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A Solitary Lens

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I am Aughra, first and last.  I am the eye and the hand of stone and seed.  I am the knower, the witness to destiny, created when the root and rock, rock and root wanted more than simply to be, simply to exist, warm sun and cold rain. Stone knows time slowly, don’t you know?  Ages pass and a stone has not changed, the lives of living things seeming like hummingbird wings, flickering fast and fading from memory.

That is what Aughra is. Memory. Past and future. Knows all. All worth knowing. 

Gelfling! Ha! Gelflings know nothing of the future. It is their nature.  They are not made of stone and seed, like Aughra.  They are light and life—flower and beast—all things that pass.  What need Gelfling of the future?  Gelfling have enough in the present!

Music! Music is Gelfling gift! Music and words, languages of all the living things.  And the Great Conjunction, when stars themselves music are! When light and sound come together, the great harmony of the universe itself. 

Now.  Know this, yes?  All the wise things know of the Great Conjunction. And of Aughra.  And many know of the quest of Jen. Gelfling Jen.  Restore the Crystal, his quest was.  And everyone speaks of Jen. Jen the Crystal Healer! Yes, Jen.

But also Kira.  Kira female Gelfling. And without her, story not be told!

What history doesn’t remember—but Aughra does!—is that Gelfling were two, as well. All two! All sundered, all split. Crystal, urSkeks.  Gelfling.  All two. All separated.

Except Aughra. Aughra is from the days when all were one, when the urSkeks were one.  Before the great sundering. 

You do not know? You know nothing!  The sundering! The urSkeks, beings of light they were.  But not perfect. No, not perfect! This was no golden age, when all was one. If so, why Aughra, hmm?  Why would stone and seed, rock and root, need to see, to know? When all was one, all was well, no need for Aughra! 

Yet stone is wise. Stone is old and old is wise. Most times. Most times. Not always.  The urSkeks, for all their knowledge, were not wise.  Foolish, they were.  Thought they could use the Great Conjunction, burn out the darkness in them.  Foolish! Stones know better! Light needs darkness.  Darkness needs light.  Two must dance together, not fight. 

Seeds know. Flowers know.  Light and dark, day and night, set tempo for dance of living things. La-da, la-da, la-da!  All things dance, light and dark, too!  But urSkeks want no dance, want light and only light, still and forever.

PAH! Stone knows better.  Even stone not still.  Even stone not forever.  Even stone knows shadows. 

So urSkeks split. Everything split and light fled, with the urRu. And urRu keep Gelfling. Know the prophecy, they do. Realize their mistake but too late! Too late for crystal. Too late for everything. 

Too late for Gelfling: Skeksis know the prophecy, too.  No Gelfling, no prophecy, yes? Simple .  Simple and foolish. You cannot escape prophecy!  Any more than a golarch can flee its tail.

A golarch! Its tail!  He hehehehehe.  Can’t be done! No! Can’t be done.  Can’t defeat wisdom with cleverness. 

Clever they were, too, the Skeksis. Oh, Aughra knows. Aughra used to visit the castle, even after the Harmony was shattered.  Aughra’s intent was to know! Aughra knows, and sees.  Aughra sees the cleverness of the Skeksis, how they hunted the Gelfling. And the Garthim! Garthim created, you know, of magic.  Why?

WHY?! So Gelfling magic can’t work on them! See the clever Skeksis?  See the Garthim, simple creatures, not creatures at all. No sense getting mad at Garthim: like getting mad at the wind, it is!

Kira! I tell you, Kira is the key.  Key. Kira.  See?  Kira is the other half of the story.  Other half of Jen. Not just another Gelfling. She knows their ways.  Jen knows melody, Kira knows song. Song! The songs! Not one creature, even of the Darkened World, a Gelfling cannot talk to. Knows language of all the creatures, great and small! Know the songs of sky and stone! Leaf and root! Feather and claw, they speak to Gelfling.  Music and language of all under the sky Gelfling know. 

Only thing they don’t know is future! Gelfling. Means ‘not knowing future.’ Only now! Only song and earth.  Earth which grows, and lives and dies. 

Kira knew the songs. She knows the plants and beasts.  All love Kira. All obey.  Fizzgig. Landstriders.  Hsilin. All listen.  All obey. Without Kira, Jen not make it to Castle.  Without Kira, Jen not know his own story.

Yes. That is weakness of the urRu.  They not tell—not important, they think—Jen his story. Only his parents were killed. Garthim raid.

Not true!

Not true! Garthim not kill Gelfling.  Not in Jen’s time.  Too valuable. Too rare.  Gelfling blood, Gelfling essence, too rare, too valuable.  Skeksis not wise, but not wasteful.  Jen’s parents die, yes, but not killed by Garthim!  Would be a mercy, killed by Garthim.  Better that than drained, fed to Skeksis, keep them alive, keep them young. 

UrRu think this too much for Jen, Aughra thinks.  Think it a mercy, not tell him that.  Why? WHY? No sense!  Too much kindness, they had, and not enough sense. It takes both, hardness and softness, mercy and truth. Destiny, though, has no respect for kindness. 

Jen knew nothing of Gelfling except reading.  Kira did.  Even with Podlings, Kira knew of her kind: Gelfling with wings. Gelfling with song.  Gelfling know roots and leaves, moss and flower. Gelfling knows dreamfasting.

Dreamfasting! Knowing through touch. No lies, no deceits. No wonder Skeksis fear the Gelfling, hmmm?  See themselves, expose themselves as they are, petty and blackened.

Kira knew dreamfasting.  Knew Jen at touching him.  Destiny brought them near—dreamfasting forged the link.  Crystal shard had to come together, healed, but Gelfling, too! Gelfling need to come together, walker and winged, music and lyrics.  Both needed to heal the Crystal, not just Jen.  Kira too! 

Kira save the Crystal! Faced the Skeksis, all her own! In the great Chamber, she stood, surrounded. Brave Gelfling! Jen above and she below. 

And Kira fell, for the Crystal: Skeksis dagger and claw, Skeksis rage, struck through her, desperate and hateful.  But too late! Too late for her! But too late for Skeksis—the Crystal healed and urSkeks came again, pulled together. What had been sundered, just like prophecy, brought together, made one, made whole.

UrSkeks had learned their lesson. Could have asked the stone, asked Aughra. Aughra would have told them.  Mistake to not be what you are.  UrSkeks were light and dark together.  Must be that way. Day and night, light and dark together, yes?  Skeksis and urRu.  Jen and Kira.  Kira dead: Jen alive. Crystal healed. Land healed.

Gelfling lived apart, from each other, from their heritage.  Now, they walk together, over a land healed, love against hate, light against dark, stitched together with threads of dreams.

And Aughra? No use for Aughra. Aughra see! Aughra know.  Darkness and light come together, and now, no more need for Aughra. No need to witness, to know. Not when all know.  Not when all healed.  Aughra return to the mountains, stone and seed, rock and root.  Aughra has seen. Aughra has known.  And now…Aughra…rests.