Think Forward.


I Saw Aicha Kandisha, And I Am Cursed To Never Forget

Deep in the heart of Moroccan lore, where ancient spirits linger like echoes in the Sahara’s wind, lies a tale that turns the blood of its listeners to ice. This isn’t just a story; it’s a personal confession, a chilling recount of my encounter with the feared Aicha Kandisha on the night of July 15, 2009. It was the height of summer in 2009 when my interest in the myths of Morocco led me to a quaint village cradled by the Atlas Mountains. Among the local spirits, Aicha Kandisha is perhaps the most captivating and terrifying. Depicted with the legs of a goat and a bewitching beauty that belies her true nature, she is both feared and revered as a water jinn who brings a curse upon any man who lays eyes upon her. Driven by a blend of skepticism and intrigue, I dismissed the stern warnings of the villagers and made my way to a stream rumored to be haunted on the outskirts of the village. As the sun dipped below the horizon and the clock neared 8:43 PM, I found myself standing by the gently flowing waters enveloped in the heavy, sweet scent of wild jasmine — a smell that was soon accompanied by an unsettling sense of foreboding. At precisely 9:17 PM, a sudden, icy wind cut through the valley, rustling the leaves and carrying with it the faint murmur of ancient voices. The air grew colder, and I felt an eerie sensation of being watched. When I turned, my heart seized at the sight before me. There, by the water’s edge, stood a figure of both mesmerizing and horrific aspect. Her beauty was otherworldly, with eyes that smoldered like dark embers and skin that glowed softly under the moonlight. Yet, it was her legs that truly horrified — cloven and covered in coarse black fur, they stamped lightly on the soft earth as she moved towards me with an unsettling grace. Rooted to the spot, I watched as she approached. She spoke in a voice that was both melodious and laden with a deep, enduring sorrow, “Why do you seek me, son of distant lands?” Her gaze pierced deep into my soul, paralyzing me further. I was unable to speak, completely caught in her hypnotic presence. She circled around me, her intense fragrance of jasmine growing stronger and more heady, almost overpowering in its intensity. “Many have sought me out, driven by curiosity or what they perceive as bravery. Few have managed to leave without bearing some form of scar,” she whispered, her voice chilling as her breath brushed against my ear. The wind grew into a roar by 9:36 PM, now carrying with it the screams of those long tormented and lost. The waters of the stream began to thrash and churn as if something ancient and monstrous stirred beneath its surface. Fear gripped me entirely, and in a desperate attempt to communicate, I found my voice, “I meant no disrespect, I merely wished to learn more,” I stammered, my voice barely a whisper, pleading for some semblance of mercy. Her laughter rang out then, a sound that seemed to mock my very existence, resonant and echoing through the valley, “Then learn you shall,” she declared ominously, “But remember, all knowledge comes at a price.” She vanished into the night at 9:45 PM, leaving me alone by the now tumultuous stream, her lingering presence like a cold shadow in the air. I made my way back to the village, a changed man. The villagers saw the terror etched upon my face and the unnatural pallor of my skin. They knew without words that Aicha Kandisha had marked me, a silent testament that certain mysteries should indeed remain untouched. To this day, I am haunted by nightmares filled with the scent of jasmine and the pale light of the moon. Her mocking laughter echoes in my ears, a cruel reminder of my encounter. Each night as the air grows thick with the fragrance of jasmine and the shadows lengthen under the moonlight, I feel her icy gaze upon me from the darkness, watching and perhaps amused by my lingering terror, ready to remind me once more of the dreadful cost of my forbidden curiosity. The encounter has left an indelible mark on my psyche, a deep-seated fear that perhaps some secrets are indeed too perilous to explore, and that some spirits, like Aicha Kandisha, are better left in the realm of the unknown.

