Friday, October 15, 2010



By Forrest Wayne Schultz

     This morning I received a call from a lawyer informing me that I was the heir of Mr. Sam Jones, a man I had never heard of, who had lived near Jonesville, a town I had never heard of. The estate consists of a beautiful historic country house (and the 100 acres of woodland in which it is nestled) plus a hefty stock portfolio plus a brand new BMW!

     The will contains no explanation as to why I am the designated heir nor does the lawyer have any idea. After I signed the pertinent documents transferring the estate into my name, I got into my brand new BMW to head out to my country estate where I was greeted by John and Joan Trimble, the couple who does the housekeeping and building & grounds work.

     I was favorably impressed with the Trimbles, especially concerning the excellent job they have been doing keeping everything in tip top shape. But they were unable to give me any idea of why Sam Jones had named me as his heir. Since almost all of their work is routine, their contact with Jones had been minimal, so that they never got to know him very well. All they could tell me was that he had been a recluse and that every day he took a long walk in the woods and spent the rest of the day holed up in his study with its large library of old books.

     Of all the places on the estate to look for the answer to my question it appeared that the study was the most promising. Its book case contained the books he had been reading, the desk contained his files, and the computer on his desk may hold some secrets, though he did not use it much.

     While trying to decide where to start my investigations, I noticed hanging on the wall an exquisite painting of an unusual medallion: its center depicted (clad in shiny silver armor and ready for battle) a valiant knight whose right hand (fisted and placed upon his heart as a sign of submission to his king) held a very small brilliant bluish-green rod, which was the focal point of the painting. Since the knight was grasping this Cyanorod as as though it were his sword, it appeared that he was about to wield it as his weapon. As I was pondering this anomaly, the painting changed into a three-dimensional holographic projection with the Cyanorod extended in my direction beckoning me to pick it up and wrap the palm of my right hand around it.


     As soon as I palmed the Cyanorod I was transported into another world in a manner that was no different than walking out of one room and into another. There was absolutely no sound at all, no flashing lights, no shimmering air, no "woo woo" music in the background or any of the other phenomena associated with such a thing in the popular fantasy literature and films. The mage who did this – if mage it was – is clearly a very sophisticated one, not like the childish ones who add in all the extraneous stuff!
     Upon my arrival in this new world I was told to insert the tip of the Cyanorod into a small recess in the center of a circle on the wall in front of me and to hold it there until it popped out, which took exactly 1.618 seconds. I then palmed the Cyanorod, was told "well done", and was returned to the study, whereupon I re-inserted the Cyanorod into the hologram, which then collapsed back into the painting on the wall.

     I was not told why this happened or what the Cyanorod did. Maybe I saved a planet or a galaxy or an alternate universe or something. Who knows? But I DO know that I did the right thing, and that is what is really important.

October 10, 2010

Grantville, Georgia


Friday, September 10, 2010


Would You Like To Be Clint Eastwood -- For A Few Minutes??

By Forrest Wayne Schultz

After introducing himself to me, the lawyer asked me this question. He was very serious. It turns out that I have an identical twin brother who had just died and made me his heir. And he liked to dress like Clint Eastwood and act like Clint Eastwood and his nickname was Clint. This became very clear when the lawyer showed me around his, now my, house, which was full of photographs of him dressed like Clint did in his Western films. And now, according to his will, the lawyer said, I needed to remove my clothes now and don my twin's Clint Eastwood clothes and submit to the ministrations of his hair stylist. This sounds very exciting, especially to a semi-nerd like me! In a few minutes I look exactly like my twin did in his Eastwood persona. And then – whew! – I feel my twin's spirit inside of me influencing my attitude, so that I actually want to look like Clint and act like Clint and am raring to go!!

The lawyer and the stylist were very pleased as they hurried me from the house and into my twin's tough-guy ATV, a macho man's jeep, which I then drive with great excitement following the lawyer at a rapid gait through the countryside arriving just in time to rescue Laura from three very bad men, who had just murdered my twin a few hours ago.

I made a very dramatic entrance into the yard in front of the house of the bad guys, squealing the tires and doing a "doughnut" and then screeching to a sudden stop and exiting from the jeep in Clint Eastwood style. There was one slight difference, which I noticed as I closed the car door and saw in my reflection in the mirror that my hat, face, shirt, pants, and cowboy boots were shining very brightly, which explained the horror on the faces of the bad guys who stood terrified on the porch of the house with Laura.

I said not a word. I pointed to Laura, who thereupon left the porch and ran over to me. I pointed to the ATV, and she got in. I pointed to the lawyer, who also is a justice of the peace. He walked over to the bad guys and presented them with a court order requiring them to leave the county immediately. They were so scared that they hurried into their truck and drove away pronto.

As I got into the ATV, my twin left me and the aura about me disappeared. Laura said to me: "You're not Clint! And why did you let those bad guys get away. You should have killed them!"


"You are right. I am not Clint. I am his twin. Look through the windshield now and you will see Clint ready to answer you."

"Hello, Laura! I am not finished with this yet. I am about to leave you. In my place you shall see what looks like a TV screen. It will show you the fate of the bad guys. But much more importantly, Laura, after you see me deal with them, I shall ascend to my home in Heaven prepared for me by God. Please think about that. I want you to join me there when you die. You know what you have to do. Remember what I told you. Good-bye!"

Clint left and in his place appeared a picture of the bad guys in their truck driving rapidly down a country road heading toward the county line. Clint appears on the road in front of them. The driver panics, loses control of the truck, which veers off the road, rolls down an embankment, and splashes into the river below, killing all three men. Clint waves goodbye and ascends to Heaven.

