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A Summer Barbaric of Shenanigans

Chapter 17

 A meditation tent was standard practice with Artisan caravans as a quiet place for musicians and writers, painters and choreographers to come and silently create in their minds, before manifesting their powers outwardly. It was a calming think-space.

Marin entered with Filly and she led him to a corner booth of curtains and cushions. They sat comfortably on the floor together and relaxed through well-practiced breathing techniques, to quiet mind and soul.

Filly asked in hushed tones,

“Can you, will you trust me?”

She reached her hand out to gently drift a middle finger across his brow, then softly laid her palm over his heart.

Marin breathed in slowly and tried breathing out calmly again, with difficulty. It was as if a great damn wall was creaking and bulging, holding back a tidal wave of … Filly couldn’t tell, yet. But, he kept his eyes closed and nodded.

She leaned in and gently pulled Marin’s forehead to touch hers, with her hands on either side of his temples. The Count blinked his eyes open a little, confused and unsure of this weirdness. Filly kept her eyes closed, as a veil of serenity covered over her face.

In his mind, Filly appeared, dressed in a simple lavender toga.

Marin baulked and pulled back, staring at the woman sitting in front of him with jeans on and a tight t-shirt. Filly maintained her pose, with her hands still tangled in the sides of his sandy brown hair. She ran her thumbs soothingly across his cheek bones. So, he closed his eyes again and smiled at the apparition of the Oracle in his soul.

Nervously, he looked around the blank, white space.

“What’s this?” he asked with a quiet echo.

“A safe place.” Filly smiled.

Marin rocked back and forth on his heels feeling entirely out of place and not safe at all.

“Here,” Filly handed him a shining, mirror ball that fit comfortably in the palm of his hand.

“Ok?” he questioned.

“That is your memory ball. It reflects everything that is in your soul.” Filly guided.

Marin looked between her and the mirrored sphere skeptically.

She continued explaining, not looking at the ball,

“It works like an onion, with layers upon layers.”

Marin pulled it closer to peer at the reflections. All he saw was eyes, his eyes, reflected in each of the tiny mirrors. He was still skeptical.

Filly kept her eyes trained upon his, being obvious about not looking at the memory reflections in the man’s hand.

She encouraged him,

“I give it to you, so you have control.”

Marin glanced again and suddenly noticed that each of the eyes were blinking differently to the other. He leaned in closer and began to see that each eye reflecting to him, was the window to a separate memory. He was fascinated and rolled the ball over and around, smiling at the shallow recollections of that morning, yesterday, and the whole week.

“Huh.” Marin grunted.

He looked up at his Oracle and asked,

“I have control?”

“Yes. It’s in your hands.” Filly smiled and gestured to the open blank atmosphere about them, “You can cast whatever you want up here, and play it at whatever speed you like, and stop or start it whenever you wish; with a flick of your thumb.”

The curious Count looked to practice. He pressed his thumb on one mirrored eye and flicked it up, like a marble being tossed. The memory of that afternoon’s beach conversation between the two paused all about them in holographic clarity. As he rested his thumb over that mirror panel, he shifted the memory forward or backward and adjusted the volume, all with the subtle pressure of his own guidance.

He chuckled to himself and walked through the roomy memory, stopping to stare at the backside of Filly. It was blank white. His recollection was only partially dimensional; ending directly where his perception ended.

“Ahhh,” he expounded his own understanding, “it only shows me what I remember.”

“And in that, there is grave danger.” Filly warned.

Marin responded,

“It only shows my perception.”

“Exactly,” Filly whispered, “which may or may not be a factual, or a fully truthful expression of what happened.”

Marin “hmmmed” in deep contemplation,

“Then what is the point?”

Filly smiled,

“This is a tool for the sharing and analysis of memories, not a method of recalling truth. These images would never be admissible in a Court of Law. They are too biased.”

Then she giggled and winked at him,

“But you can share them with me and we can talk about it.”

