The dream belongs to the Silver frequency
which degrades over aeon into Bronze.
Then the villagers begin their dance.
Seemingly within her frequency all ghost faces move beyond the
perimeter wooden barricade.
Chapter Nineteen
The Wild Priests
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he cannot get him off of her mind.
What is she going to do about Seth?
A visit to the kitchen, from the far side of the ovens:
“Ruby is Freckles’ girl.  What’s the old woman think ‘er do’n wit lad?”
Enid will not let the boy go.
He speaks little.  She has to drag every syllable from him.
But when lying stretched out upon the sheets, she expecting, and then he climbs, why it is more than she can speak!
The girl Ruby, he mentions her at times.
She has thought of finding Ruby some position far off, Mandalmane paying.
Enid is not foolish enough to think the boy treasures a dot for a foolish old woman.  Yet his breathing changes.  He kisses her.
Just his hands moving up and down her skin!
The idea comes that if Ruby works at the Manor, if she stays at the manor, she would not be here.  The boy might forget her.
She must swap Ruby for Elsie.
She will talk to Violet Chanestine?  If Edith adds an annual amount to the pay Elsie will receive, she is sure Elsie will oblige. London pay and extra.
She telephones Violet.  Violet asks of Hæmma, the very good-looking underbutler.  “Archibald is an old man.  I couldn’t let Hæmma go,” Edith teases.  “Now if you take Elsie, she wishes to move to London.  I said I would try to help.“
The deal is done.  “But you’re taking all my good people, Violet!”
Elsie is delighted.  Hæmma also.  Violet Chanestine will be paying Hæmma twice his Mandalmane salary.
Ruby receiving half again her present pay is chuffed at going to the Manor.  Ruby will not return with Beatrice to Mandalmane each evening as Elsie does.  She will take the servants room that Miss Stanton used before moving to the front of the house.
When Ruby and Seth talk, Ruby asks his feelings.  Ruby likes to have the man in charge make the decision, with encouragement of course.
Seth has no problem.  He’ll get horse from stables.  Seth has been helping out in stables with the Brougham not going anywhere. Joshua Shenton estate head groom likes him.
They’ll be no problem with a horse.  He’ll enjoy the ride out.  He’ll come to Ruby as he does now to the room provided for nights by Ruby’s friend on the estate cottage. He’ll leave early before anyone at the Manor wakes.
With the increased pay offered Ruby, and training for the underbutler position with Hæmma before Hæmma leaves for London, soon they’ll have enough to get married. How can she manage that!
She can manage that fine!  Ruby in the bed, gives him a big, all-encompassing cuddle.  There’s one thing about you Seth, lad, and more than one, she feels underneath the sheets, you do know how to make up your mind.
Seth keeps nothing from her.  Ruby laughs when he tells her about him and the old woman.  “As if I don’t know me Seth Joseph Nyler,” she firmly holds his growing member.
“An ifs there’s one woman I ain’t afeard on, well its ‘er. Mind, I don’t have no goings with you and those kitchen trollops,” she adds kissing him.  “But ‘er!  You’ve got more than enough for that old woman and me, Seth Nyler, and for six more.  Though I’d catch you w’id kitchen trollop in closet or out, well then me and you is through.”
“You’d leave me, Rube?”  he asks in astonished wonder.
“Without even a think’n on it,” she kisses him again on the lips. “Might shed a tear later, mind.  Old woman and me, that’ll haft’be y’un pleasure.  On’y tha.”
Ruby knows Freckles.
She knows she can tell him what to do and he’ll do it.
He does love her.  She’s s’ur’n on it as s’ur as saint’s day, Sunday. Freckles’n love with Ruby and Ruby‘n love with Freckles.  Would be a fine thing if she were jealous of mother Coulter.  Not that she don’t think Seth likes being with ‘er, or that there ain’t something with old woman and Seth.  Lad’s drawn to ‘er.  But life’s not always what it seems on outside.  From past she thinks.  Wise old woman!  Leaves couple of sovereigns on tray for him. Not a lot, enough to make him feel he’s having benefit.
A few days after Ruby is established at the Manor, Mrs. Coulter casually mentions to Seth perhaps an afternoon visit.  So Seth now arrives daily at eleven morning hour plus fifteen, after mid-morning tea has been brought to the private apartment, and four fifteen in the afternoon.
Hæmma trains Seth around his morning schedule, but afternoons both Mrs. Coulter and the boy take a nap. Edith has begun to think that perhaps Mandalmane needs an under-underbutler. There are always those times when Seth might be called upon when indisposed.  An under-underbutler will be able to take care of such moments. She will mention it to Seth, ask if he will mind training a young fellow as under-underbutler.
When there is cleaning upon the stairs of Mrs Coulter’s wing, Freckles, though he does his best to be unobserved, sometimes is noticed.
The servants have discussed what a shame it all is.  But with Mr. Coulter off to see Miss Annabell after morning estate business ... And the young footman liked for his amiability in the stables, the kitchen, and on the farmland, and soon to be replacing Hæmma, the talk is quieted.
“Comforting is as comforting gets,” says Ruby.  So let it be. Mandalmane has more than old woman and Freckles to gossip about.
. . .
Arthur gazes up at the heavy clouds.  It is the 25th day of May 1900.  Rain is pouring down so much the gutters are overflowing. “How much we have come to rely upon each other since the days of hunting,” Arthur waves his hand at the outside.  “We have always considered ourselves a pack, as wolves.”
“The human-wolf quantity!”  adds Constance.  “Playing follow the leader.”
“Yes!  I suppose you can say that.  The Enslavement Dream proceeding towards its deepest misery, the ability to correct anything diminishes.”
“We can do nothing but watch it unfold!”
“We lose the ability!  Money goes to paying those who protect the enslavers.  Money since it was invented in Sumer in our known history becoming the most obvious problem.”
“Because it gives a few power!”
“It gives them all power.  The many who produce, who are in their work enslaved as much as any slave, their power is nothing. Should they form a group they are nothing.
