October 31, 2007

This block of text will actually be inserted near the end of the book. However, I wanted to remind myself of the end I was tending toward….
Angari stood before the completed tower. Rising a thousand feet into the blue/green sky of Windfallow, it dazzled even the eternal eyes of the Alari. Gemstone left undressed, used just as it came from the quarries, rivaled Windfallow’s sun. Ruby, Sapphire, Emerald and Diamond reflected and refracted the light until a million rainbows fused into one and created a new horizon.
Angari stood before the tower. The marvelous tower. The tower he had designed and built with his own skill and Craftsmanship. His tower. The Tower of the Angels. No Great Bell hung here – “Though it should” he thought. No, rather a huge wind chime, suspended from the topmost spire, caught the breeze and the light together and sent echoes of music across the valley.
Suddenly he was not alone. Standing beside him, bathed in light unapproachable, was Michael. “What have you done, Angari?” The words came like icy flames to Angari’s mind.
“What have you done, Angari?”
The Alari fell to his knees, head bowed, hands turned palms up in reverence.

I would welcome comments and discussion on this blog. This is the last of the excerpts until more of this book is completed.


October 30, 2007

Here I begin to craft the battle lines of the Rage of Angels.This is the enemy…
Just beyond Angari’s comprehension there lurked in the Barrier Wood a being more dangerous to the Alari than anything he had met in the millennia he had been alive. Word had finally come to Lucifer, the great deceiver, the great dragon of Revelation, that an innocent world still existed. A shining light in the galaxy. A world not his. And protecting that world, an angel, an Alari he was called. Angari was his name. And Lucifer had it.
Now, he prowled the Barrier Wood. Abiding furiously until the day he brought the Alari under his control. Words would be his weapon. Words more subtle than those he used to drive those two from Eden. Always in the Alari’s thoughts as he rested in the shade of the Barrier Wood. As though they were his own; as though he alone had thought of them; the questions, the resentment for being made eternal.
“Your Maker has given you free will, Angari! Just as he gave it to Eve and Adam! Your downfall, Alari!” Had Angari been watching the Wood he would have seen it tremble as though a mighty wind had sent ripples over its surface.


October 29, 2007

Here we see Angari building a mighty tower of pure gemstone.This is the beginning of his struggle, though he has not yet realized his peril…
Angari took a sighting along the spear of amethyst.Yes, it should go across the third row of chrysolite. Holding the twenty-foot long gemstone, the Alari flew to the top of the crystalline structure he was building. He fitted the piece into an intricate network of spires and shafts soaring into the Windfallow sky. No human would dare look directly at the structure for it was fashioned from raw gemstone straight from the quarries in Ravensrille. Sunlight blazed from a myriad of colors until the whole took on a white hot brilliance. No entrance gave access from the ground. The monolith was meant to be entered only from above. The Windfallow angel had been working on his wind tower for several months. Whenever he could be spared for a few days, or could time warp a few, he would come here to this uninhabited valley. Closed in by high hills and a loop of the Great River which circled Lower Windfallow, it was called Ramon’s Valley and had once been used as a makeshift holding pen. A handful of humans had tried to kidnap the King and Queen of Lower Windfallow many centuries past and, when caught, had been brought here until arrangements could be made to neutralize their influence. A huge wall of sapphire blocks still closed the valley’s opening and the fallowfolk simply left it and built elsewhere.
Angari had taken his idea from a set of wind chimes made by a long-ago queen for one of the human heroes. “I wonder what a huge set of those would sound like?” he’d thought. He chose Namon’s Valley in which to experiment because it was remote and he wanted solitude. That this might be a foreign thought to an Alari had not crossed his mind. Soon, an enormous set of chimes would be hung in the topmost area of the tower. Not only would every passing breeze create a crystal symphony, but the reflection of the sun on gemstone would create a huge, shimmering rainbow. “Perhaps a festival will be held here someday!” the thought came unbidden to the tall angel. He shrugged it aside and kept working.
Do you have the concept yet that I am working toward? I would really appreciate your thoughts as this unfolds. There will only be two more excerpts.


