Garden of Dreams


Rebecca Miller


Armand Banooni

Mikala sat in the still gardens and waited. Just like she since she had found herself here. Unknown to her someone was watching. Alidar D'med stood watching her. He had felt a presence in the Force as he mediated and he had reached out to see who it was.

Alidar stood respectful distance away and waited for her to notice him.

Mikala slowly turns to look at the new comer. She frowned as he looks familiar, but she can't place him.

"Good day."

"What are you doing here?"

"I was meditating when I felt your presence nearby. I thought perhaps you were attempting to contact someone."

She looked back over the silent gardens. "I can't find anyone. It's so quiet here."

"Too quiet?"

"I can't find Father or the children or Sandy," she said.

"Perhaps I can help you look for them?"

"I tried Keiren's garden, but he's not there." She looked at him. "You feel like he does and like Darien does."

"I am sorry, how do you mean?"

She smiled a little. "You feel, light."

He will return the smile. "I see. I would have to agree."

"Who are you?" she asked, pulling her knees up to her chest and wrapping her arms around them. She rested her chin on top of her knees.

"Forgive me for not introducing myself. My name is Alidar D'med."

She started at him for a long time and then shook her head. "No, your not," she chuckled. "Alidar D'med's are supposed to be evil glowering Jedi with red eyes and fangs and howls like a mad racor," she laughed and tossed her hair back, shifting to rest her chin on her knees again. "I'm dreaming again." Her face sobers a bit, turning thoughtful.

"Father said my dreams weren't really dreams though. They were visions through the Force."

"Yes sometimes dreams are slightly more than just dreams when it comes to the Force. If I may ask, who told you such things of Alidar?"

"I would hardly say that Jedi are evil." He smiled reassuringly.

"My grandmother," she said fondly. "He was always the villain in her bedtime stories. She didn't like him very much. She said he was the reason the Jedi kicked her out."

Alidar got a pensive look on his face. "Who is your grandmother?"

"Lesha Volaris."

"I see. I remember her," he said quietly

The young woman frowned deeply. "No, you can't be him. He'd be an old man now."

He smiled a bit. "In some ways he is I imagine."

"I am sorry I have not had the pleasure of your name?"

She sighed. "Mikala Volaris--" she started and then stopped, smiling. "Mikala Volaris-Steele," she said again.

"So do you believe all that you have heard of this Demon known as Alidar D'med?"

Hurt and little confusion clouded her face. "I don't know. Grandmother lied to me about so many things. I trusted her. I trusted DuCruet." She shook her head. "I don't know what I know anymore."

"Do you have a favorite color?"

Mikala looked at him a bit startled. "No one had ever asked me that before."

Alidar removed some colored paper from a pocket in his robes

She watched him. "I like purple."

"Now you can no longer say that in the future." He smiled as he fans the papers out in his hand a bit

He removed a piece of purple paper from the bunch puts them back in an orderly pile then puts them away. He began to fold the paper. "An ordinary piece of purple paper yes?"

She nodded.

"Sometimes what we are sure to be one thing..." He continued to fold it. "Can turn out..." He shifted it to put a few more fold into it. "To be another." He presented her with an origami bird.

She smiled and took it from him. "It's beautiful."

"It simply depends on how our minds choose to fold them," he said and then smiled at her. "As are you Mikala."

She blushed a little. "I'm not beautiful," she said softly. "Maybe, when my back is fixed."

"Does beauty then depend only on physical appearance?"

"For me it does," she said. "Nothing could ever fix what's wrong inside."

"There are places where physical appearance does not matter. What do you imagine to be inside yourself to be so bad that could never be fixed?"

"It's doesn't matter," she said, shaking her head. She looked down at the little paper bird. "Thank you."

"You are welcome. Yet I would not say it does not matter. I can see it matters to you and I know it matters to me if it is upsetting you."

She looked up at him in genuine curiosity. "Why?"

