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

Jonathan’s Wish (An Adventure Novel)

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

Book Three, Chapter One, Part Six

~~~~~~~~~~

Sammy couldn’t sit still while Jonathan and his Grandfather ate their snacks and talked while sitting on the trunk of the fallen tree, and instead ran off to find something to chase through the wood.  “You know, Jonathan,” began David.  “You’re a lot like me in so many ways at your young age, and you’re certainly farther along the spectrum of what I’d always wanted to do, which is to travel between worlds.  After all, you’ve already visited Myllanthar twice before the age of nine.  That’s why I see in you a vast potential to learn and understand all I know about traveling between and creating worlds, and then surpassing my abilities.  You have a real talent for imagination and adventure, as it’s the core of your being, but it’s only just the start.  What you need to do now, Lad, is to learn how to go beyond your imagination, that’s where the fun really begins.”

“Beyond my imagination, Gramps?  How is that even possible?  Is there really something beyond it?  It seems impossible,” replied Jonathan quizzically, not being able to follow what his Grandfather was saying.

“Oh it’s not only possible, but really not that hard to do once you figure it out.  That’s my aim during this visit, to give you the insights I’ve learned over the course of the past three decades or so, once I finally figured everything out for myself.  However, I’d like to show you something first that might interest you – it’s not far from here.”

They packed up their snacks, and Jonathan fed Sammy a handful of treats that he always tried to bring with him on their excursions into the back forty.  Sammy was off in a flash after his snacks, no doubt on the scent of something that really interested him.  They followed the deer path they had earlier traveled, before turning off into a small clearing that was about thirty feet across or so.  There in the middle of the clearing was a large oval, egg-shaped smooth rock, about the size of a compact car.  Once they reached it, David looked at it and smiled saying, “This is the spot where I figured out how to travel beyond the edge of my imagination, Jonathan, and this place holds a lot of meaning for me.”

He continued, “Just after the farm went bankrupt in early 1930 during the Great Depression, and the year after Thomas was born, I thought my world was coming to an end.  So I came here in the woods to clear my mind and think about what my options were.  It was while sitting here on this stone, that I decided to go back to flying for the U.S. Government as a contract pilot, but it required me to be away from my family for long periods of time.  While I was away, Rebecca died of the influenza, and Thomas didn’t hardly know me any more once I came home.  It’s something he’s never understood – but it was the only way for me to earn a good income in those days, and be able to wire money home to Rebecca to keep from losing everything.  After she passed away in late 1949, I couldn’t bear living here full-time anymore, and later signed the farm over to Thomas once he turned twenty-one.  Thomas went on to make the Spencer Family Farm into the success it is today, while I always helped him financially from afar.”

David paused while lost in his thoughts of those days, and then said, “The other thing that happened here that day, besides deciding to go back to flying again, was I discovered the key to going beyond my imagination, to what I call the other side of imagination.  I was so deep in my thoughts that day, while trying to discover a way to salvage my life during the Great Depression, that serendipity tapped me on the shoulder.  Do you know what serendipity is, Jonathan?”

“Is it when something good happens to you, Gramps?” queried Jonathan, not really sure of a better definition.

“Well it’s sort of like that, Jonathan, but really serendipity means you find something you’re not looking for in a fortunate sort of way.  I’m a great believer in serendipity.  You see, when you attempt to solve a problem or an issue in your mind, you eventually go back to thinking and doing other things.  The wonderful thing about the human mind is that it keeps working that issue all the time subconsciously, without actively thinking about it, while you go about doing other things during your day until it comes up with the answer.  Once your mind has the answer you asked it to look for, it’s liable to give you that answer when you least expect it – out of the blue.  That’s what happened here that day.”

“What was the answer, Gramps – was it how to go farther than your imagination?”

“Yes, Jonathan, it was how to go beyond your imagination.  I had been searching for a way to travel between other worlds since the time I was your age and younger, but without success.  It was here that my mind finally solved the problem and gave me the answer, a good thirty-five years after I asked it for an answer.  It was after I decided to return to flying, as that was the easier answer to find.  But just as I was getting ready to stand up and return to the farmhouse to tell Rebecca, the insight of traveling between worlds came to me all of a sudden, and I couldn’t believe it!  I had to stay to test it out before returning home of course, and it was here that I had my first glance of the Land of Myllanthar, even though it didn’t exist at that point.  I could see this world that I wanted to visit, but it would still be many months of trial and error on my part before I figured out how to actually create it.  That day here on this rock, was one of the most significant days of my life.”

“So how does it work, Gramps?”

“I wanted to take you here to the same spot where my initial insight into traveling beyond and between worlds took place, so you can learn it in the same place as I did.  It all begins with learning how to navigate through your mind and imagination, and then to step outside your mind as you know it…”

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

Jonathan’s Wish (An Adventure Novel)

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

Book Three, Chapter One, Part Five

~~~~~~~~~~

The screen door closed behind them, as Jonathan and his Grandfather stepped onto the kitchen porch in the late morning sunshine.  Trooper stood up from his resting place beside the porch to greet them, and Sammy came bounding around the corner of the dairy barn after a morning of chasing rabbits in the fields.  Once Sammy saw them standing on the porch surveying the farm, he made a beeline to greet them with a leap onto the porch in full stride – crashing into them both, having not been able to stop in time.  After a hearty hug and a good rubdown of Jonathan’s adventure companion, David Alexander Spencer said wistfully, “You know, Jonathan, whenever I’m back at the farm I realize how much I miss it.  This is a very special place for me for many reasons.  I have a lot of memories here, some good, some sad, but that’s what life’s all about.  You have to enjoy the good times and persevere through the tough times, because that’s all you can do, just keep trying to do your best.”

