Halloween Story II: Enchanted 2.2, Fairy Agreeable

Jake soon realized he was getting nowhere, yelling.  Jessica took his hand and finally calmed him down enough to look at the footprints where he had not yet stomped.  Jake recognized Elizabeth’s by her little foot and short stride.  The other prints were barefoot, flat footed and too big.

“Mister Putterwig?”  Jake asked.  The prints did not look right because they did not look exactly human.

Jessica shrugged.  “Where are we?”  She squeezed Jake’s hand, and her question caused Jake to finally look around and wonder the same thing.

“I felt something when we came through the door,” Jake said.  He dropped Jessica’s hand, stood, and fingered a pine branch to be sure it was real.

“I did too.  An odd tingling sensation.”  She only looked at him

“Me too,” Jake agreed.  He went to look again at the footprints.  He avoided her eyes.

“I don’t see any way back the way we came,” Jessica walked all of the way around one of the trees.

“This is the way we need to go,” Jake said, and he pointed in the direction the footprints pointed.

“But the way back.”  Jessica protested.  “We can’t wander off.  We’ll just get ourselves lost and never find this place again.”

“I’m not leaving this place, wherever we are, until I get Elizabeth back.”

Jessica was scared about wandering off into the dark woods, but her words spoke of something else.  “Are you sure?  You didn’t seem too concerned about Elizabeth before.”

“What are you implying?”

“Nothing.  You said she ruined your life.  I just thought you were only concerned about Jake.”

“What made you think that?”

“Well, you sit right next to me in Civics and you won’t even talk to me.”  That was a complete change of subject.

“Well, you won’t talk to me either.”

“I’ve tried, but you don’t respond.”

“Well, I can’t talk to you.”  Jake turned a little red.  “I’ve tried too.”  He took a deep breath.  “I can’t think of what to say, and my life is so dull and boring.”

“Oh.”  Jessica lost some steam.  “I don’t think your life is dull and boring.  I think taking care of a seven-year-old is special, and you do a great job.”

“I didn’t do such a great job today,” Jake confessed.  His voice was also calmer, but his upset was evident.

“We will find her together,” Jessica offered, and reached out to touch his hand again.

“Good,” a woman’s voice said, which startled Jake and Jessica.  They backed away from each other like two young people caught by their parents,  “Some of us are trying to sleepy.”

“Who said that?”  Jake raised his voice and spun around.

“Was it a bird?”  Jessica pointed toward the top of a tree where the branches shook.

“Don’t be silly,” the voice said.  “Birdies can’t talk.”  Something fluttered down from the branches to face them, and at first it made them think it was a bird, or a giant talking insect.  It turned out to be a little woman with wings, a fairy, and Jake stared and smiled.  Jessica fell over and seemed to have trouble closing her mouth.

“Elizabeth, my little sister dressed like a fairy for Halloween,” Jake said, completely enchanted.  He put his hand up slowly to touch and see if the fairy was real, but the fairy backed off and would not let him touch her.

“Yes, I heard you calling.  Elizabeth.  Eliza-BETH.  It was very loud.  Too loud for sleeping.”

“I’m sorry about that.”

“We’re sorry,” Jessica corrected Jake as she began to get over her astonishment.

“Oh, Jessica.  Elizabeth would love to meet a real, live fairy.”  Jake looked down, and gave Jessica a hand to help her to her feet.

“Do you know the way through the forest?” Jessica asked and spoke to Jake, though she never took her eyes off the hovering fairy.  “I wouldn’t mind going after Elizabeth if we had something like a guide.”

The fairy fluttered down to face Jessica.  “There are ways through the trees, and then there are ways.  I’m not saying which way is best.”

“Maybe you could show us the way Elizabeth went,” Jake suggested.

She zipped over to face Jake.  “I don’t know the way Elizabeth went.”  Jake looked defeated.  “But she was with Greely Putterwig, and I know where he lives.”  Jake brightened.  “Maybe we could go to Greely’s nasty house and ask.”

“So, you will go with us?” Jessica asked

“Well.”  The fairy looked at them both and put one hand up to tap a finger against her cheek.  “Human people don’t belong here.  I suppose Lady Alice would not want you to get lost in the woods and yelling.  Then nobody would get any sleep.”

“So you’ll come?” Jake asked.

“My sister Pumpkin used to travel with human people and she had great adventures.”  The fairy appeared to smile.  “Okay,” she said.  “Where are we going?”

“To Greely Putterwig’s house,” Jessica said.

“But we can’t get there from here,” the fairy said firmly.

“I’m Jake,” Jake said and pointed again.  “The footprints go this way.  Maybe we can find a place where we can get to Putterwig’s house.”

“Okay,” the fairy said happily.  “I’m Cinnamon.”

“What a lovely name.  I’m Jessica.”

