The Edge of Darkness

 
In the Dark
I awake, dizzy, on a cold, hard floor.
My head spins and throbs, my body nauseous, stiff and strange.
It takes all my strength to sit up slowly, and open my eyes.

The world stays dark, with no trace of light anywhere around me.
Am I blind?

I struggle to stay conscious, and fight to open my energy sight.
I push through the dull darkness, and the energy world flashes into place, but not as I’ve seen it before.
Blinding light assaults me, and I slump to the floor, too dizzy now to even raise my head.

I let the spinning floor hold my body, and wait for the intense energy to dim.
When my energy sight clears, I’m inside a small, round building.
A platform stands, fifty feet above the water, covered with a blue crystal half-sphere, surrounded by a hundred miles of ocean.

I reach for the web, but it feels strange.
I glide into the air, within the dome, and look down.

This must be a vision or a dream.
My unconscious body rests on the floor below me.
A strange body, but still mine.

My awareness sharpens and dims, again and again.
Not awake, but not asleep.

My heart wants answers that can’t be found in this cold place.
My energy body waits, restless, ready to abandon the safety of the dome.
Strands of light shine from me in all directions, dancing and twisting to music that grows louder.

I let the music fill me.
Then I fly up and through the sphere.

 
The Well of Selves
I’m drifting in a memory,
Standing at a well in Ireland that I visited many years ago,
A quiet place by the side of an ordinary road.

Few visitors come here any more.

I look down into the well.
Floating on the surface of the water is a photograph.

I must see that picture, and reach my hands far down the well, until the photograph rests in my dripping hands.
It’s an old photograph that was taken of me in California, wearing a robe.
My hands are crossed on my chest in the way of the Egyptian mummies, a symbol of rebirth.
The sun shines on my closed eyes in that photograph, and my large hands radiate strength.

I say goodbye to the old photograph, and drop it back into the well, where it bursts into flame as it touches the water.
A cloud of swirling fire rises out of the well, and settles on the ground.
Four glowing copies of me walk away from the well in different directions.

Each takes a different path for the next three months.
One stays in Ireland, and learns about intuition and fire.
The second goes to Finland, and learns about quiet mountains, cold stone, and ice.

The third goes to Greece, and lives by the ocean.
His thoughts are dreams, and he learns to move like the waves.

The fourth, always restless, wanders through Europe, listening, watching.
He finds his way to Egypt.
One clear night he walks toward an ancient temple in Luxor, and meets a black jackal.

I was the wanderer.
As I watch in the dream, the other three selves arrive early at the temple.
They lower their heads, join hands, and transform into fire and light.
They penetrate the eyes of a black jackal that walks nearby.

The wanderer sees the jackal a few moments later.
On that still night, we stare at each another for an intense moment, and I am changed.

The dream wanderer sparkles as he absorbs the possible lives of his three twins.
He knows that something has changed, but he doesn’t understand it.

The jackal walks calmly away, and when it’s out of sight, it disappears in an unseen burst of darkness.
Only the jackal of Egyptian mythology is black, the guardian of the dead.

 
Eyes of Darkness and Light
I hover in the air, watching, as another memory unfolds.

My young self and a friend walk for hours in the dark, along an unlit road.
There are no towns and no moon, nothing, but the darkness.
The Pacific Ocean, and the California coast are nearby.

To the left of the road is a steep hill that rises into a dark and dense forest.
To the right is one hundred yards of brush, that tapers off as it approaches the beach.
Something walks out of the brush and into the road, thirty feed ahead of the walkers.
They can’t see it, but they feel its presence.

A flashlight points to the visitor, but the light dulls the feeling of its shape, and shows nothing.
The creature is the size of a dog, yet carries the shape of a deer.

The walkers stand together with the spirit for a few minutes, until they hear the sound of an approaching car.
The car comes around a curve, and the spirit disappears into the brush, invisible within the car’s headlights.

So far, it all happens as I remember it from that night.

The two friends walk away, uncertain of what happened there.
I leave them, and go in search of the creature.
It stands on the beach, its feet touched by the gentle waves, waiting for me.

I see the outline of a man, but the rest is unclear.
Will it speak to me?

