Jonathan’s Wish (An Adventure Novel) – Book Three, Chapter Three, Part Ten

Jonathan’s Wish (An Adventure Novel)

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

Book Three, Chapter Three, Part Ten


The attempt to escape the Island Fortress of Tyull had been a folly, doomed to failure from the very beginning.  How did they expect they could commandeer a single masted longboat from under the constant watch of the guards and expect to sail away?  The idea was a complete non-starter, and now the reality of that foolish idea was becoming clearer with each passing moment.  Maestyg’s strength was failing, and the pursuing guards to their aft were almost upon them with their hooked poles extended to latch onto the side of Maestyg, Jonathan and Sammy’s boat.  Once the hooks had latched onto their gunwales, there would be no escape – the guards would pull alongside, board their boat, and take them prisoner – simple as that.

The second longboat full of guards closer to shore on their starboard side, was now making a beeline towards them as well, having sensed that Maestyg was out of energy and unable to evade the pursuing boat behind them any longer.  There was no longer a chance of the escapees making it to the southern tip of the island anyway, and now both of the guards’ longboats closed in for the kill.  Maestyg couldn’t row any longer at this point, and removed one of his oars to use it in self-defense against the guards once they drew abeam.  Defeating ten guards with a single oar in hand was unimaginable, let alone a second longboat of another ten guards that would arrive shortly afterwards, but at this point it was all they had to cling to.

Sammy remained in the stern of their boat barking and growling as the trailing longboat approached, just out of reach of the long poles and hooks at that point.  Maestyg told Jonathan to move to the front of the boat – and as Maestyg began to stand to defend their ship with the single oar, the boat lurched ahead with a suddenness that almost knocked him to the bottom of the hull – as a wind caught their sails and suddenly sent it forward like a sprinter out of the starting blocks!  Maestyg was as surprised as anyone, especially as he watched the eyes of the guards behind them only moments away from capturing the escapees, and quickly righted himself again to adjust the sails for their fastest possible course away from both of the guards’ pursuing boats.

The guards’ longboats were caught flat footed from the sudden gust of wind that came up out of nowhere, clearly not expecting it on a previously windstill morning.  It turned out that Maestyg’s theory of eventually finding wind farther from shore was correct, and just in the nick of time!  In the time it took the guards to hoist the sails on both longboats, Maestyg, Jonathan and Sammy’s boat had opened a wide lead over them, and continued to widen the distance between them their pursuers.  With the aid of the wind, Maestyg initially charted an easterly course to increase their separation, but then adjusted back to his original southeasterly track.  The guards were no novices at sea however, and once they had their sails up, they adjusted back to a southerly course to cut off any hopes of escape to the west.

One glance back towards shore, revealed the fortress had now launched every longboat they had in pursuit – eight longboats in total with sails raised high.  After seeing that, Maestyg shouted to Jonathan, “It’s no use, Jonathan, we can’t outrun and outmaneuver an entire armada at sea.  We only have one choice at this point.”

“What choice is that, Maestyg?” replied Jonathan over the sounds of the wind rippling through the sails and waves splashing over the gunwales.

“We have to turn east to evade capture, it’s our only hope – the guards won’t follow us then.  No one sails into the Endless Eastern Sea, but at least we’ll evade capture and be free.”

Without waiting for Jonathan’s reply, Maestyg readjusted the sails and began tracking their longboat on a course due east towards the climbing sun.  The winds were favorable, making for good speed with the wind at their back, and it wasn’t long before the guards’ boats had given up the chase.  No one ever ventured east beyond the Island Fortress of Tyull, for it was known to hold only an endless horizon.  No one had ever sailed east before and returned to Myllanthar, and because of that, even the idea of sailing east was considered to be a death wish – and Maestyg, Jonathan and Sammy’s only hope of remaining free…

(End of Chapter Three)


Jonathan’s Wish (An Adventure Novel) – Book Three, Chapter Three, Part Nine

Jonathan’s Wish (An Adventure Novel)

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

Book Three, Chapter Three, Part Nine


Maestyg and Jonathan rowed for all they were worth, in order to get the longboat offshore and out to sea past the swimming guards that were desperately trying to grab hold of their escaping boat.  Meanwhile, Sammy kept watch at the stern to keep grasping hands away from the transom with his barking and biting.  They had to move beyond the surf into smoother water if they were to make any progress, while at the same time needing to turn towards the south in hopes of picking up a westerly sea breeze rounding the southern tip of the sandstone Island Fortress of Tyull.  Without a breeze to fill their languishing sails, they had no hope of out-rowing the guards’ pursuing boat, which was attempting to cut them off by angling in closer to the beach and surf.  If the guards’ boat beat them to the southern tip of the island, it wouldn’t matter if there was a sea breeze rounding the cliffs or not, for they would latch onto Maestyg, Jonathan and Sammy’s boat with long, hooked poles to capture them once they were close enough.  End of story.

