War of the Worlds, The Invasion continues. A sample of something I write a while back. Fun stuff with an odd bent to it.
In the year of our Lord
Eighteen Hundred and Ninety One
This August Thirty First
The Globe Theater
The Queen's Room
"To be or not to be...that is the question." My lead actor spoke upon our stage. I watched from the second level gallery, making sure his pitch and diction were strong and clear enough. He looked up at me and I gestured for him to continue, but my mind was elsewhere. So much has happened since I last put anything down in my journal.
I'm not sure where to begin.
When last I wrote I mentioned I had sent my favorite pigeon to bring a message to my friends in Paris. I needed to know if they were alright first, and then if there were problems, what I could do to help. I had the ear of our Queen, and was not loath to wax it with soothing words on their behalf if need be. She was a stern queen, but a fair one. She loathed men who were weak and full of folly, but she loved men who were brave and daring, such as Jules and Wells.
Wells had been on her list of men she was considering knighting for his pretigious output of fictional journeys and adventures. She likened him to her other favorite, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, whom I have not yet had the chance to acquaint myself with personally, as we do keep our lives in pretty much different worlds these days. I have passed him in the palace from time to time and we have chatted briefly, but that is not the kind of conversation that leads to a deep friendship, but rather a shallow courteous one.
I tend to the opposite. I like to know those I am around in all the ways possible. I suppose that is because I am a writer, an observer of life and as such my mind demands more details than most who go day to day on their life journeys.
As I was seated observing my actor deliver his soliloqy, Sarah returned. She always knew where I was and I always kept a treat for her. Perhaps that motivated her more than anything else, I can not be sure of what goes on in a pigeon's mind, other than utter kindness.
She landed on the railing beside me and cocked an eye on me, then nodded to her right foot where a note was attached. I gave her a treat, and hurriedly untied the message to read it. I was distressed while doing it, because my actor had just blown the next two lines and said, "whether it is bolder to go outside and face the storm than..." Furious at the disruption of my beautiful poetry, I almost chased Sarah away, but I kept my temper in check for both her and the actor.
He was having a rough time at home as I understood it. Something about a romance with another man that wasn't going well. I felt for him, for relationships were difficult with the opposite sex, let alone the same. It is the nature of relationships that they have difficulties. If you are looking for a peaceful and tranquil ride throughout your life, then do not seek a relationship, as they are not always tranquil or peaceful, they are human. And humans feel and sometimes too deeply. And sometimes too shallowly. The choices we all must live with.
I motioned to the actor to do it again and as he did I swiftly unraveled the note and read it.
"Dear Will, it is with the utmost sense of urgency that I request you speak with the brotherhood. Paris is in distress such as no man could ever have suspected to happen. Our beloved Eiffel Tower is now a broken toy, and much of our fair city has been burned and leveled to the ground. I fear that my dear friend Wells is taking this much harder than I, and I can barely look at myself in our mirror now, knowing we might have unwittingly set off the monstrous destruction we now survey about us."
It was a long note. I looked up and the actor was looking at me, an expression of what next. I glanced at my Stage Manager who stood right stage watching and motioned for him to cue the man. He did so and the actor got back in character again and continued.
I returned to the note, my hands trembling, for I feared the rest of the news that surely must be there.
"A strange device from another world has descended into our fair city and it immediately began destroying anything and anyone in its path. I fear it is but the advance guard for something far worse."
I looked up and muttered to myself. "Worse than destroying Paris?"
I shuddered in horror.
I read on.
"Contact the brotherhood, let them know we have a greater peril now than the war between our nations. That a War of the Worlds has begun.
"I shall endeavor to contact you again in two days if able. For now my friends and I must help as many as possible to survive this catastrophe.
"Your friend, Jules."
I looked up again, tears misting my eyes. It was that bad. The Captain's words rang in my ears again in remembrance and I knew at that moment that the play was not the thing in this case, and that the Great Wheel now turning was being spun by hands not meant to be guided by our Creator, but by something far darker.
Pardon me if I seem somewhat melodramatic, but that is my nature as an actor and writer, but as a human being I can only shudder in horror at the thought, "A War of the Worlds has begun."
And it was at that moment that a great shout arose from outside the theater, as if a great crowd were crying out in horror.
Lurker in the Locker Room
"A Samuel Light Junior Story"
By John Pirillo
"It hid in the depths of the shadows, its eager eyes haunted by what it had become. It was hungry. Hungry for what it had never dared to taste before. Its hunger was not satisfied by mortal food anymore, but by something much darker in substance."
Jimbo stood in front of a campfire, his hulking form looming over the Cub Scouts arrayed in a circle about the fire. The nearest child's eyes were as wide as moons as Jimbo spoke, and if one were close enough, they would see that he peed his pants. And he wasn't the only one. Jimbo was nothing if not a great story teller.
"What happened next, Scout Master?" A Cub to his right asked, his eyes pleading for the rest of the story, even as he strove to keep his body from shaking from fear.
In the forest they were in the middle of some bushes shook. The Cubs ignored it at first, and then a pair of glowing red eyes appeared in the shadows of one of the largest trees and a growling sound. The Cubs jumped to their feet, ready to take flight.
"Whoa! Whoa, little fellows. It's only my friend and buddy, Sammie trying to put a little terror into your hearts."
At that precise moment as he finished his soothing words and the Cubs started sitting down again, Sammie walked into the light. "Hey Jimbo, where's the flashlight you left for me?"
The Cubs all jumped back up, and screaming ran off into the woods.
"Now why'd you have to go and do that for?" Jimbo asked, perplexed at how Samuel had gotten from the trees to there so fast.
"Scare the kids before I finished my story, that's what?"
Samuel gave him a blank stare.
Jimbo looked back over to the trees and the glowing red eyes were still there and then the growling grew louder. "Oh Holy Mother!" Jimbo cried out, and then ran after the kids.
Samuel watched his friend run off, then sat down next to the fire and began to whistle as if nothing unusual had happened. The eyes continued to glow, but the growling had stopped. Samuel pulled out a remote control and flicked off the simple machine he had set up earlier in the day, and then reached for the nearest hot dog strung on a limb across the campfire. He tossed it from hand to hand until it cooled off, and then began eating it.
Samuel and the other kids all watched the clock as Mister Marvel, his real name, finished telling them their homework for the night, and then the bell rang and everyone scrambled for the door. Samuel stayed back. He went to Mister Marvel, who deftly dodged a rushing kid who almost struck him from behind.
"That device you gave me for the weekend worked like a charm."
"You're welcome, Sam. Did they all run?" He asked with a smirk.
"Every one of them, including Jimbo."
Mister Marvel laughed. "Glad I could accommodate you, your friend's been disrupting classes for years now."
"Revenge is sweet." Samuel said with a grin.
"Indeed it is. Indeed it is." But when Mister Marvel said it, Samuel didn't get the feeling he really meant it, but gave it no second thought. Adults were weird anyway.
They both felt, rather than saw a movement from the corner of their eyes, but when they turned to look, no one was there.
