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

Jonathan’s Wish (An Adventure Novel)

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

Book Three, Chapter Seven, Part Six


Jonathan and Sammy moved quickly into the wood on the far side of the path.  It was best they stay out of view just in case anyone lingered from the troop that passed through the area the day before, as disappearing within the shadows of the forest was the best approach to take at this point.  There was still an uphill gradient to the land within the trees, but at a more gradual slope that was much easier to hike now.  The wood was just as dense as it had been before as they paralleled the stream, but the underbrush seemed to thin out the higher the elevation they reached.  Hunger pangs began to weigh heavily on Jonathan’s mind as they continued searching for Princess Aydreanna and the cottage, not knowing if they would ever find either one.

Mid-morning they took a break beside the stream and found there was no longer any mud along the stream bank to bother them, and that the way was easier as the trees had thinned out alongside the stream.  It would now be an easy hike to just follow the stream directly, and Jonathan could see farther through the wood than he had been able to before.  Dappled sunlight gently filtered down through the leaves, leaving a serene and peaceful calm within the forest.  The first hints of color were appearing on the leaves and songbirds sang their songs of impending departure prior to feeling the first frosts of autumn.  The setting was so peaceful and calm that Jonathan almost forgot the urgency to find Aydreanna, and the fact that a large troop of men and horses had only recently passed through this area.

The afternoon seemed to drag on without hope of accomplishing their rescue mission, for there was no knowing if they were even in the right place, or right world for that matter.  Eventually the wood thinned out even more, and Jonathan could make out a large open area ahead to the left of the stream that appeared to be a pasture of some sort, with a small number of horses, cows, sheep and goats all peacefully eating their fill of tall grasses – a meadow!  It was the meadow they had been searching for all along and all they had to do now was find the cottage!

Sammy had been ranging wider away from Jonathan now that the wood had thinned out and they could see each other from farther away.  At the moment he had dropped out of sight and Jonathan grew concerned that it wasn’t a good idea to become separated.  He whistled a low bird whistle his father had taught him to make, but there was no immediate response, so he headed in the direction he’d last seen his adventure companion.  There was a small rise within the wood that seemed to indicate a valley beyond, but once Jonathan reached the top of it there was no Sammy in sight.  He whistled again without seeing Sammy return, and now became worried that something might have happened to him.  It wasn’t possible to backtrack to all the areas Sammy had been wandering through within the forest, and Jonathan hoped Sammy would simply show up once he was finished investigating whatever it was he found.

Jonathan returned to course paralleling the stream, and then wandered back closer to the stream bank where he had a better view of the meadow he was approaching in the distance.  After about five more minutes, he saw Sammy running towards him through the trees from the general direction of the meadow!  At least they found each other again and it appeared that Sammy was more excited now than he had been before.  They were both famished from not having eaten for some time now, but Sammy seemed to be reinvigorated as he came up alongside Jonathan.  Instead of remaining with Jonathan though, Sammy immediately turned around and ran back the same way he’d come from, confusing Jonathan by his actions as if uncertain if he wanted to stay or go – or perhaps he’d found something and needed Jonathan to hurry up and follow after him…


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

Jonathan’s Wish (An Adventure Novel)

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

Book Three, Chapter Seven, Part Five


There was a foggy mist in the air the next morning when Jonathan awoke, as Sammy stood not far off in the wood sniffing the damp air and looking up into the increasingly steep terrain above them.  They would have to climb the sharply rising slope if they wanted to continue following the stream as it cascaded down over boulders and the challenging hillside slope they needed to traverse.  Jonathan took a minute to think before rising from his comfortable bed of moss, feeling fortunate to have been given sturdy clothes to wear during his stay at Castle Aberyst.  His tunic was made of a sturdy cloth as were has pants, and the boots he wore were ideal for the demands of hiking through the old growth forest.

Jonathan stretched and roused himself to meet the demands of the coming day, knowing they had to find Aydreanna quickly or they might just run out of time themselves.  He was hungry, and knew Sammy must be as well, and realized they needed food sooner rather than later as he made his way to the stream bank to drink his fill of water.  Sammy seemed to be in good shape despite not having eaten, and remained focused on the higher terrain above them with his ears cocked forwards.  There must have been something Sammy heard or sensed as he remained focused towards the higher terrain and Jonathan decided it was better to remain cautious until they find out what it was.

