Night Rainbow

Updated: Nov 9, 2021

Michael K Laidlaw About 3 500 words

#406 3524 31st NW

Calgary, Canada T2L 2A5

Email: 4451moana@gmail.com


Night Rainbow


by


Michael Kamakana

And now the Great Northern Forest of Thiuseval rises in savage beauty beyond any Gardeners. Here leaves blue green to leaves green green to leaves gold green to leaves gold gold, only that natural selection correctly applied laws without law-givers. And now the complex Forest Peak of the Wanting Tree comes to the edge of sight still sixes and sixes thysarres daysflight away. Clearly so much larger than any Tree ever seen, so much larger it rises through the white sea of mist that lies like bark-paper maps scraped diligently to a mirror by the unbroken sun, source of all life and good, and I turn my disturbed mind to Sensa Question white fur gold feathers. We know Ferines do not guide the slightest design on Trees of their Forests, and there are none of the various jaets of hierarchic values, as Guardians, Herders, Gardeners, Searchers, Transporters, all under the wise leadership of the Sixteenth. There is no Sixteenth as indeed the horror of abandoning those less capable born, of thoughtless dismissal of gifts not first apparent, has assured they might never Culture to our true equals. There are no Guardians alone given the right to bear arms and execute or exile those criminals whose family has failed to correct and educate. All Ferine wings bear arms and in such dangerous company not few disputes will end as well as begin in personal combat, in duels, and here is misplaced bravery in defeating your enemies who are not Dead, but in fact other wings. This way of life is new to me, but once did Sensa Question white gold live amongst them, surviving this way by flying away wounded from lost battle.

Sanguin red fur silver feathers also seems uneasy, perhaps anticipating future conflicts with brothers or sisters of the one she has killed. Or perhaps aware that we are flying into a gathering of so many flights that there is now less than ever chance to turn away and claim our individual freedom in flight- though by now we must admit we are only as free as memories of that alien Egg has directed. We know Ferines but there is indeed a difference between what we know as true and they know as true. We offer the structure of society, our flights and jaets, that promises greater life of our culture, but they see only oppressive grouping, see only that we have abandoned our natural freedom for illusory gift of freedom from want, from fear, from the various dangers of the primitive forest. Ferines see these dangers as necessary to promote bravery and independence and the true nature of wing beings. Ferines do not live in such density possible from gardened trees but travel in smaller groups, herding thysarres and stripping simple unaltered gifts of the forest, the fruits they find but do not nurture. Ferines do not unite and learn and support each other in times of distress, disease, and declined resources, so their primitive knowledge leads them to constant migration.

Sensa Question white gold is unbothered and quiet for he only calls my attention to this sight or that sight of the forest we fly, glimpsed shadow and fleeting brightness, smaller cousin winged-animals, rare Tree-trunk trewarn and others wingless, then tiny and large black insects, wind-drifts of orange pollen- or the wonder of the black red blue herded thysarres. Sensa Question white gold caresses the curve of the Egg, but if it shares I do not hear it. I swallow a few fuel seeds, a few more, and patiently clean my feathers.

I tumble off my thysarres.

I dip in flight and restlessly beat my wings forward against the calm glide of thermals.

I rest on a high perch only in the green gold Wing Canopy.

I ask, ask, and ask.

I ask questions no one answers.

I fall from my perch into the crowded green green First World.

I fall, I regain flight, I leap higher and catch and glide.

We fly three sixed days toward Morning but of course the Forest is vast and none can see the End of the World closer. Even when we rise to the gold gold brilliance above our clouded Thiuseval, even when I learn the secret of flying at night, for this is the gift my friend Sensa of Green Cycle green bronze has decided to offer. At his invitation there are twelve of us green green-winged listeners perched on the natural Tree-crown arena above where rest Sensa Question white gold, Sanguin red silver, and the guarded white Egg.

#

One evening Sensa Question white gold summons the leading ferines to share their songs with us. At first, this seems impossible to imagine we Cultured wings have such different tales, this seems deviant as the Dead, but in argument our elder is able to convince them to share. Whatever songs they might shsre may be well known to us, but to the Egg and our alien friend within is probably unknown. Sanguin red silver guards the Egg suspiciously listening to the chanting of the ferines, until they come to halt and one ferine perches in the centre of the Tree-crown arena and announces her pre-eminence with piercing whistle.

