Book 1 of The Naga Trilogy: Rescue
Thank you friends for your patience. Book one is finally done and I am still editing the next two books in the trilogy. Here are links to order book one. Below that you can read the first two chapters.
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The Naga Trilogy: Rescue: A Supernatural Adventure
By: Sean Sanborn
List Price: $13.99
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An ancient monster threatens the lives of villagers in a remote Asian jungle…
A ruthless mafia kidnaps and trades innocent girls for their own sinister purposes…
Chaz, a missionary kid in Thailand, seeks out God’s voice when his own recklessness puts the lives of everyone he loves in grave danger.
Will he figure out God’s plan in time? Or will he be too late?
The author is a Missionary Kid himself and has lived in Thailand for over 18 years primarily involved in Church Planting and Frontier Missions and has led over 45 outreach teams. He, his wife and two children now live in Florida.
Publication Date: Dec 17 2014
Page Count: 254
Trim Size: 6″ x 9″
Juvenile Fiction / Action & Adventure / General
Here’s the digital version:$4.99
Promotional price: $2.99
Coupon Code: VV46Q
Expires: November 1, 2015
The Missing Children
All day long, the villagers huddled in urgent, private discussions. Any time she approached two or more adults, they would stop talking and glare at her until she passed by. Something was going on and she was clearly at the center of it. An intuitive sickening feeling clenched up in the pit of her stomach. There would soon be another disappearance.
After her parents disappeared, when she was seven-years-old, Katya had moved in with her aunt and uncle. She was grateful that she could remain in Mae Naga, the same village where she had grown up. All of her friends were here and it was hard to imagine ever living anywhere else. Her parent’s disappearance was shrouded in mystery. The last time she saw them, they had left to go fishing. Neither they nor their boat were ever seen again. Since then, the world had never seemed real to her. She was grateful to her kind aunt and uncle for taking care of her, but nothing could ever replace the love of her parents.
Two long years had gone by, and she missed them terribly. Were they here now, they could tell her that everything was going to be fine. For as far back as she could remember, each year, just before the rainy season, one of the children of the village would disappear. A tight knot in her chest warned her that it was about to happen again. This time, though, she feared that something terrible would happen to her.
Maybe I’m just paranoid.
It always happened the same way. For a few days everyone would talk in fearful hushed tones. Then one morning, one of her friends would vanish.
Last year, when her best friend Moo had disappeared, she had asked her aunt where her friend had gone. At first, her aunt pretended that she hadn’t heard the question. When Katya pressed the question again, her aunt had replied, “She will not be returning from where she has gone and you must never speak of her again.”
“But she is my best friend!” Pressed Katya.
“Promise me you shall never speak of her again or I shall punish you severely,” her aunt said with dangerous eyes.
“I promise, Auntie.” She knew that arguing with her aunt when she was like this would lead to a very severe beating that she would feel for days. This promise, though, turned out to be an easy one to keep, as no one else dared to talk about what had happened.
One time she had heard one of her friends ask an adult about the missing children and she was told that the child had gone to attend school with a relative in the big city. Aside from that one time, the adults would never speak the name of the child again. It was almost as if the child had never existed.
Even though Moo disappeared a year ago, Katya remembered it as if it was yesterday. She had been smart, funny and always knew how to get Katya to laugh. She appreciated having a friend who kept her from always being so serious. Best of all, they shared many things in common, including the fact that they were both orphans. Her heart ached for her.
Now, here it was hot season again, and as usual, the adults were again acting mysteriously. This time, though, it drove a sword of terror deep inside her chest.
Katya stood knee deep in the dangerous Salween River. If she took a few more steps forward, the torrent would probably sweep her away and smash her against the rocks. The river was both the source of livelihood and of instant death. She gathered her net up and tossed it as far as she could into the churning river.
She didn’t want to be suspicious of her friends and relatives but she knew something terrible was stirring. She selfishly hoped that one of the bullying boys would be chosen instead, but deep down she knew that she would be next.
Next what, though? Will they sell me or kill me or could it possibly be something wonderful?
