A Taradiddle in Eight Parts.
It's always about the meadow. As I've mentioned before, we are meadowcentric here, it being not only a dubious addition to the lexicon but the very center around which our lives revolve. There are sacred groves in the meadow as well as flora of heavenly design so that in its entirety it is, in fact, a cathedral. There are however no meadow gods, except perhaps the Dawn Robin Redbreast, who is the Goddess of the fauna that reside in the meadow, which includes us. But the meadow itself is either godless or, it is God. We're okay with it either way.
It is mid-winter which means, in these parts, wet with periods of rust. It's an old saying that still holds true. Lorna and I are walking across the meadow going from the manor to Holly's Palatial Estate where we will meet up with Holly and Nonesuch then continue south to the Fæirie Ring down by Probable Creek. Ishmael and Ishytoo will meet us there when they return from the Shine, which is their mystical calling; to shine the Light of Love into the world.
Anyway, we'd heard last night that some jeewizium had accumulated around the Fæirie Ring, a fairly common occurrence wherein we'd collect the jeewizium and store it in safe jars for future use. As an ingredient for various spells or magical workings it's always in high demand. Well, to continue, everything was pretty normal until about an hour or so ago when a couple of delirious Fæiries, Ebb and Flora, arrived, claiming to have just returned from another galaxy. That they traveled by jeewizium that was inside the Fæirie Ring. Flora said aliens made Ebb talk with flying colors but I think they were just too excited to be making sense. Lorna and I were amazed when we heard this because, while Jeewizium has been used for millions of years to travel between dimensions it has never, to our knowledge, been used to travel between planets or galaxies. This was a whole new thing and we were intrigued. Holly and Nonesuch had already heard from Ebb and Flora who'd passed them on the way to us and were rarin' to go when we got there. I wondered if there were aliens from another galaxy at the Fæirie Ring? This thought gave me a very strange feeling, like they would somehow be more alien than our aliens. We immediately set off for the Fæirie Ring.
There were five Fæiries and three Elves standing around the Fæirie Ring when we got there. I recognized a couple of the Fæiries, Astra and Fon but I didn't know the other three. I knew all three of the Elves though, Brighter, Gladlee and Elvenjoy, as they lived at the manor. They were all looking at the ring with curious and even mystified expressions.
Brighter saw us approaching and she called out, “Hey you guys! You hear about this?”
“Yeah,” I answered. “From Ebb and Flora, a little while ago.”
“They're the only one's that done it so far,” Gladlee spoke up. “Been to the other galaxy, I mean.”
“How do they know they were at another galaxy?” Lorna asked.
“They brought back some souvenirs,” Astra said, with frown.
I looked at the three Fæiries I didn't know and smiled. “Hello, I'm Lillow.”
“Oh! Sorry Lillow,” Astra said, “this is Alk, Svanat and Tink.”
I introduced our group.
Lorna tilted her head, “Gosh Tink, are you related . . .”
“Don't even say it,” Tink interrupted with a grim smile.
Astra laughed, “Oh she hates that similarity. Tinker Bell's just a Fæirie tale, right Tink?”
“Darn right!” Tink responded. “Never been to this never place and I never will!”
“Hear, hear,” Svanat laughed. “That's why we never say never, huh Tink?”
“Darn right!” Tink agreed, beginning to look a little confused.
I had to laugh, “We never say never either Tink!”
Just then Ishmael and Ishytoo walked up, back from the Shine. After introductions to Alk, Svanat and Tink we filled them in on what we knew.
There was a moment of silence, then Lorna asked, “So Astra, what are these souvenirs you mentioned? Do they actually prove they were there? To another galaxy I mean.”
Astra smiled and turning she pointed to a bush growing to the side of the ring. I didn't recognize what kind of bush it was and went over to look at it more closely. The bush moved back as I approached.
“Oh!” I said. “I see. Does it talk?” Being closer I could see it better and examined it as best I could.
“Nuthin' so far,” Elvenjoy answered.
“Hmmm,” I said. “Is this all?” looking at Astra.
“How 'bout this?” She pointed at a black dot, about 10 centimeters across and floating about a meter above the ground. As I approached, I realized the dot was actually the end of a round tube that seemed to go forever when I looked inside yet remained two-dimensional from the outside. I reached out to touch it and no one said anything so I touched it. There was a blossoming of color that seemed to be the color of the sound I was hearing, which was kind of a whirling 'ing' sound, like when you ring a bell and it goes iiiinnnggg, only it's spinning with mad combinations of color emanating from it. That's the best I can describe it. It held me for a long moment. When I was able, I removed my finger and it stopped. Then the bush began to spin slowly and weird colors, darker colors, started flowing out of it and over me like billowing ribbons of pure color that dissolved about a meter out. I felt oddly energized by this. After a few moments it stopped and there was silence.