“The power of the state is today the power of the vast corporations controlled by board members who sit upon multiple boards funding the politicians who act in tandem with the aims of the controllers.
“The states policing agents do the rest.  Real freedom never has been part of the Enslavement Dream.  Real liberty to control our life, live as we would wish, has always been only for a few.  Those with power, those with money to create those who have power.
“States and union of states and corporations merged unseen at the top structure.  Nothing is ever mentioned. Why should it.  They control the press.  For the ordinary person, this today is nothing more than new serfdom.”
. . .
Annabell has until now kept her strongest judgement at bay.  Had she told Aunt Constance!  Had she not taken Uncle Ronald’s rifle! The thought pounds through.  Uncle Ronald’s death is due to her. She is responsible.
Over and over she attempts to plan.  She must make the payment.
But dear Heart, when she has her child!  Bear!
Aunt Constance and Uncle Ronald would be sailing if it were not for her.  Aunt Constance would be uncle Ronald’s wife now.
It has to be done.  It has to be executed.  She must make the planning to take her life!
As Annabell shifts uncomfortably in her seat pulled close to her apartment parlour window, she stares forth through the rain soaked window.  How is she going to follow Uncle Ronald?  How do people die!
In the kitchen months past she’d noticed a blue bottle with ‘poison’ raised upon its outside.
“That bottle, it’s for the field mice, my love.”  Mrs. Minton had come across. “We don’t like to do it, but once they get inside the walls, building a nest, having young, soon the pantry is overrun.
Biting into the sacks, the mess they create it’s not healthy.
“Arsenic!  Is that arsenic inside the bottle?”
“Indeed it is, my love.  Mr. McBride spreads a few seeds upon the ground by the wall.  A drop of that arsenic he places on the seeds.”
Annabell had reached to pick up the bottle.
“Don’t touch it, love. I’m sure nothing is on the outside. Nothing that could cause harm.  Best to be safe!  I’ll speak to Mr. McBride.  Back down the cellar is where it should be.”
All she knows of the cellar rooms is that they are where Uncle Ronald has his wine stock.
Uncle Ronald!  Uncle Ronald!  How proud he was of his wine collection.  Beginning to moan, she bends in pain. She no longer wishes to live.  She must take her life!
Heart comes, takes her hand. “Come and lie down with me, Annie.”
Lying next to Heart she wonders if Laudanum can be deadly.  She recalls some mention in a magazine.  Would it be strange to ask for a bottle from the apothecary?  She could say it would rest her.
From the Yew tree an extraction can be taken from its bark, she has read.  In quantity this can cause death. What is Hemlock!  Hemlock!  Nightshade!
Where can she find Deadly Nightshade!
A story about a boy comes to mind.  An innocent had wandered off, drowned out by Leatherleaf waters.  “One misplaced step in the deceptive entanglements will bring one under,” Uncle Ronald had told her.  “Leatherleaf is extremely dangerous.’ “
“Under the water?”  she had asked.
“You think it is land,” he had replied.  “Even a good swimmer cannot escape the roots that grow.”
As she lies upon the bed, an excitement comes upon her. Uncle Ronald gave up his life on the moors.  She will die there herself out on the moors.
She will ride out to the moors and she will not come back. She will walk into the entanglements.  She will let the roots take her.
Doom!  Doom it will be.  Doom as the waters take her.
Annabell rolls back and forth, back and forth.  Her face tearing at the pillow, how can she escape to the moors!
. . .
Constance and Arthur have not noticed Meg and George enter the solarium.  “Hello!”  George hails, walking across to the high tropical vegetation.  The two seated look up, smile.
“The drawing room has lost its charm.  Do you mind if we join you?”
“If you can find somewhere in this woodland,” answers Constance.
“I think we can,” George, with a hint of his old smile, pulls two comfortable seats to the inside of the circling plants.  “Meg!”  he says, helping her to the chair.
“I’m relating Henrietta’s tale of Wild Priests, George! But I’ll stop!”
“Now that rings a bell, old man.  Henrietta at the beach.”
“Perhaps you have something you wish to engage us?”
“No!  No!  Truth is we came, well, to be entertained. Henrietta had only just begun her story when there was a cloudburst!  Never did get more!  Back in Atlantis time I believe.  Before everything sank. Am I correct?”
“An orb found in an old temple,” responds Arthur. “Orbs were used in Atlantis for the keeping of past memory. They were storers of knowledge.  This orb they found had recount of a much earlier time.”
“Before Atlantis?”
“Long before.  It spoke of, well, in your language, how the entire game is divided into ethereal realities!  Gold, silver, bronze, iron, as we say.”
George turns to Meg.  “As the Easterners say, though they have come to use it to explain Earth’s history.”
“Yes!  Henrietta would speak of frequencies.  How life states are held in different frequencies.  A sequence of gold, silver, bronze, iron, and back to gold within frequencies rather than a linear line. The pattern however is always to descend into the denser condition until reverting back into the high state.  Somewhat like the Chinese flow of the one back inside the other, except different.
Constance smiles at Meg, “We will catch up!”
Arthur looks at Meg, Constance.  “The most startling for Henrietta’s ancestors is knowledge the orb gives about the time in which they exist.”
“Yes!  Entrance ways are shown, large interior caverns with lake water and areas where food can be grown.  One of these entrance ways into the inner Earth is recognised as an entrance to a cave.
“Henrietta’s linage had been battling the politicians of the time. Much was being done in the name of science that completely went against the order of nature.”   Arthur glances at Meg.  “You have a question, Miss Trenton!”
“This is a time period before our history, Mr. Hews?”
“Our history begins with stone writings in Mesopotamia. Before that everything is conjecture.  That which I speak of is oral history carried down through time by my wife’s family.  There is no proof of any of this, so I place what I tell in the realm of fable.”
“You are not speaking of Plato?”  says George.