“Hi Jessica.  Can I ride on your shoulder?”

Jessica stopped.  “Will it hurt?”

“Only if you get too bumpy.  I might have to hold on to your hair.”

“Okay,” Jessica imitated the fairy and then squinted in case it did hurt.  The fairy settled down without a bump, and she was very light so Jessica hardly felt her.  “That’s not so bad.”  She started to follow Jake and Cinnamon grabbed to the strands of Jessica’s hair that stuck out from beneath her cap.

“Woah.  Pumpkin never said it was this bumpy.”

Jessica grinned at her thought.  “I just think you want to ride on my shoulder so you don’t have to use your own legs, or wings as the case may be.”

Cinnamon nodded, though Jessica could not exactly see her.  “That, and to hide in your hair and shut my eyes when we run into spookies.  Too bad you don’t have more hair.”   Jessica removed her ballcap.  She actually had a full head of rather thick hair.  Cinnamon sounded delighted, scooted closer to Jessica’s ear to get covered and promptly spent the next few minutes playing peek-a-boo like Jessica’s hair was a kind of curtain.

They heard a scream up ahead.  It sounded like Elizabeth, and Jake began to yell again.  “Elizabeth!  Eliza-BETH!”  When there was no answer, he stopped yelling, but he turned them in the direction of the scream.

Cinnamon asked.  “Can I take my fingers out of my ears now?”

“Yes,”  Jessica said, but her peripheral vision showed Cinnamon still plugged up.  Jessica had to reach around very carefully with her finger and dislodge one of Cinnamon’s arms to unplug the ear. “Yes,” Jessica repeated with a smile. She noted that the fairy felt like flesh and blood and not at all like something ephemeral.

“Good,” Cinnamon grabbed a chunk of hair to steady herself.  “You know, there are all sorts of monsters, nasties and spookies that can make screaming like that.”

Jake stopped for a second to check the footprints.  “I figured that, but it sounded like Elizabeth, and we don’t have anything else to go on.”

Halloween Story II: Enchanted 2.1, Elizabeth

Elizabeth Simon, all of seven-years-old, finished at 315 Bleeker Street, but when she went to the sidewalk, she saw her brother occupied with some big kids.  She did not interrupt, and decided to go to the next house as she had been taught.  She liked the house.  It was dark and spooky, the way she thought Halloween was supposed to be.  The unkempt yard cast all sorts of odd shadows across the walk, and the rickety porch squeaked under her steps.  She even found a big spider web in the corner next to the post, up near the roof, and she was impressed.

The old man was in the rocker, watching.  Elizabeth saw him from the front walk, so he did not startle her.  “Child,” he said.  “What do you want?”

“Trick or treat,” Elizabeth said her line and held out her shopping bag, and smiled.

“Trick or treat?  Trick or treat is it?  What a quaint custom.”  Mister Putterwig glanced ever so briefly at the young people out on the street and he thought he could easily make the little girl disappear.  “I have a treat,” he said and held out his hand.  It was the biggest, most chocolaty, gooey mess Elizabeth had ever seen.  “But only good little girls can have some,” he warned.

Elizabeth’s hand hesitated.  “I try to be good.”

“Wisely spoken,” old man Putterwig conceded.  “Try it.”

She did, and when the old man held out his other hand to take her hand, there was nothing more she wanted in the whole world than to go with this kindly old man.  When they entered the house and came out among the pine trees, Elizabeth had a question.

“Where are we going?”

“To a land of wonders and enchantment and magic, and keep walking.”  Mister Putterwig looked back in case he was being followed.

“The land of the fairies?”  Elizabeth sounded excited.

“I suppose there are some around,” Mister Putterwig made another concession.  “But once you eat fairy food, you become captive to the little ones, or in this case, me   Now, you have to do whatever I tell you.”

“Oh, yes.  But I don’t mind because you are such a nice man.”

Mister Putterwig’s face turned red and then purple.  “First of all, I am not nice.  I am grumpy and, um, mean.  I can be very mean.  And second of all, I am not a man.”

Elizabeth stopped and looked up into the man’s eyes.  He contorted his face with a big toothy grin and squinted his beady little eyes.  Elizabeth shrieked and looked away.  “There, see?”  Mister Putterwig sounded proud, like he proved his point.  “I told you I could be mean.”

“No, that isn’t it,” Elizabeth said.  “You looked like a clown face and I’m scared of clowns.”

“Oh,”  Mister Putterwig deflated before he looked up, sharply.  They heard Jake calling. “Eliza-BETH.”  Mister Putterwig barely got his hand over Elizabeth’s mouth in time.  “Don’t answer him.  Come on,  Hurry.”  They began to walk again and picked up their pace.  It was a few minutes before they slowed again and Mister Putterwig had a question.

“So, do you have a name?”

