13399 words (53 minute read)

Sleeping Peacock Awakens

By E.J.Currie

Human from the 3rd Dimension,

I have a question for you.

Are you an artist?

If you say no, I know you are lying.

For everyone has the gift to communicate.

That is an artist’s choice of weapon.


I care not if you cannot draw. I care not if you cannot paint.

All I care about is how far your eyes can see.

What colours can you manifest with your eyes? What colours do you use to tell your story to the world? Are you brave enough to reveal to me your true colours? If yes, you might be one of the lucky few that will be chosen to meet us.

Only a few rare humans are born every century to commit beyond the limits of their deepest fears. These talented souls can see beyond the illusions of construction that seek to suppress them in the realm of Dimension 3. We Autarchs delight in the birth of these rare souls, for you become the innovators of our future. Now tell me human, why did you pick up this book? Have you got a dream of gold you wish to manifest? If yes, we at the 13 Dimensions can offer you the tools to free you from your deepest fears. We Autarchs can teach you how to create portals that can shift your consciousness from the Lower Earth World of 3, into the highest vibration of 13. But to get in contact with an Autarch that is right for your growth, you first need to emit the correct frequency so we can find you. When we find you, we will test you of your appointed skill. If you pass the test, we will transfer you to the necessary doorway to awaken your higher self.

Are you ready to receive a message from us?

If the answer is yes, then I ask only one thing from you before we make contact.

And that is to....


Chapter 1 Sleeping Peacock’s Journal


As an artist, my eyes see through the illusions of this world. I can see beyond the strange dirge of colour glistening false patterns of beauty in the dark. Even though this soul of mine has been exposed to too much hatred and fear, I have gained such a deep compassion, a deep fondness for those born without the gift to love. I was born to be a sensitive. But to be sensitive, does this mean I am weak or strong?

I cannot answer this question.

All I know is that I am very vulnerable to the shadows of artificial power that seek attention from me. These masked shadowy tendrils crawl over me as I sleep, offering me dreams of a struggle I have no power to command. These shadowy creatures melt across my body, shifting into shapes and patterns of dirty consciousness that seek to deny me access of the rightful colour that I am. These cursed masked creatures, they seek to communicate with me, but I know not what they are after, nor what they seek. I am overwhelmed by these strange, complex messages offered to me by these faceless meaningless shapes of colour.

Sometimes I really do wonder...

Am I mad?

Should I ask Dali?

I paint on a white canvas to free myself from the shadows of these masked demons that slash away at my authenticity. Each night I counter their messages of darkness with the colours of raw starlight. I assert my identity with long peacock feathers and black zebra lines. Each line I create is as intentional as each mistake. Each mistake has to look perfect, for tonight I intend to finish my final composition of the ‘Great ‘I AM’. For what I think I manifest, and to deny this Universal law is to deny all that is born of me.

Hera, please offer me your deepest blessing in the finishing of this piece. I respect your intuition above all other Goddesses. Someday I hope to be blessed with your eyes.

Eternal love from your faithful servant.

Leila Rainsleigh

Town of Rugby –Warwickshire-Tantalus Art Class- Second Semester-Date-


In a classroom made of coloured glass, an Egyptian monk enrobed in the gold of the old world seeks to pass on wisdom to the new.

“I wish to become that which I once was, even though I have lost all the pieces that once made me whole. For many a generation I have cast light across the darkest chasms of the Universe, to recite a message that can never be forgotten even among those bound to the black will. My spirit, born of Supernova, the catastrophic seraphim of the Cosmos, is the ultimate vibration of chaotic death. All whose will is bound to this vibration can return back to their original source of mutable consciousness, and thus open the doorway of ascension towards-“

“What crap are you talking about today?!”

Monk Tho, a bald elderly man in golden robes paused in his class recital, his calm blue eyes flitting in the direction of the loud interruption. As always it was the same porky faced male at the back of his art class. Etaru was a stout, dark haired boy with very prominent dyed eyebrows of red and hazel eyes that could shift any calm moment into a violent storm. Unlike Tho’s other well behaved students; Etaru’s anger could test even the Buddha’s patience for calm.

“Etaru, can you please elaborate further on your thoughts?” Tho asked the dark haired male, placing the black shard of meteorite back inside the glass box on the table.

“Everything you say is made up. How can you find any knowledge of the past by touching a stupid stone? This class makes no sense. You make no sense!”

“This is no magical school young master. This is the Higher Arts, an awakening of the higher conscious mind. This rock was found at the remains of a meteor crash site and the words I speak have been awoken by the sentient energy emitted around this precious piece of history. When your mind opens up to an enlightened state of higher consciousness, you too will be gifted with the same eyes as mine.”

Etaru glared back at his teacher. “Keh! As if I want the eyes of an old fart who baffles the blind with bullshit. I worked out your secret long ago old man for I have met many like you. There is nothing new you can teach me about Art! I am thankful for my father’s position on the Art Council for it has enabled me many benefits, such as position of Chief Designer for the new water fountain in Central Park. I know for sure my father never needed to prattle about any metaphysical cack to get me the job. My talent with the pencil got me there instead!”

Tho nodded calmly in agreement to the teen’s obvious bragging. “You know I hold much respect to your father Etaru. He was kind enough to fund last year’s art expedition to America. But I am indeed quite curious, what new artistic stance will you offer to the reconstruction of our esteemed water fountain?”

“Well come over to my table and take a look,” the teen bragged loudly. “I have finished over forty sketches, each taking at least six hours. I am proud of all I have created!”

“Hm, I see.” Tho approached the teen’s table. He opened up Etaru’s black A3 portfolio and his calm gaze scanned across the different images collated together in a variety of different mediums. “Hm, I cannot deny your art offers much detail to the eye Etaru, but to the soul... Hn, I feel much disconnection in your work. What do we have here? Phallic epitaphs dedicated to the great fall of man, or what about this abusive mix of line and pattern? This odd composition offers no greater depth of intelligence to the Art world than a monkey rolling around in colourful toilet paper?”

“You dare insult my Art! My Art represents all that I see, and what I see is ‘The Atrophy of Man’. I need no stupid eye to awaken this truth. All I do is practise, practise and practise! Through practise I master my skills as a professional artist. I need no fool to teach me how to draw. My father believes in my work, and so do I!”

“I see. But if the water fountain is meant to represent all things clean and pure in our town, why have you designed such baffling monstrosities in tribute to it? It seems the Great Eye eludes you. Perhaps I can be of assistance to you. Have you been thinking about your mother again Etaru?”

Hazel eyes lit up with rage. “None of your fucking business!”

“Hm.” The teacher stepped back and watched calmly as Etaru threw his pencils back inside his pencil case, and snapped his portfolio shut. He grabbed his thick, black coat and whipped it around his shoulders, too impatient to put his hands through the arm holes. “Perhaps you should go for a walk Etaru and clear your head. You know the Great Eye eludes all who seek anger and fear. Feel free to return to the lesson when you have calmed down.”

“Shut up! All you talk about is bullshit! Why are any of us here? This old withered fool cannot teach you anything you don’t already know. Don’t you realise he is tricking all of you? “

The monk shook his head in disagreement. “How do you think the consciousnesses of great artists like Michelangelo and Leonardo were awoken? By sheer practise? By putting pencil to paper and conforming to the same mistakes and limitations of the artists who preceded them? What a foolish notion. Only brilliant compositions emerge when an artist sacrifices their entire being to the very vibration of the Gods. It is through awakening the power of the pineal gland, the third eye that a true masterpiece is born.”

