It did not matter if her world had turned its back on Alara. All she knew was that she was alone, and that was enough to drive anyone insane. Misfortune is a devious creature. It pounces on you when you least expect it. Alara had experienced the profound depths of abandonment from her own kind. Later, she realized that perhaps being amputated was a blessing in disguise because now she was able to appreciate her own infinite beauty, something she had failed to recognize before the exile.
“I will never forget to remember the truth.” were her parting words just before she was banished from her world— known as the Upper Realms.
The dwellers of the Upper Realms were the ‘Blue Ones’. They were created from primordial dust—pre-cosmos and pre-time. They were the keepers of timelines and they ruled absolute. Timelines were sacred dominions that the Blue Ones guarded with their lives. They were able to cross these invisible barriers as easily as sunlight filtering through the frozen leaves – quietly scattering like a million atoms, ultimately being absorbed into the surroundings and becoming one with it.
The Blue Ones were created from cool inextinguishable fire — burning with a glacial warmth and radiating a soft spectrum of color that defied the laws of physics. Not much is known about this race because few living entities have ever seen or touched them. The humans of the Lower Realm only know of their existence as evidenced by stone-chapters that their ancestors had left behind— kept hidden deep in mountainous crystalline caverns. The stone-chapters speak of a race of beings that were created to watch over other species. It is said that the Blue Ones are able to morph into any shape they desire and move like liquid moonlight in and out of timelines without being detected. One cannot define them because they defy all definition yet they define the very core of sentient beings. In rare instances they can assume human form—but this happens very rarely. It is said that when contact between a Blue One and human does happen, the human neuron will ‘burn-out’ due to the extraordinary intensity of the blue fire. Therefore, this enigmatic race of beings remained a myth— that is before the displacement took place.
The displacement of Alara.
Rules of Detachment
Alara had assumed human form because she had to. She was unlike any other Blue One that existed. She had the power of ‘touching’ the emotions of other species and this meant becoming intimately entangled with the lives she came across through various timelines. She had been warned by the elders that this practice would result in her banishment or possibly her ‘extinguishment’, but she could not help it. She was fascinated by the complex simplicity of human beings. They were puzzling creatures that displayed such a vast array of emotions. Some were able to execute random acts of kindness whilst others were capable of unspeakable cruelty. But it was the emotion called ‘kindness’ that pulled her in like a magnet. It was an overwhelming sensation when she had first experienced it. She could feel her ‘fire’ glow brighter until she shivered with joy. For her, this was the birth of ecstasy- a feeling that the other Blue Ones could never fathom because ‘entanglement’ with humans was strictly forbidden. The Blue Ones had to maintain detachment as a ways of survival. Eons ago, when the Blue Ones mingled with humans on an emotional level, the results were catastrophic, where both species precariously dangled on the brink of extinction. Therefore, laws of detachment were passed and if a Blue One strayed- exile or extinguishment was the dire result. Over time, the Blue Ones became a dispassionate race that ruled the timelines. Compassion, kindness and empathy slowly died and the new generation of Blue Ones were devoid of all emotions. They had evolved into a race where only the task mattered—guarding timelines. That’s it.
The elders had set irrevocable rules. The laws stated: Thou shalt not touch, thou shalt not linger, thou shalt not mingle, thou shalt not hunger, thou shalt not feel, thou shalt not reveal. Unfortunately or fortunately, Alara had violated all the tenets. Her royal lineage was her only savior, where she was exiled rather than extinguished.
Alara, was an anomaly, perhaps because she was a descendent of the original Blue One- Illucida, the first guardian of the Upper Realm. They all despised Alara and considered her a threat to their way of existence. She remained true to herself and found herself drawn to the human race with every passing lifetime. She had lived ten thousand and three lifetimes and had come to understand her strengths and weaknesses. She was in the truest sense ‘an old soul’.
The Blue race of beings were genderless and featureless, although they could assume any physical shape they desired. However, there were distinct original physical (if one can call them that) characteristics that differentiated them from all other sentient beings that inhabited the millions of known and unknown realms. The color that emanated from the core of a Blue One was not of a known Lower Realm spectrum, rather one that sat just at the edge of sound and color- it was more of a palpable aura that calmly hummed like a million snowflakes falling on still waters. The color was composed of the essence of life – invisibly present yet watching over the realms, quietly, like the endless firmament of space. It was rarely possible to catch an unrecorded glimpse of a Blue One. It occurred in a vulnerable split second when they were in the act of crossing timelines. Few have ‘mentally’ survived to tell of what they witnessed. However, there are rumors — rumors of what a Blue One may look like. Their features are liquid, ebbing and flowing like the beating of a human heart. Translucency coupled with a touch of nebulous shimmer almost makes it impossible to define the features clearly, but a striking characteristic is the presence of visions-orbs strung like pearls around a globular bulge proximal to a swirling mass of blue-ish mist that pulsates intermittently. A witness reported that the ‘orbs’ or ‘eyes’ glided around the prominence without blinking — just a trail of eyes looking deep inside the dynamics of the realms. It was proposed that the multiple eyes were an extension of the original third eye. The human who had described this incident had lost all sanity after this startling encounter and was confined to an institution for ‘mind rest’, indefinitely. Therefore an accurate description of the Blue Ones was never officially documented — except for the striking ‘trail of eyes’.
