Tag Archive: empath

Feb 04

Polydora and Jill


“Polydora and Jill

Graphite, 10″x7″ wide.

10.0″x7.0″ original graphite sketch – AVAILABLE

Signed and numbered prints – AVAILABLE

To purchase this original sketch, please contact Jef by clicking here.

To purchase a print of this item, please click here.


Jan 23

In the Company of Angels: Episode 4.2 – The Empath (cont.)



In the Company of Angels, Episode 4.2 – The Empath (cont.)


“Take it off! Take the ring off!” she heard Mr. Luke say to her, as if from a great distance, but Jill could not move. Then strong hands grabbed her by the shoulders, and she realized that Polydora was holding her up. Immediately she felt calmed, and she heard the most beautiful singing, high and sweet, that seemed to be coming from the rafters above them. Polly had turned Jill around, had kneeled before her, and was holding her up and peering into her eyes.

Jill looked into the Ferrumari’s face and heard a voice in her head say “Those are the ones that were lost, but they are not sad voices. They are voices of joy; echoes from the times long before I was born. Do you understand?”

Jill shook her head. “Not really. But…I’ll be OK. I just need a moment….”

“Sorry,” she said, looking up at Mr. Luke and Sam. “It was just getting used to the ring, I think.”

“No, it was a lot more than that. Polly, do you think she’ll be alright in Orbaratus?”

“Yes, if I am with her. As I said, she sees very far, and she may soon come to sense the presence and emotions of those around her as well as can I.”

“You mean,” asked Jill, “you mean you’re an Empath too?”

“Of course,” said the voice in her head. “That is how I sensed what you were thinking and feeling.” Polly smiled.

“But I can’t do that,” said Jill.

“Can’t do what?” asked Sam.

“Hush, Sam,” said Mr. Luke.

“But, you already are!” thought Polly. “You’re doing it now!”

Jill looked at Polly, wide-eyed. “OK, let me try this…” said Jill.

“Try what?” asked Sam.

“Hush, Sam!” said Mr. Luke.

“Can you hear me?” thought Jill, looking directly at Polly.

Polly nodded and smiled, “Of course!” she thought back.

“Well, that’s a first!” she said aloud.

“What’s a first?” asked Sam. Mr. Luke clapped his hand over Sam’s mouth.

“But, Polly,” thought Jill, “if I can understand what you’re thinking, why can’t I understand what anyone else is thinking?”

Jill heard a tinkling sound in her head that she recognized as Polly’s laughter. “Because, little one, you’ve not tried to! And because it is always easier to read the thoughts of another Empath than of anyone else, provided, of course, that the Empath is allowing you to do so.”

“Oh!” said Jill aloud. She closed her eyes and rubbed them.

“What’s going on, Mr. Luke?” asked Sam, clearly confused.

“Something you’ve never seen before, Samuel, nor I, and something you should remember and cherish; you may never live to see it again! Jill is learning a new thing about herself, a wonderful thing. You remember when you first discovered that you were a Navigator?”


“Well, this is like that, only more so.”


While Sam and Mr. Luke were talking, Polly and Jill had been silent, gazing at each other.

“Polly?” said Mr. Luke after a few moments, “I know I’ve asked already, but are you sure Jill will be alright in Orbaratus?”

There was a long pause while Jill and Polly appeared to be chatting with each other, then Jill said “Yes, Mr. Luke. Polly was already telling me about her world, and I would really like to see it for myself.”

Sam shook his head. “So now you can read minds?!”

“No,” said Jill, “not yours. But Polly says that will likely come in time.”

“Sheesh! Bad enough having to watch my mouth, now I’m going to have to watch my thoughts too?!”

“You’ve not done so around me thus far,” said Polly, smiling. “Why should you have to do so with your friend?”

“It’s…it’s different with Jill…” Sam said, sulkily.

“Well, we can sort such things out later,” said Mr. Luke. “But now, if we’re all agreed, let’s go explore another world….”

Mr. Luke went behind a curtain nearby and emerged wearing the duster coat that he had been sporting when Jill first discovered him in her library. He also had brought two short, grey, hooded cloaks with him. “It’s not really that cold on Orbaratus,” he said as he handed one cloak to Sam and the other to Jill, “but it can be a bit damp and windy. These will serve to keep you warmer and drier while we’re there.”

The four of them then gathered before the painting. “Everyone please make sure your skin is in contact with your crystal,” said Mr. Luke.

Jill clenched her fist and felt the sting of electricity. Then came the wash of emotions and the sound of singing from the painting once more. But whether it was because she was prepared for it this time or because Polly had her hand on her shoulder, Polly found that she was now able to bear it.

“Is everyone ready?” Mr. Luke asked, looking pointedly at Jill.

Jill nodded.

