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All around you the world gets loud.  It starts to scream.  It’s so loud, you hear nothing at all.  And the dark of the shadows start to suck and sink and pull and suddenly you’ve sunk down into the underworld and everything around you stinks of darkness.

      But that’s the thing about darkness: the stillness.  The silence.  Everything’s stopped.

      Your eyes blink in blackness.  And the air feels like it’s got dirt in it—but its clean dirt.  Is it so bad if you can’t see?  Is it so bad if you can’t hear?  Soundless, dark, stopped.  There’s no world spinning—you’ve finally stepped off the ride.  And just for a moment, all is sweetness.

      That’s when the light starts to creep in, like cracks in a stone filled with fire.  Fissures, all around you, popping like fireworks.  Until suddenly it bursts in. 

      And that’s when you wake up.  You didn’t get off the ride; you just changed horses.  Sometimes that’s all it takes… to get a little peace.

Those Who Speak Last...

When the trees spoke, they roared.
Whispers of their slow demise had come hinted upon the wind for an age or more.It is nature of trees to listen; and so, they waited. But when their roots touched deep and found need to go ever deeper, and when their leaves stretched up and found their height stunted, a menacing quiet fell among them. It was hope that made them wait.And hope that made them roar. And when they roared, well… so quiet had they always been that the world took note and listened.

The Old Boatman and the Seashells

There was once a village known for the wealth and quality of its fish.Though most of the fishermen began their catches at dawn going no further than the teeming bay on which the village sat, one particular boatman set sail every night at dusk, going far into the open sea, and could not be seen until dawn the next day.
No one thought much of this, save that it was the peculiar practice of an old man—though from time to time concern arose among the villagers regarding his eccentricity as a waste given that there were always more fish to be caught in their bay. Still, he did well enough. It was the consistency of his comings and goings, however, that caught and captured the attention of a young village lad.To do the same thing for years on end struck him as an unimaginable fate, and he would not be satisfied with the explanation that the boatman was simply strange. And so, one day—or rather, one night—he followed the boatman. Creeping behind him, slowly and well out of the light of the lamp t…

The Dance of the Fairies' Revels

When the air moves in sweet, soft breezes and the clouds begin to fan out like wings, those are the nights of the fairy revels.
One small head pokes its way from a tree’s trunk.Then another.Followed by multitudes, as tiny faces press their noses to the air, to see if the coast is clear. And then shimmering gossamer wings fill the space between the trees as the fairies leave their homes and begin to dance. It begins in partners, a dance of aristocracy.A formal affair, with gentle touches of hand to hand and careful turns of precise points.Then, as though they have drunk some wine, the fairies’ toes begin to tap, and their music, which comes from the trees themselves, begins to shift. A reel forms, no partners needed, as fairy feet bound up and down the forest floor in gleeful abandon, as though their heads have moved to heady drink.The reels pick up speed, no fairy misses any step, until the steps cannot satisfy.The fairies take to their wings, and that is when the dance becomes a danger…

The Stag Whose Heart was Healed

In a land twixt the realm of night and the reign of day, there lived a white stag.Noble in bearing, regal incarnate, such a creature was born to the authority that he wielded over his land.And so he lived and ruled all within his purview, unquestioned and held in awe by those who acknowledged him king.
So steady and routine was the nature of his rule that the stag was unprepared for the coming of a white doe to his land. When first he looked upon the doe, his eyes were filled with wonder at the sight of her.Upon a second glance, he noted the kindness and care she gave to those she encountered.And the third time his eyes cast her way, he saw that where she tread, green things grew and blossoms began to bud, as though she herself begot Spring. But his gaze sharpened when he saw the reverence paid her by his creatures.A hardness fell upon his heart, and admiration gave way to jealousy.In his envy there were planted seeds of hate that sprouted fast and rooted deep until they began to consume…