And then there was light. There was plenty of light, an exorbitant amount of light, inundating light. The euphoric light struck the outer layer of the thick cocoon. Each layer of the cocoon began to slowly retract as though allergic to the light. Each leaf like structure began to dry up and gingerly float to the ground until there was no more.
A woman emerged among the light. From afar all one would be able to see would be a silhouette. But if one were to approach the silhouette, they would be blinded by majestic radiance. Septuachet’s brown skin sparkled, it glistened as a sticky substance that covered her body began to refract light brilliantly. The substance had the viscosity of molasses, and because time often acted unordinary in her presence, the substance appeared to trickle down each curve of her body as drops of water.
Septuachet no longer displayed a childlike appearance, but allowed her full figured beauty to display in full blossom. Her bright red hair floated atop of her head like a Dandelion. She felt different, as though she had a greater grasp on her purpose. And maybe it wasn’t her purpose she had a greater grasp of but she was well aware that this garden was not her destiny. This garden had nothing to do with her destiny. She now understood that this place was a place of solace, a safe haven but she was unsure from what. She simply knew that a deep hurt and a deep pain from many times ago resonated within her. A hurt that she tried her best to forget, but to forget was to leave behind a part of her–a part of her that she could no longer live without.
She took a step, and realized she felt famished. She looked around for something familiar and saw Swelven. She knew much time had passed but Swelven did not age a bit. He hustled over to her and submitted his head to her. She rubbed the top of his head.
“How’s my Swelvly been?” His body language reciprocated immense excitement. “Oh I missed you too!” She began to walk in the direction that her intuition directed her. “Well Swelven, that is one tree down, more lessons to learn. I think we should go in this direction. What do you think?” Swelven looked up with a brief curiosity but simply followed with supreme loyalty.
Septuachet walked and walked until the light turned to darkness. Only stopping to drink and eat of the fruits that the land provided. By now, all that was seen in the sky were the lights of infinity and the lights of the potential lessons she had yet to discover.
She felt a tingling sensation flicker against her toes. She looked down and could see nothing. The sensation vanished. She took a few more strides and the sensation returned, although this time a little more intense. She looked down to see what it was and again the sensation vanished.
“Hey Swelvy, stop it, why don’t you.” Swelven looked at her in bemusement. She knew he wasn’t the source of the sensation but she usually had control of her immediate surroundings and this was out of the ordinary. She knew blaming him was a temporary-mute solution. She continued walking and like clockwork the sensation returned. This time, she didn’t stop to look down. She decided to continue walking and pretend like nothing had happened. As she continued walking she began to hear snickers coming from the direction of the sensation. This time both Swelven and Septuachet caught a glimpse of what was causing the sensation.
“Hey you two! cut that out!”
“Aw man she caught us…” “It was your idea to raise the temperature.” “I know, I know.” “I bet we could have went another mile if you would have left well enough alone.”
“Hey, Hey, Hey… enough bickering between you two. Who are you?”
“Our apologies Queen, how rude of us not to formally introduce ourselves.” In the darkness two very small flames stood next to each other, as erect, and with as much respect as possible. They even refused to flicker, just stood as motionless flames. “My name is Xavier.” “..And my name is Xavier as well but with emphasis on the heavy ‘a’ sound.” Septuachet thought it was strange that these two flames appeared, and even stranger that they shared virtually the same name, albeit slightly different. “And you’re probably wondering why we’re here. Well, we are gifts of the infinite sent here to guide you to the next seed and protect you from any harm.” She knew that this was a ridiculous statement. This was her garden and she had never came close to any harm, although there mere presence was an anomaly. So she really could not rule anything out. She knew they were not completely forthright but could sense they were without threat.
“And what danger do you suppose you are to protect me from?”
Xavier looked up at his Queen, and became overwhelmed. He had no idea her presence would have this much of an effect on him. After all he was but a flame. He immediately felt a pride swell up in his chest and his flame grew. “Any and all forms of danger your Highness!”
“This way your Highness.”
Xavier and Xavier began to flicker with excitement. They continued in the direction Septuachet had already chosen and took pride in leading the way. In the distance, they could see a thick fog approaching, even in the darkness the fog retained a glow.
As the small group slowly approached the fog, a cold chill began to spread. A howling sound began to grow louder and louder with each advancement that the group made. From afar Septuachet could not perceive within the darkness, but it became evident that they were approaching a tornado.
Is this the next seed. Septuachet thought to herself.
Doubt began to slowly creep in, and the wind began to pick up drastically. The fog became so thick that Septuachet could not even see her own hand in front of her.