The stream cascaded in a series of small waterfalls as they made their way up through the challenging terrain.  It was an increasingly steep hillside they were ascending, and the wood thinned out where the terrain was too steep for the trees to take root in.  The forest remained blanketed in fog and mist as they made their way ever higher, until the slope gradually began leveling out and the wood thickened again.  They were finding the way easier to navigate through now, while remaining a stone’s throw from the stream to their left.  Time was running out and Jonathan and Sammy had no idea if they were on the right path to find Aydreanna or on a wild goose chase, and they had no option other than to keep moving forward.

Once the hillside slope leveled off, they came upon a wide pathway running perpendicular through the wood ahead of them.  The idea of travelers being in the area alerted Jonathan to approach cautiously and remain observant before emerging from the forest.  After a few minutes of not seeing or hearing any activity, they both approached the path while remaining ever watchful.  The path itself was about ten feet wide from forest’s edge to forest’s edge, with the middle area a narrower dirt pathway with grass growing outwards to the forest’s edge on both sides, however, the recent rain revealed that a great troop of horsemen and walkers had only recently passed by.

Everywhere within the open clearing the trail ran through, were impressions in dried mud of horse’s hoofs and boot marks from a great number of passers by.  Jonathan was used to tracking animals on the farm after his father taught him all the common animal tracks and signs known to Southern Ohio, but this was an entire gaggle of horses and people that had only just passed through – probably only the day before!  All the tracks and impressions in the dried mud were so trampled and overstepped, it was impossible to tell for sure the numbers of travelers who had made them, but Jonathan’s best guess was perhaps twenty horses and maybe fifty walkers had recently passed through here, and it was a good guess that each horse had a rider as well.

That would mean up to seventy men had passed through the area only yesterday.  Who were they and where were they going?  Was Princess Aydreanna among them and was she safe – or was she in trouble?  It was this realization that led Jonathan to believe that they may have arrived too late…

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

Jonathan’s Wish (An Adventure Novel)

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

Book Three, Chapter Seven, Part Four


It felt like a rush of wind carrying them along, yet it was a windless day as Jonathan and Sammy came to their senses.  They were sitting at the base of a giant oak tree in the same manner as they had been sitting on Castle Tal-y-bont’s tower’s battlements, yet everything that had been familiar was now gone.  It took a moment to assess where they were as Jonathan took in their surroundings.  He realized they were in a grassy area near the shoreline of a beautiful lake that sparkled in the brilliant sunshine.  Off to the side not far away was a stream that emptied into the lake, and behind them was a dense wood of old growth hardwoods.  ‘What a wonderful place to wake up in,’ thought Jonathan, ‘I could sit here all day and just enjoy the scenery.’

It was in the middle of his thoughts that Jonathan remembered they had a task ahead of them and a duty to find Princess Aydreanna, and not just simply sit around enjoying the view.  “Sammy, we’ve got to get going now if we’re ever to find Aydreanna.  I have a feeling we’re in the right place, as there’s the lake in front of us, a stream beside us, woods behind us and it looks like I can see mountains in the distance.  All we have to do now is find a meadow and cottage, and that’s where we should find her.  If we follow the stream into the woods, it should lead us to the cottage.”

As they walked over towards the stream, Jonathan realized it had recently rained, resulting in muddy areas along the stream bank.  The forest came right down to the water’s edge, so they tried their best to walk parallel to the stream through the woods, while keeping the water in sight.  It wasn’t as easy as Jonathan hoped it would be, as the old growth wood was very dense with roots and branches and a tangle of undergrowth blocking their way with no path in sight.  It was slow going, but they made deliberate progress alongside the stream as the terrain went uphill.  ‘The cottage has to be in this direction,’ thought Jonathan.  ‘I just hope we’ll come across it in time to find Aydreanna.’  The sword Jonathan was carrying was quite heavy – and completely oversized for an almost nine year old boy.  It would have been easier going without the sword, but at the same time he was glad to have it just in case.

The direction they were heading into the wood continued uphill alongside the stream, and it wasn’t long before the terrain became increasingly difficult.  Jonathan realized they didn’t have any food or water with them in this mission to find and rescue Aydreanna, and they resorted to drinking from the stream to quench their thirst.  The water was crystal clear and tasted as good as water had ever tasted to him before, so Jonathan thought nothing about drinking from the stream.  He and Sammy both tired from blazing a trail through the tangled forest, and really wished at that point they could stop for lunch – but of course that was out of the question.  They not only didn’t have any food with them, but they were in a hurry to try to find the princess!

