Monday, July 29, 2013

Ghost Writing in Chocolate

The hairs on the back of Larry' neck stood at attention.

Cheryl had made a three-story chocolate cake with chocolate frosting.  It was for later, but everybody, at least once, lusted a chocolate lust.  It smelled heavenly.

But it was Larry that spotted it.  An invisible finger was writing in the chocolate on the top of the cake.

You could see the outline of a word on top of the cake.  Slowly with a few corrections, the letters were formed.

"I thought you didn't believe in ghosts," Tim said.  "This ghost is playing in our food."

"Having ghosts is sort of like having bed bugs.  You don't really want them, but there they are,"  Rick said.

"I don't think this ghost is so very scary," Cheryl said.

"Why is that?"  Omega said.

"It's what he wrote,"  Cheryl mused.

"What did he write?"

"Yummers!. . . "

And then the ghosts started to moan, and worked their way to to banshee screams.  The wind blew like a hurricane—in side the basement of the church.  The couch levitated about a foot off the floor and spun around six or seven times.

"Okay,"  Cheryl said.  "Stop it!."

All four guys got picked up and flung  across the room, smacked hard into the wall, and allowed to slide to the floor.

"I mean it!" Cheryl yelled.  "Stop that crapola now!"

"Oh, all right."  The very walls groaned and the words could be understood.  It sounded more like low rasping moans.

"What you are doing?"  Julie barked.  "That's not even your real voice. We just wanna know who you are and why you are here."

"Three.  Teen.  Boys,"  the walls reverberated.  "Lost in the Cosmos."

"Did you get stuck between heaven and earth?"  Cheryl again.

"Oh, yeah,"  the walls breathed.  "We just wanna have fun.  And scaring the bejeesus out of humans is fun."

"Most ghosts choose to stay here, rather than go to Alpha" Omega explained.  "They are a little bit nervous about some of their behaviors, like knocking people into walls and scaring them."

One of the steeples fell off the church.

"Oh, like that'll get you home,"  Omega chided the ghosts.

Very creepy giggles rang  throughout the basement.

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Friday, July 26, 2013

What You Can See and What You Can't. Story 3

The clock levitated, all by itself, a good foot off of the table, and propelled itself across the room, and whacked the wall hard.

"Geesh!" Larry said.

Omega, John-John, and Petey were living in the basement of an abandoned church.  The congregation had outgrown the church, moved out, and hadn't been able to sell it.  Out-moded churches, zoned in family neighborhoods, were not high on people's priorities.  Omega had asked if they could be the night watchmen, guards, and pay a little bit in rent.  The congregation kept the water and the electricity for them.  Since, they had "decorated" with yard sale finds:  aging bean bag chairs, cups and bowels decades old, old, but intact, couches that doubled as beds.  Living and serving on the dime.  And that's about it.

When all seven kids came over for a visit, the place was packed.  Marcus, the kid they'd encountered in Rome, stayed with Larry, and was picking up clues about this new world right, left, and center.  He was boggled by television and his mind was blown by computers.  Those things were not any part of his consciousness.  When he found out that kids his age were learning to drive big, honking machines, he ran away, screaming in terror.

A levitating clock didn't register either, nor did it register with any of the other kids.

"You think, maybe, ghosts?"  Julie asked.

"Maybe," said  John-John.  "The other things is this:  we've had odd things happen all month."

"Yeah,"  Petey explained.  "There were those screams in the night, and nobody here but us kids—and we were not screaming.  And then the oatmeal got changed into green Jello.  That was weird."

"Ghosts rank up there in weirdness as odd as computers and those mysterious little phones," Marcus was adamant.  "At least you can see computers and phones."

"Maybe you can see ghosts too,"  Larry said.

"You see ghosts?"  Omega asked Larry.

"Seein' 'em right now."

"What do they look like?"  Omega asked.

"They look like me and Tim and Rick."


