Jonathan’s Dream (An Adventure Novel) – Chapter Three, Part Four

Jonathan’s Dream (An Adventure Novel)

(Copyright 1984, Mark D. Jones, All Rights Reserved)

Chapter Three, Part Four

~~~~~~~~~~

Jonathan was intrigued with this land of Myllanthar he had found himself in, realizing that his situation was much more involved than he had originally thought.  Gramps was right, it wouldn’t be easy for him to find a simple way back to Ohio from here.  He was now fully engaged and prepared to undertake this journey and prepare his heart for the trip back to Hampton, although he had no idea how that would work – but it was his only choice.

Gramps paused for a moment from his dissertations concerning the history and geography of Myllanthar, and turned his ear slightly to the doorway to listen. Returning his gaze to Jonathan he said, “Jonathan, I believe the time has arrived for you to meet a long, lost friend of yours – rise up and go to the doorway to see who awaits you!”

Jonathan peered through the hanging vines of the doorway and saw Majeka standing at the edge of the clearing in the late afternoon light. Only then did he realize that the entire day had been filled with the tales of Myllanthar and that dusk would soon be setting in the mountain valley of Glandwr.  He ran to meet Majeka and welcome him home, but was suddenly knocked to the ground by an invisible force that hit him waist high with total surprise.  It took a moment while tumbling to the ground before Jonathan realized that it was his beloved dog, Sammy – planted squarely on top of him and licking his face with a joy that even Jonathan hadn’t seen in him before! “Sammy, you’ve found me!  I lost you and thought I’d never see you again, but you’ve come home – welcome back!”

Nothing could have made Jonathan happier than seeing Sammy again! After all, Sammy was his beloved friend and adventure companion, and to be reunited with Sammy made Jonathan feel complete again. In that moment, joy returned to his heart and soul – and except for the fact that he remained lost in an unfamiliar world – his life was now complete. After losing Sammy in Stony Creek, Jonathan had been distraught and remorseful about his having ventured beyond the creek, but now as they wrestled each other and rolled on the ground it was just like being home again.  His worries were gone for the moment and the two of them played together like the old friends they were, while Gramps stood smiling outside doorway.

“Well, Jonathan, it looks like the two of you are glad to see each other again!  Sammy hasn’t been happy without you since the day he fell off the log into Stony Creek and was swept downstream in the turbulent waters.  He’s a faithful companion and should serve you well in your future journeys throughout this land.”

Jonathan looked up at Gramps from under a face-full of dog planted directly on top of him and asked, “Gramps, how did you come to find Sammy?  How did you know he was my dog and that he fell into Stony Creek and was swept away downstream?  I thought he was lost forever!”

“Let’s just say that Sammy and I have an understanding – this isn’t his first visit to Myllanthar, Jonathan.  In fact, I had been awaiting your arrival for some time now, knowing it was only a matter of time before you crossed Stony Creek and found your way here.  The River Rhayden may have been the doorway into this land for you, Jonathan, but it isn’t the path of your return.  You may only return to your land of Ohio once your heart’s been prepared for the journey home. Sammy was able to return home to you because his heart belongs to you.  If and when you do return home, Jonathan, you’ll never be the same person you were when you left Ohio, because you will have been changed from the inside out.  Listen to your heart, Jonathan, for it will guide you through our land and show you the doorway home. We’ll continue this discussion in a moment, but for now let’s find Sammy something to eat – I’m sure he’s hungry!”

Gramps went back into Tywyn and returned with a few strips of dried meat.  He first gave the meat to Jonathan to give to Sammy to chew on, before walking over to Majeka to quietly speak a few words to him. Majeka pawed the earth with his hoof in a bond of total understanding and was at once on his way into the late afternoon shadows of the forest.  Jonathan, Sammy and Gramps then went back into Tywyn, where Jonathan had Sammy lie down on the bed of moss to continue chewing on the dried meat.  Gramps poured some water out of the earthen vessel into a wooden bowl and placed it beside Sammy, saying a few words to him that Jonathan wasn’t able to understand.

“How did you know that I would find my way here to Myllanthar, Gramps?  You said it was just a matter of time – how did you know that?”

“When Sammy first arrived in Myllanthar, he crossed Stony Creek on his own.  The rogue riders of Nierron shot him with an arrow in his hind leg, but he managed to get away.  I was alerted by the Rhayander who led me to where Sammy was lying in the forest.  I removed the arrow and applied a salve to heal the wound, and in the process I learned much about you and your land of Ohio, Jonathan. Once I was sure that Sammy would be alright, I sent him back home to you – knowing then that it was only a matter of time before you ventured beyond Stony Creek yourself.  It was then that I rescued Dijia from Nierron’s riders and sent him to wait for you in the cave at the top of the Dorrimar Pass.  So when I found you on the bank of the River Illandrith, it was not unexpected.  I knew Sammy couldn’t be far away, so I gave instructions to the Rhayander to search for him. Once they found Sammy, I sent Majeka to lead him here to Glandwr.”

