The Works of John Denny

The Worth of Angels

Prologue

He always seemed to look for what was not there on the streets. Standing under the street lamp, a young boy , nine years of age. Unkempt hair askew in different directions and if you looked at him you would think ; when was the last bath he had? Tom was younger than the other kids of the neighborhood who all hung out with each other, thus he would find himself alone quite a bit. So, he used his time in seeking out things that were different in that he could lead his own way without following the older kids. This day found him in washed out blue jeans and a well-worn t-shirt, blue and white striped. It was the winding down of summer and the street lamp with its bent all about look of the dulled sheet metal shielded protecting the light bulb which had drawn a large amount of vastly different moths. Tom thought that he would just lean against the weather stained wood of the telephone pole which was just a good place to hangout while he gathered thoughts. The sultry night air perfumed with the smell of an oiled graveled road and newly mowed lawns swam in the night air. He was thinking of where he could go to, home is always the option. But there was always the thought of continuing to let some of the older kids lead him astray, doing what was not good but weighing that against what they told him they would do, like tell his mother. The stealing was the beginning. The evening had brought moaning winds that seemed to be singing in the night air. It was about eight o’clock in the evening when Tom noticed that the wind suddenly stopped.

He walked out to the middle of the graveled road that was still dusty with the mustiness of oiled gravel that swept to his nostrils. He was contemplating on returning inside to the comfort of his home, when just at that moment a warm wind softly enveloped him, you know, those dusty whirlwinds you see throughout the west. It made him forget all his worry and softly caress him, like a big warm hug. It gently lifted him off the ground then lowered him. He was a little frightened. But all his thoughts seemed to not matter. As he retouched the ground the wind dissipated. That was one strong twister he thought. He ran to the house, embarrassed and not saying a word to his sister, with her short bobbed hair or his brother who was building his model car in the boy’s small bedroom. Mother was in the recreation room watching television on the new Sylvania console.

The next day he went to school as usual on this warm autumn day, within walking distance he strolled with friends kicking their way through the piles of maple leaves that lined the streets. Sitting throughout the normal class schedule like language arts, social studies, and geography which he enjoyed. Sitting there he kept flashing back to the evening before. He skipped ahead in his book as the teacher was discussing the history of Egypt. Tom tried finding anything he could about winds in the desert or other areas or anything that could give him a lead. After school Tom sometimes ignored his chores assigned to him at home or homework and went to wander outside, pre occupied with the thoughts of the previous evening, or go to the woods where he explored and found solitude in an open wooded area where the canopy of the wood was high above the forest floor. Now for a young boy whom may have been troubled with ADHD before they knew what it was, he found calm in nature that surrounded him. He saw traces of Beaver, a Giant Red Squirrel with its fir that was fiery red all but extinct from the Pacific North woods in Seattle, before days of Freeways and Cement roads everywhere. Tom enjoyed nature in all its splendor. It hadn’t always been like this. In previous years Tom had a BB gun and was out roaming the street. He had seen a robin bird, hoisted up his gun, took aim and shot it dead. This created a memory that he hated himself and stayed with him the rest of his days. And he swore to himself never to own a gun or be so lacking in compromising natures ways.

Something had caught Tom’s sight, reaching out, he stooped to the ground at the base of an enormous maple tree, and he brushed away debris on the ground covering a metal plate. It was quite odd indeed, strange writing and symbols upon it. The trunk of the tree had grown a slight bit over the edges of the plate. This was years before the invention of cell phones and television. Thus, he had nothing to capture the image but his mind. He looked a bit past the tree and there before him give or take 60 yards stood a very tall old Victorian home that had been abandoned. Three stories tall it was, he walked up to the stairs and knocked on the door which slowly hinged loose and opened.

As he walked inside he saw old floor carpets in many designs, a couple tapestries on the walls and furniture strung around inside, some broken and some not. With the ceilings upwards of twenty four feet. It was like the people had left in a hurry for whatever reason. The woodworking inside was tremendous, that of a master craftsman in a Victorian style. A spiral staircase circled up to the second floor, made of mahogany wood. All Tom could think is why? Stained glass leaded windows were everywhere. He started walking up the staircase and started hearing a wind type of noise, as if something was talking to him, saying beware! He hesitated. He got to the second story. As he walked past rooms with partial furnishings he came upon one room with a very large mirror in a very odd frame…he felt very irritated as the hair on the back of his neck rose. The mirror seemed to beckon to him. He heeded the winds seemingly good advice and decided to leave.

Mixed Baggage

People meet in different ways, places, under different circumstances. I had often wondered how my parents met. My father George Cheney was from Gunnison Colorado, His father Roy Cheney came from Ireland in the 1800’s , this was before the exploration of space. He was a bareknuckle boxer of the streets of America in the very early years. In later years Roy had left for California, I had always presumed to seek his fortune. He was never heard from again. George, his son and his mother Lena were left in Colorado to fend on their own. Georges step father Joe, whom his mother met was a heavy drinker, for years he would beat George which led to George leaving home at an early age. Alcoholism had separated the family’s history. George found odd jobs, from working in mines of Colorado and on the railroad. When he became 16 he fibbed about his age and joined the Navy. Now at some point he had met our mother, fell in love, and had three children. Then he returned to the Navy and my mother did not wish to take her children away from her family. From the history of his flying with the Navy he was a bombardier over the Midway Islands. His drinking continued through the years. He had become a machinist and worked for a company in Seattle called Gear Works, later he got on with the Boeing Aircraft Company. They had good times and bad times, in earlier years, when he returned from naval duty, he was a heavy drinker and our mother requested a divorce after many mishaps. In later years I had found out that he had an illegitimate Daughter, Jackie by name. He also cut back on his drinking. In the following years he married a god-fearing woman who had three kids from a previous marriage. They made it work and had 3 more children.

Our childhood was a good one with many adventures and it is here that I Tom Domain Chaney started looking back at them on this deep flight in space. My mind is doing this thinking while my body rests in a fog of barium ice crystalline mixed with sleeping gas that does not wreak havoc on the human body, wrapped in N.A.S.A. (National Space and Aeronautical Association), Tarp material resembling a large baby blanket. Cozy sounding huh? I don’t think so. Had to have all my body hair shave off, what the hell…it will grow back. I have no Idea how long we have been in flight. Cannot see anything as the eyes are wrapped and protected as well. When we arrive at the rendezvous point we will be …. Well, de-iced, taken out of suspension flight and our bodies, limbs and sight put into therapy mode to bring us around. Then we will be assigned our pods and flight ships for the final trajectory.

