A Throne In The Heavens…

“Kassie, I’ve never wanted anyone as much as I want you. I’ve never cared for anyone as much as I care for you. We are here to stay. We only have each other. Fate has brought us together for a reason.”

“I don’t believe we are here to stay Alex. Somehow, we will get back to where we came from when “they” realize I don’t want to be here.”

“Kassie, what if that never happens? You heard what The Venerable told us the very first day we were here. He said that NO ONE ever left. They all died here. All of his predecessors died here. What makes you think you will be the first one to be able to leave?”

“Are you going to give up so easily?”

Continue reading “A Throne In The Heavens…”

The Heavenly Vision…

After the departure of the indigent delegation, everyone returned to their own objectives. The Venerable busied himself in the cabin. Farmer Sal returned to the area on the back side of the homestead where the garden was situated, just outside the fencing. Alex brought the filly into the specially constructed corral he had set up for the big black stallion. Kassie brought her newly received gifts into her lean to.

After a while, Alex returned to the front of his tent to retrieve some tools. As he was doing so, he heard Kassie’s voice.

“Well, how do I look?”

Continue reading “The Heavenly Vision…”

El Jefe Pays Tribute…

Sooner than expected, a small band of the indigents, led by El Jefe showed up at the homestead. They were greeted by The Venerable.

“I have gifts for the new off-worlders”,  announced El Jefe.

“Let me call them”, responded The Venerable. He summoned the othe 3 who were on the othe side of the homestead.

Greetings were exchanged all around and El Jefe was introduced to Farmer Sal. They relayed his exciting entry into his world.

“Hmmm…” mused El Jefe. “The appearance of the T-Rex at this time does not bode well. The creatures do not normally egress from their home area. Something must have disturbed them. It will probably not be the only creature that will beset us. And some are even more terrible and less destructible than the T-Rexes. We should all be on high alert from now on.”

“You are unfortunately correct in your supposition El Jefe. Hopefully, this new incursion will not last too long, and will not involve too many of those creatures.”

“Let me tell you why I came”, interjected El Jefe. “You ordered clothing for the Lovely Young Lady that stole my heart. I wish to regale her with a gift of them to her as a token of homage and my deepest respect.” His head bowed as he said this.

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Farmer Sal…

Before leaving the homestead, Alex added his bow and arrows to his armaments. He and Kassie then began their walk by striking out towards the perimeter of the field on the west side. They would have the warming morning sun shining on them. Alex had them alternate their pace every few hundred yards or so. They had traveled roughly a mile in the southerly direction. Alex then had then turn east towards the woods on the opposite perimeter. That was the side of the woods from which they originated when they came out of the fog. Once they reached that edge of the woods, they turned back north in the direction of the homestead.

“Oh good. We’re finally going back home.”

“Yes. This was a nice warm up for today. But, when we go back, we will begin with some weapons training.”

“Not before I have some breakfast. I am starving.”

“Yes, this exercise will work wonders for your appetite.”

“Helllppp”…  “Somebody help me.”

Those cries came from within the woods. They were followed by the crackling of branches. Darting out of the woods, with a behemoth following close at  his heels was a man in dread panic.

“Oh my God,” cried out Kassie. “It’s Farmer Sal.”

Continue reading “Farmer Sal…”

Training Kassie…

At the very crack of dawn the next morning, Alex sprang out of his sleeping bag and after a few minutes stepped out of his tent. He walked the few steps over to the lean to and called out to Kassie.

“Get up sleepy head. Time to start our day.”

“Y A W N… Go away. I want to sleep some more.”

“Either you get up and come out on your own, or I will come in and carry you out.”

“You wouldn’t dare.”

“Kassie… Now!”

“Y A W N…  All right, all right. Give me a couple of minutes.”

“I’ll be waiting.”

Continue reading “Training Kassie…”

Returning From The Village…

Alex led the big black stallion as they returned from the village to the homestead. He had offered the opportunity to ride back to both The Venerable and to Kassie. They each declined. As much as he dearly wanted to ride this magnificent horse, he chose not to a this time.

They arrived at the homestead without further incident. The day had been long, very tiring, and certainly very eventful. It was nearing sunset. They repaired to the cabin where The Venerable prepared a hearty meal.

“you made quite a stir Kassie. If not for Alex, right now you would be ‘Mrs. El Jefe’. How do you feel about that?”

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The Challenge

“I challenge you for her. We will combat, to the death.”

“That’s crazy. I’m not going to fight you.”

“Oh Alex, I told you to be wary of him. You have no choice. He will invade our homestead and take her by force anyway.” Moaned The Venerable.

Alex eyed his opponent more critically now. El Jefe was young, well built, strong looking, and a bit taller than Alex. This was not going to be easy. And, it might end in his death. He had to figure a way out of this, and quickly.

