“IBM Family Days”

Sometimes there are moments when good memories suddenly surface within us for no apparent reason and cause us to smile within, as we pause to remember it. I had one such moment the other day that I felt warranted a quick blog entry, because honestly, I know we tend to lose memories the older we get and this is one I definitely don’t ever want to forget.

Many, many years ago, when I was in my grammar school years, my father worked at IBM. This was back in the 80’s, when IBM was the clear leader in the emerging world of computers. The company had so much money going for it back then, that each year, it held a community weekend for all of its employees called “IBM Family Days”. And you could attend it once with your family on either the Saturday or Sunday.

It was always in the summer and it always took place at the county fairgrounds that was not too far from my home. If you’ve ever been to a county fair, then you know how they’re filled with plenty of rides, food, and games to play. Well, IBM Family Days was no different, other than it was 100% paid for.

That’s right, every ride, all of the concession stands, and each carnival game was totally free!

So, when this memory surfaced abruptly, I immediately recollected a bunch of happy thoughts of spending each of my IBM Family Days eating hamburger after hamburger, hot dog after hot dog, fries after fries, ice cream after ice cream, and then riding rides in between all that gorging, sometimes almost causing me to throw up! And you know what? I had a blast doing it all!

Speaking of rides, my favorites at that event were either the Gravitron or the Alpine Bob Sled.

The Gravitron was where a person entered this enclosed spaceship and took a place against the wall, where bars separated each of its occupants. In the center was a DJ spinning tunes and playing music videos on a screen above them. The spaceship would then turn around in high speed revolutions, pinning each of its inhabitants against the wall. I’d constantly try from that point forward to reverse my position and go upside against all those G-Forces. It was pretty funny to watch, especially if I ever had to hawk some spit that came because it would consistently land on my own face.

The Alpine Bob Sled was where a person would walk up a bunch of silver steps into a mostly sheltered room, only exposed on one part of it to the outside. Within were a bunch of bobsled-looking cars that were all on spokes connected to the center of a circle. There were mirrors and pictures adorning the inside of this ride with a theme of ski slopes in Switzerland. A DJ sat in a enclosed glass booth playing music while the ride would go around and around. Each of those cars went up and down in spots in that circular pattern and would also rotate outward on the curves, almost feeling as if you might fly off into the air at those points. I can still hear the DJ playing Prince’s song, 1999, when I close my eyes and picture myself on this ride.

It’s amazing I have these memories at all anymore, especially with the clarity I do, given the number of drugs and alcohol that consumed me not too long after this period of my life. I can still clearly see myself walking through those fair grounds with my family and stopping at these frozen bins they had everywhere that were filled with all sorts of ice cream types of goodies where you could take as many as you wanted. The same was true for soda, except you would get a full cold can of whatever type of soft drink you wanted. The best part about this is that it was the one day my parents let my sister and I go crazy and eat and drink as much as we wanted. Trust me, with the massively controlling parents I had, this was most certainly a rare treat.

As for those carnival games, I generally never play them these days when I go to a county fair because the odds are so stacked against me to win. But, given they were completely free at IBM Family Days, I did play them a lot and would usually have a bag filled with stuffed animals and odd trinkets to return home with.

But overall, I must say that IBM Family Days was usually one of the rare days during the year when my family always seemed to be happy together. It was a time of bonding and bringing us closer, a time where my parents never drank or fought, and a time where I truly felt like I had a loving family to be with.

So, I’m very glad this memory surfaced as abruptly as it did the other day, because it reminded me that my family did have some good times together when I was a young kid. Thank you, God, for helping me to remember such a good event from my early years of life, as IBM Family Days was always such a blessing to experience…

Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson

Andy and The Zodiac Crystal – The Final Chapter

Today’s entry marks the final chapter of the Andy and The Zodiac Crystal book that I’ve been writing for over a year now. I want to thank each of you who have been reading along with me on this adventure about a 12-year old boy and a magical crystal that bestows him unique abilities. If you haven’t read any of my prior chapters, don’t worry, because as always, I’ve included a link to a PDF file that contains the entire story up to this point, including this final chapter as well. I plan on continuing my fictional writing soon, either with beginning a sequel to this book, or starting an entirely new one. But for now, I’m going to take a much-needed break from it for a short while. Nevertheless, I hope you truly enjoy the final chapter. Happy reading!