“Why did you appear to us?” I ask it.
“What form did you take, and why couldn’t we see you?”

He laughs.
“You’ve changed a little,” he says, “but you’re still waiting for life to come to you.”
“You want the miraculous to explain itself, and become small.”

“Something pulled me to your world, and called me to this deserted place.”
“I wondered why I needed to be here.”
“Then I saw the two of you, out of place in the night.”

“I recognized you, and I knew that somewhere, sometime, in this life or another, I would meet you again.”
“I am more energy than substance, but I have many shapes.”

“Tonight, I slipped into two shapes: a jackal and a small deer, both with eyes that shine darkness, and banish light.”
“Now,” he says, “I understand why.”
“Both shapes are hiding in you.”
“You have always been the deer: fast, gentle, and timid.”
“Know that you also carry the power of death, healing, and rebirth, like the jackal who will visit you in Egypt.”
“I will be that jackal.”

“What should have happened on the road, tonight?”
“What could I have done?”

“It was a moment of possibility and power,” he answers.
“You should have walked forward and challenged the darkness.”
“You should have met me.”
“Everything would have changed for you.”

“What are you?” I ask.

“That’s not important, Yagrin” he answers.
“The question is, what are you?”
“I know you were born in two worlds, but you were always waiting to be Yagrin.”
“You just didn’t know it.”

“Why are you covered in darkness?” I ask him.

“I come from a world of light,” he tells me.
“Earth and even Siksa are dim in comparison.”
“Your eyes are too weak to see my light, so you call it darkness.”

“In an hour, your young self and his friend will reach the town.”
“Do you remember what happened there?”

“Yes,” I tell him.
“I’ve never forgotten that strange moment.”
“The world became an image, projected on a thin, fragile surface like paper.”
“I knew that there was a way to open that thin dream, and see the deeper reality behind it.”

“That was my gift to you,” he says.
“I gave you a spark from my dark eyes, not enough to see the light clearly, but enough to be curious and haunted by mystery.”
“This spark of darkness came to you, again and again, and woke you up from your sleep.”

“In the desert you lived on a mountain for three days, and received the black teaching stone.
“Then you met me in Egypt as a black Jackal.
“Finally, the Watchtower called you with its column of darkness, and creatures of black stone.

I reach down to the ground and find a white pebble, throwing it at the ocean.
It slips across the water, as though the water is ice.
Then it begins to sink.
Seawater streams around it, transforming it into a silver handled dagger with a blade of white stone.
I glide the knife along the energy web to my hand.

I grab the creature’s left arm, and put the knife in his right hand.
“Here is your gift.”

He takes the dagger and moves it on my left palm, faster than I can follow.
Sindar’s symbol is cut into my palm.
Then he makes a thin cut in his right palm.

There is no blood behind the cut, only a wild light.
He presses his palm to mine and then puts his palm over both my eyes.

My eyes are black stone that shine with the hidden light.
Sparks of darkness, like lightning, surround me, and fill my ears with a song, as loud as thunder.
Power surrounds me within the wild dark light.
I watch and listen as great waves of energy pulse through it.
I listen to the dark light, and my energy body is filled with it.

A few minutes pass.
I pull my attention away from the light, and bring myself back to the beach and the ocean.
The creature is there, but now he looks like a Jiku child, with normal skin and clothing.

“Do you have a name?” I ask.

“Call me Ehraval,” he says.
There is a great light as he jumps, straight up into the sky, and out of sight.

 
 «Read Part 2: Apprentice
 
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Traveling Home -- 3: VisionsNext Story
  1. The Edge of Darkness
  2. Exile
  3. Ghosts of the Future
  4. Welcome
  5. Forest – A Chief’s Heart
  6. Forest – Death Climb
  7. Forest – Hunting Strength
  8. Forest – Kindness and Killing
  9. Forest – Change
  10. The Tower and the Well
  11. Gen – First Lessons
  12. Gen – Hands of Power and Light
  13. Gen – Test of Lies
  14. Gen – Bonds of Love
  15. Gen – Birth and Connection
  16. Gen – Seven Towers
  17. Last Dance

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