El Jefe picked up his axe and his shield. Alex had his shield also. He picked up his spear. He felt that would give him the best advantage in this situation. He could always resort to his wooden sword that was ensconced in his shield if need be. And, he could always resort to the two hunting knives on his belt in an emergency. The two men squared off.

The Venerable drew Kassie off to the side. The commotion had attracted a crowd of spectators. Many were cheering for El Jefe. A few malcontents were cheering “for the new guy”!

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El Jefe

Alex walked over to where there were a few horses fenced in. He now looked at them more closely. He perceived that there must have been at least some Arabian blood in those horses. They had an anvil shaped head, arched neck, and tail held high as they pranced around like precision ballerinas. They were all beautiful examples of horses.

“Do you like them?” a strong, vibrant voice reached from behind him.

Alex, in a trance from staring at the horses, did not hear someone coming up from behind him and was startled. He spun around. Standing before him, was a tall, about 6’ 2”, muscular presence. Behind him was the most majestic looking black stallion he had ever seen. It certainly looked like a fiery Arabian.

“Yes, they are magnificent. And yours is beyond belief. I have never seen one so beautiful, so noble looking.” Alex said. He longed to reach out and touch this beautiful animal.

“My name is Alex”

“My people call me El Jefe,”

Continue reading “El Jefe”

The Village

I can see that the first thing I’m going to have to build you is a small cart. If we are going to do much trading, we’re going to need something to make this easier. And, we may also need a convenient beast of burden. You know, something other than me.”

That elicited a few chuckles from The Venerable.  He replied, “For the most part Alex, the traders would come by with their wares based on their knowledge of my needs and preferences. They have horse driven carts, or sometimes the wares were just on pack horses.”

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The Offer…

The Venerable came upon them as they were organizing the gear they had retrieved. “Ah, I see you have returned in one piece. I see you have set yourself up to stay.”

“Yes Venerable. I’m hoping that we can impose just a bit longer on your hospitality until we get our bearings and decide best what to do. If it was just me, I could just find myself a nice place in the woods and survive with some hunting and trapping. But, with Kassie here, I can’t just take off on my own. She has not yet accepted that she is here to stay.”

“Well Alex, and you too young lady, I have a proposition for you. I do know the area. I do have the facilities, such as they are, I do have a fruitful garden. I have all the comforts of home, again such as it is. But, I am not getting any younger.”

“I’ve taken a liking to both of you. I would gladly extend my hospitality to you if you would agree to stay on my homestead and be of some help to me. You could still do your hunting and trapping if you wished Alex, and use this as your home base. You could have the best of both situations.”

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Facing Reality…

Alex woke up just after sunrise. He gathered his bed roll and cleaned up after himself. He assumed that Kassie was still asleep since he didn’t hear any movement from within the lean to. He was about to walk towards the creek to wash up when The Venerable greeted him.

“Oh, good morning Venerable, you’re up quite early.”

“As are you Alex.”

“I have to confess that I am starving. I wish I had purchased some organic coffee beans yesterday, but I didn’t need them at home since I still had an ample supply. I don’t suppose you have any local coffee here in this fairyland?”

“Sorry Alex, no. That’s another delicacy I’ve had to do without. But I do have a nice variety of herbal teas you might like.”

“Y A W N N N… What’s for breakfast?” a sweet melodic voice chirped forth.

“Ahhh… Good morning young lady. How did you sleep? Comfortably I trust?”

“Yes, thank you Venerable. The accommodations were just fine. After the day we had yesterday, it didn’t take much to make me fall asleep.”

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Return Of The ISIS Lecher

The tall, lanky ISIS lecher had backed up his SUV as fast as it would go to make sure he got away from that madman that had just dispatched 3 of his men. He needed time to think. The rage filled within him. He not only lost the opportunity to overwhelm that beautiful girl after whom he had been lusting for quite some time, but he lost a confrontation he should easily have won, considering it was 4 against one! He did not like losing. He will seek his revenge on both of those two. Him for killing his associates. Her, because he badly wanted her! He will not let her go now that she was close within his grasp.

ISIS backed up into a side street out of site from those 2 to plan his next move. They are apparently not fixing the flat, and apparently, he is going to take her home. ISIS planned to follow them at a discrete distance.

He began to follow them. As he turned a corner, he noticed them ahead of him quite away, but he also noticed a thick descending fog. He saw the fog engulf them. He slowed down so as not to rear end them. And before he knew it, he too was engulfed by the same thick soup such that he could no longer see the road in front him. Before he could think of what to do next, he felt his car lurch to a sudden stop and realized the engine had died. He tried to restart, but there was no life in the car. Now what was he going to do? As he was trying to ponder his next move, the fog began to lift. What ISIS saw now made his previous problems seem pale by comparison!

