We are all born to be something. Good or bad, it doesn't matter, just to be something. Sometimes we get to choose if we want to be good or if we want to be bad, and sometimes, we get to be the shady grey somewhere in the middle. A little evil to equal out the sugar. I guess little do they know that ultimately because they have forever struggled to find an answer that was in their laps to begin with, being either good or bad was of no concern any longer.
Those of us that have sat back and watched this happen have delved into human society to try to save those who truly needed it, and to smite the ones that deserve it not. But, as all things do, the continuum of these realities has worn thin and we are upon our last. This is the last chance for humanity, and truthfully, it's not looking good.
Earth, God, Satan… all of that will not matter when the stitches come undone and what we have been protecting humans from will come and we will not stop them. As it is, they are already there, the monsters that hatred and greed and evilness have created. They lay in wait in the in between. My sisters and I can see them just as we can see you. But if you could see them too, well… let's just assume that it's going to be quite a surprise.
All that is real now for humanity will survive when the world fails them, but the in-between will now be everything's home. God will live there too and fight with the humans and the devil will be there to fight alongside the creations. The Earth will only be known as the in between.
I was once one of those humans that struggled to find myself. Many many many eons ago and realities ago. My reality that I lived with my mother and father and sisters went asunder once I triggered. The same went for all my sisters as well for we were the chosen of those realities. Upon triggering we woke up near a big beautiful tree. The tree was a gateway to what came next for those who triggered. It was called Illusimora. It was created for us with more love than any one person can ever imagine. Its creator, beautiful as he was silent, then buried himself in a vast tundra of snow and ice to sleep until needed when the world beyond Illusimora was deemed the in between and he would rise again and fight alongside his bouquet. His Blacken Bouquet… us, his dark roses.
Icy May, as his human self-deemed him was our creator. Here in Illusimora we call him May and he is our peace that we needed so desperately in humanity.
We all started out as humans, but May was the first to figure out that everything was not as it seemed. A young boy really, with such a large revelation that this all around him was a joke. And it all started with a dream.
When May was human, he was known as David. He was an adorable little boy living on the small island of Puerto Rico. David loved video games and all that they would bring to his imagination. He loved his family and his dog. He only had one friend there. Her name was Ursula, and she too would take this journey with him.
On a night where David could hear the coqui chirping outside his window, he lay in his bed thinking of what kind of love would he ever find. He was 15 and just knew, somewhere, anywhere, his true love was waiting for him. But where?
As he wondered, his eyes became heavy and he fell asleep and he began to dream. In this dream was where I was born first. He created me and I was there waiting for him. He woke up to find himself lying amongst shimmering leaves at the bottom of a huge tree. He rubbed his eyes and looked around to see better.
"So you have come, my little May". I say as I walked from behind the tree to meet him.
"Who are you?" He asked, raising his hand to my long black hair with its adornments of snow and leaves.
"I am your Aralia. Your Aral."
"Aral? That is so beautiful. Aral you're very pretty." He told me. I leaned down to look at him in the face, for I was much taller than any human.
"And you my little May, are perfection. Would you like to see what is beyond this tree?" I asked him.
"Yes my love, there is a door way to a place that was made by you. What would you like to call it?"
He looked at me and then went to the tree and passed his palm over the single knot in the trunk and the gateway opened. His eyes wide, he looked at me for approval and I smiled at him and took his hand and went through with him.
Once we had made it through, he gasped. "It's like heaven would be." He whispered, and a tear fell from his eye and hit the grass beneath us. That tear sprouted a rose. His hand went to the rose and he touched it and pricked himself. Four droplets of blood fell on the grass and four more roses grew for him. All black… "Blacken Bouquet…" He said looking at these odd creations that came to be from nothing at all. "Aral…"
"Yes?" I said, gently picking the flowers and laying them on the ground.
"I wish to call it Illusimora."
I smiled and went back to arranging the roses on the ground. My little May came to me to see what I was doing.
"Why are you doing that to the roses?" He asked.