Click here to open the PDF file for for the entire book, including today’s chapter.

Andy and The Zodiac Crystal – Chapter 41

I tried to hold out as long as I could and in the process, totally lost track of time. Several months had passed already, that I knew, of which I felt nothing but utter despair and loneliness during it all. On some crazy level, I had actually begun to hope that Carl Dillard would somehow just show up and check on me, only if to remind me why I was continuing to endure this.

I looked terrible and know I smelled badly, but I did the best I could to take care of myself given the limited resources I had access to in the frozen world I had been living in. Unfortunately, my hair had continued to grow so I had to bi-weekly use a pair of scissors in the house to keep it short. And to wash my body, I utilized a number of bottled waters each time, although it didn’t exactly get me clean. I was grateful though that at least my face hadn’t started to grow any facial hair yet.

Nevertheless, I couldn’t take it anymore. I was sick and tired of eating the way I did and seeing my family every day sitting there in the car in front of the house, unable to move. It was beyond intolerable. At times, I often found myself sitting in there with them, crying, and wishing I could unfreeze even one of them somehow. All of my powers felt so useless and I really saw no option left other than to remain in this state forever until I grew old or give up the crystal to Carl and be over with it.

I regularly pondered the latter and frequently wondered what’s the worst that could happen if I did give it to him? How could one person take over the world with both of the crystals in their possession anyway? But I always came back to the thought of his family’s connection to Hitler and how the world had almost come to an end under his rule. And that thought alone kept me going one day to the next, continuing to suffer the insanity of it all.

I was ready to give up though. Even the thought of having a potential new Hitler wasn’t helping me to keep going on like this. As I walked outside, standing in front of my half-opened garage for the umpteenth time, I looked at my family and thought about our Thanksgiving trip, which felt so long ago now. Then I thought about the day I first picked up the crystal from that perch in the cave and suddenly I had a thought! And for some unknown reason, I hadn’t considered it at any point in the past few months.

“Maybe I could use the time travel ability and go back to the day I picked up that crystal and tell myself to leave it there?” I said aloud as if anyone was listening to me. “That way it would be safe from Dillard”.

I knew there might be risks, as I didn’t know what ramifications it might have on my slightly younger self or the present me either. What would my slightly younger self do when he sees me? What would happen to the present me, to my friendship with Chris, and all the things that had happened since that day I picked the crystal up?

I had a lot of questions like this, yet I was still willing to take the risk, because the thought of having to go through one more day like this was utterly agonizing. And at least it wouldn’t be me giving Dillard the crystal.

I made up my mind and decided to try. What’s the worst that could happen anyway? As I began to focus on the thought of me in that cave, which felt like eons ago now, I muttered the sign, expecting it not to work given how long I had remained up to this point in this frozen state.

“Aquarius.”

Quite unexpectedly, that dizziness feeling, along with the upset stomach kicked in, and my heart leapt with some hope. I closed my eyes while the process of sending me through time began and thought I felt something at one point touch my back. I decided to shrug it off as probably just my nerves.  When I finally reopened my eyes, there in front of me was the bright purple crystal glowing, sitting on its perch in that cave where time moved differently. And there I was, my slightly younger self, getting ready to pick it up.

“WAIT!” I shouted.

My slightly younger self abruptly turned around, totally startled. It’s then I noticed I had been transported right onto the spot where the number “72” was.

“Who-o a-a-re y-you?” my younger self stuttered, obviously not fully seeing it was himself due to the shadows that were casting across my face.

I then stepped into one of the many rays of light shimmering across the cave and was about to explain when suddenly I heard a voice come from behind me.

“Did you think you could escape me that easily?”

I knew that sinister-sounding voice all too well and couldn’t believe Carl Dillard had somehow managed to follow me, even through time and space to the very spot where I began this journey.

I watched as the slightly younger version of myself look beyond me and I could tell by his expression that he was extremely afraid.

“I’m not going to give the crystal up to you Carl, EVER!” I said turning around and seeing him loom directly in front of me now.

