The River of Memories

It flows like a river between us all, yet its potential is unknown by almost all. It is where we come from and where we shall go. And it is the source of our wildest fancies. It helps to visualise a river, or a lake, depending on what you want. When you go here it molds itself to your expectations, but one thing is always the same.

A figure stands on the shore, staring out over the wide, slow river. The figure seemed neither male nor female, instead merely a human shaped shadow of brilliant silver. It reached a hand out to the river and a small tendril of water threaded its way upward connecting to a star in the dark night sky.

“A dark animal dream should keep him on his toes.” The figure’s voice was feminine, and her form becoming slightly more distinct.

Another form had begun to coalesce beside her, it was barely human, but spoke with the voice of a young boy, “Miss are you beginning already.”

“Ah there you are.” She said to him sharply, “And yes the form is a convenience, it helps but is not necessary. Did you see what I did?”

“A thread, that means a dream right?”

“Yes, a dream, can you tell who I have given it to?”

“That’s…” The boy paused and as he thought his shape became slightly more distinct. “The cook.”

“Correct, and what is it about?”

The boy looked closely at the river, “The hunt… an eagle.”

“Very good, now I want you to throw a soul up.”

“Bring life?”

“How many times have I told you, the life has come already we are just giving it a soul slightly before the river does.”

“I guess.”

“Aim it between those two stars.”

The boy looked up at the stars she indicated, two stars which were so close they were almost touching. That was the sign that those two stars were creating life. He tried to determine what they were.

“They are just mice, go ahead, it doesn’t matter if you grab a few souls by accident.”

The boy thrust a hand out and motioned as if tossing a ball upwards. Three globules of river flew upwards to the two stars, and three smaller stars burst into being. The boy smiled, though it was hard to tell with his glowing body.

“Now the last test.”

The glow around the boy faded dramatically and his voice shook, “I can’t do it.”

The woman ignored him, “Find a weak star, the weakest you can find. That is a soul near death. Bring it back to the river.”

“But what if they could recover.”

“The river knows the difference, the stars fade when souls are about to be taken by the river. If a person is strong enough to fight the river they can fight you too.” The woman sighed, “You know all this.”

“If it struggles at all can let go.”

“Yes.”

The boy reached up with both hands and began tugging as if on an invisible rope. Suddenly his hands jerked downward as if the rope had come free. Down from the faintest of the stars fell a small globule of river water. It splash glittering memories of fruit and cats then disappeared. The boy was fading.

“You’ve lost your grip.” The woman said, “You are waking up.”

“Oh good,” The boy said, “I was worried for a moment.”

He had a right to be worried, the lady thought. Allowing the river to splash like that was dangerous the water was special. No matter what form the river took it was always a brilliant swirling of glowing colours, and get too much on you and it could drag you under, soul and all. She shivered and began to flow towards the heavens, filling an empty star with light once more.

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