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Wednesday, 8 January 2014

The Dragon's Talisman part 2 page 6

The Dragon's Talisman part 2

As I sat under one of the very large trees that just fade in the misty sky above, I leaned on the trunk that
could have housed many communities of the fairies, as they do in the higher portions of the trees. Early morning golden sunlight streamed through the trees to the emerald green forest floor, a forest more enchanting then anyone could guess with its explosion of colors and a symphony of sounds at sunrise. In the distance I could hear the rush of water from a nearby stream.  Above, many birds sang melodiously.

Dragon lay below in the sunlight, contentedly asleep with her head lying upon her clawed paws. Every now and again her great folded wings twitched, as if in readiness for flight. I leaned back against the tree trunk contemplating my next mission. 

I was to take the Dragon Talisman to a certain individual on the surface land, my home. This individual is protected by the fairy people; his true being was never to be known by any other surface being. The Talisman was the key for the long-awaited unlocking of the Gate Of Change. Now it was to be taken to our mystery person for no one has ever seen this person's face. He alone has the knowledge to turn the key. I was a mortal human with a mortal dragon with a following of fairy people on a mission in a world where there were very good odds of being outnumbered really fast.  Failure was more likely than success. 

I turned to look in the direction of a familiar low, buzzing sound. It was one of the fairy people. As a mortal I must explain that for the few of us who see fairies, these beings have personalities as individual and unique as humans. Their bodies are not solid but are made of energy. They do have the ability however, to make themselves as solid as their energy form would allow them. They will appear to each individual as the individual perceives them, very much like shape shifters. They can shift from one shape to another according to individual's frame of reference at that instant.  In the above world their true form varies from light forms to tiny sparks, to orbs, to actual light beings in humanoide shape

The one that stood before me was very beautiful, like a sunburst of rainbow colors. The tiny being within the sunburst bowed slightly and spread her hands out then stood again and said, "My lady, I am the one they have chosen to lead my comrades on your mission to the above world,"  as she raised her right hand and pointed to her friends. 

"Girls, I am honored. Please, when we get to the surface, turn down the lights if you are to be invisible to the above world,"  
I said, with a hint of a grin. The fairy extended her right hand, palm up, in my direction, as a sign of agreement. "My name is Aniel. We shall be waiting here when you are ready to depart, My lady," the fairy responded.

I nodded and left to walk below the hill towards Dragon. At the touch of my hand on the end of Dragon's nose her great ruby eyes opened and stared at me. "I am sorry, my friend but it's time for us to depart to the above world. 

Dragon let out a loud snort and got up on her hind legs. Towering over me she spread her magnificent wings, then let out a roar that shook the ground beneath me, the roar was followed by a flash of flames. Lowering her head to the ground, I climbed on. Leathery wings made a few thunderous beats to both sides of me, and we began to rise over the land. Looking back I saw my retinue of fairy people following close behind.  

Ahead the skies darkened. In no other place in fairy land was there darkness. The further into the darkness we flew the darker it got. Then suddenly it was like being hit by a tornado! Dragon and I were buffeted about until in such a profound darkness that I had lost all sensory awareness and Dragon and I had become separated in the maelstrom! 

When my senses returned I sat up and looked all about. I was sitting somewhere in the middle of the woods at night, on the above world, my world. 

I turned suddenly to in response to the sound of breaking branches and a loud crash. It was Dragon lying all asprawl on the ground and above her were trees with many missing branches. She flapped her wings a couple of times and managed to right herself so she could stand. She appeared uninjured save for maybe a bruised ego, and she let that be known with a ground shaking roar.

"Where are the fairy folks?" I said softly to myself.  At this question I heard the familiar crackling sounds as each light being or fairy appeared out of thin air. "Phew! That's a relief, all are accounted for," I sighed.  

I looked up and there was our familiar silver moon shining down on me. I could smell the damp pine needles and the mossy forest floor, and heard all of the familiar accompanying night sounds of the forest of the above world, my world of origin.

Page 2 
Dragon untangled herself from the nest of broken off branches that had broken her fall. Much dust, leaves, and sticks flew everywhere as she fought to get off her back and regain her legs. Flapping her large leathery wings she finally managed to right herself and stood on her back legs as she opened her cavernous mouth and shot out a tongue of flame ten feet in length and let out a mighty roar that shook the earth beneath my feet.  I could see sticks and pebbles dancing upon the ground from the shock wave of her bellow. 

The entire neighboring area for miles around heard this screeching roar. Many people stood in their front yard trying to make sense of what they heard. It wasn't like anything they had heard before.  No further sounds were heard and the people of Belle Glade Florida retreated back into their homes nonplused as to what they had heard. 

