Teleportation Saga

Jessicka. 8.5 years old in early July, 1999. U.S.A. – North America – Earth { v.NorthAm-12 } – Hollydale Farm Real Estate Development. Phase One:

Aberdeen Circle was the first street in the development that had several of its newly constructed ‘homes’ certified for occupancy. Many of its houses were almost identical. There were a dozen streets planned In the ‘Hollydale Farm Development’– all of them branching off of and looping back around to reconnect with Hollydale Farm Road. Dale MacIntire had named his farm after his wife, Holly, and himself, and was proud of that fact. Four generations later, Hollydale Farm grew several different kinds of corn, tomatoes, squash, peppers, pumpkins and especially zuchinnis –  and rotated these crops with hundreds of dairy cows as well as alfalfa and soy beans and other plants that were supposed to fertilize and replenish the natural minerals in the soil. But the latest generation of Farmers’ children – twelve of them – had gone to University to learn much more marketable skills than farming and animal husbandry and decided to go into partnership with real estate wizards, construction contractors, lawyers and other speculators. { There was a small vineyard, and three apple orchards in one section of the farm that were so profitable, the children hung on to them, and they were not part of the development. The eldest daughter, the person who had chosen the name for ‘Lilliborne Loop’, had led the minor insurrection that finally convinced the rest of her brothers and sisters that she should control the vineyard and the orchards and made sure no ‘outside interests’ could ‘buy into’ their operation. }

The children had named the streets alphabetically; Aberdeen Circle, Brigadoon Court, Chancellery Crescent, Dunrobbin Circle, Exeter Crescent, Foxwood Crescent, and so on, up to Lilliborne Loop – which had been the least popular choice for a name in the development. { Jessicka’s father was a lawyer and he’d been present at the negotiations with the children of the recently deceased farmer and his wife of thirty five years. She’d heard him explain the process everyone had gone through a dozen times in half a dozen different ways, and when she’d asked him why he had different stories about how things had happened he smiled and said, “I tailor my discourses to the level of my audiences. Intelligent people get the big words, and the not so intelligent types get the dumbed down version.” Her precocious, eight year old mind didn’t have the words to describe what he’d said, but she had the uneasy feeling that she’d just been dismissed with a phony smile and a bit of double talk. A few years later, she would remember several of her father’s answers to her questions as ‘pure bull shit’ – but at eight and a half years old, she still worshiped him. }

In the first week the first bunch of houses on Aberdeen Circle were finished and move-in ready, the first fifteen families had moved in. At first she’d been absolutely thrilled to have her own room with her walls painted the colour she’d chosen, with the bed and bureau she had picked and a very special giant teddy bear with a bright multicoloured bow tie – But by the weekend she was beginning to yearn for her old neighbourhood and her old friends. There were quite a few younger children, toddlers, babies and kindergarteners. There were several teenagers and pre-teens, leering boys and girls with sprouting boobs who couldn’t be bothered to be anywhere near an eight and a half year old. None of them had discovered how bright she was and they hadn’t yet begun to try to bribe or blackmail her into doing their homework for them. Well, heck – this was the first week in July and nobody would be going back to a new school for two whole months yet.

The only place she could go and hide out and not be picked on by anybody was a fenced in area that would soon house a ‘dumpster’ for collecting garbage beside the swings and ‘merry-go-round’ and ‘pirate boat’ with its steps and slide – the place where mothers and baby sitters brought the little kids before naptime and where the big kids took over and chased her away after dinner. Whoever had put that fence up had put the gate in backwards, she could get inside and lock the gate from the inside and sit in the tiny bit of shade the scrawny tree outside the fence and the fence itself provided. So far, none of the big kids and done more than try to push the gate open, and then they swore at it when it wouldn’t open because she’d locked it.

The closest thing she’d had to a conversation with any of the big kids was when she’d eavesdropped on two depressed sounding young women. One of them had groaned about the “Cookie cutter McMansions” [ which she’d later looked up on google and guessed that the first young woman had been upset with the fact that most of the houses had an almost identical floorplan, and a limited choice of ‘upgrades’ to the ‘standard exterior design’. She also looked at the web site for the Hollydale Acres Development and noticed that all twelve looping streets had a uniform number of single family houses and ‘up-scale duplexes’ planned. They might have copied and pasted the same street on the map twelve times. Each U shaped ‘Circle’, Court, or ‘Crescent’ had the same number of single family houses in the same exact spots and the same number of duplexes, also in the exact same spots. She wondered why only one street would be called a ‘Loop’. But she didn’t ask anybody. Her mother would just smile and say, “You ask the strangest questions-” And her father had already mentioned that the ‘Loop’ was the least popular name in the development and he’d sneered about that, and she didn’t like it when he sneered like that. ]

