posted on Oct, 9 2014 @ 03:46 AM
There exists a place, if you choose to believe in it, where magic is real. This place is located on every map you will ever look at – though only
those who really have eyes to see will recognize it. The directions to find it are overwhelmingly simple yet nearly impossible to grasp:
Simply find the birthplace of Fire Dragons, just west of the Toxic River, and then look east.
There you will find an inauspicious forest called Stewart. A tiny little wood containing a tiny little village that does not stand out a bit from any
other such places. At least not to the naked eye. But hidden in plain sight, there, are wonders beyond ones wildest imagination.
I know this because I was there.
It would be easy for me to say that I went there with deliberation, sensing the power of the place, on a quest to uncover all of it's secrets. But
that would be a lie and lying about the Stewart is a sin because each lie told robs it of a tiny fragment of it's magic. Enough lies will, one day,
be told and the Stewart will cease to be what it is and become what it appears to be; Just another place. No. The truth is that I got lost and
accidentally found the forest of Stewart. Being that I was in pretty bad shape from my journey the inhabitants showed me kindness and took me in to
heal. That is the truth of it all.
Even then it took me a very long time to actually see and understand the magic. Real magic, you see, is such a subtle thing. It's not
like TV magicians who make elephants or planes disappear to rousing applause. Real magic is as subtle as a kittens breath but as powerful as gravity.
It pulls you along without you even realizing that you are being pulled.
When I arrived in Stewart I was told that the only open place for me to sleep would be in a very crowded room with two other travelers who had also
lost their way. Oh, and there was one more in this room. An ancient being who looked human but claimed to come from the stars. He was called “The
One Eyed Woodall” but also answered to “Joe”. I think the whole “Joe” bit was an inside joke that only he understood because he giggled
whenever anyone said it. But that is a tale to explore on a different day, after I have had years to reflect upon it all.
It was with a mixture of apprehension and gratitude that I found my way to the crowded little hut in the back corner of the Stewart and claimed the
small, open and left area for myself. At that time I was, as stated, a lost traveler and should have been utterly thankful for any place to be and in
a mindset to totally ignore even the most drastic of inconveniences. Yet that was not the case.
You see the One Eyed Woodall... He was unbearable. He spoke only in riddles and seemed to have a child's mind. Oh, and the riddles never ceased –
not even when he slept. His mouth was always moving and arcane and mysterious – indecipherable phrases were always pouring out. On top of that his
body seemed to have it's own tale to tell and it never stopped making noise either. It was if he had a didgeridoo stuck somewhere inside of him and
it never stopped making it's odd wailing sounds.
My very first night I realized that I hated the One Eyed Woodall. I also realized that the other two travelers in that hut hated him as well. My
nature is to not insult. I tend to be the type who keeps silent and tries to politely nudge things along – right up until the point where I explode
in a furious outrage. The two other travelers, however, were not like me. Every minute of every day they viciously attacked the One Eyed Woodall.
If those attacks ever phased him in the least, I cannot say. He never once reacted. He never once showed the least bit of pain or hurt. He simply
laughed and kept being himself.
As for me? I spent my time studying the One Eyed Woodall and several of the other strange creatures who inhabited the Stewart forest. Through this
intense study, one by one I found the means of making these creatures more tolerable. Some even eventually became close friends. But the Woodall? I
could never figure out his control point. Well, at least not until much later on.
A few months into my stay in the Stewart Forest I finally lost my temper and approached the Mayor, demanding that I be allowed to move into another
hut – one far away from the Woodall. The Mayor laughed and spoke some prophetic words... ”You just don't know the real Joe yet. Give him a
chance. Not a kinder nor more gentle creature will you ever meet in all of your travels.”.
My further protests went ignored and I finally slumped and accepted my fate. I was still not well enough to leave, so I would cope, to the best of my
ability, until the day finally came when I could finally head out to find my way back home.
Months passed and, one day, one of the other travelers who shared our hut fell into old habits – habits that broke the rules of the Stewart Forest.
Though many tried to help him through his ordeal, his pride and his addictions were so strong that, in the end, he was banished to live on the edge of
the woods, far away from shelter and safety.
Shortly after that, the only other remaining traveler ( other than myself ) felt that he was strong enough to return to his own home. Bennie was his
name and I was quite fond of him. He and I had developed an odd sort of rapport that I could never find a way to put into words.
While trying to travel home Bennie was robbed and murdered by the outcasts who lived on the edge of the forest. They placed his body in-between two
stationary train cars. When the train began to move, all evidence and most of Bennie was destroyed.
One of the saddest days in my life was the day I visited the makeshift memorial someone had created at the spot where Bennie died. It is a loss and a
shame that I will never come to accept. He was a beautiful person who would have given the robbers what they wanted without any violence. A total
With Bennie gone – it was just the One Eyed Woodall and me left. For a day or three I honestly thought I might go insane. Maybe I did. Who's to
But then, quite suddenly, my senses attuned and I began to see the magic. I saw it all over many of the other residents of the village. But especially
upon the One Eyed Woodall. There was a light on him – in him – that was impossible to ignore.
I began listening to the endless riddles and realized that they were not riddles at all. They were truths. Vital truths. It was if angels were
speaking from the mouth of a simple creature. It was amazing.
Once my mind was open to it all, I began to become curious and I asked Joe what strange journey had brought him to these woods. He had been there
longer than most and did not seem to ever want to leave.
He told me his story.
A very long time ago he had seen a man with a knife trying to hurt a woman. He knew this to be wrong so he, with his bare hands, slew the assailant.
He knew this to be the right thing to do. However those in power were less pure and were blinded to what is right and what is wrong – so they
banished the One Eyed Woodall from their world and drove him into the woods, where he found the little village of Stewart. Just as they had done for
me, they took him in with open arms, and he never forgot their gift. So he stayed. He stayed because it was the right thing to do. He stayed so
that he could help those who had helped him. And so that he could help those who came along after.