On April 11, 2018, P.T. Wyant posted at ptwyant.com a prompt involving a yarn, a butterfly, and sunrise.
This Tale of the Navel popped into my mind, only it’s not really a Tale of the Navel. The Navel doesn’t exist in this version of Omphalos outside the Door. Nor does it take place in the Shadow Forest, although the Shadow Forest is still much on Leiwell’s mind.
Most of Omphalos is gone in this particular world, burned to ashes after the fall of the tower’s crown, overlooking the hill.
Yes, I built an entire village around a myth I created inspired by the Tower card in Tarot imagery. Only that village isn’t here right now. There’s only Map and the child she led out of the Shadow Forest, Leiwell.
Map is trying hard to teach her adopted son how to be a part of the solid world she’s adapted herself to, although he’s still learning how.
This takes place before The Hand and the Eye of the Tower, before Danyel and Tayel became Leiwell’s little brothers. The vision he had, foreshadowing their coming, is also much on Leiwell’s mind…
Leiwell’s hands itched at the narrow green hanks wound around, leading in strands to the greater mass held by his mother.
“Don’t make that face,” Map chided on the other side of the weave, connecting the two of them, clacking away with her needles. “Knitting is an activity which grounds you in this world. Like gardening.”
“I’m not sure I like knitting.” Leiwell grimaced at the rough feeling of the yarn in his fingers.
“Take a look at the sky instead.” Map’s words were calm and direct, compelling her son to obey them.
He gazed at the rising sun. Its golden glow peeked out from behind the green mound of the hill, illuminating the grass. It streamed through the delicate wings of a butterfly, fluttering past the woman and the boy sitting on the lawn in front of their cottage.
The butterfly danced on the beams of light, making its way here and there toward the distant flowers.
“Beautiful,” he murmured, staring at the tiny, winged creature. Perhaps it alighted upon the clusters of purple and lavender flowers in the garden across the lawn. Leiwell could no longer see it in the light.
“Never forget this beauty.” Map fixed a serious dark eye upon her son. “There are wonders in reality as well in shadow, Leiwell. They just take time, revealing themselves.”
Leiwell lowered his head, unable to meet his newfound mother’s eye. Map spoke truly, but he was bound to shadow and its fluid unreality, along with the master lurking within it.
Would it be so wrong if a part of him belonged to this place as well? Especially if belonging here created a home for the tiny pulses of light and color whom haunted his dreams?
No. It would not be. It couldn’t be.
Leiwell relaxed his small face into a smile.