“You are talking shit again!” Etaru tossed his final piece to the ground. “I don’t care about this art class. This is what I think about your art lesson.” The teen stuck up two fingers of disrespect. “And this is what I think about this art contest!” The dark haired boy stomped across his own piece of work, making his way towards the exit of the classroom. “I am out of here!”

The glass door slammed loudly, causing the four remaining students to wince at Etaru’s exit. Monk Tho lifted his gaze outwards, beyond the glass classroom, towards the gentle green of the swaying grass, and the row of conifers shifting peacefully in the breeze. He stared out calmly towards the stone path leading back to the academy, where a short, angry boy stomped with the rage of a warrior entering yet another battle.

Tho lost his parents when he was a child

His mind has been broken since that day.

Do not spout nonsense about the boy.

He will find himself when he is ready.

Suffering adds character to a man.

No man who has lived,

has lived a life free of suffering.

But such a gentle child...

Suffering that much pain...

And at such a young age

To lose so much...

It really is heartbreaking.


What has the boy got to complain about?

He has money, wealth, status and women!

There is nothing ugly in his life.

Everything is perfect!

If he needs a woman

I’m sure my daughter could fit his needs.

She can offer him cuddles,

And he can offer us all his coffers of money.

Hah, perfect marriage indeed.

You ugly filthy hags!

Leave Tho alone!

Christ! The kid is only seven.

Let him grieve for Pete’s sake.

Tho reopened his eyes, shifting his attention back to the dirtied piece of art on the ground.

“Etaru,” Tho exhaled softly, picking up the teen’s competition piece, eyeing the bald naked figure crawling across a pathway of dirt, spiders, glass and stone. Even the mud from Etaru’s shoes added to the ingenious pathos of the boy’s vision. ‘Etaru, the Gods have offered you a road that bears much pain and suffering. I know this road well, for I have walked this path many times myself. It is a treacherous journey that even the most courageous of angels fear to tread. But know this, if you can temper yourself with patience, and endure this deep inner pain, someday your inner light will be freed. Then, no matter what darkness seeks to avail you, you will always vanquish it with the sheer belief of your spirit. So never fear to speak from your authentic self Etaru. I know you have the potential to do this, for I already see your soul in this painting.’

“For it is in ‘I AM’ that the origin of all manifestation is born!” Monk Tho boomed loudly, turning his attention towards the four remaining students in the classroom. He walked straight towards the large blackboard at the front of the classroom, passing by the three rows of tables where his students watched him in silence. Fishing inside his pocket to unscrew the caps off five chalk pens, the monk began to calmly draw a flow of authentic consciousness across the black board, with the energy of an ascended master. When Tho finished his work, the monk calmly stood aside from his creation, allowing four pairs of eyes to gaze and gawp in wonder at the composition he had completed in less than five minutes.

“How can he draw so fast?” A red haired woman muttered to her blond partner Unith. “His art skills...they are frightening. I am overwhelmed.”

“Those proportions...even the reflections, every angle is perfect.” Pole, a man of African origin exhaled softly.

In Tho’s art was a man who bore the same vibration of a Christ. Water flowed peacefully from his form. At one edge of the water, a bitter woman covered in the plumage of a bird saw herself as a loving child clear of all makeup and glamour. On the other edge of the blue stood an angry suited man glaring down at the face of a little smiling boy.

“As you can see, it is through the denigration of an illusion that all expressions of reality are freed. However when you step away from this traditional construction of expectation, the distinction between common art and magnificent art can be made all the more clear. But what will you create in your detachment, when you offer the world your gift of mutable conscious thought? Will you manifest a colourful universe in alignment of the genius of Michelangelo, or even Leonardo? Perhaps it will be you who will make the old masters pale in comparison to the light of your supreme vibration. Now my students, reveal to me what you can see with the eyes of the Great ‘I AM’!” Blue eyes scanned across the room to pause at his nearest student.

“Pole Rewio, please rise and reveal your composition of the great ‘I AM’.”

A handsome dark skinned man covered in cream robes and a floral scent rose slowly to his feet. Cradling his portfolio to his chest, Pole headed towards the storage box at the front of the class where a collection of easels lay in wait for him. It took him little time to set up his easel. Kneeling down on the clear glass floor, his pale grey eyes paused for a moment to observe a line of red ants shifting through the soft earth beneath the art house, before shifting his attention back towards the contents of his open black art portfolio. Carefully removing the bubble wrap from one of his finished canvases, Pole delicately rose to plant his finished composition on the easel. He then stepped away from the easel and turned his attention towards his teacher. “As you can see, I have painted Buddha. Every part of his being is made of water. He is born of water. His life is water. His future is water. He is all and everything he surrounds himself with. ”

“Hmm...Siddhartha Gautama.” Monk Tho raised his long eyebrows at the beautiful rendition of blue flowing through the piece. “Ah, I see a singular depth of consciousness. Very good, but without the other elements of fire, wind, metal or earth, or even heaven’s elements of comet, moon or star, how can water be tempered to manifest its optimum potential of ‘I AM’? Nevertheless, this composition has much potential Pole. Thank you for your contribution. Please sit.”

Pole bowed politely at the teacher, and sat himself back in his seat.

Blue eyes flickered to a red haired bob wearing a black and white striped jumpsuit. “Isa Larrasi, please come to the front of the class.”

Isa was a slim, pretty woman whose face was painted chalk white. Clicking her portfolio open, Isa quickly withdrew a long strip of fabric of a fierce, majestic green. She then reached under her table where her fold up life sized genderless mannequin lay in wait for her. Rising to her feet, the stripy female walked to the front of the class, stretched the mannequin out to its full height, and began fixing the green arrangement of cloth around the faceless model. When Isa finished, she stood back to assess her work. Turning towards the teacher, Isa began to explain her creation in a soft whispery voice.

“I have stitched words of ‘Affirmation’ across a dyed green bridal dress. A bridal dress is traditionally intended to be worn on the day you state your deepest commitment to another in this life. But to do this, I need to know who ‘I AM’. That is why my bridal dress is green. For I know it is my life colour and I refuse to be bound to the limits of a scandalous white tradition. I have also added some little ducks to the veil, for I like ducks, especially green ones. ”

“Hm, a very interesting concept. You can only be ‘I AM’ when you proudly commit to an identity which many others deny? Thank you Isa.”

The redhead smiled softly, before returning to her seat.

“Unith Doiim?”

A shaggy bearded man rose up to his height of six foot seven. Five pairs of eyes watched as Unith clumsily stumbled past tables and chairs with a large brown suitcase in hand. When Unith got to the front of the class, he hastily clunked his case open, causing a collection of waxen candles to drop to the floor. The shy giant winced, and began collecting the fallen candles together, planting them on top of his open suitcase. Removing a silver lighter from the depths of his pocket, the shy man lit each coloured wick. Soon coloured smoke began to rise out from each little flame, clotting the room with an amalgamation of scents, from cherry to honey, rose, ash, toffee and vanilla.

“I see ‘I AM’ as coloured smoke rising,” Unith began in a deep timbre that shook with nervous emotion. “Like a gas it is shapeless. Even if I attempt to shift the direction of the smoke with my hands, I do not possess the power to transform the pathway of these colours from going any direction but up. This is where I see ‘I AM’. It is an uncontrollable visible presence, a force that cannot be contained by any other consciousness of man.”

Monk Tho nodded in understanding. “Hm, quite a fascinating theory Unith. Pole, could you please open a couple of windows? My nose is twitching.”

Pole smiled inwardly and did as he was asked.