“Then hold onto you hats!” said Sam. With that, he jumped, with both feet, straight at the painting. Jill saw him one moment, and in the next he was gone. She gasped involuntarily.

“You two next, Polly,” said Mr. Luke.

Polly stepped forward without hesitation and strode into the painting, stooping to fit her head and wings through it. She kept Jill’s hand grasped firmly in her own. Jill followed her, hesitating only for a moment. Once through, her feet crunched on something like gravel and she felt a cool, wet breeze blowing through her hair.

Jill looked around her. The silver skies above were racing with clouds, and the cliff-like buildings towered on all sides. Polydora was still holding her hand, but the Ferrumari stood just ahead of her, gazing at a particular spot high atop of one of the buildings.

Sam stood before them both grinning. “Whatcha think?” he said.

Jill felt quite disoriented — dizzy, and even slightly sick to her stomach. She turned around just in time to glimpse Mr. Luke stepping up behind her. Just past where he stood she could still see the lights and the desk of the Gallery. Jill leaned to one side of Mr. Luke to see it better and realized that the window, if one could call it that, was simply hanging in space. She let go of Polly’s hand and stepped back toward it. She opened her hand and reached out to touch the edges of the bright frame, but as soon as she did so, it vanished, and she was staring at the empty landscape of Orbaratus. She pulled back her hand, startled.

“It’s still there, you know,” said Mr. Luke. “Close your hand upon the crystal again.”

Jill clenched her fist, and immediately the frame reopened in space before her.

“It will remain here for us to use when we return,” said Mr. Luke, “but no one can see it or use it without one of the sapphires.”

Jill continued to look throughthe portal for a moment, and then she relaxed her hold on the sapphire. The view from her own distant world dissolved away, but not before she thought she caught a glimpse of something, or someone, moving in the background of the vanishing image. She was about to mention this to Mr. Luke, but in the Orbaratan light, she saw that he was very pale. “You don’t look so good, Mr. Luke. Are you alright?” she asked.

“Don’t worry, he’s always that way after a run,” said Sam, stepping up beside her. “But, how are you feeling…OK?”

“I think, so. A bit woozy, I guess.”

“Yeah, just like Mr. Luke. Here, have some chocolate.” Sam gave her a chocolate bar, and after eating a few bites, Jill began to feel better.

“I thought that only worked in Harry Potter books,” she said.

“Naw. I think J.K. Rowling must have known someone in the Order and stolen the idea. Chocolate seems to help if framerunning an image ever makes you feel woozy. I hardly ever do, but I keep some with me just in case, and you should too.”

“Well, we’re not all Navigators, Samuel,” said Mr. Luke, who was likewise now munching on a chocolate bar.

“Why do you call Sam a ‘Navigator’, Mr. Luke?” asked Jill.

“Because that’s his special talent, just as yours appears to be that of an Empath.”

“But what does it mean to be a Navigator?”

“It means that Sam is very adept at framerunning. He can do it all day long without getting tired or disoriented, and in fact, he has a special ability to sense the existence of frames, or portals, even without the aid of a crystal. Also, he can use mirrors to move from one place to another, something that we call “mazerunning”, without ever losing his sense of direction. That is an ability that you and I do not possess; we would likely find it nearly impossible to mazerun on our own without becoming hopelessly confused, and perhaps even end up getting lost in the Maze for good.”

“So that’s how Sam got out of our house last night? Through the mirror?”

“Yes, apparently, although I’ve not heard all the details yet. He found his way back to his own house without ever going outdoors. I quite envy him the time he can save instantly getting from one place to another when the need arises….”

“So you aren’t a Navigator yourself, Mr. Luke?”

Sam snickered.

“Ahem!” said Mr. Luke, scowling at Sam. “No, Jill. Nor am I am Empath like you and Polly. I’m a Renderer.”

“That’s a fancy name for an artist,” said Sam.

“There’s a lot more to it than that, but the description is certainly close enough for our purposes,” said Mr. Luke. “That said, right now….”

Mr. Luke looked past Jill.

“…right now, we need to find out what Polly is so fixated on….”

Jill turned around. Polly had not joined in their conversation; she had remained looking fixedly up at the top of one of the cliff-like buildings. She was completely still and silent, and once more Jill thought she could easily have been mistaken for a statue. But Jill could almost feel Polly listening; listening intently not only with her ears, but with all of her empathic senses.

“What is it, Polly?” Jill asked, stepping forward and putting her hand in that of the Ferrumari.

“Can’t you feel it?” Polly spoke to Jill in her mind.

“What, Polly?” Jill thought back.

“Someone else is here. Here, on Orbaratus.”

“But, I thought you said your home was deserted; that no one else lived here but you…?”

