Tag Archives: Jasmine

Jasmine Snippet #91

“The Story of Jasmine” notes continue:

When their commander’s massive head was split in two with one cleave of that dwarf’s battle-axe, none of the Witchleins knew what to do. Was this magic, or a mighty warrior? Their second thought was of eating a warrior as mighty as this. They would feast on his strength and fortitude. What a great and honored feast he would make. But until that time, the dwarf still dangerously possessed his warrior’s spirit.

Most Witchleins were only familiar with raids carried out at night, when their victims were asleep. Subduing awake victims during the day seemed to be ill-advised. Most were reassured that as long as Ikvokeg was there to lead and guide the attack, everything would go as smoothly as planned. But Ikvokeg can no longer give them a signal. How do they know when it is the right time to strike?

How did that dwarf warrior know to attack lkvokeg’s spot? Suspicious and overanxious, once they saw and recognized Ahearn as he rode in, one of them cried, “Dock-far person meat!” They all then prematurely left their hiding places in the rocks above. They were not in any hurry but by the time they reached level ground, there was another group to fight.

*  *  *

Jasmine remained on her horse, still stunned by her encounter with the dragon-lizard. Ahearn quickly rode up from behind, and grabbed Jasmine’s arm to pull her attention back to the here and now. His touch shook her out of her dazed state and Jasmine realized the danger all around them. She realized Thorne was cursing her.

“Ride ahead, princess…” Ahearn said with an air of authrity, “ride until you see a bridge to the right and take it!”

“What?” was all Jasmine could muster as a reply.

Ahearn grabbed the Staff of Erlkyng,”Trust me!” he said, “I’ll, ah … we’ll join you later. Now GO!”

He slapped the rear of Jasmine’s horse and the animal gladly distanced itself from the fray. Having witnessed Jasmine heal the winged creature, the Wichtleins allowed her to ride past unharmed. She was magical. But Ahearn was another matter. They closed in on him.

Knowing he’d be caught up in the fighting, Ahearn held Jasmine’s staff aloft for all to see. “Magic! Magic!” he kept repeating.

© 2018 DARLENE

I AM A FAN of “THE STORY OF JASMINE”

Become a PATRON to Continue the story.

Jasmine Snippet #88

Another snippet for “The Story of Jasmine,”

Bardulf’s men, lead by Lt. Cartwell, were stirred by the sounds of aerial combat. At first, they were only focused on the sky upward. Then the Lieutenant was the first to notice some commotion further up ahead. After calling upon his men to be keen, he shouted, “target ahead, Prepare to engage.” He thought victory was easily within their grasp. They picked up speed and quickly closed in on the five. It was only a matter of minutes.

*  *  *

In the meanwhile, Glynn quickly dismounted and got his horse off to the side. If the others could follow his example, in the minutes before they’d be overtaken, they might gain a slight advantage against their pursuers.  If they could but take the offensive… Glynn was barking orders to that effect as he headed towards an outcropping of boulders to conceal himself. Glynn heard a noise and instantly readied his weapon.

With adrenaline coursing through the dwarf’s system, he charged whatever was behind that rock. Turned out, a large man-like thing with a nasty-looking club glared back at him menacingly, ready to strike him dead with a foul blow. For being so large, this warrior was amazingly capable of blending into his surroundings. Glynn finished off his enemy with one, well aimed cleave. As he noticed more of these hideous people peeking from their hiding places, Glynn instantly realized their grim situation, “Aho,” he cried, “A trap!”

*  *  *

Two flying creatures were locked in mortal combat, clawing and biting each other mid-air. When Jasmine appeared out in the open, the leathery creature flew to her, and rasped out a piteous call. It seemed to bow to her.Jasmine was startled. The poor creature was clawed, bitten up, very bloody and badly scratched. Was this his appeal to seek her protection?  This was not what she expected. He’s a loving creature. In an act of compassion, Jasmine stroked the bloodied beast with her ringed hand, getting its blood on her. She forgot she had her staff in the other hand. Jasmine’s grace offered the creature solace. This momentary interaction had the effect of reinvigorating Gryth.

