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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Andy and The Zodiac Crystal – Chapter 38

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…

(Press here for the PDF file of Chapters 1 to 37)

Andy and The Zodiac Crystal – Chapter 38

The anticipation of how my Grandmother knew about my crystal and being a Keeper was killing me inside. Unfortunately, talking about this with her “a little later” ended up being much later, much to my dismay. Because after our rounds of ping-pong ended, there just wasn’t any other moments that evening to ask her any further questions.

First it was dinner out at a seafood restaurant in Oyster Bay, which is one of the next towns over from Glen Cove. There, I had my favorite seafood meal like I always do, that being a cup of clam chowder to start and the beer battered fish and chips with a ton of tartar sauce for my main course. All that was finished off by a delicious slice of cherry cheesecake. Next it was family game night once we returned to my Grandmother’s house. There all of us played Trivial Pursuit, a game that I rarely do well in. My Grandmother on the other hand was always incredible at the game and seemed to know just about everything. She won of course and by the time we wrapped up the game, it was well past 11pm, at which point my parents declared it was bedtime for my sister and I.

I really had a hard time falling asleep that night but when I finally did, my dreams were quite bizarre, one of which being about a Guardian who looked an awful lot like my Grandmother. The next morning, I awoke around 7am feeling somewhat unrefreshed, but thankfully the smell of fresh baked popovers and cinnamon oatmeal wafting through the air quickly changed that. I looked over at my sister who was still sound asleep. As silently as I could in an old home that creaks a lot, I swiftly headed downstairs to the kitchen.

“Good morning Andy!” My Grandmother greeted me cheerfully.

“Hi Gran!” I responded just as cheerfully while noticing the door down the hallway to my parent’s room was closed. It appeared as if they were still asleep as well.

“Why don’t you grab yourself a bowl of oatmeal from the stove and a popover Andy and let’s have that chat I promised you ok?”

“No arguments here Gran!” I said as I grabbed a heaping portion of the homemade oatmeal and poured it into a bowl. I then slathered a large amount of butter on one of the popovers and grabbed a seat at the small oval kitchen table.

“So I’m sure you want to know how I knew you were a Keeper right?”

“Yeah! How do you know about any of this Gran?”

“My great, great, great Grandmother Andy was a Guardian and her husband was a Keeper just like you.”

“No way!!!”

 “As the story goes, he was a great tribal leader of the Shinnecock Indian Nation. They met during a peace-keeping session and soon fell in love.”

“Ewww, gross.” I said jokingly.

“One day you’ll fall in love with someone too Andy!” She said with a grin. “Now back to the story…Soon after they fell in love, the two of them went exploring one day in the wilderness and discovered a secret cave just like you did. One in which the very crystal you are now the Keeper of was deep within it. When they emerged from that cave, five years had passed, although to them it had been only mere hours. Everyone thought they had either been killed by some animal or taken prisoner by another Indian tribe. No one believed their story like no one believed yours and they ended up becoming shunned by everyone. So they left the area and began a new life in upstate New York where they eventually learned the crystal’s abilities and why they were the only ones who could see the markings on it. The Council had chosen them just like it chose you, to help during a time when it was most needed. As it was then that a dark zodiac crystal also came into existence and the Council knew a Keeper and a Guardian was needed to thwart the rise of this darkness.”

“Gran, did you know that one of my powers is being able to talk with animals? And I initially learned about this Native American man from a female bear if you can believe it? Even stranger is the fact I had a dream last night where a woman that looked like you was a Guardian. Weird huh?”

“Not really. Nothing surprises me these days Andy, especially now that I know the story I was told as a young girl was true. So one of your zodiac abilities is actually being able to talk with animals?” 

“Yup!”

“Well maybe you can talk to all those birds outside who keep pooping all over my birdbath and ask them to do that somewhere else ok?” She said jokingly. “Anyway, you should know that this story has been passed down from daughter to daughter and has come to an end with me, seeing that I don’t have a daughter myself. Regardless, my mother never believed that this was anything more than a simple bedtime story passed on for generations. I must say I thought this as well until your father told me the details of what you said the day you returned to your family home three years after your disappearance and discovered they were no longer there.”

“Yeah, that was a pretty scary day for me Gran…”

“I can imagine. Anyway, the only other part of the story I was ever told is that the crystal shows up whenever it’s most needed to fight off a potential surge of darkness that comes from a rising Keeper of the dark crystal.” 

“Gran, I’ve actually crossed paths already with the Keeper of that dark crystal! His name is Carl Dillard and he’s terrifying. But thankfully, my Guardian, who is also my best friend Chris, has been training me to learn the crystal’s abilities and how to counteract his evil.”