“I’m glad you came back to visit, Gramps, because I’ve missed you and always like it when you visit,” replied Jonathan.  “I wish you could stay with us all the time.”

“Well, Jonathan, that’s not really possible, but I do like to stop by as often as I can.  See that treeline beyond the wheat field?  Let’s take a walk to go explore and talk, as it’s been a long time since I’ve entered that wood.  Have you ever ventured into that area before?”

The two of them stepped off the porch and started walking towards the forest they saw in the distance, beyond the swaying shafts of green wheat stalks that hadn’t quite started ripening yet.  They aimed to follow a tractor path that veered left from the dairy barn and horse barn, bisecting two neighboring fields with wheat on the left, and corn stalks almost waist high to the right.

“I haven’t, Gramps.  Sammy and I hiked into the forest beyond the cornfield and crossed Stoney Creek, and that’s how we ended up in Myllanthar.  How do you know about Myllanthar, and about the City of Talgarth and the Kingdom of Talgar?  I thought Sammy and I were the only ones that knew about them, and how did you get the same medallion and coin as I have?”

The treeline loomed larger in the distance as they drew closer with each step.  “You can’t see it yet, can you, Jonathan?”

“Can’t see what, Gramps?  Are you talking about the forest?”

“No, not the trees, I mean Myllanthar.  Can’t you see we’ve both been there not so long ago in Talgarth Palace?  I wanted to take this walk with you to begin opening your mind to all that’s possible…”

“You mean, you’re ‘Gramps’ in Myllanthar, too?” asked Jonathan incredulously, having never made the connection before.

“Of course, Jonathan – Arrydor, Illandor, Myllanthal and Gramps – I’m one and the same, my Lad.”

“But how, Gramps?  How could you be there, too?”

“The same way you could be in Myllanthar, Jonathan, except I created the world you visited.”

“Myllanthar?”

“Yes, and many more worlds as well, Jonathan.  That’s why I wanted to visit with you today, to teach you how to expand your mind and your horizons, in order to learn all I can teach you.  I won’t be around forever you know, and you’re the one who has the talent to carry on where I’ve left off.  One day you’ll be able to create your own worlds, too!”

“I will?  But I don’t want you to go anywhere, Gramps, I want you to travel with me on adventures forever!”

“Well, that’s a nice thought, Jonathan, but I haven’t figured that one out yet.  I do want to pass on my knowledge to you while I can, so everything I’ve learned isn’t lost, but lives on through you.”

“How is it possible to learn everything you know, Gramps, and how is it possible to create new worlds?”

“Everything’s possible on the far side of your imagination, Jonathan, you just need to know how to get there…”

With that, the two of them walked side by side into the treeline and disappeared into the wood.  They followed a narrow overgrown path that hadn’t been disturbed by anything other than deer and rabbits for some time it appeared, as it wound deeper into a rather dense stand of trees.  After a time they came upon a fallen tree and stopped to sit on the log, while Jonathan took off his backpack and removed the water bottles, fruit and chocolate chip cookies for a snack.  After a time, Jonathan asked a question, “If it’s possible to travel to different worlds and create new ones, how do I start?  I just stumbled into Myllanthar before, but can I go there anytime I want?”

“Why of course, Jonathan.  You just need to know the way, and how to navigate there.  The rest is simple, but it took me decades to figure it out.  Ever since I was a young boy, I wanted to be able to visit different worlds, alternative or parallel universes.  But even I couldn’t dream of creating new worlds myself, it’s all possible, Jonathan.”

“You know, Gramps, when I grow up I want to be just like you.  That’s my wish, Gramps, to one day be just like you…”

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

Jonathan’s Wish (An Adventure Novel)