“What’s going on? Who are you two?” My younger self said, apparently shocked at the sight of himself and a total stranger in a cave that was seconds ago occupied by him alone.

“You know you made this so much easier for me Andy, by leading me straight to the crystal…” Carl said as he walked past me and observed all the markings in the cave.

“Oh the Council and their games! They do like a good puzzle, don’t they?” Carl said, carefully avoiding each of the markings on the floor as he walked around the cave.

My slightly younger self was starting to look an awful lot like a deer caught in headlights.

“Andy, remain calm. I’ll explain everything after I handle this.”

“Handle what? You…handle me? Fat chance. You don’t even know all your abilities yet or how to use multiple ones at the same time. But I do.” Carl said in a very cocky tone. He then muttered something as he walked towards the glowing purple crystal.

I instantly attempted to run towards it, hoping to grab it before he did, but found myself unable to move.

“Andy, grab the crystal, now!” I hollered.

“I can’t move!!! Would someone please tell me what’s going on?!” My slightly younger self screamed.

“Two Andy’s, both so weak and afraid. You really did make this so easy for me Andy. I bet you’re dying to know how I followed you back in time aren’t you?”

“HELP!!!!” My slightly younger self shouted frantically.

Carl was now standing directly in front of him, staring him down, savoring every moment of it.

“You really thought I had left you alone all that time didn’t you Andy?”

“WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT? I DON’T EVEN KNOW WHO YOU ARE!!!” said my younger self somewhat heatedly.

“I’m actually talking to the other pitiful you if you must know.” Dillard scoffed, as he moved my slightly younger self’s hands around into ridiculous looking positions.

“LEAVE HIM ALONE!!!” I said as Dillard continued to play mannequin on him.

“Aww, poor Andy. Poor, helpless Andy. You know, I was actually invisible the entire time at your house, watching your pathetic self, cry day after day. And I really enjoyed seeing you suffer like that! And when you finally figured out that there was only one way for you to get out of time being frozen, which I knew you would at some point, I followed you back in time by simply touching you once you activated the sign.”

“I have no idea what either of you are talking about! Please let me go and you can have the crystal. I don’t want it anymore!” My slightly younger self pleaded.

“Andy, why don’t tell him who you are?” Carl said as he walked around the purple crystal, while holding his own in his hand. He had yet to reach out and grab it, almost as if he was savoring every moment.

“Go screw yourself!” I shouted angrily.

A searing pain then quickly shot through my head like he had done to me several times before.

“Alright! Alright! I’ll tell him! Stop! Please!” I begged.

“Now that’s a good boy, do as your told Andy.” The excruciating pain then ceased.

“What do you want me to tell him?” I said begrudgingly. 

“Tell him what he’s going to lose once I take this crystal for myself.”

I didn’t want to, but I saw no other choice.

“Andy, that crystal there has unique and extremely powerful abilities, one of which is time travel and it’s how he and I are here right now. Once you take it in your hands, it becomes yours to hold and yours alone. I know this might be hard to believe, but there is a Higher Order of beings who placed this very crystal here for you to find, to learn how to use it, and to protect the planet from people like him with it.”

“You’re joking, right? And even if you aren’t, I’m only 12 years old, how can I be anything special. I’ve never been anything but a nerd that no one wants to spend time with.” 

“Oh Andy, you are saying all the words that I’ve known all along and have had a great laugh at the Council for choosing you.” Dillard said sarcastically to my slightly younger self. “It’s really too bad that Chris is frozen in time back in the present Andy! HA! Where’s your Guardian now!!!” 

“Who’s Chris and what’s a Guardian?” My slightly younger self said trying to make sense of everything.

At that very moment, I watched as Carl approached the perch where the glowing purple crystal stood, ready to take his prize, obviously growing bored with all the questions and the game he had been playing with us. As he gripped his dark crystal tightly in his right hand, sheer excitement in his eyes, he finally reached for it.

“AT LAST!” He said, clasping his hands around it. “AHHHHHH!!!”

A scream came from his mouth unlike any other I had ever heard, as if Dillard was now experiencing some completely unbearable pain.

Suddenly the dark crystal in his right hand exploded into several pieces, as he was thrown across the room, hitting the wall with such velocity that he got knocked unconscious. It was then I found myself able to move.

