Escape to Romance. Escape to another world. Escape to another time. Another place. "Escape to Adventure!" Now for sale on Amazon.
A love that has lasted thousands of years comes to an exciting conclusion as a secretary madly in love with her boss embarks on an adventure with him that will change her life forever and his!
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In love in Atlantis at the end as crashing waves and explosions hurtle the continent beneath the ocean forever.
In love in ancient Egypt when hordes of warriors and sabotage face the star crossed lovers.
In love on an ancient island where the Gods have been and the Spanish invade.
Now they are falling in love again, and it's not going to be easy at all this time.
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"The Face of Me," A Cartoon Story By John Pirillo. Just how big an ego can you get when you have super powers?
The Face of Me
"A Cartoon Story"
By John Pirillo
"It's really quite simple." Einstein told him as he sat comfortably in Johnnie's chair at the table. He had his pipe in one hand, which he used to punctuate points he was making and Danish in the other, which he ate between words, rolling his eyes with pleasure.
"I must take some of these back with me." Einstein said, nodding at the stack of Danish.
Johnnie looked at the back of the kitchen where Cartoon stood, glowing softly, her eyes lit up with amusement at Johnnie's discomfort. "Uh, Al, I don't think that is going to work."
"Why not?" Al protested.
"Because..." Johnnie took a comic book he had his hand on and flipped it onto the kitchen counter.
"...You're a comic book character and not real." Johnnie finished.
He got up, eyed the missing Danish. "Cartoon, how come he was able to eat these?"
"You made him real. He lives by the standards of your world's physics."
"But he didn't even realize he was a comic book character."
"That's because to people like him, everything's a comic book creation. They can't tell the difference. If you were to go to my world, Johnnie, it'd seem real to you while you were there. You'd also be subject to all the rules of that universe."
"I have and I was." Johnnie agreed. He sat back down and played with a Danish for a moment. He took one, bit a chunk out, and then set the rest back on a small plate in front of him. He grabbed his glass of milk and washed down the chunk. He dabbed his mouth with a paper napkin, then eyed Cartoon again.
She had been waiting for this moment. He could see it in her eyes.
"I want to go to your world again."
"To test a theory I have."
She smiled. "You might be disappointed. Theories have a way of fizzling where I live."
"You live here."
She came over and sat next to him and put her head on his shoulder. "I don't want to go back."
"But you do. All the time."
She sat straight in her chair and then sighed. "I'm a Princess. I can't just abandon my people."
"Gotcha!" He said rising from his chair. "So let's go."
"You need me to help you transition..." She never got to finish her sentence. Johnnie was there one moment and the next...Gone!
Johnnie stood on top a steep hill with flourishes of cartoon flowers of radiant blue, red and yellow dotting its sides. A small pavilion of marshmallows stood behind him. He gazed at the incredible Wizard of Oz type palace that hovered several yards above the plain some miles in the distance. The morning suns cast huge shadows from it, which criss crossed the hill he stood on, casting it in colors of the rainbow.
"Shadows are so neat here." Johnnie said as Cartoon stepped from his world into hers and stopped beside him. He didn't even watch as the opening between worlds closed without a sound.
"How did you do that?" She asked.
He shrugged. "Just sprouted one day."
He turned to smile into her face. It was solemn. Her face.
"I don't know what's going on, that's why I called old Al up. I've been talking to him for about a month now."
She gave him a shocked look. "I thought..."
"I know." He said gently. "But I can't wait for you to wake up, or come back for me to get on with my life."
He waved at the distant city and the hill and the skies, which were like turbulent fields of clouds shifting colors constantly. "I need to understand all of this. Why it exists. Why our world exists. Why..." Here he paused a long moment, searching for the word, then said. "...Why I exist?"
Cartoon took his right hand in hers. "You exist because you do. Why do you need to know more than that?"
"That used to satisfy me. I exist, therefore I am. Therefore nothing more need be said. To paraphrase an old philosopher I read in my Philosophy class, but it doesn't change my innate curiosity about all of this.
"Cartoon, I'm human. You're not."
She gave him a sad look.
"I don't mean in that way. I mean physically. No matter how many times you visit my world, you will always be a cartoon. No matter how many times I visit your world or transform into comic book characters, I will always be...human."
"But the glow you've started to emit." She pointed out.
He held his hands out. "Not glowing now."
She frowned. "They don't glow here."
"Another weird thing to consider." He admitted.
He hugged her briefly, and then turned his attention on the distant city. "It's so beautiful."
"I know. Johnnie, you're avoiding my questions!"
"Actually." He smiled. "I'm avoiding mine."
Before she could respond to that a huge shadow crossed over them. They spun around. Without thinking Cartoon pulled her glowing sword from its scabbard, which had appeared when she crossed into her own world and prepared for battle. Johnnie just stood there looking at the huge face examining them. It looked somehow familiar, though he couldn't place it yet.
"Different." The face said to them.
"Nah. We're like two peas in a pod." Johnnie retorted, grinning devilishly.
Cartoon wanted to give him a hug and kiss at that moment. It was what turned her on so much about him. He could joke in the face of danger. He wasn't being stupid, or silly. Just being himself. Amused at the life strokes he was dealt.
The Face frowned. "What are peas in a pod?"
Johnnie shrugged. "No big thing really. So what's up, Dude?"
The Face frowned even more deeply. "I am not...a Dude!"
Johnnie shrugged again. "No offense meant, just a turn of the tongue."
The Face's eyebrows knotted together angrily. "You play with me, mortal?"
Johnnie's eyes narrowed. "Then I have to assume you're some kind of god."
The Face lost its anger. "I am that which I am, even as you are what you are."
Cartoon suddenly brightened. "Johnnie, it's..."
"I know. Me!"
The Face smiled, revealing spiked teeth. It eyes were not human at all. "I am not...you!"
"True enough." Johnnie said, eyeing the face uncertainly. "But you sure got the curiosity of me."
"What is a me?"
The Face recoiled as if struck. "I am not me!"
Johnnie broke into laughter. "I'm sorry, but this is just getting more and more ridiculous by the moment. Please excuse me, Cartoon; I've got to return home. Got a job at the diner to do."
He winked out of existence.
Cartoon stood there looking at the Face. "Why have you come here?"
"I am always here." It paused, its eyes rolling in thought. "I am always there."
Cartoon frowned deeply. "I think you should leave now."
"How can I leave when I was never here to begin with?" The Face asked and vanished.
Cartoon stood there uncertain and fearful a moment, and then she stepped between the worlds.
Johnnie was gone. She went to the front door to look out. The Landlord stood there, his eyes wide as saucers."You won't believe what I just saw leave your apartment!"
Cartoon smiled kindly at the lecherous old man. "He was kinda in a hurry."
"A giant face?" The Landlord blurted out, then shaking his head, he headed for the stairway. "What are these kids on these days?" He froze for a moment, halfway down. "Hell, what am I on?"
Cartoon blocked the laughter from issuing forth and shut the front door.
Johnnie stood framed in the bedroom. She gave him a startled look. "But I thought..."
"Oh that!" He smiled.
"I figured it out."
"Figured what out?"
"Who the giant face was." He held out a comic book. "The Super Ego Monster Strikes!"
She took it. This gigantic face floated above a helpless city while it hurled thunderbolts against it.
"Found this at an antique store. It never made it past this issue. I guess people get enough big egos in their lives. Don't want to read more about them on top of that."
Cartoon shoved him back towards the bedroom. "We've got to do something about that ego of yours. It's getting too big to handle." She quipped.
He gave her a hug. "How about we take a rain check on that ego buster fix you got in store, gotta rush or I'll be late for Al's Diner."
She crossed her arms, angry at him as he rushed to the door, but when he looked back, all the love she saw in his eyes and the warmth of the smile on his lips blew all her anger away. He blew a kiss at her. "Keep the motor running. I'm ready for a wild ride!"
He shut the door.
The Screaming Statue Sherlock Holmes Story By John Pirillo. Monsters are not always so easy to spot. Will the real monster please stand up?
