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CanyonWind
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26 Nov 2008, 12:16 am

Once again, Kara and Demoira walked through the glass doors into the Barnes and Noble. Nobody paid any attention to them, primarily because nobody was around. The crowd surrounding Britney Spears and Paris Hilton was moving away from them, past the tables of new books, toward the coffee shop. The checkout clerks leaned over their cash registers, watching, and the guy with a ponytail at the information desk was standing on top of his counter.

Demoira turned to Kara. "They must have committed some terrible crime, being attacked by a mob like that. Do you have any idea what they did?"

"They want that to happen." said Kara.

"That's not possible," said Demoira, "No one would want that."

"They wanted it more than anything," said Kara, "They've worked all their lives so this would happen everywhere they go."

"But what about the people in the mob?" said Demoira, "You mean they're not angry?"

Kara looked toward the swarming excitement. "They want the same thing for themselves." she said.

Demoira looked down at the floor. "I don't understand," she said, and she looked at Kara, "What kind of place is this?"

Kara hesitated, then she said, "The fake magic is very powerful. It brings madness and the madness spreads, feeding upon itself. Very few are immune to it, and those that the madness seizes call them mad." She looked at the human female now standing alone in the bargain section still reading Huckleberry Finn. The woman looked up at them, looked over at the mob, then shrugged her shoulders.

"Except," said Kara, "Except..." She looked at Demoira and inexplicably smiled. "We might just make it out of here, even if my magic fails. I think that lady might be one of them."

Demoira looked baffled. "Them?" she asked.

"Yes," said Kara, more confident now. "It's a class of beings the immortals call the starlighters. Nobody knows what they are, or where they come from. There's a few of them scattered among each of the sentient races, but they're very rare. They look just like them physically, but their spirits are something completely different. The immortals call them starlighters because they shine only in the darkness."

"Starlighters," said Demoira, trying out the word. "So how can she help us, if she is one?"

"Whatever is necessary, she'll do." said Kara, "It doesn't matter to a starlighter, and starlighters often die."

"Most things die," said Demoira.

"Not like a starlighter, said Kara, "Of all the living beings in the universe, starlighters are the only ones that are truly mortal. When their physical body dies, their spirit dissolves and ceases to exist. When a starlighter dies, they really die."

"So what do we do?" said Demoira, "Just go ask her?"

"If she is, she won't know. Starlighters don't know that they're starlighters until just a moment before their death. The old ones say that they have a moment of complete peace and understanding before their final death." She paused, "I like to think that's true."

"They do that for just anybody?" asked Demoira.

"No," said Kara, "Most things they don't get involved in. Each starlighter can only die once, and they each make their own decisions. Nobody knows when a starlighter is going to show up."

"So how do we know?" said Demoira.

"I think maybe we can figure it out," said Kara, "C'mon." She walked toward where the woman was standing, still reading, and Demoira followed.

Kara stopped and looked back at Demoira. "All the many thousands of years I've been alive, I've heard stories about the starlighters, but I've never actually met one." She walked on toward the woman.

The woman looked up when they got close. "That's a good book," said Kara.

"Yeah," said the woman, and she smiled, "It's one of my favorites."

Demoira had seen waterlogged books sinking down through the water after shipwrecks. Sometimes she caught one and looked at it. They were filled with writing, different kinds of writing. Some of them had pictures of things she'd never seen. She never understood what they were. "What is it?" she asked.

"It's a story," said Kara, "About a trip down a river on a raft."

That much Demoira could understand. She knew about rivers and rafts.

"It is," said the woman, "But it's more than that. It's about a kid who was offered a secure comfortable life, but it wasn't what he wanted."

"What did he want?" asked Demoira.

The woman's eyes grew sad for a moment and Demoira thought she saw the beginnings of tears. She quickly turned and looked out the window at the street. Sunlight flashed off windows as the vehicles rushed by, coming from nowhere, going nowhere, always in a hurry. She turned back toward Kara and Demoira and said, "Adventure."

