Saturday, 17 January 2015

Winter... & Love?

 It was January...

I was a bit surprised by the cold, then I remembered I was back home.

Too many years away made me forget the way the climate worked. I was used to hot Decembers, and hotter Januaries.

Now, looking out from the window of my room in the fifth floor of the clinic I could see a barren landscape or a snow covered garden which did not help to raise my spirit.

On the verge of giving up to melancholy I heard a small noise behind me, I looked back, but there was nobody in the room, so I realized all the sound was coming from inside me.

When I started walking into my mind I could heard the first scores of  L'hiver by Vivaldi and I understood immediately what was going on:

Elf has been "seeing" the starting of my sadness and reacting as he always does:


Listening to the great Vivaldi's opus you may think it would fill your soul with despondency since it "speaks" about a white and uninhabited wilderness, and maybe it is so, but my sprite knows me better than I do myself and the music brought such a great joy to my mind that the image in the window resorted towards a beautiful land full of white Fairies and Fantastic Creatures, changing my mood following the Magic of my personal «duende».

As I followed the strong muscle of winter made music by the Red Monk, I found a curled pointed green velvet shoe in the middle of the hall, being curious I just followed some steps more, and after a bend of the hall I found the other green velvet shoe. What was happening? How come there are things occurring in my mind that I am not aware of?

Then as a second thought, I let myself readjust my views and reckoned Elf existence which could explain everything, anyway, accepting this made me no less curious, trying to guess what was the sprite doing, and why.

I realized I was nearing the west wall of my mind so I tiptoed following the sound of barefoot steps just perceptible but not seeing anything since those places near the end of my mind are usually dark.

In a moment there was a bright little point on the wall, so I hid quickly behind the nearest archive while the little point opened into a window showing a beautiful landscape. It was then that I remembered Elf coming back from a similar place and greatly disturbed when he realized I had discovered his way in, and out, Galwrth.

He was so worried that last time that I wrote the event in my tale «Triskaidekaphobic», and promised him to keep his secret forever.

Now, I tried to walk away to keep my promise, but could not move from my hiding place. My "snoopiness" had me nailed to the floor. The desire to know what was Elf going to do, kept me as a strong hand grabbing my throat.

Besides, my guilty thoughts tried to make me remember that nothing happened last time, so why it would be different, now! Oh, well, all of you know how a guilty conscience try to justify its actions!

I could see Elf climbing through the window barefoot, with his feet being sheathed in long red and green banded stocking.

I followed him looking through the window: he walked stealthily around a singing tree, remember? those trees you can listen with your eyes (well, I cannot explain it, but that is how you "see" the song it sang).

The little window resembled a movie camera following Elf through the field, he only stop a bit to stoop down and get a nosegay of violets and then proceed to walk around another tree where, in a small multicoloured bank sat... Elkad!

Do you remember? the foul-mouthed Elkad from the same tale I mentioned above?.

Now, she looked so beautiful as a fairy... well, she IS a fairy.

When she felt the presence of Elf I do not know, but presently she lifted her eyes and I could feel she was shrewt at him so intensely that I, too, felt my world became emerald and a cozy warm winged in my chest.

If you think I was feeling strange, you should have seen Elf, he was a foot above the earth and trembled as a little leaf in an intense breeze.

I thought he was going to faint, but it was not so, letting his feet to rest on a big stone he seemed to gain strength from Earth (or whatever he was standing on), and I understood why he had left his shoes in my mind.

Then with a great effort he offered Elkad the nosegay and said very softly:

"Fjlkit darwert, Elkad" ( Well, it sounded like that).

Elkad, changed markedly into a bashful little flower but the strength of her shrewt did not decreased, even when her face took the shade of her hair! (A furious red colour)

The whole world looked wrapped into a red-emerald glow, even Elf seemed a beautiful creature (I know it is impossible, but that is how I saw him in that instant).

Elkad approached Elf and took him by the hand, I thought his cap was dancing a merry-go-round caper as he was moving along her without touching the ground.

