By: David L. Souers

Chapter 2


Sitting under her favorite old black gum tree, slowly weaving the pliant willow branches into what would soon become a lovely egg basket, that would be used for any number of purposes, despite it’s name. Danielle’s fingers traced the intricate pattern without conscious thought to direct their path. So many had she made, that she often quipped to amazed onlookers that she had put her fingers on autopilot. Others simply had a hard time believing that it was possible for her to carry on a conversation with someone, and even quote prices from her extensive catalog, while her fingers continued their inexorable pace, without her even seeming to check on their progress. Some suspected, especially the locals, that it was another example of her use of the, “craft”, as they referred to it. Many of the folks that stopped in at her little store loved the handmade items that adorned the walls, and she was often hard pressed to keep the materials on hand, as well as finding enough time to assemble enough of the various items to meet the ever increasing demand. It didn’t seem to matter what she made from the natural storehouse that surrounded her small farm. As long as she used what nature provided, and assembled the items by hand with her usual care, they would sell as fast as they we’re completed. She had not been willing to accept special requests as a rule, as it seemed to stifle her creativity. She derived her personal livelihood from; dried flowers, wild or tame, herbs from her garden, hand crafts, oils and potions, and Wiccan products that were sent all over the world to fellow practitioners. She didn’t get rich, except in spirit, but she did make a decent living, and was far better off than some of those spiritually deficient folks that stopped in to shop. Their stressful lives had left them appearing as ghosts, as she saw their auras. For as far back as she could remember, everyone, and most animate things for that matter, had been surrounded by a halo of colored light. Its brightness seemed to be dictated by the emotional and physical well being of the owner. The colors were seemingly the indicator of the emotions involved at the time. Danielle was definitely someone that didn’t have to rely solely on her intuition to assess someone. She could peg them at a glance!

Letting her mind wander to the upcoming celebration of the winter solstice, she had a feeling of unease go through her, like a cold chill running down her spine. This was usually her favorite time of the year, but as each day had passed for the last week or so, a feeling of increasing curiosity had crept over her. Not fear, not dread, just a profound feeling that all was not as it should be. There was a feeling of change in the very air itself. The date was December 10th, 2012, and she knew that the ancient Mayans had predicted that as of this date plus thirteen days, the end of this age would arrive. Their long count calendar used a year of three hundred and sixty days. It was called a Tun, and had the capability of measuring time intervals in excess of billions of years. No one had ever given her a satisfactory answer as to why a so-called, “primitive”, culture would need that kind of capability. Five thousand two hundred Tuns would equal the end of Great Cycle of 13 Baktuns on December 23rd, 2012 and was the date that marked the end of this Great Age, as we often call it.

Just thinking about it was enough to send a small shiver up her spine once again. A feeling of change was definitely in the air, and it seemed to pervade her very being. Long before her Wiccan beliefs congealed, she and her dad used to talk about all of the strange things that had been found all over the world, and how they were dismissed out of hand, or hidden from the general populace. The established scientific community had worked so very hard to make their version of history, the only possible option. She remembered him telling her, “What do you expect? They have spent their lives studying, and evaluating evidence in their respective fields, and when an anomaly turns up that could conceivably invalidate a lifetime of work, they simply relegate it to the dust bin, or dismiss it as a fake.” She and her father felt that far too many of these anomalies were left unanswered, and used to have a good time discussing many different objects and legends. Admittedly, some were a bit on the unlikely side of the spectrum, and were viewed as such, but many were, un-deniably, very viable options to what the established viewpoints were at that time.

Theories about the pyramids and the sphinx were definite favorites. They had both waited for nearly a decade to see might lay at the other side of the small door that had been discovered at the end of a tiny tunnel that was located in the queens chamber of the great pyramid. In 1993, a German engineer built a small robot to send into the, uphill sloping, enigmatic tunnel. The pictures that were returned showed that the long narrow tunnel terminated at a limestone door that had been constructed with two copper devices that would prevent the door from being lifted. From that point forward, he was denied further access, and subsequent evidence was presented to the world that showed someone was tunneling horizontally, through the limestone, from the top of the “Kings chamber” far above the small entrance, but directly across from the room’s suspected location. Rumors that the great pyramid contained a repository of knowledge of pre-antediluvian civilizations had been widespread over the ages, and now many people wondered if the contents had been found and plundered. The sphinx was another enigma. Edgar Cayce, often referred to as the “sleeping prophet”, had claimed while in his trance-like readings that secret chambers would be found in and under the monolith. Subsequent investigations using state of the art technology, decades later, found that the possibilities that such rooms really do exist, was extremely high. Egyptian officials once again put a stop to any possibility of any sort of physical corroboration that the rooms might, in fact, exist.