© 2018 DARLENE

I AM A FAN of “THE STORY OF JASMINE”

Jasmine Snippet #87

Notes for The Story of Jasmine continue:

Ahearn was uneasy. All morning Rogan had monopolized Jasmine’s attention, thwarting his intentions on several counts. First, he wanted to ride closer to Jasmine, more towards the front of the caravan. He had not expected the group to act so jovial. It made it harder on his conscience to carry out his devious plan. Jasmine was usually walled up inside that cloak of hers. It was going to be so easy. Just grab the reins of her horse and they’d be out of there before the ambush commenced. He smirked at the thought that their last memories of him would be in gratitude that he successfully rescued Jasmine from their fate.

The hawk spotted something. They had not yet arrived at the ambush site, which was nearby. Ahearn felt excitement. The trap was nearly ready to be sprung, but for that damned bird.

The hawk’s piercing screams were answered by another more disturbing call, which sounded like a cross between a crocodile and a lion’s roar. Everyone surged ahead to try to see what was happening.

When he caught a glimpse of it, Glynn shouted an alarm. It was Gryth, the creature Jasmine spoke about only last night. “Beware!” He shouted, “Bardulf’s soldiers are nearby! Ride ahead to the opening in the trees. Well make our stand there.” At Glynn’s urging, everyone charged ahead.

Ahearn was stunned. This was a possibility he had not planned for. They were riding at top speed towards the ambush site. This was all wrong. The cannibals are apt to believe he double-crossed them. At first, he just intended to slow things down by getting in front of everyone. Then, damned if he didn’t sense the vibration of earth being pounded by hooves behind them! He charged past Rogan, almost knocking Rogan and his horse into the brush.

Glynn arrived at the point where the road opened up into an incredible vista with a blue sky. The sun nearly blinded everyone who emerged from the thicket. When Glynn reached this place, he was dismounting to find a place among the rocks and shouted instructions for Jasmine to find a hiding place as well.

Before Jasmine could respond, they heard the blood-curdling cries of two creatures locked in mortal combat and Thorne screaming from behind, the name of her pet.

© 2018 DARLENE

I AM A FAN of “THE STORY OF JASMINE”

The Energy Leads to JASMINE

“Follow The Energy,” and “Pay Attention from where the Energy Flows”

This week, I followed that advice and I received a surprise. It’s a surprise because its so obvious when you think about it, but totally invisible to me on the level I was working.

I followed the energy to another vantage point, a part of my past — to a 38-year old saga called “The Story of Jasmine.”  I recently discovered a box I had long neglected. When I opened the box, I discovered it was filled with notes for the continuation of my Jasmine story originally published in 1980. The box contained a pile of hand-written notes and scraps of writing, some loose and some in notebooks — everything that did not see the light of day from long before.

The Story of Jasmine is about the young Princess of UR who jumped headlong into her destiny. She is accompanied by a dwarf, her devoted protector. The plot revolves around a ring that the dark prince Bardulf, her father’s enemy from a neighboring territory, managed to place on her finger, hoping to keep the princess spell bound. Through magical means, Bardulf succeeded in taking down the Kingdom of UR, but the princess escapes his clutches.

J is for JASMINE

A fugitive, the Princess of UR willingly leaves her prior life behind and accepts her destiny as a Lady in White, thus becoming Jasmine. The title refers to the highest and most revered one within the ancient Order of the White Flower. However, that Order has not existed for hundreds of years. Jasmine wonders if her new identity is beyond her depths.

Jasmine needs to fully integrate the new concentration of power she feels growing within her entire being while also being present to the daily dangers that seek to destroy her. Jasmine needs to fully integrate the new power she feels growing within her being and also be present to the daily dangers that seek to destroy her.

Besides the dwarf, her other traveling companions — a battle-maiden, a royal dark elf, and a spy for the deadly Fire Queen — have vowed to protect Jasmine, for secret reasons of their own.

