So I did promise you all some #WIP, writing in progress. And I have been tossing up between a piece of Jaidee’s story and a Shadows of Avalon piece about my beloved Auta. Now most of you have yet to meet Auta and I really wanted to share something for her, so Jaidee will come another day. I won’t give away too much about Auta’s story that led up to this scene for it would be riddled with spoilers and we wouldn’t want that now would we, Sweeties? Auta has quite the part in the Shadows of Avalon series, but for now she is just starting to understand that she is special and come in to her powers. Like so many of us, she struggles to believe in herself….luckily for her there are forces at work to change that….
This is a first draft #WIP, but I hope you enjoy meeting Auta
“What’s your name?”
Auta nearly jumped out of her skin at the sound of a voice and the cougar growled in warning. Auta looked around and found sitting in a tree a little person. He would have reached not much higher than Auta’s knees but was clearly not a child. Long legs and arms were wiry thin and he had a thinning patch on his head showing he was advanced in years, which was confirmed by the fairness that streaked his hair.
“Well I weren’t talking to the kitty cat now was I? That would be daft missus and I ain’t daft.”
“No, of course not.” Auta replied though she had no idea if this creature was daft, or even real.
“Now why wouldn’t I be real, I’m sitting her ain’t I? And you still ain’t given me your name missus.”
“Auta, Autumn.” Auta mumbled, wondering if she should be so freely giving her name to strangers.
“Now look here Autum, ain’t no reason to be calling Johnny Puckle strange is there, and I ain’t got your real name do I, just your name, name, as the Silver Lady told ya, you need to find your real name. What do you like?”
“Like?” Auta was having a little trouble keeping track of this conversation. “And I did not call you strange, I called you a stranger, it means I do not yet know you.”
“Oh, well and good then. I gave you my name for yours so now we are introduced and we might have a chat and know each other. Might be harder though missus since you don’t know yourself at all. All that lovely magic like the olden days and you don’t even know how to use it. I asked you what you like but I can see already, you has the blue streak in your heart. You’re a healer you are missus, and a nature babe, like a spirit of the forest and the plants. I’d wager there is nymph in you somewhere missus, just like the olden days.” The little man jumped from his place on the tree and landed on the big cat’s back. The cat gave him a look but made no move to remove Johnny Puckle from his spot. “Ah, I miss the olden days, I used to watch them dance you know, the nymphs used to come up from the water and out of the trees and flowers and oh the dances they did. Ain’t nothing prettier than wild spirits dancing to the forest.” The little man sighed and looked up at Auta. “Well are we walking or not missus. You ain’t going to find your gift standing gawking at me like I grew wings and antlers. I can if you want though missus, grow some wings to make you more comfortable.”
Auta realised she was staring and looked away. “Where are we going then?”
“Well missus, why do you think this here kitty cat came down out of the mountains to this forest, it weren’t to take in the sights no missus, she’s here to guide you on, we best follow her and see where we end up. You missus have a long journey ahead in that mind of you. Oh the places you’ll visit once you let your soul fly free. Maybe you’ll dance for Johnny Puckle. You and your sister. She’s a precious one that lady. She dances too just like the nymphs, she doesn’t think anyone is watching but old Johnny Puckle is there making sure she stays safe. The old ones ask it of Johnny Puckle and so he does. And now she has her man and her power though best she learn something new every day too just like you missus, but her man watches her now and Johnny Puckle is here today to watch you missus.”
“Okay…” Auta said, she knew she wasn’t much for the words right now but this little man seemed to be talking enough for both of them. She was beginning to wonder if something had happened to her, maybe she had been hurt, a tree had fallen on her and she was in a coma and this was all make believe in her mind. It was something out of a book or a movie, not Auta’s life.
“Now missus, you need to do something about this here disbelief of yours, you’re living this day and still you don’t believe it, it’s as clear as the nose on your face and we can both see that. Did they drop you missus? Drop you on your head when you was little. Blimey missus, you’re a stubborn one ain’t ya.” Johnny Puckle shook his head. “Modern world and you’ve all forgotten what is real and has always been here. Give me a dancing nymph any day. Silly humans the lot of you missus, no disrespect, well not to you missus, just to them, you need to forget you’ve been pretending to be one.”
“Pretending to be human? But I am human, see look at me.”
