Psalm of Joiy

1. STORY
How I got to Lantessama is still a mystery. Iíve thought about fairy godmothers, time-distortions, holes in the space-time-continuum, even divine intervention passed the line. But I think non of these had anything to do with what happened.
I remember being happy, feeling as if I was ready to burst out of my body from sheer joy. I was not particularly rested, in fact I had only slept 5 hours that night, staying up late the night before because I was excited. I remember taking the train, reading the morning paper and looking out the window. The power lines were frozen, making blue sparks fly of the rails and lines in a display equalling fireworks in beauty. It was early in the morning, the train moving through luminescent landscapes covered in snow. Then the train reached itís final station.
At that moment, stepping out of the train on my way to the last day of school, my favourite movie blasting in my ears and my mouth forming the words, I knew I was beyond happy. It was like all the pieces of the puzzle of my life that I had been trying to find, didnít matter anymore. It was like realising that I too was a complete puzzle and that eventually I would know all the pieces, whatever they were.
Walking like that, on a deserted street at 7 am on my way to school, I felt no cold. I always refuse to wear winter clothes, I just keep my t-shirts on, wear the same pants as in the summer and just put on my winter coat. I never wear scarves because they seem to strangle me, I donít like hats because they overheat my forehead and underheat my ears. I had worn gloves to ride my bike the last three days, but only because it was freezing and temperatures below zero combined with rain tend to make even my hands freeze.
I remember even zipping open my jacket as I was walking, so happy that I felt warm all over. I must have been blushing, with a big smile on my face. I felt so alive that I could forget all the teensy problems that I had sighed over only a day before.
Taken all together it was one of those days you remember for life, a deep feeling of confidence and transcendence. I cannot be called a religious person. I believe in a God, but I donít go to search, canít remember the words to ĎOur Fatherí or ĎHoly Maryí if my life depended on it, but the will is there and the love for life. In this I follow ĎPreacherí, We live now and though we must do good, let us do it because it is good and not because it might one day give us a place in paradise. All things considered I think this is a fruitful way to look on things. I donít want to be forced into doing things out of fear. I want to live life to itís fullest and enjoy it.
And that morning I did it, without breaking laws, outrageous behaviour, without bothering people. I was. I enjoyed. And I believed in the bigger picture, in a thread that binds us all to some greater purpose. It is a comforting feeling, giving you the confidence to be yourself, to not fear action and words that you might hold back on other times.
In that moment, that exact moment, I felt like a wounded bird, for the first time in a long time allowed to use my wings again, maybe to take to the sky for the very first time. To be free and soar. Maybe my soul did, in that moment, and touch somethingÖ
The next moment I was on a beach, the midday sun on my head and warm ocean water slowly lapping around my ankles. Taking off my jacket in the sudden heat I at first did not even find it strange that I was here. Maybe I was under the illusion that I was daydreaming. The beach was empty, or so I thought.
Going along with my fantasy, I started walking across the sand, dropping my coat neatly on the sand to retrieve it later, I explored the surroundings. Removing my shoes I took to the water again, feeling it wash around my feet. My pants always tend to shrink when I wash them, so to be honest I didnít even have to roll up my breaches. I took a few steps and suddenly stepped on something slick as a fish, a large fish, too large to be here.
Looking down startled, I saw a creature, light blue with wings of transparent white, rise from the water, like a giant winged snake. It looked me in the eye, mirroring the feelings I was feeling: surprise, but still calm from my previous insights.

"Joiy, I know youÖ"
I donít know what I looked like, but I think I light have looked a bit frightened when it started to talk, because it immediately added: "Do not fear, I will not harm you, I could never do that." And I, I knew that to be true. Because I could feel the creature in my mind, feel it in every fibre, but also feel that it hinted at an emptiness that was still in me.
When I nudged Luk, as I called him, about that openness, he told me: "I will not be the only one to bind myself to you. I have foreseen three others, two of winter, one of water, and no more."
"Four of you creatures?" I asked surprised and Luk laughed. In his mind I saw visions of larger creatures, dragons and even hazy images of the three that he foresaw me to befriend. I still couldnít believe it, but maybe I do not have to believe, maybe I just need to accept, like how I got here.
In the end, mysteries flavour life. My life never tasted betterÖ

2. WINTER HATCHING
A cold wind blew from the East when the candidates landed on the fringes of IceLand. Following last year's tradition the candidates had been flown over to the fringes of IceLand, along with the eggs on the growing number of Ryslen Flurry riders at the Isle. As the picnic was set up and stoves were lit around the cirlce of eggs the candidates mingled and sipped their gluhwein, eggnog or fruit juice to keep busy and moving. Meanwhile the IceLanders seemed to be unaffected by what they called 'a delightfully warm breeze for the time of year'. They hurried around the circle, tending the eggs and candidates and keeping an eye on the surroundings. 
Minutes later soft snow was falling over their clearing, filling the sky without diminishing vision on the eggs. A good thing because soon those would hatch into creatures he hoped would be graceful, furry and winged - that last bit tended to be left out quite often of late.
The world seemed to hold it's breath, all sound muted in the falling snow when the first egg cracked as thunder in a clear sky. A white dragon with faint blue acents and long blue fuzzy hair and wingsails stepped away from the remains of her shell and gazed at the candidates while snow was slowly melting on her skin and hair. Damp rose from her skin and nostrils, making the air swirl around her. She quickly bonded the second hatchling and the two of them left to another planet.
With the first two dragons out and placed, the rest of the eggs started rocking more violently, knocking against each other and the ground. Suddenly there were 5 small dragons moving through the circle of eggs.
Joiy soon found herself surrounded by a male Crystal Grey with a shard in his back leg and a Crystal Blue female that had taken a fall to her head and complained of being dizzy. However as soon as the female gazed into Joiy's eyes who tried to make out if the dragon's gaze was crooket, she said: 
"All is fine now Joiy. My name is Krystel."