Exhausted from the turbulent trip through the gate between dimensions, dragon and I decided to bed down where we were for the night. The fairy people took for the higher part of the surrounding trees.

While I lay on the soft moss-covered earth with my head cradled on Dragon's neck and shoulder, my mind was preoccupied with thinking about our next day's journey. 

I knew where we needed to be to meet with this certain individual, the messenger, but I had no idea outside of a mental picture of what the person looked like, and this person would only be the messenger of the one with the knowledge.  I was not certain if I would ever really meet this person with the knowledge themselves physically, but I was quite aware that if we were discovered it could very well spell certain disaster and or death for the both of us. Regardless the potential danger, the key, the Dragon's talisman, had to be delivered, or the entire world could meet with disaster.

Somewhere along this train of thoughts I slipped into a sound sleep. I would be needing all the rest I could muster from this point on, refreshing rest could become a rarity.

The next thing I remembered was the early morning golden sunlight streaming down into my eyes from the top of the trees on the east side of a lake a few hundred feet from where we had camped. Dragon stirred when I sat up. She lifted her great scaly head and looked about, snorted, and a small puff of smoke arose.  Then she turned to look at me, as though asking, "Where and what next?" The fairy people were already out and about feeding on nectar from the many wild flowers that grew around the lake shore. 

Dragon cocked her head to one side then the other and stopped suddenly as though frozen to the spot. I recognised that stance and I also lowered myself prone to the near by bushes and waited. 

A few minutes later some one came stumbling out of the bushes, not without some cussing.  It was a woman.  She sat on a rock next to the lake shore, her elbows propped on her knees she held her face in her hands, I could hear the faint sobs from where I was. I wished I could do something to help her but it was crucial that we not make our presence known if at all possible.

The fairy people, unaware of this stranger sitting by the lake, flew up to look for more flowers and nearly collided with her.  The stranger shot up to her feet and was about to scream then just stood there dumbfounded. 

"Well, I guess we been discovered," I told Dragon in a low voice. My mind raced as I watched the woman who stood on the edge of the lake apparently too shocked and petrified at what she saw to move.

At first I thought maybe tie her up and leave here where someone would find her but on second thought I would be needing some traveling duds if I was to go about unnoticed, and this woman was about the same size as I, and she must be from nearby.

The woman nearly ran into the lake when she saw me coming toward her, no longer mesmerised by the fairy people but probably frightened her into premature old age when she saw me coming towards her dressed in warrior's garb and carrying the long bladed lance I always carried across my back, always ready to jump into action if necessary.  That is the life of the warrior.  

I put the lance down on the ground gently and slowly continued my forward progress towards her. By this time I believe she was too much in shock to move in any direction. "Hi, my name is Casandra. I will not hurt you, and yes I am just as real as the fairy folk and Dragon, my companion over there," I said as I pointed towards the trees behind her. She fainted dead in her tracks. 

The cottage
Later after I revived her and the initial shock had worn off she told me that she lived in a cottage near by. She said that she was called Dana.  She pointed the way as Dragon blazed the trail ahead of us. "Much easier going out then it was coming in," Dana said with a trace of a smile

Page 3

Dana opened the door to the aging cottage and said in a loud voice, "Mom, I brought some company with me. Well...,you won't believe it till you see them for yourself." Her mother walked into the living room and fainted dead away, just like Dana had on her first encounter with her guests. I thought it best to tell Dragon and the fairy people to stay out of sight for a while, thinking that I would be enough for Dana's mom to handle for the time being. 

While Dana was working on bringing her mother around I busied myself looking for some of Dana's clothes that would fit me.  I found a green long sleeved top and a pair of jeans. Rearranging my hair, I let it hang loose around my shoulders. I was struck by what I saw in the mirror. It brought back some vivid memories of a childhood that had been so different at the time from the way it is now. 

As a child I had only dreamed of and read in books about such tales as I had lived and experienced. I thought they were just fascinating fantasy stories for kids. I came to find out, that they were fantasies that become as real as the degree of one's power of imagination. Fantasy and imagination coupled with belief of sufficient intensity can make anything real. But that's a story for another time I told myself, as I took one last look in the mirror. 

Stepping out of Dana's bedroom I stood putting my right hand on my hip and said, "Well, what do you think? Do I look more like an Earth girl now?" I smiled the best I could. Dana just stood there, mouth agape, with a shocked look for the second time that day. Her mom just sat there utterly confused as she didn't remember anything from our prior encounter. 

