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Sunday, January 6, 2013

Excerpt book #5

Swirling puffs of white fog drifted slowly upward gradually revealing a surface that looked like a glass mirror, shiny and smooth with a faint glimmer of silver. Sara, James and Thomas looked downward and were surprised to see not a reflection, but images of grassy hills, trees and blue sky. Bright, clear and clean, this land had not been touched by man yet. Anmals roamed freely about the land, plants grew tall and beautiful in neat rows ready for use. No buildings occupied space there, no people walked around on the surface. It reminded them of a place they had been once before when seeking Braccus’ hidden object.

They had gone back to a time before the Keepers arrived on the surface of the land that bore their name. The very first world Iam had created, it had been untouched by anything dirty or mean, but hadn’t stayed that way for long. Even way back then Braccus had found a way to ruin what Iam had made, quickly killing animals and plants as he arrived to experiement on Braccus’ world in secret.

Unpleasant memories of that meeting with Braccus came to mind as the group stood surrounded by a place filled with nothing, but overlooking everything. The scene below them was filled with an explosion of lovely color but the air around them was a pale washed out white, much like the pasty muted color of their skin. Death had brought some extreme changes in their appearance.

Sara noticed that her own hand had the appearance of not coming into contact with the sun, ever. She was so pale that she was sure that Finola’s new friend Eric, even as white as he was, would have appeared a shade or two darker than she was; she was dead but she had a sense of humor. She glanced over and saw a small smile pull Thomas and James’ lips upward as they read her mind. She smiled too for just an instant before realizing they were all probably just having a nervous reaction to their recent deaths, because really it wasn’t that funny. Remembering the reason they were here they tried to be more serious but Sara still had to fight the urge to giggle long and loudly while she watched the worlds move along inches from the sneakers she had been wearing when she died. The companions tried to become serious again by squeezing each other’s hands tightly and concentrating on what they were seeing at that very moment. Doing this helped a little but it was still a minute or two more before the Keepers were able to wipe the silly smiles from their faces. It was either laugh or cry and it seemed for just a short time, the laughter took over until they were able to focus in their surroundings once again. The beauty of the lands they saw, calmed them, drawing their eyes downward toward the remarkable landscape, it helped to look at something besides themselves and the view certainly was interesting.

As they continued to watch in fascination, the scene below them shifted and it was as if watching the world develope below them. The things they were seeing were not holding still like a pretty picture, they were moving. Clouds floated across the sky clearly visible just below their feet, and they could see people now. Human beings moved along in sturdy work clothes farming and building, laughing and playing.

Since their view was so good and they could see for quite some distance ahead of them, it seemed that the scenes they were seeing constantly changed. It was like watching time pass as they looked down upon it. The people and landscape they saw shifted, little children grew up and older; mountains rose and wore away with the passage of time. Buildings rose and fell, trees grew and were chopped down. Events that took many years seemed to be occurring over a matter of minutes and before their very eyes.

And it wasn’t just the land of the Keepers they saw, it was other places too. Exotic places with blue grass and purple skies was visible on one section of their unusual flooring, while swampy ground and deserts with orange sand occupied a section farther ahead to the left. The occupants of each section were different too; though closely resembling your average everyday person, each resident boasted the slight changes Iam had made with each new world he created.

These changes allowed their bodies to survive in the atmosphere he had made for them to live in. Some had blue skin others were pale white; still others had orange hair or green hair with features that suited the changing environments. Little differences, large muscular chests built to house the bigger lung capacity, nostrils a little wider allowing them to breathe the thicker air that was part of their world. Another area revealed villagers with eyes just a tad larger than your average person, with colors that weren’t seen in the normal earth type atmosphere, red, pink and orange. Thomas guessed somehow these colors made it possible for them to see in the dense maroon fog that passed for air in their particular piece of the universe. Still others were very short with heavy legs made for keeping them grounded because the gravity of their world was not as powerful as that in the regular world. Tossing large boxes into the air as effortlessly as a piece of paper, they went about their daily routines with ease only those born into that kind of atmosphere could. Each species was different but so beautifully made the differences were not disturbing at all. Braccus, with all his experimenting on Iam’s original works wasn’t capable of making living things this wonderful.

Forgetting for a moment that they were not in here alone, they moved on, watching the areas below as each world progressed from the point where it was first created to several different decades later. As different as the places were, they all had something in common, at the end of all that progress they saw the same thing, the utter destruction brought upon them by Braccus. Every scene in every place they saw seemed to undergo the same changes at the same point in time. The skies, whatever color they were, all became darker and they witnessed a terrible struggle between the braver ones of the world and Braccus’ horrible mutations.

The battles they witnessed were fierce and it was hard to watch the good people fall to the evil things they were fighting. Large numbers died on both sides, before, being overwhelmed in numbers, the forces of good were forced to retreat. They were guided out with Sara’s help; she remembered that part when she was alive. Thomas’ spirit was with her then and James had been watching from the place where he was keeping Alice safe. But now, as they continued to stare helplessly while the worlds were being destroyed, they felt the pain of all those poor souls trying to survive below them; they felt rage at the way the worlds were being ripped apart. But all this had already happened and they couldn’t stop it, just watch helplessly while it played out again in front of them, just as the Keepers had and they understood what frustration and anger they must have felt.

Still they watched until the last good creature disappeared into the underground, hearts heavy with the change in the fortunes of the surface dwellers, wanting to help in some way, but not sure how. Being not alive they could affect anything at all down there anymore. Sara, James and Thomas stood staring downward until the darkness below made it difficult to make out much of anything, turning slowly to look behind them as hands grasped their shoulders.

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