I thought my early rising would not disturb mother and I could sleaze out of the homestead quietly. To my surprise, mom was in the pantry. Sweet apples and cinnamon filled my nostrils while the growling from my stomach grew louder.
"Rupert? You up? If that isnít you walking around our cat Hester sure got a lot heavier over night."
"Yep mom, I am up." I answered as I dug in a pile of clothes to find my favorite bright yellow sweat shirt. I wanted to be warm enough yet not be burdened with a heavy coat. After the heavy socks were applied to my stiffened legs I pulled on my well worn denim jeans and slipped in to my boots, lacing them tight enough to keep out critters.
"What are you making mom?"
"Oh, I just made an apple pie. Come and get a warm piece with cream."
I think I inhaled the pie in a record breaking three minutes. I wanted to get to the other side of the mountain to investigate the Bogate Ridge, a place where they say strange things go on. I wanted to see for myself floating objects, especially the globs of water.
I reached the door with Hester at my feet. I didnít intend on taking him with me, but he was good company on many of my adventures. With one foot out the door mom yelled from the pantry,
"Rupert, are you going on one of your adventures again? I noticed you have on your adventure clothes. I worry about a 13 year old that goes off in the Rockies alone with just his cat. You have no ropes or any other life saving equipment. Just where to do think you are going empty handed?"
"Oh mom, Iím just going to roam around the grassy knolls of the Neverland on the other side of the mountain. Iíve never been there before and I hear there are strange goings ons to see. (She didnít know I was interested in seeing the giant pantha. If I told her that she would tie me to the pine tree.) Come on mom, Iíll be fine. How about I take my pup tent and a small bite to eat just incase time slips before dusk arrives?"
"Well that would make me feel a bit better. This is 2002 and you never know who you might meet up here in the Rockies. Hurry up. Get your things ready and Iíll pack your back pack with goodies for you and Hester."
I reached the other side and was on top of Bogate Ridge by noon. Yes, I remembered to wear my compass watch. Why would I forget it, I wear it twenty four seven. I touched it as I was thinking about it and noticed that the compass needle was spinning around furiously. Looking up from my watch my stomach turned over a few times and the world spun. I sat down, as not to fall down. Too many rocks were around me and Hester wasnít very good at first aid. He snuggled to my side as if to help me settle on the hard ground beneath. My hands now grasped my head as if to this would stop the sloshing of my brain.
I must have sat only a few minutes in my almost fetal position then suddenly a cool object landed on my left hand. I jerked my head up. Whatís this? A rock situated in front of me with a stick-like extension touching me. I blinked my eyes several times but the rock did not move. A peaceful feeling flooded my once slushy brain and my queasy stomach felt normal again. I closed my eyes to wish away the rock before me.
"My lord, I do believe you could do with a spot of tea lad."
"Wha, who, where?" I stammered as I now looked into two large oval blackened pieces of glass.
"Me lad, you are parched. Come, I will steep you a blend of mountain herbs. I conít believe you have traveled this far without a drop of refreshment."
I sat motionless for a few seconds, and then fearlessly took hold of the cool appendage of rock which led me down the slope. Hester followed purring. I noticed a small irregular shape opening on the side of Bogate Ridgeís slope. Before we entered the hole, I did have to stoop some. If not I might have dented my head in such a way one would not have recognized me. We transcended several feet into a large room with furniture displayed in a circular formation. I blinked from the brightness.
"Oops, you are not accustomed to solar light. Let me dim it a bit. Do sit. Rupert, you call me Rex, short for Triexevan*l, much easier to say."
"How did you know my name?"
"Tis quite simple you know. Mind reading, a normality where I came from."
"Whereíd you come from?"
"Far ways chap."
"You speak as if you were a short circuited Englishman."
"Tis correct. Spent years in England, had to learn English. Main language counts old chap."
I scratched my overwhelmed head. Was I dreaming? This wasnít a cave. I felt as if I were in a fancy hotel mom had taken me to once down in the city. After I sat down on a normal sofa I noticed my back pack and pup tent rested on the metal floor in the center of the circular room.
"Equipment heavy. Pardon my help. Cool room. Like it?"
"Sure, uhhh, yea. Itís a little too clean for me; I prefer things not so neat."
"Neat? Affirmative, Rupert." he stares blankly at Rupert.
Sitting in the comfortable sofa I wondered were he acquired it and how did he get it in. "Did I say he? This being has no clothes on. It looks nothing like me."
I had no fear of being harmed. My heart was at a normal rateÖwhat is a normal rate anyway? I noticed Hester liked it here as well. Purring vibrated off the metal floor from where he situated himself near Rex. I had many questions that needed to be answered.
"Rupert has many questions."
"Ah, yes I do. IÖ"
"Your heart rate is normal."
"Floor from military."
"What does that mean? The military gave it to you or did they install it?"
"Ship got fixed. The military found me. They took my ship. It had no life."
In my wonder I tried to put the missing words in the sentences. My mind raced with more questions, but I never got a word in.
"My ship wrecked 70 years away. I had to see the land. Spent many years in England. Came back to fix my ship. It was fixed. No fuel to leave. Military found me. We made a deal. I live here, they get no fuel ship."
"WOW! They let you live here and no one has bothered you?"
"That is affirmative."
"What did you speak before you learned English?"
It was amazing how a perfectly circular area was carved out of this mountain side. The walls were flawless of any chiseled marks. It was as if they were sandpapered down as smooth as my skin. I looked up and noticed a sort of curved widow, at least 30 feet above. No other windows. I guess in caves there isnít any. A light breeze of forest flowers swept past me. Hmm, air conditioning? Rex sensed my many thoughts. Oh, I forgot he said he could read minds. Itís a good thing my mom canít read my mind.
"Your mom knows a lot. She reads minds."
"Well how do you know what my mom thinks? Were you around my house snooping?"
"No. I can hear far."
I was beginning to think Rex was avoiding the issue of his language.
"Rupert. Tea completed."
The flowered aroma thickened as Rex drew nearer to me. It was a calming blend of pleasant scents. I was starting to enjoy this feeling of tranquility. Did I say that word? Hmm, I must have learned it in school and never used it before. Before I take the metal can of tea I need to ask him about his native language.
"Yes, I will elaborate. No need to question. Rest now." Rex stammered on while he extended his twig like grey arms to give me a can of tea.
(To be continued...)
© HCD 1/2007