Knowing the guards’ boat was taking the inside track, Maestyg steered their course slightly out to sea to get as much separation as they could, while at the same time still making a southeasterly track.  Perhaps further out to sea the breeze would make itself felt sooner than closer to shore, for their only hope was in filling their sails with a sudden wind and outrunning the guards – who hadn’t even bothered to put up their sails.  The guards had also launched a second longboat, which was now taking the same southeasterly course as they were.  The guards were obviously trying to do a squeeze play, with one boat abeam to their starboard side, and the other chasing aft of their stern.  The only good news for the moment was, that Maestyg, Jonathan and Sammy’s longboat had good separation from both pursuing boats – one to their aft and another along the shoreline to their starboard side – in this desperate race to find a wind out farther from shore.

Jonathan tried his best to match Maestyg’s powerful rowing action, but could neither move as much water as his courageous friend, nor could he match the speed of his rowing.  The best thing Jonathan could do was to keep his middle set of oars from accidentally striking Maestyg’s stern set of oars due to being out of sync.  Not only was Jonathan completely tired and worn out by now, he could tell that Maestyg was struggling to keep rowing himself, as neither of them was in good condition for such hard rowing – but what was the alternative, besides capture?  Hope alone wasn’t enough or even realistic in this situation, as one man couldn’t out-row two pursuing rowboats of ten rowers each.  The odds were not only stacked against them, but mathematically they were nonexistent.

The guards’ first longboat on the inside track closer to the shoreline was now not only abeam them, but its rowers had slackened their pace, as it only took a leisurely rowing cadence for them to maintain their superior tactical position and conserve their strength.  Their inside track cut off all hopes for the escapees to turn westward south of the island, in order to make their way towards Myllanthar, as the guards’ boat was directly blocking their escape route.  At the same time, the guards’ boat behind them continued rowing as fast as they possibly could, and despite their late start, they were quickly closing the distance between them.  Given another ten minutes or so, the pursuing boat of guards would overtake them, and come abeam for the capture – especially with Maestyg’s rapidly fading strength from rowing solo.

With the given course, the distance between the starboard shoreline and the guards’ boat abeam them continued to widen, as Maestyg now maintained an east-southeasterly course in a desperate attempt to catch the prevailing wind.  The sandstone volcanic island could only block the westerly wind to a certain distance from shore, and it was unusual for the winds to be this calm for this long.  If there was a wind to be found, any wind, it had to be farther out over open water.  Meanwhile, the pursuing longboat to their aft was catching up, with its ten guards rowing in extreme haste.  Maestyg understood that the guards’ orders were to capture the escaping boat or die trying – especially if they returned empty handed.  The fortresses ruler wouldn’t take kindly to losing the escaping intruders who had roamed the beaches of the Island Fortress of Tyull at will, nor the loss of one of their longboats, and the guards were sure to pay the price no matter the outcome.

At this point, the guards’ boat paralleling the beach began turning out to sea, all the while maintaining a cutoff position to prevent Maestyg, Jonathan and Sammy from turning west around the southern tip of the island towards Myllanthar.  It was inevitable now that the pursuing longboat would overtake their own efforts within minutes, without any possibility of eluding them at this point.  Turning circles wouldn’t help, nor would jumping overboard into the sea help their situation, for every advantage lay with the guards.  ‘How could they have found themselves in this situation,’ thought Jonathan, almost giving into despair.  ‘This wasn’t his idea of what their adventure was supposed to have turned out to be, and all there was at this point in their future was a dark prison cell somewhere deep within the sandstone Fortress of Tyull awaiting them, and worse…’

Jonathan’s Wish (An Adventure Novel) – Book Three, Chapter Three, Part Eight

Jonathan’s Wish (An Adventure Novel)

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

Book Three, Chapter Three, Part Eight


In the chaos of trying to escape the Island Fortress of Tyull, Jonathan tried to make his way to the stern of the sailboat in knee-deep water, but bumped into one of Maestyg’s invisible tribe members in doing so.  He was knocked down onto his knees in the surf accidentally by the collision, and struggled to just get his feet back underneath him again on the irregular stones under the water.  Sopping wet from his spill into the surf, Jonathan finally made it to the rear of the boat and grabbed onto the transom with both hands, as the boat was being moved into deeper water.  Maestyg realized Jonathan’s predicament, and literally picked him up by his belt and backpack and threw him into the bottom of the hull at the sailboat’s stern.

