Out of the Caves/Forever Never


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Forever Never/The Dawn of Illusion

by Cheryl Pennington

copyright photos and written work

2014

As Eolas and Laoch make the final journey into the unexplored land where the strange and endless smoke spirals up towards the heavens;  the females of Espera prepare for their arrival, unaware of just who is coming. Meanwhile, the Sorceress and Eagna find themselves entertaining the curious males from the land of caves, searching souls who will reveal their own secrets before the sun sets on Domhan again; but the knowledge will only add to the mystery that is unfolding on their peaceful world….

Out of the Caves

Rith and Carraig slowed down as the group neared Eagna’s home, coming to a standstill near the edge of the porch, their eyes wide with wonder. They had never seen such a thing.  Naofa and Eagna exchanged curious glances, amused by the sight of them standing just shy of the porch, their mouths agape and heads cocked to the side. They began to converse in conspiratorial whispers, pointing and making small, whistling noises as they surveyed the dwelling and pointing at the rooftop, then the windows,  before finally dropping to their knees for a peek under the porch! After a few moments of this scrutiny, Eagna nudged the mesmerized Sorceress, nodding to the pair, who continued to mutter and shake their heads in amazement.

“Well then, shall we go inside?,” asked Eagna as she skirted the males and gingerly mounted the steps. Her lilting voice broke the spell of awe that had befallen the pair; and they cautiously crept up the steps after the lovely female who lived in such a magnificent home.  “Dear Mother please help me not to laugh,” Eagna whispered a prayer as she stepped across the porch and dropped the freshly picked herbs in her storage bin.. As she stepped through the doorway, Eagna felt the warm sun as it filtered through the window and struck her face; and so, too, was her heart struck with its warmth as a deep loneliness for Eolas enveloped her soul. She slipped her fingers across her belly and smiled, offering  a silent prayer to Spirit for the safe travels and success of their journey..

Naofa nearly ran over the new arrivals who had once again come to a halt just outside the entrance, frozen in a state of uncertainty. Their eyes were wide and their mouths hung open as though they wanted to speak but the words could not find their way out.  “Why do you hesitate?” she asked.  Feeling mischievous, she added dryly, “There is nothing to fear. We had roasted cave dweller for our meal just last night!”  Rith gasped and looked at Carraig in terror; but the gruff one knew a teasing word when he heard it.  He rolled his eyes and started up the steps, followed by a slightly wary Rith who looked back at the Sorceress.  Try as she might, she could not hide the devilish glee that covered her face, assuring him they were safe.

Once inside, Carraig was eager to explain their hesitation. “Please forgive us, Sorceress, for we are ground dwellers and have never seen a place such as this-rising above the ground and sitting in the Light of day! And on top of that we have never been in the presence of…”(he looked furtively at Rith)..”the presence of a Sorcere..”  Naofa cut his words in mid sentence.

“Please do not continue to address me in this way. It is most important that…my gifts..remain known to but few. These things work for the good of Domhan and the Family in the Garden.” She paused to look at the male who stared back, sizing her up with more than a small amount of confusion in his eyes. She held out her hand and he hesitantly offered a chubby fist, which she grasped, crouching to meet him eye to eye.  She chose her words carefully.  “Carraig.  We…whom you call Light Ones…were born on Domhan with a purpose, just as you and your companions have been. If it became common knowledge among all humans exactly who I am at this point, there is the possibility that the thought of darkness might seek control of the gifts that I possess for its own purpose. Every living soul is vulnerable to its influence.  Do you understand what I am trying to tell you?”

Dawning shone on his face, her words settling into understanding, and his pride dissolved beneath the touch of her hand. Carraig nodded solemnly and Naofa peeked around his broad shoulders at Rith who still stood, hesitant, in the doorway. Eagna walked over and relieved him of the spoils of their hunting that now lay at his feet.  Naofa opened her mouth to repeat her request to the portly male standing there; but his round head already bobbed up and down, an affirmation that he, too, understood her words. Her misty gray eyes, like vast pools of comfort, encouraged him to speak.