The Screaming Statue
Sherlock Holmes Story
By John Pirillo
James stood by the window overlooking Baker Street, musing about the recent past. Watson sat comfortably on his chair near the fireplace, sipping his usual tea and munching on a scone that Mrs. Hudson had brought up especially for him. They were becoming like creatures he thought to himself. Anticipating each other's needs. He wondered sometimes if that were ever possible for him as well. Ever since he had been lost to Lilith his world had been filled with heady adventures...but his soul felt this vague emptiness, and when he was honest with himself, it was the Fairy Princess. The one woman who had loved him no matter what.
"Rather glum this morning." Sherlock noted over the puffs of his favorite meerschaum pipe. It had been a gift from the good Queen Mary of Scots for the help he had given her in clearing her name of the crimes she had been accused of in their last case. Funny, how even the most exalted and beloved of figures could fall from grade, he mused, while waiting for James to respond.
James turned to face Sherlock, a light smile on his lips, but not reaching his face. He felt good to be with his friends he loved so dearly, but the weight of his heart kept his smile from burning to his face and lighting it up. "Did you know that the rate of rainfall is no more or less than the rate of a man whom falls the same height?"
"No luck in finding her then?" Sherlock went straight to the point of the matter, obviating the need of James to obfuscate the issue by bringing up raindrops as a side discussion.
James sighed. He sat opposite Watson, who looked up from his usual morning paper and folded it in his lap to listen. "It's as if she has vanished from the face of the earth." He finally said, his face strained with fear and doubt.
Watson patted him on the knee in a gentle touch. "Dear James, not all thunder is preceded or followed by lightning."
Watson glared at him.
"I was just being..."
"Metaphorical." Sherlock jumped in. "Yes. Yes. I know, but the man needs more than philosophy at this moment, am I not right, James?"
James gave Sherlock a look of relief. "You'll help me then?"
Sherlock rose and went to his coat rack, slipped off his morning jacket and on his overcoat for traveling. He took his cap and slid it over his scalp and tucked his looser hairs beneath it. "I see no reason for putting it off any longer, do you Watson?"
Watson began sputtering. "But breakfast..."
Sherlock gave Watson the hint of a smile. "Will not be missed by that stout figure you now present, dear fellow."
Watson glanced surreptitiously at his stomach which was a bit larger than it should be, then hurriedly at Sherlock, then James. "For God and country then."
"What about the Queen?" Sherlock added.
"God knows she well enough protected." Watson shot back, a bit more testily than one would have thought he might.
James did his best not to laugh. The camaraderie between these two was tremendous. It was as if the original Sherlock had never died and left Watson on his own before James came into the picture. He still remembered their first day of meeting when Watson and Challenger thought he was the Moriarity who had killed Sherlock. It had taken every effort of his intellect and his being to convince them otherwise, but he had done so, and over time become a valuable member of the Brotherhood of Baker Street, but a willing and good partner to Watson as well, who did not let Sherlock's legacy wither beneath the dread wings of time.
James slipped his jacket on. He didn't prefer capes like Sherlock, but rather the more long double breasted style worn by the upper level classes of the Britains. "I'm sure this is a waste of time."
Sherlock shrugged. "Perhaps. But if it helps to lever you into a better position of using what intellect you allow yourself these days, then..."
"Then?" James urged.
"....Then it will have been worth it." Watson finished, looking with regret back at the stack of scones beside the teapot and the cup he had been sipping from. On impulse as the others began down the staircase, he ran back stuffed his own overcoat with a handful of the scones, and as Mrs. Hudson came up as he was going down, he gave her a quick swipe of his lips on her cheek, then hollered over his shoulder. "The game's afoot!"
Mrs. Hudson turned to watch her fiancée exit. "There's always a game afoot with you three!" She shook her head and continued up the stairs.
The one thing the Thames provided Londoners that no other river in history had was easy access not only to the Atlantic and thereby the main continent of the Europes, but also an ongoing source of a strong trade supply route. Britain, while advancing in aeronautics and its newer Tesla vehicles, still relied heavily on water transport for most of its trade and travel.
So it came as no surprise to anyone, except James, that Sherlock would start his search at the docks of the local merchant ships, where burly sailors hefted barrels of pork, wine, salt and exotic oils to the docks where they were sorted out by local merchants with their crews and then distributed to various warehouses along the dock, and some more directly to the actual establishments themselves.
James braced himself against the stiff Northerly wind of that morning, his nose tingling from the biting cold of the bracing wind. Watson shrugged deeper into his overcoat, and finally, disgusted with the temperatures, tugged on a pair of warm gloves.
Sherlock was the only one apparently untouched by the extreme weather.
Touches of snow glistened on distant rooftops.
The sun barely peeked above the horizon, its arms of light reddening the cloudy sky with threats of rain.
The grimy, salt laden planks of the dock greeted their feet as they made their way across them towards the Queen Ann of Lathethrop, a smaller merchant vessel. While appearing small, it actually had quite a deep hold, thanks to its triple tiered construction. Jules and Wells had loaned their building technologies to the local shipwright, Sir Amroy Smith, a jolly older man with a tummy twice the size of some men. He was a source of endless tales of the sea as well as nautical knowledge, of which Holmes had the need at that moment.
They boarded the small vessel, some of the sailors recognizing Holmes and doffing their caps to him, or waving two fingers in the universal salute of friendship.
Amroy stood at the wheel of the ship, a large map spread on a portable table next to the wheel, which was carved of fine ivory and had tiny figures of deities and mythological creatures inlaid into it. "Ah, Sherlock!"
Sherlock took his hand and shook it, then turned to his companions. "I would like to introduce my good friend and partners, John Watson and James Moriarity."
At the name of Moriarity Amroy stiffened.
When it came time for James to shake, Amroy withdrew his hand.
James didn't take it badly. Instead he laughed. "I'm sorry to have laughed, Sir Amroy, it's just that I am nothing like the man whom you believe me to be."
Amroy turned to Sherlock, who nodded. "James here is an emigrant from another part of...shall we say...our world...and is a very, very distant relative to the late Professor Moriarity...though unrelated in every way but looks, of course."
Amroy lost his defensive attitude and smiled. He offered his hand again. "In that case I am sorry for my belligerent attitude, James, please forgive me."
"Happily given." James said, thus completing the disarming of Amroy's hostility in its entirety.
"I see you have been examining the map I secured." Sherlock pointed out, a finger touching the rather antique looking map, which had mythological creatures at its four corners signifying the quadrants of direction and 9 continents. One of which was Fairie.
"Sir Amroy." James spoke up. "Nine continents? I thought there was only seven of renown."
"Indeed, there are, but as you and..." Here he winked at Sherlock and then Watson. "...I'm sure your companions must realize...not all continents need to be physically present to exist."
"Ah." James said, understanding. "I have been to this." He stabbed Fairie. "But this other..."
Amroy glanced at Sherlock. "It is the place that Sherlock and I both believe your friend to have vanished to."
James face went suddenly still. He seemed frozen for a moment, as if he couldn't believe his own ears. "You're saying she is there?"
Sherlock shook his head. "James, the screaming statue did."
"Screaming Statue?" James asked, totally perplexed by the words.
Inside the Captain's Cabin Amroy stood next to an elegant desk made of highly polished rosewood and iron, gelded with gold and silver and inlays of pearl and semi-precious stones. "Don't mind the desk, gentleman, and a gift from a Rajah of the India Isles. This...this is what you seek?"
Amroy gestured to a rather large unveiled object shrouded in a purple cloth in the center of the desk. This is the Screaming Statue.
"I hear nothing." James noted.
Amroy gave him a friendly look of forgiveness. "That is because I have covered its eyes. It cannot stand seeing the world about it."
"What's wrong, Watson?" Sherlock asked, alarmed at his friend's reaction.
"I do not feel any good will come of this. And this thing, whatever it might be, it does not belong of this world."
"That is so, Doctor Watson." Amroy agreed. "And that is precisely why it should help in your..." Here he nodded to James. "...In the discovery of certain informations."
Before Watson could respond Amroy plucked the cloth from the object and a huge head mounted on a gold base stood revealed. The head was made of some kind of exotic metal that looked like gold but had flecks of green and blue that seemed to shiver in the candle light of the cabin.
