Print Friendly, PDF & Email
transparent

Dawn voyage

(The Library, Eternity)  

Rising into the early morning, the ship gained speed as it passed through the atmosphere like a needle through fabric. Hatty, gripping 3’s hand tightly, felt uncomfortable while sitting in her chair. Everything tensed in her body, as if bracing herself against some unseen force, much like people do just before they’re about to drop from the very top of a roller coaster.

Michael, on the other hand, still concentrated on his grapes, hardly noticing anything at all. Savoring each one individually, his jaw line flexed slightly on his youthful face, smooth and unblemished by his many years.

Transparent

3, sensing his lover’s unease, looked over saying, “Dear, this is perfectly safe. The Librarian has everything under control, and we will be there soon.”

Smiling weakly, Hatty nodded. That is until she saw everything around her, include 3, begin to disappear. Stretching out her free hand in front of her face, it began to fade, too! Feeling herself de-materialize she exclaimed, “Oh… my… God! 3!” she cried, panicking, gripping his hand tighter and tighter to make sure it was there. Then, just when she could see clear through herself, she slowly became solid again.

3, feeling the force of her grip said, “It’s okay Hatty, we’re here.”

You should have warned her

“Michael leaned over from his chair, having finished his last grape, saying, “I said you should have warned her.”

3, calm as ever replied, “According to my calculations, she would have been twice as nervous for much longer than she was.”

Hatty, face flushed and quite irritated, said, “Yes, of course I would have wanted to know! I’m not a baby!” Michael raised his eyebrows as 3 looked perplexed.

Gliding down through the atmosphere without a sound, the ship came to rest on a vast expanse of green. “Welcome to the Library, please watch your step,” the disembodied voice said. The door, materializing again in the side of the ship as they stood, revealed a sky filled with billowy clouds and a distinct silver tint. As they walked down the gangway, it’s lip lay upon a carpet of shortly cropped grass. Trees of all shapes and sizes dotted the landscape in an orderly manner as their vessel hovered a few feet above the ground.

A short distance away a woman, tall and regal, smiled and welcomed them as she approached. Her face, a classic beauty, radiated confidence through her large brown eyes. Hair falling around her shoulders in a marvelous curling manner, she walk with great poise. Following her trailed a bevy of young woman attendants, also lightly draped, smiling warmly.

Are you the Librarian?

“We are honored by your visit,” the woman said bowing slightly, and then requested, “Please remove your shoes and weapons, we will return them upon your departure.” Nodding, Michael, unstrapped his sword, handing it over along with his dagger. 3, offering his abacus, gave it to one of the young attendants.

Hatty, glancing questioningly at 3, felt reassured when he said, “It’s okay Dear, this is holy ground.” Obediently, the slight woman unstrapped the blunderbuss, three throwing knives, and reload bag filled with extra ammunition, handing them over along with her boots and socks.

Looking at the stately woman, Hatty asked, “Are you the Librarian?”

Surprised and blushing the woman replied, “Oh, gracious no, I’m just a servant of Her Majesty.”

Hatty, thought to herself, “Wow, who is this person we are about to meet?”

A Taste for paisley

“Tea, we must have tea! Hurry, hurry, they’re almost here!” the excited lady said as she arranged the pillows on multiple paisley print divans. Smiling broadly to herself, she picked out a small book from between the cushions. Turning around to one of the attendants she asked, “How do I look?”

Surveying her with a critical eye the attendant said, “Just a second,” as she picked a piece of lint from her dress, then assured, “Perfect!’

“I’m so excited!” the silver-haired woman exclaimed, shooing everyone out of the room as she placed herself near the entrance and waited expectantly.

Beads

(Lakota Tribe, Montana Territory, 1876)

After the new moon, Bren, Wichapi, and a cousin of Running Bear prepared for the naming ceremony later that evening. Though it was almost a month later, it seemed like barely enough time to organize their dresses, the food, and everything else that made up one of the Lakota’s most sacred events. For Bren it was a double honor, for Running Bear would also officially adopt her into his tribe.