They moved down the gravel path into the singing forest, this time the window-camera stayed quiet as if it was politely honouring privacy.

Then, while I followed the pair with avid eyes, the window started to close into the small point of light and disappeared in the gloom of my mind.

At this moment I felt disappointed, why was I left out of all this? Ain't I Elf's chum? shouldn't I be part of his life, as he is of mine?Just in case all these sharing thoughts were only a crazy idea of mine, I left the shoes where I found them.

Then rationality took control, and I understood there are things which must be kept private, I almost sensed that Elf had let the window open until the last moment to share with me his... happiness? Well, I do not know, because I do not understand Fairies ways, but, well, I was disappointed anyway!!!

Shame on me!

The music is a fragment of "L'hiver" (The Winter) composed by Antonio Vivaldi, performed by the London Symphony Orchestra led by Valery Gergiev.

© 2015 Od Liam.

Thursday, 15 January 2015

The Squirrel

It was a glorious morning.

I could not finish my breakfast, and pestered the nurse to push my wheelchair to the garden.

When I was comfortable sitting under the big oak in the southwest corner of the garden, I opened my book and prepared to start to read.

Just then a small red squirrel came down from the tree and hiding an acorn under the blanket on my legs, looked at me and said:

"Please, keep my lunch for me, it won't be more than an hour"

"How come!" I answered between astounded and bemused. "Squirrels do not speak, lest of all in English"!

"You are right!" the little thing said, adding while it mounted on my knees, "but it happens I am a very beautiful princess who had the misfortune to incur in the wrath of a powerful sorcerer, doubting his power, and he decided to turn me into a squirrel until a fairy accept to dinner with me and eat this acorn I hid in your blanket".

"Oh, Oh", I said "maybe I can help", and closing my eyes I went into my mind looking for Elf.

I found him under a pompous sentence exhaled by some obscure philosopher and anchored in my mind who knows why. He was trying to avoid being found, but I could see part of his rump coming out between an adverb and a verb.

"What's the matter, imp". I addressed him. "Why are you trying to keep away from me?"

"Don't call me «imp»!" He was trying to deviate the conversation, but I didn't let him.

"Stop procrastinating" I used this word on purpose to impress the goblin, but I should know I can impress a wasp easier then my elf!

"Why are you trying to avoid to help a lady in distress?"

"Lady in distress, my foot! Are you so naive as to swallow that deception?"

"Explain yourself", I was reaching that dangerous area where I start to lose my contact with Elf, and stop understanding his words and allusions.

"Now look, my pet!!" he lilted pointedly and looking at me searching for reactions, which he got easily.

"Don't call me «my pet», you abnormal midget", the words have not been out of my mouth that I was regretting my rage.

On the other hand, Elf was happy with the result of his insult.

"You call me «imp» in the first time!", he said smiling, and trying to hide the smile turning around, but he forgot the glass door where his figure reflexes clearly.

"I did not mean it as an insult!" I lied through my teeth!!

"Ha, ha" was Elf answer, "as if I do not know you since your birth!"

"OK, OK", I know when I lose a skirmish, which is, always! "OK, but do not digress, why you doubt our squirrel being a lady in distress?"

"Because she is the daughter of Sorcerer Urdomar, who was expelled from Galwrst because his bad habits." Elf seemed happy to disclose this news.

I asked, making a failing effort to hide my curiosity: "What habits?"

"Oh, I cannot reveal that information, it is classified" Elf was very happy of seeing how easily I fell in his trap of making me desire to know something and refusing to tell me! He is a very devious sprite, I can tell you!

"How do you know she is the daughter of Urdomar"? I asked.

"How do you know your nose is yours?" He retorted sarcastically, avoiding to answer my question.

"All right", I gave up, "what wrong has she done being the involuntary daughter of a rascal?"

"She is not an «involuntary daughter», as you call her so poetically. Except for Fairies, all others being born in Galwrst has the opportunity to choose their parents when their tales and fables begin!"