"It is in my nature to help others."

She laughed suddenly. "Everyone seems to want to help me all of a sudden. You, Father, Sandy. I've been on my own since I as thirteen and suddenly everyone cares."

"I did not know you when you were 13."

She looked at him and expression slowly crumbled. "Neither did Father. Mother told me he was dead and he didn't even know I existed."

"I imagine if he knew of you, he would never have let feel abandoned."

"He feels bad about that now, but he couldn't have known." She sighed. "I want to trust him. I need to trust him, but it's so hard."

"Trust is a hard thing. So much to gain in it yet so much to risk losing."

"Anyone I've ever trusted has betrayed me."

"Do you feel your father will betray you?"

"I don't know," she said softly.

"Can you ever truly 'know' what anyone will do in the future?"

She shook her head.

"Do you 'feel' he will betray you?"

"I don't know what to feel anymore," she confessed. "He feels like he cares."

"In my experience, those that care for us...truly care for us, never betray us."

Mikala rested her cheek on her knees and look of pain crossed her face. The landscape shifted around them, paling a bit.

Alidar subtly reinforced the landscape. The soft song of birds and chirp of insects filled the silence. A warm ray of sunlight shown gently on Mikala.

She smiled a little. "That's nice."

"Sometimes trusting others you care for can give you a feeling of security. One that feels much like the sun does now on you. Warm and secure."

Her smile softened. "It would be nice to feel like that. I don't ever remember feeling that way."

"It is not beyond you. Even now." He sat placidly and radiate reassurance she could feel it emanating from him.

"He said he wouldn't send me away. I'd always be welcome."

"Then the question is, do you believe him?"

"I want to," she said softly. "He takes care of all those other kids and some of them aren't his or Sandy's."

"Then what stops you?"

"Everyone I have ever believed or trusted in has either died or betrayed me," she said softly.

"You said you are on your way to healing did you not?"

She nodded. "Sandy is fixing my back and my arm."

"Perhaps you can use this as a starting point. Begin again?"

She sighed deeply. "I'd like that," she said softly.

"There are none who can do it for you. You must do it for yourself. Yet, there are none who can deter you if you decide to do so."

"I've made a lot of really poor decisions lately," she said. "I was hurt and confused and I felt trapped. I still feel that way. I can't control what's happening to me."

"I am afraid I cannot comment on that as I do not know the details of what has befallen you."

She sighed and pulled her knees up tightly to her chest and rested her forehead down on them. "I just want it all to go away."

"Do you think that will happen?"

"No," she said. "I created this mess. I have to deal with it," she said flatly.

"Yet is this mess as you call it as bad as you perceive it to be?"

She sighed. "I lost what I thought I wanted more than life itself, but found something I needed I thought lost," she said.

"Then I would say you have come out ahead."

She nodded. "Maybe I have."

"Then I would say it is a matter of holding on to that and finding strength in it."

She nodded and stood to look out over the garden. "It's so peaceful here. I almost wish I could stay here forever."

"It is a place you can find when you concentrate. A dream like place but not quite dream. I visit it when I need to find clarity. You could too."

She turned to look at him. "Do I know you?"

Taras placed his hand on Mikala's shoulder and reached into her mind. "Time to come home."

"Home?" she whispered.

"Yes, home. You've wander far enough for today."

"You came for me?" she asked, looking up in to the face of her Father.

"Of course I came for you. Now come."

Alidar gave the man a respectful bow.

Taras nodded back.

Mikala leaned into his grip and let him lead her back.

He led her slowly back to her body. He led her though the garden, up the steps and into the house.

Mikala smiled up at him. "Home. I finally have a home."

"Yes, you have a home," Sandy said, as they reached Mikala's room.

She looked back up at her Father. "You won't leave me, will you? The others always left."

"No, I never leave my children. Now sleep, and rebuild your strength."

She nodded and closed her eyes. A smile softening her features as she relaxed finally feeling safe.

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