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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

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

The Dragon's Talisman

constellation and an infantry corps, because of the epaulets that are used by the soldiers and because of the painted or carved symbol in its standard which denominates itselfdragon.
Returning to these fantastic beings, in the western representations generally the creature is shown with wings, scale body and assigns them the capacity to breathe or send fire.
Eastern mythology habitually does not show them in this form. We do not know the origin of his physical aspect, although it’s believed that it was born spontaneously in different cultures of the world based freely on the aspect of a serpent and dinosaur.
Diverse cultures around the world have perceived them in different form. The Chinese and Eastern dragons consider them benevolent, whereas the European dragons are usually malevolent (although there are exceptions to these rules). The malignant dragons are also in other cultures and in Persian mythology - for example, Azhi Dahaka - .
Often, the dragons present/display an important spiritual meaning. In East it is venerated like symbol of the forces of the nature and the universe. Often it is associated with wisdom and longevity; in the Korean legend, Chinese and Japanese one confers magical powers and positive supernatural energy to them.
In some cultures they attribute them the gift of the word and human qualities. They are extremely popular animals in dinner services, Literature and videos, especially in role playing games.

The Dragon's Talisman
I had a mission, one whereby I had been informed would be in formidable and dangerous country, of which to a greater degree had never before been explored let alone mapped by any mortal human. Nor had it ever been entered by any of the mystical beings in the Land of the Faie.

My mission was to enter the Kingdom of the Dragons and traverse its torturous landscape into the mountains where I was told I would find a talisman, a large, shield shaped gold talisman that shone in the darkness of night like the golden moon in early eve. This talisman was the only thing that could save the Land of the Faie from impending doom.

I followed a paths that meandered along the edge of a precipitous cliff whose bottom lay obscured by a thick, swirling, churning fog.  

The path at first led gradually downward toward the ominous fog below. As I walked further on I found that the declining path grew steeper and the footing more unstable. Sometimes my feet would slip and I had to stop as I watched the dislodged stones and dirt avalanche down over the edge of the path. My heart beat faster as I forced myself to continue the climb downwards at an ever increasing incline. 

Suddenly my right foot hit loose dirt and this time I lost my balance. I went down falling hard on my back, nearly knocking my breath out. I felt myself sliding down and sideways to my right towards the edge of the trail and the precipice below. I reached out with my right hand in a desperate attempt at preventing my further sliding and felt a searing hotness in the palm of my hand as that of a flame and then nothing more as my hand dangled in the empty air. 

My downwards slide stopped suddenly as I felt a tug on my cloak from behind me. I rolled away backwards and sat gasping for air with my back pressed against the rock wall behind me.

The air lay hot, thick, and moist around me and felt like I was going to suffocate. I was slowly losing consciousness. 

When I came to I could dimly see through my half-closed eyes a red glow all about me. I sensexd a hot steam air and had a burning stinging pain shooting through my right hand. I thought surely I had died and was in hell. My eyes fluttered open and continued to do so until my vision cleared enough so I could make out my surroundings. I was lying on a pile of furs and hides in a cave. There was a fire flickering at the center, but no sign of anyone except me. I asked myself how I got here, on these skins, by a fire.  I had not been told of any type of humanoid beings living in this tortured land.

A scraping of feet coming from the open entrance to the cave was the first clue. I turned to look at whom or what manner of creature it might be, ready to give battle. But then I though if they or it had intended to do me any harm they could have just left me go over the edge of the  precipice. Maybe I was saved by cannibals and I was asked for supper! 

The scraping feet belonged to a small form, around three feet tall, with waist-length hair, wearing only a loincloth, and showing bare female breasts, but any other resemblance to humans ended there. I knew that there were elfin folk in the Land of the Faie but none looked like this one.  
Sitting upright, I felt a stinging pain in my right hand that shot up my arm like hot coals when I moved it. In this position I vigilantly watched this imp like creature, ready to dart for the cave entrance at the slightest sign aggression towards me.  

It just continued from the cave entrance in an unhurried, shuffling gait towards the fire where it threw on a few more sticks, then shuffled towards the opposite side of the cave where it sat watching me. Its eyes glowed in the semi-darkness of the cave illuminated by  the fire light. 

Looking down at my right hand I noticed that it had been wrapped in some kind of plant leaf. I thought to myself then this should rule out cannibalism  Why would a cannibal bother doctoring up it's prey before eating it? 