"They are three teen-aged boys, laughing their heads off, cause they can scare the wits right out of us.  They can make noise and move things around, change stuff once in awhile."


"Oh, yeah.  And that's a problem for me."


"Cause I don't believe in ghosts."

Sunday, July 21, 2013

The Cathedral Is Inside

The green dragon was leading Omega and the kids along a narrow, steep in places, up and down, up and down, for miles.  Because the rocks were newly phosphorescent, the was enough light to see, but it was  hot and the air was close, almost sticky.

Soon enough, they were following a river.  They weren't descending,  but they may have been going  all the way through the mountains.

And then they were there.

A massive, underground cavern, big as 10 city or suburban blocks.  All of the rocks were glowing, and the light softened the edges of things.  About half of the cavern was covered with a clay-like substance, that you could either burn or or knock off.

There was an area that looked like a altar or a big, big table. It glowed too, although the table was covered with pineapples, grapes, mangos, kiwis, beautiful plums and peaches, and egg plants, corn on the cob, all kinds of potatoes, yellow ones, golden ones, blue ones, purple one, with wrinkled tomatoes, sweet peas, and watermelon.

"Really?"  Petey asked.  "The dragon is a vegetarian?"

"Must be," Omega said.

"All that fire-breathing stuff,  just for show.  Apparently,"  John-John said.  "You see him set anybody on fire?"

"No."  Omega said.  "No,  not once."

The dragon purred.

The kids wandered respectfully throughout the underground cathedral.  About half of the magnificient space still had the clay covering, but the other half had been cleaned and polished to an astounding shine.  The soft, watery colors of gold, of lavender, pink, sky blue, silver, peach, and scarlet were burnished and the light seemed to come from within.  The were massive stalactites and stalagmites that touched the floor and the ceiling.  And astonishingly enough, the underground Cathedral was close to the surface so that there were slivers of life that left long trails on  the rock floors and walls.  It was a sacred space.

Jewels were everywhere on the clean side of the Cathedral.  Not so much on the clay side of the cathedral.  Jewels were encrusted on the table, in patterns on the walls, inlaid in the floors.  They caught the light and sparkled in their multiplied magnificence.

Rick was muttering under his breathe, "And I just thought he was some stupid reptile.  Turns out he is an artist, working on the most beautiful of projects.  So, why did you save his life, Omega?"

"Turns out green dragons are exceedingly rare.  Gotta be careful with them."

"Hey!!!!!!!"  Tim came around a big rock, carrying armfuls of straw.  "Hey!!!!!!!!  What are you guys doing here?" 

"What are you doing here?"  Larry demanded.

"The green dragon could get anything he wanted,  carrots mostly, from people's gardens.  And he could mine for jewels.  But he didn't have a decent bed.  So we are making him a bed."

"We?"  Cheryl asked.

"Me,"  Marcus appeared too.   "I'm helping too.  We found a great big woven piece a cloth, like a burlap sack, and we're laying it over branches and leaves, covered with straw.  It's beautiful too.  And our dragon, who'd been in a bad mood because he never slept, slept for three days, and woke up in a  beautiful mood.  That was so fun and it felt so good to help somebody else.  Wanna help?"

And the kids helped move around the stores of branches of leave, laid them carefully with golden straw.  The bed was about as big as a city block, so there was room for all of  the dragon, including his tail.   

The dragon responded with growls, with purrs, with yelps, with mild roars.  Clearly he loved his bed.  Suzie, Cheryl, and Julie crawled up on his giant arms and gave him big smooches on his cheeks.  He loved to be loved.  Pretty much like every being—kids, kitties, dogs, armadillos, and dragons— on this sweet earth.

Omega said, "Well, that about does it.  We've done what we are supposed to do.  Learned to love unlikely critters and help out where we can.  Turns out Alpha has pre-wired your brains so you feel good when you do good."  