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

Book Three, Chapter One, Part Four

~~~~~~~~~~

David Alexander Spencer had indeed lived an adventurous life, and if you were to ask him, he’d say it was because he had an adventurous mind – but that was only part of it.  He was born in 1890, and was 70 years old on the day of his current visit to the Spencer Family Farm in 1960.  Fortunately for him, he realized very early on as a child, that he loved the excitement and atmosphere of going on adventures, and wanted to focus his entire life on adventuring.  However, when he was a boy, he was told that living an adventurous life wasn’t an option or even possible for a poor boy like him, so he set out to figure how to achieve it on his own.  He knew there must be a path to adventure, if he could only discover what it was.  Ultimately, he decided that if he focused his life intently on adventuring, then adventures were bound to find him, and they did.  More than he ever dreamed possible!

School had never captured young David’s interest growing up, as they didn’t teach the things in school that he wanted to learn, so he set out to teach himself.  Things like how could his imagination create the life he wanted to live?  How to spend his life traveling the world?  How to make all his wishes and dreams come true?  Were alternative dimensions and parallel universes real, and if so, could one live in two dimensions at the same time traveling back and forth between them?  He learned early on not to ask or discuss his ideas with anyone else, after being ridiculed by his teacher the first time he asked these questions in class.  After that, he decided school wasn’t a place for learning, but only a place for following directions.  The problem as he saw it was, that he didn’t want to take directions from anyone who couldn’t see the logic in his questions.  From that point on, David only did the minimum he needed to do in school to get by and pass his classes, and instead, he allowed his mind to float freely to study and explore all his many interests.

His younger self wasn’t opposed to learning at all, he just saw school as being incapable of teaching him what he wanted to learn, so he set out to teach himself.  The day he graduated from high school by the skin of his teeth in 1908, David ran off to apprentice as an ‘aeropilot’ in Central Ohio under an early aviation pioneer who was flying balloons and building a fledgling ‘aeromachine’ at the time.  Eventually, this aeromachine actually flew, and David earned his wings the hard way – by trial and error.  Luckily, he survived the experience and learned to fly the early aeroplanes that began to be manufactured in the country.  He barnstormed the Midwest giving people rides, and later flew as a crop duster for hire throughout the Midwest.  After that, he traveled to Alaska as a bush pilot and spent some time in the Northwest as a lumberjack, before eventually serving in the Aviation Section, U.S. Signal Corps of the U.S. Army during WWI as a combat pursuit pilot flying biplanes over France on the Western Front.  Following his service in the Army, David spent a couple of years as a U.S. Air Mail Service pilot flying mail across the country.

In 1920, David returned to Ohio and purchased some land just outside the rural community of Hampton, and established the Spencer Family Farm.  He built a farmhouse on his land in 1921, atop the stone foundation of a dilapidated house that had originally been constructed in 1895.  The following year, he married his wife Rebecca whom he had met in Hampton just after returning to Ohio.  Seven years later in 1929, Rebecca gave birth to their son Thomas.  In early 1930, the farm went bankrupt during the Great Depression without the cash or credit to purchase seeds, equipment and supplies.  The future at that point looked grim for their family, and David set out to earn a living anywhere he could find a paying job affording him the ability to wire money home – which took him away from his family for extended periods of time over many years.  During the years David was away from home trying to earn a living, Rebecca’s extended family helped his wife and son run what was left of the farm.

Once Thomas graduated from high school, he set out immediately to run the farm with his mother, but it would be many years before the farm could sustain itself on its own merits.  In 1949, Rebecca passed away from influenza, and David gave the farm to his son Thomas, who turned it into the successful Spencer Family Farm that it was now.  David always kept an interest in the farm from afar, and visited when he could and provided financial assistance to his son, but moved to Minnesota the year after Rebecca passed away to an isolated cabin on a lake.  David spent the last decade or so traveling and adventuring around the world, while occasionally stopping by the farm to see his son and wife Julia, and his grandson, Jonathan.  He told tales of navigating the Amazon River, climbing many of the world’s highest mountains, and visiting six of the world’s seven continents.  He was once in the Argentinian port of Ushuaia to board a ship to Antarctica, but the ship’s propeller shaft broke which would take months to repair, cancelling the voyage.

It was a mystery to all who knew David, as to how he could suddenly travel the world – and he wasn’t explaining.  Of course, there were rumors.  People talked, especially in a small town.  Some said he must have joined the mob, and others said he was part of one of those professional robbery syndicates in order to finance his travels and adventures.  Others said he must be a spy.  The truth was, ever since going bankrupt in the depression and leaving the farm, David went back to flying for the U.S. Government.  He was a contract pilot flying businessmen, survey parties, archaeologists, scientists, film crews, military and government officials, politicians and dignitaries around the world, affording him plenty of time to pursue his own personal interests.  His passengers often remained on location for days, weeks and months at a time, while engaged in their work in faraway cities and at isolated, unmarked airstrips that never existed on any map.  He learned to fly the latest and most advanced planes of the day in the early days of this growing arena of world-wide aviation – but his government contracts were full of danger and risk – which was also the reason that kept him taking new jobs.

Yet, his adventures hadn’t completely satisfied him.  Yes, he had made many of his wishes and dreams come true, and had traveled and adventured around the world, but one thing still eluded him.  He had been convinced his entire life that alternative or parallel universes actually existed, but hadn’t discovered the secret to unlocking or visiting them yet.  David studied all the government white papers, research papers and theories on the topic that the best scientific minds of the day had produced.  He also tested his own theories and calculations aimed at finding and unlocking this nebulous portal that would allow travel between worlds to take place, but to no avail.  It seemed as though he couldn’t discover the pathway, wormhole or portal that he was convinced existed – a bridge between worlds.  David had been dreaming of discovering a way to travel between worlds without success ever since he was a young boy, but then one day – eureka!

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

Jonathan’s Wish (An Adventure Novel)

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

Book Three, Chapter One, Part Three

~~~~~~~~~~

Thomas came into the kitchen from working in the soybean fields, where he found Julia preparing lunch and asked, “Where’s my father?  I saw his car in the drive.  He’s not with Jonathan, is he?”

“Why, yes, the two of them took a walk to the forest beyond the wheat field about 30 minutes ago.  I packed them a snack for their hike, and I really don’t know when to expect them back – probably for dinner I suppose.  Here, I’ve fixed lunch for us, a couple of sandwiches, chips and salads.  Go ahead and sit down, I’ll set the table.”

Julia’s husband pulled out a chair and sat down with a stern look on his face, “You know, I really don’t like the idea of the two of them spending time together, Julie, and certainly not alone.  My father’s not a good influence on the boy, and will only end up filling his head with wacky ideas of adventures and far away lands.  What Jonathan needs to do is to start applying himself in school, and I hope one day he gets an Ag Degree and takes over the farm – you know I can’t do this forever by myself.  I’ve busted my butt after taking the farm over from my father when I got out of high school, and I’ve been at it ever since.  The only way our family will ever stay afloat is if the progress I’ve made continues on through Jonathan.  If he doesn’t take over some day, I’ll never be able to retire, and I’ll be working the fields until the day I drop.”