“Elizabeth.  Elizabeth Simon.”

“Well, Elizabeth-Elizabeth Simon, my name is Greely Putterwig, and I am a Hobgoblin.”

“I’m a fairy,” Elizabeth responded, happily.

“What?”  Mister Putterwig eyed her closely.

“My costume.  Don’t I look like a fairy?”

“Not too much,”  Mister Putterwig said, and seemed relieved.  “You’re a bit big.”

“But I got wings and everything.”

“I see that.  Turn around.”  Elizabeth turned and Mister Putterwig adjusted her wings to set them more squarely on her back.  “That’s better.  Now you look more fairy-like”

“Thank you,” Elizabeth said, and reached for Mister Putterwig’s hand, who took her little hand and almost appeared to smile.

They started to walk again.  The pine forest was not too dark, the trees not grown too close together.  There was plenty of room overhead for starlight to find the forest floor.  Elizabeth saw some snow on the firs and she could not help her thoughts.  “Do you know any Christmas Carols?” she asked.

Mister Putterwig stopped and looked angry for a moment, but one look into Elizabeth’s innocent face and he decided to think about it.  A hoot owl sounded out not too far from where they stood.  He started them walking again and sang, “Oh, you better watch out.”  He stopped there, and Elizabeth giggled.

“That’s not it.  It goes, “Oh, you better watch out, you better not cry, you better not pout I’m tellin’ you why…”

“Stop, stop.  Stop!”  Mister Putterwig waved his big hands back and forth, shook his head and snarled.  Elizabeth stopped, worried that she got it wrong.  “You can cry and pout if you want to. Go ahead and cry.  And Pouting is an old family tradition, my family I mean.  “Oh, you better watch out” is the only part I sing.  There’s reasons for that we don’t need to go into just now.”

Elizabeth tried to nod and agree, but all she could do was scream.  An eight foot ogre stood directly in their path.  He was ugly, tusky, full of boils and puss and with more sharp teeth than anyone would consider reasonable.  He had long arms and short legs, all the size of tree trunks, and apparently carried a separate tree of some sort in one hand, which was his club.  He also had a spark of intelligence in his eyes which said this creature is fully capable of chasing you and eating you, though to be fair, the spark of intelligence was a very small one.

“Eliza-BETH!”  The sound came from a long way off, much further than before

“Jake!”  Elizabeth shouted back.  She recognized the voice.

Mister Putterwig looked back and said, “Quiet.  I said don’t answer him.  Now, run.”  They ran and Mister Putterwig mumbled.  “Leave it to Pusshead to ruin everything.”

Elizabeth was glad to run from the ogre.  She was a bit upset when the ogre spoke over her head.

“What are we running from?”

Elizabeth screamed and stumbled.  Old Mister Putterwig scooped her up and ran at a spritely pace.  In fact, even carrying the little girl, the old man ran fast enough to lose the ogre somewhere in the forest.

Halloween Story II: Enchanted 2.0

Every town in America has one house on one street where no one dares to go.  In Keene, that house was 317 Bleeker Street where old man Putterwig lived alone in the dark.  The grass in the yard was always brown and never quite cut.  The gate in the picket fence let out an excruciating squeak when opened.  The paint looked old and faded and was chipping a bit off the long wooden front porch with the creaking floorboards.  Now and then Mister Putterwig could be seen on that porch, sitting in an old rocker, taking in the life that passed before his eyes.  No one ever saw him leave that house, but mostly no one wanted to look.  The adults all said they felt sorry for old Mister Putterwig, widower that he was, but when he was out front watching, they hurried passed the house, afraid of the glare in the man’s squinting yellow eyes.  The kids knew better.  There was something more than just odd about Greely Putterwig.

Bleeker street was a good, solid neighborhood full of fine middle class citizens, with plenty of kids to fill the schools.  Jake Simon, a high school junior lived there with his parents and his seven-year-old surprise little sister, Elizabeth, whom he had to watch every day after school because mom and dad both worked.  Jake wanted to play soccer.  He wanted to join the Sci-Fi club at school.  He imagined all sorts of thing he might have done if Elizabeth never came along and ruined his life.  When Jake thought like that, he would say, “What life?”  And he would sit down at the game console and tell Elizabeth to go to her room.  It all would have been so much easier if Elizabeth was a brat instead of the kind and loving child she was.  Dad said she got it from her mother.  Mom blamed Dad.  All Jake said was she didn’t get it from me.

Jake imagined most of all, that things might be different if he was really good at something.  His childhood friend Robert Block, the one they all called Blockhead was on the football team.  Tommy had money, that is, Thomas Kincaid Junior who had not been seen without sunglasses in several years.  Mike Lee was a nerd who could not only win every video game, but could fix the console if it should break.  Jake had no special skills or talents or abilities.  He was average, normal, middle of the road in the middle of the class, or as he described his life, boring.  No wonder Jessica Cobb was not interested in him.