The creature leaned to it's side an untied a hide bag, set it in front of her, and rummaged around in it, pulling out something that it found edible and took a bite of it. Then she got up and shuffled her way over to me and offered me what appeared to be dried meat, like jerky. She gestured adamantly for me to take her offering. At first I chewed on the jerky, tentatively tasting it. It had a rather pleasant taste and discovering that l was ravenous and I ate without further reluctance. 

After the meal was done she extended her hand towards me, motioning towards my right hand. I extended my right hand to her and she took it in her left and and very gently unwrapped the leaf bandage from around it. It looked awful as a lot of the skin had been torn off. She cleaned it off with water and a soft leafy substance then proceeded to re-wrap it with another leaf bandage. She motioned for me to get to my feet and I complied as she walked me to the cave entrance. I was awed at the scene that greeted me. I was no longer on the trail up on the high mountain trail I had been making way down from to the valley that had been obscured by thick swirling fog. We were still on the cliff side but on a wide shelf over looking a very lush green jungle like forest. The entire valley lay under a high vaulted stone ceiling which was so large that it just faded into a haze above.
I had no doubt that we were in some sort of subterranean world as I could see part of the vaulted ceiling on either side of us as we made our way down to valley floor. above me it was like bright daylight even though it was overcast with what appeared to be clouds. I could not tell where the light was coming from above because of the perpetual overcast  sky above that did not  appear to dissipate the light. The air was hot and humid but not really unbearably so but any physical exertion left one drenched with sweat and exhausted after traveling a short distance. 

One just wore as little clothes as possible to compensate for this humid hot environment. Unaware I did, I had stopped momentarily to take in the fantastic view when I felt a nudge on my arm. I turned to see my companion motions for me to follow her. We had learned to communicate somewhat in a rudimentary sign language or making drawings with a stick in the sand. The days passed and my hand healed. I don't know what kind of poultice she had used with the leaf bandages but it had a faster healing effect then anything I know of. After my hand healed we began our search for the location of the dragon talisman together. Sign language and pictures are worth a million words at times, especially when asking help from creatures strange to you. 

We were walking along a forest path when my companion, whom I began to call “Dee,” grabbed my arm and pulled me back in a jerk that almost caused me to lose my balance. She pointed at the ground at what appeared to be a large rock and motioned for me to back away from it, slowly. It did not take long for me to find out why. 

A large bird with feathers on its body but leathery, featherless wings landed near what I saw as a large rock. The “rock” opened with huge petal-like structures for sides, almost like a morning glory in early morning sunlight. Something shot out from its center, lightning fast, and wrapped itself around the bird and just as fast retreated back into the bloom that had just opened, then closed up again and once more took on the shape of what appeared to be just a large rock. Were it not for Dee's intervention I might have become its next source of sustenance. It's not easy to explain emotions like fear and gratitude in sign language but I tried to tell Dee why I was shaking and that I appreciated her stopping me.

After gathering my wits we moved on down the trail, my eyes on everything that looked like the rock-plant. Not far below us lay a beautiful pristine aqua colored lake with the most inviting water I can recall seeing. When we got to the edge of the lake I saw a dugout canoe beached on the shore.

I asked Dee if I could go in the water and she signed for me to swim, but as I went into the lake she pulled on my arm, indicating for me to stay close to the shore. I nodded my head in agreement as I had no desire to find out what sort of demons may be lurking in the deeper water. It felt like heaven after that long trek down from home cave.

I had asked Dee if I could go in the water and she signed for me to swim, but as I began to go into the lake she pulled on my arm, indicating for me to stay close to the shore. I nodded my head in agreement as I had no desire to find out what sort of demons may be lurking in the deeper water. It felt like heaven after that long trek down from home cave.

I felt so much more refreshed but feeling refreshed is something of a rarity in this land I discovered. I was just as drenched with sweat once more as we struggled to pull the heavy dugout off shore and into the water. After throwing our hide back packs in the bottom of the dugout she handed me a crude paddle; then she took one and indicated the direction for us to paddle towards, which was a wide channel between two upward curving cliffs. There was no wind, not even a breeze in this underworld, only some odd screeching sounds in the distance from some creatures I did not really have any desire to meet and the sound of our paddles on the water.