"I hear nothing." Watson declared, relieved to find only a brutish looking head instead of some kind of monstrous thing.
Then its golden eyelids opened wide, revealing eyes like that of a snake. The eyes looked first at Amroy, then Sherlock. It ignored Watson, but when it saw James it began to scream!
A huge castle of dark stone was melded with a mountain of similar stone. The crest of the mountain was a vast crater that spewed sulfurous smoke and thin curtains of bright fires. The mountain shook and trembled very lightly. The windows of the castle were dark, except for one. That one was lit brightly from inside. A woman looked out the window at the cone of the mountain. As she did the mountain spit a larger glob of fire.
She turned her attention away from the dark skies and shrouds of sulfurous smoke and eyed the door that shut her into the room. The room was sparsely furnished. A bed. Two chairs. A fireplace that was cold. A small table with a rotting piece of bread and a bowl of brackish water. It had been her home for quite some time now.
She sighed, and looked back out the window. No matter what they threatened her with, she had not given in. She would not marry the monster who ruled this dark kingdom.
The door flung open and she gasped, startled by the abruptness of it.
She turned to look as Professor Moriarity came into the room, his face dark with a subtle kind of evil that went beyond his good looks. An evil that withered the soul and blackened the heart of those who kept close to it. She had refused to do such. Perhaps that was what kept her alive. She didn't know. Wasn't sure.
He gave her that quiet leer he always wore for her sake and smiled, coldly and with much malice. "Soon." He said. "Very soon now. You shall give me what I want!"
He pulled out an odd shaped rod from the pocket of his jacket and stabbed it at her so quickly she couldn't dodge it. She screamed as her body was wrapped in coils of blazing yellow and green energies.
James cast the purple cloth back over the head and it silenced.
Watson rushed out the cabin door to vomit over the railing.
Sherlock stood there, his face grim.
Amroy turned to them.
"It's worse than I thought." He offered gently.
James turned to Amroy. "You know how to get there?"
Amroy stabbed a finger on the map he had brought inside and laid upon the table. "Here. Here is where she is."
"But that doesn't exist in England." James noted.
Amroy nodded. "Not this England. Not this..." Amroy shrugged as he gestured about them.
Sherlock went outside to see to Watson, knowing the case was now in good hands with James. James leaned forward and examined the map more closely. "The entrance to this ninth continent is in England?"
"Actually." Amroy said touching a spot where a light x had been marked. "It is here."
James looked up. "The Queen's treasury?"
"But there is nothing there but the royal crown jewels. I myself have seen them!" James declared, his face boiling with uncertainty.
"Yes. I'm sure that's true. But what of the other side of the room. The part she has not shown you?"
"There is more?"
Amroy nodded. "Yes. Much, much more. I myself and my crew helped to build that wall. We have been sworn to secrecy to discharge its knowledge to no one in this realm or any other."
"Then you are defying the Queen's command."
Amroy leaned closer. "No, James, I am helping a man find the woman he loves."
"When can we leave then?" James asked.
Amroy smiled and clapped James on his shoulder. "First thing in the morning. Morrow."
James paced before the window at 221B Baker Street, watching for the Tesla that would bring him, Sherlock and Watson on the journey that he dreaded. For even if he entered the other kingdom safely, there was no guarantee they would survive the adventure there. Professor Moriarity was a dark soul. And he had recognized the one in the castle. He had been the one who tortured James over and over. He would never forget that duplicate Moriarity. He clenched and unclenched his fists, his face dark with anger.
He felt a hand go upon his shoulder.
He didn't turn.
Watson stood beside him, watching the street as well. "We will find her, James. We will set her free."
Sherlock stepped to his other side and nodded. "Or die trying."
James looked first at Watson, then at Sherlock. "And that is what I fear for us, for her. For we are her only hope. We must not fail!"
And so they waited, facing a future that was uncertain at best, dark and deadly at worst. Had they been aboard the good Sir Amroy's ship at that moment, in his cabin, they would have been even more greatly fearful when the Screaming Statue shrugged off its purple cloth cover and startled Amroy as he was about to exit the cabin.
He turned to look.
The Screaming Statue did a very, very strange thing. It didn't scream. Instead it smiled.
Sir Amroy crossed himself and slammed the cabin door shut, leaving the cabin in darkness.
Red Painted Souls "Escape to Adventure Story" By John Pirillo. Something dark was left behind. They found it!
Red Painted Souls
"Escape to Adventure Story"
By John Pirillo
"Up here!" Danish called to Rusty.
She stood at the base of a formation of red stones that were a combination of sandstone and hard granite that spiraled up into the cap where Danish stood. It was one such formation of many in the valley of the Red Painted Souls as it was called by the natives of Peru. Danish had discovered the rather oddly protected valley quite by mistake when he was enroute to another part of South America in a privately leased jet to help with a drought ridden area United Nations Project he and the Director had gotten involved with.
Rusty shrugged her rugged backpack to her other shoulder. It had been a long day. Too long. Like most of these kinds of things they explored and did, regular hours didn't fit the picture. Not even irregular. The hours were just...monstrous.
She wiped a sweep of her red hair from her sparkling green eyes and sighed. She was a tall woman, but next to Danish she seemed short. He was close to six foot two, maybe four. She'd never asked and he'd never ventured.
As hot mountain sun burned down on her, and sweat coursed through her hair across her forehead and into her eyes, she thought back to how she had come to be in this God forsaken hellhole of a stone dungeon.
Ever since they had solved their last great mystery. Excalibur. They had both decided to take a leave of absence from the museum and its attendant mysteries and instead give their time to charity. It had worked wonderfully at first. They had run from one hot spot to another over the past year...Syria to Lebanon, Egypt to Israel, Pakistan to India and a dozen provinces within those countries, but eventually it became plain to both of them that they were getting bored.
It wasn't that they didn't love helping people, but everyone else was so much better at it, and more dedicated. They had spent their lives in anticipation of such help and building it into a career of sweat and blood that knew nothing else but alleviating the torment of their fellow human beings. Even so, no one knew how close the earth had come to destruction several times and had it averted by Rusty and Danish and their wonderful friends, the Director his son an her best friend.
But everyone had drifted their own ways after the Excalibur incident and it had been all right with them to do so. Each had their own goals to fulfill.
But now Danish and Rusty were back out in the wilds again, seeking the solutions and answers to mysteries that others had failed to either find, or to comprehend.
Rusty had lost some of the powers she had picked up in their first incident with the alien ship, but she still had a tremendous amount of surprises in store for herself with the ones she had not lost. While she was no longer transforming, her body transformation had stopped. Her ability to divine information not readily available without a microscope and a computer had not been lost. She found herself wincing as she leaned against the pillar Danish stood atop of. She could feel the malevolence that had become embedded in that stone. And not just there.
"Danish, come down from there before you hurt yourself!" She hollered at him.
He shook his head. "Come up!" He insisted.
Rusty dug her heels in and shook her red hair. One thing she was not going to do was climb that crazy rock just to take in a view. "No way!" She hollered, shaking her head vigorously.
Danish gave her one of his famous puppy dog looks, his big brown eyes exuding those love me vibes that had sucked her into him in the first place. "Please." He mouthed.
She blew out a sigh, and then set down her backpack against the base of the pillar. She swore she was going to make him pay that evening for doing this, but...
She made her way up as carefully as she could; using the special tennies she'd bought in the airport for grappling. Lots of climbers used the Peruvian mountains to test their skills. Amateur and professional. She was somewhere in the middle of that lot. Neither an amateur nor a professional. But she knew enough to be dangerous to herself and others, which is why she usually avoided climbing at all.
She slipped slightly as she crested the top, almost losing her grip. Danish caught her and pulled her up effortlessly to the top and against him. She bathed in the radiance of his hot body a moment, and then gave up. She put her arms around him, nuzzling him with her nose.
"I'm sorry, I'm just burnt out." She confessed.
"I promise you we'll head back to camp when we're through here, and then return to New York."
