Fire on the Plains of India Excerpt

Chapter 1

Time and Another Adventure

A loud peal of thunder unexpectedly summoned me back to my mother’s parlor in rural England. My half-opened eyes adjusted to the darkened room to see that the last embers in our fireplace were slowly flickering and about to announce their impending death. With the fireplace begging for more wood, I slowly got out of my warm chair and grabbed a few pieces from the pile to help my grandfather and I keep warm on this horrid afternoon. After stoking the fire, I gazed over and saw my dear grandpa curled up with his favorite blanket, off on a spiritual journey to some unknown location. Quietly, I made my way into the kitchen, put the kettle on the wood stove, and, with a plate of biscuits in hand, found myself back in our living room, preparing to bring the dead back to life.

“Grapes, come on; it’s time to return to the land of the living.”

“Huh…oh, thanks, Roger, but I was not sleeping, just resting my eyes.”

“Ummm, of course, Grandfather. Now the kettle’s on the boil, your favorite biscuits are at hand, the fire is burning nicely again, there’s a cold southwester slamming torrential rain down upon our home, and it’s as dark as the bottom of a mine shaft, although it is only three in the afternoon. So, there’s no excuse for you avoiding telling me about your incredible journey to India. You’ve been promising to tell me for a full fortnight, and still not a word has been said about your subcontinent escapade.”

“OK, you talked me into it…wait until I clean these darn spectacles, so I can see the look of amazement on your face when I tell you about one of my greatest adventures ever.”

“I’m all ears and no tongue.”

With that pronouncement, we both laughed a hearty laugh.

“Right then…as I mentioned to you just a few days ago, I was utterly exhausted from my surreal experience with the Spartan warriors and their mighty leader Leonidas. I had not slept in my own bed for months on end and longed to rest these weary bones in the comfort of my own home and to walk around my precious garden. Although I was still very tired, my wanderlust began to take hold of me, and soon I was itching to set forth on a new adventure.”

“It must’ve been a real dilemma, Granddad—you knew you needed to rest, but you also knew you needed to wander. Even as a youngster, I understand that’s a very tough decision to make.”

“It was a real conundrum; however, my time with the Xingu gave me the opportunity to have the best of both worlds, since I could stay at home, and I could travel as well. That is not just hyperbole, my favorite and only grandson. I made up my mind that my soul would be on the move again, regardless of whether my body was not capable of doing so.”

“Grandfather, I really enjoy when you’re talking in such great riddles; they’re priceless as a pouch of rare gold Roman coins.”

“Thank you and I must say that you certainly know how to butter an old piece of bread. You remember my spiritual journey with the Xingu shaman and our adventure to save Captain Simeon Parsons from the evil spirit Xingi, do you not?”

“Yes, still I enjoy hearing your stories again and again—I never tire of those great days that you spent as a youth traveling around the world.”

“Open those willing ears to my story yet one more time. In order to rescue the captain, the shaman and I ingested a handful of Lophophora williamsii, Datura inoxia, and Genus psilocybe. These sacred plants, harvested by the Xingu, are the conduits to the spirit world, a way to be in touch with their ancestors, and identify any evil spirits who may interfere with daily tribal life. They are potent elixirs from the spirits for entry into the spirit world. I must say it was a mind-altering and life-changing experience that I never forgot about, even after seven decades had passed in this world.”

“Granddad, what do you think was the most important thing that you learned from your time with the Xingu of the Amazon Basin?”

“That is an easy question to answer; it is our modern-day misunderstanding of time and how most people in general have no idea that they can change what has occurred in the past as they travel to the past. They can also visit the future, as well as change an outcome even though it has never even occurred.”

“Granddad, it’s just downright impossible to go back in time; once something has happened, it’s happened, and we are incapable of returning to the event. As my headmaster, Robert Hawkins-Smith, says, ‘When it’s done, it’s done.’ And to visit the future before it even happens is just as farfetched. Please, Grandfather, don’t confuse this young lad with such ideas.”

Suddenly, my granddad’s eyes narrowed, and I knew full well what that meant—another golden moment of wisdom from a truly humble and enlightened man.

 

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