Escape From Purgatory
Escape From Purgatory
A Novel by
Robert Campbell May, 2013
    Tragic events in the Kootenay Valley of
    British Columbia two centuries prior
    reach down through generations to
    invade vivid dreams of an elderly man
    and his Kootenay wife. They live near
    the original site of the long forgotten

    The sequential dreams transport them
    on fantastic exploits in heaven that
    begin to make disturbing connections
    to the personal paradise they have
    carved out for themselves in their
    beautiful valley. Together with a
    strange company of friends they
    proceed through a series of incredible
    trials and discoveries in an odyssey
    that probes the awesome roots of
    liberating values.

    The hungry ghost of the winged sphinx
    imperils history on the very brink of
    redemption. Destiny swings in the
    balance that links two realities across
    the timeless span of the saga.

  • A Kindle Select Ebook available at Escape From Purgatory
  • 107,000 words (approximately 280 standard book pages)
  • Current price $6.00 allows lending to another for 14 days
    Table of Contents

    Visions of Carnage from Limbo
    The Crystal Palace
    The Land of Magical Wonders
    The Timeless Horizons
    Cathedrals of Coral
    The Grand Wizard of Wealth
    The Bridge Through Troubled Waters
    Meeting Leonard on the way to see Mom
    Meeting Lena on the way to see Mom
    Celestialinda on the way to see Mom
    Deliverance on the way to see Mom
    The Highlands of Wholesome Renewal
    Mom tells her story
    The Massacre
    Seven Islands of Doom
    The Pinnacles of Perdition
    The Wellspring of Life
    Lazarus Leads up the Mountain
    The Lord Demons of Doom
    The Winter of Discontent
    The Cauldron of Redemption
    The Hungry Ghost of the Winged Sphinx
    The Plight of Lily Blue Eyes
    The Powwow Rebirth of a Legend

    Visions of Carnage from Limbo

       Four camp fires were burning low. He found himself floating in the grey dawn above the carnage. He saw
the buckskin clothing of his mutilated body soaked with blood. His tall frame was sprawled between the fires. He
was dead. He knew that he was dead. He could see it all from above. The glowing embers cast an eerie light on
the horror below.

Seventeen others were laying slaughtered in groups around the fires dispersed in the forest clearing. Five were
paleface renegades. Twelve others were Piegan braves of the Blackfoot confederation. Some were laying in
pools of blood. It was still gushing from their slit throats. Some had arrows through their hearts. Some were
shot. One of the nine remaining was struggling to extract a knife from his shoulder. They were shouting and
rushing about. Some were still staggering from their drunken carousing of the previous night.

He was seething with rage. He could not believe his eyes. His body was dead. He could see it was dead. How
could he see? He was disoriented in his wrath.

“They will be coming! Hurry!” he heard one paleface shout. He could see there were two paleface men left
alive. He could hear. How could he hear? He was confused in his rage. He was swarming in tumult.

“What about them?” the second paleface shouted gesturing with a sweep of his arm at the bodies littering the

“There is no time! We must leave them behind!” shouted the first.

“They word has spread! They are coming!” shouted a brave. “They must be closing in!”

The Piegan braves began hurriedly gathering the horses.

“Be quick!” shouted one. “The dead don’t need horses now!”

“We can’t leave fresh horses behind!” shouted another.

"We will need fresh horses!” shouted another.

“Load the furs!” shouted another.

The nine men mounted and galloped off to the north. He watched them go. He could not follow. He wanted to
follow. He was still floating above the earth and yet he could see them leave through the rage that possessed
him. He could hear the hoofs pounding the earth. He could see the spare horses in tow.

He summoned up words without speech. “Where am I? What have I become?” he petitioned to no one, as if
someone could hear. He shouted without sound in his anguish. He shouted to the Void that enveloped him.
Everything became transparent. The world below was suddenly a veil of form on an ocean of grey. It was like
the grey dawn breaking. But it was not the dawn. It was a boundless ocean of silvery grey that he floated in. He
shouted in his anguished silence again. “Where am I? What have I become?”

He began to move over the veil of form that was the earth below. He wanted to follow the nine men to the north
but he was moving back to the south. He was following back over the trail left by many horses. He passed
where he had tethered his horse a short distance south of the carnage. He wanted to release his horse but he
couldn’t. He had no material form. He was dead and he was seething in rage.

