Valiant: Knock Knock…The Sandman…The Gift…Part 30…FINALE

The Lights, the patterns…The sky seemed

Bold and limitless suddenly as the

Small menagerie of onlookers stood staring

Up into the night at the ominous triangular

Shape that glided silently towards them.

There was a growing sense of fear and

Wonder in everyone as they

Appeared trapped unable to look

Away. Then the shape froze, yet

Still held its pattern among the

Stars…if anyone had not been watching

Closely they never would have noticed;

It so perfectly blended with the

Night that way.

 

‘Do you see it, Father?’ Mira asked

Quietly, turning to him. ‘What

Is it?’

 

Baja just stared with his mouth ajar.

‘I have no idea.’

 

‘How does it hang there like that?’

One man cried out in fright. ‘It

Glides one moment…then stands

Still the next and does not fall?’

 

Everyone just stood staring without

Saying a word for what seemed like

Endless minutes. The silence was

Deafening, it made the whole scene

More fearful than thrilling. Finally

Mira could not take it. ‘Someone

Say something!’ She turned to Jon.

‘What do you think?’

 

‘I don’t want to think.’ He said

Watching uneasily.

 

Then Raya came out of her wagon,

Walking slowly with heavy steps to

Join them. It was clear she fought

Some ailment, but forced herself

From her bed to join the people, to

See with her own eyes what

This thing was. She stepped up

To her daughter’s side and turned

To view the object. ‘It hovers…

Watching and waiting…’

 

Julianna held her arms tight as

She felt a chill. ‘I don’t like it.’

 

‘I don’t either.’ Jon whispered.

 

Suddenly the triangle’s pattern of lights

Seemed to spin and twinkle. Then

It began to glide away backwards

Slowly until it vanished out of sight

Over the trees. Once it was gone

Raya turned blinking, staring at Jon

And then at his friends. ‘Jon? How

Did I know…I would see you again…

On this night?’

 

‘On this night?’ He asked curiously.

 

‘All things happen according to their time.’

She told him watching his eyes

In the dark light of the torches and

Camp fire. ‘You know this.’

 

‘Will it ever end?’ He fought the

Words. ‘The night we have had…’

 

‘Tell me.’ She said. And then Jon

Told her and her family what

Happened, with Julianna and the others,

Affirming and adding to the details.

But there wasn’t time to talk

Much. Jon quickly began begging

Raya and her family for help to

Treat Matthias…who was looking

Worse now.

 

‘I don’t know what we can do,’ Raya

Said as she and her husband

Examined the young man, ‘But we will

Try.’ Then her whole family came

To surround them and carry Matthias

Off to her wagon…where they cleaned

His wound and attempted to stop the

Bleeding and close it. Each

Of them however gave the most

Grim expressions when they saw

His shoulder. All they could do was

Try…and hope.

 

As they waited…Jon sat by the

Firepit with Julianna and Jona,

Trying to stay out of the way so that

Matthias received the immediate

Attention he needed first and foremost.

They said nothing for the longest time.

The events of the night left each

Of them torn apart by words of

Reason that shook them inside out.

 

The young nameless man who brought

Them on horses just sat in a daze by a

Wagon all to himself…He was too

Stunned to join them.

 

‘Have you ever had things like those

Flashes of light happen before?’

Julianna asked, unable to hold it in.

 

‘No.’ Jon said quietly as he watched the

Fire. ‘But I have had things happen…

Did Sara ever…tell you things like that?’

 

‘Sara spoke very mysteriously.’

Julianna answered. ‘Odd things

Happened around her…that

Encourage faith in her words. That

Was enough.’

 

‘It scared me enough.’ Jona said.

‘Where I am from…these signs

Are not ignored. They’re revered.’

 

‘Then what is it?’ Julianna asked.

 

‘Why do you want to know so much?’

Jon asked.

 

Julianna swallowed, reluctant to

Say, then went on. ‘Over the years…

I have seen some peculiar things,

And frightening things. I can not

Explain it really…I’m drawn to it, to

Know.’

 

Jon grimaced at the idea, but understood

At the least she was a sincere friend.

 

‘Ever since I can remember,’ he

Said, ‘I have had things happen…

Seen things. I never told anyone. I

Wasn’t allowed to…In living on

The farm, having so much to do all

The time…it was easy to dismiss

It as a dream. But then…over

The years…as it grew and grew

And I got older…eventually you

Can’t dismiss it anymore, I

Saw things before they happened…

How many times can you dismiss that?’