"See you later, Mister Marvel."
"You got it."
Samuel exited the room and threaded his way between the rows of students talking and looking at their cells as they did, or high fiving, fist bumping or whatever exotic moves they had come up with for that week or year. A couple who sat next to him, gave him strange looks as he passed them and began talking in low voices to each other, while glancing at him.
He had gone along with the weekend fright, but thought most of it childish. The only reason why he had gone along with the scare tactics that weekend had been to get Jimbo's attention. His friend was getting too cocky. And that worried him. They had been through so much now that he worried Jimbo was going to take that kind of life as normal and lose his edge. He couldn't afford to. Not and stay alive if he was going to be with Samuel.
A locker slammed with a bang behind him and he turned around. Jimbo stood there, a strange look on his face for a moment, which he quickly dissolved into a smile. "P.E. Time."
He and Samuel hurried down the corridors, until they reached the quad, and then the front gate of the gymnasium. They were practicing basketball along with the other class members. Some for the team they hoped to get on and some just because there was nothing else to do.
The hour went pretty fast and after running defense for each other most of the time, and tossing a few hoops to the dismay of their team mates, they went back into the locker room and began undressing for their showers.
"Sammie, you'd never lie to me, would you?" Jimbo suddenly said, a look of concern on his face.
"No reason to."
Jimbo leaned closer and in a conspiratorial voice whispered. "There's a lurker in the locker room."
Samuel started to look and Jimbo caught him with a light blow on his knee. "Don't look, give you away."
Samuel gave Jimbo a closer look. Jimbo looked frightened, even more so than the other night. What was going on?
"You see something?"
Samuel shook his head.
"If you do, whatever you do, don't tell anyone."
Samuel began to get annoyed. "Is this some kind of trick?"
"Look, Sammie, we're best friends, we'd never stoop to anything as stupid as that, would we?" He asked in his thick Texan accent.
Samuel felt a twinge of guilt. He had done something as stupid as that.
"Look, I've been doing some research and remember Mister Fielding?"
"The teacher that killed all those kids?"
"Yeah. That one."
"What about him?"
"Someone saw him in the locker room last night."
"Not possible. He's dead." Samuel said, and then did a double take. "You're serious!"
Samuel began a sly surveillance of the locker room. "I don't see any ghosts."
"Not this one. He only comes out at night."
Samuel sighed. "Jimbo, no way you're getting me to come back here tonight. No way in heaven...or hell!" He added for emphasis.
Samuel and Jimbo watched the Night Watchman checking doors, and then they slipped from behind the bleachers and made a dash for the locker room. Their Nikes squeaked loudly as they ran, but not loud enough to alarm the Night Watchman. Mister Reed was deaf in one ear and they were running on that side of him, as he made his way across the dark gym floor, the stark beam of his flash lancing ahead of h im.
They made it into the locker room and carefully shut the door.
"I'll keep watch." Jimbo whispered by the door. "You see if you can, you know...see..."
Samuel shook his head. His Mom was going to kill him if she found out he hadn't gone over to Jimbo's as he had phoned to her. There would be hell to pay.
He brushed his mop of hair back out of his eyes and peered about the locker room. Nothing more than deep shadows and even steeper darkness. His eyes were more attuned to the dark than others. He had a special vision that allowed him to see in the dark, when others couldn't. But not only that, he could see things. Jimbo called them ghosts. Most ignorant people did. But they weren't ghosts, they were people who had died and lost their way.
Samuel did his best to help them when he could. Sometimes they didn't want to be helped; they were stubborn and incorrigible, like hardened criminals. Once he had seen one plucked right out of the body of an innocent person and hauled off into a searing bright light. Not to hell. There was no hell, but he knew that soul was going to have to go somewhere and make up for the wrong he had been doing to that child.
"See anything?" Jimbo whispered.
"Keep alert. I was told it appears about nine o'clock every night. Time it was executed."
"Yeah. So's flying saucers and auras and little men who can walk through walls and climb up your nostrils, but we've seen them. Or least you have."
"Look, Sammie, if you want to chicken out."
Samuel turned around. His eyes flashed with anger. "I'm no..."
"Chicken." Jimbo taunted him, and then made clucking sounds.
Samuel wanted to punch his friend at that moment, but he wasn't the sort to do that kind of thing. Wasn't in his blood. Jimbo had no such problem. He had seen him take on three kids a foot taller than him and three grades older with one hand and win.
"Next time you say that I'm going to throw my dirty gym shorts at you."
"Mercy!" Jimbo cried out.
Samuel grinned and turned back the way he had been looking, and just as he did, something moved in the distance. At the right upper corner of the lockers. It was dark and streamlined, moving like smoke.
"Jimbo." He hissed.
Jimbo ran over and crouched beside him. "See it?"
"Something. Look!" He pointed.
Jimbo looked, but he didn't see anything.
Then they heard something breathing heavily and it was moving down the other side of the lockers towards them.
"Holy Mother!" Jimbo cried out, starting to sweat.
Then it stopped at the exit from the lockers and turned to look at them with bright, burning red eyes.
A groan came from it.
"I can't see any aura." Samuel squeaked. "It's not human."
"Is it dead?"
Then the thing, whatever it was, rushed them.
Both Samuel and Jimbo dashed out the locker room door and into the gym, then outside, screaming at the top of their lungs.
The lights came on in the locker room and Samuel's Mom and Mister Marvel stood there where the thing had been, a long gossamer cloth lowered between them, with a pair of led lights attached to it.
They both broke into laughter. "That should solve both their problems." Mister Marvel said.
"I hope so. My son can be a bit cocky sometimes."
"But I think Jim is going to be a mite angry at me in the morning when I talk to the two of them with you."
"Better they should hear the truth. They need it."
Mister Marvel nodded, and then began to dissolve into the air.
"Thanks for the opportunity to work off some karma with them kids."
"You're welcome." She said, then picked up the other side of the cloth and exited the locker room, wondering how she was going to explain to Samuel how he had been listening to a ghost teacher all these weeks. She laughed. Ghost person.
Death and Dying, Guns and Roses
By John Pirillo
It's funny how I remember some of my earlier years. My girl friends all talk about their proms, their hair dos, their new cell phones, even sometimes about their Instagram pages and Twits, but rarely do they ever talk about the things that really impact us to the very cellular level of our souls. Death.
It's a rose with thorn that no one wants to prick their finger on.
I was forced to face it early on. My parents were driving to Oklahoma in our old car, which was steaming a bit from the long drive we had put in already and we had to slow down because there was an accident ahead of us. It took us about an hour to get past, but I will always remember my father stopping the car and pulling to the side to help.
A car had flipped over and the driver was pinned beneath a wheel. Their head was under it. How they could have remained alive under those conditions I'll never know. I would hate to imagine the pain and terror they must have been experiencing. To be trapped like that and so helpless.
Hundreds of people had driven past. The Highway Patrol was nowhere in sight yet, maybe stuck at another accident. I didn't know then. I don't know now.
Father told me to stay inside. So I did.
