Christopher finds his chair disappearing beneath him. The mists of the Cauldron part, revealing a path through a rose garden. On either side of him, the thorny bushes bloom with flowers the exact ruby purple of Damian’s eyes.
Christopher: (His eyes fill with tears.) Am I about to see you again at last?
A slight boy with shaggy golden hair stands on the path ahead of him, wearing a pale blue vest over a white tunic, dove-gray trousers and matching boots. He gazes at Christopher with wide, violet-blue eyes filled with a shimmering silver light.
Tayel: (for that’s whom is on the path) Visions sometimes provide us with what the heart needs rather than desires.
A small hand reaches out to touch Christopher’s arm. Christopher turns to face a boy whom looks and is dressed exactly like the one on the path ahead, only his vest is a light green and there is no silver light in his eyes. Instead there’s a faint, glowing numbus about the hand touching Christopher.
Danyel: What Tayel is trying to say is we’re sorry we’re not Damian, but we sensed you needed us. Or maybe you needed someone to talk to from your own universe, your own stories.
Christopher: Maybe I did. (He places a hand upon Danyel’s, turning to slightly to face him as well as Tayel.) I’ve been talking so much with other people from other universes about their stories. Quartz and Nimmie Nott can be overwhelming.
Tayel (coming closer to Christopher) Everyone overwhelms you. (He narrows his eyes at the sight of his twin’s hand upon Christopher.) And you, you feed upon that overwhelming sensation.
Danyel: I think this is why you became the regular character, the host of this Monday Cauldron blog. You drew a certain measure of energy from other characters by just talking to them.
Christopher: I’m not the only character of the scribbler’s whom feeds off energy.
Tayel: (His face softens a bit.) It’s one thing to feed. It’s another to share.
Danyel: You may be drinking in the emotions of those who talk, Christopher, but you’re also getting them to open up, release some of their pent-up frustration. You’re not just feeding on them, you’re sharing. They’re sharing.
Tayel: Those whom cook in the Cauldron do not appear to have life or purpose sapped by its steam or its guide.
Danyel: We’re glad you’re here, Christopher. I’m sure Cinders and everyone who’ve come to visit from At Her Service are glad you’re here, too.
Tayel: Your presence is a light, beckoning our scribbler back to tales neglected.
Christopher: What you’re saying makes me think of what Quartz and Nimmie Nott suggested. That we remind the scribbler we’re here, even when she’s working on someone else’s story.
Danyel: You do that every time you have a conversation, Christopher. You remind our scribbler and everyone else of your story. You remind them of you.
Tayel: Be the light for the scribbler that Damian was once for you.
Christopher: (rubs his eyes and smiles) That’s a curious task to give a shadow.
Tayel: Shadows are cast by light. You come from light.
Danyel: You remind our scribbler of that light. (He squeezes Christopher’s fingers.) Never stop being her light or her source of inspiration.
Christopher: (his smile widens) You know what? I think you just were a source of inspiration. You may have just given the scribbler an idea for her next Queer Sci Fi article.
Tayel: Illumination comes from many sources. What light we have comes from shadow.
Danyel: It comes from you. Tayel and I wouldn’t exist if not for you, Christopher. Sometimes we can sense when you’re troubled or lonely.
Tayel: Silence seldom happens in the scribbler’s imagination. I savour these brief moments of peace but Danyel grows restless and lonely. (He gives Christopher a pointed look.) Particularly if you’re feeling restless and lonely.
Christopher: (squeezes Danyel’s fingers and smiles at Tayel) Thank you.
Tayel: (flushes and looks away) There’s no enjoying any peace in all this restlessness.
Danyel: What he’s saying is he doesn’t like it when you’re lonely either. (He offers Christopher a mischievous little grin.)
Christopher: (giving Tayel a sideways glance) I know.
Tayel flushes all the more and studies his boots.