Soon to come to Tom would be the discovery of Sarina , the wind of his existence and of his future. As years past, Tom left school played music for quite awhile on his different guitars he owned through the years. Worked at a night club and found himself becoming immerged within the early cultures of rock and roll. He soon discovered other avenues of life . He decided to join his countries service The Air Force, soon it’s name was changed to the United Worlds Star Craft Program, (U.W.C.P. for short), back in Seattle just after Iran, Iraq, and Pakistan had joined up with them. It was a breath saver for many thousands of people to see that happen. For the Eastern Cultures just could never stop waring over one thing or another…but that’s another story. He soon discovered many programs to become a part of and learn. Then one day, he had the greatest opportunity of all. Volunteering for a space project.

The Way of Trappist 1F

Chapter 1, Earth Date 2049

They say that the senses are an opening for those that cannot see.
I laid motionless breathing, gasping for breath through my nostrils, smelling the slightly acidic and sweet sense of pine and my body aching in pain. I thought I had felt it all by now but this one is for the books. My helmet had broken open at some point during the fall, when I heard the alarm in the cockpit the first thing that came to mind was assess the situation and I had grabbed the closest oxygen/helium mask. After hitting an ice shelf in the fall, it seemed for some reason the onboard instruments read them as atmosphere. This happened I suppose when the parachute jettisoned and blew off from the pod. Nice move Tom, I thought to myself as I laid somewhat motionless. I was raised in a suburb of Seattle Washington in the good ole U.S.A. before there were light gates, (so named for vast wormholes that existed all over the galaxy in that light could not escape but did so little by little in a phenomenon called gating). Yet there was barely any room to move around with the populations of earth growing so quickly and where the buffalo didn’t roam because the statutes on farming them had changed politically, from a roast to a burger, life’s little kitchen changed as well. Born Thomas Domain Chaney and raised in a 3 bedroom house that sat on a small plot of land owned by the banks with one brother and one sister and a single mother who had gotten divorced when I was about six years old. Here i lay ,unshaven with a few months wurth of beard. Knuckles pounding with soreness, swollen yet not ot of the game. I found my calling by studying the great aircraft of years past when I was eight years old and my interest grew throughout the years. Our father had worked many years ago at the Boeing Aircraft Company as his father had done before him at a place called Plant 2. My grandfather use to tell me many stories when I was a child. One of them was when he was young and about 8 or 9 and played with other kids in a WWII aircraft surplus yard with B17 and B24 aircraft fuselages that had been riddled with gun fire and blood stained seats, and two inch thick glass with 50 cal. bullet holes .Well that was his time , this is my time .
I had joined the United Worlds Star Craft Program, (U.W.C.P. for short), back in Seattle just after Iran, Iraq, and Pakistan had joined up with them. It was a breath saver for many thousands of people to see that happen. For the Eastern Cultures just could never stop waring over one thing or another…but that’s another story, people started thinking more of each other and helping each other without derogatory thoughts of stopping the interests of one another and Space exploration become the preoccupation for all. Many other nations had decided to join as well, including Korea, Russia and China who joined in 2020, after years of nuclear threats had been tossed around like a football, thus a new way of living had started, all joining together as one. We all knew the Earth was becoming over populated. They shipped me off to California for basic training, then to N.A.S.A for indoctrination and I eventually found my way to Arizona where the program had its headquarters and Base for launching and further worlds training. We had conquered the moon in 1969, then mars in 2017, and further planets in our solar system in years past. With the new technology systems, breathing and coverage apparatus used and tweaked through the years had given me the chances needed, as I had learned a lot….
In the year 2015 a set of 3 exoplanets had been discovered some 39.6 light years from our Sun with a Red dwarf star the size of Jupiter but much more massive . In 2017 five more planets in its orbit became known as well. It had become known as the Trappist system in the constellation of Aquarius. Trappist -1 being an ultra-cool red dwarf star, B, C, D,E, F, G and H were the other exo-planets orbiting this Star. Plant E , F and G had the most likelihood of supporting life as we knew it. And being whom I am and what I do for a living I smartly volunteered in 2023. I believed and knew that it was a very long term assignment and would take me into my older years. Now in what world does a smart serviceman volunteer, yea, right?
ALOFT
Luck is just a single word, I seemed to use it a lot lately. I had qualified for the Trappist rendezvous voyage. The science of U.W.C.P. had figured out the secrets of using the light gates, and escaping their grasp to get where they wanted to go, the Trappist System; something with time warps and bending time to create warps…way beyond my thinking.
Opening my eyes I had come to realize I was laying in the middle of some old growth forest with a sky of orange with pink and light blue hues high above the canopy of these trees when moments ago I was at work in a factory, storing and issuing parts of our ship. Or was that a dream I had? As I checked my time pad upon my wrist I saw that I had been out cold for a good five to six hours. Last I remembered I was quickly getting my heat suit and helmet on while jumping into the pod and grabbing and pulling the jettison lever of one of the survival pods of the ship that I think is still orbiting this huge planet with seven known other brother and sisters. Blasting down towards the icy cliffs and plains of Trappist 1f, I was extremely hyper, excited and scared all at once. And worried about what was going to happen when I broke through the Ice. Yes as one would think, this was a very odd predicament or just what the hell had happened.