Mother gave me reassurances, but I could tell something was not right about the driver under the wheel. Their colors were all wrong. They used to be bright and sparkly pink, but now they were tinged with blackness throughout, and the darkness was spreading.
"She's going to die, Mama." I told her.
She shook her head.
"No one really dies, honey."
"I know, that's what the Preacher says. But I overhear him sometimes talking to himself about how he's getting old and he doesn't want to die. Why does he say that when he knows God will protect him and guide him?"
She gave me that motherly look and pressed her hands to both my cheeks. "Honey, just because you serve God, and love God, doesn't always mean you understand God and all that He does."
"But why wouldn't he help a man of God?" I insisted, frustrated with her answer.
"Maybe he is. If he didn't think about it, how could he prepare for that moment we all must face? Young or old?"
I paused in my thoughts a long time, pondering that. This is quite remarkable for the seven year old child I was at the time. I don't think even teenagers would give it that much thought. As a matter of fact I know they don't, because in my 8th grade class, Mr. Bronze asked all the students what they would want to be remembered for when they died.
Nine out of ten of them laughed.
The ones who answered said things like my car, my pet, and my hair do. This had brought a lot of laughter from the class, but frustrated Mr. Bronze, because it wasn't what he had hoped to provoke with his question.
The fool that I was, I stood up and raised my hand.
Surprised, he turned to look at me, just as all the other students had.
"Mister Bronze, I don't believe in death. Mommy tells me it's just a transition and I believe her."
He gave me a thoughtful look.
"Just why it is that she believes that, Lovelight?"
Lovelight's my nickname, but Cynthia's my real name. I've gotten so used to people calling me Lovelight now, that I don't even use Cynthia anymore. I suppose I will when I get married. (If I ever get married. I don't think that far ahead.)
I tried to remember Mom's words exactly, which was hard with Jacob up front making faces at me behind Mister Bronze's back.
"Stop that Jacob! Or I'll paint a second nose on your forehead." Mister Bronze warned. him.
The class burst into laughter and Jacob slumped down in his chair, trying to become invisible, which was probably not a bad idea for him as he was way too much visible most of the time. My Mom called it needs for negative attention and he sure fit that bill like a square peg does a square hole.
I waited until the class stopped laughing, and then answered. "Because we are all a part of God."
"That's true." He said.
"And no part of God can ever really die."
"That's also true."
One of the girls, Nancy Riger stood up, her face all red with anger. "That's wicked, Mister Bronze. My preacher would spank you if he heard that!"
Mister Bronze did a very unique thing. He didn't scald her; instead her looked at her and gave her a very sad look. "I bet you didn't know I went to seminary school to become a preacher."
She blanched, fearing what his next words might be.
"Uh...yes. I mean no I didn't."
"There wasn't a student there beside me that didn't believe that there had to be something more than just heaven and hell to our deaths."
After that he shut up and brought up the science book we had been studying. "Class, turn to page sixty four, the human DNA. Who can tell me how our DNA affects our longevity?"
My thoughts slipped back to the car accident again.
I don't know why, but for some reason, I was compelled to exit our family car and run to my Father's side. He was trying to lift the car off the head of the dying woman.
Yes. I didn't know she was dying outwardly, but I could see it in her colors. They were turned all dark, and fading.
"Father!" I told him.
He looked at me. I shook my head.
He looked at the woman, and knew what I was seeing.
He gently let go and backed off. I dropped to a knee and put my hands over her chest, just above her heart. Her eyes fluttered open and I could tell she was already dreaming of her passage to the next world of peace beyond our troubled world.
"Who are you?" She asked weakly.
I smiled at her. "A friend."
She smiled faintly. "I've never had a friend."
I could have wept. My entire being was wracked with sadness and tears at that moment. I held back my tears and gave her the best and brightest smile I had. "You have the best friend of all and He's waiting for you."
After I said that I felt this gentle breeze behind me. I turned to look and a tunnel of whirling white energies was opening up and the woman beneath the wheel was no longer beneath the car, but at the entrance to the light. It opened up wider and she stepped into a wide, glowing tunnel at the end of which was a man most talk about, but few truly believe in. He came forward to take her hands and guide her.
She hesitated a moment, and turned her head to look back at me.
I brushed the tears from my face and nodded.
She nodded back, and then gave me the most beautiful smile I've ever seen in my life.
The man looked at me as well and I will never forget his face. It was the face I saw in the movies every Easter. He smiled and the love he poured into that smile melted my heart.
"Lovelight!" My Father said. "Let her go!"
I was jerked from my vision back to the accident scene.
The woman no longer breathed beneath my palms. I removed them, and then slowly stood up. My Father pulled me away and crushed me against him. "It's all right, she's with God now."
"I know." I replied without speaking.
He didn't hear me, but when I looked to our car, Mom nodded her head and wiped at the tears in her eyes. I know from that day to this that she saw everything I did, even though she never spoke a word about it.
So you see, I may be growing older, but I don't fear death and dying, or guns and roses. Because we are not made of earth, but of light and hope, stars and dreams and one day we will all step back into the Light that our best friend has made to receive us once more into his home.
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.
The Shasta Caper
by John Pirillo
Samuel went to the trunk and looked more closely at the etched words on the trunk. The only words he could recognize were Jules Verne and 1862.
Nanny peered past him on his right side and spoke in French, " Est allé au centre de la terre, Jules Verne, 1862. Went to the center of the earth. Jules Verne, 1862.
Jimbo came to Samuel's left side and peered at the inscription, then fingered it gently. As he did the inscription lit up like a candle, glowing a bright red with new words: Attention il ya danger ici pour l' imprudent !
"Beware, there is danger here for the unwise!" Nanny read, her voice shaking with fear.
"Wisdom to the French at that time, meant the stupid." Jimbo drawled in his best Texan.
Nanny turned to him. "We're not stupid."
"Then let's not do stupid things." Jimbo remarked. "The man was a genius. The fact that he could come here and return tells you he was smarter than most. But the fact that he left a warning should be a heads up for us to be on the lookout."
"For what?" Nanny asked, beginning to shake again.
Samuel took her shoulders and turned her towards him. "You're not in danger!"
Jimbo touched her right arm gently. "Nanny, Samuel and I have been to hell and back, and we're standing with you here today. There's nothing so bad that you can't win your way through it if you're smart. That Frenchman is just saying keep your smarts together, don't do anything rash."
"And more importantly. Don't be negative. The laws of the upper Earth don't apply here the same."
Jimbo started to ask how he knew that, but didn't. Al.
Nanny took a deep breath and shook herself free. "Why would he write such a thing? And more importantly why didn't he let the world know he's been here? Why did he write a fantasy story, instead of the truth?"
Jimbo burst into laughter. Nanny spun on him and punched his right arm.
"Ow! Damnit! Stop doing that! He cried out angrily. He rubbed at his wounded arm, giving her a sour look as he did.
"Then stop laughing at me!"
