1.13 – The Gods

“All Reality Travelers have The Gods on their side,” The Professor told our The Gods class. “They know how hard your mission is, so they have assigned each of you a personal Guardian Angel who looks out for you. There are rules, and the Angel cannot intervene directly in your Travels, but they can be summoned to encourage you during moments of Little Doubt and other BoobyTraps.”

To show us how to summon our Angel, The Professor took us on a Field Trip to TheMountains.

TheMountains are a treacherous geographic region about the land suddenly rising up steep and high. In some parts there’s nothing flat to stand on, and you will fall to your death unless attached by hooks and ropes. Most of the land is still covered by Pure Nature, and it’s full of dangerous and unpredictable plants and animals, and there’s nowhere to hide from The God of Weather. There also isn’t a normal amount of air to breath, and its Roads are windy and narrow, and at any moment an avalanche could fall behind you and trap you there forever. Few Realities, except for the most desperate and hardened, choose to try and survive up there.

The Professor had us bring nothing to The Mountains but a sleeping bag, tarp, and water. Once there he told us how to use them. Then he led us to the edge of a great canyon and the fierce winds blew his hair as he explained what we hadta do.

“For the next three days,” he said, “you will sacrifice your roofs and internets and toilets. You will also sacrifice human company by camping out in isolated spots around this canyon. And finally you will sacrifice food of any kind.

“Tomorrow will be the first day. You will find a place to set your camp, put up your tarp, and settle in.

“On the second day you will shout out to The Gods, ‘What is my True Traveler Name?’ Then they will send you a sign and you will know instinctively what that name is.

“Finally, on the third day you will shout out to The Gods, ‘I am—then you will state your True Traveler Name. Please send me my Guardian Angel.’ Then the Angel will appear and ask you what you need. You will tell them you are learning how to summon them for The Training. They will cordially shake your hand and say something reassuring. You will then thank them and say goodbye. Then you can break down your camp and return here to base.”

The next morning we hiked out. I found a good spot that was as close to the base as The Professor would let me go. It had a big boulder I could sit on and look out over the canyon, and at least it didn’t feel like Pure Nature was closing in on me too much. When I went to set up my tarp I couldn’t remember how I was supposta do it. I didn’t know how the knots were supposta go, so I just came up with my own ones from my imagination and hoped they stayed.

Pure Nature was hard. It was boring, and there were a lot of flies, and they were landing on my nose. I was also very hungry right away and hadta write out a Great List of Food to keep from going crazy. I didn’t know how anyone could take this for three whole days.

That afternoon a storm came in. The wind got strong, the clouds blocked the sun, and a cold rain began to fall. I climbed underneath the tarp for shelter, but it was too loose, and the storm kept knocking it around. Then suddenly one whole end flew up, and the wind and rain and cold came in and got me.

“Dammit,” I yelled at myself, “I’m such a tarp amateur!”

I tried to fix it, but it was getting blown around too much, and I couldn’t think. I quickly lost faith that I could take care of myself at all.

“What if you die out here?” I asked myself.

I thought about packing up and heading straight back to base, but I didn’t want The Professor to say I came back too soon. I could only think of one other thing to do. I knew it was only the first day, but I really needed that Guardian Angel. I climbed up the big boulder, looked up to the dark sky, and shouted.

“Gods! What is my True Traveler Name?”

Nothing seemed to happen, and I guessed it was cuz I hadn’t been out there long enough. But I was desperate and kept shouting anyway.

“C’mon, Gods! I’m sacrificing a ton right now.”

Then suddenly a tree to the right of me started making noises. They were not normal tree-in-the-wind noises but crazy shrieking Other World spirit noises. They kept getting louder until they were as loud as the storm itself.

“What’s happening, tree?” I yelled at it.

And the tree answered by shooting out like a hundred crying birds, swooping over me to another big tree. I couldn’t see what kind they were, but I felt like I had to know exactly.

“What are you?” I yelled at them.

And then one single bird flew out right in front of my face, and even in the dark storm light it was so close I saw it perfectly, and it was the best color, blue.

