‘Darkness is not always evil”, said Vivien. “Too many people associate darkness with evil. Yet, light can hurt. Light can blind, and the darkness can soothe. In the old, magical lore, they say that moonlight reveals what sunlight hides. Darkness reveals what the light often hides. Beware the simplistic and ignorant fools who would lead you astray.”
“Yet, it was indeed The Darkness that fell upon the earth, and we had to withdraw until we had regained our strength. The Darkness spread its tentacles everywhere, and its spies were to be found everywhere. All those beings who became corrupted to its cause, became the foul spies of The Darkness.”
“We withdrew to the Oak Tree, our Cave, and in doing so, we returned to the earth that nourishes us.”
“Urk”, stammered Sam. His eyes were wide, and he did not know what to say. His suspicions were raised, and he did not know if the two in front of them were going to imprison them or eat them.
From somewhere in the deep recesses of his mind, emerged a thought. It came unbidden, unheralded, but once it was out, he could not resist its coming.
“I hope they don’t eat us”, he thought, and he shivered to himself.
“No Sam, we will not eat you”, said Merlin, reading his thoughts. “But, you are not free from us either. Not until you have paid your dues.”
Terror froze his mind, and all that he was dimly conscious of, was that this seemed to be a far greater peril than he had faced in the old days.
There did not seem to be any escape, and the two creatures in front of him seemed to spy into his very thoughts and emotions.
He shrank back against the wall, wishing to melt into it, but all he felt was the cold, damp hardness of the surface.
“The spies spread far and wide”, continued Vivien, and we allowed our spirits to become one with The Earth. The Cave and Tree shielded and nourished us, and one day we realized that we were strong enough to fight The Dark.”
“Bit by bit, we sought out his spies, and converted them back to the true path. Those who refused, were destroyed, and soon their rotting souls formed a mosaic pattern on the floor of the forest, and soon dissolved away.”
“There was no Grand Battle that was fought, and no songs have been written. Much has been done, but more needs to be done. Did something of The Darkness enter our souls? Who knows? We are not all creatures of Light and Dark. Shadows become us, and we become the Shadows.”
“Shadows cover us, shield us, and we become creatures of Light and Dark. This is how it is, and this is how it will be. The journey is long, but the spirit is strong.”
A paused followed, broken only by the silence.
Merlin raised his head.
“Sam, it is your turn now.”