There was no night here, only daylight. No sunset, no sunrise, no night, just the steady daylight whose source was above the perpetual clouds that didn't diminish in brightness. The channel ahead grew narrower as we made our way around a bend to the left of a steeply curved rock wall. One could easily get disoriented in this place so I left the navigating to Dee in the hope that she knew the territory. At this point I was hoping she understood enough about the map I had shown her that she knew the destination I wished to go to.

We paddled a short distance in the narrowing channel when she stopped and put her paddle across the bow of the dugout and pointed to a place on the shore downstream. I nodded my head in agreement and we resumed rowing in that direction. Suddenly the water started to boil and churn all around us. In a great burst and spray of water something huge loomed up out of the river, increasing in height to about that of a very tall tree, as tall as twenty men!

First I saw wide, featherless wings appear from the water. Then the rest of the purple-scaled dragon surfaced. It shimmered so in the light thus diffusing its appearance so it became nearly invisible to my eyes. Then its scales glinted in the light, much like quicksilver and once again we could see it clearly as it turned its huge head towards us. Its maw opened, exposing two rows of large pointy teeth. It drew its head back and let out a deafening screech, which I immediately identified as the source of the screeching I had heard earlier from a distance. The screeching sound was immediately followed by a blast of hot air that capsized our dugout. I held onto the upturned dugout as I watched in amazement as the creature flew out of the water and seemed to just simply disappear in mid-air.

Dee pointed urgently at the hide sacks we had with our provisions as they floated away from us. I reacted automatically collecting as many of the bags as I could get to within reach. By the time I had swum to the shore I was drained as I coughed till I emptied my stomach. I fell to my side and just lay just concentrating on regaining control of my breathing.

At some point I must have drifted off into and awakened with a start when I felt a tug on my arm.  We climbed up a trail cut into the side of the curving cliff which appeared to fade into nothingness in the distance.  The cavernous world grew narrower as we followed a path which abruptly came to an end . It appeared that the path we had followed had at some point been broken off by a landslide which left a huge cavity in the rock that arched overhead. There was no way around it. We had to back track. Dee again shook my arm and pointed down over the edge of the path to someplace below us. 

I looked down to see what she pointed at. Not more than a few dozen feet below us lay a piece of stalactite that had fallen from the ceiling of the immense cavern and had become wedged between the edge of the stone wall we stood upon and the cliff with a craggy top on the other side.

She started to climb down and motioned for me to follow. I shook my head vigorously indicating to her there was no way I was climbing that nearly vertical wall of rock. In the end I followed her reluctantly, praying that I would see the end of this day still breathing and alive.

As we approached the center of the fallen stalactite we stopped dead in out tracks, hearing a loud, groaning, grinding sound that accompanied a movement under our feet. Then all fell silent once again. I released my held breath in relief. We made it across without further complications.

On arriving on the other side ahead of us we saw a path that followed the edged of the craggy cliff in a winding pattern 

Upon arriving on the other side we saw a path that followed the edge of the craggy cliff in a winding pattern. Dee motioned for me to sit and stay in one place, cautioning me not to go anywhere while she went ahead to scout. I waited for what seemed like a very long time and I began to worry something may have happened to her.

It was silent except for the screeching of the mighty dragons in the distance. I thought that somehow their scales reflected light like tiny mirrors and this was what made then appear to be invisible. If you didn't hear the flapping of their mighty wings you would not know of their proximity until they were right on top of you. The quicksilver effect of their scales failed to hide their bulk when close-up.

  I was waiting for Dee when I heard a rustling in some bushes about fifteen paces away from me. I jumped to my feet holding the stone-pointed spear that Dee had given me before she left. Pulling it back with my feet planted, I was ready to let fly at whatever was making the noise. Dee had taught me to shoot only after getting a clear look at my target, so I waited, poised to send it a stone-tipped message. A missed throw could and quite possibly cost me my life.

More rustling of the bushes and this time I saw movement. Muscles tensed as I readied to throw the spear. My patience was rewarded as I saw Dee's form taking shape from within the bushes as she came, dragging something behind her. I almost collapsed with relief.

Dee pulled a fair-sized, furry animal out of the bushes and into the clearing. Dropping her hold of its hindquarters she fell in a sitting position on top of the carcass, her chest heaving, gasping for breath.

