Copyright ©2012 by E L Ogos
Publisher is E L Ogos Publishing Company
Illustrations by Helen H. Wu
All rights reserved. No portion of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means - electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording, scanning, or other - except for brief quotations in critical reviews or articles, without the prior written permission of the author.
CHAPTER 1 Cacophony Desert
CHAPTER 2 Never Looked Back
CHAPTER 3 Wake Up Call
CHAPTER 4 The Tiny Chapel
CHAPTER 5 Never Let Go
CHAPTER 6 It’s a Miracle
CHAPTER 7 All Things Work
Together for Good
CHAPTER 8 Who Knows
CHAPTER 9 Cacophony Forest
CHAPTER 10 A Natural Concert
CHAPTER 11 Animals and Angels
CHAPTER 12 The Bees’ Secret
CHAPTER 13 Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing
CHAPTER 14 The Lost Lamb
CHAPTER 15 The Bridge
CHAPTER 16 The Wolf-Man
CHAPTER 17 Canine Sentinels
CHAPTER 18 Time to Go
CHAPTER 19 Can You Hear It
CHAPTER 20 Think No Evil
CHAPTER 21 Be Quiet
End Notes (Bible References)
Cacophony Land is directly below Symphony Land. All who wish to enter Symphony Land must first travel through Cacophony. Being a vast and troubled land, as wide as it is long, and full of surprises, many people have tried to go around it to get to Symphony Land. But, this is not possible, since the only entrance into Symphony Land is at the upper end of Cacophony. It is said, however, that Symphony Land is exceedingly beautiful and filled with happy children who live and play together.
The heat of the dark desert night wore heavy, like a bear fur robe that you just couldn’t get off. It blanketed everything, making it hard to breathe and almost impossible to sleep. All was dead-still quiet, as if sound, itself, was muted in the hot air.
“I just wanted to make sure I could still hear you. It’s been so quiet, I thought my ears were plugged.”
“They’re not plugged; it’s just too hot for anything to move.”
“Except the moon, look over there,” replied Anna.
To the east, a full moon was peaking up over a rugged mountain ridge, illuminating it like a tree saw blade had been stretched across the sky. The children were glad to see something was still active out there, as the moonbeams lit up their camp. When fully exposed, the moon seemed to be lodged between two of the mountain peaks.
“It looks like a giant eagle’s egg in a nest, doesn’t it, Jesse?”
“Who cares? We’ve been lost in this stupid desert for like a week, Mom and Dad can’t find us – something might have even gone wrong when they were mapping that big canyon – and all you can talk about is how the moon looks like an eagle’s egg?”
Jesse felt bad when he looked over at Anna and saw the moon in a teardrop, as it slowly slid down Anna’s face. But all he could say was, “Oh, stop being such a baby.”
Anna began to really cry now and said, “Jesse, you can be mean sometimes. I miss Mom and Dad so much. I’m really scared. Why didn’t we listen to them and not wander off until they got back? I’m afraid we’re going to die out here.”
“Oh, please stop Anna, I’m sorry. We’re not going to die. Mom and Dad are going to find us. They’ll never stop looking. We’ll be alright, really we will.”
“But Jesse you’re right; we don’t even know if they ever made it back out of that canyon.
They weren’t there when we finally found our meeting spot again. Wouldn’t they have waited for us there, if they were okay?”
Jesse reached over and put his hand on top of Anna’s. “Anna, forget what I said, I was just being stupid. You know Mom and Dad are real smart, and we didn’t find our
way back to that spot until the next day, remember? If you were them, wouldn’t you have left to look for us after a whole day and night past?”
Anna slowly stopped crying, and eventually they slumped back onto their blankets and slept.
They were abruptly awakened, however, by a clap of thunder that was so loud it shook the boulders around them. Both jumped into a sitting position and looked up. The moon could no longer be seen, hidden by thick black clouds that exposed themselves when the lightening crackled through the sky. One bolt seemed to rip a hole, and the rain poured down upon them like an ocean wave. The children had nowhere to hide, except in each other’s arms.
Before long they heard a deep rumbling sound that seemed to be growing louder and
louder. Not realizing they were sleeping in a wash bed, they didn’t know what it meant. In a flash, the flood of ground water rushed down upon them from the steep hills, striking them in the back and sweeping them, and all their supplies, downstream. They twisted and flipped and spun away from each other in the torrential fury.
