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Written 10 February 2020
Timeframe 15 Charu 4320
Wordcount 630
Character(s) Wayfarer Anyu, Saara
Location Coracan, Primanna

I don’t pretend not to be ancient. Walking to the temple today makes that painfully obvious.

But I don’t have a choice. Nobody remembers Anyu anymore and so, I must. The young have forgotten their history. Even my own children. They learn only one half of the history of the War. The human side is worthy of study, but the spirit side cannot be ignored. Wayfarer Anyu made himself a part of both, and I was lucky enough to meet him. I open the doors. The wooden box with a wave-shaped roof creaks as much as I do these days. There’s a bucket on the floor. It’s not empty.

Anyu’s life-sized statue lies before me. Though the stone is chilly to the touch of my hands as I wipe it down, it is not cold. It has a heart. He sits, cross-legged, as if meditating for the past half century. I lay a single candle and a stick of incense between us as I assume his position. He knew how to preserve a piece of his wisdom. In the middle of his forehead, there’s a black crystal.

Ischerite. Crystalline brain,’ he’d explain.

I become still and my breathing calms down after the trek here.

‘If you ever need me when I’m not around, take this,’ he said, giving me the stone.

And I knew exactly where to keep it. Down by the river, next to the Cursed Bridge. A dreambleed, a place where the barriers between worlds melt away and spiritual energy is heightened. The townspeople just think ‘haunted’ and nothing else. But I know better.

Contact. The stone shines white like molten iron.

‘Wayfarer Anyu, the world is hurting. War like when you were alive is coming once again. The people have grown too ignorant to defend yourselves. As your old friend, I ask for your counsel.’

‘Saara, Coracan is not lost. Remember that the Panthalassa War took my life and yet, here we are.’

I remember that moment like the intervening years were just a fantasy. For all his strength, for all the wisdom of his past lives, he was snuffed out by a bullet to the heart.

In an instant, a dream of mine shattered. In the instant I found him. The ruse collapsed. Our operation to smuggle those the Eupatriots deemed unfit to live into the free zone had been found out. Anyu, at the centre of it all, because of course he was, was a walking target.

‘The War was not won or lost on my efforts alone, but on the efforts of many,’ Anyu continues. ‘I and you and everyone else had their part.’

‘I know,’ I reply to his spirit. ‘But where are they now? No one knows how to dreamwalk anymore. We need you.’

‘Don’t be so sure no one knows how to dreamwalk. When they are needed, those who can will rise to the challenge. They will make themselves visible out of necessity,’ he tells me.

In another world, someone’s knocking on the temple’s wooden doors.

‘Anyu?’ I ask him, but he is silent.

‘Come in,’ I find myself saying. I just know, somehow.

The doors creak open and I come down out of my meditation.

‘I know this might sound weird, but I think you’re an old friend of mine?’ a young woman’s voice says. ‘You were...You were into me in one of my past lives. Saara, right? And that would have made me Anyu at the time. Inala, by the way. Wayfarer Inala.’

‘Hello, Wayfarer. It’s been too long,’ I say.

After all this time, I finally have proof. It’s just like he said. She’s another life of his. Same soul, different bodies. I can feel it as I give her a big hug. Wayfarer, all right.

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