“Have you ever told Jonathan what you just told me, Tom?” asked Julie.  “How is he to ever know your thoughts if you never spend time with your son?  Besides, I think your resentment against your father should be considered water under the bridge, don’t you?  It’s been many years now since you were growing up, and my guess is you secretly wished David had taken you with him on his adventures whenever possible – I think that’s the crux of the issue.  Just speak honestly to your son, Tom, but realize he’s not you.  You can’t force him to choose his path in life just because it’s what you want.  He’s got to want it for himself, and he’ll never know what you think, if you don’t speak honestly and openly with him.  Besides, I’m sure your son would be glad to tell you all the reasons why he loves adventures, and he might even change your mind.”

“Well, honestly, Julie, I would have loved to have gone on adventures with my father, but it’s too late for that now.  You know I need Jonathan to take over the farm one day, otherwise, what am I working so hard for?  I just think my father’s filling his head with ideas that can’t and won’t come true.  You know how he is, always talking about places far away and other worlds and all.  Who believes in all that?  It’s just a bunch of nonsense if you ask me, and a waste of time.  Jonathan needs to do well in school, that’s what he needs.”

“If you keep up this hard line approach, Tom, you’ll lose your son – don’t you see that?  He’ll be out of here the day he graduates from high school, and will run off on an adventure so fast it’ll make your head spin, and we’re not likely to see him again for a very long time.  He won’t be here to get an Ag Degree, and won’t take over the farm, so you should mellow out and be honest with him about your concerns.  You know, there may even be a way for him to enjoy adventures, do well in school, get an Ag Degree one day, and take over the farm.  Why, I’d even like to go on an adventure with Jonathan, where’s the harm in that?  You could have the whole deal that way, your son, a good student, and a way to save the farm in the future.  You know he loves this farm.”

“I see your point, Julie, but I’d have to think about it.  Do you really think that could work?”

“I do, Tom, and Jonathan’s a reasonable kid, as is his Grandfather.  I think they’d both be on board if you just talked to them and offered up a plan.  You know, Jonathan would love to go on an adventure with you, he’d be thrilled.  You’d also be able to bond with him, like you always wanted to do with your father when you were younger.  Oh, and by the way, David mentioned something that I don’t really understand.  He mentioned the words ‘Talgarth’ and ‘Talgar’ – have you ever heard of them before?  Something about an image of an oak tree set within the sun.  Maybe they’re from your past.  Think about it, I’d like to know if you remember anything, anything at all…”

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

Jonathan’s Wish (An Adventure Novel)

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

Book Three, Chapter One, Part Two

~~~~~~~~~~

Julia watched from the kitchen screen door, as Grandpa Spencer and her son walked towards the wheat field – the opposite direction of where her husband Thomas was driving the tractor in the soybean field. She had mixed emotions at watching the pair of them walking towards the distant woods beyond the fields, knowing they were two peas of the same pod with an undeniable connection between them both, but part of her wanted to accompany them.  She had never acknowledged her interests in adventures to either her husband or her son before, instead playing the role of the serious mom who had to guide Jonathan into responsible behaviors, like school.  At the same time, she realized what a gravitational pull adventures had on her son, and couldn’t deny the look of excitement in his eyes whenever the subject came up, but for the first time, she felt it, too.

Why had she denied this part of her personality to herself all this time?  She had compartmentalized her longing for adventures ever once Jonathan first showed his interest in adventuring, especially after her husband had reacted so strenuously against even the idea.  It had been much more important at the time to make peace in the family she thought, and denied the feelings she had of joining Jonathan in his adventurous ways.  She also knew a secret that her husband, Thomas, revealed to her once in a moment of weakness in the early days of their marriage, which was that he resented his father’s free-spirited ways, and how he suffered in his father’s absence during his long periods of being away from home.

She understood that Thomas was only trying to protect his son from all the same mistakes his own father had made, but it was undeniable that there was a hint of jealously in his focus on being the responsible one.  She remembered once in the early days of their dating each other, that Thomas had whimsically admitted he’d love to go on an adventure himself, while watching a documentary about mountaineering – but in the same breath, stated it wasn’t ever possible, because of how irresponsible his father had been when he was growing up.  Julia surmised that what her husband really meant to say, was that he’d wished his father had taken him with him on his adventures, and now he was jealous of the attention David Alexander Spencer had always lavished on Jonathan.

It wasn’t an easy exercise, but Julie was trying her best to explore the area beyond her imagination in her mind, in order to make some sense of these seemingly random images and notions that had always floated through her awareness.  Watching and listening to Grandpa Spencer explaining the items Jonathan so treasured had been a catalyst of sorts, creating even more images within her mind’s eye.  Something about the words ‘Talgarth’ and ‘Talgar’ stood out to her in ways she couldn’t quite understand, all the while hearing the word ‘princess’ resonating in her mind.  However, it was the pull of her heartstrings that couldn’t be denied, as she watched Gramps and Jonathan disappear into the distant treeline.  She knew she wanted to go with them, and just perhaps, the next time she would.

Yet at the same time, she dismissed the idea completely out of hand, and knew her husband wouldn’t hear of it, or anything to do with the subject of adventures and dreams.  Perhaps there was a way ahead towards her own wishes and dreams after all, she thought, and began to ponder various ideas and options on the way ahead.  While she wasn’t a blood relative of her father-in-law, she did share the same flesh and blood with her son, and could no longer deny the idea of living an adventurous life herself.  Thomas might be dead set against it now, but perhaps she could slowly begin to influence him in ways to realize what he had always denied to himself, that it was his own wish to see life as a great adventure – and she knew the very way to achieve it!

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

Jonathan’s Wish (An Adventure Novel)

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

Book Three, Chapter One, Part One – Wishes and Dreams