"To choose their parents?! What are you saying?!" "You are an unborn being until your parents conceive you. Unborn, you hear? How can you make any choosing if you do not exist yet!"

Elf searched in all his pockets making a big demonstration of thoroughness until he extracted from an inner pouch of his green tunic a small spoon, and offered it to me.

"What is this?" I asked confused.

"It is a spoon, you moron!" Elf was enjoying the situation.

"Don't call me moron, you oaf!!" I cried. "I know it is a spoon, I am asking you what do you mean giving it to me!"

"Oh, I thought it was evident". Elf was smirking with all his face, I felt the need to kick his gums!

"Now, look", I was mad beyond reason, "I will carve your skull with this spoon!" And threw the utensil at his right eye! But Elf is a fast goblin and was sitting on the Archive of Obsolete Ideas long before the spoon left my hand!

"I reckon you have not an iota of humor in your system", the sprite said this words with fruition.

"Oh yeah?", I was still angry, more because I didn't understand the bizarre sense of humor of Elf than because his actions.

"So, where was the humor in offering me a spoon?!" I was curious despite myself.

"Man that was clear as an icicle!", he seemed surprised I didn't understand his prank: "With it, you can stir the rice pudding you have between your ears and understand better what I am telling you!"

I was already seeing red, and ready to jump over the midget, even if I knew I was not going to get near him, fast as he is, but he raised his hand and said with a disarming smile:

"Sorry, sorry, pal! Promise not to joke again, remember I have a tale to tell you about the bad sorcerer and his  daughter, and as you see they both already exist, before I tell you who their parents are, so they can choose anyone they want, of course, in that case we will have a different story for each new selection of ancestors! Do you understand, now?

The interest about the story stopped me to keep arguing, and looking to the small squirrel still sitting on my legs (all this I wrote seems long, but it was developing at mind speed, so all the things that happened have taken less than a few seconds) I got back my attention to Elf and I waited for his tale.

"Once upon a time", the goblin started out of the blue, he cannot control his zany thoughts!

"Oh no!" I cried, "do not start it like that!"

"OK, OK!", he seemed to think a bit and went on:

"A time upon a once", shoot the unrepentant imp, and quickly added, as if trying to stop me to interrupt him again, "after the ugly events occurred during the eviction of humankind from Galwrst, we lived a beautiful and peaceful life under the rule of King Oberon and Queen Titania, but unfortunately, the last tremors left by the human trek towards East of Galwrst brought some evil circumstances to take place while we were unaware of those facts."

"Hidden between the roots of Yggdrasil (the old Tree of Life), one of the trunks that should have been deported with the rest of the evil plants to Niflheim (The Northern Darkness by Horror Realm), and was forgotten by the Dusky Harbingers, the officials in charge to clear up the mess in what was  left of Galwrth, despite it has been clearly marked), between its roots, I wrote, there was a last Egg of the dragon Níohöggr, who was also the father of the devious snake who misguided poor Meve to bite the fateful apple, or whatever."

"Meve?" I could not help myself. "Who's Meve?"

"Himmel und Wetter!" Wrongly quoted the goblin for Himmeldonnerwetter! And added as if more swearing was needed: "By the bifid tongue of the fourth head of the Lernaean Hydre! Can't you try and use your rice pudding to think a little bit?" This seemed to calm him, so he added slowly as if talking to a small child:"

"Meve was the second wife of Mada, when Lilith decided to leave Galwrst because she felt she was not considered as important as Mada, Meve was then created so as not to leave Mada alone!"

"Is that clear, now?" Elf said this putting his mind-nose against mine.

The urchin could not stop himself from raising his voice more than necessary.

"Yes!" I said, but it was not clear at all. The problem was that if I would have said «No», Elf would have been sidetracked starting another story and I would be so confused as to lose the thread about Urdomar and the squirrel, so I decided to wait and ask Elf about, eeehh... Mada and Meve in other occasion.