He followed more quickly now. The trail went downstream along a river valley with mountains rising on both
sides. His anguish deepened. His rage grew. He knew where he was heading. He knew what he would see. He
did not want to see it again. He wanted to stop. He couldn’t stop. He was being moved by a power he could not
see or understand.

He could see the charred ruins of the tepees approaching ahead. His astral bowels churned. He slowed and
hovered above the veiled form of another carnage more horrendous than the one he had just left behind.
Fourteen tepees were scattered in charred ruins along the river bank. He knew what had happened. Their
inhabitants were massacred in a night raid. The lifeless bodies of men, women, children and babies lay about in
the chaos. Many of them were burned beyond recognition. He looked on again in disbelief. He wanted to look
away but he couldn’t. His astral eyes were riveted on the horror.

His rage built to extremes he could not bear. He strained to the limit of his endurance to hold himself together.
He was at the breaking point when everything vanished. The whole scene was suddenly gone. The veil of form
was no more.

The anguish of his rage dissipated with the veil. He lost all perception of the earth. He felt a semblance of relief.
He felt a burden partly lifted from his tortured heart. The world was gone. The memories lived but the physical
reality was gone.

He was suspended as a being in a boundless field of energy without form. He was an integral part of the energy
field and yet he felt distinct within it. He could see through it even though there was nothing specific to see in
the Void.

He reached again for words. In some manner beyond his comprehension words came. The words formulated in
the depths of his being. “Where am I?” he wondered without the rage. “What have I become?” he demanded

His third demand brought a response. A being of dark energy took form in front of him. It had no specific form
as a person or creature of the physical world. It was an intelligence of a transcending kind. It hovered in front of
him as an active energy pattern that carefully assessed him. He could feel its sobering presence infuse his
being. He could see it as a dark area of living energy slightly larger than how he perceived himself to be. He
was an energy pattern too. They faced each other in the Boundless Void.

He felt the answer in words that penetrated his entire being. “You are in limbo,” came the reply. The words were
telepathically transmitted with grave emotional content. “You have become the product of your deeds.”

A twinge of fear shot through him. He knew what he had done. The memory of it swamped him. He struggled to
regain composure. More words formulated. “Who are you?” he asked apprehensively.

“I am the Curator of Limbo,” came the stern reply.

He didn’t understand. He was confused. “What is limbo?” He could communicate telepathically too.

“You are in a half way house of the Boundless Void,” the curator stated. “I must weigh your deeds and assess
your possible destinies.”

Troubled thoughts came to him. The Curator of Limbo intuitively shared his possible destinies. He could
partially perceive them in vague abstractions punctuated with fleeting flashes of visions. A shock wave shunted
through him.

The Curator paused to allow the process to run its course. “Now you must come with me,” the Curator stated

With that they moved off together through the Boundless Void to a destination he could not anticipate. Neither
could he anticipate his ultimate destiny.

    The Crystal Palace

       It was a warm spring morning in early May. Silver Moon was preparing a breakfast of orange juice, hot
biscuits and tea by the time Jack arose. After a shave and shower he came out of the bathroom tucking in his
shirt tail.

“You slept in,” she smiled. “That’s not like you.”

He gave her a hug and a kiss. “Good morning, my sweet.”

They took breakfast out on the porch and sat down at a table overlooking the valley from the cabin’s vantage
point on a hillside. The apple trees that fringed the lawn were in blossom. Their fragrance filled the air.

“Sorry to be late getting up.” He stretched out some kinks. “I had such a good sleep.”

“You must have had a good rest.” She smiled warmly. The fine wrinkles of her aged face were a pleasant
addition to her features. She was quite slim and looked short beside Jack.

“That I did,” Jack said, running his boney fingers through his white hair. “It must be my age.” He took a sip of tea
then spread some butter and jam on a hot biscuit. “And I had a most unusual dream.”

“I hope it wasn’t one of those erotic things that you used to tell me about years ago. At your age that could
prove fatal!” They had been together sixty-nine summers. This was their seventieth year of marriage.

He laughed. “Oh no! Nothing erotic! It was better than erotic.”

“Well what then? Don’t keep me in suspense,” she chided gently.

He took a sip of orange juice and cleared his throat. “I dreamed we had died!”

She almost choked on a biscuit. “Died! That sounds awful.”

“No, no! It was wonderful!” Jack protested.  “We were in heaven!”

Her eyes opened wide. “In heaven?  We got to heaven in your dream? To the happy hunting ground?”

