I was Eight years old when I first learnt the truth about the Forest…
I was young, full of energy, always off exploring… no one ever went near the Forest, I had never known why. One day I ventured too close, and a voice called out to me.
“Boy!” Said the ancient voice, like carving the words into the bark of a tree.
I turned and saw the Old Crone, clothed in a grey hooded cloak, her face ancient and wooden, with a long pointed nose with a hideous wart bulging on the end, one eye and the other nothing more than a huge scar, teeth missing from her mouth she waddled up to me and stared down upon me.
“You don’t want to get too close to that Forest,” she croaked. “Not yet anyway.”
She smiled it was the sort of smile at that age you didn’t fully understand, but it scared you anyway.
“No, no,” she said. “Do you know the story of the Forest, boy?”
I looked towards the vast Forest, the thousands of trees stretching out into forever, Birch and Yew trees as far as the eye could see, a few Oaks spotted, and I knew following the river in the entire river was lined with Willows.
I was standing under a Hawthorn near a little pond a short distance from the tree line, I knew adult ceremonies took place here but at that age I didn’t understand them.
“No.” I whispered, shy around this Old Crone.
“Thousands of years ago,” She said, power growing in her voice. “There was an ancient war. Men fought Men over the Gods, each Man fighting for the God they believed to be right. Thousands upon thousands died. Then Men who buried the dead waited, until the blood in their bodies no longer flowed like a river, but dried. A hole was cut through their stomach, and when they were buried trees were planted inside them. Years past and the war was devastating, soon Men forgot exactly what they were fighting for, only remembering how to bury their dead, the world was decimated and thousands of years have past since then. All these trees boy? They are the dead. That Forest is a vast Graveyard stretching on forever; those trees contain the souls of our ancestors.”
I looked deep into the heart of the Woods, it was still, almost like they knew their story was being told, as if they were listening.
Suddenly her hands were on my shoulders holding me, looking right into my face with her one eye.
“The Trees are alive boy!” She cried. “Some of the trees are the fallen of the wrong Men, these trees are evil, and wish you dead!”
I ran, far away from the Crone and the Forest, and hid in the stable by my families Cow, Betsy.
That night around the dinner table with my Mother and Father enjoying Duck cooked with lemon and honey, I told them what the Crone had said.
“Magda is old,” My Father told me. “Some says she is hundreds of years old, the last in the line of her family, all who lived unnaturally long lives.”
He told Me they were the keepers of the story, telling generation after generation the legends and history of the Forest.
“You need to know about that Forest, Son.” My Father told me, his voice solemn. “When a Boy comes of age, he must go into the Forest on his own, he must try to survive out on his own, as long as he can, and if he can, he must try to make it to the other side of the Forest.
“Has anyone ever done that?” I ask with intense curiosity.
“No. Within the Forest lie dangers unimaginable. There are more than Wolves in there, Son.”
Wolves sometimes ventured out of the Woods, hunting Chickens or Ducks. Sometimes, they ate small children who’d wandered off on their own. There was a group of men, who had lasted long or survived well at their trials in the Forest, they protected us from the Wolves, sometimes going into the Woods to hunt when food was scarce. They were the keepers of the Old Way. Each had spent time with the Old Crone, learning the stories intensely. When Winter came, and wood was needed for fires, they would go into the Woods searching for the evil trees. But sometimes they could not be found, or they hid well. The Old Crone had taught them the words to the prayers needed to be said to cut down a tree. The words were in an ancient tongue, that only the trees and the wind understood. They gave the tree peace so we could use its wood. So its soul could give us warmth.
My Father removed his shirt. There was a huge scar running down his back. I had seen him without his shirt before, when he was working at making instruments for protection for the Guardians, and I had always wondered about the scar. I had never asked.
“This scar,” he said “Came from a creature 6 times the size of any Wolf. It was creature that roared, big and mean, with shaggy brown fur. There are creatures in those Woods, Son. Monsters.”
I remember sitting there, the wind howling outside my windows, I remember imagining the beast my Father spoke of. I imagined evil glowing red eyes in the dark, stalking me as I stumbled through the Birch trees in a howling Winter’s night. My heart was racing, even at the table, by the warmth of the fire.
“Magda knows, all the children in her family, even the girls must go through the trial when they come of age.” My Mother cut in. “Magda lasted the longest of any known person. Four Winter’s they say she lasted, determined to make in through the Forest. On her second Winter, cold and hungry knowing only death would come if she kept going, she turned back. She stumbled out of those Woods delirious, muttering, starved and near death. She is the wisest and most learned person in this village.”
The hut fell silent, and we resumed eating our dinner, my thoughts plagued with images moving in the dark, of the Old Crone as a young girl sitting in the snow by a fire, freezing to death, fearing that when my time came I would scarcely last… or I would perish.
For years I kept an eye on the Old Woman, listened in when I heard her speaking to others. Sometimes she spoke to the trees. I wondered if they spoke back to her. If they did, I couldn’t hear them. But she talked to them like old friends, had conversations. Her face was like the crinkled bark of a tree. Sometimes I wondered that she’d spent so long among them she was becoming one.
When I could I spent us much time near the tree-line as possible, staring in. I watched the Guardians fight when the occasional wolf came to steal a chicken. I practised the movements they used with a long stick. My coming of age was close approaching. I’d need all the knowledge I could get. I had become determined… infatuated with the idea of making it through the Forest. I dreamed of what lie on the other-side. For me it was always some kind of paradise. Warmth, and a treeless clearing stretching for miles. Hills of grass as far as the eye could see.