 

‘I thought as much.’ Julianna said

With a kind smile.

 

‘Did you ever see anyone strange?’ Jona

Had to ask.

 

Jon met his friend’s eyes carefully.

‘Yes.’ Then he returned to watch

The fire. ‘I was visited…By these

People…they told me things. I always

Fought it…but everything they said, that

They told me…kept coming true.

I don’t know why…It just

Kept happening…over and over again.’

 

‘Did you ever ask?’ Julianna replied.

 

‘I tried to…but they spoke so

Mysteriously also.’ Jon answered. ‘They

Were strict about that…about what to

Say.’

 

‘What did they look like?’ Jona asked.

 

‘Like us…but better. More perfect, I

Would say.’ Jon answered, looking at him.

‘They showed me places…’ Jon went on

Carefully. ‘And a future that was so

Magnificent…with cities I couldn’t

Even begin to describe…full of all sorts

Of people…so many kinds and colors…

And everyone was healthy and happy.’

 

‘That sounds nice.’ Julianna said with wide

Eyes. ‘That sounds beautiful.’

 

‘But it seemed so far away.’ Jon

Said, turning to her. ‘They said so

Many things…it’s hard to remember.

They spoke about times to come, times

Of change…and the past.’

 

‘There is some connection with time

Then?’ Julianna asked. ‘Maybe with

The lights?’

 

‘Maybe.’ Jon answered. ‘It’s hard to say.

They talked once about these little

Machines…About being careful with

Machines. How the ancients built

Them…these tiny things to make life

Easier…but people abused them…and

They lost sight of things…Then the

Machines took over…and somehow

Made the world more simple, more

Natural…’

 

‘They turned on their creators…’ Julianna said.

 

‘They said one day it would happen

Again…without anyone realizing it…

Until it was too late.’ Jon told them

Nervously. ‘Something about rebuilding

It…and a cleansing. To make decisions

That no one could. I don’t know.’

 

‘Did they say anything else?’ Jona

Asked, swallowing.

 

‘It’s hard to remember.’ Jon said, shaking

His head. ‘It was a lot to take in.

And something I had to do…for the

Future. I don’t understand that part.

How am I supposed to make something

For the future…Here? Now? It makes

No sense. Couldn’t they do it?’

 

‘Well…’ Julianna said slowly, ‘If

You think about it…if they study

History, they would study all sorts of work.’

 

‘What could I make?’ Jon laughed.

‘That’s ridiculous.’

 

Julianna stared at the firepit

Recalling things. ‘I was in that

Theater district with Marcel long

Enough…I saw many things…

Careers come and go, and forgotten…

The rumors build and break things…

But I imagine over time…it’s the

Work they remember most. At least

I do…Not the gossip.’

 

‘Yes, I remember some of that.’ Jon

Replied as he too watched the fire. ‘I

Remember what Joseph said, the never

Ending demands of the people…

It crushed things.’

 

‘Yes, people are fickle. New trends

Always come.’ Julianna nodded.

 

‘But maybe, if they don’t understand

It now…they will then?’ Jona wondered.

 

‘Maybe.’ Jon laughed. ‘It still seems

Funny to me. For time to be out of

Rhythm like that. It almost

Seems like a big puzzle with

Things out of place…scattered

Here and there…For some other

Time to use.’

 

‘A higher plan perhaps.’ Julianna

Speculated. ‘Maybe that is the

Riddle in everything…And why

So little makes sense now. Maybe some

Higher power scattered pieces over time…

For the future to find.’

 

Jona stared up at the night sky,

Looking in every direction. ‘Do you think

Those lights will come back?’

 

‘Now I don’t know if I care to see

Them.’ Julianna said, holding herself

Tightly.

 

‘Somehow I think they will.’ Jon

Reluctantly said.

 

They sat quietly then, waiting by

The fire, watching the embers pop

And fly into the air mesmerized

By the glow of the flames. No

Matter what had happened, was

Happening, their main

Concern was still if Matthias

Would be alright. Their worry

Seemed to put a lot into perspective

Then.

 

Sometime later a shaky-looking

Baja came out of his wagon

And joined them by the fire. They

Watched his face as he sat down

And said nothing. His eyes just

Seemed big and full of confusion.

‘We have done what we can for

Your friend.’ He finally said, turning

To each of them. ‘I am unsure

What to tell you…We can hope…

And ask for a higher power to help

Him, that is all. The rest is up

To him.’

