It was August. Two months had passed since I entered the Realm that would forever be my new home.
Back in the small desert town of Cratersville, where I grew up, the weather would be in full furnace mode as was typical for late summer.
In the Creators Realm, however, it was the same temperature it always was. I would say sunny and seventy, but there was no attempt to mimic a sun of any sort in the Creators Realm outside of the Wanderlore Groves and certain pleasure worlds of the Patrons.
The sky was an eternal black sprinkled with glittering specks of light.
These lights were not the true stars that would be visible in the skies of a natural world, nor were they the imitation stars that littered the skies of the icon worlds.
These shimmering lights were different, yet, at that time, I had little understanding as to their true nature.
There were many Legends as to their makeup.
Some said they were the eternal spirit homes of the founding members of the Realm.
Others said they were the celestial abodes of angels or other ethereal entities.
A few ventured that the lights were eternal shrines where the very script by which the Creators Realm was brought into being was kept.
These were just a small handful of the things I should have known when I first arrived, yet didn’t. I was born in this Realm, yet my parents—while I was still too young to remember—decided to leave and head for the quirky town of Cratersville in the Icon Realm.
It still stuns me to think what would prompt such a dramatic change of scenery. None of the extended members of the little ensemble that accompanied my parents on their journey had ever stepped foot outside the Creators Realm—in fact no born creature ever had.
They weren’t even sure, before they arrived, that anything habitable would be there to greet them.
In some ways, I took the same journey—but in reverse.
I felt fairly certain I would find habitability when I arrived, I just didn’t know how hospitable my welcome would be.
Despite being pleasantly surprised in many ways, I knew that—like every stranger arriving in a strange land—I had to find a way to transform the strangeness I felt into familiarity if I were to succeed at making this place my new home.
Several summers ago, my sister Poppy created a caterpillar to illustrate how we—despite the serendipity of discovering a magic that allowed us to create creatures—were far from fully formed butterflies ready for our debut.
Poppy, despite being younger than me by several seasons, was wise beyond her years. The Magic that we had discovered connected to each of us in different ways.
Poppy’s connection to the Magic allowed her a view of the future that spanned over the horizon and beyond. The things she foresaw were both breathtaking and terrifying.
I did not ask after her knowledge. I saw how her knowing haunted her very soul and decided that I was much too marshmallowy to endure such a blinding revelation.
I’m still glad I made this decision, yet I must admit, upon first arriving in this strange new Realm, I had wished—for a fleeting moment—that I had been a bit more curious about the future while I had access to her infinite soul.
I had no idea how lost I would feel—or still feel.
This is when I realized that I needed a little butterfly intervention in the form of a ritual like my sister Poppy did back in the Wanderlore Grove when she created the caterpillar for me.
This ritual would let me put all the puzzle pieces that made up my current life together and produce, if not an actual glimpse of my future life, at least an impression that I could use to direct my decisions going forward.
I went about my ritual in the same way I always did.
I started by making lists.
My first list consisted of facts that I knew about my current life. These facts included not only the things I promised to the Magic when I started to create little creatures, but also my abilities along with my current situation of being a newcomer in a strange place, living in an ancestral home where I didn’t intend to stay.
Next, with the help of my Creation Book, I transformed each of these facts into an individual piece of clockwork*. The gears were then dropped into a small cauldron perched on the corner of my desk. A magical flame kept the base elixir bubbling while I finished the rest of my ritual.
Over the next few of hours, I added other symbolic trinkets to my magical brew:
Tiny rainbow orbs filled with magic represented the traits I didn’t want to lose. These were my childlike wonder I inherited from the Magic, the showmanship I inherited from my father, the mystical leanings I inherited from my mother, the desire to rule break that I inherited from my grandmother as well as a wry sense of humor that couldn’t have come from anyone else but my grandfather.
A large clear orb filled with a plethora of question marks represented not only the questions I had, but also all of the things I didn’t know.
A small ruby heart represented the part of my soul that I bestowed upon every creature that I granted life.
Last, I scripted the spell that would merge all these trinkets into a creature that would serve as a soul guide**.
When I was done, I burned the parchment containing the spell and added the crystal ashes to the cauldron.
At once, the roiling elixir stilled, revealing a shimmering rainbow lurking below the glass-smooth surface.
My ritual was complete.
What emerged next from the cauldron—if it emerged at all—would be up to the Magic.
Yet, I was hopeful. Rainbows were always a good first sign.
—Jellybean Reds, Creator of Little Creatures
*Despite my history of wayward clockwork creations, my ritual required an object that symbolized concreteness of reality. I could have gone with a more natural approach like my sister Poppy, but I wasn’t as well versed in that form of magic.
**I was hoping for a butterfly, but I would gladly take whatever the ritual would send my way.