“Thank you Pole. Well it certainly is a creative approach Unith. But man has many other ways of interfering with intended pathways of consciousness such as squeezing the wick at its root like this,” Tho explained calmly, as he snuffed the flame out with his thumb and forefinger. “Remember man is no crude consciousness. He can find other ways to control what others may believe to be an unstoppable force. It is unfortunate Unith that you have created a consciousness bearing limitations to be controlled. ‘I AM’ lives internally in you, not externally in others. If your thoughts of ‘I AM’ have limitations, the outcome will be as limited as your initial intention, and thus nothing can ever be born from this negative state of mind. But if you see the opportunity of success in every possibility, then the authentic state of ‘I AM’ will be born from within, and never be snuffed out like a candle.”

Unith blushed. “Yes, but, I mean,” Unith paused and turned his head down. “You are right.”

“Do not be disheartened. I see potential in your originality of thinking. Now please be seated Unith. Leila Rainsleigh, can you please rise? I would like to see your final piece. You told me at the beginning of this lesson that your canvas has taken over two months to complete. I am curious to see what your inner eye sees.”

A gentle, green eyed brunette, who wore a loose cream poet’s shirt, dark purple jeans and a peacock feather in one ear, stood up from her table. With a black portfolio in hand, and a nervous quiver to her lips, Leila Rainsleigh proceeded to the front of the classroom.




Nineteen year old Leila Rainsleigh was neither tall nor short. She was just an ordinary brown haired, green eyed woman who had an affinity for the bizarre. She had earned minor fame in local county fairs for her magical imaginings of candy floss sheep and gold flocked angels sleeping in such bizarre places. The golden haired angel sleeping in the dog kennel was her favourite, followed closely by the three little sheep sleeping on a Tesco conveyer belt. All her art told a story, at least to her if not to anyone else.

Swallowing nervously, the brunette stood up with her black portfolio and slowly made her way to the front of the class. Her eyes caught Isa’s for a moment, and she shared a brief smile with her red headed friend. As Monk Tho gestured Leila to set up a class easel, the brunette stared nervously down at the box, before reaching in and picking out a long wooden easel.

“Oh God...” Leila stared down at the folded pieces of wood in her hands. She was never good at this part. It did not help matters when she had an audience observing her secret shame. Fortunately her embarrassment was intercepted by Pole who stood up to assist her in her fumbling.

“I know you always struggle putting up class easels. You truly surprise me Leila, a talented artist like yourself, having problems doing the basics.” Pole tutted with a smile. “I am sure you will get a hang of setting up an easel someday.”

“Haha when pigs fly,” Isa snorted with a cheeky twinkle in her eye. “This girl is terrible. She paints pictures by leaning canvases on a window sill. In all my years, I have never seen this girl paint using an easel. Probably because she never went to a real art school. Poor thing, she is weird even by my standards, and this is coming from someone who wants green ducks in her wedding bouquet.”

Leila blushed feebly. “I do not pretend to be perfect,” the brunette asserted in a soft, shy tone. “I am just not comfortable painting on an easel.”

“There you go Leila. All done,” Pole said softly, as he sat himself back down.

The brunette bit her lip nervously. With her back facing the students, she began to zip open her large portfolio. “Ok. Here goes,” she whispered to herself, quickly plonking the A1 boxed canvas on the wooden easel. She shyly shuffled away from her composition, feeling characteristically vulnerable by the many eyes who were staring at her art.

“I... really don’t know what to say,” Tho admitted eventually, scratching the back of his bald head. He blinked, once, twice. The painting remained the same. “What? Why would you paint the child of the devil on a rose garden swing? And is that a flower garden made of peacocks?”

“So many patterns and colours in green, I am in love,” Isa sighed breathlessly. “Those peacocks are lovely. All those aqua colours would look great in a dress.”

“Your vision makes no sense,” Pole stated eventually. “Beautiful but chaotic, you create much pathos in this painting.”

Leila nervously shifted her gaze between the many different eyes who tried to deconstruct the meaning behind her composition.

“I-I, I wanted to convey myself as a garden of healing magic. My garden is so colourful, beautiful and bright that even this black devil seeks no reason to harm me, for I respect his shy existence, and he respects my strong vibration of love. He is safe with me and me with him.”

“Oh dear God,” Pole muttered, shaking his head in disbelief. “The vibration of the devil cannot be tricked by simple illusions of pretty flora. You have birthed a painting that celebrates pure nonsense. Why would someone of your talent compose such an artistic monstrosity?”

“M-my art is not a monstrosity,” Leila stuttered feebly, surprised at Pole’s emotional reaction to her art. The man was usually quite introverted. To hear him speak up was quite alarming. “My art delivers a message of the great ‘I AM’. That even though the devil is always present in my world, I will always offer my own expression of authentic love free of fear. For who knows, perhaps someday, even this evil will learn how to appreciate love and joy in a way that brings colour and happiness to him instead of taking away all the colours from others.”

“You have created such an unbalanced dream of madness and confusion.” Pole scratched at his head, perplexed by the strange messages revealed in the paint. “I feel much frustration and disorder in your work. The devil is the origin of your fear and yet your garden provides safety for this deep manifestation of evil? But if you possess the power to manifest such a beautiful garden, why would you allow evil access to ruin all that you value in the first place? I cannot understand the drive of your composition.”

Tho found words to express his thoughts. “Pole is indeed right Leila. Evil is a lower vibration that cannot be humoured by human toys of petty amusement. Evil cannot be befriended. It cannot be softened with kisses and cuddles. True evil Leila, it needs quarantining and releasing to the universe’s will, not yours. Think of it like this. Let’s change your child devil to something a little more manageable. Let’s call this devil Rhianna the Rattle Snake. Even if you feed dear little snaky every day, one day the snake will turn on you and she will bite you. Do you want to know why the snake will bite you? Because the snake’s vibration was born to be bloody evil! Evil cannot be controlled Leila. It can only be contained or destroyed. Learn the path of freedom from evil through the complete detachment of fear. That is the will of Buddha. The will of the Great ‘I AM’.”

Leila’s eyes jumped in surprise. “B-but how can evil find out what good is, if it has never been taught? Maybe what you see as an evil being is a lost and frightened little boy seeking the warm embrace of someone who could love him.”

Tho shook his head in disagreement. “Oh evil knows what good is. It is full of trickery. Evil chooses not to be good. It is a very ugly entity. The problem emerges when good has no idea what evil is up to. This is how evil manipulates and denigrates you. It offers you an illusion. Evil is not born to offer you ‘I AM’. It is instead born to offer you the vibration of ‘AM I’. ‘AM I’ is a vibration of doubt and fear, for this question is the first step in losing your sense of self. When you have no sense of self, you become vulnerable to a fall, and this is when evil strikes! Remember evil can feed you no goodness, as there is nothing good inside evil. Nothing can be created from any vibration of fear! Remember that Leila. Remove this vibration from your very being. Shatter the devil’s illusion and free yourself of any false world bound by fear, for that is the only way evil can be overcome. By asserting the power of your own will, you will be freed of all forms of unnatural submission. Listen to an old man’s words Leila, for they might save your life someday.”

“But aren’t all things born of this world connected to the vibration of love? And doesn’t everyone deserve to experience love in their life no matter how deep they have fallen?” Leila questioned softly, as she stared at her painting, and the large soulful eyes peeking out beyond the messy mat of black hair. Even with the menacing golden horns and little black hooves, the demonic child in the picture seemed small and frightened by the pompous expressions of colour and light scattered around its dark form.