"They are alive and since you created them tonight as you did with me, they are my sisters. " I said as a gust of wind brushes my hair across the flowers. I kissed my hand and lay it upon each rose and told them to be with me…
The roses shimmered into a row of beautiful sleeping women. Little May stood watching in awe of what was coming from his blood and tears. The women's eyes opened and they stood up to face me. I walked along them and smiled. Perfection. Such Wisdom and bravery seethed inside all of them. I came upon the smallest; the one made of tears, and knelt before her. "May, come here." I beckoned to him. "May, this is Rasputina. Remember her for when you wake up she will be with you."
"That's impossible." May said.
"Look into her eyes May… Whose eyes are those?"
He did as I said and then teetered back with his hand over his mouth. "Ursula…"
"Yes yes my love. Tell her of your dream tomorrow. The rest of us you will learn who they are in due time, but know that we love you and we fight for you. Just because you can see us when you slumber, does not mean we do not exist in your realm. Now, my darling, rest here near the tree with us and when you awaken in your bed remember us. We will be waiting for you when you sleep."
My little May obeyed and curled up into my lap and closed his eyes and then he was gone, back to his bed in his room.
It had begun… And we were in for a long long long fight.
The awakening of May
We watched him sleep from our land he created for us. He was so loved already. I swayed in the trees with Rasputina at my side.
"Aral do you think he will break free?" she asked me, her eyes pleading, blue the color of the sadness and twilight.
"Rasi I believe in him. He believed in us, the notions that love was somewhere and he created Illusimora and the Tree and Blacken Bouquet in a dream and here we live, breath, enjoy the fruits of his dreams. He is our father, our lover, our god."
"Aral I want to explore this paradise and see all that he has given us. Our May is exhausted and will sleep until the afternoon in his dwelling. Let us take the sisters and explore and find more of what we are." Rasputina said softly looking at the endless horizon. "You are our mother as well, please mother, take our hands and let's find his kingdom."
I sighed and looked down from the tree at the others. The kingdom. "Gather them and in a moment I will be there."
Rasputina nodded and dropped gracefully from the tree and sodded towards the others. I followed suit and came to them.
My beautiful girls, standing in a line awaiting my word as to what to do. "My loves, children of soon to be May, there are a few things I would like to take care of before we venture to explore. First and foremost, from how my insides tell me, this cycle of life where our May lives in this time is for he and Rasputina alone. They will be the first to trigger and upon death in mortality will be 100% of who they are in Illusimora.
"As for the rest of us, this all will repeat and somehow we will find your human equivalents and free you as well. Until then we must protect what is sacred even though we are new to life, we will be warriors for May. As that, I know what he wishes to call you and so now I shall name you according to what knowledge I was born with."
I walk to them, standing expectantly, to the first girl. She was as tall as I and her eyes were violet and hair black and red but short and made like spikes. The clothing she worn was already torn and she had smudges of dirt in a line down her left eye. "Aral," she said to me "grant me his grace, for he will be the only man I will ever love."
"Yes. He claims you Jezebel. You I can see are made closely to the mold he painted himself from. You will be fearless, loving and ruthless when needed. His grace upon you and forever so." Jezebel dropped to one knee and bowed her head. "You are to be guardian of whatever beasts we cross with as well as the gateway to where May shall lay in wait."
Second in line was one slightly taller than I with long black hair and golden eyes. She kneeled immediately and took Jezebels hand and kissed her hand. Her Destiny is already speaking to her. "Grant me the grace of May my Aralia, queen of Illu."
"He claims you Yahaira. You will be tender and meticulous, grave and forlorn. Your heart beats to the sound of music and harmony with each step you will take. His grace upon you and forever so. You are to be guardian of the air and music to be made as a gift for May. You are to play upon the music so we all may enjoy you and the beauty you will create."
A small girl stood next, holding hands with my little Rasputina. Her hair was white and eyes the color of withered roses in winter. "Little one, he claims you Lucretia, and though you are small you are mighty. You will be guardian of what flows within May and of the ever dark part of Illusimora. You are wise and acidic in nature and you shall speak with your actions more than words as the shadows will be your children. Lucretia, his grace upon you and forever so." Lucretia nodded and I saw a glimmer of May's grin as she turned back to Rasputina.
