Category Archives: PDStory

13. Courage

My heart beating like a drum, I approach the castle, the entry looks dark and ominous.  I gather my courage and I really am needing that right now. I’m scared out of my wits. I must be crazy to be doing this, I have never been inside a castle before or been so bold as to even think that I belong here.  What am I doing here?  But I feel as if  I don’t proceed I will be missing out on an opportunity of a lifetime.  There is something inside that calls me, I hear it whispering my name.

“Welcome, I’ve been waiting so long for you, come.” I pass through the portal to a grand hall, but it is empty.  I look around, no one is there. Banners on the walls are emblems of dragons– crimson dragons, black dragons, sapphire colored dragons and on the far wall is a banner lying on a table yet to be hung. I approach to take a look, but Oberon catches my attention as he starts to wander down a hallway.  “Come”, I hear the whisper and I follow.

The hallways are a maze, how will I ever find my way out?  Suddenly I hear a rustle behind me, expecting the owner of the castle to come to me and ask me what I’m doing there, I prepare a speech.  However, when I turn around I see two large yellow eyes approaching and the dragon’s talons clicking on the stone floor of the castle as she comes after me.  I start running with Obie fast on my heels.  I run down every corridor, take every turn, yet she follows and quickly she is catching up with me. I am frantic with worry, sweat beads up on my brow, I feel like I’m going to faint.

Then clearly and loudly the bell on Oberon’s collar rings. I know what I must do.

The enormous crimson dragon is right behind me.  I stop running, turn around and face her. “What do you want! I am not running from you anymore!”  I feel myself vibrating, I think in nervousness, but suddenly I see my hands begin to shift into slender silver fingers, with sharp metallic like talons at the end.  My skin tingles further like a chill running down my spine as I grow larger and larger.  The dark hallway is no longer dim, it becomes bright as day. I see so much more clearly now.

“Finally”, says the crimson dragon, “You have become who you are supposed to be, the Platinum Dragon.  We have waited for you.  We have tried so many times to get you here. Look in the mirror.”  Before me was a mirror on the wall and there I stood, not the weak human girl I was before, insecure, scared and frightful, but a real live Platinum Dragon scales glistening as if they were wet, scales that could withstand any forces that were put against me. Wings that could fly, that could take me anywhere my imagination would allow. Green eyes that could see the world in a whole new and beautiful light.  And beneath all that, I could feel the beating of a stronger heart that was open to everything that the Universe had to offer.

That unhung flag was for me and for you, you see. For we all are dragons underneath.  We just have to accept it. We have to face our fears.

 

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12. Goal in Sight

Incredible! this is what is drawing me irresistibly nearer, a castle high on a hill.  It’s beautiful and the sky seems to know that this is my destination, it is alive in color, the hues of pinks, blues and yellows are amazing. The castle is evidently my destiny but what awaits me there? It’s huge and the hill is almost overwhelming.  Can I find my way all the way up?

gardnerscottage-Edinburgh1500I look at the Magic book, it confirms my suspicions, the final star on the map is within the castle. Oberon and I look at each other and then at the castle.”Well, I’m not getting any closer by just staring at it, am I?  Let’s go”  Here at the base of the castle is a beautiful garden, I’ve rested for awhile at a fountain studying which way is the best way to approach this hill. There’s no way, I can climb it, so I will go around.  I’m sure I’ll discover many wondrous sights along the way.  The garden is rich in color, there’s even a clock made of flowers in the corner, someone is lovingly grooming and planting this garden. I come to a small cottage, it must be the gardener’s because it is as beautiful as the garden. The gardener comes out to greet me, “We’ve been expecting you, you only need to take the road to the left then go right, the next right is the road to the castle.” I look confused, I didn’t even ask, how did he know what I needed?  How did he know who I was?

It wasn’t that warm of a day with the clouds overhead, but the trek up the streets and around that hill manage to get me warm.  I was thankful when it starting misting rain, I just hoped I didn’t get caught in a downpour. I wasn’t anxious to be soaking wet when I arrived at the castle.  I didn’t know who I was to meet there.  Surely a king or queen, I had to be at least a little presentable.

