Jessica L Hanson 8/2015 All rights reserved – may not be copied or reproduced without written permission from the author.
She stood before the Andeluvian tribunal which had gathered. She stood alone, confident in what she had been born knowing. The eyes of the Andeluvian elders looked down upon her young body, not knowing what to do with such a young wise one; and being a female at that. The last one had been a male. Men were favored in Andeluvian society; the young wise male had been sent off to the realms of higher learning to be dealt with and trained. But this, this was a woman! How dare she know that ancient knowledge! One question remained among the elders, how had she learned the secrets? Who had told her? The floor in the room where she stood before the tribunal was made from beautifully polished marble from the neighboring planet Mars. It was red like the blood of humans. This room had been created as a final judgment chamber for the humans. The red symbolized the blood that coursed thru their veins as they lived their God given lives upon the earth. It was given to the first human, Adam, when God formed him from the dust of the earth and then breathed into Adam, His own breath. Then that breath turned into red blood and filled Adam’s body, and he was alive. Well you know the story: God put Adam into a deep sleep and removed a rib from his side and then fashioned it into a woman, a help mate for Adam. This story begins years after the grand creation started. There were many humans upon the earth at this time. Along with them were many wondrous creatures and beasts. The humans were of lesser size to most of the other creatures and beasts, yet they were highly respected and watched after. Yes, the humans became like us, one of us, knowing good and evil. Doing as they saw fit. Judging according to their own wisdom. But God just sat back and watched them, smiling; as if He knew something about these humans He had created. Her name was, Vedanna. Vedanna was born of human parents who descended from Adam, who had since passed away. Vedanna was among the first-born children who were different. These first-born children came with memories of creation, of life not on earth and the garden of Eden. This was something the Andeluvian’s had not prepared for. These children had memories of things meant to be forgotten. Memories of the very creation itself, and of the fall of the Andeluvian race.
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These children had memories of the very creation of the Andeluvian’s themselves and worse yet, these children had been created from the very dust of that ancient Andeluvian world and had been given dominion over it. These children! Children had been given power; memories, knowledge, ancient wisdom! They knew things which made them unmanageable. They actually thought they could be equal to the Andeluvian elders! What nerve they had! This new generation had to been silenced! The Andeluvian elders closely watched the humans from their fire clouds. From time to time an Andeluvian would look upon a human and see potential for more and then land his fire cloud and teach the human. Giving the poor human just enough help to make life a bit easier. Training them little by little in the knowledge to carry out the tasks upon the earth that needed to be done daily. The Andeluvian’s had become god’s themselves, so work was pointless to them. They began to play with the humans. It became a grand game of joyous pleasure for these new god’s. What can we try today? What are these dust creatures capable of? What if we add ourselves to them? And so, the experiments began; humans were taken up in these fire clouds and taken away to the other Andeluvian cities. Parts of the humans were modified and then the humans were placed back on the earth and watched to see what the modification would result as in the next generation. Soon giants roamed the earth; human men as large as the large earth creatures. Some of these giants needed to be separated from the smaller humans because the resources were being consumed too fast. The small humans were running out of food and being enslaved by the larger ones. And then there were these children! These first-born male humans, it happened with them first. They were born knowing things about long ago and about the Andeluvian culture which had spread across the span of time, out into the darkness of beyond. These children also thought themselves equal to the elders upon the earth, and also equal to the Andeluvian elders. The children knew almost the complete books of wisdom and creation and ruler-ship upon the earth. It was as if they were born as god’s; the very god’s they had worked so many ages to become. Darkness – all rights reserved Jessica L Hanson CHt, LLC Page 3