“That is just your body missus and lots of beings look like that, the Fae Queen, beauty that she was looked just like you do, well not just like, her eyes were different and well okay missus you looked different but you were still the same and she was not human and you ain’t neither. Nor is your sister or the others you will run around with. Special you are, old blood, blood of power, of gods and fae and magic. You need to get that in your noggin missus.”
Auta was sure if the little man could have reached he would have knocked on her head, trying to knock some sense in to her. Why was it that she couldn’t simply believe this was real? Why couldn’t she trust everyone around her even after all she had seen and what she had done, that she could be as special as them?
Because she was taught that it was wrong to think yourself special and above everyone else. It was a punishable offence and such lesson’s were hard to shake off even in the face of magic.
“Well missus I’m sorry that they tanned that there backside of yours and worse but you ain’t meant to cling to the past like that, it’s time to go forward, that’s what awaits. Ain’t no way to go back missus. Time don’t work like that even the gods have to jump forward, great storms they make when they go back. Once or twice it might be done but not often, not often missus, you should see the mess, has to be vital, and usually missus they only do it to put a child where they need to be but you missus have to go forward so enough now of this or I’ll take you over me knee and don’t be thinking I won’t or that this here lady cougar will stop me. You’re giving her headache enough with all your disbelief.
Auta followed on in somewhat of a daze, so if this was real and it seemed that it truly was, she was not human and she had to embrace everything she was and believe. But the how still remained the question.
They walked on deeper into the forest, Auta had never been this far in before. There had never been any need. The ground angled up and the trees continued up the hill side. They were heading west now and the hills would become the mountains if they continued to follow the rise and flow of the land but that was greater distances than Auta wished to travel by foot.
The cougar walked in front of Auta leading the way through the trees following a path only it knew. The little man Johnny Puckle sat astride the big cats back still and with the way she kept looking back to her rider it seemed they were in silent communication. Auta was jealous in some ways, it seemed that was an easy emotion for her to go to. That was something she wanted to be free of. She wished to be free of the negative thoughts and emotions she had often clung to.
“That missus is a noble intention that is. And you would do well to make it come true missus. Take a lesson from Johnny Puckle ain’t no time for them feelings. For every one thing you be jealous of missus in another, they be jealous of you for something too. World got enough negative without that kinda thinking missus, waste of that energy in you tainting it and turning it black missus, you need to shine missus, let your light shine out of your pretty smile and the world be better for it missus, Johnny Puckle promise you that.”
“I know. It’s just hard…”
“Well missus, nothing worthy has ever been easy, where would be the lesson in that and don’t get Johnny Puckle wrong, life is about the lesson and learning, Johnny Puckle is always learning missus. Even today. This here cougar comes to you today for your lesson and Johnny Puckle is here to tell you that she won’t be here for you every day and there be a lesson to learn from all who come to you missus, be they of this world or the next, or beast or man, all have a lesson missus and you have missed many. Here we are missus.”
The cougar had stopped in a small clearing where the trees ringed the area, their branches reaching out to each other, mingling and touching to create a canopy over the little space. Auta stopped before the clearing and looked at the mushrooms that ringed. “A fairy ring…” She clapped her hands in delight recalling days of her childhood searching for such things and hours spent cloud gazing within them when she found one big enough.
“True enough missus, a ring of the Fae folk, place of power it be and here you will find it easier to let your soul fly. Time for you to let go missus, time for you to know your heart. Time is marching on and soon you’ll be caught up in the story missus and the streak of the healer will be needed, loved ones and ones to love will need your healing missus, you best be ready and not let them down missus.”
“Need me? But what can I do?”
“None of that talk missus, no time for doubt, time to find out and become missus. Take your place in the ring missus, the Cougar and I will lead you home, she’s already gone missus.”
Auta had been so intent on the ring of mushrooms she had not noticed that Johnny Puckle had alighted from his steed and the cougar now lay in the circle seemingly asleep. The way she was positioned Auta just knew that she was expected to place her head between the two paws. The thought scared her some but she knew she would not be allowed to use her fear and back out, she was expected to do now and so do she would.
She stepped over the wild white caps and into the ring feeling the power as soon as she crossed the line. She could actually sense the two lines that ran into this spot and crossed over sharing their energy before their journey continued on out from this spot. Something about the position of the trees and perhaps even the mushrooms as they grew amplified the power of the place within the clearing.
“Well come on missus, Johnny Puckle ain’t getting younger while your mind turns like a whirl pool, get your backside in there and down you go missus, close your eyes and let old Johnny Puckle guide you on missus. The Silver Lady says its time.”