17 October 2005

The Blog(u) 3: Trouble in the Forest

Wandering in the Forest, plink came across a little girl reading a tree. When she had finished, she put her hand into her pocket and drew out a tiny spark of light.
‘What’s that?’ plink asked her.
‘A comment.’ The little girl paused and turned around. ‘Actually, it’s an idea,’ and she held it out to plink. plink’s eyes widened in wonder as the idea flitted over from the little girl. Sparkling in joy and radiating love, it crossed the space between them and settled into plink’s hands.
‘What do I do with it?’ plink asked in a awe.
‘Whatever you like,’ smiled the little girl as she approached. ‘I’m Yvy.’
plink did not reply. Totally engrossed by the seething lightning that danced over its surface, plink stood mesmerized by the idea. It giggled cheerfully, bouncing from finger to finger as it sang to plink about what it was.
‘This is yours?’ plink asked.
‘Yes. Do you like it?’
‘All of it,’ plink nodded shyly, then grew curious. ‘Where did you find this? Where do you find ideas?’
Yvy frowned in concentration. ‘From inside, mostly. You have ideas too, don’t you?’
‘I think so,’ the little one stammered in confusion. For as long as plink could remember, bright ideas had been everywhere but they had always been made by other people.
‘Do you keep them in that little bundle, then?’
‘I don’t know.’ plink confessed. As plink untied the bundle, a stray moth rose fluttering from inside. Yvy beckoned to it and the little grey blur flew over to her, settling obediently into her cupped hands.
‘That’s an idea,’ she declared, peeking through her fingers at it. ‘Definitely an idea.’
plink protested, ‘Are you sure? Everyone else's ideas sing and glow like yours did. This one, well....'
‘It’s nearly there.’ She turned to show plink the moth. ‘All it needs is a little confidence.’
Yvy released the moth and blew a firm puff of air after it. plink stared after the moth in wonder as it cartwheeled away. Faster and faster it spun, streaking into the distance and glowing ever more brightly as it went. Then, where there had once been a dusty moth, came the song of an idea and a blindingly bright flash of light.
The singing spark that came dancing back was incandescent. Yvy raised an eyebrow at plink. ‘You didn’t do too badly there, did you?’
‘That was my idea?’ plink demanded incredulously.
Yvy nodded and gave the little one a hug. ‘You’ll do just fine.’ Then she stepped away and vanished.

plink contemplated the nearby tree for a while, pondering its meaning and the comments and ideas that others left behind. Something stirred in plink’s bundle and another moth flew out. Remembering what Yvy had said, plink blew at it.
‘Well, what have we here?’ Fear snatched the tumbling moth out of the air. ‘Writing a comment then, are we?’
‘It had better be good, but you never know how the Forest Queens are going to take it, do you?’ said Doubt from behind plink.
‘Come now Doubt, let’s give plink a chance.’ Fear pressed the moth into plink’s nerveless, trembling hand. ‘Go on then. Write your comment,’ but plink could not.
Verbiage and Bombast appeared then, rasping ‘We will help you,’ but it was not an offer. They made plink carve into the tree with numbed hands. The split tree bark cut into hands and moth alike. Verbiage and Bombast cackled gleefully as a their parody of plink’s original comment took shape.
‘No more!’ plink wept, ‘No more!’ But the four would not be denied. Doubt and Fear watched impassively while the other two corrupted plink’s comment beyond recognition.
At last, it was finally over. plink sank sorrowfully to the ground. Cradling the moth with cold numb fingers, plink was grateful for the tears that hid the twisted comment from view. Then the moth seemed to sigh and its powdery remains were snatched from plink’s hands by sudden gust of chill wind.
‘Care to submit this?’ came Fear’s malicious invitation.
plink fled.

Crashing through the forest, not caring about comments, blogs or the future, plink ran blindly. Low-hanging tree limbs and bushes tore at plink as the little one flashed past. Suddenly, the woods ended just short of a riverbank. plink plunged over the edge and into the swiftly running water below.
The black, turbulent water seemed almost to reach up in welcome to the little one. In an instant, all was as dark as the water.

plink awoke shivering on a sandy riverbank. The night air was quiet, save for the occasional call of a bullfrog. The flickering light of ideas was dimmer in the night and there were fewer than during the day but this was not helpful. Where had plink come ashore? The bundle gave a curious quiver. A cool night breeze blew past the little soaked figure, making plink sneeze on a little grey moth.
A fiery comet streaked off into the forest. plink hid from its sudden heat and did not see which way it went but when it finally became an idea, the flash lit the sky up from horizon to horizon. Blinded by the light, plink did not see Queen Sun approach. The Monarch of The Hills appeared slightly agitated and held a familiar-looking idea in her hand. She brandished the idea a little accusingly.
‘Did. You. Do. This?’
Suddenly afraid, and not a little cold, plink could only stammer, ‘Yes….’
The Queen of the Hills suddenly smiled, ‘I like it. Just don’t throw any more hot ones my way, okay?’
plink nearly passed out in relief. The little one apologized profusely to the slightly singed queen, promised to behave in the future and scurried away. Ideas lit the way, their warmth drying out plink’s soaked smock. Travelling past blogtrees, along a path, plink wondered about the future. There was much to learn but plink resolved one day to walk up to a blog, read it and then comment.
In the night-time Forest, things moved, as things do. Each moved to a purpose all its own, but four moved closer yet, watching and waiting.