November 2000: "Watcher"

December 2000: "Faerie Dreams"

January 2001: "Like a Child"

March 2001: "The Quiet Folk- Part One"

April 2001: "The Quiet Folk- Part Two"

November 2000: Watcher

There is a water heater, it is old and has a metal surface covering it so that things may be set there. There is a girl-child who sleeps in that room, and she keeps the heater cleared off. Whenever she feels lonely, she climbs up and sits in the window, looking out and observing. There is a small stand of trees in the neighbouring yard. To this lonely little girl-child, they seem as though they are dancing. Naming them "The Dancing Dryads," she watches. Her imagination grants them sweeping movements, and in her mind she hears the ethereal music. Sometimes, she can see faeries dancing among them, like tiny spirits flitting about.

Yet, one dryad-tree stands away from the rest. Dejected. Lonely. The girl-child watches this dryad. It is as though watching the other ones dance, this dryad feels terribly lonely. The girl-child can see that she is segregated from the others, but cannot think of why. She wonders if the Dryad is kept apart for reasons similar to her own. The girl-child knows what it is like to stand on the outside, watching all the others enjoying life, having a wonderful time of dancing and singing while she simply watches. The girl-child feels a kinship with the dryad-tree. She wonders if, maybe, she and the dryad are kin. She names the dryad "Watcher." In her mind, she sees the dryad looking back at her, through the window. The snow swirls around, for it is deep winter. Something in the dryad sees a kindred soul in the girl-child.

One late summer evening, the girl-child climbs over the fence between, and goes to visit with Watcher. "I am a watcher too," she says. She caresses the tree, and embraces it as only one of her kind could. Though she is a simple mortal girl-child, in appearance, she has the spirit of an elven-dryad. Her spirit bonds with that of Watcher. She and Watcher become lifelong friends.

Years go by, the girl-child grows up, marries and moves away, and still, when she comes home, she sneaks away from the house late at night, to visit with Watcher. Now they watch The Dancing Dryads. Only, now, they are not alone.

© 1998 Shadoedancer Creations

December 2000: Faerie Dreams

Dreaming of the divine. Wishing for wonder. Imagining the inevitability of individuality. I have these dreams. This is so strange to me. I love these dreams. I often wish they were real, tangible. Sometimes when I wake from these night-time visions, I almost believe that they are real. There is a great fear of the unknown. There is a dream for surreality. Someday. Soon. Soon, hopefully, life will be making much more, or less, sense... Now... Forget it. There only the unreality that is so great.

Lovely spirits, dancing among the forest glade. Singing their sweet songs of abandon. Loving as only they could. Finding a place among faeries, that only few mortals may acquire. I weave my way, following the footsteps of a spritely dryad ahead. Through the trees, who are watching and, seemingly, are clapping to the tune as we all dance. Dancing as only spirits can dance.

Dryads come from everywhere, dancing out of their tree-homes. The spirits of the trees joining in our soiree. Soon the Nyads come and dance among us, their wet footprints telling us that they truly are spirits of the water. And so we dance. And dance. And dance. Turning in a neverending spiral of beauty. My mortal body weakens, and sits to rest among the branches of the trees.

Something strange happens. My soul leaves my body to dance among the faerie. My body, left beneath the trees, still is alive but just the simple covering that the trees are to Dryads, water to Nyads. And now, I am one of them. Laughing, dancing, singing, loving, living among the faerie, dancing with my dream visions.

I hear a terrible siren, and my mortal hand hits a button. My eyes open to find, to my great regret, that the dancing was a dream. I move to my window, and look out. There are a few thin trees in a circle, and a few others, seemingly frozen in their weaving, their dancing. Was it really a dream?