 

‘Thank you for trying.’ Jon said to him.

‘Yes, thank you.’ Julianna said.

‘We truly were doing nothing

Wrong. This is horrible.’

 

‘Good reason escapes these days

It seems.’ Baja almost

Groaned. ‘I have seen such

Tragedies before…I wish I could

Tell you they always end well.

You can never tell by how things

Look…’

 

‘I’m always too worried to hope.’ Jon

Said, staring angrily at the fire. ‘I

Wish there was more.’

 

They sat silently again for some

Time until the hours of the night

Could not be measured. No one was

Tired enough to sleep, their minds

Were too frantic, torn one way and

Another. It was a cruel silence,

Without words to think…only

Waiting.

 

As the darkness appeared

To lift by a haze on the horizon

By a Sun struggling to come…

Jona was the first to rise,

About to search for some water.

But when he stood, his eyes

Caught the sight of a pattern

In the sky again…of a triangle

Of lights lingering while the

Stars around them faded away.

‘Look!’ He pointed to it, gasping.

‘There it is again!’

 

They each quickly jumped to their

Feet again. Staring at it. ’Oh my

God, what is it? How long has it

Been there?’

 

Jon was about to speak when his eyes

Caught something else in the sky above

To his left, then right…One was a long

Cylinder shape…the other, a large dark

Sphere. ‘Look!’ He said pointing, his

Eyes bulging as he directed the others to

See. They watched as more shapes

Appeared…crosses, triangles and

Bright glowing spheres all flashing

With arrays of lights and colors.

The early morning sky suddenly

Seemed alive with starry-like

Objects that glided out of nowhere.

 

‘My God, what is this?’ Baja exclaimed

As more of his family came out of

The wagons to see.

 

‘What is going on?!’  Julianna cried

Holding her face, feeling a panic swell

Within her.

 

Jona stepped back to stay close to his

Friends as he eyed the sky with a

Low brow. ‘It is like the heavens

Are alive…Where did they all come

From?’

 

Jon just looked every which way above

As the objects maneuvered in different

Ways as though they were unsure

Of each other…First, similar shapes

Moved together, then they began

To aim at the others different

Than themselves…gliding to, and

Then away from them. Slow,

Then fast, until it was like every

Object was racing all around the

Others.

 

‘What are they doing?’ Julianna

Asked, mesmerized by the show.

 

‘They are organizing in some peculiar way.’

Baja said.

 

‘No…’ Jon said carefully, studying them.

‘They’re not all the same. I don’t

Think they’re all happy to see each

Other at all…look at them.’

 

‘The way they move…’ Jona said, pointing

To the spheres and triangles. ‘It is like

They are…fighting in some way that

We can not see.’

 

‘Fighting?’ Baja cried out. ‘Fighting

For what. Are they not all from

The same place?’

 

‘It does not feel that way.’ Jon

Moaned.

 

‘This is frightening!’ Julianna cried

As the tension in the air grew. ‘This

Is awful!’

 

Jon’s insides just kept reaching out,

Bouncing back to and fro, receiving

Some sense his mind could not

Understand from what he knew

And felt from the specters. ‘It feels

Like some fight of territory…or

Right of way…’

 

Jona moved close to him. ‘You feel

This?’ He asked of his friend’s skills…

‘It does seem that way.’

 

‘What right of way?’ Julianna

Asked. ‘Why?’

 

‘Us.’ Jon said quietly. ‘All of us…

Everything here!’

 

‘Is this some property to them?’

Julianna wondered.

 

‘What reason would we know…’ Baja

Insisted. ‘From what we know…What

History has been told to us that

Is certain.’

 

‘God made the world…’ Julianna

Seemed to beg for reason.

 

‘What would that mean to them?’ Baja

Said then. ‘Who made who?’

 

‘Maybe that is what they are

Fighting over…or searching for

Also?’ Jona responded. ‘We have

No answers…Could they?’

 

As the small crowd watched the

Strange illuminated starry fight

Above…A tall strong looking figure

Quietly stepped out of the woods

And joined them. He was pale

Unlike the rest, chiseled and

Finely dressed in clothes so tailored

He was immediately out of place.

He simply came up behind Jon

And his friends and said, ‘If

They had all the answers…they

Would not be fighting, would they?’

 

Jon turned quickly to the familiar

Traveler. ‘You?!’

