Hello Dear Reader
Rivers of Time
I decided to write a short story based on the premise that time is like a river. We all have our own river, some feed into others and grow stronger, some merely cross paths. A simple idea and one that I am sure is not unknown. What if that river is linked to time itself and we keep appearing in differing points? Add to that some rivers keep crossing certain paths carrying our souls, joining in moments of time.
Many people do believe we have been here more than once, not able to remember our past lives. There are guides, spirits some call them, who influence our lives in many ways. Some, straight-forward, some the hand of fate we may never know why.
Hence I have written this piece, combining poems, flash fiction, and a short story, Rivers of Time.
Rivers of Time
Time flows for all,
Never sleeps or stops.
Time flows like a river,
Never knowing its true course.
Time flows with a passion,
Never caring for those it touches.
Time flows as a force,
Never binding as it goes.
Time flows for all,
Never knowing fates hand.
Time flows without care,
As it wanders many paths.
Rivers of Time: Beginning?
It is understood by many, that time flows in one direction, always forward. Some believe we only appear once each stream forming the rivers of time. Others believe we exist as numerous streams at differing points throughout time. Appearing by chance, never remembering our past lives, loves, mistakes or heroic acts.
Some cultures worship the river of time, as it meanders. We appear randomly time and time again, occasionally seeing glimpses of our pasts in dreams or nightmares. There are those that hold we each have a soul mate. One whom we share much more than just a physical connection.
Time and Fate: companions in our journeys. Fate may alter time or so it seems. Offering different paths, a chance of happiness or the misery of despair. Chance can be hidden or we can be blind to what is there. We can never stand still despite our best efforts as time rolls onwards.
Two souls wandering, their paths crossing through time. Briefly, they touched as knight and princess bound over the centuries to meet again. Fate playing its hand, like ripples in the river, forcing the soul along an unknown path.
The destiny of each soul, woven into the rivers of time.
Rivers of Time: The Old Woman
Curiosity: they say it killed the cat. However, he was still curious. It had been twenty years since he first saw her, his life touched in ways he never imagined. Standing outside the shop, crystals and rocks catching the mid-day sun, he closed his eyes.
After all those years, the memory was still vivid. Exploring the town, he came across the shop, almost tucked out of sight. He stopped to admire the crystals and gemstones, something of a passion. As he looked into the window, he felt someone was watching. Glancing around he saw no-one. His friends would be on the beach or the other side of town. There was a familiar sound. He looked down to see a black cat in the doorway.
It mewed at him, the hypnotic call drawing him closer. Green eyes locked with his, a compelling need to move forward. The cat suddenly moved into the shop as he bent to stroke it. There was a brief moment of darkness as he followed.
“She will always do that.” He looked up to see an elderly woman. There was a sparkle in her green eyes, something that made him stare for a moment. The cat must have moved further into the shop as he could not see her.
“Forgive my curiosity, I did not mean to stare.” Her eyes were as green as the cats.
“You are looking for a gift, for your soul mate.” It was not a question but a statement.
“I was thinking of a gift, yes. But I don’t have a soul mate. Your shop caught my eye. Crystals have always held a fascination for me.” He felt a cold shiver down his back, under examination not just from the old woman. Without realising, he had stepped closer to where she was.
“The right crystal is important if you believe. They can heal your spirit, guide your journey and show you, true love.” Her voice was calming, the sales pitch inviting.
“How would I know which crystal is right for me? How do you know about my soul mate?” He was humouring her, a traveller to part with his cash.
“You have to open your mind. Believe in what you wish for rather than your cynical thoughts.” She reached out and held his right hand in hers. The move was sudden. He felt trapped unable to move.
“Your Grandfather tried to tell you before his death, the story was true.” She kept her eyes on his, unnerving him.
His mind drifted to his Grandfather, a story he told him. It was a lucky guess by her, the sales pitch was good. He kept quiet.
“You don’t believe that one can see your past or your future?” It was as if the shop did not exist for a moment. He began to remember the story he was told.
“You never truly believed what he said, how at a young age you were saved. How you were close to death. Rushed to the hospital, operated on, the real reason for the mark on your neck.” His mind was racing, this was not right. How could she know? It must still be a lucky guess. He refused to answer, to be drawn in. Something was not right. It had to be a set-up. One of his friends had put her up to this. She must have seen his neck and the small mark where he had supposedly been operated on.
“You refuse to believe, even now. Yes, I can see your mark, it could be a guess. How many know of the doctor that never lived?” A chill ran through him. He had never told his friends of the story. He had always believed his Grandfather was kidding. Even days before his death, he told the same story. He just smiled to appease, not wanting to upset him.
