The Shasta Caper
by John Pirillo
Samuel felt this sudden vibration in his whole body, as if he were somehow being transformed, transmuted into something entirely different. Jimbo and Nanny saw it too and backed away from him. The bullets kept sparking off the landing, knocking chunks of the railing and flooring free, spattering them with debris.
Jimbo went to the secret door, but it wouldn't open.
"Sam! Get us out of here...now!"
Samuel looked at them and his eyes had become these pools of golden fire.
"His eyes!" Nanny gasped.
"Samuel, what's happening to you?"
"Something wonderful!" Samuel answered, then stepped away from their shelter and into the line of fire. As he did so, bullets raked his body over and over, but not one of them penetrated. Each bullet that struck him fell to the landing and sprouted into a beautiful, fresh daisy, bursting with color.
The soldiers firing at him froze as he began walking up towards them.
Saran, stood behind the troops, ordering them with shouts and screams, but they refused to budge another inch. Finally, Saran shoved several off the walkway. They plunged to their deaths, screaming horribly as they dropped.
Saran came down and faced off Samuel.
"You think you're some kind of god, mortal?"
"No. Far from it."
Saran drew a large blade from his utility belt, revealing serrated edges that would tore open any flesh and leave it ripped open.
Saran lunged forward and stabbed his knife into Samuel's chest.
Samuel stood there unfazed.
Saran looked on in horror as the blade withdrew from his hand and melted into Samuel's body, which began to glow like a small luminous moon of gold and blue.
"You're impossible!" Saran screamed.
"And you're not? How did you survive the destruction of your craft?"
"So it was you who destroyed my brother!" Saran screamed, then launched himself at Samuel.
Samuel caught Saran as if he were a paper toy and lifted him into the air.
"The Hammer of God is the hammer of mercy."
"What foolish talk is this, mortal?" Saran screamed, his face red with fury, pummeling his fists at Samuel's face, but never connecting.
Samuel looked into Saran's eyes and he began to slow down with his pummeling, until he was gasping for air, then he began to cry like a child. "Let me go!" He pleaded.
Samuel set him down.
"You are not allowed here." Samuel told the man.
Saran looked back towards his soldiers, but they were all fleeing up the pathway, none looking back.
"We'll meet again!" He cursed, then spun on his heels and fled up the path as well.
Jimbo and Nanny came out and began feeling Samuel's body.
"Are you hurt?" Jimbo asked. "I saw him plunge a knife into you."
"I saw you riddled with bullets." Nanny added, not understanding why there wasn't a single hole in his jacket or shirt.
Samuel looked at them and smiled.
"It's all in the mind. If you don't mind it, it doesn't exist." He said mysteriously, then began up the pathway.
"Wait, they'll be waiting for us!" Jimbo warned.
"I don't think so." Samuel said over his shoulder. "I saw at least half his men pee their pants. They won't be wanting to wait anywhere near this site. Not for a long, long time."
Jimbo looked at Nanny and then shrugged.
They followed after Samuel.
They reached the top in record time. But there was no sign of either Saran or the soldiers, or their flying ship. They were all gone, as if they had never been there at all.
Jimbo sat down with a sigh on a boulder, kicked off his boots, then began rubbing his feet. "This walking is putting blisters on my blisters."
"I'll second that." Nanny said, squeezing next to him on the boulder. She dug into her backpack and came out with some Neosporin and began applying it to Jimbo's blisters, then her own. He watched her contentedly as she did the work, silent and appreciative. He rubbed the beard beginning to sprout heavily on his face, then looked over at Samuel who was looking across the valley below.
"Jim. Sometimes I wonder how much of our lives are truly real."
Jimbo nodded. "Probably about..." He held two fingers about half an inch apart.
Nanny squeaked with laughter.
He grinned at her.
Samuel smiled. "You might be closer to the truth than you realize."
He turned to face his friends. "When they were firing at me, I didn't feel a thing. No anger, no fear, no doubt. Nothing. It was like I was watching a movie. Nothing could touch me. It wasn't real. My mind didn't believe it. So it didn't exist."
He sprawled on the ground and lay back on his hands with his head. "I could actually see the bullets transforming as they struck me. They looked like tiny little angels kissing me all over."
"You're one wierd dude, Samuel Light!" Nanny said.
He looked over at her. She held a thumb up. "But I kinda like you anyway."
Jimbo smiled. "Wait until you've known him as long as I have. This is not weird at all. Remember the time you drank a whole pond up?"
Nanny sat up, startled. "Drank a pond! By himself?"
Samuel gave her a smirk. "It tasted like chicken."
She barked with laughter, then punched Jimbo and threw her Neosporin at Samuel, who caught it, then sat up and began rubbing some of it on his own feet.
"I think we better find some shelter and rest. We've got a long walk ahead of us tomorrow." Samuel said, tossing the Neosporin back at Nanny, who caught it and stuffed it back into her backpack, as she rose to stand.
They didn't go back the way they had come. Samuel found a side path, that led them to the left and gently down into a curving valley that intersected a series of low hills. Ahead of the hills they could see glittering light as the bright light from overhead was caught on the surface of a lake.
"We should be able to reach it in an hour."
Jimbo nodded. "Hope so. My feet are screaming, 'Kill Me Now!' and I'm not arguing with them about it.
Nanny's stomach suddenly growled.
Jimbo reached into his backpack and took out a single Twinkle.
Samuel and Nanny looked at it.
"Those bugger giants stole my sugars!" Jimbo complained. "The pack is empty!"
Samuel laughed. "Isn't it nice to know that even angels have a sweet tooth?"
Jimbo joined the laughter as did Nanny.
They reslung their backpacks more securely over their shoulders, then began descending the spiraling path that took them from the high point to the lower hills and eventually the lake.
As they descended they heard a humming in the air.
They looked up just as a gigantic shadow fell across them.
It was the flying city.
A huge spotlight shot down from it and landed several feet away. It lit up the ground there as bright as the sun. When it turned off, the ground was burned to a crisp, and molten rock and dirt bubbled there.
"I guess we can surmise who lives up there." Jimbo growled.
"Not our friends." Nanny grumbled.