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Rebecca

Tag Team Story - Just For Fun!

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I thought it might be fun to start a tag team story. If you'd like to participate, read through the story and add a segment to the end. It'll be fun to see how the story progresses.

 

 

Enjoy! :)

 

 

*****

 

 

John wasn't crazy. Of that, he was sure. Any of his friends would describe him as steadfast, dependable, and maybe even a bit dull.

 

 

And yet, what he'd just seen was impossible. A hallucination of some sort. It had to be. He slouched down against the wall, and rubbed his eyes hard with the heels of his hands before looking up again.

 

 

Sure enough, it was still there. This was no hallucination. And it was closing in -- fast.

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I thought it might be fun to start a tag team story. If you'd like to participate, read through the story and add a segment to the end. It'll be fun to see how the story progresses.

 

 

Enjoy! :)

 

 

*****

 

 

John wasn't crazy. Of that, he was sure. Any of his friends would describe him as steadfast, dependable, and maybe even a bit dull.

 

 

And yet, what he'd just seen was impossible. A hallucination of some sort. It had to be. He slouched down against the wall, and rubbed his eyes hard with the heels of his hands before looking up again.

 

 

Sure enough, it was still there. This was no hallucination. And it was closing in -- fast.

 

It couldn't be happening, what would happen when it got closer? Would the worst thing happened or would it just cause a slight change in the environment?

 

 

Everyone had been talking about it but no one really believed it would come this close and it was moving faster than predicted, How was he going to protect his family or even himself? Was there any real solution?

 

 

There was a contingency plan, but could that really work, and really save him or anyone? Should he try for it, would he make it in time?

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John wasn't crazy. Of that, he was sure. Any of his friends would describe him as steadfast, dependable, and maybe even a bit dull.

And yet, what he'd just seen was impossible. A hallucination of some sort. It had to be. He slouched down against the wall, and rubbed his eyes hard with the heels of his hands before looking up again.

 

 

Sure enough, it was still there. This was no hallucination. And it was closing in -- fast.

 

 

It couldn't be happening, what would happen when it got closer? Would the worst thing happened or would it just cause a slight change in the environment?

 

 

Everyone had been talking about it but no one really believed it would come this close and it was moving faster than predicted, How was he going to protect his family or even himself? Was there any real solution?

 

 

There was a contingency plan, but could that really work, and really save him or anyone? Should he try for it, would he make it in time?

 

It was no good, closing his eyes for a second time worked even less well as it closed in fast. For now, ducking seemed like a good idea or it would take his head off for sure.

 

 

As he dropped to the floor he scrambled for his cell phone and began to key in that special number.

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He pressed the phone firmly against his right ear his knuckles white. Listing intently for the digital sequence of tones but nothing happened. He removed the phone from his ear and looked intently at the screen. In stead of seeing the picture of his family on the wallpaper of his phone, a shadowy figure materialize on the screen. Shocked by the image, like a hot burning coal he tossed the phone to the floor. As the phone came to rest with its screen facing upward, a brilliant light emanated from its screen filling the room with a warm glow.

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The overhead lights sputtered out as pulsating lights from the cellphone began revolving around the room. Characters and symbols suddenly appeared on the walls, John recognized Efraim's Code in its revolving patterns. He had trained for this moment, and he knew what he had to do, but the simulation room at the conservatory had not adequately prepared him for the worst case scenario. He had not expected to feel such overwhelming fear. Drenched in a sickly cold sweat, he began to snatch at the symbols, grasping the glowing lights in his trembling hand. There were no chimes to help him arrange the correct sequence, but the Efraim Code levitating before him was beginning to take the portal's shape. Just a few more characters, and then,....

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...he found himself slurpped as it were, into the portal, travelling with great speed into a much smaller world, another dimension, a place of safety.

 

 

It was his first trip into another dimension although he had read about such experiences. Some who had moved into those places had returned to the four dimentional life of earth and some had not returned; he wondered what would be his eventual experience. For now however, he was safe.

