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A Fountain of Youth

Shalon Casbin

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Nephuria did not pay mind to her material body, her physical form could have been anywhere on the planet, and she couldn’t have cared, not tonight. Sleep never evaded her, she found it, and in moments, allowed it to consume her, much as one did saidar. She was asleep in her body, no longer confined to the aging skin it was. She didn’t see her sleeping body of course, not in the Dream, but she knew where it would be. She avoided the area, just out of a normalcy feeling of awkwardness. She thought of a place of the past, in a tent on foreign hillsides.


The world didn’t swish, it simply was different suddenly. The hillsides she had known in earlier days, where tents were pitched by people she knew and loved. People who daily knew threat and frustration, shared it with her should have surrounded. She could in essence populate the city, with some amount of persistence; but she almost thought that would be worse. They had moved on now, this was just after crossing the Wall.


First adventure into the wetlands…she pushed the vileness of such a wet and strangeness away.


The darkness of her thoughts brought to it a bubble, visible into, but wrong and warped as it took your vision. She recognized and denied it instinctively. She knew what the tent had looked like. She forced the proper image into place, defeating the nightmare’s existence. It was one of many dangers here in the Dream, but a reminder she needed to focus her thoughts more strictly.


She did not move, but again her location changed, her traditional Wise One’s garb did not even ruffle in an imagined wind. She looked around, and recognized the marking of a camp, it was gone now for sure, the bits that gave it away already faded more often than not. This one was in the Three-Fold Land.


There were important things to do, things that would be of life changing importance in fact. What was to happen to them? The world swooshed again. She stood atop the White tower, Aes Sedai….what would be done with them? She looked up at the mountain, the one of legend and myth. A wetlander legend surrounded it, but also was it known to the Aiel, she dwelt upon it for a time.


She wondered at her own life, and what she would live to see. It would be so strange to see the End of Times, or the starting of a New Age. Either way, she was excited to be alive. Excitement. Yes, a seamless step, from atop the White Tower, into the Three Fold land, surrounded by the odd sun here. She focused, and the sun became real, bearing down as the ground took on it’s red color.


She couldn’t help herself here, alone to the best of her knowledge. A fountain seemed to gurgle from a small hole in the ground, not bigger than an ant mound. Soon it was large enough to be called a pond, and to finish the effect a statue of woman, proudly standing defiant, spears in hand, released water to trickle back down to the reservoir.


Lush grass grew in a rapid speed around her, trees of unnatural textures and leaf colors, in hues of purples and pinks dotting the land, and a pebbled path lead her to a seat beneath the bows of a particularly beautifully pink leafed tree. The sky changed and there seemed a purple hue to a star filled sky, far too many of them. Fire butts, flies that light up at night; dotted the forest. Somewhere a lion was heard. She didn’t worry over them, the noise amused her.


She sat upon a bench, backed by a large ancient rock, like a natural seat, made from the earth. Here she could think, could find her peace. Butterflies fluttered through he small grove, and for amusement she created a creature of fantasy, half woman and half deer, she was feral in appearance, but only lived and moved as Nephuria’s mind allowed.


If everything was to change, then it would mean ensuring that the things needing to survive did. Yes, some of the rules were foolish, but they’d been in place because someone put them their. If it came to sacrificing some, well the less important ones would have to make the sacrifice.


She stood from her chair, wearing her jewelry, odd because she normally did not; and her algode dress.


She neared her pond, her imagined fountain of youth. How she wanted that most of all, to be able to ensure her duty was done, and the right choices made. And after that? So much of a world laid beyond the Three Fold Land, more than one lifetime allowed, no matter how long it was. She wanted it all, and she knew that was a fundamentally flawed concept. She surrounded herself there in the grove for a long moment, pondering ways she might change herself, to make herself realize she was where she should be, in the place she should be. Doing what needed to be done for the Aiel. Aging as she should.


She was testing her abilities out, how varied they could be, and created a bird, one rare in the land of her birth. It was a fierce falcon, but it sat on Nephuria’s arm, unmoving except how she perceived it should.


She smiled to herself, and petted the animal, feeling its feathers soft beneath her hand. She could see why getting lost here was a danger. She felt herself coming to strongly into the dream and stopped petting the Hawk. He was there, but only so far could she bring him to simulate real life. The Hawk vanished, along with the dryad, and forest. The grass stayed, that she liked.


Perhaps that was enough for one night, she could return later. She had done well tonight. Her teachers had once told her she had an Affinity for Bending the dream, that is, it came easier to her in knowing exactly how to mold the dream to her will, and make it real. Changing things on herself, or others came as a more natural gift, she could easily end a Nightmare long before her training Sister’s. She felt proud of her abilities here, but was thirsty for a knowledge beyond what she could currently find offered to her.


The grass vanished as the woman vanished from the World of Dreams, re-associating herself with her physical form to sleep normally.



Nephuria Sul'ron Raiden

Wise One

Edited by Amore
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