14 - The Five Pointed Star
Outside of time, Dreamer and Dreamer and Dreamer and Dreamer... Dream a Dream.
Inside time, Dreamer sat alone by their fire, Dreaming...
Dreamer Dreamed, and took a step, and Dreamer was there, in the beautiful bright-colored forest where the skies were kind, and the trees loved you and all gave fruit that was good to eat and didn't have seeds that stuck in your teeth, and the moss underfoot was always soft and friendly, and the night air was always warm enough but not so hot Dreamer would sweat, and the bigger children could never torment Dreamer as they did in the waking world, and the only watching eyes or hungry mouths found lurking in the leaves were those of a new lover waiting to pounce, and you were always safe.
It had been a long time since Dreamer Dreamed this Dream, and the last part was new, was different, but Dreamer was different now since they had dreamed the Dreams of childhood, and it was right. There was a new wish to wish in the Dream-garden. Dreamer thought of the sacredness of innocent Dreams, and decided, this too will be sacred and innocent.
So it was a beautiful Dream, and Dreamer learned that Dreamer was not alone and Dreamed with Whale and Star and many other Dreamers, and many nights after that Dreamer would Dream so and return only when the dawning sun touched the body they had left behind with the tribe.
But Dreamer was still lonely. The other Dreamers were kind, but strange, and Dreamer wished for closeness. Whale and Star urged Dreamer, call out, find Dreamer and Dreamer and Dreamer and be together with those who Dream your same Dream!
Dreamer Dreamed, and called out, and wished for Dreamer to be with whose Dream would be theirs as well, and came to a Beautiful glen, and in the glen was a pool, and by the pool sat the dream of a Beautiful person, looking in. This was new, and Dreamer had not Dreamed of it, but it was here. It was not another Dreamer who came here to Dream--though Dreamer and Dreamer and Dreamer would often fuck--but the Dream-person was so beautiful Dreamer would like to fuck them like Dreamer had never wanted it before, too, except that they were only a Dream, a person who wasn't there yet but could be. Dreamer looked, curious, and took a step toward them and the Dream-person was in Dreamer's heart and they felt a hole they had borne forever without knowing it existed fill.
The Dream-seed-person--what is a seed but the Dream of a flower that isn't there yet--sang to Dreamer of beautiful and impossible love, and Dreamer wondered at it: what are you and where have you come from?
I am the Dream of the Lovely Other, said the Dream-seed-person, and I am a seed of the wish you did not know how to make but which is nonetheless yours, and I came from the cry of your heart for the images you see shining on the surface of this pool which reflects all Dreams in the waters of a loving heart and is called Wishing-Well. I love you.
Dreamer wept, knowing what the Dream-seed-person said was true, and that Dreamer might never know what they would become. It was a beautiful Dream, but soon the rising sun would take Dreamer home again. Dreams are still only Dreams.
Whale erupted from the pool, and sang to Dreamer without words or gestures or symbols, "are you sure?"
And Star shone down and said, "Dream, child of Xlienche" which was a new thing to say but Dreamer knew the word, for Star was always saying new words whose meaning Dreamer knew anyway, and the word meant, "the tight-knotted Dreams of one's home".
Dreamer understood, and Dreamer's gut filled with fire and their bones became as hard as stone and their heart overflowed like a rushing spring as Dreamer's head became as clear as the night air. Dreamer felt it break, like biting through the skin of ripe fruit, when the bond the years of tiredness and coldness and sadness and hunger had wrapped around their Dreams broke. Wishes poured out of Dreamer like when Whale erupted from the pool, wishes upon wishes until Dreamer could not even think of them all, except that they were all one and the same wish, fruit and leaves and branches and trunk of the same great tree bursting from Dreamer's heart.