“We have waited for you to visit to our land, bringing word of the Garden Family.  We are ready to accept our roles in the great river of life on Domhan,” he said quietly, jutting his stubbly chin forward to emphasize his own certainty that their role would indeed be one of importance.  Naofa rose to her feet and nodded at Rith, motioning for him to come inside. “Flump!” Eagna’s stone struck the boards of the porch near his heels, sending him careening forward with a terrified look back over his shoulder.  Who were these eternal beings that were part of Domhan’s mystery and yet were so simply capable and strong? He wondered.

Naofa laughed and drew him inside. “Please, come now and sit. Eagna will prepare the food you have hunted.  Once we have filled our stomachs,  we can talk of what has been as well as what may come to be.”  As if in affirmation, Carraig’s stomach growled a resounding  “yes”, causing them all to laugh, easing the tension.

.

Naofa stepped outside for extra stools from the porch.  The males exchanged glances, huge grins now spread across their faces as they relaxed and  appreciated their surroundings. It was bright! And warm-so full of color and light. How different was this place from their cave dwelling. It wasn’t that they were unhappy in their own world. There was a reason for their being born there, and they knew it.  Spending their days in the depths, bringing out the rocks from within the stony hills and storing them within the caves was not a bad life. Their land had plenty of animals to hunt and eat, there was a beautiful lake nearby full of fish, and their beds were warmed at night by companions. But the sensation they were experiencing in the brilliance of color and light in the above-the-ground home was new and exciting.

“I understand why they call them Light Ones,” Carraig whispered hoarsely, nodding.  His voice carried through the doorway, and Noafa smiled; for she knew the gentle males did not yet understand the magnitude of the title they were using. She winked at Eagna, who carried the raw meat inside and continued preparations for stewing and smoking, while Naofa put the stools at the table and began stoking the fire. Once the bright flames licked upward, she returned to the delighted males huddled at the table, murmuring and trying to absorb all they were experiencing.

“I’m curious,” Naofa said as she pulled her stool close to the table and sat down.   She carefully crossed her hands in her lap and tilted her head, surveying the strange pair. “Have none of your tribe ventured beyond your caves before now?” Carraig and Rith looked at each other, then back at the Sorceress and shook their heads in unison.  No. “And  what was it that brought you to venture out now?”

They fidgeted on their stools and exchanged furtive looks, then looked nervously down at their hands, fingers tapping on the table. This time it was the coarse voice of Rith that spoke up. “Well…we were told to wait for the sign before seeking counsel with the Light Ones..and,” but before he could finish, Carraig broke in as seemed to be the pattern with them.

“Yep, we were told there would be a sign. And there was. It was a dream of his“, he said with a bit of disdain and poked his friend in the ribs. “But he ignored it, didn’t tell no one about it.”

Looking pained and guilty, Rith added, defensively,  “Well, we weren’t told it would be a dream. How did I know it wasn’t just some bad food or my mind playing tricks, I ask you?” He spread his hands in exasperation and shrugged.

Carraig glared at him, unrelenting. “Well, maybe if you had paid it proper attention, you wouldn’t have had the other one.” He shook his head and shuddered. “The awful, horrible one.”  He pinched Rith in the arm for emphasis, and the victim winced for the mild pain and greater embarrassment.
Naofa’s curiosity was piqued; and she wanted details. But she dared not alarm their guest or they might retreat out the doorway in a mad dash to return to their caves.  She needed to keep them focused, so she put her hand on top of Carraig’s fist as she continued.

“Well, Rith, let’s start with the first dream, the one you didn’t share right away. What happened in this dream?” Eagna put cups in front of them, each filled with her special herb tea.  It had a pleasant aroma and she knew that chamomile would help the situation.  The aromatic steam rose into their nostrils, bringing a welcome feeling of calm.

