Revenge of the Mummy
(A Sherlock Holmes/Doctor Watson Adventure)
by John Pirillo
A Bobby walked the sidewalk in front of Baker Street 221B whistling the latest tune favorited by the public that year. Something about a sailor and a woman meeting at midnight. He paused a moment when he saw movement near the ally, but when nothing else moved again, he looked up to the window above, and saw the silhouette of Sherlock Holmes in the curtains, gesturing with a long hand.
He smiled, knowing full well who it was and thanking his God that such a smart man lived to thwart the dark-hearted villains that plagued London.
Inside the sitting room Watson warmed his hands against the hearth screen, allowing its warm glow to suffuse his body with a calming presence. He still felt chilled by what he had learned at the museum. "It's just incredible, Holmes. What manner of mummy could come alive after thousands of years and then climb to the ceiling and enter a vent without leaving a mark?"
Holmes, who was pacing near the window, paused a moment, then continued pacing. He held his pipe in his right hand and used it almost like a means of pulling him forward, until he turned to repeat the movement in the opposite direction. "I'm not sure."
"Well, the samples should make everything clear for us." Watson said cheerily.
"Professor Grayson should have them back to us first thing tomorrow morning."
"It was kind of him to interrupt his late class to speak with us."
"It's the kind of man he is, Watson. Driven by the thirst for truth and...justice."
Watson nodded. "Hard to believe he's also the Invisible Man."
"Many things are hard to believe, dear Watson, yet remain so anyway."
Holmes sat down in his favorite chair, crossed his right leg over the left and took a draw of hsi pipe. He blew out small gray circles and watched them expand, then fade away. He repeated that again, then stopped. "Perhaps we're looking at this all the wrong way."
"Whatever do you mean?"
"Perhaps, what we're looking for is impossible to believe and that's why we can't see the truth of it."
"That makes no sense at all, Holmes."
"Ah." Holmes said with a smile. "It makes all the sense in the world."
"Goodnight, Watson." He said and exited into his room.
Watson stood up, startled by the abruptness. "Since when do you go to bed before me."
"Since tonight. Plan on getting up early." Holmes said from behind his door.
Watson shook his head. "Never a moment of peace." He muttered, then settled back into his chair, pulling up the comforter on his lap to warm more of his body. "Puzzles and puzzles. Mysteries and mysteries. When will it ever end?"
He yawned and listened to the pop and crackle of the burning wood several moments, then his eyes drifted shut and he fell asleep.
Missus Van Der Veere was the toast of London. She was always invited to the most posh parties and would show up with diamonds on every finger, her wrist, her arm, her neck, her hair, her bosom. Anywhere, quite frankly, they could be shown off to the maximum benefit of her wealthy position. Never one to believe that hiding one's wealth was a sign of generosity to those less than well off, or as a sign of arrogance to those equally as wealthy, she was brash, bold and...beautiful. For a woman of sixty that is.
Most women never made it to her years because of one thing or another, but usually child birth which was still one of the largest causes of premature death in women during those times, even as advanced and advancing as they were, yet, modern science, and especially the art of delivering a safe baby and mother had not yet fully been arrived at yet.
Surely there were many hucksters and fake doctors who claimed such, and made themselves fortunes on the loss of such women, but there was no easy way out for a woman who lived children, yet had to face the very real prospect of an early death.
So Missus Van Der Veere thought nothing of climbing out of her Tesla Limousine which this night was driven by a famous stage actor, Sir Alex Guiness, a relative of the brother Alec, who had not made much of himself in this life, even after having gone to Americas to be in the movies, where he had failed miserably.
No, Alex, was tall, stately, every inch a gentleman and quite well aware of the fact that his fame rested in the slender hands of Missus Van Der Veere, or Milly, as he called her quietly during those times when he would be reward in other ways than that of fame and fortune. Not one to shy away from womanly pleasures, he found it to just be another avenue of exploration for his acting ablities, and was quite capable of giving her everything he had and then some.
"Alex, dear." She said she got out, waiting for him to close the door. "Would you be so kind as to fetch me a dozen roses for the after show. I want to make sure that that new actress from the Californias..."
"Miss Monroe shall have at least a dozen roses to match her beautiful blonde hair."
Missus Van Der Veere gave him an annoyed look. "Alex, all women's hair are brown as far as I am concerned. If the talented actress wishes to join the millions of us who cherish our bottles of hair dye, then whom am I to complain."
"Consider me warned and I do apologize, Madam."
"You may park the car, fetch the flowers and..."
She gave him a subtle wink.
"I shall make sure our usual place of assignation fits all your expectations."
"Very good of you, Alex. I expect you to go quite far in London Theater."
"Thank you, Madam. I look forward to seeing you there."
"Oh, you shall." She said as she faced the long line of reporters who were waiting to photograph her as she walked on the plush carpet meant for the rich and powerful. As she began walking up the carpet, light bulbs flashing, you looked back and said. "One day, we both shall."
He nodded, then climbed back into the limousine and gunned the electric motor, allowing the back wheels to gain a bit more traction in the snow outside, causing some skittering of the wheels, scattering a spray of snow up the carpet and into the back of Missus Van Der Veere's shiny and quite expensive gown.
The photographers had a heyday catching that one.
Alex saw what he had accidentally done in his rear view and made a fast. "So much for that career."
As he drove around the corner into the alley shortcut he usually took to fetch flowers for her at the end of the performances, he saw something large loom before him. He jammed on the brakes, fearing he was about to strike a homeless person, or an itinerant of some kind.
The limo struck the looming object and a terrible screech struck the night with such awful terror and pain that he felt for sure he had just murdered a woman.
He leapt from the car, and headed towards the side where he had seen the body fly, fearing to see a mass of broken bones, torn clothing and blood. He hated the sight of blood, which is one reason why he always did such fine performances where he had to spill it. He had no problem with showing his disgust for murder and especially blood, because the sight of it caused him to become instantly nauseous. Something he had cultivated, unfortunately from his younger days, when he was but a youth.
Missus Van Der Veere did her best to not show her indignation or shame as she marched up the carpet to the foyer of the theater, but when she heard a man's scream blasting over the laughter of the Photographers, she was horrorified. She heard it one last time and her face turned a horrid shade of gray. "Alex! My God!" She uttered, her voice cracking with fear.
There was a horrible moment of silence as the crowd realized the scream was not part of the opening ceremonies, nor of the actors entering the theater.
Some of them turned around. As they did, they dropped back, crying out in horror.
Alex stumbled forward towards the carpet, his hands outstretched like a zombie's. His entire face was half eaten away and half his right side. How he had managed to get that far no one could ever know. Later in the newspapers it would be reported, and wrongly so, that he had used what little life he had left to make sure that his mistress was safe from harm, but in reality he just wanted to see one last time what he would never see again.
