|From My Muse and Me|
(Photo by Rick of Weekend Wordsmith)
She opened the back door of the small shack and an involuntary gasp escaped her lips. The back of this godforsaken place was a sheer cliff dropping of into nothingness.
"What the hell and I going to do know," Jade mumbled to herself. Her life on Earth had been going smoothly for the past eight eons - eight human years - but now her life felt like it had been turned on its head.
Her best Earth friend, Devan, had tried to warn her about the conspiracy fanatics in San Francisco, but she choose not to believe him. She had grown accustomed to the cushy mission she though she had on Earth. Only two more eons to go and she could return home to Jadocon.
But that was before Devan had been killed. Jade now knew her life was in danger, because if she had followed her plans, she would have been with Devan when he was killed. Now she was on the run from a group of unknown people who only had one thing in mind - to wipe her off the face of the Earth.
This old cabin had been in Devan's family for almost one hundred years. Although Devan went to the cabin often when he was a little boy, no one had ventured down the narrow country road for several years.
Jade had never been to the cabin, but she had been able to scan Devan's mind and learn all about the cabin. Jade was not able to read all the Earthling's minds, and this greatly frustrated her because she was depending on this sense to help her on her ten year mission.
When Devan had been killed, Jade had felt the instant connection with death and she had not liked it. Jadocian's were not immortal, but they had such a infinitesimal life span, death was not something they gave much thought to. That brief glimpse of death seen through Devan's dying eyes had been enough to deeply frighten Jade.
She had packed her few belongings and left immediately for the cabin. Stopping at a small convenience store 20 miles out of town, Jade stocked up on things she thought she might need - batteries, bottled water, matches and candles. While the store clerk was in the backroom checking for more double A batteries, Jade picked up his police ban radio behind the counter and slipped it into her backpack.
Back on the road, Jade had tuned in the local and state police departments and listened for any indication the police may be looking for her. Now that she knew the bad men Devan had warned her about were true, she was going to have to figure out how to escape their clutches and finish up the last two eons of her mission.
This morning, she had been awakened by a squeak over the police radio. Sitting up in the darkness with only the glow of a waning full moon, Jade gave her full attention to the radio.
When she heard someone mention Devan's family's cabin, Jade knew she had to move. Devan's car was parked about two miles away from the cabin and she had covered it with loose brush to keep it from being seen by passing local yokels. Throwing her supplies into the backpack, she raced to the back door.
So there she was staring at the steepness of the rock pathway leading away from the cabin. Taking a deep breath, she closed the door behind her and started down the slippery rocks.
Three steps down, turn to the left. Four more steps down, turn to the right. In addition to being a steep climb down, whoever had layed out the trail decided a straight path was not the way to go. But she kept moving, five steps turn to the left, four steps back to the right. Looking behind her, Jade was surprised she could not see the cabin above her.
"Maybe the person who built this cabin and path was as much a conspiracy theorist as the people chasing me." Only pausing briefly after 20 minutes of steady downhill climbing, Jade finally made it to the end of the pathway. She had no idea how far down she had climbed, but she had come to a small wooden dock at the end of the path. There was a weathered boat with two oars tied to the dock.
It looked like the boat hadn't been touched for years and Jade had a feeling it probably wouldn't hold her weight. She sat down on the dock to get a closer look at the boat. It looked sound, at least there was only a small puddle of water in the bottom of the boat. Since there had been rain yesterday afternoon, Jade figured the water was from the rain instead of a hole in the bottom of the boat.
Jade closed her eyes and tried to mediate, but being so close to a body of water, she was having trouble concentrating. Although she had faced her fear of water numerous times while on Earth, she was nowhere near being cured of this life-long phobia.
Just when Jade had finally made up her mind to forget the boat and the water and to go back up the pathway and try to make it to the car, she heard a man's sharp clear voice at the top of the hill.
"Someone's been here recently! See how some of the grasses leading down this trail are bent over. Gather the men and follow me. I'm heading down this way!"
Jade could faintly hear heavy footsteps on the slippery stones above. Calculating the 30 minutes it had taken her to reach the bottom and the fast way someone else was coming down, Jade knew she didn't have much time.
Scooping up her backpack, she gingerly climbed into the boat and untied it from the dock. Breathing deeply, she picked up both oars and slowly started moving the boat out into the water. It was still faintly dark and a heavy bank of fog had rolled over the river, so Jade was thankful for not being able to see the water around her.
Slowly and silently she edged the boat further and further away from the bank, easing the oars quietly, but forcefully into the water. Many minutes passed, and Jade was beginning to feel confident she had escaped the people wishing to do her harm.
Until the following words froze her blood like a Popsicle, "There she is! Over here, over here! We've got her now!"