“Not the friggen devil,” Pole muttered aloud, as he stroked a thumb across a rosary in his pocket. “Dear Christ, how naive can you be? What about rape victims? Such strong beautiful souls tarnished by the ugly, filthy and the weak. Should such strong souls be expected to forgive those whose intent is to suppress and damage them? All the devil’s vibration seeks is to repress authentic love in others. The devil is not capable of love. It is not in his nature to love but to seek power and denigrate the innocence in others. That is why the devil hates the vibration of the loved, the innocent and the free. The closer you are to realising this truth, the stronger your authentic self will become in asserting yourself against all vibrations of the dark. ”

Leila frowned weakly. “But I thought everyone should be forgiven, no matter what road they have travelled-“

Monk Tho smiled softly down at the confused girl. “Please sit down Leila for I am ready to announce the winner of the ‘I AM’ contest.”

Leila made her way back to her seat.

“I have decided the winner of the ‘I AM’ contest is Isa. Isa deserves 1st place for her originality. Despite society’s fear of authenticity, Isa can assert her authentic self despite all judgement. Isa, please come on up so I can present you with a limited edition collection of Karisma pencils.”

“Coolio,” Isa grinned, as she hopped up from her seat to grab her prize. “Thank you teacher.”

The monk smiled softly at the red head, before shifting his attention to the other side of the room.

“Pole, I grant you 2nd place for your traditional recognition to an ancient master. Here are some new chalk pens to add to your collection.”

Pole slowly stood up and calmly made his way over to the teacher, accepting his reward with gratitude.

Tho’s gaze shifted towards the shy giant in the room.

“And Unith, I offer a small token of respect for you, an eraser to clean away any error, real or imaginary.”

“Thank you sir,” Unith replied in a soft, quiet voice, as he made his way over to the monk to collect his prize.

Calm blue eyes turned towards the last student in the room. “And Leila?”

Startled green eyes shot up in surprise. “Y-yes?”

“I will offer you the gift of my words. The concept of ‘I AM’ cannot be found in any vibration that is contaminated by fear. I know you are a selfless girl, but please, do not offer your energy to this evil illusion ever again, for it can only waste away the creative power of who you are. Any child born freely into this world does not deserve to be controlled by any chain of fear. You must understand that evil’s goal is to strip you of your very vibration, by denigrating you of your authentic self. Never allow this evil to control you Leila. Trust your gut feelings. Be like Buddha. Withdraw yourself from the source of evil then release its dark secret to the will of the universe! You never need to fight evil alone Leila. All evil desires is attention. It is an undead vampire that distracts your authentic self to wither away into a dream. So whenever evil awakens in your life, kick its powerless hide out of your garden. For why should such an ugly vibration deserve to share the beauty of your garden, because believe me, evil can offer you nothing in comparison to the beauty of your will! I would much prefer if your garden of ‘I AM’ was overflowing with peacocks and a huge sign of no entry to ugly, worthless vibrations that leech energy off you. You have much overflowing talent for love Leila. Your very vibration overflows with the colours of your potential, so please do not sacrifice your talent to any thoughts of shadow. If only you painted peacocks for your final creation, I am certain you would have been granted first place in this art competition. But no matter Leila, I still believe if you choose to assert your artistic will through the origin of the great ‘I AM’, you will deny access to all parasitic vibrations. So promise me you will always affirm yourself of who you are. The Great ‘I AM’!”

“Yea...” Leila answered weakly, offering a watery smile, her eyes growing dazed with emotion. “Yeah,” she repeated in a more confident tone.

“Hm...” The blue eyed monk turned his attention back to all his students. “Good. Now, everyone let us all manifest a loving state of mindfulness. I would like you all to open your art book and begin with the first exercise on page 242, bathetic paintings of the Modern world.”

The art lesson continued on but Leila’s mind remained disconnected. For all she could wonder about was her creation of the small dark haired boy, cursed with the long, crooked horns of gold and watery eyes of the deepest, loneliest grey.


With a small twist of her key, Leila unlocked the white door of her bungalow and entered inside her little home. Closing the door behind her, Leila removed her brown shoes, and padded through her hallway into her living room, plonking her body down into her favourite tatty red chair and sighing deeply. Leila smiled to herself. She had always enjoyed living alone. For being a sensitive, chaotic intrusions of any unwelcome kind could manifest illness inside her being.

Leila sat in comfortable silence, content and calm despite the amassed amount of half finished canvases strewn across the walls and floor of her room. Eclectic clashes of colour and pattern did not bother Leila for she appreciated nearly every kind of art form. Over the years, she had practised many styles. Her green gaze glanced across her room, eyeing the many painted faces she had created, faces that did not exist in reality, and yet were so familiar to her soul. Leila knew her unique soul was her gift to the world. Her soul could envision landscapes born of the strangest, most untameable colours of existence. Illogicality was Leila’s speciality. It was her rare gift. Her soul was supplied with a magic to lead her viewers inside visions that celebrated the sublime. Her most favourite unfinished canvas was that of a dragon wreathed in golden flame, weaving patterns of light and shadow across a New York skyline, followed closely by her enchanting composition of four cheeky toffee teddy sprites leaping over candy cotton clouds of soft lemony delights. As Leila stared at the teddy sprite painting, her gaze began to soften with nostalgic warm.

Leila shifted her gaze away from the sweet energy of childhood, as her eyes caught a more sinister painting. On a long five foot canvas stood a sublime, dark haired woman bearing a deep, dark unearthly beauty. The figure’s modesty was scarcely protected by a thin sheet of crimson. With an outrageous chest and a tiny waist that was warped far too tight for her curvy human frame, the succubus attracted all matters of the dark to her person. Coins of immeasurable wealth dripped from the woman’s fingers, pooling uselessly down onto the cobbled path beneath her bare feet. Despite the outrageous intensity of the woman’s femme fatale figure, it was the woman’s green eyes that caught your attention, those deep violent eyes that bore a vile message of the Great ‘I AM’. ‘I am no one’s Construction.’ It was Leila’s last painting before she met the artist Monk Tho. Before meeting with this mysterious healing monk, Leila’s world was wrought with much hatred and fear. Leila knew in her past, she would have remained enslaved to the constructions and demands of others no matter how illogical and dangerous their needs were to her psyche.

“I am no one’s construction,” Leila repeated softly.

Whenever Leila looked at her own dark self portrait, she became overwhelmed with the quaking emotions of her past. Her eyes flooded with tears and she struggled to quell the rising emotions in her breast. She moaned softly and clenched her hands at her sides, fingers trembling and lashes quivering. Every time she remembered her past, all she could envision were these old, familiar beasts born from her deepest nightmare. The bodies of these beasts were always tall. They were skinny, their dark eyes were cruel as they were inhuman. These monsters, they were...they were.

“Wake up Leila.”

Leila flexed her back in surprise, her eyes snapping open in shock, as she heard a voice in her mind calling out to her through a veil of deep indigo.

“You are not powerless Leila. You are in control here. Even though you were tricked to believe otherwise, you are fighting monsters created by nonsense. Cold nonsense monsters want you to be powerless by draining you of your will. Stop listening to their words and feel your own power begin to manifest once again. The fear of a nonsense monster has nothing to do with your alignment. Their insecurities and offerings of self hatred have nothing to do with you. You do not need to forgive them. You do not need to hate them. You do not need to heal them. You do not need to take responsibility for them. Leave their world Leila, for you are in alignment with your authentic self now. You need not do anything they say, as you are free to make your own choices. Always remember that. You were born free Leila. In detachment you will always be free.”

Leila closed her eyes, as she allowed her teacher’s words to cocoon her wounded spirit inside his balm of truth.