“One more,” Astra said, pointing to a large white mushroom with red polka dots. I didn't think I could be surprised anymore but this one did. One of the red polka-dots on the side opened and began to speak.
Strange creatures that we think are from another galaxy are at the Fæirie Ring, apparently transported by jeewizium from inside the Fæirie Ring, an unheard-of occurrence, so we've come to investigate. The last alien creature I looked at was a white mushroom looking guy with red polka dots. As I watched a red dot on the side opened and spoke. It said, “Pop.” In stereo. Somewhere in the group someone else had said 'pop' at the exact same time. I'd heard it clearly. I looked around and saw Gladlee had his hand over his mouth. He gave me an alarmed look. The mushroom spoke again, “Pop, pip pip.” Someone in the group was repeating the same thing at the exact same time and I could tell it wasn't Gladlee, as he was looking at me with round eyes. So was Ishmael. I looked around and realized that everyone was looking at me with round eyes. I didn't like this.
“Why're you all looking at me like that?” I asked
“You've been repeating everything the mushroom says,” Gladlee stated. “I was standing right next to you and I clearly heard your voice.”
I shook my head. “I didn't say anything.” Then a thought came to me, and heavily compelled, I spoke it; “Yes you did.” I was dumbfounded. Was I arguing with myself? I briefly wondered who would win when I found myself voicing another thought. “We wait for correct frequency, interpret and speak us. We cannot but speak colors.” I was too stunned to say more, after listening to myself trying to explain the aliens.
“Are you getting this Lillow?” Ishmael asked with a worried look.
“Yeah, every bit, but I don't know where it's coming from,” I answered. Then my other-controlled voice continued, “Fear not, we from distant galaxy Gloxon. These kligorets Zom and Zurssel.”
Everyone was silent. For some reason I was feeling weary, like at the end of a long day so I sat down. Suddenly I felt like I hadn't slept in days. In a flash the strange bush was beside me and beginning to spin. Long streamers, like ribbons, came billowing out and I could feel them washing over me, and I could feel my energy recharging until I was my usual self again, then it stopped. I blinked and said, “Gee Whiz.” Then my other-controlled voice continued, “Energy goes from kliggit.” Everyone was staring at me. “We must to Gloxon now. Pull too strong. This place too far, strange. Thanks for wonderful time.” The top of the mushroom began absorbing the stem until it became a ball, then it rolled to the edge of the Fæirie Ring and waited. Meanwhile the bush reached out with one of its ribbons which then attached to the round dot and proceeded to reel it in before rolling over beside the ball mushroom. Then all three rolled or floated onto the jeewizium and disappeared.
I stared at the Fæirie Ring. I couldn't help but wonder what would happen if we went to that distant galaxy and someone moved the jeewizium here. Would we ever get back?
Just then Ebb and Flora returned. “Them kligorets go back yet?” Ebb asked, looking around.
“Yeah they're gone. So just what are kligorets, anyway?” I asked.
“Not sure Lillow. That's all we heard. Just Kligorets. They were here when we came back and made me say things with all their flashing lights.”
“I think they came with us,” Flora said. “Seems like they did Ebb.”
“I couldn't tell. It was a weird trip, that's all I can tell you for sure,” Ebb said, shaking his head. “That galaxy is totally strange.”
“Yep it is,” Flora agreed. “I wouldn't want to go back. After that black dot made Ebb talk, we took off to tell you. I think it came here with that bush and mushroom to meet you all so Ebb and me stayed away.”
“I didn't like being a mouthpiece, you know?” Ebb said with a grimace. “I mean I was glad they were gone when we got back, even though I was pretty sure they were swell guys, probably. Just sorta seemed wrong, somehow, havin' 'em run you like that.”
“They did that to Lillow too. Made her talk for them.” Gladlee said.
“Way different than the aliens in our galaxy,” Ishmael added.
“I'll say,” Ebb responded.
“I think it's the first time we've ever met actual aliens,” I said. “Mom told me long ago that the earth is a living being who she called Gaia and that we were Gaia's eyes and ears, as well as her voice in the cosmos except we don't speak for Gaia, we are Gaia.” It was quiet and I could see everyone was listening. “Well, our cosmos shows us patterns repeated endlessly, as we've all seen in our own lives. Patterns within patterns that tell me Gaia is to the galaxy as we are to Gaia. So, each galaxy must be a living being and all within her are its children.” I paused but no one spoke. “We've used the word universe to describe our adventures many times, but in fact we've never been outside the galaxy. What we really meant every time we said universe was galaxy, which is so big it takes light 150,000 years to cross. Every star we see in the sky is inside our galaxy. That is so big it has always been our universe. Today,” I continued, “we met beings, the children, of another galaxy. They are truly alien and this is a momentous occasion.” I felt historic.
Ishmael looked at me with questioning eyes. I knew he wanted to go visit the other galaxy in spite of what Ebb and Flora had said. I glanced at Lorna and Holly and they were watching me and Ishmael expectantly. They too wanted to go. Gosh. Another galaxy. This would be the most unusual and scariest adventure we've ever had! If we do it.
