Chapter 1 - Constructive Criticism Welcome (Please be nice!)
“Where am I?”
“You’re safe. You’re home.”
The voice that answered sounded like the tinkling of bells, and something else. Something warm and soft and whole.
“What am I?”
“You’re a new soul.”
“A new soul?”
“I feel strange.”
“It is strange for each new soul, being born, coming into existence. Rest now, little one. It will all become clearer in time.”
“Who are you?”
There was a that tinkling sound again, but different this time. The new soul identified it somehow as laughter, light and soft.
“So many questions from one so young. I care for new souls and help them as they come to be.”
“How many of us are there?”
“Hush, little one. Rest now. You are so curious, but you have a very long time to learn.”
The new soul slept. It did not dream, as you might expect a soul to do, for it was new. There was nothing for it to draw upon to dream of.
When the soul woke, it could see. Its surroundings were brilliant white and gold. The one who spoke earlier was there. The soul could feel it moving about, though it could not be seen right away. The soul felt comforted by the presence.
“I have more questions,” the new soul said hesitantly. It was afraid its questions wouldn’t be answered, and it felt the need for answers like one might feel the overwhelming desire for water while walking through the desert.
“Ah, you are awake. That’s good. You rested well. How do you feel?”
“Warm and……comfortable, I think is the word? And safe. And……curious, perhaps?”
“Yes, I’d say ‘curious’ is a very good word for you.”
“What do I call you?”
“You may call me what you wish.”
“What You Wish?”
There was that tinkling laughter again. The new soul felt oddly like joining in, though it wasn’t sure why.
“Each new soul calls me something different. It is up to you what I am called while I care for you.”
The new soul thought about this. It looked up at the one who cared for it, and along with it came words it did not fully understand: Mother, Mama, Oma, Nana, Grandma, Mère, Mutter, Madre, Moeder, 母亲, and millions more, and felt an ease and comfort settle all the way through it.
“May I call you Oma?”
“What will you call me?”
“I shall call you One.”
“One. “ The new soul rolled this name around in its brain. “One will do. Thank you.
What do we do now?”
“Now I care for you while you grow, until you are ready.”
“Ready for what? How long will that take?”
“Oh, time is a strange thing. It is very difficult to explain. Just time. “
“What am I getting ready for?”
“You are preparing for life on Earth. You will live and be human. You will love and feel loss and make choices, bad or good, and then you will rejoin us here.”
“When I rejoin you, will I come back to you?”
“Not me, but someone much like me. I care for the brand-new souls; others care for souls on their first return from Earth. We all have our function here. This is mine.”
The room became quiet as One turned this information over in its mind, carefully dissecting the things it had learned so far. As it sat thinking, it noticed a rustling sound next to it and turned to investigate.
One hadn't bothered to take notice of its own surroundings. It didn’t know enough to think this was important. But now it noticed that its own body – if you could call it that – was amoeba-like in appearance at first glance, but shifted and changed shape in an almost whimsical fashion which the new soul was neither aware of, nor had any real conscious control over. The color of its body was equally as transitional, one moment resembling a pristine opal, the next bursting into a kaleidoscope of color. One was transfixed for a moment, watching it all. The movement didn’t seem to be moving the actual body itself, but seemed to be happening from the inside. It was like watching a universe being born.
The rustling sound came again, and the new soul’s attention was ripped away from its own spasmodic form to one next to it. One gasped. Next to it was another new soul, nearly identical in appearance, watching One curiously as it grasped all of this new information.
“What is that I feel?” One asked.
“Love,” replied Oma.
“Is love good or bad?”
There was that tinkling laughter again. This time One didn’t feel like joining in. It didn’t understand why laughter was okay now. It didn’t understand why it felt…..sad. Yes, sad. And also enormous joy and pain. How could all of these emotions exist at the same time?
“Love is the most powerful force in the universe. It is meant for good; it can be used in bad ways. It makes people incredibly happy and it makes them incredibly sad. Love is a very powerful thing.”
“Why did I feel it when I looked at the other new soul?”
“New souls are born in pairs. They are sent to Earth in pairs, to mature and find one another.”
“I don’t understand.”
“New souls usually don’t.”
“Does the love mean we have to stay together?”
“No. The love will attract you to one another. New souls usually take a few rounds on Earth to figure out how to be with each other, though. It’s expected.”
“Will you send us to the same place so we find each other?”
“No. Part of the magic is finding each other, little one. On the first round on Earth, you may not find each other at all. Or you might find each other, but you won’t realize it. But you’ll be back here before you know it, and you’ll have learned so much.“
“I don’t want to be away from the other one.”
“I know. The first time is the hardest to come to grips with.” Oma stroked One with a long feather-like appendage. One immediately became calm and sleepy. “You will be okay, One. I promise.”
“Please don’t send us,” One said, dreamily, as it drifted off to sleep. Oma continued soothing it.
“Shhh. Hush, now. You’ve got a lot of work ahead of you.”