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Chest of Hope Ch.24

A blur of questions, rumors, and speculations the following morning. The police department was augmented by state troopers, as they gathered the abandoned vehicles from the dirt road, next to the farm. The state’s attorney was called, and he mulled over the testimonies of the events, that happened Wednesday night, with Judge Hart. The last witnesses gave his statements, as Willie Price left the judge chambers. “Mass Hysteria, hallucinations, tainted drinking water! Hell, I’d even go for a plain old Flying Saucer, but this, Judge. No one’s going to believe this,” the attorney spoke. “They’d better, for their own sakes. They’d best believe, that things have changed,” Judge Hart answered, as he escorted the man to his car.

The official accounts for New Hope’s calamities, were written off, as Ball Lightning. The disappearances of the men were concluded, as evasion from prosecution. Records of their taxes, insurance claims, and other items, that were throughly scrutinized, supported this action. The F.B.I. was called, and two agents declined the assignment, when they heard the town’s name. Others that did arrive, only stayed long enough to read the statements. They commented quietly, as they left and observed several trucks passing the square. “I wonder if that has any bearing on any of this?” One man said. “Jewish catering trucks? That’s the fourth one I’ve seen,” he added, and his partner asked if they should follow. “Naw! We better get on back down to the Big Easy.”

Matt and Maureen slept most the day away, until that evening, when Matt got up to put another polish on their rings, and the two small hammers they would wear under their clothes. After he had finished, Matt and Maureen, ate a light dinner and made love together most of the evening. “Will you ever get tired of this?” Maureen asked, after their third time. “Yeah, sure. When I’m on the funeral fire, I guess,” Matt said, as he played with her breast.

The A-frame house was decorated for a wedding and the food was being catered by Goldberg. The bride and groom were kept apart the whole day and night and Tamry was about to bust. Morning finally dawned and the hours dragged by like weeks, for Paul and Tamry. They had to wait until four that afternoon before they were driven in separate cars to the farm. As Charles parked the car on the side road, Judge Hart and Paul walked behind the beautiful A frame house. Garlands of flowers were draped from the roof and trees onto a large staff planted in the middle of the back yard. Ribbons adorned the several trees around the yard and long tables were set on the edge of the field. At first Judge Hart thought it strange that no chairs were present, then after a moment he realized that all must stand and witness this union. Later, they would sit, while feasting on the wonderful food and drink that were still being prepared by the caterers. “How do you feel, son?” “I feel like my head’s about to leave my shoulders. My stomach has five pounds of burning coals inside it, and my feet feel like they’re wearing lead boots!” Paul answered, as he wiped his forehead with a linen handkerchief. Paul Sr. smiled and patted his son’s arm, “They’re the only feelings you should be having. It makes you a man, about to step out of one world and into another. Even after your changes, you’re still human. Enjoy this day and let it live in your heart forever.” In a rare gesture, he hugged his son.

The guests had arrived and were milling around the yard admiring the festive adornments in the house, barn and field. Excitement and happiness filled the air. The Douglas brothers were showing their family how the house fit together while Orin Michaels talked to his girlfriend about the large sun disks in the field. Luke and Susan, with their son, were walking around the edge of the field. Susan was still trying to understand how only men and ropes moved the large log plow. “Why not tractors like the other farmers?” “I think it’s like the barn, house, and graveyard. Mister Odie said that men will return repeatedly, to a place built by hand. Only some come back to where machines did the work. I guess that’s true, look as how many visit the pyramids each year.” Luke said and, they walked back to the yard. The Price family was dressed in their Saturday’s best. They greeted all they met and were greeted in return with smiles and happiness. “Who could have guessed back on the fourth of July that such a thing was possible by the end of August.” Jim said as his nut colored face creased with a smile. “Miss Maureen, I think, if I’d asked the right questions,” Lotty answered, with a shrug. “I don’t think even she could have seen this much back then, course, now is a different matter all together. Yesterday when Sheriff Brown and Judge Hart opened the bank. We found all those papers’ right where she said they were. Made a lot of people around here believers.” Cissy said, as the children went off to see everything on the tables. Willie too, thought of all the changes that had occurred in such a short time. He was now manager of the hardware store by day and starting school at night to receive his diploma. With Adam’s help, he and Jim would finish with something his own Father and Grandfather had not completed. The children will teach their parents of the world of dreams. This thought brought a broad smile to Willie’s face.