Along the way, there were many small shops that caught my eye, and the aromas of the small cafes were enticing. My stomach started growling, I was hungry, but curiosity beat the hunger and I continued on. I crossed a bridge when I took that right turn the gardener talked about and saw the castle looming larger. My heart beat faster as my pace sped up.

alnwickcastlecolorfulclouds

Feature Photo: Edinburgh Castle, Edinburgh, Scotland. Photography by Candace Stauber
Story Photos: Gardeners Cottage, Edinburgh Gardens, Prince Street, Edinburgh, Scotland.
Alnwick Castle, UK. Photography by Candace Stauber

11. Compulsion

Having gathered my senses from such a profound dream, I gather my belongings, my rucksack, and Oberon. Deep within my bones I knew I had to continue my journey, I had a destiny awaiting me. I “needed” to be somewhere soon.

My companions, the Artists, were still caring for their convalescing sister. She still needed to keep quiet for awhile. But the village was close by, the farmers were nearby and they could find assistance among those in town.

As for me, I said my farewells, opened the barn door to a new morning. Storms in the distance worried me, but my trepidation had eased because of Teddy’s message the night before. I felt a strength within I didn’t know I had.  Obie and I set off on yet another path, this time there were no trees or forests to protect us from the Dragon’s sight.  The morning was cool, you could tell rain was in the air, you could smell the sweet scent of ozone.

MonarchButterfly-ButterflyPavillion2015-10-02Butterflies were fluttering everywhere, they seemed to follow us as we traveled. Every fork in the road, I knew instinctively which path to take, every obstacle in the road, we avoided or overcame.  I was being led by some invisible force to a destination, I was compelled to follow and I had no fear. Every path, every fork I took, the butterflies followed. Knowing butterflies symbolize renewal, I felt renewed this morning, I actually felt at peace and happy for the first time in a very long time. The road began to even out, from a rocky road to gravel and then to a well worn smooth road.

In the distance, I saw my objective, large and looming, I hesitated. It drew me closer.This is so beyond my wildest dreams, this is magnificent. What possibly awaits me there? Why does it pull me so?

 

Feature Photo: Morning Clouds in Englewood, Colorado, Photography by Candace Stauber
Story Photo: Monarch Butterfly, Butterfly Pavilion, Louisville, Colorado. Photography by Candace Stauber

10. Visitor in the Night

As the women settle in for the evening, Oberon and I find a spot in the corner and make ourselves comfortable for the night. I’m exhausted and so is he, he falls asleep quickly.  I stay awake and ponder the day’s events.  There is a little light in the barn, save for the rising moon, beginning to show through the barn windows.  The Artists begin to softly snore, I smile as I begin to doze.

I begin dreaming. I’m running again, fast and furious, the dragon in relentless even in my dreams.  I scream, “Please someone help me”.  Suddenly someone reaches for my hand in the darkness and immediately I’m calm. “I’m here, I’ve always been here watching you. You’re safe, you know what to do, you always have.”  I look at who is holding my hand.  In shock, I see that it’s an old love, Teddy.  “What are you doing here, I have missed you so much, why did you leave me?  Why did you die!?  You see, my friend, my lover, my first real love, Teddy had died 20 years earlier.  I had missed him so much, he offered protection in my life when I was vulnerable to evil when I was weak from abuse.  He embraces me with his strong arms, they fill me with a feeling of security and warmth to my soul, he says, “You have grown strong since I left, you needed to be on your own path to do this, I was there and supported you, but you needed to do this by yourself.  I will always be here.  I will give you a reminder of me when you wake, you will find a bell. $_1When it rings, you will know everything is alright, exactly how it should be.  But right now you need to go back, It’s not your time.  Remember, I’m here, watching and waiting for you.”   “No”, I cry, tears in my eyes and he slowly fades away as he repeats, ” No, it’s not your time, I’m waiting”. I wake. Wishing the dream lasted longer,  I am still feeling the warmth of his hug, how strong it was and how reassuring it was to be back in his arms.

It is dawn. Oberon comes to my side wearing a small bell on his collar and licks my tears away.

