The Souldbird Pendant – Published on Aphelion 3/2022
Dark Rainbow Prologue
It was a nice cabin by the beach. Big windows were looking West over the Pacific Ocean glimmering in the afternoon sun, and palm trees were swaying in the breeze. The cabin was very cozy and the perfect size for one person, or a couple to have a getaway from the rush and noise of the city.
Inga was searching for something to read. She picked a random book from the shelf. It looked old. She opened it on a random page. For a long time, she stared at the words, and then put the book down. The simple sentence kept echoing in her mind:
Who are you to decide what is real?
Hazels Bonsai Tree
Hazel was so excited to share the news. Her sister, Rowan, and niece, Lila, were on their way to the center of the forest where Lady Spruce lived by the spring. The Lady was very supportive of Hazel’s new quest for freedom.
Carefully Hazel set the table on a rock by the spring: honey-nut cakes, fresh apples and berries, and crystal clear spring water. Her covered basket was waiting next to the rock. Then she sat down to rest her feet, the baby was getting heavy. Soon Rowan and Lila arrived, hugging her and rubbing her rounding belly. Lady Spruce greeted them all and then sat down on a fallen tree trunk nearby.
Hazel offered refreshments and prepared to show her invention. She was very excited when she uncovered her basket.
Lila cooed when she saw the tiny hazel bonsai in her auntie’s basket:
“That is so cute!”
“Hazel, this is an abomination!” blurted Rowan and jumped up. Lady Spruce was standing next to Rowan and put her hand on her arm to help her calm down.
“Rowan, my husband must return to his family. I can’t lose him, not now,” said Hazel holding back her tears.
“But you can’t leave your own tree behind to die! How would she survive without you? And you will die without your tree!” Rowan was seriously worried. No dryad ever had left their tree and survived.
“I got this idea when Linden’s forest was destroyed. I grew a tree from the branch of her tree and it keeps whispering to me about our sweet sister,” said Hazel.
“But if you leave with your husband, will we ever see you again?” Rowan said with tears in her eyes.
“We could graft branches from your trees, too and grow them in small pots. Then you could travel as well,” said Hazel.
“This is a great idea. We need to discuss this with other dryads, but I think this is necessary for our survival,” said Lady Spruce. “The world is becoming a dangerous place for us. If we can travel, we can help our relatives to save their forests.”
Rowan had to agree. Hazel smiled through her tears and hugged her sister.
Alas, alemmas, maankamaralle oli niin kovin pitkä matka.
Yhdessä pudoten, lähekkäin ja silti erillään, yksilöinä ja erottamattoman yhtenäisinä. Tämä oli tärkein tehtävämme koskaan. Muodostelman etäisyyksien koordinointi oli täydellisyyteen hiottua syöskyessämme alaspäin.
Ada katseli ymparilleen vanhassa kesämökissään metsän keskellä. Kuinka hän rakastikaan mökillä olemista! Ikkunalaudalle putoilevien sadepisaroiden rentouttava poljentaa, vanhaa lepotuolia mökin parhaassa paikassa: länteen päin avautuvien erkkeri-ikkunoiden vieressä. Ei katumelua tai naapureita. Mökki oli paras paikka lukemiseen, rentoutumiseen, mietiskelyyn ja päivätorkuille. Continue reading Skyenflank