Yuki Gets to Earth Part 6

As John backed away from the store he said, “We have time for a quick stop, I want to show you something I think you’ll find interesting.”

He made his way down a gravel road that ran along the edge of town.

John kept looking to his left as he slowly drove, “Ah, there it is.” He pulled the truck to the side and shut the engine off.

Yuki looked over to where he was looking but couldn’t see anything. She could still make out the lights of town to her right, but to her left there was nothing but open space as far as she could see. “What are you looking at? I don’t see anything.”

“Come on, grab a flashlight out of the glove box and I’ll show you.”

She pulled out a heavy black flashlight, pushed the button to make sure it worked (it did) then glanced at Kit to make sure he was okay. She jumped out of the truck and made her way over to him.

“See that dark spot, about a hundred feet out, that way?” He pointed.

“No.” She brought her hand up to the side of her glasses intending to zoom in, but John said, “Hey, no cheating. You’ll ruin it.”

“Ruin what?”

“You’ll see. This way.”

He led the way out into the emptiness. There was just enough light to allow them to make their way across the rock-strewn landscape without using the flashlight. After a short walk, Yuki could finally make something out; a large, dark oval shape that stood out against the horizon.

“Oh, I see it now. It’s right there.” She pointed. “What is it?”

“Too many questions.”

A few steps more and she was able to recognize a large smooth rock. It stood about six feet tall and eight feet wide.

“Wow, how did it get out here?” She flicked on the flashlight. A breath-taking carving of an animal was revealed in the beam of light. “Oh my gosh, it’s beautiful!” She ran her hands over the detailed markings, then stepped back, “What kind of animal is this? It looks like it has wings but, (she bent in closer) the head and feet look like a big cat’s? There’s never been big cats out here, right?”

“Technically, no, but I guess it all depends on what you believe in.”

“Who put it here?” She shone the light at another spot on the stone. “Is that a child it’s got its wings wrapped around?”

John smiled at the constant barrage of questions, “Let me tell you a story. It’ll explain everything.”

Many winters ago, the men of a village decided it was time to hunt. They made ready to gather seal, walrus and ptarmigan.

A Girl Child asked if she could join them.

The men told her, “You are too young.”

The Girl Child returned home and told her sister, “I’m not too young.”

Many winters ago, a Girl Child decided it was her time to hunt.

She said, “I am going to gather seal, walrus, and ptarmigan.”

Her sister asked if she could join her.

As she walked away, she said, “You are too young.”

A heavy snow began to fall.

Many winters ago, a Polar Bear decided it was time to hunt.

He went out to gather seal, walrus, and ptarmigan.

He walked on and on.

A heavy snow began to fall.

Many winters ago, the Girl Child’s Mother decided it was time to cook.

She called for the Girl Child, but she did not answer.

The Girl Child’s sister said, “She has gone to hunt seal, walrus and ptarmigan.

A heavy snow began to fall.

Many winters ago, a Girl Child, lost in the stark landscape, called for her Mother.

There was no answer.

“What would She do?”

The snow still fell.

Many winters ago, the Polar Bear still hunted for seal, walrus and ptarmigan.

A familiar scent filled the air.

Prey.

The snow still fell.

Many winters ago, a Mother, filled with fear, called for her Girl Child.

There was no answer.

“What would I do?”

The snow still fell.

The Girl Child stopped, something was there, she felt it.

The Polar Bear ran, something was there, he sensed it.

The Mother stopped, something was there, she knew it.

The snow still fell.

The Girl Child turned and saw it.

The Polar Bear turned and saw it.

The Mother ran forward and saw it.

The snow still fell.

The Girl Child watched a Giant White Beast fall from the sky.

The Polar Bear, seeing an opportunity, leapt at its prey.

The Mother could only watch.

The snow was frozen in the air.

A feather from the Giant White Beast’s wing grazed the Girl Child’s face, its hind legs came forward.

A Polar Bear, blinded by hunger, saw, too late, the claws of the Giant White Beast.

The Mother could only watch.

The snow was frozen in the air.

The Girl Child knew the giant beast was here for her, protecting her, she felt it.

The Polar Bear knew the Giant White Beast was here for him, needing him, he felt it.

The Mother of the Girl Child ran to her.

The snow, once again, fell.

The Giant White Beast settled to the ground. It turned its head towards them.

Holding each other tight, they returned the gaze and said, Thank you, without words.

The Giant White Beast extended its wings and disappeared into the clouds with the Polar Bear.

The snow still fell.

The Girl Child looked at her Mother, “I wanted to hunt seal, walrus and ptarmigan.”

Her Mother replied, “Maybe next year.”

The girl child said, “I think I might be too young.”

The snow still fell.

He continued, “The people of the village (he motioned with his head toward the town) carved this stone and brought it out here to honor and remember the great white beast who had saved the little girl.”

 Yuki was quiet then whispered, “Do you believe that happened?”

“I don’t have any reason not to.”

“They could have made it up. I mean, I’ve never read anything about cats with wings.”

“True, but I’m sure you’ve never read anything about Artic Foxes with solar panels for ears before, have you? And yet, those exist. So why not a flying cat?”

“Point taken. But since Kit is manmade, does that mean the giant white beast was too?”

 “Not sure exactly.” He looked at his watch. “We better get going.” He started back toward the truck.

Yuki turned to look back at the carving. She turned and yelled to John, “Wait, what do you mean, not exactly!”

“I’m sure you’ll find out soon enough. Come on let’s go!”

She turned and looked at the carving. The shadows created by the flashlight seemed to make it look as though the big cat was looking right at her. “Soon enough, what the heck is that supposed to mean.”

She turned, running carefully to catch up with him.

“Too many questions,” he yelled back to her.

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