Jonathan and Sammy continued climbing the forest’s ever steepening terrain through the afternoon and into the early evening, until they felt they couldn’t take another step forward.  Even Sammy realized this wood wasn’t a place to run off chasing rabbits and squirrels, and needed to stay close to his master in the shadows of the tangles and thickets.  Exhausted by their efforts, Jonathan and Sammy made their way to an outcropping of large rocks that formed a low ridge about as high as he was tall.  In between the boulders they found a small mossy clearing that offered them protection from the wind if it came up during the night, as well as a way to stay out of view from preying eyes.  They didn’t know where they were, or what types of people or animals might be around, so Jonathan thought it would be best to remain concealed overnight just in case something was moving through the area during the night.  His final thought before going to sleep beside Sammy in their niche between the outcropping’s large rocks, was that they’d better find Princess Aydreanna quickly, because they’d either starve in this wood or eventually succumb to the elements as autumn advanced with cooler weather and rain…

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

Jonathan’s Wish (An Adventure Novel)

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

Book Three, Chapter Seven, Part Three


What is the process through which we can transport ourselves to new worlds, new lives, new awareness, new perspectives and new realities?  For most, it is a vicarious experience of daydreams and wishes, of hopeful thoughts and passionate desires – to go somewhere, to be someone, to do something and to experience life as it hasn’t been before.  We hold within us hopes and dreams, and the passion to follow our hearts, but to make those wishes our reality often requires years and decades of dedicated blood, sweat and tears.  So the fact that David Alexander Spencer first discovered the ability to travel between worlds in the here and now, and to actually create and participate in those worlds in real time, makes for a stupendous discovery indeed.  It is also an ability that Jonathan and Sammy have learned through trial, error and enlightenment from Grandpa Spencer’s explanations as well.

How the mechanics of creating and traveling between worlds and back again actually works remains a mystery to us, and one that will likely never be discovered or understood in our lifetimes.  What at first appeared to be a ripple in the fabric of time between two interlocked counter-rotating time waves near the Spencer Family Farm allowed Jonathan and Sammy to travel to the Land of Myllanthar in the first place, yet it now appears to be only a contributing factor after experiencing their third and fourth trips respectively.  Could there be other forces and phenomena contributing to this extraordinary ability to traverse time and space, and to be able to create and experience new worlds?  We may never know, but it appears to be an enhanced awareness, desire and ability to actually step into one’s daydreams and turn them beyond all understanding into our reality – across both time and space.

For most of us, our daydreams are fixed two-dimensionally within the mental constructs of our imagination, lacking the depth of a third dimension to where they could possibly come alive.  But to then go beyond the third dimension and expand the daydream into the fourth dimension – time – is conceptionally beyond all physics, science, math and understanding – yet we see it being done within the experiences of Jonathan, Sammy and Jonathan’s grandfather David Alexander Spencer.  How amazing it would be to create a daydream that could then come alive, a daydream of our own creation and the ability to create and experience new worlds through our imaginations alone!  This is the wonderful discovery David Alexander Spencer first stumbled upon, and one that might possibly be perfected one day for us all to venture into, experience and partake in.

Jonathan and Sammy are not only attempting to travel to and experience life in a daydream, but remarkably, in a daydream that belongs to someone else’s imagination – Aydreanna’s.  A daydream of four dimensions has no known location or coordinates within the existence of our known universe, and as such, there is no way to find such a daydream – because it exists within the ether of time, space and imagination.  To locate, find and insert oneself into the daydream of another, especially as the daydream’s creator is experiencing it herself, is beyond any rational sense of human understanding.  Yes, Jonathan and Sammy participated in David Alexander Spencer’s imagination and world of creation, Myllanthar, but only through an unspoken invitation that had initially been extended to them across time and space – an invitation they never knew existed or were aware of prior to finding themselves in another world.

