Yesterday, I realised that I was 2/3 of the way through the roll call of the D. O. images and I thought that maybe it might be a good time to bring out the first card of the project. I pulled out the fine fellow you see above and placed him face up on the top of the pile.
The start of the story for narrative purposes (the actual start goes much further back but contrary to the popular song, the beginning is not always a very good place to start…) Are you still with me? Good!
The start… A word came creeping into my brain, it would whisper and fade away only to return again a little louder… And again… And again… Until too loud to ignore, I contacted my friend C. who at the time, I often affectionately called 6 of S and I asked her “Can you ferry me across to speak to the Norns?”
C channelling Charon simply replied with “Bring two coins”.
And so the adventure began… We weren’t quite sure how we would get there and we debated at great length until it dawned upon us that we were both pretty nifty card slingers and so maybe we should ply our trade! The question was asked “How should we approach the Norns?”
“With biscuits and respect”.
The whispers changed, I was told to pyrograph a piece of wood with an image of the Norns, C was told to bring chocolate and strawberries (apparently the Norns were a little bored with biscuits) … Sat in a field we placed the items before us and soon we were gone off world…
Rushing streams of colours, flying fast… High above the earth… Colour after colour moving through the spectrum… Landing on narrow hilly path with Gandalfesque guy blocking the way… C and I stood before him, he eyed us over… His gaze landed on C “You understand people”. Shifting his focus to me “You can talk to the animals”.
I woke up this morning thinking about those words and how this Bouncer let us pass, C taking the right hand path down to the village, towards the sounds coming from the Blacksmith’s anvil… Me, heading to the left, prancing through fields and dashing through waterfalls… C was told to make sure she came back to grab my hand as I might get carried away by all the colours… Our paths diverged and converged… This morning as I was waking into the world, I smiled as I imagined me and C as two snakes working our paths around this Guardian’s crystal topped staff… The 3 of us a Caduceus in motion…
I brought myself back down to earth with a jolt. “I can talk to Animals”?? So other than the 2 kites, how come I never saw nor spoke to any whilst on astral travels? I thought of my ‘magic’s not done with you Black Fox’… Oh shit! Maybe I’d broken the countryside code and left the gate open? Maybe I didn’t speak to any over there as I’d let them all escape to here? Oh shit! Oh… Wait… No… The talking animals were around BEFORE all of this began…
I flashed back through memories… My ginger strays who asked to come in… A random cat who beelined me in the street, running full tilt to stop at my feet, fixing eyes on mine telling me to remove the teasle stuck to the base of his tail… The weird day at the Sea life centre when I weary sat next to a tank and people gasped as the piscine inhabitants pooled around me… Cheddar Gorge and that bat!
Mr S wakes up “Hey, here’s one for you! There’s a black puma on the lose. It’s near one of your routes!”
“What? For real? How do you know?”
“I read it. It’s for real. Apparently it’s killed a wild boar…
“What?! There’s a wild boar on my patch! No way?! Why haven’t I seen this?!”
“Oh, don’t worry, if anyone’s going to see it, it will be you.”
We go downstairs, he makes me breakfast, I sit between worlds with my thoughts…
“Karen? Where are you?”
“Hmm? Oh… Yeah, sorry, I’m rough drafting a story… Hey, I just need to fact check with you. Cheddar Gorge Caves? Was that bat called ‘Annie’?”
“Yes, something like that, why?”
“OK, so I didn’t dream that? OK now I’m puzzled as we had headphones that described the tour yet in my head when that bat showed up, there was a tour guide there?”
He says “Yes, that’s right. We were stopped looking into that pool of water and behind us was a group of maybe 8 people and the guide was taking. Saying that there was a rumour that Annie the bat lived in the Caves but noone had ever seen her. You shouted out” What? That bat? ” Everyone turned around as the bat flew the whole length of the cave, dipping down throwing reflection onto water, right around you and then back to where it came from. No, you didn’t imagine it, everyone saw it!”
I go back to my porridge and thoughts…
Mr S nudges me back again… “LAUNDE ABBEY! Now that was fucking weird! I’m outside all day everyday and I’ve never seen anything like that. That type of shit only happens when you’re around.”
“What type of shit?”
“Bats! You pull up, get out of the car and a bat flies from a tree to circle above your head. IN BROAD DAYLIGHT!”
I smile at the memory “Really… is that unusual?”
“Unusual? Yes it’s unusual, unless you happen to be named Mina Harker… Anyway, how did you resurface bats?”
I run him through my thoughts and I tell him that I just realised – when the guardian guy spoke to me & C, at the time, I thought he was giving us directions or granting permission to enter but now I think he was just merely stating what he saw…C- You understand people. K- You can talk to the animals! Oh, blimey! What’s his name? I need to land this name… It’s flapping around but I can’t catch it… Damn and I have such a good punchline to end on about how you can’t deny access to a lock picker… You don’t need to know keys or codes to get on the guest list if you can crack, hack, bypass or mainline straight into the system… You… Hey? What are laughing at?
“Yes, Karen, you DO talk to animals… Go on, keep talking… Finish your sentence then I’ll blow your mind…”
I look at Mr S and his big laughter filled eyes, he’s not mocking me. He’s got that look he gets when he knows he’s going to serve me up such a delicious morsel that I will coo like a dove…
“OK… Blow me!”
“You know a few days ago when we were sat in the garden? Yes? OK, that butterfly that kept circling around you… Well, last night, I looked it up… Do you know what it’s called? It’s a GATE KEEPER! There’s your title! GATE KEEPER!”
Well done Mr S! Back of the net! 😁 And YES! Yes, I did coo! Coo-hoo-hu-hoooo!