"Are you satisfied now, Laura?"


"OK, let me take you home now. And I hope you will do what Clint asked you to do!"

September 10, 2010

Grantville, Georgia


Friday, August 20, 2010



By Forrest Wayne Schultz

When I went to check in to the bed&breakfast inn, the proprietor informed me that my room had been paid for by another party. AND that the same party had also given me the brand new BMW parked out in the lot! After I examined the title and insurance documents, which confirmed what the proprietor had said, she handed me an envelope containing a letter from an attorney informing me that I had an appointment with him at 10 AM the following morning, at which time the source of this largesse would be revealed. Because I was extremely tired, I decided to go to bed at once and postpone any thought about this matter until tomorrow.

After a long and much needed sleep, I awoke refreshed just in time for breakfast and my trip to the attorney’s office through the beautiful spring countryside in my brand new BMW. I arrived right on time and was immediately greeted by the attorney himself and ushered in to his office. His law firm is a one-man operation, which is adequate for the legal needs of this sparsely populated rural area.

Because he sensed my intense curiosity, he got right down to business by informing me that I had an identical twin brother who had just died. I was not his “heir” in the usual sense of the word, because long ago he had made me the co-owner of all his property, so that upon his decease I automatically became the sole owner. The only thing remaining to be done was affixing my signature to the various pertinent documents. The “estate” was also quite simple: several hundred acres of farmland leased to a horse breeder plus money in a stock fund plus a bank account.

There was, though, one complicated matter involved: a letter written to me by my twin requesting, but not requiring, me to do something for him. He had deeply offended a woman and he had written a letter of apology to her but had been unable to muster up the courage to take it to her or even to mail it to her! He had placed the lawyer under obligation to arrange for the letter’s delivery to the woman after his decease. My twin’s letter to me said that he would prefer that I take his letter of apology to the woman on his behalf as his twin brother and acting as his proxy. But I was not legally bound to do this. He did request that if I agreed to do this for him, that I do so very seriously and with a willingness to beseech the woman to forgive him. He warned me that this would not be easy because this lady was a very strong person, a “power” woman, who would not permit a man to push her around. In short, this would be a difficult task for me.


I knew that this was something I ought to do for my twin. After asking the lawyer a few questions, I agreed to do it, provided that he call the woman on the phone and inform her of the matter and request to see her and introduce me to her. The lawyer agreed to do so and immediately went to the phone to call her. The woman was suspicious at first and asked the lawyer a lot of questions. She finally acceded to his request, mainly, I suppose, because this lawyer was very highly respected around here and is scrupulously honest in both his legal and personal dealings. The woman agreed to see me at once. In a few minutes we drove over to her house, the lawyer introduced me to her, and then left me with her.

She appeared to be satisfied with the honesty of the intentions both of my twin and of the lawyer. Now she asked me about mine. I confessed to her that I had a dual motivation. I felt that since my brother had been so generous in bestowing upon me all his property, that I ought to do this favor for him. And, I looked forward to meeting a “power” woman! I told her I was a semi-nerd, not a macho man like my twin, so I had no hopes on my own of getting such an opportunity to converse with a power woman like her. She smiled and said I was stronger than I supposed. As the repartee continued I was absolutely astonished to see her becoming ever more enamored with me, until she finally said that she would like to have me but she would NOT forgive my twin because what he had done to her was unforgivable.

Thereupon I scowled, stood up, and emphatically proclaimed to her: “If you refuse to forgive my twin, I am walking out of here and you will never see me again!”. As I headed for the door, she entreated me not to leave her, and said she would forgive my twin. After thoroughly interrogating her to be sure she meant it, and getting her to put her forgiveness in writing, I agreed to marry her.

We lived mostly – but not always – happily ever after, and our main secret was that of forgiving one another our trespasses against one another!


Grantville, GA
August 2010

Friday, July 30, 2010


D. Boone Rescued By A “Bar”

By Forrest Wayne Schultz

Few boys ever liked their name as much as Dan’l Boone did. He took great pride in being a direct descendant of THE Dan’l Boone. He loved hearing about all the exploits of his great namesake, especially the one about his famous carving:
“D. Boone Killed A Bar On This Tree”.

Dan’l loved living in the North Georgia mountains. He enjoyed hiking and camping in the large forest next to his house. Some times he went alone and other times he went with his Boy Scout troop. He eagerly learned camping lore, and he especially enjoyed first-aid, which he also learned from his Daddy, who worked for EMS. Whenever Dan’l went on one of his trips into the woods he always took with him his canteen, his first aid kit, his knife, and other Scouting supplies. His carefully followed the Boy Scout Motto: Be Prepared!!

One day when Dan’l was on a long hike deep in the woods, he heard a loud cry that sounded like an animal was hurt. When he left the trail to investigate he found a large bear in great pain from a long tough thorn in one of his paws. So, Dan’l got out his canteen and his first aid kit and went to work. The bear was very intelligent: he immediately knew what Dan’l was doing and he fully co-operated. He ceased his howling and he remained still while Dan’l extracted the thorn and applied disinfectant and balm to the wound. The bear expressed his gratitude to Dan’l by giving him a famous bear hug.

The bear lay down and took a nap to recuperate while Dan’l got out his Boy Scout knife and carved into the trunk of the big tree there these words: “D. Boone Removed A Thorn From The Paw Of A Bear Under This Tree in 2003”.