"So this is a friend you met on the beach?," her mom asked. "Yes, I got kind of lost in the woods and ended up on the other side of the lake." Dana said. "If I had not of run into her, she pointed over her shoulder towards me, I probably would still be out there fighting my way through the woods." 
"I see, how did she know where here was from there?," her mom said in a puzzled voice? "This is the only cottage on this lake, at the end of the only road that comes down here. Been here all my life but I don't even know a lot about beyond this part of the lake where our cottage sits." "The people that owned this cottage before us though, remembered a lot of strange going on here about. Still do but most folks call it superstition now." 
"But then one never knows what there is back there in that forest."

I sat down beside her and put my hand on her lap as a sign reassurance  and said, "OK!" I put my finger to my lips then spoke. "First, what is your name?" "Janice," she responded. 
"I come from another place....another world in another place, another dimension is the closest I can describe it."   

"Oh...," was Janice's only response as she sat there looking just as perplexed as she was before. She knew about dimensions and understood the concept but had never really gave it much consideration beyond that, like dust bunnies under the couch. At this point I continued iterating the reason why we had come here and what our mission was leading up to, right to the part about meeting the agent, leaving out the part about the Wizard the name given for this unknown person.  

At this point we could hear a deep throated roar outside, I ran to the door to see Dragons head peering down at me from over the roof. The message was clear, some one was coming up the road towards the cottage. "Are you expecting visitors?," I asked Janice? "None that I was expecting," Janice responded.  
Dragon snorted again and I looked up. "OK" it seems they have pulled over to the side of the road a short distance away. 

"How do you do that?," Janice asked. "Mom! She has a dragon, yes, a real dragon, and some fairy people in the woods behind the house here."  "The dragon and her...well they kind of communicate telepathically." At that point Dragon lowered her head down toward the doorway, balancing herself from the roof. Suddenly there appeared an upside down dragon head in the doorway. 

Janice just about fainted a second time but sat up straight again to stare at the dragon then pointed and said, still a little stupefied, "I didn't know dragons could fly upside down! "Heck, I did even think there were such a thing to start with, 'till now." 

Dragon swooped up then back again, this time landing on the ground, her head showing upright in the door way.

"OK, big fellow, "I believe you're real, upside down or right side up!" Janice said. 

"You would never have to buy gas for the barbecue again!" Dana exclaimed as she leaned on the wall, shaking her head, laughing.  She laughed until she doubled over on the floor with attacks of yet more squeals of laughter. 

"Be careful you don't bust a gut there, my friend.," I said as I walked back to the couch in the living room and sat down while working on putting on a pair of leather gloves I had found in Dana's bedroom. I think Dana was a little irritated about losing the gloves, but all was well.

That night we sat at a picnic table in the front yard that was lit by my friends the fairy people sitting along the edge of the roof.
We had just eaten so we sat around getting better acquainted, when suddenly Dana asked me, "What does Dragon hunt for when she goes out and about looking for lunch?"

I responded, "Rabbits, racoons, ground hogs that type and size animal."

"I see. Do they do dogs and cats too?" Dana asked?

"Na!" I responded, "Only the owners if the owners mistreat them.," then turned to her with a grin and we both burst out laughing. 

"Well anyway people give her indigestion." I said. "OK then you will give us directions to our next point of destination?" I asked. "And you Dana, it just fascinates me that you are part of the point of destination, or at least have connections to it." "You will get there in a usual way, in a regular time frame and I will get there my own way.  So I will be there at the proper time."
"You are welcome to stay here my friend." Janice said.

"Really, we won't be leaving here, we'll just be out there in the forest, where we feel more at home. If you whistle, Dragon will hear."    

Page 4 
At sunrise I climbed upon Dragon's back and with a few flaps of her mighty, leathery wings and we were starting to go aloft as Dragon pushed off the ground with her hind legs then folded them beneath her. 

Dragon made a gentle sweep to the left as she once again flapped her powerful wings and soon the lake disappeared behind us, lost among the tall trees of the Florida Everglades which slid beneath us, like from a photographer's camera. This is as close as one can get to free flight, where human and beast become one I mused. 

We continued to fly northward inland, low to the tree tops to keep from being noticed, but then, as saying goes, it's hard to hide an elephant in a telephone booth. I could feel the wind blowing in my face and my hair flowing out behind me. I raised my head and faced the warm sun and took a deep breath as I closed my eyes and drifted. I could feel the steady beat of Dragon's heart down deep beneath me, as my heart beat on the same rhythm. We were one in flight.   

I let my mind flow ahead of me and below me I could see all of the living things that resided within the glades. We descended and floated just above the tall reeds. Eyes from every living thing turned towards us. Before them there, what appeared to glow was a sun beam, a dancing sunbeam. Our minds were one with all of the creatures within that sunbeam.  

I opened my eyes and once again felt the wind in my face and my hair in the air stream behind me. I spread my arms out and just enjoyed the gentle flight that felt as thought every movement was in slow motion. It was time to come in for the landing. 

