John Timberland stretched his six foot body out as he climbed out of his car. Rubbing his blue eyes he shook his head at the scene before him. Several people were shouting at the desk clerk at the front door. Walking up the poor man looked at John with a pleading look.
“What are you going to do about this?” A woman was almost screaming at the man.
“I apologize ma’am, we are doing all we can to remedy the situation,” the clerk was saying.
“Remedy?! REMEDY!!!? No, I want this done NOW not when you are ready!” The woman shouted raising the volume of her voice.
“I’m sorry ma’am, as I said we are doing all we can...” started the clerk.
“Well you should be doing a hell of a lot more! I demand a room now! I paid well in advance and I want the room I requested!” The woman went on.
John walked up a moment later, “if you wish, the lodge can issue you a full refund.”
The woman turned and looked John up and down. He could almost feel her sneer at him. “I don’t see how it is any business of yours a lowly bus boy!” Turning back to the clerk the woman stated, “I wish to see the owner NOW! Then perhaps after I have your job, then I can have this business taken care of. Where is he? I demand to see him now!”
The clerk turned red faced toward John another pleading and embarrassed look on his face. Straightening up the clerk said, “I am sorry Mr. Timberland. They have been here all morning.”
This time it was the woman’s turn to be red faced and embarrassed. “You are John Timberland? Then I apologize to...”
John’s face went from a smile to a scowl, “as I said the lodge will refund your deposit and transportation will be provided OUT of here. This type of behavior isn’t tolerated here.” Holding up his hand to quiet the startled woman, John continued. “This is a retreat not your own personal torture chamber. Now then I suggest that you leave of your own volition before I have you forcefully removed!”
Sputtering, the woman spat out, “Well I never!”
“No, and you won’t not while I am the owner here! Ah! I see your ride is here. Now if the rest of you feel the same as ... this one.” John said indicating the woman. “Then you can also depart with her.” John pointed to the bus that had pulled up, a look of disdain on his face.
Turning in a huff the woman stormed toward the bus. “This isn’t over John Timberland!”
“Oh but I think it is! By the way don’t come back you hear!” John called to her retreating back.
Most of those that were with the woman were right behind her. Almost all of them huffing and sneering as they turned their backs.
The clerk walked up beside John, “Thank you sir, I wasn’t sure I could hold out much longer!”
“I’m just glad I got here in time to save you from an embarrassing situation. You did very well Phil, considering.” John told him as he clapped the man on the shoulder.
The clerk nodded as John walked on into the lodge. An hour later John was out on the slopes checking that they were going as he expected them to. “Everything’s as you wanted it sir.” John’s ski area maintenance chief reported.
“Good, if all goes well we should get another few inches of powder tonight. I want the crew to recheck all their equipment before they groom the slopes tomorrow.” John advised the man.
“Yes sir, I’ll have them start right away!” With that the man moved off with several of his crew.
John just shook his head as he look at several of the runs. Still a little upset, John decided to take one of the black runs to blow off steam. Starting down the hill John didn’t notice the clouds that were rapidly moving in. Almost half way down there was a sudden clap of thunder near the top of the hill. Feeling the impending avalanche behind him, John started to race faster down the course.
Crap John thought he was too far from the turns and bottom to make it. Looking at the nearby mountain side, John saw the cave almost too late to stop. Activating his avalanche beacon he headed into the cave. Barely two feet inside John snapped on his flashlight as the avalanche covered the opening of the cave. Looking around John sighed wouldn’t do to survive an avalanche and then get mauled by a hibernating bear.
Taking the beacon off he left it near the covered mouth of the cave then went to explore. Further in John was surprised when the cave not only opened up into a huge cavern but there was more than sufficient heat. Breathing a sigh of relief John saw no signs of bears, but better to be safe than sorry.
Walking around John noticed that the further he went into the cave the warmer it got. Rounding what appeared to be a huge outcrop of rocks John stopped his mouth agape. There in front of him was another opening! The strange thing was there was warm air coming though into the cave, what was going on?