Alex fell at her feet and then his body began to dissolve as if a strong acid were eating it up. The smoke and fumes scattered the crowd even more. But what was worse was Missus Van Der Veere. For it was the first time she realized and the last that this man was gone forever and that she had truly loved him, despite her airs of annoyance and arrogance towards him.
She flung herself down beside him, uncaring of any harm that might come to her, again demonstrating that she was not in her right mind, but that love had blinded her. For when she dared to touch what was left of his face, her hand lit up like a piece of paper and caught on fire.
The crowd all screamed in terror and even as a Medical Wagon and a Bobby Wagon were pulling up, the people panicked and fled in every direction as Missus Van Der Veere screamed in mortal agony and loss for herself and the man she had come to love.
Her scream was the last thing she remembered before she descended into the blissful safety of utter blackness.
Samuel almost shouted himself awake on the balcony of his Vegas condo. "What!" He exclaimed as he realized he had fallen asleep on his favorite lounge.
"About time you got that sorry ass of yours up and at it." Jimbo hollered from inside.
Sam, confused and stunned for several moments, stood up and stretched, and then he realized he was still dressed like he had been inside Mount Shasta.
Jimbo stepped out with a plate of fries the size of a mountain and a huge bottle of ketchup, two forks and loads of paper napkins. He set them down on the table next to the lounge chair, then pulled two bottles of Root beer from his side pockets and set them on the table. He popped one, took a huge gulp, belched, then sat down and began heaving fries into his hungry mouth, dumping liberal amounts of ketchup on the fries as he eate.
"Eat up!" Jimbo mumbled through fries and Root Beer.
Samuel sat down on the opposite side, and glanced at the sky. "This is impossible."
"Fries are the most possible thing on the planet."
"Not the fries. The sky?"
Jimbo looked up and almost choked. "Hey!"
There were two suns in the sky.
"Don't say it!" Samuel warned him.
Jimbo looked at his fries, then the two suns, then at his fries again. "Oh hell, a man's gotta eat!"
He tore into the fries again.
"Where are we?" Samuel asked outloud.
Albert appeared, perched on the railing in front of him. Marilyn appeared next and stood next to him. She waved.
Jimbo almost spit his fries out. "I can see them again!"
Albert gave Jimbo a sad smile. "Sorry, Jim. Time to go."
"Time to go. We just got..."
The balcony and everything vanished.
White light which had surrounded and engulfed them vanished, and they were now on the balcony again, minus the fries, with only one sun in the sky.
Nanny screamed inside.
Jimbo ran inside, with Samuel hot on his heels.
Nanny stood in front of a gigantic crystal that had her image in it and some kind of strange creature that was looking back at her.
Albert and Marilyn appeared again.
Jimbo looked at him. "Sorry again?"
Another explosion of light and this time they found themselves laying in freezing snow just outside the entrance to Mount Shasta's hollow interior.
Jimbo rolled over, spitting out snow. "I want my...."
A flurry of fries spilled out of the air and buried half his body.
"...Fries." He finished.
He sat up, noticed Samuel and Nanny also laying face down. He shoved the fries off and helped them to sit up.
Samuel gave Jimbo a weary look. "Time to go home, buddy."
"Just look at this mess, Sammie. Those darn angels can't even get a man's meal..."
A huge plate of fries materialized on the ground with three stools, a small table, bottle of ketchup, napkins and Root Beer bottles.
...Right!" Jimbo finished.
"I don't care. I'm not touching them. No more yank-ems!" Jimbo protested.
Samuel sat down and tasted a fry. "They're still hot!"
Nanny sighed, then got up and joined him. "Please remind me never to go anywhere with you two again. Ever. Ever. Ever!"
Then as her stomach gurgled loudly, she joined Samuel in eating fries.
Jimbo sighed, then gave up. He dropped onto a stool, poured a ton of ketchup on the plate and looked at his friends. "Can't beat 'em. Join 'em. That's what I always say."
Chapter Seventy-Two Samuel and Jimbo stood at the entrance to the diner of the forest ranger lodge restaurant, the Narrow Sparrow watching Nanny talking excitedly to an older woman of about forty-five. The older woman looked back at them and smiled, then returned her attention to Nanny, who wouldn't let go of her hands as she talked.
"Guess this whole trip turned out to not be such a waste of time after all."
"Time to go back to the heat again."
Jimbo didn't nod.
Samuel looked at him.
"I gotta go back to Texas. Sis sent me a text message about that Haunted Outhouse again."
"What! But that family of spirits was sent into the Light."
"Evidently another family moved in, and they're threatening to shut down every toilet for the next ten square miles around it."
Samuel shook his head. "I guess sometimes..."
"Crap happens." Jimbo laughed.
Samuel looked at his friend. "Need help?"
"Nah. I think I got this one handled."
Nanny and the older woman came out. They joined them.
The older woman was almost a carbon copy of Nanny, just with gray hairs and wrinkles. Her mouth crinkled in a smile at Samuel. "Your friend asked if we could join him in Texas for a few days."
Jimbo gave Samuel a shy look.
Samuel looked at Nanny.
Nanny shrugged. "Mom's psychic too."
Nanny's Mom waved at Al and Marilyn who were standing next to Samuel, enjoying his expression.
They waved back.
"She's going to help that new family mosey along and I thought it'd be nice to show my fiancee our spread while she was there."
Samuel's face lit up. "You're getting married?"
Nanny lightly punched Samuel on his arm and grinned. "Not letting this cowboy loose on his ownsome. No way! Besides..."
You looked embarrassed about her next words.
Jimbo picked it up. "She wants to help us."
Samuel's face lit up. "Wow! That's great. We'll be like the guys in Ghostbusters."
"Except with a girl." Nanny laughed.
"One thing I still don't understand though, Sammie." Jimbo said. "When we ended up in those two weird places, what was going on?"
Nanny's Mom's eyes widened as she picked up the answer from her own angels, who stood behind her. Samuel couldn't see them. He wasn't supposed to.
"Al told me last night. Evidently our world is not the only one. There are an infinite number of them just like ours, only people on them made different decisions and the outcome changed everything around them."
"That maybe, but I think I prefer my fries staying on the plate I served them on." Jimbo growled angrily, then he barked with laughter. "Just listen to me, as if that would ever happen again."
He stopped laughing when a seven foot tall bunny walked past, then waved.
"Hi Harvey!" Nanny said and it waved back.
Jimbo looked at her, then at Samuel. "I'm not going to ask. Not going there. Let's go home!"
Sherwood Forest was much thicker and taller than it looked once they rounded the edges of the lake, which as it turns out, is comprised of a surprisingly large amount of floating settlements, or islands as the villagers call them. They go by very different names too, like Kin Island, Brother Island, Franks Island, Island of Lazies, and so forth.