Beginnings

At the end of January of this year (2018), I decided to publish each little scrap of writing I found within the old box, one snippet a day. As of May 6th, I’m up to my 85th Snippet. At the moment, it’s becoming more of a collaboration between myself and my younger self. It’s necessary, because there are a lot of holes, like missing dialog / action / explanations needing to be filled in. So Jasmine is both old and new.

I could have sworn that I was going after a market that appreciates my Powerful Women’s Coloring book. That may still be the case, but a desired connection was unexpectedly paused and I found myself returning to the Jasmine story, again and again. Since I had to actually input in text daily, I became more and more focused on the story. I was giving it the energy of my attention.

Fans

So it was in the back of my mind when I was learning the technical aspects behind the various methods there are to collect friendly e-mail addresses. I decided to experiment with Jasmine. Now, after I publish each snippet, I have a place where people can become “A Fan of Jasmine.” It not that difficult to do and I was curious if a passive opt-In would work.

And damned if I didn’t get some responses! I have fans! Who knew? And my fans are willing to help me put Jasmine out there in the public eye! Wow! There is energy here! They’re pointing out to me how close to a ready-made book product I actually have! Why did this never occur to me before? That’s so astounding. I was so close to it, I could not see. Ohhhhh, that’s what they mean when they say, one “cannot see the forest for the trees…!”

[Ha ha ha…So now, I should start thinking in terms of offering some JASMINE swag.]

Why?

Would it be putting on the brakes to examine this a little more — or do I just enjoy the energy while it lasts? Or is concentration and focusing the entire point? Energy begets energy. If I stop myself to ask questions, will I lessen the energy in the act of doing so? If movement slows, one apt to believe “it was just not meant to be.” This reminds me that we are always in control. We are the authors of our own life.

Why Jasmine? Is Jasmine relevant today? Who knows? Maybe there’s something in there for someone who needs to hear a story with a younger voice. Maybe the archetypes will resonate with a newer generation. Maybe the story needed to season in order to flourish.

This older / younger collaboration with myself is a tad strange, but fascinating. It’s like personal archaeology, uncovering treasures through the eyes, perspective, and writing of a young woman. The plot and basic story line already originated in the 1980s. I’m adding depth to the characters and adding description where suitable. The energy is definitely there!

History

Once upon a time, 12 Installments of The Story of Jasmine Illustrated Fantasy Adventure were published in The Dragon magazine, once a month for a year, beginning in May of 1980.

When the contract was not renewed, the story continued in my mind and it morphed into an interactive card game. I divided the characters into four factions and “JASMINE: The Battle for the Mid-Realm” collector card game, became the result of that. It actually gave me the excuse to create 112-miniature paintings. My card game won a Strategists Award in 1982 for the Best New Game.

From my many moves hinder and yon, I held onto many things. Some may say, too many things. But I think the box I found of Jasmine writing might end up being a great and rare treasure.

I still retain some of my original stock of card games… I also have a manuscript, fans, art and the creative desire. So everything is looking good and I’m feeling pretty good too!

Jasmine is like a care package gifted to me by my younger self.

Become a Fan of Jasmine

Become a Patron of Jasmine

For anyone who wants to read the story from the beginning of the snippets, they are archived under the Categories of “Jasmine and Role-Playing Games” and “The Creative Process.” 

Just Look to the column on the right, you can find them in the CATEGORIES drop down menu. 

The Birth of Jasmine Poster

Now Available

This Special Calligraphic piece of artwork, “Awaken–The Birth of Jasmine,” uniquely combines story writing, calligraphy / lettering, with illustration and layout. It is a study combining letters and art, using medieval sensibilities.

The lettering I used is based upon gothic calligraphy, a type of black-letter that was used in medieval northern Europe. These letters tend to be dense and strong, making the twin columns of text are visually strong enough to look like columns holding up a colorful archway.

Inside the niche, stands a young woman in a white dress with a red velvet cloak, holding a staff. A representation like this is reminiscent of how medieval artists and architects portrayed important saints and personages along with the tools of their trade.