As Jonathan scrambled onto his hands and knees in the bottom of the sailboat, the tribe continued pushing the boat into deeper water, while the guards poured from the tunnel’s opening and ran down the beach towards them.  There must have been about thirty guards in total racing down the beach, trying to recapture the boat before Jonathan even had a chance to grab the oars and row away from the beach.  Sammy was midship taking in the chaos and commotion of so much invisible splashing around the boat and action on the beach, while Jonathan finally made it to the middle set of oars by crawling to them on his hands and knees – trying to figure out how to move the oars from their stowed position to extend them.  It was a hopeless endeavor to even think that Jonathan could row this longboat by himself away from the beach with the guards racing to stop him, but it was his only hope at the moment.

Half the guards split off to the second sailboat down the beach to begin launching it with swift efficiency.  Ten of the men took up their places at the oars – five oarsmen to a side – while not even bothering with the sail.  They could see the sails hanging limp on the single spar of Jonathan’s boat, and knew there was no need to bother taking the time to hoist their own without any wind.  As other guards pushed their boat into deeper water, the oarsmen extended their oars to then race out in front of Jonathan’s boat to block him from leaving the beach.  It was in that moment, that they noticed their oars refused to function properly, as members of Maestyg’s invisible tribe had run over to the guard’s boat to grab ahold of the ends of their now extended oars with much splashing in the shallow water, effectively rendering the oars useless for the moment.

At the same time, the other half of the guards were almost to the shoreline at Jonathan’s boat, who had only just extended his own oars to get started rowing away from the beach.  With a giant lunge off the rocks below the surface, Maestyg threw himself over the transom of Jonathan’s sailboat and quickly grabbed the last set of oars in the stern.  It only took three or four powerful surges with his oars and the sailboat was already in water over the guards’ heads, as the narrow beach dropped sharply away from this dormant volcanic island.  “Row for all you’re worth, Jonathan,” yelled Maestyg over his shoulder while shrouded in his invisibility.  “There’s no way you could have escaped on your own, so I’m going with you!”

Jonathan synched his oaring to match Maestyg’s, knowing his own efforts had little effect against the water compared to his friend’s powerful rowing action.  Sammy ran to the boat’s stern to bark and bite at any of the guard’s hands that tried to catch hold of the sailboat’s transom, which was becoming less probable with each of Maestyg’s powerful pulls with the oars.  The guards’ own boat had finally freed itself of the invisible hands of Maestyg’s tribe that were clinging to its oars, and was now beginning to make headway away from the beach.  It was now a race against time, as Maestyg began a turn towards the southern tip of the Island Fortress of Tyull to where they had earlier come up the beach.  If they could only make it closer to the southern tip of the island, perhaps there would be a sea breeze to pick up – if not, the guards outmanned them with their rowing power, and it was only a matter of minutes before they would catch the escaping boat, dooming their attempt to escape from this cursed island…


Jonathan’s Wish (An Adventure Novel) – Book Three, Chapter Three, Part Seven

Jonathan’s Wish (An Adventure Novel)

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

Book Three, Chapter Three, Part Seven


Jonathan thought he couldn’t run anymore, and was about to collapse on the rocky beach if it hadn’t been for Maestyg grabbing his arm and helping to support him as he ran.  Jonathan’s backpack was heavily laden with smoked fish, water flasks, and gold and silver coins, while his footsteps were uncertain on the slippery rocks and pebbles.  His strength was zapped from spending days on reduced rations on the dark staircase, and from their having already traveled for hours at this point.  Maestyg’s encouragement fueled Jonathan’s second wind though, and he somehow found a way to keep going.

The sailboats weren’t far off now, and he was able to count nine of them in a row on the beach as they approached.  Each was nosed into the beach with its anchor extended in front to catch on the rocks, with some 20 feet or so separating each boat in the line.  These single-masted sailboats were constructed of wooden planked hulls, open from bow to stern, with all the framing boards plainly visible inside each hull.  Their lowered sails were loosely gathered, and their dual external centerboards were pulled above the waterline while beached.  Each boat had what looked to be five sets of oars tucked away inside the approximately 25 foot long hulls.

The closer they got to the boats, the larger the sailboats loomed ahead on the beach.  These weren’t some novice class training sailboats, but single-masted longboats, big enough to carry about 15 men each, with either one or two men manning each set of oars.  Maestyg realized that there was no way that Jonathan could maneuver such a boat by himself, but it was their only hope.  Without managing to somehow sail away from the island, there was nothing to prevent the guards from capturing him and taking him deep inside the fortress – and if that were to happen, all hope would vanish of ever seeing him again…

As they closed in on the line of beached sailboats, Maestyg’s invisible tribe pulled ahead of where Jonathan and Maestyg were now lagging behind, with only Sammy able to maintain their pace up the beach.  The only way Jonathan even knew the tribe was still with them, was because he could see the stones on the beach moving ahead of them from each member of the tribe’s invisible footsteps pushing against them, along with their huffing and puffing from the exertion of their efforts of carrying the provisions.  At this point, there were still no guards to be seen, but it wasn’t yet plain to them what the boy and his dog were after, was to take one of their sailboats to escape from the island.  Once that point was made clear, the guards were bound to come racing out of their tunnels to prevent them from leaving.