“Queen! Fear not!” said the Xavier’s. “This is what you were made to do your highness!” In her mind Septuachet knew she really had no reason to be fearful. The Garden would never do her any harm. But something felt unnecessarily eery. And the words of the Xavier’s were quite reassuring.
The Xavier’s could sense their Queen’s uneasiness. They seized the opportunity to be valiant. They began to concentrate and channel their energy. The last thing they wanted was for the wind to get the best of them. Xavier and Xavier combined themselves as one and began to fight the wind. Septuachet took notice and added her energy to the situation. The two flames, now one, began to expand and provide a level of heat that counter-balanced the wind–creating a tunnel within the wind for Swelven and Septuachet to walk through. Septuachet could feel the wind put up quite a resistance, it tried with all of its might to detour the flames. Septuachet stood strong as the wind beat against her face–at times lifting her off of her feet.
“This way your Highness!”
“We have manage to subdue the wind, walk this way and you’ll be able to reach the eye of the storm.”
Septuachet fought her way through the wind to reach the tunnel that the Xavier’s created. Once she reached the tunnel she gasped at how much peace the Xavier’s manage to create. The gateway led to the eye of the tornado where a seed waited patiently to be discerned.
“Swelvy, wait here. You will be safe, I will not be long.”
Septuachet entered the eye of the tornado, and was blitzed by an array of peace. It was completely still. There was nothing but calm, serenity and stillness. From the sky a drizzle of energy cascaded unto a golden walnut-sized seed. Septuachet approached the seed, but was unsure of what actions to take.
She decided to sit in front of the seed with her legs crossed. Her red hair danced atop her head. The serenity provided warmth to her flesh. She waited.
The golden walnut-sized seed sprouted six spider-like legs and began to walk. Septuachet’s eyes followed the seed as it began to walk towards her. It stopped right in front of her as though it was analyzing her. It then commenced to traveling in a circle around the patient Septuachet. It continued with this pattern seven times and completed seven circles around Septuachet. With the final circle it stopped and crawled up the young woman’s back.
Septuachet shuttered as the fine-toothed legs prickled her neck while the walnut steadily climbed. It continued to climb carefully until it reached the apex of her crown. Septuachet did not move. She sat in serenity as the golden walnut-like seed settled atop her head and nested in her hair as a hen would. The golden walnut spoke no works but carried itself in a mechanical manner. It retracted its legs and sprouted a lens-like eye from its shell. Septuachet felt a tingle as the energy began to draw from her body, the energy beginning in her feet began to draw north towards the walnut. The tornado’s power began to grow yet Septuachet felt no effects of such, the eye of the tornado remained serene. The walnut drew from the energy of the infinite as the energy trickled into the tornado. Septuachet heard a mechanical tick.
The golden walnut began to tick as a movie reel would. The lens like eye began a slow flicker. The intensity of the flicker began to increase until an image projected. An image sprang forth and a three dimensional motion picture danced right in front of Septuachet.
What is this?
Septuachet thought in wonder. She studied the image as it came into focus. Her mind struggled to recollect the image.
“Do you remember me? I am what love looks like.” A male voice emanated from the image. A chill immediately hit Septuachet’s body. She knew that voice. She could not actively recall the voice. But she knew that voice, that voice came from a time before- a life before. Yes she knew this voice all too well.
“Do you remember when I said I would always love you? Do you remember when I gave you my heart? Do you?”
Septuachet thought. She didn’t like how she was feeling. Something in her felt like it was missing, and this man had it.
“Do you ever wonder about me? You banished my love but took my heart.”
Septuachet wanted to make it stop. Please make it all stop. What is the purpose of all of this?
“The hurt and pain you tried to escape is alive. The misery you abandoned did not die, it lives. As long as I live, it lives.” What did this all mean. Septuachet felt both intrigued and obligated.
The projection abruptly stopped.
The golden-walnut seed jumped off of Septuachet’s head and landed in front of her. It immediately dissipated. The tornado halted to a stop. Everything stopped. The darkness fled.
Septuachet stood up and looked around. She saw no one. She stood there motionless in the bright of day. Thoughts raced across her mind. She thought back to the story chamber and the allegories her father taught. She began to make connections and draw conclusions. She thought about Her and the act of forgiveness She foretold. She began to think of the time before and what she-herself may have played in that time.
The thoughts came to her. Thought after thought came to her. Was she HER. Who exactly am I ? The thoughts came to her:
Septuachet, know thyself. I was before I am now. There was a time before the flood. There was a him. And he was my love. What was his name? Where is he now? I blamed him. He gave of himself to save me. I must find him. What have I done?