The carving was hard work and took a long time but it was fun! When Dan’l finished, he got out his canteen and took a swig of water as the bear woke up from his nap. The bear then offered one of his good paws to Dan’l and led him back to the trail.

Two years later Dan’l did a very foolish thing. He left to go on a hike in the woods without taking any supplies with him!! No first aid kit, no canteen, no compass, no knife, nothing at all!! That day Dan’l was NOT prepared! Then he added to his foolishness by wandering off of the trail.

This was a very bad day to be unprepared. For the sky was getting ever darker and the temperature was getting colder and colder until finally it began snowing very hard and soon Dan’l was not only shivering but realized he was hopelessly lost.

Then he looked and saw a strange sight. Right in front of him the Bear – Yes, the same Bear – appeared and recognized Dan’l and gave him another bear hug and then lifted him onto his back and ran through the woods all the way to Danl’s home. Dan’l was never so glad to be home in all his life!

His mother came to the door just in time to see Dan’l give the bear a goodbye/thank-you hug.

“Yes, Ma! That was THE Bear,” he said.

July 27, 2010
Children’s Fantasy

Thursday, July 1, 2010


My Meta-Mission

By Forrest Wayne Schultz

This story is super-brief, so I shall also be super-brief in explaining the “meta-“ prefix. Just as a meta-statement is a statement about another statement (rather than your typical statement, e.g. about your dog), so a meta-mission is a mission about another mission rather than your typical mission. I needed to make this distinction immediately upon my arrival on this planet because they mistakenly thought I was there for your typical salvific mission. I told them that there was no need for a salvific mission. They already had had a salvific mission. My mission was a meta-mission because it pertained to that previous mission.

The deadly danger that was threatening to kill all inhabitants of this planet HAD ALREADY BEEN CURED by the previous mission, the salvific mission, i.e. it had given them the CURE! There were two problems. First, the cure was not being administered to all inhabitants. Secondly, those who were receiving the cure were NOT taking the full dosage – they were only taking partial dosages, which did some good but did not wipe out the malady completely.

Soooo, my meta-mission was to tell them to do two things: 1. administer the cure to all instead of only some; and 2. to take the full dosage, instead of a partial dosage.

Thus endeth my meta-mission whereupon I returned to Earth but I wondered if it had done any good because there was something about those people that put me in mind of some of the weird denizens of those lands visited in days of yore by the esteemed Gulliver.

July 1, 2010
Grantville, Georgia, USA, Earth, Solar System, Galaxy, Universe


Two rings -- two purposes

By Forrest Wayne Schultz

Early this morning I received a visit from my lawyer, who informed me that I had an identical twin brother, that he required my assistance, and that in order to provide that assistance I needed to travel to his house and follow the instructions he had left for me there. All of the necessary travel arrangements had been made and there would be no need for any financial expenditure on my part and I needed to leave immediately.

As soon as the lawyer concluded his terse statement, a limousine pulled into my driveway to take me to the airport where I was booked as the sole passenger on a flight via a private luxury high-speed airplane, which also transported the limousine. The ride in the limo to the airport, the air flight, and the ride in the limo to my twin brother’s house all proceeded rapidly and without incident.

The driver unlocked the house and handed me the key, which she told me was now mine to keep. She then escorted me through the house and into the study, where she asked me to please be seated at the desk and to open the large envelope there, which contained the instructions from my brother. Before leaving she told me she would be back at _____ o’clock to take me to the airport for the return flight.

The envelope did indeed contain the instructions, which pertained to the two golden rings which were also found in the envelope, one embedded in a stiff cardboard mounting and the other loose inside a small cloth bag. Also present in the envelope was an electronic timer in countdown mode. The instructions were quite simple. When the timer had counted down to 10 seconds, I was to pick up the loose ring with the fingers of my right hand. After the countdown reached zero, I was to place this ring on top of the embedded ring.

After I followed these instructions, there were no discernible changes in the rings or the room: no poofs, bangs, sparks, shimmering air or “woo woo” sounds, such as those produced by childish mages. There was only one noticeable change: I was able to see what was happening to my twin. He had used his magic gadget to harness the energy released by the two rings to slay the super-powerful, super-wicked Lord of Darkness, but, in so doing, he himself was killed – a sacrifice he willingly made to extirpate from the Earth a very evil presence he had been fighting for the past decade.

Several minutes later, as the instructions told me would happen, my twin’s lawyer arrived and rang the doorbell. After we seated ourselves at the dining room table, he showed me the documents indicating that all of my twin’s property was actually in both of our names, and that upon his death I became the sole owner. Now I need to be frank here. Although I was astounded at the great thing my brother had done and the small but essential role I had played in it, there was something about this place that was giving me “the creeps”. Somehow the lawyer sensed this because he said that if I wished to sell the property, which was this house plus a small house down the road and the 25 acres of land on which they sat, that he knew a buyer wishing to purchase it. I was so astonished and gratified when I heard the very large amount she was offering, that I immediately said I would sell, whereupon he got out his cell phone and called his wife, a realtor, who was waiting in his car with the purchaser.

They came in and we all signed the necessary papers, which took very little time since the sale was in cash and all the papers had been made out in advance, and the only thing remaining was for me and the purchaser to sign our names at the designated places.

In the little house lived a single woman who was renting it from my twin. They had become friends and they greatly admired one another but she was very frustrated because he would not let her get close to him because he foreknew his own destiny. This I learned from her when she came to visit me right after the lawyer, realtor, and purchaser had left. (She was also a close friend of the realtor, who had told her what would happen today.)