Jonathan and Sammy have now departed Castle Tal-y-bont for an unknown destination, trying to discover and insert themselves into Princess Aydreanna’s idyllic daydream and bring her home – but will it work?  Will they find her?  Will she want to return home?  What condition will they find her in?  Has she called for them to follow her across space and time?  Does she regret departing for an idyllic daydream and illusion?  If they are able to find her – will they even be able to find their way home again?  Only time will tell…

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

Jonathan’s Wish (An Adventure Novel)

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

Book Three, Chapter Seven, Part Two


“Sammy, we’ve got to find Aydreanna!  It’s our only hope, because if we don’t, the king and queen will throw us in the dungeon or worse,” explained Jonathan to his trusty adventure companion.  “The problem is, we don’t know exactly where she is or where she went – she could be anywhere, from another world to beyond the next treeline outside of Castle Aberyst’s outer wall.  Wherever she is though, we have to go there, too.  We have to find her!”

There had always been an understanding between the two of them, ever since Sammy jumped into Jonathan’s father’s pick-up truck’s bed to hitch a ride home with Jonathan, a decision that would end up being be a permanent adoption, because returning Sammy to the life of a stray never happened.  Ever since that day, the two of them had been inseparable, especially as Trooper – Jonathan’s black lab – was getting long in the tooth and wasn’t up to adventuring any more.  Of all Sammy and Jonathan’s adventures to date, this might possibly be their biggest challenge ever – to find Princess Aydreanna and bring her safely back home.

Of course, even if they were able to find her against all odds, she might not want to give up her idyllic little cottage and might even refuse to return home.  While that was a possibility Jonathan pondered, he knew there could be many more likely scenarios they might be facing.  Aydreanna might be cold, hungry, hurt, lost or in any number of other possible situations needing their assistance.  Jonathan couldn’t know beforehand what they’d be facing when they found her, but that didn’t matter now – all that mattered was that they find her!

Jonathan and Sammy had never traveled ‘on demand’ before, always just finding themselves in a new world on a new adventure by accident it seemed – so a rescue mission to find and return Aydreanna wasn’t anything they’d ever attempted before.  All Jonathan could do now was exactly the same thing he’d explained to Aydreanna in the moments before she disappeared.  He picked up his sword again and laid it across his lap away from Sammy’s resting muzzle, knowing that he didn’t want to leave without at least having the sword with him, in case he needed it once they found her.  Leaning his head back against the tower’s stone wall, Jonathan closed his eyes and began repeating aloud over and over again, “Princess Aydreanna, a cottage, woods, meadow, stream, lake with mountains in the distance.”

After a while Jonathan stopped reciting the chant aloud, and instead focused on repeating it to himself within his mind.  At the same time, he attempted to visualize the unique setting Aydreanna had desired to travel to.  As Jonathan focused his thoughts on Aydreanna and her idyllic scenario, his thoughts began swirling around in his mind, as if caught in a mental whirlwind.  In fact, Jonathan appeared to Sammy to be sleeping, although Sammy knew better, as they had an uncanny understanding between themselves as if they knew each other’s thoughts.

Jonathan felt his body relaxing as his thoughts continued swirling around within his mind.  Before long, his thoughts began rising beyond the confines of his mind to the space directly above his head, where they continued their circular motions as if beckoning Jonathan to follow.  Sammy felt them, too, as if Jonathan’s thoughts gently pulled and tugged on him to release and follow as well.  The entire process took only moments, as Jonathan and Sammy both simply let go to follow the thoughts wherever they were leading them to – and if one would have been a fly on the tower’s battlements at that moment, you would have seen them both simply disappear…

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

Jonathan’s Wish (An Adventure Novel)

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

Book Three, Chapter Seven, Part One


It was hopeless.  They’d searched everywhere from the top of the towers to the inner courtyard of Castle Tal-y-bont, and he and Sammy couldn’t find a trace of Princess Aydreanna – not a clue!  Perhaps there was a secret room or passageway hidden within the castle, and she’d reappear after successfully playing her prank, but Jonathan didn’t think that was the case.  Sammy would have alerted on her scent, and he’d checked carefully to see if there was someplace within the castle to hide that he didn’t know about.  Of course, she may just be playing a masterful game of hide and seek, knowing he couldn’t find her within so many towers, spiral staircases, rooms and circular courtyard, but somehow Jonathan didn’t believe she would do that.  There had to be another answer.

‘Could there actually be dragons in the castle’s moat after all?’ thought Jonathan, before dismissing it as an impossibility.  She’d been sitting beside him on the tower’s battlements asking him about adventures, and if a dragon had snatched her, Jonathan would have seen it or known about it right away.  It couldn’t have been a dragon, but what could account for her disappearance?

