About Spirit, Mind and many other things...
Svetlana de Rohan Levashov
Part 1. Childhood. Vol. 1. Awakening
– It... What is it? – The girl asked, gasping with excitement. – May I play with him? He won’t resent it, will he?
Apparently, the mother mentally pulled her up sharply, because the girl suddenly got very upset. Tears began to glitter in her warm brown eyes and it was obvious that a bit more and they would be rolling down her pretty cheeks.
– Please, don’t cry! – Stella quickly asked. – Do you want me to do a dragon like this for you?
The little girl’s face instantly lit up. She grasped mother’s hand and happily twittered:
– See, mum, I did nothing bad, and they are not angry with me at all! May I have him too? I promise I will be a very good girl!
The mother looked at her with sad eyes, choosing the correct answer, as the girl unexpectedly asked:
– Have you seen my dad by any chance, kind shining girls? He and my brother disappeared somewhere.
Stella looked at me inquiringly and I already knew what she would offer...
– Do you want us to look for them? – She asked what I thought she would.
– We’ve already searched here. We’ve been here for quite a long time, but they are not here. – The woman answered very calmly.
– We shall look for them in a different way. – Stella smiled. – Just think about them in order for us to see them and we will find them.
The girl funnily blinked, trying very hard to create a mental picture of her dad. Several seconds passed...
– Mummy, how could it be that I don’t remember him? – The little child was surprised.
It was the first time I heard something like that and, judging by the surprise in Stella’s large eyes, it was also something new for her too…
– What do you mean you don’t remember? – The mother did not understand.
– Well, I try and try and don’t remember... How can that be? I love him very much, you know. Maybe it’s true that he does not exist anymore?
– I am sorry, can you see him? – I carefully asked the mother.
The woman confidently nodded, but suddenly something changed in her countenance and it became very confused.
– No... I cannot remember him... Is this kind of thing really possible? – She said, being almost scared.
– Can you remember your son? Can you remember your brother? – Stella asked, addressing both. Mother and daughter shook their heads negatively.
Stella’s face, usually so cheerful, looked very concerned, probably, she could not understand what was happening here. I almost felt the intense working of her vivid and very unusual brain.
– I’ve got it! I really got it! – Suddenly Stella happily chirped. – We will "dress" in your images and go for a "walk". If they are somewhere, they will see us; Right?
I liked the idea and we had only to "change" our clothes mentally and set off for a search.
– Please, may I have him until you come back? – The girl persistently did not wish to forget her desire. – What is his name?
– He still doesn’t have one. – Stella smiled at her. – What’s yours?
– Lia. – The girl answered. – Why do you shine, anyway? We saw several creatures like you, but everybody told us that they were angels... Who are you then?
– We are girls like you, only we live "upstairs".
– Where is it, this "upstairs"? – Little Lia continued to heap us with questions.
– Regrettably, you cannot go there. – Stella tried to explain it somehow, finding it quite difficult. – Do you want me to show it to you?
The child began to jump with joy. Stella took her hand and opened her amazing fantastic world, where everything was so bright and happy that it was truly hard to believe that this kind of thing could really exist.
Lia’s eyes became like two enormous round saucers:
– Wow! How beautiful! What is it? Is it paradise? Oh, my! – The girl was absolutely delighted, but expressed it in a very low voice, as if being afraid of frightening off this unbelievable vision. – Who lives there? Wow, look, what a cloud! And the rain is golden! Can it really be like this?
– Have you ever seen a red dragon? – Lia shook her head. – See, but I do have one, because it’s my world.
– Then what? You are God!!! – But God cannot be a girl, right? Then who are you?
Questions poured from her like an avalanche and Stella burst out laughing, unable to answer all them at once.
Being free from the question and answer session, I slowly began to look around and was astonished at the unusual world which spread around us... It was a genuinely "transparent" world. Everything sparkled and shimmered with a blue, ghostly light which did not make us feel cold (as it seemingly should), but on the contrary – it warmed us with an unusual deep warmth which penetrated to the bottom of our hearts. Transparent human figures floated by me from time to time. They constantly changed – First becoming more compact and then transparent like luminous fog... This world was very beautiful, but somewhat unsteady. It seemed to change all the time, as if difficulty deciding how it would prefer to be forever.