Dreamer reached down, and picked up a stone from beside their foot where they stood on the shore of the pool, and clutched it in their hand. Dreamer looked inside their heart, and clutched the Dream-person's seed and Dreamed: with the force with which I clutch this perfect person, and by which I need this Dream-garden, so do I clutch this stone. And Dreamer stepped, and Dreamer was home in the cold winter, with an empty belly, and the fire gone out while Dreamer was Dreaming, but in Dreamer's heart, they still held that beautiful Dream-seed-person--and in Dreamer's hand, was the stone.
And Dreamer understood.
Dreams are still just Dreams, but this too was a Dream.
So Dreamer Dreamed, and placed the stone on the ground in front of them, and there was a doorway made of the strange and brilliant plants of the Dream-garden and beyond it was the Dream-garden. That night, everyone in the tribe stepped with Dreamer to the Dream-garden, and the skies were kind, and the trees loved them and all gave fruit that was good to eat and didn't have seeds that stuck in their teeth, and the moss underfoot was always soft and friendly, and the night air was always warm enough but not so hot they would sweat, and the only watching eyes or hungry mouths found lurking in the leaves were their lovers waiting to pounce, and they were always safe, and they all lived happily ever after.
A thousand thousand thousand thousand thousand Dreamers did this, and so the Dream-garden was made. There were so many, Star made them a word, "Lilith", which means "Innocent Love".
Thinker came to the Dream-garden with the seed of a dream-person in their heart, and said to Dreamer, "where are your houses?" and Dreamer understood, and showed Thinker that there was no need for houses, or caves, or hiding from the rains because the rains were always kind and the air always warm and sun sweet, and that there were plants which were better than any bed of fronds or wool. Many came like this and asked, not really believing what Dream they had come to, or that Dreams are not just Dreams, and Dreamer always showed them the same.
Today, Thinker said a strange thing. Thinker's people had lived in their houses for so long, and made houses so good, that now houses were a part of Thinker's perfect place. Dreamer knew there were no houses for Thinker to live in here, so Dreamer laughed and said, "Dream, child of Xlienche".
But Thinker asked if this might be against the rules, or if the king would mind. Dreamer laughed again, and showed Thinker that there were no rules in the Dream-garden, and no king. Dreamer showed Thinker that this was a Dream where the skies were kind, and the trees loved you and all gave fruit that was good to eat and didn't have seeds that stuck in your teeth, and the moss underfoot was always soft and friendly, and the night air was always warm enough but not so hot you would sweat, and the only watching eyes or hungry mouths found lurking in the leaves were those of a new lover waiting to pounce, and you were always safe.
Thinker was wise, and made the knowledge they carried into a story to interpret what they had seen. There was no king, for the land itself was king, and made the world safe. Thinker asked by what rules the land made the things Dreamer had showed Thinker so, for underneath the beautiful facade must always be bones of stone and steel, Thinker said, and Thinker was one who would know the bones in their own beauty.
Dreamer stood forever, understanding, and then showed Thinker many things. Dreamer showed a child, safe at its mother's breast, and Dreamer showed stars shining in a warm summer sky, and Dreamer showed an endless orchard of fruit. Dreamer showed ocean waves at sunrise, and sunset. Dreamer showed lovers curled in the crook of a tree. Dreamer showed the people of two tribes meeting and embracing, smiles on their faces. Dreamer showed the jungle emptied of all fear, and Dreamer showed a jungle full of beautiful people looking ready to fuck. Dreamer showed a glen full of people sitting happily on soft plants together with lovers arm-in-arm and full bellies, and Dreamer showed the Dreams of Dream-seed-people which kept coming to the Dreamers who found their way here. Dreamer showed many, many things, forever, and finally Thinker's heart was opened, and Thinker felt.
These are not rules, Thinker said, and they are not stone or steel, but they are the Bones, and they are things as strong and unbreakably clear as the steel thoughts of two and two by which I have built great towers.
Dreamer nodded, and laughed.
And so Thinker Dreamed, and spoke to the wind in verse and images, and so raised great mountains into the sky and hung them on the rush of standing above everything on the highest pinnacle of the highest house with the wind in your face, and on those mountains and their children and their children's children, built beautiful houses made of the generosity of trees and the hardness of thought, and in them loved and lived and thought high thoughts, and they lived happily ever after.
