The idea of “he”was vaguely familiar to The Spark. Spark had played this game before,back when the world had changed. This body was a “he” body.
The Mother had been chosen in a carefully carefree manner. It had been a chance encounter. One day, drifting along the River, Spark saw The River Walker, gathering plants in a basket, singing a song and laughing.
Spark fell in love with her instantly. And being heavy with child she was all the more enchanting. So Spark settled in her belly where it was warm and snug; could hear her sing, felt her life pulsing. So close, so fine.
Sometimes Spark would pop out to admire her. But in those moments, others wanted in.
“Begone! She’s mine!” Spark would glow with a great vibration. And laugh as they scurried away.
These others lived in the forest along the river. But these who craved the body inside his River Walker, they were a different sort. Slow, solid, desperate. Easy enough to scatter but persistent enough to demand alertness.
No one would take hold in that body. That body that grew in the River Walker.
Was it really his, this form of a human? So tiny, growing in her womb. She talked to the tiny body within her, spoke to it, of a future to come, sang it her songs. He liked to imagine she was talking to him, soothing him. When she spoke it as though he was floating along the river he loved so much. River Walker was his. His River Walker. And the body his link to her.
One day the body came forth. He felt her muscles contract, felt the pressure. This was no place to be! So he watched from afar as she fled to the hut, crying out,, writhing in pain and pressure. He tried to comfort her. filling her head, sharing calm. But she frightened, crying out, a demon was possessing her!
“I’m no demon! Demons live in dark places or fall from the sky to run in wolves or bears. I’m of the forest and the the river and the ancient stones.” But his thoughts fell through her, not sticking, as she clung to her body, wrestling with the pain of birth. Clouds of her past settled over her, times of older pains. So The Spark groused and sulked on the ceiling until it was over.
When birth was done, she held the tiny, red wrinkled thing in her arms, cooed and doted, this was his portal to The River Walker, the flower picker. So he stayed, but only slightly attached to that body. Hunger gnawed, tugged the tiny form. Her breasts were soft and full, soothing the hunger, a portal to her vibrations. And she sang.
An old one came to live with them. The mother of the River Walker. She often spoke of demons and spirits, burned grasses and leaves, made signs to ward them off. Warning River Walker, fixing his form with her gimlet stare. This amused him. Did she not know that she was a demon? As was she, a spirit dwelling all too tightly in the skull of that aged body. He could see, could they not? Blacknesses swirled about that old body, The Spark wondered why, what use they were? Wrapping a body thusly, to trudge through the world?
He heard the words of speech they used. They were too cumbersome. Symbols for a thought. Better just to place the thought in the other’s head. It was so natural with River Walker who responded as though the intention was her own. Harder with the old one, chanting her spells.
He entertained himself by baiting The Old One. Making small objects quiver and move, making sounds in the walls. Old One would work herself into a frenzy of chanting. She scattered powders, burned herbs, chanted odd words that held fearful thoughts. How funny that was. And the child on the floor laughed.
Life was good with his River Walker. He slept by her each night, snug in his little body, leaping back and forth, from her head to his small body. He filled her space with his vibrations.
Vibrations he kept of trees and rocks; staid, majestic and sturdy. The trees resonated of time, steadfastness, the hundreds of passings of the Sun and moon. Rocks. Now were as old as the planet, abiding now as they always had since Before. Before this Earth. When he had floated the vast fields of stars looking for other magic than his own.
But River Walker gushed her own joy. Images filled her mind as she slept. The Spark was, delighted. He shared his with her, and she with him. But each dawn she only spoke of her dreams. Didn’t she see that this was all a dream?
There were images of The Old One when she was much younger, carrying The River Walker when she was as tiny as this body of his. Images of the man who’d loved her, who’d held her and entered her, planting the seed that was now his form. The man had gone off down the river and not yet returned. River Walker saddened at this thought. The Spark felt His jealousy of that Man and He felt her pangs.
And then, one day The Old One stopped. Her body stopped, coughed, dropped to the floor. Old One rose up, looking at her old form lying on the cottage floor. Old One was confused and addled, casting about for any anchor.
“Rejoice!” He beamed, “You are free! Let us go to the river, water, splash in the Sun, revel, in the trees, flit with the birds”.
But The Old One was spewing terror, rushing about, would have no part of His help. Old One fled to The River Walker who was outside washing clothes. Old One flew into her, full of confusion and fear. Started, The River Walker sprinted to the cottage, saw the body that had been Old One’s, and the grief filled her in an instant,rushed in like a rainstorm. The Old One, her panic was not abated, only fueled the fire of grief. So He left His body where it sat, entered The River Walker, cast out The Old One. Oh the struggle! Old One did not want to let go.
He dragged Old One out, pulled her to the trees. She bolted into the forest like a mouse. How sad. How lonely. If only she’d listened and had stayed to play. Someday he might look for her.
River Walker cried for days. Other women came to help. They built a pyre upon which to burn Old One’s old body. He approved. Old One was gone now and would never be the same Old One again. Would never have to feel the tug of her old corpse from beneath some pile of earth, rotting slowly away, all the while filled with longing for what had been but now was over.
Winter arrived and He rejoiced. A clear, sharp,crystalline world. Quietness and snow. But this body, this link to his River Walker, it winced at the cold. It did not rejoice. So he walked it about in furs. Old One’s hands had been upon these furs, he felt that, and River Walker assured that she’d worn them when she was His size. But mainly he felt the remnants of the creatures from whence the furs came. Felt their rushing through the forest, plunging eagerness. He’d played as a marten, matched wavelengths with the glow of the creature’s single-minded fury as it hunted squirrels through the trees. Now there was a soft, dull glow of that spark. Fascinating and finally boring. He was here for his River Walker.
River Walker took him with her to gather wood. They walked the banks of the river, winter embracing them, warm in the furs. As he moved along, tossing his sparks, feeling her glow, He also sensed her preoccupations with food, shelter, and warmth.These were still abstract concepts that he pondered with no little frustration. And as he sat, deep in thought, an otter dashed from beneath a log, to dive headlong into the water. With no more thought than a meteor gives to hurtling into the atmosphere, He drove after it, in full joyous pursuit. The little body hit the frigid water, the shock knocked Him to the treetops.
The scene unfolded. River Walker screaming, dragging from water the tiny body He’d so recently worn. Puzzled and separate He floated, watching, only slightly attached to His body. She took the tiny form in her arms, sat by the fireplace, cradling it, singing songs. Her intensity moved him. He had never felt anything quite like what he felt from her. This, this was a sensation as hard to forget as it was potent.
He slipped back into the form. Now she cradled him in her arms and he drifted drowsily off to sleep…..