When I first arrived in the Creators Realm—the place that would forever be my new home—I was told that no matter what I had lost, it would truly never be gone if I could find it within myself to share my story. My mentor, a grandfatherly figure named Professor Zell, ever so gently persuaded me that, despite what I might think of his wisdom, his suggestion would work. Perhaps I trusted him because of the sadness I saw in his eyes. He too had suffered loss. Perhaps, I trusted him because he was an outsider like me. He knew how to survive on the edges of a universe gone utterly insane. At first, I struggled to record my thoughts. How could words revive in my soul a world that I would never see again?
I sat alone in a room that my mom had occupied in her late teen years. This was my room now. I thought it strange that despite how close I was to my parents, I really didn’t know about their life before me. It’s not that I didn’t ask. I did. My parents, for reasons I now understand, thought it best to avoid discussions of where they had come from and who they were. They knew it didn’t matter. The life they lived in Cratersville was their new reality, just as my life in their old haunt was mine. Through the years, my dad tried to enlighten me as best he could, in his own cryptic way. When my return to the Creators Realm seemed imminent he became more frank. This did not help me know him per se, though it did enlighten me as to who I was.
The breakthrough, emotionally speaking, came when I found a fortune teller’s card in one of my mom’s old journals. The card, given to her by one of the tribe’s wise seers, was meant for me to find. I could tell, by what she wrote, that she wasn’t sure if the person shown would prove to be my savior or my undoing.
My mom believed in life paths, but she also believed in choices. The choices I made before and after I returned to the Creators Realm—if I returned at all—could very well nullify any planned-for future. The Magic tended to do that to dreams, as she and my father had learned.
Regardless of the card’s ultimate meaning, I realized at that point, that my parents’ past was tied up in my future. It was like an Oreo cookie. I had lived the frosting middle with them. Now, I had the two cookie ends to deal with. I always wanted to know about my parents’ early lives. I just didn’t know it would come at a time that I felt so alienated and alone. I spent many days reading my mom’s journals. Mysteries melted, turning into reflecting pools. I couldn’t help but marvel at how much the light I saw reflected back at me.
I began to record the flood of images in my Creation Book—that magical object that served as the soul of my creative endeavors. I knew from working with it so intimately throughout my middle and later school years that there was no better place for my deepest secrets to go. I could have segregated these most personal of musings into journals like my mom did, but I knew that deep down I could never divide myself that way. My life was my canvas. What I created was because of who I was, where I had come from and most importantly where I was going.
As the months passed, I realized that my mentor had been right. Fears that my pre-realm life would fade to black-and-white memories never materialized. The technicolor life I had lived with my family grew more vivid every day. I’m not saying that it was easy. I’m not saying the loss wasn’t there. But by sharing my memories, I had started to create something new. New relationships were born. And every little creature I have created since then, carries within them a glittering gem mined from my memories, forged from my soul.
—Jellybean Reds, Creator of Little Creatures