The young boy in question was a happy and adventurous soul who loved nothing better than going for long walks with his dog. He loved nature and enjoyed watching the wild animals playing and going about their business.
This particular day he was heading in the direction of the border when he noticed that the plants were in various stages of decay the closer he got. He didn’t understand this because it was a beautiful summer’s day, and even in winter the plants never looked this dead. He decided to investigate. He could see the shimmering silver light of the magical border in front of him – he really wished that he could cross it one day, but he had been brought up on stories of how people who crossed the border never returned home, and he didn’t want to risk never seeing his family and friends again and of being alone in a strange land, so a wish was all that it amounted to.
He was so intent on examining the plants along the way that he didn’t watch what his dog was doing and was startled when he heard loud barking and yelping. His dog had been playing on a nearby hill and had lost its footing. He looked up just in time to see it roll through the magical silver boundary and disappear from view. He ran towards the border calling it to come home, but all he could hear was barking in the distance. He didn’t know what to do and started to cry.
Then he heard a very soft and persuasive voice coming from the other side of the boundary asking him what was wrong. He explained that his dog had crossed the border and he couldn’t come to get him in case he wouldn’t be able to return home. The stranger asked him if he would like him to find his dog and bring him home for him. Without hesitation the boy said yes, thereby inviting the agent of Deceptovia into Graceonia. He didn’t realise that he was inviting danger into Graceonia because he wasn’t aware of the secrets that the King and his advisors kept, and anyway, the stranger had such a friendly voice.
In Deceptovia the agent was feeling triumphant, knowing that he could look forward to a large monetary reward for finding a way into Graceonia. He had caught the dog as soon as it had rolled across the border and it was currently tied to a tree, barking loudly because it wasn’t used to this lack of freedom. Also, it didn’t like the agent at all and might have bitten his ankles if set free.
In order to buy some time the agent told the boy that he was going to search for his dog, and would return it to him as soon as he could. He then lit some magical green powder which filled the air with a thick, dark green smoke. This was the signal that a way through the border had been found and all the other agents would join him as soon as they could, and together they would invade Graceonia.
When all was completed he untied the dog from the tree and holding the rope at arm’s length so he wasn’t at risk of being bitten, he walked through the magic barrier into Graceonia. The boy was so happy to see his dog again, and it greeted him with such excitement, that he didn’t really notice the stranger. He did have a fleeting thought that the man was strange looking, with a dull and grey look about him, but it was soon driven out of his mind through happiness at having his dog back. He thanked the stranger and ran off home with his dog running beside him.
Chapter 4 – The Invasion
The agent hid behind a nearby tree just in case the boy looked back and wondered why he was still there, but he need not have worried as the boy didn’t give him a backward glance. He then patiently waited until the other agents reached the breach in the barrier and then invited them through into Graceonia, one by one.
In the early days of the invasion the agents had to keep themselves hidden because they looked so different – they didn’t have the bright, shining and healthy look of a Graceonian, and knew that they would have to live in the shadows until the magic they carried started to take effect.
Everywhere they went they planted the poisonous seeds and sprayed the magic mist which polluted the air and water. The beauty of Graceonia was disappearing day by day. The more the people breathed the air, drank the water and ate the food, the less they shone and the unhappier they became. Fear entered their hearts, they couldn’t focus on anything and the poison in their environment was making them sick. They started to lie and cheat each other, lock their doors and no longer greeted their neighbours with a smile. So powerful was the magic that it wasn’t long before they forgot what it was like to be healthy and happy. The poison had dulled their senses, and they lacked the energy to resist. Besides that they no longer trusted anyone, so felt totally disconnected from everyone around them. The Prince of Deceptovia had indeed created a brilliant plan for domination of Graceonia.
You might think that this was the end of Graceonia, and indeed it very nearly was, and but for a young woman called Connie and a wizard called Goodwin it would have been.
Every summer Connie would leave her home in the village and go up into the mountains where she gained inspiration to write and paint. Her father had built a little cabin up there for her, and she happily spent her days in nature and total solitude.
She was completely untouched by what was happening in the towns and villages of Graceonia, and spent the summer in her usual way. It wasn’t until the first leaves started to fall and she started on her journey home that she realised that all was not quite right.
It was a three day walk back to her village and she got increasingly worried the closer she got. First it was the scenery – it just didn’t look as vibrant and alive as it usually did. The animals scurried away when she passed by, rather than watching her with curiosity as they normally did.
Connie increased her pace, she couldn’t wait to see her family and friends and find out what was happening. There must be some reasonable explanation. It was her habit to sit for a while on the hill just above her village before entering back into her life there – a time to let go of solitude and embrace community. It was her ritual, and it was that ritual which saved Graceonia.
As she sat there she watched the villagers going about their business and, though she had known them all her life, she didn’t recognise them – they looked grey and dull, they dragged themselves about as though every movement was an effort, and she was shocked when she saw two of them arguing – they were shouting at each other and eventually came to blows. It was at that point she knew she couldn’t return home quite yet, but had to search for answers.
To be continued:….
The inspiration for this story came from the book The 7 Graces of Marketing by Lynn Serafinn
Sue is the Founder of Soulfully Connecting. She has spent over 40 years on her spiritual journey which, amongst other things, included training as a medium, hands on healing and travelling with a shaman. She trained for 3 years as a graphologist and for 23 years has been a reader specialising in graphology and tarot – 14 of those years were spent participating in festivals both at home and abroad.
The idea behind Soulfully Connecting is to demonstrate that there are other ways of living which can heal the earth, the animal kingdom and ourselves. She is passionate about people having freedom of choice, which is only possible when they know about all the options.
Sue is a member of the 7 Graces of Marketing community, the core purpose of which is to promote ethical marketing.
Twitter – @soulecting and @soulfullysue