Lord of the Strings Part 2: The Two Flowers

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Lord of the Strings Part 2: The Two Flowers

Postby Jim » Mon Jun 29, 2009 1:38 am

The year was 2009. In our first installment, "The Fellowship of the Harp", the Moya Brennan Forummers had found the One Harp and entrusted it to the safekeeping of Clanydd, the creature with six noses and four arses.

Now, fast-forward to 2029. Much had changed in the past 20 years. Many of the Forummers had started families of their own, adding to the ranks of the Fellowship of the Harp. Chris, of course, had gone off to "greener pastures" and Goob had gone to that Big Can of Tuna in the Sky.

But something had remained a mystery. What had happened to Jim and Tallulah? They had not been seen or heard from in nearly 20 years.

Thus begins the story of the search for Jim and Tallulah.

OK, who wants to be first up? Grania? Dubhy? Angoid? Any takers? :mrgreen:
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Postby Angoid » Tue Jul 07, 2009 2:39 pm

It was suspected that Clanydd may be able to provide some useful information, so Grania, Dubhy, Angoid, and a few others from the 'good old days' went in hunt of him.....
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Postby Jim » Thu Jul 09, 2009 2:54 pm

...so it was back on the ferry from Dun Laoghaire to Holyhead, and a trip to St. Cybi's Church.

As they approached the church, the sound of beautiful harp music poured forth from inside the chapel. Apparently Clanydd had developed some impressive chops in the past 20 years. :mrgreen:

Moya pushed open the door. "This door seems so much heavier than it used to be," she said.

"Well, you've got to consider that you're 77 years old now," said Angoid.

"Aw, come off it," replied Moya, "You're not exactly a whippersnapper yourself anymore." :wink:
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Postby Jim » Thu Jul 16, 2009 5:55 pm

17 December 2009

The clouds rolled in from the North Atlantic and the snow once again began to fall on Errigal. All was quiet, except for the voices of one man and one dragon.

Tears streamed down Jim's face. "Are you sure it has to be this way?" he asked.

"Yes, I'm afraid so," said Tallulah, "I must go to a place you cannot go."

"Why?" asked Jim.

"Because all dragons must make this journey. A human could not survive it," said Tallulah.

"Will I ever see you again?" asked Jim

"That remains to be seen," Tallulah replied, "I sincerely hope so, but however that turns out is up to God. But rest assured, if you see two flowers, one blue and one red on the same stem, you'll know I'm thinking about you."

Jim fell against Tallulah's massive flank. "I'm going to miss you," he said, "I love you."

"And I love you, too," said Tallulah, gently caressing Jim with her wing, "Remember, you have a dream of your own to fulfill. Now go do it."

"I will, I promise," said Jim.

Tallulah took off and soared high into the milky sky, disappearing into the clouds. Jim picked up his belongings and begain to walk down the snowy trail toward the bottom of the mountain.

Pushing up through the snow, as if in protest of the weather, was a plant.

It had two flowers on the same stem, one red and one blue.

**************************

16 July, 2029

"Welcome back," said Clanydd as the group entered the sanctuary. "Long time no see. What brings you back here?"

"It's been almost 20 years since we've seen Jim and Tallulah," said Angoid. "We were wondering if you had heard anything from them."

"To tell you the truth, I haven't heard a thing," replied Clanydd. Meanwhile, Grania had spied a plant in a vase on the table.

It had two flowers on the same stem, one red and one blue.
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Postby nessieq » Thu Jul 16, 2009 9:16 pm

There was a rustling from behind a cyber-bush close by (real bushes had long since been replaced with holograms. Who says you can't learn everything you need to know from Joni Mitchell?) - all those, that is, except the unusually resiliant and ironically named dodo plant, famous for its multi-coloured blooms.

'And what is that muttering noise?' asked a puzzled Grania.

The cyber-bush rustled some more. Nervous, the group gathered closer to the One Harp, eager for its protection. Suddenly, out leapt a bizarre creature, covered in hair and muttering to itself whilst appearing to be scribbling fervantly on pieces of paper, which were attached not only throughout its matt of hair but also all over its clothes, so that it appeared to be wearing a huge cloak of paper. Dave, terrified, stepped back.

'What is it?!' he cried, 'not the noob-busting nobblemunch of new glouchenshirefordshire?!'

'Or the double-farked, hairy backed marlmonger?!' whimpered Angus.

'What are you on about?' scoffed G, 'that's Nessie!'

Looking up, the creature revealed its face and was, in fact, Nessie, who had left her shack in donegal where she was happily going mad and persuing her writing career, to help in the search for Jim.

