Come El or High Water
Chapter 12

Copyright© 2010 by Ol'Mac

THURSDAY 6:05 A. M. CST: News Stand, Chicago, IL

There were banner headlines being displayed once more:

Here, There Be Dragons ... Again!

This was plastered over the head of a very dramatic, and darn good looking shot of Lake Michigan's surface being turned into a launching platform for five columns of multi-colored life. The entire paper was once again given over to the 'only' story from cover to cover. There was even an extra pullout section with some really delightful pictures of the entire Clutch flying around the Sears tower that made Mike flash on the old 1930's King Kong Movie poster, well, minus King Kong of course.

On the radio show "Today's Tidings" Father O'Mally was at it again and veered from his patented homily formula to devote an entire third of his time slot to encouraging the complete open arm policy toward these new ones and the heartfelt welcoming of these flying expressions of the Love of God. He even threw some tongue-in-cheek references in about "When I was sick, did you not visit me" along with "Let the little ones come unto me; for of such is the Kingdom of Heaven".

WMAQ had never seen higher ratings for that timeslot ... ever.

Someone must have pulled the funding for the asbestoses umbrella and galoshes salesman. No one heard a peep out of him today. It seemed like fear wasn't selling very well for some reason, imagine that.

Editors' desks groaned with the weight of copy to be gone through, even in electronic form, as an army of reporters and journalists filed stories as fast as they could make their Blackberries work. Although the coverage was as in-depth as anything ever done by The Chicago Sun Times; there was one human interest angle that they missed.

Tao Lin had arrived at the target zone and stood marveling at this sea of humanity. Even China, with a third of the worlds' population, didn't have crowds like this, at least not in one place.

She was still pondering where to even begin, when the lake exploded and the five fingers of life rose. As it became apparent to the young woman what this event she was seeing truly was, her formative years took hold and she found herself kneeling in the grass with her forehead pressed to the ground and whispering, "Grandmother's Breath" as a form of protection and supplication.

The next thing she became aware of was wind whistling over her back and then dead silence spreading like pool ripples radiating out from her patch of grass. Glancing up from the Earth she came nose to nose with her greatest secret fantasy. Then this miracle of life spoke - in her head. 'Come, small one, it is time to make a new home.'

Rocking back on her ankles, she asked in wonder, 'Where, Great One.'

'Follow me, ' the answer arrived, and then this Living God led her to 77 W. Jackson Blvd. and the US State Department office. As they made their way and the crowds melted apart before them, a silly thought bubbled up in her mind, 'I wonder if this is what Moses felt like?'

That "Moses-Parting-The-Red-Sea" feeling kept building up a head of steam as they entered suite 2122 and encountered nothing but smiles on the faces of the staff.

"You want political asylum? Certainly, no problem Miss. Just give us a couple of days to put the paperwork together and welcome to The United States of America," all said with the most sincere smiles any of the staff could dredge up.

Not even anyone in the State Department was hidebound, or dumb enough to piss off one of the new Dragon Folk. Or on the other hand, to even inconvenience it's chosen human companion either; at least, not at the Chicago office.

Sometimes, stupidity really doesn't run bone deep.

THURSDAY 6:10 A. M. CST News Stand, Chicago, IL

Mark decided to check in with Mike after all of last evening's insanity. So, making contact, he sent, 'Hey Mike. I take it that those were your's again?'

'Yeah, they were. But, what the heck, we were having trouble riding herd on three of the critters, imagine trying to corral three hundred and twenty two of them and good luck with that.'

'Well, they sure made a one heck of a splash. No pun intended bud. CNN has no other news story and the video taken from that traffic chopper is all over the net. That traffic reporter can write his own ticket to just about anywhere now. I've reviewed it about ten to twelve times now and it still sends chills down my spine. I've never seen that much intelligence in a non-human face before.'

'Yep, they're smart little critters that's for sure. Well, except for our joy-ridding trio.'

'Have you seen any of the follow up stories yet?'

'No. We've just been trying to keep our own heads under the radar. So, what's happened?'

'Your critters are emptying hospitals and mental institutions at a phenomenal rate.'


'Seriously bud. I've seen the reports with my own eyes. They're emptying hospitals faster than people can get hurt and the psychiatric wards are pushing people out the door as fast as they can get them processed and arrange to get them home to their families. The only things human doctors are working on are research and emergency room primary trauma treatment. Human interest is 'The' story of the day.'

'Get out!'

'No really. They're the biggest thing since that other guy that walked on water.'

'Holy mackerel, I knew they'd raise a stir, but never expected that kind of impact.'

'Hey, you ready for the best part though?'

'OK, go ahead and hit me.'

'When all eyes were on the multi-colored ones, everyone missed the 'crystal' ones taking off too. Go ahead, guess where they wound up.'

'Not even a clue here, wise guy.'

'Try Arizona, New Mexico, Texas and California, buddy ... looks like we have a new border patrol. We also have a new border fence, too. It's estimated at four thousand feet high, God knows how many feet into the Earth and nothing crosses it they don't pass through.'

'Holy Lone Ranger, pard!'

'Not anymore buddy, they just got a massive boost in their membership.'

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