The tribe ahead acted in unison, as Jonathan saw their combined efforts in the shifting rocks around the first sailboat in the line as he and Maestyg pulled up the rear.  The anchor was first placed into the bow, while the hull was pushed back into the sea with some effort.  Once the hull was floating, the sounds of the provisions being placed into it were clearly heard.  The hull sank a little lower into the water from the bags of cargo loaded into it, which became visible again once positioned in the hull.  Invisible hands began unfurling the main and jib sails, and hoisting them up the single spar to the top – each sail completely limp in the still air.  Still others were pushing the bow around to point out to sea, while Maestyg picked up Sammy and placed him into the boat’s hull at the stern saying, “Climb aboard and take the middle set of oars, Jonathan, and start rowing for all you’re worth – the guards are running onto the beach!”


Jonathan’s Wish (An Adventure Novel) – Book Three, Chapter Three, Part Six

Jonathan’s Wish (An Adventure Novel)

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

Book Three, Chapter Three, Part Six


Everything had happened in an instant during the ambush and the guards’ attempt to capture Jonathan and Sammy, so quickly in fact, that he hadn’t even had time to process what was happening at the time.  Now that their attackers had been run off, frightened by the haunting voices of Maestyg’s unseen tribe, Jonathan took a moment to pause and reflect.  The guards looked more like ruffians and thugs than any sort of disciplined and uniformed force.  In fact, had he not known they were the guards of the Fortress of Tyull, he’d have thought they were some sort of pirates, criminals or rabble-rousers of a distant age.  A book of his that had discussed the dark side of the Middle Ages came to mind when he recalled the state of the men who tried to grab them – armed with clubs, swords, and dressed in black leather and filthy clothes.  Jonathan shuddered as he realized they looked like executioners…

“Come, Jonathan, quickly now – there isn’t a moment to spare,” insisted Maestyg, as he tugged on Jonathan’s arm to keep him moving down the beach.  “You can’t rest now.  That was a close call, but they’ll be back with hundreds more of their same ilk – we can’t fend them all off the next time!”

Jonathan snapped out of his thoughts and understood that Maestyg was right, there was no time to lose.  He quickly realized that Sammy was fine, and he himself wasn’t hurt, just shocked.  Taking a deep breath, he said, “You’re right, Maestyg, I’m with you now.  Let’s go.”

Maestyg maintained his cloak of invisibility along with the rest of his tribe, as they all accompanied Jonathan and Sammy up the beach.  Jonathan really didn’t know where they were heading, except for the fact there was a boat somewhere along the shoreline they would commandeer for his and Sammy’s escape from the Island of Tyull.  He was beginning to understand Gramps’ unwillingness to discuss any details about Tyull.  If Gramps had been taken into the fortress against his will at the time, he was lucky to have made it out alive.  Maestyg had earlier mentioned that he had assisted Myllanthal in escaping a prison cell deep within the sandstone fortress, and Jonathan understood the debt of gratitude all of Myllanthar owed to Maestyg for his bravery – and even now, he was assisting them to escape this cursed Island Fortress of Tyull.

They traveled up the beach for another hour under the light of the stars, until the first predawn glow finally appeared on the eastern horizon above an endless sea.  Daylight wouldn’t be their friend, as no doubt the guards had since reorganized themselves for their re-attack against a boy and his dog.  Perhaps the haunted voices would give the guards pause enough to delay their reappearance on the beach, buying them time to make it to the boat and escape this foul place.  The odds weren’t in their favor though, as prying eyes from atop the fortress could easily track their movements along the beach now, as if watching them endlessly circle this island of rock in their futile attempts to escape.  Perhaps the guards were simply laughing at them, and waiting until their prey had spent their last reserves of energy like rats in a maze.

As the first rays of dawn illuminated the desolate rocky beach, Jonathan scanned the distance as they continued moving up the beach as fast as he could.  Sammy was actually enjoying the trek, running in and out of the waves on the hard packed sand, while Maestyg and the invisible tribe along with them kept up their relentless pace.  There at the water’s edge, perhaps a quarter mile ahead, Jonathan made out the image of masted boats pulled up onto the beach.  They appeared to number less than ten he guessed, and each seemed to be the size of a small sailboat with a single mast, nosed into the beach.  There wasn’t even a gentle breeze as dawn broke, and sailing off the island appeared to be a non-starter, dooming their efforts to get away.

