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!"