“Well it wasn’t exactly a happy hunting ground. Not the kind of hunting ground you mean at least.” Then he
scratched his head and thought a moment. “Well maybe it sort of was in places.”

“What was it like then? Don’t keep me in suspense!”

He smiled a wondrous smile, his lips curling into a crescent moon. “It was a long convoluted dream so you must
be patient.” He took another bite of a biscuit before he continued. “I can’t for the life of me understand how we
ever got in, but there we were, living in a Crystal Palace, surrounded by towering pines and overlooking a
magnificent Valley of Heavenly Peace. There were Golden Mountains rising into Celestial Realms across the
valley, and a river wandering through the valley to the Coral Sea nearby.”

“A Crystal Palace! What do you mean?”

“Be patient my sweet. The Crystal Palace was our very own home in heaven. It was fashioned from enormous
diamonds cut with reflecting surfaces, like millions of mirrors casting images back and forth to infinity. There
were endless rooms in our palace of mirrors, each reflecting and mixing the colors and shapes of the sky, the
mountains, the trees, the valley, and the wandering river flowing down to the Coral Sea where the dragon lived.”

“A dragon? You must be joking! Are you pulling my leg?”

“I am just telling you about the dream.” He took a sip of tea. “There was a dragon that lived in the Coral Sea! It
was just a dream of course,” he chuckled. “The miraculous thing about living in heaven is to be free of this
carnal body, free to float and roam at will in our astral form, even mingle and merge with one another, thriving
on self regenerating energies of sublime qualities unlike anything experienced on earth.” Despite his efforts at
restraint he was quite excited and animated.

“You mean we could float through the air at will? And merge? That sounds erotic!”

“In a dream, of course! It was even possible in our Crystal Palace to follow the reflections through the mirroring
surfaces, so the palace becomes infinitely large with endless rooms decorated in the shifting shapes and colors
of a paradise beyond compare.” He was gesticulating as he spoke. “In fact it is easy enough to get lost and
never be able to return, not that that would be any tragedy, for each spectacular room is more spectacular than
the last.” He goosed his neck forward and gave her a wide eyed look of astonishment.

Silver Moon laughed. “That would be a problem to find your way out of infinite rooms. Is that why you were late
getting up?”

“Oh no!” Jack said with his blue eyes alight. “You see there is a trick to it all. One need only place a small dot
on the mirroring surfaces before entering through them, then to return, all one needs to do is follow the dots
back out.”

“Well that sounds easy enough!” A sharp sense of humor sparkled in her dark brown eyes. “It sounds like the
old fairy tale about following bread crumbs out of the forest.”  

“Ah, but there is a big difference,” Jack grinned. “That is why the dragon lives nearby. Should anyone get too
far out of line in our Valley of Heavenly Peace, the dragon may come up out of the deep and rub out the dot
when they are exploring the endless rooms in their Crystal Palace. Mind you, it’s a nice dragon, and it doesn’t
like to do that, but if there are too many complaints about someone, heaven wouldn’t be heaven would it?”

“No! I can certainly see that!” she grinned.

“So this is just a job that the Emperor of Heaven has assigned to the dragon. Without their trail of dots no one
would ever find their way back out of the endless rooms. They would be left to the endless exploration of their
mirrored paradise for all eternity. It’s rather a nice way that heaven has of dealing with a knotty problem, don’t
you think? I mean it isn’t like sending someone to hell.”

“No certainly not!” Silver Moon was quite amused. “That doesn’t sound like a heavenly thing to do, not after
letting them in.”

“I agree. They just end up living forever in a mirrored paradise, out of harm’s way. Of course it isn’t the real
paradise, but it has a quality of reality about it that can be even more beautiful than the reality reflected. It’s like
being left to live forever in a beautiful dream, but knowing that it is only a dream.”

“Are you sure that isn’t why you slept in! Are you sure you didn’t get a little lost in the infinite rooms?”

“Not at all, my dear,” he replied with another chuckle. He was bubbling over. “You were with me of course in
your astral body. And we explored so many rooms in our Crystal Palace. Each one was more grand than the
one before. The whole dream defies description. Naturally we didn’t offend anyone and were able to follow the
dots back out. The dragon is very friendly and he didn’t rub out our dots.”

“Well I am relieved to hear that!” Silver Moon said facetiously. “And that was it? We spent the night exploring
infinite rooms in our Crystal Palace?”

“It seemed to go on forever. But what a magnificent dream! Heaven is such a grand place!”