“Hmph. Talk about it.” Marin tossed the ball back at Filly and sniffed, “no thanks.”

But, Filly stepped back from the memory ball and it fell through the open white air and landed mystically back in Marin’s hands.

“What?” Marin tried it again.

He tossed the ball a few times, then threw it as far away as he could, but each time, it landed back in his hands like sticky toffee.

“What is going on.” Panic rose in his voice, “I don’t want this!” he demanded.

Filly sat back on the cushion and rested her hands in her jean’s lap. Marin sputtered and blinked, breathing heavily, falling back onto the soft pillows about him.

They paused in the quiet, till the man regained his composure.

When he sighed, and sat up again, he asked more humbly,

“Can you explain that to me better, please?”

Filly looked to the black spirit sitting on Marin’s shoulder. It was mouth-open snoring, sound asleep. Filly couldn’t help snicker at the almost cute sight of a great and tiny evil, being caught so off guard.

Filly reasoned,

“You couldn’t get rid of the ball, because it doesn’t actually exist.” Filly unpacked the revelation, “it was simply a mental tool for you to hold in your hand and give you understanding of your own control.”

“What control do I have over something I can’t get rid of?” Marin complained.

“Exactly. Your memories are yours, forever. You can’t un-see some shyte, ever.”

Marin’s heart sank dubiously. The spirit shifted in his snooze.

But, Filly lifted his chin in earnest encouragement,

“You may bury some things far beneath where you want to live. But they will out some-day, some-where, some-time. So, why wait to be caught unaware. Why not go and unpack that mess on your own time, in your own effort?”

“You want me to talk about what happened when I lost my powers, don’t you?” Marin accused her.

“I want you to talk.” Filly nodded. “The important things will surface organically. But, first, you have to start the tap running at a slow drip; or else you might drown.”

Marin stood up and walked out of their booth. But, he paused at the tent door and turned back to her,

“Thank you for your gentle coaxing.” He nodded in acceptance. “I will talk… just, not right now. I have a lot to think about; alone.”

“Be it, as you will.” Filly smiled openly.

Marin stepped out of the tent and the dark spirit with him suddenly burst awake, furious at not knowing where it was. He growled looking around and Marin mirrored the sneer. Slumping his shoulders, he stalked off.

Filly remained in the tent and meditated on her own, awhile. Time was drawing nearer to that arrival she dreaded and longed for. It was deeply frustrating to wait so long and not know what to expect. This foreshadowing was all rather tiresome. She wanted it over. But, Life doesn’t respond to selfish interests well. So, Filly settled her heart and shifted her perspective by seeking to serve others. Selflessness was the cure for selfishness.

The Oracle returned to her room, collected her art things and resumed painting the digeridoo for Ionny. A prophetic story gathered upon the instrument. Filly wove the tale about the cylinder and grew it in her heart to tell in words that accompanied the imagery.

Ionny was a quieter soul, with spikes of fierceness in him. Yet, there was such an effervescence of kind waters flowing through him, that Filly couldn’t help being fully refreshed in her work. She smiled proudly at the finished product and set it aside to dry.

Another concert was set for the evening, still in this same town. After that, everyone was moving on to a new road. The digeridoo needed to pass on, back to the Chancellor, and Filly was much satisfied with what she could offer in this gift.

As the daylight calls closed, the Oracle wandered back out into the horse paddock, again. Sitting beneath the rising moon in a dwindling twilight brought a precious hush to her soul and she almost stayed all night. But, she must up, to give her offering.

Before leaving, she snuffled the horsey noses with kisses and giggled at the adventurous chickens roaming free. The air was generously still and calm. What peace was to be found, when one looked!

The concert was in full swing by the time Filly pulled into the parking area. It was outdoors and a flash-back band was playing a rough collection of older songs. They were even dressed in the wild fashion of past days, looking delightfully silly. Filly joined everyone with celebrating laughter.

Hugs were passed around friends as usual.

