Forever Never/The Dawn of Illusion
by Cheryl Pennington
As M’na feels the pangs of loneliness, watching her beautiful gift growing into his own maturity, another also watches-and shares her loneliness, one that is mingled with his own. This loneliness spawns an idea as his dark agenda morphs into a plan….
How fortuitous that now it appeared the Mother of Perfection in the flesh was feeling lonely for another child. He could not have created a more perfect scenario, thought the dark one; and it was time for them both to be satisfied. He decided to approach Bandia first. Always his ally, he knew she was devoted to him; however, he also knew he must be clever, for her first allegiance was to Mor as were all else in infernal Eternity.
“Can’t you see the child is developing with an amazing sense of completeness and with no sign of a dark influence?” coaxed Ar’tine. “Surely if you were to approach Mor..on my behalf-for you are in the brightest Light before the others within the Realm-I know the Creator would listen. And you alone always have my best interests at heart..as well as those of As’me.” Cunning was only one step ahead of his silent desperation as he made his plea to the goddess.
She, too, was uncertain why there was a delay to begin other creations on Dohman, as well as returning As’me to human life. She knew as well, but didn’t dare express the thought to her volatile soul companion, that Mac and Inion would never agree to returning As’me to the care and nurturing of Ar’tine-changes or not.
“I will speak to Mac about it very soon, Mac an Mor(she continued to honor him with his birth name). I understand As’me is very impatient to be returned to physical existence again, to experience what was taken from her.” The goddess felt only a momentary flash of apprehension for the implication. She needed to remind the god of his role in this situation and of his place within the Realm-a place of his own construction. “All will be as it is meant to be in the face of Eternity and the thought of Mor,” she finished.
Ar’tine knew what that meant and he didn’t like it, not one bit. It meant the continual, maddening lack of control he felt over his own Creation. He, with the greatest drive to teach his creations about their gifts and powers, was last among the Creators. How could the creatures on Dohman continue to be content with leaving their fate in the hands of these Eternal Procrastinators when their world would be so much more magnificent if it were full of more living, creating beings!
An idea began to seed itself within his core; and it was being met with applause by the audience that lurked in his dark forest of a soul. When Bandia was moved to leave him again, he was careful to hide his growing impatience, trying to act the part of complacent servant. “I will be on Dohman Eile, then, awaiting the desires of Spirit-of course.”
Once she was gone he mumbled with determination, “I have more pressing matters to attend to anyway.” Ar’tine retreated to his world to walk among the gray mists. There he could think, could nurture the seeds of instigation that had rooted themselves in his thought. And he needed practice, for it had been too long since he had taken form in flesh and breathed the dense air of his world. Practice would be a good way to forget the endless waiting. Seeking a place of dark vapors and heavy veils, where he thought the others would not easily observe his workings, the god began to work.
As he immersed himself trying different transformations, his mood lifted as was enjoying the task immensely. With each form he took he grew stronger and breathed more easily. Practicing each transformation, the god worked himself into a frenzy. This didn’t take much effort, for with every thought of his As’me being kept from him there arose within his bleak countenance a new rage; yet diligently he learned to control the fire within while allowing his thought and feelings to remain clear. His pride grew stronger with each moment of control he gained over his own darkness. His thoughts became larger than his burning as he declared to the cold, dark stone upon which he stood, “One day Mor will see me and know my power; and in that moment it will be me who is first.”
Mor did see and know one thing for certain. Ar’tine was not ready to receive As’me into his care again. Still, Great Spirit continued to know only love for all within the Realm and held out hope for Its Son’s creation. It would not interfere. Not yet….