“It seems Atlantis has many times.  I should say many civilizations have been given the name Atlantis by us. The season of knowledge of the orb of the fable, is the melting of the great ice slabs.  A second civilization with this name, Atlantis as described by Plato, is of a civilization that has its highest political systems based upon an island ‘beyond the Pillars of Hercules.’ Other Atlantian times go back hundreds of thousands of years.  Perhaps Plato’s Atlantis is the only Atlantis in present Earth frequency.”
“So this fable is not in present Earth frequency?”
“No!  It is of a silver period.  How does Henrietta have such history, you ask?  The answer is that the frequency of Atlantis of the time of the orb was not that different to Earth’s present frequency, or I should say the frequency in which we presently exist upon Earth.  Henrietta’s ancestors learnt to adapt to today’s Earth frequency. They did as the families we speak about did, bring knowledge from this previous frequency into our time and frequency. We are considering many thousands of years.  The ice slabs are believed to have melted twelve thousand years past, so it was around that time in Earth’s history.”
“It is still changing today!”
“Yes!  As we proceed into the future, our children will adapt as Earth’s frequency continues to meld into a new state.  The choice for us, Henrietta said is whether we will descend in a more complicated Enslavement Dream, into a more intense iron reality or move back into a gold.
“A better way of stating is a more enlightened existence. These frequencies are not set linearly.  They are set by the consciousness of those within the frequency.”
“How do you mean that, Arthur?”
“The word ‘consciousness?’ The way we think about things! Henrietta always pointed to Jesus’ words.  She said we had the opportunity then to move out of the iron state we had descended. Instead we have had two thousand more years of reality within the iron.  She said if we had followed Jesus’ words, even the few that have come down to us within the Christian Bible, we, and all of our ancestors, would not have had to endure that which we have.
“We would be with brothers and sisters in other frequencies and planets and star systems who have advanced.  It is an understanding of one’s own needs, how we behave towards each other, how we wish to live, that is what I mean by consciousness.
“The fable speaks of a warning from the orb and a place to retreat. Henrietta’s ancestors carrying the orb with them fled to the cave opening, a pathway into a large inner lake. Here by the lake they found a strange moss growing along the crown of the inner cave, producing a brightness in which they see quite clearly.  No longer do they need oil flares.  Great plants and even trees grow around the large internal lake.
“With this there is rejoicing.  From twelve to eighteen hours they discover the overhead moss gives brightness. Then for a period the cavern dims.
“This becomes day and night to them.  Fed by volcanic heat from below steam rises during this night period, the steam nurturing the high moss that produces this light. Excess water that the moss collects returns as rain to fall upon the great plants and trees that have grown up around the lake.
“Many of these plants and trees bear edible fruit.  A bread fruit is found.  Destruction that comes upon the cities along the shorelines takes place during this retreat.  The orb they carry with them states that a great war will have taken place between the rulers of Atlantis and those who enter the frequency with airships.  The reason for the submergence of the cities will be not by cause of nature itself but release of energy from weapons that generate a quickening of melting. This melting and change upon the surface of Earth takes place within an extremely short period of time, within our present understanding only hours.  The orb speaks of a sickness of mind in the leaders.”
“And those who enter the frequency with airships?”
“George, I asked the same question,” replies Arthur.
“There is no answer in the fable.”
“The great texts preserved in India have some validity then you would consider, Arthur.”
“Yes, I think that explains what happened, George, given changes of interpretation in wording, religious human thought spoiling the original knowledge!”
“It seems The Game always provides insight of the past.”
“Yes!  It is one of its rules, I believe.”
“Let us hear the saga of the wild priests, Arthur.”
. . .
Lawrence has become quite proficient in directing his thoughts. Some past event he will think and he will be at a card room, a favoured eating place, a person’s mind stirring if he slips through them.  In this development, this throwing of his thoughts where his body follows, a whole new existence has opened.
The boy stays by the water.  Afraid to venture further, home is the plants, the marshy grass, the leatherleaf.
Lawrence’s funeral draws him.  Some force holds him hovering over the coffin.  At the funeral, in the church standing beside the casket, when Angulse Sherod speaks Lawrence listens with intentness.  No one in the church sees him laugh, not even Bella.  He wanted so much for her to speak to him.
The funeral is not the first time he has been compelled. He more than once found himself by his body in the place they had taken it. There is another time when George Bexfield is conversing with Bella.  “My son...I so greatly loved Caroline... I did not know...” Bella nods, tears in her eyes.
Lawrence listens: “Lawrence, my child...”  It is most peculiar to him.
Then a trip he takes to Hartlepool.  “The father came to the funeral.” His uncle is speaking to the coven priest.
“We did not acknowledge him. The father left immediately afterwards with the girl.  Took her to the station.  She returned to London we understand, then to her father’s farm.”
The coven priest turns towards the recess where he sees the faint outline of Lawrence standing. His uncle continues: “Adolphous was at the funeral.  So was Stanson.  Clair of course.  I was surprised that you did not come, Unhir.”
The coven priest’s face takes on a peculiar smile.  “The police came up with nothing when they were here! Nothing that they did not already know?  I questioned the servants afterwards.  The prostitute brought them here.”
“They came to see me in Exeter.  I did not deny my ‘peccadillo.’”
“They can do nothing!  London has it covered.”
“I mentioned my wife, how it would be disturbing to her if she knew.  Adolphous was in touch with those in Exeter who would be able to take care of it.  It was mentioned at a higher level that costs might be explored.  There was no reason not to drop the investigation.  George Bexfield spoke of the boy’s mother and the fire.”
“The moor deaths?  It is a time past.”
“After the funeral, Clair was highly engaging back at the house.  She related how she insisted on placing the first faggot.  It seems the boy and his woman intended to get money from the Biddiford magistrate, faulting as his errant father the magistrate, not the brother who went to India. That was due to Catherine.  She sent him a letter about our old servant’s disclosure of his father’s name. The boy asked about his father once.  I gave him a good whipping, made it clear he was never to speak of it.”   Lawrence listens as the priest relates how the house on the moors was burnt.