"My Rasputina, you are to be triggered this cycle and you will be what comforts May in his struggles as you guide Ursula. You are cut from a different stone than the rest of your sisters. You came from a tear so you shall be guardian of the youth and water in Illusimora. The waters will be your solace. His grace is with you now, this very moment as your human is to help bring us our May. You are princess of Illusimora. Once you are triggered you will be able to rest along with May in his frost until time to trigger another of us. May your grace be upon us all."
Next lovely creature waiting was neither short nor tall, she was steadily in the middle. She had black hair that she had braided intricately around her ears and the top was shorter and slicked back. Blue eyes and lips the color of blood. "You are Catharina by his demand. You are our seeker and keeper of knowledge. You are ruthless and blend red against a snow painted land. You are guardian of the plains and artifact of Illusimora, acting like a lioness spying on its prey, or enemy. His grace along with your own upon you and forever so."
"Ah, and finally, you." I say, approaching the last of the bouquet, the smallest one, almost childlike. Her hair an ordinary brown and long down her back. Brown eyes with the longest lashes. I knelt down to look her in the eye and saw she a violet handprint painted on her face. Ah yes, she is the innocent. "My precious little one, you are Lana and you walk a road much more difficult than we can imagine. You are the innocent, and you are the abused by the nightmares that reside in the beyond. You were once a demon and May chose you to lead us to know the war. You Lana, you are our guardian, our tactical demoness. His grace and love upon you, forever so."
And lastly, there was me. "I am Aralia. I am Icy May's betrothed. He created me out of love and dreams. He will by my husband, but as he has created all of us, you will all be in a sense his wives as well. He created us with so much love and devotion and he even creates now as he slumbers. I am guardian of David in dreams and of the great tree. May is king here, I am queen but you are all my sisters. Love lives eternally in Illu, our May loves us and are his reward for the hardships he will face to strengthen humanity." The sisters looked at me with devotion. I smile and look down at my feet to the grass of magentas and yellows and greys and greens. "Go my girls and search your home. Find and feel your callings, know of what you guard. This place is ours. Come back to me before May awakes so we can watch over him together and find ways to help his journey there so he can be here with us soon."
It was so hot that afternoon he woke to the world. But his skin could still feel the chill of promise when he stirred. The sun was screaming for him to get up and his phone had been ringing for the last three hours. His dog groaned at the door to go outside… it all seemed so mundane, and yet the smell of roses and rain tickled his nose.
"David, ven aqui! It's late and you told me you were going to clean the garage!"
"Si mami, me voy…" He yelled back and rolled onto the concrete floor, "Fuck… it was just a dream wasn't it?" He said and brushed his hair out of his face with his hand, noticing his fingers were sore. Looking down at them, there was dried blood on a few and the rest that had bled down his arm was painted into a heart. A heart of dried blood… Aral? None of his fingers had the trace mark to drawn that himself… "Oh fuck…"
Yes baby, we are here… I whispered to him through the wind. Watching him was so difficult; all I wanted to do was hold him. So young and do naive but I saw May shimmer within him.
David sensed his mother was going to get very upset if he wasn't down stairs soon so he rubbed off the blood heart and kissed his own skin where it had once been.
Later on while he was organizing the garage for his mom, Ursula strolled in looking rather ragged for the day. David stopped sweeping to stare at her. Those eyes, just like in the dream. His Ursula, his only friend…
"Hey." She said, sitting on the ground near the door. She looked so sad. Both of her parents had moved her to Puerto Rico from New York for a real estate deal and she didn't know the language as well as she should have, and since David was fluent in both English and Spanish she found security with him as well as a breath of compassion. Most days she would wander to him a mess, having not eaten, wanting just to swim as far as she could into the ocean and never come back. An only child and her parents forgot her on a daily basis.
"Doing okay there?" he asked.
"I think so, I just feel weird."
"Have you had anything to eat yet?" he asked.