“Andy, can you move now?” I yelled to my slightly younger self.

“Yes!” He said feeling relieved. 

“Can you trust me and not ask any more questions?”  I said knowing how inquisitive I can be, especially when I’m afraid.

“Ok…” He said apprehensively.

“Quick, grab the crystal, and run to the cave opening, as the door is going to come down once you do.”

I then watched as he immediately swiped it from its perch, which was strange for me, as if I was experiencing déjà vu seeing it play out all over again.

Once he safely had it in his hand, the crunching noise of the cave’s door slowly beginning to close started, while a voice then shouted from the other side of the room.

“Wait, you can’t leave me in here!” Dillard shouted as he struggled to get up while my slightly younger self and I sprinted as fast as we could towards the opening.

The good part of me actually did want to help him, but I didn’t trust that he wouldn’t try something, given how sadistic he had been from the very start. And even though I could probably time travel back to the present with Dillard from within the cave itself, I didn’t want to. It was too great of a risk, especially because of his deception and the fact that I didn’t ultimately know what was going to happen in here once the cave door closed for good.

As I raced towards the opening, I was relieved to see my slightly younger self had successfully made it safely through, given how he had several more seconds from when I had first experienced this. Unfortunately, I was now unsure if I was actually going to make it through this time, but the fear of being left in the cave with Dillard gave me the same adrenaline rush I had once before. It was enough to propel me forward onto the floor, rapidly rolling sideways again, watching as the bed of rock narrowly missed crushing my entire body.

“WAIT!!!!” Screamed Dillard, who had somehow managed to get up and was running towards the door.

It was too late though.

With a thunderous crunch, the door slammed down onto the ground.

At that moment, I actually felt bad for Carl Dillard, even though he had been so cruel to me from the time I first met him. Would he die in there? Would the Council release him somehow? Would the cave transport him home?

I didn’t have those answers, but I knew there was no way I could save him, seeing that I didn’t know how to use two abilities at the same time yet. And even though I could probably tell my slightly younger self how to do so with his new crystal, I knew I needed to protect the secrets of it and let them unfold to him as they were meant to.

Nevertheless, I then noticed my slightly younger self had already sprinted up the stairs, which I promptly did the same. When I reached the top, he was standing there, still looking like a deer caught in headlights.

“I know you don’t understand any of what’s going on right now Andy. And I really can’t tell you anything other than it will be ok, especially now that Carl is no longer a threat. But I warn you, you will see him again and when you do, do not let him know that you already met him. Don’t give him any idea whatsoever of this. As it could undo all of this and have disastrous consequences on both you and me.”

“So what do I say when I see him then?” My slightly younger self said timidly.

“You say nothing. You pretend you don’t know him. You never say his name until he says it first and you let happen what’s meant to happen in the way it’s meant to. The only thing you need to do, is not acknowledge you know him already in any way, shape, or form.” 

“Ok. That I can do!” He said confidently.

“Good. Now I must go and you need to get home.”

“But I have so many questions for you…”

“Andy, you know as well as I do, that time travel has potential side effects. All you need to do is let things happen as they do and never acknowledge any of what took place here to anyone again, and I mean no one, including Chris!” 

“Ok, but who’s Chris?” My slightly younger self said confused.

“You’ll know soon enough, but for now, just remember, don’t tell anyone any of this and just let things happen as they’re meant to. Now please, go home!” 

Thankfully, he didn’t ask me anything else and quickly sprinted off towards the home I miss.

Once he was out of sight, I muttered “Aquarius” while thinking about the last memory I had before arriving here. As the dizziness and upset stomach kicked in once again, I closed my eyes and wondered if time could somehow still be frozen back in the present. When I opened them, I was standing once again in front of my half-opened garage, staring at my family’s car.

“Oh no!” I said aloud, as I saw their figures still in there. My heart immediately sunk, wondering if I was destined to live the rest of my life alone in a frozen world. But then it happened. The doors of the car opened and my family proceeded to emerge.

I instantly raced over to each of them, hugging them profusely. And it was then a number of memories I didn’t have before my trip back in time flooded into my brain. One where I first arrived home and realized my family wasn’t there anymore, except this time I hadn’t panicked as much. And a bunch of others that all involved each of my moments with Dillard, Chris, Laura, and my Grandmother, not once ever letting any of them know the real truth.