“Master Heinrid as yourself would not be involved.”
“No!  The ceremony had to be done by those who would not be recognised.  The police in Biddiford were aware of the mother and child staying with us.  I longed to go, but as I told Heinrid, if only a private inquiry to one of the servants they might ask where I was that night.  It was unlikely, but why take the chance.  Sometimes these things get out of hand.  Even using the Druid’s way.”
“Clair, coming up with the placement of the stone that marked the entrance to the Druid’s way, that we considered portentous.”
“Yes!  We were raised in spirit.  I knew in my heart then the ceremony done where the circle of stone had been, He would be present for you.  Clair after the funeral, she was saying an inferno the house became, how much power the stone still held.”
The coven priest laughs.  “They could not get down, we had secured the stair door with a post.”
“The windows?”
“Both too small and latticed.  Trapped to the stairs the three were. Adolphous skilled in locks said we would have to break the door if the lock stuck, or the key remained in the lock, so we were prepared with iron cudgels.  As it was, the large iron key had been hung by the window.  We just broke the window.  Clair took the key with her.”
“Clair at the funeral says now is the time to do the ceremony of completion.  She will use the key for that. She asked if I would like to be present.  I said I would. The house as it burnt, it was an unnatural fire?”
“Flames such that the stone itself seemed to melt.  Once we placed the faggots we had already lighted, no time had those inside.  No time more than to scream!”
. . .
Arthur waves his hand about.  “Where to begin with the Wild Priests!  Well, there are no cities in this place.  It is Earth, yet it is not Earth, not in our frequency.  A silver period degrading into bronze, its time is in the hoary past.
“Clusters of villages exist.  Each village has about it vast areas of wildland, or wilderness as we call it today, desert or dense forest surrounding the villages.
“Pathways exist connecting villages.  Everyone walks. Each community self-sustaining tradesmen travel pushing carts.  There is no money, village craft are bartered.  All villagers learn a talent of some kind: making items to use or for art, performing on stage.
“The look of the people is different.  But hands they have, and feet. They produce offspring as we.  Weather events are moderate. Mists in the morning, sunrises and sunsets.
“A type of wool or cotton is woven, taken from plants. Around the particular village that I will speak there is a great forest.  The villagers enter for a depth, collecting plants, herbs, fruit.  Varied animals live in the wildlands. A few species come into the villages. Considered as pets, they have independence, leave when they wish.  No animals are kept for eating.
“A villagers tool is the gemstone.  Stones emitting colour can be picked up in all sizes within the forest, in the deserts and by the sea-shore.  Special traders will go great distances to find special gems.
“Energy with these stones cut cloth.  Powerful crystals can be focused so that light that flows will cut through a large tree.  A sound will come, then light, cutting where the mind directs.
“House building, furniture making, artistic pieces to trade, all from forest wood.  Where there are no surrounding forest, sand can be unified by energy from these gems, stone encampments built of a rounded style.
“In the villages built of wood, a high wall surrounds. No one knows why?  There is no knowledge of robbery.  No attacks of any kind.  Villages hold markets much as we do.
“A bartering of goods can be the highlight of a week or fortnight. Festivals are common.  Evenings plays performed in the village square bring out great gatherings.  Those who present creative works are highly valued.  Acting is viewed as learning.  New stories are always welcome.
“The villagers as we, seek from an unknown.  No set teaching of a deity, but some essence of where the villagers might originate from is passed from adult to child.  Who has produced the sky, the energy that the villagers use through the gems, all is much discussed within the boundaries of theatre.
“Then there are the priests!  For as long as the villagers have memory, priests have separated themselves from the ordinary people’s practices.  Priests live outside a village. At the edge of the wildlands a monastery will be where monks and nuns grow and collect their own food, gather plant wool and cotton, design and make their garments, furniture and bedding.
“Priests intermingle with the villagers at times.  Birth and marriage celebrations are something the villagers look to as special occasions.  Bells and whistles and sea-conches provide a great cacophony fully enjoyed.  At the end of the ceremony the priests will be given accolade, nothing else is expected.  A priest will utter prayers at a person’s death, to guide the departed spirit upon its way.
“Priests at times do seek more.  Some venture deep into the forest never seen again.  Those who do return speak of strange adventure.  Because of these tales, priests who go adventuring are thought of as ‘wild.’
“‘Movement’ is the name the wild priests have given to this experience.  ‘Movement’ is something that takes place when they see our colour ‘grey.’ Grey is a magic colour for it cannot be seen in ordinary reality.  The wild priests who experience ‘movement’ revere it in the telling.  This simple and most extensive colour in our world, is indeed missing in theirs.
“Monasteries hold counsel of all who live within the monastery. There is no leader.  Only priests who are wild have knowledge of a reality beyond the understanding of the villagers.  Monks and nuns know not who God is, or even that God exists.  Awareness at the monastery is that the first learning of past ages has disappeared.
“A one who comes with curiosity from the village to seek the monastic life will be given something called ‘theology,’ stories of past times, great teachers.  A type of energy flow does come to the mind when this knowledge is spoken.
“This energy flow enhanced with ritual, the new acolytes are satisfied.  Elder people of the monastery question this energy. What does it do?  Where does it take them?  Such energy, mostly pleasant while it lasts, once gone, is gone. There is such a thing called ‘movement,’ that the wild priests speak about.  Even ‘movement,’ the wild priests do not say, comes from God.
“Falling into some misery, or boredom, a monk or nun will slip away, try to find this ‘movement’ of which they have heard, have become so enthralled.
“So it comes to a certain moment where a group of monks, seeking reason for their monastic life, decide to make provision and new clothing, trek to where two streams intersect.  This is a distance in the forest where no ordinary monk or nun proceeds further.
“Beginning their exotic journey, marking trees so they will know how to return, the monks journey inwards.  All at first is similar. Then, as one remarks, tree bark has a deeper colouring.  This encourages for it is a quest, an adventure they are seeking.
