Goose Heaven Tales

Where The Birds Go When It Rains  by: Jamie Paul Wesseler

Excerpt from the Novel

The firelight dueled with the darkness for control of the cavern in the base of the massive sycamore tree, as the group of men, women and children gathered around the bonfire.  “The perfect setting,” Patrick mused.  He glanced around at his audience and smirked playfully.  “Welcome to you and your families."  He waved his right hand toward the tree with a flamboyant flair.  "I’d like to introduce you to the Master of Time Travel... the portal to unknown realms.”

   Patrick’s heart raced from his passion of storytelling; in his veins flowed the blood of a long line of storytellers.  He took a seat on an upended log with the ancient sycamore behind him and slightly to the right, in view of the group and archaeological team.  He caught Ellen staring at him; she flashed a sultry gaze seizing his immediate attention.  She smiled at his uninhibited, familiar reaction:  widening eyes, tilted head, devilish grin… the wink of his left eye.  She nodded once and tossed her hair with her hands, sending golden locks cascading across the front of her chest and down her back -- the coup de grace.  She smiled knowing she commanded his full attention at an inopportune moment.  Patrick rolled his eyes and feigned passing out.

   “I’ll make you sick to your stomach,” she mocked, although Patrick couldn’t hear her.

   “Well, we’re ready fearless leader,” came a quip from the gathering.

   “Yeah,” said another.  “Quit flirting with the help and get on with the story.”

   The crowd burst into laughter, as the thirty-three men, women, and children took their places around the fire, in a circle, on logs and bales of straw.

   Patrick waved them off.  “I confess, but my face is red only because I’m sitting too close to the fire.”

   “Yeah right!”  And then, more laughter.

   Patrick grinned at Ellen.  He then turned with a solemn look at the tree, and faced the group again.  He stared at the faithful followers, and with a slight quaver in his voice he asked, “How many of you know where the birds go when it rains?”  He waited a moment.  “As sure as you are that I’m in front of you tonight, the story I’m about to tell is equally true.  I’ll venture to say your lives will be forever changed before those logs turn to ashes.”

   He looked at Ellen, returned her smile, and slowly turned back to face the group.

   “I was seventeen when I received the call that night from my grandfather, Carey Paul Oldenkamp, the man whose two thousand year-old grave we discovered on the hill today.”  Patrick hesitated.  His voice cracked when he began to speak again.  “That was the last night I saw him alive.’

   “I was working on my homework when the phone rang, and…”

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