"No…" she said, holding a leaf and then letting it go in the wind.
"Ursula its nearly 3pm, how long have you been awake?"
"I didn't sleep… so since yesterday morning."
David sighed and put the broom against the wall. His mom had made extra sandwiches just in case she came hungry and he brought her once and took a bite of one himself. "Want to go for a walk?"
"Where?" she said, pulling the crust off the sandwich and squishing it between her fingers.
"Down to the rainforest. You love that little waterfall."
"Yeah. It's beautiful… Let's go then."
The walk wasn't that far, only 15 minutes or so. "Ursula, I had this dream last night."
"About what?" her hand was in the stream, feeling the water rush past her slender fingers.
"There was a tree… and there were people waiting for me there. They were so different, so beautiful. I felt really insignificant in comparison to them. They all loved me… You know how I am always wondering where love may be, waiting, for us to discover… I found it in my dream. This girl there, so graceful, so wise, she knew me."
"Did ya catch her name? Come on David, it was a dream. I'm sorry but dreams are just that… dreams."
"Her name is Aralia, she knew me… and she knew you. Funny thing is, while I was there, in my dream, she had me stand face to face with this small woman and look her in her eyes… I saw you in those eyes Ursula. Aral called her Rasputina. You and she are tied. She said there I was May, and you were to take this journey with me. I'm not sure as to what this journey is, but it was real. I hurt myself in the dream, and when I woke I had blood on me. What's even stranger, the blood was traced to a heart on my arm. There's no fucking way I could have done that myself!"
"David you're nuts. Though, Rasputina is a lot better name than Ursula. I like it. Was she pretty?"
"They all were so pretty. But I knew Rasputina were you, I could feel you there. She was created from my tear in the dream. Aral told me that when I go to sleep next I will see her again. I hope then she will tell me what this journey means, and then I will share it with you. When I find out what it is, will you take it with me?"
"You are all I have David, so even though you sound like a space cadet, I'm here." She said, smiling at him.
Patience then, my little May. Enjoy your day and we will have your sleep to converse further…
He nodded and hugged his friend.
They spend their day quiet and reflective and went their separate ways once nightfall came. David wasn't sure why, but he was so tired and told him parents he didn't feel well enough to eat dinner that night with them. He kissed his mother's cheek and went up the stairs to his room.
He lay in the dark til sleep and I called him.
Just like the night before I was waiting for him outside the tree.
"Hello May, we have missed you."
"Aral…" he said, hugging me. I went to the tree and opened its door for us to enter. When we were through, the bouquet was waiting for us. "Ladies…" he whispered and they all bowed to him.
"King, your arrival is most appreciated. We have so much to do tonight before you go back to your realm and what fantastic things for you to behold." Yahaira said with a smile.
I smiled and brought him to the tree where I can look through the ponds beneath it to see all of Illusimora as well as watch of my May. "Well your lessons must start in order for you to become Icy May. However, while you were spending time with Ursula today, Rasputina and Jezebel went searching through the tundra that will be your home when you trigger. Guess what they found little May."
"Aral, I have no idea."
"They found Icy May's fortress beneath the frost, and his body waiting for your soul to take it… I decided that I shall take you there with the rest of the bouquet. It is good to see what is coming and how to prepare. It's very far away my precious. So we will ask the assistance of a friend we found in this paradise." Aral said and nodded at Jezebel.
Jezebel held her hand out palm up and whistled. A dark shadow covered us almost immediately. We were all smiling as David stared in awe at what had come to our aide.
"Little May, this is the dragon of Illusimora. She is the mother of all the other dragons, and she is that solely of Icy May, hence, you as well. Her name is Eluneti." I walked up to the great beast and smoothed the feathers and scales of her crown. Her iridescent skin glimmered and she lowered herself so all could climb atop of her. "She is going to take us to where your body lays in wait."
May let out a scared squawk when Eluneti took flight. The rest of us reveled in the wind beating past us. Most of the girls had face guards fastened to their faces to endure the cool air. They covered their noses and mouths. The only ones that did not do this were Rasputina, Lucretia and myself as well as May.