© 1998 Shadoedancer Creations

January 2001: Like a Child

Like a child, you come to the Father to assure yourself of His presence and love. Once assured, you turn your eyes to the outside, curious of what you may find out there. One day you're on that daily walk with the Father, and something catches your attention. Leaving the Father, you scamper off to investigate this new and interesting thing. Patiently the Father follows, watching over you, waiting for you to return to the safety of his embrace. Convinced of your invincibility, you persist on running further, trying to leave Him behind in your frenzied search for the new. The exciting. The different. The interesting. Knowing your insistence that you are invincibly able to conquer anything, the Father lets you learn... Your way. The hard way. The Father wants to teach you about His ways, and is more than capable of answering all your questions. He is wanting to protect you from evil. He would, if you would even bother to listen to Him. Still, you run after your fancies, heedless of His pursuance of you. You insist on turning a deaf ear to His call for caution, His pleas that you return to Him. Father knows what lies ahead, along the path, and wants desperately to keep you from the pain it would bring you. Without prior warning, your path drops away, and you fall into a deep pit. A trap set by the Evil One. The bottom is covered with a deep layer of tar, and the surrounding walls are smooth, and slick with a, thick, slimy oil. Still, you are stubborn. As Father reaches down to you, you ignore His helping hand and set about finding your own way out. What are you trying to prove? The Father is not here to gloat over your misfortune. He's not going to say that He told you so. He looks upon your entrapment without the pity you despise. Only sadness. Compassion. He only wants to help you out of the pit, and to embrace you in His Eternal Love. His Perfect Love. As you struggle to find your way out of this pit of a mess, you begin to sink into the tar. It gets more difficult to move around. Still, you continue to trudge your way around the perimeter, looking for that nonexistent handhold that you may have overlooked the previous several times around. By now you have sunken to your waist, and are barely inching your way around. When will you learn? When will you recognise that Father only wants the best for you. Why, when you have genuine wonder, do you insist on investigating the counterfeit? What are you trying to prove? When will you pull your fingers out of your ears and listen to what Father is saying? They come. Insects of incredible size begin to crawl around on the tar that holds you prisoner. They swarm toward you. You look up and see that the Father can not reach you simply by holding a hand down. He has not abandoned you though. He now holds down a large, once living branch. All you have to do is grab a hold of the branch, and Father will pull you out. Realizing that, indeed, you need His help, you reach up and grab a hold on the branch. He pulls you out, and lovingly embraces you in spite of the stinking tar covering you. He ignores the rancid odour that clings to you. He carries you home, cleans you up, and dresses you in new clothing. For a long while, you cling to Him, afraid that, if you let yourself out of His sight, you would find yourself trapped once again. One day you're on that daily walk with the Father, and something catches your attention.

© 1999 Shadoedancer Creations

March 2001: The Quiet Folk- Part One

The house was busy this Christmas, the entire family decided to come tonvisit at the same time, and the house was fairly busting at the seams. The Wray's were known for their gatherings, since not only would thenclose relatives come, but they would also often bring the in-laws with them. The small town always knew when the Wray's were gathering, sincenthe masses held each morning in Our Lady of Knock's Cathedral werenflooded with the Irish Catholic families.

Shannon Wray was the quietest of the boisterous family, and would often stay in her small attic bedroom when it was her family's turn to host the gathering. For this, she suffered much ridicule of her cousins, and curious stares of her elder relatives. Shannon would appear, seemingly from nowhere, for meals, where she would speak quietly with the grandfolk as they ate. Then she would go back to her room, though none ever could exactly say WHEN she went.

"I swear, that lass has something wrong in her head," cousin Patrick proclaimed. "To hide away like that, just isn't natural!"

"I must agree with ye lad, but she's yer kin, and ye shan't speak badly of her, understand?" was the response of Great Grandfather Wray, the patriarch of the clan. He had a liking for the girl, she was a special one, and he would see none make fun of her quietness.