Conventional wisdom attributed the sphinx to a king named Khafre, who ruled Egypt around the year 2500 B.C.E. His pyramid is considered one of the three great ones, and is liberally marked with his sacred hieroglyphics throughout its construction. The sphinx had never been found to have any writing that attributed it to any king, and that certainly didn’t fit Khafre’s profile. The king’s literal profile was another enigma. The known statuary of the man didn’t look even remotely like the sphinx, and Egyptian artisans were demonstrably proficient enough in their abilities to render the great king’s likeness far closer to what the king actually looked like, than the face on the sphinx. This was shown quite plainly on a television special one night, and when compelling evidence that the sphinx had been eroded by large amounts of water at one time in it’s history, Danielle and her father had looked at each other in amazement. A man, by the name of West, had taken a photo of the sphinx and cut the head portion of it off. Taking the picture to one of the world’s top geologists, he asked the scientist, ”Has this hill been eroded primarily by wind or water?” Water! was his emphatic answer, but when the head portion of the photograph was placed next to the supposed hill, the geologist immediately declared that he wanted no further part of the evaluation of the erosion of that little hill. He knew quite well that the only way for the sphinx to possibly have suffered that much water erosion, would mean that it would have had to have taken place nearly 12,000 years into the past, at the end of the last ice age, and he definitely didn’t want any part of that type of controversy.

Jimmy had commented to Danielle at that point in the program, “Do you see what I mean? That so-called scientist would rather keep his regular paycheck and forget that he ever saw anything like that. Doesn’t it make you wonder how many pieces of the puzzle have been ignored, or even destroyed by, small minded, individuals. Now you know exactly why I don’t believe anything that I don’t evaluate myself.

Another specific item that definitely piqued their interest was the Mayan prophesy regarding the end of the present age. The Mayans were absolutely obsessed with time and astronomy, and their knowledge of both was amazing. Their ability to compute solar and lunar eclipses for centuries into the future was uncanny, and showed an advanced knowledge of astronomy. The, laboriously constructed, calendars of stone definitely agreed that the end of this, ”Great Age”, would arrive on December 23rd, in the year 2012, and at that point, the long slow climb into the next one would begin. Our present age being just one in a series of several that preceded us. They claimed that civilization went from pinnacle to valley in an unending cycle of renewal.

Danielle’s uneasiness weighed heavier on her with each passing moment, until she put finally down her basket, and with a sigh of resignation mumbled, “Enough is enough!” Walking into the house, she headed for her, ”private place”, as she usually called the small, cozy room just off the master bedroom. At one time, it had been a large walk-in cedar lined closet that was as big as a small bedroom that could be found in a more modern dwelling. Now it was her place, and everyone knew that to intrude upon her while she was at, ”Work”, was not the best of plans, to say the very least! Taking her favorite mirror from the woven grapevine table that her girl-friend’s husband had made for her many years before, she got comfortable in her wicker, “mamma-san” chair. Preparing herself mentally, she soon began to scry the mirror for the answer to what was causing her so much consternation. Time soon ceased to exist for her, and her next coherent thoughts were of the vision that was slowly forming in the mirror. A misty spiral began to form in the center of the glass, and as it began to coalesce, it started to spiral in a slow counter-clockwise motion. Focusing her gaze on the apparition, she saw that the swirl had begun to shift through the spectrum, from red, to blue, to white, and ever so subtly, to a soft, wonderful golden glow. Totally mesmerized by the beautiful sight, she gave an abrupt start, as an incandescent, electric blue ring appeared in the center of the swirl, and rapidly expanded until it went over the edge of the glass, taking the image’s color and vibrant vision with it! Her mental, ”WOW”, seemed to reverberate around the room. It had been a vision in technicolor! Normally, the best she ever had received from the mirror was nothing but a poor substitute for the vivid colors and definition that had been presented this time to her. Her curiosity was in full overdrive now, and she wondered what powers could possibly present themselves so clearly.

