Time for another serialized backstory involving my Tales of the Navel/The Shadow Forest series. This one involves Leiwell, overprotective old brother of Danyel and Tayel, resident of the Old Cottage.
He plays a much more sinister role in Damian Ashelocke’s existence. Indeed, he wouldn’t exist if not for Damian. His character is far more dualistic as far as Christopher is concerned.
You’ll see a bit of what I mean in the story below…
I first glimpsed those delicate lights, glowing with gentle green, glittering with blue insight right after I’d come into existence.
Before that, there had only been my master.
He’s the one who named me Leiwell. Names have power, exceptional power in the Shadow Forest. My master shaped me into a boy’s form, slight and pale, using the essence of another youth to do so.
I’m never comfortable thinking about that youth. His burning rage hidden beneath a mask of submissive carelessness, the way he tried to suppress his own light within a veneer of darkness, only to release it all into the Shadow Forest. Everyone’s dreams might have caught fire if he had his way, feeding his power. Worse, he might have reshaped those dreams in his own image if I hadn’t devoured his light.
What’s left of Damian Ashelocke is more subdued, more tranquil. Much of his rage, his hunger was reborn within me. He left me with a craving for light, a very special sort of inner light. Perhaps you’d call it soul or essence.
My master believes I should indulge this craving. After all, his own was long repressed and he was fed on by others. Dyvian feels that it is our turn to do the feeding.
I’m not entirely sure if I should part of this ‘our’. Yes, seeing those delicate lights, pulsing with fragile life in the Shadow Forest kindled my hunger. This desire was tempered by a protective tenderness, one which threatened to rip and rend anything which might menace them.
No one would touch those lights. I’d protect them from everyone, including myself. Especially myself.
I was only a child back then. My master sent me to my mothers, Ashleigh and Map, to see if I could live as a human in their world on the other side of the Door.
I’ve tried to do so. I can only consume small amounts of food, in spite of Map’s attempts to get me to eat more. I remained small, pale, and fragile, never growing or changing.
Not until I was drawn back beyond the Door into the Shadow Forest.
This was when everything changed. My lights took on human form at his hands, held at his mercy.
No, not my master. His opposite. Perhaps his enemy. I’m not sure.
Christopher can be many things, including Happily Ever After. He was so precious to Damian. I half expected him to become my enemy.
What he did was change my life.