At first Samuel thought Smarn was just joking when he began pointing to various islets, or islands, and giving them the odd names, but once he began making our way around them, and he could see the connecting ramps between them, and little signs, sort of Hobbit like which were carved and enamaled with the simple, or quite outrageous names.
They made their way towards the end into a lesser aspect of the lake, where the islands thinned out, and a rather large hamlet, or stretch of land moved from the east side of the lake, which was called Marion's Hair. A name Robin's eye twinkles gave away its namer. On the far side of the hamlet were indeed some tree houses, but rather crude by modern day standards, but once Samuel had been in a few, he didn't think them so crude anymore.
That night they climbed into the largest of them. It was Robin and Smarn's home, and about dozen other men and women, who lived on the various levels of the home, which actually merged with the tree and went deep into its roots, where ice and food and extra clothing and weapons were stored.
At dinner that night the men brought out pipes and played dancing jigs, which the women would dance to and we would clap along with. Samuel had never had such a good time before as with these simple people. Not simple, that they were stupid or ignorant, just that they didn't make huge demands of life as most modern men and women might.
Samuel's first awakening to the more complex nature of his new friends, was when he was invited to sleep in Robin's room with Jimbo, while Nanny slept with some of Robin's women friends.
Smarn and Robin both slept in there as well, but there was plenty of room. The beds were carved out of the tree, and formed niches that were just deep and wide enough to along Samuel and Jimbo to stretch out comfortably.
The niches had a kind of hair growing from the walls, which Robin said were sensors of a sort, in that when anyone sleeping on the grass like mattresses got too cold or warm, then extra layers of blankets would grow over them, or away.
It was like being hugged by the tree all night long.
It was a fantasy in many ways. Dream like. And so far from Vegas and its harder style of living that Samuel almost regretted that one day they would have to return.
The four men sat at a small table in the center of the room and played a game called Tarts, which allowed each player to have four cards in each hand, with them playing one from each hand by separating them with their forefingers. This allowed them to view their cards, and then decide which to toss down first. Whoever tossed the most likely cards first...calling them high and getting the highest...won by accumulating points.
Smarn usually won. He didn't look smart, but the giant had a genius intellect. Samuel later found out when Smarn was poking around in the basement of the tree that Smarn had taught the tree to do all the things it did by singing to it.
Smarn sang to the tree in the basement and Samuel watched with fascination as a root sprang into view, then rose into the shape of a chair. When it was finished, it spread out a soft mat of leaves upon its surface for Smarn to sit upon.
"That's amazing!" Samuel told him.
Smarn nodded. "There's more. Watch."
He began whistling and a series of twigs, or what looked like twigs on the earthen floor began to dance with one another. As they did they began growing taller and taller, until they intertwined and formed a plant that resembled a person. Finished, it half bowed to Smarn and then stood at attention.
"Go to watchpost." Smarn told it.
The Leaf Person climbed the ladder from the basement, seeking its goal.
"Watchpost?" The first hint of danger.
Smarn shrugged. "Nothing for certain."
"I thought you were safe here."
"We are. But forest not. The sky men burn down forests."
Robin dropped from above and squatted. "I overhead your question."
Samuel looked at him.
"Methusaleh and the Ancients have tolerated their acts of cruelty for a long time, in the hope that their leader...whom you seem to know...might change and his peoples. We have actually recruited some of them. You may remember the Island of Whites?"
"It's what they call themselves." Robin explained. "The Whites. White power. But they no longer claim to rule the world inside or out. Only to be white, so their island name is both a designation and a self deprecation."
Samuel smiled. "It's good to know that they're not all evil."
"No." Smarn agreed. "Not. Just more now."
Smarn looked sad. "Must crush."
Samuel looked at Smarn. "Crush?"
Robin patted Smarn on his right knee. "It's all right,Smarn. They will be provided for."
Robin looked to Samuel. "Smarn still has some doubts about the after life."
"It seems that your partner and mine have some similarities." Samuel mused.
Jimbo, who had been sleeping, woke up stretched, yawned loudly, then interjected. "Someone has to preserve our sanity in the midst of all the crazy mumbo jumbo you guys do!"
Smarn laughed hard. "Like Jimbo!"
Jimbo preened beneath Smarn's laughter. "Ditto back at ya, big fellah!"
Robin stood up. "Dinner time!"
They climbed to the top of the tree where a great round table had been built. No roof overhead, just a kind of soft cloth, which they later found out was more of the tree's genetics woven into a soft cloth like covering.
Robin and his men served the women, who passed out dishes to everyone from where they sat.
"It's a tradition of equality." Robin explained as he sat down after passing out the last of the breads that had been recently baked in the third basement of the tree."
"We believe that all men and women are created equal in the eyes of God. We not only believe that, but we practice it as well. Something I fear you upper earthers are still working on."
Nanny, who had been silent to that point, lit up. "That just about sums it up."
Jimbo looked over at her. "We're not all that bad."
She gave him a dimpled smile and blinked her eyes at him. "No. You're not."
Robin tapped the table with his knife, then cupped his hands over his heart. He closed his eyes and prayed. Samuel and the others closed their eyes.
He and Jimbo listened as Robin spoke. "Dear One Light, the Center of all that we are, we thank and praise you for our abundance, for our lives and for our souls. Amen!"
Samuel opened his eyes a moment as the prayers were going on and he saw a nimbus of golden light dancing around Robin's body as he spoke. Behind Robin Al and M were smiling and waving. Having themselves a great time. Between them stood Methusaleh, beaming at Samuel and his friends.
Well. Well. Well. Thought Samuel.
Robin opened his eyes and then broke into laughter. "And after dinner, I will show you something that will truly amaze you."
Samuel saw Al and M and Methusaleh walk off into the air and vanish. "I already have."
The Shasta Caper
None of them suspected that the Nazis were able to fly in stealth mode, but they had. When they shivered into visibility they were surrounded by ten Mechas, all standing at least fifteen feet tall with soldiers mounting their sides, all with weapons trained on them.
The closest Mecha stood over thirty feet tall and Saron stood at its peak, a cape flaring behind him. He looked majestic as the air flipped his cape about, but his eyes were like cold ice. His soldiers watched Samuel and his friends nervously. They had seen the death and destruction left behind by these people and were wary of what they might do.
"We meet again."
"Unfortunately." Jimbo muttered, looking for a weapon.
A number of Soldiers raised their weapons when he moved.
"Don't." Samuel warned him.
Jimbo growled angrily, but kept still.
Saron laughed. "Such wisdom in a savage is unparalleled. Maybe it's time we emerged on the upper earth and took back what was rightlfully ours."
"And maybe not." Samuel replied, his eyes steel hard at that moment.
Robin put a hand on his hip, close to his sword. "You are barely suffered here, there you would be annihilated!"
