On the tail end of two impossible victories, I should have felt elated. Instead, I felt as exhausted as if I'd failed, and I was only just beginning my journey. I pressed on through the jungle, which grew more dense nearly every step. It was so humid, condensation gathered on the huge leaf canopy overhead, dripping down, tickling my neck before crawling down my back. I hugged my tote close, curling around it to protect it from the moisture. There was no time to read, but I couldn't set my books down, either. I carried them with me everywhere I went.
Before I was ready for it, I came to a clearing that opened wide before me. I stumbled to my knees with the suddenness of it. I picked debris from my hair as I stood to face the dancing faery troupe I had come to entertain. They were already dancing, impatient with waiting. Frilly pinks blended with floating purples and a few streaks of light weaving through, frenzied sparkles ricocheted everywhere. I summoned my helpers, and they approached, cringing away from the light, pulling their wee hoods down over their eyes. I thought they were as intimidated as me, but soon the youngest let out a woop! and dove after the light streak, creating his own. Clearly I was alone in my trepidation. That might explain how I awoke the next morning, alone in the clearing, covered with ribbons and bows. I thought I could still hear the music, but when I listened carefully, I decided it must be my imagination. Groaning, I rolled up onto my knees and stumbled to my feet to go in search of my books.
I had to hurry because I was due to arrive in another clearing, to another gathering, in three days and it was three days' journey away. Before I had stumbled fifty steps, however, I was overtaken by bookish gnomes. I hardly had the energy to skip with them, but watching them distracted me from my own pressing pursuit. I don't know if they were going the same direction I was, or if they enjoyed my company, but time passed so quickly that I found myself nearing the second clearing before I knew it.
Suddenly I heard a long, rolling thunder. It began so low, I felt the vibration in my veins. As it grew to a roar, my companions scattered into the forest. I ducked down, as if to avoid the noise, but there was no running from this. A huge machine thundered down toward me. The trees bent beneath the weight of it, and yet sproinged back into place behind it. Whatever it was, it was not destructive. As it passed close to me, the one my heart dreamt of long ago leaned out over the wide rolling tires. My Heart stretched out his hand until our fingertips touched and he snatched me aboard his thundering machine. We tried to talk, but our shouting turned to laughter since we couldn't hear anything over the roar. I relaxed on the wide seat, still clutching my books to my chest, unread. He grinned at me, his hair falling into his eyes, and I grinned back, not knowing why.
While I rested, he worked... he fixed one thing, re-arranged another, flipped underneath to adjust something else. I watched, comprehending a little. Soon I saw we were nearing the other clearing. He gave me a thumbs up that made us both laugh again, because his thumb was completely wrapped in white bandaging from an injury. I'm not sure why that was funny, but even now I smile to remember.
We hooked arms and he flung me out towards the clearing, where I rolled past the last line of trees to sprawl before a gathering of young wolves. I looked up into their faces, tongues lolling to one side, saliva dripping into the thick, soft grass. The Alpha yipped and the group took off running in an impromptu game of tag. I crawled to a tree to tuck my precious book bundle under a root before leaping to my feet to chase after the wolves with my own wild howl.
Once again, I lost consciousness after exhaustive play. When I awoke my muscles ached and it felt good. My heart was smiling down at me from where he stood over me. "Are you ready?" he asked and I smiled and nodded. Taking his hand, he pulled me to my feet and then I saw the red dragon lying demurely behind him, smoke rising from it's huge, black nostrils. My book bundle was already secured to the harness.
I had to sigh, but I also had to smile. Such adventures ought to be spread out over long stretches of time. To trip from one event to the other so quickly was like adding too many colored sprinkles to a teaspoon of vanilla ice cream. Overwhelming. But sometimes Life doesn't ask for permission. And I'm having too much fun to complain.
The events in this true story have been disguised to protect the innocent.
Sometimes... sometimes I like to write about what it feels like to live thru something rather than the actual guts of living thru it. This was so refreshing to just... let out. Phew! I still have my books... and one of these days I'll have time to read 'em!!!!