In this chapter we follow Tusnelda’s journey to Sixam and it will be revealed that she has a great devotion to trees.
Life in a society is very noisy. Besides the noise from the traffic or the constant news flow from the TV, there is the noise from people around you. Family, colleagues, friends or someone who is suddenly talking to you on the street. They all expect something from you.
Only when all external noise is filtered out will you be able to listen to yourself.
Martin is a very determined man and he knows how to work towards achieving his goals in life.
Once he has made a decision, nothing will make him give up.
He will carefully consider his options and assess how best to economize with his efforts.
Sooner or later he will succeed.
Tusnelda has landed on Sixam.
The silence feels like cooling water poured over her glowing anger.
The journey to the planet required all her concentration. She had run a risk by taking off in an agitated state of mind, but the moment she stepped into the rocket, her rational brain took over control and her frayed limbic system was brought to silence.
This is her own secret refuge where no human can reach her. In particular, she absolutely does not need to see Martin right now.
For the second time this day, she immerses herself in the speculation over a tree. Does this glowing blue tree have a purpose besides adding beauty to the planet?
She has to move on. Now she’s back on the planet, she’s going to collect some material.
She collects quite a few minerals and metals.
Now her gaze is captured by one of the unique phenomena of the planet.
What makes these large rocks float weightlessly around and what makes the rocks shoot these glowing pointed formations towards the sky?
Sixam is a treasury of undiscovered mysteries.
She could spend days here … if she could solve the problem of the missing toilets and find a solution to the lack of food.
She can definitely find a solution if she prepares it well enough.
Tusnelda runs on on discovery in another direction.
Today she meets no alien and it suits her well. Silence and undisturbed calm are all she needs.
The colors of the landscape change from dark azure blue…
…..to a luminescent turquoise color.
This planet is so stunning.
Now she catches sight of a quill fruit that lights up in fluorescent pink in the azure colored landscape.
Wondering if it can be eaten?
She will try to take a bite after she has done a thorough test for toxins when she returns to the laboratory.
Tusnelda continues to harvest minerals and fruits.
Now she is heading for a new area on the planet.
The planet is not very large and she has returned to the landing site. Here she notices something strange.
She can see some light from the underground.
It is a stairwell …. why has she not seen it before?
At the end of the stairs there are some blue doors into a room.
Of course, it requires a closer examination.
The doors open as she approaches and she enters a hallway.
Right in front of her she sees a long hallway with doors and a bed of luminous giant mushrooms.
On the right, she sees a large luminous image.
She turns around a corner….
I will give her some peace to explore the area in silence.
Best of all, she finds a toilet in the underground building. One problem is solved.
As she steps through the toilet, she enters a laboratory.
She can research here …
The lab contains everything she needs. A Microscope, a Cloning Machine…
…..a Chemical Analyzer and a Chemistry Lab. This will be perfect.
As she steps out through the lab’s second door, she ends up back in the hallway.
There are still undetected spaces behind the doors.
As she steps through the first door she gets a surprise.
This is a bedroom!
Tusnelda sits down on one of the beds.
She can move up to Sixam and she never has to take care of annoying expectations again.
She has been given a lot of new informations and she is overwhelmed by all the unexpected considerations. She lies down on the bed to take a nap.
The first thing she notices is the moldy scent of moist soil, then she comes back quite slowly to full consciousness.
The dream has sent her straight back to the past.
At a time when she lived alone in her safe mine without being disturbed by anyone else.
Just she and Trix with all their freedom available.
She finds a textbook on herbs and their use. To her amazement, it all seems completely incomprehensible … as she has forgotten the knowledge she has gained in the ensuing years.
She puts on her clothes and finds the laboratory equipment available in another room.
She probably still remembers how to make a health treat for the cats … otherwise she has her notes.
Unfortunately, there were almost no notes in her notebook.
Why can’t she take all her great knowledge with her back to the past?
Fortunately, she still has her little fur friend nearby. Trix has always been such a faithful little companion. He is a great comfort.
“Oh no Tusnelda! Don’t count on me!”
“I do not want to take part in your stupid nightmare!”
“I’m leaving now.”
After that remark, Trix runs up the stairs, up against the light to search for Fiona in Brindleton Bay. “
“Oh no! This is not what I dream of … I want to wake up now!”
The mine suddenly feels cold and sinister.
She feels infinitely sad and completely abandoned.
“You are not alone, Tusnelda! I have been waiting for you for centuries.”
The vampire kisses her hands but his icy lips make her blood feel freezing cold.
“I can cure you,” he says….. “I can make your coldness and pain disappear. “
“First your submission! From now on your power is complete in my hands. From now on your will is my will.” says the vampire with a paralyzing voice.
Dang! What happened!?
Tusnelda notices how all her pain and doubt disappears and she like in a doze is left engrossed in soundless darkness. Dizzy and without any kind of independent will.
Slowly her eyes get used to the dim light and she can gradually see some colors.
She is in a forest, but no forest she has seen before.
As she looks to the right she is struck by some dazzling colors. Still dizzy, she has a hard time seeing the contours of the landscape.
Slowly her eyes get used to the light and she sees a landscape of flowers in all the colors of the rainbow.
It’s so gorgeous!
Now she catches sight of a tree glowing in a brilliant pink color against a dark sky.
She has to go to that tree and she moves slowly closer.
The sky begins to brighten in the east.
She seeks shelter under a shady treetop as she gathers courage to go all the way out into the light.
The sky is now transformed into the pure gold.
Now the tree fills her entire field of vision. There is only her and the beautiful glowing tree.
Everything is pure beauty. All is boundless love.
It’s midnight and Martin ends the climb for today.
His eyes catch the photograph on the wall as he enters their bedroom.