The closer they got, the more suspicious Jonathan felt, as if a whole host of guards were only just now waiting to pour out of an unseen tunnel to attack them.  Another battle with the guards wouldn’t go well he realized, for they might decide to do away with him right then and there, leaving him no hope of ever returning home to the Spencer Family Farm.  He shook his head and put away his thoughts of defeat, understanding that the next few minutes held his entire future in the balance…


Jonathan’s Wish (An Adventure Novel) – Book Three, Chapter Three, Part Five

Jonathan’s Wish (An Adventure Novel)

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

Book Three, Chapter Three, Part Five


Jonathan had time to ponder their circumstances as Sammy returned to chasing the waves, while Maestyg went up the cliff face to retrieve something for them to eat.  ‘What a situation,’ thought Jonathan about the pickle they’d found themselves in.  Of all places to end up in, the Island Fortress of Tyull wasn’t anywhere on his list of preferred places.  It was simply their reality, though, and all the wishful thinking in the world wouldn’t change it.  ‘Perhaps the idea of sailing to Myllanthar is a doable option,’ he quietly pondered, while trying to remember anything he’d ever read about how to sail a boat – it wasn’t a very long list…

Maestyg soon returned with a good quantity of smoked fish for them to eat, and reassured Jonathan that it had been properly deboned for Sammy.  “The tribe is gathering supplies for your journey at the moment, and they will soon head out to supply one of the guards’ sailboats for your use – that is, should we be able to evade them on the way there, of course.  Our people eat the offerings of the sea here on Tyull, and drink spring water that flows out of this sandstone rock formation, so your provisions will consist of smoked fish and water flasks.  They should last you for at least two weeks, and then after that, you’ll have to fish for your own supper.  We’re providing you with a catch basin to accumulate rainwater as well, and perhaps the guards’ sailboat will have other supplies you can make use of.  Whatever you do, don’t let the guards catch you in a second boat if you do manage to get away, for I’m afraid that would result in a very bad outcome for you both.”

“Now that the full moon has set, we can begin the trek of circling to the other side of the island.  Here’s a parcel of food and water to put into your backpack, Master Jonathan, and hopefully the guards aren’t making their rounds over the next few hours.”

The three of them set off down the narrow rocky beach towards the southern tip of the island, talking about many different topics concerning both Tyull and Hampton, Ohio.  To anyone observing him, it would have appeared as though Jonathan was talking to thin air, or to Sammy, as Maestyg remained in his transparent state for the journey.  They came upon additional tunnel entrances opening into the sides of the sandstone cliff, but luckily, they all remained unguarded – or at least that’s how they appeared.  Jonathan thought to himself that, ‘The Island Fortress of Tyull doesn’t get many voluntary visitors it appears, so the guards don’t have to worry much about the island’s beachfront security.’  What he didn’t realize though, was that the island was full of many watchful eyes, and his and Sammy’s progress was being tracked even as they made their way down the beach.

The guards had only detected a boy and his dog walking along the beach, so they only sent three guards to ambush, confront and capture them once they rounded the southern tip of the island, where they would have the element of complete surprise.  Why a boy and a dog would be strolling down the beach of the Island Fortress of Tyull stumped them, for everyone in Myllanthar knew of the island’s terrible reputation, so the guards wanted to find out more information from them after their capture.  Their presence on the island might be a ruse for an attempted invasion of the island the guards calculated between themselves, and the more information they could get out of the boy the better.

The southern point of the island was the ideal place for an ambush, as the steep cliffs prevented anyone from seeing around the corner of the beach until it was too late.  When Jonathan and Sammy rounded the cliff face, the three guards pounced on them grabbing Jonathan by the arms, but missed nabbing Sammy, who went into a snarling and barking attack against the guards.  Two of the guards were needed to fend off Sammy’s attacks, while the third held Jonathan securely by both arms from behind him.  “Let me go,” yelled Jonathan, “You have no right to grab me that way, and leave my dog alone!”

In the midst of this confusion between three struggling guards, one snarling and biting dog, and a boy screaming to be released, there suddenly came upon them a hundred individual voices out of nowhere chanting to release the boy.  The one guard holding Jonathan asked the other two fending off Sammy what the voices were, clearly frightened by a multitude of unseen figures.  Jonathan seized his opportunity and yelled out, “The voices you hear are the ghost army I’ve brought with me to liberate Tyull!  You had all better leave this island now, or these ghosts will haunt you every day of your lives!  You’re bad people doing bad things here, and I won’t have it – flee the island, or the ghosts will make you pay!”

With that, the guards were so frightened they ran away towards the nearest tunnel opening into the cliff, as Jonathan called after them, “You can’t hide from ghosts – they’ll get you in the end!”


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

Jonathan’s Wish (An Adventure Novel)

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

Book Three, Chapter Three, Part Four


“What are we to do, Maestyg, and where are we to go?” pleaded Jonathan, suddenly overcome by the reality of having found themselves on an island fortress, surrounded by danger everywhere around them.  “Sammy and I can’t remain here, and risk being captured and worse.”