Finally a new year dawned. All the children who were to come of age travelled a mile in the opposite direction of the thick labyrinthine Forest, here trees grew sparsely. I saw ponds of Geese. Cats and Dogs running about, and a larger village built on the side of a wide river. I could not see the other side, but men on small wooden boats sat in the still river holding sticks with lines entering the water. I knew what they were doing. My Father had often spoken of fishing as a child. This was the village he had came from, he had moved closer to the Forest when he returned injured from his trail the huge cut on his back. My Mother had nursed him back to health. That was what she did, she knew medicines, she knew what herbs and plants were used to help the sick. Even Old Crone came to my Mother when she was younger, they had learned together for a bit, learning the way of the herbs, when Old Crone has learned what she needed she walked off into the Woods. She came back weeks later with vast supplies of Mushrooms and other plants that my mother could use. Even teaching my Mother knew things. She truly was the wisest of the village.
When my Father was nursed back to health, a feat that had seemed impossible, he began courting my Mother, marrying her under the Hawthorn. He hadn’t left since.
“Do you see it!?” A boy called out next to me, he was a boy from a village nearer ours than this, still along the tree line.
I looked where he was pointing. Towards the middle of the village was a huge Oaken Citadel, built hundreds of years ago. Craved into the wood of the halls where pictures of the Forest, and some of the strange creatures inside it. I saw Wolves, and the large monstrous creature my Father spoke of. I saw pictures of Butterflies and other creatures I was familiar with. The Forest truly was a wild place.
When I and the other boys had all sat down inside the huge citadel a voice called out.
“Men. That’s what you will become this year. Each one of you will pit yourself against the wild of the Forest. Those of you that survive will come back men, and be assigned a post based of how well you did.”
I see the Old Crone walk up behind him, hunched and hooded in the same grey cloak.
“Magda will provide you with a week of training with her before you venture into the woods.”
He pulled out a piece of parchment, something Old Crones family line had passed down how to make through the generations.
“On this list is the order your days of birth. The order of which, you will enter the Forest. I will call the names out, but first enjoy your coming of age feast!”
Women come out dressed in beautiful green gowns. They are our age, and I imagine they set this up as a way for us to find pairs. The place beautiful clay plates with swirling carves cut into them in front of us, with a beautiful dark meat, dripping with flavour, a side of cooked river fruit, and a goblet filled with red liquid. I’ve seen the liquid before. My Father had drunk it on oft occasions. But we were to be Men, now we could drink it.
I bite in to the meat, it’s succulent and juicy I can taste that is has been flavoured with garlic, and something else I can’t put my finger on.
I finish a mouth full and wash it down with the Wine my Father had forbidden me from drinking. It was rare he had said, and difficult to make, until Summer.
It was beautiful. Sweet and made Me feel dizzy, but happy, like I could do anything. I knew the flavour on the meat now. It was wine.
The feast felt like hours, as we drank ourselves into a stupor. Some boys ending kissing the serving girls. The man came through, eyeing people off with his stern face and big grey beard, telling them it was time to be quiet and to sit down, I finished off my tenth goblet of wine by the time the halls were silent.
“When I call your name I want you to walk up those stairs to the right, and young Saiben will lead you to your sleeping chamber for the night.”
He unrolled the parchment and cleared his throat.
“Rose of Hazelton”
Whispers filled the hall, all of us looking around. A young red head with short boyish hair walked past me, dressed in boys clothes. Looking at her face I saw she was a girl, and seeing her body shape, it was obvious. But girls don’t do the trial. Only Magda’s family line. And she was the last. As the girl vanished up the stairs silence filled the hall, eagerly awaiting an explanation. None was given. The man called out the next name.
“Euan of Hawthorn”