'Sorry guys, I got a bit... er, carried away' Ness beamed, seemingly unaware of her unkempt appearance.

'Right then' said a relieved angus, 'Jim?'

'Well', said the Clanydd, 'you'd do worse than to start on the Hill of Tara - that place does have something about it, and you guys do spend an aaaawful lot of time about the place. Who knows, maybe you'll find some clues?'

And, since no one had any better ideas, and since they thought Nessie could do with an outing, off they went to the hill of Tara.
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And know the place for the first time.
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Postby Jim » Fri Jul 17, 2009 1:36 pm

Thanks for joining in, Nessie. This is gonna be incredible! :mrgreen:

OK, on with our story.

---------------------------

September 21, 2012

A red sun lit the otherworldly landscape, suggestive of a piece of art by Kerem. :wink:

This was the planet Draco, birthplace of dragons. The Castle of K'Tara, Prince of Draco (anyone care to guess the name of our third installment? :wink: ), stood high on the mountain, overlooking a lush valley. There was a knock on the castle door.

"Come in," said Prince K'Tara. Unlike Earthly royalty, Draconian royalty had no need for servants.

Tallulah entered the castle.

"How are you this fine morning?" asked K'Tara.

"Very well," answered Tallulah, "and you?"

"Likewise," K'Tara replied, "While you're here, why don't we discuss your next assignment."

"What is it?" asked Tallulah.

"Let's put it this way," said K'Tara, "You're going back to Earth 17 Earth-years from today, but that's not all."

"What else?" asked Tallulah.

"I'm going with you," said K'Tara.
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Postby Jim » Fri Jul 17, 2009 3:40 pm

The same day:

Jim sat in his living room in Mesquer, Brittany, playing his hammered dulcimer. There was a knock on the door, so he got up and answered it.

It was Dan Ar Braz and Karen Matheson. Or, at least, it looked like them.

"Are you Dan and Karen," asked Jim, "or are you really the Two Flying Muses?"

"The second," said 'Dan', laughing.

------------------------------

The year 2029:

As the group approached the crest of Tara Hill, they were greeted by none other than the Two Flying Muses, once again in the ghostly forms of Sandy Denny and Turlough O'Carolan.

"Lovely day, isn't it?" said 'Sandy'.

"It most certainly is," replied Nessie.

"What brings you here?" asked 'Turlough', "Is it the prospect of a good concert, the search for a 'thin' place, or what?"

"We are in search of Jim and Tallulah. We haven't seen them in 20 years."

"Well, you know what?" said 'Sandy', "We actually saw Jim in Mesquer, Brittany about 17 years ago, but I doubt very seriously that he's still there, being the globetrotter that he was at the time."

'Turlough' chimed in, "And we haven't a clue as to the whereabouts of Tallulah."

"Well, a little information is better than none at all," said Nessie.

"Wait a minute," said 'Sandy', "I think I recall Jim saying that he was planning to spend some time in the arctic wilderness, up in the Northwest Territories of Canada."

"I think I know who we need to visit," said Grania.

Almost in unison, the entire group shouted, "QUINN THE ESKIMO!" :mrgreen:
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Postby Jim » Fri Jul 17, 2009 4:06 pm

The year 2029, on Draco:

"Tallulah, are you ready to go?" asked Prince K'Tara.

"As ready as I'll ever be," replied Tallulah, her belongings in a knapsack tied securely to her back between her wings, "I'm looking forward to seeing my friends from the Moya Brennan Forum."

--------------------------------

That same day, on Tara Hill:

"Well, would you look at this," said Nessie, "Another one of those strange flowers like we saw back at St. Cybi's."

---------------------------------

Also that same day:

Jim trudged across the ice, an activity that was becoming steadily more difficult given his age and his declining health. He saw something strange just off the trail.

It was a red flower and a blue flower on the same stem. He looked skyward, saying, "I'm thinking of you, too, Tallulah."
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Postby Jim » Tue Jul 21, 2009 1:43 pm

The year 2029, on Tara Hill

"But how will we get there?" asked Grania, "As far as I know, there are no scheduled flights from Dublin to Yellowknife, unless you make about ten or fifteen stops."

Her answer literally came from above. They heard the roar of a dragon, but when they looked up, they could tell this was not Tallulah. Instead of brown and white like Tallulah, this dragon was sort of a golden-bronze shade.

And it had a rider. A somewhat disheveled Lizzy.

The dragon buzzed the crest of the hill a few times before landing. "Du-u-u-u-de, what a trip!" he exclaimed.

"I know," retorted Lizzy, "Jeroen, if I have to endure another one of your death-rolls, I'm gonna throw up."