How dare children be equal to them! And then we come to her; to Vedanna. Vedanna was born under a strong sign in the darkness. At a time when all firstborns were males. Vedanna was marked from birth as an anomalous child. And being such, she was closely watched by the Andeluvian’s from their fire clouds. By the age of 2 she was talking about long ago cultures and things forgotten. From time to time the Andeluvian’s took her from the earth in their fire clouds to show her what she was speaking of. She was taken to a city far away and shown a great library; the one she was accessing thru memory. She was delighted to see her memories recorded in the vast array of books. Then as she grew older, she began knowing as a god. This could not be tolerated! The Andeluvian tribunal was assembled and it was decided that she should be made to forget. If she could be made to forget then she would not be a threat to the other humans. It had been done before to a few of the males who had knowledge like hers. They had been made to forget and lived among the humans quite well. Though the humans treated these males differently; they were given important tasks of ruling over the humans. Humans ruling over humans! What a concept! But the Andeluvian’s loved this twist of the game. Who could have predicted such a thing! But, a female ruler! Preposterous! They were created to help the males, not rule over them! Vedanna must be made to forget! Vedanna stood in her garments upon the red marble floor facing the tribunal. The verdict was pronounced, “You shall be made to forget.” Vedanna, without hesitation spoke up, “What have I done wrong? Tell me my wrong!” A simple reply came to her from the high elder, “You just know too much my dear, and with knowing comes responsibility that you were not created to be part of. It is best for you to forget, to stay a help-mate to the males. To remain among the humans.” Vedanna stood tall and spoke, “And what if I refuse to be made to forget? What will you do then?” The tribunal was caught off guard. No one had dared refuse a tribunal verdict! Much less a female! How ghastly a thought, almost blasphemous! Then came the reply, “You want to be as us? Knowing as us and living as us? Then you must begin as we did, when we stood before God and declared ourselves equal to Him who had created us. You must be placed into inner darkness and find your own freedom from that darkness. When you can free yourself from the inner darkness then we will give you a place among us.”
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She stood looking at the red marble stone beneath her feet, it seemed to be moving, like the blood that was coursing through her veins giving her life. Yet this blood had no body, it just pooled on the floor, alive yet lifeless. Vedanna sensed this was how she would feel if they made her forget. Vedanna looked at the tribunal and declared, “I choose the darkness! I choose to free myself from the inner darkness. I choose to remember and not be made to forget.” With this statement, the high elder declared, “The girl has chosen her own fate. Let it so be done to her according to as we have spoken and she has agreed to.” With that, the floor seemed to cry out under her feet. It groaned as if trying to speak. There was a feeling of dampness under her feet as she stood upon the floor. As if some of her blood was being added to the marble beneath her, part of her was becoming stone. She was then led away by two guardians. They placed her on a fire cloud and took her to a far corner of the earth. One that was never talked about nor was it on any map. There were many new things there she had not seen before. The fire cloud landed in a field of green grass. There were trees all around and a large dark hole going into the earth. The two guardians wasted no time. They lit torches and grabbed her by the arms, walking her into the dark hole in the earth. The guardians walked hastily, as if afraid. Then after many turns and twists in the darkness, the path opened up into a chamber. In the center of this chamber there was a cell made from metal, it’s top was embedded into the stone ceiling of the chamber and its bottom was embedded into the floor of the chamber. Vedanna was roughly tossed inside this cell. Then the door was locked, and a single golden key on a ring, was placed on the outer wall of the chamber, hung from a stone which protruded from the wall. One of the torches was left near the key and its light lit the chamber brightly. Then the two guardians left in haste. Alone in this metal cell, she noticed there was a bench made of wood in the center. It was just large enough to lay down on or sit on. She sat upon the wooden bench and watched the key glimmering in the torch light, watching how the light danced around the chamber. Then she pondered how to get the key and free herself from the metal cell, in which she had been locked away. Surely knowing all she knew it would be a simple task! Then out of the shadows Vedanna began to hear sounds. Laughter and howling, jesting and taunting each other. Then a scream. Shivers went through her body, her warm blood felt cold within her. Soon out of the shadows emerged many creatures. These creatures Vedanna had no memory of seeing before; these creatures were black as darkness and covered with matted long black hair. They walked laboriously along. More emerged from the shadows, some of the creatures limped