It was me, stumbling to my feet due to the wine, I steadied myself and walked as straight as I could to, and up the stairs as a young man lead me to my chamber. Beyond the burnt black door was a small fire, a small wooden table with two chairs, and two beds on opposite sides of the room. On the bed, on the right hand side of the room, sat the red haired Rose, her beautiful white face sullen looking.
“I didn’t think they’d make me share a room.” She said, spite in her voice.
“Sorry.” I responded and dumped my clothes at the end of my bed.
I was too tired to talk. I wanted to sleep.
My dreams where strange that night. Normally your dreams are forgotten, but I remember those dreams.
I was by a pond, reeds surrounded it, I moved them aside, looking down in the pond, the water moved like a flowing river, slowing down and stopping, changing and become a complete reflection, I saw myself and heard the sound of Ravens I looked around me and saw only trees, looking back to the pond there was nothing there, just snow, snow and trees all around me, and the crying of Ravens. I looked around the birch trees and snow fell and melted on my naked flesh. And still the Ravens cried. Darkness was falling. I ran, naked and cold through the forest, falling face first into the snow as darkness fell, I huddled against a tree for warmth. Still the ravens cried. “Help!” I screamed. “Somebody please help!” I heard a blood curdling laughter from behind and jumped up to see the face of the Old Crone reaching out from the tree.
“No help will come.” She mocked. “Only death comes in Winter!” She burst into a fit of laughter and I ran.
Running as fast and far as my legs would take me, my body freezing from the cold. Seeing a small rocky cave I hid myself inside.
“The trees are alive!” I hear the Old Crone call out. “Alive and hungry for souls!” She calls.
I cried and the tears froze on my face. Dying of the cold, my naked body huddled against a wall.
“Here.” I hear a voice say, and look up. It’s Rose, she’s coming towards Me, dressed in the fine green dresses of the serving girls. “Let me warm you.” She says removing her dress and pressing her naked body against mine. My body heats up in a way it’s never done before. And the laughing of the crone changes into the cracking of a fire in the cave, and the Ravens crying silences to the gentle buzz of Summer bees. The warmth of Rose against me is heavenly and she moves her hands through my brown hair. My green eyes gazing into hers, I look at her soft milky skin and fiery red hair.
I get a feeling of intense warmth and dizziness, before I wake up.

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All the Monsters

September 4, 2011

Cold heart forgotten in shadows.
A frozen soul, a poisoned breath.
A cancer that grows through your veins.
The leaf that falls. The tree that dies.
The wind that howls and an ocean that stings.
A raging dance, a tornado of emotion.
All the souls sing… Mine is quiet.
An orchestra of screeching death.
The rumbling stomach of the Earth.
It’s heart beats slower as the light from the sun dies.
The souls bark at me, like wild dogs.
I am Silent.
No words protrude my lips.
Cold winter silences the others. We can sleep now.
All the monsters are gone.

The Woods

February 18, 2011

I am standing in the woods.

It is dark. But I can see clearly as the moon breaks through the tree tops.

I… don’t know where I am. It is possible I am dreaming.

I hear the sound of running water and look to my right to see a running stream. The water is crystal clear.
Almost begging you to drink it.

There is no noise. No wind. No chirping of birds or croaking of frogs. No rustling of leaves.
Silence.

I look around. I am not alone. I see the silhouette of rabbits and owls sleeping in the branches.
The rabbits see me watching and hop away… they make no noise… there is only the running water.

I open my mouth to speak… but I don’t. This isn’t a place of human words.

The light of the moon cloaks me, and I move towards the stream.
My feet make no sound until I hit the water.
It is as cold as ice.

I am in the middle of the light. Seeing where it encircles.
I see figures, watching me from the thick of the wood. Figures that move as swiftly as shadows.

The circle of light surrounding me grows smaller… collapsing in on me as the creatures move out of the trees and closer, hidden still, within the dark.
It grows smaller, and smaller until there is almost no light left, just the moons spotlight on me. And the dust floating through the light.

I cannot hear the creatures. But I can feel them, I can feel their presence, their breaths.
Soon the light will be gone. I fall back and sink into the depths of the cold stream. They will not follow me.

I stay down, in the darkness. In the freezing cold. I feel the flow of the water as the stream carries me.
I hold my breath for what feels like eternity.
And lift myself from the water. I do not breath. It is much too cold to breath. The water has slowed here. And I lay in a shallow puddle.
I look around. I am in a clearing of grass. Black grass that waves gently as if there was a breeze.
I feel no breeze here.
I get up and walk around. There are no animals here. A few tree stumps. And now I cannot even hear the river.
I see a dark path forming between the trees. A path.
I follow it.
I walk on. Hours pass. Years maybe. Time is irrelevant here.
I see a red light up ahead. A reddish glow, unworldly.
As I get closer I see what it is.
A rose. A beautiful red rose. Black outlines around the edges of the petals.
The sight of this rose makes my eyes water. Such an indescribable beauty.
A beauty neither human words nor melodies could describe.
It was something truly mystical that had the presence of a force not bound to be kind to man.
I began to hear. Sound, like pebbles dropping.
I looked and saw my tears freeze as they fell hitting the ground as stone.

I feel my stomach churn. Claustrophobia sets in. I feel the woods crushing in on me.
I run.
Wildly through the forest.
The trees sink towards me. The forest will consume me.
I break through a thicket, smashing myself through a barrier of thorns.
I am on an open plane. The moon is hidden behind the clouds, but stars light the sky. The field stretches out for miles. In the distance I see the shadows of horses running free.
Small droplets of rain fall onto my face.
Around me they fall as tears.
I wipe the water from my face.
It smells of milk and honey.
The majesty of this world…

“My soul is a dark forest. My known self will never be more than a little clearing in the forest. Gods, strange gods, come forth from the forest into the clearing of my known self, and then go back. I must have the courage to let them come and go….”

