True enough, when I approached the end of Grandmother Badger’s tunnel, there was a Faery escort waiting. I recognized the Captain of the Oberon’s Guard, and the Oberon’s son – now a seasoned Guard, himself. After a formal greeting, we walked much more casually to the Village, and straight to the Palace.
As I entered the small private chamber off to the left of the Audience room, I was exuberantly welcomed by Tatiana, who bid me share tea with her as we awaited her husband’s presence. I was a bit surprised by her emotion, but she replied that she missed my enigmatic energy and deep conversations. I took the Book out from the cloak pocket, and set it on the table between us. She looked quizzically at the cover and binding.
“This is very ancient. This is very ancient, even in Faery terms. Where in all the dimensions did you find this?”
“I was led to it, Lady. It called to me. Quite indirectly. Quite in the midst of my enemies, although blind to them. It waited for me to retrieve it, until I was safely away. It seems to belong to another time and place in which I lived.”
“It also belongs to a time and place when conversations flowed easily between all sentient creatures – Faery and Human, as well.”
“Do you know what this Book is, Lady?”
“It is yours. It called to you. But, it also alerted us to its presence, and that is why you are here. No; do not open it, yet. Wait on the Oberon. This is important beyond either yours or our Knowing.”
Soon enough, the Oberon entered the room, with his Captain by his side.
“Secure the door, Deja.”
“The door and room are secure, sir.”
And, in the energy, I could also discern faint tendrils of Merlin’s magic, as well. Surely, this Book was more important than I could ever fathom.
“Greetings, Lady Lighthawk,” he stated, almost informally.
And he could not help but smile back.
Then, as he looked upon the Book, he spoke, “Let’s see, then, what it is that has called you.”
I lay my hand upon the cover to open it, and the Book, itself, opened of its own accord, about half-way through.
Tatiana raised her eyebrow, and looked at me, and then we all looked at the pages now visible before us. They were covered in a strange writing that I had never seen, ever. I imagined that it was probably the language of the civilization that I had journeyed to in order to find the Book. But, I was wrong.
Tatiana gasped softly, and the Oberon’s eyes became wide with revelation.
“Lady, do you know what this is?” he asked.
“No, my Lord. I do not. I do not recognize it at all.”
“That’s not unexpected. This is not of Human-writing. This is an ancient Faery script.”
And we all stared and marveled at this sight before us.
“Can you read this, my Lord?”
“Some words are similar. Bits and pieces, here and there. But I will have to study this for a while.”
“That would be a problem, my Lord.” This last was spoken by Merlin, who had stepped through what seemed to be a portal in mid-air.
“The Book will not reveal itself to you, or any other, without the Lady Lighthawk within reach.”
“Show me this is so.”
“As you wish.” And then he turned to me. “Walk with me, Lady?”
And so we stepped out of the room into the Audience chamber. After a few moments, the Oberon spoke out.
“Return. Both of you.”
After we had come back into the room, he spoke again.
“You are right, Merlin. The script disappears when she moves a certain distance away. Why do you suppose that is?”
“I was hoping that you might tell me.”
“How would I know this?”
“Because it is ancient Faery magic. And, not only is it an ancient script, but it also is encrypted. I was hoping perhaps you might know of someone who would be able to decipher it.”
“Why me?” I decided to speak up, after being talked around like I wasn’t even there.
“We don’t know, Lady. Perhaps the Book would tell us.”
“The Book called me. Perhaps it believes that somehow I can understand it.”
“How could that be?”
“I can touch writing, and follow the energy back to its Source. I can intuitively pick up a sense of thoughts or something… kind of like thoughts laced with emotions, a holistic feeling.”
“So, then, let us see.”
“Wait, my Lord, not here.”
“The Book said so.”
He raised his eyebrows, and looked at me.
“The more I am around the Book, and the Book’s energy, the more I am in contact, I guess.”
“Let me hold it. Let it guide me. Please?”
I closed the cover, and picked it up, cradling it in my arms. There was a sense – almost a tugging – as the Book’s energy directed my movements. Slowly, I began walking through the Palace. Once, only once, the Captain went to bar my way, for I was walking in places that not only were off-limits to Humans, but off-limits to all but the Oberon and Tatiana. A slight shake of the Oberon’s head and the Captain stepped aside and let me walk.
Finally, I could feel no more compulsion in the Book’s energy. I had no idea where I was. I had paid no attention to my surroundings, but had concentrated solely on the urgings of the Book. I had been followed by the Captain, the Oberon, Tatiana, and Merlin.
He, at the last, moved to me, and gently laid his hand on my shoulder.
“This is the place, Lady?”
“I would guess. It stopped leading.”
I looked around at the small room. There were no windows…and only one door. A small table with four chairs sat in the middle. A small fireplace was set into one of the walls. Oddly, it was burning softly, although I remember no one lighting it.
“No, Lady. No one has been here to light this. It was so when you opened the door.”
Funny. I don’t remember opening the door, either.
“The four of you sit at the table. I will stand near the door.”
The Captain started to object, but the Oberon stopped him.
“No, Deja. It is important for him to guard the door. If you like, stand by the fireplace, for we do not know the energies within the Book… nor which ones might still seek it – even through the fire.”
Then, the Oberon and Tatiana sat down with me at the table. I lay the Book down, and again – as I reached for it – it opened up about half-way through.
“Very persistent, isn’t it?” Tatiana curiously said.
“Yes. I think perhaps that there is much more information that is of some importance in here, but for some reason, this section of the Book is essential for us to know.”
The Oberon spoke, then.
“You are well-guarded in here, Lady. And the Book, too. Please to do whatever it is that you do.”
And so, I shifted my focus. [How odd… shifting Inworld from Inworld!]
And closed my eyes. I allowed my right hand to hover over the ancient script.
“It’s a story, my Lord. Or prophecy parable. Like that.”
“What do you see, or feel?”
“The coming of the Blue Dragon. Portends a Change. The Red Dragon melts into the Earth. A new Veil manifests. Golden sparkly Veil. Across the Land. A Path unfolds behind the Silver Waterfall. There is no crossing of this Veil. The Times that come, come soon. The Veil protects its Own. As the Veil manifests, see then who is within this Circle of Light. Prepare. The Fire cannot cross the Veil. But the Fire will destroy all that is not within the Circle. The Path behind the Waterfall connects to Human Lands. There, the Veil mirrors itself. As it is here, so it is there. The ancient Magic returns.”
And suddenly, the symbols on the page glowed brightly, as if like flames, burning my palm. I snatched my hand back, and the tiny flames connected into a fireball, consuming the Book. All rushed to try to extinguish the flames, and save the Book. But to no avail. Not even ashes were left. And the fire in the fireplace disappeared as well. We all looked at each other, not knowing what to say, deep within our own thoughts, trying to understand what its Words meant to each of us. It would be a long night.