Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Dream

In the days before faekind, the Earth was empty of magic. Each day was the same. The sun rose and set, the seasons came and went. There was beauty, but it was dulled by a strange sameness. All things were born, grew old, and died, the people of the world laughed and cried, loved and hated. They lived in their beautiful world, but when they slept that world vanished. Before the first dream, the slumber of humanity was dreamless. There was nothing but the void.

Until one day a small child fell asleep under the shade of large and mighty oak tree. This tree was alive as all trees are, but not just living. It was sentient, aware. It was one of the first trees - the eldest - and it was intrigued by the dreamless slumber of the child who lay cradled in the safety of its roots. 

It probed the young child's mind gently. Carefully, it sifted through the small store of memories held at its very core and as it looked it grew sad. Humans saw the world around them, but only the surface. They did not see the beneath or the between. 

Humans saw only themselves. They did not see the blood flow in their veins. They did not see the life that pulsed beneath the bark of a tree. Nor did they see the distant planets in the night sky, or the differing realities that existed like layers of an onion. Humans were bereft of any imagination. Their souls held no magic. 

Without magic humanity would eventually destroy itself. Without imagination, they would never grow, or see beyond the now. They would remain in an endless cycle of birth and death until they spiraled inwards and consumed themselves. Without magic all humans would become greedy and arrogant. They would become evil. 

The ancient oak did not want this to be the fate of humans. It enjoyed the innocent laughter of the young children who played at its roots and climbed among its lowest branches. No, humans must learn to dream and create magic with their minds and hearts. With magic the veil between worlds would lift. This would allow humans to see the different creatures who existed in the Ether. They would look beyond their daily existence and see new realities. 

They would not only dream, they would also create and give new life to the energies that existed in the place between worlds. 

So the tree placed a seed within the fertile mind of the child it watched over and delighted as it took root and began to grow. Magic would be born on this day.
Jairus twitched and smiled in his sleep. The rough bark behind his head and back were the softest of pillows, the grass beneath a sweet-smelling bed. In a place that was once dark a light now shone. Where once there was the void there was now something other. 

And the child was not alone in this new place. 

A splendid creature unlike anything he had ever seen circled in the sky above the tree. Downward it spiraled, closer, and large it became. Without a sound it landed next to him. Large crimson eyes regarded him with a blend of amusement and curiosity. "Why do you call me from the ether, little human?" 

"Call?" the child asked and reached out to touch the scaly creature beside him. "I did nay call you." 

The first dragon laughed and flexed its sapphire wings. "It matters not if you did. I am here." 

The child giggled in response. "What be you? I've never seen nuthin' as pretty as you b'fore?" 

"I am a dragon, the first dragon. Would you like to go for a ride?" 

The child's eyes went wide. "You mean fly? Way up in the sky?"

Again the dream creature laughed. "Of course..." 

With teeth as long as Jarius' arms, the dragon lifted the child by his tunic and braes and placed him in the groove between its shoulder blades. "Now you be sure to hold on tight, little human. There be a scale ridge just before you. You hold on to it or you may slip off." 

Jarius did as he was asked. His face was bright with excitement. "Where will we go? Can we fly to the mountains? Can we? Can we fly to the sea?"

"We can fly where ever you wish to fly, Jarius."

"How do you know my name?" 

"I am in your dream, child. I know all that you are and all that you think of." 

"Dream? What is a dream?" 

"This is," and the dragon leapt into the air. 

Jarius squealed with glee, but remembered to hold on tight as they flew upwards. In several heartbeats they were above the trees and almost touching the clouds. Everything below grew small and Jarius could see forever. 

The dragon flew across forest and grasslands, lakes and rivers, until the mountains rose before them like mighty beasts of earth and rock. The dragon went higher and began to weave in and out of the snowy peaks. 

There was snow all around, but Jarius felt no cold. The dragon's wings sliced through misty clouds, yet not a droplet or bead of their moisture dampened Jarius' skin. On the dragon's back, the child sat protected from the elements his mouth open in an O of speechless amazement. 

Then just as he did not think his 'dream' could get any better, the dragon's azure wings took them through to the other side of the mountains to where the ocean lapped at their base. From where the child sat, the sea below was an endless sapphire jewel edged with white where the waves crashed against the shore. 

All at once, the dragon began to descend. Down he spiraled towards a wide strip of white sand. Closer they came, until Jarius was forced to shield his eyes from the blinding glare that came off the sand beneath. But as soon as the dragon's feet touched the ground the child was clambering down across its shoulder and down its leg to the beach.

The dragon smiled at the rapt expression on Jarius' face. To be so young, and to take pleasure in all things new was something the dragon had not experienced for many millennia. It felt joy that it could bestow such a gift. It knew this dream would be something the child would treasure forever.

"Oh, Dragon!" Jarius said, his words ending with a sigh of happiness. "I cannot believe I am here!"

The child laughed and clapped his hands together, then turned and ran towards the water's edge. Small dusty feet were quickly washed clean by the cold waves that raced towards him and his squeals and shrieks broke the stillness as he dodged in and out of the water. 

And when he could not run and play anymore, Jarius collapsed in the wet sand at the dragon's side and hunted for shells and treasure with his short, chubby fingers. 

"So where do you live?" he asked while his hands made mountains out of sand. 

"I used to live in the Ether between worlds, Jarius." 

"Between worlds?" 

"Yes, child. There are many worlds like this one. They are all connected by the Ether. The place where we wait to be born." 

"There are more of you? More dragons?" 

The dragon's body shook with silent laughter. "Yes, child. There are many, and not only dragons. There are whole races of fae just waiting for someone to believe in them just as others believe in humans." 

"Someone believes in us? Is that why we are here?" 

The dragon smiled again. "You have a quick mind, child. I suspect that is why you were chosen by the eldest to be the first. Yes, there are other beings that dream of you and when they dream they weave powerful magics. They create and make you real." 

"So 'cause I have dreamed of you, you are now real?" 

The dragon smiled a draconic smile. Its eyes were bright with the same pleasure that glowed in the eyes of the child. "Yes child, you have given me life. You have given me physical form, and now, others will see me and they too will believe, and with that belief I will remain alive."

Jarius leaned back against the dragon. He yawned and mumbled sleepily, "and there are others?"
"Yes, Jarius. There are thousands, and thousands of fae in the Ether. Creatures both beautiful and ugly, both wise and dangerous. They are all there … waiting."
When Jarius woke again, the dragon was gone and he was back under the tree where he had fallen asleep. His clothes were dry, the sand and salt was gone from his skin and in their place were the same dirty smudges that were there before. 

Did this dream really happen? Was a dream not real? 

It is as real as you wish to make it, little one.
Jarius sat up, and looked around. Suddenly, a large shadow flew across the sky and darkened the sun. The dragon? The child could not be certain. But he smiled. He believed. 

Jarius grew to become a young man, and that young man became the first Bard. He dedicated his life to sharing his dreams and planting the seeds of magic in the minds of young and old alike.

With the planting of each new seed a fae was born. Until one day, they were many and they walked in the lands of humans. They were the magic and magic now had a name. 


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