It was late in October, the leaves were almost all down and the air was almost crisp enough to frost, when Jake picked up the mail and found a note from Vanessa Smith inviting him to a Halloween party.  Jake was thrilled because she and Jessica were good friends so he was sure Jessica would be there.  He fixed some food and waited for Elizabeth to come home on the school bus when there was a knock on the door.  Tommy and Mike were there, and they brought their magic decks.  They wanted a three-way game, and Jake got taken out first.

“My deck’s too big.  It needs work,” he said.  Then he casually mentioned the invitation, and Mike and Tommy immediately had to spoil it by saying they got invited too.

“Everyone got invited.  The whole junior class,” Tommy said.

“I’m going as a nerd,” Mike said.

“Thomas Kincaid Junior, mister Cool,” Tommy shook his long hair and adjusted his shades.  “What are you going as?”

Type casting, Jake thought.  “A babysitter,” he said as he heard Elizabeth come in the back door.

Tommy and Mike packed up and headed for the door and Tommy’s car.  Tommy’s parents had the money to buy him a car, even if it was an economical model.

“Mister Donut?” Tommy asked and offered.  They all knew the answer, and as they left, Elizabeth came into the living room and switched on the television.

Jake turned and had a touch of anger in his voice.  “Don’t you have homework?”

“Not in the second grade,” Elizabeth said as she found the cartoon channel.

“You know that will rot your brain,” he said, and instantly thought of several good comebacks, like, Are you speaking from experience?  Is that what happened to you?  Or even the proverbial, “Like you should know.”  Elizabeth said none of those things.  She looked up with an innocent, trusting face.

“It is only cartoons.  Would that be alright?”

Jake regularly disliked himself.  He did have homework and took himself up to his room.

When Halloween rolled around, Jake found he could not go to Vanessa’s party anyway.  Mom had cooking and cleaning to catch up on and Dad would not be home until later.  Jake had to take Elizabeth out so she could trick or treat, and he really resented her for that.

They planned to follow Jake’s old route which wound around the neighborhood in a way where they did not miss any houses and did not have to backtrack.  It was a well designed plan, and Bleeker Street was first on the list.   The one hundred block was mostly buildings, and a group of apartments set back from the road which Jake always found to be slim pickings.  They didn’t go there.  The two hundred block was where the houses began, and Jake took Elizabeth to the first couple of doors, and then he stayed on the sidewalk and let her go alone, now that she knew what to do.  They came to the three hundred block.

Elizabeth went up to 315 when Tommy roared to a halt.  Mike was riding shotgun.  Jessica and Serena Smith were squeezed in the back with Blockhead.

“Lookin’ for you, dude.”  Tommy sported a new pair of shades.

“Nice costume,” Jake let the sarcasm flow.  Mike at least looked like he ironed his white nerd shirt.  Blockhead had on a football jersey.  At least Jessica and Serena made an attempt.  Jessica had on a plaid shirt and jeans that fit her well, but over the shirt she had the orange vest of a hunter.  She even wore a ball cap with a gun of some kind as the logo.  Serena, the glam-girl, was supposed to be a zombie, albeit a cute one that was not too rotten.

“I was going to say, what are you supposed to be?”  Serena asked.

“Babysitter,” Jake answered with a straight face.  “I’m taking my little sister trick or treating.”

“You’re going to miss the party,” Blockhead had party on the brain.  He slipped his arm over Serena’s shoulder but she shrugged it off.

“I know,” Jake responded.  “I sometimes wish Elizabeth would just disappear.  Then maybe I could have a life.”  He looked straight at Jessica.

“You don’t mean that,” Jessica stared right back at him.

Jake looked to the side.  “I don’t know what I mean anymore.”

“Hey dude.”  Tommy got their attention.  “Your sister is with old man Putterwig.”

“What?  No.”  Jake turned in time to see the old man take Elizabeth’s hand and walk inside the house. “No!”  Jake screamed and started to run, Jessica right on his heels.  The gate out front slammed shut on the others who took a second to get it open.  When they reached the porch, the last touch of the sun dipped below the horizon and the front door slammed shut, and it locked itself.  Jake and Jessica made it inside, but the rest were stuck outside.

When Jake and Jessica leaped into the house, they became very confused.  Instead of a downstairs hallway, their feet came down in an ancient pine forest with needles and pinecones littering the ground beneath their feet a foot thick.  The last of the purple sunset was fading and the stars were coming out bright and twinkling above their heads. They caught a glimpse of the doorway they came through, but before they could react, the door shrank and disappeared altogether with a loud “Snap!”

“What the Hell?” Jessica mumbled.  Jake had something more pressing on his mind.

“Elizabeth!”  He shouted.  “Eiliza-BETH!”

