Chapter 7

Empath's personal journal, June 24.

Quite to Tracker's surprise, the rain has ended sooner than he has expected it to.  The weather has turned bright and sunny, and the temperature is considerably warm enough to dry up the ground of any excess rain puddles.  Outdoor work in the village has resumed for the time being.

This smurf is happy for this change in weather, since this smurf wasn't intending on spending the next few days indoors with the rain continuing to pour down.  However, this smurf feels that an apology is due toward my friend Polaris Psyche, since this smurf had no idea that this Elatia was actually a disembodied soul that somehow was given a physical form inside the Imaginarium.  It is probably the first time this smurf would ever see Polaris interacting with a female being within an intimate setting.  Somehow, this smurf hopes that this wouldn't be the last for him, though only time will tell.


Empath noticed something different about Polaris today when he met him out in Farmer’s field doing some digging.  He didn’t notice it until Polaris stood up briefly from the irrigation ditch he was digging.  “What happened to your shirt, Polaris?” he asked, feeling only slightly embarrassed to see his Psyche companion exposing his torso among the other Smurfs now.

"This one did not see the need for one today, Empath,” Polaris explained, wiping the sweat from his brow.

 “Aren’t you afraid of how you think the other Smurfs might see you?” Empath asked, realizing his friend appeared a bit more hairy compared to a Smurf.

 “So far this one has not encountered any Smurf making such unwelcome comments about how this one looked, Empath,” Polaris answered.  “Even if this one does appear a bit more…savage…than how a Smurf would appear.  By the way, didn’t the Smurfs have a human visitor by the name of Gargamel dressed up like this?”

 “This smurf does recall that from the memories of this smurf’s fellow Smurfs, Polaris,” Empath replied. “This smurf honestly believes that that human looked worse than you do right now in your state of dress.”

 “Well, as long as your thoughts do not border on the perverse, then this one should have nothing to fear," Polaris said, sounding like he really didn't want any unwelcome comments about his appearance. "However, this one is considering seeing Papa Smurf at his convenience to deal with this...problem."

Empath still felt as if he had something he urgently needed to say to his friend, something that came from his own conscience.  "Polaris, this smurf must apologize for intruding upon your private fantasy environment and treating Elatia as if she was nothing more than just a creation from your own imagination," he said uneasily, gently placing his hand on Polaris' shoulder.

Polaris turned to Empath and realized his friend was being sincere.  "You were only doing what you in good conscience were supposed to be doing, both as Papa Smurf's assistant counselor and as this one's friend," he responded. "You do not need to apologize for that.  In face, this one should appreciate your efforts in making this one realize what Elatia was trying to do to this one."

"Somehow, not apologizing to you doesn't make things any easier for this smurf," Empath explained. "This smurf has been so used to treating you like a Psyche for all the years we have been together, and now this smurf doesn't even realize that you have seperate needs for yourself since you started living here among us.  This smurf should have known privacy was one of them."

"In all honesty, Empath, this one also wasn't aware of that need for privacy until that moment in the Imaginarium," Polaris admitted. "Though now this one feels an absence in this one's countenance with Elatia no longer present among us, an absence that makes this one feel a bit lonelier."

"This smurf can relate to that feeling, Polaris," Empath responded. "It's called a heartbreak.  It happens when the one person we truly love or we thought we love hurts us and then leaves, or hurts us simply by leaving.  This smurf's fellow Smurfs felt that before when the Aphrodities tried to lure them into a deadly trap just to get to this smurf about 21 years ago.  Papa Smurf felt it when a woodnymph named Flowerbell nearly tricked him into marrying her about 5 years ago.  Handy felt it when Marina the mermaid had to be sent back to Atlantica about 4 years ago after they have bravely saved her father King Aquarius.  Even humans and other beings like them suffer from heartbreaks."

"Do these heartbreaks last for long, or can a person recover from them?" Polaris asked.

"It all depends on how strong the person's heart is, Polaris," Empath answered. "Some people can easily forget whoever broke their hearts, some others can't even live beyond the first love that spurned them.  All this smurf can say is that the pain will go away in time, but the memories are usually the hardest thing to let go....even the memory of a fantasy.  The one thing that usually helps the heartbroken recover is knowing that there's always be those around who will continue to stand by and care about you."

Polaris understood what Empath meant by that.  Even though it was the first time he had lost in love, there was something even stronger than that which would endure — his friendship to Empath.


At the end of the working day, Polaris met Brainy at Tapper's Tavern.  He apparently looked bored as he tried to move around pieces on a chessboard.  "This one has never seen anyone trying to play that game by themselves, fellow Brainy," he commented as he sat down at the table across from him.