A thousand thousand thousand thousand thousand Thinkers did this, and so the Perfect Isles were made. There were so many, Star made them a word, "Venus", which means "Thoughtful Love".
Monster sat under the cold night sky by the dead ashes of Dreamer's last fire, and wept to itself, looking at the grove of brilliant plants that still grew there. Star took pity on them, and asked, "What is the matter?"
Monster replied: "My heart is of darkness and I am a Monster."
"Darkness is my lover," said Star, "and it is kind to me. What is so bad about a heart of darkness?"
And Monster told Star the things it would do and wishes it carried. It told Star of its desire to own and command its lover, to rip and tear them. Weeping, it told star the nightmares for which it hungered until it trembled and could not go on, and sat in a pool of tears.
Star said, after a long time (for Star thinks very slow, and very broad thoughts), "I do not understand, but I love you."
Monster opened its eyes in the darkness of night, and looked into the pool of its own tears and saw there a single tiny point of light, glimmering back, and smiled at Star's reflection and said to it, "I love you, and you are beautiful."
"So are you," said the point of light, and with that single glance of love Monster's tears became a new pool called Wishing-Well and the dream-person-seed which sat beside it leapt into Monster's heart and curled there, happy among the nightmares.
"What have you done, Star?" Monster asked, and Star answered:
"I am sorry, I was still thinking of how to comfort you. Has something happened?"
Monster looked down again, into the new pool, and saw itself, made truly Monstrous, dark on the outside as on the inside, and understood: the point of light had not been Star at all, who would have been hidden by Monster's own face, but a single tiny spark of love glowing in Monster's heart.
Run, flee, escape me, Monster said to the dream-person-seed inside it, and the seed replied, "I love you, must I go?"
You cannot stay, Monster said. I will rip and tear you.
"Then we will find a way to do that in love," said the seed, and Monster reeled.
"That is impossible," said Monster, but the seed curled itself around Monster's heart, embracing anyway.
"Love is stronger than death itself," said the seed. "Is it so hard to do any of these things you carry beside me in your heart in love?"
And Monster fell down in the pool of its tears, and wept more, for Monster knew of the dream-person-seeds, and how they saw all through you, every wish, every desire, everything you were, and Monster knew only a seed which could love all of that would come to you, and that no seed could love all that Monster was--and yet, here was one, and it saw, and loved.
"I cannot understand," said Monster, "how you can see what I am, and love me."
"I am a Monster," said the seed, and showed itself to Monster, and it was beautiful and inhuman, like nothing Monster had ever imagined, as strange and wonderful and beautiful as the stars--and it was a Monster too.
"Come," said the seed, "Dream with me and we will find the ways. In love, all is possible."
In Monster's heart, among the darkness, the spark kindled into a thousand suns, and the seed warmed by it, and together they embraced the darkness of Monster's heart and the seed's.
"That is very bright," said Star, and Monster understood. Stars need darkness in which to shine, that is why they live in the night sky. Monster raised its head, and looked again at the sea of its tears. Beside the flooded firepit, was the stone Dreamer had brought from the Dream-garden so long, long ago, still burning with newborn Dreams, unformed, innocent and thrumming with love and desire, gleaming black as night and shining with reflected Stars. It sat in the sea, soaking up the tears, waiting.
Monster took it up, and kissed it with the love its seed had shown, and the love Star had shown, and the love Monster had shown for itself, and said to its own reflection, "Dream, child of Xlienche," and together Monster and its Dream-seed sang to the stone of their love and the dark secrets of their hearts, saying "this too in love, this too in love, this too in love, even this in love, in love every nightmare can become a dream" until the shining black stone became a mirror of the love in their hearts. The stone grew soft as Monster held it, warm and kind like a loving heart, and throbbed in Monster's hand, and burned bright in an impossible color, light shining black, the color of a monster's love.
