“I see a sheet of orange, coating the world above and spinning circles enhanced by fluorescent colors of some strange rainbow. Tall painted figures slowly melt into the shadows and fill the walls with brilliance. Down falls water into a pool of reminiscence. Forgotten times lie near.
“Waves of memories fulfill and sustain the engagement of drifting seas while on the horizon of self-indulgence, a ship leaves the orange sky. I am behind another's eyes whose vision is now bringing back my soul to the peaceful tranquility of a heaven-lit night. Darkness comes and a gentle breeze closes the wind's uncertainty. Look to the east, Amauldegro dreamer, for there alone shall another day come."
Extending from a mountainside is a ledge that leads to a hollowed cave that jets deep into a wall of stone. Birds fly from the ledge and disappear into the shadows as something spooks them. Like dogs to humans, the birds are companions to the Amauldegro who have been mostly sleeping while an Amauldegro dreamer asks the spirits beyond for guidance.
The dreamer is a short, stocky creature with a belly as round as the moon and feet almost as long as his short stumpy legs. His large head sits atop stocky shoulders and from most directions one cannot make out much of a neck. He is a little hairy and tends to have a slight temper; but he, like most of the Amauldegro, is incredibly brilliant.
The air settles across the cave opening as the birds return. Outside lies a vacant wasteland filled with red clouds reflecting the moon's light. In the distance, a winding road twists its way over dunes and up jagged mountains of sand. A star falls from the sky and disintegrates into the atmosphere of this world. Istheii, a younger Amauldegro, jumps awake at the sound of destructive thunder whose noise can sometimes loosen the already weakened ceiling of the cave. With his hair dangling from atop his head and big black eyes bulging from his face, he wrestles awake further as the dreamer stands before him while the others sleep. Istheii takes in smells that are new to him through his small nose, some type of mixed potions, no doubt. He starts to speak but the dreamer places a long, skinny finger over his mouth and motions for Istheii to follow him.
Coals from the last fires of the night glow around the floor of the large cavern and families sleep around their individual hearths. In the middle, a huge pit still burns and several large pots hang above the fire as a ceremonial meal cooks throughout the night. The dreamer motions for Istheii to sample the stew which he slurps noisily, waking those around the closest hearth. The dreamer motions for them to go back to sleep, then motions for Istheii to follow him deep into the cave, down to where the dreamer lives, where few have been before.
Istheii stumbles upon entering the dreamer’s chamber. He is nervous and knows not why he has been brought here. Tales among the children in his younger years said the dreamer sometimes ate little children who were brought down here, as they never came back. But Istheii didn’t believe all that, did he?
The dreamer began to speak and a funny whining noise came out of his nose, as he did so. It made Istheii giggle, which made his belly shake. When he realized that the dreamer was not laughing with him, he became utterly silent.
“You aren’t scared like most who have been led here and yet I know you must have heard the stories in your younger days; have you not?”
Istheii began looking about noticing some bones piled up in a corner, some pots in another part of the chamber, and some paintings on the walls, but he could not quite tell what they represented due to the low light level coming from a very small fire, a fire unlike any he had ever seen before.
“You’re inquisitive; I can see by your eyes,” said the dreamer. “That’s good; where you’re going you’re going to need to be inquisitive. You’ve learned your lessons over the years, I hear.”
Istheii didn’t know quite how to respond to the dreamer. Was he asking a question?
“Go on now, speak!” the dreamer demanded, accenting the last word strongly.
“I don’t know why I am here, Dreamer. Why is it that I am here?”
“Because you are Wausientheo and all Wausientheo when they come of age must seek out a new home for us.”
Istheii knew this label well. It was said that the Wausientheo, once chosen, bore the responsibility of finding a new home for the clan when the old ways failed in a current location. Resources had been drying up outside the cave for decades now, since before Istheii was born. Two Wausientheo had been sent from the cave over the last two eclipses; none had returned
“Me?” Istheii asked. “Me? This must be a mistake,” but Istheii knew the dreamer did not make mistakes, for there was a time when the dreamer was a Wausientheo, too.
“According to the laws, young Wausientheo, you must seek a new home for us. I have been too old to make the journey back for a very long time. If you fail, there may not be another.”
“But how, Dreamer? Where will I go?”
“The potion will take you there. It will answer all of your questions, but it will be up to you to find your way home again, there isn’t enough to bring you back. Only one can cross over; only one can come back. You will dream of a new home and when you wake up there, you must find your way back to us.”
The dreamer handed a now seated Istheii a small saucer full of secrets. He drank from the dish with some hesitation and placed it on the floor of the cavern. His mind began to swirl as if pathways of thought were opening up for the first time. He heard winds, but felt no wind upon him.
The walls of the cavern began to glow and the paintings began to make sense. Written on the walls were the entire histories of those Wausientheo who came before. In mere microseconds Ishtheii knew their stories, their struggles. He saw those who lived and those who died and then he saw the story of the Dreamer, but it was not finished. Inside this painting a doorway opened up.
Through the noise he heard the dreamer speak: “Step through, Wausientheo! Create your own story and save the Amauldegro!”
Istheii looked down and his entire body was glowing like the portal before him.
“See the life before the life we will come to know!” shouted the dreamer. “Return to us, Wausientheo!”
“But, but…,” but those were the final words Istheii spoke before spinning rings of rainbows encircled him, turning into a sphere of orange light. Then the light shrank into a small dot and the cavern returned to normal. Istheii, had disappeared.