The Travelers from Avalon: Where do they go from here?

Avalon, the Pilot Episode is now up on Amazon for a whopping 99 cents.

 

https://www.amazon.com/author/mgkizzia

 

http://www.amazon.com/Avalon-the-Pilot-Episode-ebook/dp/B00BYKXNMC

 

When Lincoln’s wife Alexis goes missing, he begs the mysterious Kairos for help to get her back.  The Kairos determines her father has kidnapped her and dragged her unwillingly into the deep past.  He brings Lincoln and his whole mission team to his home on Avalon, a place normally hidden from the human race, and to the chamber of the great crystal called the Heart of Time.  This crystal has recorded all of human history, and it can be used for time travel if one knows how. 

Through the Heart, the Kairos transports the entire mission team to the beginning of history; but there are complications.  In order to save Alexis, the Kairos is required to sacrifice himself.  That leaves the mission team with only one option.  To return to their proper time in the future, they will have to travel the hard way, through the time gates and across the time zones.  This will bring them through all of recorded history, many unexpected and unknown historical details, and some nasty surprises.

Written in episodic form, each time zone centers around a different lifetime of the Kairos, a person who has lived 121 times since the beginning of history.  Each time zone presents unique difficulties.  The travelers have to try not to disturb history, which is hard to do when they are fighting for their lives.  But the Kairos, you understand, never lives a quiet life.  And then, not too many years ago, certain … things where driven into the past.  Some of those things may be content to follow the travelers back into the future.  Most have picked up their scent, but some are hunting them.

Avalon, the Pilot Episode is all you need to begin the journey.

Don’t miss Avalon, Season One COMING SOON.  Same E-read, same E-channel.

Also, look for Avalon, the prequel.  Invasion of Memories, where the Kairos in our day comes out of a time of deep memory loss too quickly.  In order to keep his mind from becoming overwhelmed and incapacitated he tells stories from his past, stories from when he remembered who he was, the Kairos, the Traveler in Time, the Watcher over History.  He knows he cannot afford to become incapacitated, because there are three Vordan battleships on the dark side of the moon, and they are preparing to invade.

 

WORKING: Coming to this blog in the Fall

 

Avalon Season 3:  Life in the twenty-first century was never like this!   In the third season, Civilization begins to show its true colors with piracy, slavery and human sacrifice..  Roland and Boston heat up.  Roland may ask Boston to marry him, and his father Mingus will have to do some serious adjusting, again.  All of the “unsavories” presently following the travelers begin to get anxious for fear the travelers may be slipping away.  And they find some new shadow beneath the full moons where Bob, the insane man they once showed kindness to … Well, they say werewolves always kill the ones they love.  Technological and alien wonders, magic and mayhem, and the struggle to race with the human race and stay alive. 

 

AVALON SEASON 3 … DON’T MISS IT …

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Avalon 2.12: Looking at Tomorrow

            The bokarus tried a third time to attack the travelers, but this time he looks to have vanished, the travelers hope permanently.  Riding off the end of a cliff and into the sea would not have been a good thing, but after that encounter it appears someone showed some wisdom.  The goddess Galatea, the one Grubby the dwarf call the Greek is escorting them the rest of the way to Danna.

###

            The travelers came to the top of a small rise in the landscape and stopped.  Tents and people of all sorts along with thousands of primitive boats stretched out for miles along the coastline in front of them.  They looked like an invading army preparing to cross the channel, and they were.  They were simply awaiting the order to go from the one oversized tent that was set up facing the sea, well apart from all the others. 

            Galatea vanished at the top of the rise with the words, “My baby is hungry and probably needs to be changed.”

            “Bye,” Boston and Alexis voiced the word.  The others were too taken in by the view to speak.

            When they started down the backside of the rise, Katie had an observation.  “I was not aware the gods were ever in such close proximity to the mortal world.”

            “New jurisdiction, new rules,” Lockhart suggested.

            Lincoln had the database out and was reading carefully, not paying attention to where his horse was taking him.  “Aesgard, Olympus, a bit from Karnak and who knows what others are contributing to building a new house.  Those children will marry Danna’s children and Western Europe will become its own world.  The Children of Danna.”

            “The Celtic world, before the days of Julius Caesar,’ Alexis said.

            “Eventually, but not for a couple of thousand years,” Lincoln explained.  “The Celts will move slowly out of Central Europe as the Germanic tribes move in.”

            They came to the big tent, stopped and dismounted.  After a bit of a wait, they hobbled the horses to let them graze and waited some more.

            Danna was just standing there, staring out across the water to what would one day be called England.  She had a cat cradled like a baby in her arms.  The only movement she made was to gently pet the cat now and then.  They all thought the cat was terribly patient for a cat, but eventually it wanted down.