I hear the sound of a piano. Beautiful sad tunes… The world around me reacts. I feel it cry with me at the sad tunes. And I see it… the sun rising in the distance… the dew on the grass and a soft breeze blows my neck.

And I know. And I understand.

Legenda

March 29, 2010

Two weeks left now, than it’s goodbye Finland, hello Australia! But there is still so much left to do. So today I’m going to do it. I pack my bag with food, (if you call potato chips and liquorice food) three cans of Creaming Soda, some matches, a torch and of course, my mobile phone (even though none of my friends can get in contact with me from home). I change into the proper gear: snow boots, giant wolf skin jumper and a heat hat I bought in town. I tell Mum and Dad I’m going out, kiss them goodbye, and I’m off! It’s about four kilometres to where I’m heading so I ride the snow cart at least halfway. Now two kilometres left, I hop off the cart. I must journey the rest through the woods. I’m not allowed in the woods… Mum and Dad are afraid of them because of the local legends, though I’m not afraid.
As I walk through I can’t help thinking of the local legends. Though the Finnish have many legends. Like, when lost in the woods you change into a creature the locals call ‘Kalma’. A forest Imp apparently. Though I wont get lost. I know where I’m going… but it’s not that legend that worries me… It’s the legend of the ‘Goâk Bar’, the Wolf of Hate. They say his parents got lost in these woods when he was a baby and they transformed into the Monsters, but because he was not lost he did not transform and his parents tried to eat him. He was then saved by the Wolf King and raised as a Wolf, and over time transformed into one. It’s said he attacks and kills anyone in these woods, making sure none transform into Kalma.

I stop. I’m here. I pass the clearing of trees and stand, insignificant, infront of the giant mouth of a cave. I can’t even see a few centimetres into it. It is pitch black. I’m beginning to get nervous, yet I’ve come all this way through the woods to get here. I switch on my torch. I’m going to go in. I take a few steps forward, shivering in the cold. It’s so dark. I decide to turn around and go back to the hotel. An ear piercing howl fills the air. I scream and run into the cave. I fall.

Everything is black. Something is digging into my neck. I pull away. I feel my skin rip and warm blood ooze over my frozen skin. I flick my torch back on. It was a broken bone that dug into my neck, thank god… Wait… BONE?! I jump up shinning the torch around, there are bones everywhere! Not human bones, small animal bones. I look around to see where I came through. There are no gaps. I look up, there is a small hole overhead, I must have fell through. I’m going to have to climb out. This may take a while…
I get a grip on a slimy, muddy rock and lift myself off the ground. I manage to get my feet up. Now there’s no other climbing place to go. I have to dive through the hole in the wall… on second thoughts, I might ring Dad for help! Or not… I’ll probably get in trouble for this. I’ll just have to try. I take off my backpack and throw it through. Now it’s my turn: I get the right footing and try to work out mathematically which angle to dive at, when I make my decision I breath deeply and dive.
OUCH! I made it. All but my ankle, whice slammed against the stone. But I made it. I get up, and limp over to the entrance. Now that my eyes have slightly adjusted to the dark I look around the cave. It is small, around the size of a large room in a house. It seems I fell down the only hole, a rather small one at that. I notice a plate at the end of the cave. I limp over to read it:

“Dear Traveller.

You have done well to come this far. It takes great courage to not show fear when all others around you do. You should be proud.”

I smile, pick up my backpack, and limp out of the cave, through the woods, and home.

Primeval Hearts

March 22, 2010

Vision
The Northern eye falls upon him,
Stopping him dead in his tracks.
Sword blood red, eyes shut tight
Draining his power from him.
With the blink of the eye, allows him the time
To hide from this unearthly creature.
With the swish of his sword
And a screech from the eye,
He sits there and waits
For this unearthly creature to die.

Interigartus
The rain is colourless
A land quite clear
Heaven to Werewolves
Why am I here?
Full moon overhead
Werewolf stalks the bay
Screams all night
Screams till day
Howl you must Venso
On you twelfth birthday.

The Laughing Vampire
The day of dread
A dawn of sorrow
Why live another day
The fact is that I’m already dead
Cut me, slash me, do all that you please
The fact is that I’m already dead.

Water World
Through misty waters you may seek,
Though your chances of finding are merely weak.
Through waters cold, a land shall come.
It will be revealed
And all will be done.

The Kingdom
Not carved in brick and mortar
Not carved in blood and bones.
There is one last city
An unearthly creature owns.
It sits upon a mountain
A desolate rocky trail.
There it plays the Pan Pipe
Gazing at the shore
Wishing it could be there
At the Kingdom, once more.

Dead Night
Eyes blood red,
Fingers pale white.
I see him,
In the dead of the night.