The sounds of music came upon the yard as Matt and Maureen arrived at the farm. Matt turned off the engine and walked around to help Maureen from the truck. As she exited the truck, people began to whisper about their unusual dress. Maureen displayed her figure wrapped in a radiant purple gown that rode just below her knees. On her feet were golden sandals with straps tied around her calves. A golden sash, with a small silver dagger that hung by a chain that Matt had made especially as a gift for their wedding, was wrapped around her waist. On Maureen’s head she wore a finely fashioned golden band about an inch wide with a purple amethyst set in the center that set off her glowing deep blue eyes. Matt had also designed and made her head gear as a testimony to his respect for her beliefs. He wore a black silk tunic with silver brocade around the neck and sleeves. Around his waist was a thick silver sash which held a jeweled handled short sword. On his feet, a pair of ankle-high, soft fur moccasins treaded the ground as they came forward. Around Matt’s neck hanging from a highly polished thick braided chain hung a silver hammer with designs upon it. “Is this that, Key West, fashion statements you talked about the other night?” Jim said as they came up. “No. This is the statement we like to make when we come to party the night away,” Maureen said, with a large grin, and Matt squeezed her hand. “It’s just something we threw together this morning. You don’t think it’s too much do you?” Matt asked Cissy as he struck a funny pose to see behind him. They all laughed at his joke and talked about what they thought the bride would wear. From the barn Mister Odhinsunar and Lady Sif came out into the yard. They were decked out in royal attire with Mister Odie wearing a silver mesh of chain mail under his sky blue tunic. Lady Sif was wearing an emerald green tunic with a string of rubies and sapphires around her revealing neck and ample breasts. By her side she also wore a long dagger with rubies on the handle. Mister Odie held a large, mirror finished, hammer, that a few there had seen before. Others gathered around it and touched the handle and head. Two small boys of the Douglas’ couldn’t understand why their fingers left no smudges on the shiny surface, like the mirror at home. They jumped and laughed as it produce a mild tingle to their hands as they touched it. Mister Odie and Lady Sif greeted all as he walked over to the Harts. “Almost time Paul. Anything you would like to talk about before the joining?” Thor asked as the best man. “Just make sure I don’t pass out before I say Aye.” Paul said nervously. Thorran laughed softly. He gave reassurance that would not happen and then walked over to the Stones. “You are looking most regal, I see you have embraced your calling well with your choice of colors. It states to me the coming of the rain to bring new life to dried fields. The silver shows the lightning of the approaching storm.” Thor said as he admired the Stone’s fashions. “I hope his words do not mention his mood for the party, after the ceremony. Lightning strikes so fast. Some things should be taken very slowly,” Sif said, as she came up and kissed the cheeks of Matt and Maureen. “No need to worry about time today. The workers have tomorrow off and I am making sure the borders remain closed until sun up Monday,” Thorran said, to the group. Maureen reached up and wiped her forehead under her band. “Are you becoming warm in your garb?” Sif asked. “No just the thought of how warm I will become later out of my garb,” Maureen answered, as her cheeks became red and she smiled broadly.

A large white limo pulled into the yard heralding the arrival of the bridal party. The driver came around and opened the door. On the cue, music filled the air. The song of flutes and small drums pulsed as Tamry exited the vehicle dressed in a white gown with shimmering sparkles of small silver and golden flakes that danced in the sunlight. She moved with grace as her mother came up and took her arm. “Let us gather for the joining,” Thorran announced, as Matt handed him the braided silver and gold rings. The couple stands in the center, as the onlookers formed a circle around the glowing couple. ”Some here will notice that I hold no bible for this wedding. Paul and Tamry have decided not to limit God to one religion. For God means many things to many people. They wish not to offend anyone and to embrace all faiths with theirs. Now let us begin.” Judge Hart started the joining as he was taught by Thorran last night. In the short half hour that passed, Paul and Tamry pledged their loyalties and trust to the other. The women began to have their eyes fill with tears at the tenderness of the couple. The men also found it hard to repress the knots in their throats as the words were heard by all. “You may now show your love and conviction to all.” Judge Hart announced loudly and Paul kissed Tamry passionately before the cheers of the gathering. A lot of hand shaking and kissing followed. “Let’s not forget the food! I don’t have room in my coolers to keep all of this,” Mister Goldberg called out.