“Gramps, how is it that you can speak with the Rhayander, Majeka and even Sammy? How do they understand you?”

“All things in life are connected, Jonathan, often in ways that don’t require language. See how Sammy’s attentive to your every move and listens to the words you speak? You talk to him yourself as if he understands your every word – and many he does – but he can also understand you without knowing the meaning of your words, as well. The two of you understand each other on a deeper level that transcends language and speaks directly to the heart.  For hearts hold the key to all beauty, goodness and understanding in life.  We only fully understand one another when we’re open and vulnerable to each other, to the point of truly joining hearts – just as you and Sammy have – because you love each other.  Keep your heart open and vulnerable to the world around you, Jonathan – no matter how cold or cruel the world treats you – because the world will see your warmth even if they don’t respond to you.  Only then, will you be prepared for returning home to Ohio.”

“But Gramps, your heart’s pure – you could cross Stony Creek and return again to Myllanthar just like Sammy did – couldn’t you?”

“Of all who have tried, none have returned, save one – Sammy.  My success would not be guaranteed, for even I don’t know all the mysteries of the journey it requires. Sammy has now made three passages through Seerlyth Cullyan between our lands. The first time I discovered Sammy in Myllanthar, I sent him back home to you for that’s where his heart belongs – to you, Jonathan.  The reason Sammy was successful in returning to you was because his heart’s kind and contains no ill will – which seems to hold the key to crossing back over the veil of separation.  That’s why I told you your heart must be prepared for your journey home, because you must ensure it holds only love for all things within it.  Only then, will you be assured of a safe passage home.”

“But you rescued Sammy, Dijia and me, Gramps!  I’m sure you could cross the veil!”

“My heart has seen too much over the course of my many years traveling throughout Myllanthar, to ever choose to cross Seerlyth Cullyan – for my heart belongs here.  I can tell you that Sammy didn’t return to Ohio by simply crossing back over the River Rhayden, so it’s not a two-way veil for you to follow either.  For you, it was simply an entrance into our land.  However, the path that Sammy took back to Ohio is known only to him.  Although I understand Sammy and the nature of all things, Sammy can’t describe the path he followed to return to you and it remains a mystery.  So my advice to you, Jonathan – since I know Sammy’s heart is pure and true, and holds nothing but love for you – is that you must do the same.  Whatever fate befalls you in this land, you must not let it fill your heart with anything that tarnishes the love you hold for your parents, for the Spencer Farm, for Trooper, for Sammy or for your beloved Ohio, or you will never leave here.  But if your heart remains pure and true, you will find the path you seek – for it’s your heart that will show you the way home.  No one else, not even me, can help you in this journey, only Sammy can help show you the way.”

The still air of dusk was suddenly shattered by a sharp, piercing cry from overhead, sending a shudder through Jonathan and making Gramps go to the doorway to listen intently.  Sammy bounded to the cabin’s doorway to stand beside Gramps as if feeling the need to defend Tywyn from any outside intruders.  “It’s the Rhayander, Jonathan, warning us that Nierron’s riders have entered Glandwr. The eagles are doing battle with them, but there’s no time to waste – you must flee to the top of the Dorrimar Pass! I’ve prepared a bag of provisions for your journey. Eat sparingly and you won’t go hungry, for these loaves will sustain you. Travel through the night without stopping – the Talspine will light your way in the darkness!”

Gramps knelt down beside Sammy, touched his ears and spoke quietly to him in words Jonathan didn’t understand.  Grabbing his cloak, Jonathan hurriedly put it on while picking up the bag of provisions and his backpack from beside the bed of moss, before passing through the doorway of hanging vines with Sammy into the growing darkness. “Follow Sammy, Jonathan – he knows the way! Travel in haste, quickly now!”

Jonathan stumbled into the twilight and fumbled to find the Talspin from under his shirt.  Calling back over his shoulder he said, “But, Gramps – what about you?”

“There’s no time – don’t worry about me!  Flee to safety and follow your heart!”

Jonathan freed the Talspin from under his shirt and directed its ice-blue light ahead of him, while trying to manage both bags with his other hand. Sammy disappeared ahead of him into the shadows of the forest and the two plunged into the night, as the sounds of battle filled Glandwr with the screeches and cries of the Rhayander.  Gramps waited for a moment until Jonathan and Sammy had disappeared into the forest towards the Dorrimar Pass, before silently slipping away into the shadows in the other direction – towards Mirror Lake – and the sounds of battle…

(End of Chapter Three)

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