First Encounter

                                                                                                                    Chapter Ten

                                                                                                                   First Encounter  

Upon the dawning of the next day, The Archer was determined to know the meaning of the dreams that brought him such unrest. These dreams had haunted him for years and since his visit to Wudang they have become more and more frequent, leaving him to feel an intimacy and knowing of them.

Ambling along the path he took to civilization, The Archer was led to a glacial lake that mirrored the images of the snowcapped Alps.  He sat and watched the waters allowing himself time to drift into an awakened state of awareness.  There within the confines of his mind images came to him. They were of men wearing colorful robes of silk, which fell gracefully to the floor.  Some were dressed in long baggy style pants with mandarin collared shirts. The men had long black hair pulled back into a braid away from their faces.  To the right were walls of rice paper permeable to the light beyond them.  The Archer listened intently hearing soft whispering and the gentle laughter of women coming from behind the thin walls obscuring his view.  In the corner of the large room a bow and a quiver of arrows leaned against a wall.  He noticed in the quiver of arrows a glow of gold radiating from it.  The Archer wondered of this, but did not dare to touch what was not his.

Startled, The Archer looked up to find an Asian woman dressed in a white and gold flowing robe.  Her face was covered with white rice powder offsetting her almond eyes. She stood watching him, her beauty was astounding and he was taken off guard by her presence.  Bewildered, he stood to greet her, bowing.  The woman then asked if her Master was in need of anything.  Without a word he moved past her to the door beyond.  His height was great and he had to stoop in order to make his way to the outside.  He found himself standing in a garden of greens with many hues of color.  To his left a water pond with koi swam carefree. The water was adorned with bouquets of floating lotus blossoms.  Cascading water fell into the pond breaking the silence as sweet ginger and herbal aromas drifted on the cool breeze fragrantly filling the air.  Butterflies and dragonflies swarmed the garden gently suckling the nectar of nearby flowers and even landing on his hand.  Here he felt safe and empowered, at home in the surrounding of his mind.  Closing his eyes he breathed in deeply, allowing chi to fill him bringing him to a deeper awareness, a oneness with the universe.  The Archer longed to know who he had been and from what time and space these dreams manifested themselves.   He was confused with being called Master, and did not understand why the beautiful Asian girl would speak to him in such a manner.   Turning The Archer found her standing there in the garden looking at him bewildered with tears streaming down her face.  Walking toward her they finally stood face to face touching hands that were hung limp next to their bodies.   Then with the sleeve of his shirt, he began wiping her tears cleaning her face of all its makeup.  Underneath the covering of rice powder he found the purity of luminescent skin revealing a flawless complexion.  The warrior in him studied her like he would a manifest.  She looked at him with sadness and asked, “How could it be that you do not know me, Archer?”  The exotic woman’s eyes were of a golden brown, reminding him of the variegated hues of his wooden bow.  Her lashes were long like black feathers.  Staring, The Archer reached to the crown of her head and took from her hair, two decorated hair- sticks of red cinnabar that held it in place high upon her head.   As the sticks dropped to the ground so too her hair fell, reaching the lower part of her back. “Flowing black silk,” he thought.  Hypnotized, he placed his hands on her face taking all of her in.  The Archer focused on her mouth which was small having perfectly shaped lips, full and inviting.  He slowly moved closer, closing his eye to meet her lips with his.  His heart pounded as he felt the warmth of her breath, the softness of her touch and the sweet smell of her skin.  Her eyes fell as she reached up on her toes to meet his supple lips.  For a long time they played with gentle kisses.  Pulling her closer, he enfolded her in his arms with great strength, intuitively knowing the body he held and the lips he now kissed were familiar to him.  Looking into her eyes with his unyielding gaze, The Archer took her with a hunger he had not known before, melting them into one.

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