Both struggled to raise their heads above the cold water to catch breaths of the hot air, before being swirled to the bottom again. In a fight for their lives, the cold-water relief from the heat meant nothing. As they traveled farther downstream, they tried to grab at things, anything, to stop their motion, to hold on; but the rushing water was too powerful, breaking their grasps, and pulling them downstream again and again.
After what seemed like an endless race to the finish, Jesse hit something hard. His right
cheek, arms and legs spread out across it. The water pounded against his back, splitting left and right over his spine and pressing him hard against the object. He realized it was a boulder in the middle of the creek. After a frantic effort, he was able to scratch and claw his way to the top, finally raising his body above the water line.
Atop the boulder, he gasped for air. As he was catching his breath, dreadful thoughts of Anna pinned somewhere under the water raced through his mind. After each breath he inhaled, he exhaled screaming, “Annnaaa.” The piercing rain had successfully dissolved the heavy heat, and Jesse could feel the wind was freely moving again, across his wet skin. “Annnaaa, Annnaaa,” but he heard no response. He felt marooned and helpless in a sea of danger, unable to reach out and help his little sister when she needed him most.
Quite suddenly, the rain stopped as fast as it had started, the moon broke through the clouds above, and the violently rushing water quickly slowed to a gentle trickle, as if it all had been nothing but a bad dream. Jesse couldn’t believe his eyes. Worried that something could flip the flood-switch on again, he carefully slid his body down the boulder, testing the depth of the remaining water in the creek. It was only knee-deep, so he darted to and up the bank, as if another wave was just around the corner.
Which way should I go to look for Anna, he thought. Being smaller and weaker than me, she was probably swept further downstream.
Jesse began running in the direction of the water flow, yelling Anna’s name repeatedly. The full moon helped by reflecting beams off the water and
illuminating the creek banks better than any torch could.
As Jesse wrapped around an arching bend in the creek, much further downstream, his eye noticed a clump of tree branches hanging over the water on the opposite bank. As he got closer he could see Anna’s body was twisted around the branches. At first, he thought it was just her clothes, since there was no movement, but as he got closer, he saw her hair swaying in the breeze.
Without a care about more flood bursts, he ran into the water, crossed to the other bank, and climbed out onto the horizontally leaning tree limb.
“Anna, are you okay? Anna?”
“Jesse? Is that you?”
“Yes, it’s me. I’m here; you’re going to be alright.”
“I’m afraid to open my eyes or move…I might fall back into the water.”
“Anna, it’s okay. Open your eyes; look, the rain and water have stopped now.”
Anna slowly cracked her eyes. Her face was pointing down toward the creek and her hands, arms and legs were wrapped so tight around one of the sturdier branches that her fingers looked red and swollen, like hot coals.
“Relax Anna, you see, it’s okay now, you’re safe.”
“Isn’t that water down there?”
“Yes, Anna, but it’s only knee-deep and moving slowly.”
“How can that be? Am I dreaming?”
“No; give me your hand. You want to be out here if it all starts again?”
Anna slowly released her fingers and started to shimmy her way toward Jesse. Soon he was able to grab her arm and help her back to the safety of the ground along the bank. They immediately hugged each other like never before, and then dropped to the ground in exhaustion.
Anna fell asleep just as soon as her little head touched the ground, but Jesse knew they should get further away from the wash, in case it started raining again. He let Anna have a few more minutes of rest before he could bring himself to wake her.
“Anna, wake up. We need to get further away from the wash, it might start raining again. Let’s go up a bit higher. I think there’s a little cave there, see? It might be deep enough to cover us, like the others we’ve found.”
“Okay, but I just want to sleep, Jesse.”
“Come on, it’s right here.”
They scrambled up the hill to the cave, which was about 4 1/2 feet deep, 4 feet wide and 4 1/2 feet high — a perfect-sized alcove in the rocks where they could stand up straight and stretch out their little bodies on the ground, fully protected from the elements. Jesse kicked out a few stray rocks on the cave floor, took off Anna’s and his shoes, and they both lay down and slept.
