Authors: Travis Lyle
To God, my four amazing children to which I would go to the ends of the world on fire for, family and friends, and those who unknowingly stuck with me or supported me even in the slightest menial way, to thee I cherish those memories, moments, and times. Thank you for your love, support, kindness, laughter, smiles, and hope for a brighter future. I could have done it without you, but I wouldn’t want to do it without you. It’s not the same when you’re not there.
Have you ever wandered what it would look like if Nostradamus’s predictions were correct and Native Americans took back their land? What would happen if the City of Gold and the Holy Grail from the Templar Knights treasure were found, unlocking an ancient land curse resurrecting real life into the giants we call trees? What would you do if the eighty feet golden Goliath walked over the top of you, and a Queen arose wielding the Staff of Moses controlling hounds and flaming souls from the spirit world? I originally created this book with a historical reflection of our past, but un-like many non-fiction novels I didn’t just want to re-educate individuals on what our country has done to become what we are today, rather draw you into a fictional fantasy that bolsters some of our history following historical timeline and twist it in a fashion to create intense feelings with a fantasy involving eternal love, deception, fear, hate, war, phenomenon, and ultimately hope for mankind.
It’s another heated Fourth of July across America, but this year no fireworks are hammering the sky. It may smell like a barbeque in the air, but that is not from any family get-together rather something more seemingly daunting. Since spirits embodied trees, our homes have been destroyed, our land has become barren though in constant warring turmoil, and the only food we get is when animals break through a barrier to try and kill us for our safe haven. None of us know what caused this to happen, but we all still have nightmares about our friends and family being impaled by living trees. That is the reason most of us have become insomniacs, that and for survival from nocturnal predators.
Mitch is the one who found this place. He was very smart in military tactics and I feel it is the only reason we’ve been alive this long. We first noticed a fully intact building on our retreat for safety, but once we reached atop the hill where it stood, trees stood beside it. We all nearly died right there of fearing stress until Mitch securely yells out,
“They are not alive. These trees are dead trees. It’s okay, let’s keep moving, it looks safe.”
It was safe, for about ten minutes. We had just enough time to walk around the perimeter of the suspected safe haven. The trees that were not far behind us begin to quickly approach. Fleeing towards the building, one tree sounds like it got zapped by a bug zapper falling to the ground lifelessly. Turning around I watch the other trees stop, and then root themselves deep into the ground tossing chunks of dirt and rubble in the air. Screams of fear and death, from the survivors, shriek from behind me. Deep growls from what sounds like a mountain lion screech through the air.
Lying on the ground beside me is a broken limb from the tree that flung my way. I pick it up and run towards the predator. Impaling the beast as it’s ripping apart who everyone called fat Tim; I turn to see some of the survivors running outside the barrier. Quickly, they become fodder for the trees as they are continuously stabbed by their limbs. Looking up to the sky, as if looking to see God, I depressingly yell grasping for one last ounce of hope.
“Is this the end of the world? Why have you abandoned us God? We need your help. PLEASE HELP US!”
Torrential rain haunts this warm evening as Hurricane Alpha rips into the coast. Driving back home from the grocery store, I notice the car is nearly out of fuel. Dreading even the thought of having to stop at a gas station I say to myself,
“Shit, not now. Damn fuel lights on.”
Stopping at a gas station near the edge of town, I begin to realize that things seem very quiet right now. More quiet than usual for being in a hurricane, still yet I brush this eerie feeling away like a pesky insect. Using my credit card at the gas pump, I begin to fill up the tank as quickly as possible. Staring relentlessly, my chest feels like it is going to collapse. Not from any disease or sickness, but from the total cost to fill up the tank. I faintly hear noise behind me during a break of silence, sounding like someone is running on wet pavement.
“Splash tap, splash tap, splash tap, splash tap.”
As I turn around to look, a gun is roughly pressed between my eyes. I hear and see the squeezing of the trigger as if suddenly adrenaline has slowed down time. Quickly following is an ear ringing explosion.
I wake up in a chilled sweat, nearly hyperventilating. This was another nightmare. Though this was not about me, this is how my nights have been here lately after this happened to my parents. I miss them so much. This last week is when the incident occurred. Everybody was nice at their funeral though I felt very overwhelmed. Every morning I have woken up expecting to smell coffee brewing. I miss the crisp sound of bacon crackling on the stove. Turing the corner to the kitchen, I expect to see dad sitting at the table shuffling through the newspaper. I keep finding myself alone every morning. I can only think about if I leave this place it will get better. Feeling like this was enough to distinguish my actions yesterday in selling all of the assets here and this home. I’m moving into my Grandfather’s old home.