This is exactly the photo Tusnelda looked at that night Martin was gone. The photo from their first vacation together.
Sometimes a special event can leave an indelible mark on all those involved.
Martin sits down heavily on the bed.
There are several other pictures on the wall.
Most of them are from Tusnelda’s live before she met him. From the time she lived in the sad earth cave in Forgotten Hollow.
Yet he remembers their evenings and nights in the mine with warmth.
For Martin, there has never been any doubt. Right from the first time his gaze caught the burning fire he saw in her eyes he was absolutely sure.
She was something special and he had to have her.
No matter where they happened to meet, he was drawn by those eyes.
When they met for their very first date, they started talking.
They talked for hours and eventually he could feel her starting to open up. She saw him.
Other dates followed and they only saw each other. Everything around was irrelevant.
When did they stop dating?
When he first visited her in her dark underground home, the conversation continued.
Time passed with even more confidential conversations.
No subject was too small or indifferent. They could share everything!
This too of course….
They have never stopped having their sparkling moments but he misses their uninterrupted conversations.
He misses being the most important person in her life.
Maybe he wants too much?
Right now he just wishes she would come back soon.
It’s past midnight and he has no power to bring her back. That’s not up to him.
No man has that power over another human being.
He had better go to bed so he does not exhaust himself.
Shortly after, Martin falls asleep.
He is a determined man and he knows he performs his best when he is well rested.
The large tree slowly loses its glow and the colors their strength.
She feels that she is being involuntarily led further away by an invisible force.
A blinding white light forces her to close her eyes.
Where did it go?
Where are you?
“Here I am!” The vampire answers as he in the next second materializes himself right in front of her.
“Please!…. I love that tree. Can you bring it back?”
“For you I can do anything!” he answers.
“Hold on to my gaze and do not let go.”
Tusnelda feels like she is being sucked into the darkness…. and then she sees it.
It’s not quite the same tree, but the colors, the beauty, and the light are exactly the same.
“I love you…..”
All too quickly, the vision dissolves.
The colors lose their strength and a darkness begins to obscure the vision with a gray sooty layer.
All the beautiful colors are fading and the darkness gradually takes over.
Soon the tree is invisible.
There is something wrong…
Something is completely wrong!
In a state of near unconsciousness, Tusnelda tries to fight back …. seeking a direction towards light.
Just before everything gets completely dark, the vampire releases his grip.
“I adore your vibrant blood Tusnelda! You should receive this rose as a proof of my eternal love.” says the vampire with an enchanted sigh.
“No! This is wrong. I need to see Martin.” say Tusnelda despaired.
“You’re confused. You are drained of energy.” says the vampire urgently. “Goo to sleep! I’ll be back when you have restored more of your strength.”
In the next second he is on his way out into the night.
What happened? Is he gone? …..I have to wake up now!
Regardless of her resistance, sleep still keeps her trapped in a firm grip.
Now the dream changes time and place. The mood is getting brighter.
Trix is that you?
She can recognize this bed and this bedroom. She’s been here before. It seems like Trix has found Fiona.
But who is she? What is Trix doing in this woman’s arms?
Even Trix looks confused.
She recognizes Rasmus.
Apparently Rasmus has finally found a girlfriend and even in her dreams Tusnelda feels a warm tenderness for him.
The woman has a boy, but she’s sure it will not be a problem for Rasmus.
Now she need to se Martin!
There he is! …. He looks straight at her with his loving eyes.
Tusnelda notices how the heat is blowing through her frozen veins.
She sees the boy running towards him.
She sees them laughing together. They obviously know each other well.
Now Martin turns in her direction again … but it’s as his gaze seeks around her … as he looks at something just behind her.
The woman comes closer.
The boy has their full attention.
He gives his mother a hug before running away. At the same time, a little toddler has joined.
Something suddenly makes Tusnelda uneasy…..
They almost look like a family.
She wants to wake up now. She does not want to look at them.
The dream does not give way.
She sees Martin go into the bedroom.
Everything is getting cold and dark.
Martin gets up and she recognizes the woman in the bed.
There is no doubt in her mind. She’s lost him forever.
No! It’s not what I wanted!
Tusnelda is awakened by the sound of her own crying.
She quickly crawls out of the duvet’s embrace.
She sees she is still in the cell underground.
She slips quickly out into the hallway…..
….. and she quickly finds the door to the outdoors.
She immediately recognizes the adventurous landscape.
She is on Sixam and from here she knows the way home.
She is in a hurry.
When she reaches the portal, she sees an alien in the distance but it does not matter…
She activate the portal.
Only the intense activity in the portal reveals that her descent has begun.
The sun has already risen as the rocket approaches landing.
At first she has difficulty orienting herself due to the steam.
Through the doorway in the shed, she sees the containers of insects.
She takes a look at the unfinished collection. These insects that yesterday seemed to her more important than anything else.
Now she has realized that something might be even more important.
She looks forward to telling him.
When she enters the bedroom she sees to her relief he is lying and sleeping in bed.
She has finally realized….
When all the outside noise disappears there is only him.
Author’s note: What does it take for a human being to undergo a transformation?
For some, it requires a dramatic life change and for others, hours of therapy before they come in contact with what really matters.
I have tried my best to describe Tusnelda’s process by sending her on this journey.
What happens next?
Will she never again become too preoccupied with her ideas? Will she never again be unfair to Martin?
It will probably happen again. It’s part of being human.
How can she tell Martin?
This time I choose to let Imagine Dragon give her a voice. Enjoy.
A large part of Tusnelda’s personal reflections take place in Sixam Underground Lab. I love this building that leaves the landscape almost untouched.
The lab is built by Zakiera and can be found in the gallery: Sixam Underground Lab