She gave him an excited look. He put a finger on her lips before she could squeal. She always did that when she was excited. That and glow in the dark. Something that hadn't left her when the aliens had taken off in their gigantic crystal ship to return home to their planet.
She bit him.
"Ouch!" He jerked his finger away and nursed it in his mouth, giving her a hurt look.
She laughed, and then put her hands on her hips. "So now what? You got me up here. Is it just to neck or do you have something disgusting or at least interesting to show me?"
He broke into laughter. She was good for him that way when he got too serious. He turned and pointed through the maze of twisted rock columns that formed the Red Painted Souls. She gasped. There it was. What they had been searching for these past five weeks.
"The Director is going to have a heart attack when he learns about this."
Before her and his view as a very, very unique twisted column of rock. It interwove with four others, forming a platform. At the top of the platform was a massive growth of plants, but just below the growth and just above the platform was a door.
"Pacaitambo." He intoned in his best Indian voice.
"Abode of Procreation." She added, translating his word.
He looked into her face. "You realize what this means, don't you?"
"Yeah. More beans and water." She made a face.
He smiled and put an arm around her. "This is living proof of the Unu Pachaciti, the Great Flood before times."
"The Yunca Tribe believed that the Pachacamac..."
"The equivalent of our Jehovah."
"He animates this world."
"Why is the Big Guy always a male, for God's sake?" She complained. "You'd think at least some cultures would give the gals a break."
"Oh, right. Forgot about those hotties."
He laughed. "The Yuncas believed he was the Creator of the World."
"I don't think I like the part about them doing blood sacrifices in his name. Sounds like a screwy god to me. What kind of god would want to kill his kids?"
He gave her a stern expression. "Be careful where you say that, Rusty. There are still Yuncas alive to this day, though not openly so. Their cult is looked down upon by most modern Peruvians."
"Even so." She broke in. "None here. No bother. No worry."
"Even the stones have ears." He teased.
She giggled. But she wouldn't have giggled had she seen the brightly colored Indians who were hiding on the other side of their rock, listening to everything.
"Well, I got no problem with their existence, just their way of life. Sucks. And that stupid Pachacuc thing."
"Crushing spiders to divine the truth, the future." Danish finished for her.
"Yeah, that too. Creeps me out big time."
He leaned closer. "What the records, modern ones at least, don't describe or talk about is that they also sacrificed human beings to achieve their goals. And it was rumored that they could climb stone like spiders and suck the blood from their victims."
"Now you're just plain creeping me out, Professor Danish."
"You believe this flood is the same that Noah experienced, don't you?"
He nodded. A thoughtful expression on his bronzed features. "Too many early cultures, here among the Indians and in our America have such legends for it to be a coincidence, or just smoke."
"Where there's smoke..."
He finished. "....there's fire."
"Usually." She reminded him.
He smiled into her face. "And this is why I love you so much, you raggamuffin."
She punched him lightly in the stomach, but he acted as if she had struck him hard and playfully gasped in pain. "You big softie."
She pulled him back to her. "Tomorrow, okay?"
She looked into his eyes.
His widened. "Oh." Was all he commented.
They had headed back down the pillar with the intent of retracing their tracks in the morning. The sun was low by the time they reached their simple camp. An outdoor oven of heaped rocks in a hollow circle, which Danish expertly put to use by rubbing some sticks together to catch a fire, kept them warm and heated the can of beans they shared between them.
"Pinto. My favorite." Rusty said, making a face.
Danish handed over another can. She took it and spooned some out. "Hot. Yummy Kidney beans."
"Lots of protein in beans. And good for your skin as well."
"It's not my skin I'm worried about, dreamer boy."
Her stomach let out a loud growling sound.
"Okay. Okay." He surrendered. "We'll check out the cave entrance. If it's valid, we'll leave a transponder to find it again and hike back to normalcy."
"Hallelujah to that, brother." She said with a smile.
"Now, about that little something I promised earlier."
She rose, took his hand and led him towards the tent. She raised the flap to enter and then shrieked. Inside the tent was this hideous giant spider, about three feet in diameter. Its multifaceted eyes were focused on her, and its legs bent to leap.
Danish swept her back; shut the flap hurriedly as something large impacted it, almost knocking him down.
He looked at the fire. Rusty didn't need any encouragement. She dashed over, grabbed her jacket off, lit it and tossed it on top the tent.
The tent burst into flames in seconds. Danish held the flap shut as long as he could bear the heat and flames, coughing from the smoke as the thing inside let out a blood curdling scream that the two of them would remember to their dying days.
The screaming got louder and higher, then suddenly stopped.
Danish jumped away from the flap at the same time as the whole tent collapsed.
Rusty shrieked and pointed. The spider was still alive and on fire now. It leaped at Danish. He rolled out of its way, grasping a hot stone from the makeshift oven and heaving it into the open mouth of the creature. The spider swallowed it and made choking sounds, but it kept crawling towards him.
Rusty grabbed another hot stone and clobbered it on its head. It spit out the other stone and stood there frozen for a moment, its multiple eyes on her. She froze too. This was it. They were both going to die!
Then the giant spider collapsed, the fire finishing the job it had started.
Rusty and Danish stood over the burning spider, their looks of horror frozen on their faces.
"We lost all our gear."
"I don't care." Rusty shot back.
"We're so outta here." Danish said.
He took her hand. She screeched.
She took his other hand.
He let out a howl of pain. "Burnt! Burnt!"
They looked at each other and burst into laughter, then froze when they heard a screech like the spider had made.
"I think that's our cue."
As they vanished into the night one of the Indians walked into view. He laid down an unusual pipe and squatted before the burning spider. He began to hum and then sing to it in an Incan voice. The burning spider's shape began to shimmer in the flames and then slowly it resolved into the shape of the other Indian.
Danish and Rusty caught the first plane back to the States. When they had disembarked, a porter came up. "Your luggage is waiting at the checkout."
Danish and Rusty looked at each other, but went inside.
At the checkout was a huge piece of luggage with their names on it.
The Checkout Man said. "Passports please?"
They handed them over, and he checked them out, and then nodded. "You can get a cart over there." He nodded towards a row of rental carts.
Danish and Rusty shook their heads.
"No thanks." They both said at the same time.
They walked away, not looking back. Had they done so, they would have seen the huge piece of luggage move as if something large were inside it.
The Checkout Man eyed the luggage, then shrugged as a couple walked to the exit. "Passports please."
The Case of Constable Evans' Fancy A Sherlock Holmes Story By John Pirillo. Sometimes love can be criminal!
The Case of Constable Evans' Fancy
A Sherlock Holmes Story
By John Pirillo
To say that Constable Evans was smitten by the mysterious thief, who got away, would be an understatement of the most momentous proportions. To say that he was madly in love with a phantom that could slip through spaces no more than a centimeter thick some might also say was not just an understatement, but an indictment of his imagination as well. But then, they hadn't been there that night that Sherlock, his father Inspector Bloodstone and Doctor Watson had cornered the gossamer lady only to have her flee without being captured.
"It's really nor right that a thief should look so..."
"Handsome?" His father ventured, winking at Doctor Watson, who was seated to his left inside 221B's sitting room at a table with a silver platter of scones, a teapot and a steaming coffee pot as well.
Sherlock, in his typical fashion, stayed out of the conversation, preferring to thumb through the latest story of Conan's he had written since his transition from the alternate earth universe. "Come now, Inspector, surely the lad desires a bit more credit than that?" Sherlock ventured without losing his place or his eyes on the story he was reading. He had already finished ninety percent of it. He was quite a remarkably fast reader, able to remember almost a hundred percent of whatever he read, which was what led him to reading the fiction of Conan's, it gave him a different route for his memory to travel...one less tried and true.
The Inspector coughed into a hand, took a sip of his tea, then eyed his son sternly, who gave the look back defiantly. "Well, perhaps, but he is after all just a child."
"I am not, father!" Constable Evans denied, jumping to his feet. "A man of his twenties is hardly a child!"
Doctor Watson who had been watching the tirade with amusement jumped in. "But then all men seem like children when we become older, is that not so, Inspector?"
The Inspector laughed. "Tied my hand behind my back, Watson. How can I ever deny such a word of truth as that?"