Katya dug her toes into the squishy mud and pulled the net in.
She bunched it up and tossed it back in a wide beautiful spiral. Her people had a method for catching fish that wasn’t employed the same way anywhere else in the world, because of all the hidden boulders under the surface that could snag the net.
What if she was chosen to go and be reunited with her best friend Moo? What if they could study together in the city?
All the “what-if’s” stirred crazily in her mind. One thing she knew for sure was that she needed to pretend that she was unaware of what was going on, if she wanted to discover the secret.
As she slowly pulled on the rope, it felt, for a moment, like it was caught on one of the many submerged rocks. Then she felt a tug. She had a catch. When she pulled it in, she was excited to see that the net held about a weeks worth of food for her family. She scooped it up in a large net that could only hold half of the fish. A huge Pla Muk catfish struggled to escape the net. She yanked it out of the water, bonked it on the head with a river rock, slung it over her shoulder and plodded up the hill to her home. It weighed as much as a young pig.
Will I even get the chance to eat this before this unknown event happens?
When she reached her aunt and uncle’s thatched shack, she wiped her feet on some bamboo and climbed up the bamboo ladder. At the top of the stairs, she plopped the fish, still in its net, into a cistern. She lowered her head, entered the kitchen side of her house, and when her eyes adjusted to the dim light, saw her aunt and uncle sitting stern-faced and backs rigid on a mat on the floor of the kitchen. Clean tear streaks made channels down her Auntie’s dirt-caked face. In front of them were several bowls filled with Katya’s favorite meals. There was a steaming bowl of batwings, mushrooms and greens. Another bowl contained several heads of snakefish, and, of course, yummy bamboo shoots. She salivated as she saw that there would even be desert. Hmm, honeyed mountain-rat jerky.
Why were they having such a special feast tonight?
She tried to control her involuntary shaking with a deep breath and a smile.
“Thank you, Auntie,” she said as calmly as she could. She wondered what was really going on.
Why do they look so upset? Is that something about to happen now?
Her auntie’s voice cracked, “You are a hard worker and a very good girl. Your uncle and I want you to know how much we appreciate you.”
“Thank you. This looks delicious.” She hugged herself to control the shivering. Then she sat down facing them.
Her uncle silently handed her his large red shoulder bag full of supplies. A machete handle jutted out of the bag.
“You must leave here forever,” Her aunt said and wiped more tears away.
“Auntie?” She blinked hard and shook her head.
So this is what happened to the others. They were kicked out.
“Our canoe is a kilometer south of here, near where we gather the mushrooms.” She knew the spot clearly.
Why do I have to leave?
“In the thicket?”
Is this really happening?
“Yes.” Her auntie’s lips were trembling as she croaked the word out.
“Eat this meal and then run away.” Her uncle said. “You are smart and work hard. Go make a good life in the city. Your time here is over.”
“Uncle?” Her eyes pleaded with his eyes. Tears of pain splashed her salty lips.
“You are in danger here. If you are home when we return, then you will die.” They both stood up.
“But…” She couldn’t think of what to say because her mind swam with too many questions.
“The Spirit Doctor has made his decision,” Her uncle said.
What does he have to do with it?
Katya stepped forward and hugged them both at the same time. Her chest hurt and she started to weep. They held her close until she had regained some composure.
“You must live. You must leave. You must be strong,” Her uncle said and then grabbed his wife’s hand and continued, “It is time.” He pulled his wife gently out the kitchen door.
Leave or die!
She watched as her uncle put his arm around her aunt. Katya had never seen them touch each other in public. This simple romantic gesture jarred her just as much as anything else she had encountered this evening.
But this is my home. Not anymore. Leave or die!
The gourmet meal now seemed so unappetizing. She took a banana leaf and poured the jerky into it. She wrapped it tight with a piece of twine. She shoved it into the side bag.
She went to her bed, lifted the thin mat and grabbed her most prized possession. She held a wallet sized photo of her and Moo hugging and smiling at each other. Two years ago, on a supply trip to the town of Mae Sarieng, she had splurged to have their picture taken in the photo booth, but it had been worth it. She kissed the photo and shoved it into the heavy tribal bag. She grabbed a change of clothes and crammed them in. The bag was now completely full.