"Perhaps." Saron replied, the hint of a snarl on his lips.
Saron dropped to the ground and stepped several feet in front of his Mecha. "Did you really think you could get away from us so easily?"
"Actually." Robin said with a half bow.
"Shoot him!" Saron ordered.
A dozen soldiers raised their arms to fire.
Samuel shouted. "If you do, then you die along with him!"
The soldiers hesitated.
Saron looked at Samuel. "You hardly look capable of carrying out such a threat."
"Looks can be fooling."
Saron weighed that a moment, then smiled. "Okay, let's say I do fire, what's the worst you can do?"
Samuel looked at the nearest walker and held a hand up. It glowed a bright red for a moment. Samuel's body became lit up like a living flame.
"Shoot him!" Saron ordered, pointing to Samuel.
"No!" Cried out Jimbo and Nanny at the same time.
The soldiers fired, but instead of their energy beams striking Samuel, they repelled from the energies around Samuel and struck the men who had fired them. The lances of energy struck the weapons that had fired and they exploded, sending all the soldiers flying into the air, their armor and clothing on fire. Their screams filled the air as they collapsed to the ground.
Samuel stood there. Not a word coming from him.
Saron looked ready to say more, but instead he shook his head. "We'll meet again."
"I doubt it." Samuel replied.
Saron climbed one of the Mechas and they all flew off back into the forest.
Before anyone could stop him Robin clasped Samuel in his arms and gave him a big hug. "I could kiss you!"
Samuel stood in front of an oddly fashioned mirror made of polished metal, admiring his long brown hair. His blue eyes set off the color of his hair nicely. He took the goose feather comb and began stroking his hair, smoothing out the burrs in it, while his husband watched him with eager eyes from the canopied bed of their bedroom.
"You get more beautiful every year."
Samuel smiled, then turned about, causing his long woolen nightgown to swirl about his hips and legs, accenting them momentarily. "You're just saying that because you want me to kiss you."
He laughed. He was wearing no more than long woolen shorts, his hair chest bristling with gray hairs, reveal a muscled body worthy of a god. "Always the tease."
"Always the hunter."
He grinned. "But I hunt well."
"Indeed you do." Samuel replied, putting down his comb and sitting next to Hermes. She leaned her head into his heavily muscled arm and he sighed with relief.
"You know this might be our last chance to be together."
Samuel nodded. "Don't go."
"I must. Our city will fall without its general."
Samuel looked up into his warm, brown eyes. "Then let it fall."
He cupped Samuel's chin and held it close to his face. "You look even more beautiful when you're being contrary."
He kissed Samuel lightly on the lips and Samuel pulled back.
He gave Samuel a surprised look, then Samuel rose and went back to his grooming. This time he began washing his hands in a small pot of warm water that had charcoals under it, keeping it warm. Hermes had made it for Samuel on their wedding day some months back. He had been so proud of it. Called it a warmer. "Someday, everyone will have something like this." He had boasted.
Samuel had laughed at his vanity, then given him a hug. "You are not only a brave soldier, but a smart man. A thinker."
"No. Not really. Well. Sort of." He concluded with a light agreement on his lips, which always curled slightly when he was being self deprecating.
Samuel finished cleaning his hands, then dried them with a cloth hanging next to his mirror. He turned and held up his hands. "Now they are worth of being held."
That was all Hermes needed to know. He swept across the room like a vulture seeking its prey and tossed Samuel over his shoulders. He twirled Samuel about the room, yelling like a madman, causing Samuel to scream like a small child in delight, then he tossed her on their bed and dropped on top of him.
"Now, my beauty, you shall pay the price!"
"And what price is that, dear Hermes?" Samuel demanded coyly.
His lips smashed down against Samuel's mouth, his tongue...
Robin rebounded from Samuel as the flames flickered out and a bright blue light replaced it. Robin flew several feet through the air and landed on his bottom.
Smarn reached for his weapon.
Robin leaped up and stayed his hand. "He didn't mean to harm me!"
Samuel swayed there a long time, his eyes on Robin, his body trembling, then he steadied.
Jimbo said nothing. He knew what had just happened, if not the details of it. He had seen this happen so many times by now. He put a hand on Nanny, who was giving Samuel a deeply worried look. "He's fine."
"Don't look fine."
"Trust me!" Jimbo said.
She punched him.
"Owww. Or not!"
Nanny ran over to Samuel and helped him sit down. "What just happened?"
Robin and Smarn came over and squatted next to him. Jimbo sat next to his friend and watched silently.
"I saw a pastlife with Robin."
Robin's eyes widened. "Was I pretty?"
Robin looked crushed.
The Shasta Caper
by John Pirillo
Jimbo sneered at the self righteous bastards that had intended to kill him and his friends. But only for a moment. He heard a scream and saw that a portion of the balcony had fallen and Nanny was buried partially beneath it.
"Hang on, Sammie!" Jimbo roared, then aimed the platform towards the battle arena.
Above him the Dragon Snake made a quick snack of those in the balcony, then coiled and shot to the next balcony, landing with a bloody crunch on the ones there.
It never occured to Jimbo or Samuel why they didn't save themselves by exiting the destruction at the time.
Nanny struggled to get the debris off her. Her left leg was pinned so tight she couldnt' budge it. She felt a shadow cross her and looked up in alarm.
Jimbo's grinning face and Samuel hanging on by his hands to the railing caught her attention immediately. "About time you guys showed up. I could use a little help here."
Jimbo landed the platform and leaped off, the same time as Samuel dropped to the arena floor and rushed to Nanny's side. He saw what had happened and looked around. He spotted a broken body with a ceremonial sword sticking out from beneath some rubble. He plucked at the sword. It wouldn't budge at first, then it broke free.
He went back to Nanny's side, where Jimbo was tossing debris to lighten the weight of the debris on her. She looked strained and ready to collapse, but she held up bravely as Samuel stuck the sword under a piece of rubble and used it like a lever to move the debris pinning her leg down.
Jimbo saw what he was doing and helped.
In a matter of moments the debris lifted. Only a slight bit, but enough for her to roll free. The debris collapsed immediately afterwards and buried where she had lain.
Jimbo gave her a hand. "Don't you know better than to kick down walls, Missy?"
"Funny!" She said, then gave him a big smack on the cheek, then Samuel.
They looked up just as the Dragon Snake finished off the next to the last of the balconies of the crowd.
"Looks like snack time is going well for our friend up there." Jimbo mused.
"All the more reason for us to leave. Immediately." Samuel urged. "There' s bound to be help on the way."
They climbed onto the platform and Jimbo guided them through the exit, they had to fly low to avoid scraping the ceiling with their heads. They flew swiftly along the corridor before them.
"Any idea where this leads?" Jimbo asked.
Samuel shook his head. "My invisible friends are still hiding."
