seven lanexander

A blue light. That was the first thing he saw in over 800 billion years. slowly his eyes became accustomed to the dim light cast by the awakening beacon. So many ages in hibernation could be quite traumatic if it weren’t for the simple solution thought of by the genius designers of this chamber. they knew that if it were successful; if they were able to suspend life for that long, that there would have to be an environment to awaken too that would not cause trauma and allow the sleeper to know that they were safe.

a blue light was their solution and now as seven lanexander woke from his nearly eternal sleep he noticed the blue light brightening and more of his surroundings being revealed to him.

now he remembered everything. he was engineered to remember everything.

seven was completely naked. he was suspended in a tube of what could only be described as amniotic fluid.

“seven, the scan showed you are completely healthy. hibernation was successful, for both of us, i’m activating all the systems now.” he heard the computer’s voice inside his mind. they were psychically connected when he was born. In fact there was nothing the computer didn’t know about what seven was feeling or desired or commanded. The computer taught him everything he needed to know and it followed him wherever he went.

slowly the fluid drained away and the blue light which had now brightened into a white light began to fill more than just the inside of the capsule tube. seven was starting to feel the warmth surging through his body as his blood now flowed freely once more. he felt a rush of excitement and pain as he realized his heart was beating inside his chest. he thought it was amazing to experience body death when they shut everything down to suspend him for the journey but he never thought that being revived would be even more exhilarating.

“They would have loved to hear your thoughts on this process seven, i am sure of it.”

He smiled. His family was a group of scientists that had created him, brought him into existence to be this one thing, to serve out one purpose for all of his kind. his was a journey of love and now that he was most likely the last life form of his kind in existence he would carry out his purpose with complete devotion.

a mechanism, a small whizzing sound could be heard above his head and below his feet and he realized he was able to hear the tiny and precise servos unlocking within the capsule. the glass that contained him slipped away into some part of the room he could not see and he was left standing in a white room that had been completely adjusted to be the perfect temperature for his comfort.

A machine came down and sprayed a kind of paste on his skin which began to turn into a suit that would make him even more comfortable. the suit was completely white and covered his entire body like a glove giving a different perspective to the perfection of his figure. the suit was luminous and different parts of it were blinking to indicate that it was recording telemetry on his body’s functions.

800 billion years ago they gave him the gift of life and they offered him the memory of any one he chose, he could be the exact recreation from anyone in history and he chose seven lanexander. a lonely boy from the northern continent of the first home-world. they were surprised, the scientists who created him, that he would go so far back to the past to chose his personage.

the person he chose, seven, never grew up, he was struck ill by a terrible plague of the time, even with the formidable medical technology of that era they could not fight off this plague. it was one of the many times their race had almost gone completely extinct.

and now a young boy who was killed in a devastating plague, would have the chance to grow up and complete the work of the greatest civilization and possibly save it from the ultimate ending.

seven wondered what he could have been dreaming of the entire time he was suspended. “Its best not to know the images of a so many years of dreams seven.” but the computer knew them, it had every dream, nightmare, abstract journey he went through stored in its memory banks. it had to, it was so important to monitor everything. in a way the computer knew seven in a way ways he could not fathom himself.

finally another light appeared letting him know it was time for the next step. the walls of the room faded away and became transparent, but even more than fade away, they were actually no longer there for they had completely dematerialized and now seven was able to see the length of his space craft unhindered. He thought the design was so elegant and beautiful, yet another testament to his people.

there were no rooms, no quarters, no engine rooms, no halls, no command rooms, it was just one giant room. the walls, ceiling and floor were transparent so that if you were outside the ship all you would see is the thin outline of contour where light hit and refracted against the otherwise clear and invisible rectangular ship. and appearing to be floating was a little figure amidst this grand graceful shape hurtling through the cosmos at matter obliterating speeds, his suit had now turned completely black and all around him was the great darkness. He remembered that there were still stars lit and scattered about when his journey began, even then there were no more theories, for they had become facts, about the fate of Drasyl.

complete death had come to the universe. the old ones named the universe iggdrasyl after the ancient tree myths and it was later referred to simply as drasyl. now drasyl was cold and all the fire gone out of it, there was nothing living anyplace except for seven lanexander.

it was the final darkness, all the stars in the entire universe were predicted to be gone now and it certainly appeared that way;  if the calculations proved correct there was supposed to be at least one star left. but where was it? he could see no source of light anyplace perhaps the calculations were wrong. He waited as the computer searched the nearby cosmos.

“Its not far now, seven, the sensors have found it you will see it in 15 seconds”

and just like that right in front of him was the last star. it looked misty and blue, at first he wasn’t sure if it wasn’t just another light aboard the ship, but as the ship grew nearer and it encompassed the majority of his view, seven knew that it what he was seeing was magnificent and was real.

a star, still burning. the probability that there was another one close by was so astronomical at this stage of the universes life. but one was all he needed to carry out his life’s purpose. inspired, seven finally spoke. his voice so tender and gentle.

“prepare the reaction. set the plan into motion.”

with that command, behind him a small light ignited at the dead center of the space craft and began to grow in intensity.

“your stats are elevated seven. be careful.”

he was excited beyond belief, but he calmed himself down, the next phase could not begin until his mind and body were completely ready.

