Verse Three, Chapter One:  The First Multiverser Novel; Chapter 94, Hastings 33

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Stories from the Verse
Verse Three, Chapter One
Chapter 94:  Hastings 33
Table of Contents
Previous chapter:  Chapter 93:  Kondor 31

The wood continued for some time; it was past noon when Lauren took a break.  She wasn't tired, and she wasn't yet hungry, but she wanted to sit for a moment and enjoy the world, and there was a large rock along the path which looked a suitable seat.  She did have a sip of water, and almost opened a pack of crackers out of habit; but she thought better of it, that it was better to keep her food sealed until needed, at least until she knew a little more about what was available here.

But late in the afternoon the ground sloped down a bit; she would not have noticed but that the cart started pushing her forward slightly.  The trees gave way to a meadow, and ahead still a few miles where a river flowed into a large lake was a small village.  Lauren could see little brown huts, reminiscent of wigwams, gathered in no particular arrangement she could discern.  And there were people in and around the village, dressed in brightly colored clothes.  Looking down over the meadow she saw others, recognizable as larger patches of bright color against the grasses and flowers.  She had found civilization.

And all this was as a painted foreground against the majestic background of mountains, rising steep and abrupt just beyond the water.  It was a stunning scene; Lauren wished she could paint, or even that she had brought a camera (something, she realized, that she could have gotten back in Philadelphia, had she thought of it).  She stood and marveled, trying to see it all at once; and standing alone before all this beauty, the words to a song came to her, and she began to sing.

"Oh, Lord, my God, when I in awesome wonder
Consider all the worlds thy hands hath made,
I see the stars; I hear the rolling thunder--
Thy power throughout the universe displayed,
Then sings my soul, my Savior, God, to Thee.
How great Thou art.  How great Thou art.
Then sings my soul, my Savior, God, to Thee.
How great Thou art.  How great Thou art."

She remembered the next verse, but fell silent, continuing her praises inside.  She turned the cart sideways, and blocked the near wheel with a few stones, and then sat on the path watching as the sun slid behind her, and the glare off the water shone against the trees and rocky slopes of the mountains.  Then the shadow of the wood slipped across the meadow, over the village and the lake, and climbed slowly up the face of the mountains, and the sky vanished behind a dark drape through which the stars glimmered, faintly at first, then brightly.  Still she sat, praying, sometimes singing, wondering at the world she had entered.  She had become a great and powerful wizard and warrior in the fight against evil not so long ago; but it was good to remember how small she was, how much greater was her God.

She remembered lying back to better view the unfamiliar patterns in the sky.  She did not remember falling asleep.

Next chapter:  Chapter 95:  Slade 31
Table of Contents

There is a behind-the-writings look at the thoughts, influences, and ideas of this chapter, along with five other sequential chapters of the novel, in mark Joseph "young" web log entry #57:  Multiverse Variety.  Given a moment, this link should take you directly to the section relevant to this chapter.

As to the old stories that have long been here:

Stories from the Verse Main Page

The Original Introduction to Stories from the Verse

Read the Stories

The Online Games

Books by the Author

Go to Other Links

M. J. Young Net

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