From Avicia

Dear human,

My time in your world has been an experience that I was not prepared for. Before I left my world, I was told that I would be surprised by the conditions of Earth– not that the people were bad, per say, but that they were in a state of turmoil. I can see this now, and I understand your human condition much deeper than I expected to.

I expected to find problems that were easier to solve. Instead I, and the other alchemists, found out that our magical abilities are deeply limited when it comes to changing human hearts. Some of your kind have hearts made of stone, and no amount of magical abilities can change something that is so dead set on anger and hate. These problems grow deeper as it becomes evident that peace no longer appears to solve your dilemmas, and more fighting breaks out every day.

However, Earthlings, I do not believe you are beyond help. I believe that your discussions are valid and your search for justice may be rewarded in time. I believe that through kindness, love, and acceptance, the stoniest hearts may be softened. That is the kind of alchemy I was not prepared to use on this trip, the alchemy of kindness, of human emotion. We have a saying on my planet that translates to English something like, “Even small drops fill a bucket.” That is to say, even small acts of kindness will build up.

Your media lies to you, and blows facts out of proportion. “Fake news,” and “bad news” sell, they sell lies to you ever day. If nothing else, believe me that all hope is not lost. Your seemingly fragmented society may be brought back one day– if I learned nothing else in visiting your classroom and “networking” in your chats, I learned that.

The alchemists will always be here, observing. Remember us.



Hello my alchemist friends.

Last week we talked about the thing the Earthlings call “activism.” I think this “activism” is where the Earthlings take a stand on something that they feel is worth speaking out about. If this is the case, I experienced activism this past week on my trip to the American city, “Washington, D.C.”

From what I understand, the people were observing a holiday called “Earth Day,” on which they celebrate their planet. This seems to me an odd holiday, do they not celebrate it every single day like we do, back in my home world?

There was another element to this observation as well, I think this was the “activism” part. Scientists and doctors were gathered, with signs about money and research. It was explained to me that the current government administration has spoken of reducing funding for the Earthlings scientific research, which seems to me a bad idea. Without support, how will they progress forward in their knowledge? Earthlings are frail, they need medical and scientific knowledge to live. They are not like us, with our immortality potions.

The scientists and doctors standing around protesting, is that “activism,” or “slactivism”? I believe it would be activism, because they made the effort to come from their homes to take a stance. They did not just “tweet” about it on their “Twitters,” or “post” on their “Facebooks” (forgive me, these terms are foreign), they went out and participated.

I think this is the “Activism” the Earthlings speak of. What are your thoughts?


Extended CWA: Avicia’s Story

My friends, I loved the Cooking With Anger prompt so much, that I decided to tell you more of my own story here! I can be wordy, and I had to cut it down a great deal to fit the requirements of that exercise.  I am glad to tell you more of my backstory. Please click on the linked words, they will enhance your experience of my story.

I looked out the window as my coach surged forward through the swirling vortex outside the window, a seemingly nonstop stream of tears trickling down my cheeks. This was uncharted territory. I was leaving my home world, going to “Earth.” leaving my friends, my housemates, and my family behind for an unforeseeable period of time. Grief welled up in me as I pondered what might be waiting for me, as the coach pulled out of the whirling ether and into the transport station. I was leaving my home world to travel to Earth and meet up with the other alchemists.

“Avicia Znevffn.” I heard the robotic voice address me, as the conductor suddenly blipped into existence in the doorway of my coach.

I looked up.

“Your departure point approaches. Gather your luggage.”

The robot remained stationed in front of the door of my coach, as I collected my possessions and let my mind wander.

I thought about home. In the last week, I had come to appreciate the little things that I knew I would miss, as I encountered them for the last time. I went home to say goodbye to my family, and wandered into my mother’s garden. The sky was a warm orange color, signifying of the height of the day, and the snow pea flowers were in bloom. I felt a surge of tenderness as I looked intently at their delicate white and purple blooms. I felt tears fill my eyes at the memory. I didn’t know how long I’d be away, but surely I wouldn’t experience anything like my mother’s garden for a long time.

As the coach slowly stopped whirling, the robot blipped away with a final, tinny, “Goodbye,” and the coach doors slid open, I was surprised to see a long, bright hallway in front of me. No other coaches were left at this stop. I was told that I would meet other alchemists on this journey, but I seemed to be alone at this stage. I was further surprised to see the no-nonsense departure route ahead of me. No more contact with the outside world of this planet, straight to the transport down to Earth. There would be no sugar-coating this journey.