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Traveling through the portal at a speed greater than light, John's body became twisted and distorted like reflections in a house of mirrors. The fear that griped him like talons of an eagle holding its prey captive, soon faded with the warm glow of the light. How could this be? One minute his world shook like a violent earth quake, the next it was as calm as a crystal clear lake on a windless day.

 

 

John's mind like a light bulb starving for energy faded in and out. Slowly darkness enveloped him and the warm light that surrounded him. The last thing he remembered was reaching for the Efraim Code.

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Standing straight now and feeling quite like himself, he wondered what lay about him and what he might expect in this hidden chamber of safety.

 

 

"If it is possible," he thought, "that the Code works in the manner we were been trained to expect, this is one nifty escape route."

 

 

As he walked around in the nearly empty room, or would it be better called an enclosure, he decided to explore what lay beyond the wall which was in front of him. He scanned the wall but found no available door.

 

 

"Surely it is one of those moveable walls," he said out loud. Pressing on the wall he made a shocking discovery, his entire arm moved into the wall! Pressing his body against the wall he discovered that he could walk through walls, just like Jesus did!

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Oddly enough it was a source of comfort to him that he had been exposed to those accounts about Jesus walking through closed doors and the account of both Jesus and Peter walking on top of the water. Whatever molecular or dimentional reconstruction they had experienced had ultimately converted.

 

 

Knowing those facts, he held a hope that once again he would be home, in his house with his family. Had they oriented him about how that would happen in the Efraim Code? He thought, that it might help if he rested awhile and try to recall what had been said.

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Although he wanted to rest for a moment, the sights and sounds he witnessed were different than what he had been use to. The smell of fresh fruits, vegetables, baked goods, and meat filled the air with a sweet aroma. Scattered along the alley next to the mud and stone buildings with makeshift awnings of variegated tapestry were outcroppings of venders selling their weirs. Laughter echoed through the dusty alley as children played various games. Directly across the alley like bantam roosters ready to fight, two men dressed in long colorful woven garments, sandals and turbans argued about the price of produce.

 

 

John soon realized he had somehow traveled back in time. Could it be possible? Had he somehow escaped the world he knew and stepped back in time? He started back to the wall and stopped with a thud stumbling backward. Now what am I going to do? Before he could answer himself, the sound of a frail raspy voice from behind caused him to whirl around almost making him loose his balance.

 

 

“We’ve been waiting for you.”

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John nearly jumped out of his skin. Whirling, he found himself face to face with- a little old woman. The deep wrinkles in her head told stories of experience, which gave her an air of wisdom.

 

 

"Where am I?" Her head turned to take in the scene of the streets just outside of the alley.

 

 

"You are just outside of the streets of Jerusalem, A.D. 30." John's eyes snapped from the street to her face.

 

 

"Wait a minute!" her eyes flickered back to him, studying him. "How could you know to use A.D., "In the Year of Our Lord", unless..." Her head tilted slightly. He sighed with the realization. "Unless you're also from another time." She smiled.

 

 

"Very good." She was dressed in the right clothes for the period, with the long, brightly colored dress that seemed to almost shimmer in the glaring sunlight. John glanced up and down the alley, then turned back tot the woman in front of him.

 

 

"You said 'we've been waiting for you.' Are there others around here?"

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She nodded her head and motioned for him to follow her down a narrow passage to a small door. She rapped on the door in a short pattern; three short raps, a pause and three more raps. He could hear something moving on the other side of the door that secured it shut. When the door opened, the woman stepped in and the door shut quickly behind him.

 

 

"We need to get you some clothes so you don't stand out from the crowd." on of the men said, "Then we need to discuss the situation....