“Further along a monk points to a plant growing by the stream. None can rec all ever having seen this plant before. Shadings of all green suddenly seem different.
“A shimmering takes place.  Here that which they see are beings somewhat like men, but with strange angular, strong faces.  As they sit to discuss they concur: these beings bend their bodies when they walk.
“The next day another shimmering, this time ‘bending-bodies’ are placing skins over large branches.  What is it they are seeing in this strangeness?  A day later, walking out of a cluster of trees, bending-bodies are right before them.  The priests stare.  This is no shimmering vision. The bending-bodies are moving about carrying sticks, with redness, blood dripping from the sticks.
“Grouping together, not sure whether to hail or run, the bending-bodies make no movement towards them.  Some do seem to stare across to where they stand.  The priests decide they cannot flee so they walk slowly, calmly towards the camp.  Nothing! Then one of the bending-bodies walks towards them.  He appears to be walking to them, but then it seems he is to walk right into them. Quickly they scatter.
“Afraid, hiding behind trees, the monks watch as the bending-bodies continue to gather wood for a fire they have started.  One of the bending-bodies they have not noticed, steps out from behind a tree, comes right up to one of the monks, exactly where he stands.  The bending-body then picks up a fallen branch that the priest is standing upon.
“Astounded by wonder, the priests have no idea what has just happened.  How can the branch that the bending-body picked up from under the trembling monk be still under the monk who is still standing upon it?  Yet as they watch, the bending body carries this branch with its dead leaves, to firewood being stacked beside the fire.
“The priests decide to leave.  This is far too odd, an apparition, a vision they no longer wish to engage.
“But the stream has been their guide, their security until now.  Trees marked give assurance but trees can be missed. Also, if they venture deeper into the trees away from the stream they will likely run out of water.  If they lose their way, and there is no pool or stream, what will happen to them!
“An idea is whispered among them that they must try to get around the encampment then return back to the stream. But did the bending-body really come to the monk, pick up the branch that he stood upon?  Did everyone see the bending-body put his hand through, through...  Then the priest to whom this has happened screams.  They all run.”
Arthur laughs: “This is the tale.  I am just repeating the tale.  Do you wish me to continue?”
“This happens where one frequency blends into another, is that not so?”
“It is, George.”
“It is generally a rule within The Game that that which exists as a higher frequency can see to some extent into the lower.  But those who exist within the lower vibration mostly cannot detect the higher frequency.  A few have a sense of something, but that is all.”
“What about the branch,” asks Constance.  “How can you pick up a branch and it is still there?”
“Because the branch exists within both frequencies,” replies George, turning to Meg.”
“Is this like being a ghost?”  Meg asks.
“Exactly,” responds Arthur.
Meg shakes her head.  “Which are the ghosts?  Those called the bending-bodies, or the monks?”
Arthur smiles.  “Good question, Meg!  Ghosts are just people in a different reality.”
George reaches to place his hand upon Meg’s.  “They are both ghosts.  They are both real in their own frequency.”
Arthur continues:  “The monks in a great state of perplexity and fear watch the bending-bodies from behind the trees.  Night descends. They see the bending-bodies prepare food upon their fire. In this also something takes place they have never observed before.  A stag is pulled apart, pieces placed upon a stone that is upon another stone that sits in the middle of the fire.  At a certain moment a piece of stag is taken off the fire, blown upon, then eaten by one of the bending bodies.
“The monks have never eaten an animal.  An animal’s body found lying upon a pathway or within a bush when discovered the carcase will be taken, fir used to ornament their clothing.  A prayer is made to the animal who has gone beyond, thanking the spirit of the animal for the gift brought to them.
“But here they watch as the bending-bodies chew the burnt pieces of animal with great relish.
“Drained with their fear, exhausted, for they haven’t eaten themselves for hours, the monks have no idea what to do. ‘Animals are not meant to be eaten,’ they whisper amongst themselves.  ‘We should return to the monastery. This is an abomination.  We should fast and purify our bodies.’
“One older disagrees.  ‘We have seen within the two shimmering visions these bending-bodies,’ he says. ‘These visions came from God.  We have come here to seek God!’
“Gathering fruit that is plentiful in the bushes, they eat, lie down. In the morning the bending-bodies have already made their departure.
“The priests follow along the stream.  Marking the trees carefully, at some point they reach a strange place indeed. Rearing high above them is a wall.  This is ‘movement’ there is no doubt about it.  Not always grey, greenery, a plant grows upon some of the wall.  And within ‘movement’ a large opening where bending-bodies both disappear inside and come forth out of the opening. Female bending-bodies, children bending-bodies, all smiling, speaking in their way with the male hunters.
“To the priests this vision does have a shimmering, even the male hunters now have a shimmering appearance. They whisper at the marvel, but because of the shimmering the priests hesitate to step further.  They will wait inside the surrounding trees, watch.”
. . .
At her sink in the scullery, vigorously rubbing a dish with a dish mop, dipping a dish in the rinse sink, placing it on the side, a young woman has been singing:
The smiles that once you gave to me, I scarcely ever see them now.

The Game - The Enslavement Dream.
Though many, many times I see A darkening shadow on your brow.

The Game - The Enslavement Dream.
I’ll take you home, home across the wild and wide,

Home to where your heart has ever been since you were my bonnie child.

The Game - The Enslavement Dream.
A person has surprised her.  The young woman turns with sudden fright towards Lawrence who starts to sing:
Oh Kathleen, I will take you back to where your heart feels no pain.

The Game - The Enslavement Dream.
Where the fields are fresh, where the fields are green,

I’ll take you home again.

The Game - The Enslavement Dream.
She has to laugh.  “I know you, sir?”
“You do.”
“You are my child?”
“I am.”
Lawrence stares with wonderment upon her.
“Why are you here talking to me?”
“I have come to be with you!”
The girl places the washcloth by the dishes that still need to be cleaned.  “My baby!”  Tears come to her eyes. “I cannot find my baby!”
. . .