– Well, are you ready to "take a walk"? – Stella’s cheerful voice pulled me out of my thoughts.
– Where shall we go?
– We are going to search for the disappeared! – The girl smiled merrily.
– Dear girls, would you let me guard your dragon, while you go away? – Little Lia asked, reluctant to forget him, casting down her round eyes.
– All right, here you are. Guard him. – Stella indulgently granted her permission. – Just don’t give him to anybody. He is still a baby and can be easily frightened.
– Oh, no! How could I! I shall love him very much while you are away.
The girl was willing to bend over backwards to get this fascinating "dragon", which bellied out and puffed up, trying to please us with all his might, as if knowing that we were talking precisely about him...
– When will you come back? Will you come very soon, dear girls? – The little one asked, hoping very much that we would not come the very soon.
The glimmering transparent wall separated us from them...
– Well, what shall we begin with? – Stella asked, being downright concerned. – I’ve never seen such a thing, but, certainly, I have not been here long... Now we must do something, right? We promised!
– Well, let’s try to "put" on their images, as you said? – I offered without thinking twice.
Stella performed her next "hocus-pocus" and looked exactly like little Lia and that meant that the "mother" was left for me, which made me laugh... As I understood it we simply put on energy images which we hoped would help us to find the people we aimed to find.
– This is a positive way of using other people’s images, but there is a negative one – when someone uses it for bad ends, like the spirit which put on my Gran’s "key" to beat me. Later she explained it to me...
It was very amusing to hear the tiny girl’s professorial voice with which she expounded such serious subjects... But she really treated everything very earnestly, despite her sunny, happy nature.
– Well, shall we go, "girl Lia"? – I asked, with a feeling of burning impatience.
I was eager to see these other "floors" while I still had some forces left. I did notice the huge difference between the "floor" where we were now and the "upper", Stella’s "floor". Therefore I wanted very much to "dive" as quickly as possble into the next unknown world and know about it as much as possible, because I was not sure whether I could ever return there.
– Why is this "floor" much denser than the previous one and has more spirits? – I asked.
– I don’t know... – Stella shrugged her shoulders. – Maybe because good people who did not do any harm to anybody in their last life live here, therefore there are many of them here. And "special" and very strong spirits live in the upper"floor"... – she began to laugh. – But I am not talking about me, if you think that! Although Gran says that my spirit is very old, more than a million years... It’s a terribly long time, don’t you think? How can one know what happened on Earth over a million years ago? – The girl contemplated.
– Maybe then you were not on Earth?
– Where do you think I’ve been?! – Stella asked in great perplexity.
– Well, I don’t know. Can’t you really look through? – I was surprised.
It seemed to me then that her abilities allowed her to do ANYTHING! But to my huge surprise, Stella shook her head.
– I still can do very little, only what my Gran taught me. – She sighed with regret.
– Do you want me to show my friends to you? – I suddenly asked.
Before she knew where she was, I unfolded those meetings in my memory, when my wonderful "star friends" came to me so often and when it seemed to me that nothing interesting could ever happen in my life...
– Wow! What beauty! – Stella exhaled in delight. Suddenly she saw the strange signs which they had shown me many times and exclaimed: – Look, it means they taught you! How interesting!
I became frozen, unable to pronounce a word... They taught me!!! Could it be that during all those years I had some important information in my brain and instead of trying to understand it somehow, I, like a blind kitten, floundered in my shallow attempts and guess-work, trying to find some truth in them?! And I’ve had it already for such a long, long time?
Even without knowing what I was taught, I "boiled" with indignation at myself for such a vexing negligence. Can you believe it! I was given some "secrets" from the very beginning and I did not understand that! Well, they surely gave them to the wrong person!!!
– Please, don’t be so upset! – Stella smiled. – You’ll show it to Gran and she’ll explain it to you.
– May I ask you? Who is your grandmother anyway? – I asked feeling embarrassed at trespassing on "private territory".
Stella was engrossed in her thoughts, wrinkling her little nose in a funny way (she had this amusing habit, when she thought of something in earnest) and pronounced wavering a little:
– I don’t know... Sometimes it seems to me that she knows everything, and that she is very, very old... We had many photos at home and she was the same on them – old, like now. I have never seen her young. Isn’t it strange?
– Did you ever ask her about it?
