Sunday, April 08, 2007


A short story with an Atlantean theme--the fictional era is around 1000 years after the fall of Atlantis


Dark, moist earth—warm blood-pulses of brooding soil; rotting corpses of leaves and worms; burrowing busy ants in cavernous dreams. Life feeding on death, eternal calm feeding motion; light of buried beauty whirling sorrow songs of rhythmic deeps.

Kneeling, and with fingers plunged deep, the old man touched a world’s heartbeat.

Stars blazed clear across oceanic skies, sapphire-blue and diamond-white. Cold winds swept snow-crowned forests amidst shimmering lakes; warm glows, rising laughter rippled from a nearby town. Spring reigned—though the long Northern winter has yet to thaw.

Softly singing an ancient song, the old man rose and called for Rain.

But earth and not the waters answered. He felt her, standing close. The old man opened his eyes— pools of gold-white flame that pierced into Dyani. But she stood firm, a child immense, her frail frame steady, fearless and still. She looked unflinchingly into diamond Sight.

‘Dyani, your courage is as great as your foolishness. You should not have followed me.’
‘Master Atos, you teach truth, but hide your own.’

The Fire faded from Atos’s eyes; their iridescence sank whisperingly into human darkness.

‘Not all riddles, Dyani, are meant to confound. Darkness can be the best friend of truth.’
‘Truth? The only truth I know is that you are leaving without farewells.’

Her voice rose like a stabbing, quivering flame. Atos looked at her gently.

‘My mission is done. Surely you know that in your heart.’
‘You have lived among us, teaching us, revealing the marvels of herbs and song. The eldest in our tribe could not recall when you first came. No one knows why you came. Yet you have brought us more than herbs and beauty. You have brought us Spring and now you are abandoning us.’
‘Dyani, your people will conquer the furthest bounds of the Earth and triumph against the Night. But my time, and that of my people, has passed. Now, I too must depart.”

Dyani observed Atos with her deep brown eyes: his pale face was a moon-glided ridge of ancient hills; his withdrawn eyes—pools that reflected tombs of lost light. A vast silence flickered behind the human veil.

“Your people were mighty and could have broken or healed our world. Such Power was their doom.”

Atos looked at her closely. He had always maintained a humble and self-deprecating demeanor, a frailty of body and manner. He had never spoken—save in dense veils—about his past. What had she seen and understood? Or had Someone spoken through her? A thousand years of wandering, yet he had never seen a truth so strong in one so young, or a perception so complete.

A cold wind stirred songs of swirling leaves and dancing snow.

“Darkness has claimed most of them. Whispers and myths will be all that remain.”

“You…feel guilty?’ Dyani now looked away, as if shamed—and perhaps afraid.

Atos was rigid, gazing into darkness. There was a long pause before he spoke again.

“ Herbs and songs are not the only gifts I bring. The Power that destroyed my people has descended into yours. The songs I teach are the seeds of a mighty Fire; my presence here inspires their growth. In distant ages, your seers and civilizations will equal our own. Knowledge and power will be the destiny of your descendants—or at least of those who are worthy of an imperishable Flame.’

“But why choose us from all the peoples of the earth?”
“A higher Guidance has decided that, not myself.”
“ And if we should destroy the world once more?”
“ The Spirit in man will ever thirst for the living waters. We must ever ascend, ever soar—this is the fate of humanity. Our discontentment is our greatest gift and our bane.”

There was a foreboding silence.

Dyani suddenly grabbed Atos’ hands.

Surging currents of fiery oceans coalesced into a serpent-tongue of electrifying light. Dyani’s face and body blazed, and her mind and spirit swirled to the influx of ruthless Puissance.

Fragments of Atos’ memories, portions of his being, roared into her mind. In agony and bliss, Dyani saw a high Tower, burning with a Light of seven hues. She saw Evil filling sky and earth and an innumerable army marching. He saw Atos with a group of men and women in brilliant seamless robes, in and around the Tower, defending the Light with their lives. Then he saw Atos and two others, raising their hands, singing strange songs—and an oceanic firestorm tore up Evil and the entire land.

She saw Atos weeping, clutching a round stone. Darkness fell. Before Atos could do anything, Dyani had collapsed onto the snowy ground.

‘Dyani! Why!” Atos shouted in anguish and confusion.
She was still conscious, but barely so. Atos crouched down quickly, cradling her head.

She smiled.

“Master Atos, as you have said, a higher Guidance has decided.”
“You are not ready for this!”
Dyani chuckled.
“But I am. Otherwise, the Power would not have answered my call.”

Atos had no answer to that. He did not even know what was happening till it was too late. He had not prayed for the Flame; it had chosen her.

Dyani’s voice weakened and her eyes closed slowly. Her head tilted lifelessly down towards the earth. She whispered, “Eldest one, it is not your fault that it was so. Not a thousand years ago, not now.”


Dark, moist earth—warm blood-pulses of brooding soil; rotting corpses of leaves and worms; burrowing busy ants in cavernous dreams. Life feeding on death, eternal calm feeding motion; light of buried beauty whirling sorrow songs of rhythmic deeps.

Her life had left, but her hands held Atos close. He saw an indestructible Radiance that flowed slowly from his palm to hers-a living water that streamed to her heart and filled her body.

Atos lowered his head to pray. He knew what he must do.

He reached within his thick robes and removed a chain around his neck. A soft glow surrounded the gem tied to the chain—a stone etched with a chalice on one side and a sunburst on the other. He hung the chain around Dyani, placing the stone on her heart. In the distance, the horizon was dyed a dusky blue. Night had finally come.

Serene silence reigned as Atos rose, his face suddenly light and strangely youthful, as if an ancient burden had passed from him.

“Sleep well, Dyani, and rise to Dawn. Serve your people well, mighty Guardian of the Flame.”