Brainy sighed, his bored expression unchanged. "It really isn't meant to be smurfed by one player, Polaris.  It's just that I can't smurf any worthwhile opponents to smurf with me, one of the great young masterminds of chess.  And frankly...I could use something else that's intellectually smurfulating to play."

"Would you mind allowing this one to show you what Psyches play as a form of 'game', Brainy?" Polaris asked.

"Really?" Brainy wondered. "I thought you folks were just all smurf and no play, according to what Empath had smurfed me about the Psyches."

"In a manner of speaking, Psyches do not engage in frivolous pursuits, but we do engage in mental activities to control our thoughts and feelings," Polaris explained. "One of these activities is a meditational exercise that can be interpreted as a 'game'.  It is called a Psychelisphere."

"Psychelisphere?" Brainy asked, sounding a bit unsure.

Polaris nodded before he allowed himself to concentrate his mental energies on projecting a spinning orb of tiles arranged in various colors and configurations.  Brainy found himself looking at this orb in wonder.  It almost looked too complex for him to understand.

But maybe he could learn it well enough to begin devising his own strategies.  His mind was already thinking about writing Brainy Smurf: Master Of The Psychelisphere.

Meanwhile, Tapper and Duncan were talking privately to each other. "The pale-faced laddie must be smurfing it real hard knowing that the first love of his love is now gone," Duncan said.

"Everybody handles grief in their own personal ways, my fellow Duncan," Tapper said. "I can only pray that the Almighty will comfort Polaris' heart in his time of grief."

"And we almost lost Smurfette because of her smurfing over the lassie's body like that," Duncan said. "I can only wish that she would remain in the Imaginarium where she would smurf forever."

"To remain smurfed in this world without any release from it is something that I would never want to wish upon anyone, no matter how far apart from the Almighty they may be," Tapper said. "My prayer is that all will smurf to know the saving power of His only begotten Son so they will not perish along with the wicked one when his time of judgment smurfs."

"It's too bad that Polaris' lassie won't get a chance to know this Almighty now that she's gone, laddie," Duncan said. "But I hope the boy will find somebody that will smurf whatever his heart desires for a mate."

"I am certain that the Almighty already has a mate smurfed aside for our friend here, though only time will smurf who that mate may be, Duncan," Tapper said.


Later on, in the Imaginarium, Smurfette sat herself on a blanket on the sand in the beach scene, which was now set for a cool moonlit evening.  She watched as Empath rubbed two sticks together to start a fire, even though both of them knew they could just simply imagine having one going and the Imaginarium would do the rest.  He stood back as the flames ignited on the logs he had arranged for the fire.  "Oooh, that fire sure feels warm on a cool night like tonight," Smurfette commented, placing the palms of her hands outward to feel the heat from the fire on them.

Empath nodded in acceptance of his own efforts. "It's rather strange to be wanting to take a moonlight swim on a fantasy beach, Smurfette, now that the weather outside is clear and there won't be anymore rain for a while."  He sat himself down next to Smurfette as they both watched the fire together.

"Who smurfs this has to be a real beach, anyway?" Smurfette asked. "We could simply imagine that this beach is up on the moon, and we're smurfing down on everyone here.  At least we won't have to deal with bugs and other unsmurfy things in here."

"This smurfs knows those benefits, Smurfette," Empath responded. "Are you certain you want to try swimming in here without your swimsuit on? Even if it's just the two of us in here...!"

"I'm not going to smurf so modest in here, and you don't have to be afraid of how I smurf, either," Smurfette reminded him. "As long as we don't get too smurfed away in here."

"This smurf understands, Smurfette," Empath said honestly.  He and Smurfette looked at each other as if they were hoping either of them was going to completely undress first, but all either of them did was stare at each other in total uncertainty.

Finally, Smurfette felt frustrated.  "I don't get it, Empath.  We should be comfortable enough with oursmurfs to do this smurfy-dipping, but it's like neither of us wants to smurf ahead with it."

"This smurf understands the feeling, Smurfette," Empath said. "Something inside us is saying that this isn't the right time or place for us to freely display ourselves unclothed to each other.  Perhaps it is better for us to remain in our proper swim attire until that time and place arrives."

Smurfette thought about that for a moment.  "Maybe you're right, Empath.  It smurfed like I was too eager to smurf with you alone in the Imaginarium, that I was hoping for more to happen than what I was ready for.  It smurftainly would have been fun, though."

"We can still have a moonlight swim in here, Smurfette, with or without our swim clothes on," Empath suggested.  "Why should we let a good night for that go to waste?"

"Ready whenever you are," Smurfette responded.  She raced with Empath toward the water's edge, laughing as they dived into the cool waves of the Imaginarium beach.

Either way, it was still a good night for a swim.