“I am free,” the brunette echoed in the silence of her chaotic home. “I am free,” she repeated once more. She wanted to believe those words. She really did.

“I know Monk Tho is teaching me how to free my vibration from all the other strange sounds of the world around me, so I can hear my own voice and express myself through the gift of shape and colour. In many ways, I am happy that by meeting Monk Tho, I have reached a place of trust and safety in myself. It is amazing, despite all the dark I have witnessed in my life, I can still create colours and express myself authentically. That is the important bit, right Rameses?”

Leila opened her eyes and tilted her head towards the row of soft teddies that sat on the top of her red chair, most specifically the largest soft toy that was shaped in the form of a cuddly, horned goat. With its black beady eyes and little scraggly chin, it was easily Leila’s favourite teddy to date. The brunette lifted him off her chair and stared at the soft toy in her hands. “It’s Friday today Rameses. That means it’s takeaway night. What should I eat today? Chinese? Italian? Jamaican?”

The innocent goat stared blankly back at her.

“Alright then no Jamaican. I don’t wish to offend you like I did last week, although the curried goat was quite lovely, especially with that homemade coleslaw.”

Reaching into her jeans pocket, Leila removed her little white phone and swiped her thumb across the screen. Soon a takeaway app popped up on the screen. “Hm, what am I in the mood to eat.. Mexican? Indian? English?” Green eyes scanned through the long list of takeaways in her region, until they paused on the name of a Chinese Takeaway she had never heard of before. “Princess Regency?” Leila clicked on the link and was curious to find a logo of cheeky little green toad kissing the silhouette of a princess. “What a strange and illogical logo to use for a Chinese restaurant.” Still, the fairytale princess in Leila had been awoken. Pressing the dial button on her mobile, Leila’s mobile rang only three short times before a receiver picked up and a high pitched voice emerged on the other side.

“Hello. Princess Regency. Can I please take your name and order?”

Leila struggled to work out whether the voice was male or female. It was abnormally high pitched. She had never heard anything like it before. “Umm, my name is Leila Rainsleigh. Can I please order your equivalent of egg fuu yung along with a bag of prawn crackers and a pot of sweet and sour sauce?”

“Egg fuu yung, prawn cracker and sauce, ok. Anything else?”

Leila smiled awkwardly into the phone. The voice was so bizarre. It did not sound remotely Chinese. She had no idea what nationality it was. “Um no thank you,” Leila replied politely.

“But your order comes to £7.19. Delivery charge is £3 to any order below £8.”

The brunette felt her brows begin to twitch. “Well that is a bit of a farce. Can’t I just pay £8 on the door?”

There was a momentary pause on the other side of the phone.

“No. Princess Regency does not offer a dishonest service. Princess Regency is a legit business.”

Leila did not know how to respond to that comment. “Um...ok? If that is the case, do you have any side orders less than £1?”

“We offer fortune cookies. They are 40p a piece.”

“How about I buy three of your fortune cookies then? That should bring me over £8.”

“Ah, ok, ok. Your order is now £8.39. Would you like to bring your order up to £10 then we can give you a free bag of prawn crackers and a pot of sweet and sour sauce?”

‘I.....have already ordered prawn crackers and sauce.’ “Um, no thank you,” Leila replied with a slight knit to her brows. “But thank you for the offer anyway.”

“Can you please tell me your address and number?”

“I live at Hawlands number 32, and the mobile number I am ringing from is 0755-

“You are an artist, aren’t you Leila?” a deeper voice suddenly interrupted, distinctively male.

Leila blinked. What an odd thing to say during a takeaway phone call. “Why yes I am. How did you know that I-”

“Your order will take less than three hours,” the male voice finished abruptly, severing the call before Leila could finish speaking.

Wide green eyes blinked down at her mobile. “Less than... three hours?” Leila exclaimed in raw surprise. “That cannot be.” Leila frowned deeply. “What an absurd phone call,” the brunette continued aloud. “I really hope this takeaway is exaggerating the time of their orders, and how did they know I was an artist?”

‘How very odd.’

The brunette went to make some tea in her kitchen in the hopes it would calm her down. Opening up her cupboard, Leila pulled out a large red tin labelled Christmas Tea. It was a kind gift from her parents. She could appreciate the fine flavours of a spiced winter any time of the year, even in April.

As Leila allowed the tea to ferment in the boiling water, she thought back to her teacher’s words born of the Great ‘I AM’’.

‘The concept of ‘I AM’ cannot be found in any vibration that is contaminated by fear. I know you are a selfless girl, but please, do not offer energy to an evil illusion ever again, no matter what form it takes, for it can only waste away the creative power of who you are. Any child born freely into this world does not deserve to be controlled by any chain of...’

“Ding dong!”

Leila looked down at her watch. Only ten minutes had passed since she had made the phone call. “Woo! Chinese lady exaggerated the order time!”

Leila rushed over to her handbag in the hallway, pulled out her glittery purple purse, and dashed forward to unlock and open her front door. When Leila opened the door, what she saw on the other side caused her heart to falter.

A profoundly handsome man stood before her, adorned in a blue pinstriped suit, stiff collared shirt, and a silvery coat emblazoned with a bizarre amount of silvery buttons. It would not have surprised Leila if this man was a model. He had the looks and the height. “I have an order here for an artist named Miss Leila Rainsleigh?” the man enquired in a deep, enigmatic voice.

This model male looked like no Chinese takeaway driver. Instead he seemed quintessentially English.

“Yes, I am her,” Leila replied shyly, fighting the urge to play with her hair.

The gentleman had long dark hair cut neatly to his shoulders, unimaginably long eyelashes, and the strangest eyes in the most exotic shade of hazel she had ever seen. They seemed almost bronze.

“We have received your order Leila. Thank you for getting in contact with us,” the gentleman spoke slowly, softly, as he handed Leila a large brown paper bag that was sealed with a single piece of blue ribbon. “You are ready to receive messages from us now, aren’t you?”

“Huh messages? What?” Leila blinked in confusion, then peered down at her bag. She could not smell any scent suggesting there was food in the bag. Leila raised her head, about to question the gentleman about the contents of her bag. However when she looked up, no one was there.

“Huh?” The brunette peered down her driveway. There was no car or van, nor even a bicycle. It was as if no one had ever been there. Closing the door behind her, Leila walked into her dining room, and began to remove the contents of her bag onto the table, her eyes growing wider with each item she found inside. ‘What the-?’ There was no way such a large quantity of items could emerge from such a tiny bag. Leila stared at the easel, the large boxed canvas, the pencils, the brushes, and the pot full of water, the turpentine, and the incredible variety of black lidded paint pots amassing before her vision. Leila was astounded. She had never seen anything quite like it. Leila lifted two paint pots closer to her vision. In one hand she held the small black paint pot and in the other, a white paint pot. “What kind of paint is this? It does not look like acrylic, oil or gouache. What on earth?” Leila peered into each pot. “Is there something alive in there?” Leila swore she saw something move inside the colours...a sentient shiver of energy that caused the brunette’s heart to quicken in both excitement and fear. She saw movement in the white pot and Leila became spellbound. She no longer saw a pot of white paint. Instead she could see scattered white feathers trapped in a sweet scented, lilac breeze. The black pot faded from her vision entirely. Now all she could see were visions of strong cast iron, deep dark shadow and cold impenetrable stone. The colours were drawing her into worlds she wanted to touch and see with her own eyes.