Angel’s
The Angel’s asleep
The Village waits for defeat
Dead Men don’t weep
Cry, come save us O’ Lord
We await sound of feet

Dragon
It’s egg fell, like a tear, from the sun itself
It rained that day, the rain fell as steam
It hit, falling through to the core itself
It rained that day, the rain fell as steam
Years pass, flowers bloom, rivers dry
A silent echo, the Earth shakes, a Dragon emerges
Terror strikes, a hero, a reason, a legend, a lie
Sword drawn, he faces the beast, he swings
It rained that day, the rain fell as steam

Elegance
A child of elegance
A child of such intelligence
I smell him from here
I see him
I see fear

Autumn
The Autumn leaves fall
Coo coo, coo coo, goes the Owl.
A sweet Autumn breeze, blowing across its face
Coo coo, coo coo, goes the Owl.
Eyes lower slowly, ready to go to sleep
Coo coo… coo… coo…. goes the Owl.
The old lady sips her tea on the park bench
Ducks quake, dogs bark, children laugh and play
The Owl sits there asleep, on this fine Autumn day.

Aquila oculus subsisto etiam
He moves.
It does not.
He breaths.
It stays motionless.
He walks.
It waits.
He falls.
It watches.
He dies.
It feasts.

Loveless Beat
She walks by
His heart skips a beat
She says hi
His heart skips a beat
She dies
His heart then cries
A loveless beat

Signum Fidei
For those who fall or may be slain
A petal of a rose, granted to thee
Will cure the symptom, but not the pain
So as you lie fast asleep
An Angel comes with a harp of Gold
Whose songs so strong they make grown man weep.
An Angel ancient, strong and bold
He shall state upon to thee
The Verbum Dei

Subrosia
Though scattered, his thoughts were one.
Though confusing they made complete sense
A vision. An Image. A masterpiece.
But why can’t it exist.
A pen was lifted. A thought was given.
The land of orange skies.
A beach, with sea shells on the shore.
A surreal fence, stretching into the distance.
A cloaked being, a land of imagination.
The land never to be shown.

Transfer
Darkness around me, the crashing of thunder.
I lay in the middle of the road, water running over me.
Closing my eyes, as the cold drops dampen my body.
A feeling of euphoria, in a dream like state.
The crashing fills my ears along with the splashing of rain.
My eyes open, looking up to the heavens. Breathing heavily….
I lay down to die. To rest forever. My soul exits my body.
I ascend.

Carnivore
And like rain, fire fell from the sky
Trees alight in flame and I watched, as they died
My world destroyed before my eyes
Like a shark eats a fish
This fire consumed my world

Hearts
I burn through the innocent. And butcher all who have light in their hearts.
The world shall tumble to darkness. And the Kingdom of light shall fade.
And as my eyes close, forgetting the scene of light. I close my heart.
So I keep it with me. And never fade to the darkness.
The light stays in my Kingdom… my heart….

Relic
A crystal moon, engaging like the winters heart.
A silent whisper, echoes like a flying dart.
He sits in wind and storm, not moving from his chair.
He sits, day in night, guarding his sacred lair.
Eyes, set fixed upon a little flower
Sensing from it, a forbidden power.
Waiting day and night, for his master to return
Of journeys, of adventures, he did wish to learn.
Of forbidden cities he wished to be told
Stories of monsters and heroes, grand and bold.
A present he did keep, hidden in his yard
The last remaining artefact he was here to guard.
Gleaming yellow like the golden moon
From another realm, it belonged to whom?

Song of Storms
By the graveyard he does waltz
While the leaves sing their songs, the Piper will play
Drenched in the mud and the rain
A Hero bleeds and kneels to pray
The dead shall all rest
All part of Tailtiu’s big play.

The Face of Love
When love gets my faith
When I hear her call
I decide upon my fate
When the wall is about to fall
I face the Goddess
I face it all.

Deep
Coldness engulfs me as I feel the air from my lungs escaping.
I cannot breath as the icy water pushes me down…..
Darkness grows, and I feel the pressure building…..
An ecstasy fills me, a euphoria never experienced….
Amongst the rough pulling of the currents I find myself at peace
Death is blissful

Adrift and at Peace
Faith disappears from time
Space vanishes like a ghost
Life fades like a dying sound
Here and there. Not here, yet there.
A note that gives no sound.
From yesterday to the infinite
The tomorrow of the past
The ripples of a life, not but a dream.
Adrift and at Peace

Primeval
Unscathed, untouched through time.
A visual image, unimaginable.
Unscathed, untouched through time.
Rivers flow, fires burn,
Mountains crumble.
The sky stays the same.
Unscathed, untouched through time.
Lightning strikes, waters flood, continents shift.
Unimaginable change.
Volcanoes blow, earthquakes shake, lizards roar.
Unscathed, untouched through time.
Wild, uncontrollable, nature, breaking free, painfully.
Unscathed, untouched through time.
Men fall, blood sprays the ground.
From Ape to Man, from Man to God.
Unscathed, untouched through time.
Grasses grow, a child breaths, a family dies.
The Earth remains the same.
Unscathed, untouched through time.