Later that evening we sat before the fire with our stomachs filled to capacity. It was the most we had eaten in days. After a good rest we moved on once again. I could now see the craggy peaks of our destination. This time it was my turn to pull on Dee's arm to indicate I wanted her to halt our winding trek around the craggy edge of the cliff. “Dee, look! Look!”, I shouted as I pointed to the rugged landscape in the distance and patted the map tucked in my hide belt. She shook her head to tell me that she understood that the place in the distance was the place on the map. We resumed making our way  through the crags.

As we made our way around the narrow path I was in awe at the view before us. From this vantage point we were high up enough on the cliff wall that we could see the entire immensity of the cavern. Below us was a slim, silvery ribbon of a river snaking its way along the bottom between the great canyon walls. And we could also see faintly the high, vaulted ceiling of the cavern for the first time since I got here. The light was coming from the cavern roof, like the rock itself glowed with a bright yellowish-white light.

 I stopped momentarily in wonderment at this phenomenon. What would cause the rock to glow like that? It wasn't any type of volcanic activity or it would have been much hotter in here then it was. I had already attributed the humid hot air to being geothermal heating but this could not be from above us it would have to be from below us where the center of gravity from the earths core.

There was a aloud crash I turned quickly towards the sound, spear in hand, not knowing what to expect. A large creature came crashing out of the bushes at that very instant! Dee leaped forward, stabbing at the creature with her spear.  The spear glanced off its thick hide. At the same time in one motion Dee stepped sideways letting the beast rush past her as it charged forward in my direction. I  planted my feet in a battle stance and held my spear before me at shoulder height and waited for the impact.  When the beast was within just a few feet before me I lunged the spear  forward straight for its gaping jaws. 

Impact! I flew backwards and landed on my back as the spear slid violently out of my hands. I heard a loud screech and thought surely I had seen my last day upon this world. I covered my eyes with my right arm as I heard another loud thump. Removing my arm from before my eyes I sat up abruptly expecting the sharp pain of the creatures teeth piercing my body. As the dust settled I saw the beast lay sprawled  on it's side just a couple of feet from me.  It was in it's death throes. The spear had pierced  through its right eye.    

Roasted “whateverbeast” over an open flame was the best meal we had in several days since Dee's last kill. Dee took a wooden bowl out of her pack, made a tea out of some leaves, and set the wooden bowl over the flame to brew the tea. Now I had actually witnessed what I had only heard about, that one can boil water in a wooden container without burning through the wood for as long as there was liquid in it.

The tea was tangy and earthy but went down well after the meal we had just partaken of. Shortly after that we unrolled some furs for sleeping mats and almost instantly Dee was fast asleep. She had surely earned it. I took first watch by default. I was tired myself but only too glad to give her a chance to rest after all that she had done that day. After a time she awoke and it was my turn to rest. It took me a bit of tossing and turning before I finally started to drift off as I held onto my spear. I found it hard to go to sleep in bright daylight, and with all the strange beasts wandering about I felt uneasy about the possibility of ending up being some creature's lunch while I slept.

I woke up with a start, sitting up with spear in hand when I felt something touching my shoulder. It was Dee, she had already rolled up her sleeping mat and had her pack on her back. She pointed towards the craggy promontory which was looming over the horizon, our destination. We would be at its foot before the end of another day's walk, I thought. I was anxious to reach our destination but at the same time, I had goose bumps everywhere as I felt shivers go through me. What would be awaiting us there, I wondered. I rolled up my pack and we moved on. 

We had finally arrived at the foot of the craggy promontory. Dropping our packs wearily we sat on the mossy ground. Before long I lay back looking up at cavernous arch above us mostly obscured by a constant cloud like hazy yellowish blue mist. I still pondered on this phenomenon. As I had already established earlier the heat source of the caverns was geothermal from below and not from above. The light source above was baffling to me as it did not give off any heat that I could detect.

I turned my thoughts to the more immediate task that lay ahead of us. Now that we had arrived at our destination we would be locating the exact area to look for the dragon's talisman. Dee broke into my train of thought almost as though she had read my mind. "Yet!," she said loudly and a bit excitedly. “Yet” was the closest she had come to pronouncing my name, Yeta. "Yet come, see." She had picked up how to speak my language much more rapidly then I had hers. Hers was more of guttural language which made hard to learn in words. "Come here, Yet," she said pointing a short distance towards the rough cliff edge of the craggy peak. I followed closely behind her. One thing I had learned was to never stay behind alone again. In this land one kept close to their guide at all times.