And then Omega snapped his fingers.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Let Sleeping Dragons Lie

Omega, Petey, John-John, and five of the seven kids are walking down a path in the barren lands of Israel.  The landscape is mountainous, hot, the color of sawdust and copper,  Along the cliffs that tower above them are dark holes that signal a cave.  No where are seven caves clustered together.  They are trudging, hot, discouraged, and impatient.

"Well, Alpha said this was the road.  And, oh, there's the oasis.  I could use a cool drink of water," Omega nodded off to the left.  Everybody brushed the dust from their clothing and found the pool of water where they had long, cooling drinks from the spring  that fed the pool.  They shaded their eyes against the sun and leaned into the shade of the palm trees and the rocks.

"Look!" yelled Larry.  At a slant, higher up on the rocks, there were seven dark, foreboding holes along the cliffs, like beads on a chain.

"Let's go," commanded Omega.  "Oh, all right," muttered Rick, not particularly relishing the idea of the hike up.  Off they went, up and up and up into the cliffs, following a trail that sometimes disappeared and sometimes took off in odd directions.   They moved around the last corner of the trail and were at the mouth of the first cave.

"Ready?" Omega asked?  They  nodded one by one, moved silently into the coolness of the cave, and the darkness.  Soon enough, they were down on their hands and knees moving along the trail in the dark, feeling their way—away from stone drop-offs, sloping cliffs, a rushing, underground river, and mysterious holes in the dark.

"Ow!" shouted Larry,  Something big moved in the dark.  "Wonder what I stepped on?"

Our of the dark shot an arc of flame, coming straight at Omega.  It crashed against the rock wall, and fluttered out.  Omega stood.  Fist in the air.  And threw something as hard as he could, straight at the dragon.  It was a lightning strike, a snapping and popping, brighter than the eyes could handle lightning strike.  It exploded in mid-air, fell to earth harmlessly.

"Run for the river," shouted Omega.  "Get in the water, You'll be safe there,"

Another shot of flame lit up the room.  Then another and another and another.  The flames were coming at the kids and Omega faster than they could deflect or run from there, crashing against the rocks, leaving the dark stains of ash and flame.  They'd duck down into the water, come back up, gasping, needing air.

Every lightning bolt Omega threw malfunction and exploded in mid-air.  The dragon was untouched.
It reared up, prepared for one last massive blast.

It came.  Then all was quiet.  And even darker.

"Get him!"  Larry yelled.

Omega stood up and prepared for one last, killing strike.  His arms were high; he sizzled and buzzed with the power within him.  The dragon was spent, exhausted, lying helplessly in Omega's sight.

Omega looked into the dragon's blue-green eyes, which were weeping with the sadness of a too-soon departed life.  Omega lowered his hands, opened them in the fashion of love, open palms, out-stretched, peaceful.

"Alpha spared your life today, Dragon!  Neither do I take anything from you.   I leave you a gift.
The rocks will now be phosphorescent, glowing with life, lighting your way in this dark place.
You will be able to see your way clear, the rest of your life."

The dragon purred.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Oh! Jerusalem!

The dusty path stretched out in front of them.  Omega, Petey, and John-John led the way, trailed by Julie, Rick and Suzie, Larry and Cheryl.  They kept their eyes peeled for any sign of a flying green dragon, of their old friend, Tim, and their new friend, Marcus.

"I wanna Coke," Larry said.

"Wrong Century,"  Petey said right back.

"Wish we were in the high seas.  We might still drown, but we'd be cooler,"  Suze said.

"Hey! I think there's a town on the horizon, looks like they are building walls and such around the city," Rick mused.

"Not much of a city," Larry said.  "Every thing is made out of rocks.  Not much for a spiritual city.  Thought we were looking for Jerusalem, a grand place."

Omega explained, "It's a rebuilt city and it has a rebuilt temple.  Alpha wanted people to be really careful with His temples, and if you weren't you could fall over dead.  Sorta scary stuff."

"They are building a wall around the city,"  Rick said.