"Not fair!" her grey brother called out, "you tricked her. She's supposed to take care of me."
"Let's first look at your leg." Joiy answered, "A little snake told me this might happen." 
The young woman looked up at her adult Winter Ceadra, lazily hanging from a frozen tree branch.
"Don't shoot the messenger." the snake seemed to convey with a single look of his amber eyes before he closed them again and seemed to continue his nap.


Crystal Blue Krystel (f) and Crystal grey Tymanir (m)

3. NEKRAT HATCHING
Back at Lantessama, only a couple of months after Joiy had become the caretaker of Krystel and Tymanir, she got the notice that her presence was wished for at the nekrat hatching. Not suspecting to be asked to be a candidate, Joiy went there.
"They just love you here." Luk said, "Have fun with your nekrat."
For a moment Joiy tried to doubt Luk's words despite the fact that he'd proven his clairvoyance on numerous occasions. What was she to do anyway? Rational thought returned; if she was to bond she would anyway.
On the beach, standing there with the rest of the candidates, Joiy watched as one after one the eggs hatched. Nekrats bonded and she was never even looked at.
But then one egg was left, and one candidate. Joiy, who had shown up for this hatching because her Ceadra had told her the last egg was hers seemed to be right once again. Casting her eyes to the sky she wondered if her ceadra would pick out great lottery numbers as well. Deciding that she might as well face the moderately cool water, she stepped in and waded to the last egg.
When Joiy reached it, a dark blue male fell out. Though resembling his mother, he lacked a certain softness in his hide and the pattern on his fins was also strange for an abyss, in stead he seemed to be another colour variation of the well colour. 
"I take it your mine?" Joiy asked.
"You can never go against clearvoyant ceadras." the young nekrat said seriously.
"You know he's going to give me an attitude now, Ghelook. I'll never hear the end of it."
"Maybe you can make that money thing by giving out fortunes about colours that are going to hatch."
"Maybe I should visit Sovyl." Joiy answered, "He told me of a sort of betting area for just this kind of thing." she smiled, "Or maybe not, I don't want to know if Luk is right. It's just freaky."
The last couple left the bay too, chattering about ceadras and statistics and the possibility of a mathematic genius embedded in such a small brain when dusk started falling.


Blue Well Ghelook (m)

4. ADULTS
I was enjoying my lunch, looking out over the wide ocean from the Western shores of Lantessama Isle, when I spotted the telltale dark blue humps of Ghelook. Of course, having bonded him, I felt his presence a gazillion times more than I ever felt Krystel or Tymanir. Being so close to Ghelook, I of course knew it was him without even seeing his face. His presence felt like a warm blanket of security and love. I wondered if it was the same for him. And if it was, then how it was for Krystel and Tymanir who I wasn't as close with. I had raised them. Taken care of them from the moment they'd left their eggs. But feeling close to a mother to all three of them, I couldn't help but feel the difference.
"What do you feel about me then, pray tell." the slithery voice of my winter ceadra Luk asked. I don't know how he'd gotten here without me noticing, but the little critter had seemed to have level-upped his all-seeing powers lately.
"It hurts to be referred to as slithery and critter." he sneered.
"Well, somehow I don't see you as one of my children."
"Then what am I?"
"The annoying kid from next door maybe." I joked.
"Are kids annoying?" Ghelook asked.
"No, not my own anyway."
"Good." Ghelook said.
"Of course your adorable caretakees aren't much trouble either." the crystal blue voice of Krystel added, popping up out of nowhere.
"Of course not. In fact I'm starting to miss you around a bit now that you've grown up."
"Empty-Nest syndrom." Luk wisely proclaimed.
I hit him.
"We could come visit more." Tymanir proposed.
"How could you visit more? You still live in my home." I laughed, "I'm just silly today. You've all gotten so big and that makes me nostalgic."
"Oh." Tymanir said.
"She thinks you'll be out and making your own babies before long." Luk sighed, "And of course then you'll leave her all alone."
The snake just never learned. I was seriously considering to throw him in the water attached to a big block of concrete to see how that went. The lucky thing probably could breath underwater though. And with those teeth he'd be free in no time.
"We wouldn't!" Krystel called out, leaving a hint of blushing red in my mind.
Why would a dragon blush?
"Because there are already babies." Luk whispered in my ear.
"Really?"
"Yes... but we didn't think we'd hurt you..."
"Oh, never mind Luk, he's full of ... well bolony."
"Then can I join a mating swim?" Ghelook asked with big eyes.
"I don't see why you wouldn't be able too."

Lantessama Isle.
Joiy is a Candidate at
Lantessama Isle