My mother and father left behind a sizeable amount of assets. Granddad’s land is one of these, and has been passed down from father to father since his land was considered part of Twin Territories. I load the things that I can’t bear to part with in a medium sized moving van, and prepare for my trip to Oklahoma. The conscience inside me tells me that selling everything like I did is wrong, though the other part of me feels that it’ll help me pass through time much easier. I’m not really sure what to think at this point, I feel all alone and divided. It’s a war inside of me saying I shouldn’t be alive either. These feelings become very difficult to let go. Even now I begin to fear my own slumber.
A long restless night passes me by, leaving tunnel vision to become my path. Off to the right I see a sign that states, “Now Leaving Arkansas.” Directly following that sign another sign states, “Welcome to Oklahoma.” That alone gives me a small boost of energy, but I think a hot cup of Java is in order. Not many stores are open at this time in the morning besides McDonald’s and a few gas stations. Normally I dread fast foods, but right now it sounds mildly appeasing.
Pulling up to McDonald’s, I begin to notice exactly how much energy this trip has drained out of me. I’m not use to driving long distances. In fact, my parents had just recently taught me how to drive, and paid for me to have my test taken. Now I’m driving a vehicle that mildly resembles a boxed bus. At first I thought I’d need some sort of special driving classes to even drive this thing, but no. This beast drives like dad’s old ford, just bigger, so I nearly feel comfortable which is surprising to me.
If it had not been for our old neighbor though, I wouldn’t be driving this to begin with. I’m too young for them to rent this to me. The store clerk is nice about everything. He said in an apologetic manner,
“I’m sorry for your loss and your current predicament, but I can’t go against our policy. You need to be at least eighteen years old in order for me to rent this to you.”
William Peaks, one of my fathers golfing buddies, is the one who made sure I was going to make it to Oklahoma with everything I kept. He has a big heart and for some funny coincidence, he looks like the man on the KFC buckets. I know this may sound bad as well, but William is also the person I sold my parents home to for twelve and a half million dollars. Yes… my parents were wealthy, and being the only child comes with its own benefits. My family’s wealth is a wealth that has been passed down for generations and due to the economy, our financial gain rapidly increased.
My fifth great grandfather had found a large deposit of oil on the far northern section of his old land. Now that is my land too, and that land is located in Woodward, Oklahoma. I’m not moving there, but I’ll visit and make sure that everything is running correctly. Since my parent’s death, many investors have tried to buy my business from me. I refuse to sell my history and my legacy.
Growls churn deep within my gut at the smell emanating from the crack in the window beside me. Mustering up energy, I climb out of the cab and carefully stretch before taking another step towards the front door. It’s still dark outside; it should be at 3:33 am. The air here is much cooler than what I’m accustomed to. I have a feeling that I’ll get to see snow this year. We don’t get snow on the beach, at least not in the Gulf of Mexico. If we do, people there act like its Armageddon. Needless to say, I haven’t seen a good snow fall since I was a young child living at my Grandfathers house.
I know what led to my parents leaving. Grandpa had gotten drunk, and I watched as he attempted to rape mom. Attempted is an understatement, he was until dad came home early that day and seen mom struggling for her life. I was in the corner terrified of what he’d do to me. Grandpa ripped mom’s clothes off and his while holding a large bowie knife to her throat. He pressed himself between her legs and screams for help bellowed from mom. That was the moment I heard the front door slam open. Dad went frantic, roared like a bear, ran up and hit grandpa. The sound of dad hitting him reminds me of a gun being fired off. I thought dad killed him then as dad was covered in blood when he climbed off of him. The next time I got to see my grandfather was at his funeral.
If it wasn’t for mom, I wouldn’t have gotten to see him then because dad stayed home. Mom only went to his funeral to spit on him before he was dropped in the ground. She threw a brown bag in the hole and shrewdly said,
“This is what I think of you Hank, You’re a lifeless sack of shit.”
Seeing everything that my parents went through while I was young, this is why I will not drink alcohol. I wouldn’t want any child to be brought up through those circumstances. Hmm, I’ve never really though about children until now. It’ll still be a while before I have kids. At least I hope it will be. I don’t expect that type of surprise anytime soon.
Walking through the front door to McDonald’s the youngest girl at the counter smiles at me. That’s right, even half asleep I still got some powerful mojo. I just turned sixteen a month ago. So I’m sure you can guess, instead of ordering food, I’d like to order her number. There is much on my plate at this moment for me to get too involved with someone, especially one that may want me for my money. My mom use to tell me in a squeaky irritating tone,
“Don’t you be falling for those gold diggers son. They’ll leave you broke and on the side of the road living like a homeless bum.”
That was my mom. It wasn’t her fault though, when dad married her, she’d been grandpa’s new accountant after a freak accident when a freeway collapsed and killed his other accountant. You can tell my mother had a niche with numbers. When they told me the story, my dad always said that’s the only good thing his father had ever done, was bring mom and him together. Then he’d tell me to drop the subject and don’t ever bring it up again.
