Saturday, 7 October 2017

The Panther Walks

In the night the panther walks. I can see a little of It's outline, not much else. It lifts It's nose, does that wierd thing big cats can do, scenting with It's mouth somehow. I can see it likes what it smells.

Then it turns to look at me and I catch a green flash from It's eyes.

After a pause, it starts padding towards me. Slowly. To begin with at least. It picks up speed and I know that by the time it hits me, it will be going full pelt. I brace myself for the impact as it launches.. .

It will hit me square in the chest, fully extended.  I close my eyes.

*******

Maybe I should explain some things. There are animals that live inside me. Quite a few of them, actually. I know It's kinda wierd but It's just how it is.  Maybe my body gives them a home.  Maybe they are part of me. And yet each one also seems pretty independent....

Maybe I am like one of those sea creatures that isn't really one creature, but many working so closely together they seem like one. Mind you, the human body is a bit like that anyway, you know how much of us is made up of other organisms? Bacteria in our stomach and all sorts of other things.

Relationships are very important.  I don't much like it when me and my gut bugs are not getting on....

I didn't expect to find that cat down there in the dark....  I never saw a cat down there before.  Maybe it didn't want to be seen before. Maybe I hunted it. Felt more like it hunted me.

It's not dark everywhere inside me. There are whole world's.   Many of them are dark, sometimes. Fragrant forests inhaling and exhaling steamy breath as the night fills with the songs of defending bugs and frogs. I might have hunted for a panther somewhere like that.  Not the empty dark inbetween place that we were in.

I breathe the steam of that forest in and I feel the cat inside stretch luxuriantly as it steps on to a branch. It's aware of everything. So am I now, through it. I can hear the tiny clog dances of a million insects, going about their business. Bats shuffle the air above me so gently that the leaves surrounding them do not move.

The ground breathes and nothing here is truly dark. Not when you have the eyes of a cat.

******

It's time for me to go to work. Short walk to the bus with music to keep me company. I know exactly what to listen to as I head out the door. I try and make my movements sleeker, smoother, my footfalls gentle.  I walk to the beat of the music and in my head I sing.... "walk like a panther tonight...."

Friday, 20 May 2011

Final Interlude

Calls echoed through the night and a man exited one house and ran to another. He didn't notice the seagull sat on his roof, watching, but then he had not noticed it in all the time it had watched either. He reached his wife at last and ran his hand across her brow.

'What shall she be called?' Maria asked Jack.

'Sally, for her that was lost, so she may know we do not forget.' Jack spoke and smiled at the tired but pleased look on Mallory's face.

They did not notice the look of knowing on Maria's face, as she walked out the door.

Love Lost

Sally tumbled to the floor with Tom at her side, freed from their bird forms in an instant. Whatever door they had tumbled through had closed behind them in an instant and they lay panting on the floor. Tom's look was one of shock as he realised what sort of a place he was in.

Half sea cave, deep with in the ocean. He watched the fish swim by the strange plants and all in such bright colours. He realised that there was light and it was coming from strange glowing objects whose shape he could not determine. And they were not alone. A bewildering assortment of beings looked on, some looked as human as himself, while some were creatures of the deep, dolphins and octopi and the like, but still watching and waiting, like the people. Then some were crosses between animals and humans and animals.... And then he noticed a throne with a man and he realised Sally was staring at the man with grim determination. not shocked at all.

'You foolish woman, what have you to say for yourself? Do you understand yet, what it is you have done?' The man thundered at Sally causing, the fronds of many of the plants to move as if there was a strong wind issuing from him. Although some of the plants did not move at all, as if they were made of rock.

Tom realised he was in shock and his mind was drifting and dragged himself back.

'I was doing as my Goddess bade me. I was keeping my promise to her, that I would do her will and find my true love and bare a girl child. That I would raise her in the ways of the Goddess and she would be beloved of the Goddess and achieve great things in her name. And YOU! You tried to stop me at every turn! You thwarted her will! How dare you!' Tom stared at his Sally in surprise. He had known she was his true love but the rest was a surprise. Unflinching in his support of her he moved to her side and stared to, at the man on the throne.