As my parents looked at me curiously, like I was acting rather strange, my sister and I shared a look that said she knew somehow that time had been frozen for a while again. I laughed while I grabbed her suitcase and couldn’t wait to tell Chris that Carl Dillard was finally no more…

THE END

Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson

Andy and The Zodiac Crystal – Chapter 40

Today’s entry is yet another follow up to my ongoing venture into fictional writing. In a few more chapters, I’ll be wrapping this story up, which will end up being Book 1 of hopefully an ongoing series. For those who may not already know this about me, one of my hobbies besides writing the spiritual content I do for this blog, is to write young adult fiction. Many years ago, I actually completed a novel that was set up to be the first in a series, but unfortunately, my addictions got in the way and that series fell to the wayside. That’s why I decided about a year ago that the only way I was going to get back into this hobby again was to commit to writing at least a chapter a month. So I chose to start over and begin this fantasy series, about a 12-year old boy who gains magical abilities far beyond anything he could ever have imagined for himself. If you haven’t read any of the prior chapters, don’t worry, it’s not too late to catch up, as I always include a link to a PDF file for all the prior chapters at the beginning of each of these chapters. Thus it’s my hope that more of you may join in on this ongoing adventure, as I’m sure you won’t be disappointed if you do…

Click here for the PDF file of Chapters 1 to 39.

Andy and The Zodiac Crystal – Chapter 40

“Phew, I’m not sure if I’d ever get used to all that dizziness!” my Grandmother said once we were safely back in her kitchen.

“I know what you mean Gran, but that was friggin’ awesome!” I said a little too loudly. “I can’t wait to do it again!”

“Sshh! You don’t want to wake everyone now do you?” She said with a grin.

“Too late!”, my father said, suddenly walking into the kitchen. “So Andy, what was so friggin’ awesome anyway?” 

“Oh, nothing Dad, I was just talking about how amazing Granny’s oatmeal and popovers are…”

I hated to lie, but what else could I say?

“Well I sure hope you saved some for me!”

Soon my sister and my mother emerged into the kitchen as well, each helping themselves to some breakfast. As they ate, I continued to ponder my morning time-travel experiences and was so grateful to have witnessed one of my Grandmother’s fondest memories alongside her. I could tell the experience had really bonded us even closer together.

After everyone was done with breakfast, I spent the rest of the morning with my sister watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade while the adults began the several hour-long processes of preparing the turkey and all its trimmings. Unfortunately, even my sister was coerced into helping with those preparations when the parade eventually ended, leaving me to find something else to occupy my time with. Most of it was spent talking with Chris on the phone where I told him all about my time travel adventures. Of course, he had to remind me that it was a good thing I didn’t get stuck in the past and to not try any new signs until we did our next training together. But all in all, he was really happy for me that I had learned how to use a new sign completely on my own. What was rather ironic though was the fact that Aquarius was actually going to be the next sign he planned on training me in, given that he already knew what it was supposed to do ever since his recent visit to the Council of the Zodiac. Nevertheless, when our conversation ended, I was immediately tasked with vacuuming, setting the table, and helping out with a few miscellaneous things that needed to get done prior to our holiday feast.

By the time the food was ready, it was well past 4pm and I was incredibly starving. Every year I found it so funny to see how long it took to prepare this huge meal and how quickly it got devoured once it was placed on the table. This year was no different seeing that in the blink of an eye we had all had our fill and were done eating. Once the dishes were cleared, I decided to hold off on dessert until later only because I had eaten way too many helpings of turkey and cranberry relish. My belly was aching slightly at the moment and the thought of putting anything more into it didn’t feel so good, which is why I decided a walk might help alleviate some of it. After asking my parents for permission to do so, they suggested my sister tag along, of which she happily agreed.

An hour later we returned, but only after I had spent the entire walk explaining to her everything that had happened with my time-traveling explorations. She did try to convince me several times during our outdoor exercise to use the sign again, except this time with her. She wanted to see if we could actually travel into the future when using the zodiac sign. I decisively opted against it, not wanting to push my luck any further for the day, much to her disappointment. But I was glad that she understood and had become a great resource for friendship and support when I needed it.

