t's morning, I am standing on a plateau with sparse vegetation and stone, looking down into a lush, rich valley that contains rivers and fields, meadows, forests, small towns and at the far end is the sea like a silver strip at the horizon.
The wind is sharp and cold, bracing; I'm wearing a coat made from tightly spun thick wool and a woolen scarf into which I hide my face.
I know I'm going down into the valley.
I turn a round to see a man holding two horses which are pulling a gypsy style cart; he is the irish guy from the fairy kingdom and he says, "Top of the morning to you!" with a bright smile.
I smile back under my scarf and wave at him with a gloved hand. I'm wearing long skirts, two or three over each other, sturdy boots. I go to the back of the cart because I think there will be artefacts there, and there are - strange symbols made from gold, a large box full.
At that moment I understand that although we travel as gypsies, we are not; we are disguised to deliver these golden symbols to someone and as they are immensely precious, to make it less likely that highwaymen will trouble us.
I pull out one of the symbols.
It is the size of my hand, three dimensional, shaped like space ships and very heavy, buzzing. This is an immensely magical object jet I feel no preciousness about it - there's more where they came from, I can get as many of those as I want, only I don't actually need them, I don't think. We are delivering these, him, and me.
Jim and me!
The symbol twitches in my hand as though it was alive, and it probably is, so I give it a loving thought and put it back in the box with its comrades - there must be a hundred or more. The box is magic. It makes the contents weightless. I'm glad for the horses that this is so.
I close the box and with a well practiced gesture, seal it shut magically. It cannot now be opened again by anyone but me.
We must take care of me, I think.
Jim has stepped up beside me and reaches past me now, pushes the box back from the entrance of the cart, leans right into it to pull an old blanket made of many pieces sewn together over the box.
He has long curly brown hair and is wearing a fawn coloured, well worn leather coat, and a scarf not unlike mine.
He is taller than me and well built; he is strong and probably not as young as first he appears.
I will get to know him well before this mission is over and I look forward to it.
Above him, in the difference, his dragon is circling, watchful and graceful, attentive; his dragon is a rich green colour which shifts towards a reddish violet in the center. I'd recognise him anywhere. My dragon is there, too, opalescent and white, and where it reflects him, shades of delicious soft spring greens and shell pinks flash across its riversmooth skin.
And I am ...
Alison. Just Alison here.
His wife? His mother? Ah, we can play that whichever way works best under the circumstances. Both have their merits and moments, that's for sure!
I smile and look back at a small camp fire, now safely extinguished. We were here.
And now, we're going into the valley.
On our mission of delivery - deliverance, perhaps, to some one or some thing.
The morning is bright and as one, we climb onto the drivers seats of the cart, him from the left and me from the right.
We are both smiling as he takes the reigns, and with a little flick of his bare hands, we are off into the morning and down into the valley.
Silvia Hartmann 2008