“You’re right there, Master Jonathan, you mustn’t remain here – you’ll have to go,” replied Maestyg with an air of certainty.  “There is nothing for you here on the Island Fortress of Tyull…”

“We can’t return up the staircase, because the entrance into the caverns is blocked.  We can’t swim across the Sea of Tollvar to Myllanthar either.  What are we to do?”

Maestyg thought about Jonathan and Sammy’s predicament for a moment and replied, “Well, I suppose invisibility isn’t an option for either of you.  Getting caught by the guards of Tyull would be tragic though, and the end of you – so we can’t let that happen – and there’s no place for you to hide on this narrow beach.  Climbing the cliff to our dwellings isn’t a possibility either, or else the  guards would have done that ages ago.  I suppose you’ll have to sail away from the island.”

“Sail away?” queried Jonathan, “But how?  I don’t see any boats here, and the guards are sure to come after us.”

“That they are, Master Jonathan, but I have a plan.  It may not work though, and if that’s the case you’ll both be caught.  It’s your only hope, so I don’t think you have much of a choice in the matter.”

“Okay, if it’s our only choice – where’s this boat?”

“It’s on the other side of Tyull, on the eastern side of the island.  If you want to sail to Myllanthar, you’ll have to circle back around the island and sail west – otherwise you’ll be carried by the winds into the endless Eastern Sea.  Do you know how to sail?”

“I’ve never sailed before, Maestyg, but I’ll figure it out somehow.  I’ll just sail towards the sunset and away from the sunrise.”

“Good plan.  I’ll have our tribe move enough supplies to where the boat is, and then we’ll travel together in the dark around the island – it’ll take us a few hours, and hopefully we’ll miss the guards’ evening patrols.”

“How can your people move supplies without at least the supplies being seen, Maestyg – they’re not invisible.”

“The clothes we wear and the things we carry, mimic the same frequency shift of our own oscillating atoms, rendering them invisible as well.”

“If you carried me on your back, wouldn’t I then become invisible, too?  Someone else could carry Sammy.”

“Oh, right – I never thought of it that way.  Let’s give it a try.  Call Sammy over and I’ll pick him up, and you can tell me if you can see him as I increase my atoms’ vibrational frequency.”

Sammy ran over from playing in the waves, and once Maestyg had him in his arms, Maestyg turned invisible, but Sammy remained in plain sight elevated above the beach as if he was floating.  “It didn’t work, Maestyg – I can’t see you, but I can still see Sammy.”

“Sorry about that, it must be because you’re not from here.  It was a good try though – the idea was right, but we couldn’t have known it wouldn’t work unless we tried it.”  Maestyg placed Sammy down again, and Sammy sat down at Jonathan’s side.  “Well let’s get started then, invisibility or not.  You two must be hungry – let me go up the cliff to retrieve something for you to eat, and tell my tribe our plan…”

“One quick question, Maestyg, before you go – whose boat will we be using?”

“Oh, the guards’ boat of course, they’re the only ones who have anything on Tyull.  Except for my people, there’s nothing and no one not under the control of the fortress – except you two, of course – at least for now.  They won’t be happy with you for taking their boat though, so you can expect them to come after you, unless of course, you venture into the Eastern Sea.  No one goes there, and if you do, you’ll perish after running out of supplies – for there’s nothing in the Eastern Sea but the endless horizon…”


Jonathan’s Wish (An Adventure Novel) – Book Three, Chapter Three, Part Three

Jonathan’s Wish (An Adventure Novel)

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

Book Three, Chapter Three, Part Three



“What?  Who said that?  Sammy, run back over here – right away,” said Jonathan, even more confused than he had been a second earlier.

“I said that – you’re on the Island of Tyull.”

“The Island of Tyull?  Who are you?  Where are you?  I don’t see anyone…” replied Jonathan, not understanding what was happening.  Sammy came straight back, and Jonathan took a good look at him, quizzically half-expecting that Sammy had learned to talk.

“Who are you, and why do you want to know who I am?  You asked a question, and I gave you an answer.  What’s to understand?” the mysterious voice said out of seemingly thin air.

“I’m Jonathan and this is my dog Sammy, and we’re from Hampton, Ohio.  What do you mean I’m on the Island of Tyull?” mustered up Jonathan, trying to remain calm while clearly agitated at speaking to the air around him.

“What more is there to say, besides that’s where you are.  I’ve never heard of this place Ohio you’re talking about, and it’s important for me to know who you are before I show myself to you, as this is not a safe place, this Island of Tyull,” explained the voice, carefully measuring up Jonathan and Sammy.

Jonathan paused for a second as he began to understand what was going on, before saying, “I once heard of this Island of Tyull from Gramps – perhaps you know him.  He also goes by the names of Illandor, Arrydor and Myllanthal.  Do you know him?”