The Story

March 19, 2010

There is a beginning, to every story.

Time has a beginning.
Space has a beginning.
Life has a beginning.
Magic has a beginning.
Love has a beginning.
All the worlds, linked to the same beginning.

All stories start at the start.

But… if the beginning can only start at the end, then we must skip forward…

The Gods, Goddesses, Deities and all manner of mythical beings had created a complex and intertwining of realities and worlds, religions and history.
In between these realities, lay the world of the Gods. Heaven.
Not as you know it. It was simply, the Wood between Worlds, Betwixt and Between, The World Terminus, a Realm of Nothingness. The God’s Dominion.
Here lay the heart of all worlds, a complexity and image indescribable.
Together, in a new dimension there came into existence. Life, as you know it.
But life for these beings would be different. Gaia decided that these people would not be meat capable of thought. They would be closer to the Gods. And Gaia, spat into the depths of Earth’s heart. Here was the pool of life, a lake of Souls. Within it, a spiritual essence which would posses each new birth only to come back to the pool to be reused for a new birth.
Gaia left this world to its own foundations, its own deities and Gods, Magicians and Mages.
Over time this world grew and so did its population. But there were not enough souls……..

And so souls split. And split again and again over time. And as time went on people had less of a soul… less of a conscience.
Those born lucky enough to have a whole soul were granted powers. They became magical protectors. Mages, Wizards, Deities. But if they lived wrongly, their soul would fracture, and the next uses of that soul would not be blessed with such wisdom…..

One such, born with a soul made whole…. Was the Winterheart. A young boy, foolish, in love…..

God of the Winter season…. Told to future generations as a fairytale… so it will be for you…….

Once upon a time, lived a young boy…..

This boy lived in a glorious self created paradise from which he controlled his season for all the worlds in all the realities. He was quite blessed. This boy was born, just like you. A baby with not just a guilt free conscience, but a guilt free soul. This boy was blessed growing up, he discovered he could control Winter.
Growing up along everyone else, he new he was different to everyone, and not just by his powers. He was guilt free and not tempted by sin.
But he was not all powerful, and was easily overpowered by a girl… whom had the power of Love.
Love, a power the boy could not control as he saw her for the first time. Is fleshy heart pumped quicker and he got dizzy at the sight of her.
She was magnificent.
Lush blonde hair dangled gracefully at the side of her soft pale face, her blue eyes dancing in their frames.
He could not compare, glowing Green eyes he had, with his tree bark brown hair covering his face.
But fate had more in store for him. They were to fall in love; he was to reveal his innermost secrets to her…..

But life and love would not be kind, he had a duty, he was a guardian and if to keep his soul pure he had to fulfil duties. He must abandon his hearts desire.
He must leave…..

Standing on a bridge made from what looked as if water floating in space, solid fire, earth and a liquid wind he walked across from his world of birth into his world of Destiny.
But he had taught her some of the secrets of magic, could she possibly find him? That was silly, he hadn’t dare tell her… Once at home in his own world he travelled to the brilliantly created Rabbit Hole upon the tallest hill. Inside he crawled, as he crawled he felt like he passed through a barrier of every colour in existence, some he hadn’t never seen, and others he was sure his eyes could not comprehend…..

He fell, face first into a dirt pile. As he stood up and looked around he saw what looked like and ordinary house, furniture created in mud and dust. The house was filled with different style clocks, some with different times, he was sure, for different places, and others odd. Some moved backwards in time, others did not move, and some he noticed were not pointing at numbers at all, but at images of what appeared to be windows out viewing other worlds, and some had more than one handle, with names upon them, moving to writing upon the clocks, he’s eyes drawn long and hard upon where a one and twelve would normally be, reading: DEATH and BIRTH…..