"Why are you so paranoid?" He asked. "I wasn't laughing at you, I was laughing at what is probably the answer to the last question. It's obvious. No one would believe him. Hell, they almost strung up Galileo for believing the earth wasn't the center of the universe. Can you imagine what would have happened to Verne's career, maybe even his life had he revealed the truth?"
Samuel began to clap, slowly and steadily.
Both Nanny and Jimbo spun on him with angry faces.
"Well spoken, Jimbo. My exact sentiments."
Nanny poked Jimbo in the ribs. "Who's paranoid now?"
Jimbo raised a finger before Samuel could say it. "And don't you dare say a word. Not one!"
A huge shadow fell over them and they looked up. It was the same kind of flying ship they had seen the other day, but different in certain ways. It had a strange marking on its sides, marked in a blood red color.
Up close they could see a lot more detailing. The length of the ship had to be about a hundred feet. It was about twenty feet at its dome center an probably about thirty yards in diameter, except where the squarish sides protruded. They were very odd, and seemed to be tipped with some kind of cover, as if they were meant to open. Puzzling, but nothing threatening.
The color of the metal, if that is what it was, was pearlescent. A kind of muted pearl white with hints of aluminum and copper. The vehicle had numerous plates without any visible seams, only stripes that marked the sections.
It had a kind of landing pod on three exterior bottom sections that barely protruded, and they were surrounded with an array of blinking red and green lights.
The rim of the saucer ship was alternately covered with blue and white lenses that blinked on and off in a kind of cadence that suggested some kind of beacon. The top of the ship had a somewhat visible entrance that was shaped triangular and marked by red dots with silver pearls in them.
But what had caught their attention was the insignia on the front, back, left and right of the ship's middle section. The center turned slowly, counter clockwise to the main body, revealing a canopy window with vague humanoid shapes peering out. They seemed to be gesturing towards them. The insignia looked like something from World War Two.
"Swastika!" Jimbo cried out.
Samuel shook his head. "No, Swastik."
"There's a difference?"
"Yes. The one is anti-life and the other is the mother of life. The ancient Atlanteans and Lemurians used that symbol for their flag. It signified unity with the Divinity. The all in one. Life turning in the right direction. The Nazis turned the Swastik around, but Westerners don't understand the difference."
"Too big for my brain." Jimbo muttered, as he turned his attention back to the semi-saucer ship that was hovering overhead.
"I don't think they see us." Nanny said.
"I don't either." Samuel added in. "But they can sense us. They just can't see us clearly. Don't move."
They stood there looking up through the gigantic leaves of the tree at the hovering vessel. It didn't move for what seemed like hours, but finally, it put on a burst of speed and shot away.
"Who do you think they were, Sammie?" Jimbo asked.
"Trouble." He responded.
"I thought you said the Swastika was symbolic of the All in One?" Nanny asked.
"It is. But they are not of the One. At least not yet."
"Huh?" Nanny asked.
Jimbo looked at her. "More of his mumbo jumbo talk. You'll get used to it."
"I doubt it." She answered, then reslung her backpack and headed out.
He looked at Jimbo. "They won't be back soon. I think they are recharging their vehicle somehow."
"How do you know...."
Samuel pointed to where Al and M were standing. Jimbo didn't see them, but he got it. "Oh!"
Without another word Jimbo hurried after Nanny, who had stopped to look back.
Samuel turned to look at Al, who floated over and settled next to him.
"Don't frighten them." Al warned.
"I won't." Samuel said.
"I'm afraid your little journey might get detoured for a time."
"Doesn't it always?" Samuel said with a smile.
Al laughed, then joined M, who waved at Samuel, then both of them vanished.
At the same moment the craft shot back into view while the three of them were in the open. A blazing blue ray shot out and enveloped them within its borders.
The Shasta Caper
by John Pirillo
Al sat on top the statue in a very untenable position, almost laughing. Samuel grinned. Al didn't take it all that seriously, though he was certain whoever had built it must have, or did now. It was the nature of all cults that they found themselves to be more important than anyone else, even though the truth was all people were equally as important to God.
"I think it's a good sign." Samuel said.
"Why you grinning?" Jimbo demanded.
"Let's just say it's an inside joke and leave it at that." Samuel said, then turned back the way they could go.
"Well. If this is heaven, it's definitely the wrong direction." Nanny sighed.
Jimbo put an arm around her shoulders. "Buck up, cowgirl, hell never had it this good."
Jimbo grinned at him and they began descending the spiral staircase that seemed to descend forever into the darkness below.
"I don't get it." Nanny finally said, no longer able to contain her curiosity.
"Here we are, maybe several miles beneath the earth..."
"Or Shasta." Jimbo pointed out.
"Or Shasta." Nanny went on. "And yet both of you act as if it were no big thing."
"Nanny." Sam said, pausing a moment in their descent to look at her. He could see fear tinging her expression and his words softened a bit. "It's like this, when you've been through as much as Jimbo and I, and seen as much as we have, there's not a lot anymore that can shake us."
"Except death, of course." Jimbo said with a snort.
"Well, yeah. There's that." Samuel agreed. "But even death is not so scary anymore. We've both seen dead and undead."
Nanny stopped him there with a finger to his lips. "Dead and undead? What in the hell is that?"
"Jimbo." Samuel said.
Jimbo sat down and pulled out a twinkie for everyone. "Might as well have a snack. This staircase ain't getting any shorter."
They ate for a moment in silence, then Nanny looked at Jimbo. He nodded. "It's like this. The dead are those that die and go into the Light. And the undead are those that refuse to do so."
"Either because they're afraid God is going to zap them with a destructo beam or send them to Hell." Samuel interjected.
"Or worse." Samuel continued. "Make them eat their shorts."
Nanny gave him a surprised look, then hit him on his shoulder with his fist. "Stop that! That's just...just..."
"Unholy?" Jimbo asked with a smirk.
"No. Stupid!" She finally said.
"Oh." Jimbo replied, giving Samuel a look for help.
Samuel finished his Twinkie, then licked his fingers. "Nanny. God has a plan for all of us, it's just that we also have a plan for all of us, and they often times clash and when that happens we bail heaven to stay on earth."
"Hence the Undead." Jimbo added.
"You mean people are still here on Earth...well under Earth in our case...and don't go to heaven?"
"There is no heaven." Jimbo said. "Or hell. Only what we make of our lives, which can be either one."
Nanny looked even more confused. Samuel put a hand on her arm and patted it gently. "Nanny, it's a lot to get a handle on if you don't have the background, but it's the truth. People don't really die, and yes some people stay earthbound. For the most part they're tormented souls trying to put that last piece of the puzzle of their life back together again, but some are horrible monsters, not in the sense that they're dragons and that sort of thing, but they use people...real, living people...to carry on their obsessison."
"Hence, the dead and the Undead." Jimbo finished.
Nanny shook her head and got up. "Too much information."
She began down the staircase, not looking back.
"I'm worried about her, Sammie." Jimbo said in a whisper.
Samuel looked at him and shook his head. "She's facing quite a few challenges." He saw M giving him a smile and shaking her head, then smiling again. "But I think her intuition is good and strong and she will figure it out. One way or the other."