Setting the darkened mirror back on the table, she picked up her much used deck of tarot cards, and started to shuffle them into an abstract randomness that her essence, and only hers, would hopefully extract an order that would tell her exactly what was afoot. As a neo-pagan, “practitioner”, she knew that her ability to interpret the cards was critical, but after so many years of reading them, this fact never formed past her unconscious mind, and into actual thought. Laying ten of the, by now, well shuffled cards out, she slowly began to form the, ”Celtic Cross”, as she had done so many thousands of times before. Someone sitting next to her would hardly have noticed her reaction, as her eyebrows lifted a fraction, and her lips pursed ever so slightly, while she contemplated the unusual configuration. A tentative, ”Hmmmm”, came from her still unopened mouth, while the pattern before her made more sense with each passing nanosecond. Sitting on the number one spot was the, ”Fool”. Danielle gave the smallest of involuntary smiles at this, as she knew all to well that it’s message was that she was, “unaware of the events that were transpiring around her”. Hence the fool! Automatically shifting her gaze to the second card, her eyes fell upon the, ”Chariot”. It represented a strong force for change, as she had been feeling to the very core of her being for so long now. The, ”Ten of Swords”, held the third position, and her lips pursed tighter yet, as she knew all to well that it’s message of, “destruction of multitudes”, would not bode well when found in conjunction with the pattern that she’d already glimpsed in the, ”cross”. Number four was the, “Five of Wands”, and once again she nodded in silent acknowledgment. She knew in an instant where it’s message of, “mental creativity and ingenuity”, would be needed for survival, for the scenario that was forming in her mind. Focusing on the fifth position, she smiled slightly once again, as the, “Two of Pentacles”, sent its message of, “movement and change from natural processes”. Once again the vision in the mirror passed through her mind, and the true nature of what we were all about to face, started to solidify for her. Glancing over to the, “Nine of Wands”, in the sixth position, told her that, “strength was going to be required”, and this was definitely a good time to have her roots sunk in deep to secure her position in the future. “Making things work smoothly and efficiently with a liberal dose of common sense”, was the puzzle piece gleaned from the, “High Priestess”, now occupying the seventh position in the array. Looking up at her from the eighth position was the, “Hanged Man”. Contrary to the hyperbole found in the mass media and in most non-practitioner minds, she knew that this card simply meant that a viewpoint variation was definitely going to be needed to get a good clear view of what was about to transpire. A loss to acquire a gain, perhaps...“Death”, stared up at her from the ninth slot. Once again she thought of the uninitiated who thought that this card represented physical death, and nothing else, when it could be something as innocent as the death of an idea, or as she believed in this case, maybe the end of an age, and a time of trans-formation. Unfortunately, the tenth and final card fit the reading all to well. The, ”Tower”, represented total destruction! Running everything she had learned through her mind, it began to seem that what was fast approaching mankind from just over the horizon would not bode well for the un-prepared, but Gaia would surely enjoy the respite from the unrelenting assault upon her every quarter. The segments had snapped into place, and Danielle knew the answer...

The third ring of the phone brought her back with a jolt from her contemplation. “Hello”, and from what seemed far away, she heard her mom’s voice.

“Hi Hon, are you busy?” Ellen had learned long ago, it’s for the best not to disturb a practitioner when they are working at their craft, even if she really didn’t have the faintest notion of what it was all about.

“It’s OK mom. I was just thinking it might be a good time to give you a call, and this means that you can feed the long distance folks this time. You sounded a little down. What’s going on?”

“Well...your dad has been having some very disturbing dreams every night for about a week now, and this evening after work he had the same dream, only this time, he was awake! It was like a vision, and it has really shaken him up quite badly, to say the least.”

“Mom, why don’t you give dad the phone, and we’ll see if we can get to the bottom of this mystery.”

After a few moments, she heard her father’s tentative and shaky voice.


With a sense of wonder, as she had never imagined that she would ever hear her father’s voice sound so upset, she asked, “What’s going on in sunny Arizona?” It was her usual quip, and she hoped that it would help to settle his nerves a little.

“Just bad dreams honey, but they are really starting too get to me.”

“Why don’t you tell me about them dad? Then we’ll see if we can’t get to the bottom of this.”

Jimmy slowly began to relate every detail of the dream/vision to his daughter that had been seemingly been burned into his mind. He knew that she could see and do things that most folks could not do, or even conceive of doing, so he waited for her answer, albeit impatiently.