Al popped into view a moment alongside Samuel and shook his index finger at him, then vanished.
"Or whatever it is they're doing." Samuel amended.
Jimbo freaked when he saw a huge metallic door swinging downwards ahead of them.
"Hang on!" He urged and then gave the platform all it had.
It shot towards the closing gap at breakneck speed.
They all had to drop down low, but they made it with only the back railing being torn off by the descending door.
They stood back up to see the door crunching the metal like it was candy.
"Could have had a V-8." Samuel joked.
Nanny scolded him with a glance and he looked away.
"Look out!" Samuel shouted.
Jimbo reversed their course, but too late. They struck a descending door just as it slammed into the floor, closing off their way out.
They were flung to the floor, rolling over and over, until they crashed into the walls. They lay there stunned a long time, then finally Nanny spoke.
"You guys sure know how to show a girl a good time."
"Then you're going to love us." Robin said to her as he stepped from a side door, with Smarn rising beside him.
Nanny saw Robin. "Hi! Gorgeous!"
Then she saw Smarn. "Uh."
Smarn snorted. "They never like me."
Samuel laughed. "Sounds like my lines."
He looked over at Jimbo, who was getting to his feet. Jimbo shook his head and then shrugged. "Some of us got it and some..."
"Are like me." Smarn finished with a grin.
Samuel liked the giant immediately.
Robin half bowed again. "You'll have to pardon my midget friend here's manners. I'm Robin and he's Little Smarn."
"Smarn!" Smarn said simply.
"Indeed you are." Nanny agreed, backing behind Jimbo.
"I don't understand why you two are here now." Samuel said. "I've never met any of you before. How did you even know where to find..."
A trumpeting sound rose.
The mother elephant and her swarm of miniature elephants came out of the room Robin and Smarn had.
"They wouldn't stay behind."
Smarn held his nose. "We had to sneak them aboard the flying ship. Stunk."
Robin scolded Smarn. "You should be used to the smell of poo by now, Smarn. You herd the Gelfers in your village and they smell ten times worse."
"Yes. But they also not in a closed room."
Robin grinned. "Still." He swept around to look at the new people standing before him.
Samuel, trying to make sense of what was going on, stuck out a hand. "At the risk of sounding stupid, I'm Samuel, the big guy is Jimbo and the awestruck girl is Nanny. Shouldn't we be thinking of getting the hell outta here?"
Robin half bowed.
"I think the locked doors on the balconies should hold them a bit longer.
"You mean if there's any left to hold." Nanny shot back.
Robin gave her a blank look.
"The Dragon Snake was snacking on the last balcony when we split." Samuel explained.
Smarn suddenly tensed. "Are you talking about a creature about thirty yards long and a body as thick as a large tree with sharp scales and a jaw that could swallow..." Gulps. "...Me?"
Everyone spins around.
Slithering at breakneck speed down the corridor at them is the Dragon Snake. It sees they've spotted it and opens its mouth and lets out the first sound they've ever heard from it. It's so loud that they have to clamp their hands over their ears to stop from collapsing from the pain.
Then the Dragon Snake stops, coils itself and launches towards them, its jaws opening wide enough to swallow everyone and everything in the corridor. Its mouth is a slimy red and oozing gallons of saliva that is a slimy green from the corners of its mouth.
Samuel, Jimbo and Nanny tensed as the Dragon Snake, which it resembled with its vestigial wings and huge scaly snout with blood red eyes, and row after row of pointed scales that alone could kill or crush someone to death, suddenly came out of its trance.
It slithered closer, its snout lowering to get a closer look at them.
The Leader of the Damned raised his mike to his mouth again as more spotlights lit the area of the Tube Battlefield, spotlighting the Dragon Snake and each of the three humans below facing it. "Just look at this site, ladies and gentleman. Mein Fuehrer! They represent the culmination of human history in the Upper Earthers, and what do you see?"
The crowd roared, "DEATH!"
"Exactly. Death and destruction. They are nothing compared to our might and glory. The Aryan race is gloried in us! Now without further comment, I leave you to this brief spectacle of subspecies fighting subspecies!"
Jimbo raised a bone in his hand and shook it at the Leader of the Damned. "You're so damned tough, get your ass down here and fight me man to man!"
The chamber went deathly quiet.
Jimbo thought maybe it was really going to happen.
Then the Crowd roared with laughter.
They began clapping their hands together over and over. "Death. Death. Death!"
Jimbo snarled angrily and glared at the huge Dragon Snake. "It may eat me for a snack, but not before I take a piece of it with me."
Samuel tried to restrain his friend. "It's not over yet."
"You always say that before the proverbial poo hits the fan, Sammie! It's been nice knowing you. See you on the other side...if there is another side." Jimbo growled, then charged the Dragon Snake.
Before the Dragon Snake could react Jimbo leapt onto its back and ran lightly up its spine, then thrust his bone spur into its right eye. The Dragon Snake roared in pain and frustration, its gigantic tail lashing across the battlefield.
Samuel grabbed Nanny and threw them both to the left, as the tail swept through where they had just stood. A second longer and they would have been mashed to pieces by the sharp scales of the snake.
Jimbo looked up at the startled Leader of the Damned. "Who's so high and mighty now, you stupid cow dung!"
Jimbo gauged the distance between him and the Leader and leaped. He barely caught hold of the platform as it began to lift, urged on by the Leader, who realized he was in danger.
The crowd began jeering and booing.
The Leader of the Damned stiffened and turned around, just as Jimbo climbed onto the platform. He towered over the Leader, his eyes bloodshot and filled with anger.
"I think you had something to say to me!"
The Leader reacted quickly. He unholstered his weapon to fire at Jimbo, who kicked it from his hand, then slammed a fist into his jaw, sending him plummeting into the Tube Battlefield.
The Leader of the Damned lay there stunned, gathering his senses, his gun several feet away from his hand, when a shadow fell across him. He looked up.
The Dragon Snake was looking into his face, flicking its tongue hungrily.
He rolled to reach his weapon.
And just like that he was roadkill for the Dragon Snake as it lifted its head with the Leader of the Damned clenched between its jaws.
The Leader of the Damned look to his fellow comrades. "SAVE ME!" He begged.
He looked up. The entire crowd looked up.
Hitler rose slowly and with great effort, then raised a thumb in the air.
Even the Dragon Snake was caught up in the moment, its eyes catching the movement high above.
Hitler's thumb turned downwards.
The Dragon Snake tore the Leader of the Damned's body in two, sending sprays of blood and gore across the battlefield.
Nanny screamed in horror.
Samuel pulled her close. He felt the horror as well, knowing that they would be next.
The crowd roared with cheers, then began clapping again.
"Death! Death! Death!"