All Jonathan knew was he’d be in really big trouble once the king and queen arrived, finding their daughter missing.  He was the last one to see her, after all, and what could he possibly tell them – that she simply disappeared?  The king was liable to throw him in the dungeon, and there was little Jonathan could do about it.  There had to be an answer to his dilemma, and everything depended on his finding the princess again!  Tired of their exhaustive search of Castle Tal-y-bont’s towers, rooms and courtyard, Jonathan and Sammy finally returned to the same tower’s battlement where they had been earlier when Princess Aydreanna disappeared – and still there wasn’t a clue what had happened to her.

Jonathan leaned back against the tower’s wall, and then slowly slid down until he was sitting on the floor of the battlement where he’d earlier been talking with Aydreanna, while Sammy curled up beside him placing his muzzle in Jonathan’s lap.  Jonathan laid his sword beside him and tried to reconstruct the events leading up to her disappearance in his mind, remembering the discussion they were having about daydreams, travel, adventures and new worlds.  He’d been telling her his technique of traveling between worlds, and Aydreanna told him where she’d like to travel to – a small cottage in a forest beside a meadow, stream and lake with mountains in the distance.  That’s it!  Princess Aydreanna had left the Kingdom of Arwyall!  She’d traveled to find her idyllic cottage where she’d love to live for the rest of her days!

Jonathan was shocked, realizing he’d taught her to travel to a distant world, and he had no idea where it might be – she could be anywhere!  A small cottage, wood, meadow, stream, lake and mountains in the distance could be literally anywhere – from the Kingdom of Arwyall to Southern Ohio, or in any other world!  He’d have to find her, and quickly, before she’d find herself lost somewhere with no way of returning.  He’d been the one to teach her how to travel to new worlds, and he’d have to be the one to find her – but it was an impossible task, for he couldn’t travel everywhere and search for her – it just wasn’t possible.  What could he do?  After all, he was just a boy.

Well, boy or not, she was his responsibility, and he wouldn’t be the one to tell the king and queen she was gone.  No, he’d have to find her somehow, someway, even if he had to search the whole world for her and new worlds, too!  He knew she was his responsibility, and it was his duty to find her – what if she was lost?  What if she was hurt?  What if she was in danger?  What if he’d never see her again?!  Jonathan couldn’t let that happen, ever – he’d find her, but how?

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

Jonathan’s Wish (An Adventure Novel)

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

Book Three, Chapter Six, Part Ten


Sammy walked around the castle’s private quarters searching with his nose for something of interest, but nothing captured his attention.  The rectangular room had leaded glass windows at each end of the long room and a high cathedral ceiling, but little else to distinguish it.  Princess Aydreanna broke the silence asking, “What is your land of Ohio like, Jonathan?  Is it nice there?”

“Well, it’s sort of average I’d say, nothing like the Kingdom of Arwyall – we don’t have castles after all.”

“No castles?  Then what do you have in Ohio?”

“I live on a farm, and my father plants corn, wheat and soybeans.  We also have a heard of dairy cows for milk, a flock of chickens for eggs and meat, a few horses, and I have two dogs: Sammy and Trooper.  Trooper’s pretty old now, and doesn’t go on adventures with me anymore.  Our houses are built from wood, nothing like yours built of stone here in Arwyall.  I think I like it here better than in Ohio, Aydreanna.”

“Don’t worry, Jonathan, I’ll tell my father to let you stay here forever then.  Come now, next I’ll take you to the top of one of the towers – you can see forever!” exclaimed Aydreanna, taking Jonathan’s hand again and pulling him up one of the circular stone staircases to the top of a tower, while he clung tightly to the heavy sword with one hand trying not to drop it.

At the top of the tower, they went out onto the tower’s battlements – sort of a circular stone balcony with a partially divided fortification from which to look out over the countryside – or to shoot arrows down on attacking dragons.  They looked out across the hidden valley and the River Tal-y-bont, and then towards Castle Aberysth’s outer perimeter wall and beyond.

“Tell me again, Jonathan, how you manage to travel to distant worlds.  I’ve never traveled beyond our kingdom, and one day I’d like to travel to far away places like you do,” stated Aydreanna, with a sense of longing in her voice.