We safely put down in a small clearing next to a lazy river, a quiet place for me to contemplate how many ways this mission could go all wrong and how few ways it could go all right.  

We rested that day and ate from the food that Dana had given us - except for the fairies and Dragon, that is.  The faie found abundant nectar in the honeysuckle vines that grew throughout the area and Dragon tried her claw at fishing in the river. 

From here I would be on my own, all were to stay behind except for two vanguards from the fairy people. They were to go ahead of me to make certain the way was clear. There was to be no contact between the species of my new home and this world and except for me, none to interfere unless extreme measures were needed, I thought. Evening came all too soon. 

Dragon lay on the embankment of the river as I prepared myself for the hike out of the glades. Taking the five foot lance from my back I touched the side on the handle of  the shaft and the lance disappeared in the wink of an eye.
Gently putting my hand on Dragon's forehead between her ruby eyes I closed my eyes and whispered, "May the Spirit be with you." Lowering my hand I turned to leave, just as Dragon let out a ground shaking roar and lit the night sky up with flame. I turned to look at her. She lowered herself to her belly and put her head on her two fore paws and blinked, two puffs of smoke coming out of her nostrils.  I raised my right index finger to my lips indicating silence. Dragon blinked several times then let out a loud sigh and relaxed, indicating she would stay put and wait for me. I smiled then moved on.

I had to make it the rest of the way through the glades, about a days trek from here to the town of Belle Glade, I thought. That was the place where I was to meet up with Dana who was going to help me make the contact with the messenger. 

I came out of the woods onto a two-lane paved road. A truck filled with oranges rolled by and as it passed it bounced in a hole in the road. The frame rattled loudly and some of the oranges fell out and rolled to the side of the road. Just what I needed, I thought, supper. 

It was night fall by the time I reached the town of Belle Glade. The town was merely a few houses with a couple of streets between them but it was not easy finding 55th Avenue.  I asked myself where the other 54 street were but never got a good answer. 

I found 55th Avenue and searched for the offices of a local newspaper, the Clarion Call.  This would be where I would meet with Dana. I stopped and looked both ways before crossing the quiet street then went to The Clarion Call office on the other side. 

Dana stood half out of the office door and waved for me to hurry. Upon entering the office she closed the door then put one hand to her chest and said, "OK you did warn me that we could come into some resistance. You didn't tell me the scope of it, like CIA and other special ops! I never heard about them being involved. What is it? What's the big secret? Did someone invent a bigger bomb? 

I held out the Dragon's Talisman. "This is the key to the Gate of Change. There are many who would stand in the way to prevent this Change, and it is usually the ones in the higher places that do not want the change. They are the ones in authority, those who do not want to lose the throne of control." 

Dana blinked then shook her head indicating she understood what I had told her but I wondered if it had sunk-in. She was beginning to realize that to try to measure her new friend with earthly physics would be futile. This opens the gates to all potentialities. And if this were so there were a few she hoped she would never see in this reality.

I put my two hands on my lap and asked, "Now, have you made any contact with the messenger?" 

"Yes, I believe that I have. That was when I discovered that there were many strings attached to this person, and now I have found out why." 

She put her finger to her lips then quickly scribbled something and handed me a note. All that was written on the piece of paper was 52 Lexington St. That was all I needed, I thought, as I wadded the piece of paper and shoved it down my hip pocket. I looked at Dana and said smiling, "Don't worry, if anyone tries to get that out of there they will lose an arm!" 

"Do you want me to go with you?" Dana asked. 
"Yes, and I'll be needing both you and your car. But during the time I make the connection, you must stay at a distance, out of sight preferably." "Tena and Veny will stay with you." 
"Who?" Dana asked? "Tena and Veny," I said and on that cue Tena and Veny materialised in the middle of the office. "Oh, OK I had forgot about them," Dana said smiling awkwardly as she got over the shock of actually seeing fairies for the second time.

"So, when do we leave?" Dana asked. "Anytime that is convenient for you, Dana.," I responded."

Page 5
Dana dropped me off about a block from 52 Lexington St. She turned the car and headed back towards the restaurant we where had agreed to meet in about an hour. If I didn't show up within an hour for whatever the reason that might be she was to go back to her motel room and wait for me there. If I was there by morning she was to go to work as usual then go home to the lake with her mom and wait there.

It was a very quiet and misty evening and the 'insect hotline' was quite active on this night. I would be well forewarned if I was going to be walking into a trap. There were also a few of the four-legged who were out and about, like the racoon ready to drop the lid of a garbage bin as a warning if something has gone afoul. Not a soul stirred; nothing strange about that, I thought. I guess it is normal for a small community such as this. 

A dark shape  moved from behind a building and immediately my hand went for my spear at my back, invisible to the outside world. 