The rest of Thanksgiving Day was spent eating homemade pecan and pumpkin pie with whipped cream and playing some more games with my family. When my head finally hit the pillow by the end of the evening, I was out like a light, probably because all that turkey was still sitting within me. When the next day arrived, I wasn’t looking forward to it at all. Every year I tried to hang back at the house on the day after Thanksgiving with my Grandmother, except I was never allowed to. Instead, I consistently was forced to go shopping with my family while they looked for those Black Friday deals. The thought of having to be amongst all those crowds at the mall once again with all the pushing and shoving and bumping into each other was certainly not my idea of fun. But thankfully my father decided to do something different this year, as he chose to take my Grandmother and I to the movies and lunch while my mother and sister spent the day bargain hunting. We ended up seeing a very funny Christmas-themed movie and ate at a local kosher deli that had the hugest sandwiches and the best homemade dill pickles around.

Unfortunately, there was one place my father had to always go to on Black Friday, no matter what. It was this extremely flashy jewelry store, as they had this contest where you could reach into a bowl of what appeared to be tons of diamonds. And there in that bowl were several real diamonds worth a bunch of money, while the rest were fakes. I had no use for diamonds but it was something that made my father happy each time we waited in line for our one chance to win. And after an hour long wait there this year, like it was for us every year, we went home empty-handed, except for having three brand new, totally worthless nuggets of cubic zirconia!

I felt pretty grateful to return back to my Grandmother’s house where there were no crazy shoppers nor impossible contests to win and was able to breathe a total sigh of relief once we had fully pulled into her driveway. We all spent the rest of the evening enjoying Thanksgiving leftovers and playing a few more games of ping-pong and cards before turning in. Sadly, my time with Granny came to an end the next morning as it was time to head home. I was feeling pretty blue about it, but she urged me with a wink to come and see her anytime I wanted, obviously hinting that she knew I could teleport to her anytime.

Several hours later we were back at home, pulling into our own driveway and I couldn’t believe how fast the Thanksgiving holiday had gone by. I noticed how cold it had turned after getting out of the car and my parents had said on the way home that the weather was calling for some significant snowfall later that evening. I wondered if Chris and I would be able to go sledding for the first time together tomorrow. My spirits lifted slightly with the thought while I quickly pulled the first suitcase out of the trunk. Suddenly I felt someone tap my right shoulder, yet when I turned to look, thinking it was my sister playing a trick on me from my other side, I saw that no one was there. I shrugged it off and then headed towards the garage, which had apparently stopped opening and was now frozen in a position that was about halfway up.

“Dad, I think the garage is stuck!” I said pointing to it.

The rest of my family were all still sitting in the car, which I found rather odd. Just as much as I suddenly observed that the wind wasn’t blowing that cold breeze anymore either.

“I bet you don’t miss time being frozen like this do you Andy?”

The sinister-sounding voice came from behind me. I didn’t even have to turn around to know who it was. It was Carl Dillard.

“What the hell do you want? Get the heck off my property!”

“Well, well, well…Andy learns a few tricks with his crystal that stops me in my tracks once or twice and now he’s think he’s Mr. Tough Guy…”

“I’m not afraid of you anymore Dillard!” 

“You should be…” He said a little too deviously. 

“And why is that?” 

“Because if you want to see time unfrozen and be with your family and friends ever again, you’re going to have to give me your crystal…”

“You wouldn’t do that to me…because that means you would have to remain in this state as well…” 

“I have all the time in the world Andy and have gone for far longer than you ever have with time being frozen…how’s a few years like this sound?”

“You wouldn’t…You haven’t!” I said dumb-founded. 

“I have and then some…” 

“Why can’t you just leave me alone? You don’t need my crystal as you already have a very powerful one of your own!” 

“Because it’s my destiny to be the only one holding both and it’s time to end this little charade that you think you’re going to somehow prevent that from ever happening!”

“I hate you!” I said with tears forming around my eyes. It sounded like such a stupid thing to say, but nothing else came out.

“I’m sure you do Andy, but I think I’m going to give you a little time to sit with this. How’s a few more weeks of eating chips for meals and not being able to take showers again sound?”