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along, all seemed to be in torment of some sort. One was missing an eye, the dried blood still in the empty sunken socket. She felt compassion toward these creatures, perhaps she knew some ancient healing that could help them! But very soon her thoughts of them was changed. The beasts circled the cell, as if taunting her. They reached between the bars, grabbing at her. One even tore her clothing, scraping her skin with its claw and she began to bled slightly. The taunting continued. She finally gathered up her courage and asked who these beasts were. They replied, “We are the tormenters and the tormented. We live in inner darkness and do not see the light.” And with that they put out the torch. A deep inner fear rose from within Vedanna. The darkness seemed to envelop her very body and soul. Was this the darkness from which the elders said she must escape? Such great darkness was never spoken of, there wasn’t even recorded knowledge of a darkness such as this! Night was never feared where she had grown up. There was darkness but not a consuming darkness. The darkness she had known was for rest and replenishing of the earth, not for consuming and torment! She could sense the tormenters, in the darkness around her. Mostly they just laughed and howled with their own amusement. Eventually they tired and slept. It was during this time she began to explore the cell into which she had been locked. She felt each metal bar from top to bottom, standing on the wooden bench to reach the top. Nothing but stone and metal and the wood of the bench. There was no way to maneuver her body between the metal bars of the cell either. One creature assured her of that when it roused from sleep, sensing that she was trying to escape. It spoke to her saying, “There is no use in trying to escape. The darkness will consume you and you will forget. Just stay and sleep and forget with us.” Finally, from exhaustion Vedanna curled up on the wooden bench and slept. Day after day the taunting and tearing of clothes took place. Their claws had caused many sores on her body by now. Many of the sores were infected festering wounds which she could not heal. Weeks past, then months, the tormenting beasts never tired of her. Vedanna began to ask them questions about who they were and how they had come to be in this darkness. As they told her about themselves, one day she began to see light in the darkness. At first it was just a glimmer, like a shadow of light. Then, as Vedanna learned to relax in the darkness, the light became clearer and clearer, brighter and brighter. Every day she practiced seeing this light. Even the key had a light about it. Each creature had a light about them as well. But their lights were very dim and covered under all their matted black hair.
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Yet, the light still shown out of them. Vedanna’s body had light as well, though her light seemed to get dimmer and dimmer with each passing week and month. But the golden key shone brightly in the darkness. As Vedanna looked at the light from the key, she tried to bring that light closer to her. Imagining the light would carry bits of the key to her hand until the whole key was in her hand. But the key never came nor did the light. And her light was getting dimmer. By now Vedanna’s body was covered with wounds and festering sores. The beasts had stopped tormenting her daily. They would come once a week or once every two weeks now. Mostly they slept. The darkness now took on a different feeling. The darkness inside of her seemed to be cold, like it was slowly killing her. Slowly stopping the blood within her body and turning it into stone. Vedanna remembered the red stone floor upon which she stood as the tribunal gave her their verdict; how the red stone seemed to be alive and crying out. She wondered, was she becoming part of that red stone floor? Was it truly blood encased in the stone, crying out to her? Would she become part of that floor, that blood; just being blood trapped in stone? Vedanna began to gather what strength she had left and cry out from the cell in the darkness of the cave. Perhaps the guardians would hear her and come back. Perhaps it was just a test of endurance. The darkness had not caused her to completely forget the memories of what she knew; the memories that had placed her here. But some were now just dreams, dimly lit glimmers of light in her dreams. Like fireflies dancing in the dark on a warm evening. Vedanna lay awake in her dreams, in the tall grass and watched the fireflies dancing in the sky like stars in the heavens. Then she slept in her dreams; dreaming of freedom from the cell. How a man would come and hear her calling out in the inner darkness of the chamber, and he would free her. This was her new hope. Vedanna forgot about freeing herself from the cell. She could not make the light from the key come to her. It remained hanging from the rock embedded in the chamber wall, still shining brightly. A light of its own. One day Vedanna felt her body becoming cold. Like the darkness was taking over her, cooling her wounds that burned of infection. Even the tormenting beasts had stopped tormenting her. As if they knew she was near death and their fun would soon be over. They mostly slept now. But Vedanna found a little strength left within her, which the inner darkness had not yet touched and she began to sing –
