Episode 9. Leaving Lemuria.
For many moons I had lived in idyllic surroundings on my own island in the Lemurian Archipelago. I was blissfully unaware of any world other than the one which revolved around my own hard won and, in my own opinion anyhow,long overdue self indulgence. After all , wasn't that the way of things? Sophia my guide had intimated as much. ie first the fast then the feast ! and not the other way around.I had had a difficult jouney to reach here, had paid my respects to the White Owl! Now was well-earned payback time! My soul was soaring in its freedom like the eagles riding the summery thermals above.
The last day I spent on what I felt to be "my" island, started with the puzzling appearance on the horizon of a cloud very similar to the one which had hovered on the edge of the lake at Duwamish when I arrived with Sophia. It had been accompanied then by a chilly wind which whipped the waves and created crests on the lake. Now it seemed to be edging towards the island, ever so slowly, and again I wondered if the occasional flash was sunlight bouncing off the waves or perhaps, a streak of lightning.
Nevertheless I still revelled in my surroundings, its simplicity yet richness, enjoying a lifestyle available to only the very poor or the very rich. As evening came the moon rose. A full moon casting shadows through the trees and reflected in a silver stream across the lake. As for the past few months I fell into a deep and untroubled sleep.
It seemed only minutes when I was startled awake by a strong wind lashing the trees and accompanied by a banshee-like howl.The front door, or what passed for it, was flapping madly and I was afraid it would come off its hinges. Gathering a robe around me, I padded along the hall to the verandah trying to secure the door as I went. There on the verandah, rocking in my chair, and keening in a low and continual chant, was my old guide Sophia!Her eyes were closed and she seemed oblivious to my presence until I tentatively tapped her on the shoulder. Even then, the expression she greeted me with was one of glazed apprehension and fear.
" It's time to go home" she moaned, and rocked and would not listen to my protestations that I still had much to do. To see. Friends waiting at the Gypsy Camp. Banquets at..
" Adventures don't last forever" she admonished. " And" she whispered " there is evil afoot!"
Even as she spoke her gentle features dissolved and my dear friend morphed into a haggard harradine whose long bony arms reached towards me. A crone who was grey fom her lank hair flapping in the increasing wind,through the old coat pulled across her skeletal shoulders, to the gumboots on her feet. It was as if the ashes of the entire winter had been tossed over her. I screamed and pulled back in horror at this transformation.
" I am Sybil!' she uttered menacingly. " I have come to take you to a cave, a far far place where the sun is hidden and the daemons are gathering.They are waiting for you!" She cackled in anticipation. It was then I noticed two black ravens perched beside her.
Gathering my wits I tore off into the bracken, racing faster than I had ever thought possible. Along paths I had not noticed before as clouds scudded across the now setting moon and dimmed my way. The banshee howls seemed close behind, and I wondered how long before I would be overtaken and subdued.
On and on I ran, stumbled, plodded, and as dawn started to break the howls receded behind me and the wind appeared to be calming. Encouraged I pushed on until I entered a forest where a thick mist shrouded the landscape. The path became impenetrable and unnavigable. I was lost.
So it was that I sat and leant against a big tree to have a good cry and to try and sort out this dilemma. As I started to drift into an exhausted but hesitant sleep, again there was that hint of gum leaves in the air. The mist started to drift and then lift, and suddenly I recognised my surroundings. I was back where I had started, in my own garage, leaning against that wretched in - need- of-a-paint Roller Door!It was still early morning and sobbing with relief I found my way back into the still quiet house. The dog merely opened one eye to greet my reappearance. The computer screen was still...no sign of that dancing beam of light which had led me to a land and a life in some parallel universe. My only momento was the pixie cap stuffed in my robe.
I crept into bed beside my seemingly still sleeping partner and pondered over all that had happened. If indeed it had happened. It was such a relief to be back in my own predictable but satisfying and comfortable spot.To love and enjoy and....when the terrifying thought hit me...how would I ever know when I was safe again!