome of the skies lit up in blaze. I was sitting under the stars when I heard the voice I was waiting for.

-You’re early I see. Good evening, stranger.

I laughed sensing the relaxed amusement of the voice.

-Would you like a tea?-I asked.

-Yes, why not.

I took my courage to push the conversation further. I poured the tea and placed the cups between us. This time, the voice chuckled and I already knew what was behind that laughter.

-I’ve never had tea with a ghost so I wasn’t quite sure if you drink-I said with a smile.

-I’m not more of a ghost than you-the voice replied. I am a person.

-Then why can’t I see you?

There was a brief moment of silence before I got the answer.

-Because you have to learn to see. Looking at something with your eyes doesn’t mean that you really see it. You have to go beyond that.

-Hmmm… you might be right. Old Grey Wolf told me the same: listen, see and learn. And he knew about your visit to.

-Grey Wolf is a dear friend of mine. He knows a lot about me….

The cup of tea rose in the air and my invisible companion took a sip.

-Uhm, good. Wild Thyme and pepper mint…He gave you my favorite mix.

I blushed and I silently thanked the old man. Somehow, I wanted to make my elusive guest feel good. I had come here in the middle of nowhere to escape from the pressure and noise of the city and human crowd. Yet, the moment this spirit left me alone I realized that all beauty seemed pointless if you couldn’t share that elation with someone…close to you. And to make things even more unusual, I was having this feeling of mutual connection with this… person after only one encounter. The warmth of that touch from the previous night had unchained my soul…

-So, why are you here? –I tempted a question.

-It’s my favorite spot to watch the Stars. And you…Why are YOU here?

Though I was prepared to hear this question, I was unsure what to answer.

-Huh…Let’s see. I felt caged and restless living in the city. I came here hoping to find my way, the real one. I have lived too long according to others’ expectations. I was choking inside my cocoon. And…someone told me that I have to give a heart to a lighthouse. It was you, isn’t it?

The voice laughed softly.

-This is your journey. I cannot give you the answers but I can walk beside you, if you wish…

I took a deep breath and closed my eyes before answering.

-Please do. This is so new for me. I feel the gates opening before me and opening inside me as well. It’s…wonderful and scaring. I’m not sure whom am I going to meet in this inner journey. Stay with me, please. I don’t have to see you; your presence is comforting….

The silence that followed my outpouring of the soul was meaningful, speaking volumes. We shared another tea and we counted all the shooting stars that night. The counting ended up in lot of laughter. We sat there like two islands connected by a magic bridge, while the River of fate was leading its mighty waters around us.

 

Days followed days and nights followed nights and I have battered the pathway to Grey Wolf’s Hogan. He gathered all his patience and introduced me to the secrets of wild flowers and herbs, while teaching me the secret language of animals to. From the subtle rustle of the leaves, from the pattern of tiny, broken branches to the different tones of the cry of the eagles, from the shades of the clouds at dusk to the scent carried by the winds, the great Syllabus of Nature opened its files to my astonished eyes and mind. The nights were filled by the charting of constellations and listening to the thud and buzz of the interstellar space. My invisible friend and me, we must’ve drunk an ocean of herbal tea while the talking kept flowing with more and more ease between the two of us. I’m not sure what I’ve learned about the hidden identity or personal history of my visitor but I have opened my inner gates and walked together on paths I never knew it existed. My inner world started to unfold and each new path was walking above unexpected rivers, leading us through arches only to end up on unexpected sites.

My night dreams changed to and suddenly, I was missing the lonely shore and the sad little lighthouse. I kept wondering what has happened but they just seemed to vanish from my dreams.  Unhappy with this outcome, I decided to ask….

-Do you happen to know why I can’t find the lighthouse anymore?-I said abruptly in the middle of an evening talk.

My guest stood silent for a while, seemingly lost in thoughts.

-Actually, I do-came the answer. But tell me: why are you looking for it?

-Because I left it so lost and lonely and if I remember well, a voice told me that the lighthouse needs a heart. I have decided to give mine to it.