            “All right Mother,” Danna said. She set the beast down, but without moving her eyes from the water.  She called, also without looking.  “Lockhart.”  He stepped up as the others kept back and watched the cat move to a rug at the entrance of the oversized ten where she gave herself a bath.  They knew Mother was keeping an eye on the visitors.  “I know you can’t see England from here, but she is out there, plotting and scheming with her children to wrest control of all these lands.”

            “Who is?”

            “Domnu,” Danna said.  “I have issued a challenge to single combat, but I don’t know if she will accept.  I would guess her answer will not come today, but it may come in the night.”

            “One of you must die?” Lockhart asked.

            “Yes.” Danna said softly.  She took a deep breath and turned with a smile for the rest of the group.  “Welcome.  There are some things you need to know right from the start.”  She had everyone’s attention, but paused to look around at faces.  “Goddess though I be, I cannot send you five thousand years back into the future.  Three or four days is the normal limit for stretching time that even the gods must keep.  Besides, Lady Alice remains unsteady as long as the Storyteller remains missing.”

            “Understood,” Lockhart said.

            “And as for all the ones that are following you and mean you harm, there is little I can do there.  I see it foremost in Captain Decker’s mind, and Lincoln of course.  The Djin following you is not in this time zone, and neither are the ghouls.  The ghouls are gathering somewhere in your future so you must keep alert.  Alexis and Katie, as for Bob, your werewolf, there is nothing I can do if he remains distant and in human form.  My authority is not over humans.”

            “Father?” Alexis had to ask.  He was an elf so he was one of hers.

            “Not in this time zone yet.  I am sorry.  Sorry Roland.  But I am sure he is following, not far behind.  I will hurry him when he gets here.

            “What about the bokarus?” Lincoln asked.

            “It made three attempts on our lives just since we have been in your time,” Katie explained and Alexis looked at the ground, embarrassed by one of those attempts.

            “Mother, do you mind?” Danna asked the cat, and the cat appeared to blink.  “Thank you,” Danna said as she held out her arm, and they all saw something like a dwarf materialize, upside-down, with one foot grasped in her hand.

            “A dwarf?”  Boston asked.

            “Not even.”  Grubby was still standing next to Roland and Boston, though no one much noticed.  “This one’s got greenish skin, and green hair with no beard at all, and it is all as skinny as a one lunch, salad eating elf, er, no offense.”  Grubby tipped his hat at Roland.

            “My daughter-in-law, Morrigu snatched him just off the coast up in the direction from whence you came.  No telling what torment she had in mind, but she brought it to me because she thought it might be one of my little sprites.”

            “Not even,” Grubby repeated.

            “Lady Alice has made an island of pristine wilderness in the archipelago of Avalon.  This bokarus will live out its days there, and in time others of its kind will join him, but he will not be able to return here.”

            Danna looked briefly at the bokarus and its mouth opened.  “Help me.  Get me out of here.  This isn’t fair.  This isn’t right.  I’m getting dizzy.  Help.”

            “We had an agreement,” Danna said and she went away from that time and Faya, that was Beauty from long ago came to fill her time and place.

            The eyes of the bokarus got far bigger than humanly possible.  “No.  No.  I didn’t know it was you.”  Danna came back to her own time and place and the bokarus faded like the mist until it vanished, echoing the sound of Darth Vader on a bad day, “NOooooo.”

            Danna smiled again for everyone and waved her arm.  Their tents were all set up for the night.  The horses were gathered in, with plenty of oats to eat and a clean trough to drink from.  The little dwarf lady from the first day was there cooking, except at the moment she appeared to be giving an elder dwarf a few pieces of her mind.  They all guessed it was Gorman. There was spritely music in the distance, and plenty of chairs around a long oak table filed with all sorts of food.  Mathonwy’s tent was there and Ahnyani and Kimkeri came out to get the festivities started.  But Danna had one more thing to do.

            “Boston,” she called, and Boston was obliged to appear in front of her.  “Let’s step over here for a minute.”  There were two chairs by the big tent placed conveniently to look out over the feast.  “Do you love him?”  Danna wasted no time.

            “You know I do,” Boston said.  Her eyes shot straight to Roland while Danna took her hand.  Boston was nervous about holding the hand of an actual goddess, even if it was simply one of the lifetimes of the Kairos.

            “Will you marry him?”

            “I will if he ever asks me.  He’s kind of slow.”

            ‘Boys are slow,” Danna said and she shouted toward the table.  “Mathy!”

            Mathonwy looked over and Danna stuck her tongue out at him.  Mathy grinned.  “That is what I admire most about my big sister.  Her maturity.”  He returned the raspberries to her and went back to his feasting.  Boston covered her giggles.

            “But I sense you will not ask Roland to become human and share your life with you,”  Danna let go of Boston’s hand and stood, so Boston stood beside her.