Momma Wray just shook her head, "But, Pappy, she's a Wray! This just doesn't seem right. You all well know that she's been different, even in the cradle. And those violet eyes! I've never seen eyes like that before. Why, she didn't even speak a word until she reached two; and the Good Lord knows why, since all her brothers spoke before their first year. Even so, she never was quite social, always keepin' to herself, not only at gatherin's but at school, and even wouldn't speak much at home," she wiped her hand across her brow, and went on. 'Ye know I love my daughter more'n anything, but something just isn't right..."

"Lana! How dare you speak of your own flesh and blood that way!" her husband chided. "Maybe God knows what He's doing, making her quiet like this. There must be a reason," *There just must be...* Pappa Wray thought to himself.

© 1999 Shadoedancer Creations

April 2001: The Quiet Folk- Part Two

Shannon turned away from the heater, and sat back down on her bed. The speculations never seemed to cease. *I'm shy because that's how I like to be. All those people make me nervous, all the noise.* Shannon was once again pondering why she was the way she was. *I like to stay where it's quiet, where I can just listen... to what? The sounds of the house creaking, the murmur of the people speaking...* Click, Click, Click... *That must be Dinari.* Dinari was her dog, some sort of collie mix, she assumed. She had shown up on Shannon's kitchen door step almost a year ago, on a cold night, with the wind blowing, and the snow falling.

"Mamma!" she had cried, "there's a poor dog out there in the cold. It's so spare, may I bring it in to get warm? May I feed it?" she implored to her mother with her huge violet eyes. "Please?"

"You know how I feel about animals... but..." her voice trailed off to her daughter's plea. "Just keep it away from me," she said as she turned from the kitchen.

Shannon opened the door immediately, and beckoned to the dog. Slowly the dog skulked into the kitchen, shivering, and watched Shannon with wary eyes. After Shannon closed the door, she held her hand out to the dog. "I'm your friend," she told the dog quietly. "See? You can trust me." The dog licked her hand, and then lay down on the rug. Shannon began to pet the dog. As the dog rolled over onto her back, she saw a long cut on her belly. "Oh dear," she whispered, "I'll get something for that cut, as soon as you've been fed good and well."

Shannon pulled some meat out of the icebox, put it on a plate, and brought it to the dog. "Here, this'll make you feel better," she assured the dog. Shannon ran to the medicine cabinet and pulled out some gauze, and some antibiotic. While she watched the dog finish eating, she tried to think of a name. She thought it amazing the way the dog was so meticulous at eating, so she must have been trained at one time. *Princess? Duchess?* No, these did not seem right names for her. *Lady?* No, not that either. It had to be something exotic, rich. *Dinari! That's it!* When the dog had done eating, she tried out the name, "come here a moment, Dinari, I'm gonna take care of that cut." The dog came obediently, as though they had been together all their lives. This proved that the name she'd chosen had been a right one.

Shannon was broken from her reverie by Dinari, who had just licked her face. "Well, well, I guess it was you coming to see me after all!" She spoke to Dinari as freely as her family spoke to each other. She and Dinari had formed a bond, and were quite close friends. Shannon was sure that Dinari always knew what she was thinking, and understood everything about her, better than anyone else. Shannon lay back in her bed, and Dinari hopped up beside her. "I'll be twenty soon, Dinari, did you know that? Pappa hopes that if all goes well, someone will come and ask to take me out. But I doubt it, dinari, do you know why?" Dinari looked up at Shannon, licked he hand, and nuzzled up underneath it. "Yes, because I'm odd. That's why. I'll make a bet, that my family would rather see me locked up someplace, than have me here all the time, 'hiding in my room.' That's what they say, you know. I'm not deaf, they all think that I'm some sort of curse or something. Just because I'm quiet, and I've got these funny eyes..."

Shannon put on her nightgown, turned off the lamp, said her prayers, and slid under the covers. "Dinari, you really do understand me, don't you?"

Dinari answered with a soft moan, and another nuzzle. "I know you do, and I just wish I could find someone else who did too." She sighed and turned over. Soon, she was overtaken with sleep.

© 1999 Shadoedancer Creations