Maybe now I will find Moo and live with her.
Katya knew she should run for her life but she also wanted to know why she had to leave. The Spirit Doctor’s house was at the edge of the tree line and she was sure that she could get there without being seen. She walked out of the kitchen and straightened her back. The sky glowed red and orange as twilight set-in. She climbed down the ladder and looked back at her home and said a silent goodbye. Urgency whispered at her, but it was hard to get her legs moving. A light breeze sprung up causing the bamboo kitchen door to bang shut and bounce open again.
Leave or die!
She took a deep breath, hardened her eyes and marched to the tree line. She began jogging down the buffalo trail. She easily leapt over the obstacles in her back yard. When she could faintly see the Spirit Doctor’s shack through the thick vegetation she slowed down. She strode stealthily down the path towards the rice paddy. Soft murmurings of many voices could be heard. Most, if not all, of the adults of the village were gathered in front of the Spirit Doctor’s hut.
She couldn’t see any way of getting close enough without being seen. Any sprint or crawl across the rice paddy for closer cover would be noticed immediately. To her left she noticed a large pine tree. She wondered if climbing it might help her to hear what was being said.
It was simple to swing up onto the lowest branch. Climbing this tree was not much different than climbing a ladder as the branches were pretty close to each other. When she reached two thirds of the way up, she paused as the tree slowly swayed. She had guessed correctly. The voices below were now clearer and she could make out a few snippets of conversation.
A gentle breeze soothed her and it felt wonderful. But she didn’t want to feel wonderful. The breeze caused the tree to sway and the wonderful feeling quickly changed to nausea. She held on tight.
Below she heard a twig snap and caught her breath. A hunting dog strolled out of the forest. It was owned by a neighbor who lived two houses down. It paused and looked at her and then continued trotting over to the rice field. She was glad it knew her well and didn’t bark at her.
The branch that she sat on began to creak. She quickly shifted her weight over to a larger branch and grabbed at the tree trunk. Just in time. The dog’s owner sauntered along the trail following his dog. Fortunately, he hadn’t heard the creak and the trunk mostly shielded her from view.
The packed dirt area in front of the Spirit Doctors house was crowded. The men sat on the right side and the women on the left. She could see the chief of the village wearing a white button down shirt and black pants. He was the only one wearing city clothes. Both the women and the men wore their traditional red shirts with white tassels. She couldn’t see a single white dress, so she knew that no unmarried girls were down there. She looked down at her own white dress. It wasn’t so white anymore because of her chores. She spotted a few older boys, but none of the boys her age were there.
There was still no sign yet of the Spirit Doctor. A few people sat crossed legged and a couple of people sat on firewood logs. Most squatted patiently with arms around their knees which they pulled towards their chests.
About the time the neighbor with the dog reached the group and squatted next to the other men, the Spirit Doctor came out of his house.
Interesting, he doesn’t usually wear the hat made of python skin.
He held in his hand an ancient carved staff. She guessed that the engravings on it had symbolic meaning. He stretched his back erect and held his arms out. The staff held high in one hand.
“I have consulted with the spirits and they have given me their message.” He paused and slowly scrutinized the audience. No one met his eyes. Many villagers leaned forward, lifting their heels off the ground.
“Tonight a hero shall be chosen to receive the highest honor. For our village to continue to receive such great blessing and protection we must obey our lord’s commands. As you know, our lord is just and demands only one sacrifice each year. We shall again choose the least of us to receive the highest reward. We shall offer one of our precious children to our lord and master. When the Naga eats the child, her karma shall change from the lowest to the highest.”
Did he just say that a dragon would come and eat a child?
Bile began to rise in her throat. The Spirit Doctor continued, “We have the promise that the child’s soul shall reincarnate to a life of wealth and luck. Alternatively, some girls have special spiritual abilities and can become a Naga Queen. This child will become a direct conduit of communication with the spirit lords. Either way, in life or death, there shall be great benefit for everyone. This year’s recipient of this highest honor shall be the orphan Katya.”