“I have your digeridoo,” Filly smiled her greeting to the Chancellor.

“That’s awesome! Already? Thank you.” Ionny hugged her.

They walked between transports to fetch and stow the gift away safely.

“There’s a story to go with it,” Filly handed him another scroll.

She liked scrolls.

Ionny stared at the long instrument, turning it around and around in his hands, following the sections of imagery from top to bottom. It told the tale of muse inspiration with the imagery of water.

He loved it.

“This is great. Thanks, again, so much. I want to keep it safe and practice with it later.”

He disappeared into Bellanie and quickly returned to Filly’s side.

“Thanks, again, really.”

They smiled together and walked back to the crowd.

Filly passed on to get herself a drink and a quick rest in the ladies’ room. But as she wandered back, someone called out to her.

“Hello there,” he said, “I saw you attended these things, so I thought I’d check them out.”

“Ward?” she addressed the new comer. “I’ve not seen you in a while.” Filly smiled in wariness. “How are you?”

He hugged her.

“I’ve been well. You?”

“Very well.” Filly answered.

It was always awkward when she met up with past lovers.

There was a moment of pause as they stood together, listening to the band.

“How did you see that I was here?” Filly inquired politely.

“There was a flicker of one of the big carnivals on a link site I scroll through often.” Ward shrugged, “I recognized you.”

Then his eyes roved down her body, remembering what it looked like underneath the clothing.

Filly smiled, a little embarrassed, a little flattered.

“Why don’t I introduce you to everyone?” She offered and walked toward the sound tent where the band members were milling about.

Nikols was sitting, getting a back massage and Kaid stood by, flanked by a couple of girls.

“Kaid,” Filly introduced, “this is an old acquaintance of mine, Ward. He wanted to pop by and hear you guys play tonight.”

Ward held out a hand, standing closely to Filly.

Kaid shook it and seemed to size him up, saying,

“’Allo. Glad you could make it.”

Kaid then stepped closer to the other side of Filly. There was very little spoken in words between the two men, establishing themselves on either side of the woman in the middle. She felt the tension rise and saw images of battling stags flash through her mind. She smiled, secretly enjoying the attention. But, then she shifted her weight subtly and leaned ever so slightly more toward the Chamberlin. Kaid straightened his back and stepped in front to press in against Ward’s atmosphere.

“Where you from?” he asked, politely of course.

“This town,” Ward responded vaguely, not moving.

Kaid kept his stance. He was not as tall as Wade, but his presence was strong and impressive. Again, Filly enjoyed getting to hide in his shadow for a moment. She’d felt uncomfortable in Wade’s atmosphere and was grateful to have a friend to lean in with, and separate herself from that past.

A couple of other ladies, just as territorial as Kaid, joined the conversation and Wade was almost edged out while the Chamberlin facilitated his fans. Filly continued quietly and calmly in his shadow.

The first band closed their set, so Kaid joined Ionny and Nikols preparing the stage for their own show.

“Well, I guess I’ll be off then,” Wade got Filly’s attention.

She smiled and nodded,

“I hope you have a good week.”

“I should.” Wade answered and stepped over to his car.

Filly rested her hand on his open transport window. There was still a real longing there, to go back to past moments shared. But, Filly set her soul to look ahead to new things.

Wade laid his hand on her arm and wistfully smiled,

“See you around.” He stated, almost asking.

“Have a great night,” Filly replied and turned to walk away.

Wade drove off and Filly’s inner wrestling intensified. That old habit of how she lived when she knew Wade, still haunted with some power. Yet, the only way to weaken that hold, was to ignore it.

Fortunately, incarnate joy burst through the amplified air and Filly disappeared into the power of dancing her heart out for the rest of the night. It was a powerfully good night.

Pre-exposition Letter by the Scribe

Part 19

If you would like to see more of Gregga’s books and other creative projects, check out her website: Gregga J. Johnn and Story-in-the-Wings.