As soon as I admitted her to the house upon her knock on the door, we were each absolutely and totally smitten with each other, and I don’t know why and I don’t care! As soon as I “popped the question”, I heard a noise where the two rings were located and found one of them shrinking in size so as to make a perfect fit on the finger of my fiancee’. The other ring perfectly fit my finger, as it had my twin. She was all packed and ready to leave, so that when the limo driver arrived, she had two passengers for the return trip, which she said she knew would happen!!!

We were married that evening at my house by a justice of the peace, who is a really great guy who had a lot of fun doing it and listening to the story of how it came about!!

July 1, 2010
Grantville, Georgia


Saturday, June 19, 2010



The Autobiography Of A Lateral Time Traveller





(Author's Name Withheld)







Edited By: Forrest Wayne Schultz, Chairman
Chrononautics Deparment
Paranormal Research Institute
Grantville, Georgia USA


April 25, 2014

Editorial Note:


     My editorial responsibilities have been purely custodial in nature. At the author's request, there have been no alterations, deletions, or additions to the text he wrote and placed into our custody for publication at this time. We certify that this is indeed the verbatim text of the author and that we have found no reason to question the author's integrity or sanity. This article constitutes the introduction to the book by the author, which is now being printed and will be published soon.


Copyright 2014 by the Paranormal Research Institute


     I had always wondered whether alternate possible time-lines really exist but I never thought I would have the opportunity to find out. I have chosen to remain anonymous and to delay publication until this time because I have no wish to be ridiculed or advised to consult a psychiatrist, nor do I wish for myself or the others involved to be harassed by questioners. To protect my anonymity I shall only disclose those details needed for you to know what happened in order that you my get some idea of what it feels like to suddenly find yourself in a different time-line. Those interested in research into this subject may consult the organization publishing my account.


     If you have not surmised as much by now, let me warn you right here at the outset that I am not a writer and I am not trying to entertain you. If you are not interested in alternate time-lines I would advise you to stop at this point. Let me also warn you that I can offer you no scientific explanation for what happened to me. Although I myself am a scientist in this time-line as well as the one from which I came, and although I have spent many hours discussing it with the researchers in the institute publishing this account, we are no nearer to an explanation now than ever. Nor have we built any machine which can travel to other time-lines, such as you read about in science fiction stories. Nor did I travel here in one -- at least not one piloted by me.


     Here now is what happened. One day (without any warning that anything strange was about to happen) while I was at home alone one Saturday morning while walking through the living room, I suddenly passed out. When I regained consciousness I found myself lying on the floor of a strange house dressed in clothing I had never worn before. I was assisted to my feet by a man I had never seen before dressed in a butler's uniform. He addressed me by name (Dr. ________) as though he were my servant, which I soon discovered he was.









    As an avid science fiction fan with an especial interest in time travel stories, the first conjecture which entered my mind was that I had travelled to an alternate time-line where I was being mistaken for my alternate self who had lived in that line prior to my transport there. Subsequent investigations amply confirmed this hypothesis. In this new time line I have the same name, bodily features, voice, temperament and abilities, so that no one has suspected anything. I am also the same age because I arrived during the same hour, day, and year when I had left my original time-line. Therefore it was indeed a lateral time travel, i.e. a travel sideways to an alternate possible history of the world rather than a travel backward or forward to a different time within the same history.


     As quickly as possible after my arrival here I devoted as much effort as I was able to finding out what my alternate self had been up to, and in what respects this time-line differed from the one I had left. I soon learned that many things were different both in my personal history and in world history. My studies indicated that apparently this time-line diverged from my original time-line in approximately 1959. The divergence may have happened earlier than this but it cannot have come later because there were many events in this time-line after 1959 which are different from those which occurred in the other. I was able to determine this because my transport did not result in the loss of memory of my knowledge of the time-line in which I had previously lived. Also, the transport itself did not add anything to my knowledge about this time line. What I have learned about this time-line I had to discover after my arrival here. All of the time-line differences I have discovered are on file at the research institute mentioned above where they are available for study. Here in this introduction I shall give an overview of them to be followed by a detailed examination of some of the major ones in the chapters to follow. Although there are many differences in world history (different Presidents, different wars, etc.), the differences most significant for me are those in my personal life. Actually, the world here is not much different from the one I left.









     As mentioned above, I can find no differences in my personal time-line prior to 1959. I have here the same birth date, parents, siblings, home town, and educational experience up through 1959. I also attended and graduated from the same college there as here, but some of the courses I took after 1959 are different, as my transcript indicates. After graduation the divergence becomes great. In this time-line, my alternate self went on to graduate school for a Ph.D.; in my previous time-line I took degrees in theology and philosophy and ended up as a Professor of Philosophy of Science. Here my alternate self after some post-doctoral studies pursued an empirical research career, including one major discovery which proved to be lucrative.


     Fortunately, since my transport here occurred early on a Saturday morning, I had the rest of the weekend to familiarize myself with the career which my alternate self had been following so that by Monday I was sufficiently familiar with the duties and schedule expected of me. Another fortunate factor was that "my" schedule for the week ahead involved preparation for some special lectures I was to give concerning "my" latest research, so that by the time I returned to "my" lab the following week I was well acquainted with the subject and able to resume the work just as thought I were my alternate self.