"OK, then, I was telling you that there was an Egg hidden under the roots of Yggdrasil, from this Egg, hatched Urdomar, the wicked sorcerer, first as an disgusting snake, then taking the shape of a magnificent Magician clad in a blue robe and depicting a venerable old face that hid all the evil nestled in his soul."

"As soon as Urdomar realized he went unnoticed, his brain started to cook up a perverted plot to kill the King and the Queen, and destroy Galwrst."
"Urdomar was careful to keep a low profile in the roots of Yggdrasil, and started to concoct a new breed of a vicious big tree which he named Wild Oak, full of an evil sap that concentrated in the acorns and had the power to induce heinous behaviour in those unfortunate fairy beings who smell, eat, touch, or come in contact, in any form, with those fruits."

"All those maleficent properties could only affect Fairies, not humans, since the latter had been already corrupted by that apple or something of the kind."

"With the acorn-weapon ready, Urdomar only needed an innocent way to introduce them into Galwrst and produce havoc in all the place. When everything were distorted and corrupted, using his power to control extreme moral wickedness, he would became the Ruler and Owner of Galwrst, and from there, through the mighty forces the Wonder World have with its fables, stories, and tales, using the now ugly dwellers, transform all the Universe into the Original Chaos!"

If you didn't realize yet of the fact that Elf has taken all my attention and interest with his story, I am telling you now, HE HAS!!

"Stealthily leaving his lair under Yggdrasil roots, and adopting the figure of a benevolent old man, he started to look for somebody ready to help him in his plot."

"It was not an easy task, Galwrth has no inhabitant with enough evil to follow our ugly Sorcerer, and after a long time without success, he decided to leave Galwrst and look for help between the dwellers of the plains at the East of Galwrst, but then again, the place was full of people devising their own bad actions, and nobody was ready to help him, since he looked as an old crazy man who thought that Fairies existed."

"Finally when he was in despair, and doubting his plan could reach any success, he found, under a heap of snow an almost death creature. It was a little red squirrel that winter had mistreated badly. He took her to his hut, made her comfortable and fed it. In time the little animal gained strength and was in good health."

"Taking advantage of the innocence in the squirrel, Urdomar convinced the little being in accepting the job to carry the acorns from Yggdrasil roots to the Wotdras House (the meeting place where, in a few days, Gwitnd Drwosten or the Flowers Seasons would be celebrated), it would pass as a token from Mkdwpls, the White Witch, to the Fairies."

"In exchange for this service Squirrel would be turned into a human being, daughter of Urdomar and heir of his power. Of course, Urdomar did not say what all that meant and if there was any truth in all those promises." 

"This is how Squirrel became the voluntary daughter of Urdomar and slowly was being infected by his evilness."

"In time for the Flowers Seasons, the two conspirators got back to Galwrst, it was a difficult operation since Squirrel was using some «real» cells, in her body yet, and as anybody knows, no one can get into Fairyland donned with that filthy, and decayed raiment."

It was so long that Elf was talking alone that I felt the need to answer his statement, so I said:

"No, I didn't know that"

"I know you didn't know, you cad! It was just a rhetoric question!" After shouting, Elf seemed feeling better.

"Well, as soon as Squirrel could walk on Galwrst, she and the sorcerer started to carry the acorns to the Wotdras House and decorate windows and doors with them"
"When the work was done Urdomar and Squirrel sat hiding under a big fern near the door to see the spectacle."

I was so gripped by the story that could not stop to ask:

"What happened?"

"Hushhhh" answered Elf, "you destroy the suspense."

"I do not know if you are aware how things were created in the Universe". Elf went on with almost not change in his voice.

"Most things were created", he added, "as the consequence of an action which following the old order of equivalence produced a reaction that in turn gave the needed elan or need for the emergence of the thing created."

"Is that clear?" Asked the gnome with an innocent look in his face.

"I..." I was torn between believing the innocent look of Elf, and the urge to make a sailor knot with his neck!