– No, I didn’t. I think she would tell me, if she thought I needed it... Wow! Look at that! How beautiful! – Suddenly the girl exclaimed in delight pointing at the strange golden sea waves with her finger. It, certainly, was not a sea, but they really looked very like sea waves – they heavily rolled on the shore, playfully outstripping each other, with one difference though – instead of snow-white sea foam and blue water we saw shining pure gold which nebulized into thousands of transparent goldish sparks... It was very beautiful and, naturally, we wanted to see it closer.
When we came close enough, I heard thousands of voices which sounded simultaneously. The sound resembled a strange magic melody. It was a not song or even music in the sense we understand it... It was something barely thinkable and definitely indescribable... but it sounded awesome.
– Come on! It’s a thinking sea! You’ll love it! – Stella chirped merrily.
– I like it already. It’s not dangerous, is it?
– No, not at all. Don’t worry. It exists for calming the "lost" souls which are still sad after they came here... I have listened to it for hours... It’s alive and "sings" different things to different souls. Do you want to hear it?
Only now I noticed that there were a lot of spirits splashing in the golden sparkling waves... Some simply lay on the surface, fluidly rocking on waves; others dived into the "gold" and remained there for hours, fully submerged in the mental "concert" and were absolutely reluctant to return to the surface...
– Well, shall we listen? – The girl impatiently pushed me slightly.
We came closer... and I felt the miraculously-soft touch of the sparkling wave... It was something incredibly soft, surprisingly affectionate and sedative, and at the same time getting to the "depth" of my surprised and slightly watchful soul... Quiet "music" ran through my foot, vibrating with millions of different tones. It went up, shrouding me in something fairyland beautiful, which cannot be described with words... I felt I was flying although I did not in reality. It was sensational! Every new surging wave dissolved and melted my every cell; the sparkling gold washed me through, carrying away everything bad and sad, leaving only pure primordial light in my soul...
I did not feel the moment when I entered and submerged in this shining miracle. I felt so unbelievably well and never wanted to come out…
– All right, that’s enough! The mission is waiting for us! – Stella’s pushing voice burst into the shining beauty. – Did you like it?
– I’ll say! – I breathed out. – I wish I did not have to leave it!
– Indeed! Some "bathe" there to the next embodiment... and then never return here...
– Where do they go? – I was surprised.
– Below... Gran says that one should deserve one’s place here too... And the one who just waits and has a rest "works" it off in the next embodiment. I think it’s true...
– What is there, below? – I was interested.
– It’s not a pleasant place, believe me. – Stella smiled slyly.
– And this sea, is it the only one or there are many of them here?
– You’ll see... It’s always different – it is like a sea in one place, "scenery" in another and in the third place it’s a power field full of different flowers, brooks and plants, and all that "treats" the soul and calms too... only one should not simply use it, one has to deserve it first.
– What about those who have not deserved? Don’t they live here? – I did not understand.
– Yes, they do, but not so comfortably... – The girl shook her head. – Here is like on Earth – nothing is given for free, only values here are quite different. Those who do not want to exert themselves, get very simple things. This beauty cannot be bought; it can only be deserved...
– You speak now exactly like your grandmother, as if you learned her words... – I smiled.
– It’s true! – Stella returned a smile to me. – I try to memorize a lot of what she says, even that which I don’t quite understand yet... But I shall understand it some time, right? Probably then there will be nobody who would teach me... So, it’ll help.
Then we suddenly saw an incomprehensible, but very attractive picture – a host of spirits stood on shining and fluffy-transparent blue earth, like on a cloud. They constantly changed with each other, took someone somewhere and then returned.
– What is it? What do they do there? – Puzzled, I asked.
– They come to help the "newcomers" not to feel afraid. This is where new spirits come. – Stella said calmly.
– Have you seen see all that? Can we come closer to look?
– Of, course! – And we approached the "cloud"...
I saw something absolutely thrilling in its beauty... A transparent luminous ball suddenly appeared in complete emptiness, as if from nowhere and opened up like a flower, letting out a new spirit which looked around in confusion, understanding nothing... The spirits who waited for it hugged the "newcomer" in a mass of warm sparkling energy, as if calming it, and led it away somewhere.
– They are those who come after death? – For some reason I spoke in a very low voice.