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Looking up and at what was left of my escape pod, I saw that even with the drill and blast features upon the nose of the pod that it had barely gotten me through the Ice Mantle that thinly surrounded this small planet, visible to astronomers on earth as just cloud cover, unknown to them it was a fairly clear thin mantle of ice. I consider myself very lucky indeed. The H2O/Helium atmosphere was at the levels we suspected, enough for a squeaky frog voice here underneath the mantle where vegetation thrived. I imagine from a combination of light spectrum’s and humidity. Off in the distance I was hearing the sounds of what seemed like the hiss of steam mixed with the sound of bubbles popping.
As I slowly rose to my feet I looked down and saw that my feet were adorned with some kind of sandals and I was decked out in a sticky fuzzy type of shorts made of a foreign substance unknown to me. My trousers were of a leathery fabric of a color that changed as I got up to move and emulated the color of whatever I stood by, like a chameleon skin. I need to get my bearings of where ever I was, so I decided to follow my senses. I started on my way walking towards the sound which I was hearing. Somebody, something else was here as well, how else would, my clothing have been changed.
Slowly pacing myself through this distinctly alien environment passing by ferns the size of apple trees with a fruit of some kind emitting a smell of a cross between cinnamon and thyme but I didn’t want to chance eating it at present. My curiosity had grown such as a child’s wonder of newly found toys. I came upon an expanse in this jungle forest where the light was low from the overhead growth which was towering over me such as the shadows of a tall building would have done. Before me laid a mat of bluish green material that appeared to be like Banana leafs meshed with silky dark green threads with bumps spreading in all directions for about fifty yards or so . The heavy humidity in the area gave off so much water that it was falling from the top of the trees above and hitting this ground cover before me and each drop seemed to hit a bump creating the popping sounds I had been hearing.
I just could not see much at this level through this dense vegetation. I decided to look for the highest advantage point that I could find, thus the trees would have to do. I found one that resembled a very large Oak tree and had acorn type corns hanging off its highest branches, each about a foot long with very pesky squirrels with long fuzzy whiskers and big flat paws with claws for climbing standing guard over their territory. Avoiding a confrontation with them I climbed to the left, higher and higher. Reaching the top I could look out over the valley.
About three or four clicks ahead I saw a cabin sized coned shaped building with what appeared to be a brick or rock chimney pouring smoke out like clouds and a stream moving swiftly along the banks nearby and falling out over the lava like rock formations onto paddle shaped leaves many feet below initiating the loud popping sounds I had been hearing echoing through this valley along with hitting the bumpy mats, I had presumed it to be rain at that moment. But now I had climbed in elevation a couple hundred meters. Tom, you cannot be so presumptuous in this environment I reminded myself.
Climbing down, I lost my footing and fell the last number of feet onto the blue green jungle floor and it buffered my fall like on a strong trampoline which made me think that water may be underneath. Uninjured I raised myself to my feet and headed off in the direction of the cabin. Now most forests that I had experienced through my life always presented their selves well with a scent in the air. From the scent of pine to the acrid smell of decaying vegetation or the musty smell of hazel nut trees, but here in this environment the smells were quite closer to that of an inner tube with a hint of lemon and vanilla, odd indeed.
Off in the distance I could hear the chatter of odd sounds emanating from the expanse of jungle and forest before me. I just started to walk, and walk I did. Over what seemed to be about 4 miles over iced and barren terrains, periodically coming upon very deep etched canyons into this world, some seeming dark and forbidding. I did want to investigate the areas outstretched before me but needed to stay on task. Shelter food and drink, the necessities were a must have. I found a very large fallen tree that was strong looking and long enough to cross the canyon divide. Upon crossing a very sweet odor rose from the deep canyon, very much so like the smell of sweet hyacinths that would normally be crawling and climbing around the entrance door to the old homestead on earth. Muchly missed by this flyboy.
I thought to myself, now this canyon warranted further investigating. The tundra that laid before me was a mixture of woods and meadows with many flowers of many colors. Searching out of my own curiosity, it had the color of a florescent burgundy and its leaves were approximately twelve inches wide by about 14 inches long. Top leaves were soft as velvet while the lower older leaves were soft and sticky to trap any insects I would think, but on this world who knows. I looked ahead and there appeared to be somewhat of a path from a nearby creek that continued on. I cautiously followed it keeping my senses on high alert. Evidently I was being watched, I just had that feeling like you get when you are walking home alone from school going down a path which you had never crossed before. In an instant I was knocked down by a larger species of a dog like I had never seen, it appeared friendly and was licking me like a new born pup. Its tongue was long and slimy, smelled like cinnamon and thyme with a hint of something disgusting. I had pulled my knife out with intentions of violence but upon being licked I felt safe enough. Next a very tall woman was pulling this creature off of me speaking an odd tongue to the dog or whatever it was. The creature had long ears, jagged at the tips, four toes on large footed pads. It had not a tail but about a foot long plume with a dual hard whip like appendage in the middle. The woman spoke to me and said in English, then Spanish, Then what seemed like Portuguese. Please rise, we mean you no harm. Her hair was long and black, her eyes very dark blue. She appeared to be partially Asian. I said to her, what are you Called? Avanette she spoke. How did you know my Language? I took a strike in the dark, she spoke to me. It has been many years since I have encountered another earthling so my accent is not quite what it should be. My mother was from earth, that’s how I learned the language. You are from the earth she asked? I replied, yes in a sense, my parents were. I was born here she spoke, when my parents were part of an earlier settlement group that came here about 30 years ago. I asked, what was the date? She replied , in earth time it would be somewhere about October of 2049.