Jonathan realized that even though she was a princess and led a privileged life, she longed for both adventure and a normal life like any other child their age.  “I’ll tell you what I do, Aydreanna.  I start by daydreaming about something or someplace I’d like to go.  If you could go on an adventure, where would you like to travel to?”

A smile came across Aydreanna’s face, and with great enthusiasm she replied, “Oh, I know just where I’d travel to, Jonathan.  I’d find a little cottage in the woods beside a beautiful meadow, a stream and a lake with mountains in the distance – and I’d live there the rest of my life!  Oh, wouldn’t that just be wonderful, Jonathan!  There would be animals in the forest, and birds in the sky, and every day would be lovely and simply a dream come true!  That’s where I’d go if I could.”

And with that, Aydreanna’s sunny disposition disappeared, knowing she could never visit such a place, let alone live there for the rest of her life.  “Well, Aydreanna, once I know where I’d like to adventure to, I simply focus on my thoughts until I feel them floating in my mind.  Sometimes they swirl around and around in my mind, until they get to a point where I simply release them to float above me.  That’s when I just let go and follow them, and before I know it, Sammy and I find ourselves in a place far, far away.  It’s really that simple, Aydreanna.”


“Aydreanna?  This is no time to play games or to play hide and seek!” cried Jonathan, as he searched the tower’s battlements and peered down the stone staircase.


No matter where Jonathan searched within the towers, private quarters, great hall or the inner courtyard, he couldn’t find her – Aydreanna was simply, gone…

(End of Chapter Six)

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

Jonathan’s Wish (An Adventure Novel)

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

Book Three, Chapter Six, Part Nine


Aydreanna and Jonathan quickly closed the gate’s oaken doors and raised the drawbridge by cranking the crank handle just inside the main gate, before lowering the metal grate that was the last line of defense securing Castle Tal-y-bont’s entrance from dragon attack.  Jonathan had looked around in apprehension wondering if there really were dragons in the castle’s moat as suggested by Aydreanna, especially after his own encounter with a huge dragon in Myllanthar.  Fortunately for now at least, there weren’t any dragons to be seen or to do battle with, and he’d rather have it stay that way.

Now that they were safely and securely within the castle’s outer protective walls, Aydreanna began the tour saying, “Let’s walk around the keep and towers here within the inner courtyard, for it goes completely around the keep.  This is where I imagine festival tents are pitched for the spring and harvest festivals, with stables for the horses and merchants selling their wares.  Look around you, Jonathan, can’t you just feel the festivities?”

As they circled the keep in the grass of the narrow courtyard’s level ground, Jonathan really could imagine a festival taking place there, with banners and flags, musicians and jokers, knights and ladies, children and old men and women, all taking part in the welcoming of spring or in celebrating a bountiful fall harvest.  Sammy enjoyed exploring the inner courtyard as well, taking in the scent of squirrels and rabbits that often frequented the grounds when the main gate was open.

The image of celebrating festivals reminded Jonathan of the kingdom’s close call with two recently failed harvests, saved only by the trading fleet’s successful overseas voyages, along with a record catch brought in by the fishing fleet.  Princess Aydreanna’s father and mother – the king and queen – would no doubt be returning from the Harlech Conference any day now, and would soon be meeting with him.  Would they approve of his being here in the kingdom, let alone being invited to stay in Castle Aberyst by their daughter, and spending time alone with her playing in the folly?  Jonathan wasn’t really sure of what to expect once the king and queen returned, but for now he was enjoying Aydreanna’s tour of Castle Tal-y-bont.

“We’ll enter the keep now through these two oak doors, Jonathan,” explained Aydreanna once they’d circled the courtyard, opening the doors to enter the substantial stone keep.  Jonathan’s eyes initially adjusted to the dim light within the great hall, before the flood of light behind them through the open doors brightened the room.

The great hall was about 30 feet wide and 40 feet long, thought Jonathan, with narrow vertical windows just below the massive wooden ceiling beams that held up the planks supporting the upper room of the private quarters.  In the middle of the room was a long rectangular oak table with ten chairs around it, and a few more pieces of furniture placed around the outer walls in this sparsely decorated room – with little else, other than two candle filled chandeliers hanging within the hall, and a number of wall sconces holding candles spaced around the walls.