Jimbo sighed and reslung his backpack. "I hope so. God only knows what we're going to find at the end of this rainbow...and I don't think it's the Wonderful City of Oz either."
Samuel stepped down beside him and descended with him. "You never know."
They continued in silence for what was at least another hour and then they noticed something. Jimbo first. He stopped and sniffed the air. "Cattle."
"What?" Nanny asked, running back up to them. "Cattle. Where?"
"Close." Jimbo said. "Real close."
"How can you tell?" Nanny asked.
Jimbo winked at her. "Because their crap smells a lot worse when you're on top of them."
Nanny punched him again.
Jimbo sighed and gave Samuel the look of a wounded man. "Sometimes, I don't know why I even bother."
Nanny laughed, then gave him a hug. "This is why, you big jerk."
He laughed and hugged her back.
They descended faster this time and the smell of Cattle grew stronger, and also the smell of...
"Water!" Jimbo said. "Definitely water."
The stairs suddenly banked to the right and they stood on the edge of an opening into a pasture of green and gold, with fleecy clouds flinging themselves across the ceiling of the sky above. Literally a ceiling.
Al and M stood beside Samuel and pointed.
He looked that way and saw a luminous city made of what looked like light from where they stood piercing the sky. "I think we've found our goal."
Jimbo looked that way. "A city under Shasta?"
Nanny gave a gasp of awe. "Then the rumors are all true."
She had no sooner spoken those words than a beautiful luminous craft sailed past overhead in the wide open area, sparkling lights spiraling around its exterior edge, giving it the shape of a saucer, but with a bit of a triangular shape.
"It's beautiful!" Nanny cried out.
"Look, your cattle." Samuel pointed to their left where a huge grazing area was being swept over by what appeared to be hundreds of beautiful white and gold cows.
Then they heard a rumbling sound.
Jimbo sniffed the air. "The water smell's gotten stronger. No, wait!"
He spun around as the rumbling grew louder, then a faint spray of water came down the spiraling staircase.
"Sammie, it's not a staircase! It's a water pipe." He yelled and flung them all from the opening to the left as a huge flood of water shot down like a cannon into the space they had stood in.
Chapter Twenty One of "Samuel Light, Spiritual Detective: The Shasta Caper," is now posted on www.johnpirillo.com
"Samuel Light, Spiritual Detective"
The Shasta Caper
by John Pirillo
Samuel awakened to the sound of a buzzsaw. It was intermittent, but loud. Jimbo.
He turned over on his bed and saw his friend sprawled across his bed, his whole body akimbo, arms one direction, the legs another. He smiled. He and his friend went back a long time. Both had seen good times and plenty of not so good times and lots more of times that both wished they could forget, but probably never would. Such is the life of a detective and more so of one who is finely attuned to the Infinite as he was and Jimbo by default.
Sometimes he wondered as he looked at the placid face of his friend, if his friend was more psychic than he realized, but Samuel knew better than to push that angle of investigation as his friend would flatly deny any collusion with such higher orders of things, saying it was all a bunch of hokey pokey and none of his business even if he could access it. But Samuel felt that his friend was hiding a lot about himself. He'd always been that way.
He still remembered the time they were playing baseball and Jimbo had slid to home base after smacking a ball out of the ballpark and landing wrong, breaking his left leg. Rather than admit he was in pain or it was broken, he had stood up and jumped up and down, whooping his head off, not letting a little...or more likely, a lot of pain...get in the way of celebrating or taking away the spotlight on the winning team, which he had been on at the time.
Yes, he was a team player, a best friend and a humble person in a rambunctious kind of way. He smiled, then slipped into his slippers which he had tucked into his luggage and headed for the balcony. He liked the sunsets and sunrises, and Shasta had some of the best from what he'd seen so far.
He slid open the French Windows, and tucking the belt of his robe tighter about his waist, dropped into a lawn chair and leaned on the balcony to watch as the morning sun rose over the valley below, at first tinting the edges of the gigantic trees with gold and silver from the moisture of the morning which was reflecting and amplifying the light, until it's head poked slightly above the horizon, casting golden beams of light through the morning mist curling about the deck of their room and the parking lot below.
In a matter of seconds the scene had become a fairyland of dancing spots of light, arrows of gold effulgence, silver darts of cascading light and rainbows of dancing slivers of reflections bouncing across the mist and treetops.
"Beautiful as the butt of a gorgeous woman." Jimbo said from behind.
Samuel almost jumped. It was the first time in a lot of times recently when he had been surprised by someone sneaking up on him. He was losing his touch, or else his sense of alarm wasn't kicking in because there was nothing to fear. Or else he was just getting oblivious to his surroundings when they weren't trying to attack, swallow, molest, deface, or destroy him.
"Yeah." He muttered back, barely moving from his elbow perch on the railing.
Jimbo sat next to him and stuck his gigantic feet across the railing until his hairy legs dropped over it at the bend of the knees. He scratched his hairy chest. He was only wearing his shorts. He usually slept naked, but since Samuel was with him and they were in a strange place, he was being more humble about his sleeping posture and attitudes.
"So now what?"
Samuel didn't answer. He was absorbed in the light of the dawning sun. As it rose, so did another. The Shasta Angel, only this time it was the opposite sex. Last night it had been a female, this morning it was a huge, handsome male with the body of a Hercules, holding a blazing sword in its fists, a smile spreading like the light of the sun across its gigantic face.
It wasn't threatening anyone. The sword was symbolic of the power of God, the Light and its size was an illusion, just to signify that it took its job seriously and was expected to help all those within its shadow, which basically was all of Shasta, or at least all about the mountain.
Samuel suspected from past visions of such that this angel was dedicated specially to the mountain because of its mystical potentcy, and that other and perhaps lesser angels took care of the people living about the mountain, but not on it.
Finally, the sun had risen into full view, edging all the clouds in the sky, and there were plenty, with golden and burnt red edges. The Shasta Angel lowered his sword, then looked directly at Samuel. Samuel felt this huge pressure in his heart, as if the entire universe were trying to squeeze into it for a moment, then the angel vanished and the pressure.
Samuel sat back, rubbing his chest.
"Something wrong, Sammie?"
"No. Nothing at all." Samuel said.
"Now..." He said as he rose from the lawn chair. "We eat and then we find a guide to take us up the mountain."
"Because the entrance wouldn't be easy to access or the Rangers would've found it by now."
"The one that we're seeking."
Samuel headed inside, trailed by Jimbo, who shut the French Windows and blinds, then began climbing into his usual jeans and cowboy shirt, quickly buttoning it up as Samuel slipped into his own more dressy pants, Air Jordans, gold and rust colored sweatshirt and baseball cap with the name Mickey Mouse on it.
In a few minutes they'd both performed their morning ablutions and were ready to exit, check out, then have breakfast.
"So who do we ask?" Jimbo asked as he shot a sizzling hot sausage down his throat, followed by half a glass of orange juice, then a huge slice of pancake oozing with maple syrup and butter.