So on Saturday evening the first fifteen families were all invited to what they called it a “Block Party”. Only the houses in the back part of the loop, away from Hollydale Farm Road, were occupied and the grown ups had not even thought about putting up fences yet. So the grown ups closest to the middle of the outside of the back end of the loop set up a bar and a barbecue and the family to one side of them had a top-of-the-line swing set and a wading pool for the little kids and the family on the other side had gone out and bought an above ground pool { and hadn’t yet been informed by the by-law enforcement/ticket writing police auxiliary that they had to have a fence around their pool – } and a pair of picnic tables where the teenagers and preteens { if they had even the slightest hint of sprouting boobs } would be allowed to swim and eat their hamburgers and hot dogs reasonably unsupervised.

Jessicka’s lawyer father tried to convince the teenagers that they had to let Jessicka join them, but after he’d sent her in that direction, she could feel the hatred and almost taste the humiliating phrases they were ready to spit at her, so she waited until her father turned away to go and try to impress his adult neighbours and then ran around the barbecue house and sat by herself on the front porch for half an hour.

She got hungry. The air smelled like hamburgers being grilled. On her way around the barbecue house she stopped beneath the kitchen windows where she could hear her mother and several other mothers talking. She could also hear ice cubes tinkling and liquid being poured and her mother asked, “Oh wow, this is good, what is it?” “It’s something I made up- I call it a ‘Kahlua Latté-‘ -”

She couldn’t see in through the window that was over her head but she knew it was the same woman who asked, “How old is your daughter? What’s her name? Jesse?”

Jessicka?” her mother probably took a second to swallow her Kahlua Latté – “Eight and a half, she’ll be nine in a couple months.”

Ugh-” the woman groaned, “You’re in for a treat. That’s the age when your perfect little angel suddenly grows horns and a tail and becomes your worst nightmare.”

Jessicka’s mouth fell open.

Her mother didn’t respond, maybe she took another drink.

Believe me -” the woman went on, “That’s the age when the hormones begin to kick in. I’ve been through it twice. It makes me wonder why I ever thought I’d rather have girls than boys.”

Jessicka gasped and shuddered. She felt like her head had suddenly been pierced by a thousand pins and needles. She turned around and ran all the way home.

When she got there all the doors were locked. Of course they were. If only one person on the whole block had locked their doors it would be her father.

The ‘landscaping crew’ had been there two days ago and warned about trying to climb trees or ‘rough-housing’ around the bushes for at least a month or so. They were securely planted and had stakes driven into the ground that the plants were tied to – to help support them in their upright position, but they weren’t guaranteed not to fall over.

There was one leafy bush with broad leaves that looked almost like a giant jade plant. It was close to a corner of the house where the cement of the basement was exposed to three feet above the ‘top grade’ dirt. That was probably the shadiest spot around the house. She walked slowly backward behind that bush, hunched over and scratching her footprints away as she moved, backed into the corner and squatted down, grateful that the cement felt cool on her back.

She wanted to cry, but all she could do was stare at the ground in disbelief.

Some stupid mother of teenagers was telling her mother that she, Jessicka, would go to sleep one night and wake up the next morning as a full fledged demon?

She had one Catholic girl friend in her old neighbourhood who’d taught her how to pray and made her memorize the “Our Father-” prayer. Her father scoffed at the idea of going to church. He had a dozen arguments ready to use on anyone, maybe according to their level of intelligence or lack there-of for how there couldn’t be any such thing as a ‘God’. But after her friend had taught her pray she’d dreamed that Jesus, the way he looked in her friend’s book, had come to her and smiled and smiled and said, “Your friend prayed for you, do you know who I am?”

She nodded and stuttered, but managed to blurt out, “Jesus-”

He smiled at her and touched her head with both hands, “You’ve known Me in your previous lives. You know I am not as close-minded as many of those who call themselves ‘Christians’ believe I am. You are loved and you will be protected all your life. Never doubt that.”

She’d felt amazingly good, like her whole being was sparkling for a whole day after she had that dream.

Now she closed her eyes and trembled, “Jesus – Can You hear me? Please tell me I’m not going to turn into a demon because of hormones -” she trembled and shook for probably half an hour, then fell asleep and dreamed that Wonder Woman and some lost looking teen-aged boy found her behind that bush, trembling.

Wonder Woman smiled and told her, “Jesus sent us here, you will not turn into a demon. You can’t. It’s physically and spiritually impossible. But we’ll sit here with you in your special place and keep you company for now. Remember how loved and protected you have felt. Nothing can harm you.”