A cardboard box hit the concrete and bounced to the edge of the sidewalk just as a cat jumped off a pile of boxes that had been staked in an alleyway. The cat flew across the road like the very devil was chasing it, then stopped on the other side, twitched it's tail a couple times and pranced back across the street towards me with its tail stuck up high. 

I bent down and petted it gently on the head and rested my arm on my right leg and asked, "Well now, who do you think it was?" The cat canted its head to the left and meowed. "OK, I can see where sudden unexpected movements could have such an effect on you," I responded.

The cat meowed for the second time.

"My apologies for having given you such a start, and thank you also," was my reply. The cat got up then brushed itself on my leg and slinked off back into the piles of boxes in the alleyway.

I arrived at the designated meeting place, the only place in town that was open 24 hours. I walked in and looked around, as the messenger had informed me through Dana that there would be an empty table at the back of the bar in the dining area. I walked to the table and put my bag under it then sat down and waited. 

A young waitress came by and asked me if I would like something to drink. "Yes," I responded, I'll have a coffee please, one and one. The waitress scratched it down on a note pad with a pencil then said. "Thank you, I will be right back."  

A young man dressed in very plain clothes stopped at the table and said, "Cassandra?" "Yes?" I said in a half-questioning tone. He sat then said, "You will need to come with me. Transportation has been arranged." Our conversation, or what there was of it, stopped abruptly. The waitress was on her way back with my coffee. After the waitress served the coffee, took his order, and left, the messenger continued: "He needs you to deliver the key; he does not trust anyone else to get it to him safely." "The wheels have already been turning, we just need the key to open the door, a door that will open unto a new world. Yes, so I was told." 

There are many different worlds on many different levels of reality. How many realities are there? Each in its own process of change, I thought to myself. No one could truly understand unless they had stepped into a different reality and experienced it for themselves.

The young man drank the beer he had ordered like it was the last one left in the state. He got up and waved for me to follow. I reached under the table picked up my bag which I threw over my shoulder and followed him to the cashier where he paid our bill, and we left.

Outside, parked at the curb was a red Ferrari. Wow! I guess this is a new way of being inconspicuous while under cover, I said to myself. 

We drove down 55th to Highway 41 and soon we were in a wooded area. He sped for a way, "burning rubber" as they call it. I felt like I had left my stomach back in Belle Glade. 
He then slowed down again then made a sharp turn to the right, and I could hear gravel crunching under the wheels. We drove up to the front door of a farm house and we came to a grinding halt in a cloud of dust. Turning out the lights he said, "It's time." and with that he opened his door and stepped out. I was already waiting for him at the front of the car, arms folded.  "I must admit, this is almost as much fun as riding my dragon!" I told him. 

He gave me a quizzical look.  "I wouldn't live in the wilderness in several realities without being finely-attuned to the nature of my surroundings, would you?  I'm as familiar with both my home here and my new homes, it's all the spirit of nature and spirit is one." "A universal Ho' oponopono," I told him and smiled.  Scratching his head and looking at the porch deck boards he looked up, smiled and said. "Yes! I guess you're right." 

He knocked on the door then opened it and announced himself loudly. "Hey Jack! it's me!" The light brightened and a bespectacled young man wearing a robe and eating a bowl of cereal shuffled out to the couch and put the bowl down, then stood again and said. "Casandra?" 

"Yes, that is I," I responded. He reached up and took his glasses off and proceeded to wipe then with the shirt of his pajamas and said, "Please have a seat." He pointed to the well- padded antique ornamented arm chair. Aside from the living room furniture and a library size book rack all was of the regular furnishings one would find in any regular home. 

Putting his glasses back on he said, "But you're young..." his voice trailed off. 

I had been just as surprised as he was. "I know," I said. "For some reason the word professor conjures up an image of an elderly person in my mind. Just as you had probably conjured up in you mind a seasoned warrior to be, for one, male, and for two, middle-aged.

"Quite so" he said dryly, "And I do want to thank you for 
bringing the key." He bowed low with his two hands clasped at his forehead signifying his gratitude and honor. "You shall be staying with us until morning then you will be taken back to where you made the connection. For now I do have so much to ask you about your beautiful land. The last contact we had was before you went on that mission to the underworld for the Dragon's Talisman."    
Page 6
"So your are the famous, but, really, not-so-well-known wizard. I, too, have so many questions I would like to ask that I am not certain where to start." "I guess the most important to me is, what kind of wizard are you? At least I should get to know a little better who I am dealing with before I hand over an instrument that is way too powerful and disastrous if it should end up in wrong hands."