At each corner of the hall were arched doorways leading into the four corner towers with their spiral stone staircases leading up to the private quarters above the hall, and then on to the towers’ battlements at the top.  “Next, we’ll go up to the private quarters above the hall, Jonathan,” encouraged Aydreanna taking hold of Jonathan’s hand and quickly leading him up one of the circular staircases to the private chambers above.

“Here’s the family quarters for the king and queen, Jonathan,” explained Aydreanna.  In front of them was a canopy bed, a few chairs placed around the room, and a chamber pot in the corner.  “I’m the lady of the manor here, as it’s my castle, and you are my knight to protect me from the dragons!  When I tire of playing, I often nap here in my bed, and usually bring something to eat and drink from the castle’s kitchen during my visits.”

“What a great place to escape to, Aydreanna, I’ll need a sword to defeat the dragons with of course – is there one within the castle?” asked Jonathan, seeing nothing in the chamber to protect them with against dragons.

“Why of course, Jonathan, I’ve taken one of my father’s swords from the castle and hidden it under the bed – I’ll get it for you!” exclaimed Aydreanna, enjoying having someone to share her imaginary world within Castle Tal-y-bont with.  “Here’s a sword for you, I’m afraid it’s all I have,” apologized Aydreanna.  “It will have to do.”

“This will do nicely, Aydreanna,” replied Jonathan, trying the sword on for size with two hands holding the hilt for feel.  It was a tad too large for an almost nine year old boy after all, but what did that matter to two kids exploring their imaginations within this folly called Castle Tal-y-bont…

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

Jonathan’s Wish (An Adventure Novel)

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

Book Three, Chapter Six, Part Eight


The first thing Jonathan saw when Aydreanna dropped the blindfold were the towers.  Four stone towers with battlements and slate tiled conical roofs, each flying a red and white triangular flag above them, were visible at eye level.  Looking down into the valley on the far side of the hill, Jonathan saw the rest of the small castle.  There was an outer wall enclosing a main rectangular keep with one of the towers at each corner.  The keep appeared to be about three stories high, with a tall slate tiled roof above it.  In front of the outer wall was a central gate and drawbridge over a good sized moat fed by the creek running through the valley – a picture perfect scene and setting!

“It’s a castle, Aydreanna – a small, perfectly proportioned castle hidden away in a secret valley!  Is this your father’s folly you speak of?” exclaimed Jonathan full of awe and admiration.

“It is, Jonathan, but it’s all for me.  It’s a full-scale castle on the smallest of footprints.  The castle’s keep has a great hall within it at ground level rising half of its height, and a private chamber above it.  There are circular staircases at each corner of the great hall within the four towers, which lead up to the private quarters and the tops of the towers.  The drawbridge raises and lowers easily with a crank handle, and the moat is only about three feet deep.  It’s called a folly because it is a full-scale perfectly built castle with no function at all, except to be a place where I can play and be myself.  Do you like it?”

“I love it, Aydreanna, and wish Sammy and I had something like this to adventure in back on the farm.  Can we go see it now?”

“Sure, Jonathan, that’s why I’ve brought you here.  Follow the path down the hill and it will lead us to the main gate where we can enter over the drawbridge.  My father can’t understand why I spend hours here all alone by myself, but once he allowed me the indulgence, he couldn’t go back on his word.  Here in my castle I can be anyone I want to be and lose myself in my imagination.  I like to create and pretend, but I never get to travel to new worlds like you and Sammy.  That’s why I want to learn everything I can from you about traveling between worlds, because I want to go on adventures, too!”

The two young adventurers and Sammy followed the path down the slope across this winter wonderland, and entered into the inner grounds of the castle across the drawbridge and through the main gate – while Jonathan took in every feature with a sense of wonder.  “What do you call your castle, Aydreanna, do you have a name for it?” asked Jonathan, amazed that such a small castle was constructed with full-scale details, towering high above them and reaching for the clouds.

“I have, Jonathan, but I haven’t told anyone else my castle’s name.  I call her, ‘Castle Tal-y-bont,’ because she sits at the headwaters of the River Tal-y-bont, which is of course just a small stream, but I call it a river anyway.  It’s a secret name, for my secret castle in a hidden valley just for me – and now for you, too.”

“Shall we go inside now, Aydreanna?  I can’t wait to see what the inside looks like.”

