Over the Easter weekend, I set up at the New Orleans Psychic Fair. The Hilton was full of crystals, healers, and reiki masters. Everyone I met was very intent on spreading good vibes and finding their paths. I very much enjoyed the people and the atmosphere.
One woman kept coming back to my booth and touching a small canvas of a small girl in the cemetery. At one point, she brought her sister with her and commented, "It's speaking to me."
Another woman who was looking through my print bin looked over at the sisters, she commented, "But are you listening?"
The sisters looked confused and retreated (the woman never came back to look at the canvas again). I really loved that moment though.
I spend a lot of time making lists and completing tasks. I have definitely not been spending enough time on quiet reflection or meditation. What if the Universe is trying to talk to me? I don't know if I've spent enough time just listening.
* * * * * * * * * * * *
Iris struggled toward consciousness, knowing something was very wrong. She could feel the movement of a car beneath her. They were definitely on the move, driving somewhere. Her limbs felt heavy and unresponsive. She slipped in and out of awareness, dimly realizing that she seemed to be lying on the floor of a vehicle and that her two captors were sitting in the front.
"How many girls, Dad?" the female captor asked, sounding weary. "How many before you'll stop?"
"As many as it takes," the man growled back.
Iris felt waves of panic. She struggled to make her limbs respond without success. She knew she needed to get away from these people. She needed to get out of this vehicle, but her limbs wouldn't move and she found herself losing her tenuous grasp on consciousness.
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
Iris fought back toward wakefulness as she felt herself being half carried, half dragged. Through her heavily lidded eyes, she could see the dense darkness of large trees and low-hanging branches. Were those oak trees?
"Whatever you do," a female voice hissed into her ear. "Don't look them in the eyes."
Then abruptly, the two people dragging her through the forest stopped and dropped her unceremoniously to the ground.
"What did you say?" demanded the burly man.
"I told her that we weren't going to hurt her," the young woman responded. "Because we aren't."
He laughed without humor. "We're the least of her problems."
He raised his voice and spoke slowly to Iris as she fought to get her limbs to respond. His face swam blearily in front of her eyes. She couldn't seem to focus her gaze. "I'm putting $100 into your pocket," he said. "It's yours to keep."
She felt him slipping something into the pocket of her hoodie.
"When you meet with them, tell them that we want Helen back. They can keep the other girls, but give me back my daughter."
"Or else what?" snapped the young woman. "You'll keep bringing them gifts?"
"Helen would never have abandoned us," growled the man. "That goes against their code."
With those words, he turned away. Iris heard their footsteps retreating into the forest.
With effort, she flipped over onto her stomach, remembering something her brother would say to her when they were trying to get away from their mother. If you can't walk, then crawl. Whatever is happening, just keep going.
Wherever you are, Jeffrey, she thought, you've got to be doing better than I am right now.
Slowly, she began to move forward, dragging herself with effort onto her hands and knees. Just keep going.
Eventually, might have been minutes, but it felt like hours, she felt strength starting to return to her limbs. What direction had they gone off in? She should really be heading off in the opposite direction.
How long had she been asleep and where had they taken her? Definitely an old growth forest. The oak trees were massive and the leaf canopy overhead was so dense that she couldn't be certain how much sunlight was filtering through the leaves.
She could hear the reassuring sounds of birds. She paused for a moment, straining to hear the sounds of cars or trucks on a nearby road. How far out in the forest was she?
Iris paused in her painful crawl and rolled into a sitting position. They hadn't left her the backpack. All her carefully curated items, gone. Her personal identification, gone. Even with the $100, she was inifinitely worse off than she'd been before.
Why had she taken that coffee? It had been far too long since she'd had a real treat. She fought against an impulse to cry. She took a deep breath, fighting to still her mind and gain some control.
Dimly, she became aware of the sound of nearby fluttering wings. She looked up into the darkness of the oak canopy. Were those butterflies? Maybe dragonflies? Wings fluttered busily overhead.
Her mind stilled abruptly as she began to realize exactly what she was looking at. Not butterflies, no. Not dragonflies, no. Those were small people: some with what looked to be butterfly wings and some with dragonfly shaped wings.
Where was she?
The busily fluttering fairies (how else to describe them) seemed to slow, as if they were becoming aware of her scrutiny. A particular one with elaborately bright yellow wings fluttered directly toward her. This fairy possessed bright hair and seemed to be sparkling despite the dim light. It's blue-green gaze fastened directly on her own.
What had that woman said about not looking them directly in the eyes? Too late, Iris found herself being drawn into that gaze and losing herself in their blue-green depths.
Not again, she thought in hopeless frustration as she began to slide into a sleepy trance, I can't be falling asleep again!
* * * * * * * * * * * *
And, just like that, two parts became three. I should be able to wrap up the adventure of the Sleeping Iris next week. I do appreciate you joining me as I work toward figuring out a voice for my story and my desire to create myth in the here and the now.
We really do create our own stories on our journey as the hero. The better we can make the story, the more we can enjoy our own journey.
Please remember to sign up to be notified for when my Oracle Deck goes live on Kickstarter on May 3rd! (Only two weeks). The first day of launch really sets the tone for the whole of the campaign.
Thank you so very much. I appreciate your support and your time.