A smile filled the space between us.

-Brave decision. Let me think about it and we’ll see…

I went to sleep with a faint hope and soon, I was sailing on the waters of the land of Nod. I was walking in darkness, guided only by the glowing step-stones under my feet. It was an eerie feeling and I was unable to discern the features of the space around. My walk ended in front of a high door decorated with strange signs and symbols. I couldn’t find a door knob so I pushed a bit the two wings. They opened into a misty space filled with light. Puzzled, I stopped there.

-Step inside, don’t be afraid-said the voice I was already expecting to hear.

-But I can’t see anything….

-Free your mind and listen to your heart…

I took a step forward and felt solid ground under my feet. I walked for a while through the glowing mist until it cleared before me at a certain distance and I could see…bellow. And there was the lonely lighthouse and its deserted sandy shores. It looked almost the same than the first time I saw it in my dreams…Almost the same. The grim veil of shredded, grey clouds was gone and at a distance I could detect the shimmering of the light dancing on the surface of a remote sea. The sea was slowly returning to its lonely friend.

-I wish I could go there-I said loudly.

-You can fly…-came the answer.

-I can’t-I blurted out almost instinctively. I don’t have wings…

-Don’t start with what you can’t-my companion said-trust yourself a bit more and give it a try. Just let yourself flow with the currents…Reach inside; your wings are sprouting….

I sighed and closed my eyes….and space opened under my feet. Before I could cry out I was already flying. I opened my eyes and I saw the wide expanse of sand closing at high speed. For a fraction of a moment I’ve lost confidence and I felt like falling. An invisible hand grabbed mine, keeping me up. It was warm and reassuring; we kept flying until we both landed safely next to the light house. Breathless but elated, I stood there shivering a bit…

-Thank you-I whispered.

-It’s ok-echoed the invisible whisper. You need some practice in trusting your own abilities.

I raised my head to see the lighthouse. It looked less disheveled; colors were returning and the rust that once stained the door has disappeared. I turned to my elusive friend-I could feel the presence quite strong by now- and called:

-Come, let’s see the tower from inside. I want to know how far the sea is.

When we reached the top of the tower I was almost breathless from climbing and excitement. The sea was scintillating, its blue-green mass rocking gently, pushing the frothing waves forward and slowly conquering the sands ahead. From the top of the lighthouse the advancing of the sea was clearly visible. The salty water was seeping into the blond sands, the small, curving hills dissolving under the touch of fingers of water. With a bit of effort, you could hear the rhythm of the through and fro of the mighty, translucent body and the occasional cry of the seagulls in the skies. The great dome of light was holding its dormant source of signaling light inside the thick walls of glass. I touched the smooth surface and suddenly something moved inside me and inside the core of the lighthouse. We connected almost instantly and I could feel strange energies bursting from inner depths, rushing through my veins, seeping through my fingertips, sizzling in a grid of light up and down, up and down the slender body of the lighthouse, until behind the glass wall a faint glow was born. The seed of light grew stronger and stronger until it began to swirl in a cosmic rhythm…Blinded by the power of shining, I closed my eyes and stumbled a few step backwards, losing touch with the light core. The effluvium of light died out almost completely, leaving behind a dim seed of light nested inside the huge bell of glass of the top.

-What was….this?

-Humanity is a galaxy of lighthouses, signaling and echoing….lighthouses and shores, lively or deserted ones…like the soul of each individual.

-And what is on the other side of the sea?-I asked.

-The twinkling stars of the human galaxy….

-I never knew about this…I never knew what would live inside me…I feel so…different now that I have found it…

At this point my dream has become so intense that it was hard to separate it from reality; the presence of my invisible companion made it even more…tangible. Was I in or outside of my inner world? Before I could even realize, I have found myself outside the magic door.

-Are you here?-I asked.

-I am…-came the answer. It seems that we have built a connection that moves us both to the same destination. Sleep now, Flower. We have a long journey ahead…

I felt the soft touch of light fingers running through my hair and I fell in the depths of a quiet sleep.