“May I…first, if it please you?” asked Rith, grasping his cup and holding it up, seeking approval from Naofa.

“By all means, go ahead. Enjoy your tea. We are not in a hurry.” (She lied. She seemed to be in a perpetual hurry to glean information lately.)  “The drink will do you good. We have all had quite a morning,” she said as she reached up to take her own cup from Eagna. It did smell wonderful and, smiling at Rith, she took a drink first, just to let the curious fellows know it was safe to ingest. As soon as she swallowed, they eagerly lifted their cups and quickly downed the soothing liquid.

“My goodness you were thirsty,” said Eagna.  “Shall I get you both some water?” Their heads bobbed up and down appreciatively. “We were traveling a long time before we came upon you in the water, Sorcer.., umm, I mean….before we found..you…there in the water…um..Ma’am.” Rith’s words tripped over his tongue.

How could she make them relax? “You may call me Naofa, for that is my given name. Agreed?”  They nodded, and she noted they soon stopped fidgeting.  “Are you ready to continue with your story, Rith? I’m eager to hear about your dream.” Naofa smiled as warmly as she could, while Rith pushed his cup to the center of the table, feeling the warm effect of its contents rippling through his body. He glanced across the table at the strong, lovely female who only a short while ago was a mere fish in the water. Her long, dark locks were twisted on top of her head, but rebel strands had escaped the knot and played in wisps about her cheeks. In that moment he was delighted to watch them dancing in the breezes that came through the window. Then his eyes met hers and he was quickly drawn into the gray, hypnotic pools of the ocean depths.  He took a deep breath and began in a whisper; but as the story unfolded his voice grew stronger and louder.

Rith looked at Carraig, “We been traveling-what, a few cycles?” His friend nodded and Rith continued, “It happened before we left. I felt queer-like during that cycle, not of my own mind. I couldn’t keep up in the caves and I felt an uneasy rolling..”  He patted his gut. “But it wasn’t anything I ate, for that day I wasn’t very hungry either. As soon as the sun found the high mark in the sky, the others told me to go up and call it done. You see, we sleep in the high caves, so we are close to the outside where we can hunt…and take care of our business.” He winked at Carraig who raised his eyebrows and nodded at Noafa, cautioning his friend to be respectful.
The Sorceress suppressed a smile that was threatening to break free and Rith slapped a hand to his mouth, looking apologetic, . “Pardon, ma’am..um…Naofa…we all have to go….”

Naofa agreed, “Indeed it is true, so please be yourself. You are among friends.” She winked at Eagna who buried her face in her cup to stifle a giggle but her laugh went into the tea, sending bubbles up around the edges and dribbles spilling over the sides. She quickly excused herself to get a cloth.

Rith was relieved they were so understanding.. “Anyway, I went up thinking I would catch a short sleep then go back down to finish out the work with the others. But when I lay down, my head felt as heavy and black as a load of the rock we carry up out of the caves. Then it came. The dream, I mean-only I didn’t know it was a dream.” Naofa leaned in and rested her chin in her hands, mere inches from Rith’s face. It made him nervous and excited at the same moment.  “Well…I was all of a sudden walking down a long stretch in one of the caves, though I can’t say as I could ever take you there, for surely it does not exist in the caves we know. But there it was and there I was and there was a faint light off in the dark; and I could-now don’t you laugh-I could hear a voice inside my head.”

Rith looked around at the others sheepishly, expecting them to burst out laughing at his nonsense. Silence hung over the table; and they were keenly attentive, so he went on. “The voice wasn’t in here,” he whispered and grasped his rather large ears.

Naofa instinctively stiffened, shifting uneasily on her stool. (Voices in dreams had recently shown themselves to not be a good thing.)