She woke up with a bright flashlight beam shining in her face, “Found her!” her father yelled, then he turned toward her with an angry face, “What the hell were you thinking? Running off like that without telling anybody where you were going?”

For a moment she thought he was going to hit her in the head with his flashlight. But he stood up and called out to her mother, “You deal with this- I got better things to do,” he snorted and walked away.

As he moved away, the flashlight moved just right to show Jessicka two sets of footprints that had walked out of the bush and stayed there with her. One set looked like they had to be made by Wonder Woman’s boots. The other set was probably a real solid, human boy, who hadn’t said a word, but stayed there beside her to guard the side that Wonder Woman had not been on.

When her mother came behind the bush with her own flashlight, both sets of footprints were gone.

After her mother shined the flashlight in her face, she suddenly looked concerned, “Okay, I was all set to be angry with you, but you’ve been crying, haven’t you?”

Jessicka winced and nodded.

Want to talk about it? Let’s go inside before the mosquitoes find you.”

As soon as they were in the kitchen her father scowled at her mother, “I’ve got some paperwork I should have brought home from the office, I’m going to go get it now- I hope you give her a decent scolding. She better remember not to do this again,” he huffed, glared and almost ran out of the kitchen.

Her younger sister and brother looked just as shocked and confused by his behaviour as she felt.

Mom gave the two young ones juice boxes and walked everybody into the family room where she picked up the remote and flipped to one of the cartoon channels on their ‘free for ninety days everything cable’ service.

The little guys plunked down on the floor near the ‘top-of-the-line’ twenty five inch ‘flat screen CRT’ television.

Her mother carried a box of tissues as she walked Jessicka to the wraparound sofa ‘system’, sat down – helped Jessicka up and pushed her back all the way against the back cushions before she began to wipe the tear streaks away, “Can you tell me about it?”

Jessicka shrugged, “The big kids chased me away and I was coming to find you when I heard somebody tell you that I would turn into a demon before my ninth birthday -” she trembled.

Her mother tried very hard not to laugh, did manage to keep a straight face, “You heard that, did you? Oh boy – We’re going to have to have a serious talk one of these days, probably a lot sooner than I expected – but no – You’re not going to turn into a real live demon -”

Jessicka nodded, “I fell asleep and dreamed that Wonder Woman came and told me that.”

Her mother smiled, “Well – I wish I could be Wonder Woman for you and know all the right things to say and say them exactly when you need to hear them – But – Okay- If Wonder Woman wants to come to you in your dreams like that, I can use all the help I can get.”

They smiled at each other and hugged and sat back and stared at the ceiling for a couple minutes.

Then Mom said, “Some day we’ll look back on this moment and feel like it was the start of a wonderful deepening relationship – you and me – Right now I just want to drink it all in and enjoy it.”

Jessicka nodded as if she understood completely and happily fell asleep leaning against her mother’s shoulder with Mom’s arm around her.

*

{{ Ievin. Date Unknown – Recuperating in Llyn Ellyn. – Unknown Parallel = Earth { v.unknown-14 } : }}

He knew he was waking up. He didn’t know where he was. – Wherever it was – it was dark. Not completely devoid of light, but close. He was lying on a mattress that felt fairly hard. There was a soft, silky sheet between him and the mattress. He couldn’t tell whether he was naked or partially clothed – there was another silky sheet between him and what felt like a heavy animal skin. The animal skin had thick and very soft fur. He couldn’t tell, but he thought the fur was dark. He could smell wood fire. When he strained his hearing he could hear the fire crackling. Looking straight up he thought he could see large beams which supported wide planks – a ceiling? What he could see up there – and he thought it had to be a high ceiling – moved with the flickering of the fire. When the fire crackled again, he thought he could hear the sound defining a room that he guessed was something like twenty feet by twenty feet wide and deep. He thought he might be near the center of that room.

He sent his senses into his arms and legs. They felt pretty good – maybe even healthy. He still had no idea where he was or how he came to be there. He moved his feet and hands, sent hints of tension to his muscles in the order he thought of them – everything felt pretty good, whole – rested – relaxed – healthy?

He sat up – there was a fire, in a fireplace, details were fuzzy, but he thought he could see a raised hearth, and a small fire that seemed to be heating this room well enough. As he tried to focus his eyes on the fire he felt like there was some kind of liquid coating his eyes. Instinctively – he brought his right hand out from under the sheet and the fur and almost touched his eyes, thinking he would rub whatever fluid away and be able to see what he was looking at.

– But memories of intense pain stopped him. He froze his hand a few inches in front of his eyes.