“good, your training has proven intact. initiating phase two.”

suddenly all around him the walls began to show images in tiny little overlapping rectangles, they were vidoegraphic images in 3 dimensions showing the lives of unbelievably countless individuals. and slowly at first the images floated through the air toward seven and seemed to enter his mind with some kind of luminescent interaction between light and skin. seven was taken aback by the sensation of this interaction; he knew the mechanics of it but wasn’t prepared for the actual sensations both physical and mental.

“You are doing fine seven, i will increase the flow after the first one has fully integrated.”

he was filled with a sense of emotion and with memories of the complete life of an individual, a woman, Jjana, who lived on the first home world. it was the first archived life, using technology and numerous other processes that the first archivers liked to refer to as “meajik”.

seven felt a joyful tear drip down his cheek, it fell to the clear surface just at his feet and he could see that the ship had now moved to a position just above the star and it was rippling a violent and magnificent fiery blue light. He knew that he was viewing the star through a filter that his eyes created in order to see detail in such intense photonic environments and he knew that his eyes would appear like silver plated almonds if he could see himself in a mirror. more and more of the floating rectangles of light began to interact with seven and each one created a strong physical sensation, each memory or lifetime of memories produced another tear until he was overflowing with emotion; laughter, anger, fear, all of the things he had learned to control were now unleashed to him, and no one could comfort him or experience it with him except for that calm voice in his mind, that of his computer when he remembered the computer was watching over him he knew he could let go and accept what was coming.

seven was now within a whirlwind of light and motion and colour as he was in full interaction with the information being given to him. if one could have seen this happen from not to far away, it alone would look like a cosmic event and when the process was complete his suit dimmed slowly to complete black and seven’s eyes adjusted to the ambient light once more. he found he was kneeling on the floor, his knees must’ve buckled during the intensity of full download speeds.

“All your functions are within acceptable ranges seven. Congratulations you have done it.”

he felt alive with all these memories carefully compartmentalized and accessible within him and he could react to what was happening around him from any one of their perspectives and it seemed that all were in agreement as to the beauty of what he was experiencing and of what was about to happen.

“Everything is ready for the final phase seven.”

he felt a blast of warmth from behind him and when he turned he saw the little light at the center of the ship intensify. it had matched the rotation of the star below and was starting to flicker, each time it grew slightly. If this were to work, he had to interact with it and allow the ship to align his energy output frequencies to those of the reaction taking place but it would be painful in the form he chose to take.

Seven walked closer and closer to the bright orb in the center of his craft and he could already feel his skin pulling underneath his suit. The suit was designed to protect him from the most intense parts of the reaction but only for a short time, it was up to seven to stay alert and conscious through out the entire process. the suit now covered his face and his hands and it had turned a reflective red as it began to heat up to unimaginable temperatures.

all he could feel was his mind stretching as far back as it could go, he was struggling to hold together his existence as he was bombarded by so much force from the reaction taking place but he knew he had to get to the center of it. of all the forms he could have chose he chose this one; he wanted to be as true to seven as possible and this was the only way. naturally some enhancements and augmentations could be made to improve the physical form chosen but there were limitations that could not be avoided. skin would still burn and the brain could still shut down if the heart stopped functioning.

as he moved closer still, he felt his brain was at the limit of operation, it must’ve been burning up with activity trying to react to every input of pain it was receiving in the best way possible. seven did everything he could to disconnect the mind from the body but he needed to maintain as much control as he could to reach the center of the reaction.

he had been trained to experience pain and manage it but this was beyond anything he could have imagined and as if it couldn’t get worse he knew that for the first time in his life he would be disconnected from the link to his computer. he would be truly alone and if he survived it was unknown if the link could be re-established. but this was not a time for his personal well-being. the whole of all the people that he carried within him depended on his success. He looked down for a moment and saw the last star blazing as it spread apart and exploded from the reaction his ship was creating, soon the reaction would create forces that were only seen in the universe at its inception and he knew the meaning of his people depended on his strength at this moment.

“Good luck Seven.”

…of Balloons.

“Chester wait! Wait my man!” said Francis, panting heavily, almost as if in pain.

Chester’s boots could be heard scraping to a halt in the gravelled road. “Francis, keep up! We haven’t much time before it goes!”

“You’re running faster than I’ve ever seen!” Shouted Francis as he went at a spring toward and past Chester, laughing aloud as the bewildered young man had begun figuring out he’d been had.

“Francis! I’ll have you!” he cried out and began running after his friend. And not soon after, Chester proved his better fitness intact by catching up to and easily running Francis into a stretch. Chester slapped Francis’ shoulders teasingly.

“You cad! you absolute, cad!” said Francis indignantly and they slowed down to allow for a recovery of breath. Francis was clearly put off by the victory and was breathing with great labour.

“Come Frannie, you’ll forgive me when I show you what it is, just come along, not far now.” Francis could never be angry at Chester long.

The boys came out into a clearing and were in the center of a huge commotion set around a strange looking sight!

On the grassy field there were many of the townspeople and they were gathered around a very beautiful thing, “Chester, Chester, it, it’s ah…ha ha – its, my goodness! Its a Hot air Balloon!”

“I know, marvelous isn’t it?” Chester seemed bright with happiness.