“Oh, Myllanthal, he visited here once, but was in a tremendous hurry to leave.  Yes, I helped him escape from the Fortress of Tyull – not a pleasant place to be.  Not a pleasant place at all.  Do all you can to avoid it.”

“Well, Myllanthal’s a friend of mine, and I’m glad we understand each other now, but I still can’t see you.  Where are you?”

“Oh, that – sorry,” replied the voice as a shape slowly formed in front of Jonathan.  “I forget about the invisibility thing all the time when meeting outsiders.  I’m Maestyg, of the Dowylais.  We’re Cliff Dwellers, living in these cliffs,” explained the shape before Jonathan, still seemingly assembling itself into a unified form.  After a few more moments, the person was visible to Jonathan and fully-functioning, yet having an air of translucence to it similar to the Myull and the Sylth.

“Very nice to meet you, Maestyg.  Why the invisibility, and why do you live in these cliffs?  What is this island all about?” replied Jonathan, not truly understanding what was going on here.

“The Fortress of Tyull is a terrible place, Master Jonathan, and our people use invisibility as a means of escaping the guards.  This is not a good place to be – how did you escape the guards on the stairway to arrive here?”

“We didn’t see any guards on the staircase, Maestyg – the staircase came straight down.  There was only one side passageway that we saw, but the air was too foul in it to chose that route, and we ended up here on the beach.”

“There are many side tunnels off the staircase, Jonathan.  They go everywhere under the fortress.  The guards mustn’t have seen your torch, Master Jonathan.”

“We traveled down the stairs in the dark, and only once used my flashlight for a brief moment.”

“Ah, that explains it then – the guards weren’t looking for anyone in the dark.  They must have been preoccupied in a side passageway the moment you used your light.  You’re very lucky, Master Jonathan, very lucky indeed, otherwise you’d be in a prison cell now deep within this mountain…”

“Why do your people live here then, Maestyg, if Tyull’s such a terrible place?” asked Jonathan, as Sammy chased more incoming waves.

“The guards don’t bother us, because most of the time they never see us due to our invisibility.  We rarely revert to the opaque versions of ourselves.  We can choose to be either opaque, translucent or transparent, which is invisible.  We do this by manipulating the frequency shift of our body’s atoms – the faster the vibration of the atoms, the more light is able to pass through them.  It’s a process of harmonics.  When the atoms of our being correlate to a harmonic of the frequency of visible light, we then appear invisible to anyone looking at us,” explained Maestyg.  “The other effect a higher frequency shift creates, is for us to become lighter than air and defy gravity.  The faster the vibrational frequency of our atoms, the less effect gravity has on them, until at a certain point, gravity has no affect on us at all.  That’s why we can ascend these cliffs and live within the openings.  The guards can’t touch us – but they can and will find you here…”


Jonathan’s Wish (An Adventure Novel) – Book Three, Chapter Three, Part Two

Jonathan’s Wish (An Adventure Novel)

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

Book Three, Chapter Three, Part Two


Jonathan and Sammy made quick progress going down the remaining stairs towards the illuminated base of the stone stairwell.  The stair treads appeared to stop at a smooth landing, and the illumination was now making it possible to see the entire staircase area clearly, although not as brightly as if it had been in full sunshine.  It was still a dim lighting environment, but they could easily see the sandstone tunnel and stair treads without the aid of a flashlight.  Their eyes had definitively adjusted after spending three days in the dark tunnel and another morning in the cavern system, but he hoped beyond hope that this new light would show them the way out of their sandstone prison.

The question was, what would they find at the base of the stairs?  If they were encased within this sandstone rock formation, how was the light getting in – and would it allow them to somehow get themselves out?  It wouldn’t take long to find out now, and with every step down the stone staircase they were even more aware of the repetitive sounds and salt-infused air.  As they stepped off the final stone stair tread, they found themselves on a level sandstone landing that opened into a short, level corridor of perhaps fifty feet.  Clearly displayed at the end of the short corridor, was a full moon descending towards a distant horizon – over the ocean – shining its light directly through the corridor to illuminate the base of the stairway!

You could have knocked Jonathan over at the sight of the descending full moon over the ocean, as nothing was making sense.  ‘A full moon over the ocean?’ thought Jonathan, ‘No way could that be possible!  The caverns and staircase originated in Southern Ohio, and didn’t cover hundreds or thousands of miles.’  Sammy ran ahead onto a pebble stone beach about twenty feet deep, where large waves crashed upon the shore.  The salty ocean air definitely confirmed this was an ocean, and not just a huge lake.  The water from the waves washed up to about ten feet from the opening of the corridor leading to the staircase, and as Jonathan emerged from the sandstone entrance, it was like walking into a completely different world!