The entire afternoon was spent eating and drinking by all, as the children ran and played around the field and yard. Thorran walked Paul into the barn. As the large door was pulled closed, he guided Paul to the third container. “Paul as you can see, this appears to be the same as the others. This is the best way to conceal that which others might find. The first still contains the tools for building the houses by the lake, the last has garb for all occasions of state, but this one is very important for you and Tamry. Give me your right hand, if you will,” Thorran spoke, as Paul raised his hand to him. From a hidden pocket a small blade appeared in Thorran’s hand as he turned Paul’s palm upward. “Do you trust in the gods?” “With my life.” Paul solemnly stated, as the blade cut deeply in his palm. Thor then placed Paul’s hand over a disk on the container door. The blood ran over the disk that had a circled serpent biting its own tail. As it did, the liquid was absorbed by the object. Finally, the disk began to glow, pale-green, and Paul’s hand became hot. Thor released Paul’s hand and Paul looked at the wound. All Paul could detect, was a small scar healed. “Now Paul, touch the disk.” As Paul did the doors slowly opened and light filled the barn. Inside, was an icy bridge standing in front of him. On the bridge was a large man holding a gleaming sword and horn in his hands as mist swirled in the air. “This is Bi-frost, the rainbow bridge from Mid-guard to As-guard. That fellow standing there is Hemdal, the guardian. When you want or need to see us, place your hand upon the key, Hemdal will greet you.” “Tamry has received the same mark as you. For you are now one, and where one goes the other also goes. You can remain in As-guard for as long as you wish and return to the moment you left here. This is not of your time nor will you grow old there. However, remember Paul, duty and honor are yours now and work must be done for the future of both the gods and man.” Thor stopped and placed his hand on the disk. The doors closed slowly and the light faded. “As you have heard and seen. So did Tamry, in her mind. Whatever one does, so does the other. You both will need this gift in the coming years. As you learn of your destiny, and how you will serve the gods, and mankind. Chose your friends wisely and, also, your enemies. Both will trade places often before the truth is finally spoken by all. Both of you can talk to the gods whenever you encounter any problems that may arise, but only you can solve these problems for yourselves. Ask for knowledge, but gain wisdom from what you learn. Many items should be collected for safe keeping. Choose people whom you both trust for this task.”

Thor opened the barn doors and the faint light of the sun set came in. The party was still in full swing and they joined the guests. The wedding guests were slowly leaving and waving their goodbyes to the bride and groom. Paul’s father came up with Charles and congratulated him again. “Now Master Paul, don’t forget your bed time. Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise,” Charles said, and shook his hand. Paul broke into laugher, as he saw them to the car. “What is it Paul?” Thor asked. “That quote was from Benjamin Franklin. Over two hundred years ago, he was a most famous statesman of this country. He was also a well-known womanizer of two continents. That quote, if I’m right, related to bedding the numerous women of court he encountered on his travels,” Paul explained. Thor thought of the lyric again and saw the truth in the statement. As the last car pulled onto the pavement, Thor gathered the Harts and Stones about him and Sif. “Do we all wish not to be disturbed?” Paul placed his arm around Tamry and then said yes. Matt held Maureen’s hand as they smiled and nodded. Sif put her arm around Thor’s waist and whispered in his ear as she stood on her toes. Thor laughed and raised MJOLINIR above his head with both arms. “Now, let it be so!” His words erupted and the hammer began to glow. A haze began to form at the edge of the property line and ran the full circle. As the hammer grew in brightness the haze became harder to see past, finally a thick gray cloud covered the entire farm. “Remember, unless it is an emergency, hold fast until the sun rises twice.” Thor spoke to the hammer and let it go. The hammer remained in the air slowly circling. “I didn’t know it could do that,” Matt said, as he kept his eyes cast upon the hammer. “Oh, through the past centuries they have learned many tricks, some much grander than this. I just do not like it when they show off too much,” Thor answered. “They?” Tamry asked. “Yes, they. The hammer is a combination of three entities. Vegetable, mineral, and animal. They work well together when they are respected. Most things are that way, no matter what their differences, if one respects them as they are, without trying to change them. Even the simple rocks will walk by your side and flowers will smell sweeter. Animals will be your friends also if you accept them as they are and respect their ways. The Norsemen knew of these things as they moved across the country you now know as Canada. The Red-man met them after watching from afar, and greeted them as brothers. They shared their love of the earth and all things that belong to it. Only after many years and contact with the others that came after did the red man discovered that not all men shared that love. As I said to Paul earlier, your friends and foes will trade places over the passage of time.”