Jimbo looked at the controls of the platform he stood upon. A lever clearly marked up and one down, and two to the right and left. He played with them as the Dragon Snake upended its head, allowing the remains of the Leader of the Damned to slide down its throat into its stomach.
Then it eyed Samuel and Nanny and its tongue flicked across its snout hungrily.
Jimbo moved a lever left and almost threw himself off the platform.
He caught himself, then pulled it gently to the center again, stabilizing the platform.
"Gotcha now, baby!" He snarled with satisfaction.
Samuel and Nanny fell back as the Dragon Snake lowered its snout and slitered noisily across bones, snapping and crunching them as it neared.
The Crowd kept screaming, "Death!"
Hitler remained standing and watching the oncoming slaughter.
He was too far up for Samuel to get a clear view of him, but he could swear the man didn't look right in some way.
Samuel's attention snapped back to the Dragon Snake as it closed in on him and Nanny.
"Nanny, you have to listen to me." He told her.
She was shaking so violently, he thought she might be having a heart attack or a seizure.
"When I charge the snake you must run behind it and to the opening on the other side."
"I won't abandon you!" She said through gritted teeth.
"You must try!" He urged her desperately.
She looked into his face and saw his determination. "You and Jimbo are something else."
She swung her arms about his neck and gave him a quick kiss on the lips, then as he ran for the snake and shouted, "NOW!" She ran around its side for the exit.
Samuel was about to be engulfed by the Dragon Snake's huge mouth, when something from above swooped down and a powerful hand grabbed him by his right arm and swung him upwards, almost wrenching his arm out of its socket. He landed on his side on the platform that Jimbo had commandeered.
Samuel looked up and grinned. "My hero!"
"You bet your pretty...blank and blank...I am." He said with a grin.
"Hold on, buddy!" He ordered, and as Samuel gripped at the railing next to him, Jimbo swung the platform around and shot upwards, just as the Dragon Snake hurled itself at them.
It missed, but barely.
It caused Samuel to be flung off the platform. He caught the railing in the nick of time, but his feet and legs hung dangerously in reach of the Dragon Snake, which whirled around swiftly, its right eye still bleeding from Jimbo's thrust and launched itself again.
Jimbo urged the platform higher towards the nearer balconies.
The crowd cheered and clapped as the Snake barely missed them again.
This time Jimbo dropped lower, then caught the Dragon Snake's good eye. "Here kitty, kitty!"
"Hang on, Samuel!" He warned, then as the Dragon Snake coiled itself to strike, he raised the platform to the same level as the nearest balcony.
Some of the crowd there kept cheering, but others were starting to get nervous. No one was armed. They had never had anything go so horribly wrong before. Some realized what could happen and leaped from their privileged chairs to swarm towards the exits. Before they could reach it, the Dragon Snake shot upwards at the taunting Jimbo.
He shot the platform straight up.
The Dragon Snake landed in the first balcony.
The Shasta Caper
by John Pirillo
Jimbo, Samuel and Nanny waited patiently in their positions they had been handcuffed to as the cell door swung up and two very large men in white uniforms marched inside. They held odd pistol shaped weapons in their right hands. Their eyes were all shades of blue. Their hair blonde. They looked like they might have been born in Sweden or Germany.
Their jaws were square-shaped, their faces also square. They had high eyebrows and very sharp looking eyes, as if they could see through walls. The air of intelligence was strong about them, even though their appearance to Samuel was that of thugs, uniformed, but thugs, nonetheless. He could sense that their intelligence was an artificial one, not strengthened by the wisdom of the heart. These men would not tolerate opposition to their ideas or their demands. He glanced nervously over at Jimbo, but Jimbo just stood there, his eyes settled on the nearest of the men, as if appraising him.
A third man walked inside. He stood a good foot taller than the others. He was also Germanic in appearance. He wear a pure black uniform with a Swastika of gold dangling from its left shirt pocket. His eyes were cold and relentless, like a winter storm sweeping over the Antartic. He carried himself like a god on earth, condescending to touch its soil with his delicate spirit.
"You are the accused!" He announced without preamble.
"Of what?" Samuel made the mistake of asking.
The two Soldiers rushed over and punched him in the stomach at the same time. He had been prepared for the punch, so it didn't take all his wind away, but it hurt like hell. He struggled a moment to keep upright, then managed.
The third man acted as if nothing unusual had just happened. He stepped closer to Samuel and eyed him up and down. "Your father was of German descent?"
He looked at the soldiers. "This one will be saved for the last."
He walked over and examined Jimbo closely. "Impure blood. He will go first."
Jimbo growled, but held his tongue.
The man went to Nanny next. "Lovely, but too weak of body."
Nanny's face darkened, but she also bit her tongue at a glance from both Jimbo and Samuel.
"Good!" The man decided, noting what had just happened. "She shall serve the soldiers after the Tubes Battle is ended."
Jimbo's jaw muscles bulged at those words, and with great effort, he held himself back.
The man smiled smugly at his prisoners. "I am the Leader of the Damned."
Samuel believed that, but he didn't say anything. Something in his look must have caught the Leader's eye, for he turned swiftly to appraise him.
"You are a sensitive?"
Samuel didn't speak.
The Leader came closer and touched Samuel's forehead in the center. "You use this eye. Yes?"
Samuel remained silent.
The Leader's eyes narrowed angrily. "You have permission to speak! Are you a sensitive?"
"I am not!"
The Leader struck Samuel across his cheek, causing one of his teeth to loosen and blood to spurt into the face of the Leader.
He took out a pure white hanky, with Swastika embroidery and dabbed at the blood on his face, then stepped back. He turned to the soldiers. "I will await them in the Tubes."
He headed for the exit, then stopped and looked back at Samuel, his eyes narrowing in thought a moment, then he exited. They could hear his footsteps march off as the soldiers strode to take the cuffs off Samuel first.
They turned their backs on Nanny and Jimbo, who they felt to be safely out of reach of them.
"Ah-hem!" Jimbo coughed from behind them.
The first soldier turned around just as Jimbo slammed a hammy fist into his face.
The second soldier turned to level his pistol at Jimbo, when Nanny slammed into his gut, and kneed him in the groin.
Both soldiers dropped to the floor.
Jimbo kicked both soldiers hard in the head, causing them to lose consciousness. He was about to kick them again, when Nanny stopped him. "We're not like them."
Jimbo grumbled about it, but stepped back. She and Samuel quickly used the old cuffs to imprison the men against the walls, then ripped off pieces of their uniforms and shoved them into their mouths and bound them to their face so they couldn't warn anyone.
Samuel went to the exit and peered out. The corridor was empty in both directions, except for the strange lights that lit it.
"Ready." Jimbo said from behind him.
Samuel nodded, and as both Marilyn and Albert materialized to the left and began hurrying off in that direction, he set off that way.
