Scampering down the quite familiar sidewalk, Doodle Dog enjoyed the only-slightly nippy winter air that woke up his nose and kept his eyes wide open. A slightly warm whiff told him spring would be following on the wind soon enough. He loved how the land could transform from season to season, from a beautiful green layer of grass to a lovely shimmering blanket of white, almost as though the earth had dressed up for a special occasion. Even though the floppy-eared puppy knew these lands well, every costume change made it seem like a whole new setting to explore.
There! That looked like an inviting pile of flakes! The floppy-eared puppy found just what he was looking for and immediately bounded into it, not minding if any other creature witnessed his seemingly reckless abandon. Ahhh! Twisting this way and turning that way, Doodle Dog rubbed his back on the soft, cool fluff and instantly felt refreshed. Looking down at his paws, he could see the fresh shimmer all the way from the top of his legs to the bottom of his claws. This little puppy certainly cleans up well! It didn’t take all day to feel frisky again, so off he went in search of another pile to pounce or friend to find.
BEYOND THE GOLDEN GATE
The boy ignored her as he sat in the opposite corner and munched on what Yawa thought could be bread. She’d refused food from him several times before but she was gonna faint soon if she didn't eat anything.
She searched for the most proper and polite way to ask for food and went for it before she changed her mind. “May I have some?”
He looked up like he didn’t understand but she wasn't up to being fooled twice so she kept her expression still. He reached back into his bag and produced another piece of bread that he tossed in her direction. She caught it, tested it with her fingers, smelled it then finally took a bite and another. The bread was gone fast and she found herself wanting more. However she didn’t ask. Instead she curled up on her side and tried to sleep. The ride on the elephant left her seriously sore and achy. She’d never ridden an animal before, not even a horse. When she awoke in the middle of the night because of an itching mosquito bite she was surprised to see her captor still awake and facing the entrance of the cave still as a rock.
I gasped in air, then blew it back out, after reminding myself to breathe. I didn’t know her but she looked about my age, I thought, and very, very beautiful. My chest tightened and my eyes widened as we studied each other. Wow. She’s hot.
“Trey?” It was my mom calling me. I didn’t answer so it followed again. “Trey. Trey,” She sounded very impatient but I couldn’t see her.
I gazed up from the swirling water and all around me, trying to find mom. I couldn’t see her, but I also didn’t care. All I wanted was look at the girl again. So, I looked back down again with anticipation. But, all I found was rippling, water-like smoke. No girl.
The tightness in my chest turned to knife-sharp pain. I swallowed hard, probably my pride. She was gone.
Wow. That was amazing.
CHILD OF LIGHT
Egypt, 1326 BCE
Sometimes the gods, without being asked, give us more than we dare to desire. Sometimes the signs appear, so interlinked, there is nothing to do but to see and accept them……..
The Child of Light is safely in the Other World, back in the home he came from. Just when I aided him, by cloak of night, to make his escape, his brother—the cripple—fell again and this time broke his leg. The priests of Sekhmet have been called but they can do nothing for him. Only the Goddess herself can save him now and it appears She has turned away her eyes. He is crawling with fever. The wound where his bone punctured through the skin is festering. He will die within the hour.
I am not a man of magic but this I can see: the Child departing, the one whose rightful place he took, struck down and dying. This is the Sign that we were waiting for and better than I planned it. I will put the body in Tutankhamen’s tomb. History shall be returned to Maat. Horemheb shall be pleased. Only the gods arrange such synchronicity but I, the counselor to the Child of Light, will claim myself as mastermind behind it. And I at last, I, Ay of Karnak, long in years but never wavering in service, shall be king!
BUSINESS OR PLEASURE
Pounding rocked the front door and Trixie barked frantically. Guy swore silently. What now? It was too early for company or Jehovah’s Witnesses. Whoever it was could go away.
Unfortunately, the pounding got louder and so did Trixie. “I’ve got to answer the door. Some fool’s about to break it down.”
Tommy waved him off and rolled off the bed and grabbed his pants. He put one leg into his jeans as he asked, “Do you want me to get it?”
Ruth said sternly, “I need to warn you…”
“This is the police. Open up now,” a serious male voice called loudly from the door.
Guy gulped and exchanged worried looks with Tommy. He grabbed his pants and tried to jump into them as he held the phone with one hand. Worried, he asked Ruth, “Does it have anything to do with the police banging on my door?”
“I was afraid of that.”
Guy carried the phone with him down the stairs as he arrowed to the door. “Afraid of what?”
“Open the door now. We know you’re in there. It’ll be easier if you cooperate.”
“Why are they threatening me?”
Tommy followed him down the stairs as he pulled on his shirt and hurriedly buttoned it.
“Here. Talk to Tommy while I get the door.” He tossed the black instrument to his lover who caught it then almost dropped it. Luckily he caught it before it hit the steps.
Ruth shouted something, but it was garbled behind Trixie’s whining and the incessant pounding.
Eager for the pounding to stop yet apprehensive of the reason for the police visit, he opened the door. “May I help you?”
“Are you Guy Rogers?”
“Yes,” he answered hesitantly, wishing he was anyone else but Guy Rogers.
“You’re under arrest for keeping loaded firearms when you’re out on bond. Come with us.”
If she didn’t get off Hillybilly Mountain soon, her soul would wither and die, like leftover corn husks, brown and brittle in the fall. She’d end up fat, bossy, and sleeping alone like her momma, or disinterested and drunk like her poppa. God forbid she end up like her eldest brother, divorced from one wife and living apart from his four children, but married to a girl half his age and bouncing new babies on his knee every year. Or her other brother who loved to tease and torment her growing up. Now he did the same thing to his wife and sons. And, in 1949, she didn’t have the option of joining the Army like her third brother had done. Not that that had worked out too well for him, going off to World War II and getting himself killed. Still, at least he’d gotten off this Godforsaken mountain.
THE DREAM (KHYR)
PilaNe looked about and pointed to the watercolor-attired group of sidhe that included Malaena and her family. “We shall need more light.”
The women clasped their hands tightly before them or hugged their children close. The men stared worriedly at the cliffs even as they guided their families to PilaNe. A little boy, clinging to his father’s hand, looked up with shining eyes and whimpered softly. “I don’t want to go in the rock.”
Emelia stooped. “It’s all right,” she assured. Straightening, she patted the man’s arm. “You’ll be safe here.”
“It’s gonna be dark,” Malaena declared and buried her face against her mother’s shoulder.
“And we will be their light in that darkness,” said one of the men. Malaena’s father perhaps, Emelia decided as he cupped the girl’s cheek in his hand. “We are Liwaire, the children of the light. To go where you ask…” He sighed deeply. “It is difficult to bear. But we are Liwaire.” He looked around the small cluster of faces, and drew erect. “The light is with us.” He took the woman’s hand and glided past PilaNe and as they passed into the shadows of the stone wall, each of their party, young and old, glowed with a soft light, as if stars were captured in their slender forms. They crossed through the unseen passage, and the others followed in close rank, the Gracka grinning and bouncing eagerly alongside.