Having made part of her dress herself, Bren felt very pleased with the results. Many women from their circle of friends donated beads and other trinkets that, when sewn together, formed a beautiful blue mantel on her buckskin dress.

As they sat sewing their beads one day shortly after Running Bear gave his consent, Wichapi said, “What does your hat do?”

Bren, having trouble getting the small blue beads to line up just right, said, “Well, I really don’t know exactly, all I know is when it is time for me to leave, a blue feather appears in my hand. When I place it in my hat, I travel. That is how I came here. I never know where or when I will be, I have no control over it,” she finished.

An odd fellow

A few days later, Wichapi asked again, “So the hat saved you from being hanged?”

Thinking for a moment, Bren said, “No, not really. I think the man who gave it to me saved me from the gallows. He was an awfully odd fellow though, much too happy given my circumstance.”

“What did he look like?” Wichapi asked, curiosity piqued.

Thinking back to the day she met Traveler, she tried to recollect his face clearly. Though she had been extremely ill at the time, she could see him smiling at her, Seraph Hunter hat in hand, as if it was yesterday. “Well, he was dressed handsomely. Curly hair and a short beard…nice smile.”

“I don’t like beards on white men,” Wichapi inserted, “it must be like nuzzling your dog when you kiss them.”

Giggling, Bren said, “I know, I do not like them much either, yet on him it was kind of cute.”

Eyeing Bren, Wichapi said, “Do you want him to make you his wife?”

Bren, suddenly embarrassed, with warmth rising in her cheeks, felt flustered and at a loss for words. “What? Nooo! Stop it, Chapi! He was just kind to me and helped me out of a very bad situation, that’s all.” Still eyeing her, the Indian maiden noticed how red her cheeks were as she looked down.

Shoo fly

Later on that week, the two friends sat working on their dresses as a horse-fly buzzed around their faces. “Ouch!” Bren said as it landed on her arm and bit her. Swatting it away, it continued to plague them both until Chapi took a flat cooking stick and became very still. The fly continued to buzz around Bren, looking for a susceptible patch of flesh to target. Finally, after being brushed away from Bren several times, it tired, landing on a nearby blanket.

Like lightning, Wichapi struck, squashing the fly with one savage blow. Then again. Then again, and again – striking the remnants of the defeated bug until the wooden paddle broke in two. Bren, at first pleased, then concerned for her friend, said, “Chapi!” as she got up to lay her hands on her half-crazed friend. Wichapi, eyes wild, breathing hard, looked up at Bren’s concerned face as she reminded her, “Chapi…calm down, it’s only a fly.”

All the books

(The Library, Eternity)  

Approaching the Library, Hatty marveled at it’s beauty. Almost the color of the ship, it stood immense and stately before them. Unlike Elysia, where the buildings, courtyards and everything else co-existed with a profusion of green plants, here it was only the Library and nothing else. The women who greeted them at first, along with the other attendants, led the way into the Great Hall after two doors, ornately decorated, opened for them by themselves. “Please,” the brown eyed woman said, motioning to three women with wash bowls and towels kneeling on the floor. Hatty, remembering having her feet washed long before, thought it a nice touch. Afterwards, progressing with clean feel into the Great Hallway, though austere, the stone felt warm to Hatty’s bare feet as they walked.

A hush fell over the place as the last chatter of the attendants died out. 3 calculated the volume of the chamber as Michael fidgeted with his belt, adjusting it just so. A door opened slowly to their side and…”Welcome! Welcome!” a tall woman, dressed in a top hat and carrying a book, said profusely. Handing the volume down to an attendant, she came and hugged each one warmly. “I am so very, very glad you came! Thank you all so much! Come, come, don’t be shy, we have a lot to take about!”

I’m so glad you’re here!