“You can’t do this…!”

“Oh, but I must…because I’ve already given you plenty of chances to give up your crystal, yet you stubbornly have refused me every single time! So, when you’re ready to finally turn your crystal over, just say my name three times aloud and I will appear. Until then, adios!” 

“No…..Wait!!!” I said hoping somehow I could still talk him out of it, except it was too late.

He had swiftly disappeared into thin air, leaving time in a frozen state, along with me wondering how he used multiple zodiac abilities at once and questioning if this truly would be the end of my time as a Keeper once and for all.

Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson

Andy and The Zodiac Crystal – Chapter 39

For those who may not know this about me, one of my hobbies besides writing the spiritual content I do for this blog, is to write young adult fiction. Many years ago, I actually completed a novel that was set up to be the first in a series, but unfortunately, my addictions got in the way and that series fell to the wayside. That’s why I decided about a year ago that the only way I was going to get back into this hobby again was to commit to writing at least a chapter a month. So I chose to start over and begin a new fantasy series, about a 12-year old boy who gains magical abilities far beyond anything he could ever have imagined for himself. Hopefully this story will one day be the first in its own series. Regardless, if you haven’t read any of the prior chapters for this ongoing novel, it’s never too late to catch up. I always include a link to a PDF file for all the prior chapters at the beginning of each of these monthly entries. Thus it’s my hope that each of you may join in to this ongoing adventure with Andy and his Zodiac Crystal, as I’m sure you won’t be disappointed if you do…

Click here for the PDF file of Chapters 1 to 38.

Andy and The Zodiac Crystal – Chapter 39

I rubbed my eyes and hoped it was a dream, but it wasn’t, as there I was, standing in total fear on my old porch, wondering who the stranger was in front of me. It was obvious to me that the Aquarius sign was a time-travel based one and while that may have seemed pretty cool to discover any other time, having to relive a very scary and painful moment wasn’t feeling all that fun right now. Even worse was the fact that I had transported back in time in bare feet. I was grateful at least to have some shorts and a t-shirt on.

Nevertheless, I continued to watch the unpleasant scene unfold all over again and decided to take cover in the woods behind a tree, so as not to be discovered. I had seen many time-travel movies before where nothing good ever came out of a future person running into their past self and I wasn’t ready to see if any of that science was ultimately true. So as I sat there on my Grandmother’s chair behind this large oak tree, I thought about the reality that I had actually time-travelled! For a brief moment, I felt some sense of achievement over that and enjoyed being reacquainted with the woods I had once been so fond of. The summer warmth felt nice and kind of soothing alongside the sound of rustling leaves. I decided enough time had passed to take a peek around the tree and see what was going on, only to find the porch was now empty.

I remember all too well what took place next. Sitting there in Mrs. Sampson’s home and thinking I was in a dream, only to eventually be taken in a police car down to the station where I learned that three years had indeed gone by while I had been in that cave. I pondered the memory for a moment and then started to realize I was still in the past. How the heck was I supposed to get back to the present with this Zodiac sign?

My heart began to race in fear as I thought about missing my Grandma and the conversation we had just been having a few minutes ago. Almost immediately I felt sick to my stomach and the dizziness started again. As my eyes blurred, I knew what was beginning to happen except this time I opted to keep them open because I really wanted to see the time shift take place. I’m not sure if that was a good idea though given my dizziness was becoming even more apparent. Suddenly the world around me began to melt. It was almost as if I had been staring at a painting that was rapidly become quite impressionistic. The trees and shrubbery were growing longer and wider and it felt as if I was moving away from all of them. Were my eyes playing tricks on me or was this simply the effects of this Zodiac sign, I didn’t know. And just at the precise moment where I thought I might actually throw up, I was back in my Grandmother’s kitchen.

“Yes, I’m an Aquarius.” My Grandmother said, as if nothing had taken place and I had never departed from her kitchen.

Maybe I was only gone for a split second in her eyes?

“Andy, is everything ok?” She said looking intently at me.

Obviously, she could tell something was wrong by the look on my face. After all, I had just gone backwards six months into the past and returned.

“Grandma, have I been here the entire time?”

“I’m not sure what you mean hon?”