"Sorry, Lizzy," the dragon replied, "I guess I'm just an adrenaline junkie."

"Forgive him," said Lizzy, "He's just 120 years old. That's about 15 in dragon-years."

"What brings you here?" asked Nessie.

"Oh, we were on our way to the Faroe Islands to see some relatives," said Lizzy.

"Good," said Grania, "We were headed to Canada's Northwest Territories ourselves. Maybe Jeroen could take us there after he drops you off in Torshavn."

"Why are you going?" asked Lizzy.

"We're looking for Jim. We haven't seen him in 20 years, and we think he may be up there. We're also looking for Tallulah, but I figure about the time we find Jim, she'll find us."

"I know where Tallulah is," said Jeroen, "She's in the Secret Place."

"Where's that?" asked Nessie.

"I can't tell you," said Jeroen, "That's why it's called the Secret Place."

"Well, in that case," said Grania, "we should just concentrate on finding Jim."

"OK, then everybody get on board," said Jeroen.

"Promise me something," said Lizzy, "No loops, no death-rolls, no storm-chasing, and no flying above 5000 metres. OK?"

"I promise," replied Jeroen, "It'll be boring, but I promise."

With that, they all rose into the sky.
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Postby Jim » Mon Jan 11, 2010 4:33 am

OK, I'm back from my hiatus, so I will start again on this story. :wink:

There are three species of dragon. Tallulah was a Patagonian dragon, with a relatively short, wide body, thick wings, a blunt head, and a normally gentle disposition. On the other hand, Jeroen was an Elyssian dragon, with a long, narrow body and head, long wings, and a rather aggressive disposition.

This last tendency seemed to be coming out in fine form for Jeroen that day. "I once raced a twin-engine Cessna airplane, and won," he bragged, "and I have my sights set on a fighter jet. Do you think I could win?"

"No doubt, you could win easily," replied Lizzie, rolling her eyes.

"What if I just turn upside-down and dump all of you in the ocean?" said Jeroen.

"He must still have his knickers in a knot for having to re-route his trip," Grania whispered to Nessie.

"I don't think you want to do that," said Dubhy, "If you do, there'll be you-know-what to pay when Tallulah gets back from the Secret Place."

"I shoulda fried all of you back at Tara," Jeroen mumbled to himself.

Before they knew it, the Faroe Islands were in view. Hopefully, Jeroen would have time to chill out before they had to leave again.

__________

Jim slept in an ice cave, dreaming of Tallulah just as he had done every night since she left. Suddenly, he was roused from his sleep.

"Wake up," he heard someone say. Rubbing his eyes, he could make out the head of a dragon, but it was not Tallulah. This dragon was huge, nearly three times the size of Tallulah, and pure white.

"Who are you?" asked Jim.

"I am Yukon, Dragon of the Arctic," said the dragon, who was of the third Draconic species, the Polar dragon. "I've come to take you where you need to go."

"And where would that be?" asked Jim.

"I don't know," replied Yukon, "but we're about to find out. Climb on board, and position yourself right behind my neck. It'll be a windy trip otherwise."

They made a slow, circling ascent, then Yukon looked down before blasting due east with the speed of a fighter jet.

Jim could tell the way to go, as red-and-blue flowers stretched to the horizon as far as the eye could see. Jim's geography was a bit rusty, but it appeared they were headed toward the Faroe Islands.
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Postby Jim » Mon Jan 18, 2010 5:03 am

Faroe Islands, 2029:

Nessie's holophone rang (cellular phones had been replaced by holophones a few years earlier) and an image of Moya was projected before the group's eyes.

"What do you need, Moya?" asked Nessie.

"How long do you think it would take you to get back to Tara?" Moya asked.

"I don't know. Jeroen needs his rest tonight," replied Nessie.

"I think you'll want to come back right away," said Moya.

"Why?" asked Nessie.

"There's someone here you've been wanting to see," replied Moya, "and someone else here you really need to meet."

------------------------------

Meanwhile, over the Canadian Arctic:

"Are we heading toward the Faroe Islands?" asked Jim.

"Not quite," replied Yukon, "Actually, it's a bit farther."

"Can you give me a little hint?" asked Jim.

"OK, do you remember the movie 'Gone with the Wind'?" said Yukon.

"Yes, I do," replied Jim.

"Well," said Yukon, "It's also the name of Scarlett O'Hara's place."

----------------------------------

Back in the Faroe Islands:

Nessie handed the holophone to Jeroen.

"Hello, Moya," said Jeroen.

"Jeroen," asked Moya, "are you up to coming back here right away?"

"Yes," replied Jeroen, "as long as someone brings Guinness."

