A short story to show where the title of this blog came from.

               
Like a subliminal message or a mote in someone’s eye, he launches from
the ocean; a pure dart so that water barely ripples, just streams from his
scaled hide in pearled bubbles and rippling beauty no one sees. He is a shadow
which passes and when people turn, no one is there.
                
His wings reflect light, his upturned snout breathes fire, his talons stretch to the air. His eyes are the color of obsidian, his scales formed of diamond and verdigris.
                
Up he goes, faster than minds can encompass. Through clouds, a streak of wind past a plane, a comet of light and dark. He punches through Earth’s atmosphere and opens his wings.
                
Thought, imagination, reality, these take him where he wishes to go. Not here, not there, but everywhere and somewhere, and maybe nowhere at all.
                
He knows this universe isn’t everything. One plane of existence? Ah no. It is just all that people understand because their minds refuse to encompass more—yet. They catch glimpses and name them angels and aliens, ghosts or spirits. Such creatures arrive in their dreams or their meditations, but people never truly believe. They are too
afraid.
                
No one has to go up or out to reach another world. They have to go in.
                
Who is he, this pure dart of magic?
                
Must he have a name? If there is one to be found it is Imaginarium. The place people go to when their minds have no other answers. 
                
Is he real?
                
Of course he is. Thought is real and do people not always ask where ideas come from? But he is more than thought. He chooses to spread his wings, to search for those answers people want. And for that he travels far and wide.
                
Imaginarium rules the skies, the earth, the stars, the sea. He sees all and may be anything you wish, and if you ask the right questions, he might reveal all. He is king or god, spirit or man.

 
#
 
                
Tali pauses, listening for what she knows cannot be there. She lost him, you see, her lover. It wasn’t her fault. In some ways she wishes it was, because then she would have a reason for his absence. He’s gone and will never come back. Passed over to the ‘other side’. Yet still she listens for the sound of his breathing as she sleeps. His death is so fresh she can smell his scent on the sheets and the pillows. Pick hairs from his brush and hear his laughter. She won’t part with anything. Not his stinky socks or the last message on her phone. She remembers that last morning and the words that were spoken. Her lips tingle with that final lingering kiss.
                
Her fingers creep to her lips, and the tears fall yet again. He cannot be gone because he was her soulmate. She is nothing without him; she’ll do anything to get him back. She would sell her soul if she had to. If that is what it takes.
                
She stares at his picture on the wall, willing him to come to her. His presence fills her, sets her heart aching. If she closes her eyes she can see him just as clearly. And if he is gone to the ‘other side’, why can’t he come back to her? Tell her what happened; why he had to go? Because there is a reason for everything, isn’t there. No such thing as coincidence. There has to be answers!
                
Was he that candle that burned too bright? Was he too good for this world? Is that why?

 
#
 
                
She goes to the place where he disappeared--a fast flowing river where no one saw him slip. She doesn’t know exactly where it happened. No one does, but she stands on the riverbank watching the mesmerizing ripples, listening to the sounds of the water as it rushes over river rocks, and the trees dancing overhead in a gentle breeze, their leaves whispering secrets only they can tell.
                
It would be so easy to follow him. To let herself be pulled along by the current and down to the watery depths. For moments she dreams of floating beside him.
                
“And then what would happen? Would it be what he’d want?”
                
With a gasp, Tali turns. A man stands in the shadows of the trees lining the river bank. He wears a hat similar to a fedora so that his face lies in shadow. He is tall and lean, with something of the predator in his stance. Tali’s heart clenches at that animal-ready
tenseness.
                
“What do you know about it?” she snaps, while her spine prickles with strangeness. Because she senses an otherness here. It fills the air surrounding him. As though this world was never enough.
                
It is early morning. A time she chose for the least amount of people. Which in retrospect, despite her suicidal thoughts, might have been foolish, because there is a difference when someone comes to take your choices away. She moves closer to a tree as he answers her, one hand on the rough bark of a birch to anchor her to reality.
                
“I know that life doesn’t stop simply because the body dies.”
                
Tali stares at him, trying to see beneath the hat. Such a strange creature. He has long dark hair and wears a leather overcoat that nearly touches the ground. Odd apparel for a walk by the river.

  “Then why hasn’t he come back to me?”

  And an odd conversation to be having with a complete stranger.