_______________________

The original art was completed in 1984 and appeared in “Lettering Arts in the ’80’s” Ampersand Publications, MN. In 2008, I digitized it and in 2018, I’m making it available as a poster.

© 2018 DARLENE

Jasmine Snippet #82

The Story of Jasmine Snippets continue:

The Special Card, “Ring of Emeth” from the JASMINE: The Battle of the Mid-Realm Collector Card game.

After a time, Jasmine broke the silence, “When I was underground with the Order of the White Flower, the sisters were very real to me. You say you did not see them. But I spoke with them at length and we had some truly revealing conversations. Is it possible I only spoke to them because of this ring? And maybe it was the ring’s doing that turned those men to stone?”

The fire popped. Jasmine paused long enough to take a breath, “They gave me amazing information about ways to diminish the effect of the metal around my finger. They repeated what the Guardians of Wisdom recommended: to keep the ring under water or under earth. Somehow, being in the open air with the sun out will heighten it’s influence over me. So it’s no wonder I’m feeling more myself… it’s much darker here and there is much more moisture. The ring’s effect has already dampened.”

“We need to get that evil thing off of you.” Glynn said with a sense of urgency.

“I don’t think it’s evil. The visions of the ring are not nightmarish.” Jasmine replied softly, “The lands are breathlessly beautiful; stunning beyond belief. It seems to me, I can hear the denizens of another land speak to me. They tell me another realm exists. To be able to go back and forth at will between the two worlds, requires a controller in possession of the king’s crown and a dragon lizard to power it.”

“So?” Glynn asked.

“So… I have seen that dragon lizard! He belongs to Bardulf. When that thing crowed, Glynn, he blasted me out of the dreamscape I found myself within. What is more, I was able to distinguish the enchantment Bardulf placed upon me. Bardulf just enhanced the ring’s effect by writing himself into the story he wanted me to follow.”

“What?”

“Yes! I know! But those details don’t matter right now. What’s important is this dragon-lizard is attracted to the ring! I think it’s the real reason Bardulf placed it on my finger. So he can track me down using a dragon for a blood hound! Fortunately, he could not track me in the underground caverns, nor at the underground temple, and less so when I was alongside a river or a stream.

“It is strange. I half expected something to happen during our trek through the prairie fields and open spaces. I know, that’s when I was exceptionally vulnerable to being discovered. I don’t know why, but even though we are within a safer wooded area, I feel the time is imminently close for a visit from the creature.”

This revelation made Glynn uneasy. He looked around the camp suspiciously. Jasmine reassured him that the little dragon would not hide. Instead, it would probably announce itself immediately upon it’s arrival with a loud, thundering squawk. That bit of news did not make the dwarf feel much better.

Wanting to suggest something a little more uplifting, Jasmine ventured, “Before the little dragon arrives, I plan to obtain advice about him from the winds.” That bit of information did not stir him either.

Jasmine finally thought of a good way to lighten the atmosphere. She laughed, “Isn’t it wonderful to share a space where three extra people aren’t glowering, suspicious, and charged up about each other?” Glynn finally shared her laugh. He too, appreciated the stillness of having no negative vibes or heavy emotional residue to interrupt or disturb peaceful slumber.

Yes, nodded Glynn. Without the silent clamor, it will certainly be harder to stay vigilent while those goons are away. Still, he could read the night much better without their interference. They tended to affect the electrical bio-field surrounding them. He read there was danger all around. Nothing new there. After a while, Glynn convinced himself, that the three’s psychic noise would have an effective repelling quality on any mental probes directed their way. It certainly had a negative effect on him!

Without the “bungling shield” created by the three, as Glynn laughed to call it, we’re now more prone to being found. He thought of a modest solution to try. He emptied a small sack of its contents, scooped up dirt and rocks to fill it. He wetted the mixture with his canteen and made a muddy paste. Then he awakened Jasmine.

“Here,” he said as he pushed the dirty sac towards the bleary-eyed girl. He took her hand and submerged it in the bag. The feel of mud on her fingers instantly shocked Jasmine into wakefulness. She responded by jerking her hand away.

