Hello all. Just updating everyone on what I'm up to. No, I haven't forgotten anyone, just trying to get this done in as short a time as possible. I've got a new fiction coming, and I'm gearing it toward younger readers (pre-teen, teen, young adults). I noticed the last time I went to the bookstore that the kid's section is filled to the brim with occult materials and paganism, so I want to provide some alternatives that young readers can get into that steer them toward God, and not away. Anyway, I've got a couple of titles in mind, not sure which direction I'll go with. My choices thus far are:
The Ring of Jacob
The Kingdom of the Ring
I'm going to include chapter one (unedited) for you to peruse. Once I'm done, I'll publish it through Amazon KDP and list it for as low a price as Amazon will allow me to for both EBook and Paperback. It will be a shorter story (my intent anyway). I have an interview with Serpents and Doves coming out this week, so as soon as it's ready, I'll push the link for you all to watch. Lastly, just a reminder, I've been going through and updating hundreds of the past articles. When I transferred stuff over from WordPress, the formatting and graphics didn't make it so it's been a painstaking process to do, but I'm getting close to being complete. Please go back and look through those as there is much material (years worth) for you to peruse.
It all started in the small forgotten southeastern corner of a state, which by most accounts, was as rural as it was ancient. Because the time-zone boundary between Central and Eastern Standard Time separated the Alabama-Georgia state line, the joke was that if you went west from Georgia into Alabama, you not only went back one hour, but also a hundred years.
Jacob found it by happenstance while out exploring one beautiful spring day. Armed with his two dogs and a Red Rider BB gun, he wandered the hundreds of acres of pine-forested woods that surrounded the small town he lived in. He didn’t normally hunt anything, but he liked having a rifle with him in case he came across a snake or some other angry critter he could scare away or defend himself. Now, his dogs weren’t of any noble breed. Rather, their genetic origins were of mixed blood many times over. The two mutts were abandoned by their mothers, just as was he was, which caused the bond to form almost instantaneously. To them, he was another castaway in a forgotten land no one was meant to remember.
But God never forgets. Sitting high and lifted up, in the midst of swirling galaxies and structures so fantastical, mortal humans cannot even begin to fathom, He leaned forward. He knew today would be the day something extraordinary and magical would play out. You could say He was about to allow mankind a taste of something that had been long forgotten.
Jacob noticed the beautiful patch of green grass by complete accident. It was hidden in a sea of weeds and pine thickets so thick, that a man would need a machete to get into. But he was not a man, he was just a small boy who had no trouble slipping through to what appeared to be a magical oasis of green.
The open space was no more than ten feet by ten feet, but it was the most beautiful lush green grass he’d ever seen. It was as if someone had come out here in the middle of nowhere, and intentionally cultivated the most perfect yard possible, and then hidden it. It was so inviting that he immediately pulled off his worn-out boots and ratty socks, to feel it under his bare feet to see if it was really real.
The grass, cool to the touch and incredibly soft. He hovered his feet over the top of the grass as if he were allowing the soles to feel each blade individually. Then, using his toes, he pressed down and forward allowing his full weight to stand on the amazing grass. He stood there for a moment, pondering the significance of this magical moment. He allowed his toes to explore the grass and feel the earth beneath it as if expecting it to be plywood or some other artificial construct. In the process of exploring, he felt it. Hard and cold at first, but definitely foreign to the grass in which it now lay.
It was a familiar feeling, so he reached down and picked it up. It was a small silver ring, like the kind you’d see married people wearing. However, this ring was not so much grandeur, but practicality. It looked like the kind of plain ring poor people bought each other from a pawn shop to express their eternal vows of matrimony, before heading back to work. In fact, there was nothing significant about it. It was bare, with no etchings or jewelry adorning it otherwise.
He flipped the ring in his hand casually. Not only had he found this amazing stretch of grass, which by all measures, shouldn’t be here, but now this. He looked back at the ring, and then looked around guiltily as if someone perhaps had lost it and might be wandering back to find it. Alas, after a few minutes, he turned it over in his fingers and slipped it on. Big at first, however, it seemed to adjust to the size of his finger right before his very eyes.
As soon as it did, the woods came to life in a wave all around him. The sudden onset of change was subtle at first, but then the subtleness gave way to an explosion of lights and sounds he’d never heard before. It was as if the woods had not just come alive with the sounds of crickets and birds, but as if he could understand what they were now saying. Even more so, the trees were singing. Not singing words, but singing in their own voices, and it was eerily beautiful.
But not just the trees, it was the rocks and grass as well; even the insects crawling amongst them were busy making sounds that resembled music. He could hear and sense the rodents nearby without even looking; he could hear and see them all. Even crazier, he could understand what they were thinking. Furthermore, he felt no fear, nor sensed any from them.
There were voices as well. He couldn’t place it, but it appeared to be coming from all directions simultaneously. It was as if the trees, the rocks, and the grass had suddenly gained consciousness and had begun discussing their newfound life. Or perhaps they always had it, but he couldn’t see or hear it until just now. It must be the ring he thought. He hadn’t heard anything until he put it on. He slipped the ring back off and the woods went back to the way they had been before- rather indifferent to his presence. Throughout all of this excitement, his dogs lay near him enjoying the soft cool grass.
He slipped the ring on again, to the same results. The woods burst to life in this seemingly impossible way. He took the ring off, and the woods returned to normal. He did this another dozen times and each time, produced the same results. As magical as the moment had been, he looked up and noticed the fading light of day. It would be getting dark soon, and he had by his reckoning, at least two miles to walk before making it back to his foster parent’s house.
He sat down and slipped his socks and boots back on, put the ring in his shirt pocket, and buttoned it shut. He didn’t want to risk his foster parents questioning and possibly taking it from him; just better they not know about it. They were not nice people anyway. He gave one final look around before heading out and back home. With one quick whistle, he called his two mutts and they followed dutifully.
Unbeknownst to Jacob as he began making his way back home, was that the ground behind him slowly began to change. It changed from the weeds and sharp rocks to a trail of the greenest, lushest grass, the world had ever seen.