“It was a soft voice,” continued Rith.  “And as gentle as the wind; but behind the softness was real strength, like a thunderstorm. You could tell it. I wasn’t afraid, but I wanted to know who was speaking to me. She, for surely it was a she, told me to come to the Light. She said she needed me to do something for Domhan, that it was time. I thought at first my feet would not move, but I forced them on with my head; and the closer I got to that Light, the brighter it glowed and the warmer it seemed with the voice still calling, still promising… then something inside me…”  He thumped his chest in the center. “…something inside here…exploded! Then I felt pulled by that light.  I wanted to see it up close, to be in it,  as soon as I could.”

He looked around waiting for someone to question or ridicule, but none did. Eagna, who had been tending to the food while she was up, returned to her seat, gazing earnestly at the speaker. The Wise Female already knew what he was going to say, for Mother Spirit remained close to her daughters in Essence; and she eagerly urged him on. “Please continue Rith. What happened when you reached the Light?”

 “I was running to get to that Light like my very life was for it; but when I reached the glow of it, I couldn’t go into the cave where it was filling every corner because it was so bright! I had to cover my eyes, but cover them I did; and I was going in even if I had to feel my way.  Seeing that light was like looking into the eyes of Father Sun but without the heat. I just had to see who was talking to me. I began to grope my way around, but there came the sound of fluttering and at that moment a cool breeze fell on my face. In the blink of my eyes, the Light dimmed and I could see…” He looked at Carraig, a question in his eyes. His friend nodded for him to go on. He still felt he sounded like a madman every time he told the story. “I was in the most grand of caverns, one like we don’t have in the caves…um….normally. And. Right there in front of me was the biggest white bird I have ever seen. You know, the ones that call out soft and low to their mates? But it was so white! I began to feel afraid; but just then it, it…wrapped its wings around me. And I can tell you right now that I knew no more fear; and if I could stay wrapped in the wings of that bird I would never be afraid all of my life. Then it spoke again. Inside my head.” He tapped his temples.

“She said, ‘It is time to come together for the good of Domhan. Go to the Light Ones. They will tell you what to do; and you will all join together to guard the life in the Garden. It is the heart of your world and must be protected.’ I couldn’t speak but I didn’t need to. I could only say, ‘Yes, Mother,’ but I don’t know why I said it. We don’t have much memory of how we came to be on Domhan but we know there is a Great Spirit that watches over us, that protects and loves us. But I don’t remember no Mother.  But I said yes to that Mother, I did! And then I looked up into her great black bird eyes and they glinted gold, like the stuff in some of our rocks we drag up every day. Those eyes were smiling at me and I never wanted to leave her. But She told me to go back and tell the others it was time to find the Light Ones-you.” Rith pointed a cautious finger at Naofa and swung it over to point at Eagna.  Then he looked solemnly down at the table, running his hands over the cool, hard surface.  “It was with a heavy heart I turned away; and then I heard the fluttering again and all was dark. I cried out in that dream, I did, I called to that Mother, ‘Don’t leave me alone!’ And she whispered inside my head, ‘I am always with you, as all in Eternity are. Look to the skies for remembrance.’ Do you think she meant she’s one of them birds that we hear calling?” His eyes were pleading, and Naofa longed to ease his emptiness in that moment.

It was Eagna who reached out to touch his now trembling club of a hand and, wrapping her fingers around it, she answered him earnestly. “Rith, the Goddess Mother is in all of Domhan, for She IS Domhan. We are all one here. So, yes, when you see the  dove, it may serve as a reminder of her promise to you. But you should see Great Spirit in all that exists. What did you do next?”
This was when Rith became uncomfortable and fidgety again. He shifted in his seat, withdrawing his hand from Eagna’s, and lowered his head in obvious shame. Carraig nudged him. “Go on, be finished with it. We’re here now so it don’t matter no more. Tell them.”

