Island and Tower

It’s a clear summer night, with a soft breeze, and the full moon reflects off the water.

I look again.
The moon is wrong.
It’s too big, and there are no familiar constellations in the sky.

I remember.
This is not my world.

Am I caught in a dream?

My bare feet rest on the cool, delicious sand, and the sound of the waves fills my ears.
The ocean is near, but I can’t see the gentle waves that greet me.
One moment my vision is clear, and the next moment, the world is covered in fog.

I wear a white robe, long and wide.
The bottom of the robe is wet, and full of sand, but tonight, in this place, the sand is welcome.

The beach is familiar.
We are old friends.

The presence of the sea brings me a great, quiet calm, and, for a moment, there’s only me and the waves.
Then something pulls at me.
There is no sound, no call anyone can hear.

I must go, but where?

I turn, and see a large, steep slope rising behind me.
Not a smooth, dirt covered hill I can climb, but a mountain of rock, with jagged edges that attack visitors and cut the sky.

I must see past the angry stone, so I close my eyes.
My vision shifts and the world is full of light.

What is this inner vision that needs no physical eyes?
“This is my energy sight,” sounds a voice within me.

My inner eyes find two worlds.

One has only light and endless detail, uncountable streams and points of energy, all in motion.
The second is a simpler world of glowing objects, where there is little difference between inside and outside.
This world of energy objects is closer to the everyday world my physical eyes see.

My energy sight shifts at random between these two views.
When I try to push my sight toward one view, the views shift even faster.

So I calm myself, and call to the view I wish to see.
It comes into focus and stays.

I see a great glowing pillar within the hill.
At the top of the hill, the pillar bursts through the stone and forms a great square platform, of bright, silvery metal, where a strange building rests.

Rest is the wrong word.
The building is full of glass and metal, angles and light, like a crystal reaching up toward the dark sky in all directions.
I know this place, but I can’t find its name within me.
Is it a sanctuary, a fortress, or something else?

It’s full of pulsing energy and light.
It feels alive and calls out a challenge to the sky.

There’s a light wind as my body chases my awareness, and I find myself here on the platform, a thousand feet above the waves.
Even at this height, by body finds the salt smell from the sea, together with an unfamiliar sweet smell.

My breath comes and goes calmly, easily in this beautiful place.

How did I rise to the platform?
It took only seconds.

I am pulled into a memory to answer my question.
I see myself raise my arms slightly behind me and feel a sensation across the entire back part of my body.
Something “clicks” into place.

There is a connection, a thickening of the webs of energy that surround me, touch me, and fill the world.
I rise up, riding a web of energy, and see the threads of the web glow brighter as I pass by.

As I rise I feel a vibration along my back, together with a sensation of moving energy.

We have a strange relationship with the back of our bodies.
It’s seen by others, but hides from us.
It knows the path to mystery, with a voice that connects to the places we can’t touch.

I face the sea, and watch the air above me with energy eyes.
I feel like I could fly with no eyes at all.
I know this place well.

The memory fades, and I am here, above the platform, facing toward the ocean, and away from the building.
I live here.
This is a house, and much more than just a house.

I must remember, but I can’t find the memories within me.

I let go of the energy sight, and open my eyes.
The house is glowing a light red color.
A wooden deck covers the platform, and surrounds the house.
The wood is hard and smooth beneath my bare feet.

I walk to the edge of the deck and lean over a wooden fence about four feet high.
The sea is far below, surrounding the tower and the house
The water is lit up by the moon, but there are many other lights that dot the sea around us.

We’re on an island at the center of a cluster of islands.
Not far in the distance I see the mainland, and a port town lit up.
The harbor is in a small bay, shaped like an upside-down “U”, surrounded by land on three sides.

Wings of Silver and Green and Light
My thoughts are broken by a familiar presence.
Her steps are almost silent.

A voice whispers within me:
“Cat and dragon and woman.”
What does this mean?

My thoughts are pushed away by feelings that drift through me.
The woman!
I feel what she feels.
She’s happy I’m here, but senses my confusion.

Are no feelings private in this world, or is there a special connection between us?
We approach until I am close enough to feel her breath upon me.
Then we slowly bend toward each other, until our foreheads touch.

She is three or four inches shorter than me.
Her skin is reddish-brown like mine, and her hair is soft, black, and long.

Her name is Shazira.
How strange to suddenly remember another life!

She smells of cinnamon and moves with the grace of a cat.
There is a great fierceness within her.
She has the energy of a wild animal that has learned to walk among people.

Humanoid, but not human.

She runs her finger from the bridge of my nose to the tip of the nose.
Shazira laughs in joy, and I am so happy to be here, and hear that beautiful, awesome laugh fill the night.

We walk together toward the edge of the deck.
She wears a robe similar to mine, but black.

She moves incredibly fast.
She drops her robe and leaps off of the deck, over the edge, and up ten feet into the air.

Her body stretches around her waist.
Silver and green translucent wings rise from her back.
The moon shines and sparkles through her enormous wings.

She calls me Yagrin, as she hovers in place, and her wings are almost silent.
The name is strange for a moment, and then it’s mine again.