"Here, here, this way." She pointed ahead of us as we walked a few paces more following the cliff edge. Then she stopped and moved the tall grass aside with her foot and pointed down. Between the tall tufts of grass lay flat stones laid side by side. It was man-made walkway. I got down on my knees and spread more of the grass aside. It was a stone walkway. "Did your people build this?," I asked. Dee shook her head and said, "No, not need walk ways." This meant only one thing: there once had been an advanced people that lived here.

As exhausted as I was from the long walk I felt a resurgence of energy and was anxious and ready right there and then to follow the stone walkway to its destination. I began to follow it when Dee halted me and said, "No, not now, Yet; rest first, then go." Reluctantly I turned and followed her back to where we had left our packs. I lay on my fur mat as I watched Dee weaving a crude rope from the tall grass that grew around the stone walkway. "What's the rope for?" I asked. She responded, "Me not know, just have feeling."

The morning came but time here was a matter of adjusting ones own inner biological clock. When the body became too weary to go on and our stomachs were grumbling for sustenance we knew it was time to take nourishment and to rest. That was what I call our night. Whenever we awoke from that sleep was our morning.

I was up and had my back pack on with a coil of Dee's home made rope draped over my right shoulder as did Dee and we headed for the stone path. The path followed closely around the edge of the cliff face of the promontory. There was actually a very thick jungle forest to the left of us which at time threatened to block our passage but always widened out just enough for us to pass. The heavy stone slabs of the path appeared to be keeping the jungle from completely choking off the passage.

As the path widened into a clearing, Dee was the first to spot something that didn't appear to be part of the natural landscape. Above the tree line was what looked to be columnar shapes overgrown by weeds and ivy with wide flat gaps that were too evenly spaced between the columns to be natural. As we drew closer my suspicions were confirmed. It was a structure, one that had sat for a very long time and had been over grown with the flora of the jungle floor.

We walked around one section of a partial wall overgrown with weeds. Dee spoke, "Yet, me not feel right this place. Never see before."

"I did Dee, but was in another place far from here, in the above world." I pointed towards the domed ceiling above us.

"What is above world like?," Dee asked.

"Well, Dee, I don't think you would like it there" I responded. Dee had been lying in the grass on her back and she rolled to her right side and propped her chin in the palm of her right hand and asked, "Why you say that, Yet? Is bad place?"

I responded, in many ways the place above is worse than all the bad beasts in this world put together. “I think I would sooner live here with all the beasts than go back up there. I would sooner stay in Fairy Land."

“Tell me about Fairy Land, what is like there?," Dee asked, her curiosity piqued. “Dee not go past big hole. Not know why, but not go.”

A thought occurred to me. It was one that had crossed my mind several times during our journey but I had neglected to ask Dee about it. I could no longer hold it back. "Where are your people, Dee?" Her hand came out from under her chin and she pushed herself into a sitting position.

"They are far from away, on the other side of the big land," Dee responded. She hesitated for a while tracing something in the sand, then called me to come over and look. She had drawn a simple circle with a line cross it down the middle. She pointed to the half of the circle closest the them and said. "That is here, the bad land" Dee go into bad land, people send her away,” Dee explained.

"Why?," I asked.

"Evil spirits come back with Dee.” She looked at me with a trace of sadness and loneliness in her eyes
Suddenly Dee gets to her feet and lugs the hide back pack onto her back and puts her coil of rope over her right shoulder picks up he lance in one smooth swipe and says, "come on yet, the day is wearing on" as she forces a smile on her face. I felt a sting of hurt and it was difficult for me to sham a smile in return. 

Coming around a corner of the ancient stone structure we found ourselves on a stone causeway between stone ruins. The ruins reminded me very much of the Mayan's no sooner did that thought come to mind we found ourselves standing before a large stone stepped pyramid, like layered cake  with the upper tip missing or was built with a flat top. At the end of the causeway there was a dark foreboding entrance that lead inside the layered pyramid.

Inside was a large chamber, even the shuffling of our mocasined feet could be heard echoing from the walls of the chamber. Dee stopped dead in her tracks and motioned with her left hand for me to stop. I to thought I had heard something that was not the echo from our shuffling feet. We both heard it again, a scratching sound on the far end of the chamber. Dee lit a torch and held it up high better to see farther ahead. Ahead was a large pile of ruble where part of the roof and the wall on the right side of the chamber had fallen in. Nothing else stirred or could be seen. e continued forward more cautiously lances at hand ready to be used if necessary.  

