>Rock, rock, rock, rock…
Back and forth… back and forth…
Is there anything as calming as sitting in a rocking chair and listening to classical music. Well, rock and punk songs played by an orchestra… same thing…
There can only be one thing more soothing: sitting in the middle of a lake listening to classi- instrumental music. As it mixes with the ambience of mother earth it creates a stillness in my mind that transports me to a comforting world. A place where my mind is still and my heart is calm. A place where the battlefield I live in is no longer filled with the dull structures of the city. Rather, there is nothing but the water. At the edge of the water is the fields of green. At the ends of the fields, filled with fruits and nuts of many kinds, there is the Everforest. Beyond that…well, beyond that doesn’t exist. It is only me and the fish and the birds and the breeze, along with the occasional grape. This world is so real as I sit in my chair, I hardly remember what time it is.
BANG! BANG! BANG!
“Open the door, Tama!”
“All that racket is ruining my music, ya know…”
“Come’on, open up would ya. We got another, uh, quest for you.”
The snickering is almost unbearable to listen to. Their hands should be cut from their arms. But not now. ‘Quests’ usually have great rewards.
Tama rocks himself out of the chair to meet his potential clients at the door, but they get tired of waiting. The door flies open with the lock dashing across the room.
“Listen, Tama, we ain’t got all day,” the man shouts over the music! “We have important places to be-” “Ya, and at important times!” The man is interrupted by an accompanying associate, who gets an elbow in the stomach for his two cents worth. “Don’t hit him,” Tama warns in a calm voice, “I don’t like violence.”
“Ooooh, be careful,” the third man chimes in, “He might start beating you with his little paddle.”
They all have a good laugh, which is cut short. As if he was dancing to the music, Tama pulls out his weapon and strikes each man in the head before they know he even moved.
“It’s called an oar, pea brain.” Tama has them on the ground and demands, “what is the quest?”
“Maybe we don’t want to give it to you anymore-” Before he can finish his sentence the man finds himself stripped of his trousers. With the quest papers in the pocket, Tama has what he needs.
“Tell him this may be my last quest. I’m setting out for… greener pastures soon. If he has anything else he needs done, he better get to me quickly.”
“Tell him yourself,” the third mumbles under his bruised cranial bone.
“What did you say?”
“He said nothing!” The first intervenes, “When you’re done bring the prize to the house and he’ll pay like always! Let’s get outta here!” The three men run off into the lightened night of the dark city. They will return to the house of their master, and he will be displeased with Tama’s decision. But it should be easy enough to get the prize and claim the reward. He actually needs this last job. After all, the map to Camden lies hidden in the master’s library. Tama would have to visit eventually. Might as well be invited, rather than sneak in and get caught. The master doesn’t like such surprises. Now to see what our quest is.
Tama returns to his chair and begins to rock. He increases the volume of his music and returns to his solitude on the lake. He then reaches into the pocket of the man’s pants and pulls out the envelope.
He stops the chair.
He turns off the music.
He must concentrate on this letter, for it is not like the rest. This is a letter to Tama… from his mother! His mother died many years ago in a tragic boating accident. She burned to death for sure. Either that, or she was swallowed by the dark realm of the ocean deep. What mattered right now is her letter. As Tama reads on he finds that this letter is written to him as a warning. He is warned to break from the master as soon as he can. Tama jokes the letter to be a mind reader, for that’s what he has been planning. But wait-
A mind reader, probably not, but mysterious none-the-less… this letter is dated AFTER the day his parents boat burst into flames and he was cast out into the ocean by the blast of the fuel tanks, with only his oar to keep him afloat. This letter was written after his mother’s death! Which means…
Tama grabs his hooded sweatshirt. He slips on his gloves. He tightens his belt, and lastly, his oar. That oar is his only protection in this world. It was there the day he was orphaned and has not let him down since. This would be the only protection he would have from the master, who would not be the least bit thrilled by Tama’s intrusion. But wait-better to be prepared than to burst in with questions unanswered. He decides to read the rest of the letter.
“My dear little Tama,” it begins, “I am writing this letter to beg you to get out of the hands of the master as quickly as you can. The master is a horrible man who will use you to your death. He does not love as we do. He has been stripped of his compassion by an evil sorcerer. You must run from him and hide until he has found a new soul, whose hope and love he will diminish as I’m sure he has done to you.”
How could she know that Tama is in the master’s service? He was but 9 when the master took him in… better continue.
“I know you won’t believe me at first, but you need to understand that there are things in this world that are happening. They happen so the evil ones can feast off the souls of the poor in spirit. You must always love and you will be loved in return.”
Now it’s just not making any sense! “Why would my mother write to me from the beyond just to teach me about The Golden Rule,” Tama thinks to himself? He lightly continues his reading as if there is nothing to find of any interest.
“Love others,” here it comes, “as you wish to be loved,” and there it is- “STOP THAT!”
“WHAT THE-!” Tama jumps back, oar in hand as if to slice the letter in two! Is it talking to him? He pokes it with the oar and can hear a faint call… coming from the letter…?
“Tama… Tama, do not be afraid… it’s really me, Tama…”
He is ready to give the paper what-for when the letter jumps at him and yells, “Tama Moab Elkennard! You put that oar away this instant or there will be no extra cocoa in your milk!”
Tama puts the oar down, sits on his chair, folds his hands in his lap, and thinks to himself, “what am I doing?”
“Who are you,” Tama demands, “and how do you know I like extra cocoa in my milk?”
…but there is no answer. The letter has grown quiet. It’s only movement comes from the breeze flowing in through the open window. Tama slowly approaches the letter. With caution, he picks it up and begins to read it again.
“Hello again Tama. Your quest for this night is a simple one. You will sneak into the Yourney Estate and take back what is rightfully mine, as usual. It is a rare diamond which has a vein of blue running down the middle.”
What is this? The letter has changed!? How could this be? Tama finishes the letter, talking to it as he goes. “That won’t be easy,” he says out loud. “No kidding, pea brain!” he scoffs at the letter. But the letter does not return even a whisper. Maybe it was his imagination. He pinches himself to see if he’s dreaming. He can feel it, but he’s never been one to care much to react to a pinch. So he picks up his oar and -WHACK- knocks himself on the floor. If he wasn’t asleep, he very well may be now.
He places some ice on his head, grabs his gear, and sets off for the Yourney Estate. What has taken place this night, so far, Tama puts in the back of his mind. His mother’s apparent appearance will have to be investigated later. For tonight, there is a blue viened diamond waiting to be rescued; about 40 men who haven’t had the snot beat out of them in years; and a reward with Tama’s name on it… that will hopefully come with the map he seaks, and maybe a clue as to his mother’s real demise.
to be continued . . . .