"My real name is Jason, and I daresay that I am a genius who just happened to discover and develop some things that could in many ways be described as magic." "In the quantum physics sense, actually they are both one and the same. One measures with numbers the other measures in quantum consciousness." 

He continued:  "The problem is that there are many governing agencies around the world that would do anything to get their hands on this device which is basically the receptacle for the Dragon's Talisman, connecting the two sides, the joining of realities." "For you see, I did not build the receptacle device to the specifics of the Talisman, I merely discovered where to look for it. It is an artifact even older than mankind itself. As you may already know, these people do not have our best interest at heart. They are quite pleased to have the world continue exactly as it is where it serves them best. But it can no longer continue that way, or the Great Mother will no longer be able to support us." 

"Yes I was quite aware as to what the condition of this world was when I was still residing here, and I am quite inclined to agree with you. But what can you do to stop all this?," I asked 

A loud rattling sound could be heard from outside followed a couple of seconds later by a loud beeping sound coming from everywhere in the house. Jason pressed on something on the arm of the couch where he sat and heavy, metallic panels slid down over the windows.

"Intruders with a possibly malicious intent," Jason said, "or it could just be a couple of nosy neighbors but I believe the prior to be the most likely. Please follow me to the lower level. Kyle will be there waiting for us." 

Taking a quick look around I noticed that the young man with the red Ferrari who had brought me here, Kyle, was nowhere in sight. 

Jason waved for me to follow. We stepped into a lift that took us down to the lower level. There sat Kyle in the Ferrari looking at us with a grin. He said, half-jokingly, "What took you so long?"

Jason opened the front passenger door for me to climb in then got in beside me and closed the door. I felt like one to many sardines crammed in the same can. Jason said one word: "Go!"

The Ferrari roared to life and we began burning rubber! We just missed the overhead door as it was going up by fraction of an inch. We were in a dark tunnel lit only by the headlights. All I could hear was the roar of the engine and the hum of the tires on concrete until suddenly I felt a bump.  We went airborne into the outside world! 

All I could see ahead of me was tops of the trees lining both sides of the driveway then suddenly the front of the car dipped down and I felt a jarring bump and heard the squeal of rubber. I felt myself pressed against Jason as we made a sharp turn onto Highway 41 south, the same direction I had come from, I thought. 

Not far behind us another set of lights appeared over a knoll behind us. "We're being followed!," I said.

"I see that," Kyle replied. Turning again sharply, to the left this time, I felt a bump and from then on it was a rough ride from there on, to say the least. We were on a dirt road in some farmer's fields, just as it was turning daylight. 

"In a red Ferrari, I'm sure no one will notice.  Farmers are used to seeing red Ferraris in the middle of their fields every day," I said to Jason. Jason turned to me and smiled then looked straight ahead again. 

I went into a meditative silence and spoke to the cricket beings: "Cricket beings, tell Dragon who is by the river to come. She will be needed." 

I felt the car slide to one side then spin around in a spray of dust and dirt till we came to a stop pointing in the opposite direction. My heart sank as I saw a plume of dust in the distance moving towards us on the dirt road and looking back I saw another plume of dust coming up the dirt road in the direction we had been traveling in. "Were boxed in." Kyle observed.

"That field to our left with the tall grass, run for it!," Jason exclaimed.  We ran through the tall grass at the same time as I was keeping track of Dragons progress through the 'cricket hot line.' "If we can stay out of their reach for just a little while longer," I thought as I jumped over a trench and landed running on the other side, then stopped to wait. I found that it was necessary for me to sometimes hang back just to make sure everyone was together in one place.    

They came through the tall grass together then proceeded to cross the trench, not caring if they had to wade the three feet of water. We stopped for a moment to rest and reconnoiter. So far all was quiet. They had either lost us, or they had another plan, I thought. What would that other plan be? I wondered. "Bugs!," I said aloud.  "I communicate with insects. They communicate with electronic devices. I suspect one of you is bugged for how else would they know our every move? You will have to shed all of the clothes you are wearing." "Here! Use whatever you can find in my bag to make loin cloths!" The bag landed next to Jason. 

No sooner did Kyle and Jason get done doffing their attire, there was a thrashing sound coming from the tall grass on the other side of the trench. 

Three burly looking men came stumbling out into the trench and walked up the embankment towards us. Three more came out of the tall grass down the trench and four more up the trench. All stood with their pant legs wet to the crotch. One of them pulled out a gun from a holster under his jacket and waved it, indicating to follow them. 

I made one more attempt to communicate with the cricket beings but my mind was too absorbed with out present predicament to be able to send anything out. 

We stumbled our way back out of the field and onto the dirt road where the Ferrari still sat at the side. There was a black van parked beside it, and several other SUV's up the road. It appeared that the black van was to be our destination.