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She sang until her body felt weak, but kept singing. Then in a moment of silence she heard an echo of a new song. First it was soft, then louder and louder. She sang back, feeling as if she was dreaming in her dreams. Vedanna thought death was coming to her and almost welcomed it. Suddenly there came a light into the chamber! The light bust into the darkness. The beasts shrieking awake from their sleep, covering their eyes and bodies as if the light was consuming them and causing them pain. They coiled back into the shadows from which they had come so long ago. Vedanna lifted her head from the wooden bench and shielded her eyes. They had not seen light since the tormenters had extinguished the torch. When her eyes partly adjusted, she saw the light was shaped like a man. The man walked over to the key that had hung on the wall and handed it to her. Then he took a step back. Vedanna mustered any strength she had left and willed herself to place the key into the lock on the cell. Then with the key tightly grasped in her hand she turned the lock and the door slid open. She collapsed on the floor of the cell, her hand outside the cell on the cold rock still grasping the key. She felt the rock and pulled her body out of the cell and lay on the rock outside the cell. She was free! She was free! But the inner darkness had destroyed her body so much that she knew she would die before she could make her way out of the cave into the light. Then Vedanna felt as if she was dreaming in her dream again - she felt arms under her head and then arms under her legs. She was being picked up, lifted from the rock floor of the chamber. She heard shrieking and screaming from the tormenting beasts echoing in the cave, echoing in her body. Yet the arms of light, this man, who had heard her song in the darkness; had picked her up and was carrying her out of the cave into the field of light she had seen so very long ago. The light within the man seemed to light the way out of the cave as he walked. He whispered to her near lifeless body, “Hold on just a little bit longer.” Then he immerged into the light! Oh, what glorious light and air and color! Vedanna willed herself to breathe in the light and air and color. With each breath she could feel the inner darkness leaving her body. As the light came in and the darkness left her, there was a sensation of pain and joy within each place.
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The man walked a distance from the cave and then laid Vedanna’s body in the field of tall, green grass. At first the grass hurt her body; as the grass touched the wounds they hurt, but the hurt was different, it was a healing hurt. Pain was leaving her body and the deep infected, festering wounds were closing up. The grass was knitting the cells of her body back together from within as the light was filling her body. Then the color came into her body. Her eyes became alive, then her skin became red and warm, the light seemed to put the color back within her. The man picked her up again; her body still frail, he carried her across the field and into a forest. As they approached the forest, the trees began to sing. They were elated at the sight of her. As the man carried her fragile body through the forest of singing trees, she began to feel the songs inside her body, giving it strength from within. By the time the man reached the other side of the forest her body was stronger and whole, able to support its own weight with some help. The path through the forest yielded into a path across a land. The man stopped and placed Vedanna ‘s feet on this path. Her feet were tender and the dirt path hurt beneath them. The man and her leaned on each other and walked for a time down the path. When Vedanna was weak from walking, he gently set her down on a rock along the side of the path. Then he removed his shoes and placed them on her feet. When she stood again to walk and take his arm for support, he wrapped a garment around her body and tied it with a sash. He then hugged her and told her to continue down the path and she would see her destination off in the distance. She would know it when she saw it. Then he turned back toward the forest which he had carried her through. Vedanna stood there wearing his shoes and the garment, wanting to follow him, but knew that she must continue on the path he had shown her. Vedanna turned and began to walk slowly; left foot, right foot, left foot…. Then she began to skip and dance. She stopped and looked back towards where she had come. The man was watching her. He had seen her skip and dance and she knew he was smiling at her, even though he was now a way off. His light was brighter than the light which shone down from the sky. As if his whole body was light, smiling at her. Vedanna waved to the man and he waved back. Then he turned and walked back into the forest of singing trees. Vedanna too, turned to continue walking along the path. But she paused for a moment, recalling the feeling of waving back to the man; the feeling of lifting her arms up felt good. She lifted both hands high above her head and sang and danced. The sun began to set and far off she could see a mountain, and on that mountain, there was a light, like the lights of a city. She knew that was where this path would lead her. As the light faded into this new darkness, she noticed other lights. There were lights in the sky that had not been there during the day. The familiar fire flies were there. But in this darkness it was not dark; there were shadows, degrees of darkness, but nothing was ever as dark as the cavern she had been freed from. The darkness here had light; it was never truly darkness.