As ISIS looked at his surroundings, he saw no roads, no houses. He saw woods to one side, and foothills on the other. It was as if he had been transported to another world. ISIS exited his SUV with scimitar in hand. Everywhere he looked, it was the same, woods on one side and foothills on the other, as far as the eye could see. But there must be some humanity somewhere. He would climb to a higher view to get a better perspective of his surroundings. He must find something!

Oh Paradise… You Belong To Me…

Before turning into his bed roll for the night, Alex took stock of his environment and situation. It was a beautiful moonlit night punctuated by a canopy of stars. Such a sight would not be seen back home with all the visual “noise” created by modern society. Here, there was just the light of nature. He recalled the beautiful woods, spectacular countryside and panorama of the mountains beyond that he had seen earlier that day. Yes, this was truly an “Eden”, a paradise.

As he breathed in the crisp fresh air, he was reminded of the aria, “Mi Batte Il Cor – O Paradiso” (My Heart Beats – Oh Paradise). The music and lyrics started playing in his head. And as it did he thought out loud, “I did not ask to come here. But since you brought me here, whomever you are, I am going to make this paradise my own. I will own you. This new world will belong to me! This world will belong to ME!

Alex makes peace with his situation. He learned a long, long time ago that to waste time agonizing over something you can’t do anything about is very counterproductive and a waste of good energy. He would keep himself alert to any possibility of escape back to his old world. But, if what The Venerable said was true, and no one ever made it back, then he was going to put his efforts into acclimating to the situation at hand and make a new, meaningful and sustainable life for himself. Very high on that list of priorities was to get Kassie to warm up to him.

With that pleasant thought, Alex finally bedded down and fell into a deep sleep.

First Meal, First Night…

Alex asked The Venerable, “Would you mind if I prepared a meal for us with the food stores I had recently purchased earlier this day, especially the frozen shrimp?”

The Venerable replied, “Of course. That would be a good way to introduce you to some of our local wares and customs.”   He then proceeded to show Alex what rudimentary utensils and facilities were available. Alex realized he could make a quick couscous meal with garlic and oil, shrimp, white button  mushrooms and spicy hot peppers. The meal was complete and ready to serve within 15 minutes.

The Venerable had in the meantime broken out some bowls and other personal eating utensils so that the meal could be served and eaten. He also poured 3 goblets worth of “local wine”. The three of them toasted to the newly formed friendship.  They then supped eagerly to the tasty meal prepared by Alex.

“Alex, this is very good”, offered Kassie. “And Venerable, this wine tastes very good and heart warming”, she added with a grateful smile.

Continue reading “First Meal, First Night…”

The Venerable…

Alex got out of the cab of his truck. He told Kassie, “You stay here in the cab while I look around”…

Kassie immediately got out of the cab and went around to where Alex was…

“Which part of ‘stay in the cab didn’t you understand?”, he asked her.

“I’m not staying in there alone”, she fired back defiantly.

“Ok then. But stay close”, Alex said. He then girted himself with a pair of 12 inch hunting/survival knives which he kept on an old style garrison belt.

“What are those for?”, she asked. He replied with, “We have no way of knowing who or what is out here. We don’t even know where ‘here’ is!” Continue reading “The Venerable…”

Cold Hands, Beautiful Eyes…

So there they were, Alex and Kassie in his truck cab engulfed by a thick impenetrable fog..  Fortunately, enough light shone thru so that they could still see each other and not be totally in the dark…

Kassie said with a tremor barely noticeable in her voice, “My heart is still pounding from before and my hands are still shaking. I wasn’t aware of it while they were chasing me, and you were battling with them, but now that it’s all over. I can feel the effects…  My hands feel cold”…  As she was saying this, she had extended her hands before her as if to look at them…

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Into The Fog…

Alex quickly assesses the situation. He felt he could not, and should not, hang around to change the flat tire.  He did not know if the tall ISIS clad stranger would return for a rematch with reinforcements. And, he feared for the fair maiden’s safety…

Alex looked up at her and said, “we have to get you home to safety quickly. There is no telling if or when that guy will return…  And he may come back and bring a lot more friends.”…

“But we can’t just leave my truck here”, she complained.. Alex replied with, “I will take care of it once I get you home. I can’t worry both about you and the car!”…  “Do you live far from here?” he asked. “No, I live just a few blocks away”…  “Great, get in my truck, give me directions, and I’ll drop you off.”…  He then added, “In the meantime, you can notify the authorities and give them the details.  I’m sure that nothing will come of it, but it’s always better to play by their rules”… Continue reading “Into The Fog…”