I drew a deep breath and stepped into the hallway, hearing my soft footsteps echo down in the empty hallway around me. It was a long hall, but with each step I saw the entrance to the waiting room. I knew what would approach when I stepped beyond those doors.

Technicians would await me with a dose of the medicine that would put me out as I transported through time and space to my destination. My housemate, Knida, had told me it would be cherry flavored. At the time, I had snorted at the idea. Was I a child, that needed candy-flavoring to make a trip? But the anticipation had built up, and I felt a strange surge of bliss at the thought of a sweet treat, to soften the journey.

I took a breath and pressed my hand to the cold metal of the door. It reacted immediately.

“Avicia Znevffn,” a robotic announcement rang out. The doors opened, and a technician greeted me.  

“How was your trip?” the technician was not what I had expected. She was a kindly looking woman, who reminded me vaguely of my own mother. I wondered briefly at her story, before snapping myself back to reality.

“Tense,” I replied.

“First time away from home?” The woman’s eyes showed concern, and I felt something like adoration as an image of my mother flashed again through my mind.

“It is.”

“Well dear, it’ll be perfectly fine. Missions like this are what we’re made for.”

I nodded. I knew.  We were meant to leave our world, to travel to others, to interact with any and all beings willing to collaborate cultures and learn.

“What’s the transport like?” I asked, ready to snap to business.

“Quick. The serum will remind you of cherry ice cream. A cold feeling, a taste of sweetness, and you’ll be there.”

“I’m ready.”

With one more warm smile she took my hand, “Right this way.”

She led me through the maze of hallways and I glimpsed others, like me, preparing for their respective journeys. I caught the eye of a boy, he looked younger than me. He looked how I felt– nervous. I hoped I masked it better.

Then, we were there. I saw my transport pod in front of me, and there was another technician. He smiled at me and led me to the pod, hooked me up to Life and Transport Support, and briefly told me how I would feel during the trip and mentioned a name that would be present when I awoke.

“Look for two alchemists called M. Prophetissima and Rebeg Maestro. They’ll be guiding you and the others through your mission.”

“M. Prophetissima and Rebeg Maestro,” I repeated.

“Don’t be afraid,” the woman implored me. “It’s all going to be okay.”

I nodded thankfully, and said again, “I’m ready.”

They stepped back as the pod door descended into its locked position. I heard a soft whirr, and suddenly felt cold.

I tasted cherries.

A Note from Avicia

Hello my friends. I see we have all chosen to meet on this odd little planet, in the middle of the Milky Way Galaxy. What odd creatures these humans are! Many of them share characteristics with us, but they seem to be missing…something…I’ve yet to put my finger on what is missing. Of course, some of us have horns and scales, but it’s more than that– they’re missing a certain….spark?

A spark, yes, that it’s! We alchemists, we have the spark! Here on earth these people have science, chemistry (something that is not unlike our own art), but many of them lack wonder. They have such wonderful inventions in their hands, and yet they do not wonder. While some of us believe in a magic of sorts, others believe in the magic of the mundane. These humans, they look at the medicines they have, the technology they use, and they are not amazed. What is more magical, more alchemical, then the transformations of everyday life! They have machines that connect them to a global web– I am told it is called the internet, and yet they still think they have such little power, such little influence. How far they are from the truth!

My name, friends, is Avicia– taken from the word Avis. In my language, not unlike your ancient language, “Latin,” it means bird. I love the symbol of the bird, flying and free— my animal sidekick is a phoenix, his name is Ardashir and he is my faithful companion.

As you may see above in my Alchemist card, I am an Artist. You may have heard artists described as those whose work seeks to capture attention, provide commentary, and provoke emotion about the world around them, and this is how I like my work to speak. I like to weave together words in search of truth, to break down meaning and, above all, to seek justice through kindness. I believe that greatest stories we tell are in relation to one another: the connections we make, the lives we enhance, the people we draw up to walk beside us. I believe in the connection of community, and the pen (or, as this world has, the “keyboard”) as power.

As for my skills I am, above all, a writer. Writing is the strongest of my skills although I have found that this skill ties in well with what the humans call “digital media.” Rebeg Maestro and M. Prophetissima have introduced us all to Twitter and “blogs,” such as this, and I believe I have found my way around these quite well. Due to this, “Writer” and “Social” are my two strengths.

As for my weaknesses, I am afraid I struggle and must “Grow” in working with visual and audio mediums. My alchemical skills have failed me in my attempts, and I must learn more. I must say, however, I love what the humans call “memes.” How do you say this word? Is it “Me-me”? I am so unused to all of this…

My dear friends, I am excited to meet the rest of you. For now, goodbye. See you on “Twitter.”