     In fact, in some ways I was better prepared than he due to my knowledge of my former time-line. There were some discoveries made there which were not made here which I was able to incorporate into my work. Also, my philosophical training helped me to find some flaws in the logic and theoretical structure of my alternate self's work which he had not seen. In this way I was able, as the saying goes, to have "the best of both worlds"! There were, to be sure, some tricky situations which developed, such as not recognizing someone I was supposed to know or "forgetting" some important matters, but fortunately the reputation of my alternate self for absentmindedness usually covered over such matters without much difficulty.








     There were a great many differences in my personal life as well. For one thing, in this time-line I am married to a different woman! This presented, of course, a very tricky ethical dilemma for me, as it would for anyone who takes the prohibition against adultery seriously.


     How I resolved this ethical problem as well as the ethics of stepping into the shoes of my alternate self will be discussed in the chapters to follow. All I will say here is that for me the crucial factor was the fact that my transfer had displaced my alternate self from this time-line. I never saw him or had any indications that he was still here. I also learned that immediately before my transport, my alternate self was wearing the same clothes, and was standing at the same spot where I landed when I arrived here. Because what had happened was a clear case of displacement, I felt it was incumbent upon me to assume the responsibilities of my alternate self. Whether this was the right thing to do I am not completely sure, but it is what I did.


     What I have written above is both the introduction to my story as well as what happened during the first six hours here in this new time-line. I arrived here at 9 AM and spent until 3 PM acquainting myself with what my alternate self had been doing in his scientific work. I spent from 3 PM through 5 PM getting information on his wife. (The butler me that she had phoned and said she would return at 5 PM.) I quickly looked through all the relevant files and documents and photographs I could find pertaining to her. The results of this search are noted in the beginning of the first chapter. The drama which ensued when I met her comprises the rest of that first chapter -- and what a drama that was!!


     By the time you read this I will no longer be here but will have experienced a different kind of transport, and in this new and better world on high I believe I may find some answers.











     I do not remember  when I first imagined this story, but I do know that I did not write it down until June 4, 1986.  When I saw how much fun it was to write and how much fun it was winning the short story contest in which I entered it, I decided to write down all the other short stories I had imagined, and henceforth I have usually written down each one shortly after imagining it.

     Each of these stories is written as a narration by the main character who is a scientist or engineer or academic.  By doing so I am able to write my stories in my natural writing style rather than vainly attempting to write in a “literary” style. 

     I do not recall why I chose ALTT as my entry into the contest but it is not surprising that I did so because time travel stories are among my favorite kind of science fiction.  The wording of the story here (April 25, 2014) is the same as the original with a few exceptions.  The second last paragraph was not in the original story.  I also changed the address of the Paranormal Research Institute from Riverdale, GA (where I lived in 1986) to Grantville, GA (where I have lived since 1991).  AND, of course, the website address was added (there was no world wide web in 1986!).

     The story itself is simply what I myself would do if my travel to an alternate time line were to displace my alternate self from that time line:  I would assume his responsibilities.

     I do not know if alternate time lines exist but I do know that the Infinite Omniscient Mind of God not only knows all actualities, He also knows all possibilities, a very important point which few theologians ever mention!

     I hope you have found this story to be interesting. 






Lady  Irene  and  the  Final  Cyanocube


By   Forrest   Wayne   Schultz



     It was only because Bill was a good friend that I acceded to his strange request.  The request was also strange in its verbal form.  Bill, like me, is very loquacious.  But not this time.  He very tersely and very urgently implored me that I drop what I was doing  and drive immediately to a certain store in a certain town where I would meet a certain young lady who would tell me the task I was to perform.  And that's all he said.  It was clear to me that he strongly believed that this was a task which ought to be done, that it was a very important task, and that it was necessary that I be the one to do it.  So I told him, "OK, I'll do it.".


     I had never heard of the town before, but it was easy to find.  Since it was a warm beautiful spring morning, I drove there in my convertible with the top down.  It was especially enjoyable to me because, after waiting almost a lifetime, I finally owned my own convertible, and this was only my second trip in it.  The journey to the town took about a hour.  Immediately after I decided to do what Bill asked me to, I somehow just knew it was the right thing to do.  As I drove through the beautiful countryside this feeling of rightness grew stronger until by the time I arrived at the designated rendezvous I was thoroughly convinced I was doing the right thing.

    The young lady I met there made a very favorable impression upon me as she spoke to me.  To fulfill her responsibility in the grave matter at hand she valiantly overcame her acute shyness and boldly addressed me, introduced herself, and stated that we must leave at once to go to the place on the nearby mountain where I would perform my task.  Although  she was quite plain in speech, appearance, and dress, I could tell that deep  down inside (hidden from public view) she was a very sophisticated and very exciting person, and that it was only because of her responsibility for my appointed task that I was granted this rarely bestowed insight.  In her brief address to me she communicated a zeal for, and an almost hilarious delight in, the impending task.  As a result, I not only knew it was my responsibility to accomplish this task, but I now also ardently desired to do it and to please her by doing it.  A woman who can have that kind of effect upon a man is a very exciting woman indeed.





     We rode to our destination in my convertible at her insistence.  Lady Irene – for such was her name – confided to me that she wished to own a convertible but her super-serious parents regarded convertibles as frivolities beneath their exalted station and unsuitable for a family having such a lofty mission in life.  Ironically, although I sympathized with Irene, it almost seemed like her parents might be right because she spent the entire half-hour drive up the mountain enjoying the feel of the sunshine upon her face and the breeze blowing through her long beautiful red hair.  I soon became so caught up in enjoying her enjoyment that I suppressed my annoyance at the fact that Irene was so enamored with the sunshine and the breeze that she said not one word about the super-important task I was soon to perform.                                             

     I am a very curious person.  It was only because Bill so strongly insisted upon the necessity of my immediate departure that I suppressed my curiosity about the nature of the task.  I spent the entire hour of the drive to the rendezvous with Irene trying to guess what the nature of the task was and why I was the designated agent.  What unique ability or knowledge did I have that resulted in my being selected?