“Yes, of course, Jonathan, but first we must raise the drawbridge to keep the dragons out, for we are now engaged in a great battle and the entire outcome rests on our shoulders.  Come, I’ll show how to raise the drawbridge using the crank handle.  If we don’t secure the gate, the dragons will emerge from the moat and catch us before we can escape…”

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

Jonathan’s Wish (An Adventure Novel)

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

Book Three, Chapter Six, Part Seven


After an uneventful breakfast where little was said about their upcoming visit to the folly, Princess Aydreanna then addressed her escort officers informing them she was going to show Jonathan and Sammy the folly, and that she’d return when they’d finished playing.  It was Jonathan’s impression that the officers were none too pleased with her plans, but knew better than to question her intentions.  With that, she led Jonathan and Sammy through a corridor past Castle Aberyst’s kitchen complex, where they entered a small outside courtyard heading towards a rear gate in the castle’s inner wall.  With a friendly wave of her hand to the guards in the tower the heavy iron gate was raised, and the massive oak doors opened outwards towards a snow covered parkland dotted with ancient oak trees.

“We’re still within the grounds of Castle Aberyst, Jonathan,” explained Princess Aydreanna as they walked along a pea gravel path covered in a couple of inches of snow.  The skies were a beautiful clear blue overhead as the sun crested the eastern horizon, causing the winter wonderland before them to sparkle and glisten.  “You’re the first person I’ve ever taken with me to visit the folly, Jonathan, so consider yourself to be very special indeed!”

“I do, Princess Aydreanna, I’m excited to see it and I’m sure Sammy will like it,too.  I do have one question though, now that we’re alone.  Why are you always escorted by those two officers everywhere you go, and why don’t they follow you to the folly?”

They continued walking and listening to the sounds of snow crunching underfoot towards the small rise of a hill before them, before she replied to Jonathan saying, “My father decreed that I would never be alone until I turned eighteen, and even then, I’m not sure he’d ever allow me to go anywhere by myself.  He’s so overprotective of me.  I always have to be with either my parents or my escorts – the only places I can be alone are in my room and at the folly.”

Pausing for a moment she then added, “Now before we continue on, I have to blindfold you in order to keep the surprise until the very last minute.  So wait just a moment, as I’ve got a cloth with me to tie over your eyes.  You have to promise me you can’t see anything, and won’t peek until I say to take it off.”

After she tied the cloth securely over his eyes Jonathan replied, “I can’t see anything, Princess Aydreanna, and I won’t peek, but don’t let me walk into a tree as I can’t see where I’m going,”  He then added, “Why don’t you need an escort to visit the folly then?”

“Here, I’ll take your hand so you won’t stumble into a tree,” she answered, while resuming their walk guiding Jonathan down the pea gravel pathway.  “My father started building the folly for me when I was just a young girl, and I insisted after he first showed it to me, that I’d never visit it again unless I could go there by myself.  It was a real fight between us, but I didn’t budge, and finally my father relented and allowed me this one indulgence.  You see, the folly is the one place where I can be myself, where I don’t have to be a princess always on display.  A place where I can play and pretend like any child, and let my imagination run wild, without worrying about being prim and proper.  It’s too much at times trying to be a perfect princess.”

“I can understand that, Princess Aydreanna, I really can.  My favorite times are when Sammy and I are adventuring on the farm and exploring the fields and woods.  I wouldn’t be happy always having to be on my best behavior and all proper like,” said Jonathan while being led by the hand by the princess.  “I actually feel sorry for you, for not being able to go on adventures.  I don’t know what Sammy and I would do if we couldn’t explore on our own around the farm.”

Sammy had been content to stay nearby up until that point, when a squirrel gathering nuts in the snow caught his attention.  He then dashed across the snow covered grass in hot pursuit, as the squirrel quickly scrambled up a mighty oak.  “When we’re at the folly, Jonathan, please just call me Aydreanna,” continued the princess.  “I do love being a princess, and I love my parents, the kingdom and all it’s people very much – but I need time to play and have fun like any other child.  I told my father that it was my right, and he was sensible enough to understand and agree with me.”

Princess Aydreanna then said, “Here’s where we’ll stop, Jonathan, as we’ve come to the top of this small hill.  In front of us, you’ll see the castle’s outer wall beyond a small valley not so far away.  A stream runs through the valley and beside it in a meadow sits the folly.  Are you ready to see it?”

Jonathan replied, “Yes, I’m ready to see it, Aydreanna,” and then she carefully untied the cloth behind his head and let it drop from his eyes…