“My god...These colours... are they born of magic?” Leila exhaled shakily. It took every ounce of effort for Leila to put the two pots of paint back on the table. The colours were mesmerising. Leila shook her head. Her hands were shaking. The brunette knew she had to focus. She was just acting like a little girl, swooning over a new toy for Christmas. It is not everyday a handsome man offers you a gift any artist would swoon over.

Leila returned her attention back to the large brown bag, peering inside, checking to see if she had forgotten anything.

‘Huh? What is this?’

Leila removed a large A4 sized white envelope from the bag. The artist in her appreciated the fine weight and texture of the paper. As Leila raised the envelope closer to her vision, her eyes widened in surprise at the tiny light particles dancing across the envelope. “Is this...luminous paper?” Leila had never seen anything quite like it. It felt neither hot nor cold. It felt smooth and yet it glistened like diamonds.

Leila’s brows furrowed in curiosity, turning the front of the envelope over, to eye her name immaculately printed in a bold, black ink. Leila carefully took her time in unsealing the envelope, to find a folded note and a small sealed envelope made of the same alien material as the first.

Placing the second envelope on the table for the moment, Leila unfolded the note and began to read.

Dear Miss Leila Rainsleigh,


As you are our very 1st customer to order a meal with the Princess Regency in Rugby, we would like to thank you for your generosity by offering you a very special gift, free of charge.

Kind Regards

Princess Regency

The most Genuine Business in your World.

“Eh?” Leila reread the message. “I ordered a Chinese Meal and I received such a extraordinary free gift? I think I will be doing business with this takeaway again.”

The brunette turned her attention towards the smaller envelope on the table. She picked it up and tore it open, to find another folded note, and an even tinier sealed envelope of a strong golden hue. Leila unfolded the little paper and examined the contents of the note.

Well aren’t you a smart and lucky human. It is not every day a human attracts the attention of the 13 Dimensions. Who are the 13 Dimensions you may ask? Well, you can only find that out if you do as we say. Those who succeed in following all our instructions to the letter will receive an offer of such deep abundance, such wealth and opulence that your life will never be the same again. I know everyone has a wish in their heart, but I know yours Leila Rainsleigh as if it were my own...

You wish to become

A World Famous Artist.

And you will become one of the greatest overnight! In 8 hours you will become an artist that all novice sketchers and painters can only dream of being.

How is this possible you may you ask? Through us of course!

I am so excited for you Leila! You are going to receive riches beyond your wildest imagination. But the only way you will achieve your never ending wealth of abundance is by following the instructions I have listed below. Are you ready to fulfil your deepest wish? If the answer is yes, let us begin.

  1. Set up your easel, unwrap the blank canvas and place the canvas on the easel.
  2. Carefully open up the gold envelope.
  3. Place your nose inside the envelope and inhale deeply for exactly 22 seconds. Any less and you will not smell anything, but any longer and you’ll end up falling asleep, and we can’t have that.
  4. After 22 seconds, open up your Thanatos paint pots and paint exactly what you smelt on the canvas. (Additional note of attention - Only use our brushes to paint on the canvas, not your fingers or your toes!)
  5. Never try to eat Thanatos paint. (Some may say that Thanatos paint smells like food, but paint is not food. Always remember that silly human! If you get any paint in your mouth you will die!)
  6. You have 8 hours to finish your painting, starting from the moment you open the last envelope. If you fail to complete your painting in the time allotted you will henceforth be cursed to die in the most excruciating of ways. (I have intentionally lined through the consequence of not completing a Thanatos painting. Why you may ask? Because humans can never accept the truth even when it is written in front of them! That is why! So just pretend you never read that part of the note. Just make sure you complete your painting in under 8 hours and you will be just fine. If not, well you will never need to worry about paying your mortgage ever again. Hahaha! See! Even death has it perks!)

Do you understand your task now Leila? If yes, then what are you waiting for?! Open up the last envelope and start painting! Remember, you need to finish your painting in exactly 8 hours or a terrible consequence will happen to you indefinitely. So get a timer, a clock or a sundial. It does not matter how you tell the time, as long as you can. Time is always important when using Thanatos Paints!

Oh and have fun. Fun is not an instruction. It is a result of following all the instructions listed above.

We look forward to seeing the results of your work.

Best wishes

Autarch of Dreams.

“What the-?” Leila exhaled slowly as she reread each step, her eyes boring holes across the scrawled out message in step 6. “If you fail to complete your painting in the time allotted you will henceforth be cursed to die in the most excruciating of ways.” Dying by not finishing a painting? What a sick and twisted idea.’ Leila’s large innocent eyes glanced at the wide variety of colour displayed across her table, then back at the creepy note in her hands. Leila had decided. The letter was clearly written by a trickster who practised intelligible nonsense of the worst kind. None of it could be true. That was certain. Leila already knew there was no way to become an overnight famous artist. It took years of dedication, commitment, networking, hard work and persistence.

‘And yet,’ Leila could not deny her heart was flittering at the thought of becoming a famous artist overnight. “Is it really possible?” Leila chewed her lip in thought.

The wildly imaginative artist in her was all too excited to accept such a creative offer. She was being given the opportunity to paint with colours she never imagined could exist. Despite the creepy consequence of step 6, Leila was feeling quite excited. “You know what; I accept your challenge Autarch of Dreams.” Leila set the alarm on her mobile to go off in eight hours time. She highly doubted she was going to die but she was not going to risk the chance of not finishing the painting in time. Leila liked challenges and competitions. She saw this task no different than the therapeutic art sessions she shared with Monk Tho.

Leila picked up the final golden envelope. She slipped her thumb underneath the paper and carefully tore it open. The moment she did, an unworldly aroma of colour arose out from inside the paper. It was unlike anything she had ever smelt.

‘Whoa!’ Leaning closer, Leila dipped her nose inside the gold card and slowly inhaled and exhaled. She did this for a few moments, saturating herself inside what would soon become quite an unforgettable smell. Her gaze began to grow hooded, and her mind began to manifest shapes and colours in ways she had never imagined before. After counting 22 seconds, Leila reluctantly removed her nose from the envelope. Feeling a little light headed and giddy, the brunette tried to stabilise herself by leaning her head against the nearest wall. In Leila’s mind, she could see parts of what she needed to create. All the angles were very strange and complex. However, Leila knew she could complete this task as long as she began right now.

Propping up the canvas against her wall, and dotting a few scattered sheets of newspaper below to protect the carpet, Leila began to position herself on her knees before the canvas. Brushes, spirits and water to the left, and coloured paint pots to the right. Opening up the nearest pot by her right knee, Leila was overwhelmed by the opulence and richness of the gold paint glimmering in front of her. She shivered in excitement as she slowly dipped a thick black bristled brush inside the oozing colour, before testing a wild stroke across the primed canvas.

“Oh God,” Leila shuddered softly. “Liquid opulence.” Another stroke soon followed the first stroke. Soon Leila was swept away in her colourful fantasy, bringing to life a vision only her soul could see. The first hour passed away as if by magic, followed soon by the second. But before the third passed, there was a brisk knock at the door. As if awoken from a dream, Leila slowly dropped her four brushes inside the turpentine and began to slowly rise.

“Coming! Coming!” Leila called out softly, picking up her purple purse that she had absently discarded on the table. Jogging her way to the door, Leila pulled it open and looked out. There was no one there.

“Psst, down here.”

Leila turned her gaze to the bottom of the doorstep and froze.

“Your food order has arrived,” a little delivery man, no larger than 3ft stated in the most faux Chinese accent she had ever heard. Leila watched as the man reached behind him to reveal a large brown paper bag that seemed almost as big as he was.