~~~~~~~~~~

“Our wishes and dreams define us in ways that go beyond simple understanding, for desires flow in two directions, both towards and away from us within this ether of creation.  While we send and receive wishes and dreams from heart, mind and soul – they travel beyond us in ways we’re not aware of.  It is through our dearest unspoken dreams and wishes, acknowledged by us or not, that the spirit of who we are searches for answers to who we most desire to be.  For our wishes and dreams transcend mere words, having been shaped and formed via the mist and language of the heavens over the course of time, imprinted on the very essence of our souls…” – Mark D. Jones

~~~~~~~~~~

Jonathan was excited beyond words that his Grandfather Spencer – the one and only David Alexander Spencer – had arrived at the Spencer Family Farm to visit, just as his mother had said he would, but now he wasn’t sure of would happen next.  His father was in the fields on the tractor, and after an initial catching up on the latest comings and goings of everyone, his mother asked them both into the dining room to ask a question of them.  Jonathan knew what his mom was going to ask, and was nervous to hear his Grandfather’s answer, because he didn’t want to get into trouble.  He reckoned it was best if his mom didn’t know anything about his adventures, because if she knew all the details, he’d probably be grounded for life – which would mean, no more adventures for him.

“Sure, Julie, I’d be happy to answer your questions,” replied Grandpa Spencer to Jonathan’s mom’s request to ask him some questions.  “Anything you want, anything at all.”

“Please take those items off from around your neck, Jonathan, and place them on the dining room table along with the golden coin in your pocket.  I want your Grandfather to tell me what he knows about them,” directed Jonathan’s mom.

“But Mom, I can’t take them off.  I might need them at any moment, you don’t understand,” pleaded Jonathan, knowing it wouldn’t do any good.  His mother’s stern look at him sealed his fate, knowing he couldn’t weasel out of her request, and did as he was asked.

“I’m very familiar with all three of these, Julie, as I presented them to Jonathan myself.  This silver medallion of an oak tree within the sun, is the symbol of the City of Talgarth in the Kingdom of Talgar.  Talgarth means ‘Sparkling Jewel’ and Talgar means ‘Light,’ and this medallion contains the very nature and substance of Light from both the sun and moon.  In fact, I have the original medallion in gold around my neck with the same image – see?” he replied while showing her his own medallion.  “Let me place this around Jonathan’s neck again, Julie, as he may need this at any moment – one never really knows,” stated Gramps, while hanging the medallion again around his grandson’s neck.

Julia Spencer was taken aback by the completely honest approach her father-in-law was taking in this situation, as she never expected it to turn out this way.  David Spencer continued saying, “This sapphire pendant is called the Talspin Pendent, and it is a very rare and ancient piece that was first given to me many years ago.  I presented it to Jonathan myself at my dwelling Tywyn in the Glandwr Valley.  Tywyn means Hidden Place, and it is a very special place.  It is important to him to always wear it, Julie, because one never knows what the next minute requires.”

Julia was beyond words at Grandfather Spencer’s explanations, but remained silent as he spoke, “I gave this golden coin with the symbol of the City of Talgarth to Jonathan only recently in Talgarth Palace, and it is the second coin to the original that I carry – see, I have it here in my pocket,” stated David Spencer proudly to his daughter-in-law, seeing that she was having a hard time processing it all.  “Jonathan needs to keep his coin on him at all times as well, as it is very rare and valuable and may be needed when he least expects it,” mentioned Grandpa Spencer as Jonathan quickly slid the coin off the table and slipped it back into his pocket.

“I see you’re having a difficult time processing this information, Julie, but you asked me a question and I’ve told you what I know.  Perhaps these objects are more familiar to you than you realize.  Search your thoughts and memories for the answer, but don’t hurry or rush this process of discovery, as you will understand everything in good time.  You have more in common with the two of us, than you will allow yourself to admit, Julia.  It’s all in the perspective, simply open your awareness beyond your imagination, for that’s where your memories of these items reside – on the other side of imagination.”

“Perhaps they do look familiar, David, and I do have images in my mind that I don’t understand, but please don’t discuss any of this with your son, Thomas, as he rejects anything to do with your travels and mentions of imagination and adventure.  He thinks you’re a bad influence on Jonathan, and I’m sure he’ll say something about that when he comes in from the fields.  Let’s please try to make this a pleasant visit, because nothing will change my husband’s mind.  He’s only focused on the here-and-now of what needs to be done on the farm.  His is a straightforward world of work and responsibility, and he won’t hear of adventures under his roof,” stated Julia as diplomatically as she could.

“Under my roof you mean, Julie – after all, I built this house as he very well knows.  Let me deal with him in my own way, but I promise not to cause trouble.  In fact, Jonathan and I were just going to take a long walk into the back forty – the opposite area of where Tom’s riding the tractor, of course!” said Grandpa Spencer with a smile in his voice, and a wink in his eye to them both.

“Fine, just don’t get Thomas upset, David, please.  I know that you and Jonathan have a special relationship and understanding between you two, that I don’t quite understand yet, but with your explanations today I’m starting to get a glimpse of things I hadn’t realized before.  Here, let me pack you both a snack of chocolate chip cookies, some fruit and a couple of water bottles for your hike.  Jonathan, please go get your backpack.  I can’t let my two guys go hungry, can I?  Oh, and please be back before dark, I wouldn’t want to have to go looking for you, as I’d have no idea where to find you.  For all I know, you’d be lost in another world!” said Julia with a smile as helpfully as she could, knowing a little humor would help the situation out.

“Lost, Julie?  Rather doubtful I’d say, but another world?  That’s closer to the mark…” replied David Spencer, with a smile on his face and a song in his voice.

Jonathan’s Return (An Adventure Novel) – Book Two, Chapter Ten, Part Four

Jonathan’s Return (An Adventure Novel)

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

Book Two, Chapter Ten, Part Four