“Dad, do you remember the story that you found on the net about that, “EMP”, wave that was supposed to be two hundred years, or so, late in hitting the earth?”

“Do I ever! I was down at the library surfing the web when I came across it. That was before we got our own computer. I found that story, and didn’t realize how important it was when I first found it. After I got home, it hit me that I should have made a hard copy of it. When I went back the next day, I couldn’t find a trace of it no matter what I tried to do. I was a real, “newbie”, then, and I didn’t know about archival files. By the time I learned about them, the ninety days that they keep them had expired. I’ll bet that I spent a couple of hundred hours trying to relocate the news article that I found on the web that day, and all that I ever found out was that a half dozen or so scientists had heard something about the preliminary data, but nothing after that. I e-mailed at least fifty of those ice core specialists. Some from the National Ice Core Lab in Denver, the University of Kansas, the University of New Hampshire, and scientists in places as far away as Australia, and France. I sure learned a lot about things like Be-10 isotopes, and O-16 to O-18 ratios, but nothing about what method might have been used to generate that story. Ellen’s cousin even proposed a conspiracy theory about someone in high places squashing the data to prevent a panic from developing. That must have been nearly fifteen years ago, or so.”

“Uh huh, now for the real news. Just before you called, I put a bunch of little clues together, and I’m pretty sure that wave is still out there, and we’re about to feel it. If everything I’ve put together is right, we’ve got less than two weeks to prepare for it.”

“Are you perhaps referring to that Mayan calendar thing we used to talk about? You know, the one that the news anchors have been having so much fun with lately. They were having a ball with it last night, which is about par for the course when they don’t have the foggiest notion of what is going on. You can sure tell that they never did the kind of digging into the facts that we did.”

“I think our research into the Mayans and their understanding of time and celestial mechanics was one of the things that got my mind started on a quest for knowledge that has never slowed down, let alone quit. It is so incredible that they could have known the things that they did without the benefit of advanced technology.”

“It’s sure a puzzle to me too. Computing the length of an earth year to within a couple of seconds like they did is an amazing feat, and now, some scientists think that at the time they did their computations, they might not have even been off by those few seconds in their computations. It’s fairly general knowledge that the earth’s rotation is slowing with every year that passes. This might even put our computations of their calendars off by several days, and if this is so, we might have even less time than we think we do, until the end of the age.”

“Dad, I think the biggest puzzle of all, is trying to figure out how those Mayans figured out that this wave of EMP was going to wash over us and change the course of history too. This isn’t the first wave to hit the earth by any means, but this one will wipe out civilization for the first time, or at least we think so. We’re the first ones that are susceptible, because of our chip technology. Just figuring out that something was headed our way at the speed of light was impossible, adding in the fact that we would be so vulnerable just now in our technology, puts it beyond anything I can even begin to conceive.”

“Honey, now that we know, what are we going to do about it?”

In an instant, her vision, her reading, and his dream/vision, seemed to snap together into an answer that was totally clear.

“Dad that old man in the truck was right on target. He was trying to tell you that the wave was close, and only an old pre-computerized vehicle would still be running after that EMP burst fried the computers in the modern vehicles, and everything else too.”

“Who was, or is he? Why did he pick me to warn? I don’t know who he is, or anything about him, all I ever saw was that bony old hand with any clarity.”

“Dad, we’ll probably never know the answer to that question, but to coin a phrase, “Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth”, OK? One thing is certain. You need to find an old pre-computerized truck in the best possible running condition. Make sure it has a large motor, is equipped with a heavy-duty hitch and all the necessaries for towing a big utility trailer. It would be a good idea for you and mom to call work and request some time off, as your both going to be very busy for several days. You can say that it’s a family emergency or something.”

Your mom is going to pitch a tizzy over this, and that’s not overstating things by any means. She never has thought to much of our viewpoints, and your talents and lifestyle don’t exactly thrill her either.”

“Yes, do I ever know that for a fact! You simply have to get her to understand that if she doesn’t follow our lead, she might end up dead of thirst and hunger in that damnable desert. Without pumps for water, and transportation for food shipments, no one will be able to last long out there.”

“OK, now what do I do with my new, old truck?

“Like I said dad, make certain that it’s ready for a long trip, as in the two thousand or so miles, to my place. Put a camper shell on the back, if it doesn’t already have one. Next, you should buy about twenty or so, five gallon, “jerry cans”, for gasoline. Fill a couple here, and a couple there, so you don’t attract attention, OK? A half dozen of those five gallon water jugs that they use on top of those dispensers would definitely be in order for the trip too.”