"See," said the seed, "even a heart of stone can beat with love."
Monster and its seed sang a final wish to the stone, of a secret haven in which to dream the darkest of dreams in love, and Monster hurled the stone toward the new Wishing-Well, and as it fell the stone exploded as love explodes at the climax of sex and became a thousand thousand thousand billion trillion stones burning with life and love and the explosion hurled the water into the sky and hurled all of it, Monster, its seed, the stones, into a new Dream hidden deep beneath the waves of the True Sea of Love. As they sank, the stones grew like the loving trees of the Dream-garden in statues and effigies and images of all the darkness in Monster's heart, in every Monster's heart, saying over and over and over forever wherever Monster would look or play or sleep or Dream, "this too in love, this too in love, this too in love, even this in love, in love every nightmare can become a dream" so that Monster would never again forget the lesson it learned with Star and its seed that night, and that would be the Bones of Monster's world.
So Monster and its seed never forgot love or Star's kindness, and to this day that is why Monsters, love and remember Star so particularly, and speak often of them though their home is far beneath the Sea.
Monster and its dream-seed-person dove with the Rocks, following them into the depths until they had come home, and there among all the images of love and darkness, they played forever, and lived happily ever after, curling together in love on a bed of that soft kind stone that remembers the moment in Monster's hand and is called heartstone.
A thousand thousand thousand thousand thousand Monsters did this, and so the Deep Haven was made. There were so many, Star made them a word, "Sade", which means "Those-who-dove-deep-in-love".
Fighter crashed into the True Sea and dove and dove and said to Monster: "We have heard that here you play the most terrible and fearsome games and that none dare join you. We dare. We have conquered all worlds, and will conquer yours as well. Bow down if you must, or, we beg, fight."
Monster took up a stone from among the Rocks, and handed it to Fighter, and said, "Let they who conquer all, strike the first blow."
Fighter raised the stone to strike. Fighter was ready, for they had heard that Monster was full of tricks and would do impossible things, and Fighter struck a blow which could not be dodged, a skill they had learned in a thousand thousand thousand thousand wars. The Rock's skin turned to water and it slipped from Fighter's hand.
"Aha," said Fighter, "the very stones of your home are loyal to you. We honor this," and drew their sword, and struck a blow which could not be dodged. Monster stood still as the only mote of dust in all the Deep Haven floated into Fighter's nose just then, so that Fighter sneezed, and missed.
"And so the air, and water, and all else are loyal to you. We honor this," said Fighter, and donned their suit of woven strength which turns all blows aside, and struck a blow which could not be dodged, but the reflection of a light from within their suit's glass helmet dazzled them as they swung, and they missed.
For a long, long, time, Fighter swung, and missed, and swung, and missed, as Monster stood patiently.
Finally, Fighter's eyes were opened, and they understood, and swung a blow which could not be dodged, and could not miss. Where their sword passed near Monster, and would have cut Monster, it simply Was Not, and Did Not.
"There is no war here," said Monster, simply, and Fighter understood, and fell down, and wept.
"Who then shall we fight," they cried in despair. "We have conquered all, but we are Fighter, and we must Fight, or we Are Not!"
Monster took pity on Fighter, remembering their own tears and despair, and took up the stone from where it had fallen when it slipped from Fighter's hand, and handed it to them again.
"Fight in love," Monster said, and showed Fighter the terrible games Monster played in love and the ways they knew of doing even the most terrible acts in love, and Fighter's mind was opened and they understood.
"Where shall we do this," they asked Monster, and Monster smiled their monstrous smile and said, "Dream, child of Xlienche," and Fighter Dreamed, of pits and mountains, of fire and ice, of houses full of rooms with lines and grids, and the many other ways to fight in love they'd discovered with Monster.
A thousand thousand thousand thousand thousand Fighters did this, and so the Halls of Honor were made . There were so many, Star made them a word, "Valkyr", which means "Valorous-Love".