Smiling back at the cute McDonald’s girl, I strut up to her register. She speaks cheerfully,
“Good morning, my name’s Amanda. I’ll take your order when you’re ready.” Afterwards she presses her chest out making sure I can see her cleavage. I reply in a playful manner letting her know I‘m totally interested.
“I’d like your big breasts… the big breakfast, with coffee, and your phone number.”
She smiles, even blushes a little. I think she hoped someone like me would say that to her, though I don’t think she expected such a response from her facial expression. I can tell butterflies hit her stomach. She turns around and makes my cup of coffee. She’s now blocking my view of what she’s doing, but giving me a great view of her slender figure. One of her female coworkers notices my un-helpable desire to look intently at her back side. She smiles and they begin to giggle gingerly, trying to remain unheard.
Amanda turns away from her friend, grabs my tray, and approaches me from the other side of the counter. Sounding more curious than anything,
“I’m on break right now, do you mind if I join you?”
I reply in a dubious way,
“Not at all, I’d enjoy some company and conversation.”
Amanda quickly interrupts,
“I have to ask first, what’s your name?”
Like an old James Bond movie, I pause for a second just before my name to create a sense of mystery for her. For a miniscule moment I want her to question if that’s even my real name.
“Amanda, my name is… Hollister Wolf. It’s my pleasure to meet you.”
A slight smirk paints her face as if she’s heard my name before. She replies serendipitously without much hesitation,
“I see your moving van, what brings you to this part of the country?”
A lie is all that I can say. My fake facial expressions show I lie now.
“It’s a long story, but I’m moving here to live near some family.”
I don’t feel like sharing that part of my life with someone I just met. Even at that, I don’t have any plans on becoming serious with anyone at this time. Fooling around is always fun as long as I have protection.
Amanda quickly responds like a detective,
“How far are you from your home?”
For a moment I had to think about where I am. Exhaustion is starting to take its toll on me. Groggily I say,
“I’m about 11 miles from being home.”
Amanda’s voice becomes ecstatic,
“Wait a second, I know you.”
Lost in translation I respond,
Now she seems boasting. While speaking, her head shifts side to side as if scolding me.
Sassily Amanda replies,
“Yes, we were in first grade together. You sat over by the window always staring outside, instead of paying attention in class.”
Feeling the acknowledgment of guilt on my face, I reply with slight remorse.
“I remember now, and I’m very sorry for pushing you down at the play ground.”
A smile forms upon Amanda’s lips, and then she says,
“It’s okay. That was a long time ago, and wow you’ve changed.”
A sly smile perches on my face as I prepare to say,
“Me…I must say, you make a McDonald’s uniform look hot yourself.”
Even that’s an understatement. I still can’t figure out why she doesn’t have a ring on her hand and contracts for modeling. Now I’m becoming even more curious about her and how she ended up here. When we were younger, just before my parents left, I do remember her and she was very mean. I’m not saying anything bad about her, I only remember so much. I left when I was very young. I do remember people making fun of her because of her mother. She was a giant compared to all of us. You know they say if you want to know what the daughter is going to look like, you should look at their mother. That’s not the case for Amanda though. She looks like a super model or a movie star.
Amanda stands 6’2” and weighs around 130 pounds. The main difference between her and many high paid supermodels is Amanda’s breasts are much larger. Her skin tone looks nearly bleach white, but her skin’s flawless and silky smooth. Amanda’s hair is black though it is pulled up in a bun. I can’t really tell how long it is, but it looks like it would dangle to the small of her back. The feature that has me really drawn to her is her eyes. They are insanely entrancing to the likes which I’ve never seen before. They’re hazel without the brown pigment, and it’s even more complicated than that. They’re blue, but change to grey, then emerald green. Now her eyes glimmer purple as if they come from a chameleon.
Curiously I ask,
“Do you have contacts in?”
A deep sigh bellows within Amanda as she says,
“I get that a lot, but no. These are my real eyes, and yes they change colors. I like to think that my eyes resemble a mood ring.”
Knowing the sigh, I quickly change the subject with a curious response,
“They’re very beautiful. So, what brings you to working here?”
Amanda begins to speak like she’s spent many hours researching.
“I’m saving up some money so I can start college. With the way our economy is right now, it’s very difficult to further your life through higher education. For me, even grants and loans are nearly impossible.”
I quickly respond before I realize what kind of conversation I may acquire in return. It’s just, with Amanda I feel really comfortable.
“Don’t feel bad my parents forced me into college at fourteen, at least you want to go.”
She replies as if truly wanting to know the rest of my story.