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John waited for a moment as his eyes adjusted to the dimly lit room. The smell of burning wood mingled with the fragrance of herbs and spices brought a sense of calm to his troubled mind. As his eyes grew accustomed to the light in the room, an oranges glow from a clay lamp perched on a shelf to his right cast a shadow of four men sitting at rough hune wooden table. To his left perched over small stone fire place, a young woman about the same age as John stood preparing food. The old lady shuffled to the table and sat next to one of the men placing her hand over his and smiled.

 

 

One of the men stood, ducking his head and made his way toward John.

 

 

"What's your name?"

 

 

"John Wellington"

 

 

"Well John Wellington, my name is Isiah Smith. This is Jeremiah Davis." He pointed to the man sitting next to the old lady. "The one who looks like ate lemons is Joshua Davis, Jeremiah's brother." The man bowed placing his hand at the top of his forehead and moved it down in a forward circular motion continued. "This is professor Mark Hamilton, Professor of Quantum Physics." Turning to the young lady at the fire place with his arm stretched out and a smile on his face. "Last but not least, this is my lovely daughter Rachel." She turned and faced John, the glow from the fire place accented her soft eyes and dimpled smile.

 

 

"So..." John had to gather his thoughts. "Are all of you from back there... I mean, from the future?"

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The old woman leaned forward, her words measured with quiet authority, "Our realms are not your concern,...the least you know of us, or we of you the better for our task at hand. Now Rachel?"

 

 

From an embroidered linen sack slung over her shoulder, the young woman produced a curved harp, strung with taunt silver strings that glowed with an eerie light as she began to skillfully pluck out a tune.

 

 

One by one the men picked out a tone, lifting their voices in a melodic harmony that John instantly recognized, before they abruptly stopped, leaving the room in shattering silence.

 

 

"The code?" gasped John, "Efraim's Code. but why,...why did you stop?"

 

 

"That's all we know," said Rachel softly, she handed him the harp, "Finish the last sequence."

 

 

"I am not sure I can," said John gingerly taking the delicate instrument, "The chimes, I trained with were percussion."

 

 

"Try," said Rachel with a beguiling smile.

 

 

"We will begin again," said the old woman, "Join in, John where you are comfortable, feel the music, and try not to think what your fingers are doing."

 

 

The old woman's voice then lifted with a soaring clarity, beautiful and timeless, echoed by Rachel in perfect pitch, each man took up his part, the mathematical complexities of the code masked by the seemingly simple tune.

 

 

Closing his eyes, John began to pluck at the strings, that felt glowing hot against his flesh. Faster and faster the code began to take shape, though his eyes were closed, John could sense Efraim's portal was emerging. It felt right, their voices, melding with the melodic harp, until a sudden false note twanged with a high pitched bursting sound.

 

 

John opened his eyes, the fire in stone lamp burned, but his hands were empty and he was all alone,...

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confusion set in as John considered all he had just witnessed. What was reality? Did these people really exist? For all he knew they were the illusion in his place and time. John sunked to the floor feeling overwelmed and exhausted. Tired, just so tired. Shring!..."what in the world!" John gasped.. there by his feet in the darkness John glimpsed the shiny metal. It was still here, the harp! It pulsated an unearthly, surreal glow. Reaching towards it John could feel the intense power, along with a strange foreboding...

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touching the harp with concern that it too might disappear, he wondered if the harp was his key of release from this place in which he found himself, although he knew not where it was nor yet what name it was called.

 

 

Both of his hands now upon the harp he felt two distinct but different emotions, both equally strong. He felt the committment to the Cause, for which he had strenously trained, and a strong regret that he had ever heard of it.

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He carefully picked up the seven stringed instrument and made his way to one of the chairs around the table. John slowly ran his hand over the neck of the harp and notice carvings of symbols and pictures. He placed the harp on the table and retrieved the lamp from the shelf and place it back on the table. With care, he held the harp next to the glow of the flame and examined its markings. Carved at the top of the harp was a picture of a king sitting on a throne with his finger pointing forward. Below the king, there was what appeared to be a map leading to a cave. On either side of the cave were two symbols he recognized immediately. One looked like our capital "a" in Hellenistic form and the other like an upside down bowlegged "u" standing on feet, the alpha and omega. Further down the neck were other carvings, an eye, two hands, and what appeared to be an angel blowing a trumpet.