Silver Moon tilted her dainty head with a puzzled expression. Her brown eyes had a thousand mile stare far out
across the valley and the mountains beyond. She took a deep breath and savored the fragrance of the air.
“Isnt it amazing that the mind can conjure up something like that while we sleep!”

“Amazing indeed! It was more beautiful than anything that could simply be remembered and drawn from a mix of
mortal experience. It was truly inspiring.”

They continued chatting away as they finished their breakfast and for some time afterward. Silver Moon had
many curious questions and Jack tried to elaborate on some of the infinite rooms they had visited. Then he
would shake his head. He wanted to share the dream but words fell far short of the mark.

Presently they went about their modest chores cleaning and doing a bit of gardening. Spring flowers were
blooming in their garden. As evening fell, they sat on their porch and watched the sunset turn ribbons of high
cloud into a rainbow of color scattered across the vault of the heavens.

They were early risers but Jack was bit later than usual again the next morning.

“Another dream?” Silver Moon asked as he sat down for breakfast. It was hot biscuits again with strawberry
preserves, tea and apple juice.

“You won’t believe it,” he said with a look of amazement on his face. “It was not only another dream but it
continued on from the first one in heaven. We were there again!”

“You mean in the Crystal Palace?”

“Well,” he said, rubbing his chin reflectively, “we left the Crystal Palace and we took astral flight for a while to
the edge of the Timeless Horizons in the Land of Magical Wonders. Heaven is a sublimely peaceful place and it
is also a place of endless discovery.”

Silver Moon looked surprised as she swallowed a sip of tea. “That’s not what I imagined heaven to be,” she said
as she slowly replaced the cup on its saucer. “I thought all mysteries would be solved.  What on earth is the
Land of Magical Wonders” she asked skeptically. “But of course it was only a dream.”

“Of course… And yet it continued on from the first one. Strange… Very strange… That is what the Land of
Magical Wonders is called in heaven. It is above the Seven Celestial Cataracts on the wandering river that flows
downstream through our Valley of Heavenly Peace. There are countless Crystal Palaces scattered far and wide
across the broad expanse of the valley of course. They are never crowded together.” He looked off in the
distance and gestured with a sweep of his arm. “You can see them glistening far and wide. There is endless
room in heaven.”  His smiling eyes refocused on hers. “And it all seemed so real, especially with you along.” He
was sublimely inspired.

“Oh my! I wish I could have dreams like that. And to be free to discover as well!”

“That’s the great thing about it! Discoveries are as endless as the infinite rooms in the Crystal Palace. Last
night I didn’t dream about the palace, however. We went instead for a picnic down by the Coral Sea, where the
dragon lives.”

“A picnic? Can we eat in heaven? That doesn’t sound right.” She eyed him doubtfully as she buttered a biscuit.

Jack shrugged. “You might think it strange that astral beings in heaven who require no food to sustain them
would go on a picnic, since they have graduated from these physical attachments. What would they eat?” Jack
threw his hands up with another shrug.

Silver Moon nodded. “I can see that would present a problem. How would they eat?”

Jack took a couple spoonfuls of his strawberry preserves. “Well, as it turns out, astral bodies have quite an
exceptional memory of certain features of earthly existence, when they were hopelessly entrapped in these
gross physical bodies of ours. In this captive state the astral body has to provide direction for the energy needs
of the physical body, and it retains a keen memory of a great many tastes and smells.” He took some more
preserves and smacked his lips.

“So we have an astral body as well as this physical body?”

“There is more to it of course, but these patterned astral energies direct the functions of this physical body.”
Jack was surprised at his own words spilling out. “So keen is this astral memory, in fact, that it can conjure
specific tastes and smells at will, so long as one has advanced beyond attachment to them. These are purely
subjective sensations in the first place of course.”

“Of course,” she agreed, curiosity showing through her smile. “We experience them internally.” She had
finished most of her breakfast and took another sip of tea.

“So the astral body can conjure up an energy pattern associated with a turkey sandwich, or blueberry pie with
ice-cream, or a large cool jug of apple juice.” Jack paused to wolf down another biscuit and a sip of juice. “It can
even bud the energy pattern off as a separate entity and give it a physical shape and color, just like the real
thing. So having prepared our picnic lunch in this way, we carried it in a basket over the winding path down to
the wandering river where it empties into the Coral Sea. We were fortunate to have a Crystal Palace close to
the sea.”