October 27, 2007

Coby decides to tell his second in command and her husband the reason for the journey…..
Brasker’s second in command stepped into the office. “We’re nearing Quad Three, Captain.”
“Good. Sit down, Lee.” Coby poured a rich coffee brew for the two of them and leaned back. “What do you make of the reports we’ve gotten so far?”
Staff Sergeant Lee, short for Leola Crain, took one of the other chairs. “Well, Pegasus doesn’t seem to have taken anything from the systems it’s visiting. I’m not sure why we’re after her.” Lee took a sip of her coffee.“Are you, Sir?”

“Not yet. What got Star Fleet’s attention were the people backing her and the guy who’s piloting the ship. I worked with Kiota Chang on a ship that came close to these systems. He was kicked out of his command for a violent turn his nature took. He got worse as time passed and finally became really unstable.” Coby was busy putting two and two together, but he didn’t want to rush to judgment here. He leaned toward the slight, impeccably dressed woman in front of him. He had come to appreciate Lee’s insights and expertise and they had become friends. Her husband, Mac, also worked on this detail as navigator and the three often took meals together. Part of his appreciation of the couple was their deep faith. It was a rarity in this legalistic and secular era.
“Who is the backer?” Lee could see Coby was working on something in his head while talking to her.
“The Mega Corporation guy, Conor Bond.”
“Whoa, that’s serious money.”“And never given lightly. He’s got to expect a good return on his investment.”
Suddenly, there were three figures in the office. Coby sat up so suddenly his coffee spilled. “Angari! What are you doing here?”
Lee was also taken back. There, standing in their midst was a creature the like of which she had never seen. Tousled gold curls topped a figure straight out of a medieval tapestry, complete with green tights, a silvery, iridescent tunic and some kind of moccasins. But even that was overshadowed by a set of wings surely as long as the figure was tall. And it was tall – at least seven feet if an inch.
“You can see him, Lee?”
“Of course! What is he?”
“I am an Alari, Miss.”
Brasker was surprised at the slight note of pride in Angari’s voice.


October 26, 2007

Kiota is on the hunt though he does not know its destination.Only the hint of a treasure planet brought about by a psychological evaluation, has lured him there…
Now, Kiota was on the Star Rover, Pegasus, with a full crew and basic provisions for at least ten years.Regular stops at star bases were all that was needed to stock perishable items and Kiota had unlimited credit for that.It wasn’t easy hitching a ride on a warp drive space ship to cut down on the time differential, but a story about family lost on a new planet in Quad 3 did the trick and here he was.
Looking at the star clusters he mentally marked off those he had already checked out. He’d nearly lost the ship in # 11 as solar rip tides tossed it back out like a rubber ball. Numbers Six and Ten had also been checked – from a distance this time – and had also proven to be labeled correctly. He crossed them off his list and stood close to the map, trying to ‘see’ dangers and cover-ups. Number One was obvious; a star was in the process of going nova, no going there. That left four systems unexplored.Two were yellow, two red.He checked them with the Galactic records.The two yellow ones, twelve and fourteen, were listed as having organisms deadly to humans.Three and five, both ranked as red, were more interesting.Number Five had several planets; all wreathed in clouds rich in sulfur and formaldehyde; a deadly combination to humans.Three was listed as having solar rip tides.He looked closely at it. The planets looked stable enough and he saw no evidence of wobbly or distended orbits caused by riptides.