Chapter 2

The Seas of Change

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Follow or Make Your Path

Concerning Avanette, she has a close friend, Peter whom I have not met as yet. Nor do I have any idea from whence he came to be. Mental note to myself I thought, check out Peter for Avanette’s sake.
When I was out discovering the beauty of the planet by the shores of its seas bordering the absolute beauty of its forest with its rich vibrant tones of autumn almost year round, and a small resort type cabin that had been left buy some other entity between the two, that’s when it came slowly traversing the terrain, a small travel bus like an old yellow modified school bus with a smokestack on its tail end. On it were Peter and Avanette.
She came out first, smiling running at me with her laughing hair blowing in the breeze. Months before I had sent her a set of shells carved like two fish swimming at each other and their lips intertwined at the center. I could not remember what I had written her only that it must have been how I was dealing with my loneliness, and she must have been here to let me know I was not alone.
It was though I was facing a dilemma within myself.
The love of the sea, or the beauty of the woodlands. Love is a choice, you choose. Sometimes wisely sometimes from desperation. But she was there for either, that showed her love as well as her heart.
Peter remained on the bus for a while, he knew something was up. He finally departed the old bus, I could see him and yet feel his sadness within from the look upon his brow and his thin yellowish tanned skinned chin, he was deeply in love with her as well. I was older than the both of them, no need for me to be here I thought. Did this all stem from a dream I thought. It must have been, or why, for whatever reason would I feel like this.
Avenette, wanted to go back to earth to find her roots, no sense in blocking that path, we all have a desire to know from whence we came, even though I had no vision on how to leave this planet at the moment, I think our age was the key that bonded us, together yet far apart. My guilt was forcing me to make the right choice, for dealing with my loneliness has become a chore. Pete was a good young man, he had the stamina for survival and the heart of a lion and smart as a whip, his forte was Astro-Electronics but he liked to dabble in other things as well. After cordial familiar hugs and hellos we walked back to the cabin, then ventured out to the wood. The canopy was high and mighty, the forest must have been eight stories tall and a high translucent ice dome miles above that. The dome must have acted like a magnifier that increased the sun’s rays for warmth beneath, but just in spots, the thicker the dome, the less heat.
Peter and Avanette ventured upon the many trails together while I started my walk back to the cabin, there was something I had to do.
Upon reaching the cabin I grabbed an old newspaper that was laying inside on the counter left by come one a long time ago. I started to write Peter a note….
Peter, you know the feeling you get when you come upon the beauty of a forest or the sands of the seas. As though you had never been there before yet the feeling you have deep inside is so intense. So is that feeling for me and for you. Both the same, our feelings for Avanette, yet there is one distinguishing factor, your age and mine, yet I knew my feelings were closer to being that of a father the more I thought of it. This had happened to me once before on earth, I made a choice and lived with it until she died, my wife Joanne was a good and giving soul to all but she is gone now and that is in the past. So now it is your choice, do you go for her or not? You choose, by God you grab on with both hands and don’t let go. If you Love her that’s what you do. Throw all your ifs and’s, or buts to the side.
Just then they both walked in, I walked over by Peter and grabbed his arm and went down below the cabins porch, pulling him along. Then I told him. I have seen the look in your eyes for Avanette, I have seen the sadness and the joy within you, take my advice , if you love her you grab on with both hands and tell her, take her away from me, I will come find you. I have the wood and seas as my love now, take her back to where you were both happy. She will get over missing me until I find a way back to earth for us all. I let him go and walked back into the wood. For I feel myself as an explorer and there was much more to find and deal with. Off I went into the forest with a forever thought going through my head about Pete and Avanette. I must have traveled several miles and started to notice a change in the terrain.
More rocky outcrops. Many with ice clinging to them. The streams were appearing to have more and more frost and ice coverage but the air temperature doesn’t seem to have changed. I stopped and tested the water temperature, it was reading below 22 degrees F. then I checked the ground temp. It was falling as well. Something odd was happening. How does the ground and water temperatures fall when the air was a pleasant 65 or so degrees? The further away I walked from the water and into the forest the colder the ground and water in the streams, and more and more streams were being sighted.
I soon became a little disoriented, the air seemed to be getting thinner. Thinking unto myself, I knew the elevation grade was so ever slight so that should not be a problem. But after all I was not on earth. Think out of the box Tom, I thought, I had reached into my back pack and found a recumbent breather. I put on the mask and was fine. Up ahead there seemed to be a cloud of sort, it gave off a color glow, like a baby blue phosphorescent, gas I thought? It was thick as mud, but I kept pushing on. After going for about a hundred yards it became thinner and thinner it opened up to a bright green meadow of very slight rolling hills going every which way. As I strolled through the fields I was seeing many various forms of flora, colors unlike I had never seen, many sweet scents my nostrils picked up from Jasmine ginger to honeysuckle wine. My ears started picking up strange sounds like a form of music. Off in the distance was a large log cabin type structure. I cautiously headed to it. I could hear people laughing and having fun. I walked up the stairs. Unpronounced to me, I was hearing voices and music. I saw no band, just a jukebox in the corner. There were no people to be seen but voices were flowing through the air like they were all around. I walked over to my left and leaned out one of the windows, then i just stared out upon something i never had seen. Up in the sky was a huge greyish green planet slowly turning but remaining in place. The globe was encircled by one blue ring and one maroon colored ring. Close to that globe was a secondary one, singular with no rings and not much color, much like a moon of sorts. I turned excitedly to tell someone but no one was there.
I remained at the window, staying relaxed i gazed upon a downward slope of grass that swept down to some benches and a set of swings, there i saw a woman with long black hair in a large bonnet and a long spring dress covered in a floral pattern. I decided to take a stroll to introduce myself. I said “hello”, she turned quite startled. She replied hello back. She stated that she too had heard the voices but saw no bodies, bewildered she walked down to the bench. I said calmly, I am sorry, let me introduce myself. My name is Tom Chaney, and yours? She spoke and said with a smile, my name is Charice. I brought my daughters here to the swings to enjoy the peacefulness amongst the willow trees and swings. Up in one of the willow trees was a tree camp, sturdy but unkempt. One of her children were up in it while the other young lady swung on the swings. They were beautiful young ladies in their Sunday go to meeting dresses. As I spoke more with Charice she further explained that she had no idea how they came to be upon this planet. She snickered, last she remembered they were in the State of Idaho on a dampish day when her and the girls were playing badminton and a large funnel cloud enveloped them, but did no harm to them. She said it was a warm fuzzy feeling, she must have blacked out while holding the girls protectively close. Next thing they knew, they were on the shores of the beach near the forest. But there was no cabin or buildings, either way, they were here now after following the path through the wood. They had lost their breathing apparatuses that she discovered in a large wooden crate on the beach, half sunken in the sand, but managed to stay low to the ground and made it through the thickness of the clouds that became clearer as they came upon rolling hills of many flowers and grass covered knolls.
Down below the bench and swings where they were peacefully sat laid a large oval shaped pond that seemed to be an out crop of a rather larger body of water. Suddenly both girls went running giggling and laughing with their hair flying in the breeze down close to the pond. Charice hollered at them to slow down. As they both went down and around the outer edge of the pond they quick as a wink turned into two dogs barking and running. We found ourselves running after them, as we both turned the edge of the pond we found ourselves caught up in a warm whirlwind that was gently lifting us higher and higher. I could see through the torrent of the wind the pond and lands far below us where we were sitting. I held on tight to Charice, as not to lose her in the torrent of wind. We had lost sight of the girls, or dogs. Charice, began to weep upon my shoulder. Time was not right, I had sensed something wasn’t right, it seemed to throw us to and fro many times, but gently. Slowly the winds calmed and seemed to be lowering us to somewhere. As the winds dispersed we found ourselves in a town or village with no people. There was no color to anything we saw with our eyes, all was like in one of those old black and white movies. Greys and black and white with hues of light and dark light. All I could imagine as I spoke to Charice was that the funnels she had first experienced and this one as well were somehow tied in with the light gates or wormholes we had experienced in space. But these had a purpose which were soon to understand. I had seen a tree near a building. I walked up to it and touched the tip of a wilted twig of a branch, it sprang to life and became fuller, leaves protruded from the branch, green and filled with life, it spread like a virus from limb to limb. Soon the whole tree was growing and started to bloom. I hollered at Charice, touch something, anything, buildings brush or whatever is in your reach. This town was reacting to us, but why. We’re we a virus, or a hope?