Samuel winced at the sight, but smiled. "I'm thinking..." He paused, then gestured to the Park Ranger they had met last night. Nanny.
Jimbo's lips curled into a smile. "She turned me down."
"Yup." Samuel replied without comment.
Jimbo looked at him searchingly. "You knew?"
"A little birdie told me." Samuel replied, waving at Al who was walking beside Nanny as she approached their table.
Jimbo slid over for her, but she sat next to Samuel instead, but without touching him.
Jimbo gave her a slight hurt look, but said nothing.
Samuel thanked his friend inwardly for showing some decorum, then turned to look at her. "You'll be our guide?"
"Of course. It's what you wanted, isn't it?"
He said nothing.
"Look." She said. "I'm not stupid. You're oozing vibes all over the place." She looked at Jimbo. "Even your hairy Paul Bunyon here."
"Hey! Who you calling Paul Bunyon?"
She smiled, then tapped his right hand gently with a finger and withdrew it. He blushed, but said nothing more. She turned her attention back to Samuel.
"Another area of expertise I am familiar with is pyschic phoneomena. I have a Doctorate in it."
"Who would have figured." Jimbo blurted out a bit too quickly. "Sorry. I didn't mean that the way it sounded."
She laughed. "I know the pants and cap make me much more macho appearing than soft and sensitive."
"Not to me." Jimbo said with a kind voice.
Her turn to blush. She looked quickly away.
"So, am I?" She asked.
"Sounds like an offer we can't refuse. Right, Jimbo?"
He nodded, afraid of blowing his cover with any more outbursts of conversation. Unusual for him, but appropriate at that moment.
Samuel was about to say more when something dark and humanoid rushed across the restaurant floor in front of their booth, then dove out the front door as it was opened by two entering Park Rangers. Neither one stopped, though both shook as if a sudden cool air had struck them.
Jimbo knew the look on Samuel's face. "You saw something?"
Nanny spoke up instead. "We saw something."
They both looked at her and she was trembling like a leaf.
"It's the shadow of death. The Waka sends Sergeant Sambo, a Shasta Indian chief, who was over a hundred and ten years old when he died, to warn those about to cross over to the Wigwam in the sky."
"How do you know this?" Samuel asked.
"Because my mother was of the Shasta Tribe. She used to whisper late at night to me such stories to get me to agree to go to bed on time, so I wouldn't try to sneak in late night TV as I usually did anyway until..."
"Until what..." Jimbo asked, suddenly anxious.
"Until he came into my room one night, his face all dark and sad."
"No, silly. Sergeant Sambo. The Indian Chief. He's an agent of Waku...the Supreme Deity...the Great Spirit."
"What happened?" Samuel asked, already knowing the answer.
"My mother died. I woke up the next morning, after having stayed up until almost dawn to hear my father weeping horribly. I ran into the living room and he was holding my mother in his arms. "Waku. Waku. Waku." He said over and over.
She looked at Jimbo then, her eyes misting. "I blamed myself for her death. He had come for me, but because I stayed awake, he took her instead."
Jimbo put a hand over hers and shook his head. "Waku. God. Would never do such a thing."
She sniffled. Jimbo hurriedly pulled out a kleenex from his shirt pocket and handed it over.
She blew into it, then looked down into her hands.
"I see him regularly."
Samuel felt this coldness settle into his heart. "Why?"
"I don't know." She said, looking up. "People are dying. But I don't know where. One night, about two nights ago..."
Samuel and Jimbo exchanged looks.
"About two nights ago I felt myself rise out of my body during my sleep and appear in this strange cafe I'd never been to before. I saw two men there."
Her eyes widened. "They looked like both of you. That's why I introduced myself right away when I saw you."
"Holy Crap, Samuel." Jimbo uttered.
"Holy it's not." Samuel pointed out.
Nanny waved at the Waitress as she passed. "Abby, can you get me some strong coffee?"
"Double or triple, sweetie." Abbie asked back.
"That bad, huh?"
"Oh yeah!" Nanny replied. "That bad!"
Chapter Nineteen and Twenty of Samuel LIght, Spiritual Detective: The Shasta Caper is now posted on www.johnpirillo.com
Samuel Light, Spiritual Detective: The Shasta Caper
by John Pirillo
Samuel waited for the shock wave to strike the restaurant, but it didn't happen. The light was gone as quickly as it had come, leaving the skies outside dark and thick with the mystery of what had happened. And one other thing. Every single vehicle in the parking lot was beeping their horn or alarms. Even the interior of the restaurant. Every alarm, even kitchen stove alarms were going off. Even watch alarms and phone alarms.
It was totally bedlam for about ten minutes until the alarms ceased as suddenly as they had started.
Samuel and Jimbo sat down, stunned, along with many others.
Then Samuel remembered Lady Marantha. He looked over and she was gone now. Where, he couldn't know because the flash had so completely diverted his attention.
"I'm getting the feeling we're being watched." Jimbo muttered, grabbing at the rest of his milk shake and the fresh fries that were coming complimentarily from the kitchen for everybody. There wasn't a person there that could fathom what had just happened and all were somewhat weak now, though not understanding why.
Al and M sat across from Samuel's table conversing animatedly, gesturing outside, then looking at Samuel, as if for a comment. He shrugged. Jimbo looked the way he was looking. "Which ones?"
Jimbo grunted and heaped ketchup on his fries and mashed about ten of them into his mouth at the same time. "Figures."
Samuel had no reply. What could he say. Nothing made sense at that moment. Not even his invisible friends. So he did the only thing he could think of, he reached for his plate of fries and began dunking them in ketchup and eating.
After about two refills of fries, six burgers for Jimbo and a baked potato and yogurt for Samuel, then shoved back their plates and eyed the dark outside. The skies dotted the skies like piercing, hot points of fiery arrows, blazing brightly across the horizon.
"Stunning." Jimbo said softly.
"The best part of our work." Samuel agreed.
Finally, he looked over at Jimbo. "I saw her again."
"You're crapping me."
"No. Really. Wierdest thing..."
"She was wearing a Park Ranger uniform and coming from the Lady's Restroom."
Jimbo chuckled. "Where else could a ghost come from in such a grand manner?"
Jimbo waved the Waitress over and she pulled out her order pad. "Still hungry?"
"Like the bottom pit of Hell."
She grinned at him. "I like a man with a big appetite."
Jimbo looked her over a bit more closely. She wasn't really that bad looking.
He felt Samuel kick him lightly on the ankle.
"Uh. Just more fries."
"Got 'em coming." She said, closing her pad.
"And an apple pie."
"With or without icecream?"
"No. I mean a whole pie."
Her eyes went round as moons. "Jesus in heaven, young man, you eat more than a bear craps in the woods."
"Not where I come from." Jimbo quipped with a grin on his lips.
She smiled. "I don't know where you come from, but I'd sure like to meet your Daddy."
"Me too." Jimbo said sadly.
"Oh. I'm...I'm sorry." She said, then hurried off.
Samuel patted Jimbo on his arm. "She meant well."