“Amazing! But please go on.” Silver Moon had the most curious look on her gentle face. She rubbed her hand
over her straight white hair. It was tied in a bun at the back. She was wearing a plain cotton dress the color of
buckskin and a native necklace of brightly colored stones.

“There is a high grassy prominence there where the river meets the Coral Sea, with several tall banyan trees
spreading their crowns in regal adornment, just the perfect place for a heavenly picnic. There is a splendid view
of the beach, with the surf crashing in, and a fragrant astral breeze off the Coral Sea, with the Ten Million
Fantasy Islands visible in the distance.”

Silver Moon was impressed. “Ten Million Fantasy Islands!” she exclaimed.

“That’s what they call them in heaven, my sweet. On some of the Fantasy Islands the Innocents of Olden Times
dwell in natural splendor among pixies and fairies and elves. Other Fantasy Islands provide temporary
sanctuary to those who were exposed to Limitless Contingencies of Earthly Existence. There is endless variety
to them. The Cosmic Sun lends everything a magic shimmer within. And we could see the dragon far out to sea,
playing in the waves with the whales and porpoises, and having a wonderful time.” Jack’s face was lit up like a
Christmas tree.

“What is the Cosmic Sun like? Is it like our sun in the sky?”

Jack gave his head a vigorous shake. “Oh no!” he said. “In fact you can’t see a sun in the heavenly sky.
Everything is illuminated as if from a common luminous source within. That’s what is meant by the Cosmic Sun.
Even the heavenly blue sky itself is glistening everywhere with its radiance.”

“It sounds splendid! Was there anything else in the sky? Were there clouds? Were there flocks of birds?”
“Some beautiful clouds! And many birds,” Jack said waving his arms. Then he hesitated a moment. Something
intruded that seemed to disturb him.

“What is it dear? Is there more?”

“Well there was something else that was a bit unsettling. It seemed to be out of place in heaven. But then it was
flying over the Fantasy Islands. It was probably a heavenly fantasy.”

“Tell me about it darling. Don’t leave me in suspense.”   

Jack took another sip of juice with a bite of breakfast and swallowed hard. “It was soaring high over the Fantasy
Islands. At one point it flew toward us and then turned back. It seemed to see us.”

“Tell me for Heaven’s sake! What was it?”

Jack looked her square in the eyes then blurted out a sharp reply. “It was the hungry ghost of the Winged

Silver Moon was taken aback. “What on earth is that?” she exclaimed in surprise. “The Winged Sphinx? You
mean like the Sphinx in Egypt but with wings?”

Jack puzzled a moment. “Sort of… I guess. It was more like the winged sphinx mentioned in the Oedipus legend
that Sigmund Freud made so much out of. That winged sphinx was devouring the people of Thebes who
couldnt answer the riddle. But it was only a fantasy legend of ancient Greece. And this was a ghost flying over
the Fantasy Islands.”

“What did it look like? Was it like a sphinx?” She didn’t know what to make of it.

“It was transparent like a ghost. And it was hungry looking. It had great claws, a huge beak, feminine breasts,
and monstrous wings. It was enormous!” Jack stretched his hands wide.

“That sounds frightening! Not like heaven at all!” Her gentle brow wrinkled into a frown of concern.

“But it wasn’t threatening to us, my sweet.” He reached for her hand to comfort her. “Mind you it did seem to
see us at one point. Then it soared far out and very high above the Coral Sea and the Ten Million Fantasy
Islands.” He thought for a moment. “It seemed to be a shaded reminder of the insatiable appetites that
hopelessly bind mortals to their interminable chase into fractious ruin,” he added with a grin. Jack had a way
with words.

That lightened her mood again. Silver Moon snickered at his description of fractious ruin. “Well I hope that it
didn’t spoil our picnic!”

“Not in the least, my sweet. I suppose it could be there to clutch the most serious transgressors from the
Fantasy Islands. After all it was a fantasy itself. We were completely safe in our Valley of Heavenly Peace. It was
something of a riddle. And we hadn’t explored the Fantasy Islands, so I can’t tell you much about them. They
were just there in endless profusion as far as our astral eyes could see.”