Learning Sarina
It was in the early years of my childhood. We lived on a graveled street with one light with a tin cover hanging off of a wooden telephone pole across from our home. On the summer’s day eve you could almost hear the moths flapping their wings in many various sizes hovering and darting around the light. As kids we would spend darkened evenings playing hide and go seek for as long as we could before parents would be calling us in from the late evening, the pole served as base. All the kids were headed home and I was out by myself in the street, my brother calling me to go along, “I’ll be right there” I would holler to him. I stood out in the silence of the evening staring up at the night sky, the light began to flicker a little, all was quiet. I suddenly heard a whooshing sound, that of a wind that enveloped itself around me warm, gentle, and inviting. Lifting me ever so slightly about a foot off the ground. I shuddered in fear. It then relaxed and slowly let me down. That was scary I had thought. I went home, not mentioning this to anyone. The next day was school, another day in the trenches. We went kicking our way through the maple leaves that had begun to fall as autumn grew closer. After school we walked home as usual with friends, everyone was still excited about going out and playing another round of hide and seek in the evening hours. Now most of the boys were a little older than I, I was the younger one.
After homework, chores and evening meals we all agreed to meet at the pole. Olly-Olly-In come free was the sounds that night, along with the laughter, giggling and frolicking. Soon it was time to go in. I let all go before me, as I still had thoughts of the night before. Did it really happen, perhaps again? After all left I stood out by the lamp pole awaiting, and waiting, soon the sound came again, speaking to me as a whooshing or whirring noise but not that others could hear. It wrapped around me again. Warm, fuzzy feeling, comfortable it slowly lifted me, I sensed it wanted me to out stretch my arms from my sides, which I did. Soon I was up in the air ten, then twenty or thirty feet. It slowly moved forward moving me with it. I found myself trying to balance myself, left and right, upward and downward trying to avoid telephone wires. I heard my brother calling me. He was looking around the street for me. He went in, then the funnel cloud slowly released me to the ground and I ran home. I now had a secret that no other would know. I had to keep it to myself no matter what.
In the following nights I would make a daily stop in the evening by the pole. A few nights had passed and I was beginning to doubt my experiences. One evening I told my mother I was going to spend the night over at a friend’s home. Before I headed toward his house I stopped at the pole. It was around 9 pm and the evening was upon us. With no one in sight I stood in the middle of the graveled street. Within minutes I heard the whooshing of the wind which slowly embraced me. Raising me up I started flying forward, left then right, adjusting myself to fend off any accidental awkwardness. I moved high above the wires, then above houses and trees soon I found my self-headed towards the center of town. There was a person on a third floor hanging from a window. I soared over and under them giving a boost up. They could not see me, but it felt good to offer assistance. I then flew over to a flick of tall cedar trees, behind them was a very old Victorian mansion. It looked deserted, I stopped and landed at the base of a very old large maple or oak tree. Looking around I saw a metal box near the trunk of the tree half buried. Inside it was a key. I took it to the front door of the house, opened the door. Inside were very old rugs and furniture. I kept hearing sounds emanating from upstairs that seemed to call to me. Walking up the old spiral staircase I came to a room and opened up the door. In the back off the room was a large full length mirror caged in a frame of wood with exquisite carving, I looked in the mirror and saw something evil, scared I turned and ran down the stairs and out of the house. What I saw reminded me of a hooded witch from movies or the like of which I had never seen. I once again became embraced by the wind which took me back home. Only now I had become myself again, no longer a child but a fully grown man. The sun was just beginning to rise. I had learned, or should I say was shown the secret of flight. Then there before me was Charice with her beaming smile. She said hello, I did what you told me and touched some shrubs. They started turning bright colors, bloomed, and then next thing I knew I was caught up in that warm wind that whisked me here. Tom started thinking, this wind must have something to do with flight, time and space. Very odd indeed. He grabbed the hand of Charice and walked with her explaining about this particular time and space and how he was raised in this area as a child. He took her to show her the forests that eventually would become freeways and cement everywhere. He told her of the wildlife that was no more in the area such as beavers, deer, and bright red giant tree squirrels. As they strolled along the streets of his past he showed her plane wrecking yards, garages of very old vehicles, and old Victorian homes that would eventually be demolished in the name of progress. Yea, right he thought to himself, progress and where it may be taking us all. As Charice walked with Tom she thought what a beautiful place this was and what was to become of it. Charice then missed her children, thinking of where they may be and hoping for the best. Then as they were walking down a street called Webster Street the warm whooshing wind came down upon the two of them and next they found themselves in the woods of Trappist 1-F where Tom’s adventure had started. As they stood in the forestation of this planet they went to seek out the whereabouts of Avanette and Peter. They wandered for a day or two and happened upon a hamlet of sorts. Huts made of natural fibers and stones of the forest floor in a multitude of earthy colors and hues and saying hello to those they met. They eventually came upon the hut of Avanette and Peter whom were now married with a child of their own. My gosh, Tom cried out, how long have I been gone? Peter told him it has been just over three years. Tom dropped to his knees and wept. What is wrong Charice spoke to him, Tom said it’s this damned time and space thing. It is going to be the death of me. Peter now took Tom aside and said, walk with me, there is someone I want you to meet. Sensing the needs of Tom, Peter led the way. They walked for a few hours and followed a path of cobblestone over a creek and up to a small house of stone built into the base of a very old and very large mushroom stump over twenty feet high. They came up to the door that was very awkward in shape with a small little window in it. Peter knocked upon the door and a very small man with a long pointy hat answered it and greeted Peter and Tom with open arms. Welcome, welcome to my humble home, good, good, very good to see you again Peter. The little man introduced himself as Maldy. A long pointy nose with a large pair of spectacles which laid square across his brow with his bushy eyebrows. A very delightful fellow indeed with a smile that stretched clean across his face.
