Even Dragons Need a Vacation, Part 1
Every Day - February 2012
Location: Somewhere in the Wilderness
Timeline: The Year of the Apocalypse - 14 February 2012
Dyami’s schedule had been very full as of late, and this was a source of great annoyance to him. Mainly due to the fact that he hated schedules. You HAVE to be here, you HAVE to speak with this person, you HAVE to do this thing or that thing. If he was honest with himself he hated to HAVE to do anything. He would have much rather just stayed in the woods alone.
But there he was, alone in the woods, sitting on a stump feeding a squirrel, with nothing that he HAD to do. Yet something was bothering him.
“What is this?” The Shaman of the Nations said out loud.
“What?” asked the rodent.
“What is this feeling I am having? I have not felt it in so long I do not remember what it is.”
The squirrel shrugged its little shoulders and asked, “What does it feel like?”
Dyami gave the tiny beast another pecan and thought about it for a moment before responding, “Like a burning coal in my stomach, and a weight on my shoulders.”
“Are you sick?” The squeaky voice queried.
“No. No I cannot get sick. That cannot be it.” The Indian pondered it for a moment more.
“Are you afraid?” the tiny voice called after chewing on the nut a little. “I feel that way when hawks are near.”
Dyami chuckled. “I bet you do little one.” The man thought about it, no it was not fear, he knew what that felt like. But it was similar. He leaned back against a nearby tree and closed his eyes, but only after placing a few more nuts on his knee for his little friend. He would ponder this for awhile.
Day grew to night and still the shaman sat motionless, barely breathing, listening to the sounds around him. Yet he was unable to figure out what it was. Finally he opened his eyes. Seeing that his little friend had moved on he felt, for just a moment, the feeling deepen just a little.
“Alone,” he said to the wind. “Is this loneliness?” The realization struck him hard. It was. He was lonely, which meant he was missing someone. “Syn,” he spoke plainly, his heart fluttering a beat when he heard the word. This surprised him greatly, as long ago he had pushed aside many of his emotions. But there was no denying it.
“Oh crap! I am in love with a dragon,” the words fell out of his mouth. And when they did he was taken by a fit of happy laughter. Soon he was running with the wolves in the night, crying to Sister Moon to give him favor.
Dyami had been in love before. He had once told himself he would never love again, that love brought sadness in the end. His life had been very long and watching someone he loved grow old and die was not something he had wanted to see again.
But his mind told him that this would be different. It was likely that he would die long before Syn would even reach old age. That is when the doubt tried to creep in. A small voice spoke from within, “Surely she thought the same way as him, probably even stronger. After all she was far older than he.”
The Indian shaman laughed. “Nothing ventured, nothing gained,” the old saying went and was not the fear of rejection part of the game? So, let the games begin.
He and Syn had been close for most of his adult life. They had met when he was only 21 years old during his shamanic journey. He thought back to that time.
Many Moons Ago
A year had passed since the young Indian man had left his grandfather's home to begin his shamanic trials. Of course he had no way of knowing this since he had no means or even the want to keep track of time.
He had learned so much during that time. How to speak with the denizens of the forest, how to heal sickness and injury, how to feel the power of the Spirits, both living and dead. That night had begun like so many before it. Dyami loved to travel at night. The cool air and sounds of the forest at night made him feel so alive.
That was when he first felt a twinge of power, weak, far away. This was a spirit of great power, something that the shaman-in-training always sought out, whether to test his fighting prowess or to learn whatever it was the entity had to teach him. Either way it did not matter to him. All he knew was the urge to seek it out.
He followed the beacon of power for many miles before closing in on a campfire in a small valley. Crawling slowly towards the fire he made sure to cloak himself and hide his own energies, lest the entity sense him and flee. It was for the same reason that he approached from downwind.
Dyami observed the scene before him. A small woman sat next to the fire, wrapped in a colorful robe. She was cooking fish and rice. But above even that smell, he detected some form of reptile, albeit unlike anything he had encountered before. The power coming off of this small, seemingly frail woman made goosebumps rise up on his whole body. She was one of the most powerful beings he had ever seen.
The small, dark-haired Asian woman stoked the fire, then stirred the pot of boiling rice. If she noticed anything at all, she made no overt move to seek it out. Syn raised her head and looked to the sky, taking in a deep breath, then let it out slowly as her attention turned back to the food in front of her. She had been traveling these lands for only a short time, but she found them to be rather serene, beautiful.
After a few minutes, she pulled one of the sticks down from the fire, tested the fish that had been cooking on its tip, then pulled a pair of fine jade plates from the intricately embroidered silk bag at her side, along with a pair of matching tea-cups, which she put some ground up leaves in, along with boiling water. The woman made no sound as she prepared a repast for two, and set up one setting on the ground a few feet away. Then her voice broke the odd silence, not even the normal chirping of crickets disturbed the air. “Come, young one. It is rude to spy on people. Join me, or be gone.”
The young Indian man was surprised that she had detected him. He rose from the shadows and pulled off the wolf skin he had been disguised in. “My intention was not rudeness sister.” Dyami spoke in the tongue of the white man as he had been addressed. Spreading his arms he said, “I come in peace, with no weapons, and accept your gracious offer.”
The black-haired man approach and sat across the fire from the small woman. She was unlike anyone he had ever laid eyes on. Short, even for a woman, long dark hair, beautiful slanted eyes that seemed to look into his soul, and yellow colored skin. Her manner of dress was unusual to say the least. Fine cloth wrapped her tiny frame, embroidered with gold, silver, and almost every color of the rainbow.
He picked up the delicate jade cup and saucer, smelling the contents. His senses telling him it was safe, he drank the hot liquid. “It is good. You have my thanks. I am Dyami Bentleaf, I am a shaman in training. It is my pleasure to meet you.”
The small, deceptively delicate woman’s dark eyes followed the young man as he entered her camp, her head tilted in curiosity as she studied his lean, sinuous body. He looked like he knew well how to survive off of the lands. She had judged him to be a member of one of the native tribes that dotted the landscape, and she chuckled a bit when the skin-clad wild man confirmed her assumption. “You are quite polite, and your grasp on the language of the white man is strong,” she mentioned, her own voice softly, strangely accented, a small smile playing across her lips. “I am impressed. My name is Absynthe, though most simply call me Syn.”