 

 

Before he could examine the harp further, a loud knock rattled the door. John ran to the fire place and recovered the embroidered bag and placed the harp in it.

 

 

"John, I know your in there, open the door."

 

 

Who could possibly know I was here. John found a crack between the wall and the fire pit and placed the bag in it and covered it with loose lying stones he found on the floor. Once again the door rattled and the voice on the other side grew louder.

 

 

"John, open the door, I'm not here to hurt you I'm trying to help."

 

 

John made his way to the door and peaked through one of the cracks and saw a man that appeared to be in his late forties wearing a veil over his face. His heart pounding like a jack hammer.

 

 

"Who are you?"

 

 

"That doesn't matter. If you don't open this door then it won't matter to either of us."

 

 

John removed the latch and invited the man in.

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"Stand perfectly still," said the man, taking out an twisted triangle shaped instrument, he held it toward John and it beeped alarmingly.

 

 

"Their disappearance was a time fracture?" said John, his hands beginning to shake.

 

 

"Yes," said the man, clicking upon instrument crystalized screen, "I saw the rupture on the radar from where I was observing. Your signal was the only one not swept into the breach."

 

 

"But," said John with confusion, "Theoretically shouldn't there have been a massive implosion?"

 

 

"Our adversary's technology is nearly as advanced as our own," said the man, pocketing the device, "We've got to get out of here the ion levels are too high."

 

 

"How do I know, you are not the adversary?" John took a wary step back, "I seem to be the only one out of the loop here."

 

 

"Exactly," said the man grimly, "That is why you are so necessary to the Cause. Our enemy knows this and has obviously corrupted one of our agents, but you can trust me, John, observe," the man voice lifted into a single perfectly pitched note rising so high a thin clay vessel next to the hearth shattered. He looked at John with a grin, "My time at the conservatory was just a rigorous as yours."

 

 

"Ok, you have my attention," said John, he reached for the embroidered bag, "What do we do now? Another portal?"

 

 

"Not with ion levels this high," said the man, "We will have to get out of this biosphere on our own."

 

 

"Biosphere!" said John with bewilderment looking around the convincingly crafted interior. "Then this timeline is a hoax?"

 

 

"Not to those who live here," said the man, opening the door a crack, "They think what they've been told,...come we need to....."

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find a place where ionization levels are lower." As they looked about the room in search of some exit other than the door, John rememberd the Harp, he must take the Harp with him. It did after all provide a method of reproducing the Efriam Code, if only he could figure how to reproduce it.

 

 

John went quickly to the stones with which he had covered the Harp. Reaching forward he picked up the bag into which he had placed it. Then walking toward the gentleman, which he must now trust as a friend, he said to him, "What now?"

 

 

The gentleman looking quizzically at the bag asked John what the bag contained. John, with great care removed the Harp and his new found friend gasped, "So that's where it is!" he said. "How did you come to have this in your hands?"

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Before the stately looking stranger could utter another word, a brilliant flash of light exploded through the door sending both of them through the air like rag dolls against the far wall of the room. John lie on the floor against the wall in a daze. What just happened? John's eyes widened, as a dark silhouette with fiery eyes filled the gaping hole that once use to be a door. The pungent aroma of sulfur stung his nose and burned his throat with every labored breath.

 

 

The vile smelling creature made his way toward John and eyed the embroidered sack with its content half exposed. John notice the creature eying the sack and quickly scrambled toward it. Before he could reach it, the creature raised his arm with a pointed finger toward John. Before John could react, an effervescent light filled the room with a radiant glow giving him a sense of peace. Materializing from within the center of the light another living being began to appear. The angelic looking being walked toward the creature and withdrew a fiery sword from its golden sheath.