They went up to where it was docked and there was a man poised just like a groom waiting for someone to climb into a carriage. Francis wondered who had arrived in it, what person of Royal Lineage was visiting today and how wonderful it would be if somehow he could be allowed to just step inside and imagine that he were soaring through the clouds. He stopped a respectable distance from the balloon and smiled at its driver/groom/attendant. The man simply nodded kindly.

It was exquisite he thought, how gilded the cabin was, and the workmanship on the great balloon itself. How, he thought, could the pilot of such a complicated craft dress so serenely in a servants clothing. One ought to be given a uniform like a soldier, a place of high regard among princes and men.

He had so many questions racing in his mind; how does it all really work? The books were never good at explaining how it felt to manage such a thing. What is it made of? He’d seen only illustrations and now here he was standing beneath the grandiose reality and he had lost all ability to speak.

Suddenly Chester walked past and up to the attendant. Francis was so worried that he rushed up to stop his friend from exerting an unintentional disregard for societies rules upon someone who probably knew more of atmospheric currents than the social graces.

Chester interrupted Francis’ attempts with a stern acknowledgment of what was going on, this always annoyed Francis far more than anything else but Chester knew it and only risked the tactic when he knew he could fulfill the stakes, “Hullo Francis, were you coming to stop me saying something to this fine pilot here?”

“I wouldn’t dream of stopping you Chester if you had full knowledge of the situation.”

Chester turned confidently and gazed into his friends’ bright green eyes, stopping him. “I have full knowledge of the situation, i assure you.” Chester knew that when he gave that look it meant to trust him no matter what. And Francis always did.

Chester smiled and backed up a little, continuing to gaze into Francis’ eyes. He stepped up next to the Pilot and he gestured for Francis to step inside.

Chester’s smile was so immense when he noticed how surprised Francis was (once he’d worked it all out) and Francis, still unable to understand how this wonder came to pass only knew that his friend had and was the only person who could arrange such a thing.

Before stepping inside the balloon, Francis looked at Chester and gave him a tender punch on the breast. He had no other friend in the world, and didn’t care because he had the best friend he’d ever needed right in front of him. “Thank you, Chester. You must know how much this means to me.”

“Then you must know how much it means to me my dear friend.” They stepped inside along with the Groom, who was also the Pilot. And after being fitted with goggles, then given to some minor preparation and participation, the balloon would be in the air and allowing the boys to discover a view of their home they’d only imagined could be seen. They felt like pioneer princes.

Barnes & Donna Noble

Sometimes the Doctor Who references in my life are so frequent and odd that I can’t help wondering if life imitates art.

After work sometimes I head over to Barnes and Noble to write. On this particular day I was trying to come up with a good idea for a ceremony that would be the opposite of a wedding. My plans changed completely.

I should start this story off with a little fact about me and clothing and Doctor Who. I wear bowties. I don’t wear them every day, but often enough that people associate me with them. I’ve been doing this for about ten years now, before they came back.

The newest Doctor on the series (Doctor Who) wears bowties! I was thrilled; for years I’d been rocking these wonderful clothing accessories and even in the nerd community I was kind of looked at funny. I remember one time a few years ago, someone wearing high-water pants and a short sleeved graph paper patterned shirt approached me and said, “Really man, that’s going too far.” I wish I’d thought of the catch phrase the Doctor always says, “Bowties are cool” back then. It would have been a much better response to my uncomfortable giggle and trip to the restroom to see if I really looked too nerdy.

Ten years later I’ve seen the bowtie come back, first in the annals of fashion magazines, then in the last two years an explosion! The bowtie has become a respectable fashion statement again and is seen donned on many a celebrity, television character, and everyday men and women (yes women wear them too).

So back to Barnes and Noble. I first noticed him when I was looking at magazines. He looked terribly young and was smiling at me, I was in the cinema magazines and he was over by the sports section. I kind of smiled back but then made my way over to the café, bought a coffee and began to write on my iPad. I use a Bluetooth keyboard for those of you who know how frustrating it can be to type out a story or essay on the iPad by hand.

That’s when I look up and see the young man standing in front of my little table.

“Hi” he said, smiling… it was a very perky greeting.

“Hullo.”

“Mind if I sit here, I like your bowtie.”

This time I got to do it, “Bowties are cool.”

He raised his eyebrows and chuckled, “Yes they are, and I saw Justin Bieber wearing one.”

I tried not to cringe and invited him to sit with a gesture of my hand, “Justin Bieber? Really?” I actually knew this fact already but I didn’t want to admit it. I’m one of those people that visit, http://lesbianswholooklikejustinbieber.tumblr.com to have a laugh.

He looked around and said, “Thanks for letting me sit with you, everyone else here looks kind of creepy.” Then he opened up his magazine and started reading.

I was flattered that I didn’t look creepy but a quick glance didn’t reveal any creepy looking people around us. Although to his credit, there also weren’t any other tables with a solitary person so I chalked it up to that.

“It isn’t a problem, I think people need to be friendlier in Miami, when I was in San Francisco strangers always sat together at Starbucks.”

“Shut up!”

“Why?”

He laughed at my reaction. “I used to live in California too, in the bay area, always went to the city to party.”

“How old are you?”

“20.”

“Really?”

“Yes, you want to see my drivers license?”