“No,” Glynn said gently, “keep your ring hand in the bag in the mud and I will sleep better.”

© 2018 DARLENE

I AM A FAN of “THE STORY OF JASMINE”

Jasmine Snippet #81

Here are some more notes for The Story of Jasmine:

While Glynn poked the fire, Jasmine wondered if she could possibly be homesick. Since the relentless psychic noise had quieted, she was free to think about other things. She’d only been there for less than a day, yet she felt so much more at home, (than anywhere else in the world,) with her tangible ghost sisters, in the belly of an underground temple she had scarcely visited.

If she was still a princess, she’d demand to stay there. But she was not a princess. Not any longer. Before she met her sisters, she renounced all privilege. Thus far during their trip, save for that one thought, no doubts or regrets surfaced about her loss of princess status. She was something more. In the circular throne room, members of the Order of the White Flower collectively materialized before her. At first, she thought she had been sleeping when they appeared. Then she must have sleep-walked back or forward in time, caught within the power of a waking dream.

“Was I only an emptied cup to be filled?” She asked herself.

It seemed to her she became another person. She felt different. Her thoughts strayed around the events of that night. She traced the change in herself to originate from that happening at the Order of the White Flower’s ancient temple grounds. Jasmine noticed she felt a marked change in her demeanor. Of course, who wouldn’t be altered by such an event? But she had no peer to talk to. She searched her mind for some story or advice Ermengarde could have left her in a situation such as this.

Jasmine puzzled over many things as she went over and over what happened that night. That night, when she spoke, a voice (her voice?) originated from her belly. The voice was booming and resonated throughout her rib cage. Vibrating thus, she felt the power in the delivery of her words as well as in the words themselves. That night, with the light of the glowing moon behind her, atop the roof of the ancient temple on the White Throne Mountain, she spoke deeply and purposefully among a chorus of her sisters’ voices…

Again, Jasmine shook herself out of her revery and brought herself back to the present. She sighed to herself, “Ahearn thinks I’m a conquest; Thorne thinks I’m a fool, and Rogan thinks I’m a pawn. Even so, no body knows who I truly am. Everyone defers to me because I used to be a king’s daughter. But I’m so much more now. None see because I keep to myself concentrating all my available reserve of powers to control the effects of the ring on my finger!”

For days, as they traveled on a wind-swept plain during the day, Jasmine depleted her energy reserves in focused concentration. Jasmine concluded the elements of air and fire, which prevailed in their journey, resonated with the ring to enhance their effect.

© 2018 DARLENE

I AM A FAN of “THE STORY OF JASMINE”

Jasmine Snippet #80

The Story of Jasmine notes proceed:

Two cards from Jasmine: The Battle for the Mid-Realm collector card game.

The moment Thorne spied Gavin, she knew something serious was up. She disentangled herself as fast as she could from her traveling companions and followed the hawk. She chris crossed her path, in case Rogan would try to locate her tracks. When she finally returned to the road, she picked up speed as she turned her stallion loose to run.

This is where her horse, Mindy, excelled. None was faster. Even Rogan’s stallion, who proved to be a worthy horse, could never best Mindy in a race. But they never raced. Thorne wanted to keep her horse’s exceptional penchant for running all to herself.

At last, the bird landed in some trees next to a clearing where there were three battle maidens waiting. “Ambassador Thornekill?” queried the rider in the middle, “Oh Ambassador! Praises be, we caught you in time!” Thorne recognized the voice of the maiden with the copper-colored hair.

“Hail Clara,” Thorne called, “What urgent news awaits me?”

The riders trotted their horses closer to each other. “Come,” said Clara, “visit our camp and we’ll tell tell you everything while you, your horse … and Gavin rest.”

Thorne accepted their hospitality. It wasn’t long before she was eating diltsfef wrapped in flat bread. How long was it since she enjoyed diltsfef? In between savored bites, Thorne listened. She understood that the Northern road had just been compromised by Melantha’s forces.

