Over the Hedge
There was something intoxicating about seeing this far into the future. At first, I assumed it was just the excitement of knowing things that were yet to come, but as I pushed farther along I began to feel a pull. There was something, somewhere ahead, that seemed to be beckoning me, calling to me, promising greater knowledge than I could even imagine. It was mild at first, just flickering at the edge of my senses. But as I approached it, it grew stronger, and before I realized it I was ignoring everything else I was passing and pushing forward with reckless abandon, diving deeper, pouring more and more of myself into the quest to find this one bright, burning, powerful moment that felt like the very center of the entire metaphysical realm.
I was losing myself, losing sense of what I was doing, hopelessly fixed on this one point, when I suddenly stopped.
I found myself floating, adrift in an endless void, dull gray everywhere and no sense of direction, or time, or anything. It was just me, lost. I took some time, could have been seconds or years for all I knew, to refocus and figure out what was going on. I no longer felt the pull of that point in the future. I no longer felt anything. I knew this was wrong, somehow, but couldn’t place my finger on what was wrong about it. When I finally had regained my composure, I tried to focus again to move forward. Then I tried to move backward. But if either attempt worked, I couldn’t tell.
As I floated and tried to determine what was stopping me from moving, the void ahead of me began to pinch together and form into shapes. There was no color at first, and no light or shadow, so I’m not sure how I knew that was happening, but I did. Finally, the gray of the void dripped off the shapes, and I found myself looking at a man and a woman. Or at least, two entities that took on the form of a man and a woman.
I could make out very few identifying details on the man. He was wearing a light brown robe that hung down farther than his feet with sleeves that covered his hands, and the parts of him that were exposed where it opened were covered in black, shining armor, with bits of black fabric showing between the highly decorated pieces. The hood of the robe lay low over his face, and the shadow of it hid everything from view except his mouth and chin. That little bit of exposed skin, the only skin I could see, was a light brown, not dark but unmistakably meant to look like a black man. This, and the fact that he was about as tall as I was, were about all I could make out of what he must look like with the hood drawn away.
She was certainly naked, but had no anatomy showing that would have made that more obvious than an incredibly form-fitting outfit. She was broader and taller than I was, and her body was covered in swirling designs and runes that danced around, some of them seeming to lift off her body or sink below her skin, yet still visible, completely of their own volition as they moved across her blue skin. The markings glowed faintly, and her face shone with a warm and inviting smile. Her features, I would later find out when I went digging online for pictures of various ethnicities, looked like she had taken inspiration for her form from one of the myriad island peoples dotted along the Pacific. Her hair was thick, long, and tightly curled as it lay over her shoulders and hung down her back. She hid nothing, but aside from her basic features, there was nothing about her that stayed constant long enough to identify.
“Jackie,” she said, extending her arms in a hug, which I returned before thinking about it. She held me for a moment, then placed her hands on my shoulders and held me at arms’ length. “How are you?”
“I’m sorry,” I said, looking her over again, “do I know you?”
“Oh, not yet. But we have met. You may remember us more in our raven forms. Right?” she asked, turning to the other. “That already happened, yeah?” He nodded, and she turned back to me with a broad smile. “Yeah, that happened already.”
“Wait. Huginn and Muninn?”
“Oh, we get called that sometimes, sure,” she answered, letting go of me and waving her right hand dismissively. “We get called lots of things. Officially, if there is an ‘officially,’ we’re King and Queen, but spirits tend to call us The Two. Welcome to the void outside of time, Jackie! We don’t get many visitors.”
The blog of Jackie Veracruz.