It was like he was dreaming, and not really sure if he was awake or simply hallucinating, as he pinched his arm to confirm he was indeed awake.  Sammy ran up and down the beach a short distance away while chasing the crashing waves, and a small stream a short distance away trickled out of a crack in the sandstone cliff face, before flowing across the beach to the sea.  Jonathan quickly grabbed his canteen and water bottle from his backpack, and filled them up to the very top while he could, and then drank his fill from the trickling water out of the crack.  He called Sammy over to do the same, and they both drank like they had never tasted water before!

Looking up, Jonathan saw the sandstone cliff going virtually straight up for hundreds of feet above the beach, with what looked like stone walls atop the cliff continuing even higher, but the moonlight wouldn’t allow him to get a clear view that far away.  They watched as the full moon continued to make its descent towards the horizon, realizing it would only be minutes before the moon completely disappeared from view.  It would then be dark again, and he hoped sunrise wasn’t far away now, but what direction was east?  If it was on the other side of this sandstone mountain, it could still be hours before they’d see the daylight.

He took out his compass from his backpack and leveled it, only to watch as the needle turned in slow circles.  ‘That’s odd,’ Jonathan thought to himself, how could there be no true north?  He looked left and right along the beach, but saw nothing other than this narrow strip of stony beach alongside a massive rock cliff.  “Where are we?” Jonathan asked aloud to the slight breeze they were feeling coming off the ocean, and wondered to himself what else could possibly befall them next…


Jonathan’s Wish (An Adventure Novel) – Book Three, Chapter Three, Part One – Understanding

Jonathan’s Wish (An Adventure Novel)

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

Book Three, Chapter Three, Part One – Understanding


When Jonathan woke and opened his eyes, he could see his hand in front of him without the use of his flashlight for the first time since entering the caverns!  His hand was barely visible just inches from his face, mind you – not exactly brilliant sunshine – but at least it was a start.  The repetitive rhythmic sounds were still present, but seemed even a bit louder than before, along with the clear scent of salt-infused fresh air.  It was good news indeed for what it was worth, but the bad news simply overwhelmed it, as they were about to finish both their snacks and water here on the steps of their sandstone entrapment.

Sammy finished his treats and Jonathan ate his last chocolate chip cookie, before sipping most of the remaining water from the canteen.  The small quantity of water remaining in the canteen was only enough to moisten their mouths one last time.  It was looking like the end was near.  Jonathan knew they could last a good while without food, but without water, they were doomed.  This would be their third day of descending the stone stairway in the dark, but even the fact that it was not quite as dark as before, wouldn’t help them much in the effort.  He packed away the near-empty canteen and the sweatshirt that had served as a pillow atop the stone stair tread, and together they resumed their descent of the stairway – one probe, scoot and step down after another.

Curiosity refocused Jonathan’s thoughts away from their impending doom without water, onto the question of what these changes in their environment might mean.  Why was it ever so slightly lighter in the tunnel?  What was causing the repetitive sounds?  Was the fresh air coming into the tunnel through an opening to the outside of some sort, and if so, could they escape the darkness through it?  What was causing the air to be tinged with salt?  Jonathan knew of only two reasons for the air to carry the scent of salt – a salt mine, and the ocean.  If there was an underground salt mine here, or a large vein of salt within the sandstone, it wouldn’t naturally mean fresh air at the same time.  An ocean would produce both fresh air and the scent of salt, but Southern Ohio was a far cry from the ocean.  Something else must account for why the air seemed to be both fresher and smelled of salt.

As they continued their way inching deeper down the stone treads, it began to feel like the source behind both the air quality and the repetitive sounds was becoming nearer and nearer.  Sammy felt an excitement that Jonathan also shared, and after what seemed to be an entire morning’s efforts – or was it night – they could now just barely make out the sides of the sandstone tunnel!  The air was indeed fresher than ever before, and Sammy was eager to descend the stairway at a faster rate.  So at this point, Jonathan was convinced he could see the stone treads clearly enough to walk down them without stumbling, and they began to make swift progress down the stairs.  The excitement helped carry them down the stairs with a sense of renewed energy, hoping they would discover something, anything, that would help them escape this sandstone tunnel.

Finally, after another long period of time, Jonathan saw a light at the base of the staircase!  It wasn’t like a lamp or a flashlight, but something was clearly shedding light on the landing of the staircase ahead of them.  It was perhaps another few hundred stair treads below them yet at this point, but they were making quick progress in reaching it.  Jonathan had to hold Sammy back with his leash to ensure they didn’t try to run down the stone treads, as a stumble at this point would be a bad ending to their journey down this endless stairway in the dark, and he didn’t want to see this opportunity escape them.  He didn’t know what was causing the base of the stairs to be illuminated, but it looked like it was their one opportunity to escape the darkness…