“Not to fast Hon. I’m trying to make a list that I’ll still be able to read in the light of day tomorrow. You know my penmanship is not my strong side to say the least, and when I press it, your chickens with dirty feet will put about the same marks on a page.” Chuckling softly at his last remark, she could visualize her dad’s scribbling in her mind’s eye, as he struggled to keep up with her litany.

“OK dad, are you ready?”

“Shoot, but not to fast.”

Composing her mental list while sending other portions to Jimmy at the same time didn’t bother her a bit. Part of her practitioner training had let her mind develop the ability to do the equivalent of some of the simpler multi-tasking functions that were found on her antique computer. While her voice was telling him one item from her list of things to do, her mind was racing ahead, with the actual construction of the list itself. The truth be told, her mental list for her father was long since completed, and she was working on one for her-self. Her training in the craft had been invaluable, but her natural abilities were also crucial in reaching her level of competence. Many of her contemporaries never suspected this was even obtainable, although she did not stand alone in her abilities, and knew that a few had the ability to go far beyond anything she could imagine.

“I think you should pick up a small gas powered generator. Make sure that it’s not computerized, and that it is capable of generating at least four or five kilowatts.”

“Been there and done that! I picked one up at a yard sale a couple of months ago to take on camping and hunting trips. It runs great, and none of that computer-ized stuff. He had it overhauled last year, and even gave me the receipts for the work. It was only a hundred and fifty bucks. I just couldn’t pass it up. You know I have been wanting one for some time, and when I saw it, I knew it was mine. Looks like I found it at just the perfect time, huh?”

“Fantastic! That little gem will be a blessing for sure. Why don’t you see if you can find one of those manual pumps that we can use to pull gas from underground storage tanks. When those chips get fried, the electrical switches and relays are going to fail, and without power those gas stations aren’t going to be pumping very much fuel, even if those tanks are full to the top.”

“Makes sense to me, what’s next?”

“Dad, I’ve always kept enough home canned food from the garden, and enough staples to last us for a minimum of two years. It’s one of the things that practitioners do, just as a matter of course. You and mom will need to help us on things like; canned meats, fish, chicken, and other high protein foods, as well as, staples like cornmeal, flour, oatmeal, and any other staple you might like or need will be OK. Oh yeah, we’ll need to stock up on; salt, sugar, baking powder, and soda, and everything else that we’ll need for baking. If you want; walnuts, raisins, and chocolate chips in your cookies, bring them too.”

Jimmy smiled as he was writing the last items down. He knew that his favorite, “goodie cookies”, absolutely required those last three items.

Danielle continued her list. “Don’t forget to add in things like canned fruits and berries. If the weather deteriorates as badly as I suspect it might, a pie or cobbler might be nice on a cold, bleary day. If you can add in some of those high energy survival type foods, for outdoorsmen and survivalists, we should do OK in the food department for a couple of years at least.” Everything that isn’t in a can should be put into airtight containers so the bugs can’t get to it, and it won’t be getting get wet either. I don’t think

We would care to dine on bread that has been baked from moldy flour that has just had the weevils sifted out of it”

“Whew, this is getting to be quite a list!”

That’s why I mentioned the necessity of getting a truck with a big engine, and a stout trailer hitch. This is going to knock the hell out of your savings, but...I’ll bet that any funds that are still in the bank on Wave Day won’t be worth a tinkers dam, when the you know what hits the fan, anyway”

“Point well taken Hon. What else do you think is vital?”

“I was thinking. In times past, salt was actually worth its weight in gold.

Maybe a couple of hundred pounds of rock salt would be a good idea to add to the list. We will need it for preserving foods like meats and kraut.”

Ellen was questioning her husband with her eyes, and with her increasingly evident body language by now, and Jimmy was communicating right back that a little more patience was needed on her part, so that he could finish the burgeoning list, without any mistakes. A psychic was not needed to see the increasing concern on her distraught face.

“OK, what’s next?”

“How about tools? Every type of hand tool you think we might need. Garden tools, Mechanics tools, carpentry tools, and whatever else you can think of taking, or have, or can find.”