Stella nodded and sadly said:
– When I came, we went to different "floors" – my family and I. I was very lonely and sad... But now everything is all right. I came to visit them here many times. They are happy now.
– Are they right here, on this "floor"? – I could not believe it.
Stella sadly nodded again and I decided to stop asking, in order not to worry her lucid and kind heart.
We walked along an unusual road which appeared and disappeared as we set foot on it. The road softly twinkled and it seemed that it conducted us, pointing a way, as if knowing where we had to go... There was a pleasant feeling of freedom and lightness, as if the whole world around suddenly became imponderable.
– Why does this road point us where to go? – I asked again.
– It does not point, it helps. – The girl answered. – Everything here consists of thoughts. Have you forgotten? Even trees, the sea, roads and flowers – they all hear what we are thinking about. It is a truly pure world... probably, the one that people call Paradise... It is impossible to lie here.
– Where is Hell then? Does it exist too?
– Oh, of course, I’ll show it to you! It’s on the ground "floor" and there are SUCH things!!! – Stella’s shoulders flinched, obviously remembering something extremely unpleasant.
We continued to walk and I noticed that the surroundings began to change gradually. The transparency disappeared little by little, yielding to the "denser" scenery which more looked like the earthly one.
– What’s happening? Where are we? – I pricked up my ears.
– We’re still in the same place. – Stella calmly answered. – Only in its "simpler" part. Remember, we’ve just discussed it? Mostly those who just came are here. When they see the scenery which looks like the one they got accustomed to, it’s easier for them to assimilate the "transition" into a new world... Also those who do not want to be better than they are and make the least effort to achieve something greater, live here.
– So, it means that this "floor" consist of two parts? – I specified.
– Yes, you can say that. – Stella answered thoughtfully and unexpectedly changed the subject. – It’s strange – nobody pays any attention to us. Do you think they are not here?
We looked around and stopped, having no idea what to do.
– Shall we venture "downstairs"? – Stella asked.
I felt that the little girl had become tired. To tell the truth I too was very far from being on my best form, but I was almost sure that she was not going to surrender and therefore I nodded in reply.
– Well, then we have to prepare ourselves a bit... – Stella declared, "war-like", and concentrated, biting her lip. – Do you know how to create your powerful protective shield?
– I think I do, but I am not sure whether it will be sufficiently strong. – I answered confusedly. I did not want to let her down exactly now.
– Show me. – The girl asked.
I understood that it was not a whim and she simply wanted to help me. I concentrated and made my green "cocoon" which I always created when I needed to be seriously protected.
– Wow! – Stella’s eyes widely opened with surprise. – Well, let’s go then.
This time our flight downward was not so pleasant unlike the previous one... For some reason I felt that something strongly squeezed my chest and I could not breathe freely. But gradually everything returned to normal and I could observe the surroundings. The sinister scenery unpleasantly surprised me.
A heavy, blood-red sun stingily lit up the dim, violet-brown silhouettes of distant mountains... Deep cracks crept along the surface like giant snakes; a dense, dark-orange fog came out of them and, on merging with the surface, came to look like a bloody shroud. Strange human spirits, which were very dense, almost physically dense, wondered aimlessly everywhere... They appeared and then disappeared, paying no attention to each other, noticing nobody except for themselves, as if they lived exclusively in their private world, tightly closed to anybody else. In the distance we saw the dark silhouettes of monstrous beasts which fleetingly appeared but did not dare to approach us yet. The danger was strongly felt; everything smelled of horror. I felt an urgent desire to run from there at breakneck speed...
– Are we in Hell, or something? – I asked, being horrified by what I’d seen.
– Well, you wanted to see how it looks, so, you did it. – Tensely smiling, Stella replied.
I felt that she expected trouble. No wonder. What else could it be in a place like that?
– You know, you can sometimes find kind spirits here. They simply made huge mistakes. To tell the truth, I pity them very much... Can you imagine – waiting for your next embodiment here?! Terrible!
No, I could not imagine that and honestly – did not want to, and besides there was not a tiny snippet of good in the air.
– You are not right, you know. – The little one eavesdropped on my thoughts again. – Sometimes truly very good people get here, and they pay for their errors very dearly... I do indeed feel so sorry for them...