One of the men reached for the door handle to the back of the van.  This was it, I thought.  I squeezed my eyes shut and concentrated only on one thing. Two seconds is all that's required, I thought, and concentrated.  

The two back doors of the van were opened and two of the men insisted we enter and prodded us in the back. Just then I heard a screech, like that of an eagle then followed by a roar that shook the ground! Pebbles on the road danced to the vibrations! 

I heard a whoosh! of flames and then saw a couple of men running across the road with their pants on fire! "Hope they make it to the irrigation ditch," I thought and smiled. 
The man behind us pulled out a gun and pointed it at us and shouted, "Get in the van, right now!"  

Next thing I know Dragon had him in the claws of her right leg pulling him aloft with her!

"I just pray his pants don't rip," was all that went through my mind. By now with half the grass on most fields was ablaze, not a soul was left around except me, Dragon, Jason, Kyle, and the Ferrari. 

Dragon looked at me opened her jaws then made a deep throated moaning sound. Two little puffs of smoke came out of her nostrils. That was her way of showing me that she loved me.

Page 7

We drove the Ferrari down the dirt road for a few miles, avoiding the main routes. We came around a curve where Kyle stepped on the brake and we came to a grinding stop, sending a cloud of dirt and dust flying up into the air. Kyle turned to look at us and said, "OK, kids, this is as far as we can go with this baby. We'll have to hike a-ways. According to my GPS it's about two miles to the lake from here, in that direction through the bush. He pointed to the forest where the field ended on the other side of the dirt road. 

We stepped out of the car, closed the doors and began our march towards the forest. I stopped for a second and looked back at the Ferrari and said, "You know, I am really going to miss that sardine can, but not as much as I would Dragon." 
I looked up and about and found Dragon circling above us at about fifty feet, and maintaining that height. She would be our eyes from the sky watching for any intruders who could be laying in wait ahead of us.   
I soon learned that the boys were not seasoned to walking through forests. After many stops to let them catch their breath we were still together. That was a good thing as having to go trudging everywhere in the forest to find a stray would greatly consume to much precious time, even with the aid of dragon. That is if they were going to get to their destination by nightfall. And that destination would be Dana's and Janice's cottage. 

I thought that, without my companions' tracking devices, it should slow down who ever was in pursuit, especially to a place at the end of a road in the middle of nowhere. The boys were nearly exhausted,  itching and stinging from many scratches and insect bites they sustained on their exposed skin after their hike through the forest. 

I ran like my feet had wings, bending low to go under the bushes, and came out to an open area where I found my self airborne over a stream, then landed agilely on two feet with one hand touching the ground. I looked all around, my eyes not missing the tiniest of details. I was satisfied it was devoid of humans. 

Dragon landed downstream then came aloft again with a large fish clutched in her right hind claw. I turned to Jason and said, "Well one of us is having lunch today. Would either of you care to join?" 

I took the lance handle from my bag and pressed the side and the great lance appeared. It had a twelve inch barbed blade at the end. Jason waved his hand and said, "No, thanks." He appeared like he was about to get ill. Kyle sat leaning on a tree not saying a word. 

"OK then, we can continue. We are close to the lake now. The stream will lead us there. We're making good time and besides, we can all have something to eat at my friend's." I pressed the handle and the lance disappeared.  I put the handle back in my bag and started toward the river as the boys grudgingly got to their feet. 

The stream ahead widened and soon we found ourselves on a narrow beach between the water and the bush. Some distance away I saw a low dock with a boat tied to it. On the back of it sat a 25hp Johnson outboard. Taking that boat, even without permission, would be faster then trekking around the lake on foot. I thought. Luckily the owners left some fuel with it.

We arrived at the cottage just before nightfall. The fairy people almost immediately appeared out of nowhere. They had promised they would take my advice and stay in the area but just out of sight.
Dana came out one the porch to greet us first. She gave me a hug and said she was so relieved to see me again. Then she turned and shook hands with Jason and Kyle as they introduced themselves. Janice invited them in and we all sat in the livingroom occupying every chair available, finally getting to know each other. Thereafter the conversation trailed off to small talk. 

As though on cue Jason excused himself and went outside for a few minutes to have a short chat with someone on his cellphone, then came back in. Janice called us to the supper table and we sat to eat.

After supper we cleared the dishes from the table and began discussions on the fine points of the plan that needed reviewing. These had to be gone over carefully and agreed upon before carrying out the balance of the mission. 

Jason was deeply concerned.  "There is no room for error. There is no Plan B. It's a one time deal." "This is the last leg of the journey. This is where we find the receptacle, or project ignition, as it is called by the ops people.," Jason said. 

We finally reached an agreement on all of the other plans and directives. Late into the early hours of the morning, we discussed further a plan of action should there be an ambush on our way there. After several pots of coffee and much debating later, consensus was reached. 