Beyond Good and Evil

He smelled it before he could see it. A beast so ugly it only vaguely resembled a man. Hairy, disproportionate, caked with dirt and angry. In everything following it's emotions. In everything following it's passion. Never as second thought. The beast was strong physically and yet so weak. In it's eyes, the ape saw fear. A fear so deep it drowns worlds. A deep seated anxiety shaking the roots of being. -"Confusion", said the biggest ape. -"That one knows not good'", answered the crow. Wisest among the birds. -"Take me to the second one", said the biggest ape. Now before him stood the most beautiful man. He was perfect in every way, perfect in proportions, perfect in intellect, perfect in movement. He was surrounded by beauty. Around him beauty blossomed. Everything was made perfect by his hands, and yet it decays. Around him everything was dying. Oh so slowly, but oh so certainly. At his feet, blood. -"That one knows good", said the crow. -"Take me to the third one", said the biggest ape. There sat a man, eyes closed with a faint smile on his lips. As hard as he looked, the ape couldn't make up the limits of his body. His body was translucent light, filled with every changing colors. In him he saw the beast, in him he saw the most perfect man. And all the intermediary steps. There he sits for ever, and ever. Eternal. -"That one knows no good nor evil", said the crow. -"Yes" Thus spake Apathustra.

The Conqueror of Worlds

Years ago, the biggest ape heard of a conqueror who carved a great empire out of an entire planet. - "It's only a legend" some people would say, "no such man could ever exist". Others would believe in his existence but not in his deeds: - "No such man could ever exist", they would also say. - "A blood-thirsty, thug" said one intellectual. "It's a good thing we no longer have to deal with such people." - "When he died", he continued, "His last command was to be buried at a secret place, and anyone who buried him murdered." -"Any indications as to that place?", asked the biggest ape. -"Nothing making sense.", said the intellectual. "He is said to be buried at the threshold. Where the mountain, meets the sea. Halfway between man and beast. Only where the eternal sun shines. To get there you would have to close your eyes and follow a narrow path by the moonlight. When the sun rises, you would see if you followed the right path. Then with everything revealed, you would face your Judgment". -"Hum.", grunted the biggest ape. Weeks later, the biggest ape was sitting at the burial place. Staring at the ancient tombstone in deep contemplation. *"May they doubt my deeds and that I ever walked amongst men, so only the worthy may believe"* Putting the dirt back on the stone, the biggest ape arose. "Rest, wise one." Thus spake Apathustra.

The Ideal

As the biggest ape was at his desk, a small child approached him. He was tiny, much smaller than children his age with clear, sparkling eyes. -"What are you doing", said the child. -"I am writing a book", said the biggest ape. -"About what?" -"The ideal." The child paused a minute, thinking. -"Are you the ideal?" -"No." -"Have you seen it?" -"No." "Then how can you write about something you don't know?" The biggest paused and laughed. -"That is the nature of the ideal.", said the biggest ape. "It can always be perceived, but never seen. When you call upon it, it comes. Never fully, never for long. When you've been touched by it, it is your duty to keep some of it's sent about you." Turning towards the child he added. -"This is how you call the ideal: you think about it, you perceive it and you write about it. So others as well might be touched by it". -"I understand." Thus spake the child.

Rock Lined Pockets

See the alarm in the shark’s cadence, Hear the sharp seagull’s cry: The merling king has come! The merling king has come! Jellyfish floating around his cloudy crystal crown Like translucent passive thoughts of aggression. Will he forgive your primate indiscretion? In his court of slime and rock sublime He beckons you with open tentacles to join his circle of hedonistic companions. The mermaid is a murderous creature. The dolphins are wanton and wild. What’s that in your pockets? The inquisitive mollusk asks. Rocks. Of the precious kind? No. His soft limbs curl back in plain disappointment. From under a shell a faint voice cautioned, Do not trust in the soft bodied rogue’s trade. Down here the written word is as fleeting as the spoken one.

The Fool

One day the biggest ape was walking a lonely path leading to the top of a hill when he saw an emaciated man sitting below a dead tree. His clothes were in tatters and yet his eyes glew with the intensity of emptiness. "Strange", thought the biggest ape. - "Come", said the man as the biggest ape came closer to him. "I have news for you." "Let me tell you of the dreadful place called life", continued the old man. "Dreadful indeed it is, and full of sorrow, for life is suffering. I know for I have been cursed with intellect and discernment. I teach it for I hold compassion into my heart, and suffer for it dearly for I am but compassion. The truth. Happiness is the glow of the feeble minded, the madness of the blind. I know, I know, because..." -"Hum.", grunted the biggest ape without skipping a step. He was busy. At the top of the hill he heard a strange noise from behind and turned back. Instead of one old man, they were now many around the dead tree. All in tattered clothes, with glowing eyes looking at each other, backs turned to the world. "Let me tell you of the dreadful place called life..." he heard them say to each other. "Fools. I am busy." Thus spake Apathustra.