The woman seemed to have an interest in Demoira, and she said to her, "And he found a friend, somebody he had known before, but only a little. His friend was a runaway slave, trying to find his children, hunted like a criminal, but he hadn't done anything wrong."

Demoira nodded, and the woman went on, "And the kid had to make a choice. He was absolutely certain that if he helped his friend he would go to hell."

"What's hell?" asked Demoira, "Is that a place?"

"She's not from this country," said Kara to the woman, and she turned to Demoira. "Hell is a place of torture where you don't die so you're tortured forever."

"What did he decide?" asked Demoira.

"He decided he would go to hell to help his friend." said the woman.

Demoira was horrified at the story, "How...how could somebody accept a fate like that?"

The woman turned once more toward the window. The sun was lower in the sky. She turned back toward them again and said, "I guess it was just his nature; it was just the way he was."

Demoira and Kara looked at each other. Kara slowly nodded.


_________________
They murdered boys in Mississippi. They shot Medgar in the back.
Did you say that wasn't proper? Did you march out on the track?
You were quiet, just like mice. And now you say that we're not nice.
Well thank you buddy for your advice...
-Malvina


AlexandertheSolitary
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26 Nov 2008, 9:33 am

For some reason, memories of the Starlighters seemed to be flooding David the Traveller's mind, momentarily diverting it from the lovely Sophia. He had known one well and become close friends with her, even witnessing her death. When her soul dispersed, part of the energy had passed into his mind, making her the only Starlighter to survive soul-death, albeit only in a fantasy world in one of the cavernous expanses of his cerebrum, which had a greater capacity than the human, and therefore was easily able to accomodate a whole extra set of memories...

Abruptly, he returned to the present and his dilemma of the apparently absent tea and coffee, and decided to ask Sophia if she would prefer red wine or white, vodka, schnaps, or mead.


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You are like children playing in the market-place saying, "We piped for you and you would not dance, we wailed a dirge for you and you would not weep."


Alisscious
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26 Nov 2008, 7:55 pm

~

Space, dark, cold, carrier of the light of suns and radiance, soft crackling electric surges forth onto my surface. So long I have been expressed in small terms, of fire and movement, ice. Birth places possibilities: caves and kindly huts, small homes and large adorned. NO, I shall walk forth full.

They will not hear my heartbeat. They ignore my sores. The kill in wars, Enough of this you foul little creatures. I love you too much to let you persist in your self destructive indolences. Stand back for I walk forth and will turn you all inside up and outside down!

I tremble! with enough!

~

The planet shakes. The faeries and druids of old awake. The dryads lift their limbs from their slumber of hundreds of year. The trolls, dwarves and Dragons awake. The army of the rebirth is about to descend upon the Humans in what will at first be peace.

~

The army of ascension collects in a place of hitherto forgotten expressed power. The dryads well upon the waters energies, coaxing full the most persistent of entities. The Dwarves beat the earthen energies. The Trolls raise of the stone energies. The Elves explode into dimensional spirit energies. The Fae bring forth gusts of air. The dragons breath all the energies into their gullet, coaxing and writhing, the dragons mix the energies with fires of brimstone, One final breath, the Seven dragons of the Seal let out all of their souls into you point of intention. The sacred cacoon of the Mother of Earths' rebirth.

~

More multidimensional earthen beings will awaking upon my birth. The few who have given their lives to me are now I as I am now them. Upon my great forth to being, All will be ready to shine in brilliance, before not seen, but by the gods themselves.

~

The planets guiding army, struggles to combine in the strength of purpose. They will now receive their collective mission. One can not ignore the re-birthing pulses of ascending light.

~



AlexandertheSolitary
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26 Nov 2008, 8:30 pm

The traveller felt the unmistakable signs of a shift in the nature of reality. He knew this was the Awakening.


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You are like children playing in the market-place saying, "We piped for you and you would not dance, we wailed a dirge for you and you would not weep."


