Fables, Myths, & Word Pictures...
A Midsummer Knight's Dream
Hillary stepped cautiously over the damp ground cover, and slipped behind a redwood tree. Sam followed close by her heels, panting lightly. The sun peaked through branches of tall trees overhead, but the dense cover above shielded the forest floor and kept the light from penetrating around them. Hillary judged it was past 6:00 and time she left the Tranquility Woods for home. She waited and watched. Sam waited, too, his large brown eyes filled with anticipation. Soon the sun set, and the shadows deepened and the dark Woods closed in about the two. She leaned against the trunk of the redwood, as Sam snuggled against her leg, and fireflies began their flights of fancy on the wispy night breezes. At the same time, creatures of the night whispered their evening serenades, and the Woods settled into the time of enchantment following sundown. There was a slight stirring in the Woods, as Hillary's head nodded forward.
The Window on Midnight
The old wooden planks burned under her feet as she flew down the length of the rickety old pier, the sun blazing down, her ponytail trailing straight out behind her in the heavy sultry air. Her one thought was to catch air in the leap from the end of the pier, throwing herself hell-bent into space, fighting gravity even though for only the briefest of moments - it all led up to this point. Her right foot slammed hard onto the third plank from the end, sending a jolt up her lithe body. The uncoiling of her leg muscle thrust her body up to the sky - she aimed high, for the sun, as she threw her arms above her head, her legs continuing to run on the air, digging for advantage - she was airborne.
Jenn rose into the air, her eyes ever on the prize, her body atop an Atlas booster lifting off the Cape. The roar of silence was deafening in her ears, the inner vibrations on the verge of pain shaking her down to her toes, the electric charge in the ether lifting and filling her heart. And in that moment suspended at the apex of the arc, space and time melded into one and time stood still - and she was free of the bonds of earth.
One If By Land
Dense fog shrouded the rough terrain making it all but impossible to see more than a few yards ahead. Mole listened intently for a long time, but heard nothing. Allied intelligence had put the enemy's top secret defense in this sector, and indications were that there would be heavy protection. To be this close and hear nothing, and to see nothing, was troublesome in Mole's mind. "This heavy fog doesn't help," thought Mole to himself. He caught Wolf's eye, and motioned for him to swing to the right toward the river. McBeaver would be there with the makeshift bridge under the low-hanging willows along the riverbank. This is the narrowest point along a very swiftly flowing river, and would be the easiest spot to cross. But Mole was worried - Owl, the fourth member, hadn't made contact since the OSS team dropped behind enemy lines two nights ago. Owl's task was to make a low-level reconnaissance flight over the cliffs along the beaches, specifically observing coastal fortifications, and report back to Mole. Thus far, Owl hadn't made contact, and time was running out. The team had to make its move to sabotage the defensive network by 2100 hours tonight, or it would be too late, and their effort would fail. It was already 1800 hours, and the light was failing fast. The heavy fog was an added obstacle.
The Curse of Yho-Hi-Teq
Tori Jessica Powell had fooled them all - she had graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of California in Berkeley, the highest ranked in her class. She had earned the begrudging praise and commendations from leading archaeologists around the world for her groundbreaking doctoral thesis on "Humor and Slave Mentality in the Third Dynasty." Women didn't enter the field of archaeology, and they didn't best males in that brotherhood. In spite of numerous and monumental obstacles in her path, she had done both. So, when in 1938 she began a major dig at Ottokurss on the Upper Nile seeking the lost pyramids of the Third Kingdom of Amen-Hi-Teq, everyone wondered what she would turn up.
Tori's first assistant for the dig was Paul Chernov, highly regarded Russian anthro-ethnologist. Paul's specialty was religions of the Upper Nile Valley, specifically those of the Second and Third Dynasties. He had devised a complicated mathematical retrospective decoding profile, which enabled him to read the handwriting on the walls of tombs. The ease with which he had crashed the sacred brotherhood of archaeologists, and literally and figuratively set them on their collective ears, had engendered much antipathy and jealousy amongst his peers. His self-assured demeanor didn't help. Tori had selected him for his critical and incisive mind, and his borderline sense of humor. The third member of the Amen-Hi-Teq dig was noted Egyptian hieroglyphologist, Joseph Behai. Joseph was the author of a most ingenious though controversial approach to the decoding of hidden meanings of once deciphered hieroglyphic texts. His scholarly paper titled "Decoding Hieroglyphs of The Upper Nile From The Third Dynasty: A Second Glance," appeared in the esoteric archaeological journal, Dig-It. Together, these three made up an energetic, sophisticated, intelligent, and creative team, and they anxiously set out to uncover the secrets of the pyramids of the Third Kingdom.
A Knight Changes to Day
Knight Pancho Sanza leaned against an ancient oak tree and looked thoughtfully out over the pleasant valley as the rays of the sun at first light bathed the castle walls in a warm amber glow. He was tired from his long journey home, but was still vigilant and alert.
"It is deceivingly beautiful, isn't it?" came a soft voice behind him. Knight Sanza's faithful traveling companion, Donkey Hotei, stepped to his side and the two looked out over the tranquil valley. "Why do you say that?" asked Knight Sanza. "What the eye beholds is so beautiful, yet beneath the surface there is such great evil," came the reply. The two stood in the growing morning light, and watched in silence for a long time. "They say a mighty dragon sits atop the castle, invisible to the naked eye," said Donkey Hotei. "I have heard such stories," said Knight Sanza. "I have heard it is a two-headed dragon, and very terrible to behold," said Donkey Hotei. "I, too, have heard that said," came the soft reply. "Are you afraid?" asked Donkey Hotei. "Only a fool would not be," said the weary knight. Their eyes met; "Me, too," said Donkey Hotei...