“I wish there was more I could tell you Andy that could help you in that fight. What I can tell you though is that I know the Council wouldn’t have chosen you if they didn’t think you’d be able to defeat this Carl Dillard. Nevertheless, now you have me for moral support as well. Just think of me as another member of your superhero team ok? Now why don’t you start eating some of your breakfast hon before it gets totally cold…”

I looked down at the bowl of oatmeal and the popover next to it and realized I had been so absorbed in her story I hadn’t even eaten any of it so I immediately began scarfing it down.

“Slow down Andy, it’s not going anywhere.” She chuckled. “So I’m curious, how does this crystal work anyway?”

“It’s pretty simple really. I just say one of the 12 zodiac signs verbally and it activates a range of abilities within me.” I said as I chomped down on a mouthful of food.

“That’s it?

“Yup!”

“So do you know what my birth sign does then?” 

“You’re an Aquarius right?” I said completely forgetting that I had just activated the sign by saying it. I had been so caught up in hearing her tell me the story and had started thinking about that fearful day when I re-emerged out of the woods, just before I met those two strangers who were living at the home I thought was my own.

Suddenly, I began feeling totally dizzy and my eyes were growing extremely blurry. I closed them for only a moment, hoping the feeling would pass. When I reopened them, I wasn’t at my Grandmother’s house anymore and sitting at her breakfast table eating my food. Instead, I was now sitting on her kitchen chair at the edge of the woods I once used to play regularly in, staring at my old backyard, my old porch, and my old backdoor I used to come and go through so often. But what stood in front of that door at this very moment was the most alarming thing of all, as it was me, talking to Mrs. Sampson…

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Peace, love, light, and joy,

Andrew Arthur Dawson 

Andy and The Zodiac Crystal – Chapter 37

Q: What kind of horses are usually found outside when it’s dark?
A: Nightmares!

Click here for the PDF of Chapters 1 to 36.

Andy and The Zodiac Crystal – Chapter 37

Thankfully, it didn’t take long for things to return to normal after I deactivated Libra. Beyond the hugging that seemed to go on for far longer than Chris probably wanted by my mother, it was as if nothing had really happened at all, that is at least from everyone else’s perspective. I, on the other hand had gone through an entire month of unhealthy eating and unsanitary habits, so I was pretty ecstatic to finally get a hot shower and use a working toilet again when I returned home. Oh, and if you’re wondering what Chris’s excuse was, as to his whereabouts during those 24 hours? He said he had gone for a hike in the woods after he had checked in with his parents, got lost, and realized he had forgotten to bring his cell phone, but eventually he found his way back. It was an exceptionally outright bold lie and trust me, I planned on holding it over his head for a good long time!

Anyway, the next few weeks right up until the day before Thanksgiving passed by in the blink of an eye. Other than having some exams to take in a few of my classes, life was rather uneventful. That was mostly due to the absence of Carl Dillard though. He had seemingly disappeared into thin air, as even a new assistant principle had now taken his place, much to my relief, but I still worried that he might show up at any moment.

I did get some great Zodiac training in with Chris during the weekend before Thanksgiving although it had been extremely cold outside by the pond during it. While Chris supposedly knew what all the other sign’s abilities were now, he had opted to continue perfecting the ones I already knew. In fact, I was getting fairly skilled at each of them. Using Cancer for underwater work and Taurus for strength testing was a breeze now and so was doing combination attacks of activating and deactivating one sign after another. One of the coolest moments though came during my work with Leo’s abilities.

Of all the signs I had worked with so far, this one had been my least favorite and felt somewhat useless to me, that was until Chris had me practice honing in on each of my senses with it activated. After teaching me a focusing technique that he learned from the Council of the Zodiac, I was actually able to see things as far as a mile away! The same held true with my hearing and smell as well. But it still felt odd though with things such as my sense of taste when the sign was active, as food either tasted incredibly good or phenomenally gross. For example, some things I usually liked such as a turkey sandwich tasted awful, while other things I usually felt were kind of blah such as carrots, tasted heavenly.

Nevertheless, I was beginning to feel a lot more empowered now because of all the training I had gone through, as well as the fact that Chris and I had several ways to deal with Carl Dillard if he were to show up again. I wasn’t feeling as afraid anymore, but I remained concerned about what Dillard’s next move might be.

“Andy, wake up we’re almost there!” My mother said cheerfully from the front seat, putting a pause to my thoughts of the past two weeks.

“I wasn’t asleep Mom…” I mumbled, as I lifted my head away from the window. Although I was feeling overly exhausted given how early we had gotten up that morning.