~~~~~~~~~~

Like watching a movie filmed in super slow motion, Jonathan was aware of every frame while falling backwards towards the floor.  He watched as heads turned suddenly to see him, saw the looks in the eyes growing wider of those who had been watching him all along, and felt the sensation of speed picking up as his body raced towards the floor while clutching Sammy.  This was the end, he thought, for while holding Sammy tightly to his chest, he was unable to brace himself for the impact.  Cringing, he could feel the stone floor striking his head even before he reached it – and then – nothing…

He wondered if this was what it was like to die, but he hadn’t felt the impact of the stone floor, any pain or the sensation of dying – only an unchanging stillness and silence.  It was like he was between worlds, not only in a physical sense, but also in a sensational sense, for he didn’t feel anything at all.  Yet, Jonathan realized he was acutely aware of his thoughts, which were separate again from both the physical and sensational responses of the body.  Perhaps his thoughts were carried out of his body by his soul, becoming an independent entity not restricted by either time or space.  Perhaps, dying was simply a new adventure to experience, but then, there came a gradually increasing awareness of sensation.

After it took Jonathan so long to retrieve the eight potatoes and three onions from the root cellar, his mother went to investigate what could have caused the delay.  She knew her son only too well, especially how distracted and absent minded he could be.  Rarely did Jonathan accomplish anything right away or on time, because he seemed to always be lost in his thoughts.  She wondered how he would ever finish school, because while his teachers told her he was a brilliant child, he often wasn’t able to apply himself to anything that really counted as far as school was concerned.  Oh sure, he passed his classes with minimal effort on his part, but everyone agreed he could do so much better if he only applied himself.  His reports often mentioned the fact that Jonathan’s daydreaming was a major distraction to not only completing his assignments, but also to the entire class, because at times it appeared to others that he was lost in another world and not able to relate to what he was being asked to do.

As she entered the cellar and saw Jonathan and Sammy sprawled on the dirt floor, she let out a scream of ‘Oh, no!” and rushed to revive him, placing her hands gently under his head and kissing his forehead in despair.  Sammy rolled over and somehow managed to get his paws beneath him in order to stand, and then began licking his Master’s face to wake up.  Jonathan’s foot was caught in an overturned apple crate that he appeared to have been stepping on, as a broken slat caused his foot to penetrate the crate, no doubt resulting in his fall.  His mother was overwrought with emotion, while crying and pleading with her son to wake up.

Jonathan’s silver medallion of an oak tree within a sun and the sapphire pendant had tumbled out of his shirt collar, and beside his pocket lay a golden coin with the same image of the medallion cast in it.  Suddenly, she saw Jonathan’s eyelids flicker and watched his eyes moving behind them, all the while pleading for him to wake up and be okay.  Then, after a quick shake of his head, he reached out to wrap his arms around Sammy.  Jonathan then opened his eyes and smiled, saying, ‘Hi, mom, I’m back – I missed you!”

She was overjoyed at seeing her son awake again, and realized while what he said hadn’t make any sense, it must have been attributed to his fall.  “I missed you, too, Jonathan.  What happened to you – are you okay?  Why were you standing on the apple crate, and why is the horse collar sitting in the dirt?”  After she helped her son to his feet again, she lifted the horse collar and hung it back on the floor joists above the cellar where it belonged.  She didn’t notice the metal plate door in the stone wall of the cellar’s foundation though, because it wasn’t there anymore.

As Jonathan got up and steadied himself on his feet again, Mrs. Spencer picked up the golden coin from the cellar floor and handed it back to her son.  “One thing, Jonathan, these things you’ve said your Grandfather had given to you – he’ll be here in the morning to visit, and we’ll ask him if they really came from him.  I have my doubts, but we’ll see.  I know you miss him, and the two of you seem to have a special relationship that I don’t understand, but it seems to be very important to you both, so I won’t interfere.  Just realize that your father isn’t thrilled with it, so please don’t mention anything about these things or your plans around him, because he doesn’t want to know or understand.  All your father knows about is work, and taking care of his responsibilities to us and the farm.  You know he doesn’t have any interest in or understanding for adventures…”

“I know, Mom – oh, by the way, don’t forget the eight potatoes and three onions!”