Rith lifted his head and continued, “When the Light was gone I started to feel lost in the dark of the great cave, not remembering which way would get me out.  I heard a low growling away behind me and when I turned back to look, I saw..I saw…red eyes peering at me. Then I heard it breathing. It sounded big-and it started towards me, clawing the rocky floor as it came; and I tell you these stumpy legs couldn’t  run fast enough to get me out of that place! No matter that I didn’t know where to run-I just knew I had to stay ahead of those  eyes! I could hear it pant as it drew closer and closer. Then, just as I could feel It’s hot breath on my neck,  I woke up, safe on my blanket. I sat up, clutching my throat, sweating like I’d been in the water. I looked around, searching for the thing that was at me, wishing I was back in the bosom of that great bird. When my eyes were back to normal, I could see the sun glowing red as it started its fall behind the hills. I heard voices talking and laughing as the others made their way up from the deep caves. The females were down below preparing the night meal.”

Rith looked at the faces of those with him at the table, noting the varied expressions upon each. Carraig looked both empathetic and disdainful at once. The Sorceress’s face showed lines of concern, her eyes shadowed in deep concentration. Eagna’s face was peaceful and lovely, broken by but a single furrow that knitted her brows together, like the one piece of gristle in a perfect stew. He knew he had to finish this part of the story. “Well, once I knew it was a dream, and realized I was still safe among my friends and mate, well…I thought they would call me mad for such a dream. I was afraid if I spoke of it, the beast in the dark would return and finally catch up to devour me.”

His overly large head dropped again, but Naofa would have none of it. She reached across and placed her fingers beneath his hairy chin, forcing him to look up once more. “There is no Fear in Perfect Love! This must become your meditation, your source of constant support. You are never alone, and there is nothing within the darkness which can devour you as long as you remember it is within you and not without. It is the Light and Dark within your own Soul that combine to create the human we know as Rith.”
Somehow, hearing her words, although he wasn’t sure he understood it all too clearly yet, made him feel whole again. “But tell, me, Sorc-uhh-Naofa, Ma’am, why would such a beast laugh when it just lost its prey?”

Naofa started, looked at Rith sideways and asked, “This beast laughed at you?” He nodded slowly, wrinkling his brow. “Yep, and it was a laugh of pure delight, like it was having fun.”

Naofa lowered her head for a moment and Eagna reached a free hand to touch her arm. ‘Oh, Ar’tine, what games you play in the name of power,’ The Sorceress thought to herself.  The two females looked at one another, their mutual concern evident in their eyes.
“Why don’t we have a bit of food and then we can hear about the other dream, the one that brought you from your hiding place and into our land,” suggested Eagna.

Everyone breathed a sigh of relief and nodded agreement, so Eagna and Naofa put out the meal. The rabbits were removed from the fire, and fresh herbs mixed with the meat. Another round of water was poured; and the smells were tantalizing. Admittedly, they were all hungry;  but before they began to eat, Eagna motioned for them to offer blessing and thanks for the life that was given  for their own.  Rith and Carraig were familiar with this ritual, for it was their custom as well.

They all knew that the essence of Domhan was a cycle and every living thing was dependent upon another for its survival. As her soft voice filled the room, the males bowed their bulbous, hairy heads in respect, hanging on every  word.
“Spiorad Mor, Mother Inion and all in our Eternal Family, we ask that you bless this meal and to accept the souls of those whose essence now joins with our own. May we accept their purpose and honor the life that these creatures lived in the great cycle of existence.
And so it is.”
“And so it is,” they all answered.

In a state of reverence and peace, they ate well.  Naofa filled her bowl with fresh fruits and greens, for she did not care for the flesh of the animals. Within her mind, Eagna quietly lifted her own prayer, ‘And walk with Eolas and Laoch as they venture into the land of smoke. See them through their quest and safely home to us once more.’

