Forever Never/The Dawn of Illusion
by Cheryl Pennington
My apologies for the lengthy departure from the story, but life has a way of throwing out those curves. When we left the inhabitants of Dohman, M’na had given birth to Eternity’s hope of the soul’s completion in her son. The ceremony of dedication was joined by those in the Eternal Realm, arriving in the forms of the creatures who inhabit M’na’s world. All was well until Ar’tine arrived, stirring the protective emotions in the new mother of Dohman. Before he left, wounded, a temporary truce had been made; but it did not stir the dark nature of his soul enough to make a lasting difference. Finally, M’or joined the ceremony to bless the child and give him his name of Am’hain. As the cycles pass the child grows taller and moves from within the shadow of a Mother’s love into independence…..
Am’hain had grown in stature over these many cycles and was nearly as high as his Mother’s waist. He was at ease with all living things in his world and walked among the animals with ease. His relationship with his environment was as bright and full as was his love for his mother and father. Even as he wobbled upon tiny legs, his ability to communicate with all of life was perfect; and he never questioned why there was not another young one like him in this, his new world. He asked many questions to which M’na and Fireann provided the answers the best way they could.
The little ones face was at first furtive before his eyebrows relaxed and his nose scrunched up as he grinned and boldly replied, “I will never know of being alone, Mother, for you will never be gone far from me.” His upturned face glowed, for he bore the faith of the innocent; and yet still he asked the unanswerable question. “Will you?”
In earnest, she had done what any parent would do from then until the end of time. She told a white lie with the truth of all truths behind it. “Of course not, my little one. I will never ever leave you as long as I breathe the air of Dohman.”
He had been so young at the time; and she had patted his tiny brown head as she led him around to every corner of that special place, pointing out all of the magnificent flowers and plants that grew there and nowhere else. She explained he was not to go there alone, for it was Sacred and there were many other places he could explore on his own.
As they were passing once more through the entry she looked back over her shoulder at the tree of Creation and noticed the fruit hanging there, fully ripe and glowing in the orange sunlight. She remembered her Mother Bandia’s admonition not to eat of it. It was with wistful hesitation that she left the place of peace as her mind considered the possibility of future children, brothers and sisters for Am’hain. His birth seemed so long ago now…
These musings were interrupted by her son’s voice as he crashed back through the bushes and cursed himself. “By the Creators, I forgot my arrows!” Am’hain looked up at his mother briefly to smile before making his way back to join Fireann. When he saw her tear-filled eyes, he rushed over to hug her neck and ask if everything was alright. M’na didn’t realize she had been weeping, so deeply in her thoughts had she ventured.
Reaching up to run her fingers through his tangle of hair, she smiled at him warmly. “I was only just now remembering the day you were born. It was a glorious day indeed. So tiny, so happy to see your Mother’s face. And now..”
He interrupted, “But Mother, I love to see your face every day! ” She glowed at the words, but he fidgeted as he tried to reassure his most beloved mother. “Father is just going to show me how to shoot the hard fruits from the high trees now; and I want to learn it so that I might impress Eolas when he visits again,” he rambled on.
M’na smiled and patiently finished, “I was simply going to say that now you are so tall and so full in Spirit, it does a Mother’s heart good to see what a strong male you are becoming. That’s all.” She looked down at her hands as she spoke for fear he would know the truth in her eyes. Lying to save him from guilt, a Mother’s sacrifice, was something new for M’na; but sacrifice was a thing she would come to know as her special gift. Soon her Son would truly understand the depth of her Love and the weight of his gift to the World of Dohman.
With the assurance of her comforting words, Am’hain brushed her brow with a whisper of a kiss before darting off into the woods, shouting as he went, “Father, wait! Don’t start yet. I have my arrows, the ones Laoch made for me….”