#

-I am Sensa of Green Cycle green bronze, she announces. It is time for a legend to share us where we have come from and who we are and where do we go. It is time for legend that everyone knows but must be repeated, must be said again, must follow exactly the ancient and the near and the current and the future pattern for all wings of Thiuseval to share that area of truth, that unmarked pasage through the sky. It is a legend that must be measured in memory of all those other times shared so that each recitation is judged as recreation of the worlds in each word, in the living now as all dreams are now. It is time for a legend told from memory on memory on memory and so repetitive phrases cue the next phrase or next word or next gesture, repetition exasct but no less fashioned as work of verbal art as something read from an original or copied scroll.

-This is the true story of our lost Night Rainbow, Sensa of Green Cycle green bronze says as he knocks a hollow gourd to a sharing sound. This is the story told to me by my Grandparent-Len Green Cycle, so many cycles before now, this is the story I tell now, this is the story you or our descendants will tell so many cycles to come from now.

At this pronouncement all restless noise is silenced and all wait attentive. I do not know what is him magical skill that suffuses him common voice aloud with uncommon force of sharing of thoughts, but I do only wonder, I do ask myself if such skill is lost in Cultured Trael and saved in primitive form retained here in Thiuseval.

-Once all sisters knew this way to summon Night Rainbow, he announces. Blue-winged ones caused us all to lose this memory, yes the blue-winged are cause of much we have lost.

At this pronouncement chattering of laughter and rustle of gentle clicking of swords and clicking of tongue and teeth descends, and even I know this is required and pleasant jest against those who claim this cycle throughout Thiuseval, time of the Blue Cycle, when passed those Players bound for the End of the World. It is soon that Blue Cycle is affirmed when all so born at the Wanting Tree so of course now must suffer gentle jibes from the thirteen other colors, when not yet at that place where the new Cycle is proclaimed.

In the season of war it is cold, Sensa of Green Cycle green bronze begins. The Fourteen are all fighting one another, drawing in their allies throughout the Forest, ignoring the call of their parent.

One night a dream comes to Yu, youngest born, and him friend Atai.

A thysarre, one of the numberless, carries Yu to a highest perch and binds Yu there and lays before Yu the Dead body of Parent. This thysarre is Lightning Bird. Lightning Bird strikes the branch and sets the body on fire and strikes the branch and the winds howl and scream and storm clouds cover all the sky. From this rises black smoke, coiling into a dark ring some wingspans distant.

Yu goes to Parent to warn it of Lightning Bird.

This is what will happen if your sisters continue to fight, Parent says.

Yu goes to the sisters the Fourteen, to plea for peace. The blue-winged laugh.

Who are you, little one, to share us when and whom to fight.

You are weak and afraid, idiot child, crawl back into your egg.

The blue-winged say these things.

One night a dream comes to Yu, youngest born, and him friend Atai.

A thysarre, one of the numberless, carries Yu to deepest swamp and binds Yu there, and lays before Yu lays the burned bones of Parent. This thysarre is Thunder Bird. Thunder Bird strikes the branch and crushes the bones and the winds howl and scream and storm clouds cover all the sky. From this rises a gray mist, coiling into a pale ring some wingspans distant.

Yu goes to Parent to warn it of Thunder Bird.

This is what will happen if your sisters continue to fight, Parent says.

Yu goes to the sisters the Fourteen, to plea for peace. The blue-winged laugh.

Who are you, little one, to talk to your elders like that.

You are frightened of empty dark, dreaming one, go play with Atai.

The blue-winged say these things.

One night a dream comes to Yu, youngest born, and him friend Atai.

A thysarre, one of the numberless, carries Yu far over sea and binds Yu there, and lays before Yu the ashes of Parent. This thysarre is Wind Bird. Wind Bird strikes the branch and the powders the remains and the winds howl and scream and storm clouds cover all the sky. From this rises a night rainbow, coiling into a light ring some wingspans distant.