 

‘Me.’ The man said in a presence

Beyond a dream.

 

Julianna and Jona, then the others

Turned to the new man…as Raya

Came out of her wagon to join them.

Raya saw the man and gasped,

And slowly came to join them. She

Recognized him at once…A man

She had seen on a strange and

Starry moonlit night when she

Gave a young village girl a fortune.

He had not aged at all… ‘You!’

 

‘You know him?!’ Jon asked in shock.

 

‘I saw him once.’ Raya gasped.

 

Jon studied him fast, almost wanting

To reach out and touch him, he was

So real now. ‘How?’

 

The man smiled. ‘In time, no questions

Now.’

 

Julianna eyed the new man up and

Down with awe, she had never seen

Someone dressed so well. Yet somehow

She also seemed to recall a night

In the city when she was with Jon…

And a stranger had appeared in the

Night…But she hadn’t seen him clearly

Enough then; no one ever did.

 

Suddenly, sharp banging sounds

Echoed in the sky. The starry

Objects fight was becoming very

Active now…

 

And then the sounds of horses came

From the woods…3 men appeared,

Dressed in black, with robes and

Metal armored adornments, and quickly

Rode up to them.

 

Jon turned to the man Apollo. ‘What

Is happening?’

 

‘There is no time for this anymore.’

Apollo said, almost irritated by the

Intrusiveness. ‘It’s time to go now.’

 

‘What?’ Jon asked, completely confused.

‘Go? Go where?’

 

Apollo eyed the men on horses heavily

As his eyes seemed to sparkle with

A shiny color. All of a sudden,

As if by silent command, a giant

Silvery saucer materialized above

Them…glowing to life as it had

Been hiding unseen somehow.

 

Everyone froze and stared upward at

The bright circle as it bathed them

With light. But before he could

Make the order, a new

Sphere of light appeared beside it…

So fast it happened… The bright

Sphere, unlike all the others,

Descended upon the crowd…

It seemed to move with lightening

Speed as it dove through the people…

 

It paused only briefly, seconds…and

Suddenly enveloped the

Young man resembling Jason as

He stood watching by a wagon…and

Then it went into the wagon with

Matthias inside and took him…

Then it aimed at Jon, swallowing

Him and Julianna and Jona before

They could react…then paused

Again, outside the crowd…Then

Shot straight up into the sky so

Fast, no one could blink.

 

Apollo stood quietly with his mouth

Ajar as he tried to fathom what

Happened. Then he nodded and

Smiled with some mysteriously, wild

Sense of content. ‘Time to go!’ He

Said to himself…He was about to

Turn when…

 

A gray-haired man in black leapt from

His horse and walked briskly to the

Crowd aiming for Apollo. He was

Eager and intent on words. ‘You…

Stranger…Who –‘

 

Apollo simply turned to the man in

Black with a smile. ‘To that

Which you need to know…A rose.

A rose by its scent and form…

And by some manner its color

Will help you…The aroma no

Machine can understand…only

The senses will.’

 

The man in black froze upon his

Words. His expression became

Paralyzed by them. ‘A rose.’

 

Apollo then turned to Raya…

’See you again in about…4-500

Years…Maybe, possibly in some way.’

Then he looked up at the sky

And its war-like confusion, at the

Shapes and lights and disturbance

They made. ‘Hopefully…no rage

Or noise will come to attract them…

Hopefully a better course can be

Set in motion…We do try.’ Then

He seemed to lower his head and

Walk away vanishing into thin

Air…with the illuminating saucer

Shape above disappearing immediately

After him.

 

‘Where did they go?’ Baja

Cried out.

 

Raya eyed the area up and

Down searching with stunned

Belief. Then a gentle voice

Filled her head alone. ‘They

Won’t remember…but you will…’

 

The crowd watched as the battle

Of lights slowed then…as if

Some far away inaudible

Conclusion was found…by no

Peaceful manner, only more chance

To wait…And when it grew quieter

Totally…and the lights were gone

The crowd settled in a state they

Could not explain, struggling to

Find their wits and memory…

 

Each staggered a while

As the Sun broke free of a dark

Crescent that marred it…For

Some reason they could not talk

To each other about what they

Saw, it had been concealed

Within their minds…not to tell

Or say.

 

Then slowly, the men in black

Collected themselves on horseback

And rode away into the new

Day…The silvery haired one

Could only recall one haunting

Thought… ‘Something about

A rose…’

 

Valiant.