I eagerly leap over the edge and drop several feet, enjoying the fall.
Then I reach out with my back, as though it had tendrils, and I thicken the connection with the energy web.

I race upward along the web of energy to join her, changing direction at will until I face her.

Shazira points behind me.
I look, and I see wings of light where my back is strongly connected to the energy web.

She flies off into the night and I laugh, and follow.

We fly low over the water.
The spray of the waves is pleasantly cold on my face and hands.

I lead, and fly toward the bay and the harbor.

Shazira flies closer and calls out a warning to me.
I hear her voice echo loud and strong, but the language seems strange to my ears.
The sounds and rhythms, the order of ideas, and the words themselves all accuse me.
I am a stranger, an intruder, and slow to understand.
The words pass through layer after layer, before I can find their meaning.

“Go back!”

My eyes are filled with a great metal wall, hundreds of feet high.
The wall shines in the moonlight as the light reflects off the many shapes etched into the wall.

Are the shapes only decoration?
No. They are words and magic symbols from an older time.

The wall is slightly warm to the touch, as I hover against it, and I feel a slow vibration.

I try to remember. Why are the walls here?
How can the harbor be used with these walls in place?

Then, I know.
The walls are here at night for protection.

Shazira calls me again in her high musical voice.
The language is still foreign, but it’s become more familiar.
A simple message: “Back to the tower, NOW!”

I feel her anger and fear and frustration, as though she was dealing with a foolish child.

What’s happening here?
This body and place are familiar.
There is a me who lives here and knows this world, but I’m also a stranger.
The one who does not know or understand what to do here.

My ignorance is dangerous.
I must tell her, but how do I explain I’ve invaded this body?
How will she react?

“I’m not what I seem,” I tell her.
“I’m a traveler from another world, and I don’t understand what’s happening here.”

The words come easily, with only a distant feeling that the words are strange.

I feel hatred rise within her, and I back away.
In a few seconds, the hatred disappears, replaced by confusion and pain.

My fear melts away, pushed away by courage, and love.
She is my wife here.
No, that’s the wrong word.
She’s my bondmate.

I move next to her, and raise my right palm in the air.
She should touch my palm with her own, but instead she slaps me hard.
“I need you tonight,” she says, “or else I would kill you.”

“We are all in danger,” she says roughly.
“No time to explain.”
“Just follow.”

She darts away, and I struggle to keep up.

There are memories of gliding effortlessly along the energy web at incredible speed.
Today I’m off balance.
I feel slightly dizzy and nauseous as the energy moves through me.
My whole body is filled with an unpleasant vibration that steals my strength.

There’s a dark cloud high above us that leaves a mark on the moon.
I hear a sound from above like an immense swarm of bees.

We reach the tower and land on the deck.

Shazira transforms back into her original form.
She reaches into a shiny black box with markings similar to the harbor wall, and pulls out a glowing crystal.
The stone reminds me of the house.

“Now,” she says. “Hurry!”

“I don’t know what to do,” I answer meekly.

“Don’t think,” she screams.
“Just do it.”
“The strength is still in you.”
“I feel it.”

She slams me in the chest with both hands.
I fly back against the wall of the house, shocked and clueless, but unhurt.
I glare at her in anger, forgetting there’s an imminent danger.

She glares right back.
Her hands are burning with a black fire I can see, even against the dark night.
She runs toward me, and slams me again in the chest.

This time, I feel like I’m hit in the chest with a boulder, and it hurts to breathe.
I look and see the small crystal sticking out of my chest, covered in blood.
I watch the blood turning into light, and I feel cold.

“Something’s wrong,” she says with a horrified look on her face.
“It should go inside you, not hurt you.”

I feel sick as though I’m going to vomit, and the world dims.
A strong voice sounds in my head, and the words I hear are “protect them!”
A tremendous weight of energy builds up in the lower part of my body.
The energy rises, and bursts out through my head as I collapse.

I awake, weak and confused.
My head throbs, and the rest of my body seems to ache.
I’ve never felt so thirsty.

My awareness shifts, away from my body to the wonderful smells all around me.
The air, the house, my breath is full of cinnamon.
Soon, I smell something else. Something is cooking.

I open my eyes to a room that feels familiar, although I have no clear memories of being here.
I’m alone in the room.
I try to call out “water”, but it comes out as less than a dry whisper.

Shazira senses I’m awake, and comes with a small pouch of liquid with a tube attached.
She puts the tube between my lips, and my mouth fills with a liquid, cool and slightly sweet, with a touch of lemon.
The energy pours into me, and I fell my strength returning, as I finish the contents of the pouch.
Shazira squeezes my hand gently, and I drift off to sleep again.


Traveling Home -- 1: WatchtowerPrevious StoryNext Story
  1. Prologue
  2. Island and Tower
  3. Healing Room
  4. Watchtower Floorplan
  5. Tzina’s Laugh
  6. Dream Room
  7. Storm and Stone
  8. Sweet Music
  9. Memories and Breakfast
  10. History and Change
  11. Dreaming and Weaving
  12. Hungry for Lightning

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