“Maybe, I guess I would never have gone into the city to party when I was your age.”

“How old are you, 25?”

I smiled again. “Thank you! I’m actually 33.”

“You’re almost there.” he said with a bit of awe.

“Where?” I asked in wonderment as to the direction of our conversation.

“Jesus death, you’re going to surpass Jesus death…” then quickly he added, “But I don’t believe in Jesus.”

I thought about it for a second, “I hate conversations about religion.”

“Good, we don’t have to have one.” He was so confident and just smiled, then with a look of uncertainty he uttered, “…are you?”

“Religious? No, not at all.”

“Oh Good.” He said and began reading his magazine. I watched him smile before I joined him and settled into our respective activities.

I’m not sure a whole minute passed by, “I’m Tyler by the way.”

“Like Rose.”

He didn’t catch the reference, “What?”

I was embarrassed and didn’t explain, “I’m Sohail, I’m so sorry I didn’t introduce myself to you.”

“It’s okay, I just realized it now too. Nice to meet you, So-?”

“So-hail… like Inhale/Sohail” Everyone smiles after that.

“That’s great!” he said chuckling to himself then he added, “Soooo-hail, what brings you here?”

“I’m a writer.”

“Oooh, what do you write about? Can I see?”

I have to admit he was pretty adorable. All-American, feathered blond hair, bright blue eyes, some scruff under his chin, he was athletic, corn-fed and Midwestern looking, aka German/Swedish. I hadn’t yet figured out if he were gay but it was headed in that direction. Some straight people are this nice too.

“Well Tyler, I write about a lot of stuff, but mostly stories. Who knows, I might write about this…” The Irony isn’t lost on me even now. “I have a blog, I can give you the address if you like.”

“Sure, that’d be great, we can exchange phone numbers.”

A little sudden, I thought, but what the heck, “Sure.”

We exchanged phone numbers. He pulled out an iPod Touch to enter mine in, separate from his phone which he also pulled out, I didn’t ask, but later I found out he somehow forwarded all his calls to my phone… that was interesting to say the least.

We talked a little longer about him; he said he wanted to be a lawyer but he was at UM for his undergrad and that he wanted to get into Harvard. I was impressed, he was pretty smart and thought he probably stood a chance at Harvard law but warned him how competitive it was because I knew a few people who I thought were geniuses and didn’t get accepted. He didn’t seem discouraged and I was glad, I wasn’t saying it to discourage him even though now that I think about it, the remark could have been.

Then suddenly out of nowhere, “We should keep hanging out tonight.”

I looked at the time on my iPad, and it was about 9.00 p.m.. “What do you want to do?”

“I don’t know. We could go back to your place.”

I was a little surprised, I hadn’t been picked up in a long time, and I thought that might be what was happening here. “I don’t have a place.”

“What do you mean? Are you homeless?”

“Well, no, but I live with my parents, so you’d have to come hang out with all of us.”

He looked upwards, contemplating it for a moment. “Well, that might be fun.” He looked a little disappointed.

“Maybe another night? Or if its not too late we could catch a movie.”

He smiled, “Movies are nice, but I kind of want to get to know you better.”

“Well, we’ve exchanged phone numbers, that number can reach me anywhere in time and space.”

“Wow!” he laughed, “How do you do that?”

“I’ll tell you some day.” I said smiling.

He smiled back, we were gazing into one another’s eyes, “I think you’re really cute, I hope you don’t mind.”

“I don’t mind at all. So, I might be house-sitting, if that’s more your meaning.”

“Housesitting! Why didn’t you mention it before?”

“I wasn’t housesitting before.” I said, smiling while he looked utterly confused, so I thought I’d take my love of doctor who to a new level, “I’m a Timelord.”

He went with it, and we walked away together.

It Feels like this…

When I listen to my heart; Not the rhythmic beating of the most essential organ in the human body, but that place we all refer to… the poetic or divine heart, the heart chakra, the center, I realize that in the heart, there is no such thing as pain.

Most people define the heart as a place completely filled with love and joy, to me it literally is a place like that, filled with beauty and peace. I usually am aware of the heart when I experience things that make us feel joyful and happy and loved. Sometimes it happens when I’m having tea with a friend, or watching a television show, or drinking and dancing like that’s all there is to do. Sometimes it happens when I’m reading a book, or getting to know a stranger, and sometimes it happens when I’m dreaming of being a husband and a father. Perhaps another name for the heart, something else we may call it is love. And if love is something that I feel for many different people, places, ideas and things then why do we fret so much about love? I’m going to try to remember that the next time I am experiencing loving something or someone.

So what causes the pain? I believe it is our bodies reacting to our mind. And I believe our mind triggered by the flight or fight reaction we all have instinctually; and because we don’t have to run from predators anymore our instincts are attuned to our emotions instead. So I also believe that it is caused when we are hiding the truth about what we are feeling or what we want. So to simplify, the pain happens near the heart because our bodies are trying to tell us to remember something; remember to love.

What does my heart say when I listen to it? After I’ve stopped my mind from thinking of everything else and asked it to completely focus? After I’ve felt the drumbeat like thumping and the feeling of blood coursing through my body and I’ve enjoyed all the sensations I feel from my body?