Ahh- you are awake – How are you feeling?” The voice sounded feminine, he could not place the accent. He tried to turn his head toward the voice but could see no one there, not even a slight variation in the darkness of shadow all around him. The flickering of the fire changed the darkness of everything at once, defined nothing in that direction. He reached out and moved his hand in as wide an arc as he could – The air in that direction, not quite opposite the fire – was cool. He thought he could smell something like cedar wood burning, or incense –

Your sight should be slowly returning – You were staring at the fire, could you see that fire?”

He nodded.

Could you see colour, or just light?”

He nodded again, “Colours -”

What colours?”

He drew in a breath and turned to gaze toward the fire again, “Red – yellow – orange – The wood looks black to me.”

That is very good. When you – arrived – here – you had severe wounds. Your skull was cracked and your face was badly burned. Much of your body was badly burned. We have had our best healers working on you since then and they all tell me you have remarkable healing powers yourself.”

He drew in a long slow breath and then sighed. Gazed down at the fur that he couldn’t quite see. It smelled like flowers? Something smelled like flowers. He couldn’t tell which flowers the room suddenly smelled like.

Do you remember how you came to be here?”

He winced, strained, then shook his head.

What is the last thing you remember?”

His forehead wrinkled – “I was dreaming that I was talking to a person who looked like a humanoid cat.” He grinned a semi-comical expression and nodded, sighed, “And a very small person with wings who was hovering over me.”

You were talking to them?”

He nodded, shrugged, “And it did not seem strange at all that I could talk to them and understand what they were saying to me.”

Do you remember anything that happened while you were awake? Before your were dreaming?”

He shook his head, then tensed, nodded. “I remember explosions, and feeling like I was flying through the air. I jumped toward a light, trying to protect someone I was carrying – and fell into a pool of cool water – I made sure the woman I was carrying had her face above water – I saw someone pull her up out of the water and I saw a hand reach for me and my arm was all burnt and blackened – I touched the hand and felt like my skin was peeling away and I think I passed out -” he shrugged.

That is pretty accurate, according to those who rescued you from the pool – They could not tell where you came from, and you were severely burned over most of your body – And the young woman you are concerned about was unharmed, and has refused to leave your side since we brought you here. She’s asleep on a bed we built for her over near the far wall – She hasn’t spoken a word since you both arrived here – Do you know if she can speak?”

He shrugged, shook his head, shrugged again, then nodded, “I think I remember hearing her shout something to somebody -”

There was silence for at least a minute, “Do you remember anything you talked about in your dream?”

He shrugged, “They called me ‘Ievin’ -” he shrugged again, “We may have been talking about the progress we were making in healing me.”

The healers told me they believed your name was ‘Ivan’ or something close that – and they also believe the woman’s name is Jessicka.”

He shuddered when he heard her name, smiled and nodded, “That sounds about right-”

There was another short period of silence, then, “Are you tired? Do you want to sleep?”

He thought about that, yawned, grinned, “Are you putting ideas in my head?”

No – I wouldn’t do that.”

Asking leading questions? Making suggestions that might stimulate thoughts?” he grinned, “In a case like this I couldn’t find fault with that. – You’re a healer, right? You believe I need rest?”

Yes – you are making better progress than any of us hoped.”

He nodded, “I think I could fall back down and sleep for quite a while. But first, where am I? What is this place?”

This is the hidden village of Llyn Ellyn – We are a large village in a dense forest. A stream comes down a mountain and forms many waterfalls – with many pools. Our village is on both sides of that stream where the hillside becomes much less steep than farther up the slope. Much of the forest around us has been untouched for generations – many trees are almost a thousand years old. Here we grow everything we need. Beyond the village is a trading post and a much smaller village which is all that most outsiders know about. They bring us furs and mineral ores in exchange for rare herbs and fruits.” – It sounded to him like the woman could go on describing her village for hours, but suddenly realized she had other things to do, other places to go, perhaps other patients to look in on. He smiled.

I should go now, and let you rest – we will bring you extra soup in the morning, you look hungry.” He heard footsteps and heard a door’s hinges squeak and that door close quietly.

Then he heard other footsteps. He thought they sounded like bare feet on stone, and felt someone sit on the side of his bed that had been away from the healer who had just left. Another feminine voice spoke, just above a whisper, “You’re awake?”

He nodded, “Yes, how dark is it in here?”

The only light is the fire. I can light a candle if you’d like?”

He shrugged, shook his head, “You’re Jessicka?”

Yes.”

He sighed, “Would I be able to see you if you lit a candle?”

I don’t know, I’m surprised you can see at all.”

He shuddered.