"I hope your invisible friends know what they're doing?" Jimbo growled warily as they followed Samuel.
"If they don't." Samuel told him. "You'll be the first to know."
The dungeon atmosphere of their surroundings was dark and depressing, even with the lights on the walls. Once they stopped when they heard moaning from a cell. They looked inside and almost threw up.
Hanging by his arms from a wall was a man with scars all over his body from the head down. He was half naked, his eyes sunken so deep in the skull you couldn't see them. He had no ears and his scalp was living brain tissue.
Jimbo almost ripped the door open, but Samuel stopped him with a shake of his head.
"He's beyond our help now."
He looked across at Al, who nodded.
Samuel lifted the pistol he had taken from one of the soldiers and aimed it at the poor man. "Rest well."
He fired the weapon and a sizzling beam of raw energy struck the man in his heart. The man recoiled from the blow, then looked up at them. His eyes opened wide a moment and he smiled, then his soul fled his body and his weight collapsed against the chains holding him.
Nanny began to cry. Jimbo shouldered her close and held tight.
"Somehow these monsters will pay for this."
Samuel felt the same way, but he knew that wishing the worst for someone else was also the path to the dark side of life, so he just said a silent prayer for the soul who had just died, and then continued to follow after Al and M.
The Shasta Caper
by John Pirillo
Samuel would never be able to look at Nanny again the same after his experience. It was like that. Once you remembered a past life that clearly that person you experienced it with just didn't feel the same to you anymore. All the memories of that life were now in the open. Yes, much of it faded with time, but the course was set now. The relationship was forever altered.
He had loved Nanny in another life, but not as a man, but as a woman. An Indian woman. On many levels he was glad of the experience, despite the emotional pain it had brought at first, because once more he was understanding more clearly how the earth really worked. That it was not about money, fame or future, but about relationships. And it again reminded him of how shallow the lives were of some, who saw their lives as defined by what they owned, rather than by what they were on the inside...the golden part of the self...loving, caring, kindness.
"Samuel." Jimbo interrupted his thoughts.
"Yeah. I'm okay. We better get moving while we can."
They continued to follow the cover that was allowed through the thinning band of trees on the hills as they descended towards the vast lake they had seen from before.
Again, Samuel mused at the vastness of this realm. He looked up and saw vast continents above them, huge bodies of water and resplendent forests and mountains. It was a world of beauty. Great beauty, and yet there was part of it that was dark and sinister.
He realized that the Ancients knew more than he ever could and respected their decision to allow the Floating City and their inhabitants the right to live there, but he also knew that the deeping darkness of those who inhabited it must sooner or later spell their doom.
God was patient, but sometimes it took a thorn to remove a thorn, and if those who gathered in the heights of the sky were dead set on not changing, not becoming part of this beautiful world, there would come a day when their freedom would end.
As they gathered beneath a towering tree, filled with odd-shaped fruits, they heard a vast humming sound. They looked up and immediately ducked for cover. It was the floating city again.
They hid beneath some thick shrubbery and watched as the vessel would cast huge laser like lights upon the ground below, as if hunting for something...probably them...then it would continue on.
"I got a bad feeling about them." Jimbo growled.
"Whatever they are." Nanny added. "I don't think bad is the right description."
Samuel said nothing. He was noting how Al was frowning.
"Nanny, even the most horrible of people will one day see the Light." He reminded her.
"Maybe so, Mister Angel Guy, but I don't think it's this lifetime for these ones?" She countered, bobbing her hair around to get it out of her eyes. Frustrated, she grabbed it and began knotting it together.
"I'd give a million dollars right now for a rubber band or a hair clip." She grumbled, finishing up the knotting of her hair. She looked at the guys. "How do I look?"
On their look she frowned, then sighed. "Remind me not to do this again."
They laughed, then as the city vanished from view in the distance, they sought the path and again descended.
The giant lake was clearly in view when they stopped next. They rested next to some high boulders and thick shrubs, so they could stay out of sight from the floating city and any flying vessels above."
"Samuel." Nanny said after taking a hit off her canteen and wiping her lips with the back of her sleeve. "How'd that Saron character escape the explosion of his ship?"
Samuel considered that a moment. "It's possible he didn't die in it."
Jimbo butted in. "We don't even know what kind of escape mechanisms they have for such a situation. Maybe he parachuted."
"We didn't see any."
Jimbo looked away. "Maybe they were stealth."
Nanny laughed. "Now that is stretching it."
Samuels eyed the lake intently a few moments. "I think I see people down there. "
They all turned to watch where Samuel pointed.
"Darned, if you aren't right, partner!" Jimbo said, his eyebows furrowed in thought. "But they don't look big."
"Maybe not everyone is...."Nanny cut in. "...Here."
"Only one way to find out." Samuel said, rising to his feet. He stretched to get the kinks out of his back and legs, then began marching downwards again.
As they continued the rough ground about them became thicker with vegetation. Large areas of wild flowers spread colorful lines of blossoms and sporadic brush with red and gold leaves sprouted from within the lines of flowers.
Once an odd creature poked its head up from the brush and looked at them.
Nanny almost shrieked. "It's an elephant!"
"My God! Your'e right." Drawled Jimbo. "A pigmy elephant."
"Kinda hairy for an elephant." Samuel noted.
Nanny grabbed Samuel's arm. "I got to see if I can touch it."
"I wouldn't..." Samuel started to warn her, but she was already off, heading for the tiny creature. It watched her as she approached, its tail swishing busily. It munched on a flower, then looked down and plucked another with its trunk to shove into its mouth.
She dropped down onto her knees next to the creature and gathered a flower blossom and held it out. The elephant made a wary sound and backed up a bit.
"It's okay, baby. Mommy won't hurt you." She told it, a bright smile on her lips.
The creature stiffened again, but when she laid the flower down, it edged closer and took the flower and jammed it into its mouth. Its eyes widened with pleasure.
Nanny laughed and the elephant made a small trumpeting sound.
She plucked another flower, one out of the elephant's reach and a different kind and color and held it out. The elephant didn't budge at first, then it tentatively moved closer and snatched the flower from her. It ate the flower, then stood still looking at her. It raised its trunk and made what couldn't be considered anything else than a pleading sound.
She plucked one of the higher flowers and laid it on her right knee. The elephant eyed it hungrily, wavering a bit, then it edged closer and snatched the flower. It swallowed it, then gave her a new pleading look. But this time it lightly tapped its trunk on her knee. She smiled warmly, then grabbed two flowers this time and placed them on her knee.
The elephant moved cautiously closer, then put its two front feet on her knee and swept the flowers into its mouth. It remained in that position, giving her a new look of demand. Nanny plucked an especially large one and held it in her hand for the elephant. It stepped the rest of the way up onto her knee and ate the flower from her hand.