– Do you think that the boy we’re looking for got here too?! I am sure that he had no time to do anything bad. Do you hope to find him here?. Do you think such thing is possible?
– Watch out!!! – Stella suddenly shrieked out.
Before I knew where I was I was flattened like a big frog and felt an enormous, terribly stinking mountain on me... something puffed, champed and snorted, spreading the disgusting smell of rot and tainted meat. I felt like vomiting. I was very fortunate that it was just our spirits that "went for a walk" here, without physical bodies, otherwise I would have huge problems.
– Get out of here! Come on, get out!!! – The frightened girlie squeaked.
Regrettably, it was easier to say than to do... A stinking hulk leaned the whole of its enormous weight on me and apparently, prepared to regale itself with my fresh life-force... As ill luck would have it, I could not get free from it and the panic which began treacherously to squeak within my heart squeezed me with fear.
– Come on! – Stella cried again. Then she suddenly struck the monster with a bright ray and again cried: – Run!!!
I felt that it became a bit easier and delivered an energy blow with all my might, pushing the stinking hulk off me. Stella ran around and fearlessly struck the weakening monster from all sides. I managed to get out, heavily breathing and was in horror at what I saw! An enormous thorny hulk lay right in front of me, covered with the sharply stinking mucus. There was an enormous, bent horn on the wide, warty head.
– Run! – Stella cried again. – It’s still alive.
I tore along... I absolutely do not remember where to... But I can say I ran like hell.
– Well, you can run, I dare say... – Stella squeezed out breathlessly, hardly articulating words.
– Oh, I am sorry. Please, forgive me! – I exclaimed, being ashamed. – The way you screamed, I just ran in fright wherever my feet would carry me...
– Well, it’s nothing. Next time we’ll be more cautious. – Stella tried to calm me.
This statement made my eyes open wide! ...
– You mean there can be a "next" time!? – I asked carefully, hoping to hear "no".
– Of course! After all, they live here! –The brave little girl "calmed" me.
– What are we doing here then?
– We came to rescue somebody. Have you forgotten? – Stella was sincerely surprised.
Obviously our "rescue expedition" went right out of my mind because of the awful occurrence, but I tried to pull myself together as quickly as possible in order not to show Stella how terribly scared I was.
– Hey, don’t worry. The first time it happened to me my hair stood on end for the whole day! – The girl said, much merrier.
I wanted to give her a huge kiss! She somehow saw that I was ashamed of my weakness and managed to make me feel good.
– Do you really think that little Lia’s father and brother can be here? – I asked surprised from the bottom of my heart.
– Of course! They could be simply kidnapped. – The calm reply followed.
– What do you mean – kidnapped, who by?
But the girl did not have time to answer... Something scarier than our first "acquaintance" jumped out from thick trees. It was something incredibly nimble and strong, with a little but very powerful body. Its hairy belly expulsed a strange sticky "net" which caught us before we knew where we were... Stella looked like a little disheveled owlet. Her large blue eyes looked like two enormous saucers with splashes of horror in the middle.
I had to think of something very quickly, but my head was absolutely empty, no matter how hard I tried to find anything clever there... Meanwhile the "spider" (having nothing better to call this creature) dragged us, apparently, to its nest, anticipating a feast.
– Where are all the people? – Being almost strangled, I asked.
– Oh, there are a lot them here. You saw for yourself. More than anywhere... But the majority of them are worse than these beasts... They won’t help us.
– What shall we do now? – In my mind my teeth began to chatter.
– Remember, when you showed your first monsters to me, you struck them with a green ray? – Stella asked with a sprightly and mischievous sparkle in her eyes (she came to her senses again, quicker than me!). – Let’s try the same thing together.
I understood that, fortunately, she was not going to surrender yet and decided to try, because we had nothing to lose anyway.
But we had no time to strike, because the spider sharply stopped and we plopped down on earth... It had dragged us to its home much quicker than we thought...
We found ourselves in a very strange room (if it can be called so). It was dark and completely silent... It strongly smelled of mould, smoke and the bark of some strange tree. From time to time weak sounds like moans were heard. It seemed that "suffering" souls produced them with what was left of their strength.
– Can you light it up somehow? – I asked Stella beneath my breath.
– I’ve tried already, but I failed for some reason... – She replied also whispering.
At once a tiny light shone right in front of us.
