"So how do you do it? Show us!"
Orri was eager to see how objects could be read. He rummaged through the kitchen cupboards and took out an earthenware cup. He hurried the cup into my hands. I found myself standing there, surrounded by a vampire, a demon, a goblin and Nana who was a... I had no idea what she was called among the Creatures. They were all staring at me curiously like I had two heads.
"Well... It's kinda hard to explain in words..."
"Try, we are used to odd skills among Creatures," Nana said.
"I... I try to quiet my mind first. I cannot do this if I am feeling any kind of strong emotion..."
I curved my hands around the smooth clay of the cup and closed my eyes. I tried not to be bothered by the stares of my audience, the events of the day or the strange taste of the medicine that seemed to be lingering in my mouth. I felt a warmth from the side where Jonathan was standing, and a cool spot on my skin where Tomas's gaze lingered.
If anything, the Creatures knew how to stay silent. There was an odd harmony of energies there – fire from Jonathan, ice from Tomas, earth from Orri and a light, airy feeling from Nana. The thought came to me that perhaps I represented water – I had always felt most at home when near a body of water. All the elements gathered in the old kitchen.
After a while I felt the calm feeling sooth my mind. I concentrated my consciousness to my hands, letting them warm around the cup. I breathed in with a slow rhythm – inhaling at the count of three, exhaling at the count of three and staying silent for the count of two. Once I had my breathing in a rhythm, I allowed the silence after the exhale lengthen. The silence grew longer after each breath, and allowed me to float into a meditative state.
It was in the silence between the breaths that I could catch glimpses about the history of the object. Now I caught the feeling of a forest. Old, tall spruce trees standing silent in a mist. I felt there was a bog nearby. A black crow was observing its surroundings on a branch. High walls of stone on both sides of me. Natural rock, not built by hand.
I repeated out loud what I saw and continued describing what I felt.
"I feel... age. Great age. Male. Strange feeling. There is great wisdom, but someone with a consciousness that is not... ordinary. Connected to trees. Yes, trees. A bog nearby. Talks to... birds? That black crow is his... scout? Lives in... I feel stone and wood, both. Has made this cup himself, using clay from a shore of a big body of water. Sea? No, not sea, a big lake. I see islands. But I don't feel people around."
"Is he still alive?" Orri asked.
"I sense his presence, but not a physical one. Like he was part of the trees now. I'm sorry, that does not make much sense."
I opened my eyes and looked at the grey clay cup. Orri took it from me with gentle hands and I noticed his eyes were dark with emotion.
"Thank you," he said and bowed, "I can tell you that what you saw was correct. The cup was made by one of my forefathers when most of this country was uninhabited by humans. We, the goblins, lived here in peace, connected to nature. My forefather was a tree whisperer who knew trees by name and could talk with them and our ancestors. Also he was closely connected to animals, birds especially. No one knows how he died, but from what you saw, it seems now that he chose to melt himself into the forest. To become one with it forever."
"Melt himself into the forest? What does that mean?"
"It means that when a goblin feels his or her time is about to come to an end, there are two choices. They can either die physically and be freed of the physical world, the way we understand death. Or they can lay down on a sacred spot so that the ground takes them...
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The Death of a VampireVampire
Elena wakes up one hot summer morning to find bite marks on her neck - and an ancient looking ruby ring on her finger that suspiciously looks like a wedding ring. She has no recollection what could have happened. That morning is the end of what she...