As the students walked into the heart of the city, they came to a flat place where the market and the ovens were.  It was too hot to keep big ovens in people's homes, so there were ovens in the core of the city, where you could bake the bread for your family.  Often, Alpha's prophets preached from the street corners, and they were sort of a strange lot.  One was there today.  He had wild, unwashed hair that was long enough to reach his belly; he wore linen robes and sandals, but they'd seen long walks between washes.  His eyes were wild.

"My name is Obed!" he shouted.  "And Alpha has told me to say these things, because there are beings here from far away and, maybe far into the future.  Oddly enough, he says they are older children, not yet men and women, no longer children.

"Do not become drunken and besotted on elixers that lie to you about important things!"  Obed pronounced these things with great power.

"Do not  open a girl's heart to love, then fail to love her!

"Honor Your Father and Your Mother!"

"Complain not so much, if you also fail to correct the very bad thing.

"Do not lie to thyself, nor to anyone else.

"Be hopeful for thy life.

"Love as many people as you can for as much as you can, for thy people are trying their very best.

"Be not disparaging about other people, for you do not realize what hardships they are trying to overcome.

"Be watchful for a young, beautiful God that is to come.

"Be not too sad for very long, nor very deeply, for you are of great worth.

"Be watchful and careful over thy sexuality, for otherwise, you can mess up thy brain and cause great harm to thy heart."

"Didn't we hear those someplace else?" asked Larry.

Obed looked at Omega, "Aren't you.  .  . ?"

"It's not my time."  Omega said.  "But tell us this,  is there a green dragon that lives around here?"

"There is," Obed said,  "He lives in the place of the Seven Caves."


Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Danger On The Roiling Seas

A day later, they were afloat on their little boat headed east and south on the Mediterranean Sea.  The waves had sweet white caps on their tops, and the boat gave it's passengers swift dips and a few turn arounds.  But nothing scary.

"Marcus, you are a tall, skinny kid," Rick commented.  "Are your parents and your people of the same build?"

"Yep," Marcus replied.  "We come from the Congo-Burundi part of Africa.  Some of our kings are over seven feet tall, skinny, weighing no more than 150 or 160 pounds,  We love to dance, in wild  costumes with animal pelts, feathers, and gold and jewels. We tell stories, we live in houses that look like giant bee hives.   I expect I'll do the same kinds of things, if I can stay a free man. Not so easy in Roma."

"Do you know how to read and write?"  John-John asked.  "Our American kids can, wonder if your education extends that far?"

"No, I haven't had teaching, but I'd like to learn,"  Marcus said.

"Latin?"  John-John asked.

"That and Greek.  In my mom and dad's  world, I need both.  Then I never have to worry about being a slave who can only do hard labor.  I want to learn my numbers and math too."

"I can teach you,"  John-John said.  "I read and speak those languages.  Aramaic too."

"So, how come we understand you?"  Larry asked.

"Yeah?" Cheryl said.

"It's a God-thing,"  John-John said.

Out of nowhere, the sea turned upside down,  it seemed.  The waves became deep troughs and the winds blew in from every direction at once, whistling and screaming both.  The waters washed over the little boat and through the limbs, dripping back into the sea.  Everybody was hanging on for dear life; there was no steering in such a storm, and they were blown way off course.  The sky disappeared into the grey and black clouds.  They didn't know north from south, left from right, nor up from down.  They only knew they were in deep trouble.  Then, they heard a piercing scream, and watched with their mouths open, as Marcus lost his grip, and slipped over the side and was lost from sight.

Omega dived into the roiling waters, propelled as if he were a human spear.  He'd dive deep, come up for air, dive again, again, and again, coming up for air.  Still he came up empty.  Marcus was in the sea.  Omega couldn't find him.

Finally, he hauled himself on board of the little boat.   Sputtering and wheezing sea water, Omega said this, "I think  I saw the green dragon down there.  I didn't see Tim, though, and I didn't see Marcus.  I probably couldn't have held on to the green dragon, even if I could have caught him.  Two lost kids.  Gotta find them."