I wandered lazily through the halls of marble. There was no-one to be seen, no-one to be heard and no-one to be felt and that was fine by me. It gave me opportunity to drop to my knees and gently trace the golden veins in the beautiful blue stone they had used to mark the walkway in the great hall. It gave me opportunity to cup my hands around the glowing orbs and see the tiny things inside that danced and sourced the illumination somehow, and I reached to them to ascertain what they were, and found not life but small lightning, one after the other, sparking and then dying, making it appear as though it was one or two and they had moved from one position to the next.
An illusion of movement.
It fascinated me.
I wandered through the hallways and randomly opened some doors without fear or hesitation and looked inside. They were all remarkable in their size and comparative emptiness, and one of the interesting things was that whatever was inside, seemed so much more dramatic because of all the emptiness around.
One room held a desk and chair made of dark and shining wood. On the desk was a large round stone of bluish white, and when I reached towards it was like having to push my hand against a tide of invisible flutterings that became closer together until they became an impenetrable wall about a fingers width away from the surface of the stone itself.
It amused me to try and push to touch it, but the harder I pushed, the harder the barrier became and this vexed me. I tried rushing the stone, tricking it and being swift and pointing my finger like you would an arrow, but it hurt when the barrier rushed as swiftly back.
Eventually, I put both my hands around the invisible shell and lifted the whole thing clear off the table. My hands tingled, then stung, then began to hurt and pulsate, but I heeded this not and put the stone on the ground in front of me on the floor, sat down cross legged and reached out with my mind to touch the stone as I had touched the little illusions of fireflies in the lamps.
When thus touched, there were no barriers, and the stone was a living thing, growing, shifting, groaning inside with the pressure of growth against the structure of its own existence, and it was waiting and wanting to be touched, you just had to do it in a way that pleased the stone.
I stroked it with my thoughts and it sparked little flares of perfect blue, of perfect purple and of perfect jade and green, colours such as I had never known, not with my eyes or nor how they felt when I let them gently wash across my mind.
I spoke to the stone and it vibrated and responded, and I think I fell in love with it and it with me for both of us were here and it relished in giving me the colours (release, joy!, receding pressure! balance regained!) as I was in taking them in (such beauty! such clarity! soothing me, healing me, bathing me in untainted truth – thank you!).
I could no longer resist the need to try and touch again and when I did, the fluttering was a welcoming and a pull and a draw and when I placed first a gentle finger then the whole hand, then both my hands upon the stone’s warm and living surface, we both shuddered with pleasure and the stone rose more than I lifted it to my lips and I kissed it.
It was impossible to leave it here – how can you steal a love? – yet I did not want to be beholden to the Serein, enmeshed with them through theft and repercussion. With pain I floated the stone back to the table top and tried to leave it there and it was oh! so hard! And when it called to me in pain and panic I had no more alternatives, I had to take the stone and place it in my pocket, not close enough, so I wrapped my hand around it and it subsided in relief and pleasure.
I stood up and after that, did not open any more of the doors. I was tired and hungry and some of the old wounds were hurting again. My feet, my legs were very cold. Through the stone and through my arms, gentle ripples of a pale gold began to spread, spiralling up my arms and from there, all through my body, a loving snake winding around me, embracing and encasing me, and my hunger ceased, my pains stopped and my feet returned to life.
I understood that the small stone the Serein had given me on the road was a little relative of this one in my pocket, and my silent thanks and appreciation caused a ripple of something like happiness in return.
Just the name and I am falling, spiralling, out of control and overwhelmed.
My fallen angel.
My saviour, my light and my punishment.
I don’t think they could have guessed how right they did in their wrongdoing and how their very revenge became their own destruction in the end.
The universe has a justice you see.
It has a rightness that is so complete and so innate that it weeps your mind to pieces to see the horror of what man has done.
Such justice as you could never know or understand, just feel inside the marrow of your bones.
My judgement had arrived.
I found my room without trouble. It smelled of my presence in a way that was not received through my nose, a whirlpool in the white silence and the rosy hues of the monastery building. I would have found my way with my eyes closed or removed, for that matter. As I retraced my steps up the spiral and past the window of the magical mountain view – how much time has passed? Is this a dawn or a sunset that is coming now? What is the difference if all the colours are the same?
