Harry sat in the sand, the wonderful sand, letting it trickle through his fingers. He tried to manipulate it as the Fay did, but was unable; scowling at his failure, he thought, how strange it was that this common material had a part in the freeing of an entire nation. Aged eyes turned back to the unseen lands over the waters. Behind him, lush vegetation grew over the remains of the city that was once New Orleans. Now it was reborn with another name, a new purpose, and a real future, as did all cities and inhabitants of this continent. Across the oceans, little had changed. Tears came to his eyes for those still across the waters; he grieved for the ones that fell and the ones yet to fall. Green grey eyes looked far into the distance where they would go again to die. He was exhausted with death and war.
Few of his brown hairs remained in the flowing mane that curled over his stooped, rounded shoulders; they fell to the chest of the thin gaunt body that was covered in scars. No brown remained in the grizzled white beard on the weathered face that looked over the waters of the gulf. Empty eyes contemplated the meeting of distant sea and sky.
The laughter of youths came near, rushing toward him. His eyes smiled in wrinkled pleasure at the the magical sounds of easy laughter. Their mirth and untroubled thoughts were a balm to his own extended service to their people; it bolstered his exhausted determination, and his tired body.
"What are you doing Har ri na?" One young male cried out with interest as the children came up to his seat near the water. "Do you see more dreams out there?" The young Fay moved to the edge of the water, looking across the waves as he strained to see what was holding Harry's eye. His slim form stood ankle deep in the lapping waves. The boys eyes and undeveloped awareness searched the distance as the pale energy emanating from his back spread wide, rippling in the waves of the sun as they collected energy.
" I'm just thinking of the Old Ones." Harry said. his heart full and warm with the feeling of the happy carefree essences moving around him. He looked up as more ran over the sands toward him with greeting calls. He bowed his head in measured obeisance to them and was answered in kind. He was proud of his role in bringing the Fay back into the light of day, unhidden from the sun and the eyes of men. He looked over the water again to the ones that waited for their time to be free.
"The old dreams Har ri na?" The boy asked, turning away from the water and falling to his knees beside the old man. He played with the sand while waiting for an answer. Harry frowned for a moment at the ease that the boy molded the grains then saw the unasked request in his mind; silent amusement played within him as he waited and watched the sand fly under the swiftly moving fingers. His distracted answer came with wry, twisting lips.
"Yes, those too." A grin stretched over Harry's worn features as he brought his gaze away from the contemplation of other things to the boy's wide and intent eyes. He felt the minds of the children draw close as their shared question burst from the boys lips.
"Tell us a story Dreamer!" His grin became a triumphant smile, shared with Harry as he turned to the dozen or so children that clamored in discordant harmony for the entertainment of the tales that brought him to this city guarding the mouth of the great river, this beach, that held the boundary of free land and the promise of more, this future so unlike any earlier prospects. He waited just a bit as they cajoled him for a story, and then relented.
"If you build me a nest of warm water by the shore I can soak my old bones while I tell you a story." The children cheered and laughed while scooping a large depression, filling it with water, packing the wet sand, then building comfortable humps and bumps encircling it where they could listen. They waited politely as he settled in.
Harry sat in the water as it warmed in the sun and looked around the circle of waiting faces. The rainbow hued wings of their auras were like an enormous flower surrounding him. Bringing his face close to each one as he looked into their expectant eyes and minds and found all ready for the telling to begin. He settled back, sighing as the warmth of the contained waters held him in their blanket. Harry's unfocused eyes stared into the blue sky above for a quiet moment, then he began telling the story of the Shining People in the words that were told to him.
"Many, many long times ago there came a people in a shining ship from the north. " He pointed into the sky. "They were looking for dry land and sweet water. They found land and lived among the low islands there. They found the hidden Endless Sea and many good things to eat, but there was not an abundance of the sweet water they needed to increase their race. There was no other dry land on the planet for them to inhabit. They could return to the void above them and search for a more suitable place or they could stay. They chose to stay."
"Many long times passed; they lived there happily, playing among the low islands, raising a temple of worship and building an island where the Endless Sea cried for land of its own. There were few then. Only twenty and four mated couples came in the ship. There was labor for many more at the first found home."
"And then, the Earth began to move under them, changing the surface of the planet. Again they retreated to their ship, abandoning the temple and the path to the Endless Sea and began looking for land as the home they had built slid up and down in the salty waters. They searched the planet for a resting spot before they returned to the sky and the great void beyond it."
"They found dry land at last; there was much sweet water; there were many good things to eat. They built great lakes to hold the water and at last, they were able to increase their race. Soon children ran playing over the land; their laughter filled the hearts of the Elders so long without that sweet sound."
He rolled over in the bed of warm water, looking again into their faces and thoughts. His face was grim; his thoughts held unknown danger; his eyes flashed. They waited expectantly for him to continue. His voice began again, dark and dreadful."
"Many, many long times passed; evil came to their bountiful land. Once again they fled, back to the shining ship, back across the waters, back to the home first found. Behind them, they left the land awash in the blood of many siblings. All of the Elders save one fell before the evil."
"When they returned to the first found home there was now much dry land and sweet water in the lands grown near their islands. They left the eldest of the siblings to watch over the temple and the path to the Endless Sea, then spread across the lands to the north. In time they were old enough to raise their own children. The land changed greatly in those days. The home first found was lost in the changing land. The temple was buried under the covering trees. The watcher waited on the island in the Endless Sea and at the hidden door of the temple for his people to return."
"Many long times passed and once again the evil came to their new home, but this time they hid from it, hiding their true forms and thoughts from it."
"More long times passed and a princess was born to the House of Sand. She watched the land and the evil that moved over it. Her little sister found a man with no evil in his broken heart and the key to the Endless Sea hidden in his fractured mind."
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