“That was true, little one,” thought Polly, “but it is so no more. Someone is up there.”  Polly swept her long arm upward and pointed at the cliff tops. “Someone, or something….”

                 [ To read Episode 5.1, click here…. ]



Jan 16

In the Company of Angels: Episode 4.1 – The Empath



In the Company of Angels, Episode 4.1 – The Empath


Jill stood up and turned fully around so that she could see Polydora more clearly. But what a being! The graceful-looking woman stood nearly seven feet tall and appeared to be made entirely of silver. There was no fixed color to her other than the reflections she cast, but her shape was clearly feminine. She appeared to be wearing a tunic or robe, richly engraved with strange symbols. But the wings! These Jill could only see partially, as their tops framed Polydora’s head, almost halo-like. They, too, were bright, shining silver.

Polydora stood entirely still; Jill could scarcely believe, at first, that she was a living creature at all.

“P-pleased to meet you Ms…uh…Ms. Polydora,” said Jill.

The statue’s lips moved, and Jill heard a tinkling sound that she recognized quickly as a sweet laughter. “I am delighted to meet you, Miss Jill,” said the statue.

Polydora nodded her head graciously and then stretched out a long arm toward Jill. Jill reached out to shake hands, but was quickly unsettled; Polydora had six delicate, slender fingers, the outer two of which were thumbs, so that their first handshake was one of those moments that most brought home to Jill the fact that she was not in the presence of a human being.

“Polly,” said Mr. Luke, “is the keeper of the Gallery, our secretary, our computer, our filing system, and, especially, our hostess, all rolled into one,” said Mr. Luke. “If there is anything of grace and beauty here in the Gallery, it is entirely due to her.”

Polly turned toward Mr. Luke, placed her palms together, and bowed.

“But, Ms. Polydora…?” asked Jill

“Yes, Miss Jill?”

“If it’s not impolite to ask, what are you? I’ve never met anyone like you before, nor even read of anyone like you. Are you an angel?”

Polly laughed in her chime-like tones. “Dear child! It is true that I resemble what you might call an angel, but I am of the Ferrumari, and I come from a world called Orbaratus.”

“I don’t understand,” said Jill.

“Perhaps I can explain it to Jill, Polly. And while I do so, would you be so kind as to retrieve the landscape of your world so that we can share it with her?” asked Mr. Luke.

Polly bowed, and then, to Jill’s great delight, she spread her silver wings and rose glittering into the air above them. Then she banked steeply and swept into the darkness beyond the railings. The gale from her departure blew through Jill’s hair, and she finally understood the source of the fluttering sounds that she had heard since arriving at the Gallery; they had been Polly’s wings.

Mr. Luke ushered Jill back to the table. As she and Sam sat, Mr. Luke began pacing back and forth before them.

“Polly,” he began, “is the last of her kind. Her home world, Orbaratus, is deserted. All of her people, save her, were destroyed in great wars thousands of years ago, and she lives here and helps us in our work because she has no other family.”

“How sad!” said Jill, “But what were the wars about? And how did she survive them?”

“I’m not sure of all the details, and Polly does not like to dwell on a past that is so painful. But we do know that a race of creatures instigated the wars on her planet; creatures that invaded it from another world.

“I’ve said, Jill, that we, as Framerunners, can visit other realms, both in space and in time. But so, apparently, can others, although their manner of travel is not entirely understood by us. But, many thousands of years ago, an army whose members are sometimes called the Amenta appear to have made their way to Orbaratus. There they found the Ferrumari, a sentient species of servant beings whose creators had long since become extinct. The Amenta have no fixed form; they are what we might call ‘spirits’.”

“’Spooks’ is what I call ‘em,” said Sam.

“Yes, that is Samuel’s preferred term,” said Mr. Luke, “but whatever you might call them, they are dangerous creatures. They persuade and bully others, binding them into a form of slavery. Thus they goaded some of the weaker of the Ferrumari people into instigating wars of power and domination, and these grew in intensity as each of the Ferrumari chose either to uphold peace and harmony, or to ally themselves with those who sought power.

“In the end, much of Orbaratus was laid waste, and all of the Ferrumari destroyed. The Amenta victory was complete, save for Polydora. She was a newborn at the time of the Orbaratan apocalypse and was secreted away by her parents. When she was old enough to leave the haven they had provided for her, all she found left of Orbaratus was a desolate planet devoid of all life.

“But, such are the Ferrumari that even then, Polly did not despair, but rather learned all that she could about her people from those resources available to her: ancient histories and legends, tales of other worlds, poetry, and art left behind not only by the Ferrumari, but also by the race that had brought the Ferrumari into being, about whom we know little. Many of these treasures had survived, you see, in the rubble of the libraries, galleries, and museums. But Polydora’s parents had also provided her with books and paintings of her own so that she could learn as she grew.”