Katya’s body went rigid. She stopped breathing and it felt as though her heart had stopped too.
They were planning to kill her. They were going to sacrifice her alive to a terrible dragon. Her best friend had not been sent away to live somewhere else. A dragon had eaten her.
Her body started to shake as tears streaked down her face. She hugged the tree tightly, as if it were a person offering comfort.
She blanked her mind from the painful images, took deep breaths and slowly recovered from her violent shaking. Her mind attempted to resume mourning for her friend when she shut the image out of her mind again.
Leave or die. If I don’t get ahold of myself then I will die too. I must escape. I can mourn for my friends later.
She took another deep breath, wiped her tear-drenched eyes with her bark-covered hands and then tried to look over at the crowd. They had moved. She could see a procession of flashlights and torches slowly winding up the trail towards her house. They were now nearly halfway there.
Limb by limb, she acrobatically swung down, till she reached the forest floor. The most direct path to the canoe was north and she started in that direction. Her flip-flops started loudly smacking her heels. She stopped, removed them and stored them in her pack. Her feet were already leathered from years of walking barefoot, so she resumed running at full-speed.
The breeze from running made her tears drizzle back into her ears. She knew every log, dip and tree so well that she might have been able to run this way blindfolded. Every time her mind tried to pull up the face of people she had lost, her mind blockaded the image. She pushed aside all but her external senses as she focused on self-preservation.
Whenever she stepped on a stick or sharp rock that caused any pain, it immediately increased her sense of exhilaration. She must make it to the canoe quickly, lest she be discovered. When she reached the thicket, her face was wet with sweat and tears. Her feet throbbed but didn’t hurt.
It took only moments to slide the canoe into the churning dangerous river. The cool water soothed her feet. Her hands touched the soft felt of a blanket inside the canoe. Here was another gift from her aunt and uncle. She wanted to weep over losing them, over the loss of her parents, over the loss of her friends. She hopped into the canoe, grabbed the pole and pushed it into the mud to launch farther from the bank.
She had practiced steering the canoe many times before on her fishing trips with her kind uncle. She knew most novices would probably just spin around in circles and eventually slam into a rock or get sucked into one of the many whirlpools. The river was already treacherous during the day but even more so at night. But her uncle had trained her well and her eyesight in the moonlight was nearly as precise as it was in the daytime.
She wrapped the blanket around herself and tried to organize her thoughts as the canoe carried her downstream. Only now could she allow herself to bring to mind the faces of several missing boys and girls. Katya felt guilty she couldn’t remember more.
Were they all eaten, or have others escaped?
She shoved the pole into the muddy river floor and navigated easily away from any of the dangerous whirlpools or hidden boulders that she came upon. The soft breeze and trickling sound of the river helped to calm her nerves. Soon, she was halfway to the major trading village of Sop Muay. From there she would try make her way to a big city.
Her uncle had once told her about people from other countries whose skin looked like that of someone already dead. These white foreigners could usually be trusted to help in a jam. Her aunt and uncle had discussed for hours whether their kindness was due to an attempt to appease their god, or if they just wanted to earn more merit.
Will I ever see my aunt or uncle again? What about my friends back in the village? Oh my, what about them? Are they now in danger of being sacrificed? Was I selfish to run away?
She eased the canoe over to the shore, slid it between some bushes, and finally allowed herself to weep. She fell to the hard sand and curled up in a fetal position, still wrapped in the blanket. She opened her eyes wide and knew who was next on the list to be sacrificed. She was sure that the gentle Nam Fon would be the next victim. She had to find someone to help her soon or her friend would die.
Wave after wave of sobs wracked her body. An hour later, sleep mercifully washed over her.
I’m so bored!
Chaz Stevens skid his bicycle into the driveway spraying gravel into a nearby tree before he laid his bicycle on its side. He clapped his hands for his beautiful Golden Retriever, Saint, who bounded up to him and started licking his face. Chaz gently pushed the dog down, stood up, and then launched into a sprint towards the bamboo shed. He tossed his school bag onto a cement chair under the veranda as he passed by.
