Issue 5 – Robinson

Paul Robinson

The Mod of Enlightenment-Part 2

In the Mulletwood Forest

Most nights in and around Shodam Village were cold. This night was no exception. Shila was asleep, covered by the burlap blankets she’d pulled over herself during the tosses and turns brought on by the brisk nighttime air. Destiny was also asleep, lying on the opposite side of the unlit campfire.

Destiny woke up, uncoiled her barbed tail, shook her head and looked in every direction. She walked around the dead campfire, her tail twitching, and nuzzled Shila’s head with care.

Shila mumbled, “Why, no…wait.”

Destiny licked Shila’s cheek with her long, rough, black tongue.

Shila woke up but couldn’t speak through Destiny’s loving onslaught. She quickly realized she had fallen asleep and her steed was trying to wake her up. After the initial shock of waking up to a sandy tongue, Shila patted Destiny’s black beak and giggled, letting her companion lick without any hesitation. Shila turned her head so she could speak through her laughter without the interference of a loving fortisol’s tongue. “Hey, hey, my hairs getting stuck. Come on girl, I’m up, I’m up!”

Destiny ceased her efforts, now that Shila was awake and trotted away to search for an evening meal.

“Thank you by the way!” Shila laughed and shouted at the same time. “I would’ve slept through the night, forgetting why I came here.”

Shila piled all of the mulletwood on top of the ashes in the fire pit. She tied her hair into a twist and ran over to Destiny who was sniffing around, tree to ground. Inside the brown pouch on the fortisol’s side were a steel dagger and some flint. She plucked them from the brown leather pouch, ran back to unlit campfire and laid them beside the pit.

The six foot pix crystal was only a few feet away from the campfire. Shila took the burlap blankets, folded them once and laid them down to create a sitting spot on the opposite side of the crystal so she could focus on the fire through a clear spot in its center. This helped her to meditate.

“Okay, let’s get this fire going.”

She walked around the crystal, kneeled next to the fire pit, picked up the dagger with one hand and the flint with the other. The trick to getting mulletwood to ignite was to strike the flint against the steel close to the wood.

Shila struck the flint against the dagger once. Once was enough for a wood rich in natural, flammable oils.

She jumped back as the fire overtook every inch of the wood in seconds.

She placed the flint and dagger on the blanket of leafs while watching the fire. She thought about the dream she had the night before Kalindra’s birthday, specifically the borvouque blossoms that fell and ignited in flame. She thought about the dream in which she was crawling in a dark endless caged basement and the eyes made of green fire at that dreams end. She thought about the fire that consumed Shou Village, how it became the clouds above Gradoria and ended The Long Walk with orange night.

“Okay, focus,” she said to herself with blinking purple eyes and a shake of her head. “First things first.” She picked up Demaduce’s jade colored diary, lay on her stomach and opened it. The pages were a light tan, old and smooth. She clapped her ankles together while looking for the passage called The Mod of Enlightenment. She loved to read it before meditating. Her eyes scanned the words without reading them. Her pupils were small. The fire lit up the forest around her. Her face was warm, almost hot. Her forehead began to perspire.

She kissed the page when she found it and started to read.

The Mod of Enlightenment

Moment of awakening, opened heart, death is surpassed as the spirit sees beyond time elapsed. It sits unmoved, unchanged. This enlightenment may be here, now and then, then and now. What I see, is it what blinds me? What blinds me? Is that what I should see? For all my wisdom, for all my renown, like paintings and thoughts does my doubt sound? This thing called fear, shunned by souls yet so revered. Is it the spirit that holds it? My questions are questions, not fit for a king. I wish for awakening to herald and sing. As a lord I will never find it. With a sword I will never find it. To pass beyond death is to live beyond breath. I can find it. I speak to one who reads. You can find it.

Shila closed the diary and crawled back some so that the fire wouldn’t burn her eyes while she stared into it. She clapped her ankles together over and over. For a while she just watched the fire. It sounded like a strong wind and licked the air above it as if it were possible to break from the wood and scurry up into the starlit sky.

She felt comfortable. She thought about Belluvateir and how big it was. Maybe the bombing of Shou Village had nothing to do with Shrillga Village. She thought of the words from The Mod of Enlightenment, “This thing called fear, shunned by souls yet so revered.” She couldn’t claim to know exactly what Demaduce meant by those words. But here, amidst the dark mulletwood forest, in the presence of fires glow, she knew what it meant to her.

“Just do it,” she said out load. “Let it go.”

She pulled the prophecy from her mef. It slid against her breast before it touched the evening air. “It’s only fitting,” she whispered as she unfolded the material (like leather and parchment.) She read it aloud one last time.

She will be born and the ground will burn. Her purple eyes will herald death. All will fall and be subject to the judgment of hate. She will survive and the flesh of the other will stand by her side.

She chose to be humble. “Even though you have caused me worry, even though you have whispered dread in my ears, I thank you for this. As I burn you may god bless the rest of my life and the lives of all dear to me?” She folded the prophecy, kissed it and threw it into the fire.

Watching it curl in the blaze she said a silent prayer. “Please father, let the night take this light and keep it for itself and watch over life and love. Bless this moment with a new beginning. I ask all of these things in the name of everything that is you.” Before she rose to sit on the other side of the crystal and meditate she thought, Perhaps I should write about this.