 

 

"Leave or meat an early judgment."

 

 

The scaly creature hissed, his eyes narrowed and a yellowy swirl of smoke filtered upward from his nostrils.

 

 

"This isn't over, Raphael. We will meet again, and in the final battle we will be victorious."

 

 

Turning on his heal, the creature leaped through the door toward the sky and faded into the horizon.

 

 

Off to his right in the shadows of the room John heard a moan and realized that it was the stranger who was here to help him. John turned to speak to the angelic figure but only saw an empty room. Who was that? This is way more than I had expected. John returned his attention to the stranger lying in the floor and ran to help him.

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Fortunately, the man was still breathing. John, though little experienced in such matters, checked the man's pulse, just in case. From what he could tell it seemed to be fine, though a little high from the adrenaline rush. Suddenly the man's eyes were open, and he started scrambling back before he realized that the face filling his vision was John's. With a little help the man stood and, at John's insistence, took at seat at the table. After a little bit of small talk, they were up and on their way, traveling through the dusty streets of Jerusalem.

 

 

"Sir?"

 

 

"Yes?"

 

 

"Before I made it to this time, I remember seeing something rushing at me. I thought it looked like... I don't know, a meteor, maybe? But I'd never seen anything like it." The man stopped, and took a careful look at the young man beside him.

 

 

"What did it look like?" John shrugged.

 

 

"I didn't get a very good look, but it looked something like a meteor. It had a tail like one. But there was something different about it, like it was... alive." The man nodded, either deep in thought, or hesitant to reveal too much. His eyes were focused on the sky above him, telling John that there was at least a little discomfort about the subject. Which meant he knew something.

 

 

"Did you have any... unnatural feelings or emotions as it approached?" John's head tilted slightly, inviting more explanation. "For instance, did you feel especially afraid, or angry, either one out of proportion to what was happening?"

 

 

"I honestly don't remember much, but I was panicked. It seemed like it was trying to overwhelm me. That the fear itself was the enemy." The man nodded, a slight hint of a smile on his unusually chapped lips.

 

 

"Well, in a sense you were right. These Hellions, for a lack of better word, have been sent by the Enemy. His goal is to destroy us and our efforts, as well as anyone else doing similar works. He has power, but there is one greater than He, our greatest Ally."

 

 

When he heard that, a sort of fear came over John. Not the sort as when you are in a dark forest alone and deprived of hope. This was a very deep respect, a knowledge of a Being who was completely competent, yet chose to use men for His purposes, to give glory to His Name.

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John and the stranger made their way out of Jerusalem and headed northeast, neither spoke for some time. Who is this guy? He shows up out of nowhere, flashing something that looks like an antiquated flip phone and talks about a biosphere where people believe what they want? Not counting the fact that I've seen creatures that look like something from a Steven King film. John averted his eyes toward the stranger for a moment. Hum... look at him now. For someone who just went though an explosion, you'd think he would be limping or rubbing his aching body but there's nothing wrong with him. John's thoughts were interrupted by a chuckle coming from the stranger.

 

 

"You're probably wondering who I am, and what's going on?"

 

 

Like he's going to tell me. "You got that right!"

 

 

"I'll explain that to you soon enough."

 

 

I knew he'd stall for time, probably trying to concoct a story and keep me in the dark. "When will that be? Never?"

 

 

The stranger turned and looked into John's innocent blue eyes, the corner of the stranger's dimpled mouth turned upward. John couldn't pull his eyes from the strangers. What is it about this mans eyes, it's as though he is looking into the deep dark recesses of my soul. John quickly averted his eyes from the stranger looking ahead he spotted a well.

 

 

"Finally, a place to get a drink." John wiped his arm across his parched lips.

 

 

"Ah yes...the well of Shalom." The stranger slapped John across the back with his iron clad hand almost making him stumble forward.

 

 

Both sat and enjoyed the cool refreshing taste of the crystal clear liquid.