Author’s Note: About my Featured Image, I visited Melrose Abbey in Scotland having just spent a week driving all over the Scotland and the UK.  I took 300 photos a day with my Rebel DSLR.  I took some great pictures.  The picture before this photo did not have the mist on it and the photo afterward did not have the mist on it.  I discovered the mist on the image when I got back and enlarged the image on my computer.  I keep my lens clean. The photo is not photoshopped or enhanced in any way. Is it a remnant of the past? A spirit of a monk or nun? Who knows?

 

Feature Photo: Melrose Abbey, Scotland.  Photography by Candace Stauber

9. Safe Haven

Frantically, we run, we are close, we are nearing the farm house, it’s within view, hole and suddenly the Artists spot the monster above.  It hasn’t spotted us yet.  It’s only looking for one, not a group, I’m safe for now. The Artists, however, aren’t so sure, they panic, and run faster to the barn, one trips, spills her paints, she cries, “Help me, I hurt my leg, I can’t get up.”  I run to her, Oberon, circles nervously, the panic of the women is upsetting to him, he senses the emotions running wild. He barks loudly. “Quiet, please, please, Obie!”

We finally make it into the barn, just as the rain begins.  Easing the hurt woman onto a pile of hay,  she moans.  I examine what she’s done to herself.  In her hurry to run, she’s tripped in a hole and it only looks like a bad sprain.  But it’s swelling fast and she cannot put her weight on it.

Fortunately there’s a water pump in the barn, I try it to get some cloths wet. The spring water is icy cold, that should help with the swelling.  The other women search through their belongings to find rags that don’t have paint on them, to contribute to the care of their companion.  I look in the “Magical Book of Transformation” to see if there is anything else we can do.  I’m learning a lot, learning to research, learning I may not know about illnesses or sprained ankles, but this book has some helpful advice. I know now, that with practice and research, almost anything can be conquered and overcome, if you know where to go for answers.

We apply the icy rags to her ankle and apply compression with the larger clothes.  She needs to rest, and fortunately it has become evening. We are in for the night.  And once more I have avoided that dragon. The women however begin to discuss this event, “What was that? Are you aware that when it approaches that you change? You seem to vibrate.  You seem to radiate an aura around you?”

Photo: Barn Before the Flight, Louisville, Colorado. Photography by Candace Stauber,2015

8. Storm Clouds

Suddenly there’s a chill in the air, the wind picks up, papers and pedestals start falling over. The Artists scurry to gather their supplies, but I am getting the sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach, I know what is coming. She is coming after me again and this time I am worried about my companions. How can I explain this? This dragon is following me, I can’t seem to escape her, she finds me every evening.

I pick up my satchel and get Oberon. I take up the crystal disk, I look into it, it shows me there is a safe haven close by, my panic is lessened.  I guess the obsidian wand is also affecting me by absorbing the negative energies of the nervous women.  I am calm, and say, “Ladies, come quickly, there’s a farmhouse close by with a barn we can take shelter in, it looks warm and we are welcome there.”  I get funny looks, but they follow.

In the distance, the thunder rolls and lightning begins to be seen.  A large dragon approaches she needs to see me and has a message only for me.

Photo: Englewood, Colorado, Photography by Candace Stauber

7. The Gift

Having fed the body, my soul was now experiencing and thrill it hadn’t it a long time. The brushes and paints were an old friend. My hands felt clumsy, however, my strokes uneven, but the colors were bright, cheerful and my mood brightened with each stroke. Oberon finally decided to settle in for a nap in the afternoon sun, and give us some peace and quiet and I got carried away with the paints, the colors and texture of the canvas made my thoughts run wild. I forgot about what insecurities I thought I had, about how good or bad I thought I was at this “art” thing, I just did. It was like my hands were being guided and I let them go. Each stroke took me deeper into a meditative state, each stroke became easier, bolder and my confidence rose.  My mentor, the artist who gave me the paints, encouraged me further, “Here, take this book. Your creativity needs other outlets as well.  You have passion within that needs to be released, you have hidden too long.”  She handed me a small notebook, only about four inches wide and five inches long. It was a green leather bound book, with a Celtic cross on the cover. The swirls of the Celtic pattern spoke to my soul and there were blank pages inside, begging to be written upon. “I want you to begin to journal your thoughts and dreams, I want your thoughts to become reality.”

My satchel was becoming full of interesting artifacts, how did they all fit together? Perhaps now that I can journal I can piece the puzzle together.