‘Why, hello there!’
He jumped. He turned around and there, sitting upon a young labelled ‘Honey’ in the corner of the room, sat a big white Rabbit.
‘How can I help you young Winterheart? Surely your duties are not too difficult for your talents?’ He said with a wide grin, looking disturbingly unnatural.
‘No… no, not at all’ Said the boy, taken aback. Why was he so shocked to see a Rabbit in a Jacket? ‘It’s just…. I heard a rumour, from a little bird.’
‘Aha, those little blue birds have been gossiping again I see.’
‘Yes… well…’ The boy scratched his head quite uncomfortably, he wasn’t so adept to this world yet. ‘Well, they told me you could, kind of travel through the worlds using your rabbit holes?’
‘Why yes’ Said the Rabbit, hopping off the honey and bouncing over to stare into the eyes of the Winterheart. ‘Not just through the worlds young boy but through time and space!’
The boy didn’t know what to say, and tried to avoid the gaze of the Rabbits orange eyes.
‘Well young boy. You came her with purpose I suppose?’ Said the Rabbit with irritation in his voice.
‘Yes, I was wondering… could you please take this letter to someone for me?’
He held up a brown envelope.
‘Who do you wish it do be delivered to?’ Asked the Rabbit curiously, taking the letter and twirling it around in his fingers.
‘A girl. Her name is-‘
‘Names will not help me find her. What will help me find her is her connection to you. What does she represent to you?’
‘I… don’t quite understand.’ said the boy with a cheeky grin across his face.
‘Were they your, mother, father, mortal enemy perhaps? Brother, sister, someone who taught you a life lesson? I want to know their connection. Only then can my tunnel show me the way.’ He said quickly with annoyance in his voice.
‘Well…’ the boy thought for a moment before deciding upon an answer. ‘They’re my soul-mate.’
‘Well,’ said the Rabbit. ‘That is easily done. But first, what shall I get for doing this? What is my reward?’
‘Reward?’ said the boy looking dumb-struck.
‘Am I to believe I am doing this as a favour, to someone who I needn’t do a favour for?’ He asked looking mutinous.
‘I err… what do you want?’
‘Boy I will not have this in my house, asking favours and then making me put in the effort for my own reward, I WILL NOT HAVE THIS!’ He yelled some of the furniture in his house dissolving into a wet mud.
‘Your enemy, the bear, shall sleep in winter!’ Yelled the Winterheart, desperate, he needed her to understand.
The Rabbit seemed to have grown in size, but now appearing to be calmed began to look smaller again.
‘This is a good reward. I shall take your soul barer your letter.’
And off he hopped down a hall and all was silent. The boy sat, breathing heavily, and finally began climbing out the Rabbit hole, back to the land that was his…..

Years had passed. Still the Winterheart was cold. His love was gone. He felt as if his soul had been broken. If so, what was the point of this job? Everywhere winter came and left like a wild untameable mood swing.
He sat upon a log, around him the Yggdrasil sat frozen and lifeless like.
Years had passed since, but it seemed like the blink of an eye, like the suffering wasn’t enough, he deserved worse, like he knew he should be punished for her death. He wanted everyone to be cold, and numb like he was now.
Death had taken her away. Death, a being that could not reach him… How was his soul to move on? There was deeper magic than he ever understood…. He needed to know.
Down the colour filled Rabbit Hole he fell, though for him they were but grey.
His knees sunk deep in the mud, and there sitting upon a honey jar atop the mud table sat the White Rabbit.
‘I was wondering when you would come.’ said the Rabbit calmly. ‘I am not taking you.’
Confused but curious the Winterheart stood up.
‘Not taking me where?’
‘We will get there eventually, metaphorically speaking.’ said the Rabbit in a quizzical tone.
‘I need to know why I will not die. Wont my soul need to go on?’
‘Your soul needn’t go on, there are too many ill people within the world that birthed you that if you were to go on, not matter, your soul would split. You are one of the last who are whole.’ He stated as a matter-of-fact.
‘But I don’t want to do it anymore. I don’t care. I don’t want to live!’ The boy screamed in a rage.
‘That is not up to you,’ said the Rabbit, pointing at him with a bluish Carrot. ‘The Gods have decided.’
‘I DON’T GIVE A DAMN WHAT THE GODS HAVE DECIDED!’ He roared. ‘I DON’T WANT THIS, I QUIT!’
‘Typical human,’ Said the Rabbit growing in size. ‘I have no idea what Gaia saw in you.’
‘Gaia?’
‘Yes Gaia, you silly boy.’ The Rabbit was now almost his height.
‘But… isn’t that just a story. Mythology?’
‘Typical human arrogance!’ Spat the Rabbit.
‘My letter,’ said the boy in a completely different tone. ‘It reached her early. Before I left actually. Why did that happen?’
The Rabbit stood looking at him, slowly shrinking in size.
‘I think,’ he said. ‘You should have a seat.’
The boy sat down slowly watching the Rabbit, a peculiar feeling struck him… was the Rabbit showing sadness?
‘After you left,’ said the Rabbit sighing heavily. ‘The girl killed herself.’
He was not looking at the boy in the eyes, but the boy stared at the Rabbit waiting for him to continue.
‘The only say,’ the Rabbit went on. ‘For her to get your letter, was before you left or else she killed herself in grief over her love of you.’
The Rabbit finally looked him in the eyes.
‘Now normally, I am not meant to meddle with time, fate, usually has its course set… certain things though, can change fate…. Magic, is not one of them, magic can be used like a tool, to help one access time. But love is one such this that can alter time. And so I was able, to give her you letter, altering fate… love… ha, it is quite mysterious, I don’t understand in myself.
I am sorry for your loss. She was a charming girl. I watched her from a nearby hole. She cried very much for you… but you must move on. With life comes death. It is one of the grand mysteries.’
‘Why then,’ said the boy speaking at last. ‘Am I not allowed to die, if it is part of life.’
‘Death will come in time my boy. Nothing last forever.’
‘Our love will last forever.’ Said the Winterheart, tears building in him eyes.
‘Yes, well, like I said. Love is mysterious. But it cannot conquer death.’
‘Why not? Why can’t our love keep us together? Sometimes, I feel her inside of me.’
‘Love creates a special bond, I don’t deny it, it is a powerful bond. But two things are certain in life. Life and Death. You cannot escape them.’ The Rabbit gazed intently on the blue Carrot and it changed into a magnificent gold.
‘With our bond, I can bring her back… I can find her soul… you can take me there, to her soul. Can’t you? Love will make it possible.’
He knew he sounded crazy and he was just grabbing at things in the dark, but he needed to try.
‘My boy, I am not willing to experiment with it. The results could be disastrous.’
‘Like what?’ asked the boy, uncaring.
‘Well, if it disrupts the circle of fate in which the souls are to take, it could destroy the fabric of that realm, leaving a whole in time, in which all other realities would collapse. It would mean the death of everyone. It could possibly even damage the God’s realm, leaving nothing. Could you imagine, absolute nothing?’ The Rabbit was looking afraid, and he seemed to be smaller than usual.
‘But there was nothing to begin with?’ said the boy, a small smile appearing on his frost-bitten face.
‘My boy, how can there be nothing without something? You have once again shown arrogance. Fate isn’t circle, created fate is circle. Fate is random. And everything came into existence due to fate. Life exists because of now. It didn’t start at the beginning. Now story starts at the beginning you fool, everything starts later on!’
The Winterheart sat for a few minutes, confused, trying to take it all in. Then he spoke.
‘Take me,’ he said. ‘Take me to her soul. I’m going to try. I have to.’
The Rabbit raised an eyebrow at him, taking him in for the moment. He raised his carrot and looked at it. It was now pink and becoming love heart shaped.
‘Curious,’ he said. ‘Very curious.’
He wasn’t even looking at the green eyed Winterheart who know stood tall and sure in front of him. He spoke and as he did his voice cracked.
‘I love her,’ he said ‘I love her.’….

