Chapter One – The Enchanted Tree
A Hawk flies through the dark of night, the darkness only broken up by the rhythmic pulse of Lady Lightning and her fingers. He flies with purpose and has flown across many lands, through many planes of existence. There’s been a Call and the Hawk is to summon One who is ready now for the Journey.
The Hawk tires, long has he flown, through many lives, not just as the Hawk, but as a man, as a beast, as creatures of a thousand names. The Hawk knows this landscape very well though. The destination is near, he feels its pulse for it’s not one for All, All for one, but One is All and All is One. The black fields of ancient volcanic flows, long settled open up finally to a giant crater, The Crater Where All Life Began. There in the center of the Crater is the mythical Enchanted Banyan, a tree some say was the first tree ever created, around the same time a seed of the Great Spirit dropped like but a beat, with a rhyme, as The Hand That Wrote It All began to Dream itself…
Lady Lightning dares not enter The Crater Where All Life Began, not because she is not welcome, but because its inhabitants, or shall we say, its largest inhabitant, likes to admire her for inspiration from a distance and an unspoken agreement do they have. Only shall they dance when the first song’s over you see?
The Hawk looks deep and sees a swarm of fireflies lighting the way for him and sees a very small figure awaiting him on a branch.
“Snacks…” the Hawk says as he sees the Hairless Rat and three other rats behind him. The Hawk swoops in and makes his landing in front of the rats, the Hairless Rat, not budging, the other three making their way back into the shadows.
“Lord Snacks.” the Hawk greets the Rat with a bow of the head.
“Hawk, Master of the Skies.” Snacks replies as he walks over and fearlessly pats the beak of the Hawk.
“I’ve brought an urgent message for The Poet.” The Hawk tosses a scroll over to Snacks.
“Poet? That what he’s known as these days? Oh he is going to love that they call him that. He’s much more partial to the writing then the psychic and magic business.” Snacks jokes as he scoops up the scroll.
“If only the Worlds knew that its Greatest Psychic aspired to be a writer.” The Hawk said shaking his head. “Wish a great many his intuitive ability…”
“It is what it is. We’ve all dreams of some sort or another and a service as well, the service takes precedence, ultimately he believes that… but you know Red.” Snacks replied. “Please make yourself at home, my wife and the girls set up a nest for you in the highest branch of the Tree.”
“Much Gratitude my Lord. Long traveled have I. The kindness of the line of Snacks is known worlds over.” The Hawk answers.
“Well, you know what they say about rats being loving and all.” Snacks brushes the compliment off. “Now off we both go.” Snacks leaps off the branch and the Hawk flaps his wings and heads up in the vast tree.
Snacks swings through some of the hanging roots of the Banyan, making his way with ease to the base. He lets go lands against the trunk of the tree to scurry the rest of the way. A light coming from below lighting the rest of the way to his destination…
The light is coming from a hut, a simple dwelling made of bamboo, only large enough for but an occupancy of one or two, though this hut was quite magical as it was home to a cast of 29 characters. It is here that Snacks lives with his wife, Naps, a Fancy Rat with a sleek black coat, and their 25 children. While that accounts for 27 little characters, there remains but two more…
Snacks climbs through a little window and heads towards one more member of the household, a monkey with a mane like that of a lion, small squared glasses, and some of the finest garments the eye ever beheld, a mixture between a suit and something that couldn’t be real, could it?
Snacks scurries up the table leg where the monkey is drifting to sleep, quill in hand, moving somehow.
“Red.” Snacks calls out nudging the monkey’s arm to no avail but the quill stops, turns to an angle, as if to listen.
“Red!” Snacks yells and monkey does not budge.
“He’s going to hate this…” Snacks says, opening his mouth and taking a bite into Red’s finger.
“AWW! What gives Snacks?” Red yells shaking his hand as he is stirred awake, his chair flying backwards, catching itself before he sprawls all over.
Snacks tosses the scroll over and it opens up and floats in front of Red’s semi-reclining body. Red snatches the scroll from the air, adjusts his chair to its proper angle, and opens the scroll, which reads itself aloud.
Also known as Mr. Red E. Now,
Also known as Creation’s Greatest Psychic,
Also known as All the Worlds Greatest Psychic,
Also known by too many names similar to those above,
And whose time it is to become a bit more Mystical:
RE: The Call
You are being called on the Journey, my Dear-uh!
Love you much,
Red looks over at Snacks, who is eating some cheese and bread, left over from Red’s plate. Naps hates it when Snacks leaves but Red couldn’t possibly undertake the Journey without Snacks, could he?
Red rolls up the scroll and tucks it in his pocket. He tries to turn away non-chalantly. “Think I might take a stroll outside, Snacks. Get the light will you?” Red grabs a hooded cloak, a red-feathered ball cap, and a card with an Ace of Diamonds on one side and Ace of Spades on the other side, and walks outside.
“For “Greatest Psychic” being amongst his titles, one would think he would be more subtle in his exits.” Snacks says to the Quill while stuffing another morsel in his mouth. The Quill seems to nod in agreement.
Snacks closes his eyes and leaps off the table, landing on a nearby bookshelf. He makes his way down the shelf and around the back. There at the base lies his Kingdom.
“I have some peas and carrots on the table.” Naps says grooming Spot, a fast growing lad.
“Going to have to pass Mum.” Snacks says.
“I figured with all the to-do over The Hawk’s arrival. I packed a few of your favorite things in your pack, it’s by the door.” Naps replied, putting Spot down and walking over to her husband. They nuzzle and Snacks gives her a lick.
“You bring him back.” Naps says.
“Really? No good luck, be careful, I’ll miss you. But bring him back.” Snacks says in shock.
“Oh, Babe!” Naps says. “I believe in you. It’s Red that I worry about. You know how he can get stuck in the crack in his mind sometimes.”
“True. That mind of his, like a hurricane, tormented albeit brilliant to behold and only at the very center, calm.” Snacks replies. They say their last good-byes and Snacks hurries out across the floor of the bamboo home. He makes it outside and sees Red on one knee looking up at the sky. Lady Lightning has ceased her painting for the day and it looks as though all the colors of the sky weave into one. Snacks runs over and climbs up into the hood of Red’s cloak.
“… and thank you for another day. And may all the hungry Souls of the many planes of each and every of the worlds be nourished.” Red finishes his ritual. Red looks over his shoulder at Snacks and says with a bit of relief, “So nice of you to join me.”
“We’re not called The King and Mr. E. for nothing.” Snacks shoots back.
Red laughs and replies, “No biting on this next part, eh?”
Snacks smiles without an answer of yes or no and laughs. Red pauses and start to focus. He closes his eyes briefly and when he opens them they start to glow with a Green Light. He turns his head, a mischievous look in his eyes and points his staff ahead, the end of it glowing bright green like Red’s eyes and the portal opens right in front of them.
“As many times as we’ve done this Red, it still excites me!” Snacks exclaims.
“As well it should good Friend.” Red says. “Alright, let’s see where the Invisible Thread takes us this time. Hold on…”
Reds walks through and the two disappear as the portal closes behind them.