 

 

"John my friend."

 

 

John turned and looked at the stranger shielding his eyes from the early morning sun.

 

 

"Yes."

 

 

"You are familiar with the Ephraim Code?"

 

 

John cocked his head to one side.

 

 

"I was starting my apprenticeship when I ended up here."

 

 

"I see." The stranger nodded then continued. "Are you familiar with the Omega..."

 

 

A soft voice spoke interrupting the stranger. John turned to the silhouette of a young woman blocking the sun.

 

 

"Rachel!"

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Rachel smiled and clasped her hands together in front of her.

 

 

"Hello John. I'm sorry for leaving the way we did."

 

 

"Yeah, what happened back there anyway?"

 

 

"I really can't say for now, but seek the truth while it may be found and you will get your answer."

 

 

John raised his bushy eye brows and watched as Rachel gracefully made her way toward him.

 

 

"What do you mean by "seek the truth..." Rachel gently place her hand against his cheek. "Don't worry, give it time it will come."

 

 

Her hand felt like fine spun silk, her touch sent waves of peace coursing through his body like a gentle flowing brook flowing over smooth stones. He had never felt this way before, then he remembered the warmth when he was sucked in by the light and the time the angelic being filled the room with its light. Who was she?

 

 

He need answers to the questions that swirled around in his head like a cyclone strewing bits and pieces of debris everywhere. Things like. Who is this stranger? How come we can't leave this place? Where did Rachel and the others go? What was so important about the harp that spirit beings appear out of nowhere fighting for it?

 

 

Johns thought were suspended by the sound of Rachel's voice.

 

 

"So, who is your friend?"

 

 

"Ah...I didn't get his name, we meet just after you disappeared."

 

 

The stranger watched intently at the new comer to the party.

 

 

"I see." Rachel walked toward the stranger with her hand extended.

 

 

The stranger nodded his head and folded his arms across his chest.

 

 

"So." Rachel lowered her hand to her side. "You don't like to shake hands, not a problem." Rachel eyed the stranger a moment and continued.

 

 

"Well, I guess you know by the conversation my name is Rachel." The stranger nodded his stone face and Rachel carried on.

 

 

"So...what's your name?"

 

 

The stranger paused for a moment studying Rachel. "The names not important for now, but you can call me Bill."

 

 

"Bill!" John blurted out. "Why don't you tell us your real name?'

 

 

Rachel placed her hand on John's shoulder and instantly like a shot to ease ones anxiety he became calm.

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The stranger’s face softened as he lowered his arms and ran his olive skin hand through his black wavy hair.

 

 

“So Rachael … is it?” The stranger turned his head slightly to the right with a raised eye brow.

 

 

“Yes.”

 

 

“I heard John ask you, “were did you vanish to?”

 

 

Rachael cocked her head to the right and a one sided grin crossed her face.

 

 

“I believe what he said was, “what happened to you back there?”

 

 

The stranger nodded and waved his index finger in the air next to his face.

 

 

“Now that I recall, I believe your right.”

 

 

The stranger made his way around to the other side of the well opposite of Rachel and John.

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"So Rachel," the stranger stooped to scoop some water with his hand from the well. "Where are you from.

 

 

John turned toward Rachel eager to hear her response.

 

 

"I'm from a place far from here." John raised his eye brows and started to protest, but Rachel furrowed her brow and shook her head slightly warding off any possible response John may have. The stranger lifted his head from the well and gazed into Rachel's eyes and smiled. Rachel smiled back at the stranger and retorted.

 

 

"So ah...Bill is it?" Rachel's smile faded and took on a more serous form. "Where are you from, or should I ask?"

 

 

The stranger stood, placed his right foot on the brim of the well while propping his right arm on his knee and pointed his index finger in the air.

 

 

"I too, as you say, am from a place far from here." He smiled, then stood wiping his hand on his long multi-colored tunic.

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