Advancing further John tentatively approached the opening. A small male’s head popped in for a moment then was gone. “He’s finally here!” John thought he heard a male’s voice say. Were they talking about him, John thought?
Suddenly three short females walked into the cave through the opening. “Hello sir.” The oldest appearing of the three said. “We have been waiting for you for a very long time, sir.” She said her light brown hair gently lying to the side of her face. “I am Triance. These are my sisters Frila, and Miadas.” All three bowed to him. “Please come, sure we have a place prepared for you. It has been for some time.”
John could only stare opened mouth at the three short females. They weren’t children; that was obvious, but what they were he couldn’t say. They all took his hands and gently led him out into the sunlight. Wait! Sunlight? Warmth? What in the world was going on? “I’m sorry I seem to have been hurt far worse than I thought. I should wake up in a few minutes.” John said as he suddenly stopped seeing the small town not twenty feet away.
The younger two females started to giggle. They quickly quieted when the one called Triance gave them a stern look. “I know it’s a lot to take in sir. Torran will explain as soon as we have you settled.”
John could only nod as he was led to a central building larger than the rest. Once inside the younger two left as Triance stood aside and waited. A few moments later a small male about three and a half foot tall entered the room. “Ah! Finally you are here sir! We have been waiting for you a very long time. Now I know you have a myriad of questions, I am here to answer all that you have.”
John again could only nod though a million questions were going through his mind not a single one would leave his mouth. “I...” John started then stopped really unsure of what to say let alone ask.
Sighing Torran started for John. “Yes sir, we are what your kind would call elves. Though recently in your time our distant relatives the Quendi have been depicted. They are very tall and try to not associate with your kind.”
“Elves? Uh huh. You really expect me to believe you?” A bewildered John said.
“I apologize sir; I know it is a lot to take in. You will have time to gain all the knowledge you need.” Here the one called Torran smiled. “It was foretold that you would be difficult and tall. I am sorry to say that you are rather painful to look at also. I do not mean to insult you sir but you are the first we have ever seen in person. Your kind is extremely ugly to us; again I apologize as I said we mean no disrespect.”
“Ugly?” A startled John stated. “Here I thought I was rather handsome. That might explain why I haven’t had a date in so long.” John said as he scratched his head.
“Oh no sir! It is just to us that you are that way! I am sure that in your time to your kind you are quite spectacular.” A slightly red faced Torran said.
“Alright,” John said finally starting to get a handle on things. “You said you have been waiting for me for a long time. May I ask why?”
“Sir, you can ask anything that you wish. Nothing is denied to you, it was foretold ages ago that one of your kind would appear. They would enter the rift at a time of personal peril, bringing with them a knowledge that we need. The one of your kind would be alone and hurt, though not physically. They would have a great love of all children but none of their own.” Torran said.
Crap John thought they were right on every account so far. “What else was foretold?”
Here Torran smiled widely though not sure it just felt so right and satisfying to answer this human’s questions. “The human would be a great leader but would need time to heal his heart. He would be fair but firm just who we need to lead us.”
“Lead you? Are you an army? Are you planning to attack someone?” A worried John asked causing an appalling look to appear on Torran’s face.
“Oh no sir!” Torran said, causing John to breathe out a sigh of relief that made Torran’s face light up even more. “You really are as the writings said!” Here Torran bowed to John as did Triance.
“Please! I am not a god or a king, I feel very uncomfortable when you do that!” Again Torran’s eyes went wide as did Triance’s.
“You really are the one!” Triance whispered as she stared at John. “Praise be to the creator!”
John looked at her with a confused look. “Torran what am I to lead you to or for? What do you and your kind do here?”
Almost bowing again Torran stopped and said, “We are builders and makers. We are here to help you as we have been for a very long time.”
.... There is more of this story ...