"Finding the Sun of My Sky: Bloom's Journey"[2/2]

Bloom's extraordinary gift began to spread beyond the secluded enclave, reaching curious ears and stirring a longing in others to perceive a world beyond the confines of touch, taste, smell, and sound. Nighthaven, once bound by the limitations of its inhabitants, now found itself on the cusp of change. The once impenetrable cloak of darkness began to shimmer with the possibility of a broader spectrum of understanding. Yet, as whispers of Bloom's gift reached the ears of those who held power in Nighthaven, a shadow of fear and resistance descended upon the enclave. Leaders and traditionalists, wary of disrupting the established order, sought to suppress the burgeoning awareness that Bloom's revelations ignited. They viewed his ability not as a gift but as a threat to the stability of their world, fearing that the introduction of a new sense could unravel the delicate balance that had endured for generations. In a solemn decree, the leaders of Nighthaven, cloaked in the weight of tradition, banished Bloom from the confines of their nocturnal sanctuary. The solitary flame, once revered for its uniqueness, now flickered on the outskirts, an exile from the embrace of the towering timbers. Bloom, with the weight of his visions and the alien radiance clinging to him, stood on the precipice of an unknown realm. Yet, in the face of exile, Bloom was not alone. Sky, the stalwart believer who had traversed the tapestry of his revelations, chose to stand by his side. Together, they ventured into the uncharted territories beyond Nighthaven, a tandem bound by shared curiosity and a refusal to succumb to the shadows of fear. The luminosity that had sparked the upheaval became their guiding beacon. Bloom, once a pariah, now found purpose in unraveling the mysteries of this newfound radiance. Their journey led them to the discovery of beings possessing extraordinary capacities, beings akin to humans but with abilities that transcended the norm. The first encounter revealed individuals who could glide through the ocean depths like ethereal fish. Mesmerized, Bloom and Sky listened to vivid descriptions of the hidden beauty beneath the waves: schools of iridescent fish, exotic herbs swaying with the current, and a realm untouched by the limitations of Nighthaven. For Bloom and Sky, these encounters transcended the realm of mere tales; they served as portals to a world previously confined to the realms of their dreams. The allure of the unknown propelled them forward, their senses intoxicated by the promise of a reality that extended beyond the familiar boundaries of touch, taste, smell, and sound. Each revelation acted as a brushstroke on the canvas of their perception, infusing new hues and expanding the tapestry of their understanding. As their odyssey unfolded, they crossed paths with a multitude of beings, each possessing unique capabilities. From those who communed effortlessly with animals to individuals who could decipher the very fabric of ideas, and even those who wielded the power to materialize and dematerialize at will. These encounters were not merely diversions along their journey but revelations that reshaped the contours of their comprehension. In the recurrent pursuit of understanding, Bloom persistently sought answers about the celestial mystery—an enigmatic luminous object resembling the moon but adorned with a distinct glow. Yet, with each inquiry, precision eluded him, leaving the cosmic puzzle suspended in the vastness of uncertainty. Unfazed, Bloom and Sky pressed on, their footsteps echoing in synchrony with their unyielding curiosity. Suddenly, the atmosphere underwent a subtle transformation. Bloom, attuned to the nuances of his surroundings, noted the gradual clearing of the weather and the dissipation of the once-pervasive darkness. A glimmer of clarity emerged, paving the way for the revelation that awaited them on the horizon. Unexpectedly, the duo encountered beings with wings, soaring gracefully through the sky. The spectacle unfolded before them like a living tapestry of celestial elegance, leaving Bloom and Sky entranced. Inquisitive as ever, Bloom approached these winged entities, seeking not only an understanding of their aerial prowess but also answers about the elusive luminous object that had stirred his curiosity. With smiles that mirrored the radiance of their flight, the winged beings responded, revealing the cosmic secret. "It is the sun," they declared, the words resonating like a celestial anthem. The sun, the universal illuminator, held sway over the vast expanse. Bloom, captivated by this revelation, sought further guidance on its whereabouts. The winged entities, ever gracious, gestured towards the horizon, assuring Bloom that the sun would manifest on its own as dawn approached. As the first rays of dawn began to kiss the horizon, a soft luminescence painted the landscape. The winged beings, their silhouettes now outlined by the burgeoning light, gracefully guided Bloom and Sky towards a vantage point. There, amidst the serene ambiance of the approaching dawn, they would bear witness to the revelation of the sun. Time seemed to hold its breath as the horizon transformed into a canvas ablaze with hues unseen in Nighthaven. The air shimmered with the promise of a new day, and as the first sliver of the sun peeked above the edge of the world, Bloom felt a surge of emotion. He finally saw the sun. He finally sees the sun, and turning to Sky, he exclaims, "I've found the sun of my Sky." Sky smiles, basking in the warmth of the sun, and asks Bloom to describe the view so she can etch it into her memory. Bloom and Sky, at some point, harbor a desire to return to Nighthaven, but they can't find a way back. It's as if the path home is vanishing with the light of the sun. Bloom is disturbed by this, but Sky, with a serene smile, reassures him, saying, "We should go forward and discover the mysteries of this universe."