(The End of Book Two)

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

Jonathan’s Return (An Adventure Novel)

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

Book Two, Chapter Ten, Part Three

~~~~~~~~~~

Sammy saved the day even before it began, as King Jonathan would have slept past the breakfast reception for his guests, if his adventure companion wouldn’t have woken him up.  He was awake now though, and realized that everyone would be getting an early start on the day, and he couldn’t waste any more time.  After all, he was King now, and Kings have responsibilities – even if they were tired from tossing and turning all night long and not getting much sleep.  His dreams hadn’t been lost on him though, and he remembered everything he had contemplated and wrestled with the night before – even during his turbulent dreams.

Today would be a difficult day he realized, as saying goodbye was always hard for him to do.  After all, once you say goodbye, will you ever have a chance to see the person again?  That was the problem he pondered as he readied himself for breakfast, because goodbyes would be easier if you knew you’d be able to say hello to the person again.  That was also the problem he realized with saying goodbye to his Grandfather Spencer because he visited so seldom, and Jonathan never knew if and when he’d ever see him again.  He missed his Grandpa.  Hopefully, if he ever made it back home to the Spencer Family Farm, there would be another chance to see Gramps again.

King Jonathan made his way down to the breakfast reception to find he was right on time, thanks to Sammy!  His special guests were only just arriving for breakfast as well, and it was a great opportunity to relax and talk with the very people who had been so important to him during his two visits to Myllanthar.  Everyone congratulated King Jonathan on his coronation, and wished him great success in returning the Kingdom of Talgar to its former glory – and even surpassing it.  It was such a heartfelt time for not only himself, but also for his guests, as they all realized how special this time together really was.  A boy from across the heavens had come to fulfill an ancient prophecy of their land, and not only succeed in turning back and defeating a spreading darkness across the land, but he was also instrumental in helping crown his good friend Dijia the King of the Kingdom of Pengarth, defeating a terrible dragon that had been terrorizing the land, and assuming the Throne of the Kingdom of Talgar to return it to its former glory as the Sparkling Jewel and Light it had once been.  It had been a series of remarkable accomplishments!

The breakfast reception was a great success, and Talgarth Palace had never looked so festive, nor been so honored to host the very best leaders and individuals the Land of Myllanthar had to offer.  It was a onetime occasion that would probably never be repeated again in anyone’s lifetime, and it had all culminated with his coronation.  That alone caused King Jonathan to reflect again on everything he had pondered the night before and experienced during his visits to this wonderful land.  He was surrounded by his good friends, and couldn’t have been happier – but how does one share themselves between two separate worlds – especially when they both meant so much to him?

As the time approached to begin saying goodbye, King Jonathan felt very sad about his friends departing, homesick for his family and friends in Hampton, and daydreamed about whether he could actually live in both worlds at the very same time – The Spencer Family Farm and Myllanthar.  His eyes filled with tears, and he really didn’t want anyone to see him cry, so he picked up Sammy to give him the biggest hug while trying to bury his face in his best friend’s fur to wipe away his tears.  The palace’s waiters were clearing the breakfast dishes and glassware from the table, and King Jonathan waited for one of the waiters to pass behind him, before stepping back to go over to the terrace to say goodbye to all his guests as they left.

Once the waiter passed behind him, King Jonathan stepped back and accidentally caught his heel on the waiter’s heel who hadn’t quite stepped away yet.  Clutching Sammy ever tighter, King Jonathan felt himself falling backwards as if in slow motion.  Princess Jyulia shouted out a panicked cry of “Oh, no!” from somewhere nearby, and attempted to prevent his head from hitting the stone floor – but in that moment, King Jonathan and Sammy were gone…vanished!

Jonathan’s Return (An Adventure Novel) – Book Two, Chapter Ten, Part Two

Jonathan’s Return (An Adventure Novel)

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

Book Two, Chapter Ten, Part Two

~~~~~~~~~~

King Jonathan spent the rest of the day hosting everyone at the reception following his coronation ceremony, inviting his guests into Talgarth Palace for food and refreshments afterwards.  He, Princess Jyulia, Lord Mayor Thomar, and Arrydor received their guests at the head of the receiving line, making the point to shake everyone’s hand.  It was especially wonderful for him to connect again with the Distinguished Visitors who were the first to greet him.  His special guests were then invited to gather in the palace’s ballroom, as they were all provided individual rooms for the night in the palace.  It was a welcoming time for King Jonathan, for these were his friends who had helped him achieve all that he was today.

He was especially glad to talk to King Dijia again, as they had shared so many experiences on their journey across Myllanthar together.  Eventually the evening wound down, and his guests all retired for the night, needing to get early starts in the morning for their return trips.  King Jonathan reflected on what everyone had said to him during the day and evening, along with the discussions he had had with Princess Jyulia, Lord Mayor Thomar and Arrydor.  It was indeed a new day and a new age in the Kingdom of Talgar, but the effects of this day would also ripple across all of Myllanthar, as news returned with the travelers of the renewal and rebirth of the Kingdom of Talgar.

It was a late night for King Jonathan, as he stayed up long past the time his guests retired for the evening.  He first spent time with Princess Jyulia, Lord Mayor Thomar, and Arrydor, discussing the work that still lay before them in governing the kingdom, and how to make permanent the day’s announcements.  It wouldn’t be an easy process of going from a land terrorized by a dragon and cloaked in the darkness that had been Vyanthal’s evil usurpation of power, but while the past couldn’t be completely forgotten, the course ahead could be made straight and corrected, so as to undo the damage that had been done to the kingdom over the past 37 years.

It was in the quiet hours of the night, that King Jonathan reflected on his many journeys and adventures within the Land of Myllanthar, and his travels back and forth to Southern Ohio.  He missed his parents and the Spencer Family Farm, he missed Trooper, he missed his favorite cow Lucy, and he missed his friends as well.  As he continued to reflect on the totality of his experiences, he realized that most of all, King Jonathan missed his Grandfather Spencer – David Alexander Spencer – and the thought overwhelmed him.  It seemed like ages ago since his Grandpa had last visited, and he wanted to reconnect with his hero and this adventurer who traveled the world.  If it was at all possible, Jonathan wanted to grow up to be just like Gramps, even if he had no idea of how it was possible for his Grandfather to seemingly be everything, do everything, go everywhere, and be the inspiration that Jonathan had always looked up to.