October 23, 2007

The spacemen have, they believe, convinced the Fallowfolk that they wish to build homes on the planet and raise their families there.  Thinking their clever plan is proceeding apace, the three men, minus Lt. Brasker who has been kept safe,  come to the palace of Lower Windfallow…


As they approached the castle the men assumed they would be stopped and asked their business.  They were ready to give account of why they had come, but no one barred their way.  They walked up the wide steps and through the tall doorway into the reception hall.  Here they stopped and looked around for they appeared to be unobserved.  Smith stepped to a wall and ran his scanner over it.  Sure enough, the screen flashed emerald.  He knelt and did the same with the floor expecting to see a reading for amber.  But, to his amazement, it read out gold.  He grabbed Dobrowski’s arm.  “Look at that!” he whispered, “We’re walking on pure gold!”

          “May I help you, sirs?” They whirled around to find a tall fallowman standing just behind them.

          “Yes,” Smith regained his composure. “We’ve come to see the king about our house materials.  Can you take us to him?”

          “Of course,” B’delli motioned them to follow him and led the way to the King’s chambers.  He indicated a doorway and turned away.

          The men stepped into a room hung with rather dull tapestries and long curtains that billowed into the room through tall openings.  The King was seated at a large desk with papers upon it and appeared to be writing.  He stood up as they entered and motioned them to take seats.  The chairs were comfortable if a bit worn looking.  “You have come to talk of the materials for your homes?”

          Smith stood again.  “Yes.  We have the plans finished and just need your approval to order the stone.”

          “That will be taken care of after we have eaten supper if that suits you.  I’m sure you are tired from your long journey.”  The King clapped his hands and several fallowfolk came in bearing trays of food.  These were set on one of the tables in the room and the humans were invited to sit.

          “Where is your family, sir?” asked Kiota who knew they must have all the royal family here if a coup were to take place.

          “Why, they are visiting the royal family in Windemere,” the king answered.  They will be back in a few days.”

          “Well, then, I guess you will have to do.” Smith stood up and took his lasgun from its holster.  “I hereby declare this palace to be our headquarters on Windfallow and you to be our prisoner.”

          King Terah remained seated and asked, “What is it you mean by this, Captain Smith?”

          “I mean you are a prisoner and must do as we say.”

          “And what do you say?”  The King was calm and collected making the humans begin to doubt their superiority in spite of the deadly weapons they carried.

          “I say call all the people who are in this castle and have them gather in this room.”

          The King clapped his hands a second time and the room began to fill.  Smith and his men leaped up on the dais that held the throne so as not to be surrounded.  Smith demanded, “Is this everyone?”

          As the King nodded, Smith raised his voice so all could hear.  “Listen to me!  You are now taking orders from the three men you see here.  Do you understand me?’  No one moved or spoke.  “This castle belongs to us now.  All of you will leave quietly and go to your homes.  Tomorrow we will tell you what the new rules are.  Now, leave.”

          No one moved. “I said leave!” Smith waved the lasgun.  When he got no response, he yelled, “OK, I’ll show you what this can do to you!”  He pointed the gun at a fallowman.  But before he could pull the trigger, he was encircled by the arms of a seven-foot Alari.  His arms were held at his waist in an iron grip though he could see no one.  “Men, shoot to kill!” But Dobrowski and Kiota were in no position to follow orders.  They also were disabled.

          The king turned to Smith.  “Captain, you were a guest here and you were shown every courtesy.  Now, you will be sent away with nothing.  No gemstone, no gold and no memories.  Mr. Kiota, the demon whose domination you have been under is being destroyed at this moment.  Before we send you away, we will let you see what you could not see before.”  Suddenly the veil was lifted from the eyes of the humans.  Brilliant colors shone through the walls, the tapestries and chairs that had appeared dull were now rich and heavily embroidered with gold, silver and copper threads.  Then the King raised his hand. “Golden, you may take these men back to their own time.”



October 23, 2007

Another away team has been sent down to the planet.  This time the captain goes with them.  They discover the secret of the Curious Light, not knowing the Alari are discovering them as well…

“Well, I’ll be….” Smith knelt beside a dull blue stone.  “This would never have caught my eye, either.”  He directed his scancom at it.  “Sapphire.  This is pure sapphire!  And look at the size of it!  And there; that’s got to be ruby… and emerald over there.”  He rocked back on his heels.  “No samples yet, men.  Let’s explore a little.”