– That is all that I can do here. – Vexed Stella sighed.
This dim, scanty illumination made her look very tired and much older. I always forgot that this amazing child was only five years old! Probably it was her often, so serious, unchildlike conversation or her adult attitude toward life, or everything put together that made me forget that she is still a tiny girl who must be terribly scared now, but she bravely endured everything and even was going to fight...
– Look, who is here? – Stella whispered.
On peering into the darkness, I saw strange "shelves" on which people lay.
– Mother? Is it you, mother??? – A surprised thin voice whispered. – How did you find us?
At first I did not understand that a child addressed me. I clean forgot why we came here. I understood only when Stella shoved her fist in my side.
– We don’t know their names! – I whispered.
– Lia, what are you doing here? – A masculine voice sounded.
– I was looking for you, daddy. –Stella answered mentally in Lia’s voice.
– But how did you get here? – I asked.
– Probably, the same way you did... – there was a hushed answer. – We went for a walk on a lakeshore and did not see that there was a "hole"... and we fell in there… and below waited this beast... What shall we do?
– Leave. – I tried to answer as calmly as possible.
– What about others? Do you want to leave them?! – Stella whispered.
– Certainly not! But how are you going to take them out of here?
A strange round manhole opened and viscid, red light blinded our eyes. I felt as if my head was squeezed with nippers and I felt an irresistible wish to sleep...
– Hold on! Don’t sleep! – Stella cried.
I understood that the spider exerted a strong influence upon us. Probably this terrible creature needed us weak-willed to easily accomplish its "spidery" ritual.
– We cannot do anything... – Stella muttered to herself. – Why doesn’t anything work?
I thought she was absolutely right. We both were just children, which set off on a life-threatening trip without thinking it out well and now were unaware of how to get out of it.
Suddenly Stella took off our imposed "images" and we again became ourselves.
– Oh, where is my mother? Who are you? What did you do with my mother?! – The boy hissed indignantly. – Bring her back immediately!
I liked his fighting spirit, considering the hopelessness of our situation.
– The point is that your mother has not been here. – Stella whispered. – We met your mother at the "floor" from which you "fell" here. They were very worried about you, because they could not find you and we offered to help. But, as you see, we did not take enough care and got into the same terrible mess…
– How long have you been here? Do you know what he will do with us? – I tried to speak confidently.
– We are quite new here... He brings new people all the time, sometimes little animals, then they disappear and he brings new ones.
I looked at Stella with horror:
– It is a real world and absolutely real danger! It is not that innocent beauty which we created earlier! What shall we do?
– Leave. – The little girl persistently repeated.
– We can try, can’t we? Gran will not leave us too, if things get really dangerous. Probably, we can get out by ourselves, if she has not come yet. Don’t you worry, she will not leave us.
I wish I had her confidence! Although I never was too fearful, this situation made me very nervous, because the matter was not only about us, but also about those who we came to rescue from this horrific situation. However, I had no idea how to scramble out of this nightmare.
– There is no time here, but he usually comes in at one and the same interval, approximately, twenty-four earthly hours. – Suddenly the boy answered my thoughts.
– Was it today? – Stella asked with obvious relief.
The boy nodded.
– Then, shall we go? – She gave me a significant look and I understood that she asked me to "put" my "protection" on them.
Stella was the first who put out her red head outside...
– Nobody! – She rejoiced. – Gosh, what a nightmare!
Immediately I started climbing after her. Here was a real nightmare indeed! Human spirits hung in "bunches" near our strange "place of incarceration"... They hung head downward, suspended by their feet, forming something like inverted bouquets.
We came closer – nobody showed any signs of life...
– They are totally "pumped out "! – Stella was terrified. – There is not even a drop of life-force in them! All right, let’s run away!!!
We were off like a shot, absolutely not knowing where we running, simply wishing to be as far as possible from the blood-freezing horror... We did not even imagine that we could bump into the same or even worse thing.
Suddenly it grew very dark. Dark blue clouds rushed across the sky, as if a strong wind pushed them, although there was no wind whatsoever. Blinding lightning flashed in the bowels of black clouds; the tops of mountains blazed with a red glow... Sometimes the wicked tops ripped swollen clouds which released dark brown waterfalls. This frightful picture was reminiscent of the most terrible of terrible nightmares....