They said they thought your eyes had boiled in their sockets. Every day you look better. Your face looks almost normal. How old are you? With your beard I thought you were old -”

He wrinkled his forehead, then winced, then shuddered violently, and shrugged, “I can’t remember -”

The – the ones you rescued me from hit you in the head with a sledge hammer. I saw pieces of brain and blood gushing all over – I have no idea how you were able to move at all, let alone get us out of there -”

He swallowed, “I can’t remember any of that -”

The healers said you might have permanent amnesia. They have a completely different term for that. They also said they could see your brain was almost completely reconstructed – I think at least one of them can actually regenerate body parts or at least stimulate regeneration in some other people. They think you’re especially good at healing yourself and only needed their help to start the process. Before that they were trying to tell me they didn’t think you had much of a chance of surviving.”

He swallowed and shuddered, then, “They said you haven’t spoken a word since you got here?”

She either sighed or snorted, or maybe stifled a bit of laughter, “Where I was, where you found me – They said they knew I was their enemy by my accent. Every time I tried to say anything, beg for mercy or anything, They beat me-”

He winced, “I can imagine they did worse, but please, don’t describe that to me now-”

She was quiet for a moment, “You’re right, but here they have special healers who have the ability to heal emotional scars, and one of them seems to have been able to influence my dreams, gave me dreams of visions of you, looking like you were completely healed, and much younger than I thought you were, completing the process of loving me back to the point where I wouldn’t just have the strength to go on, I could actually love my life for a change.”

He formed the word, but kept silent as his lips said, -Wow- , then, “How old are you?”

She sighed, “I was, um, seventeen, when the things you rescued me from came and took me in the night. That felt like two or three years ago – it might have been less. I don’t know, it was always dark where they kept me.”

He sighed, yawned, “Sorry – You are not boring me -”

She did laugh, “They kept saying that when you woke up you would probably be exhausted, they expect it may take several more months before you regain your usual vitality-”

How long have we been here?”

He thought he could see her shadow shrug, “Maybe three months?”

Have you been cooped up in this room that whole time?”

Almost. They fed me something that knocked me out and carried me out and threw me in the nearest pool and washed me a couple times. They burned the rags I was wearing when you brought me here and dressed me kind of like a female version of Robin Hood. The healers try to give me lessons in local customs while they’re working on you or me. Women here used to be forced to wear long skirts unless they were going out to forage in the woods around this village. Then – the most recent visitors, I think they come from parallel worlds or something? – Anyway – visiting women wore jeans – and the local young women liked what they saw and now wear leather and suede pants cut like jeans.”

Is that what you’re wearing now?”

She laughed a nervous laugh, “No, I’m wearing a baggy night shirt. It covers my knees. I do like the suede jeans they made for me. And the kind of pirate shirt and the suede vest are my favourite -”

He grinned, and yawned again, “I better lie down before I pass out.”

She cleared her throat, “Can I sleep beside you?”

He wondered if he blushed, or if she’d be able to see that in the firelight, “Am I naked?”

She picked up the fur and the sheet and quickly put it back down, “Yes.”

He shuddered, “How bad are the scars?”

She picked up part of the fur and the sheet, did not look farther down than the lower edge of his rib cage, “I don’t see any scars at all, it looks like you had a real bad sun burn and the blistered skin peeled away and now you’ve grown new skin. You’re probably quite pink – hard to tell in this light.” She sighed, “I’ll bring over the covers they gave me and sleep on top of your fur here.”

What colour is the fur? I thought it was pretty dark, but everything is dark.”

It’s dark at the top up here and slightly lighter brown from about your waist on down. I have no idea what kind of animal it might have been, but it must have been huge.”

I feel kind of creepy about having a dead animal skin keeping me warm.”

She sighed, “I’ve had dreams that the deer they made my covers, and the jeans, and the vest – out of – told me they had good peaceful lives and did not die painfully, and were happy that I could enjoy their fur and felt ‘touched’ that I worried about whether they’d been murdered for their hides.”

He shuddered.

She walked away and came back. She placed a fur-covered pillow near his fur covered pillow and waited until he had settled all the way down and pulled the sheet and the fur up to where he was comfortable with them. Then  she spread what he guessed was another silky sheet and moved like she had folded it back on itself, the long way, to form what he remembered his mother calling a pretend sleeping bag when he was sick and spent whole days sleeping on their living room couch. She then spread what may have been a lighter weight fur – a deerskin – blanket?

She felt like she slipped in between the top and bottom of the sheet she had folded. He was pretty sure she’d folded it so the open ends were away from him, toward the room.

As she settled down and probably turned her back to him he thought he smelled flowers again. He shrugged, inhaled and smiled in the darkness.

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