Magnus
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27 Nov 2008, 12:59 am

David looked at me in bewilderment. The lights flickered on and off like a strobe light, bringing me in and out of existence. The bar table rattled and Paris Hilton's martini clanked the glass of Britney Spear's bloody mary. The drinks spilled onto their laps and the mob of people laughed and took pictures. The lights went out and all became silent. It was as if everyone had left.

"David? Are you here?"
I whispered.

He responded slowly and softly,
"I think so but, I don't think that any of this is real."

I held his hand and said,
"Try to make yourself wake up so we can get out of here."

The bed shook and vibrated. I awoke to see the sun shining brightly from the window, illuminating his face. David held me tightly as the pictures fell off the wall and crashed onto the hardwood floor. The earthquake was over within seconds and left us with nervous excitement in anticipation of the aftershock.


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As long as man continues to be the ruthless destroyer of lower living beings he will never know health or peace. For as long as men massacre animals, they will kill each other.

-Pythagoras


CanyonWind
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27 Nov 2008, 1:02 pm

Demoira looked back at the woman, searching what seemed to be an ordinary human face for some indication of a spirit that was legendary even among the immortals who wandered the stars. She could see only a cautious friendliness tinged with a rising curiosity.

She looked over to Kara. Kara stood looking at the woman in awe, and for the first time since she had appeared, possibly for the first time in her long life, she said nothing.

Finally Kara spoke, "You..." was all she said.

The woman waited for Kara to continue, but Kara said nothing more.

The woman turned back to Demoira, and Demoira saw a look of recognition appear on her face, then bewilderment. "This is kinda strange," she said, "But I saw you in a dream. It was last night. In my dream, you were somebody I'd known all my life...and you needed something from me...and I was afraid..." She paused, "Have we met somewhere? It seems I know you."

Before Demoida could answer, they felt the floor shift a little beneath their feet and they heard a quiet deep growling sound.

"Earthquake," said the woman with a peculiar calmness, She looked up at the ceiling. "We should get outside." The screaming mob that had followed Paris Hilton and Britney Spears now screamed as they ran for the door and crowded around it, shoving, kicking and punching. Unpeturbed, the woman smiled and shook her head, "Guess that's not an option, for the moment anyway." She pointed toward a table covered with neatly arranged Steven King novels and said, "Under the table would be better than nothing."

Mermaids used sonar like whales and dolphins and were acutely sensitive to subtleties of vibration. Demoira had known many undersea earthquakes. "This isn't an earthquake," she said, "It's something different."

As they took a step toward the table the floor moved again, more definitely this time. The steel structure of the building flexed and metal screamed, but it held. Acoustic tiles fell from the ceiling and windows tumbled down and shattered. A light fixture fell, swinging like a pendulum on its gray steel conduit and crashed into a cash register, throwing a cascade of sparks.

The ground moved again and one end of a roof joist tore loose. Kara looked up as the red zigzag steel swung downward toward where Demoira stood, still looking at the woman. Instinctively, she raised an open hand toward it and it stopped moving in midair, hovering for a moment. Then it started moving downward again. It paused, then once more accellerated downward. "Oh no," Kara said, "Not now."

The woman looked up, and hesitating only an instant, she tackled Demoira, shoving her backwards. The falling steel, now a red blur, tore loose a few strands of Demoira's hair as she was pushed out of the way before it pinned the woman's legs to the floor.

The woman looked around. The doorway was clear except for a few trampled bodies, still crawling. The woman looked up at Kara and Demoira. "Get yourselves out of here," she said, "Don't worry about me, I'll be all right." She looked down at her trapped leg and tears fell on the separated black linoleum that covered the cracked concrete.

Floor shook again and the leaning vertical steel column that had supported the fallen joist wavered. The metal siding of the building fell away and insulation streamed down like confetti. Part of the wall was gone, and through the open space they could see the wrecked cars in the street. The column ripped loose it's anchor bolts and fell, smashing the table as Steven King novels flew through the air and wood shattered into splinters.

