All is in slow motion here at the moment, technical hardware issues, but…
Here is a short second part to a short story being written for The 13th Floor Paradigm, Mythology Workshop #1, hosted by Oloriel
For the first part, see below this post, or just drop by here… The Crescent of the East (pt 1).
But Reid backs off, and slows, coming to a complete stop as he watches the lights of train fade into its journey along the rails, while too, the moments now passed, the peculiar full moon fades back to that of a new moon, and so darkness prevails once again.
Contemplating whether to push on for a few hours in the early eve, and cross the border into Mali, or wait until morning, Reid pushes on, making for the shallow where the Sahara meets the Sahel. The vapour of night, pitch black for the most part. Lonesome to the distance, the headlight on the dirt bike carpets a narrow corridor fading upon passing the many miles. Where he crossed into Mali, Reid can not be sure, but out to his right while heading North-East, then East, he can just make out the broken expanse of Africa’s green girdle, a green wall of trees attempting to reclaim their right to venture north, across the narrows of the Sahel, and into the vastness of the Southern Sahara.
When maybe a mile, or two out in front to the East, the dim light of fire breeches the gloom of the stars, slowing down Reid considers the viability for a chance to rest up, perhaps to be invited as a welcome guest. No hope without asking, for Reid wonders why did he run when the ghost confronted him, why was he not polite to the spirit on the train. Reid Jasper assures himself, that he’ll not let his fears rule the better of him, for there is sound reason why he’s been collecting what he has, and learning the ways of the much forgotten over the last ten years.
As Reid flicks the switch to dull the light when within a couple of hundred feet of the camp, through his helmet he hears a voice shout, crackling through the dense night air, “Welcome friend!”
Coming to a complete stop, Reid dismounts removing his head protection as he walks the last thirty feet to greet the figure standing in front, backlit by glowing coals of the evening. Embracing one another, the first figure in then joined by four others, as Reid exchanges greetings with all.
“Come friend, we have something to show, and share with you Mister Jasper, or should I say, come join us as we map the tide of sands across the celestial bodies of the desert’s night sky.”
The group gather around the soft light of the evening’s embers. When Siree-annette, an astronomer, and mathematician, cloaked in the shadows of her scarf, unravels a two-foot wide, twelve foot long canvas to reveal a map of the Southern Sahara, and Sahel stretching from West to East in the bottom half, along with a series of star charts across the top half for each season and lunar cycle.
Okorfoa, a physicist, and philosopher, the first in the gathering to greet Reid on his arrival, asks, Skye Oranfa, a philosopher, eremologist, dendrologist, cartographer, and traveller of the globe’s deserts, and forests to speak.
“Mister Jasper, we’ve been asked to share with you a mystery, we can not tell you by whom, but know that, while there are just as many to wish you harm, some few of us will be here to assist you at every turn.”
“We know you were born below the far southern circle, to a land belonging to no one, but claimed by many. To a Chilean mother, and a father of The Great South Pacific, believe us when we say we are here to help you, for none have come as far as you have in your ten short years since leaving behind the Southern Ocean of your home….”