"Oh, I image rather easily." Sherlock said, once more interrupting his reading to comment. "You do it all the time."
The Inspector gave Sherlock an evil eye for a moment, then sighed and looked at his son, who was still fuming from the insult. "Sit down; you're making me tired just watching you stand there."
"I will not, Inspector!"
The Inspector sighed again. "All right. You're not a child. So stop acting like one. What the bloody hell's gotten into the kids these days?" He muttered to Mrs. Hudson as she walked in with a fresh tray of sandwiches and placed them on the table.
She looked over at Constable Evans. "Oh, I'm so forgetful." She pulled a letter from her apron that had beautiful flowers drawn on it in purple." She handed it towards Constable Evans. "They said it was for you."
He perked up. "I don't know anyone who might..."
Suddenly his face lit up. He ran down the stairs for the front door.
Sherlock laughed then. "You received the letter mid morning, did you not, Mrs. Hudson?"
"Yes, but how..." She giggled.
He smiled at her and resumed reading.
Constable Evans flew back up the stairs into the sitting room. "What did they look like? The one who delivered it?"
"Oh, a quite charming young lady. Wore this very peculiar dress that seemed more like silk than cotton. Though I've never seen that material before..."
He ran back down the stairs again. The front door was heard banging open, and then shutting.
"Oh dear me." Mrs. Hudson declared, giving Watson a pleading look. "What have I just done to that poor boy's imagination?"
"Oh, it's not imagination, dear Mrs. Hudson that has struck him in the heart. But rather something more soft and delicate."
Then Watson and the Inspector realized what had happened and who they were talking about. They grabbed their coats and ran down the stairs as well. The front door opened with a bang and slammed shut again.
"Are you not going with them, Mister Holmes?" She asked, gathering the used dishes to bring to the kitchen.
"I'm not through reading dear Conan's time travel story and I do so much hate dead ends."
He looked up with a smile. "The lady in question I'm sure has been a faithful distance between her and our flat by now."
With that he returned to his reading, the smile never leaving his face.
Constable Evans ran all the way to Regent's Park, stopping pedestrians and Constables to inquire if they had seen anyone looking like Gossamer, as he called her, the girl he had been smitten by. They all gave him a look of humor, seeing as how his desperation colored his words and the fact that it was a girl he was chasing. None of his inquiries led to any likely prospect.
So finally, he sat down on a bench beneath an ancient elm that spread protective arms beneath the cloudy skies of London. The sky was clear, but starting to blur somewhat with light clouds that moved swiftly from North to South. A slight drizzle had wet the pavement earlier and so the park bench was still moist, but Constable Evans didn't feel it. He only felt the beat of his lonely heart. This incident just reminded him once more how devoid his bachelor life had become of true happiness. Sharing with a partner.
"Now what?" He demanded of himself.
He suddenly remembered the letter he had been handed. He had smashed it into his coat pocket, forgetting about it in his rush to find the missing girl. He plucked it out hurriedly and began to read it.
I hope this letter finds you well and happy.
I know it does me.
Please do not think unkindly of me for being so forward as to communicate with you.
I realize you may think less of me because of what you witnessed this last evening. But I assure you no harm was meant to you or anyone else.
I don't have much time to write this, as I am continually moved to keep searching for my redemption. But when I searched you eyes I saw something in them I had been looking for and did not realize. Hope.
I pray that we shall meet again soon. For my heart feels as if it will surely break if we do not.
Please do not look for me. I do not want to bring you grief by such a useless gesture.
Patience will be its own reward.
Sherlock's smile returned as he sipped his tea and the pounding of Constable Evans feet ascended the staircase to the sitting room. Sherlock was alone.
"Where is my father?"
Sherlock patted the chair opposite him.
Constable Evans sat down, and then eyed the stack of sandwiches which lay before him and Sherlock.
"Please, help yourself, Constable Evans. I imagine your dash to Regent Street Park and your futile search for the thief of last night has left you not only weak of the knee, but the stomach as well."
Constable Evans dug into the food, while Sherlock looked on, occasionally sipping teas. Finally, Constable Evans was as full as a young man's stomach could bear. He shoved back from the table and started to get up.
Sherlock shook his head.
Constable Evans sat back down again.
"The letter she sent you, did it not request you be patient in your endeavor to capture her attention once more?"
"Yes, but how could you know..."
"And did she not say that there was a special bond between you?"
"Yes, but Sherlock..."
Sherlock was relentless. "And you feel that by exerting yourself to the maximum this will prove your worth to this nightingale. Is this not so?"
"Bloody hell it is." Constable Evans swore.
Sherlock nodded, then set his tea down, went back to his favorite chair, sat down and picked up a new book. He looked to Constable Evans. "Mister Wells and Mister Verne have come up with a very fine time travel story I feel to be of the utmost interest. Perhaps you could join me at the other chair and partake of my extra copy?"
Constable Evans got up, started that direction, and then looked longingly at the staircase.
"Constable Evans." Sherlock reminded him of still being there.
Constable Evans came over, picked up the extra copy and restlessly at first, then calmer and calmer, continued to read.
"I think the page where Jules realizes that he will never see his dearly beloved again if he continues to run forward through time for her, seeking the version he remembered, when she was no longer there, but in the past. I think that might be of interest to you."
Constable Evans glanced at the page that Sherlock showed him, flipped through his own copy and found the page.
"Please, Constable, read it out loud. I rather fancy the tone of your voice. It would help me to calm my agitated nerves just now."
Constable Evans glanced at Sherlock, not seeing a nervous man at all, but complied.
"And when I, the inventor extraordinary, flew through time in the Master of the World with Mon Frere, Wells, we came upon a very unusual spot in time. It was London. But a very different one. One where the people all wore these glistening types of clothing. Like gossamer they were."
Constable Evans looked up at Sherlock, who didn't return the glance. He began reading again. "And one of them seemed to know us intimately and called us by name, and said to give a message to a young man. That he wouldn't know it was for him yet, but in the years ahead he would."
Constable Evans began to choke up.
"Please, Constable, don't stop now. I feel so soothed by your voice."
Constable Evans read on. "His name is Constable Evans. You must tell him to be patient, as it is not truly his nature when his heart is full. How I know this is because mine own is so much the same. Tell him we shall meet again. And sooner rather than later. But he must be patient as time works more safely for the patient, than the impatient."
He finished reading and looked at Sherlock, who closed his book. "I feel so calm now and relaxed. When the good Doctor returns with your father, please tell them I am taking a nap. So kind of you." He said to Constable and exited into his bedroom.
Constable Evans looked at the book in his hands and clasped it to his chest. "I will, Gossamer. I will be patient."
And then very impatiently, he rose to look out the window. For even as patient as he was trying to be, the hope of a fresh and more loving tomorrow was almost too much for his patience to bear. Such is the nature of love.
The Comic Book Commando jumps into the life of a teenager who is granted super comic book powers and must learn how to use them to survive.
"Don't love me just because I'm beautiful. Love me because your heart tells you it is the truth of your own soul." Cartoon
A young girl screams for help!
A young teen named Johnnie hears her cry of terror and fear.
He's no hero, but he can't just let her die.
He rushes into blazing hot high rise fire to rescue the young girl who is trapped between broken floors.
In a daring attempt to save not only her life, but his own as well, Johnnie risks a leap that no normal human could possibly do.
When he reaches the outside of the building, with the young girl in his hands, he discovers she has mysteriously vanished.
This is the beginning of a number of strange events that leads to him discover he has been tested by the Princess of another world. Another universe. A place where all living creatures, human, plants, animals and monsters are comic book characters drawn by someone at some time either in our world or another.
Her name is Cartoon.
She tells him he has been granted the ability to draw on the powers of all cartoons!
Thus begins a series of fantastic adventures that expose Johnnie to danger and evil of a kind he never thought could exist in the real world.
Nothing will ever be the same for him.
He's no longer just a teenage kid going to college and holding down a part time job.
He has become...THE COMIC BOOK COMMANDO!
Don't miss out on this epic new adventure that goes places no one has ever gone before. Purchase it now at Amazon, Smashwords or here in my bookstore for only $2.99.