He scooped up some duck feed, poured it into the dispenser, and then gently lowered it into the pen as the ducks quacked with hunger. Next he grabbed his machete from the bench and, in less than a minute after returning home from school, prepared to escape and be alone with his thoughts.
Last day of seventh grade. Yippee! Thank God it was only a half-day. I couldn’t have endured one more minute at my cramped desk.
The walk from his house to the waterfall took less than fifteen minutes along a winding dirt road. He and Saint passed two scenic villages, but he didn’t see anyone at home.
He missed America and all the adventures he could have there, like going to malls and amusement parks. On the other hand, he was willing to accept the inconveniences that went along with being a missionary kid. He was proud of all the sacrifices his family endured so they could improve the lives of the people around here.
Chaz swiped his hand quickly through his sun bleached blond crew cut, which was the style all the other boys in Thailand sported. His mom Carolyn would say that she didn’t think the Thai barbers knew how to give “her men” any other kind of hairdo. She was always trying to run her fingers through his hair. At least she was very patient with his mischief.
Chaz didn’t give any thought to his hair other than to make sure his hair was short enough that the local boys wouldn’t think he was a girl. A couple of years ago he had grown his hair longer, which didn’t bother him until a village chief’s son offered two buffalo and five pigs for his hand in marriage. From then on, his parents Nick and Carolyn had allowed Chaz to get whatever kind of short haircut he wanted; except for going completely bald which would have been his no-hassle preference.
Without the constraints of school weighing on him, Chaz felt like a bird set free. He turned left down a dirt trail that, he was sure, few others even knew existed. The vines and branches that covered the entrance to the buffalo trail indicated that rainy season had arrived. He swung his machete in crazed arcs, yet still successfully cleared the path.
He wondered if this life skill would ever come in handy. It didn’t matter. Clearing the way for others provided a sense of accomplishment. By now, he could hear the high-pitched gurgling of the water.
Chaz edged his way through the thick ferns alongside the trees covered in jade colored moss, which mostly faced the mountain. He came upon a clearing of gently swaying bright green grasses. The tangled undergrowth parted easily and he stepped into the penetrating light. Should he shield his eyes from the sunlight or swat the mosquitoes swarming around him? Next time he’d remember the repellant.
He skirted a clump of bamboo reaching nearly as high as the waterfall. The waterfall, which cascaded down a five-meter drop, was just barely visible. As he came around the bend, he could clearly see streams of water plummeting over the cliff like a fine, silk curtain. A full-bodied rainbow glistened across it as the spray evaporated in the bright sunlight.
A small cavern behind the raging torrent offered a perfect hideaway where he could conceal his thoughts, as well as his crystal collection. Staring through the blurry downpour made him feel extra close to God. Today, though, he decided to do something a little more challenging.
Chaz picked up a perfectly rounded flat stone out of the cool clear stream and for a moment imagined himself as David preparing for a battle with Goliath. He winked at his blue-eyed reflection, which, of course, winked back.
He took a deep breath and tried to recover from the stress of school. He skipped the rock across the lagoon and through the shimmering curtain of water. Only eight skips this time. His record over at the city’s reservoir was around fifteen or twenty but he didn’t know how to measure the last few micro-skips.
The lagoon here was so small that he could skip a rock on the water and send it ripping into the elephant ear plants on the other side. He could focus on improving his quality over quantity. He skipped another rock across. It bounced high and ricocheted off of a tree and plopped back into the water.
Does that count as one skip or two?
School wasn’t really that bad most of the year, but when the Hot Season arrived, it was torture sitting in the sweltering classroom. The fan kept his sweat from pouring over his books but it made his eyes blink more, which made it even harder to stay awake.
He squinted up at the waterfall.
I think I’ll climb to the top today.
Saint darted after a squirrel. To the right of the falls, water trickled down thick green moss and into cracks that sprouted several species of fern. He stepped up onto slick stones and carefully walked over to where the moss was thicker and less slippery. He kicked off his flip-flops and hoisted himself up the slippery sheer face and clung to a crevice.