I woke up in the morning with the memory of that touch….haunting me. It was like a moment of truth; suddenly, every corner of my soul echoed it…It was everywhere, imprinted in the fabric of my inner lands…I dressed up in a hurry and decided to visit Old Grey Wolf and speak with him…

He was smoking calmly when I stormed in.

-Good morning, Grand Father!-I said, trying to catch my breath.

He chuckled and answered with a nod of approval.

-Something bothering you, Blue Flower? You’re quite early…

-Grand Father…Please, help me! I’m…I don’t know what to do! I’m…in love….-I sighed; it was out….

The old man was looking at me intently.

-I see…And how can I help you with this? I can hardly remember the times when I suffered the same.

-Please!-I said. It happened so quickly and so many things happened to me since I arrived here…I feel like caught in a whirlwind, losing control….and maybe losing what I want to keep the most…

I paused for a moment.

-I’m listening-said Grey Wolf.

-So….I want to know who is this invisible spirit visiting my nights and my dreams….I’m afraid that if I complete my journey, I would fade away…I don’t want that! Please…

The old man took a sip from his pipe and then exhaled slowly, raising a thin veil of smoke between us. His voice sounded deeper and raspy as he answered my pleas.

-Your visitor is not an ordinary person; she’s a Two-Spirit and she walks with ease in both the inner and the outer world. If she decides to reveal herself to you, it will happen tonight: it’ll be full Moon. Go home in peace, Blue Flower and don’t lose faith. Lit up your lighthouse and watch the other shore…If there is to be an answer to your heart’s desire, the light would bring its echo.

On the way home, I kept thinking about what Grey Wolf told me. The night ahead was holding a real challenge and I went over and over again through all I wanted to say, trying to find the best way to express my thoughts and my feelings. I have never waited for the nightfall so impatiently; but the more anxious I became, the slower the minutes and hours passed. Time seemed to crawl and the grains of sand of the hourglass got stuck in the narrow passageway…Finally, Time took pity of my painful fretting and picking up speed, brought the night to my doorsteps.

The curtain of darkness fell over the world, muffling sounds and stirring mysterious echoes in the depths. A boisterous wind ruffled the long-stemmed alpine grass and swirled around me, making me shiver under its touch. I stood on the ground, near the rim of the plateau, my senses sharp and alert, waiting for a sign or a sound….On the celestial display, the stars were modestly twinkling, knowing that the rising Moon would rein tonight the dark waters of the skies. In the distance, the horizon was already glowing, while the planet was gracefully turning its face towards the silver light.

-Good evening, Flower. I’ve heard that you were asking about me…

The voice of my companion sounded a bit strained.

-Good evening, my Star-I said. I was looking for answers and Grey Wolf’s wisdom always helped me out. I hope I didn’t upset you…

An invisible smile crossed the space between us and we both relaxed.

-You did well, Flower. He’s my dear friend and he’s a reliable guide in difficult moments. I had my own tribulations to…This journey is your personal quest; I wouldn’t want to deter you from it…

It was my turn to smile.

-You shouldn’t worry about that. Yes, I came here, in this sanctuary of Nature to free myself from the restrains built inside me by the demands of the life in the city. As my dream has revealed, I was slowly dying from inside and the sea of my dreams receded into nothingness, leaving behind barren shores and my sad and lonely lighthouse. But each night I have spent here, talking with you and counting stars eased my return to the land inside.

Your gentle guidance opened gates and I stepped inside a world I never knew it existed. I grew wings and dared to fly over my inner territories, we climbed the helix of stairs to the top of the lighthouse and you shared with me the story of the Human Galaxy; we roamed the pathways of my secret garden, leaving memories all over. Your footprints are imprinted in the shores of my sea…

But above all, my Star, I’ve seen my inner world through your eyes and I found it magically beautiful. During the day, I walked those corners on my own, learning and building them on; yet, they seemed to have lost that special glow…My garden was holding beauty but that beauty was becoming somehow…pointless. What my heart already knew, my soul was proving beyond any doubt. If beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder, then through your eyes I feel more beautiful than ever. I am a flower that opens into beauty under the touch of love. I cannot open and shine otherwise; but when I feel your loving light and the joy glittering in your eyes, I can open in blaze and unfurl my rainbow wings…