But the Rabbit wasn’t interested in words, his Carrot was enough for him.
Later on the Winterheart had always thought that the Rabbit had been the most strange thing he ever encountered as he sat there, hand in hand with a young girl who’s once blonde hair and then black hair was now the same brown as his and her blue eyes now brownish green.
He had saved her. But split his soul to do so. She now shared his.
His love had worked.
They lived billions of years together in the bizarre worlds of reality and warped reality.
Until together, they parted with death. And their souls rejoined as one.
A whole soul, of the two lovers.
And the soul passed to a young boy. But although the soul was whole, it was scarred and so he was not dutiful, and was given life.
Freedom.

There is an end to every story.
This is the end to theirs.
And the beginning, of their sons.

One average day, sitting at a park, with the most beautiful girl…………..

7 Years Later

March 18, 2010

Silently he walked down the cold concrete path. He stopped, breathing the cool night air he began searching within his cloak. Pulling out a large metallic lighter he flicked open the lid releasing a large flame. The flame blew and cracked in the wind, but lit up enough around him to see.
He staggered towards a small bush of bright pink flowers, not visible in the cool of this Winters night. Under the light of the flame they glowed, brighter than the stars. The cloaked man looked around, almost paranoid if anyone was watching, and wanting the beauty of these flowers to belong to himself. He reached into his cloak, reaching within his seemingly endless pocket and pulling out a small book. Bright blue with small grey spots covering it. He opens it to a blank, and gleaming white page. Picking the most beautiful flower of the bunch, he places it within the pages and presses it closed slowly.
Looking around himself, he places the book within the pocket of the cloak, and closes the lid of the lighter. The light of the flowers vanishes, and they disappear from reality. He removes the hood of his cloak. The man is old. Greying hair and dimly sit eyes with a hidden sadness behind them. The cool wind blowing the hair across the front of his face, he shivers. The wind penetrates his body and sees deep inside him, knowing his innermost secrets. It knew. It knew what scared him.
That one day… the shiver…. oh it had been too long. How many more were there?
“One more.” He said, voice breaking, difficult to speak.
He was close to death.
He began walking again. Soon he found himself at the foot of a mountain. In the distance he could hear the heiress singing. She would notice and come for him. He stumbled up the hill, old and fragile, deep in thought. The heiress of Silence. The voice of Wind. How he would pay for taking her flowers.
Reaching the crest, he removes the cloak. Standing, naked and his wrinkled old body. It would not do.
He reached down and pulled the little blue book out of the cloaks pocket, opening up he pulled out the flower and placed it in his mouth, swallowing a burst of life came to him as he felt as if he had been born a new. He holds his arms out and inspects his hands.
They were young…. he had young hands. Reaching into his cloak he pulled out a diary, a glass of gleaming yellow dust and the lighter. He poured the dust into a pile on the ground and set it alight with the fire from the lighter. Holding the diary in his hands he spoke very little again.
“Take me home.” He said as a harsh wind blew, blowing his cloak off the cliff.
She was here.

He placed the diary with the fire and closed his eyes.
Death would come soon.
He hadn’t been fast enough.
He would never see her again…. he could still see her face clearly in his mind… and it had been so long…

He opened his eyes. He was atop the mountain on a bright summer day. He had escaped.

He was home.