"Yeah. They always do." He sighed, then became quiet for a long time. Even when a hot apple pie was plunked down in front of him, already cleanly cut into sections for easy removal and a half gallon of ice cream, he remained quiet.
Samuel commiserated with him. Parents were special and neither one of them had had much luck with parents that stayed alive or home.
"Do I know you?" Lady Marantha asked to the left of Jimbo.
Jimbo and Samuel both looked at the same time.
Jimbo's mouth dropped open and a piece of the pie he had been eating tumbled out onto his plate.
She laughed. "I'm sorry. Didn't mean to ruin your dessert."
Jimbo hurriedly wiped at his mouth, shoved his plate back and made room for her. He sat next to Samuel, who scooted over for him. She sat down in front of the half eaten pie. "Apple. My favorite. Auntie here is the best pie maker in all of Shasta county."
"I bet." Jimbo answered blithely, confused, but buying into the play going on.
Samuel leaned forward. "You're not her."
"Not who?" She asked, puzzled at his words.
Jimbo covered for Samuel by shoving an empty plate in front of her, and dropping a fork and napkin beside it. "Help yourself to the pie."
As she did, he added. "And the ice cream. It's vanilla."
"You're a mindreader, big guy." She told him as she heaped a generous portion of ice cream onto the pie she had scooped onto her plate.
She dug into it a moment, while they watched politely, pretending to be looking at their own plates instead. She noticed and wiped at her lips. "I'm being rude."
She put out her hand to Jimbo. "Name's Nanny. Kind of a generic thing I picked up from the guys because I babysit a lot of their kids when they're up on the mountain for extended periods of time."
Jimbo shook it. He was surprised. Her grip was like iron. He knew what was coming next, and wanted to spare Samuel the grief. So he held onto her hand and scooted a bit closer. "I'm kind of interested what got you into the Park business, that is if you don't mind telling?"
She didn't try to remove her hand. Something Samuel noticed, but didn't comment on. He was used to Jimbo taking over when it came to the lookers. He wasn't as driven as Samuel about the opposite sex. It wasn't that he hated them, disliked them, or didn't desire to be with one, it just wasn't on the top of his priorities to do list. Some might call him gay for that, or strange, but he knew it was just because he wasn't karmically driven to mate or have sex, or to have children as most were. He had figured that out a long time ago in High School when he and Jimbo had competed for women and he had begun losing again and again, not because he wasn't interested, but because it just took more energy than he wanted to give up.
She looked over at Samuel, as if reading his mind, then smiled. "Actually, it's my ninth year in this biz. Started right out of college. Always loved nature. Started when I began rescuing lady bugs from the spider webs, graduated to saving fallen baby sparrows, then grew to hugging trees and wanting to plant and save them."
"Pretty impressive credentials." Samuel commented.
"I also have a Master's in Foresty and a Doctorate in Vulcanology."
"The study of vocanoes?" Jimbo asked.
"Not just volcanoes." Samuel added. "But the way they're formed, where they come from, what they're made of. Right?"
"By the numbers." She agreed with a nod of her pretty head.
Jimbo, again caught his breath. This gal was hotter than the Hostess he had gotten the number from on the flight here. "I still don't get it. Why would you want to live here all alone so high up on the mountain?"
"Oh, I'm not alone." She gestured to the men and women at the various tables, conversing lowly and talking about their work and familes. "They're my friends and family. I'm far from high and dry, and...alone." She added.
"Got another question." Samuel said.
"Shoot!" She told him, a crinkle in her eyes.
"That light. Ever happen before?"
"I saw you standing in the hallway outside the bathroom. You had to have seen it."
"Oh that light. No, I was in the lady's room. You know..." She left the rest unsaid.
Samuel and Jimbo exchanged looks, but Samuel said no more.
Samuel leaned forward on his elbows. "Would you recommend staying here for the night, or would we be safe to go up the mountain and camp out?"
"Stay here. Warm shower, good food, and great beds."
She said the last word as she turned to look at Jimbo, who almost grunted in surprise. She was hitting on him. At least he thought so.
Samuel didn't feel that at all. He knew it was just Jimbo's hormones kicking in. Every woman he met was date bait as far he was concerned. He laughed lightly.
Jimbo looked over at him and scowled, as if reading his mind.
"Still..." Samuel said.
"Oh, you'd be safe. But plan to freeze your asses off, because the temps going to drop a good forty degrees tonight."
"Popsicicle me." Samuel noted.
He looked over at Jimbo. "I guess we're staying."
"Sounds great to me." Jimbo said, his eyes on Nanny.
Samuel nudged Jimbo and he scooted out, so Samuel could get to his feet. Samuel nodded to Nanny. "It was nice to meet you. Jimbo, I'm going to scout the cabins here and reserve one for us."
"Okay. I'll bring the gear up as soon as I hear from you." Jimbo replied, his eyes still on Nanny.
Nanny watched Samuel exit into the hotel portion of the restaurant, then looked back at Jimbo.
"Tell me about yourself."
Samuel sat on the edge of his bed, looking out the window at the soft drift of snow that was falling as Jimbo came into the room, gently shutting the door behind him. He looked bushed.
"Man, that woman is something else." Jimbo sighed, as he almost dropped like a rock onto his own bed.
"I bet." Samuel agreed, still looking outside.
Jimbo shrugged out of his warm jacket and heavy sweater, then grabbed his suitcase and unzipped it. He tore out a pair of thermal pajamas, then headed for thee bathroom. He shut the door and several moments later Samuel could hear the shower running.
Samuel felt a slight presence sit beside him and turned to see Al seated there.
"It's her, isn't it?" Samuel asked.
Al nodded, smiling brightly.
"But how come she acts as if she never met us before?"
Al arches an eyebrow. Samuel frowns, then gets it.
"Jimbo and I were seeing another incarnation of her."
"But Jimbo never sees those things."
Al shrugged. "Things change."
Samuel brightened. "You mean he's opening up to the Light more."
Al shrugged again. "Perhaps."
Samuel laughed. "Quit playing Yoda with me. Is he or isn't he?"
Outside a bright light shone into the room.
Samuel stood up, bathed in the radiance. He moved slowly to the window and then his eye widened in awe. The Angel of Shasta Mountain was standing outside, holding a bright star clapsed between her hands, over her head. Her eyes were as bright as moons and focused on him.
Her gigantic wings, which were really huge whorls of beautiful, radiant energy, swirled behind her, giving them the feeling of motion or movement.
Samuel stood there bathing in the Light and feeling that somehow everything was going the way it should be.
"Samuel, can you throw me my robe, please?" Jimbo shouted from the bathroom door.
The Shasta Angel became a twisting whirl of energy and shot up into the sky, then vanished.
Samuel turned around, grabbed Jimbo's robe and tossed it. Jimbo caught it, then froze a moment as he noted Samuel's expression.
"You look like you just seen the devil."
Samuel Light, Spiritual Detective: The Shasta Caper
The Narrow Sparrow was perched on an abuttment of the mountain that rose above the thick wooded Shasta National Park. Managed by the Park Service, it served as a stopping point for those brave enough to climb the mountain this time of year, and for the Rangers who served the vast forest lands about it.
