Astral Garden


Rebecca Miller


Armand Banooni

Mikala stood in the quiet garden. It was empty again. Where were the birds? It should be so quiet.

Alidar approached slowly and deliberately making more noise than he was used to making so Mikala would sense his arrival.

She turned. "You again."

"Yes, it is I and a good day to you. Am I disturbing you?"

She shook her head. "It's so quiet."

Alidar listened. "Yes it is. Tell me, do you know where you are?"

She looked around and then back at him. "Keiren's garden."

"Not quite. It looks like Keiren's garden because you envision it so. It is a representation of the garden on what is known as the Astral Plane."

"Astral Plane?" She frowned and then looked at him. "I thought this was dream." Her eyes narrowed. "Are you real?"

"Would that be a bad thing?"

"You're a Jedi, aren't you?"

"Yes. I have told you as much. You told me yourself that I felt light."

She nodded. "I--" she turned and sank to her knees. "Why are you here?"

"I felt a presence in need and searching. So I responded."

She shifted a little to look at him. "You mean me?"

"Yes, lady. This particular time it was you."

She sighed deeply. "I can take care of myself," she said softly.

"I did not wish to imply that you could not Lady. If I have may I express my apologies." He gave her a small bow.

"I can't," she said in a whisper.

"There have been times when I could not either. There is no shame in it."

She sighed.

"You know, you are able to change things on the Astral Plane?"

She gave him a puzzled look.

"You noted the quiet. All you need to add sounds it to envision them being here and they will be. Sometimes it takes practice however."

"I can do that?"

"I believe that you can."

Mikala closed her eyes and the faint twitter of bird song could be heard on the breeze. She smiled and opened her eyes. "It worked," she said in awe.

Alidar nods with an encouraging smile.

She reached out her hand and tiny purple flowers sprung up and opened sunny faces toward her.

"You learn quickly."

She smiled up at him.

"You know, you have proven yourself in error by your own actions?"

"What?" She frowned at him in confusion.

"The flowers you created. Would you agree they are beautiful?"

She nodded, reaching down to brush her fingertips against them.

"And that they are your creation. You imagined them and willed them into being?"

She nodded again, slowly.

"Then you were in error when you said there is no beauty inside you."

That seemed to surprise her and she looked up at him.

"I am sorry if I said something to distress you."

She seemed to think a moment. "If--if there was nothing inside me they wouldn't look like this?" she asked.

"There is beauty inside you Mikala. If you do not see it for yourself you have merely to look at the flowers."

She sighed deeply. "I thought all of that had been taken from me long go."

"When flowers are covered with snow, they do not die, they await the spring."

She fingered the delicate blossoms. "I guess I'm starting to thaw."

"That is the first step to a new beginning is it not?"

"I guess," she said softly.

Alidar will make the sun shine a little more brightly on Mikala

She closed her eyes and basked in the sun's warmth. She tipped her pale face up towards it.


He opened her eyes and looked over at him. "Yes?"

"Do you intend to let the snows melt and the spring return?"

"I don't like the cold," she said softly.

"I am happy to see the change of season in you."

She smiled a little bit. "I feel so strange inside."



"Is it a pleasant sort of different?"

She nodded. "It feels. I haven't felt like this before."

"What will you do now?"

"I don't know," she said softly. "My Father said he would train me."

"Will you allow yourself to enjoy this new sensation?"

"I want to, but--"

"Yet you are not sure you can trust it enough to enjoy it."

She nodded.

"Will you also train with Darien?"

That seemed to startle her. "I...I don't know." A shy smile crept over her face. "He is very sweet and he's been kind to me."

"Something to think about perhaps."

She nodded and then looked away. "I have to go. They're coming."

"Feel free to seek me out again if you wish to talk."

She paused and looked at him. "I--I might." She looked around. "How do I get back?"

"The same way you did before," he told her.

She nodded and headed back toward the house. Back to 'her' room.

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