A Knight Without Armor…

Kassie wrapped up her day at work and hurried to her truck… She sped off eager to get home so she could take care of some personal issues…  As she was driving towards home, she felt that the truck rode a bit differently… She finally got onto Cuba Hill Road and realized one of her tires must be going flat… Even though she was now only a few blocks from home, she felt the urge to check…  She was impetuous that way…  Kassie impatiently pulled over to the side…  When she stopped, there was a tree directly in front of her and one to the side…  She got out to check…  As she suspected, her rear left tire was pretty much on its way to being a pancake…!!!  😊

Now, she was fuming… What else had this day in store for her…  As she kicked that forlorn tire in disgust, she noticed a black SUV approach her truck slowly…  Ahhh, she thought, someone to help me change my tire…  As she looked hopefully in that direction, 4 doors opened almost simultaneously and from each popped a black garbed man with a scimitar in his hand…  The one from behind the wheel was quite tall and Kassie recognized him as the “coffee lecher”…!!! 😊

Kassie screamed in a panic and bolted for the open door of her truck…!!!  🙂

Alex was doing his regular shopping at the organic poultry and vegetable farm on Cuba Hill Rd where he bought most of his organic produce… Besides his usual fresh fruits and vegetables, he needed to restock on couscous, chick peas, a variety of beans, and his favorite, angel hair pasta…  He also picked up a couple of bags of sustainably caught frozen shrimp…  One of his favorite quick go-to meals was garlic and oil, button mushrooms, hot peppers and shrimp poured over ‘al dente’ angel hair pasta…!!!  Now he made sure he had all the ingredients…!!!  😊

Alex paid the bill and loaded up his mini truck… He drove out of the parking lot and onto the street and made it to the corner just in time to catch the red light…  He stopped, his foot steady on the brake…  His mind began to wander…  His eyes caught a commotion as he heard a panicked scream about a block down the road…  On the opposite side of the road, a girl was running into a car…  There were 4 men dressed in ISIS black garb boldly brandishing scimitars in broad daylight advancing towards the truck she was in…!!!  They surrounded the car making sure she could not escape…!!! 😊)

Ignoring the red light, Alex gunned his engine muttering under his breath, “This is a good day to die!”  He pulled over several yards from them… Alex got out and pulled back the covering tarp and retrieved his home made shield, sword and spear… He faced in the direction of his soon to be opponents who thus far had ignored him…  After all, there were 4 of them, what did they have to fear…???  To gain their attention, he banged his spear on his shield similar to the way the warriors of old would do…  Boom, Boom, Bam…  Boom, Boom, Bam… Boom, Boom, Bam…  It was the background beat of “We Will Rock You” by Queen…  Alex always had background music going on in his head…  It lifted his spirits…  And he would need all the spirit he could muster with this fight…  And, if he survived, he was sure that “We Are The Champions” would next resound in his head…!!!  Alex got their attention…  They gathered and lined up together 4 abreast…!!!  The tall lanky one was on the left side of the line…!!!  😊 Continue reading “A Knight Without Armor…”

Kassie Helps Farmer Sal…

Kassie’s part time job was at a ceramic studio not too far from home… People who wanted to make ceramic pots, ash trays, and other clay objects, would come here to learn and to pass the time away being, or trying to be, creative…  Although she herself was learning how to, it was her job to help the student/clients in their efforts and ultimately, to fire up their finished product in the kiln…  Of course, cleaning up after everyone was done for the day was also part of her many tasks…  😊

One such client was someone she called “Farmer Sal”…  He was an organic gardener who gifted her with some of his home grown tomatoes, potatoes and other veggies…  Farmer Sal was a much better gardener than he was a clay potter however…  Nonetheless, he was tentatively attempting to fashion some Ollas…  😊

Ollas were unglazed clay pots used for irrigation since ancient times… The pots had a narrow neck and were buried into the ground up to their neck…  They would be buried near the plants, and when filled with water, the water would seep out slowly through the unglazed sides of the pots and bring irrigation to the plant’s roots…  This method saved time and water usage…!!!  😊 Continue reading “Kassie Helps Farmer Sal…”

Kiss It… Kiss It…

Kassie was still fuming from the incident with that lecherous groper… And to make matters worse, she would now have to go many long hours without her favorite beverage… well, her coffee anyway…!!! 😊)

And bad enough being late for work, she was now catching all the red traffic lights…  This was going to make a short trip anything but short…  She turned on the radio and caught the tail end of one of her favorite songs, “Love Bites” from Def Leppard… The dreary news came on right after that…  😊

The newscaster was reporting that…  “What is this guy doing?” She groaned out loud…  “He’s coming right up to my bumper. Go on. Kiss it. Kiss it.”…  The car behind her stopped just short of running into the hitch she had on the truck’s rear end…  She loved that hitch…  It was a punisher for those that got too close…  She herself had smashed her shins into it at least 3 times in the past…  And, yes it hurt…!!!  😊 Continue reading “Kiss It… Kiss It…”