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Everything had a light of its own which shone in the darkness, and by these lights she was able to continue walking on the path even without the daylight. Soon Vedanna too had to rest. Weary of travel she laid down beside the path and closed her eyes with no fear of this present darkness consuming her. The next morning as the sun began to rise, and Vedanna began to awaken to her new surroundings. She noticed a dampness on her body and robe. Everything had this dampness upon it. If you touched it, this liquid would join together and form a droplet. As she watched the plants around her, they seemed to absorb or drink in these droplets. She gathered her robe together and caused the liquid to pool together, then she too drank and was satisfied. Feeling refreshed for the day’s journey. As Vedanna walked, the city she had seen seemed at times to be hidden and fading from view. It seemed at times like it simply was an illusion in the distance. Like she might be walking toward a city only to arrive there and find a stand of dead trees or deviously placed piles of stones. A mirage. But she remembered the man’s words to her before he left; that she was to stay on this path and it would lead her to a mountain and on that mountain would be a city. Surely the man who had so bravely rescued her wouldn’t lie to her; thinking to entrap her again for his own amusement? There was only one way to find out. Stay on the path and go up the mountain and see for one’s self if it existed. A few days later as Vedanna journeyed down the road; she began to notice how it was changing. There were other foot prints in the dirt and there were now small hills and forests and fields alongside the road. It was not the same path she had set out on. This was a road which appeared well traveled. Walking along further, she began to see smaller paths like the one she had begun walking on, so far back on her journey. These smaller paths came out of the forests, hills and fields, then joined the main wider, well-traveled road. At the end of each smaller path, where it connected to the road was a stone, much like the stone she had rested upon before the man had given her his shoes to wear and then the robe. Looking at these stones reminded her of how far she had come and she wondered if there were others like her? Would she meet others like herself, who had been freed from similar chambers and tormenters? The excitement began to rise up within her! Vedanna began to skip and dance at the thought of meeting another who was like her; who knew the consuming darkness and could see light in the darkness. One who had survived the tormenters and been freed, healed and set on a new path.
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Had the elders truly known what they were doing when they sentenced her that day so long ago? As she stood before them on the blood red stone. Was this her test? Would they be in this city which she was seeking? And what about the males the elders spoke of; the males were sent to special schooling. Was this that same schooling or was she truly different and this was the only way to know for sure? Questions raced through Vedanna’s mind as she walked. The more questions she had, the slower she walked. The questions seemed to weigh her down and cause her to tire easily of the journey. This night Vedanna laid down to rest before the darkness came over the land. Now she slept deeply and dreamt of her questions. The dreams carried her back to long ago when she was born; back to the fire clouds she had ridden. Back to a library far, far away. Vedanna began to read the books in her dreams; awakening her knowing of what the elders had tried to make her forget. She was more alive and aware in her dreams than she was in the light of day. But darkness was familiar to her, she had learned to see in darkness after all. One morning Vedanna woke to a hand gently shaking her awake, bringing her into the light of day. It was another one like her! Another person! His name was Una. (Native American for Remember) Una helped her up and they walked along together talking about where they had been and how long they had been there. Vedanna soon discovered that Una had been sentenced by a tribunal. But the tribunal he stood before was a different one - the room was the same, but the elders he stood before were different. Soon they met another person, then another. Experiences were shared and she discovered one female like herself, who had stood before the same tribunal she had. By day, Vedanna walked with the group of people like her, but by night she traveled in her mind back to the library alone to read and study and remember parts of what the consuming darkness had taken. One night two others appeared in the library. They stood in the doorway gasping in amazement. Vedanna stood up and hesitantly welcomed them in. As she talked to them, it seemed they knew very little about this library, yet they seemed to remember the windows and the chairs. Vedanna raced off to find their books; the books that had been written about them and by them. She read the books back to these two and as she read, they began to remember. It seemed that these two had nearly forgotten who they were altogether. She handed each of them their books and let them read and reread them until the memories came back within them. Then they too began reading the other books in the library. One day as the group walked together, Vedanna noticed a path along the road that was barely there, yet it was a path. Vedanna told the others that she would catch up with them later. They were astonished that she would dare to step off the road. Almost afraid of the very thought of doing so. After all, the man