I think we all knew we were going to visit and perhaps explore this other galaxy. We just needed a little time to convince ourselves that we knew it. I think. In any case we huddled around the Fæirie Ring and philosophized the rest of the day and finally reached our forgone conclusion that afternoon. Ishmael, Holly, Lorna and I were going to the other galaxy to check it out. We agreed to get a good night's sleep and embark in the morning. I told the Elves and the Fæiries that were still at the Fæirie Ring of our decision, adding that anyone who wanted to go is welcome to join us.
Early the next morning Lorna and I did our regular sunrise crow, crowing some of the more traditional Red Rooster crows, like we did in the old days. I wondered if there was anything like rooster crowing in the other galaxy. Then we headed for Holly's Palatial Estate to join Holly, Ishmael and any others who wanted to go.
When we arrived, there was only one other who'd opted to join us: Nonesuch! I was thrilled to see him there that morning after he'd been with us last night at the Fæirie Ring. He works for the king and is often unable to join us. Nonesuch and I have been very close for years, having gone to Fæirie School together, despite him being an Elf.
So, there were five of us that set off for the Fæirie Ring that morning; myself, Nonesuch, Ishmael, Holly and Lorna. Our spirits were high. When we arrived, we were greeted by two more wishing to join us; Gladlee and Tink. I liked that we had so much diversity within our group visiting this other galaxy. When we were ready, we all joined hands, or wings, or hooves, or whatever and stepped into the Fæirie Ring.
I'll always remember the way the wind felt as we crossed the mountains, Dragonback flying with Meshach. Invigorating is the word. Instilling vigor. Yes, that was it. And that time we crossed the Rainbow Bridge, Bifrost, and entered Asgardh to see Avis, the Bluest of Blues along with the Dawn Robin Redbreast, Goddess to the Fauna. There were other celestial beings like Lenfast and Clancy, all assembled in magnificent glory that shone brighter than Father Sun. All these feelings like waves of refulgent energy washed over us yet seemed to be diminishing, smaller and smaller until zap! It ended and there was nothing. Absolute nothing that slowly began to be invaded by something. I had no sense of it, it seeming to be a chaotic kaleidoscope of color intermixed with ringing bell tones.
Then we were standing inside a circle of orange crystals that were scattered rather haphazardly around us. We all said, “Gee Whiz!” Then I looked down. I could see for quite a ways, like I was standing on a glass platform that was way high up, but it felt like ground level when I looked around at our surroundings.
We stepped out of the circle and could see a forest of mushrooms, just like the mushroom being we'd met in our galaxy so we headed that way. Nonesuch and I took the lead, with Tink hovering between us, Holly with Lorna riding on her back, then Ishmael and Gladlee bringing up the rear. We knew we were in unknown territory and watched carefully in every direction. As we approached the mushroom forest the mushrooms directly in front of us turned into balls and rolled out of the way, parting the forest and leaving a clear path, apparently for us to follow.
The sky above was purple with orange and green flowing lines that were thicker in places. Like clouds, maybe. There appeared to be two suns, one huge and pulsing with greenish flames and the other a medium sized orange that seemed to be setting. Even though it was smaller it appeared brighter than the green giant. The air seemed okay so, seeing no other sensible choice, we followed the path.
It was a circuitous and seemingly senseless path we followed. Sometimes we'd circle all the way around small hills or giant pieces of crystal yet never encounter any sign of our original trail when the circle was completed. Black dots were passing sporadically in the sky. Every so often they'd clump up, resembling a dark cloud, then off they'd go in every direction and the green flowing lines in the sky would make spirals that slowly drifted past. It was startlingly beautiful. Finally, we reached the end of the mushroom forest and faced a seemingly endless flat plain that was like glass where you could see through for kilometers, except you couldn't see anything that made sense. Walking on this surface was like walking on ground, except you could see through it. Way through it which made walking a little disconcerting. And now this endless plain?
I looked at the others, and asked, “What say we take a break here?” Everyone quickly agreed and we plopped down right where we were at; endless plain on one side and a mushroom forest on the other. A forest, I noticed, that no longer had an open path. We'd brought some sack lunches since we didn't figure we could eat anything here and opened them up. I drank some water while the others drank or snacked as was their wont.
Ishmael looked at me, “So what're we going to do? Cross that desert,” he nodded toward the endless plain, “or maybe try to go back?”
I was a little nervous, thinking how hard it'd be to find that crystal circle again, and didn't really want to go further away from it, yet at the same time we did come to explore. Then I heard a voice speaking, a voice that I was able to discern as my own with some other controlling it, saying, “Wait a time. I come I be. Talk you.” Then nothing. So, we waited, sitting on firm ground that you could see a long ways through, waiting for . . . well, I'm not sure.
To be continued.