"Oh, we'll be sure to have some ready for you," replied Moya.

"OK, then, you've got it," said Jeroen just before Moya terminated the call.

Jeroen looked at the group. "OK, let's load back up," he said.

--------------------------------

Much later that same day, somewhere over the North Atlantic:

The sun had dipped below the horizon, leaving just a tinge of purple in the far western sky. Stars were twinkling everywhere.

From somewhere behind Jeroen and the group, there was an approaching, thunderous sound, reminiscent of some sort of large aircraft. Soon, the sound was above them, and seemed to be keeping pace with them.

"Sounds like we've got company," said Jeroen, "Let me give him a little flame to let him know we're here."

A fountain of blue flame erupted from Jeroen's nostrils. This was answered with a much larger flame from whatever was flying above them.

"It's a Polar," said Jeroen, "I wonder who it is?"

The big Polar descended until it was flying beside Jeroen. The two dragons began blowing sequences of long and short flames back and forth. They were communicating in Morse Code.

"He says his name is Yukon," said Jeroen, "and he has a rider. Some old man he picked up in the Canadian Arctic. And he's also headed to Tara."

"Could it be?" asked Nessie aloud. Yukon's rider held a red-and-blue flower.

It's Jim!" shouted Grania, "IT REALLY IS!!!" :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
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Postby Jim » Fri Sep 16, 2011 3:50 pm

Yeez, you would think it would take less than almost two years to fly from the Faroe Islands to Ireland! Stories of my death have been greatly exaggerated! :mrgreen:

It had been a wonderful night at Tara. First, Tallulah and K'Tara had regaled them with stories about the Secret Place on Draco. Then T with the Maggies played and sang a wonderful version of "Rising for the Moon" that sounded much like this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=slF5Jb9xIGQ

And the whole mountain was covered in red and blue flowers!

Now the group at Tara looked westward into the sky. The group flying back with Jeroen should be approaching at any time.

A light flickered on in the western sky and quickly went away, then it flickered on again, followed by a much brighter light flickering on nearby.

Everyone gasped. "That's TWO dragons!" exclaimed Tallulah, "Get Nessie on th holophone right away!"

Moya's image popped up on the screen as Nessie grabbed her holophone. "What's going on?" she asked.

"We have a surprise for YOU now!" replied Nessie, "I was going to just surprise you when we got to Tara, but I'll go ahead and show you now."

Nessie tilted the holophone toward Jim and Yukon. "Can you see this?" she asked.

Moya shrieked with delight, "Yes I can! Yes I can!"

"We were on our way back from the Faroe Islands when this huge dragon came flying up behind us," said Nessie, "and sure enough, there's Jim on his back!"

"That's incredible!" said Moya.

"What is it? What is it?" everyone asked.

"How far out are you?" asked Moya.

"We should be there in about 20 minutes," replied Nessie.

Moya turned to the others and said, "In about 20 minutes, you'll find out." :mrgreen:
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Postby Jim » Mon Sep 19, 2011 9:33 pm

"I've got an idea," said Clanydd, "Actually, I had it to start with. Moya, remember the broom incident from your book?"

"Yes, I do remember," said Moya.

"I just happen to have about a couple hundred brooms I brought with me from St. Cybi's," said Clanydd, "Why don't we have Tallulah and Prince K'Tara arrange them in the shape of an arrow pointing toward our gather place and light them on fire?"

"That's a GREAT idea!" said Prince K'Tara, "Let's do it!"

--------------------

"Would you look at that!" said Yukon, "There's a flaming arrow pointing the way home."

Jim sat pretty much in stunned silence. All he coud say was "Wow!"

Across the way, aboard Jeroen, the entire group also sat gobsmacked. Nessie's eyes were huge as she tried to take in the meaning of what had happened on the ground below about sixty kilometers away.

"I have an idea," said Yukon, "Let's circle around and come in from the east, and when we get directly over them, I'll blow a quick flame and startle the living daylights out of them."

Jim chuckled. "Great idea!" he said.

The group on the ground sat waiting. "They should be here by now," said Moya, "I wonder what happened to them."

Suddenly, above their heads, there was a quick, bright flash of light, followed by an explosion of thunder. Everybody jumped. "I didn't think it was suppoed to rain," said Clanydd.

"No, it wasn't," replied Moya. Then everyone looked up. There were two dragons circling for a landing.

"I know Jeroen," said Tallulah, "but who's the other dragon?"

"That's Yukon, Dragon of the Arctic," replied Prince K'Tara, "You'll be glad to meet him. He's awesome!"

But in the end, it wasn't Yukon that Tallulah was yearning to see.

It was Yukon's rider!
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