Iconoclast Rising … 9

 

“You are free the moment you look inside yourself to solve your own problems.” ~ Unknown

 

Ch 9 ~ Free-fall

 

The color – muddied, such that it was for a runabout man who had spent months on end living in the tropical desert – had returned to his grizzly face.  Spence had collected himself.  “Welcome back,” Dryst said.

“Chaos can roost here and change everything.  Even when it looks like nothing is happening.”  The little one swung her teddybear lazily in the air.  Her plump ivory cheeks lay gently on her face like half moons.  Her eyes were as big as flying saucers.

“Thanks,” he muttered.  “Good to be back.”  He paused and snickered to himself before glancing in amusement with Dryst.  “You know that phrase…’simply beside myself’?”  Spence chortled.  Dryst joined him.  “Yeah…” he said, “yeah.”  “Not just a phrase anymore, huh, kid?”   Dryst raised his eyebrows and chin and exhaled a shortened laugh at that bit of irony.

“You’re a shape shifter,” Mya finally said.  “I didn’t think your kind existed.”  “Ohhhh,” the little one cooed, “oh yes…we mostly do.  Mostly.”  She rocked from one little foot that was clad in maryjane shoes to the other little foot.  “We just don’t always appear.  Not always.”  Mya shook her head in disbelief.  Her eyes frozen open, she gaped at the little one.  “I can’t believe you hauled me off like that.  I can’t believe you cracked the planet wide open like that.”  The little one giggled.  Her eyes twinkled.  She absentmindedly put a finger to the corner of her mouth.  “But you believed a warrior could…”

“Where do you s’ppose we are,” Dryst asked when he was sure that Spence had settled his mind back into place.  His body had been there for a while, but his mind took a bit to catch up.  “Well,” Spence turned and looked around.  It took a bit for the lighting to adjust.  It took a bit for him to realize they were in a forest, surrounded by redwood trees that stood upside down.  They bristled gently in the air, with their great tangle of roots sprawled across the sky and twining and looping in and amongst themselves, creating an incredible living lace canopy to screen a modest and puritan heaven.  Spence sighed, both in amazement and in surprise.  “Didn’t expect the place to be the same,” he said, a little discouraged, then he looked squarely at Dryst.  “And it’s not.  I’m afraid it’s a maze, kid.”

I don’t know what to believe with all of this, she muttered to herself.  “If that was even me…that did that…” her voice trailed to her feet.  “Oh,” the little one sang softly, “oh that was you.  A part of you that broke out of yourself.  Because of something fierce inside of you.  Because of something you desparately want to protect.”  Mya’s thoughts ran to Dryst.  She felt…even here…she felt a sense of him.  Even in this otherworldly place.  “War is coming,” the child suddenly sang in a tiny voice that floated on lollipops.  “War is coming.”

Dryst lowered his head and frowned.  “You never mentioned…what happened the last time you came here?  Why did you come here?”  Spence cinched his teeth and evaluated the moment (…or perhaps he was evaluating the question).  After an extended beat, he relinquished the silence and said, “To get to the source.”  “Another ‘don’t know don’t know’ example,” Dryst sighed, noticeably irritated, to which Spence released a laugh that began at his navel.  “Yeah,” he said through a smile, “yeah…I know what you mean, kid.  Gets tiresome after a point.  But…” he shrugged and raised his hands out to his sides, “you called it like it is.  When you’re right, you’re right.”  Dryst grimaced slightly.  “Yeah, well.  I’d like to be less right about that and more right about other things.  No offense.”   Spence nodded his head and grinned, causing divets to flow from the corners of his eyes.  “The Source…” he continued, not making Dryst ask.  “You got us here.  You have a right to know, but I suspect you already picked up on this.  A seat of power created all of this…the Here and the There.”  Spence gestured around them, above them, and below them.  He extended his arms and gestured to Dryst before saying, “There’s a Source — an ultimate Creator, an Alpha Builder — who owns that portal of yours.”  Dryst frowned.  He grew uneasy with all of this talk.  His only concern had been and was Mya.  He hadn’t considered the need to chase The Event and the portal down to an ultimate beginning.  And even so, why?  For what end?  “Are you talking about God?” his voice dripped with disbelief.

A tinge of green flash suddenly rippled across the night sky.  It illuminated the area long enough for Mya to see she and the little girl stood on the plateau of a large hill.  A forest of giant trees rambled off in the distance but looked strangely contorted from what she assumed to be twining, looping treetops that weaved themselves together in the sky.  Nothing made sense in this place, she thought.  Everything she had seen and experienced had shocked her senses so violently that seeing the odd top layer of the forest — a layer she really couldn’t discern — really didn’t shock her mind any more or less…certainly not nearly enough to yank her thoughts off of what the child had said.  War…” Mya repeated.  A word…what does this word mean, she asked herself.  “Who’s war?” she asked the child.  The little one blithely hummed and occasionally sang the words to a song about ribbons and laces and favorite things and at the end of a verse, she answered in the same sing-song happy voice, “A war between the Believers and the Non…the Believers and the Non…” she repeated in a chorus.

“Ohhh,” Spence stretched his length and darted his vision through the trees.  “I suspect the Source may think of themselves as God…”  “They,” Dryst interrupted.  Spence grinned through his teeth and lowered his voice, “Yeah, kid.  They.”  He paused, just because it was an ever present annoying trait of his, and then said, “But in my book, they’re not God.  And they’re not shapeshifters either,” he said with reassurance.  “In my book, they’re more like witches than any God I’ve ever heard of.”

     

National Novel Writing Month:  Chapter 9 total wordcount:  1050 (not including this notation).  Total total count:  13,975.  (omgah … I am seriously whimpering)

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