“Will do. I’ll go to the park and swap in the morning, if I don’t get inspired a time or two at that place, I’ll be amazed for sure. They usually have tools that I can’t even figure out what they could be used for, as well as the hundreds that I do know about. Don’t worry, I’ll concentrate on the latter.”

“Do you still have your gun collection dad?”

“Sure do.”

“Well, bring every bit of it, and all the ammo, and the reloading equipment and supplies too. Maybe you should go out and pick up some extra reloading supplies. Better yet, lots of extra supplies!”

“You know me, your mom is always saying that it’ll be a minor miracle if the whole danged house doesn’t go up with a bang someday. No matter, I’ll pick up; extra primers, casings, wads, brass, powder, and some supplies like lead and black powder for my muzzleloaders. By the time I’m done stocking up, we’ll need a, “High Explosives”, placard just to travel down the highway! Lots of folks are going to be caught short when this hits, and you know as well as I do, that there’s nothing as dangerous as a starving man, except one that is watching his family starve. Nothing or no one will be secure in that kind of situation. By the way, speaking of starvation makes me wonder, how many seeds for the garden do you have?”

“Don’t worry dad, it’s on my other list of things to do. I’m going to go to the feed store tomorrow, and I’ll pick up all of the non-hybrid seeds we’ll need for two or three years or so. Those plants that we manage to get to grow in the gar-dens can be gleaned for seeds in the fall, for planting the following season. Some of those hybrids are great for things like drought resistance, anti-blight properties, and a myriad of other benefits, but they won’t produce a viable seed for the next planting, so they aren’t something we need. Just in case we do get clobbered by a really huge wave and it gives us some very bad years, weather wise. I’ll pick up some extra cold weather crops, you know things like the cabbage family; Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and kohlrabi. I also know that beets, turnips, and even chard do well in less than optimum conditions. Needless to say, some of those are not my idea of the very best in culinary delights, but I guess if you’re hungry enough, they’ll do just fine.

“Sounds good to me, I like most of that stuff, and what I don’t like, I’ll learn to like it before I go hungry! Is there anything else?”

“Oh dad, you like anything you can call dinner!”

“Well, most things, anyway. All of us will be less picky very soon for sure, I’ll wager.

Can you think of anything else for tonight?”

“I don’t think so dad. Let’s get some rest, and a good start in the morning. I’ll call you tomorrow night, and we can check on each other’s progress and compare notes then.

“0k Hon. Goodnight, and thanks for everything.”

“ Goodnight to both of you. I hope you sleep better tonight.”

Moving into the den, she booted her old computer. Grumbling under her breath, she made ready to do the, “Internet thing”. Not a true techno-phobic, she just hated them. Sitting at the old fashioned roll top desk, watching in silence as her, ”Brontosaurus”, as she not too fondly called it, came out of it’s long sleep, and she began to get ready to tell her world just what the hell was going on. No fancy voice mode or visuals here, just enough of the very basics to communicate on the rare occasion when she had to, and a little more regularly with a few special friends. Slipping a memory cube into, “drive A”, she began to form her message in her mind. Almost without her knowledge, her fingers began to move across the keys. Nearly a blur, it took only a few scant seconds, to compose her warning.

Important message to all pagan-net Practitioners

Circumstances now show a time of, “MAJOR UPHEAVAL”, is nearly upon us.

Cast your nets. See what you may. Prepare for change. Total destruction awaits those who fail to look askance at what lies in front !!!

Blessed be,


With the message stored in the cube she commanded the antique system to send it’s warning to every one of her stored addresses simultaneously. Nearly two hundred chat rooms, web pages, and e-mail addresses received her message within seconds. A few minutes later, her, “in box”, registered nine incoming transmissions. A quick check told her that one of them was from, “Medicine Owl”, her friend from the small cabin in Montana’s Sapphire Mountains.

While touring the western part of the states several years before, she had stopped at a, ”gathering”, being held not too far from where he lived. Walking among the crowd, she noticed the most unique and intriguing aura that she’d ever seen on anyone, or for that matter, on any living thing. He was sitting cross-legged with his back against a tall fir tree, seemingly a part of the landscape itself.