It says that nothing is impossible if you love. And I believe that to mean that nothing is more rewarding, whatever the outcome may be.

Engagement Party

I saw him at a party and it was the most interesting way I ever started dating someone. He was tall and handsome and though he was well into his twenties, he looked no older than nineteen. His features were sharp, they were strong and they were comforting somehow. I couldn’t help staring into his intelligent and kind eyes, with strident and complimentary eyebrows; like a Vulcan from Star Trek.

He was somewhat peculiar, and though he was holding a drink, he looked upset. He was gazing off at something intently; as though he were watching a computer screen filled with information. And, while I’m sure the alcohol I’d consumed had something to do with it, I could swear that for a moment there were flashes of light in his eyes as they widened at some imaginary revelation.

I checked around the room to see if anyone had noticed me staring at him, thinking I might have to explain to one of our friends I was merely observing his eccentricities. Everyone was smiling and engaged no one had caught me staring it seems and when my attention took me back to him, he was staring right at me, and smiling. Everything happened so quickly after that, his drink suddenly tilting toward me was how I noticed he was walking toward me. I was so nervous he’d caught me gawking and was going to say something. But he was smiling and that kept me from running away in terror.

His magnificent gate, his excellent and well balanced frame, like that of a fencer, a precision instrument meant to overwhelm its opponent with the blinding gleam of beauty. Before I knew it he was upon me, His eyes locked onto my eyes, serious and focused and he said, I remember it so perfectly, he said;

“I think this is the moment that all my efforts will finally conclude. I can finally be with you, can you even imagine all I’ve had to do?”

We’d never been together, what was he talking about? I didn’t understand, so i just stared into his eyes, somewhat defiantly and inquisitively he smiled and continued,

“I have to make the universe create an exact duplicate of itself that’s 10 seconds behind this one, just 10 seconds is all I can do, it should give me just enough time to kiss you but I always miss, a thousand times before this, seemingly endlessly and then I have to jump into the time shifted universe and hope I did it in time!”

Then he kissed me.

It was the most amazing and passionate kiss I’d ever received and it made me remember something really extraordinary about us. I don’t know if I was just caught up in the moment or just so drunk I could imagine anything but I swear that a blue swirling light, like a portal was engulfing us.

He was so happy, beaming with a smile and an expression that seemed to say, at last! He then, calmly with satisfaction said we synced up our time streams by colliding two universes together, and he looked so pleased. And none of it frightened me and I believed every word, I still do.

Then he asked me to marry him and we said, “yes” in perfect unison.

Inspiration strikes the late night wanderer…

He was sitting in a rocking chair and I remember the wood of the floor was smooth and cold, walked upon for years and years. The details I remember aren’t the ones you’d expect. Like the metal pail with a little bit of water at the bottom, making it look like lights were dancing inside it as the sunlight reflected in the water.

I remember him looking off serenely, like the images of Merlin looking away into things we humans cannot know.

“It’s not like that at all.” he said answering my thoughts, it was so natural I didn’t question it, “You’re thinking about it with too many speed limits, and too many rules.”

“What’s it like then?” I asked.

“The universe is complex and it is simple, it is all at once so small and comprehensible yet great beyond knowledge and ability. The Universe is responsible for our belief in greater things, and it could scarcely be any other way; For when we first gained the ability to see, have no doubt, the first light those eyes observed was that of the stars.”

I noticed the sunlight come out of the clouds for a minute and illuminate the grass in the field beyond, it was waving like water, or like an impressionist painting. All the while he continued,

“Our part in the Universe is what we choose to make it, and knowing, not believing, that you are in some way in touch with the divine, because you are a part of the universe and you can see its entire history from beginning to end. A fiery birth drifting beautifully into a cool midnight.”

“What is divine anyways?” I asked in my thoughts.

“You are neither god nor mortal, there are no words in language or mathematics to describe who you are completely. No tools to map out your existence from birth to life. Not yet anyways. And you are gifted because you have the ability to see the universe entirely and yet still be within it.”

He paused, and when he began to speak again his voice was softer, and gentler,

“So, believe in what ever you want, because religion alone can never fill you the way that the search for knowledge will; because religion will never show you how much greater the universe is than any god we can concoct to approximate the majesty and wisdom that can be unveiled through the universe.

Some will say that perhaps these are machinations put into play to show us the way. But now we are beyond those thoughts and ideas and we have grown up. But to truly experience the great things we imagine ourselves to, a lot of people need to awaken to what they see every time they look up. The answer is right in front of our faces. Lets go find out what it is.”

He smiled at me and that made me smile back.

The Absent Night – Based on a true event in another world.

Chester met me in the forest as always. For some reason this spot was my entry into his world. The area looked almost like a circle surrounded by tall fir trees who’s bristles created a thick canopy shading this “landing” area rather sufficiently.

Chester wore his characteristic linen pants, and stitched tunic, and as was typical of him; his feet were bare. I hadn’t been to this place in months, very close to 8 months if memory serves me correctly. He did look a bit different from what I had expected, his hair had grown out a little and he had a noticeable blond stubble.

His clothing was soft and white and I began to look at the beautiful stitching, noting how elegant and simple it was. His golden hair glistened softly in the diffused light of the forest. We smiled at each other when we realized we were both looking at what had changed about the other.

“It has been a little while my dear friend.”