As they ate, the females inquired about life among the ground dwellers and were fascinated to learn that this tribe truly had no recollection of their birth, only that they came to be there and instinctively they began to dig into the rocky hillsides of their homeland to find caverns and caves, which they knew needed to be cleared and made ready for homes, for safe hiding places.   But hiding places for whom, or from what, they were not certain. Some of the caves held beautiful colored stones that, when polished, were quite lovely.

Naofa showed great interested in this part of their story, for she worked with the natural stones from her ocean cliffs and surrounding mountains. She knew that all within the body of Domhan had a power and a purpose. So did her sister. “What do you do with these stones?,” inquired Eagna.

“We store them in one of the caves. We been doing it since we first went in, but the dark rocks are what we gather and bring out. No one knows why we do it, we were just told to,” stated Rith.

Naofa was intrigued and simply had to ask, “Well, if you have no recollection of your birth, exactly how is it that you knew what to do?  And who-or what-told you these things?”

With a mouth full of rabbit, Carraig mumbled, “It was told us by the Creators.” Both females looked startled. How maddening these males were!. First they said they had no recollection of their birth and that they knew no one else on Domhan, yet they were sitting before them now and shoveling rabbit into their mouths, saying they were “told” to clear their caves and gather stones. Before either could express their confusion, Carraig wiped the juice that dribbled down his chin with his sleeve and continued, “When we first opened our eyes and looked around, we were on a hillside, partly grass and rock. We could see the light reflections on the water, our lake. All of us were hungry and thirsty so we made for that strange pool; but none was brave enough to go into its dark mouth, even with the light shining on top. All around it were prickly bushes; but those bushes had sweet treasures on them, and we ate all we could of those berries.  Then we slowly crept into the water, where we found lots of living things.  Not yet knowing we could eat these creatures, we splashed around with them awhile, and climbing out near the water’s edge, we pulled some of the grasses growing there and chewed on those. They weren’t so bad; but now that we know about rabbits and fish, well….”. He finished his sentence by stuffing a particularly large piece of meat into his mouth, sending small, oily droplets flying across the table.  Rith looked disgusted, clucked his tongue, and picked up the story.

“On that hillside was a partly covered cave. It was overgrown with grasses that hid the opening so we almost missed it. But our new eyes were sharp, and we did see it.  We pulled back the grasses and vines to clear the way and opened up that cave, we did.” Rith looked proudly at Carraig and nodded before going on. “Carraig and me offered to go in first to check things out before the others followed.  Since then we were called the Scouts for our tribe. Maybe we’re just too stupid not to let anyone else do it, but we’ve been that way since the beginning, by our own choice.”

He rolled his eyes upward and pointed with a chubby forefinger toward the ceiling. “Or by direction,” he whispered. Instinctively the others followed his movement, looking at the wood above their heads as if expecting something miraculous to be there.  But it was only the ceiling.

“Anyway,” he continued,  “We went inside this dark hole in the mountain not knowing if we were even coming back out, and we felt our way down a long tunnel.  It got so hot and closed in, and we were squeezed tight in some places. Just when we thought about turning back, we saw a light ahead of us.  We kept going; and the closer we got to that light, we started to feel a small breeze and could breathe again.  The nearer we got to the light, it felt like a wind blowing.  We filled our lungs gratefully then.  We wouldn’t have wanted our first day on Domhan to be our last one too-you know?” The others nodded their agreement.

“Once we reached the light we couldn’t speak.  The walls of that huge room were black and solid rock; but light was breaking in through all these little cracks above us,” he said, once again pointing his chubby finger to the ceiling.  No one followed it this time. “And all the little pieces of light that slipped through those cracks made the place bright so you could see. Once our eyes got used to light again, we started to look around us. There was a wall much longer than the others, and the mouth of a tunnel going from that great room into the caverns beyond. It was on that long wall that we could see the messages they left for us, scratched across its face in the stone. We knew it was for us. Don’t ask me how. It was just in here.” He tapped his head. “We noticed the stones first, so big and bright. We saw all the figures scratched in that wall and knew which ones were us from the shapes and sizes; but the ones with the bright stones we knew were the Creators because they were much taller than the others-and they held tools in their hands. That’s how we knew to make our own tools.  Below each of their feet lay our bodies, some whole and some not; for each Creator put some part of us together. Some of our eyes were open and others looked as though still asleep. All down the line they put us together.  Each of the Creators gave us some part of their own essence. Our breath, our legs and arms, our eyes-every thing that makes us whole.