     The first possibility I entertained was my ether theory, which is radically different from the reigning Copenhagen School of Interpretation.  I had often imagined solving an important physics puzzle posed to me by a great scientist who had been unable to find the answer because he was basing his research upon the theoretical structure of The Copenhagen School.  But, as I pondered the matter some more, I soon began to doubt this scenario, because it appeared that my task would be more akin to a fantasy quest.  This supposition was strengthened in my mind when I met Lady Irene, heard that her family had a "lofty mission", and learned that our destination was on a mountain.  This thought of a quest was  appealing to me because I love the fantasy stories of  C. S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien.  So maybe I would be going on a quest for a magic sword or something like that.



    Well, it turned out that my annoyance at Irene was ill-founded because the task I was to perform was extremely simple and easy.  All I had to do was to remove a small magenta-colored crystalline cube out of a device and replace it with an identically sized cyan-colored cube which Irene would give me.  The device was housed in a quaint Alpine-Village sort of cottage located a short distance down a foot path which began near where I had parked my car.  There would be no problem with the cube transfer, Irene told me.  The magentacube was easy to spot (at the very center of the device) and would pop right out with a gentle tug, and the cyanocube would be popped right into the hole left vacant by the removal of the magentacube.  Nothing to it!






     However before Irene went to her purse to get the cyanocube I suddenly became aware of evil beings readying themselves to thwart the accomplishment of my task.  So, in my mind I immediately sent up a terse urgent prayer to God to protect me, Irene, the cube, and the device with a two-fold shield:  (1). What is called in certain Christian circles a "Hedge of Protection" and (2). What in Star Trek is called a "Cloak of Invisibility", but modified so as to apply only to evil beings.  This meant that evil beings could neither see nor harm me, Irene, the cube, or the device.  I sensed an immediate answer to this prayer, which went into effect just prior to Irene's reaching into her purse to get the cyanocube.  This cyanocube was inside a beautiful red cedar box, similar to those used by wealthy women to hold expensive jewelry. 



    Irene instructed me to follow this sequence.  First, pull the magentacube out of the device, then open the box, get the cyanocube out and insert it into the device, then put the magentacube into the box, and walk back up the path to the car.  This is precisely what I proceeded to do.


      There were, however, two slight interruptions.  First, as I was walking down the path to the cottage there suddenly appeared in front of me a strange man.  As he began to speak to me I sensed, almost immediately, that he was extremely wise, extremely good, and extremely powerful, and that he had a good sense of humor.  He addressed me (in a tone of voice that somehow managed to be both solemn and playful) in magnificent Latin such as would be used at the high point of some holy or royal festival.  A rough translation would be something like this:  "Hail to you, most noble Bearer of the Puissant Cyanocube!".  He then switched to ordinary contemporary American English and informed me that evil beings were lurking nearby and he asked me to give him permission for him (and his colleagues) to destroy them.  I granted it at once.  He then paused for a moment, smiled, and then said, "Well, that takes care of that!".  After this he told me that his name was Michael and that if I sensed any more evil beings that I should, in my mind, utter his name and implore his aid.  This I agreed to do.

















      He then disappeared and I proceeded the rest of the way down the path to the cottage and quickly accomplished my task with no problems whatever.  The door to the cottage was unlocked, the device was the only object it contained, and the magentacube was easily located, being prominently situated in the very center of the device.  I pulled gently on the magentacube, which popped out very easily.  I then reached into my pocket,  got out the  cedar "jewelry box", and removed the cyanocube, which was radiant with the most beautiful glow I had ever seen of blue-green (cyan), which is my favorite color.  I then popped  the cyanocube into the device, placed the magentacube into the cedar box, and put it into my pocket.  As I was about to turn around and leave the cottage, it seemed to me that the device somehow had been rejuvenated by my insertion of the cyanocube.  I then noted the parallel between the cubes and electric storage batteries.  The dial on an ammeter will point to the right, green zone when its wires are connected to a fully charged battery, and it will point to the left, red zone when connected to a battery with low charge.  Well anyway ….


     I exited the house and began walking up the path back toward my car when I sensed evil beings again.  As instructed, I mentally contacted Michael, who, before I could "say" anything, "said" to me, "Yeah, I see 'em.  You want me to zap 'em?".  To which I responded, "Indubitably!".  He replied, "You have wondrously restrained your curiosity and loquacity.  I shall reward you by telling you what is going on here.  The first evil beings my colleagues and I destroyed were what you would call 'evil mages'.  This current group is a gang of human thugs which are colloquially referred to as 'hit men'.  When the original plan -- to destroy the cyanocube – failed, the Poneru  (i.e. the evil mages) switched to 'Plan B', which was to destroy first 'The Guardians' (Irene's family) and then 'The Device' (as you call it).  They were preparing to do so when I first contacted you, and then destroyed them before they had a chance to act.  I needed to destroy them, because, you see, you neglected to include The Guardians in the Protection/Invisibility Shield you requested and received from The Boss.  You would have accomplished your task and The Device, the Cubes, you, and Irene would have been unharmed but The Guardians would have been destroyed, which would have left The Device unguarded after you left. You walked out of the house at precisely 10:00 AM , which is the time when 'Plan C' was activated, which was to happen in case Plan B had not been accomplished by 10:00 AM ."


