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    “…a dog might fly, but they are very unlikely birds”.

    My story begins in the middle because I do not know the beginning and of course I do not know the ending, as no creature knows its ending.

    “Gloch”, Voyager burped, and a bit of sourness filled the air. Una wrinkled her antennae in response. Being deaf she could not hear Voyager’s belches, but she could smell well enough and see his mosaic of fur with her three jeweled eyes.

    “Have you eaten your fill now Voyager”? The indigo blue of Una’s words pulsated in the anterior veins of her wings.

    Voyager leaped up onto his hind legs, hopped and spun in circles because he knew it would make Una laugh her feathery laugh, which it did, the veins in her wings flashing emerald green and violet. Una was so tiny that she could only hold one emotion at a time. When she was angry her wings turned a fiery orange & she emitted a high pitched scream that made Voyager cover his ears with his paws and whimper. He knew better than to make Una angry.

    Sly dog--he had an ulterior motive. He wanted Una to accompany him on his journey. She was part of the Odonata Order, Emerald Dragonfly tribe, over three hundred million years old, older than the dinosaurs, and survivors of all of earth’s changes. Una had many distant fairy cousins & Voyager had heard a tale of a family connection to Shoryo Tombo, “Dragonfly of the Dead”, whose job it was to the carry the spirits of families’ ancestors to the family during the Festival of the O-bon.

    And who better than a dragonfly to help him find the “holy lines”-- water beneath the earth? Voyager was better at tracking what lay on top of the sweet earth and though he couldn’t fly, his legs were strong and his hearing keen. He and Una would make a fine pair of travelers.

    Voyager knew Una could only receive simple telepathic messages, so he lay down, front paws crossed and plotted his strategy. Una continued to hum, but watched him suspiciously. Images tumbled out of his head and floated in front of her eyes.

    “Blackberry, Burdock, Iris, Sage, Yarrow, Cohosh, branches of Huath, Dair, Nin and Yew”, Una recited. Suddenly she felt dizzy and faint.

    “These are some of the things we will need to gather for protection and courage in the days and nights ahead,” Voyager said authoritatively. “And you would expect us to find these things just lying about in the woods?” Una said weakly. Voyager concentrated harder and the images grew taller and wider with smoky edges and the odor of apples.

    Una’s wings fluttered madly as she made circles around Voyager’s head, landing on his nose and drawing herself up to her full height.

    “I am only a simple damselfly, Voyager! I cannot help you with spells and wands and the endless fairy magic you will need to protect you on your journey to find your true home.” The veins in her wings stood out, a dark, angry green.

    Voyager wrinkled his muzzle and Una slipped off, tumbling into a crevice in the Cairn. He now knew, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that Una could “hear” his thoughts, and that she understood the true purpose of his journey.

    Voyager lifted her up gently from the pile of stones with his left paw and held her like the most precious Venetian glass figurine. His eyes were soft as velvet.

    “Una, what I most need now is a friend. Will you accompany me and be my ‘Anam Cara’”? Una’s wings shimmered and fluttered like lacy turquoise fans as she landed on his left shoulder and hummed her answer into his waiting ear.

    As the two friends emerged from under the Fairy Bridge, stopping at the edge of the forest, dozens of birds, led by the Great Hawk of Achill, gathered on the branches of Oaks, Hawthorns, Hazelwood and Ash trees. Raven and Crow, the Blackbirds of Rhiannan, all assembled waiting to see whether one brave dog and his damsel would take the Right Hand or the Left Hand Path. The forest was as still as death; a distinct smell of violets in the air.



    And he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd
    divideth his sheep from the goats
    And he shall set the sheep on his right,
    but the goats on his left.
    — Matthew 25: 32-33

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    February 23, 2010, 8:33 pm
    Una, so beautiful and fragile. and capable of only one emotion at a time. which she feels with all her teeeny weeny body in COLOR! Who wouldn't die for access to such an imagination, author! You sizzle with imagery!!
    August 12, 2009, 11:14 am
    July 27, 2009, 4:43 am
    Just found this after being on the site for awhile. Love the story. Finding myself waiting for the next chapter. Well done! love una and voyager.
    July 22, 2009, 12:09 am
    A journey of the utmost sensibilities, imagination, and intuitive nature.
    Beautiful language.
    July 18, 2009, 1:42 am
    Ah...una you are a deep and thoughtful one. Thank god Voyager has you by his will you fight Cayden being so small and fragile?
    July 15, 2009, 8:25 pm
    Beautiful - I can almost smell the violets in the air
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    About the author

    R.A. Martin is a lover of four-legged creatures and a psycho-geographer in the age of sensible shoes, exploring the hidden passageways, nooks & crannies & abandoned corners of the natural and urban landscape. Read More »

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