The Eighth Hill
My Jiku eyes adjust quickly to the bright sunlight.
It’s wonderful to see the sky again, and this open, endless world, but I turn my attention back to freeing the old ones.
They don’t have much time.
I scan the hills around me, looking for a place to grow another hill.
Six of the hills form a ring, a mile wide, with the seventh hill at the center of the ring.
The top of the center hill is a hundred feet shorter than the other hills, with a flat top, called the clearing.
Keela’s guards … Read more
My Bizra body is so far away.
I see it floating in the vat, but I can’t reach it.
When I was an old one, it was easy to wake up from the vat.
Not this time.
I hear Niyta calling me, and I start to feel my body.
My eyes won’t open, but the voice helps to clear the fog that fills my mind.
I feel the shock of something cold, and struggle to catch my breath.
Finally, I feel my face clearly, and open my eyes.
It takes another minute before I’m in control of the … Read more
Keela and Chiwan walk with me through the clearing, with the hills of Tshuan high around us.
The warm, moist climate nourishes the hills like a caring mother, and fills them with life.
Wicol, thick, and deep green, rises along the hills.
Later in the year, each plant will blossom with dozens of tiny flowers, and the hills will turn a rich purple and white.
The clearing below is covered with tall golden grass that whistles in the light wind.
A few red bushes rest, almost hidden in the grass.
I’m hunting for one of the … Read more
Two days after moonwatch, Shazira sends me out of the Watchtower.
“The guilds will never follow you, Yagrin, unless they know you.”
“Go meet them.”
I spend two days in the city, in the marketplace, the parks, and the guild halls.
I’ve spent time with the healers, teaching the thunder voice, but I’m a stranger to the other guilds.
They’ve heard of me, but they don’t know me.
Legally, I’m newborn, and a traveler no more, yet no one forgets.
The masters stare at me when they meet me, and see the three bands of color on … Read more
A Different Path
My life turns toward Flow, and becomes filled with masks and transformations.
There are five hundred common masks to learn.
I know a little about energy masks.
Shazira once taught me how to shape a mask and float it on my energy body.
It covers the pattern body like a golden garment of light.
The mask doesn’t penetrate the energy body, but it binds to it.
When the mask takes hold, your physical body vanishes.
I remember the excitement when my body was replaced by the animal body of a Twikul, a great hunter.
My … Read more
The city fades, and the weight of the world falls away – wars, schedules, and questions.
Shazira, Tzina, and I escape it all for three days, hiding from an uncertain future.
Talking, traveling, and laughing together.
We open our hearts to each other, trying to forget a long year apart.
Our time together is just a breath, a moment, a beautiful sunrise that will soon disappear.
We pretend that nothing will separate us, but yesterday and tomorrow hover over us, just out of sight.
The fourth day comes, and finds us camping on a distant island.
I wake … Read more
The Living and the Dead
I wake alone in the round, soft bed, surrounded by my childhood home.
I’ve slept here for the last few days.
It’s so strange and familiar at the same time.
Sleep slides away.
I walk out onto the porch, and fill my lungs will the cool morning air.
I remember playing here as a boy, but the memories are fragments of the old Yagrin’s life.
Still, the feelings of love are clear and bright, like today’s sky, free of dark clouds and lightning.
A soft wind brings me the smell of the sea, and … Read more
My awareness spins as I leave the seven towers and my life as a Gen.
Soon after, I awake in the small, cramped vat.
My body has grown again, leaving my sisters, the old ones, behind.
The world is different after my time with the Gen.
The future calls my name, and promises joy and possibility.
Still, my heart is unsettled.
I’m filled with sadness, and a strange feeling of urgency.
Something is wrong.
Not here, but somewhere far away.
I start down the ladder, and stop.
The liquid in the vat is a beautiful, sparkling green.… Read more
Free for a Moment
I love flying, being light and strong and free.
It brings me joy, even with all the thoughts of loss and doubt that drag me down.
Keela is annoyed with me.
She tries to hide it, but I feel it.
She wants us to fly fast and straight to the cave of the old ones, so she can be done with this errand.
I ignore her, and let my joy and love of flying guide us, following twisted curves that ride the energy of my emotions.
Is it impatience that drives her, or is … Read more