     "In accord with this Plan C, a group of "hit men" proceeded to drive up the mountain in their cars intending to come to this location where they would position themselves in hidden preselected spots from which they would assassinate you as you walked down the path to the cottage.  The flaw in their plans was due to a mistranslation of the document they were consulting according to which you would not walk down the path until a few minutes before noon and then would insert the Cyanocube at precisely 12 Noon .  But the document did not say '12 Noon '; it said 'in the morning before 12 Noon '.  OK, now I will let you watch the destruction of the hit men."  I then saw, just as though I were standing at the very spot, the hit men fall dead in their cars and their cars careen off the road and crash into a ravine.  Michael then informed me that I would need to leave here in a hurry because The Guardians  were about to get furious.


  "OK, Michael", I said.  "I will do so.  And thank you for your help and your information!"


     "Glad to be of help!  Oh, and when you pray your prayer of thanksgiving, be sure to slip in a mention of my name.  The Boss is displeased with me because I botched the job I had right before this one."


     "What?  I didn't know angels could botch jobs!  You are an angel, aren't you, or something like that?"


     "Yeah, something like that.  Angels are sinless, but we can make mistakes.  Actually, I think The Boss allows them to happen on purpose to keep us from getting puffed up with pride like You Know Who."


     "OK.  Goodbye, Michael"
     "Goodbye, Cyanocube Bearer"                 
           When I returned to the car Irene was anxiously awaiting me and wanted to know if everything went all right.  She was concerned because it had taken me longer than it should have.  I informed her that the task was accomplished but that we needed to leave at once because her family was about "to hit the roof".  I responded to her puzzled look by saying, "Get in the car; I will explain as we drive away."


     As we drove past the house we suddenly heard a gavel banging loudly followed by several irate, stentorian, and shocked voices beginning with that of the Guardians' leader.


     "All Right, WHO destroyed the Poneru??!!  I did NOT authorize that.  …."
     "My Lord, excuse me, more bad news – Look At That Screen!  SOMEONE HAS CONTACTED THE MACROBES !!!!!!    WHAT??   WHAT??  NO!!  NO!!  I DIDN'T DO IT.  NOR I ! ………


     Then, as we drove out of range of these voices I told Irene:  "That is what I meant".  I then told her of my conversations with Michael and what he had done, and she explained to me that the Macrobes were a special group of high angels, and that, according to Guardian Rules, only the leader could contact them and then only after a Special Council meeting with all the other Guardians.  She said the Guardians were puffed up with pride and were envious of each other and were always at strife among themselves.  The outburst I had witnessed was not uncommon, she said. 

     After we drove into the town Irene took me to a beautiful restaurant where she had reserved a small banquet room for our celebration luncheon.  Although she had literally put up her hair (after another pleasant breeze treatment in the convertible ride), she figuratively "let down her hair", confiding in me all kinds of things.  For instance, in addition to the failings noted above, The Guardians were very misogynistic.  The only reason that Irene was given the responsibility of locating me, giving me the Cyanocube, and instructing me in my task is because they regarded that as a very menial job.  To them, the insertion of the Cyanocube into The Device was of little more significance than something like changing a light bulb.  As I thought about this situation I realized that I should do something about The Guardians both because they needed to be straightened out and because I did not want to see Irene subjected to life among people like that.  Therefore, after we concluded the Banquet I asked Irene to go for a walk with me in the park behind the restaurant. 


     I then told her what I had in mind.  I was going to mentally contact Michael and ask him to straighten out the Guardians. Irene said she would appreciate that very much.  All her efforts to that end had been in vain.  I therefore mentally contacted Michael and we had this "conversation".


     "Oh, Michael, are you there?"

"Yes, I am here, Cyanocube Bearer, and I was hoping you would call."

"I cannot in good conscience leave here without doing something about the spiritualcondition of The Guardians.  I want you to go with me to The Guardians' house and call them to account to see if perhaps they will straighten up.  The Device has just received a physical rejuvenation.  The Guardians need a spiritual rejuvenation.  Do you agree and will you please do this?"

      "I agree and will be glad to do this.  In fact, I was hoping you would ask!"















     We then put into operation the steps we had decided to follow.  After driving back up the mountain to the house with Irene, I burst into the Guardians Council Chamber (where they were still conducting their postmortem, albeit in subdued voices now), bellowed forth in Latin the Guardians credo, and announced to them:  "Your questions will now be answered and certain questions will be asked of you by Michael, The Leader of the Macrobes!" Immediately after my announcement Michael appeared by my side clad in radiant garments.  The Guardians were so stunned they fell to the floor and prostrated themselves.  Michael told them to get off the floor and sit down in their seats.  He then proceeded to conduct a lengthy session with them.  First, he said, "None of you destroyed the Poneru; I destroyed the Poneru.  No one contacted me.  I initiated  contact.  Those are my answers to your questions.  Now I have some questions for you."

     Then He proceeded to question The Guardians point by point on various principles involving their guardianship found in their Guardians Handbook.  In each case he asked them to recite the particular point in their Solemn Oath (which sounded sort of like the Boy Scout Oath) he wished to address.  Then, in each case, he would ask them if they had obeyed that particular principle of the Oath.  He dealt, as I had expected he would, with those principles dealing with the eschewing of pride, strife, envy, and misogyny.  The Guardians were extremely uncomfortable with this treatment but were so terrified of Michael that they dared not raise any objection.  Finally, Michael came to what they were dreading:  that section of the Handbook which states that the Macrobes will revoke the Guardianship of any Guardians violating the Oath.  The Guardians were petrified and all but weeping when Michael asked them his final question:  "Can anyone give me a reason why I should not revoke your guardianship?"