There were many theories surrounding the origins of the Blue Ones. But no one really knew the truth.
One fact remained undebatable – a close encounter would result in a burn-out. That was enough to keep the humans of the Lower Realms wary.
Alara did not understand the premise of this fear. She was incapable of hurting any living being. All she knew that she wanted to live in the Lower Realms, amongst the humans and creatures that roamed the sparkling world beneath. And to do this she needed to shape shift. She had assumed several shapes over lifetimes, but she had never dared to linger or mingle for fear of exile. It was a momentary transition that was part of her duty. She was after all, a keeper of timelines which meant she had to wear new skin as required by the task at hand. But she had never ‘stayed’ in one skin for long. The Upper Realms had changed- change is good unless it is dangerous. The Blue Ones had become indifferent. Alara could not stay any longer.
And so she decided to transition permanently — although this required a few shape shifts before she could finally attain her true desired form — human.
Hence, began her lone journey, exiled from the Upper Realms until eternity. However, she did retain traces of her powers, and she was going to use them wisely.
The street where she woke up was darkly lit and littered with garbage. She leapt up from behind the dumpster and headed towards the illuminated corner of the street. Excitement darted from every pore of her newly found existence as a cat. She had encountered this enigmatic creature a few centuries ago and had been fascinated ever since. They were marvelous creatures, so sensitive, daring and mysterious. Everything seemed possible when you were a cat. They knew things others did not. The saw things others did not. She remembered her first encounter with a cat with utmost fondness. The cat could somehow see Alara—it was remarkable. It followed her everywhere and Alara felt a strong bond with this feline species. And so, Alara honored her strange beautiful friend by assuming its shape.
Hunger. What an agonizing experience. It burned deep within her belly like a dagger running through her heart. She explored the streets of this strange new city until her paws were raw. For the first time in her lifetime, she felt helpless, and scared. What if this hunger was unending? Where could she find a morsel to eat?
“Aww, little creature, come here.” a tired voice steadily wafted from the alley. “Drink this my poor little friend.”
Alara saw a frail hand placing a bowl of milk on the ground next to her. She drank furiously, slurping every last drop of the sweet delicious liquid, her tongue swept the bottom of the bowl dry.
“What’s wrong with you hungry one?” once again the tired voice floated into her ears.
Alara was now being carried off into the foggy unknown by a pair of wrinkled dirt stained hands. Later she realized that her gentle friend was a homeless human who lived on the brink of society. Shunned by fellow Lower Realm dwellers, this generous human had a heart of gold and in her eyes needed no acknowledgment by the others. They both rested in a cardboard palace, as raindrops fell mercilessly in the cold weary night. She noticed that this human looked peaceful even though he had nothing left but his pride. A copper bowl, a stale piece of bread and some meagre belongings was all he had. What a great soul indeed Alara thought to herself and felt happy about her fateful decision of leaving the Upper Realms. This is what she loved about the human race – acts of kindness. Such rare illuminating stars in the vast universe of emotion.
The sun kissed the damp streets making them glimmer like an ethereal river. This was her first day in her new realm and already she had made a friend. She snuggled in his lap, gently purring, urging him to wake up. Oddly, the warm cozy feeling seemed to vanish. The old man had died in his sleep. She had lost her only friend in the Lower Realm as quickly and quietly as she had come to love him.
Pain. The excruciating pain of loss. Never in her life had she experienced this sort of emotion. It tore her core apart, a profound aching that could not be eased. The old man lay listlessly is his temporary cardboard palace as his copper bowl sparkled in the sun. Hope. The bowl signified hope. Alara had to move on from this compassionate haven and hope that this kind human, who had saved her from starvation last night, would reemerge in the next life as a nightingale — singing a song for the hopeless.
She had lost him but not his memory.
The paths became wider with every step. She was about to enter the gates of the main city. Everywhere she looked, there was splendor and decadence. Humans were immaculately dressed and drove gilded automobiles. Yet they looked anxious. It was as if they were all hurtling through life without even sensing it. Supposedly trying to maintain material ‘goals’, yet utterly oblivious of the ‘true’ one. She strained to see an ounce of peace on their faces but there was none. They had everything yet they were devoid of peace? She felt confused and bewildered as she continued towards the city gates.
“Ungrateful creature!” someone screamed from behind Alara and kicked her hard in the stomach, hurtling Alara into a ditch. “You’ve ruined my new dress. Why don’t they exterminate all the filthy cats of this city once and for all!” again that shrill scream.