It was close to 11am and we had almost arrived to my Grandmother’s house in Glen Cove, New York, where we celebrated the Thanksgiving holiday each year. We always left during the wee hours on the day before, hoping to beat out traffic, but somehow we never did. This year the 90-minute drive took over 3 hours!

My grandmother lived in a decent sized home in a quiet neighborhood. Her red house was a little smaller than ours and definitely much older in age. I had grown quite fond of it though, even with the peculiar smell that always permeated throughout most of it, which would remind most of days of old.

I really loved my father’s mother and considered her one of my best friends. Her name was Elsa, which I thought was a pretty cool name. She and I always talked about the coolest of things and often played a lot of ping-pong games on her old table in the basement when I was there. She had lived alone for many years now, as her husband had died from emphysema long ago, yet that never seemed to bother her. I honestly can’t remember a time when she wasn’t upbeat and cheerful.

“Hopefully you don’t plan on having us spend a month down here…” My sister whispered playfully in my ear as we pulled in my Grandmother’s driveway.

I had told her already all about what had happened when Chris had visited the Council, having paused time for as long as I did. She was obviously trying to poke fun at me.

“No, but I might just teleport you away somewhere if you aren’t nice to me while we’re here!” I whispered back with a grin.

She then punched my arm and exited the car. By the time I had my own piece of luggage in hand, my Grandmother had emerged onto her front porch. I immediately ran over to her and gave her a huge embrace.

“Hi Grandma!” I said. “Ready for a few games of ping-pong?”

“Let’s get you all settled first and then we’ll find some time for that ok Andy?” She said in her usual joyful tone.

“We would have been here sooner Mom if we hadn’t hit some heavy traffic on the Throgs Neck Bridge.” My Dad said sounding exceedingly tired himself.

“You know the Whitestone Bridge would have been a much better one to take Lew…”

“I know, I know, but when there’s no traffic at all, that bridge usually takes longer. Oh well there’s always next year…” He said with a chuckle, as my Grandmother opened the front door while we all filed in behind her.

Thirty minutes later, everyone had their luggage put away and were hanging out in the kitchen. I had already poured myself my favorite thing to drink whenever I was down there, which was my Grandmother’s famous ice tea and lemonade mixture. I swear she had invented the Arnold Palmer drink long before he had!

“So how about that game of ping-pong Grandma?”

“Why don’t you and your father go play a few games while the rest of us girls catch up for a bit ok Andy?”

“Fine…” I said sounding slightly disappointed.

My father and I frequently played ping-pong back home together, which I usually won, but my Grandmother was a far more formidable player. For the next 45 minutes, my Dad and I stayed surprisingly competitive with each other. He even beat me a few times, which I of course told him it was because he had home advantage given he had grown up playing on that table.

Eventually my Grandmother came downstairs and took over for my father, as he wanted to go look into making a reservation for some restaurant we were going to that night for dinner. Right off the bat, she killed me in the first game. You know for a woman who was in her mid 60’s, she regularly acted like she was in her early 40’s. But the games I played with her each time I was visiting were never so much about the competition between us, they were more about my bonding time with her.

“You’ve been practicing I see Andy!” She said as I took a commanding lead in the second game.

“Yeah, Dad and I have been playing quite a bit back at home.”

“By the way Andy, I just wanted to say I believe you…” 

“You believe what Grandma?”

“I believe the story you told everyone about what happened during those three years you disappeared.”

“You do? You’re not just saying that?”

“Of course not dear. I would tell you if I didn’t believe you and I’m sorry that your parents didn’t.” 

“Why didn’t you ever let me know that on any of the times we talked on the phone then?” I said as I served the ball rapidly across the table.

“Because it wasn’t the right time…” She said with a forceful hit back.

“What do you mean, it wasn’t the right time Grandma?” I said, as I sliced the ball with a slight curve, hoping she would miss it. 

“It wasn’t the right time to tell you that I always knew you were meant to be a Keeper of the Zodiac.” She said as her paddle connected with the ball, curving it quickly back towards me.

“WHAT? How do you know about that? No one but my friend Chris and Laura know…” I said dumbfounded, watching as my paddle completely missed the ball and bounced onto the ground behind me.

“I know a lot more than you think Andy about what you’ve been through and are probably going through right now. We have much to discuss, but for now, serve me the ball and we’ll continue this conversation a little later ok?” She said smiling brightly. 

As I picked up the ball and served it as hard as I could, my heart raced excitedly about something I never expected to come out of my Grandmother’s mouth…

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Peace, love, light, and joy,

Andrew Arthur Dawson