     At this point I (who had been silently standing next to Michael during all this time) said,  "Michael, you may want to consider placing the Guardians on probation, during which period they would devote themselves to a severe regimen of spiritual rejuvenation you would prescribe to them.  You could delay your final decision as to their fate until after you examine how they conducted themselves during this probationary period."  Michael, turning and facing me, replied:  "The suggestion is quite good but I have serious doubts about whether these men will improve."  He then turned to face The Guardians and asked them if they would be willing to subject themselves to such a regimen as he would prescribe.  They were so relieved that they heartily agreed.










     As Michael began to set forth his regimen for The Guardians, I left the Council room and walked with Irene at her request into a special, rarely used, exquisite chamber.  As we were approaching this chamber she explained that the Cyanocube I had borne and inserted into The Device was the last one to which The Guardians had access.  There was, in fact, only one more Cyanocube in existence, which would be the last one needed but that it was sealed in a special safe which could only be opened by typing the proper passwords into the appropriate boxes on a computer "Key" screen.  All of the many efforts by the Guardians to figure out these passwords were unsuccessful.  This was why she asked me to come here with her to this Chamber:  to see if I could discover these passwords.  To get to this "Key" screen, one followed the instructions on the opening screen.  After Irene had told me this, we reached the special chamber, she unlocked the door, and we walked over to the gorgeous table on which the computer monitor was seated.  She then turned on the computer and clicked on the "Start" icon, which put onto the monitor a screen with the most beautiful graphics I have ever seen.  The picture bore an ornate Latin title with a gorgeous Old English font:  "Key To Unlock The Repository of the Final Cyanocube".  At the very bottom of this screen, in English, were these instructions (followed by a blank line) "Type the word 'friend' here, then click 'Enter'."


     I was astounded when I saw those words but surprised that they evoked no emotion whatever from Irene.  So I asked her, "Don't those words remind you of something?".  She shook her head "No".

     I then asked her to remember the Door to the Mountain of Moria on which this invitation was inscribed:  "Speak 'friend' and enter".  She gave me a puzzled look.  "Oh, no!", I exclaimed, "You haven't read The Lord of the Rings!  I suppose your super-serious parents have forbidden that too because they think the reading of fantasy is frivolity!    That's a shame.  That book is so wonderful I have read it five times!"  She replied that she had heard it was good but was afraid to read it because her parents might catch her at it.  "Maybe", she mused, "they will change their mind after they complete Michael's regimen."


     We then returned our attention to the computer monitor, and Irene, as instructed on the screen, typed in the word "Friend" on the blank line and then clicked "Enter".  This now put us onto the screen where the passwords would need to be typed.  As soon as I looked at it I knew the answer.  The lines for the three passwords were arranged into a pattern with the first word on a line above the line containing the other two words separated by a space, with a cord coming from this top word descending to and surrounding the two words on the lower line.  There was an arrow with a symbol on it on top of this cord pointing downward and the same kind of arrow with the same symbol on top of it between the two words on the bottom line with the arrow pointing from left to right. 


   Here is the meaning of this picture.  The symbol on the arrows is a crown and the picture as a whole is a symbol of the climax of The Lord of the Rings:  The Coronation of Aragorn.  The three passwords were the names of the three participants in this Coronation:  1. Gandalf, on the top line, who directed the actions of The Fellowship (symbolized by the circumscribing cord), who (as symbolized by the arrow) passed the Crown to 2. Frodo, who had to complete his task of destroying The Ring in the fires of Mt. Doom before the Throne of Gondor could be re-occupied, which is symbolized by the arrow with the Crown on top passing from Frodo to 3.Aragorn, who only then could ascend to his Throne to became King.  As soon as Irene typed in these three words in the proper places, the screen lit up and beautiful music began to play – some of the finest I have ever heard.  And then the safe door opened where we saw the red cedar box which held The Final Cyanocube.
                                                                                          February 29, 2004
Bill is a real person:  Bill Gardiner, an old friend of mine, who is indeed loquacious.
The rest of the characters are fictional.


The character flaws of The Guardians are often found in the mages of fantasy stories.  I thought it would be interesting to write a story in which they are called to account for these flaws.


I purposely portrayed Michael as a harmonious blend of solemnity and playfulness because I believe that angels are neither "stuffy" (as they are often presented in traditional writings) nor are they buffoons (as certain modern writers like Andrew Greeley portray them).


The term "macrobes" I borrowed from C.S. Lewis's That Hideous Strength but here they refer to good angels, rather than evil ones.


The term "Poneru" I borrowed from my fantasy short story "The Defeat of the Poneru".  It is derived from a Greek adjective meaning "evil".


I borrowed the term and concept of a "Cyanocube" powering a magical device from my fantasy short story "The Cyanocube of Kalothor", but that story is quite different.


An elaboration of the significance of what I said about Gandalf, Frodo, and Aragorn can be found in my paper "Christological Analogies in the Lord of the Rings", which is published in the December 2002 issue of the Chalcedon Report.


I borrowed the concept of a young lady named Lady Irene discovering my identity and encouraging me to perform my mission from my short story "The Secret Hero", but that story is radically different.        F. S.