Samuel Takes a Trip – Part IV
You know, if murder wasn’t against the law…but, it might be justified in this case. What have you gotten us into this time, big brother?
Miles away in a large medical research lab, a man was working on Sunday, by himself, deep in his lab. Bent over a microscope he carefully lifted particles out of a small vial and placed them between twoglass slides. Once that was done, he place the slide gently onto the microscope platform and started to look at the bits. Someone walking by in the hallway would see a light burning in that lab. On the door, a metal plate read ‘Reverse Engineering Department’.
Later that week, Samuel went to bed. As usual, he pulled his little gold and black striped tiger out from underneath his pillow and talked to it before nodding off. He would tell the tiger about his day in the third grade and how things were going. He felt somehow, the tiger understood. The green emerald chip eyes almost seemed to glow at him. Clutching the tiger in one fist, he fell asleep. He started to dream.
Again, he was back in the desert, it was hot, the sun was up and he could feel the heat. But wait, where he was right now was cooler. Much cooler. Yes, it was down, underground, with thick mud brick walls on every side. He was back with the little boy. They had been running and hiding. That was it. The riders. Gosh. Those riders on big black horses, white turbans, and swords. Swords in their belts. They wanted the boy. Wanted him very badly. Samuel was not sure why. But he just knew they had to escape. He had helped the boy. They were in this crypt, hiding from the men. Samuel was so frightened, frightened of the men and what they would do if they were caught. His heart thumped dully.
He could hear them overhead. They were in the village, searching, searching everywhere and shouting to each other. He could hear two of them come into the little building that was over the crypt. They stomped around in their big boots but didn’t find anything and then thankfully, stomped out. Luckily, they didn’t come around the podium and find the entrance to the crypt and the ladder going down. He could hear more shouting and cursing. The horses pounded the hard earth and the men rode away. Samuel let out a long sigh of relief. He sent up a little prayer of thanks, the way mom always told him to do. Gradually, he pushed himself out of his dirt crypt and cautiously made his way to his small companion. He felt for the boy. He rested a hand on the boy’s shoulder and gave it a little shake but the boy was sleeping so soundly, he wouldn’t wake. Samuel sighed again. He could really use some food.
Creeping upstairs, he could see that dusk was falling. Delicious smells pulled him forward. His stomach rumbled. He snuck forward and came to a little house on the edge of the village. A woman left a tray of baked breads on the ledge of a square window to cool. Samuel reached up a small hand and grabbed two pieces. One for him and one for his companion. Quickly, he darted through the shadows and returned to the little church place.
He went down the ladder and back to the boy. The boy was still asleep. Samuel slid down the wall and ate the bread. It was actually a triangular folded piece with meat in the middle. He ate ravenously. It was with great difficulty that he didn’t eat the second one. He drank some water and realized the water was getting very low. He retraced his steps and found some standing water in a bowl outside one tiny house. It looked maybe rainwater. Samuel opened his pouch, tipped water in and repositioned the bowl. He returned to his church and curled up on the floor, close to his little friend and went to sleep.
The next morning, Samuel awoke and stretched. He drank some water and splashed some on his face. He had really expected his young friend to be up and awake but there was no movement. He got up and went over to his friend and touched him on the shoulder. Samuel pulled his hand back in surprise. The boy was cold.
“Hey, hey. You got to get up. They’re gone. We got to go now,” Samuel said in urgent tones to his friend. Still no response. Samuel felt suddenly clammy. He wondered if this was the same thing as what happened to his hamster when it accidentally drown. Maybe so. Hot tears started to leak from his eyes. He wiped them away. I really want to go home, he thought.
He sat back and pondered his situation for a few minutes. A thought occurred to him. The boy had been clutching a small leather bag and wouldn’t let go of it for anything. I wonder, thought Samuel. He reached over the boy’s shoulder and found the bag. It was still clutched firmly in both hands. Samuel touched the bag but couldn’t get it lose. He tried again and stopped in frustration.
What was in that bag? Curiosity was killing him. He would give it one more try and then leave this dreary place. He slipped his hand over the boy’s shoulder one last time and touched the bag. As he did, he thought, Man, what I wouldn’t give to just be home right now.
There was a sudden popping sound and Samuel felt himself getting sucked forward. He closed his eyes and when he opened them again, to his amazement, he was right back home, in his own room, on his own bed. He couldn’t believe it! He hugged Ted Bear and danced around the room. Wait ‘til he told Mom about this!
The dream stopped. Samuel Beans woke up and sat up in his bed. He stared around trying to see where he was. He was in his own bedroom. He looked down. The tiger was in his hand. He tried to remember his dream, bits came back. “Oh!” he said out loud and looked at the tiger. The light dawned and wonder overcame him. The tiger was a portal!
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