Enchanted by this tale, neither Eagna nor Naofa wanted to speak for fear of breaking the spell, but Eagna had a specific question she wanted answered. “These stone…heads,” she began, “what color were they? Were they all the same size and color?”

Rith continued the story, having finished his meat and shoved his bowl aside. He shook his head vigorously from side to side. “Oh no, Ma’am.  Eagna?” She nodded her approval. “No, each was a different color. All but one was big. It was smaller and back apart from the big ones. If we can go out to the ground, I’ll show you.”

Carraig wasn’t happy about this. He was not finished with his meal, but he scooped up his bowl and followed the others out the door and down the steps. Looking around and kicking the ground with one foot, Rith searched until he found a patch of dry dirt, free of grass and rock. There he withdrew a stone knife from his waistband.  Kneeling in the dirt, he began to feverishly scratch figures into the soft ground, attempting to duplicate that mural which had become their knowledge of life.

“I’ll just use these plain stones for the heads,” he muttered. “But they were each a different color, and nowhere else in all of our land have we found all the different colors of stone together but right here.” He stabbed the point of his knife right in the middle of the figures. The onlookers waited breathlessly for more.

He tapped the stone of the tallest figure then pointed up, toward the clouds. “The color of the first is just like those. Pure, without a speck in it.”  This stately figure also had small dots all around its head which Eagna at once speculated represented the energy of Creation but which, to the human eye, appeared to form a band around the head. This was Mother Inion, of course.  “And it shines,” he said, “like that what runs through the cave walls and glows when you light it with the flame.”
The females looked at one another quizzically, for neither had knowledge of this type of stone. Looking back at the dirt drawing, they observed that lying at the base of this first figure was another, presumably meant to represent one of Rith’s clan, for it was small  with a large head. This “new” creation was lying lifeless. It had definite mounds upon its chest which identified it as female. Eagna nodded in comprehension. Naofa knelt to one knee to get a clearer perspective of the drawing coming to life in the soft earth. Turning his attention to the next figure, Rith touched its stone head and then dug his knife into the dirt,  deeply so that the dark earth was exposed. “This is the color of the next Creator. This figure was holding the tools we now use to crack open rock and make the stones that we carry up to the surface.  This Creator gave us our strength and agility. There are other walls in other rooms deeper inside the cave that had messages about the tools, so we would know how to make them.”
Eagna noted the round figure beneath this next “creator” was half sitting and its appendages were more pronounced. There had been made hairs upon its round face and obvious parts that made it uniquely male. The masculine, she thought.  Its eyes were still closed but one arm was reaching up and outward to the figure which followed it in this line of life now flowering near the foot of the next Creator. “Mac, the Father of Domhan Eile,” she said softly without realizing she had spoken aloud.
Rith looked up and cocked his head to one side, “Ma’am-Eagna?”, he questioned. She didn’t respond so, undaunted,  he continued.  “This one,” he gestured  towards the sky, “is like the first, only with little bits of all the other colors in it. It changes with the light.” Naofa could see this Creator had wavy lines coming from its mouth, a good representation of breath.  The  rounded figure which knelt before this Creator held its mouth open as though inhaling the line of breath into itself.  Its eyes were open. One arm was extended to the previous figure, as though ready to help it up. Rith pointed to the eyes of both figures and said, “The light was in both. It was the birth of our souls.”
Eagna and Naofa looked at each other and said in unison, “Mother Bandia,” and nodded.
All eyes looked to the last figure, drawn slightly apart and behind the others. The stone Rith had used for its head was way too large for its body’; and it appeared to be stooping behind the Creators with no hand in the process. Before anyone realized what he was doing, Rith swiped his knife across his shirt, then with a point made fine by much use, he stuck in into the skin of his forearm, just enough to draw a crimson bead of blood from his pale skin. He looked up, opening his mouth to speak; but the words didn’t have time to pass through his lips. Both Naofa and Eagna spoke at the same moment without hesitation and without knowing each other’s thoughts.  “Ar’tine.”
Rith and Carraig looked at one another. Until now, there had been no names associated with their Creators, only that they existed, somewhere. Now Rith, somehow overwhelmed by his task, sat back and looked at the depiction of their birth, sketched into the earth. It seemed as though he was seeing it again for the first time. Forgetting his promise he asked in honest confusion. “What does it mean, Sorceress?” She looked him in the eye, ignoring the title he slipped and used again, as he continued, “The one behind the others, who appears to have no part in our creation. Why does it hide?” Looking first at the series of figures on the ground and then back into the rugged, honest face of Rith, Naofa answered him the only way she could, “Because He is afraid of the Light, of his own Light. Of ALL Light.”