          The two Alari, sized down to the size of bees, watched from a nearby bush.  “Better call Angari.”  Almost instantaneously he was beside them.

          “Thanks, Dysis.”  Angari watched the humans walking through the meadow, pointing their instruments at the stones.  The ship had been observed flying low over both hemispheres and its resting place noted within the Barrier Wood.  “I’m afraid the nature of our stones has become apparent to the humans.”  Angari carefully sent a mind probe toward the aliens and picked up conversation as well as their inner thoughts.

 He saw the pile of gemstones on the captain’s table.  Seeing through the eyes of Dobrowski, who could not take his thoughts off the gems, he knew the secret of Windfallow was now revealed.  He settled into each of the other humans individually to see what their reactions were to the truth.

Captain Smith, also driven by greed, was the leader of the group.  Brasker alone was looking at the gemstone with pure astonishment not mixed with greed.  I was right, thought the alari; this one has the Maker’s Spirit within him.  I must not let him see one of us or he will give away our presence to the others.

Then, he probed the mind of Kiota.  Here was a very different aura. He saw great fear as well as greed and a faintly familiar mindset.  Where had he felt that before?  His mind ranged back over the centuries to that long-ago time when the Jackal… That’s it!  This human is under the influence of a demon!  I must call a council immediately!”


October 20, 2007

          The away team has returned to their ship and are reporting to the captain.  They begin to connect the glow from the planet with what has been found there…


Kiota dumped his bag of stone chips on the counter in front of Captain Smith expecting to see the dull pastel stones he’d put in the bag

          “What the…!  Where did those come from?” he stammered.  The other two men dumped their sacks in separate piles and stood mute before the dull shine of ruby, emerald and sapphire chips.

          “Where did you find these stones?” Smith demanded.

          “Right where we landed, Sir!” Brasker found his tongue and stepped back to the counter.  He picked up a fist-sized emerald.  Uncut, it still gave off a soft green glow in the brightly lit ship’s lab.  “These were common stones down there!  We chipped them off big outcroppings.  Do you suppose ALL those rocks are gems?  Why didn’t they shine like this on the planet!”

          Dobrowski looked from the stones to the observation window beside him.  The little planet below shimmered in the odd halo they’d wondered about before.  “That’s not common light,” Dobrowski whispered. “That’s the reflection of one damned big precious rock!”

          “But why couldn’t we see it down there?” Brasker scratched his head. “I gotta think about this, sir.  Could we discuss this after supper?”

          Smith motioned the men out of the lab while putting a stone under the microscope.  “To their backs he ordered, “Not one word of this, do you read me?”

          “Yes, sir!” came from all three as they headed for ship’s quarters.


          Kiota palmed his keypad and entered the small cabin he shared with three other junior officers.  He was still stunned as he turned over in his mind the events of the past few days.  Why couldn’t they see the gemstone?  What masked its real properties?  Alone in the quarters, he dropped down on the bunk, hands clasped behind his head.  In the corner on a small altar stood a statue of his family’s god, its sapphire eyes remote and mindless. 



October 19, 2007

Lt. Brasker is now ready to return to his starship.  Angari bids him goodbye and curiously….


“Very well, I shall bid you farewell,” said Angari, bowing. But before he turned away, he paused.  “May I ask you a question Lt. Brasker?”

“Of course,” the spaceman turned back.

“Do you believe in the One who made the universe through which you travel?”

The Lt., who was frequently razzed about his stubborn belief in a transcendent God, smiled.  “I certainly do, Angari.  I certainly do!” He raised his hand in a salute. “I almost hope we meet again, friend.”

Lt. Brasker walked on around the bend and the winged creature turned back toward Skye.  Just before Brasker disappeared from sight, he pointed the scancom once more at Angari.  Still no reading. Hmmm, the One who made the universe.  Wings…” He shrugged his shoulders and walked on, tapping the comlink. “Brasker to beam up!”