Enjoy hours of reading pleasure.
Become a comic book hero.
Rescue a Princess.
Bound over buildings.
Pass your exams!
Be a Comic Book Commando!
Available now for only $2.99 at Amazon, Smashwords and here in my bookstore.
Billy, "Adventures in the Rose Garden Love," By John Pirillo. Billy and the Bully both had a lot to learn. A lot of it...really scary!
"Adventures in the Rose Garden"
By John Pirillo
"Hey there, Billy Boy." Snickered the bully next to his locker. Harold, a huge guy, who had been held back two years now. His final year, but not soon enough to stop him from making Bill's life hello.
Bill tried to ignore him, but Harold slammed his ham fist down on the locker bottom, causing Billy's lunch to spill all over the floor.
"Now look what you've done!" Billy complained, and then looked at Harold, realizing he'd fed the mean machine by blurting that out.
Harold's eyes narrowed, as if that were more possible, because he had the face of a pig, with narrow set eyes and slabs of Jell-O like fat jowls under his chin. He must have weighed in at about two hundred and fifty pounds.
"Sorry." Billy barely managed.
"Oh, you'll be sorry, all right, Billy Boy." He grinned. "Really, really sorry!"
Billy thought it was all over for him as Harold raised the fist of destruction, but Mister Cobbs, the next door teacher, who instructed in Math, happened to step out that moment. "Hey there Billy! How are you and your...friend doing?"
Harold glared at Billy, and then gave Mister Cobbs an innocent look. He put an arm around Billy's shoulder like they were the best of buddies. "Me and Billy were just discussing the nature of politics in the world."
"Really. How fascinating." Mister Cobbs commented innocently. "I'd love to hear that discussion."
"Billy, I'd heading for the cafeteria, could we talk on the way?"
"Uh..." He looked over at Harold, whose eyes narrowed to slits, but who let go of him. "Sure, sounds great. Just let me pick up my lunch. It spilled when I opened my locker."
He started to bend down and Harold dropped down too, and as he helped Billy sack his food, he whispered in his ear. "After school. The Rose Garden."
Billy nodded and got back up. Harold smiled at him, gave him a shoulder punch that rocked him, but didn't knock him down. "Well, good buddy, see you later."
"Sure thing, Harold." Billy answered and let himself be led away by Mister Cobbs.
As they walked Mister Cobbs looked pensive, as if he were weighing things in his mind. Billy had seen him do that a number of times before he clobbered a kid with suspension or after school detention.
"I think that Harold might be staying after school today."
Billy's face lit up. "Really!" On Mister Cobb's look. "I mean, really. What has he done?"
Mister Cobb didn't say anything. He just smiled at Billy, and then he spoke up. "Sometimes big problems can just blow away. And sometimes we have to face them."
Mister Cobbs gave Billy a friendly pat on the shoulder, then headed for the cafeteria without him.
"I thought you wanted to talk with me?"
Mister Cobbs grinned. "I just did."
Billy ate his lunch outside in the quad, as he always did. Alone. Everyone knew he was a push. Their slang for a kid that was a nerd and afraid of anything and everyone, but computers. He didn't think that was fair, though he had to admit he loved computers.
He sighed after he finished gobbling his apple down, and then went to the computer lab to do a Google on the Rose Garden. He wanted to know how many entrances and exits there were. As he settled into his chair, he began typing into the search engine. Immediately, a beautiful photo of rows of roses came up. He punched it with a mouse click, and then began to read. As he did he was surprised when the screen went blank for a moment, and then it lit up again showing the garden at night and the roses glowing like tiny stars in outer space.
He was stunned, and then shook his head.
"Must be a new Google animation." He sighed.
Before he could exit the page, it went blank and then the original photo returned. He studied the information below it, shoving the weird thing that had just happened into the back of his mind. Finding nothing he wanted, he was about ready to give up. Dissatisfied, he narrowed his search to ways in and out.
He put his head in his hands. He was going to die and there was no way out of escaping that terror from the primordial age. Neanderthals, his father called them. Kids like Harold.
"One day you'll have to deal with one. We all do." His father had told him.
His father didn't answer.
His thoughts were shattered by a girl's voice.
"Trying to figure out a way to dodge your girlfriend?"
He looked up. Across from him on the other side of the computer was one of the most beautiful girls he had ever seen. She gave him a smile that lit up the room. Literally. He gave it over to his imagination, just like the image in the computer screen, and then grinned at her.
"Don't have one."
She shook her head. "Why not. You look cool to me?"
He felt shocked for a moment, then stuttered. "Uh...really?"
She laughed, but not at him. Warmly. Cascades of silver blonde hair fell over her eyes a moment, until she shoved them back. She reached a hand between the computers. "I just love computers, don't you?"
She giggled. "Cat got your tongue?"
He grinned, relieved at her sense of humor. "No..." Shyly. "You do."
The bell rang. Lunch break over.
She stood up to go.
He ran around to block her path. "I don't know your name."
She smiled. "Tell you what. Let's meet after school and exchange names."
"Then it's a deal." She said, and shook his hand, much to his surprise. Her hand when it touched his, caused an electric shock to jolt up and down his arm. His heart skipped a few beats. He stepped out of the way and she walked towards the exit.
"Wait!" He cried out.
She stopped and looked back. A sly look on her face.
She nodded to the computer she had been seated at. "Check the note I left for you."
Then before he could ask more, she exited the room.
He rushed to the computer and saw a pink slip of paper. Blank. He flipped it over and then felt his face become flushed with heat and far. "The Rose Gardens."
"Oh...crap! I am so...so...dead!" He uttered, his voice croaking from the sudden dryness of his mouth.
He spent the rest of the day, looking over his shoulder for Harold, who seemed to have disappeared, and for the girl, who also didn't seem to be around. Finally, he just surrendered to the inevitable destruction of his life with the hope that he just might snatch a few moments of happiness before it was crushed by Harold, the Monster, as all the nerds called him.
The last bell rang and he lockered what he didn't need. Which was pretty much everything. He always managed to get his work done at school in whatever free time he had. Then he took a deep breath and walked for the exit and the street.
As he passed Mister Cobb's room he saw Harold seated in the room, looking at some work he was doing. Billy sighed a breath of relief, then his grin vanished as Harold looked up and gave him the three finger salute and a look that harbored everything horrible imaginable. Mister Cobb didn't see it, but Billy did.
His spirit crushed again, he dashed for the exit, made it outside, then headed for the bus, which would take him to the Rose Garden. He caught it just as it was about to pull out. The driver, Mister Corday, stopped the bus and let him on.
"Driving the bus today?" He asked.
Mister Corday accepted the fare, and then smiled. "Trolley every other day."
"See you tomorrow on the trolley."
"You bet, young man. Where you heading? No wait. Let me guess?"
He began steering the bus into traffic. Billy hung on for support to the pole next to the driver's seat. "The Rose Garden."
"That's just crazy!" Billy cried out.
Mister Corday grinned. "Where else would a young man be heading to in that direction? No ball park. No video games. No eating places."
Billy just grinned. Mister Corday always made him feel good about himself for some reason. "Go have a seat, young man. Don't want you getting hurt or something."
Billy nodded, and then slung himself into a seat opposite the driver. He watched the man as he steered the bus expertly into traffic, slowing when he needed to, speeding when he could, and then pulling over for more passengers.
Finally, after about half an hour the bus pulled up next to the entrance to the Rose Park. "Here we are, Billy."
Billy got up. Hesitant to exit, for fear of who might be waiting somewhere. He started to sit back down again. Then he saw a familiar face. The girl. She was on the other side of the gate waving at him.
"Looks like you're going to be having fun." Mister Corday noted, as Billy descended hurriedly from the bus.
Billy looked back. "Wish me luck."
"Luck?" Mister Corday answered. "I'd say you had all the luck of the universe at this moment."
He pulled the bus away from the curb and drove off, leaving Billy staring at the empty road.
Billy turned. The girl was beckoning to him. He gave her his best smile and hurried to meet her. She closed the gap and reached out a hand. He took it. He didn't know why he did. He'd never done anything like that before. If his father or mother had seen him do it, they would've simply had a meltdown. It was just plain nuts!
