~House of Serpents~ - (Almost) Part Two
With each step the cave becomes filled with light. This path surely leads to the outside.
The sound of water running becomes louder as I feel a soft mist on my body. The air is fresh, breathable. I see another entrance in the distance - two petrified trees, east and west compose this opening. The tree's yellow colored branches connect at the top. I find beauty and mystery in the mingling branches that linger high above my head. Mystery in the fact the trees are barren, not one green leaf exists.
I notice a pattern of holes in the middle of each huge trunk. Honey bees must have made it their residence. The continuous pattern is filled with texture. I run my hand over and over the holes.
I see it now beyond the trees, waterfalls also are placed east and west, further back on each side than the trees. They empty into a vast steaming pool, almost the size of a lake. There it is, across the pool the world as I know it, once more! The sun, green trees and the dirt road Gillian and I were traveling before we were accosted.
Swimming across seems my only option. As I approach the water I hear croaking. Hundreds of skinny , tall frogs inhabit the pool. Much taller than myself, the neon frogs jump at me, mouths open. I appear to them in khaki clothes as a cricket with hiking boots on. A most tasty meal, quickly lapped up by their long, dry tongues. I back up slightly and cover my ears as the croaking is piercing my ears.
Tears sting my eyes, crossing that pool is my savior. I feel once again the security of my pouch. It dawns on me the pouch contains a set of wings. I take them out. How could these possible help?
As I examine them I find a small tube and plug. Perhaps if I try blowing them up - it takes one deep breath of air. I now have wings as wide as two yard sticks. A sticky substance covers the wings and I attach them with a slap to each of my shoulders. Immediately I am suspended and lifted into the air.
At first I am off balance and sway side to side, much too close to the frogs. Their leaps are higher - how hungry they must be. My arms reach up and I am high over there heads. I straighten my legs and point my toes as if I had ballet slippers on. I am flying, if I bend slightly right of left I can turn. What a wondrous feeling. Flying is an emotional experience, much like presents under the tree, early Christmas morning and you are the only one awake, the gold lights on the tree welcome you into the room.
Diving down somewhat I fly out of the exit. I am past the pool of woman eating frogs and out of the cave. I drop my arms to my sides and hit the ground with both feet. My glasses fly off. I hunt for them and realize I am no longer in darkness. When I find them I quickly fold them up and place them in the pouch.
As I collect my bearings, I hear the cries of Gillian. I find her entwined in vine and laying on the ground. I rush to her side - the vines have cut her neck. If I just had a knife! Perhaps the Unicorn in my pouch is sharp. I quickly take it out. The medallion is razor sharp and I slice the twisted vine. I hold her head in my lap. I stroke her wounds. She is barely breathing. She musters up her last bit of strength. I try to calm her. She continues to speak.
I am leaving this world to join my husband in a better place. I have lived my life as I should. I have been a part of good times as well as the bad. I have traveled many worlds. I have given birth to many donkeys girls and boys. Now I have grandchildren and great-grandchildren. I want to go and prepare a place for them when they to will depart this world. My time has come and I except it willingly.
She gasps for air and is totally still. Tears stream down my cheeks. I cradle her neck. I knew her for such a short time and yet her stories sounded familiar and she felt like an old friend. Her haggard body is full of light and before my eyes she is new again. A young donkey - strong, stubborn and with great virture. She is up and running, kicking her back legs without a care. She runs down the path, never looking back and quickly disappears before my eyes. I am alone, once again. How will I ever get to the ~House of Serpent~, now?
I can't believe my ears! Once again I hear the pounding of hoofs - I see the hooded riders. From behind me I hear a rattling old car motor. It is the same vintage car that I keep seeing since my journey began. It travels right up to me. It is the elderly gentleman. He barely stops and hollers, 'Jump In'!
I hesitate for a moment. The rider is fast approaching. I jump in the front seat, I don't bother to shut the door. I ask the gentleman if he knows the way to the ~House of Serpent~. His reply, 'Yes, with the map in your purple pouch'.
Ms. Lovelace (Patricia)
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