“Since I’ve been sitting here having breakfast and talking with you, have I been here the entire time?” 

“Well of course you have dear. What a silly question to ask.” She said gently.

“No, you don’t understand. But before I explain, I need to deactivate your sign. Aquarius!”

“Is that all it takes to activate and deactivate a sign’s ability, by saying it?”

“Yes, Gran, and that’s unfortunately been a problem for me because I sometimes forget that, only to find myself using an ability without any knowledge of what it does or how it works.”

“So I’m assuming you went somewhere then during our conversation after you said my sign?” 

“Yes Grandma. When I said your sign, I had been thinking about the day I discovered the crystal and when I had met that woman, Mrs. Sampson. I had remembered her telling me my family no longer lived at the house I thought was still my house and it made me sad thinking about it all over again. And then suddenly I, and your kitchen chair, were immediately transported back to that day when I had re-emerged from the woods and met Mrs. Sampson at the door on my old porch.

“How amazing is that!!!” She said sounding extremely enthused.

“Trust me, it was far less amazing having felt dizzy, sick to my stomach, and fearing I was going to be stuck in the past forever.” 

“But you’re not, and thank goodness for that.”

“You’re always so positive Grandma! I need a little bit of that to wear off on me.” 

“You’re more positive than you think Andy! Don’t be so hard on yourself. So tell me, are you interested in trying a little experiment?

“What kind of experiment?”

“Well, what do you think would happen if you were holding onto my hand when you activate my sign. Will we travel together?” 

“I’m not sure, but I do know that when I pause time or teleport and am touching someone else at the same time, that they can experience the ability with me. But I don’t know how this sign works and I honestly can’t say I know what even engages the time-travel.”

“Well dear, have you thought about the idea that maybe it’s your heart that’s the key?” 

“What do you mean?”

“Well when you went back into the past it’s because you were thinking about how sad you were when you realized your home was occupied by two strangers. And when you returned to me here, I’m assuming you were probably thinking about missing me, am I right?” 

“How did you know? 

“Call it a Grandmother’s hunch Andy, but I think this ability, and probably some of your others are all about love. In this case your love for your family was the connection that helped you to travel back and forward in time.” 

“It makes sense, but are you sure you want to try this? And where do you want to go anyway if it works?”

My grandmother than got up and went into the living room, where she proceeded to grab a picture off the mantel over the fireplace and then headed back into the kitchen.

“Let’s have a go, shall we? Go ahead and stand up and then activate the sign. But before you do, you might want to throw your sneakers on.” She said enthusiastically while reaching for my hand.

I couldn’t believe how calm she was, but that was my Grandmother and was just one of the many endearing qualities I loved about her. As I quickly grabbed my sneakers near the front door and slipped into them, I proceeded to grab hold of her outstretched hand.

“Aquarius…”  I said the word, albeit somewhat fearfully and wondered what was going to happen next.

She then showed me the picture that was clasped in her hand. It was of her wedding day, several decades ago, a moment in time I know she still cherished, even to this day. She truly missed her husband, that much I knew. As I stared at the picture with her and then looked into her eyes, I watched as a tear fell down her face.

“Don’t be sad Grandma.” I said holding onto her hand a little tighter.

And suddenly like before, I began to feel dizzy.

“I think it’s happening Andy and now I know what you mean about the dizziness. Oh my!”

I closed my eyes again because that feeling of having an upset stomach still hadn’t passed and I really didn’t want to throw up. When I opened them, we were standing about fifty feet away from a church where all sorts of people were dressed up in suits and ties and gathered around its entrance. Suddenly the doors thrust open and there, heading down the stairs was a much younger version of my Grandmother, arm entwined into my Grandfather’s. She looked so stunningly beautiful and very happy. I looked up at her older version and felt she was still just as beautiful.

“Andy, you just gave me the best gift ever…” She said cheerfully while another tear fell from her eye.

As we continued to observe an event that unfolded decades ago, the gleeful couple got doused with tons of rice. They then entered a car adorned with “Happily Married” on the back window and cans hanging on strings from its bumper. When the car drove away, cans clanging on the pavement, I could feel the joy emanating from my Grandmother while my only thought was excitement on where in time we could time travel next.

Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson

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