He lifts a long-fingered hand. There are rings on some of his fingers. Morning sunlight glints off the gold so that her eyes are drawn, and when she looks up again somehow he has moved right next to her. Her heart, already beating too quickly, pounds with
fear. He possesses a musky, animal smell, or perhaps that is his coat. She doesn’t know and shouldn’t care about such minor details, yet nothing is normal about this man.

“Because one can never go back,” he says. “Oh, we might try, but changing time was never an option.”

Tali’s lips tremble. She doesn’t want to hear the truth. Tears splash to the ground. When he leans forward and traces a tear with one long finger she is locked in grief yet again. Locked so tightly she does not move.

“You will meet him again in another place, another time.”

“That isn’t what I want,” she whispers. “I want him now.”

 He enfolds her within that great leather coat. She should be terrified and while her heart continues to race, it is no longer in fear but in anticipation. Will she meet her lost lover no matter what this man says?

But he doesn’t take her back. Not back to that time where she might have said, “No, don’t go.” He takes her up and up so that she thinks she must be going to Heaven. Despite his coat she feels the burn of the wind on her cheeks and the force of it against her eyes, so that she closes them. If he means to kill her then she has made her choice.

It isn’t death he offers. They stand on a mountaintop. She has no idea how he brought her here, it happened so fast. She looks at the snowcapped peaks of other megaliths, at the stark, magnificent beauty of a place others rarely see. 

“This is your world,” he says to the un-asked questions spiraling though her mind. “This is strength and beauty. It is permanence and ambiguity. One day even the mountains shall erode but something else will take their place. Nothing stands still, nothing remains the same. Nothing remains as we wish it. We all want answers, but is it wise to have them?”

“I need to know why he went.”

“And what if he tells you he couldn’t take life anymore? What if he truly didn’t love
you?”

“I wouldn’t believe that.”

“What if he tells you he was murdered?”

“Then I would find his murderers and take my revenge.”

“What if he tells you he slipped?”

“Then I will call him an idiot for being so stupid, but I’d still love him.”

“So you have already formed  the answers you wish. But what if it isn’t the answer he
gives?”

Tali wraps her arms around her body. It is as cold on this mountaintop as her heart. “I don’t know, but who are you to ask these questions?”

 He smiles, lifting his face, and for the first time she sees him. She would not call him handsome but intriguing. The angles of his face are sharp as knives. She had thought, once they were flying, that perhaps he might be an angel.

“What do you wish me to be?”

She draws in a sharp breath. “I—I want you to be my answers,” she says, “but you are asking me the questions.”

“Because in the end, the answers belong to us.”


“I don’t understand.”

“You want to know what I am, but knowing it changes nothing. The same as knowing how your lover died. It will change nothing for you, because it is you who are here.”

She stares across the vista. “It changes everything. Without him I am nobody.”

“Then why did he choose you?”

“Don’t,” she says. For he chose her for her strength.

He laughs at her and she knows why. She has the answers she wants and she needs no one to tell her. The truth is, there aren’t always labels even when we most desire them. There isn’t always logic where logic should exist. She takes three steps to the edge of the peak and stands there in the ice-wind. Her body is already numb from the cold, but her heart is no longer frozen. She turns to face him. “What you are really
  talking about is choices. I choose to believe that he didn’t mean to go.  You said that life doesn’t stop simply because the body dies. Therefore I choose to join him.”

And she jumps.

She knows, because of what he has said and what he has already done, that this isn’t just a man. So she refuses suicide; she chooses another kind of life. She uses her imagination, not fearing as her body tumbles free, because her mind shows her other
  possibilities.
 
#

 
Imaginarium dives, wings out-stretched, obsidian eyes focused. He can be what she wishes; her lover, her friend, her imagination. He chooses. Her spirit soars with his, because she has chosen, too, this strong, strong spirit which refuses death.

Perhaps he is an angel; perhaps he is death; perhaps he is god, because he can be whatever he wishes. And he becomes the dragon within. He chooses to take Tali with him on that path. He is not her lover. He is possibilities and she can soar with him.
Or she can find another path.

 He
waits.


Even Imagination can get
lonely.


 
                


 


Comments

Sarah
11/19/2013 10:17pm

Pretty good so far! I rate it 4.3 stars!

Reply



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