Peter told him how I had been feeling, about the time and space thing and its effects upon me. Maldy said oh yes, quite sure you know, I have seen this before, yes many times before. I have a fix for this. Tom, remember back to the time you landed upon this world? Crashed you did, remember the creatures you saw in that strange large tree. You thought you did of how they reminded you of large squirrels from your home planet. Remember seeing the fruit nuts they were eating like large pine cone shaped they were. Tom said yes, but how did you; never mind that Maldy said. Just go get me three of those fruits and bring them back here tomorrow and we shall solve your riddle. For you have places to go and people to help. With that they both thanked Maldy and said they would see him tomorrow. With that Tom told Peter that tree was many miles, at least three days travel time away. Peter said I know of one closer, so they went to get the fruit. In a matter of hours they had gotten the fruit and were on their way back to the village. They greeted Charice and Avanette and child back at the hut. Will sitting and eating, Tom had asked Peter and Avanette where did all the people come from, Peter said they had just came upon it in their travels. The hamlet had greeted them with open arms and invited them to stay so stay they did.
The following day they traveled back to Maldy’s hut, gave him the fruit and he said excellent, very good indeed it is. He peeled it quickly and put the bulky part of it in a small oven and cooked it for several minutes, then gathered some herbs from a few different bottles put them all together in a large mortar and with the pestle ground and crushed all together, then added it into a large mug with some dandelion wine, mixed it well and told tom to drink it. Tom said what? Yes, drink you must, all gone, all gone, drink till it is upside down. This you must do to Understand, but with understanding there is a cost. Tom did as he was told, Peter stood by his side. He swallowed it down like a horrible tasting swill he had ever had then slammed down the mug and stood still for a moment and all that came out of his mouth was strange, feel strange says I. Then he dropped like a rock to the floor. When he awoke he found himself on upon Maldy’s bed with his feet hanging over the end of his bed by about a foot and a half. Now that was strange he said. It was like everything was going past him as he slowed in time but saw everything going much faster past himself. Within the hour his feet were no longer hanging over the bed. He had grown shorter by about eleven inches. Is this supposed to happen? he had asked Maldy, yes he spoke, and all is as it should be. You have become one of the order and you shall begin now to understand you will of time, space and that which surrounds us. You shall hear the wind speak to you, and you it. Become friends you will Maldy spoke. But upon seeing Charice, Tom hoped should would understand. Maldy spoke, where there is love there is faith and hope there is, understanding is part of love is not? When Tom saw Charice her jaw had dropped, but the smile was still there as was the look in her eyes. Maldy asked to speak with Tom alone. He had told Tom that with the change he would have to help others he would, as that is the cost of the change for him and helping others where there was no help and love where there was no love. Maldy told him when the time was right he would return to normal, it may be months or years but that was the cost of the insight it was. So Tom in turn had to speak to Charice and explain. It was saddening to her but she said she would wait and stay and help with Avanette and Peters lives while seeking her daughters. A few weeks later Tom was out walking and he started to hear voices, children’s voices, laughing, giggling, crying, it was hard to listen too, but it was ever so slight. He then remembered what Maldy spoke of. Speak to the wind. As a warm wind began to engulf him he spoke to the wind. Are we leaving here he asked, a very soft answer in a soft woman’s voice, yes, we are leaving. Can you pass a message on to my friend Charice? , the voice said, yes. He said, tell her I love her and I will return. The voice said no more.
They wind took Tom for what seemed to be like hours, Then slowly the wind settled down and placed Tom upon the ground. The wind spoke to Tom and said, now go North into the woodlands, there you shall see a small wooden cabin. Seek an older gentleman in this place. Take him with you, as you are the teacher now as well. There is much he has to learn. You are the deliverer, teacher and consultant. The wind said the Comet will know. Then the wind in a large whoosh of air put something to the ground that resembled a sled and an old truck painted in red and green and then dissipated and was gone. Tom walked for about a half mile into the wood and eventually came upon the Cabin the wind spoke of. Being late in the evening the first night Tom knocked three times upon the door. There was no answer, so hesitantly he walked back to the sled seeking the winds advice. He called out several times, Wind, Tom spoke again, wind, where are you? Soon a light dusting off snow blew down upon him and he heard her voice, stop calling me wind, my name is Sarina. Tom said I am sorry, I did not know. Sarina, there is no answer at the door, what should I do? Sarina said, take shelter in the sled, I will provide warmth and food. Go again tomorrow night. The next night, this time in early evening he went to the door, he knocked three times again, he heard a rumble and scampered back to the sled only to be knocked to his knees from a falling tree. Getting up he dusted himself off, mumbling he said to himself that was close you klutz. He went to the sled and told Sarina the issue. Sarina knew the next night they would connect so she continued shelter for Tom, this time the wind Sarina whipped up a shelter of branches, ferns and fronds covered with snow of which Tom went in with a small lantern. On the third night Tom slowly went to the door and knocked three times and quickly a window opened up and an older bearded gentleman was staring down at Tom, Tom felt very uneasy about the situation. When Tom returned to the Vehicle as the old man was getting ready he had a conversation with Sarina. He asked Sarina, Sarina where are you from, how old are you, what are you. Oh my goodness, so many questions have you. In this short time I can explain a little for you in the time that we have . There are many more like me, we travel the Galaxies. We have been here since the beginning of all things. We are here to help, guide, advise and teach. Your planet Earth is still too young to understand. But as I was passing earth I noticed you when you were young. You had empathy, love, understanding, but at times stumbled in trying to understand. You were not much of a listener unless it benefitted something that concerned you or someone you cared for.
I saw something in you, your acceptance of something you did not understand but had a willingness to learn and patience to comply. Not many people from your planet have this trait.
We are here to help direct not only humankind, but all species in patience, and the willingness to help spread what you learn on to others. Whether it is kindness, empathy, learning. We are what you call wind, force, and others may call clear matter. But many in past years from your planet have called us angels. Your Light Gates you discovered on earth years ago we left for you, to see if and when you gained the knowledge to use them, apparently you did well. Well that is enough explaining. You should go now and pass on that which you learn and experience to others. As with time and space, well you have it all, no limitations.
Remember Tom, I will always be listening in times of need, or advising. I will be watching over you, you can speak to us at any time, one of us will hear and in turn I will hear you. Go now and peace be with you. And teach well.
Mr. Johnson shall be found.
Tom, What?

