Again with the cliffhanger?!
Well how else can I be sure y'all will come back?
by Doctor Szalinski
The Villagers who had chosen to meet the Nymphs walked through the woods toward the meadow, each wondering what they should be anticipating. Many of them had experienced mindspeak from either Philo, Zandra, or both by now, but through it they had also learned that this ‘Bond’ of theirs, that Levi and Kassi now shared with Zandra and Philo, was something different, more important somehow. And they all wondered in the back of their minds if any of them too would they be paired up in such a way with a Nymph? Would they be one of the ones to find one that would consider them as a match?
And whatever was it like? Despite their efforts neither of the Nymphs had been able to express the concept entirely, even with mindspeak. They did have the impression that many of the Nymphs, at least from Alexis’ tribe would choose to at least link with one of them, even if they weren’t sufficiently compatible for an actual Bond. But the mystery of exactly what this unexplainable Bonding could be was intriguing to many of them.
Levi and Kassandra knew exactly what it was, of course. They carried proudly upon their backs their newly Bonded Nymphs, both of whom had his or her legs wrapped around their Human’s necks, picka-back style. Each had their arms wrapped gently around the heads of their carriers, their own heads just barely above those of their Human. Even though it had only been a day, everyone could already see a distinct change in the two teens; both walked with a bounce to their stride that displayed a whole new zest for life that made the mystery even more tantalizing to the rest of the villagers. Levi had started to act with a greater maturity than seemed normal for his years; where once it seemed he showed nothing more than a childlike interest in someday becoming a great hunter, he was now much more balanced. And where Kassandra used to always be fawning over him, almost girlishly vying for his affections, instead she now walked beside him confidently. As if she knew she had finally won him, and that no one could ever take him away.
Daniel walked alongside his two friends at the head of the group. It had been unanimously decided as they had been the ones to have made first contact that they should lead them to this meeting as well. Once the diplomat…
Occasionally Daniel turned his head towards his friends. Whether he said anything or not indicated to anyone watching whether he was speaking to a Nymph or a Human. Of all the villagers, he seemed to be one of the few to adapt naturally to mindspeak, meaning he didn’t have to enunciate his thoughts verbally as he addressed mentally whatever Nymph he was speaking to. He simply thought it, silently. Inwardly he wondered how or even if this would affect how he ended up relating to the rest of the Nymphs.
They emerged from the woods and made their way through the waist high grass to an area that was too rocky to support plant growth. The solid slab of stone formed a clearing about 20 or so (human) paces across. There they waited for the Nymphs. Terrel and Prian, Kassi’s father, both proudly walked up alongside their kin and, standing beside them, hesitating for a moment, but the Nymphs let them know they didn’t mind. Smiling and sending warm thoughts they placed their hands on their children’s shoulders. Her mother hung back with the rest of the village, smiling at her family.
As unsure as the Humans were about the upcoming meeting, it was even more so for the Nymphs; most of whom had never even seen a Human before. Their only knowledge outside of their own legends came from what they had gotten from sharing the experiences of Zandra, Philo and to a lesser extent Alexis, as she had only met four of the humans: Levi, Kassandra, the village leader and his mate. They made their way across the grain fields, scattered so as not to disturb the grasses too much and betray their presence to any airborne predators. Like the Humans they too wondered about what this historic meeting would bring. Salvation for their race they hoped, of course. But what else would this allegiance begat?
Soon they reached the edge of the clearing and emerged from their grassy cover, gradually filling their section of the clearing. They saw the Humans speaking softly to each other as they did so. We must look even stranger to them then they do to us,
they thought. We have always known of their existence; but to them, we are nothing less than the realization of their childhood fantasies!
Alexis walked out on the rocky plain far enough so that her people could easily fill the space behind her. There, in front of the rest of the Humans stood not their leaders, but the two teens that had been first contacted. She could see that Philo and Zandra were seated upon their shoulders They exchanged silent greetings, and through them she learned that the two older adults standing next to them were in fact Levi’s and Kassandra’s parents. Looking up at the Humans, she suppressed the primitive fear of a crowd of people over four times her height, then sent out a general greeting that all could ‘hear’.
Daniel saw the Nymphs emerging from the grass which easily grew to twice their height. It wasn’t the first time he had seen them, of course. But seeing so many of them all in one place was still quite a sight. He found it brought home the solid reality that Nymphs were in fact an entire race of people, every bit real as his own were. They didn’t emerge as a group, he noticed, but instead they seemed to seep individually from their entire side of the field. One walked a ways out and stopped; all of the others, he noted, stopped so that they would be standing behind her. So he surmised her as being Alexis, their leader.
Then he heard her in his mind, introducing herself as Alexis, indeed being the leader of her tribe. She thanked them for meeting them, and that this union, they hoped, would prove to be as beneficial to us (humans) as it would be to them. Indeed, it could actually result in the very salvation of their race! Daniel’s eyebrows raised, he never knew this was such a serious matter! He had assumed that this was mainly because Levi had found them so they had decided now would be a good idea to get together. Or something simple like that.
Alexis then went on to tell the villagers that they soon would feel many minds and not to worry about this, that they would just be seeking to become familiar and find out whom amongst you they found to be compatible. There was a pause in which Daniel somehow knew that the Nymphs were listening to the villager’s response. He too gave a feeling of agreement for the Nymphs to ‘hear’. Then gradually he felt a large presence, as if a lot of people were all watching him intently. Well I guess a lot of people are, he thought humorously, but it still felt a little bit eerie. Gradually though, the feeling diminished. Just when he expected it to vanish completely he realized there was still one, only one, and with it came a feeling of great interest.
The interest soon changed into one of friendliness, and Daniel knew that it had liked what it saw in him. No not it, her. Daniel was filled with a sense of both wonder and excitement. Was this what it was like for Levi, he wondered? Then she ‘spoke’ to him, although she didn’t use ‘words’. Instead he just - knew
. What she saw in him she liked and she wanted to share it. No not just share it, be a part of it! Be a part of it?
Then she opened her mind up to him and let him know her, and she wanted to know if he felt the same about her. After a moment Daniel realized he did like what he was being shown, very much; that she was everything he liked. Yes
He let her know I do, I like you very much.
What a great way to get to know someone, he thought to himself!
What happened to him then was simply beyond words, beyond belief! What had been a conversation between two alike but separate minds expanded and become something that went way beyond what now seemed to be just a simple sharing of thoughts and feelings. It became a sharing of being
. Suddenly he was aware of her in a way that defied all reason! He realized he didn’t just feel a strong affinity for her, he felt as if he was
her, and that she was now equally a part of him, and she knew it to be equally as desirable! They were no longer two people sharing their minds, to his utter amazement and elation they had become two people sharing the same
mind! He was her and she was him and both were each other. He suddenly realized he was crying. Tears of absolute joy streamed from his eyes as he knelt down and slowly extended his hand to this newfound part of him. As he arose with her safely seated within his palm he looked at Levi/Zandra and Kassi/Philo, and somehow, despite the blurring of his eyes saw the understanding smiles on his childhood friends’ faces. And he finally realized that he knew what the four of them really had.
And that from now until the day they died they were what he and Alexis had now become!