Jason proceeded to tell me that he had made arrangements for an airlift and asked if I was going to fly by aircraft or by...that... whatever you call that thing with the wings out there. He pointed to the window. There was a low growl and Jason looked towards the livingroom windows to see a large glowing ruby eye filling both windows looking at him.  "OK... sorry, ummmm, dragon! That's it. Sorry, Dragon.

There was another growl and the eye disappeared.  

The planning talk gave way to the tired chit-chat of getting to know one another on a more intimate level.  Jason and I were on a much deeper level than the others. At that moment Dana's mom walked in. I straightened up in my chair and watched her as she sat in her usual place, a recliner next to the fireplace. 

Just then the front door opened and in flew several of the fairy people. Two stayed behind holding the door handle. Once the parade of fairies was in the house they closed the door and went to join the rest of the retinue on the mantel and any other shelf or surface they could occupy. 
Appearing in light form, individually they seem to take up space but in energy form they do not, nor do they have any weight. As their little forms glowed and they appeared to become dense 

Janice went around the room to turn all the lights off.  The meeting was over. She went back to sit in her recliner and chat with the fairy people in a nearly inaudible level. I could see she was mesmerised and happy as a young child an almost beatific smile materialised on her face. The reflection of the glow from the fairy people caused her to glow as well. 

That's probably the happiest she has been in many years, I mused.  I was so glad to share that moment with her.

It was time for some rest and everyone retreated to the sleeping places they had been assigned. Mine was a small cot and a sleeping bag which I crawled into and zipped up to my neck. 

Jason came by and leaned over to give me a gentle kiss on the cheek, then remarked, "This is Florida and the temperature I last heard was a humid 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Just out of curiosity, why would you sleep in a sleeping bag zipped to your neck in this weather?" I responded, "Well you see, there aren't many insects that I can see bother me, but it's the ones that come into my domain uninvited that I don't like, no matter what part of the planet they live on." "Ah! I see," he said and smiled. He then said good night and walked across the room to sleep on another cot.

The next thing I knew was something shaking my arm. I turned to look at the bright light that made me wince and close my eyes even tighter. I said, putting my arm over my eyes, "The sun is really bright this morning." Then the background sound I was hearing registered. It was helicopters with very bright lights aimed at the house! 

"It's time," Jason announced. Unzipping the sleeping bag I sat up and said, "I'll be right behind you." 

"OK then, you will find your flying friend down the beach in the woods a ways. I guess it doesn't like helicopters. Sorry, I meant Dragon, it's hard to getting use to that word let alone convincing myself there are such things." 

We embraced and then he swiftly left going through the front door. After the helicopters left I could see it was just the break of dawn. I stood up from the cot and walked to the front door, and picked up my bag that had been leaning against the wall exactly as I had left it the previous night. 

As I walked out the door I closed my eyes and sent my thoughts to Dragon. A minute later I heard her crash through the trees and stand on the beach. She lowered her great head to the ground where upon I climbed to her back and with two flaps of her great wings we were aloft           

We flew low to the tops of the trees to stay out of sight as best as possible, attempting to keep from attracting any attention from human eyes who could be in any of the clearings that dotted the Everglades in this area. The coordinates I had been given were in a southeasterly direction, a part of the Everglades where few, if any, had traveled. This area consisted of thick forest and many swamps, sufficient barriers to discourage anyone from traversing except by air, but then they also have to know what they were looking for below.

To avoid a clearing ahead we made a long sweeping turn just above the tree tops. We then dipped to the right and down to follow a channel between trees, so low to the surface of a creek that Dragon's backdraft was creating a wake of wavelets as we flew across creek's surface. 

With several great flaps of her wings we were once more aloft over the trees. I heard two popping sounds to my left. As I turned to look I saw a man running across a clearing of tall grass. He dropped to one knee just as we made a sharp turn, ascended, then leveled off. We glided quietly on a thermal with no more popping sounds, just the wind whispering by my ears and my hair fluttering in the wind.

We were one in spirit, Dragon and I.  What I felt and thought Dragon felt those same emotions and thoughts. I closed my eyes and just extended my arms out and leaned forward to feel the pressure of the air against my body. This is the closest a human can ever get to free flight, I thought.  One mind, one spirit. 

Dragon circled an area of forest at the coordinate I had been given but I saw nothing. I directed Dragon to circle once more. On our second sweep I thought I saw something but I wasn't sure. We were about to fly past it a second time without seeing it when I had Dragon turn back again. 

There it was, the pillar of rock! The final point of destination, I thought. All apeared clear below around the foot of the pillar.     

To be continued
Writen by me Cynthia

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