This is Night Rainbow young wing, says Wind Bird. Parent dies and all you and your sisters can do is die. There is only one Parent and it goes away. Because you will have no children you will die. You must burn the body, wait for a storm, and wait for Night Rainbow to appear. Then you will know what to do.

Wind Bird says this.

Yu goes to Parent to warn it of Wind Bird.

Parent is dead.

Yu goes to the sisters the Fourteen, to plea for peace. The blue-winged laugh.

Parent was old and stupid, just push Parent off the branch, and let fall into darkness.

You are young and stupid, childish one, go play this with Atai if you must.

The blue-winged say these things.

One night Yu, youngest born, burns Dead body of Parent, and gathers bones and ashes. Atai sleeps beside Yu. Winds howl and scream and the clouds cover all the sky. Night loses us. Rain falls. From this rises Night Rainbow, coiling into a light ring some wingspans distant.

What must I do, Yu asks Night Rainbow.

But Night Rainbow does not reply. You must tell me, Wind Bird said I would know this.

But Night Rainbow does not reply.

Yu flies out to be closer to Night Rainbow but it recedes. Yu flies faster but Night Rainbow recedes faster. Yu flies yet faster but Night Rainbow recedes yet faster. Yu is afraid Night Rainbow will disappear so flies faster again but it recedes faster, and so he is drawn into a hopeless pursuit, for a rainbow of any sort is forever impossible to reach in any world. It is only nights of pursuit later that Yu realizes that him friend Atai is left behind in another dream, and though him pleas to wait are heard, Yu is afraid of losing Night Rainbow so does not stop.

One night, after the season of war has flown long, Yu is very tired. Yu flies through this Forest and the next Forest. Yu flies over this Swamp and the next Swamp. Yu flies and flies, but Night Rainbow is ahead of him every night. Yu leaves even this last Swamp, flying out over Endless Sea. Yu flies and flies, but Night Rainbow is ahead of him every night. Night loses us. Morning finds him flying. She finds a single root rising from the barren waves below, the root of a Swamp or a Tree. Yu does not know where this is, but it seems like the End of the World in exhaustion and frustration. She perches there. Night loses us.

Yu does not fly after and Night Rainbow does not flee.

What must I do, Yu asks Night Rainbow.

But Night Rainbow does not reply. You must tell me, Wind Bird said I would know this.

But Night Rainbow does not reply.

Yu does not fly after and Night Rainbow does not flee.

Night loses him.

Morning finds him.

Yu feels as if in a very bad dream, a circle dream, in which Yu, youngest born, will fly and fly until there are no more wings, no more air, only darkness to fall into and be forgotten. Yu feels this circle is Night Rainbow. Yu decides to sit, to rest, to think. Night Rainbow is a creature of light, like any rainbow though trickier, so there must be a way to make it share. Yu thinks long and hard. Creatures of light are hollow vessels, so perhaps if Yu waits, when it is tired, it will be possible to enter it and make it talk. Yu decides to wait, there is nothing else to do. Nights lose. Days find. Nights lose. But though the world might change you are always yourself and this is how we know we are the same person when we wake as the person who went to sleep. And so there must be some way to be both asleep and awake, and this is when Yu thinks of those seeds he knows of that cause any wing to sleep-not, perhaps this is the answer. Yu is very tired, Yu has tried all manner of strategies to enter Night Rainbow, so decides this will be the way.

Yu sees Night Rainbow comes to pale immobile sleep at the finding of morning.

Yu sees this and without thought swallows a sleep-not seed and leaps from the perch and falls into Night Rainbow.

Yu hears a sound unlike any he has ever heard in the Forest. It is not the whistles and songs of birds, the rustle of leaves, the rumble of clouds, the rhythm of rain, the scream of lightning. It is none of these things. It is a sound within the listening mind, within mind of Yu, for it is the blood of Night Rainbow. Yu opens to speak and this sound comes out. Yu does not know what this sound is but only that it must be shared with the Fourteen sisters.

One night Yu, youngest born, comes to the Tree.

The Fourteen are all fighting, some with new allies or enemies, all wounded, all grim, all refusing to stop. Yu comes to tell them of the dreams, the chase, the capture, the wondrous song of Night Rainbow. The Fourteen think this is all made up story so laugh.