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had told them to stay on the road until they arrived at the city. She assured them she would catch up with them before nightfall. Reluctantly they traveled on without her. Hesitantly she stepped off the road onto this barely visible path. She followed it and found it led her to a forest. This forest appeared dark and overgrown. Not much light made it to the path, but she could see in the darkness so it didn’t matter. As she walked into this forest, she could hear groans echoing through the trees. Screams and shrieks. Hesitantly, she continued, finding the path, though much of it was covered with dead trees and broken branches. After what seemed a long while she emerged from the forest into a field. As Vedanna walked out into the field and stood, this field seemed familiar to her; like she had seen it before. She laid down in the grass for a moment and closed her eyes. She could see herself back in the cave dreaming within her dream of lying in a field, in the grasses watching fireflies dance in the night sky. Then remembered the field into which the man had carried her and laid her in the grass; the grass that had healed her near death body. She could remember how the grass felt when it touched her wounds and the pain and healing that she felt. Suddenly Vedanna sat up, opening her eyes and jumping to her feet! She heard what sounded like a faint song being carried on the breeze across the field. She strained to hear it. The song sounded vaguely familiar; like the song she had once mustered up her last bits of strength to sing out into the darkness as her body was being consumed by the darkness. The song seemed louder. Vedanna ran in the direction it seemed to be coming from! As she ran, the song became louder and louder. It was her song! Someone was singing her song! The song led her to the entrance of a cavern. This cavern was dark. For a moment her mind flashed back to the day the two guardians had brought her to a similar cavern. The memory made her blood feel cold within her. Vedanna remembered the tormenters and their screams and howls, as they slashed at her in the darkness. Fear began to rise up from deep within her. She had not felt this fear for such a long time; perhaps since she had been in the chamber surrounded by tormenters. Could she walk into the consuming darkness and find who was singing her song? Did she really want to see what lay within the cavern? Darkness – all rights reserved Jessica L Hanson CHt, LLC Page 12
The thoughts weighed heavy upon Vedanna, lulling her to sleep near the entrance of the cavern. Then deep within her rose up an urge to sing this song, her song, back to whomever was singing within the cavern. Vedanna took a deep breath and began to sing loudly. The fear left her and she instantly felt free from the weight that was lulling her to sleep. She breathed again, deeply and sang even louder into the cavern. Then taking another deep breath she fully opened her eyes and stepped into the consuming darkness within. At first her eyes were not adjusted to the darkness. She walked into stones and nearly fell over others on the floor. Vedanna began to doubt if she could find her way to the person singing! It had been so long ago since she had learned to see in this kind of darkness. But from someplace deep within she remembered how she had learned to see. And soon she could see quite well; not stumbling or running into things. Vedanna kept singing the song in reply to the song she had once sung. Soon she found herself standing in a chamber. Within this chamber she could see a metal cage; memories raced through her mind - the metal bars, the wooden bench, the tormenters! The tormenters! Vedanna snapped back to where she was. Gathering herself. Then she saw them, the tormenters. She knew them well! The first desire within her was to run from them. The tormenters stood staring at her, as if watching to see what she would do. They seemed ready to rip her to shreds! After all the person in the cell was nearly dead, Vedanna would be fresh torment for them. But from deep within she knew that if she turned to run, they would put her into the cell again. Vedanna looked for a moment; peering into the cell, through the metal bars at the corpse of a body, nearly lifeless, laying on the wooden bench, laboring to breathe. She could see wounds and puss and smell the rotting flesh. Only this one had no eyes in her head. Where her eyes should be there were gaping holes that seemed to be full of infection and death. The tormenters had taken the ability to see in the darkness away from this one. Deep within Vedanna felt that this could have been her, if she had not begun to sing out into the darkness. Then she saw it! The golden key hanging from a ring on a rock in the chamber. Vedanna took a step toward it boldly. The tormenters eyes widened. The chamber was silent. Then she took another step toward the key and another. The tormenters began to howl and sheik as if in pain and horror at the very thought of her actions.