The Armildians did not want any of their own to fall into her hands, and especially not their Ambassador. Clara chose Gavin, a trained hawk she knew Thorne was sure to recognize, to intercept her before her party took that road. Clara’s plan worked.

As the news unfurled, Thorne’s eyes grew wider. “Gavin may have been too late,” Thorne told them, “if we had not continued west, instead or north. That change of route made little sense at the time, but now I perceive it was the right choice.”

“Praises be!” they agreed.

“Gavin found me right before I set foot into the Hungry Forest.” Thorne continued, “it IS fortuitous that we are now together. Can I trust you to give the report I am about to divulge to the High Council?”

While declaring their devotion, Clara and the others responded by making a secret hand-gesture. “Good,” said Thorne, “Here is my report. My negotiation with the King of UR never took place. King Aranbrod was no longer in power by the time we arrived in Oxted. UR has fallen. I cannot report whether or not our preparations would have met with success.”

“This bodes ill … So the rumors were true?!”

“Yes, they are true. Bardulf’s soldiers enjoy a very public presence.”

“We know, we got wind of a group of Bardulf’s soldiers quickly making their way across the plains about a day behind you.”

“They probably think we’re horse thieves.” Thorn quipped.  I’m sure it was through magical means that an upstart named Bardulf-Thaatur was able to wrest control of the Kingdom. As yet, we don’t know if he has a relationship with Melantha, but he is one not to be trusted.”

“We heard rumors but we could not verify anything. Where is Rogan the Red?”

“Oh him? Rogan is … Rogan. I took steps to assure he could not follow me. But he still has a place in our party. I am traveling with three others besides Rogan. And I believe the daughter of King Aranbrod of UR is among them. She has a dwarf protector, probably a mercenary, Glynn Oakenshield and there is a Dockalfarian royal of all things! I find it hard to believe we are all together by happenstance.

“I found myself in the perfect position of keeping tabs on all these people and determine what they really want, Rogan included. I plan to disengage his services the next time I see him. In the interests of our Nation, I placed the Princess under Armildian protection. The Council will appreciate the political advantage and wisdom in assuring her well-being. So, you see, I must reunite with the group as soon as possible.”

“Ambassador,” her hosts said with alarm, “you and your horse require more rest. Besides, we can help you with time constraints by showing you a little-known short cut into the forest from the south. Mayzelle is familiar with all the Forest pathways for quite a distance. I believe she knows one that leads up towards the bend of the Hungry Forest. We understand the route your party is taking is very, very slow. If you allow her to guide you, you will make good time.”

When Thorne finally gave in, Clara was triumphant, “So now, rest, stretch your muscles and replenish yourself. Have some more diltsfef.” She started humming an old Armildian folk tune, which immediately relaxed Thorne enough to allow herself a full glass of chewy beer.

“If the soldiers were chasing you,” Clara reassured her, “To continue west isn’t the usual choice. Bardulf’s men will surely think you took the north road, sealing their fates.”

“Of this, we cannot be sure. All they have to do is follow the tracks.”

“Those types follow orders. Soldier men can’t think for themselves. Men are creatures of habit, they’d assume they were following you north. They will not take the time to vary their intended course.” Clara’s chatter was quite persuasive, especially when the light struck her hair in places to shine the same honey-color as her eyes.

“…That your group chose to travel west was completely unknown to us. Praises be to Gavin who knew how to find you.” Clara was beaming. “Gavin is under my  care now. He’s an exceptional bird.”

“Oh yes,” Thorne said, leaning back into some pillows, “exceptional!”

© 2018 DARLENE

I AM A FAN of “THE STORY OF JASMINE”

Jasmine Snippet #76

The notes for The Story of Jasmine continue:

Two Wind Special Cards from “The Battle for the Mid-Realm” collector card game.

Everyone had just finished breakfast and were about to break camp when Glynn announced, “We have a slight change of plan. We will not be taking the north road after all. We will continue westward.”

All three companions objected at once, as if the idea was unthinkable. Thorne said, emphatically, “Those lands are much too close to a dangerous and merciless enemy!”