I wish I had a rope, harness, ascenders, and the other climbing gear like a professional. Then I could climb a really high mountain. Someday I’ll learn how to do every fun sport this world has to offer.
He reached out and put all of his weight on his right arm as he raised himself onto a giant boulder. His arm quivered with the strain. He knew he was supposed to make his legs do more of the work than his arms, but he couldn’t help it.
I need more practice.
He also knew deep down that he should have a friend along if he was going to climb rocks. Maybe there was a difference between being a sissy and being cautious.
I wonder what it would be like if I had a brother to take on adventures.
The lower part of the falls was easy to climb up because there were lots of cracks to hold onto. The top was a lot harder to climb, but he’d done it before, and he knew which route to take.
Be Careful! Look closely where you are going! Shut-up mind or you are going to make me doubt myself and then I’ll really get hurt. I wonder what the difference is between my mind making things up and God talking to me? I’ve got to stop thinking about what can go wrong and just focus on climbing up this cliff. Still, it would be nice to hear from God, like about if I can have a girlfriend and what her name might be. I’ll bet if I knew how to hear God’s voice then my life would get a lot better.
His foot slipped and he froze. He slowly lifted it to a firm crack and resumed climbing.
I have got to focus. If I fall here, I’ll die.
Halfway up, his left hand groped for a handhold when he heard a rustling and he yanked his hand back. His heart skipped a beat as he saw that he had nearly put his fingers into the waiting mouth of a cowering bundle of fur and teeth. It was nestled safely in a crevice that could have only been seen from above. He stepped back to his last foothold and took a calming breath. His left foot was slipping and his right hand was loosing its grip.
“Ooooh, help me God!” He clenched his teeth and his hands.
He concentrated his energy on finding a firm footing so that he could look at the fluff-ball more closely. His left hand got a firm grip and both feet found something firm to put his weight on. He slowly raised his eyes over the outcropping edge and peeked at the animal.
It’s a cute baby flying fox!
It was covered in varying shades of soft brown fur. He knew he could probably capture it safely and bring it home.
Never mind, mom doesn’t think I take good enough care of our ducks as it is.
He climbed to the right of the baby fluff-ball and chose a different direction that wouldn’t disturb it.
The last part of the climb was tricky but he already knew where the holes and gripping points were. He stretched his right leg out until he felt like he was doing the splits. He missed the outcropping and his leg pendulumed back into his other stabilizing leg. He swung his leg out harder this time and his ankle planted itself firmly on the ledge. He arched his body right until he found a nice grip for his hands. He pulled upwards swinging his left leg over to join his right leg.
He clutched firmly to a brown rock in his left fingers. Without warning, it snapped in two, dropping, bouncing and splashing into the shallow water below. His hand swung down sharply to his side but his feet were fully supported. He ignored the bleeding in his left palm and caught his breath as his pulse throbbed in his ears.
He slid his left hand under his right hand and reached out for a thick root with his right hand. He pulled himself upwards until his left hand could join in. Soon he was vertical again, against the rock face, puffing from exhaustion.
That was close. I’m glad I’m near the top.
He grabbed the sturdy roots of a tree stump and dragged himself to the top of the falls. Saint had already arrived via the easy route and licked his face as if it were a Popsicle. The wonderful mutt’s dopey grin belied his intelligence.
“Go away. No, not now. Stop.” He pushed Saint away as he swung his legs up over the crest. He leaned forward resting his hands on the stump while he caught his breath.
He felt his aching muscles as he stretched upright with arms in the air. He examined the gash in his left hand. It didn’t look too bad but he should at least wash it.
He bent over a small pool at the top of the falls and washed the grime off his hands. The cool water soothed and numbed his throbbing left hand. He took his hands out of the water and could see that blood was barely trickling from the wound.
He thought it amazing that the air was at least ten degrees cooler up here than at his home which was only a short distance away.
A loud, “ewh oough ah ahh aahhh ah” echoed through the trees. He knew it was only a large brown and black crow that made this sound but each time he heard it he couldn’t help but look around for monkeys in the trees.