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Vedanna grasped the key in her hand, and turned to walk back to the cell. The tormenters now appeared anxious, yet ready to devour her if she dared move. Again, boldly, Vedanna took a step and then another, ignoring the tormenters howls and shrieks. She only looked at the cell and the person who was locked inside it. Now Vedanna stood at the door to the cell, holding the key in her hands. She quickly placed it in the lock and tried to turn it. The key wouldn’t turn! The lock was stuck! Vedanna’s mind raced, she knew the tormenters were watching her closely. She tried again, but the lock wouldn’t open. She quickly looked around the room. Perhaps there was another key! Nothing! Then she remembered how the man had handed her the key. And how she had to will her dying body to use the key to unlock the lock. He had not done it for her, she had to open the cell door herself. But how could this person, who had no eyes, even know where to find the key which she held, or the lock? Vedanna gathered courage and then spoke to the person in the cell. “I’m here. I heard your song. I have the key. Do you remember seeing a key when you were placed here?” A weak voice replied, “Yes. A key…” Vedanna then reached her hand into the cell as far as she could and told the person to reach out their hand towards her voice and then they would find the key. Vedanna reached deep inside the cell, straining to reach in deeper, encouraging the person within to reach back. This one was so near death, but Vedanna had risked so much to find her. This one had to be freed! There had to be a way! Vedanna spoke firmly to the person in the cell, saying, “You must use all your remaining strength and grasp the key. Then you must open the lock to the door. When you do then I can help you out of the consuming darkness.”
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“You must grasp the key!” “You must open the lock!” “You must do this!” The person within the cell began to reach for the key. Then the beasts began to howl and shriek again. The person stopped reaching. Vedanna spoke loudly now to the person, “You must grasp the key and free yourself! Please take the key! I can only help you when you are free.” Again, this person began reaching for the key in her hand. Vedanna could see the pain in this one’s body as she reached for the key; as if the very act of grasping the key might end the life that remained. Again, the person reached, and again. Finally, the key was in her hands! Now remained the task of opening the lock. Vedanna stood by the door to the cell and began to guide this blind, dying person toward the lock. Barely standing, this one stumbled to the door, nearly dropping the key in exhaustion. Then mustering up what strength was left, her hands reached out and found the lock. Placing the key inside of it, the lock opened! The door swung open and this one fell to the ground nearly lifeless. Quickly, Vedanna picked up her body and turned to carry it out of the chamber. Much like had been done to her so long ago. Vedanna took a moment to pause and look at the beasts. She looked into their eyes and saw a glimmer of dim light. As if they too were tormented by the darkness. She looked again and just saw a tormenting beast. Vedanna smiled and turned, holding the body of the freed person and walked out of the cavern and the consuming darkness; back into the light and the field of grass. It was almost as if she had done this a thousand times. She carried the body out into the light, laid it in the grass and watched a truly amazing thing happen! The light and the grass began to knit together the festering wounds; cleansing them as it did. Ever so gently the light and grass entered the places that needed healing and mended the body. The person would wince in pain at times then relax, then wince again. This one, too, like she did so long ago, had to go through this process of healing. Letting the healing come from the light and the grass and the colors. Only these could heal the person and restore what the darkness had consumed.
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Soon the eyes began to heal. The light shone brightly into the gaping holes in the skull of this person. The person cried out in pain! “Oh, please stop! Let me die! The pain is too much!” But the light seemed to comfort the person as they cried out in pain. It seemed to wash over the pain and subdue it. At one point as the person cried out, the light seemed to gently lull the person to sleep. Causing them to rest, taking away the sensation of healing. Causing them to forget the healing and the pain. The light knew the healing could not be complete if this person continued to feel it. Vedanna watched in amazement as the light caused this one to sleep. Then the light and the grass and the colors completed their work on this body; fully restoring the flesh that had been torn, removing the infectious puss and closing the festering wounds. Vedanna watched intently as the eyes were fully restored. The eyes began to be reformed inside the empty sockets. They were eyes, but they appeared lifeless. Vedanna reached over to close the eye lids over the eyes; fearing that the light might be too intense for the newly formed eyes. Under her hand she could feel the eyes moving, they were coming alive! She pulled back her hand quickly, afraid she may have stopped the healing process. But when she did, the eye lids opened slowly and the newly formed eyes looked at her. The eyes were alive and focused on her! She had felt them come alive! And now they were looking at her! Then the eyes closed and appeared to rest. The whole body of this person appeared to rest upon the grass. It appeared whole. Then Vedanna remembered the