Stunned and speechless, Hatty followed as the silver-grey haired woman in a Seraph Hunter hat led them all into a lovely sitting room, complete with paisley divans and a tea set already arranged for them. “Hello Michael! You’re looking handsome as ever! And 3, how long has it been? Over two millennia I think! You look dashing as ever, too! And, oh! This must be Hatshepsut! Just look at you dear!” Looking back at 3 and winking she added, “I can see why you love her, she’s just a doll! You know, we get so few visitors here I was so excited when I heard you were coming.” Looking over at Michael, she inquired, “How is Dove? Is she well?”

Michael said, “Yes, of course.”

“How goes the other realms? I do hope everything is fine, even though I hear things, you know. Tell me everything, absolutely everything!” She said as she poured them all a cup of very fine tea. 3, to his analytical best, filled her in on the state of each of the realms, as the woman exclaimed intermittently, “You don’t say? Oh, my!” and “No! Really?”

Then 3 took the Book of Abel from his pouch and, handing to her, said, “Thank you for letting me borrow this, it was very helpful.”

Hatty, having barely spoken, suddenly burst out, “You’re the Librarian!”

“Well of course, dear! Who else would I be?”

The sacred naming ceremony

(Lakota Tribe, Montana Territory, 1876)

As the braves brought wood to fuel the fire in the middle of the sacred ground, Bren, Wichapi, and Matoaka (Chapi’s relative) prayed quietly inside the the prayer circle. Running Bear and the four elders who stood as witnesses of the naming, prayed too, asking for wisdom and understanding from Wakan Tanka to guide them.

Bren, like a nun about to enter a convent, felt deeply spiritual at the moment, peace and serenity flooding her soul. Wichapi stood with her, holding her hand warmly, but quiet in her spirit and body.

As if on some unseen queue, everyone stopped praying. The light of the fire danced on their faces as it crackled in the night. Running Bear stepped forward, laying both hands on Bren’s shoulders, looking deep into her eyes. Far from being uncomfortable, she looked back at him, baring her soul without reserve. Satisfied, their chief formally adopted Brenzel into the Lakota tribe as everyone voiced their approval loudly.

Soaring Eagle

Then, the Lakota Chief spoke first with Matoaka, saying how the Great Spirit showed him her new name in a vision as he prayed by a winding brook. In that vision, he soared above the clouds, seeing far and wide with great clarity. Describing her nature at length perfectly, afterwards the wise leader said, “Your name is Flying Eagle,” to which everyone whooped and yipped in approval.

Wind Dancer

Next he came to Wichapi, smiling with kind eyes at his beloved daughter. He explained how her name had been difficult to find and it took long to understand what it was. Finally, as he almost disparaged of ever understanding the will of the Great Spirit, in a flash of insight, her name came to him. Smiling broadly, he said, “Your name is Wind Dancer,” as a chorus of voices rose to a shrill greeting their sister with open hearts.

At last, it came time for Bren to be named. Belly flip flopping, flowing with the emotion of the moment, she stood expectantly. Running Bear, solemn and weighty said, “Your name was the most difficult of all to find. Many sacred animals came to speak to me and shared their wisdom. I listened to them all and sought to understand their voice. Yet, as I stilled myself before Wakan Tanka, your name played and danced just beyond my sight.”

What?

He fell quiet, pausing as if lost deep in thought. In the silence, crackling flames rose with sparks flying up into the heavens. Not a person dared make a sound. Then, the great chief said, “Finally, two Great Spirits came to me at last, speaking of who you are. One was white as the winter snow, having great medicine. The other, powerful and determined. Finally, my heart understood and I knew your new name.” Again, a dramatic pause. “Among our people you will be called: Mato Hitankasan,” as everyone erupted in joyous agreement.

Bren opened her eyes, saying “What?” sure she had heard incorrectly. The old chief repeated, with great feeling, as he spread his arms wide saying: “Weasel Bear!”

SEOIB.