Thor stopped and motioned for the group to follow him. They entered the barn, standing in front of the middle container was the calico cat along with the two goats. Thor opened the doors and Hemdal raised his sword in salute as they all passed. Time stood still as the four walked in the land of the gods. They were greeted at the great hall and had conferences with many that were there. Matt was surprised to see the faces of the Orientals seated next to the faces of South Americas. All races of man were represented in the great hall and speech was possible because they all spoke the truth to each other. As they again stood within the barn, Matt’s pocket watch chimed. “Still, we’ve been gone for days, this thing must need repair,” Matt said, as he looked at the time piece. “The only work you need to concern yourself with now, is to freely give of your spirit, to those who wish to be with you.” Maureen said, as she took the watch from his hand and placed it on a nearby rail. The four of them left the barn and headed for the lake. At the lake a large table was set with assorted foods and fruits displayed between the goblets and three jugs. As they gathered around Sif held a goblet and poured a thick white liquid in it. “I have filled these with my milk of love. Under the table you will find more jugs if these are emptied.” “The time we will spend together here limits our use of its source. So enjoy and be happy as this time will pass and only its memory will remain after we leave.” Sif said, and handed the goblet to Tamry. She then handed goblets to each member of the party. “Will you not remain with us?” Paul asked. “I have many others to help and show the truth, there are also many more of the chosen to meet. I will stay for five more days and see the first logs felled for the long house. On Thor’s day I must go to the next place Odin will send me. Then you will begin your tasks to bring about the truth. Let us not be saddened by the departure, let us be happy for the time we share now.” Thor lifted the drink to his lips and drained the contents as all followed his lead. The drinks were refreshed and the after party began for all there. For the next two sunrises, the party found more pleasure, then some would have in a life time. The two young lovers felt quite comfortable with their ability to shift their minds, after the first few experiences. Matt and Maureen went back several times to the jugs to keep up with their young counter parts. They played and frolicked until all the jugs were empty and all the food was eaten. The group slept until Thor’s voice woke them. “It is time for this to come to a close. I hope you have had the enjoyment that you sought. As for myself, I can say to you, lovely ladies, that your desires almost overwhelmed even me. I hope we have done just as well for you,” Thor spoke, and could see it in their eyes. The answer was yes. The next five days passed like one to the four who stood by the barn. Goodbyes and hugs were exchanged from all as the two entered the vault. After they had crossed the bridge and the doorway closed, Paul and Tamry had the Stones enter their home again. “He said he would visit from time to time,” Tamry said as she poured coffee. “He will and we will visit him also,” Paul answered. “Where do you think he will go next?” Matt pondered aloud. “Wherever it is, we can probably find out on the news. Anything that sounds strange could be a clue. We just have to figure that he goes where he is needed,” Maureen said, as she sipped her coffee.

Epilog

It had been six months since that day. The long house had been built along with half the houses on the lake. The people of New Hope rebuilt the church on the north end, but no crosses were about its bell tower. Inside, was every worshiped icon on earth, from the six-pointed star of David, to the six-armed statue of Shiva. Also present, was a small silver hammer hanging on one wall. Its larger brother adorned the church built next to the graveyard at the farm. The farm itself had changed into its own small town of Hammerville. People from over the country were coming there to see and bring things to the long house. Some brought flowers, while others gave of themselves. They varnished or polished the oak that built this structure. All were made welcome if they spoke the truth openly. There was a small problem from the state’s Christian Churches league, but after Judge Hart spoke to the press, all such problems stopped. It seemed like they had no influence over another countries border. They found no support from their own, after a group of visitors from Washington, D.C. came and left, completely satisfied with their findings. It was overheard and reported in the papers, ‘I wish more of the places we visit were run that well and saw to the needs of their people.’ Around the middle of March the Stones stopped eating their dinner as the news reported a strange lightening storm on the north side of Chicago. The report continued to say that only twenty-two victims were found about a Neo-Nazi meeting hall. “I’d say we found where he was this morning,” Maureen said, as Matt tried to listen to the last words. “The reports of a large man leaving the scene of the disturbance, carrying a sea chest, have been refuted because . . .

The End

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