"Now, you were telling me the story of Urdomar and the Squirrel! What in the name of all types of sociopath fairies that there are in the Universe, has this «creation digression»" to do with the tale?!"

"As a preface to your extemporaneous question", Elf spoke soberly, "I must tell you that there are no sociopaths, psychopath, or any other misfits created by humankind between our ranks in Galwrth. All us, in Fairyland, are perfectly normal, even witches, orcs, or any other supposedly evil creatures, and not in the sense you human beings give to the word «normal». Also, if you tried to think, instead of having a tantrum each time you are not satisfied with the development of things, you'd get the whole reason of everything in the world."

He was speaking reasonably, so I was bound to listen in silence. Although making a great effort to stop the tirade of ideas, and words that I got gathered in my throat.

"This point cleared", followed the sprite, "I am still asking you if you have understood how an action create a reaction in a different direction"

Fearing to open my mouth, and let the waterfall of words flood my mind, I just nodded twice.

"Very well", the imp looked satisfied, "now, this is what happened in our story!"

"When Meve bit the apple or whatever fruit she bit, produced, with that action, a reaction that cancelled all evil, true evil in Galwrth, and only left some curious stimulus needed to keep the stories born in Fairyland full of adventures and mysteries"
"So it was, that at the moment Queen Titania, and King Oberon crossed the threshold of the Gate into the Wotdras House, all the evil instilled into the acorn reverted toward a song of peace, and the acorns, following the predicted reaction transformed themselves into beautiful golden bells tolling a new noel."

"While these things were happening in Wotdras House, the few acorn left hidden in Yggdrasil roots started to change into golden bells and the tree began to decay and rot very quickly, so it, with the Wild Oak created by Urdomar were sent to Niflheim (The Northern Darkness by Horror Realm) where they belonged, as a swift magic reaction."

"At the same time", Elf seemed oblivious of his environment, with a look of  holiness giving a new light to his face. "At the same time, Urdomar was bathed in a dark shadow, marking him as the maker of a clear malevolence".

"While the fairies danced around the two rascals to see them better, Puck, the court jester, following a signal of King Oberon knitted a close spiderweb around both villains, who could not move in any way."

"The royal dyad had a small conference and then King Oberon addressed to Urdomar:"

"You, maleficent creature, who took advantage of all the good in Galwrth to destroy it, must be treated in kind".

"You cannot be exiled to the East of Galwrth since there is a major Evil over there and then it won't be a punishment. Neither can you stay in Fairyland since your evil is too big, so there is only a course of events we, the Queen and I, agree as fair to your behaviour".

"From now on you will be imprisoned into a Magic Mirror in Asgard until Loki started the Götterdämmerung, that is, The Twilight of the Gods, then you will be released to fight along with Loki in the Ragnarök, the last battle before the End of the World.  

Your Fate, as those of all the Nordic Gods and Goddesses will be decided at that moment."

Then looking at the squirrel Oberon pronounced:

"You, little rogue, have not enough evil in yourself to follow your master, so you will be sent to the East of Galwrth trying to make all the fairies you find there to eat your acorn, but with not success, so, you will learn a lesson on useless bad activities".

"This verdict is effective as of now". As soon as King Oberon said the last word, Urdomar was seen entering the Magic Mirror and stay in there as a reflection of nothing, and the squirrel disappeared from sight.

The Royal Pair ordered to start the celebrations and everybody had a very good time.
"So you see", Elf went on with a sigh, "the squirrel you have on your knee is no other than the rascal daughter of Urdomar trying to give her acorn to me"

"She wont be successful, as the sentence states". Elf was amused, and added:

"Look at the acorn she hid under the blanket on your legs"

I raised the blanket and before my amazed eyes I could see a Golden Little Bell tolling a noel never heard before.

 The music is Rachmaninov's Paganini Rhapsody, performed by the London Symphony Orchestra led by Claudio Abbado, and Stephen Hough as solist in piano.

© 2015 Od Liam.