Long ago, monkeys had filled these forests, but they had all been eaten by now. Sometimes he would tease newcomers by confirming their suspicions that the monkey-like noise was indeed made by gibbons. He wasn’t usually skillful at deadpan jokes and would quickly relent with the truth about the crow-like-birds.
Now that he was higher than the trees, he could see a panoramic view of the city of ChiangMai, Thailand. He couldn’t think of any place else on this earth that was as wonderful as right here.
Thank God my parents brought me here.
A haze covered the far end of the city, but the sun shone brightly on the airport, the ancient walled city, the university, the malls, and the nearby residential areas. He looked up at the forested mountain above. Because the mountains in Thailand were viewed as sacred, they remained beautifully untouched and undeveloped.
The cliff below him didn’t scare him at all. He leaned forward and looked down at the steep drop. He wondered what all the fuss was about “fear.” His mom believed he lacked a “fear gene.” She would usually say this after he tried to explain his adventures to her.
Deep down, he always sensed that he would be all right. Part of this was the silly youthful notion that nothing could ever go wrong, and part of it was a deep trust that God would send angels to keep him secure. He tossed a rock over the edge and watched it splash in the lagoon below. He knew he had been extremely fortunate a few minutes ago.
Maybe ropes aren’t such a bad idea after all. On the other hand, what is life without a little adventure? Maybe I should see if I’m able to climb back down.
Sometimes he couldn’t resist testing the diligence of his guardian angels.
He looked up the hill and wondered what he might find if he climbed to the top.
I wonder if I have enough time to hike up… Oh no! I forgot! It’s kids club today. I promised I’d set up the puppet stage. Man, I should have brought my bike.
He tried to whistle for Saint to come, but all his lips could manage was a slight hissing sound. He clapped his hands and Saint came instantly.
Note to self: Learn how to whistle. Bring rope.
Saint led the way down a slippery trail to the bottom of the waterfall. He slipped his flip-flops back on then raced down the trail trying to keep up with Saint who pranced happily in the lead towards the road.
It was the month of May, and the seasons were transitioning from the hot season to the rainy season. Chaz preferred to measure seasons based on what fruits were currently available, which meant that right now it was changing from mango season into lynchee season. Light mango rains had caused bright green grass to sprout and he knew that when the rainy season arrived this area could flood up to his knees.
He passed an oxcart loaded high with pineapples. He waved at the driver who beamed a toothless smile and waved vigorously back. He passed a Buddhist temple where two very large, intricately carved Naga dragons guarded the entryway.
Miss Helen was his awesome science teacher and she motivated him to do his best. She was an expert in cryptozoology. Looking for animals previously thought to be extinct sounded like the best job in the whole world. She had explained that the Naga were guardians that lived under the earth and that their yawns caused earthquakes. He couldn’t understand the disinterest of his classmates. Their yawns were nearly big enough to compete with the Naga dragons.
It only took a few minutes to run back, but because of the high humidity, his shirt was quickly drenched in sweat. He paused only long enough to grab a few lynchee from a tree that grew wild on the side of the path. He took a moment to savor the taste, which seemed a lot like a juicy sweet tart. He slowed his pace to a jog when he got to the paved road and nibbled on the fruit.
Saint was busy digging for some little creature in the bushes. Chaz clapped and Saint came to trot at his side.
Once the lynchee branch was picked clean of fruit he tossed it into the overgrown lot across the street from his house. Saint darted over to examine the branch but quickly lost interest so he headed into their yard because there were lots of visitors to sniff. But first, he trotted over to visit with Chaz’s younger sister Sarah. Chaz was surprised to see that nearly everyone from the neighborhood was already in his front yard.
Now this looks fun!
was created by Sean Sanborn
License: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copyright .
Description: Join Chaz, a missionary kid, on a journey into a remote jungle in SE Asia. Be swept away by life endangering events that will either doom or save a group of desperate villagers. Encounter mortal-threat, mystery and spiritual warfare, as he learns to hear the Voice of God and discover his spiritual giftings. A high stakes battleground determines the fate of many souls.