'Did it ever occur to you that Danu herself would choose the time and the place and the happening? That pushing at your wyrd can have unforeseen consequences? I have never been against this child being born. Indeed, I did much to aid you! That storm was never sent to hurt you, or him, but to push you to him!' with frustration much evident, he pushed his green tinged hair away from his face.

'You didn't? but then why are you angry? Why did you take Tom away from me? Why?' and as she spoke she grew quieter and tears began to run down her face, although she never wavered in her gaze.

With a sad look and a softer tone, he spoke again, 'His wyrd is not yours. The sisters always had his thread for that night. There was never any possibility of persuading them otherwise, indeed, he should have died that night from a slow lingering pox. My promise of a storm was all that swayed the sisters otherwise, but you, you were supposed to live on, not join him in the spirit world. The short time you had was enough, enough to see you through and to get you with child.'

'No!' Sally gasped, her hand holding her belly as understanding dawned. Tom reached and grasped her shoulder in support. 'I have ruined it all...' and then she turned and wept in Tom's arms.

'Daughter, with all the knowledge and skill you have gained, with all the gifts you have been given, you should know that souls dance through time. What is done is done, but the threads it has woven in your soul can be unwoven, if you have the courage. A different path will be walked than the one that had been chosen, a harder path, but one that can right all the wrong that has been done.' He shrugged, sadly.

'What must I do? What of Tom?' she cried.

Tom grasped her firmly and kissed her on the forehead, 'hush now, think not of me. I am here. I walk beside you and I will do what needs to be done, and I will love you always.'

'Your paths will not cross again for many lives, if they ever do again, I can not say. You may never be together as lovers again, although you may meet in spirit form. This is the way of wyrd. He was to be the baby's father in this life, but now, you will still be it's Mother but there will be another father. He is trapped on this wheel until your actions have righted the broken threads. You must find it in yourself to live your lives until the baby is born, in order for your wyrd to bring you together again. Will you go back? Will you be reborn? Will you live for your daughter, whenever wyrd brings her into being again?'

Sally bowed her head before looking up 'I will do what must be done.'

'And you? What will you do?' Lir stared at Tom deeply.

'I would support my Sally in any way I can. I would be there for her and help her, even if it means I shall never see her again in my own living body. What can I do?' Tom spoke quietly and firmly.

Lir thought for a moment 'So be it, you can choose to remain here in the spirit world until Sally sets you free by breaking this chain of wyrd, as a spirit you can support her. Be aware, she will be no witch of fullsome talents as she is now, her skills she will learn again from scratch. This life she starts as a blank slate, with no memories from beyond the veil to guide her. She may never rebuild her knowledge, she may never learn to travel the spirit world as she can now. She may never know you are here. She may never free you. Her wyrd may take her on other paths. Danu may withdraw her favour and this child may never be born, or born to another. Is this what you wish?'

'I wish to aid her all i can and if I can do that best from this strange world, then so be it. What must I do?' Tom nodded.

'Being as she is, she still has some life about her. In order to be reborn without her abilities, to start again, she has to die here.' Lir paused sadly and looked between them.

'Then let it be by hand and let it be now.' and with that he reached to his waist, believeing his net knife would be there and finding it, he swiftly drew the blade across her throat. All the while she calmly watched him and let him do it. As she died in his arms, their gaze locked together, their eyes burning with love. And he would not let go, even as her body began to fade from view.

New Soul

Mallory's scream tore the night in two.

The inky dark hung over the house, trying to see inside, between the cracks in the curtains. The door suddenly opened and Jack staggered out, looking punch-drunk and shocked. He turned to look in the door and then took off at a run, sprinting towards one of the other houses hugging the steep valley wall that hung above the sea.

He had gotten close to his target when the door opened and Maria stepped out, bag in hand. He skidded to a stop and stood still and silent, staring at Maria.