“Oh!  Conny, the Wild Priests’ tale is only a fable.”
Walking by the brook that winds along the south of the manor, George and Meg stop to examine meadowsweet growing.
“Early, these meadowsweet!”  Meg makes one of her rare comments as she picks some of the white flowers, “Lovely!”  She holds the bunch to George’s nose.
“How does that poem go by Thomas Hood?”  George places his hand to his head.  “Ah!”
O blessed nature,‘O rus O rus!

Who cannot sigh for the country thus.

The Game - The Enslavement Dream.
Absorb’d in a worldy torpur, who does not yearn for its meadow-sweet breath.

The Game - The Enslavement Dream.
Untainted by care, and crime and death.

The Game - The Enslavement Dream.
“So we are taking the path to the highway, George?”
“Conny is leading, old man!”
“To Oath?”  Constance says.  “It will be easier.”
“A great desire has come upon the wild priests to touch the cavern wall, that is where we are at,” says George.
“Yes!”  responds Arthur.  “The Wild Priests stare at the shimmering bending-bodies walking out from the opening of ‘Movement.’ It all is great wonder.
“The high grey wall with its cave, not only have they never seen such a thing before.  To them stone and dirt they walk upon is red, sometimes a bright yellow.  But there is also shock because of tales from wild priests who have returned to the monastery.
“They speak of entering ‘Movement’ of moving through ‘Movement’ into different worlds.  Are these bending-bodies coming from different worlds?
“Watching until the beginning of nightfall, with only the berries gathered for food as they passed along the stream, now the priests wish to sleep.  They decide to move back along the stream, to find again the place they stopped to drink and sleep.  Many types of different berries grow there, including lots of a ripe breadfruit that needs no cooking.
“In the morning their minds refreshed and cleansed by dreams, the sense to return to ‘movement’ is extremely pressing.  Hiding in the trees, watching male bending-bodies working, stripping hide outside the cave, women bending-bodies carrying baskets into thickets of greenery where fruit grows, one of the women comes into the woods where they are, walks completely through one of the priests.  As she proceeds into the woods the monks decide to follow.  A blocked part of the stream has a large almost circular pool where the woman takes off her animal clothing, frolics in the water.  Her laughing excites carnal feelings of the monks.
“But the remembrance of the how she has just stepped through one of them halts any attempt at moving closer.
“They follow the woman back to ‘Movement,’ watch as she enters the grey.  As nightfall comes, those male bending-bodies who have gone hunting, bring to the campfire birds and rabbits they have killed. Rock of the same type of grey that make up the wall is placed in the centre of the fire, the pulled-apart animals cooked upon the rocks.
“But it is the stone, as they call it, ‘Movement,’ that draws them. An urge to get close to the stone, to touch ‘Movement,’ becomes overwhelming.
“When all that can be seen is the fire and those who sit by the fire, the priests discuss quietly what to do.  If they creep around the bending-bodies in the darkness, they will be able to get to the w all far away from the opening of ‘Movement.’ This they decide to do. Approaching the wall one priest becomes accidentally pushed from behind. To their astonishment he falls right into the wall. The sight confounds them.
“Without even thinking, hands and arms push their way into the substance to pull the priest out.  A most unusual sensation this brings to those who touch the wall.
“Whispering takes place.  Monks who have not immersed their hands, now eagerly do so.  A wave of power this ‘Movement’ brings.  Never have they felt such ecstasy.  Some of the more daring monks take their leg, move it into the wall. The leg has no restriction.  The foot and the leg inside, the rest of the person outside, the intoxication grows.
“One daring priests steps back, then runs into the wall. Fully inside ‘Movement,’ he forces himself out.  He doesn’t at all appear concerned.
“That is where the bending-bodies, all at one go, turn their heads to look at the wall.  They see in the firelight reflecting off the rock the shimmering priests.
“Most of the bending-bodies cry out in terror.  Some who have clubs pick up the clubs, begin to approach.  With this strange sense of power pulsing through the monks, they would stay, confront the bending-bodies.  But none having anything to match the clubs, the monks rush from the large cave wall, flee into the thicket.  The bending-bodies do not follow.
“The bending-bodies have not followed because the high celebrant, the holy woman of the encampment, has called them back.  These are spirits, the holy woman intones. They cannot be killed as animals are killed.
“From inside the cave sacred oil is brought.  The oil is heated, prayers chanted.  Collecting energy from those in the gathering, the celebrant with two of her attendants circle trees that surround the cave and stream, touching a branch, a bow, making special incantations as she does with her high-pitched wailing voice.
“The monks making their way along the gurgling stream reach where they encamped the previous evening.  As the wild priests rest a dream comes upon them.  The dream has killing, them eating flesh, but not of animals killed and pulled apart, that which they dream of eating is bending-body flesh.
“When morning comes, the intoxication of ‘Movement’ they must experience again.  Making their way along the stream, getting close to the grey wall, suddenly they are halted.  A barrier stops them.  Try as they might there is no possibility to proceed through the barrier.  During the middle of the day, when the priests are just lying there, have given up their attempt to enter the now protected lands of the bending-bodies, a female bending-body who has become careless and has drifted further into the bushes than the protection provides, walks into them.
“It doesn’t take long the capture.   all perform upon her. But then something else takes place.  One of the priests takes the flint-knife the young bending-body carries in her belt.  The priest plunges this directly into her heart.  All drink of the blood pouring from her heart.
“Terrified, all the priests flee, follow the markings, arrive in a filthy state at the entrance to the monastery.
“Exhausted, all life seeming to be gone from them, they f all into a swoon.
“Days pass as they lie in the monastery in stupor.  When they do awake all their talk is of the wonder of ‘Movement.’ Nothing is said of the killing.
“At the monastery their return brings great joy to the nun companions, nuns who have joined with the monks as we would consider marriage.
“The monks have travelled far.   all is rejoicing.  In their dreams however the monks who have returned still dream of the killing.  They will make clubs, free the grey stone from the encampment of the bending bodies, make it theirs. They will return.