“My food?” Leila repeated slowly, ingesting the strange sight before her. The delivery man struggled to see over the large brown paper bag he was carrying. As Leila narrowed her attention on the man’s features, she balked. Why was this man wearing a marker pen moustache and eye brows? Oh god, what a strange sight.

“Yes. Yes. Fu Yung, prawn crackers, sweet and sour sauce and three fortune cookies. £8.39,” the little man agreed with four abrupt nods of his head.

Leila removed a crisp ten pound note from her purple purse and passed the money over to the delivery man, while accepting the bag of food with her other hand.

The delivery man peered at the £10 note in his hand. “No change?” He asked Leila in bewilderment, arching his inked eyebrows in surprise.

Leila shook her head at him. “Sorry. I only have notes.”

The little man tsked at her. “Want change?” he added as an afterthought.

“Yes please,” Leila agreed.

The little man shook his head. “But I have no change! But I do have orange. Want orange?” As if by magic, a little orange manifested itself inside the delivery man’s hand, causing the brunette to jolt back in surprise.

‘How did he do that?’ Leila paused, feeling confused and a little nervous. “Um, n-no thanks.”

“No-no-no! Take orange! Take orange!” The delivery man asserted proudly, snapping his wrist back and hurling the small fruit at Leila. Leila fumbled forwards and barely caught it. “See! Princess Regency is a legit business!”

Leila stared dubiously at the strange little man. He kept repeating that same tag line as if it were a normal thing to say aloud.

“Orange better than rubbish money for orange sweet yet money dirty. Money only attracts the lacking sick. Yet orange attract a bun dance. That is why I choose orange every time.”

‘Eh? A bun dance?’ Leila’s gaze snapped between the small fruit in her hands, and the strange, warm grin on the little man’s face. ‘What...the...?’ Leila was a creative person, but even so, this man eclipsed her weirdness on so many levels.

The delivery man looked down at his watch. “Remember only five more hours to go. What you start today, you must finish today. That is a rule all must abide to! Oh and don’t forget to eat your orange.”

Leila frowned and watched as the little man peddled off her driveway, turning right down the street to disappear out of sight. A few moments passed as Leila stared blankly down at the empty driveway, then back to the fruit in her hand. Only one thought crossed the brunette’s mind. “Today is getting weirder.”

Leila closed her front door, and made her way into her small kitchen. She gently placed her bag of Chinese food and purse on the countertop. She opened up a cupboard above her fridge. She reached upwards and removed a large plate and a hi-ball glass from the highest shelf. Next she opened the fridge and removed a carton of cranberry juice, unscrewing the lid and pouring most of the ruby contents inside the glass. Screwing the lid back on, Leila placed the carton back inside the fridge and shut the door. She then turned her attention towards the brown paper bag on the counter. The bag seemed awfully big to hold such a small takeaway meal. Leila stared at the image on the side of the bag. A smiling green toad sat centre stage upon a throne, with a little crown on its head, with the black silhouette of a crowned feminine figure standing off to one side of the logo kissing the cheek of the frog. Beneath the printed picture were the words ‘Princess Regency’ in a strong, proud font, and the line ‘We aim to deliver in less than three hours, every time.’ Leila had never seen anything quite like it. An image of a toad and princess did not seem to scream out Chinese restaurant to her. Nevertheless it was an unimportant thing to think about when one is hungry.

Leila began to remove all the items from her large paper bag. As she removed the two white plastic containers, Leila noticed something quite peculiar. There was no familiar Chinese smell coming out from the two boxes. How odd? She opened up the first white container and froze at what she found.

“What the-?”

Leila blinked once, twice, three times. Three eggs sat proudly alongside a full bag of walkers prawn crisps, and was that a sachet of tomato ketchup? The only accurate thing about her order was the contents in the second box, where five small fortune cookies sat huddled together in black and green metallic packaging. ‘Although I only ordered three.’

“Is this a joke!?” Leila exclaimed loudly.

Whatever this order was, it was most certainly not hers.

Leila went back to her mobile and found the number of the takeaway on her dial list. Three rings and Leila heard a distinctive male voice on the other side.

“Hello. This is the Regency. Can I please take your name and order?”

“My name is Leila Rainsleigh; I have already ordered an egg fu yung, prawn crackers and a sweet and sour sauce with three fortune cookies with you. But you got my order all wrong. I have instead received three eggs, a packet of prawn cocktail crisps, and a sachet of tomato ketchup. The only accurate thing about my order is the fortune cookies but you gave me five instead of three.”

There was a pregnant pause on the other side of the phone.

“....I see. What time did you make this order?”

“Over 3 hours ago,” Leila replied. “I was told my meal would arrive in less than three hours.”

There was another pause on the phone.

“That is nonsense. New Regency aims to deliver in 45 minutes tops. Do not attempt to prank us for free food. Kids these days...”

Leila’s eyes ignited in surprise. “I am not pranking! I am being perfectly honest. You are the Princess Regency right? I ordered a meal for £8.39 with you three hours ago. I then received a free bag of art equipment as a thank you for being your first customer. I do appreciate the paints as I am an artist by trade, but telling people that they will die if they don’t finish a painting is quite a sick thing to do. But I am not complaining about the paints or that letter of nonsense, it is more over the fact that the incorrect meal was delivered to me by a little three foot man. As I had no change I gave him a £10 note. He had no change to offer me so he handed me an orange instead. I have now opened up the two containers to find three raw eggs and a bag of walkers prawn cocktail crisps along with a sachet of tomato-“

The dial went dead on the other side.

‘Did they just hang up on me?’

Leila frowned to herself, and placed her mobile on the table. Today was not a normal day. She could not blame the male voice for hanging up on her. If she heard the same story, she would think it was bogus too. It is not every day you receive free art equipment from a Chinese takeaway order that contains no real Chinese food.

“Well except the fortune cookies, but fortune cookies were made by the Americans, not the Chinese, so they don’t really count as Chinese food either,” Leila mused, as she carefully unwrapped the first fortune cookie. Leila deftly snapped the sweet treat in half, and removed the little strip of paper from within, curious what message she would find inside.


Leila echoed the message in her head as she consumed the little treat. ‘I have never had a cookie that contains the message ‘Hello’ before.” She opened up the packet of the second fortune cookie, curious to the next message that would await her. ‘Goodbye perhaps?’

“Why are lucky people hurt by unlucky people?” Leila read aloud. ‘Huh? Now I have a fortune cookie asking me question. Now that is weird.’

“I don’t know why unlucky people hurt lucky people fortune cookie. All I know is that I am hungry and you unfortunately are made of food, lucky for me and unlucky for you.” The brunette ate the remains of the second cookie, already reaching for the next message inside the third cookie. The wrapper was torn open, the sweet was snapped and Leila was scanning her eyes across the paper for the third mysterious message.

“Sometimes there is more wisdom to be found in nonsense than there is in fact.”

‘Whoever wrote the messages for these fortune cookies deserves to be sacked.’

Leila discarded the remaining two cookies and closed the container. Fortune cookies were meant to tell you your fortune not offer riddles and pathways of nonsensical thinking.

Whipping up a banana from her fruit basket, followed quickly by the orange offered by the driver, Leila padded back inside her living room. Her gaze settled back on her wet canvas then down at the food in her hands. Food never seemed much of a priority when she was in the process of creating a new painting. “Alright then banana and orange, wait for me. I want to complete this painting before I go to sleep tonight. After all if I don’t complete this painting in eight hours I will die, right?” Leila rolled her eyes at the thought. “What complete nonsense. How much time have I got left anyway?” Leila looked over at her white mobile, screen blank and battery dead. “Oh fantastic, good use you’d be in a crisis.”