A breakfast reception was scheduled the next morning for all of the Distinguished Visitors to attend prior to their departures, and in the wee hours of the morning King Jonathan finally fell asleep – lost in his dreams and reflections of his Grandfather, his experiences in Myllanthar, the homesickness he was experiencing from being away from his family, and the realization of just how much everything in his hometown of Hampton really meant to him.  However, he was now King of the Kingdom of Talgar, and responsible for everyone and everything within his kingdom.  It was an immense responsibility he had willingly accepted, and clearly understood he would have to focus on the task at hand, in order to nurture and create the best future for his kingdom.

It was during the troubling turbulence of his Master’s dreams, that Sammy woke King Jonathan up prior to the first light of dawn, understanding intuitively they needed to get ready to attend the reception and say goodbye to their guests.  This would be a difficult day for King Jonathan to face, for once he said goodbye to his friends, he realized he may never see them again…

Jonathan’s Return (An Adventure Novel) – Book Two, Chapter Ten, Part One – Reflections

Jonathan’s Return (An Adventure Novel)

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

Book Two, Chapter Ten, Part One – Reflections

~~~~~~~~~~

“Our lives travel a meandering course along a single thread from the moment we’re born to the day of our very last breaths, punctuated by the continuous beating of our hearts.  This journey of our lives – the very lifeblood of our existence – allows us the opportunity to reflect upon this wandering path, so as to understand important lessons and truths we’ve learned from this road of opportunity we’ve traveled.  For reflections from this adventure we call life, illustrate to us both who we are, and who we hope and desire to be…” – Mark D. Jones

~~~~~~~~~~

Jonathan now stood before the gathered crowd as King of Talgar, wearing the Sword and Crown of Talgar, and holding its Scepter – very much aware of how important this moment was to everyone assembled.  He paused in thought, as the crowd’s chants died out and a silence settled over the audience, wondering what their new King would have to say to them.  A hushed stillness permeated the grounds of Talgarth Palace until it grew almost uncomfortable, as Jonathan took in the moment, scanning the faces and relishing the joy that had overwhelmed him during the ceremony.  In that moment, he opened his arms as if to gather in the crowd, and said, “Thank you.  Thank you for your generosity, your faith, your loyalty, your energy and your love.  Sammy and I have been overwhelmed by the kindness you’ve treated us with, and we will never forget your hospitality here in the Kingdom of Talgar and the Land of Myllanthar.  I especially want to share with you how blessed I feel to see all my dear friends again in the front row, and I appreciate your being here more than I can say – thank you all!”

The audience cheered wildly at Jonathan’s remarks, and once they quieted down again he continued saying, “As your King, I have a number of important decrees to announce this morning, so as to provide the foundation for your prosperity in the years ahead.  First of all, the dark years of Vyanthal are not only over, but his every action over of the course of the past 37 years is now declared null and void, and to be stricken from the historical record of Talgar!”

Again the crowd cheered in approval, and resumed their chanting until finally quieting down and allowing Jonathan to continue.  “Secondly, I call Jyulia, a descendant of the last Queen of Talgar to come forward before the Throne of Talgar to become Princess Jyulia, Knight of Talgar, and heir to the Throne of Talgar.  Jonathan then proceeded to both Knight her, and bestow upon her the Title of Princess Jyulia, heir to the Throne of Talgar, in a similar manner as Arrydor had done for him.  Arrydor had earlier taken the third seat to the left of the throne, and Princess Jyulia then took the first chair to the left of the throne.

Jonathan went on to say, “Thirdly, I ask Thomar to come before the Throne of Talgar to become the Lord Mayor of the City of Talgarth.  Thomar’s father was the last Lord Mayor prior to the arrival of the darkness.”  Again, Jonathan ceremoniously made Thomar a Knight of Talgar, and Lord Mayor of the City of Talgarth using the Sword of Talgarth, and then gave him both the sword and the ceremonial pendant previously worn by his father.  Thomar then took the second seat to the left of the throne between Princess Jyulia and Arrydor.

“Fourthly, for the assistance given to me and my friends during our first journey, I award Daylla, Laythur and Pyllur, honorary citizenship of the Kingdom of Talgar, and the means to provide not only for themselves, but also for their neighbors in the Land of the Slejuv, and Kingdom of Pengarth, who all suffered terribly under the previous spreading darkness across the Land of Myllanthar.”

“In addition, I declare Talgarth Palace and all its grounds, to be open to the people of Talgar to visit and enjoy whenever they wish, as a tribute to their solidarity, loyalty and suffering during the years of darkness.  Every citizen of the Kingdom of Talgar is now afforded the opportunity to live their lives as they wish, to provide for themselves and their families, to follow their dreams, and no citizen of our kingdom will ever be allowed to go without.”

Concluding his remarks in front of the joyful audience, Jonathan said, “It is I, your King, along with Princess Jyulia and Lord Mayor Thomar who serve you – the citizens, friends and guests of the Kingdom of Talgar – as does our most important guest today, Arrydor.  It is in serving you, the citizens of Talgar, that we are fulfilled and made whole.  Long may the people and Kingdom of Talgar flourish in peace, prosperity and happiness!”