Kingdom Life Poems, 3 of 4

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The Winter Mountains

The snow dulls the sharp edges of the cold winter mountains.

It smooths away all blemishes until we slide through and leave our mark.

The evergreens, cozy in their white blankets, splash their color blends.

Everything exudes calm, peace, sanity, the beauty is stark.

Kingdom Life Poems, 2 of 4

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The Summer Mountains


The river whispers its promise of relief from the summer sun baked mountains.

The jays hop and bob, offering their opinions on everything while skittishly moving from tree to tree.

The stars, more than you could count in a hundred lifetimes, bright the sky, an infinite pricks of the pin.

A thunder storm rages in the canyon next door and the echoes roll down the valley.

Kingdom Life Poems, 1 of 4

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The Desert


The desert stretches to the horizon, an endless sea of sand and dead brush waiting for the next wind to send them tumbling. 

Sharp, black rocks, alien, grotesque, yet beautiful, punctuate the view, the remnants from volcanos long sense extinct.

The long arms of cactus, point every which way, like signposts meant to remind you how far you are from anything and everything. 

The road carves through faults, from San Andreas to Garlock, it’s a land scarred by quakes, the layers of rock swirl, beautiful and  distinct.

work to do, part 4 of 4

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“I’m going to set you free now.”

Dahlia’s violent green eyes narrowed alarmingly.  “Don’t tease me like that.”

Sofia smiled softly.  “I’m not joking.  You’ve proved your faithfulness.  I trust you, Dahlia.  I’m going to release you from the spell that binds you to me.”

The creature uncoiled and swiftly crossed the room.  It kept its eyes level with Sofia and asked, “Are you sure that’s wise?”

Sofia ignored the hint of laughter.  She had decided months ago that it wasn’t important.  It was just part of Dahlia’s personality and didn’t mean anything good or anything bad. 

Answering Dahlia, she said, “We’ve worked together for more than a year now and you have helped me achieve more than I imagined was possible.  With your help I have learned so much more about our worlds than I would have if I could live for several lifetimes.”

“Do you know why I chose this form?”

“I do, yes.”  While not entirely certain, Sofia had a guess she believed to be correct.  In the moment between worlds, Dahlia could have chosen to be a falcon, which might have made escape easier, or it could have chosen to be a bull, which would have given it ample strength to either fight of flee if it chose, but it chose to be a snake.  In their time together, Sofia had come to the conclusion that Dahlia chose the form of a snake because it was the most frightening and arguably the most lethal.

“And you aren’t worried about what’s going to happen when you set me free?”

“I trust you,” Sofia repeated.

“Then do it.”  For the first time, Dahlia’s words weren’t a whisper.  Her words came out as a resounding demand, a shout that filled the room with slithering echoes.

Sofia closed her eyes, gathering the energy she needed for the spell and focusing on the words.  Then, opening her eyes, with a flick of her wrist she indicated that Dahlia needed to move into position, over a rune that had begun to pulse with an orange light. 

Dahlia moved quickly.  Its eyes glittering in the strange light coming up from beneath it.  Its jaws lifted in what could only be described as a smile.

“We’ve fought.  We’ve learned.  We’ve grown together.  And now, Dahlia, it is time for you to be free.”

Sofia spoke the words to the spell in a ringing voice, her hands moving in intricate patterns.  The orange light stopped pulsing and grew in intensity.  Sofia’s voice grew louder and louder until it became a scream.  A sharp ripping sound drowned her out and then her scream ebbed away.

Panting, her hands on her knees, she looked up to watch as Dahlia slid away from the rune, now just a smudge of dull chalk on the floor.  This was the moment of truth.  The creature was free of her control and could do as it pleased.  Dahlia’s tongue tasted the air.  Once.  Twice. 

Then it asked, “We’ve still got work to do?”

Sofia smiled broadly, “We’ve only just begun.”

work to do, part 3 of 4

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It had been six months since Sofia had called Dahlia into her world.  They had procured many fascinating, and powerful, items in the intervening time.  Sofia had spent every free moment either pouring over those items and enhancing her knowledge or working on her relationship with Dahlia.  She could tell that Dahlia didn’t see her as an equal yet.  It seemed like she was nearly there, though.  They were more comfortable with each other and while Sofia hadn’t yet told Dahlia the reason for all their little gathering ventures, Dahlia had guessed it.  The creature hadn’t seemed upset, either. 

Sofia was coming to understand that while Dahlia was bound to her, Dahlia was more free in this world than she had been in her slumber in the darkness of the other world.  To be trapped in dreams certainly didn’t sound appealing to Sofia, anyway.  Sure, some dreams were fun but part of that fun was knowing you were going to wake up.  If you never woke up?  If the dream wasn’t fun?  And endless swirling of nightmares?  Or, worse, endless nothingness?  Sofia didn’t like to think about that. 

Besides, Sofia was still hoping and working towards giving Dahlia complete freedom.  She just had a little more to learn, a learn more to understand.

Chief among that, she needed to know why Dahlia had chosen the shape of a snake.  She had been looking for clues but had not yet come across any.  But once she had that key piece of information she was sure she could release Dahlia without fear.

She was hoping to do that before she had completed the task she had summoned Dahlia to help with.  That particular hurdle would be better if Dahlia acted in support on its own.  But, if not, so be it.  One way or the other Dahlia would help her achieve her goals.  Every day of the last six months was a step in that direction.

Closing the tome she’d been studying, Sofia turned to gaze at Dahlia.  The creature was watching her from the opposite side of the room.  The link between them was strong enough that Dahlia would understand that Sofia had just learned an important piece of information but not so strong that it would know exactly what the information was.  Dahlia waited patiently, it’s tongue lazily tasting the air and it’s eyes glinting with equal measures of humor and curiosity.  

Not for the first time, Sofia wondered if she was wasting her time and should just ask Dahlia all her questions.  She knew there was value in doing the research herself, but it was very likely that Dahlia could tell her everything she needed to know if she would just ask.  It was tempting.

Dahlia laughed, that same unnerving sound that Sofia had grown certain she would never get used to.  “You know that you’ll only be able to trust me fully when I can trust you fully.”

Sofia’s lips twitched upwards and she nodded.  “Yes, of course.”  Crossing the room she began to caress the shiny scales behind Dahlia’s head.  The laughing sound switched to the purring one.  There was no need for Sofia or Dahlia to expand on that brief conversation.  They both understood the consequences of that trust.  If fulfilled and then broken, it could be devastating for both of them.  Dahlia could be banished back to the darkness.  Sofia could easily be killed, or suffer a much worse fate depending on how Dahlia retaliated. 

“Do you want to hear what I just learned?”

Dahlia whispered, “Yes,” without breaking its purr.