“A body is found in the village.  Never before have any of the villagers come across a body lying upon the road, not a body sprayed in blood.  The corpse with its stomach torn has offal spewed everywhere.
“‘What has done this?’ the cry becomes. ‘Has some strange monster come upon us?’
“A child hiding behind a plant in a garden, emerges.  ‘A man dressed as the priests dress did the killing,’ the child tells them.
“‘A priest has done this?  Why would a priest do this? The child must have been dreaming.’
“The family take the body, burn it upon a high altar.  A priest is not called for the ceremony.
“A priest from the monastery comes to ask why a monk or nun did not conduct the prayers, and how the man died. He is told a monster did it.
“More bodies with insides tore out become strewed upon the roadway.  Stories whispered tell of monks and nuns, but with an embellishment, phantoms.
“Half-people!  Shimmering beings!
“None of the villagers have seen a ghost, but an old fellow says this is the reason for the protective barricade around the village. As if an infection has taken place, a mind infection, all nuns and monks inside the monastery find they have strange dreams, strangeness they have no wish to speak about.
“Some monks and nuns privately hold a ceremony to cleanse themselves of whatever this strangeness is.  When those engaged in the ceremony are found dead, their insides pulled out, others who have thought to speak out, decide to leave the monastery, leave the village, which they do quickly, in the dead of night.
“For those monks who entered the stone, new dreams take hold.  A council should be called.  A council that will have as its title, ‘The Great Council of Grand High Priests.’ This council will be henceforth the decision makers, both for the nuns and monks, and the village.
“At a meeting of the villagers the appointed leader of the Great Council speaks of something he calls ‘Law.’ Law is needed to protect the village from the phantoms.
“For ‘Law’ to work everyone must obey Law.  If they do not obey Law, the people will be in great danger.  If Law is obeyed the phantoms will depart.  There will be no more killing.
“But to ensure people will obey Law, something called punishment will be meted upon anyone who does not obey Law.
“The villagers are assured by the Grand High Priests that establishing Law will prevent more deaths.  What exactly Law is the villagers do not know.  If it will keep them safe they will allow it.  Only one person protests.  ‘There is something wrong,’ this person shouts.  Priests quickly carry this person away.  He is never seen again.
“With phantoms pervading the village, death becomes accepted, violence becomes part of life.  Some whisper these phantoms are priests.  Then a new edict.  It becomes Law that no-one must speak ill of a monk, nor a nun, nor a High Priest.
“New dreams come to those in the monastery who have touched the stone.  Dreams that show how poking sticks into a person who must be punished can produce a great quantity of pain.
“The Grand High Priests issues an edict sticks must be poked inside the body of any person who needs punishment. This must be done until these errant people are filled with screams of pain.
“More Law is now taken up by the Grand High Priests. More people need to be punished, the Great Council in the village open square, tells the villagers.  Only this will rid the village of phantoms.  On a rack a woman is placed, her limbs are pulled apart.
“It is found by those who perform the torture, energy does come to them from the pain experienced by those they torture.  While most of the villagers remain in their homes, going out into the wildness only for food, a few do assist the priests.  A man or woman to be punished will be strung upon a pole.  A limb broken.
“A hand may be cut off, a leg.  A wheel has been made by someone having a dream.  Here upon the wheel a man or woman is bent over the wheel.  As the wheel is rolled, the person will be beaten by wooden hammers that break their bones, by those who are keeping the wheel rolling.  Those villagers who participate in these acts are given special title.
“An ominous new Law is proclaimed.  Shouted by an official throughout the village a sacrifice, an offering of a child from each family is require to keep the evil away.
“When some village parents protest, a new meeting is ordered. This is Law, they are told.  They must obey.  A judge, one of the priests who now sits at the head of the market place, proclaims any protest is invalid.
“New Law forbids fleeing from the village.  Torture and then death is instant punishment for any who attempt to flee.  Some of the villagers who have children do escape at night.  A most cruel fate befalls as they are caught.  All their family are tortured before they are killed.
“Most in the village say there is nothing the ordinary person can do.  New laws state that tools must be guarded by priests, or officials appointed by the Great Council.
“A priest or official must oversee the use of all tools that might be strong enough to damage another.  This for the villagers protection.  Anything that might be used as any kind of weapon is removed from homes.
“The killing acts, the torture, the death, the eating of the flesh of the victims of Law, these become included into Law as a practice of sacred rite.
“Then something even more peculiar begins to happen. Monks and nuns and those officials appointed by the High Council from the villagers, these seem to be losing their solidness.  Shimmering outlines of strange unrecognisable creatures.  For most of the villagers, no longer can these village officials and priests be seen as being solid.  Now with the priests and officials becoming ghosts, it seems the villagers cannot be touched.
“This old one who has spoken of the wooded barricade that surround the village has bided his time.  Coming forth the old man instructs the villagers to do as his father has instructed him in the ancient knowledge.
“They must dance a certain way.  With this dancing and the placement of certain herbs upon the barricades, the villagers will push the spirits out.
“Herbs are gathered, tied into bunches, placed high upon the wooden barricade.  Then the villagers begin their dance. To the great relief and astonishment of those that remain of the village, all ghost faces move beyond the perimeter wooden barricade.
“Though less then a twentieth of the population remain, at last the villagers have their village back.
“Monks and nuns, all of the High Council, the officials appointed, now all as ghosts, howl in their strange way outside the barricades.
“But nothing they can do.  Without the ability to cause pain and misery, no more intoxication comes to them, yet they do not become so that they can touch and break the wooden barricade. These phantoms speaking to each other, they agree they must as a group go to ‘Movement.’
“They will kill the bending-bodies, pull their bodies apart. Then they will immerse themselves into ‘Movement’ and they will follow wherever ‘Movement’ takes them.”
. . .
Annabell suggests Edward and Emily go for a walk.
They ask her to come with them.  Thoughts race, creations of how can she escape to the moors!