They went to the top bench in the park and sat down. The sun was getting low in the sky. They didn't say a thing at first. It was just so beautiful.
Finally! "I'm Billy."
"I know. My brother talks about you all the time."
"Yeah." She said with a grin. "But he's kind of a slob."
"Yeah. Sis is kind of like that with me."
She giggled. "Sometimes family feel more like strangers."
"I'll buy that."
"Sold."She replied with a laugh.
He laughed too.
She suddenly tensed. "If you ever meet him, remind him about the G.I.Joe I found for him."
"Hey!" Harold's voice thundered from behind Billy.
Billy jumped up, his body starting to flush with fear. He turned slowly around. Harold stood at the top layer, looking down on him. He had two very large friends with him. "Time to balance the books, buddy."
"Harold. This is just not cool. What have I ever done to you anyway?"
Harold signaled to his buddies and they spread out to approach and block Billy's exit on the left and right as Harold moved down through the rose bushes to confront him at the bench. Billy suddenly realized that the girl had vanished.
He looked around frantically.
"No one's coming to your rescue, little dude." Harold said with a nasty grin.
He raised his massive fist of destruction as his buddies grabbed each of Billy's arms to hold him in place. "Prepare to meet the fist of destruction."
"Mary!" Billy cried out, worried that she might come back and get caught in the middle of the beating.
Harold's grin froze. "What'd you just say?"
Harold gave an almost invisible wince, and then leaned closer. "Mary who?"
"I don't know her last name. She just said she had a brother who's kind of a slob and that sometimes family feels like strangers."
Harold's face blanched, but he kept his fist cocked. "What does she look like?"
He described her. Harold's face grew blood red with anger. "You little sonuva bitch, I'm going to tear your lungs out through your throat for digging into my personal life!"
He didn't know why he blurted it out, but Billy suddenly said. "She told me to remind you of the G.I.Joe she found for you."
Harold's face turned pale as a ghost. He waved his buddies off and they walked away, looking disappointed.
Harold sat down on the bench and began to cry. More and more.
For some reason Billy couldn't explain he sat next to him. "Why are you crying? You're lucky to have a sister as beautiful as that. Only ten minutes ago she was here telling me about you."
Harold looked up from bloodshot eyes. "You can see her?"
Billy afterwards realized he could have been dead for doing it, but he laughed in Harold's face. "Harold, she held my hand and told me what I told you. She's as real as you or I!"
Harold gave Billy a look that was just plain filled with awe and terror and then he got up and left, leaving Billy seated by himself. The girl never returned.
He went home, more disappointed than he could explain to himself or his parents who wanted to know where he'd been, and then what had happened. When he told them, his father and mother looked at each other in disbelief and then at him.
"Son." His father said, carefully choosing his words.
"Harold's sister died two years ago in a car accident. She was run down by a drunk driver in front of Harold's home. It was in all the papers that week."
Billy froze for a moment, and then went into deeper shock.
When he went to school the next day, he was still in a shock of sorts, not looking at anyone or anything. Finally, he headed to Mister Cobb's room. He went in.
Mister Cobb looked up. "Billy, what's wrong?"
"I fell in love."
Mister Cobb's face lit up, and then he frowned. "What's wrong?"
Mister Cobb didn't know how to respond to that, and before he could Harold came into the room and handed some homework to him.
Harold turned to Billy and offered a hand. "I'd like to start over. If you can forgive me."
Billy stood stock still, his mouth hanging open. Mister Cobbs was in shock too.
Harold grinned. "And if you ever talk about my sister again, I'm going to..."
He rushed forward and Billy expected the worst, as did Mister Cobb who jumped up to get between them, but instead Harold put his arms around Billy and Mister Cobbs.
Billy went home that day, with a new friend and a beautiful memory. That weekend he took a bus to the cemetery where Mary was buried. He placed a bouquet of daisies on the gravesite, and then smiled. "Thanks!" He said, his heart filled with wonder and grief at the same time.
He worked his way through the cemetery towards the entrance where his father and mother were parked. As he closed in on it, a young girl about a year younger than him stepped from the side of a tree. She gave him an imploring look. "Can you help me find my dog? He ran away."
Billy went to his parents and told them, and they came out to help. It took them all of ten minutes. Finally, they cornered the little rascal. A tiny terrier with big brown lovable eyes. It licked all over the girl's face, who laughed like an angel.
His mother and father exchanged looks when Billy asked. "How'd you get here?"
She freaked. "Oh my God! I missed it. I have no way home!"
Billy looked at his mom and dad and they nodded.
"I think you do."
She smiled at him.
And just past her shoulders he could see a swirling mass of white light and a beautiful blonde girl in it, waving at him.
"Good-bye." He whispered.
The girl he had helped looked startled. "You're leaving me?"
Billy smiled. "No, not you. Just a memory and an angel that I loved once."
Then he took her hand and they walked with his parents back to the car. He didn't know her name, but he would. This week he had found love, lost it, made an enemy and found a friend, and now who knew what the future held. He smiled as he opened the rear door to their Ford Explorer for her to climb inside.
He grinned and when no one was looking, waved back at the place he had seen Mary. "Thanks!
Then he climbed into the car beside the girl and his parents drove him and her off into the future. Uncertain. But certain to be sure of surprises. Some bad. Some good.
Plume, "Adventures of Love," By John Pirillo. She had two weeks to live, but she had a garden of roses and love to last her a lifetime.
Adventures in the Rose Garden
By John Pirillo
The Rose Garden is a special place. I still remember it from before. Elevated along the tiered slope of a massive hill, it was layer after layer of roses that grew endlessly for miles...or what seemed like miles. Red. Blue. Yellow. Green. Orange. Purple. Violet. White. Black. You name it. They were all there and a thousand variations, hybrids of roses that had been specially cultivated to exhibit a certain look.
Some were grown to have black tips, some red, and some orange. Some had feather tips that stretched their petals outwards like a tongue thick at the base and tapering at the tip. Some had hats upon their crown, filled with fluffy colors. Some were brassy looking. Bright copper colors that shone in the morning sun, and glowed at night.
It was a special place. The Rose Garden. It was there I found peace of mind. There I found....romance.
Plume was a silly girl. No one knew why exactly in retrospect, but at the time it seemed to be the right way to look at her. She was all colors and soft things, dolls and sweets. A teen of sixteen she was reaching the blossoming of adulthood in all its glory...and some might say, misery. But not Plume. Eva May Desiree was her real name. But Plume was her given name. In the Rose Garden. It named her, as it named all who entered its rich, scented atmosphere.
The Rose Garden is like a piece of heaven detached and planted on earth to give those who have aching hearts or lonely hearts a chance to thrive, to be nourished and uplifted. To find real love, or true love.
Plume got up that morning in her small apartment, slipped from her cotton sheets onto the hardwood floor of the three bedrooms flat that overlooked the San Francisco Bay. It was an ordinary day after an ordinary night. Not because it was dull and dreary, but because it was just another beautiful day in a great city. A city of lights, hope and dreams.
She slippered her feet with moccasins of tender pink and orange, then looked out her bay window. She opened the windows with the side levers on both sides, until she could fill her lungs with the fresh taste of the tangy salt air blowing in from the bay. She could see the long lines of cars and trucks, all colors of the rainbow, marching back and forth on the distant Golden Gate. She imagined herself in one of those cards, or perhaps seated on the front seat alongside one of the husky drivers who rammed their trucks through city after city to deliver exotic goods and products that everyone needed, such as bread, gas, bathroom products, and Wal-Mart goodies. It seemed so exotic to her.
You see what made Plume really special was that she had only a few more weeks to enjoy the view. Each day that she got up, she knew she only had one less than the last day. She had terminal cancer. It was eating her brain stem up. The doctors told her that she'd started having gaps in memory, and malfunctions with her body, but not completely, just bits and pieces until the stem lost all its ability to keep communications open between her mind and body, then her brain would die because the heart would stop pumping blood to it. Her muscles would refuse to move her body and she would become paralyzed.