The sound of Eluneti's massive wings beating the air quieted the whole of Illu. Other creatures stared up at her and seemed to freeze in appreciation. Upon our approach to the tundra, other dragons flew around, producing wind and snow as a dragon from human legend would produce fire. Little May stretched at much as he dared to see these massive creatures maintain the weather of the tundra.
These are my children May. All dragons command the weather here in Illusimora, and they will control the weather in your world once you have triggered. Everything will change in the life of Earth when your time comes.
May leaned down and kissed the dragons nape and patted her with appreciate. Within a few minutes, we landed in front of a large now hill. We all climbed off the great beast and Jezebel took the lead towards the hill. With her finger she drew a figure in the snow and then stood back and a door appeared.
We followed her inside and the door shut itself. "This is the Fortress of Inferno Invierno."
Entering the compound was like taking a breath. It was so cold and yet it wasn't but I could tell May felt the chill on him, so I willed a coat of furs and buckles to appear for him. Since we were in Illusimora, I could do things like that easily without diminishing any power needed to defend incase a creature from the in between had ventured us a visit.
The fortress truly was something to behold. The walls were black stones and the ground was ice, so clear you could see yourself in its reflection. The hall we walked down was very long but once we got to the end there was a large black wooden door in front of us guarded by two beings.
"What's the meaning of this Jezebel? Who and what are these things? "I demanded.
Jezebel went to them and stared, "I think they are demons Aralia."
"Mistress, if I may intercede, these creatures are Dialen. They are demons from where I was first created. They like humans and enjoy protecting them or doading upon them with lavish gifts." Lana said a small smile upon her lips as she approached them. "We are the creations and lovers to May. His human trigger journeys with us this night so he may see his awakened self. Please permit us passing with no altercations, sweet ladies."
The Dialen with their armors black and bottom halves of their faces covered with cloth mask; grand swords in each hand, knelt in submission and the door opened slowly.
A hush followed us as we entered the chamber of the one winged Angel. Icy May's body lay upon an altar surrounded by snow and ice. His face was covered the same as the Dialen. His armor was black leather and a sword as long as he lay across his chest. He was nestled in his crypt with one back feathered wing wrapped around his body. He was far taller than me even. He was so beautiful. Little May came up to his future self and mumbled a few things of respect and then knelt down before Icy May. We all followed suit.
"The King, our maker, rejoice!" I said.
After we had spent sufficient time with May, we returned to the tree using Eluneti. May was getting ready to wake up in his home.
"Little May, when you return home tonight, I was you to write his description down, and I also want you to make a journal to trigger. Write down everything you do in your human world so we can have an idea how to get Rasi out of there too. As it is, your first lesson for this is going to be sacrifice and despair. Until you master this part, you will not see me or hear me again. I appoint Jezebel and Yahaira as your link to Illu until this task is completed to their expectations."
"But Aral, I love you please don't leave me." May cried as he tugged on my robes.
"I love you so much little May. That is why I do this. Trust in me."
"We have figured out to get you through to you in intervals when you are awake. I can't explain it now May, but you will know as soon as you see us. Make sure you have Ursula is with you tomorrow. Now… times a wasting, tell Aral goodbye, we will her keep safe."
May nodded and he and I went up to the tree. Just like last time he fell asleep in my arms and then shimmered away to his world. My sisters came running up to me to see what I would do.
"I shall hibernate within this tree until he reaches perfection on this training and then I will come back, until then, his life is yours Jez and Yaira. Do whatever you have to do make this work, for him and for us all. I love you sisters."
"We love you our Queen," they all said, kneeling down to me, "Sleep well."
And then I was gone for a while inside the Illu tree to rest. As I was asleep whilst everything next happened, I will leave it to one of my sisters to record what has happened since my first hibernation.
Enjoy your time with Jezebel, she may have a name that is sinful in Christianity, but she is fantastic. She can tell a story too. A nice change from my melancholy blasé nonsense sometimes. Once she is done with this account, I will she who is next.