A deep silence followed my words. The Moon rose above the horizon and a silver net of rays arched above the two of us. In the softly spraying light, a shape emerged next to me. She was sitting in the grass, looking to me with a serious expression on her face until the magic revealing was completed. We connected instantly; our history was beyond words. She was beautiful, a Blue Star of the skies, a deep soul holding shores of light and oceans of emotions. We stood up, holding hands and under her touch, on the top of my lighthouse the diamond burst into a fountain of rays. Tangible reality washed away and boundaries became pointless. The row of translucent stairs under our feet were leading to the top of a lighthouse that was both of me and her, walls intimately entwined, my light woven into her light…High above us, one star was shining, a beacon of a Universe opening before us, waiting to  be explored…

Sitting in the moonlight, Grey Wolf nodded approvingly.

-Good…-he murmured and took another sip from his pipe.

 

That night, the Moonlight rose in a high tide, washing away the limits of reality. The mountain opened before us, unraveling the pathway to the once lonely shore. The night was following us inside, bringing in the giant circle of silver and perching it above, in the center point of the infinite skies. The air was warm and scented of sea salt and orchids; the sea was calm and dreamy, sending soft waves to splash around our feet as we walked hand in hand along the shore. The water has already reached the base of the lighthouse, building around a small hill of nacreous shells, spidery star-fish and soft seaweeds. Round moonstones were glowing in the sand, outlining the narrow pathway that lead to the steps of the slender tower. A few steps further, invisible hands had lit up a bonfire and placed small candles in a circle. There was a small tray with passion fruits and pomegranates and a bottle filled with amber colored liquor, along with two delicate glasses.

We sat inside the circle and shared the treat until the last ruby colored seed sealed our eternal connection of love. The honey colored wine was spicy and heavy, like the nectar of ancient gods, warming us up from inside, bringing down the last remnants of any barrier between us…In the heat of the summer night, on the shores of an inner sea, under the skies of a new Universe, Woyi, the Phoenix spread wings of flames in and out of the entities of light entwined. Rivers of blaze ran from one side to the other, circling inside the fragile shells and the hearts of glass, rhythm followed rhythm, veins connected intimately until the light was flowing evenly from one another…The Moon above raised a tent of light encompassing the two of us and under his touch, our light combined into a seed of life and light that nested in a warm corner inside me. But we were oblivious of this happening. As the rushing rivers slowly quieted into whispers, we slept in the magic tent until the circle of stars delved beyond the horizon and the sun reclaimed the sky.

A pencil of soft rays playfully tickled her eyelashes and Blue Star woke up smiling.

-Come, Flower, the sun is high up and we are in the middle of the meadow. One more glass of summer wine and we would’ve waked up on another planet!

We laughed, stood up and walked back to the cabin. Beginning with that day, it became our home. But each night, we skipped through the secret passageway of the mountain into new worlds. Visiting Grey wolf has become also a habit that we both loved. He kept supplying us with teas and forest treats and it was his keen sense that detected first what was about to come into our lives.

-A new Two Spirit is about to enrich our clan, Blue Star. Flower has a young blossom waiting for Spring to join us…

We looked at each other stunned yet thrilled; the news was deeply moving and it was close to a miracle. Grey Wolf coughed to capture our attention.

-You don’t have to worry, ladies. The Mothers of the Clan will help you through this…In the world of Two Spirits miracles happen more often.

He chuckled; we were speechless and blushing like two schoolgirls caught red handed. Time sped up and in April, our Two Spirit child cried out for the first time under the stars. A beautiful star-child, with ocean deep eyes and spiky, raven black hair. Our lighthouse has added a shiny, new twinkle to its magic glow.