Her mother was at work, even though she hated missing one moment with her daughter. But with her father gone for several years now, her mother had to work to pay the expenses of their apartment, as well as her medical expenses. Thousands and thousands of dollars. That made Plume sad, but not for long. Her mother was strong. She would survive. And besides, even the approaching blackout for her life couldn't put a dent in her positive nature. She believed the world was a place of miracles. Each second was a moment of great excitement to her.
That was especially true since she'd found the Rose Garden.
Every day she woke up she made herself a promise to see just one more part of the world about her, and the day before she'd found the Rose Garden. Quite by accident. She had been seeking a way to get to the tallest hill where she could take pictures with her camera phone of the bay to share with her mother and cheer her up, but for some reason, her mother would break into tears instead and hold her tight, as if she were going to burst apart if she didn't.
So she was determined to go back again this day. She hurriedly threw on socks, jeans, a thick sweater...it was cool outside...and a hat to protect her head from the sun. She looked kind of like a Raggedy Ann, because all her clothes mismatched. She was put together from all kinds of colors and textures. It was her contribution to her life. Her artistic side.
She snatched up her drawing tablet, some pencils and erasers, jammed them into her purse, left a quick note for her mom so she wouldn't be worried, then ran out of the apartment, locking it behind her. She just made it downstairs in time to catch the trolley. She heard its ding ding, clanking sound as she was dashing down the stairwell of the four story building.
She reached the street and the trolley driver, Mister Corday, waved at her. He made a gesture at the trolley and she nodded. He slowed for her to a stop. She dashed on board. "Thanks, Mister Corday!"
"My pleasure, Plume. Where to?"
"The Top of the World!" She told him, her eyes bright with the fever of desire. He nodded, put the trolley back into gear and it levered back out into traffic, picking up speed.
It was a little game they played. He pretended to be her chauffeur, and she pretended he was. She put her fare in the cup before her, watched it get gobbled down its throat and roll into the space where all the coins went, then excitedly, ran up to the top deck, where she immediately went to the front.
It was full, except for one spot. Next to a young man, maybe a year or two older than herself. He didn't bother looking up when she sat down, so she ignored him at first, instead twisting about to watch the buildings roll past as the trolley climbed the steep hill.
She looked back at the young man. He was handsome in a dark kind of way. His hair was Beatles length and he wore a diamond stud in his right ear. A tiny tattoo marked his left ear. The shape of a heart. His hands were strong with long fingers. He wore jeans and a cord shirt with a button down collar.
"It's so exciting." She finally said.
The adults about her smiled, but said nothing.
The young man looked up. "You're odd looking." He said, and then looked down again.
"Thanks." She told him.
That got to him. He looked up again. "You're stupid too."
She laughed. "Stupid is as stupid does."
He gave her a suspicious look. "Are you calling me stupid?"
She ignored his question. Looked uphill where they were traveling. He said no more. She turned around and looked at him again. "It's so exciting."
He looked up and gave her an annoyed look. "You've already said that."
She smiled. "I would have remembered if I had?"
"Are you calling me a liar?"
She shrugged. "Lies are like tiny balloons. The more you pop, the more annoying they become."
He started to get up, and then decided against when the trolley made a jarring stop, dropping him back in place. She looked away, which contented him. Maybe she was through bothering him.
She looked back at him again. "It's so exciting." She told him, putting even more energy into her voice.
He looked up again, this time ready to explode, but the look on her face froze him in his tracks. "You're different, you know that?"
"Mom tells me I'm special."
He nodded. "That I can believe."
He looked down again. He felt her still staring at him, so he looked up again. "What?"
"So exciting!" He finished for her, surprising her. "Look, how many times are you going to repeat that stupid thing?"
She burst into tears. The adults gave the young man stern looks, which he completely ignored, but somehow Plume had struck a chord in his being. He raised a hand and it held a heart in it. "Would you like one?"
She rubbed at the tears in her eyes, and then saw the heart. It was a candy heart. It said "I love you."
"Mom tells me never to talk to strangers."
He laughed. She did too.
She looked at the heart in her hand. "What's this?"
He gave her a surprised look. "I just gave it to you."
"I'm not supposed to talk to strangers."
She gave him the heart back.
The trolley stopped. She looked over the side. "We're here!"
She forgot all about the young man as she raced to be first off the car. She flung herself down the stairwell, gave a smile to Mister Corday. He nodded. She stopped and looked back. "Do I know you?"
He laughed. "I'm Mister Corday."
She smiled broadly. "Thanks, Mister Corday."
She got off the trolley.
The trolley started up again as Mister Corday steered her once more. It began to turn on its tracks to face back down the hill.
Plume danced up the long hill of steps that rose into the Rose Garden, skipping one, dancing another, then skipping again. She reached the top, breathless and excited, and then spun around, taking in the view. Rows and rows and rows of beautiful roses.
"I love you!" She told the roses.
For a brief moment it felt like the entire hillside gave off a glow. The roses lit up like tiny light bulbs and turned faces towards her. But it must have been an illusion, because when she blinked her eyes everything was the same again.
She went to the bench that let her look out over the city, and the roses at the same time. She reached into her purse, took out a brush and began smoothing her hair back into place, enjoying the feeling of the bristles of the brush as it massaged her scalp at the same time it put order into her hair.
She felt rather than saw him arrive. She turned around and a strange boy stood there. He looked at her with such lonely eyes that she wanted to take him in her arms and cuddle him, to make him feel better.
"Hi!" He said.
"Hello. Do I know you?"
He smiled and sat down next to her.
"My name is Plume." She said, offering a hand to him.
He took it and didn't let go for a long time, then trembling he looked up into her eyes and smiled. A smile so full of light and friendship that her heart tumbled for a couple of beats, missing its rhythm.
"I love you." He told her.
He held out a heart in his hand. "You forgot this."
She took it and flipped it over. "I love you."
She looked into his eyes and her heart tumbled again.
"Do I know you?"
"Forever." He said, taking her hand in his.
She laughed. "Silly. I don't talk to strangers."
"Then let's not be strangers."
"Here." He told her. He handed her a second heart. She took it and looked at it. "I love you."
She sat on the bench until the sun went down.
He sat beside her, his left hand holding her right.
She didn't ask him again who he was. Some part of her remembered.
The next morning they met again at the top of the hill. And again they introduced themselves to each other. Each time she sat down on the bench, the Rose Garden seemed to light up for a moment.
But there came a day when she could no longer leave her apartment.
She lay on her bed, trying to remember what she had forgotten. They she looked over on her nightstand where thirteen hearts lay. Each one said "I love you."
Her mom took off the rest of the week to be with her. Her employer finally took mercy on her and offered to pay her for the day off.
She stayed with Plume when the doctor saw her, and when the doctor left shaking his head. She fell asleep holding her daughter's hand, hearing her breath go in and out, sometimes easily, sometimes with great effort.
The doorbell rang.
She ignored it.
The doorbell rang again.
She sighed, let go of Plume's hand, and then raced to the door.
Plume's eyes opened and from where she lay, she could see rows and rows of roses, all colors of the rainbow. And a handsome young man stood there at its gate, holding out a heart for her, just like the ones she had on her nightstand. She smiled at him and he smiled back. She rose from her bed and went to him. He took her hand.
"I shouldn't talk to strangers."
"I'm not stranger, Plume." He told her. Then he gave her a new heart.
She read it. "Forever."
She looked at him, smiling the same time as her mother stepped back into the bedroom. Her mom froze. A beautiful tunnel of white light stretched from the bedroom out the window. She saw Rose standing there with a young man. They were laughing. As they began walking further into the light her Mom could see a vast garden with row after row of beautiful roses, their faces lit up like light bulbs. It was like looking at millions of living rainbows. She felt her heart skip a beat. It was so beautiful!
Plume stopped for a moment and looked back. Her mom tensed. Plume raised a hand, waved, then blew a kiss and took the young man's hand. He put an arm around her shoulder and they vanished into the light.
Her Mom looked away and Rose lay on her bed, her eyes wide open. A smile on her lovely face.
Between her fingers was a new heart. "Forever."