She wanted to have a fair idea of the knowledge these people possessed before she tried to explain all the events that had played out in their lives on Domhan thus far. With this in mind, she asked if there was anything else, anything he left out of the story. Both males appeared to be in deep thought for a few moments.  Finally,  Rith began shaking his head slowly.  “Nooo..…”  but Carraig dropped to his knees on the soft dirt, sending the remainder of food in his bowl splattering in waste at his feet. He let out a hasty lament as he withdrew his own knife and began to add to each figure, even the Creators, a round circle in the center of their chest area. Then he cut a line straight down the center of the circle and moved the dirt so that one side looked darker than the other.

“Oh! How could I have forgotten that?” Rith slapped a hand to his forehead.
Carraig looked at his friend with compassion, “Because we have not been able to understand its meaning yet, my friend.” He sat back on his heels and put his dirty hands on his hips.  It was fully done.  Both males nodded solemnly and looked at Naofa, who was rising to her feet.

“Let’s go inside. We will talk some more. I have things to share; and I want very much to hear about your terrible, horrible dream- the one that urged you to seek counsel with us.”

Before they reached the steps that were now bathed in the filtered light of the setting sun, they heard something fluttering overhead.  They all looked up to see the giant vulture soaring gracefully.  It began to circle-once, then again and again, spiraling downward with every turn, until it was just above their heads. It circled a final time, and was low enough for Naofa to see the glint of the sun in its black eye.  In this moment she heard the voice of Mor as it whispered to her soul. “You must be my voice when they can no longer hear…”

Tuesday trip to Baru 066.NEF
to be continued….
Peter, my friend. :))
Thank you all for reading.  I appreciate and so love any feedback, thoughts or ideas you may have.  Leave me a note!  Until next time, Love and Light to all.
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4 thoughts on “Out of the Caves/Forever Never

  1. As rich and alive as usual. I was to read it over the weekend but I was called to oversee the beginning of a new project, an endeavor which consumed my entire weekend.
    For a moment there, where Naofa explains why her title should not be used by Carraig and Rith, I was startled at the possibility of her powers being appropriated by the dark one.
    Those Creators and their rounded figures postured in servile dependency!
    Ar’tine is really the one that stands out. Even Rith tortures himself at the thought of him.
    All in all, those stones reminded me of the Eastern Island statues. Maybe be our makers were such giant things.

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    1. I do not discount any possibility Peter. Thanks for leaving me your impressions. She is more concerned with creations of the Dark One I believe, not that more humans walk their world and they do not fully know their agendas. And, as well, they have seen his powers of “persuasion” and manipulation. I hope your new project went well and you have a productive week. Also, the figures were in a position of being created not necessarily servitude.

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