'Well, lad, get yerself inside and have a tot and I am sure Blue will be along soon to keep yer company.' Maria steadfastly walked on past Jack, heading to the home Jack now shared with Mallory. The home that her brother and his wife had once inhabited too.

Jacl stared, mouth hung open until relief began to win over the shock and beat back his desire to be with Mallory and he hurried inside Maria's house to share a drink with her husband. He knew he would still hear Mallory, all be it faintly.

Time would pass and he would be called to see his child....

Assuming the bairn lived. Assuming Mallory survived. but then she had Maria and she had Danu's blessing as well, surely as it was now Imbolc to the very night.... Nine months since the night the Goddess had opened his eyes to his love. A gift. but then not all got to enjoy their gifts for very long....

He held his mug up to the fire in a silent toast to those lost.

Love Goes Deep

Sally knew the way of such things and she knew that tonight was a special night and she knew how to open the door to what lay beneath. She only hoped that Tom would trust her.

He keened into the wind, the sad call of the sea gull echoing her sorrow and she knew he was concerned for her. She could still feel him, feel his love. She led him aimlessly in circles, out to sea and back again, waiting.

The sun set and slowly the world turned to darkness as the last of it's light drained down through the waves.

Then the moon rose full above the sea, bright silver in the dark, so bright so full. Like a mother, pregnant and full and then her heart ached, for she knew what she had done by choosing to cross over in to the spirit world as she had and her cry joined Tom's and she dove for the silver path in the sea.

The sea gull flew after the storm petrel, desperately, and disappeared beneath the calm surface.

Love Joins Souls

Mallory awoke, feeling so happy and it took her a moment to remember why. And then the hand gently curled around hers. A reflex action as the owner awoke and she remembered and she knew and her hand drifted to her belly and she knew that to.

The sun shone brightly all around. The grasses rasped together to create a fine song in time with the crashing of the waves in the distance. It was if the world sang together in celebration of this moment, this time. And she fell in to Jack's eyes and without a word, she knew she would not be alone again in this life.

Saturday, 26 September 2009

The Gift

The witch moved through the wood. Silently and slowly, not looking for anything, not doing anything. Aimless. The path led where it would, up hill and down hill, through green tunnels and clearings. Time passed.

She found her gaze drawn by red, red berries. Hanging in great swathes from the branches of diminutive silver trees. Rowan, Witch Wood. She wanted witch wood, coveted it and desired it. What would she do to get it? Would she climb down dangerous slopes to get it? No.

On she went for today was not the day she would gain Rowan. The sunlight fell through the branches of pines to dapple soft moss. It blazed across the valley where the path moved out of shelter. Birds called in the distress, the meow of the Buzzard. Mushrooms grew in little puffy balls on the side of the path. Legless Lizards moved through the peaty soil, shy and secret.

She walked on till she neared a fork in the road and realised Rowan trees grew all round it. She scoured the trees for the merest offering off wood, but not a twig remained under the trees. Would she take living wood, wrenched from a living tree? No. But she was sorely tempted.

Her eye was caught by a tiny cluster of berries, fallen from the bough and caught beneath. She took them as a gift, generously given. They were not what she sought but no gift should be turned down, not when it is truly given. She gave silent thanks to the mother of the forest and turned to walk on.

It was then that her eye caught it. A branch, almost as big as her lay on the ground caught in the fork of the road. A few brown and wrinkly leaves remained but it was easy to see it was Witchen with it's silver bark marked with tiny black warts. She wanted wood for a wand. It would be her first but no wood had spoken to her or been gifted but here it was. At the base of the branch a short, thicker section hung by a thread. It was easily removed and would look pretty and work well for her.

She looked at the remaining branch and went to lay it down but hesitated. It did not do to hand back a gift. She striped it of twigs and leaves. She removed the rotten ends of the topmost reaches. A slender, bowed stick emerged with a fork. Not a stick but a stang. A true stang. Freely given by the Mother of the Forest, made of Wicken Tree with a fork. She had never had a stang before and here it was.

She smiled and walked on.