Rider
Chapter 14

Copyright© 2013 by JOHNNY SACHU

 Shannon held a finger between the pages to mark her place in the latest hardbound book she was reading. She couldn't help but stare at the golden metal plates bound together with gold rings to form a book, laying beside the couch, and still didn't feel good about keeping it.

It was a souvenir from the ark, an ancient relic, and she was seriously considering taking it back to where she had obtained it in Turkey, near the summit of mount Ararat. It just might be sacred, too, she thought, even though she, personally, wasn't much of a church goer, or knew how much to believe.

She had uncovered quite a bit of the huge ship, with her blue lightning powers, where it had been sleeping quietly, and for the most part, unseen in its cocoon of frozen, compacted snow, in a sizable dished out bowl of rocky ground on the huge mountain side. She couldn't believe her eyes that she had actually found it, when it began to appear, the blue lightning leaving her finger tips like she was some kind of Jedi Knight. It melted the ice away like hot water had been pored over the snow, leaving a pond of steaming liquid around the base of the long black ship where the water had run off, with circling billows of vapor rising over the huge craft.

After she'd cleared away as much icy mantle as she needed to, Shannon transported herself to the top of the ark where she found the inelegant entrance. A burned hole in the top of the thick planking. Noah supposedly opened it up like that, didn't he, or... ? She wasn't sure, but regardless, since the book was part of a sacred history, Shannon didn't feel good about keeping it. Who knew what it said. She couldn't read the writing and doubted if anyone could that was alive today.

After she had found that burned out hole, looking into its pure blackness, she stood on the rooftop for a long time, just staring down into it, not knowing if she wanted to go into that ominous looking darkness. She'd heard about that hole from other reports of people from the last couple of centuries that had supposedly visited the ancient relic, too. It did indeed allow access into the ancient ship, but should she?

Shannon went home in a flash of teleportation and returned with a piece of knotted rope tied to a wooden plank, six feet long, and a powerful flood lamp.

She placed the board across the hole, near one edge and lowered herself into the darkness. She could seen nothing except the hole above her, and reached for her flood lamp.

She stood on frozen snow and icicles that descended down into the ever brightening ark from the stairwell she was on. The wood was black there, in and around this hole, having changed color due to the cold and wet, probably, but descending the very high, wide steps, the interior brightened up, but those steps were like descending the blocks of Khufu's Giza pyramid. They must have been large people, she decided.

Finding the first inner deck, the wood seemed to glow with a reddish stain, away from the entrance. It was shiny, too, reflecting the light of her flood lamp from surface to surface, floor to ceiling, wall to wall, so that she could plainly see the details of the construction, which were very intricate and immensely strong looking. It was as if it was all overbuilt and every item she considered spoke of craftsmanship and attention to detail. Wrappings around some joints may have been leather, she couldn't be sure, but in a passing, flippant thought, maybe Noah and his sons should have been overseers of homes built in Tornado Alley. Something made like this could withstand anything.

Moving slowly though the ark, her footsteps echoed but it wasn't eerie or frightening to be in there, she noticed. There was a peacefulness to this place, a warmth, the pleasant hues of the wood, the stately flow of beam and plank, the coolness in the air, the beautiful way every human item had been laid out and put together. It was a marvel of engineering and construction, and this was done, when? Five thousand years or more ago? She wasn't up on those things other than what she'd read in books on the ark, beginning, at first, as a curiosity.

Shannon was impressed with the cages, too, the bars of wood, the latches that were still in tact, and the general cleanliness of the entire structure. It must have been thoroughly cleaned before being closed up. It was clear to her, that this miracle of saving the world from the an apparent planet wide catastrophe was meant to last, and be preserved, that this legend had actually happened in spite of all the world scoffers, mostly educated people, that claimed it was just a fable. Fools, all of them, adding herself to the list because until lately, she had never given it a great deal of thought, either way. And Shannon didn't understand why she, of all people, became curious about this ship or was allowed to find this edifice of the God. For it was proof of his existence, she now realized, and that the record of its journey to the top of this mountain was, indeed, true. How else would this thing have gotten up here?

It made her think about life, now, where hers was going and what she would do with it, if she might just live forever as she had thought was possible under the influence of the blue lightning.

Shannon didn't own a digital camera, but wished she had one, now. But she had no way of doing anything with it, sharing the pictures and all. And how could she? The ark? Who could appreciate those images if they hadn't been here themselves? But at least she could look at them by herself, couldn't she? Though there was no hurry. She had all the time in the world, didn't she?

Shannon took her explorations all over the enormous interior of the ship and did not leave until her flood lamp was loosing battery power, several hours later. It was then she found the bucket and took it with her. There were multiple decks and she found the original entrance/exit to the ship. The door was very high and very wide. And she could see indentations in the wood, all over the floor, though it was still coated in that red, almost purple, varnish, or whatever it was. Were they dents from animal hooves?

But that was two day's ago; She hadn't been back since.