His face seemed to be as rough and craggy as the convoluted mountain range that encompassed the small hidden valley that had been chosen for the gathering, but his eyes seemed to be those that would be found on someone who was wearing a younger man’s clothes. Totally intrigued at this point, she approached him and without a word, sat down in the

grass directly in front of him. After a short time with nothing more than that all encompassing eye contact, he smiled and remarked that he had been waiting for her to come for some time, and was very pleased that she had finally arrived. Needless to say, she took one look at him, and knew that she’d never heard a more truthful word from any source in her entire life. Within the hour she had abandoned her itinerary, and had agreed to spend some time with him at his cabin, far back into the beautiful Sapphire Mountains, in the southwestern corner of the state. They left for his place the following morning in his old truck, and didn’t arrive at the rustic cabin until late that same afternoon. He did have solar power, and a small dish antenna that was set on a low rise behind the cabin. Explaining that he loved to access the web to contact the many different peoples from all over the world. He spent many of his free hours giving and taking culture from any that wished to communicate with him. Medicine Owl and Danielle spent many days wandering the remote wilderness, and he showed her much of what nature had provided for all. Medicinal plants, culinary plants, the best places to find virtually every item needed every word as would a shipwrecked sailor, cast adrift, who finds a cask of sweet water among the flotsam, drink long and deep. They also spent quiet evenings at his cabin next to a blazing fire, sipping his favorite, ”balsam tea”. He would relate Native American legends, far into the night. Not just the traditions of his own people, but those of many other tribes across the country, and occasionally from various places around the world. His explanations of how they were all interrelated, and how these oral traditions were vital to each culture was enlightening to say the very least. The knowledge that he demonstrated of the various pre-Colombian cultures in the Americas was positively uncanny, and as much as told her, he seemed to always be rationing out just a small portion of what he possessed. More than one time during this period, Danielle wondered to her-self, “How much knowledge can one man garner in a life-time.” She had listened with rapt attention for over a full week with very little input of her own, when he commented over his tea one evening, “The signs told me of your coming to this place, now if you wish, perhaps you can tell me why?”

Her knowledge of the natural world was not inconsiderable, and she had pointed out several things during her longs walks with him, but she knew exactly what he sought, and it wasn’t physical lore. Her knowledge of the, ”craft”, was deep, and during the next several weeks, she led him down the path that eventually took him to the secret places known to so few. He was the only person that had ever been privileged to receive instruction from her, as she had never found anyone that she felt was even close to being worthy. There were a few times when he seemed to catch the things that had been difficult, even for her in the beginning, without even seeming to need to struggle for it. It was at these times that she wondered at the powers of this man, and if he might just be humoring her. Shortly thereafter, he once again became the contrite student, as if he had heard her unvoiced questions.

The days grew short, and she knew in her mind that it would soon be time to leave, or the winter snows would make it impossible to do so. Two nights before, the peaks that were not all that far above the cabin, were made blinding white in the early morning sun, with a heavy dusting of snow. Preparations were made, and one chilly morning early in October, they took the jeep trail back down to the scenic valley far below. In the late afternoon of the second day, they said their good-byes in front of the little gas station that served as the bus stop for the small intra-mountain line. Watching him through the rear window as he faded into the distance, Danielle felt as if her very heart would break. She knew in her heart that they had played this scene out many times in the past, and hoped that they would do so many times in the future.

“Clicking on his message icon, she read the message aloud, ”I too have seen the signs. The time has come to forsake these ways and to return to the ways of our forefathers. When this,” Upheaval“, comes, we shall be able to talk this way no more, but surely we shall always speak to each other, for all time, through our hearts.”

With tears nearly obscuring her sight, she read several more of the replies. Message after message ran in the same vein. The majority of them had felt change in the air, and thanked her for the warning. They were all agog at the fact that the world’s news bureaus were still laughing at the story of the Mayan’s prediction of the end of time.

As exhaustion took hold, she made her way to the bedroom, and it’s inviting, pecan sleigh bed. As she was collapsing into its soft embrace, without bothering to undress, she commented, “Well, I guess it’s going to be true, he who laughs last, laughs the loudest.” She was asleep almost as quickly as her head hit the pillow, and it wasn’t very long until her friend Medicine Owl came to her in a vivid dream. He was standing on a tall granite cliff that overlooked her position in a small meadow full of multicolored mountain flowers. She could see the trees swaying in the breeze and hear the water as it bubbled over the stones in the creek that ran beside her feet. With a final farewell wave, he seemed to slowly evaporate on the winds that coursed through the beautiful mountains above his home. She wasn’t aware that tears of profound sadness once again trailed down her cheeks, and she never awoke before they had dried by the following morning.