            Boston looked at the ground and spoke quietly.  “Alexis made that choice to be with Lincoln.  That almost killed her father Mingus.  This whole thing started because he could not stand the thought of losing his only daughter to old age.  I couldn’t do that to him again, to lose his son as well.”

            “You like Mingus, don’t you?”

            Boston nodded.  “I do, despite everything.”

            “But I am not always easy to get along with,” Danna said without explanation as she put both hands gently on Boston’s head.  Boston felt a tingling sensation that went all the way to her feet.

            “What did you do?”

            “Nothing yet,” Danna admitted.  “You have a long way to go to get back to the twenty-first century.  Now we can see what your future may hold.”

            Grubby the dwarf ran up suddeny, tipped his hat to Danna and grabbed Boston by the hand.  He dragged her out to the makeshift dance area where Roland was waiting.  Roland planted a kiss smack on Boston’s lips and she returned the kiss with a willing heart before the dance began.

            Danna nodded and spoke to herself.  “A long way to go is sometimes not very far.”

 .

END of SEASON 2

COMING SOON:

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Forever, On the Road:  What happened to the Kairos, Glen, called the Storyteller when the travelers from Avalon began their journey?  He sacrificed himself by leaping into the primeval chaos at the beginning of history.  Now he is lost in the Second Heavens, that infinite space between Earth and the Throne of God, and he is trying to find his way back to the archipelago of Avalon, when he remembers who he is.  The Second Heavens is the realm where memories are easily broken and distorted.  It is the place where dreams come true – not just daydreams.  It defies all of the laws of physics as time and space bend and fold back on themselves, and a life relived is twisted beyond recognition.  It is the place of shadow images of living people and disembodied spirits of the dead, where Angels and Demons struggle for eternity, where myth and legend impact reality and it is a very dangerous place for someone who isn’t dead yet.

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Avalon Season 3:  Life in the twenty-first century was never like this!   In the third season, Civilization begins to show its true colors with piracy, slavery and human sacrifice..  Roland and Boston heat up.  Roland may ask Boston to marry him, and his father Mingus will have to do some serious adjusting, again.  All of the “unsavories” presently following the travelers begin to get anxious for fear the travelers may be slipping away.  And they find some new shadow beneath the full moons where Bob, the insane man they showed kindness to – well, they say werewolves always kill the ones they love.  Technological and alien wonders, magic and mayhem, and the struggle to race with the human race and stay alive. 

AVALON SEASON 3 … DON’T MISS IT …

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Avalon 2.12: The Third Encounter

            There appear to be plenty of people in the path of the travelers, and the archetype berserker is not one that anyone might want.  Also, the bokarus is still on the loose, so maybe the travelers need to proceed with caution.

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            The mist rolled gently over the meadow and Elder Stow confirmed that they were nearing the Channel.  Roland slowed the party to a walk when the mist gathered around their feet.  He urged extra caution when it was two feet deep, thick at the ground and could be seen creeping around the tree branches.  Soon enough the mist rose and turned to a genuine fog, and they had to line up and keep a sharp eye on the horse in front of them.

            Alexis rode up front behind Boston.  She looked back now and then, but she was not looking at Lincoln.  “Don’t tell me,” he said.  “You’re looking for the werewolf.”

            “Ghouls,” Decker suggested up from behind Lincoln.  “It seems to me this is the kind of weather they would love.”

            “No.”  Alexis frowned.  “I’m worried about Father.”

            “He can take care of himself,” Roland spoke up from the front.  There was silence for a moment before Elder Stow spoke.

            “We are very close to the sea,” he said, and then the silence settled in with the fog.

            After a short while, Roland brought the party to a stop.  He heard something.  He described it as a low moan but made no judgment about what it might be.  Elder Stow tinkered with his equipment.  It crackled for a bit, like a bad radio reception before it came in clear.

            Boston commented first.  “It sounds like someone in pain.”  The group began to move again, but carefully.

            “More like a hangover,” Decker said.

            “Or someone with a bad stomach ache,” Alexis said.

            “I’m not sure it is human,” Roland said and he spurred across the meadow and came back to the head of the line without explanation.

            “I cannot say,” Elder Stow admitted.  “I cannot get a scan lock on whatever it is.”

            “Why not human?” Boston asked.

            “We are getting closer but the sound is not getting louder.”

            “I can confirm that,” Elder Stow said as he shook his instrument to be sure it was working properly.  They rode in silence for a bit before Lincoln voiced his thought.

            “Maybe it is a wraith or a ghost.”  When Alexis looked back at him, he felt the need to defend his idea.  “What?  I only said what we were all thinking.”

            “I wasn’t thinking that,” Decker said.

            “Nor was I,” Elder Stow agreed.  “But given some of the things we have seen, it would not surprise me.”  Elder Stow’s instrument crackled again like he was losing the radio station.  He shook it and twisted some dial when at once a voice came clearly from the speaker.