Alara winced, her stomach hurt badly. She saw the human get into a shiny automobile, the edge of her fine dress muddied. Alara had accidentally muddied her dress as she was trying to run across the street towards the city gates, but did this unintentional mistake committed by a voiceless and innocent creature justify such cruel behavior? Writhing with pain, Alara tried to get out of the ditch, but she was bleeding.
Compassion and cruelty all in a day. This experience was only possible in the Lower Realms, where often, a day was enough to last you a lifetime. The art was how to figure out which was what and what was right. Something many Lower Realm dwellers had difficulty in figuring out.
‘Puzzling creatures’ Alara mused.
Gasping her last breathe as she lay dying in the ditch, just like the homeless man with a heart of gold in his cardboard palace, Alara caught a glimpse of the great city beyond the glimmering gates…….
Perched high atop an ancient Saguaro cactus, Alara was confident that she was finally beyond bodily hurt. She had the advantage of flight and cunning. This life would be different. She had learnt her lessons as Alara-the-Cat. Humans were able to wear various types of masks to disguise their true intensions, but her transformation was part of the learning-evolution, one that would hopefully yield positive results.
“Get rid of them! Go back home! Never come back” hundreds of protestors shouted as they furiously waved hate filled banners.
“Stop this invasion!” the haters roared again, unleashing a wave of hysteria.
Alara noticed humans of a different color on the other side of the bridge. They looked terrified as they tried to avoid the constant barrage of stones hurtling towards them. She was confused as she saw this bizarre spectacle unfold before her very eyes.Humans against humans!
Could it be that phenotypic pigmentation had the ability to determine your fate?
Soul-fire remains unchanged, whatever garb you wear. Alara-the-Cat, Alara-the-Crow or Alara-the-Blue One…..her essence had remained unaltered, nothing had changed except her outer garments. Yet, in humans, so much importance was given to these temporary garbs. This was a concept that had her completely dumbfounded. It suddenly dawned on her — she had underestimated the power of hate.
It would require an entire lifetime of contemplation to understand the dynamics of this flammable force. Love was easy for her, but hate was an entirely new beast, it was an emotion that was surrounded by an unpleasant color. She did not like this color at all, because when near it, her soul-fire flickered low.
“STOP your protests at once!” tear gas blasted the crowds, pacifying the haters temporarily. Uniformed humans stepped out of great vans like ants pouring out of flooded anthills.
Alara momentarily sighed with relief as this timely intervention would surely keep the protestors at bay. But it was a short lived moment of imagined peace. If only it were that easy.
Alara noticed something unexpected and alarming. The uniformed battalion went to the other side of the bridge, where the victims were huddling together timidly. Brutally, they started to grab them one by one and thrust them into hot metal vans, like cattle to the slaughter. Alara could hear pleas for help. The whimpering scorched her soul. Soon, the frightened ones all disappeared into gaping mouth of the metallic monster.
A deathly silence prevailed.
Alara could hear the sounds of injustice prevailing. It was a deathly sound that rose from the belly of ignorance.
The haters rejoiced and joined hands in uninhibited revelry. They were left untouched, uneaten by the giant metal van. They were allowed to hate and remain free, whereas the helpless ones were thrown into a cell of confinement and subjugation.
Victorious, the crowd slowly retreated and left the grounds, taking the unpleasant color of hate with them.
As the smog of terror slowly lifted, Alara could feel her soul-fire rekindling.
Was it a polished diamond glistening under the blazing sun? Slumped listlessly by the roadside, a child wept quietly. Fate had spared this innocent human. Everything that happens in life has a purpose. Matter cannot disappear; it will always reappear as something or someone new. Light flows into the river of sound, sound echoes through the valleys of emotion and emotions are the sparks that animate life itself.
This child had been abandoned for a reason- a grand reason.
But does one know where the shadows dwell when they sleep? No one knows the grand reason, yet if we close our eyes and open our hearts, the shadows will reveal the true nature of the grand purpose.
The sobs of the abandoned child echoed far across the desert, alerting the eidolons of fate.
Alara-the-Crow swooped down from her high perch and snatched a hat from an unsuspecting human who stood not far from the weeping child. She then quickly dropped the hat next to the child and flew away….undetected.
“You poor child, who could have done this to you?” the human picked up the child and gave it refuge, hopefully saving the child from a terrible end. Alara had used pieces of her leftover powers, now called bravery, to change the course of fate.
Not all humans judge you by the color of your skin. It was a heartening discovery. Her thoughts swelled with joy.
Her soul-fire glowed brighter than the desert sun, yet remained as cool as moon-rays caressing the undulating sand dunes of destiny.
The child had been saved by this compassionate human, just by a trick of the hat… and a watchful crow with keen intuition and a pinch of bravery.
Alara took in a deep sigh of relief, soared high, as high as she could until she retreated to her usual spot on the tallest Saguaro – her lookout post, for now.
Stay tuned for more adventures of Alara……
Stay tuned to this page as the exiled Alara continues her Lower Realm life-adventures, assuming various shapes and making new friends. Paperback book coming soon.
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