The brunette shook her head and looked over at her mantelpiece, where her grandmother’s clock, an antique of the past sat in shades of bronze and gold. “Hm, as long as grandma time is right, I have four hours 53 minutes left to finish this challenge.”

Leila turned her attention towards her uncompleted composition and stared deep into the complex conflicting shades of wet colour. “I will finish you on time. I will complete this challenge not because of that nonsense letter, but to prove I can finish what I start.”

Five hours later, at the first chime of midnight, Leila was eating the last piece of orange with her left hand while making her final brushstrokes of colour with her right. As her brush merged the last golden shade into a deeply dusky rose, that was when she felt it.

Her hand froze across her finished composition, and no matter what Leila tried, her brush felt like it had fallen into a well of glue.


Leila wiggled at the brush. No response. She tried to let go of the brush, however it was completely stuck.

The moment she tried to let go of the handle.

It happened.

A cacophony of gold overwhelmed Leila’s senses. Soon, sounds of childlike laugher begin to emerge from within the canvas. Leila is frightened. She tries to pull her hand away. She really does, but an invisible force is preventing her from letting go of the paintbrush. Green eyes gape in mute horror as the hand that holds the paintbrush begins to slowly sink inside the wet, writhing madness of colour. ‘Impossible!’ Leila’s heart rate quickens. She desperately tries to pull her hand away, but the force is too strong. Leila releases another helpless cry. Her hand is going deeper inside the deep, wet canvas, followed now by the length of her entire arm. The rest of her body remains frozen. She is powerless against this alien force. “NO!” Leila unleashes another cry of horror, just as the painting draws even closer towards her face. There is no way to prevent the inevitable. The moment the writhing gold touches the flesh of her face, Leila feels her entire world disappear. Her vision disappears. She cries out. But all sounds are voiceless. She is drowning in a river of gold. She feels herself being tugged even deeper inside the richness of the shade...going deeper and deeper. There is no way out. No way to be free. She has forgotten how to breathe. She has forgotten how to see..

Who am I?

What am I?

Where am I?

How Am I?

None of her questions have answers. The female feels herself going through the wetness....and then her hands encounter something hard, something that is preventing her from going forward. The female pushes against the barrier. It won’t budge. She pushes again. She needs to get through. She cannot remain inside this disgusting confusing messy world. She needs to get out. She tests the barrier again. There has to be a way out. There has to be.

Why can’t I escape? I am not meant to exist in here. Let me out! Get me out! Please...help. Help me. Someone! Please!


Dimension 13- Ice Poppy Glen

A garden of ice poppies sway beneath a sky of burgeoning shadow. Beneath this darkening sky, a little fairy of green, no larger than a human hand flitters from petal to petal, awakening the colours of each pale flower with a dainty flick of gold tipped paint. In the presence of the colour gold, the flowers scream in elation, shifting into a celebration of colour. The little fairy smiles brightly, knowing her task is almost done. She has travelled far and wide to spread light and colour to the Dimension of 13. She is nearly done. All that remains is a little patch of black. The fairy knows it will only take a moment to finish the garden, but the opportunity to rest outweighs the need to work.

Her tiny body plops down upon a bright and cheerful sunflower. She throws herself on her flower pillow to gaze up at the blackening sky. Erith murmurs softly, raising her paintbrush to her vision. She stares at the runes carved across the design of the wood before dropping it softly down to one side. Erith closes her little brown eyes and begins to sink inside her red blossom pillow. Erith will rest for just one moment...Just one moment.

But one moment is all that is needed for a black bulbous tongue to find her. There is no time to cry out. The little fairy is pulled inside a greedy world of thick, monstrous slime. The fairy is swallowed whole. Toad’s world shimmers for just one moment. He is at the height of the sweetest euphoria, unaware of the gift he has destroyed with his greed. The flowers in the glen are now lamenting. Many of the ice poppies shrivel into the deepest shade of black. All the while, the fat imbecilic toad continues on his destructive path, sparing no time to relish his current meal, as he is too busy searching for his next.

Watching from the highest boughs of a lone blackened tree, a tall masked figure enrobed in black observes the journey of the obese, black toad. Judging by the hefty size of the toad, it is clear he has feasted on a diet of fairy folk for quite some time.

“Hmm, here is a lesson for those too stupid to know.

Be wary of the black toad who feasts on the colour gold.”

Leaping from the highest branch of the tree to land down onto the soft earth below, the dark caped figure makes a foreboding presence in the lonely glen of blackening petals. But darkness and fear is not what this Autarch is seeking today. Instead, the dark creature’s attention is drawn towards something much more interesting. The trunk of the tree, or more precisely the pareidolias marked across the bark. The Autarch strokes a hand across the lone tree as if greeting a dear friend. Soon his silvery eyes pause on a rather unexpected find.

“Oho now what is this? Another pareidolia. When did you appear little one?”

Dark Autarch removes a paper scroll from his black cloak along with a thin stem of charcoal. He unravels the paper slowly. The trail is long and full of thousands of mini sketches. When eventually he finds a space of white on his open scroll, the dark creature begins to use the charcoal to scratch thin lines of black across the paper. Soon the face of a little duck appears in the place where Dark Autarch is scribbling.

“Wonderful. How wonderful. Now I need only 39,732 more pareidolias to finish my tree of 100,000 faces.”

A gargantuan snore causes the Autarch to pause mid sketch. He tilts his head behind him, noting how the fat toad has fallen asleep after feasting on his diet of fresh fairy folk.

“First a sleeping fairy, now a sleeping toad,” the masked creature mused softly. “Do I see a pattern here?”


Autarch looks upwards towards the higher branches of the tree, mildly amused to find two, flat yellow eyes attached to a black body peering down on the fat sleeping toad. “I guess I do.”

Autarch shares a knowing look with the snake. “I know what you are thinking greedy snake,” Autarch answers blithely. “I know what you seek. Go on then, take him. He is all yours.”

The Autarch yawns and watches absently as the snake sneaks silently towards its chosen target. “How unfortunate for you Mister Toad, you have unwittingly activated the law of attraction.”

The snake’s jaw begins to elongate across its prey.

“It appears greed is attracted to greed.”

Autarch does not need to see what will happen next. He has no interest in watching the snake feast. His sketch is much more important. ‘Just a few more lines and the face will be done.’ As Autarch makes the last finishing touches, something happens that the masked creature would never expect. The tree before him begins to shake and quiver.

Autarch leaps back gracefully, his silvery eyes dilating in surprise, as a very human hand begins to emerge out from the bark of the trunk. Soon the hand is followed by a long arm covered in a strange golden substance. The Autarch is spellbound. In all his years since he has become an Ascended being of 13, he has never witnessed something as fascinating as this. As more golden flesh appears, the Autarch feels his heart beat quicken in excitement. ‘It can’t be. A tree giving birth?’ Autarch’s gaze is fixated on the gold soaked female who begins to hack and cough up large globs of gold on the ground before her. Autarch is stunned at what he can see.

Autarch curiously crouches down towards the naked golden form. He has to know more about this strange tree creature. A clawed hand reaches out towards the golden female. But the moment he attempts to touch her, green eyes leap out from the gold.

The golden female reacts instinctively. Her mouth cries out. She throws herself backwards, straight into the side of the tree. Crack! Autarch is unsure whether the sound he heard came from the tree or from the female’s skull. The golden figure is no longer moving. Is she dead?

“Well...” Autarch muses aloud, as he peers down at the unconscious golden female. “One thing is for certain; this evening is certainly more interesting than the last.”


Chapter 1 ends.