"Finding the Sun of My Sky: Bloom's Journey" [1/2]

Within the intricate tapestry of our vast world, a hidden sanctuary emerges—Nighthaven, an expansive and mysterious forest veiled in an impenetrable cloak of darkness. The towering timbers, reaching skyward, appear to consume light itself, casting an everlasting twilight where neither the sun's rays nor the gentle flicker of flames dare to breach. In this realm of perpetual night, its inhabitants come into being shrouded in the absence of sight. Nighthaven, a world crafted in a myriad of black hues, denies the very existence of color. Its denizens, oblivious to the visual spectrum, are born strangers to the concept of sight. In their world of four senses—touch, taste, smell, and sound—they navigate through an awareness confined by the limitations of their senses. Deprived of the gift of vision, they form mental images based on the tactile, auditory, olfactory, and gustatory dimensions of their surroundings. Here, in this secluded enclave, the canvas of perception is painted not in the vibrant strokes of color but in the subtleties of their restricted senses, creating a narrative woven in the depths of eternal night. Yet amid the prevailing shadows of Nighthaven, life unfolded in a chiaroscuro of exceptions, and there emerged Bloom, a luminous anomaly in the tapestry of monotony. The solitary scion of his lineage, his eyes bore an otherworldly luminescence, a radiant emanation that divulged his extraordinary endowment. Unparalleled among his peers, Bloom possessed the rare faculty to apprehend light itself, unraveling the ineffable intricacies—the play of shadows, the nuanced contours of moonlit silhouettes, and the elusive ballet of starlight. However, Bloom's revelation confronted a formidable resistance within the hallowed precincts of his own kin. Initially steeped in skepticism, his progenitors summarily dismissed his extraordinary visions as mere phantoms birthed from the forge of imagination. They adamantly proclaimed the nonexistence of such phenomena, driven by a latent fear of consequences yet unknown. In dread of potential ramifications, they vehemently dissuaded Bloom from sharing his unique gift, their warnings laced with the ominous threat of retribution should he defy their authoritative directive. Consequently, Bloom found himself adrift in solitude, the solitary candle flickering in the profound darkness that enveloped him. In the velvety obscurity, however, a contrasting brilliance endured—an effulgent soul named Sky, a paragon of unwavering faith in Bloom's extraordinary faculty. Though akin to the sightless denizens of Nighthaven, Sky perceived the world not through ocular perception but through the luminosity residing within her heart. Persistently beseeching Bloom to articulate his visual marvels, she regarded his narratives not as mere tales but as resplendent tapestries woven from the uncharted hues of the unseen. Thus, Bloom spent the entirety of his childhood years regaling Sky with the enigmatic wonders that unfolded before his unique gaze, the duo carving out a sanctuary of shared illumination in the all-encompassing murk of their world. As the years passed, Bloom's abilities continued to evolve. His descriptions of the world gained depth and nuance, revealing the beauty that eluded the senses of his fellow inhabitants. Sky, in turn, became a conduit for this hidden world, translating Bloom's visions into a language of emotion and imagination that resonated with the hearts of those who listened. In the shroud of night, Bloom discerned a distant enchantment bathed in an unfamiliar radiance, a luminosity that eluded his grasp. He attempted to articulate this elusive spectacle, likening it to the gentle glow of moonlight yet marked by a luminosity distinct and enigmatic, as if the very essence of radiance had taken on an unfamiliar form.