What fools do you think we are, tired one, who have never seen a night rainbow.

You are always a child, forgotten one, go share your stories to the thysarres.

The blue-winged say these things.

Now Yu opens him mouth to argue a reply, but instead comes the Song of Night Rainbow.

Now this is a new sound that none of the Fourteen have ever heard. It is not the whistles and songs of birds, the rustle of leaves, the rumble of clouds, the rhythm of rain, the scream of lightning. It is none of these things. It is a sound within the listening mind, within the mind of each, for it is the blood of Night Rainbow.

` Now the Fourteen hold back their weaponry and settle on perches about in the crown of the Tree, folding their wings tight to their sides.

Now something happens to the Fourteen, as each that are most enemy to the other comes closer, and one becomes she the egg-bearer and the other he the egg-fertilizer, and together they lie in a nest. Then he the egg-fertilizer becomes she the egg-bearer, and she the egg bearer becomes he the egg-fertilizer, and together they lie in nest again. This happens to all Fourteen so now there are seven parents divided twice, and there are fourteen eggs laid in the Womb-chamber.

Now one day all are the egg-bearers and each finds herself in Parent chamber, the Womb-chamber of the Tree, and lay eggs. This is the season of birth, when the Tree buds and the Forest is young and the Fourteen do not fight.

Now one day the eggs open and infant wings are born to fall, to fly, and to live in our Forest. This is the season of living, when the flowers bloom and the Forest is green and gold and the Fourteen do not fight.

Now one day Yu, who has no children, remembers him friend Atai and is lonely. Yu comes to the Fourteen to depart.

-What do you mean by leaving, little one, who will sing the Song of Night Rainbow.

-Go find your thwyll-like friend, forgotten one, but bring back only pleasant sounds.

The blue-winged say these things.

Now one day the Fourteen realize Yu has left. The children are dying, the eggs are failing, and the sisters are no longer she the egg-bearer and the other hethe egg-fertilizer, and he the egg-fertilizer and the other she the egg-bearer, and the Fourteen fight again. This is the dying season. Trees are quiet, clouds are quiet, even the Swamp is quiet. Waves of Endless Sea crash under the Sea Swamp, but this is quiet too.

Yu has left and now we have no Song of Night Rainbow.

We must make the sound that makes us Parents.

The blue-winged say these things.

Now we have all heard the various Songs of Night Rainbow, the Songs our Fourteen Parents tried to create out of memories, but none of them are that original sound, none of them can draw us out over Endless Sea, trying to reach the ever-receding Night Rainbow. We sing those songs, fertilize and lay our eggs, lay our eggs and fertilize, and raise our children and tend our elders, but we have lost that song. This is the way of our worlds...

Now it is said that Yu searches now for him friend Atai, or has found him, but things are not the same. Atai came after and found and ate the shell of Night Rainbow, but it was bitter fruit and it has poisoned him against the beauty it once held, so she plays tricks with Dead against all the Fourteen Families. Yu knows this but she continues flying after him, hoping to fashion a new Night Rainbow out of him Song and the shell from Atai, for them both to pursue, again as friends.

All is silent at this sad inevitability, this lost pursuit, for even if you do not know the cycles of stories, of adventures, of searches, of Yu, and surely you know this friendship rainbow is never reached.

This is the true story of our lost Night Rainbow, Sensa of Green Cycle green bronze says as he knocks a hollow gourd to a sharing sound. This is the story told to me by my Grandparent-Len Green Cycle, so many cycles before now, this is the story I tell now, this is the story you or our descendants will tell so many cycles to come from now.

#

After ending this recitation to the general applause of all the others, I look to find a nest to sleep, but the night has just begun and no one else is to sleep any time soon. I will remember this legend and this night, for though it is familiar it is also always new in each sharing. In a few beats I come to rest on the soft comfort of a primary branch and fall asleep with his words echoing in my dreams. It is no longer than a breath before I waken.

Morning finds us.

We swallow a few fuel seeds, a few more, and patiently clean our feathers.

We feed our gentle thysarres, encouraging each with a mental caress.

We mount each our thysarres.

We fly and fly.


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