“Yes it has, i don’t know how to come here intentionally.”

“And I don’t know how to bring you here intentionally.” He said with a hint of sadness, “ You have arrived at a very special time.”

“Yes?”

“Yes; now, come, for we haven’t much time to spare.” He took my hand and led me through the forest path. The winding path was familiar to me, and though I never had to walk through it myself, Chester always came to guide me. I wonder if I could have found my way through by myself.

We walked silently at first but not too far on our journey we began to talk about the townsfolk, about other lands in this realm and all the going-ons that I had missed. He told me he’d taken to sailing since I last saw him.

When we arrived at the clearing I saw it was nearly dusk. Ahead of us lay the field where Chester and I spent many a day having picnics and conversing, it still looked the same with wild flowers dotting the lush green blanket in red, yellow, purple and white. Beyond that was the village that sat below in a sort of valley and it ran all the way toward the sea which was glistening with bits of the sun, now steadily falling in the sky toward it. The village felt as though it was my home somehow as though it should be my home anyways.

“I don’t think I’ve ever actually seen the sun set here before, have I Chester?”

“No, I don’t believe you have, at least not like this anyway.” he replied to me as he gazed at the sky with some amount of cheerful awe, “He Chases her.”

I didn’t really understand what he seemed so inspired by, I thought he might be referring to the sun chasing after its fractured reflection in the sea, he knew my mind and I could see in his expression he was about to show me,

“The sun and the moon.” he said while pointing higher in the sky.

I looked up higher and realized the magnificence of what he was trying to show me the whole while. Not much farther up in the sky, perfectly lined up with the sun, was the moon! A full moon! It seemed impossible, the sun’s counterpart chasing right behind. But then again many impossible things happened here.

So astonished by the sight, I uttered a loud, exclamation of wonder, “Wow!”  I could have stood there transfixed until the outcome.

“This happens but once every year, on this day, the sun will set and one half hour later so will the moon and there will be a night which we call, The Absent Night.”

I slowly turned my attention back toward him with a million questions at the edge of my lips, but he smiled at me and said, “Come now for we must be at the palace in time for the ceremony.”

It took some doing to get to the village and then another walk through the maze of streets. The sky was already looking darker and the sunlight was golden and bathing everything, everywhere. There are no guards at the palace or gates, or high outer walls. The Palace is within the village and it sits right at the edge of the sea and when we reached the beautiful courtyard filled with trees and flowers, Chester turned to me and held my arms near my shoulder, he smiled gently, “I must change into the ceremonial dress, go with Toren and he will help you with yours.”

He turned and began walking away; it took me a second to realize, “What? Me? I have to change?”

Without turning, he shouted back, “Yes, there’s little time, didn’t I mention you will be a part of the ceremony?”

“No?” I yelled back as he walked further away and all I could hear was his hearty laughter as he disappeared down one of the corridors.

Toren was a nice old man, everyone in the village wore medieval style clothing but it was somehow prettier and timeless. “This way please, young master.”

He led me to a nearby room and when we entered and he lit a candle, the first thing I noticed was how beautifully furnished it was. Prominent in the room was a great big comfortable looking bed, at the other end sat a great wardrobe, chairs and a lounge, there was a big desk with all the necessary items for working, It dawned on me that people here had jobs too. Writers, businessmen, bakers, etc. It just wasn’t what people seemed to convey as their identity. “It’s lovely isn’t it?” asked Toren.

“Yes, magnificent!” I answered gleefully and instantly feeling as though I lived in this room all my life.

“This is where you will stay if you like, young master.”

The room only had three walls, where the fourth should have been instead opened up to a foyer and past the edge was the sea. A truly peaceful and magnificent place, with garlands of pine and flowers hanging outside, chairs, and lounges and creature comforts wherever it might be needed.

The sun was lower in the sky now, I estimated probably 20 minutes from setting and the moon looked the same size and was not far above it. There were already a few stars twinkling in the sky and the sea was a bright orange color.

“Please undress young master here is your clothing for the ceremony.”

I was about 15 and felt very awkward taking off my clothing in front of anyone, and from my silence, I suspect that Toren got the hint and said, “I will turn if you please.”

“Thank you… it’s okay.”

I took off my shirt and shoes and pants and stood there awkwardly for a minute in my underwear as Toren brought the clothing. I felt very shy and did my best to cover myself up without looking like that was what I was doing.

He gave me the pants to put on which were very fitted and made of some kind of silvery silky material. they were very pretty and very comfortable. Then my tunic, and a little hat all of it the same silvery material. The clothing felt cool and wonderful against my skin. But there were no shoes offered, so I figured being barefoot was going to be part of the custom. Toren looked a bit worried.

“What’s wrong?” I asked, “Doesn’t it look right?”

“Well, yes except your hair is very unruly and the hat doesn’t fall quite the way it should, let me see.” He lifted the hat and set it down on the bed, went over to the dresser and came back with a comb. I took it reluctantly and walked over to the dresser and looked at myself in the mirror. There was a stone wash basin sitting atop the dresser so I dipped the comb in, then corralled my hair back and parted it. He took the hat and placed it back atop my head, “There now, it fits perfectly” he said, “And might I add sir that your hair looks very nice like this.”

“Thank you Toren” I said, “do i have to do anything?”