According to the map all it showed was two square chambers it had no mention of a pyramid, the Dragon's Talisman was contained in the second chamber which would be past the pile of ruble 
As we made our way around the rubble there we saw another entrancement into the next chamber as we started through the the heavily ornamented entrance something brushed against my face and I screamed. The sound of my scream echoed and reechoed back and forth around both chambers. I stopped in my tracks as Dee held the torch up to see what had happened. I had walked face first right into a very large spiders web. Relieved we both released our tense hold on our lances and laughed till tears ran down our cheeks.

Another very loud sound came from the opposite end of the dark chamber  I felt my skin crawl in fear.  Dee once again held up the torch just in time to see a silver dragon charging right for us. I knew the drill in the possibility of such an event. Split up and run in opposite direction and I also now knew why Dee had spent most of a day to weave the two ropes. This creature we did not want dead. We ran in opposite direction each holding one end of the same rope and braced our selves holding the rope taut. 

The dragon being such a large animal could not stop that quickly so it's momentum carried it into the rope and continued pulling us along with it as our feet slid across the chamber floor trying to halt it's forward motion. Loosing our balance we fell and were dragged along but kept on holding to the rope. The dragon by now had it's feet well entangled in the rope and also lost it's balance and fell like a great old oak in a cloud of dust shaking the chamber floor as it landed quite hard on it's chin and neck and just about flipped over on it's back.   

Dee and I sat across the chamber floor from one another catching our breath and watching the Dragon that laid still between us, out cold. Dee got to her feet hurriedly and tool the other coil of rope from her right shoulder  and threw one end over the still body of the dragon shouting, "tie around! Tie around!" She didn't have to draw me a picture to know what she meant. There was no time to be wasted, the dragon could come to at any minute. Getting  the rope around the beast wasn't easy, we both had to push it over the one end of the rope so we could tie it around it's torso and wings. We managed to wrap the rope around it twice then tied the two ends together.

We the set about to look for the legendary dragon's talisman. The map made no mention of what or where the the talisman would be located. Dee lit a torch and we made our way around the large chamber. We came to alcove in the wall and both stopped suddenly nearly running into one another.  Dee held the torch into the alcove to see what lay in the dark shadows. At the far end there was like a statue standing upright. We advanced slowly keeping our eyes opened for any movement in the shadows along the walls leading to the statue. It looked like an ancient and very dusty sarcophagus much like the Egyptian ones I had seen back home, except shaped much different then what would have been made to contain a human body.   

It took much chipping and prying with the only implement we had: a wooden handled dagger I had fashioned for myself before leaving the land of the fairies. Being as careful as I could so as not to break the blade I pried all along the seam of what appeared to be the lid of the container. I felt something move and told Dee to stick the end of her stone spear into the crack to keep it from fully closing as I worked my way along the lid's seam once again. Then there was small grinding sound. I held the dagger still and stuck the end on my stone spear in the crack next to the dagger blade.
Dee and I managed to slide the cover at about an inch from the rest of weirdly shaped sarcophagus when finally it released and crashed in a loud explosion, raising a cloud of dust and shards from the chamber floor, immediately followed by a wall-shaking screech. The dragon we had trussed-up was now awake! We hoped the home made ropes would hold.

Inside the sarcophagus was a mummified creature unknown to me. The whatever-it-was was a larger but squat being, shorter in height than I at 5' 4" tall, very ape like, but the jaw structure looked more like a meat eater having carnivorous, reptilian teeth, more than any human jaw.

"The dragon's talisman!" I shouted and pointed for Dee to see, then I stood shuddering at the thoughts of what I had to do to get to the talisman. It was hanging around that horrid thing's neck.

On the heels of that we heard another loud screech and some thumping sounds, then another screech and steady, hard, thumping sounds like the running feet of a dragon.

Dee held up the torch just in time to see the dragon coming around the pile of rubble headed right straight for us. I looked at the talisman, then back at the dragon and I knew what I had to do!