Shannon stood up and thought of getting dressed as she stretched out her back and limbs, standing on her tiptoes, having been reading under her comforter without a stitch on for hours, ever since riding her Firenze this morning, but decided against it when she heard a car pull up in front of the house. Was it some of the guys from the gaming store?

The curtains were drawn tight so no one could see in and the only lamp on in the house was her reading lamp beside the big leather sofa, so there was no light leaking out. Anyway, it being well after eleven a.m. no one would be looking for light, would they?

She looked through the lens of the plastic peep hole and saw four big, formally dressed men, that looked like bricks stood on end, approaching the front door. Big square shoulders, square jaws and big polished square shoes. She didn't like that at all. She gave them all a strong mental push and had them turn around, giving them instructions as they walked away.

Forget this place and anything concerning me. Leave right now. Forget the last two days, she told them. Never remember them in the least. And all of you, don't tell anyone where you're going, but every one of you go to Argentina. Stay there for six weeks. Leave as soon as possible and have a lot of fun, drink a lot of beer, lay on the beach without your clothes, and dance till you drop and laugh until your guts hurt. When you come back, find yourselves jobs flipping hamburgers somewhere and never report back to your jobs. And from now on, your names are Larry, Moe, Joe, and Ho-Ho-Ho.

She expected them to leave and they did as told, laughing as they got in that big, black, non descript SUV, slapping each other on the shoulders and sped off into the late morning air of Nebraska's fall.

Shannon stood there inside the entrance, looking down at the bottom edge of the front door, wondering what that had been about, then kicked herself that she didn't have them stand by the door so she could dip into their minds. She probably could, still, but didn't want to bother. Not really. She'd find out soon enough. If they were government thugs of some kind, come to pick her up, they'd send more and then she could work backward from their minds to the source. She would have them all forget, whatever it was they thought they were on to, concerning her. It might even be fun and a challenge to discover what they knew and put it all to a rest.

She stood there, in front of the closed door, standing very still, and halfway smirked. Then noticed her breasts below her line of sight and looked down at them. Her figure had been perfected this last year. No moles, and every item was perfectly featured in every detail, willing her body to it's present state of holy-mackerel-momma beauty, as she saw it, through the strength and power of, you guessed it, the blue lightning. She put her hands under her breasts and lifted them, looked at the peaks and immediately let them go. They bounced once, back to their upright proud positions and then Shannon sighed. Sometimes perfection was mundane. It was no big deal, really. She had been attractive before, but not like this. She didn't think anyone looked like her, now.

Shannon would dress then go for a walk, she loosely planned, almost as though it were a habit. Maybe I'll go to the diner out on Main Street, for lunch, her favorite place to eat. Glancing at the metal book, though, Shannon considered taking it back to the ark when it got light over there in eastern Turkey. It was night time there, at the moment.

"Where's all your buddies?" asked her waitress. She and the four others in her troop often ate here together. The fifth member, Jason, had left for college. He and Terry's fling was over. They'd probably never see each other, again.

"I guess back at the gaming shop. I don't know."

"You're pretty good friends with all of them, aren't you?"

"Yeah. We get along. They're good decent guys. Kind of childish at times, but so am I." She knew it was true, but didn't always like admitting it to herself or anyone else, but Deirdre, her waitress, was nice to her. She always was; kind of like a mom, in a way.

Shannon glanced over her meal, now, placed warm and aromatic in front of her. It looked and smelled wondrous to her. Two eggs over medium, two sausage patties, double heaping of hash browns, cut cantaloupe, orange juice, milk, and Texas toast with orange marmalade. And two hot cocos. She could eat all this because she exercised at least twice a day. Hard, calorie burning exercise.

Leaving the café Shannon once considered buying, just so she and Terry and his and her friends could eat there for free anytime she or they wanted to, she walked around to the rear of it. Looking around and finding no one there, as usually there wasn't, she jumped, or, teleported to the far corner of a strip mall shopping center in town. That's were the used book store was. She strolled past the other shops, her hands in her jeans pockets, because of the cool air, and went inside to browse. She found two paperbacks and one hardback book she wanted that looked interesting to her. Sometimes they weren't, but buying a book was always a gamble, wasn't it?

Shannon left the store and walked, her books in a plastic bag. She didn't know where she was going and then, with the cold getting to her, she disappeared around a corner and jumped to Hawaii. It was raining there, on her often visited beach, so she hopped over to a beach far south of Miami, she knew about. It was pretty there, even though it was barely off season, and she sat under one of the cabanas, removing her shoes, taking off her jacket and making a pillow out of it. Laying down in one of the sloop chairs, she picked up a book but not before considering how lazy she was getting. It was harder for her to use cars, buses or any other mode of transport as moving around the world with her powers was all too convenient.

Her hard back was fast reading and within two hours, she'd finished it, then left it behind.

She decided to stay for the night, there, at the hotel on the beach and went to get a room. They were more than pleased to see a new customer and even though she noticed how deserted everything was, the dining room was still operational. So was room service. She asked for a room on the top floors and away from other customers on her floor or above and below her suite. She wanted quiet, to read her books, and a nice view of the Atlantic.

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