“Almost like my library!” said Jill.

“Precisely!” said Mr. Luke. “And as Polly read the stories of her people, she nurtured her own belief that no creature could ever be truly alone forever in the universe. And her hopes of meeting other intelligent beings were fulfilled at last when some of our own forebears visited Orbaratus. They did this by framerunning a landscape painting of her home; the very one that Polly is bringing to show us. That was her first physical contact with any other living creature.

“But…now you can see for yourself what Polly’s home looks like; here she comes with the painting….”

Polydora fluttered delicately to the floor of the platform. In her arms she held an image painted on a wood-like panel that stood nearly six feet tall. Mr. Luke mounted it upon an easel and Sam focused a floodlight upon it so that it was fully illuminated. Jill saw an alien landscape in silvers, purples and greens. Beautiful metallic structures were built into the sides of cliffs, or perhaps, Jill thought, the cliffs themselves might actually be buildings; it was impossible to say for sure.

There were signs of great violence and decay in the painting, despite its beauty: rubble in the streets; damaged windows; gaping holes in walls; dead vines creeping into cracks in the buildings. But the overall impression remained ethereal and, oddly, lyrical. The landscape and structures, like Polydora herself, were largely made of shining, metallic materials that caught the light and reflected it in graceful curves. Despite the metal, the impression was not of a cold and impersonal place, but of a great but ruined civilization. Even without any living creature depicted, there was something organic and achingly beautiful about the world.

But Jill also felt an emptiness, a loss, and the long flow of time that must have passed since this city had fallen into ruin. She no longer had Sam’s crystal in hand, but she could almost hear the wind sighing through the city streets and feel how hard it must have been for anyone to have survived there – alone. All that beauty, all that history, but none to share it with. Jill felt a lump rise in her throat.

“I believe you like my home,” said Polly to Jill. Jill jumped slightly. She had been so captivated by the painting that she had not noticed Polly step up beside her. Polly gently grasped Jill’s hand and squeezed it.

Jill looked up to answer her and noticed tears in the eyes of the Ferrumari.

“Yes, I like it very much,” she said, “very much indeed….”

Polly squeezed Jill’s hand again, but then turned her head toward Mr. Luke. “This one sees far.”

“Really? How far, Polly?”

“Farther than any I’ve met other than Azarias.”

“Is she a Renderer, then?”

“No, an Empath.”

“An Empath?!!! Holy smoke!!!” Sam blurted out.

“Are you sure, Polly?” asked Mr. Luke.

Polly nodded.

Jill looked up at her, and then at Mr. Luke. “What does that mean, Mr. Luke? I know what ’empathy’ means – it’s kind of like the ability to share someone else’s experiences and emotions – but that’s not what you’re talking about here, is it?”

“No, Jill, it’s not. It’s a term we use to describe a particular talent – a very rare talent – that some very few of our Order have possessed over the years. If Polly is correct – and I can say in all honesty that I have never known her to be otherwise – you may have a skill that we have needed for some time, one that could help us in our work should you wish to join us.

“But, we can discuss all of this later. Polly says you like the look of her world. How would you like to visit it?”

“You mean, right now?!”

“Certainly! Polly, might I persuade you to come with us? I know it may be difficult for you, but there is so much that you can explain better to Jill than can Sam or I.”

Polydora looked longingly at the painting, and then back toward Jill. “I will come.”

“Thank you. I know what returning to Orbaratus may cost you….” said Mr. Luke.

“Two firsts in one day,” mumbled Sam.

“Hush, Sam. Now, let me retrieve two extra crystals, and we’ll be off.” Mr. Luke returned to the desk Jill had seen when she first entered the Gallery, and stepped to the wall on one side of the door. He pushed aside the curtain, and Jill saw a flash of gold as he opened a cabinet door. He returned with two rings; a small one for Jill, and a larger one for Polly.

“Now, these can be kept on your finger at all times, because the crystal is not usually in direct contact with your skin. But, when we framerun, you can turn the jewel around and close your hand shut; then you’ll feel the crystal’s surface against your skin. Try it now.”

Jill put on the ring and felt nothing. But then she did as Mr. Luke said: she turned it around on her finger so that the plain silver band was facing outward, and clenched her hand shut.

She immediately felt the electrical tingling, but then an enormous flood of emotion filled her, almost knocking her to the ground. She turned and stared at the painting of Orbaratus, which was now glowing in a truly unearthly light. The feelings she had had before; of beauty and harmony, but also of loss, of heartbreak, and of pain, were amplified a thousandfold. Motes of light swam before her eyes and she hardly noticed that she was in danger of falling.

Take it off! Take the ring off!” she heard Mr. Luke say to her, as if from a great distance….

              [ To read Episode 4.2, click here…. ]