CHAPTER 3

HE WAS NOT THERE
THE STORY CONTINUES….

THREE KNOCKS
Three knocks every late evening, that’s what the old man heard. Like someone was at the door tapping; knock, knock, knock. Always in threes. The room with the window that looked outside on to the porch is where he always heard it. There were several types of hanging chimes and one set of wooden ones near the window. Perhaps it was this that he heard. Nope, he thought to himself. It was like awaking from a deep sleep, a dream perhaps he thought, slept too light? , maybe so. Whatever this recurring sound was or where ever it was, well it happened at least twice a week and he was growing tired of it. The old woman spoke of sounds like something bumping in to the floors underneath, down in the crawl space. He had heard that before as well but thought it was just the house settling. He thought of the large amount of rabbits in the neighborhood over the last year where their population had grown vastly. Maybe under the house? But being too old to try contorting and bending to get down into the crawl space would be a hardship so he kept putting it off. He thought if it became too much he would call an exterminator.
One late evening it came again, knock, knock, knock. He quickly rose from his sleep and peered out the window and low and behold he saw with his own two eyes, a rather large short stature of a man wearing a pair of old overhauls and atop his head was a neon red cap, like from a fairy tale, feather and all. He had a large pair of spectacles upon his face and rosy cheeks that almost glowed. Again he tapped upon the door three more times. All the old man could do is open the window and say, hello stuttering his words slowly. The little man looked him in the eyes, smiled and spoke, “this is the Johnson House, is it not?” The old man replied, why I suppose so, but they lived here about a year before us. The little man quickly stamped his foot twice, and spoke most unsettling and fast, “I knew it, I just knew it, got hear too late I did” so I beg of you, you must come with me in his place. The old man , somewhat dumfounded and losing his patience spoke to the man , just what is going on here , and who are you , but a little man speaking so jerkedy, jerk to me. Not meaning to be rude, but please explain to me what is going on. For I cannot wake my wife and tell her I am leaving her alone to go off with a stranger whom I have never met. The little portly man shook the feather in his hat, smiled and stated how important it was that the old man go with him. And that his wife would be very safe and they would be back before she awoke. He also said I can explain along the way. The old man always had had an open mind for adventures , reached his hand up to his chin and scratching his whiskers spoke, well I suppose it would….The little man spoke again and said fine, that’s just fine we can go right away and be back quickly. I will go get my vehicle so you will not have to walk far, it is about a half mile away and it will provide you time to pack. The old man reached to fetch his worn raggedy coat pieced together by his wife with patches left over from old clothes or whatever was available. In this case it was mainly from old blankets. They stepped out onto the porch and what he saw was hard to conceive. The vehicle resembled a 1941 ford pickup but modified. It was red with green fenders and bumpers that twisted up into an “S” shape, similar to modified skies. The short man grabbed the old guys hand and helped him down from the porch, saying watch your step, it’s beginning to get a little slick out here. They got into the vehicle, the little man said be sure and fasten your seat belt!

