General Fiction posted March 12, 2019 Chapters:  ...3 4 -5- 6... 

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Zody is rescued from his fall from the butte.

A chapter in the book The Beginning of Beginning

Buzzards and hazards of the desert

by Randa Dayle

How did life begin? Not on Earth, but the first of all beings. This is a the story of the first of mankind, and the planet Avowal where life began.

“Zody! I need your help!” Grandmama Jogee pleads desperately.

“Hey!” a gentle hand on his shoulder shakes. “Hey, you ugly bean pole are you alive?”

“Are you the grandson of Grandmama Jogee?” A beautiful young lady with a sly, bashful smile asks him seductively.

Zody groans, and tries to move. “Easy there. Let me help you roll on to your back. Do you think you have any broken bones?” the fuzzy voice outside his head says.

“I can help you find the truth,” say a pair of dark brown, wide-set eyes, with long lashes.

“I can’t believe you are alive!” the voice is becoming more recognizable to him. “How did you fall bean pole, I mean don’t you go up there every day? Here let me wipe the dried blood from your nose and mouth.” Zody knew who was talking now, Chesney one of the goat herders boys. “Douglas went for help, but I thought I better stay and keep the buzzards away from you.”

Grunting, Zody sits up. “What?” he mumbles. “Water.”

“That’s how we found you,” Chesney continues, as he helps him to take a drink. Zody takes a long refreshing swallow and then takes a swig to swish around is bloodied and parched mouth, after spitting it out, he sits with his head between his knees. “We saw the buzzards circling overhead and thought that ole coyote had killed a few kids for breakfast and left parts of their carcasses for the scavengers, so we came down to look. Imagine how surprised we were to see your crumpled frame lying there.”

“Thanks,” he says as he hands the canteen back to him.

“Yeah, yeah, I can’t believe you survived that fall.” Cautiously he helps Zody stand. “You sure you want to walk? Douglas should have help here soon.”

“Let’s walk,” he hoarsely whispers as he wraps his arm around Chesney’s neck and gingerly takes a few steps. “Nothing is broken and I want to go home.”

It took longer than normal for Chesney to get Zody to his room, but now that he is there in his own bed and resting peacefully, he is very grateful to be there. He is also happy to be clean and fed. Douglas had practically brought the entire junction with him and the elders had insisted on checking him over from head to toe. The people from different parts of the junction had brought him beans, and bread, which had been very satisfying for him eat the traditional food he had grown up with.

He was surprised to learn that he had been laying there unconscious for over a day. Thinking to himself he tries to remember the flashes of what he would call visions. “What were they?” he mutters. He will ponder about them in the morning, and he will be thankful for the buzzards from now he concludes, as he falls into a deep sleep.

Waking with a start he feels his heart pounding rapidly in his chest, calming himself, by taking a few deep breaths, he begins to listen. Could he really have heard Grandmama Jogee call out his name? He was sure he had. Suddenly with a wave of nauseousness, he remembers part of his dream. She needs help. I need to help her. Frantically he dresses and then stops cold, as he remembers that she had been worried about her heartstones.

Running frantically he enters her room which has been untouched since she had been gathered. Scanning the sparse room he thinks, if I was Grandmama Jogee where would I keep the sacred heartstones of the people, he had only seen them occasionally in a special pouch she wore. One of the services Grandmama Jogee provided to the people of the Redlands Junction, in her role as memorialist, was to endow each newborn with their own unique heartstone, which each person then wears directly over their heart until their journey on Avowal is over.

“The heartstones are very important. Grandson, are you listening with your ears, or are my words running out into space?” That was Zody’s clue to pay attention, and so he would look at her more earnestly. “See how pure and clear they are? When we make bad choices they darken and lose their brightness, they even can become cloudy and lose their sparkle, when we do not do what we know we should.”

“Remember that Qwill will gather all those who keep their heartstones pure. The people who make choices that pollute their heartstones, and then do not make them pure again by performing the cleansing rituals, will lose the glorious reward waiting for them with the Crowned Heads in the Prism. Those with the impure heartstones will be cast out and imprisoned with Pyna and Vett, in the dungeon inside Mount Effulgent”

Grandmama Jogee’s small twin bed in the corner of the room looks lonely, with her homemade quilt folded neatly at the bottom of it, and a single pillow at the top. The sparse room contains a dresser, a rug, a window with a sheer red curtain, a small closet, and an ancient ceremonial dress with intricate beading, and bells that he had never seen off of the wall. He notices a few wooden boxes under her bed, and he checks those first. Next, he feels under the mattress, crushes the pillow with his hands, removes the handwoven rug to look for loose floorboards. Carefully he runs his hand over the window pane, pulls out the dresser drawers, and checks their undersides, and thoroughly looks through the closet. Slowly and deliberately he stands on her bed and examines the ceiling for any sign of a secret compartment, but finds nothing.  

Remembering her precious handmade blanket and spreads it carefully out on the floor, and looks at the detail of each beautifully crafted square. Grandmama Jogee had shown him this blanket once and explained to him how it told the story of how the Crowned Heads and this planet were created.

Somewhere in the vast nothingness of space, a mighty explosion occurred. The explosion created a lilliputian of colored particles that brightened the darkness that completely surrounded them. The particles combined together to make each color more vibrant and spirited. As the particles amplified and grew larger they become an intelligence. The bits of intelligence, in turn, became the Crowned Heads and created the lovely Prism as their home. In the Prism, they generated more of these tiny particles and helped them to turn into intelligences. The Crowned Heads knew that these intelligences would want a home for them to have experiences on, a place for them to grow and to choose whether or not they would want to return to the Prism to live with them, and so they created our home Avowal. To help us learn what we needed to do in order to return back to the Prism, they gave us the heartstones to wear as a guiding beacon.

As he begins to fold the cherished blanket he feels something in the edging and notices a long loose thread, being curious he pulls it, and to his surprise, the stitching easily comes out. As the seam unfolds he discovers the perfect, unblemished heartstones, that Grandmama Jogee has been urging him to find. Suddenly his mission becomes clear. He must return these sacred stones to the sorting column, next to Mount Effulgent. The unblemished stones will go directly to the Prism, to become warriors for Qwill to fight in the final battle with Pyna and Vett. He has heard rumors of the treachery that can happen if this is not taken care of quickly, and he does not want to be responsible for allowing them to fall into the wrong hands.

Slipping off his cowboy boots, he tugs at the heels until they are off, carefully he carves a pocket in each heel with his buck knife, and fills the hollowed out centers with the unblemished heartstones. After reattaching the heels, he pulls on his boots and walks around the room, happy that he can not feel anything poking the tender undersides of his feet. Running excitedly out of her room he slams the heavy wooden door closed. The sudden slamming causes the ancient ceremonial dress to sway and tumble silently to the floor.

Zody has discovered what he must do. He must take the pure heartstones to the sorting column across many lands, to keep them from the wrong hands.

This is a Young Adult Novel. Age 12 and older.

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