– Daddy, I am so scared! – The boy squealed in a thin voice, forgetting about his former "bellicosity".
Suddenly one cloud was "torn" and blazed with blindingly bright light. The figure of a very thin young man with a face, sharp like a knife-blade, being wrapped in this light as in a sparkling cocoon, approached us. The sparkling light "melted" black clouds which turned into dirty, black shreds.
– Blimey! – Stella cried with joy. – How does he do that?!
– Do you know him? – I was unspeakably surprised, but Stella shook her head negatively.
The young fellow landed next to us and asked, affectionately smiling:
– Why are you here? This is not your place.
– We know. We just tried to get upstairs! – The happy Stella began to twitter at full speed. – Will you help us to come back up? We have to come home real quick! Our grandmothers are waiting for us there, and these two have others waiting for them too.
Meantime the fellow very attentively and in earnest examined me for some reason. He had a strange and piercing gaze which made me feel uncomfortable.
– What are you doing here, girl? – He asked softly. – How did you manage to get here?
– We simply went for a walk. – I answered honestly. – And then looked for them. – I smiled at our "lost and found" and pointed at them with my hand.
– But you are alive? – The rescuer continued to inquire.
– Yes, but I've already been here several times. – I calmly answered.
– Only not here, "upstairs"! – Laughing, my little friend corrected me. – We would not come back here for all the tea in China, right?
– Oh, yes. I think that will be enough for a long time... at least – for me... – I flinched, recalling recent events.
– You must leave. – The fellow repeated softly, but more insistently. – Now.
A sparkling "path" stretched out from the place where he stood and ran straight into a luminous tunnel. We were literally pulled in there, without having the chance to take even one step, and in an instant we found ourselves in the same transparent world where we found our nicely rounded Lia and her mother.
– Mummy, dad’s back! And Velik too! – Little Lia ran out to meet us, firmly clasping the red dragon to her bosom. Her round little face shone like the sun. She could not contain her stormy happiness and threw herself on her dad’s neck, squeaking with delight.
I watched the reunion of this family with enormous joy and was a little sad about all my "guests" who had come to me on earth for help – they could not hug each other anymore, because they had already belonged to different worlds...
– Daddy, you are here at last! I thought you’d got lost for good! And you’ve been found! How wonderful! – The little one shone with happiness.
Suddenly her happy face was clouded with gloom and grew notably sad... She addressed Stella with a quite different tone of voice:
– Dear girls, thank you for my dad! And for my brother, of course! Are you going to leave now? Will you ever come back? Here is your dragon! He was very good and he liked me very much...
It seemed that poor Lia would start to howl right now – she was so eager to keep this miracle of a dragon for a tiny bit more! And he was about to be taken away and she would never see him again...
– Do you want him to stay with you for a little while longer? And when we come back next time, you’ll give him back to us? – Stella had pity on the little child.
At first Lia could not believe her luck which suddenly came like a bolt from the blue, and then, unable to say anything, began to nod her head so vigorously that we were afraid it would fall off!
On saying goodbye to the happy family, we moved further.
I was unspeakably glad to feel myself safe again, to see the joyful light which filled everything around and not to be afraid of being unexpectedly grasped by some terrible monster...
– Do you want to go for another walk? – Stella asked me in absolutely fresh voice.
The temptation, certainly, was huge, but I was so tired that even if I saw the greatest miracle on earth, I probably would be unable to enjoy it in full measure...
– All right, another time! – Stella giggled. – I am tired too.
Our cemetery appeared again where our grandmothers sat next to each other on the same small bench where we had left them...
– I would like to show you something. – Stella said under her breath.
And then two incredibly beautiful and brightly shining spirits appeared instead of our grandmothers... They both had marvelous sparkling stars on their chests, and Stella’s grandmother had an amazing crown on her head which shone and shimmered with all the colours of the rainbow...
– It’s them... You wanted to see them, right? – I nodded, being absolutely stunned. – Only don’t tell them that I showed you that; let them do it.
– Well, it’s time for me to go... – The little one sadly whispered. – I cannot go with you there....
– I shall visit you! Absolutely! Many, many times! – I promised with all my heart.
The red-headed girl looked at me with her warm sad eyes, and it seemed she understood everything... All that I could not express with our ordinary words…