“Yes, young master, you and master Chester are a very important part of the events in this evenings ceremony, never you worry, you will be guided through the steps.”

“Can you give me a clue about what I’ll be doing?”

He went into thought a second and then said, “But then you’ll lose the joy of discovery young master.”

“I understand. I just want to do a good job.”

“You will. Now, lets go to the Grand Square, everyone will be gathered.”

I took one more look at the unbelievably beautiful room that was given to me for my stay here, and then followed Toren out into the hall.

The Grand Square was behind the palace and stretched out some way past the palace into the sea. Three of its four sides touched the ocean and it is large enough to fit at least a thousand people, and it certainly looked as though that many people were in attendance. Everyone was dressed very well for the occasion. There was a lot of joyful commotion and people held up banners and sang songs and laughter burst out like little bright explosions amidst the sea of people. Suddenly, almost magically I thought, the sounds faded into a respectful silence and that’s when I noticed the lady dressed in white.

“Enter child of Earth, come to the place of ceremony!” she said. I turned and looked at Toren nervously and then walked forward. He smiled at me trying to assure me again that all will be fine.

Set up in a large open area was a pedestal and two large gongs. There was a multi tiered daïs that went to the edge of the square to the edge of the ocean facing the direction where the sun, even lower now, was setting. A large and beautiful oak tree grew in the center of the square. It looked very old, its bark was turning grey and it was laden with garlands of flowers, in its branches were unlit lanterns. When i walked around the tree I suddenly noticed Chester waiting for me, smiling, he was dressed like me but his clothing was shiny and of golden hue. We then walked together to the daïs and stood next to the King and Queen. They were dressed in their royal clothing except that everything the King wore was silvery and the Queen wore a magnificent golden dress.

I began to realize that i might be playing the ceremonial part of the moon and Chester, the sun. I stood next to him nervously and we both now had our backs to the tree and were facing the setting sun and moon.

“Your majesty may we begin?” Said the beautiful lady dressed completely in white. She looked like a high priestess of some kind. Her head was covered with a white cap that fell to her shoulders and down her back, and the tail that went down her back was adorned in stitched symbols or runes in silver and gold.

The king nodded his approval.

“Thank you my lord.” She walked passed me and stepped to the highest tier of the daïs toward the sea then turned and faced the audience.

“People of the realm, People of the sea, prairies, forests and mountains, we gather at this time to witness our blessed Sun and her consort, Moon as they leave this realm to the sacred place of Ura-shantye-anisharapynda; The blessed Realm of the ancient ones. There they will engage in the mysterious ceremonies that we mortals cannot know to renew their promise to the universe and to themselves.”

She paused for a moment as the gongs were struck. “The Priests of old called this moment, the Absent night. For it is a night absent of her Majesty’s consort, ever reflecting her glory as she journey’s to other realms that require her renewing and life-giving energies. Tonight we reveal the secret passed through the ages, given to the first King who was so beloved by the sun that she gave him a piece of herself to always keep him and his people safe.”

A series of gongs chimed and now the sun began to set behind the sea. The gongs continued to chime as the sun dipped completely and the sky appeared brighter just for a moment while the last rays of sunlight faded away. Now there was just the moon setting.

Suddenly there was a fanfare of trumpets! The gongs chimed once more and the King and Queen stepped forward. They shimmered in the kindling of sunlight and the now stronger moonlight and as they walked forward, two children approached them with seashells that contained a material that was on fire like candles in their hands.

“Earth lords, we bring to you this gift of light from the great sky mother, the Queen of all! So beloved was the first father of your line that this secret was given to him, her most deep secret, that of life.”

The King took one of the shells, and handed it to the queen, and then took the other. The Children, a boy and a girl, turned and walked back to the crowd. The king and queen faced each other now and then turned to the moon.

The Queen spoke first, “Great father! you were given this fire by the mother of all because she loved your goodness and brave heart so much she could not bear the thought of your discomfort and suffering when she traveled to Ura-shantye-anisharapynda.” She smiled at me, “And with this you created the Kingdom of love and made certain it would stand the tests of time and earth through out the ages. When you were certain your people would be safe for eternity, you joined your beloved queen and became her consort. Thus you are set in our sky, reflecting her majesties beauty through your silvery face. Your chase is rewarded one night every year, on this night we show you that we have not forgotten what you have taught us great father, and we will be safe as you go to be with your beloved queen.”

Now the King began to speak. “My cherished people, we have learned the secret of life from the first King. Now he awaits our sign to go with ease to the ancient lands of Ura-shantye-anisharapynda. The Children came once again, now holding two unlit seashells and the King and Queen touched the new seashells with theirs and they burst gently alive with flame. The children once again went into the crowd and very quickly, lights began to shine through out the audience as people lit their candles. Then the palace became bright as the torches and lights inside came on, and then the village and then the edge of the forest and the mountains. As all this happened the Moon quietly set behind the sea and the people applauded.

I didn’t notice anyone light the lanterns in the branches of the old tree but they were now glowing too. It was utterly beautiful. Someone’s hand touched my back and I noticed it was the priestess. “Blessed Children it is now the time for you to light the lanterns.” I looked up at her and then at Chester. “Just do what I do.”