“Bluebird,” I said.

And as I said it something suddenly overcame me from inside and exploded out of my face. It made me helplessly start to cry and get a nosebleed at the same time, and it dripped red all over my shirt and the ground, and it seemed like I was weeping tears of blood. And then I knew that was my name.

“I’m The Bluebird,” I shouted back out to The Gods. “And I need my Angel now!”

Then another bird flew out from the tree, except this one was huge. It swooped down right at me, and I hadta duck out of the way. But when I looked back up there was a naked woman next to me. She was very pretty, and her perfect face and breasts were wet in the rain. There was also a pair of golden wings spread out from her back.

“How can I save you, Bluebird?!” she said.

She was so awesome I couldn’t remember what I was supposed to say next.

“You need to get out of the rain, right?” she said.

“Um,” I said, “I don’t know how to do the tarp.”

Then she reached over and touched my arm.

“It’s Alright, Baby,” she said.

I felt a sudden surge of warmth where she touched me, and it quickly traveled throughout my body, and when it hit my chest and heart I felt, Alright.

“Let’s figure this out together,” my Angel said.

Then she guided me down from the boulder with her hand, and we went over to the tarp to take a look.

“I think the knots are alright,” she said, “but the rocks you tied it to were just too small to hold it steady.”

“Ohh,” I said.

There were lots of bigger rocks around, and we found some good ones and retied the rope. Then the tarp was sturdy, and we both got underneath so the storm couldn’t get us anymore. We sat side-by-side, dripping, and part of her wet naked leg touched my jeans.

“I’m sorry I called you here just for that,” I said.

“It’s Alright, Baby,” she said.

Then she touched me on the shoulder, and the same thing happened like before, and I felt more Alright.

“Thanks,” I said. “Are you supposta leave now?”

“Oh,” she said, “do you want me to?”

“No.  I just thought you were supposed to.”

“Well, the storm is going to last all night, and it will get dark and scary. I’ll stay if you want.”

“Yes, I do want you to stay.”

And she stayed. And we sat like that for awhile under the tarp in silence cuz we didn’t know what to say to each other. When it got nighttime, we both lay down, and I could feel her body against me. I was worried she didn’t really want to be there, but every time it flashed lightning I could see she was smiling. At some point she put her hand on my chest and said “It’s Alright, Baby” to me one last time, and then I fell right to sleep and didn’t wake up until the next morning when the storm was over and it was sunny outside.

The Angel was still right there next to me and she was humming “Here Comes the Sun.”

“Gods know songs?” I asked.

“Yeah,” she said, “I love songs.”

“MeToo. That’s one of my favorites.”

“Thank you, I actually made it.”

“I thought the Beatles did that?”

“They got it from me when I was assigned to them.”

“You were the Guardian Angel for the Beatles?!”

“Yeah, I’ve been assigned to lots of MusicPeople Travelers. Whenever you hear a song that has ‘It’s Alright’ in it, that’s cuz of me.”

“Oh my Gods, those are my favorite kinda songs!”

Then we made direct eye contact for the first time. It was very intense, and I hadta quickly look away.

“I should probably go now,” The Angel said. “I wasn’t really supposta stay with you this long.”

“Oh.”

“Do you think you can make it on your own for the next two days?”

“I don’t know.”

“Then here.”

She put both arms around me and sang in my ear.

Here comes the sun, doo-da-doo-doo, here comes the sun, and I say, It’s Alright… Baby.”

It was the most pure and true version of that song I’d ever heard, and I was certain she had made it.

“I like this It’s Alright, Baby,” I said.

“I like giving it to you,” she said. “How do you feel now?”

“Like I could survive in TheMountains forever.”

“Great!”

Then it was time to say goodbye. She climbed on top of the big boulder and turned towards me.

“I can come back whenever you need me,” she said. “Just make a sacrifice.”

“Alright,” I said.

She gave me one last little wave and turned around and flew right into the canyon and then rose up high into the sky until she disappeared into the sun.

“Yes!” I pumped my fist. “The Gods are on my side!”