On her bed she rocks, turns and turns.
all her dreams now are with death.
‘I inculpate!  I inculpate!  Will you take me?  I am guilty.’ Annabell pictures herself walking into the dark murky water.  Slowly how she will slip into the mire’s depths.
‘When my spirit is dead, will you be with me, God!’
How can she be alone?
Then mind does give her a plan.
Heart has not bled during her bleeding time.  Heart will not c all the Manor doctor.
“Heart, your aunts in their wisdom will tell you if you are pregnant!
Heart says that in her letters to her aunts she has not told all that has happened.  Her teaching engagement at Lentwiss, when she will receive payment, that is not to begin until autumn term.  She will know more by then.
“Heart, you must visit your aunts,” Annabell presses. “Your aunts you trust.”
Heart says she would not have given acquiescence if the child were not to be born.  It is a boy.
“You will raise the child?”
“While I am teaching my aunts will be there.  If Miss Pearl will not allow me to teach at the school, I will have to search for another position.
“In the village school?  Then your aunts must know,” Annabell responds.
Annabelle has thought greatly about Emily’s pregnancy, that she may not be taken back into teaching at the school.
The legacy her uncle has given her.  ‘The trust can never be transferred to your spouse or an agent of your spouse.’ were her uncles words.  She has taken out the leather hide, noted the solicitor and his office in Biddiford, spoken to him on the telephone.
“Yes, you have full control.  Yes, you can make out a will. We would recommend as you are under age your uncle sign as witness to the document.  That will make the will incontestable.”
She asked the solicitor if he could bring the will out the following day for signing and witness.  Certainly is the reply.
She tells Uncle George what the solicitor has said.  She tells him Emily is with child.  He smiled at her, said he would be delighted to sign as witness.
It is done now.  The document signed, Emily will have no more concern about income.
“Will you marry Edward,” Heart asks.
“I am already wedded to him in spirit,” is all Annabell will say in reply.
“Will you come, Annie?  I beg you to come.  I beg you!”   Heart pleads.  “My aunts will love you, be with them.”
Tears had flowed.  So many tears.
After Bear and Heart’s agreement that she not go with them, during the night pacing, pacing!
Bedroom window to closet.  Closet to bedroom door.
To live...wishing...wishing!
Out to the apartment parlour.  Into the landing.
“I love you,” is all she can murmur when Heart comes to find her.
Annabell, when they both get into bed, turns her face away.
She must be alone!  She must be allowed.
Then she is up, seated by the window.
Morning light, how it spreads upon the garden.
“Annie!  Annie!”
Annabell clasps her delicate hand!  “Heart, my love!  Oh, my love!”  Gently, softly, Heart sits upon the carpet, rests against Annie’s knees.
. . .
Constance is sure the conversation about phantoms and wildlands and bending-bodies and frequencies is all too strange for Meg.
“Meg,” she asks.  “This that Arthur and George are speaking about, doesn’t it puzzle you?”
Meg colours a little.  “There is a boy I know who is now in the army.  He would make deliveries on his bicycle from the grocers to places the cart could not go.  We lived down a large steep hill away from the farm lane and Bicycle Boy, the name I gave him, he was the only one who could bring us groceries.  He once told me that something was strange about life.  That it wasn’t what he thought it should be.”
“No!,” Constance replies.  “When my husband Percy passed away I began to think more seriously.”
Arthur turns to her.  “Nothing we can do, you know. Too many people believe there is nothing but the Dream.”
“Yes,” Constance responds.
“You said there was some last tale in the fable?”
“The villagers return to the game that in The Game they previously had been playing.  They remain in the Silver frequency. This that becomes the Enslavement Dream that begins in the Silver moves to a frequency in the Bronze, which degrades over aeon into the Iron, where it is said we are now.  That is how Henrietta interprets the fable. The priests are the forebears of The Enslavement Dream game.”
Arthur squints upwards towards the late afternoon sun. Then he begins to relate the ending of the fable:
“Monks and nuns, the village officials who have aligned themselves with the priests, are now entirely within the vibration frequency of the bending-bodies.
“Villagers have shouted from the top of their wooden fortification that they are coming to burn the monastery. The ghosts realise no longer have they an existence here. They are fish out of water.
“As the priests, and the villagers who accompany them, trek into the wildlands, the ghosts who they were become solid to the birds and animals who exist in the vibration of Bronze.
“The bending-bodies they find have gone when they reach the settlement.  The encampment is abandoned. The stone they no longer can penetrate.  Everything providing comfort has been taken by the bending-bodies to wherever they have created a new home.  The inside of the cave is empty.
“A new life begins.  A ritual of hunting is taken up. Killing and eating of animals becomes a normal part of their existence.  The priests do act upon the thoughts that come to them; their dreams bringing them knowledge of how to do things.
“Brews that intoxicate are made from the berries that grow.  When attacking each other in anger or intoxication, vestiges of excitement will come.
“Over time, a good portion of the nuns and monks who came as a group slip away.  Some dream of tunnels that take them further into the cave, then valves that bring them to distant surfaces. Those who settle in these heavens grow wings.  In their world they fly.
“Others who journey into the interior of the cave seem that they lead ever onwards.
“At some moment these journeyers stop, we know not where.  That which they establish is called ‘The Kingdom.’
“Demons in their reality, winged creatures in theirs, all become endlessly engaged in the Dream.
“Many surfaces of planets within star formations have an engagement of play by beings, many people that have no connections with the wild priests.
“Engaged in play upon surfaces such as Earth, these groupings become approached by those who have as their ancient progenitors the wild monks and nuns.  These who touch down upon the surface in flying ships appearing to the ordinary people upon the surface as ‘Gods.’
“A whole new stricture, restriction of life, come upon the groupings of ordinary people approached.
“Kingships are established, laws are made.
“The reveries of the wild priests long formalised into ceremony by grandchildren and great-grandchildren, great temples are built upon surfaces to signify richness and control.”
© Kewe   all rights reserved.