They had landed in Redding, taken an hour to orientate themselves, find a four wheeler and gear up. Samuel made sure they both had warm jackets and miner's lamps. Why? Jimbo didn't know and didn't ask. Samuel did a lot of things without analyzing it, he just knew intuitively what to do, but Jimbo suspected it was his invisible friends who guided him, even though he would never verbally admit to that possibility as it scared the crap out of him to think that dead people were dogging their steps.
Then again, when hadn't they been? What with Samuel's perpetual, it seemed, excursions into the past lives of people he touched or was touched by, Jimbo was becoming case hardened to the extraordinariness of their lives, and especially that of Samuel's.
Jimbo drove the Ford Escape they had rented. He had wanted a truck, but the smart people had already gotten those and were long gone from town and not likely to return them anytime soon, if they were going mountaining. So he settled for the beat up black with white trim Ford Escape. He walked around it, kicking the tires, stooped and stuck a fingernail into the treads. About a half inch. He frowned and looked at the Salesman. "Not much tread."
"I'll knock ten bucks off."
Jimbo nodded, then sprung the hood. He looked into the engine department. "Hasn't been cleaned for at least two years." He said, after scooping up a thick slab of grease from the motor casing.
"I'll knock five bucks off."
"Make it fifty and you have a deal."
"Forty five and I might change my mind."
"Forty and Samuel'll let me do it."
"Twenty and not a dollar more." The Salesman whined. "I have to feed my family."
Jimbo eyed him sternly. "You don't have any family." He accused, staring at the man's lack of a wedding ring.
"Really." Jimbo was impressed. "That's a whole lot of food. Okay. Let's split the difference."
The Salesman reached a hand out and smiled. "Come on inside."
Jimbo went inside to sign the paperwork and credit card the bill, while Samuel loaded their gear into the back of vehicle. They had bought all their gear and loaded into a taxi as they cruised the small town, finally reaching the end of their shopping spree at the Rental Dealer.
Jimbo came out with a Marshmallow Pie in his hands, and two more sticking out of his coat pocket. "Got an extra one for you."
"Thanks." Samuel said, then climbed into the passenger side after catching the one that Jimbo had stuffed in his other pocket. Jimbo was eating three of them.
Samuel looked at him accusingly.
Jimbo pinched his own stomach. "Gotta feed the fat, you know."
Samuel shook his head, then sat back and clasped his seatbelt around him as Jimbo did the same, then cranked the engine. It didn't start. He did it again. Still no start. He began to turn red in the face. "That no good, cheating, sonuva...."
Samuel reached across him and placed his palm over the ignition.
The engine cranked up.
Jimbo looked over at him. "Sure you're not an alien?"
"Look who's talking."
"I am." Jimbo said, then ground the car into gear and slung them onto the road that would exit onto Highway 89, and from there to the mountain.
They both enjoyed the fresh air and the scenery. They both loved the desert. Jimbo Texas. Samuel, Las Vegas, but the beautiful scenery, the spiking pines, the flourishes of wintry flowers on the edge of the road were just too much to not enjoy.
"Some day I'm going to marry me a woman and settle down up here." Jimbo decided.
Jimbo looked at him. "Why not yah?"
"You're not the type."
"Show's what you know." Jimbo groused and just to prove he knew better he flung the car around a precipitous turn a bit faster than they should go.
Samuel held on for dear life as the treads went partially over the drop, until they sled back onto the road again. Samuel didn't say anything. Jimbo had made his point and he wasn't about to argue what he had already seen in his visions. But then again, he thought, as Al sat on the front of the car with M, waving at him, as Yoda said very wisely, "The future always in motion is."
They arrived at The Narrow Sparrow at the edge of twilight. Both of them climbed out, tired, dirty, exhausted, but neither wanting to go inside of the brightly lit, and probably quite comfortably warm restaurant hotel.
The sun was setting and it was a basket of glorious gold and red as it settled its mighty bulk beneath the horizon, gelding the woods below and their tree tops with molten lava streamers of light. They both stood there against the Ford Escape admiring the sunset, until it was gone, then they turned back to the restaurant.
"Chow time." Jimbo said, rubbing his stomach anxiously.
"It's always chow time for you."
"That's because big boys need to eat more than skinny boys like you." He accused Samuel with a glint of irony in his eyes.
They locked up the Ford Escape and tramped through the light snow that still silvered the neon lit ground before the front door, then opened the double doors to enter. When they did, the Rangers inside all turned to look, their talking stopping.
Jimbo waved at them. "Drinks are on me, Rangers."
The Rangers cheered as Jimbo and Samuel slid into a booth and a woman in her mid fifties dressed in Ranger uniform came up with a pencil and pad. "Besides the free beers, what can I sell to you handsome gents?"
It took them a few minutes to go over the menu, while the Rangers all sang out happily in their various places as they sipped their free beers.
Samuel casually looked around as Jimbo ordered for them both, and then froze.
She was there. Standing in the hallway to the bathrooms, dressed in a Ranger outfit, yes, but most definitely it was her.
"Jimbo." He said urgently, pointing with his head.
Jimbo looked over at the hallway, which was empty, except for a drunk Ranger who waddled out of the bathroom, still zipping up his dirty pants. "What? You taking a liking to Rangers these days, Sammie?"
Samuel looked at Jimbo, then back at the hallway. This time Al and M were there, both waving at him.
That stunned him, but what happened next stunned him more.
There was a cascading series of brilliant bolts of light that washed through the windows of the restaurant, highlighting everyone inside in a blaze of light brighter than the sun. Like the blast of light from an Atomic Bomb.
Ever since Roswell, Americans have been fascinated by the prospect of little green men from the moon or Mars, and of abduction and alien invasion. Great movies have depicted all the possibilities from love ins to mass destruction.
What's fascinating is that most people don't ask a simple question: Why don't they land and talk to us, trade with us, offer friendship?
I have to ask back to that question, who in their right mind would land in a place where they would be shot, dissected and put on display like animals?
Anyone intelligent enough to ply the space lanes between worlds and star systems would also be bright enough to keep a safe distance from the crazy natives below.
You look at our world's record of how it treats what we consider to be less than ourselves, and it's not too good.
What's great about science-fiction is that it takes those phobias and crazies and extrapolates them into movies or TV programs that ask the question: What if?
Even Hitler had a fascination for saucers and believed to his dying day that there were giants in the earth who flew flying saucers.
India has a history of flying saucers that predates Western History entirely. They have records of atomic wars and vehicles that can travel to the stars and under the water.
And yet, the same question remains, if man is so smart, then why is he still so alone in the universe?
Or is that a myth and a lie.
I met someone once who was friends with Bob Lazar, an engineer who worked out at Area 51, who told this young man that he had been working on reverse engineering 9 different kinds of saucers.
So to all those who believe, and to all those who would like to and to the rest who just love a great science fiction tale or movie...I dedicate this slideshow to flying saucers.
Long may they fly!