She gently placed her fingers across its back and it didn't flinch or try to get away. She gently stroked it.
Jimbo and Samuel watched with amusement and delight as the spectacle unfolded. "You have to admit, Sammie, she's got a touch with the critters."
"I'm sure your horses would love her, Jimbo."
Jimbo didn't see Samuel's face. His eyes were on Nanny. "I'm sure they would."
The Shasta Caper
by John Pirillo
"Is that where we had..."
Samuel cut her off. "Exactly."
Jimbo shook his head. "I don't know how you do it, Sammie, but you've pulled our butts out of the fire yet again."
Samuel smiled. "I have friends in high places."
Al and Marilyn waved at him from his right and he waved back.
Nanny turned to look. "How come I can't see them anymore?"
Samuel shrugged. "This world doesn't go by the same laws as our old one. It's pure energy."
"Doesn't feel so pure to me." Jimbo said.
"Nothing you can see, feel or touch, Jimbo. Once you enter this realm, as we did when we tumbled into it, your physical body is translated into a higher vibration."
"Now that sounds like just plain horse crap to me." Jimbo argued.
"It's how I was able to withstand the bullets and the knife." Samuel pointed out.
"About that?" Nanny began.
Samuel shook his head. "Not now. We gotta keep moving. They won't take long to discover our tracks."
Jimbo chuckled. "No rest for the wicked."
Samuel grinned. "Got it, old friend."
Nanny sighed. "You two old married hens have really got to stop doing that."
They both gave her scowls.
She held her hands up. "Okay. All right. Just teasing."
"Gotta be careful here, Nanny. Your thoughts are more powerful than you think."
Jimbo laughed. "And I don't want to be turned into a wife to this character." He pointed out.
Nanny's face creased with laugh lines. "You two..."
"Uh-uh!" Jimbo and Samuel warned at the same time.
They repacked their gear and headed onto the path again, which had grown more faint as they traveled. It became less and less frequently obvious, yet somehow Samuel kept them to it.
Nanny was about to ask, then skipped it, she knew Sam would just say a little birdie told him. One with bushy white hair and one with golden. She sniffed.
"I think I'm coming down with a cold." She finally had to say, breaking the silence of their walk.
"Samuel?" Jimbo asked.
Samuel stopped and lifted a hand towards Nanny. She backed up.
"Not going to hurt one bit." Samuel said with a grin.
"Better keep that hand above the water and off the waves, buster, or I'm kicking your shins and then your bony..."
Samuel touched hers right shoulder.
She practically leapt out of her skin when his hand turned a bright green. Green energies spilled out and coursed around her body, like water seeking its own level, until her entire body was overflowing with green energy.
"What is that stuff?"
"You can see it?"
Jimbo scowled. "I can't!"
Nanny nodded. "First thing I've been able to see for days now."
Samuel pulled his hand away from her and she reached out to grab his hand to thank him.
A huge burst of energy exploded between them, sending Samuel off his feet and onto his back, and Fanny into Jimbo's arms.
It was close to dawn. The stars were still bright sparks in the smouldering sky of night, where clouds swirled around a hungry moon, whose white face was attempting to break through them, but failing.
She looked down at her hands. They were raw and red from all the planting she had been doing. They were also quite wrinkled.
She smiled. She'd had a good life. A very good life.
She looked up at the stars again.
Dawn was beginning to erase them one by one and the clouds burst into fire beneath their rims, as the morning sun cast its glance across them.
She looked to her right and saw the village. Still asleep.
She was usually the first one up.
She looked at the great mountain top that their village sat beneath. It was capped with snow that glittered blood red from the dawn sun. Spinters and fingers of red splashed down the mountainside and cascaded to the foot of the boulder she stood upon, even coloring the tan mocasins she wore on her feet.
"Today would be a good day to be with the Sky Father."
She felt his presence come behind her and his warm hands clasp her frail shoulders. She leaned back into him. Hungry Wolf was nothing like his name. In his youth he had been brave and brazen, sometimes going off to battle against the white man who was beginning to rob their tribe and the others of their lands. Their sustenance and their lives.
She turned into his clasp and looked up into his brown eyes. They were filled with a depth of understanding that only age and much wisdom could imbue them with.
"I remember when we first met here. You, so young and bold. Me, so young..."
"And beautiful. Even as today." He said, caressing her hair with his lips.
She sighed, feeling her whole body tremble with desire for him. Not physical desire, but a need to be closer, closer than ever. She felt that at the same time as she felt this weaking, loosening of her hold on the world.
"Help me sit down." She begged.
He gave her an alarmed look, then quickly hid it as he helped her to sit down on the blanket she had woven years back and spread on her prayer rock. He sat beside her and drew his own blanket over the two of them.
"I think Sky Father is coming, Hungry Wolf." She said, her words simple and deep with truth.
He nodded. She didn't see it, but she could feel him doing so. They had become so close that there was little he felt that she didn't also.
"I will miss you." He whispered in her right ear.
She clasped his strong, bronzed right hand with her left one and bowed her head in gratitude. The Father had been good to her. Her life had been long. Two wonderful children had been born. All still alive.
She leaned back into him and shut her eyes.
She could feel the warmth of his body clasping her tightly, then she felt this kind of buzzing sound in her ears.
"I know. Be not afraid, my princess of the sky."
Sky Princess was her name. She had been named that because her mother had given birth to her at the top of the mountain.
"I am not afraid with you here." She said.
Then she felt a warmth moving from her toes to her ankles, then her midsection. The warmth spread throughout her body and as it did, she felt a sense of a heavy burden about to be lifted from her.
"I love...you." She said as her words grew softer and faint.
His voice seemed to come from a distance. "This is one walk I can not come with you, my Sky Princess."
Then his voice vanished.
She opened her eyes and found herself on the same boulder, but now there was a tunnel of golden light rising from it towards the stars. Near its top, she saw another tunnel...of pure white light and she saw her father and mother and great ones of her tribe.
She stepped onto the golden path and it seemed as if her feet were gliding, not actually touching anything, then she stepped off into the white light and threw her arms wide as her mother and father rushed forward to greet her. She felt her heart was about to break with the intensity of love she felt at that moment. She wept with joy as they enfolded her in their arms.
Samuel staggered back from Nanny and for a brief moment he saw Hungry Wolf overshadowing her, then he had to wipe at his eyes, for they were flooded with tears. They were together again. After many lifetimes. He felt her...his last live's love for Hungry Wolf...who was now Nanny and he couldn't hold back anymore.
He threw his arms around her and wept like a child.
She stiffened at first, then held him back, caressing his hair.
Jimbo watched them silently, knowing that a miracle had just happened, though he wasn't in on it. He still felt the warmth of what was happening and had to wipe at his own eyes, even as Nanny let go and allowed herself to feel what Samuel was feeling.