road, Una, and the others she had been walking with earlier that day. Would she catch up with them before darkness fell? Vedanna gently picked up the resting person in her arms and carried her across the field, finding the path into the forest. Vedanna stepped into the forest, leaving behind the cavern, the tormenters, the grass and the light. Stepping into shades of grey and shadows. But she was carrying life. The life was what mattered. Perhaps this is how the man whom had rescued her had felt? Vedanna entered the forest. As soon as her foot touched the path, the trees appeared to stir, as if stirring from a deep slumber. Their branches moved and the light began to shine on the path and ground beneath the trees. Then the trees began to sing! The trees sang her the song, her song, and the song of the person; they sang every one’s song! The song that all people sing deep within them…
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Boldly, now Vedanna carried the person through the forest out the other side. Waking her up, setting her feet on the path, they leaned on each other walking toward the road. Vedanna asked, “What is your name?” “Idola”, the women replied. Idola gained strength with each step they took. Finally, they came to the road. Vedanna helped Idola to sit on a rock to rest. Then Vedanna knelt down and removed the shoes from her own feet; dusting off Idola’s feet, Vedanna placed the shoes on these newly healed feet and tied them snugly. Then helping Idola to stand, she noticed a garment laying near the rock. Vedanna picked the garment and placed it on Idola’s body. Idola was stronger now, strong enough to walk alone on the road. Vedanna told Idola the same words the man had told her long ago, “Follow the path. Stay on the path and it will bring you to a mountain, go up the mountain and there you will find a city. Enter the city and you will know.” Eagerly Idola began walking down the road toward the city. Vedanna stood watching, as Idola now began to dance and skip and lift her hands to the sky. Then Idola stopped and looked back and waved. Vedanna didn’t wave back, instead she lifted her hands and danced! Idola continued down the road dancing. Vedanna knew that this one had been spared from the death of forgetting; just as she had been not so long ago. Standing there she remembered Una and the group of people she had shared part of the journey with. Who she had walked with and slept alongside the road with, and the stories each one told of their own freedom. Vedanna wanted to run down the road, past Idola and rejoin the group, but knew she couldn’t leave Idola behind. So instead Vedanna stayed, sitting on the rock, at the end of the path which led from the forest to the road. Vedanna knew that Idola would meet Una and the others, and talk, rest and journey together toward the mountain and find the city. And that when she completed her journey, these ones would be waiting there for her. But yet Vedanna felt a desire deep within her to stay behind. Standing upon the rock which she had sat, she looked around her, for another path. Other paths which might lead her back through the forest and back to a field and back to a cavern.
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Back to a cavern of forgetfulness, where deep within a cell, surrounded by tormenters, someone was singing their song; her song, everyone’s song. With the death of remembrance closing in, life draining from their shredded, wounded body. Would she go back? Did she dare go back and give the key to the dying body in the cell. Risking her own freedom and life to free that one. Risk losing herself in the consuming darkness of forgetfulness! Or should she simply stay on the road and finish her own journey to the mountain and enter the city? As Vedanna pondered these questions in her heart and mind, she noticed off in the distance, an object appeared. It moved closer and closer, as if searching for something. Then a memory came to her; one from long, long ago…. Vedanna was two years old and two guardians showed her a fire cloud. They invited her to ride with them on the fire cloud. It carried them far off into the heavens above, to a city, to a library. And in that library, she remembered reading the book of her life. The fire cloud she was now watching approached her, it came to a stop in the sky above her. As she looked up into it, she saw a light and, in that light, stood a man. The man whom had walked into her chamber of forgetful, consuming darkness and gave her the key to free herself. He looked down to her and smiled. Then he stepped back into the light. As if in a dream, Vedanna saw the tribunal council chambers. The blood red marble floor beneath her feet which seemed to be alive. As she looked up, she saw the same tribunal assembled before her. Only this time there was an empty chair among them. The high elder stepped down onto the blood red marble floor where she stood, and extended his hand toward her. She reached back and grasped his hand firmly. Then they bowed slightly towards each other. Deep within she knew, all that she had known all along, and as she knew, she also knew a deeper knowing - a knowing of responsibility, honor and love. Taking his place back among the tribunal of elders, the high elder spoke to her, like he had long ago, but this time, saying, “Would you join us?” Pointing to the empty chair in their midst. Vedanna closed her eyes. Feeling the blood red marble floor beneath her feet and remembered - the fire clouds, the guardians, the library, the tribunal, the cavern, the tormenters, the man, the road, Una, Idola, and she remembered… She had dared to look into the eyes of her tormenters and she saw a faint glimmer of light…
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