Ahearn bellowed forth with, “Don’t you know there are pockets of cannibals in those parts?” Rogan simply agreed with them both.

“I need to be at a council of the Winds.” Jasmine told them solemnly. Before she walked off, she said, “I cannot help the Meeting Place of the Winds, is in treacherous lands. A dream has called me to visit them at this place and I seem to know the way. If fear prevents you from following me, you are free to part ways and travel where ever you will. But Glynn and I will be traveling westward. We are not afraid.”

Ahearn, Thorne and Rogan looked at each other in stunned amazement. Glynn and Jasmine had already moved off in the space it took to recover themselves. Did Jasmine realize how deeply she insulted them all? She insinuated they were cowards if they did not accompany her. Her comments stopped the conversation cold. How could one reply without looking bad? They shrugged and moved to pack. Everyone was edgy.

Breaking camp was silent, save for the occasional grunt and shouts when lifting was involved. Back in their saddles, they made good progress. Some paused when they passed the cross roads where the north/south road intersected. Sighing, the group resigned itself to trudge westward taking a road less traveled.

Little did they realize that Jasmine’s sudden change of plan saved them from harm. Taking the favored northern road would be a mistake as, the northern route was newly compromised. Taking the North road had been the safest route northward. That’s why they did not immediately take the treacherous northern route outside of Oxted.

Nobody would ever have suspected the north road would have brought them straight into Melantha’s spider-like reach, caught within her lair.

© 2018 DARLENE

 

I AM A FAN of “THE STORY OF JASMINE”

Jasmine Snippet #75

The Story of Jasmine notes continue:

Jasmine tossed and turned in her sleep, just as she had done every one. This night was the third encampment away from the White Throne Mountain and the last one before turning northward on their journey. It wasn’t that sleeping on the ground was too unbearable, or that there was so little peace between her companions. She was fighting the influence the ring was trying to impose upon her. Try as she may, she could not remove it physically from her finger.

To cope, she hid herself underneath her cloak for most of the three-day ride and trusted the horse under her to manage them both. The horse’s instincts were better than her own ,so she saw no need to impose her will upon the beast. She trusted her ride over her own judgment to react best in its own, familiar surroundings. She was not totally present or anchored in this world and oscillated between the two worlds.

She avoided looking out upon the sunlit landscape. It was the most gloriously beautiful, dazzling and oppressive landscape she had ever seen. The more they traveled, the more she experienced this convulsive beauty.

Jasmine concluded to herself, “If I accept this as valid, it means the ring commands me. If I am not ruled by a man, why would I be ruled by a ring?”  She handled the uncertainty by rejecting it’s validity and limiting her senses. Both hiding and hidden underneath the refuge of her cloak, Jasmine meditated during their journey across the plains, all the while concentrating on keeping herself in a bubble, suspended between two realities.

She thought the days were more manageable because the collective sound of hooves crunching upon sandy, rocky ground could not be syncopated. But the nights were another matter.

At night, she heard voices oozing out of the stillness. Always, they addressed her. Until this night, she had successfully eluded focusing on their words. But, this time, she was so tired,  she listened. She was greeted by people who seemed not unlike herself. Their features were very fine. All were frantically trying to warn her against taking the north road.

“Travel westward, ” they advised, “Seek the Meeting Place of the Winds and consult.” They identified themselves as the White Faeries, a race of benevolent beings who live in a corresponding world that “inter-penetrates your world.” The White Faeries seemed to be very well acquainted with the details of the Mid-Realm and promised to show Jasmine the best paths to take to avoid mishap. They also told her they were helping, “Because our fates are related and it’s in our best interests to look out for you in this world…”

That comprised the basic message. The heretofore incessant and insistent sounds she had tried to block from her head finally stopped its infernal buzzing.  Only after she acknowledged the message did all broadcasts cease. The oppressive atmosphere she’d sensed before was lifted. So did her disposition. Finally, something felt right.

At first light, she succeeded in getting Glynn’s attention and spoke to him about a change of plan.

© 2018 DARLENE

I AM A FAN of “THE STORY OF JASMINE”