“He told you of your guardian angel and your beast, ones that have been with you since birth.” Her voice was mesmerising, he was trying to understand her words.
“I have never told anyone of that story. How could you know?” His mind went over the words of his Grandfather. “What or who are my guardian angel and beast?”
“They guide you, watch over you. At times, they will interfere as yours has over the years.” She seemed to look over his right shoulder.
“Your inner beast is a dragon. You understand the mythical beast don’t you.” It was becoming uncomfortable for him, he felt heat and sweat, it must be a light. This was all a trick to make him believe.
“Yes. I mean, I there is a curiosity about such beasts. What could they be like if they existed?” He was struggling now to keep control. He had more than passing interest in dragons, he felt foolish saying to others but not her.
“Now you understand why you are drawn to the dragon. Mine is a cat, as you saw.” A smile crossed her face. “They guided you here. Now, your wish is to find your soul mate. She is waiting for you.”
He was sweating now, heart racing as his mind flashed imagines of a woman.
“I don’t know what you mean. I have not come to find you or my soul mate. I had no idea.” He felt faint.
“It is time for you to glimpse your future. Follow me.” The old woman tugged his hand and he followed.
He fought the feelings inside himself. He had thought of his future, someone to share his life but this was beyond all he knew. He was supposed to be relaxing, escaping all the pressures of life.
He lost track of time as she talked to him. Knights, dragons, spirits, worlds gone and worlds to come. Throughout she told of his soul mate. They had met before on different plains the old woman said. He found it hard to believe that he had a past life. The more she spoke the more he was drawn into this strange world. He felt drowning in a sea of riddles. His soul mate was something of a dream as she described her to him. He would know when he saw her? Raven. Her hair, the bird or name? His mind filled with images, his head fit to burst. Then it was over.
His eyes opened, the memory still fresh. He had visited every year since, always a little nervous of what the old woman might reveal. He had learned more of his past life: how he met his princess while he was a knight. He had doubts, times he thought she was just telling him what he wanted to hear. Yet he knew she was right. The years had passed without that feeling.
One summers day it happened: he saw her. Raven hair, soft smile, flowing dress as she walked towards him. A sudden glow inside him unlike any before. Somehow he managed to greet her. It took time, he was not the most patient of men. He had found his love through the river of time. The old woman said he would but it would be a troubled start. That was over six months ago. Now he needed her wisdom again and what the future held. He opened his palm to show his stone as the familiar sound greeted him. The soft meow made him smile.
“Hello, old friend.” He stepped inside.
Rivers of Fate
Fate is a universe of uncertainties,
Throwing unknowns into the rivers of time,
Changing paths without thought.
Fate is all-seeing, all-knowing,
It depends on nothing,
Offers paths without boundaries.
Fate is cruel, harshly uncaring,
Changing the rivers of time,
Offering paths that lead to darkness.
Rivers of Time: Forgiven Knight
He looked out at the sunset. Despite the heat, he was cold inside. He held the flower, a simple blue beauty, its life so short. It was her’s, one she enjoyed. A faint memory surfaced, in a sea of blue, the pure white of her dress. Her smile welcoming the knight home, helping to shed the cares around him. A single touch sparked the fire within, the two dragon stones calling to each other, bonding again.
He looked down at his stone. It was dying, lost without its twin, the spark needed yet so far away. A sigh escaped his lips, it was deep and sad beyond what he thought. Something nudged him. Scales rubbed against right hand. Looking into the eyes of his dragon, a silent bond between the pair. They both understood each other’s loss. Both felt alone now in a strange way, both still trying to reach out.
He looked again at the bright blue flower. There was her scent captured in the bud, held for as long as he could remember. There was still the faint light of hope, he knew that he had to believe it. To complete his quest, to find his one, he had to truly believe. He rose from his knee, his armour battered a little more.
He looked out at the shattered landscape and placed his right hand against the dragon. Out there they would find her, rescue her and ultimately ask her forgiveness. He placed the blue flower inside his armour, climbed on the dragons back. He heard her cry inside his heart, always watch over me.
River of Time: The End?
At the end of time, on the river sits a rowing boat. It waits for the knight and princess. A fixed point never to be changed by fate. The final moment for the two souls that will last a lifetime.
Time waits patiently as the river slows around it. The calm water, no longer touched by fate or chance, slowly fades to grey. Bright sparks, echoes from the past, approach the simple boat. The knight and princess, joined once more, as the boat send ripples through time.
Each ripple an act of fate guiding the souls to journeys end.
Is the end of time the beginning of the story?