Chapter 7 – Liza and Ed are running and dancing across the moorland on a dark night, acting like children. In fact, occasionally Ed sees Liza as a raven-haired lass. As she plays on the moor, she tells him about how her parents met Stanly and how she was conceived. Interspersed there are bits and pieces about how her family, including Ed, could “see” the moors in a way that others couldn’t. That included seeing the past and the past that never was. “…They are the shadows of that which never was. They are the reflections caught in a pool of memory. They are ghosts, shades. A memory on the land. But that past was real, as real as the ‘real past’, even if it never really happened.” As they walked, Ed could feel the power grow in him, the understanding of the land around him. Liza also mentioned her estranged daughter. When they got back to Liza’s house, her daughter, Lauren, was waiting.
Chapter 8 – Ed wakes up in the middle of the night and overhears Liza and Lauren talking. The family power spooked Lauren, which is why she never returned after leaving for University. But then, it became clear that she had a an odd connection with Ed, one her mother resented. Ed heard her as the woman of his dreams, and they ended up saying each other’s “real” names, though it wasn’t written. Ed then fell back into a deep sleep.)
So we continue Of Wind and Wings
It was all so familiar, a sight seen many times before. Had it been a dream in the past? Maybe, but it was real now. It had to be.
Ed walked through an arch and glanced around.
“Pillars,” he said out loud.
He was in a giant room, seeming to stretch to infinity in every direction. The unseen ceiling was support by row after row of Doric columns. Periodically a free standing arch was placed in the middle of the avenues created by the columns.
There was a green glow at one end. He stopped. This was different. He looked around. Fog was creeping up on him from all directions. All directions, that is, except from the green light.
Ed walked towards the light. Every column had an arrow pointed towards it.
“A sign?” Ed asked himself. “Does this mean I am finally on the right track, after my entire life of searching?”
Something was different. One of the free standing arches wasn’t an arch at all, but a single out of place pillar. But that wasn’t right. It grew out of the floor and rose a dozen feet, but stopped, like broken tree trunk, a giant phallic symbol.
The green glow was coming from the stone.
Ed glanced around as he walked. The columns were changing. They became bigger and misshapen. The space between them became irregular.
Just before reaching the stone he realized that he was in the middle of an ancient forest.
He stopped ten feet in front of the stone. He was wrong, for the stone was not just a slightly tapered column. There was a protrusion near the top.
“A phallic on a phallic,” Ed said and giggled the way an eight year would have if he had muttered such a foolish statement. Or was it foolish?
“After all of these years being lost, I think that is pointing my way,” Ed said. “A way-stone, I guess.”
He heard his nane being called, his real name.
He followed the protrusion, the arrow. After a few steps he saw a woman. Liza. No. It was Lauren. No it was…
“Ed, wake up. Time for breakfast.” Liza.
The dream stayed in Ed’s mind, as did the realization that he had dreamed of the columned rooms a thousand times in his life, but this was the first time he had ever found a way out.
Lauren was already at the table. She said, “good morning,” but then looked down at her food.
“Here, dearie, sit across from Lauren.” Ed stared at Liza for a moment. She was back to being the indeterminately old woman he had seen before, not the youngish woman he had chased all over the moorland. “Do have plans? Perhaps visit your tower again?”
“Uhm.” Ed had traveled thousands of miles to find his tower, which he did. In a way, at least. He suspected it was more part of that past that never was than a real tower. But the tower wasn’t his only objective, was it? He had been pulled over, as if by a huge magnet. But now that he was here and almost found his mysterious tower, he wasn’t sure what he needed to do. He needed a sign, a waypost.
“I know what I want to do.” Ed’s head snapped up. Lauren was no longer pretending to study her food, but was staring at Ed with a glimmering eye. “I want to find my favorite spot again. I’d only seen it a few time. I loved it so, but it scared me. Mother, would it still be out there?”
“Were else would it be?” Lauren half laughed at Liza. “If it was solid and on the moors, it is there. Nobody took anything away.”
His curiosity piqued, Ed spoke up, “And what was this, your favorite place? Or, uhm, where was it?”
“Somewhere out there.” She waved vaguely. “I don’t know, but after I stumbled on it the first time I found it every time I needed it. Sometimes in a startling fashion.” She let out a short nervous laugh.
“Still not sure…” Ed said.
“It was a single standing stone. It was tall, perhaps a dozen feet, and very narrow, tapered like a tree trunk. It reminded me of a, well, you know.” She giggled. “And it had a rather peculiar protrusion. It looked like…”
“You daren’t say it!” Liza seemed on the verge of laughing, yet at the same time almost angry.
“I was going to say it looked like it was pointing the way to go.”
“A sign” Ed said.
“A waypost,” Liza suggested.
“A way-stone.” Lauren said.
“Was it green?” Ed asked.
“Why, how did you know? Yes, it was. Strange. I want to go out and explore and find it. Come with?”
“How could I stay back? Sounds like quite the adventure to me. Silly question, but have you ever followed where it pointed?”
“Off course not.”
“We will today.”
Ed suddenly took note of his hostess, Liza. She was watching him out of very strange eyes. Her face was pale and sad. She looked old. But then she smiled, driving away the vision, and for fleeting moment, Ed saw the young girl he had followed onto the moors.
“No. I have work to do around here. You kids go and have fun!”
Lauren laughed. “Kids!” I haven’t been called a child since, well, since I used to live here!”
Ed was about to say something about being very far removed from childhood, when a memory caught him. It was a voice. But a real one. Liza’s voice. He had woken shortly after he had been brought to her house after his fall.
“I have been waiting for you for decades. I knew you’d come. It was written, our destiny. It is meant to be. But I have to be sure. Did I misread the signs? Did I…”
Ed had half opened his eye to see who was speaking, but she stopped. Something pulled at him, pulling him into the mists of his dream.
“Are you OK?” Lauren had come and stood next to him.
“Yes, I’m still a bit tired. I assumed the jetlag would be over by now. Anyway, I feel better now. Let’s go!”
As he they were leaving, Ed could feel Liza’s eyes on him. He knew her thoughts, and knew she understood that he knew them. “We were meant to be together. Or were we?”
He paused for a half a second.
“Come, let’s go!” Lauren’s eyes were on fire and she seemed more 21 than 41.
Ed smiled. He suddenly felt young again. “Yes, let’s go explore!”
And so it continues, now up to chapter eight (8) of the newly named Of Wind and Wings. Chapter 7 is here. Chapter 6 is here. Chapter 5 is here. Chapter 4 is here. Chapter 3 is here. Chapter 2 is here and Chapter 1 here.