Angari saw the sparkling cylinder of light and, breathing a sigh of relief, sat back down on the moss-covered rock through which there now peeked the shine of Emerald.  Two tiger cubs appeared out of the bushes and rubbed against his legs while squirrels and rabbits hopped to the sparkling stone beside him.  Fragrant blossoms drifted in the air from the ever-blooming trees and several tiny creatures lit on his shoulders.  On closer inspection, however, one noticed that these were tiny winged people.  They laughed and sang in their chiming voices, pulling at Angari’s hair and coaxing him to come back to Skye with them.

“Ok, let’s go!” Angari laughed. “You were very cooperative and very careful!” Suddenly he was as tiny as they were and the whole retinue winked out and reappeared over Skye. Here, the castle was shining with a refracted light that, had he been allowed to see it, would have blinded Brasker as the sun caught the facets of amethyst, ruby and diamond.  They swooped inside where translucent walls allowed the rich sunlight to fall in tiny rainbows over the amber floors and strike fire from the rich, faceted crystal saucers and goblets.

The Queen was just coming into the main hall with a circlet of minuscule Alari ornamenting her snowy hair.  Angari assumed full stature, something short of seven feet, and bowed before her.  “Come, Angari, and let us discuss what you learned of the stranger.” The Queen smiled at him.

“And, what he did not learn of us!” Angari offered the Queen his arm as they walked into the garden. 


October 18, 2007

 This is the first excerpt from the sixth book of The Windfallow Chronicles.  A Curious Light takes place many centuries after the Thomas family’s adventures there.  All gates have been closed between the two worlds and no one from earth, good or bad, can use them.  However a light ship exploring the far galaxies has observed a small planet wreathed in a curious light.  They decide to investigate…

Angari smoothed his wing feathers, brushing his hands casually over their five-foot length. The rocky ledge on which he sat was a drab green with soft moss its only ornamentation. The man, unaware that Angari had watched him appear in a sparkle of light behind a stone outcropping, now stood before him. He was using his mouth to form words, though Angari could clearly understand his thoughts without physical expression. “Can you tell me the name of this place?” The sound was guttural and harsh.

“It is called Spring Hollow,” Angari answered, letting his words take the same form the stranger had used.

“Spring Hollow. Is that the name of the planet or a country?”

Angari crossed his feet and assumed a casual air. “The planet is Windfallow. Do you have a reason for asking? Do you not live nearby?”

“No, I come from a great distance. I am interested in learning about the people who live here.” The man – Angari assumed he was human- was a few hands taller than Angari, who had been caught in a slightly smaller version of himself. “Are all the people who live here, uh, winged, like yourself?” The stranger tried to appear unperturbed at the appearance of a humanoid dressed in silky, iridescent leggings and tunic with wings that surely had a span as wide as the creature was tall. A head of bright yellow curls topped a tanned,  well-proportioned body.

“No. Some of us have wings and some do not. You seem to know very little about us. Did you say you were from a far place?”

Brasker decided to trust his instincts and level with the native. “Yes, I do come from a far place and it is not this world. We fly through space in a big ship called Outrider, and explore any planet we find that might support life. Your world registered on our machines as one of those. Do you mind that we are visiting here?”

“No, as long as you come in peace and do not stay long. But why do you come here and what is your purpose?”

“As I said before, we explore planets that have the possibility of sustaining life. Yours registered as one of that type and so we chanced a landing.”

Angari noted the use of the pronoun, ‘we’, but did not comment on it. Instead, he tendered an invitation to the man. “While you are here, would you like to meet some of our people, perhaps the King and Queen of Lower Windfallow?”         “Yes, I’d like that. By the way, my name is Lieutenant Brasker. And your name is…?”

“Angari. Follow me, please.” The winged man turned to a path through the flower-studded meadow.