I took hold of the chain on both sides of it's neck, closed my eyes, and gave the hardest pull I could muster to get the talisman free from the neck of the mummy. Stumbling backwards, I open my eyes to see something that reminded me of a basketball bouncing across the floor. As realization hit home I gulped hard and turned away without another look. I then turned swiftly towards the charging dragon who was right upon us by now. I closed my eyes once more and held up the talisman by the chains

It was as I had suspected! I breathed in relief that, “Whoever possesses the talisman is the master of the dragon.” Anyway it was the only odds I had left when one has a dragon just about to eat them as the only outcome.

I was thinking about the beast in the sarcophagus that may very well have been one of the prior owners of the dragon. "Well I'll be darned, Dee, this is the best quick thinking I've ever done," I said, grinning. Dee burst out laughing, clapping and dancing all at the same time. There was pride in her, too and I could feel that. It was the happiest I had seen her since we had started this trip.

That night was a good night as Dee was cooking a steak of some variety for supper. The pleasant scent of her herbal tea filled the air around me and my new-found servant, the dragon, who lay with his head beside me looking at the flickering flames of the camp fire. My last thoughts that night, well night with never-ending daylight, were of safety and security. I never slept so soundly knowing we had a protector now, then thinking that we're going home. I smiled as I drifted off.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Back in the land of the fairies things had deteriorated and Shellwa (I guess one could call her the mother of the people, not hierarchically, but kind of like like what we call the wise one or the holder of wisdom.) was faced with catastrophe. Whole continents of their world were just disappearing into nothingness, not even vaporizing, just going out of existence.

The fairy people were growing more and more fearful for their lives as no matter what dimension they jumped to this force that takes their lands just shows up. So every so many seasons they make the jump, not only for their own safety but also for the safety of the inhabitants of other worlds.

Shellwa turned to her associates, Tazine and Imtie, bowed her head, knelt on her cushions and meditated. After what seemed like a very long time she raised her head and said to them, "Dear ones, what are we to do?" Both Tazine and Imtie spoke at once, "We can't wait much longer for Yeta to return. What if she doesn't come back? What are we to do, wise one? You have only to say the word." "Till dawn," Shellwa said as she arose to leave. The earth trembled under their feet and more land near by disappeared into nothingness. A faint pink swirling glow could be seen above now even in the brightness of day.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

The trip home back to the land of the fairies would be faster and easier than the journey to the chamber containing the dragon talisman. Dee and I would ride the dragon's back and fly home!

After discarding most of the equipment had had accumulated on our journey, Dee and I climbed aboard and hung onto our home made rope saddles, I could hear the whoomp!, whoomp!, of the dragon's great leathery wings as I felt the air of free flight blowing in my face and hair.

I discovered I could steer the dragon with my body movements as indicators of where I wanted to go unless the dragon knew it was an area to avoid; then it would give me its own signs and fly around what ever the obstacle might be. It was like we were one, flying around and through crags, over one set of crags and down the other side.

With my hair flying behind me, I directed the dragon to veer to the left then dive and level out again just above the water of one of the lakes we passed on our way in. I could see the blur of wavelets beneath me. Once again we veered to the right and flew nearly vertically to a certain height, then leveled out again. "There it is!," I shouted excitedly to Dee, “It's the portal!”

A wall of rock appeared, but with a hole in it, a purple hole, except it's not really a hole. It spins in a spiral motion towards it's center, like a liquid.

“You're coming with me, Dee! You are welcome you know. You will always be my dear heart, my teacher.” I smiled at this point and brushed the back of my hand on her cheek.

She turned away shyly then turned back once again and just said, "No, me stay here, this home." I could see her eyes were damp with pride and tears. I didn't want to take that from her, so we landed and had our farewell, details of which I would rather not go into here. I waved and once again I and my dragon were off.

My dragon and I flew through the portal and immediately upwards towards the pink spiral in the sky, the center of the energy that was consuming the land of the fairies. I sat proudly on my grass rope saddle as we flew until dragon could go no higher.

Holding the talisman by its chains to capture the light of our sun, I aimed it squarely at the pink energy spiral. The spiral began to close and open again as it fought the concentrated light of our sun reflected by the talisman. To my horror the spiral appeared to be absorbing the sun's light and growing stronger!

My dragon was growing tired. I could feel it as he searched for air current to soar upon but to no avail. After a time that felt like a year the pink light finally ceased and all was peaceful as a gentle breeze blew and the sun still shone. And all the birds and every critter of nature are as little children.

Having done our work, the dragon and I came to rest in the land of the fairies.. 

End of Part 1

To be continued