WHOOSHING AWAY
The little portly man stroked the feather in his cap with his fingertips, then stepped on the starter on the cars floor and it began. The old man was now scratching his head, curiouser and curiouser he had thought. The motor sounded loud, like the start of some kind of hot rod, but like an overly loud vacuum cleaner, then like a whoosh they were off with the wind like the down of a thistle being blown into the wind. Within seconds the old man was looking out the window of the vehicle and could see they were high in the air. The rain had turned to snow and he could barely make out the lights of the streets far down below, he thought, now this is an adventure. With a roar of laughter they both were flying along, after all they both thought laughing is the peace of mankind.
The little man then spoke, I should had started this conversation earlier, but it was truly necessary that we start our journey. Let me introduce myself, my name is Thomas Chaney, Tom for short. It had been a very interesting evening for the old man. He then spoke to Tom, my name is Woden Claus. Is it possible you could tell me where we are going? I worry for my wife. Tom spoke and said, don’t worry, she will be fine. For as you know nothing is ordinary of this situation. Where I come from, well time is somewhat irrelative, for when you return to your home only five minutes would have passed. But in our time, well, many hours, days, weeks or months may have gone by. Like I said, time has no meaning, as we have control of it. But in this case, that is, coming to get you was a must. As we had been looking for Mr. Johnson for some time now, he was a fine toy maker and had a vast knowledge of all toy makes from around the world.
Tom said to Woden, I come from an unseen world up north, but I am originally from Earth, so many years and adventures ago. I was an astronaut on a mission to explore the Trappist system in the constellation of Aquarius and its planets, more specifically Trappist 1f, that is where I met my love Charice my wife. I am now a helper to Father Christmas that was Mr. Johnson’s real surname. I was given this assignment in return for learning the ways of time and traveling it’s boundaries for a fellow name Maldy on Trappist f. Mr. Johnson was was last seen over Norway last Christmas, it was his last delivery zone before he returned to the poles magnetic path. He had disappeared, sleigh and all. We had knowledge of your stature and you had a, ah, large tummy, the beard and the love and warmth for all children whom need that ever so much, needless to say, well uhm… you fit the bill as far as we believe. But what we, up north would like to know is that, do you believe in the truth of The Christmas, that all children are born of pure heart and deserve all the nurturing and love that man can provide. Woden put out huge belly laugh and said well of course I do , for this world would not be where it is today without the laughter of our children. But young man, he spoke to Tom, you have given me information that I am having a hard time trying to understand it all. You said you were ah, an astronaut from way back when? Tom said, back in about 2017. Now back to what I was saying Wodan said, our children in turn nurture us to keep our beliefs of a better world for all. Tom spoke, hold on to your stockings we are about to near the end of our trip. As they parked the vehicle several service people came out to greet them. Woden stepped out and just stared. What a marvel he thought. The Ice and Snow was everywhere. It made a crystalline effect, like looking into a diamond and seeing all the reflections. There were many different size buildings. Tom had noticed the odd look on Wodans face. Perplexed he was Tom thought. Re-introduction he needs, yup he needs thought Tom.
THE MAGIC
Yup, I know that look, it’s all so strange and unrealistic at first, but as I show you around it will grow on you. For me it was the same, I grew accustomed to it all. At a point so much so that I found myself getting shorter after the first few months. After a year, I had grown from 6 feet 1 inch tall to 5 feet 1 inch tall. I felt no other changes except in my spirit, it too had grown immensely, I grew from not caring at all to the way I feel today. We have got to find out what happen to Mr. Johnson before your first journey. Woden said What?! Tom stated that if we cannot retrieve Mr. Johnson, you are going to be the big guy. Woden stammered b,b ,b ,b big guy? You mean I would have to dress as Santa, no way Jose. Tom spoke, but you are the only option we have at the moment. Try this, close your eyes and imagine yourself as you were long ago, at say the age of 6 or 8 years old. How did you feel then on Christmas morning, what were your expectations? Try real hard. We know this is hard for you, but please concentrate. Tom moved his cap on his head and stroked the feather in it. Wodan mumbled but gave it a shot. He began to remember. His father was a farmer and mother was a kind woman who cooked a lot. He knew that they didn’t have much, but a lot of love. In the evening of Christmas Eve they would put their work shoes on the porch stuffed with hay in the hopes of getting toys, and set a wooden dish of cookies near the fireplace for St. Nicholas helper. Woden said, well I suppose I could try. But I am not as supple as I once was, for I am almost 70 years old. Tom then put his hand on Wodens shoulder chuckled and said, once you start to dress, it will be like you had lost 35 years off your age, you will regain strength and attitude and your Christmas spirit will be tenfold , Woden was perplexed, but did like the new tides and adventure. They walked into the first building of all wood, brick and mortar construction. All the logs had been chinked with a special secret mixture known only to the littlest people. These people were not elves in the sense, no pointy ears, and sparkly cheeks. They were just like you and I, only they had the true Christmas Spirit. Smiles beyond smiles, and kindness and generosity beyond measure. They were all many nationalities, from one end of the earth to the other. The magic of this great place had changed them just as myself and as you will be changed eventually, but after each holiday season you can return home just as you were with no loss in time or size.
This is the way it has been done since before Sinterclaus, the Bishop St. Nicholas and others before them. The magic had stemmed and grown since the days before the great change, from mythological creation and diversifying of Germanic and Icelandic culture, to what it is today. The great change is believed that it had started from paganistic times and the setting of Rune stones around the globe.
As they continued through the building Tom explained each and every hall and hallway to Woden, many things had a hint of memory for Woden but where these memories sprung from he had no idea. Such as carving into a wall of wood at the end of a hallway. There was a very wild looking eight legged horse with a plaque underneath with one big word, SLEPNIR, it was very inspirational looking. Woden sensed something very familiar. Eventually Tom showed Woden his chamber where he would sleep and stay when was needful of rest. Two people came up and grabbed Wodens hands and walked him to the main workshop where an endless supply of toys, games, technology and fun laid in wait for his thoughts on it all. Another small shop of from the workshop was used for schooling and teaching that all must go through to bring them up to speed on current trends for children in all parts of the world. Tom said it’s a tough course, but a must for all so we can have everything move smoothly. The weeks and months went be swiftly. Woden began to read and read he did of the history of the past. What he learned of Sinterclaus was amazing he thought. Why Sinterclaus lived in Turkey originally but later moved to the Country of Spain and there he caught a boat to Amsterdam. But that’s his history and we should be talking of today’s times. But as he was finishing reading up a chapter in his history book, a younger black man came to him to say hello. He explained that he would be the one travelling with him on his Christmas trips and was very excited to be doing so, acting as his companion. His name like his father’s before him and his father’s father before him, was Peter. A very proud young man to be carrying on a heritage like non-other. Peter wanted to take Woden to the transportation shop to show and explain the various modes they had at their disposal. As they walked out of the building which housed the workshop and the school Woden stared at the sky, for brilliant bands of colors were swirling through the air, a sight he had never seen before, all he could say while looking was ” marvelous “. As they came upon the transportation shop Peter had said, you will be surprised, yes you will , surprised. They entered and the various colors of vehicles ranged in green, yellow, red, orange and the shapes looked as though they were out of a custom car show. So many modifications. Peter spoke, the modifications you see here are based on our requirements of light, speed, takeoff and landing and many more functions we have to be aware of as not to hurt anyone or give away our positions to any orbital satellite or ground functions such as radar and the like. We must use our technical expertise and at times a little of the magic that is offered at special times. Over to your left you will see the traditional TRA, or traditional rail application. Up in front of us is our standard snow plow with a wide front on it to provide the PTS, Pro Tread Sleigh, a wide berth for acceleration purposes. No let’s go over to our right, there in front of them stood an immense vehicle, it must have stood 40 feet high and 90 feet long, it had rails of black wrought iron curved similar to a large curved S pattern. It had four stairs of thick embossed glass steps, fitted with anti-slip rubber grips and had gold hand rails on each side that led up into a large storage area, and a walk through rubber tread covered aisle that went into the large covered cab which housed all sort[s of voice controlled instruments . These would be explained to you in ground school soon Peter spoke. Woden said this is all well and good and I look forward to learning as much as I can. But I have to ask, how soon may I return home to see my wife, I miss her dearly. Peter said in a quiet calm voice, you may return at any time you wish, I would be glad to arrange it as soon as tonight. I do believe that the comet is ready and fueled, the comet asked Woden? Why yes said Peter, it was the vehicle that brought you here. Oh, that old 41 ford looking thing, yes that is the base of its construction, only we modified it somewhat. Sturdier frame. Larger axles and A few other minor make overs. At any rate it will be ready as soon as we are. Now Wodan was getting anxious amidst his feelings for his wife Freida and what she may think of all this. It’s alot to take in Woden thought, hopefully she won’t be too overwhelmed.
The Return
As soon as the comet had landed, Peter stayed with the vehicle and Woden stepped out on to the crunching snow pack; scrunch, scrunch he listened intently as he moved along his path. He noticed that he was his same old self and his height was normal as for the reflections he received from the fender of the comet, but then what is normal lately he thought. He quietly stepped up to the door way. Peter was right he thought. Though he had been gone for a few months, it was though only minutes had passed since he left this doorway, Freida had just awoke and greeted Woden with a great big hug saying , good morning dear. Then she asked if he would care for some cocoa, as Woden had given up his one cup of coffee in the mornings. She was redoing her braids as she asked him if he was hungry when he asked her to have a seat for a moment as he began to explain what had taken place and that he has been wanting to take both of themselves on an extended adventure
( to be continued )

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