Demoira crouched down and touched the woman's shoulder. "We're not gonna leave you here," she said, and then she added, "Starlighter."

Kara held out both palms toward the fallen joist that pinned the woman's legs to the floor. It raised a couple of inches, then sank back down.

"Okay then," said the woman, and she looked around. "The table legs," she said.

Demoira understood instantly and she rose to her feet and waved a hand toward Kara. They each grabbed a leg from the shattered table, wedged the ends under the fallen joist and lifted with all their strength. The joist raised a little and the woman pulled her legs free. Surprisingly, she was uninjured.

She rose to her feet and looked toward the missing section of the wall. "Okay, now let's get out of here."

"We can't," said Demoira, "Not yet." The woman looked baffled and she added, "There's a couple of our friends here."

The woman glanced around the wreckage of the collapsing building and Demoira saw fear on her face, but she said, "I'll help you find them."

"The coffee shop, I think," said Kara, "Or the bar, whatever it is." She pointed. "That way."

They scrambled through the piles of fallen books.

Paris Hilton and Britney Spears were yapping into their cellphones, oblivious to the events around them. Britney Spears was laughing at something and Paris Hilton was shouting orders. The traveler stood behind the bar in a green apron watching them with fascination.

"Dragel was right," muttered Demoira, "That guy is a complete idiot." Beside them sat a woman with long black hair. As they watched, she became transparent and vanished, then she reappeared.

Kara turned toward the woman, "That's them," she said, but when she looked back they had both disappeared.

"s**t," said Kara, "Where did they go this time?"

Britney Spears pushed a button on her cell phone and, still laughing, looked around and started screaming hysterically when she saw the devastation as wall columns collapsed inward, dragging twisted steel and trailing insulation. Paris Hilton looked up annoyed, and started screaming too.

"Maybe we could find a safer place to figure it out," suggested the woman, "Or at least someplace quieter."

As they ran toward the door, jumping over smashed displays and dodging the steel roof panels that were falling around them like guillotine blades, they heard a sharp cracking sound and looked back as a crack opened in the floor beside them and widened. Chunks of the concrete floor broke loose and tumbled downward into the blackness. Hands appeared at the edge and creatures climbed out, human like, with wide reptilian mouths bearing huge gleaming teeth. Bright steel flashed as they pulled strangely shaped swords from the scabbards on their backs and swung them through the dusty air. They laughed as they looked at the three human females.

The woman who read Huckleberry Finn turned and sprinted back to the bar and leaped over it. "Get out of here," she called back to Kara and Demoira as she grabbed two tequila bottles. Holding the bottles by the neck, she smashed them on the edge of the counter and ran back to stand between Kara and the advancing creatures, facing the creatures, holding her improvised knives. sunlight through the broken roof sparkled on the jagged glass as clear tequila dripped to the floor. "Go on," she called over her shoulder. "I'll hold them off." She stood waiting for the creatures to advance.

Behind the creatures, from the darkness of the depths of the earth a huge reptilian head appeared with shining emerald scales and rose to the shattered ceiling on a serpentine neck studded with black spines. The head turned and looked around, then ruby eyes spotted the woman holding the glass knives and the head descended as the mouth opened, then closed around the woman.

The head rose again, and Kara and Demoira watched as the legs in blue jeans kicked and a hiking boot came loose and fell away.

Kara stepped forward and shouted, "Emerald brother, will you kill a starlighter?"

The huge head paused by the ceiling, then descended. The mouth opened and the woman fell and landed sitting on the shattered floor. The creatures stood still and they lowered their swords.


_________________
They murdered boys in Mississippi. They shot Medgar in the back.
Did you say that wasn't proper? Did you march out on the track?
You were quiet, just like mice. And now you say that we're not nice.
Well thank you buddy for your advice...
-Malvina