Dreamweaving by Teresa Garcia

Teresa Garcia
By Teresa Garcia January 13, 2013 22:07

Dreamweaving by Teresa Garcia

Summary:

Dreamweaving pits Diamondixi, a Dreamweaver, and Amehana, a storm ryuugami and priestess, together with Diamondixi’s companion ice phoenix in an effort to save the halfbreed selkie Justin from the fate of ultimately becoming a Finman. But, is the effort real, or is it just a dream? Or is it both and perhaps something more all at once?

The story is a standalone short story that is part of the Selkies’ Skins universe.

This story is written at the request of Kristina Stumpf, who was a backer for the Selkies’ Skins Kickstarter project.

Starting in the area of Mt. Rhiana in the realm of Dragon Hearts, the three erstwhile heroes cross from one world to another and into the reality of Selkies’ Skins. There, Diamondixi crosses into the dream of a young lad that had been kidnapped long ago.

The author has rated this book G (all ages).

Excerpt:

At the edge of the shrine grounds a white ice dragoness walked through the hoary, niveously mantled forest, untouched by the chill of the snow around her and beneath her feet. Above her towered Mt Rhiana, the taller White Peak buried in glaciers, and even the blackened, blasted, Black Peak unable to shake the frost that clung like powdered sugar. Her feathers flowed softly behind her as a winter mist, the iridescence of her scales and peacock-eyed feathers of her crest, wings, and tail a study in the pearled colors of the Aurora Borealis, though heavily skewed toward the blues and entrapped in ice. Twin turquoise jewels gazed out at the world, the facets of her eyes throwing sparks and glints. At her side flew an ice phoenix of similar hue, and they paused momentarily when a soft mist began to flow upward from the ground the closer they drew to the energy source that was their goal.

“How odd this mist is, it feeleth to be sentient,” Diamondixi thought to herself, waving her tail through it before starting forward again. “It thickens the further I go. And yet, mayhap it should lessen if I were to backtrack?”

The dragoness backed up a bit, and the mist did indeed lay back down somewhat, though curling around her feet still, the covered stones and the mantled trees shrouding the uncleared path.

“Are ye sure thou wantst to track down this one? There art others that feel as if they wouldst be simpler to reach, I wot.” Her companion spoke to her mind softly, and so she replied in like kind to his own, with undercurrents of shadows cloaking her deeper thoughts of the subject from him.

“This dreamer ist a strong one, the strongest I’ve felt in overmany years, and methinks I shalt needst all the nourishment I can getst before mine quest art done, my fere. She is also the most likely to help, from what I hath heard in others’ dreams.”

“But, you couldst free him yourself.”

“An’ he wouldst not be truly free if I were to use the straightforward path. Dost thou feelst wary of this mist which hath Presence?” The ice phoenix sighed, winging on slowly. “Aye, I feel eyes that watcheth, yet see none. What sort of place hath such as this?”

“It is said that worldwalkers take a little of each world with them, mayhaps that is this. Mayhaps thou merely art overwary. Lightning hath not fallen yet to strikest us.” Meanwhile, Diamondixi’s prismatic eyes whirled in thought, as she rehashed yet again the several possibilities. She knew how frustrated her companion was, but to make him privy to all her thoughts on the subject would dissipate the magic she had already set in motion.

The mist continued to listen, abiding by the charge laid to it by the local storm kami when she had built the branch of the shrine in this world. It made no move to stop the travelers, not finding any of the traits it was guarding against.

The dragon and phoenix pressed on again when the mist quieted, and continued despite the thickness of the air.

“A barrier.” Diamondixi thought to herself. “Well laid and with thought of its own. I wonder what this ryuonna is like.”

At the thickest, there was a definite sense of passing from one world to another. They felt as various things that had clung to them were swept away, some so tiny they had barely been noticed. Turning, after finishing passing through, they saw the mist devouring what looked to be sludge that had been swept from them, and tiny black creatures scurrying onto the nearest rocks to peer in at them, sulking at being dislodged.

The night was cold, and the moon hung low in the sky as Tsukiyomi strolled along the Heavenly Bridge amidst the myriad heavenly kami of the stars and moon, some of the other lunar deities accompanying him on their rounds for their cultures. A layer of snow reflected Tsukiyomi’s reflected light from his elder sister, the sun kami Amaterasu, giving enough light that Amehana could see through her window as bright as the day. There was no breeze, for which the priestess was grateful, and pulled her several layers of kimono more tightly around herself.

In her office at home, her purple scales and teal feathers reflected the moonlight as eagerly as the snow did, their natural iridescence becoming more vivid. The moon prince kami was an old friend, and she could remember a time when he had gone into his sister’s weaving hall and spent time observing her own weaving under one of her grandmothers… long ago, in a less physical existence. Tonight, however, she did not weave storm clouds, nor mist kimono, but instead words that she would submit to an instructor on another plane of existence.

The log in the kotatsu continued burning, but it was drawing to the end, and she waited for it. If she used the fire as a timer, she was less likely to stay up all night working. It was easy to do while her mate was out to sea on his ship, and the bed was less than warm and inviting with his absence. Amehana smiled shyly and blushed when thinking of his silver-white sheen, rich scent, and the way his blue eyes had that focused look beneath his tricorn hat – part of her soul coiling tighter around him while the rest of her soul more tenderly held the part of his that he had left with her, and returned her brush to her paper, making it dance like a snowflake in a blizzard and painting the words needed to finish her assignment. All the while, her daydreams made her somewhat aware of the affairs of his ship, and the way the weather was affecting his voyage.

A chime through her bones interrupted her work next, as something passed through the barriers around the home and the storm shrine’s grounds. It was usual to feel as things ran headlong into or scrabbled at them at this late hour, hurled back with force and the flash of Sight that always came with such encounters as the Mist Guardian she created made a simultaneous report. Things did still roam this world with malicious intent – spiritual and physical. Those myriad malicious beings she always dealt with if they did manage to find a weakness to exploit the border. Her arrows, her katana, her spear, her claws… all had been bathed with blood more than once, and more than a few spirits had met their transformation or their sealing at her hands. This, though, was different… much more like the occasional Spiritual Seeker that wandered onto shrine grounds making omairi and seeking guidance after some emergency, or her healing skill.

Copyright© Teresa Garcia. All rights reserved.

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Teresa Garcia
By Teresa Garcia January 13, 2013 22:07
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