The Ravens of the Realms

There are places where the different realms come closer, the edges between them are softer, and the layers overlap, like a valley hollowed out by the ghost of a river long gone, or that part of a sand dune where you’re not quite sure if you’re back on regular land yet or still at the beach. Perhaps you have experienced the end of a concert when the crowd is applauding and the musicians have stopped playing, but the creation still hangs in the air - and there is a humming, not of sound, or even vibration, but of the realms rubbing against each other and causing little sparks that fly in unpredictable directions.

It was in one of these places, high on a mountain that merged with the sky, that a tree grew with some of its roots in a different realm from the other. In the tree, there came to be a nest containing two eggs, identical in shape in size but one was pale blue with white spots, the other white with pale blue spots. One day they hatched simultaneously, one next to the other – yet each creature found themselves to be the only one in the nest, for they had hatched into different realms.

On their own, but not alone, for the twins sensed the echo of the other, particularly at dawn and dusk or when they peered into certain reflective pools, where the weeds grow symmetrically around the water’s edge and the dragonflies dance in unison.

At first, they tried to get through the pools to the other, but the reflection dissolved with the first plunge of a beak, and they got cold and wet and sometimes bitten by eels. At dusk and dawn they tried again, scratching at the transitioning colours in the sky, flapping and slicing their wings through the gloaming in the hope they could cut through the realms like butter, and ignoring the dawn symphony of the other birds, (until they realised it was quite fun to join in, for there really is nothing like belting out your own ballad in time with the rotation of the earth).

Although they accepted they could never be together, never is not far from forever on the Time Circle, and so in some ways they felt a certain constant strength, even if other times it was a bit like knowing there was a delicious blueberry pie in the next room; as comforting as that is, it would be more comforting in the same room.

At these times, it was best to flock to the nearest dawn chorus, take the energy from the pie and belt it out through the lungs with such a strength as to briefly join all the realms.