            “Alexis!  Help me!  I need you.  Alexis!  Help me!”

            Alexis kicked her horse to the front of the line before anyone could stop her.  “It’s Father.  He needs me.”  She yelled back as she raced off into the fog.  Roland and Boston rushed after her, but everyone else stopped when Lockhart shouted from the back of the line.

            “Hold it right there.”  Decker butted up in front of Lincoln’s horse in case he was thinking of following the runners.  “Elder Stow,” Lockhart still shouted.  “Can you track and follow them?”

            “Yes, of course,” the Elder said and he floated to the very front.  His pace was a bit quicker than the one Roland set, but it was safer in the fog than riding flat out. 

            Katie looked back at Lockhart several times with worry on her face,   Lockhart looked worried, too.  It was dark, like evening, though it was only the middle of the afternoon.  The fog covered the ground especially like a blanket.  A horse at speed could easily step into a snake hole or some such thing and break a leg, and injure or maybe kill the rider.  Or maybe they could ride right into a pit.

            Alexis thought nothing of that.  She was in a complete panic and raced through the nearby woods.  Roland, her elf brother and Boston, the rodeo rider could hardly keep up.  They could not seem to catch up.

            They could hear the voice now even without the aid of Elder Stow’s equipment.  “Alexis, I need you!  Alexis, Help me!”

            Alexis broke out of the trees and on to rocks where her horse slowed imperceptibly out of self-preservation.  The horse stopped suddenly and all at once when a figure of a person rose up in front, waving his arms.  The horse bucked and Alexis held on by sheer force of will.  Boston arrived and grabbed Alexis’ reigns,  Roland grabbed his sister while Boston looked down at the shadow and spoke.

            “Thank you Grubby.”

            Grubby doffed his hat.  “I say, you was getting too close to the cliff here.”  The cliff was several yards in front of them and dropped a long way to where the sea crashed up against crumbling boulders.  Riding over the edge at full speed would have been certain death.

            “What was I doing?”  Alexis asked her brother in a voice that suggested she was enchanted.  They heard the voice again from twenty yards beyond the cliff, only this time the words were different.

            “Roland, help me.  I need you.  Help me.”

            Alexis quickly grabbed her brother, but he appeared to have enough of their father’s mind magic to shake it off.

            “Fire!” Grubby yelled and waved his hat.  Six fireballs went out from the cliff top and disappeared in the fog.

            A wind came in answer and it temporarily pushed back the fog in the immediate area.  A face appeared floating over the water.  It screamed anger and rushed at them.  It was the Bokarus.  Boston felt Alexis grab her hand, and giving their magic to Roland, Roland let out a far bigger and more powerful fireball.  The bokarus quickly retreated before it burned.

            “Fire!”  Grubby waved his hat again.  Six more dwarf fireballs sprang from the ledge.  They look puny, barely warm, and Boston was not sure any made it as far as the bokarus before they fizzled out.  It was hard to tell as the fog closed in again.

            Lockhart and the others caught up in time to see the bokarus.  Elder Stow was fiddling with a different piece of his equipment when they heard the bokarus speak.  It was not what they expected.

            “No!  Wait!  That’s not right.  That’s not fair.”  It ended in a few mumbles before there was silence.  Immediately the fog began to dissipate.  The sun was out.  It was just after three in the afternoon.  Their spirits lifted as they saw a young women floating over the sea.  She shouted as she came near.

            “Hello.  Are you Lockhart?  I’m supposed to find Lockhart.”

            “It’s the Greek,” Grubby said and made a funny face without explaining.

            “A young goddess,” Katie guessed.

            “I’m Lockhart,” he said when she got close enough so he did not have to shout.

            “Goody,” the goddess said as her feet touched the ground.  “I’m supposed to take you to Danna.  I’m sorry.  She told me all of your names but that was too hard to remember.”

            “Thank you for your help,” Alexis said, assuming she did something with the bokarus.

            “I haven’t helped you yet,” the goddess said.

            “Do you have a name?”  Lockhart was curious.  She was a lovely person, as all goddesses should be.

            “I’m Galatea.  I have a baby.”

            “Really?”  Alexis stole a glance at Lincoln who opted not to return her glance.

            Boston pointed.  Roland and Lockhart started moving so the group started out and Galatea floated along, like Elder Stow but without the need for equipment.

            “Yes,” Galatea continued to talk to Alexis and Boston.  “I have a husband, well, temporarily.  Njord is a bit of an old man, but nice.”

            “He is your old man,” Boston said, and Galatea clearly thought about it for a minute before she smiled.

            “Yes he is, and I have a baby.”

            “So you said,” Alexis agreed.

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Avalon 2.12:  Looking at Tomorrow … Next Time