I came to this corner of pristine life and ageless wisdom to find myself and to release the captive spirit inhabiting me. I have been rewarded with more than I could ever dream. I have found my light and the voice of my heart through the loving eyes and magic soul of my beloved Blue Star. Our Star-Child is growing happily protected by our love and the acquiring Clan. New skies are opening and the waves of the inner sea keep carrying sails full of mysteries…

Above us, one star. Our star.

From the stars above. Chapter4. Rebellion

Kian’s father fell into his chair, overwhelmed by despair. Since this child was born he knew this one was special. He proved to be the brightest of them all but he wasn’t easy to handle. He was a hopeless dreamer to, heart and mind full of ideals. And now, above all, he’s got the Mark. He didn’t have the heart to tell his son that the Marked Ones usually lived a very short life. They were like candles burning on both ends; their unusual degree of talent and their out of the ordinary personality made them difficult to adapt and mingle with the everyday people. Their own higher quality made them outcasts. And what made things worst was that Kian’s Mark was the most unusual seen until now. The star shape clearly pointed something out but no one had a clue what.

Kian left the house by the hind door. He didn’t want to talk to anybody. The mark on his shoulder burnt, constantly reminding him of the newly emerged issue. He took a flight to the shore, landing graciously on the top of a cliff. He folded his wings and set on the rock, right above the slowly moving water.  The sea was swinging peacefully, caressed by the warm and gentle breeze. The sun was setting giving a purple tint to the water. Kian’s gaze drifted along moving row of ripples and his mind shifted to another sea.

It was a powerful mass of blue-grey water, pounding furiously the ragged rock walls, spreading the salty foam all around. The strong gush of wind ripped the surface of the sea, pulling up the water and pushing it towards skies and rocks. The sea roared and coiled like a huge animal, his untamed force radiating in every droplet. It was an astonishing sight and sitting here, near this “well-behaved” purple water Kian’s heart ached. He already missed the Earth.

The shades of the night replaced step by step the golden light. The blue of the sky darkened and filled with twinkling specks of diamond. The large, glowing ribbon of the Milky Way stretched over the sky, hiding deep inside a small yellow star circled by a light-blue gem…The whole Universe was pulsating, teaming with light and life. But something was missing from this sky: the enigmatic smile of the Moon, hanging in the height of the Earth’s skies.

Kian sighed. He slowly stood up and flew back home.

The next day he was summoned to the High Council. Gharmos, the head of the Council was an impressive Angel and many feared him. He ruled with an iron hand and he mercilessly crushed any opposition. Yet Kian was a special case; his father was a well known member of the Council and he was highly praised among his pairs.

Gharmos looked the young man up and down trying to penetrate behind his polite and restrained composure. He was a handsome Angel, tall and slender with well built white wings. He moved graciously but surely. At first he looked very much like any other young Angel of his age. Yet there was something in those thoughtful grey eyes which looked at him almost defiantly.

Kian greeted the old Angel with all the courtesy expected and waited. At the same moment the mark on his shoulder started to burn. His lips twitched as he tried to muffle the hiss of pain.

-Please, show me the Mark, young man-said Gharmos, walking a few steps towards him. Kian complied with a sharp, angry move. The old man was disconcerted: it was a sign that foretold something. This boy was dangerous even if he was totally unaware of it.  Gharmos decided to keep an eye on him.

-I see…he finally said. So, now that you’re home, what are your plans for the future?

-I’d like to go back to Earth-answered Kian, looking him straight in the eyes.

Gharmos stared in disbelief; this guy was bolder than he expected.

-I’m surprised to hear this. You’ve almost lost your life and we had some hard times trying to get you back home. You don’t expect us to jeopardize your precious life again. I strongly suggest that you take a vacation and find yourself a purpose here, on this planet.

-So the answer is no, isn’t it? Am I held captive by the High Council?

Kian’s eyes narrowed as he confronted Gharmos.

-No. Not yet-he answered anger slowly building up inside him. But if you’re planning to cause trouble, I could and I would send you to the LostIsland, along with other hot headed youngsters. And remember, you have a family…

-Don’t you dare to threaten my family! I’m not easily scared. Good day-replied Kian and left the room.