Chester took my hand and walked up to the king and queen. Gracefully he said to them, “Lords of earth, we present ourselves before you now.”

The King looked at us and spoke, “You do not carry the fire of life, where are you from children?”

“We are the two that are one, star children, mortal and immortal. We saw a faint light from our place in the heavens and it led us to discover you, our unknown kindred.”

Now the Queen spoke, “The light you saw is the fire of life, and it was given to us by our beloved mother of all, the sun. We share with you the fire of life so that you may live as we do and be blessed.”

Chester looked at me and with his eyes indicated that I should go and get the shells. I stepped up to the King and Queen and took one of the shells, the one offered by the queen, and Chester took the other.

“Thank you benevolent lords, we accept this gift from you and show you now our gratitude. We reveal to you the secret of the universe. This life fire which you give generously to us we now share with our brothers and sisters.”

The King and Queen parted and there on the pedestal were two lanterns. We walked over to them and carefully lit the flammable disks balanced inside them. My lantern had an image of a crescent moon and Chester’s that of a sun. The lanterns began to glow and then when it was time, they lifted up away from our hands and began drifting away out toward the sea. We walked back to the Dais and joined the rest of the Royal family and the Priestess.

“They are beautiful.” I said to Chester as we watched the lanterns drift higher in the sky. He held my hand and just then into my vision came more little lanterns floating over our heads, I turned around and there were thousands and thousands coming from all over, from the mountains, the forests, the prairie, rising up and chasing the first two. The sky was a light with dots of light! People began to sing in a beautiful chorus and as they sang the great oak tree seemed to glow on its own. A beautiful bluish green light surrounded it.

The singing went on for quite a while and when it finally quieted down, the king and queen took the top tier of the Dais and the trumpets began to proudly, gaining everyone’s attention. “Now, let us rejoice and celebrate for all the revelations of the Absent Night! We give thanks for our many blessings!”

Suddenly you could hear bands strike up from every direction and people started laughing again and dancing seemed to spontaneously commence through the square.  The smell of food came into the air as well! Chester and I danced several times, little jigs that we made up and arm in arm twirling around. I danced with the Queen and she asked me about my family and friends back home.

I could scarcely remember or imagine a time where I had more fun, and time seemed to stop for most of the night.

When all was quieting down and the revels continued elsewhere, I found Chester sitting on the edge of the square with a goblet of wine next to him. I sat down next to him and when he noticed me, he smiled a huge beautiful smile.

“Hello boy.” he said.

“Hello sir” I said.

He smiled. “Do you ever wonder how I always know when to go to the forest to meet you?”

“You sound like you are drunk” I said with a disapproving tone.

Chester seemed puzzled by my observations of his state.

“This, oh yes, you don’t drink do you?”

“No, but I suppose I don’t mind if you do.”

We laughed, “Well I’m glad I have your permission my dearest friend.”

I looked out at the beautiful starlit sea and said, “I just always figured you feel something in your stomach, or felt a tingle in your heart or brain.”

Chester smiled and laughed a little, “I do feel all those things, but only after I see something in the sky.”

He came closer and put his arm around my neck and drew me closer to his face, he then pointed in the sky, “Do you see those two stars next to each other right there?”

I looked up at two extremely bright stars, “Do I see them? I don’t suppose they are easy to miss, they are very bright!”

“The one on the left is visible even in daylight, and something you will never witness because it depends on you is, the second one, the one to the right, it does not shine except when you are here. And it becomes visible just hours before you arrive, every time.”

“What, really?”

“Yes, really. We all know you are going to visit when the second star shines. I am told that the first star appeared the night I was born.”

“When was that?”

He blushed and smiled a little, “Tonight.”

My eyes widened! “It’s your birthday? Happy Birthday!”

Chester beamed and looked down with a tinge of shyness in his face, “Thank you.” He looked up at me again and with a strange look on his face said, “Now my dear friend the hour grows late and you ought to be in bed.”

“What? I’m having so much fun though! Can’t we stay up a bit longer?”

“You may. In the time it takes us to walk to your chambers and for me to tuck you in. How about that?”

I mumbled rather disappointed, “fine.” But I could already feel my entire body becoming heavy and my mind shutting down.

We walked to my bedroom, I changed into one of those long shirts that people used to wear to go to bed and Chester helped me to put on a nightcap. He set his seashell down on the dresser and mine next to his, and they flickered dimly now.

I was about to climb into bed but he half whispered, “Wait, just one more thing, come and sit in this chair a moment.” Then he brought over the stone wash basin and set it on the ground in front of my feet. He took my feet and dipped them into the surprisingly warm water, after washing them, though the water never got cloudy he dried my feet and he led me to my bed. He tucked me in, I could remember thinking that the bed was so comfortable and immediately I started to fall asleep. I remember him kissing me on the forehead and stroking his fingers through my hair, I heard him say, as though whispering it, “I don’t mind it combed like this, but I prefer it the way you usually have it.” I barely mumbled my reply, “I’ll remember that…” before I blinked out of consciousness.

When I woke up, I was back in my bedroom in my pajamas. I really wished that I had woken up in that ancient and magical place. It felt so real; I couldn’t believe it was just in my dreams. What comforted me though was that whatever was causing the dreams, it wasn’t the first, and I felt there would be many more adventures there.