For the moment, the children were safely resting their weary bodies in one of the world’s most extreme environments, called Cacophony Desert. Everything about Cacophony Desert was extreme. The monsoon storm had generated extreme amounts of thunder and lightening, dropping an extremely large amount of water, in an extremely short period of time, resulting in a flash flood that washed the children away in an extremely cruel manner. On the other hand, all the rain succeeded in cooling the rocks, ground and air, allowing the children to sleep deeply for the rest of the night, in an extremely kind manner.
In deed, the children took full advantage of the desert’s rare act of kindness and slept every last second, until the sun rose, once again baking the rocks surrounding their little den, and making it too hot to sleep. As if there is a maximum scientific temperature
beyond which sleep becomes impossible, they both awoke at exactly the same time.
“Was I just dreaming, or did we get washed away in a flood last night?” Anna asked Jesse.
“I had the same dream.”
“You did? I dreamt I was stuck on a tree above some wild river, and you came and saved me.”
“I don’t think I saved you, I just found you stuck out there and told you the river had stopped.”
Anna thought for a while and then said, “How can we both have had the same dream?”
At that point, they shot up to sitting positions, locked wide-eyes, and said, “We weren’t dreaming!” They held their stares in silence, as images of the previous night flashed through their minds, just as the flood
had sped through their camp.
Anna snapped out of it first and looking around the little cave said, “Oh no, we’ve lost all our supplies, our bags, and the rest of our food and water. We have nothing left.” Jesse followed her eyes looking around, as if to double-check her conclusion, but he already knew she was right.
Perhaps trying to comfort the blow to his sister he said, “Yeah, but we were just about out of everything, anyway.”
“But now there’s nothing, Jesse, and I’m already hungry and thirsty!”
“Okay, calm down. Yelling at me isn’t going to help us.”
“Well, why didn’t you look for Mom and Dad harder, Jesse, why didn’t you find them?”
Anna was frightened and at a point of tears again.
“Me? It’s all my fault?”
“YES. Every time I wanted to go out of our cave and search for them, you complained like a baby, ‘It’s too hot now and we’ll get too thirsty,’ you’d say.”
Jesse snarled back, “What? Every time we went out, you whined the whole time that the sun was hurting your eyes, or you were too tired, or you were going to faint, and we’d have to give up.”
Anna had no more to say and began to cry. Then Jesse felt bad again and dropped his head, trying to hold back his own tears. Both realized they were fighting with each other out of fear that they would never see their parents again or be found.
After Anna’s tears drained, Jesse whispered, “If Mom and Dad were here, what do you think they’d say?”
Anna thought about that and replied,
“They’d say that even in this awful desert, God was with us.”
“Yeah, they’d say something just like that. I was thinking they’d also tell us to pray and listen for what we should do next.”
“That’s right, too, Jesse, so let’s try it?”
“Okay, no more crying now; let’s sit here quietly, remembering God must be with us, and listen for how we can find Mom and Dad.”
They sat up straight, crossed their legs, lowered their heads, closed their eyes and were quiet. After a minute or so of complete silence, they felt a gentle breeze enter their little den and swirl around. It seemed to be whispering softly as it moved, like it was happy to have found them, and announcing they were not alone.
Suddenly, Jesse leapt to his feet shouting, "I got it; I got it!"
"Don't you remember? Mom told us once that if we ever got separated, we could find her and Dad in a place called Symphony Land."
"Oh, yeah; how did you remember that?"
"I don’t know, it just popped into my head.”
“Maybe it was an angel; aren’t they supposed to bring us good ideas from God?” asked Anna.
“I think so,” feeling a bit proud he might have heard an angel.
“Well, we don’t have any food or water here, so I’m ready to go; but how do we get out of this desert?” Anna inquired.
“It only took us a day or so to hike in here; remember? And Mom and Dad told us we came in from the east, right? So, we just
have to hike into the rising sun, and we’ll be okay.”
Anna added, “Yes, and if we leave right away, we’ll probably find pools of water from all that rain last night, as we’re walking.”
“That’s right! I didn’t like that rain last night, but now I sure do! We better go, like now, before the sun drinks all our water!”
Their gratitude that the rainwater was now presenting them with a real opportunity to get out of that desert, before they perished, energized them to action. They simultaneously grabbed for their shoes, threw them on, and left the cave, with fresh hopes and renewed spirits. As they marched east their steps were filled with a determination and a great desire to find their parents. They never looked back even once, as they were leaving that barren land.