I sat down on the bed (a little welcome chaos that I had left for me to find again) and then lay down. Took the singing stone and held it to my chest as a child would hold a rag doll. It sang me to sleep in hues of darkest forest green and midnight blues and purples fading into black.
I slept and dreamed of oceans and sparkling starlike forms that resonated with pure joy until –
A sharp pain in my head exploded me into my body and I shot up into a sitting position, my arms wrapped protectively about the singing stone.
In the room were five Serein such as I had not seen before. They were big, their robes were intensely blue and their distortions flared out wide and spiked tiny lancelike flames like sparks from a forge fire. They meant to frighten me.
But how can you be afraid when there’s a living warmth against your chest, of strength so old it makes the mountains seem like tiny fragile children?
A thought was placed clearly into the room.
Surrender the stone.
Without volition, another joined that thought, bright and clear and uncompromising and it came from me.
NeverNo(Infinity, absolute refusal, no room for doubt not now, not ever, not even at the moment when the universe dies and all is silent)!
Their distortions sparked high in synchronicity at once and I felt them move away, a backing away although they floated as still as frozen.
It does not belong to you. (A pleading note, an asking for consideration, this is important to us)
I cannot give it up. (The stone cries for me it needs me as much as I need it).
I release a breath that I didn’t know I was even holding and took a deep, deep breath to steady myself. Slowly willed my hands and arms to unfold and to perform the movements necessary to place the stone in front of me on the bed. It shivers and tries to hold on to me, tries to have itself stick to my hands. (Peace, loved little one. I will watch over you. Trust me. Tell them yourself) - (Acquiescence)
“Here. Take it if you can.”
The middle one of the five moved far more swiftly than was proper and seemly and betraying his anxiety to have the stone back safely, reached to pick it up. His gloved hand never got any further than within three feet of the stone when a huge discharge of energy blue and green but bright and violent this time, exploded in midair and knocked him backwards into his companions. All reeled backwards and their distortions wavered and they sank a little way – now their feet were actually properly touching the floor.
An instant of fear, panic and confusion until they had re-arranged themselves and lifted back to their normal floating position, the distortions were re-assembled and they seemed to be conferring, at first amongst themselves and then, I had the strong impression of a group mind entering the room and there being hundreds of voices all around us.
I touched the stone with a fingertip and it send a little shaft of delight through my arm and into my entire body, spiralling around my back and into my head, making me feel tingly and light and entirely unafraid of the five Serein I could see here in the room, and the hundreds beyond them that I could not.
The voices were a chaos until there seemed to arise an order within, clearer and clearer still defining a pattern that sought to become one yet never did. When the pattern had reached a certain clarity of existences, it began to resonate harmoniously. A decision had to have been reached, for the voices receded and the room was quiet.
You are to keep the stone. (Temporary, safeguarding, balance the situation, wrong has been done).
I picked up my singing stone and held it cupped in both hands. Smiled and the thought stood out loud and before I had a chance to censor it, There’s nothing you can do about it anyway!
They didn’t like that answer but continued.
You are to be trained in the art of Serein.
I was beginning to feel the strain of it all and just nodded.
You are to leave now and begin your journey to your master.
I nodded again. If I had been them, I would have wanted me gone too. A little fear bubbled up about “the master” part of the statement but was stroked with green by the stone as soon as it arose.
“I am hungry.”
You are to leave now and begin your journey to your master.
They turned as one and flowed from the room, fled from the room. As soon as they had left, a very young male with near white fair shoulder length hair entered. He did not float but actually walked. He looked scared and nervous and did not meet my eyes as he said through his own light voice and in a rush, “I am Dareon. I am to be your guide. We are to leave right away. Come with me.”
Well, they certainly didn’t want to waste any time in getting rid of me. Ah well. Hunger wasn’t so bad and at least outside there would be a bush where I could relieve myself in comfort rather than perched strangely on the white bowl in my room that made its contents disappear so mysteriously and that had frightened me for days into holding on until bursting point. I got out of the bed, had time for a smile and a thought that if you fail to get undressed the night before it certainly saves time in getting going the next day, picked up the stone and placed it into my pocket, straightened the blue tunic and rubbed at my hair ineffectually.
I took a deep sigh-like breath and faced Dareon who was still avoiding my eyes.
“Let’s get going then.”
The blond boy nodded submissively and turned and half walked, half glided.
I followed my new guide from the room, from the monastery, and into a whole new life the like I had never known before.