“It was so peaceful there by the sea.” Jack finished the rest of his breakfast and leaned back. “We spread a
blanket on the grass, which is really unnecessary, since there are no insects of the bothersome kind in
heaven.” He began rolling up the sleeves of his grey flannel shirt. The day was warming up. “Predatory
invertebrates simply can’t qualify until they have advanced beyond that stage in the evolutionary ladder. There
were many beautiful varieties of butterflies, a good many playing through the branches of the banyan trees, but
they had shed their gross caterpillar beginnings. Then we opened our bottle of the finest old wine and
reconstituted our astral energies unto ourselves, perhaps getting some of them mixed between us, like adding
a little spice. We merged for the longest time afterwards, soaring high through the fragrant winds off the
Fantasy Islands, where so many ephemeral dreams are played out in happy time.” He rolled his eyes across
the sky.

“Merged together? Now that does sound erotic!” she said with an old glint in her eye.

“Oh it was better than carnal union my love,” he said leaning forward again and gazing directly into her eyes.
“But we eventually got ourselves sorted out. It was a wonderful day, especially considering that days can go on
for years in heaven. Eternity is not at all like living in time, with those nasty clocks ticking our lives away.”

“What happened next?”

“I don’t know, my sweet. The dream just ended leaving me wondering the same thing. I woke up.”

They sat and chatted for an hour or more. Silver Moon had many questions and Jack tried to describe
everything as best he could. They had been together so many years, tucked away in their secluded valley
nestled between majestic mountains. They had become second nature to one another in carving out a patch of
heaven on Earth for themselves. Silver Moon had grown up on a reservation farther west and Jack had lived in
a village nearby.

    The Land of Magical Wonders

Jack had arisen a little later than Silver Moon again. She was feeding a feral cat when he came outside to the
porch rubbing sleep from his eyes. She put a dish of left-over bits of chicken on the floor for Fluff. Although
Fluff was a good hunter she would eat human food as a backup. Silver Moon gave her a pat then moved to the
porch table where breakfast was set. “Not another dream!” she exclaimed as they sat down.

“It is the most amazing thing! Yes, another dream! And it continued on from the last one.”

“But they are just dreams, of course,” she laughed. She was a bit unsure about that. It was toast instead of
biscuits this morning along with a grapefruit and tea. She spread some raspberry jam and took a bite of toast.
Fluff was purring as she gobbled down the chicken.

“Of course. They are just silly dreams. And yet they seem very real. They are so vivid. And the colours are
unimaginable! Each dream is magnificent!” Jack dug into his half grapefruit with a spoon.

“So tell me about it,” she urged, her brown eyes twinkling in the early morning light.

“These recurring dreams are wondrous indeed, my dear. People in heaven are much more refined in their
social activities, which never intrude or impose a strict regimen, since everyone is continually immersed in
eternal joy.” Jack was supercharged. “Humans in heaven aren’t caught up in group behavior, since their radiant
bodies relate independently to the Cosmic Sun. Social functions are more spontaneous and varied, often
cropping up on the spur of the moment as the thing to do, without a lot of planning or anticipation involved.
Heaven is a very informal place in that respect.”

Silver Moon looked at Fluff again. “Are there pets in heaven? Are there cats or dogs?

Jack thought a moment. “I have seen a few Crystal Palace residents with pets. I was told the pets were strongly
bonded to them for many years in their earthly existence. I didn’t see Fluff with us though.”
“I am not surprised,” Silver Moon said sadly. “Fluff is not bonded to us. She is too independent. She likes her
freedom. I wonder what will become of her?”

“Maybe there will be a place for her, sweet. I would like to think so.”

“So would I,” Silver Moon agreed. “She is a beautiful cat.” Fluff had long black hair with white markings. But she
was not a lap cat. She finished eating and left.

Silver Moon was very curious. “So tell me what happened last night. Did we have an adventure?”

“You won’t believe it!” he replied getting a excited. His tall wiry frame was bursting with renewed energy. “The
fairies and elves and pixies excel at putting on festivals.”

“Festivals? What kind of festivals?” She gave him a curious look as she took a bite of toast.

“They often come over from the Fantasy Islands in droves, to sing and dance in the infinite rooms of Crystal
Palaces here and there. They also go to the Jade Palaces on the foothills of the Golden Mountains that rise
into the Celestial Realms.”

“Jade Castles too! That’s remarkable!” Silver Moon was both amazed and puzzled. “What are the fairies and
elves like? Do they look like the pictures in children’s books?”

“They’re much the same, my sweet. They have similar costumes but much more variety! And they are more
enchanting than you can imagine! You should see them all brilliantly adorned in their numberless costumes,
dancing and prancing and proliferating in inimitable patterns and pirouettes, and hear them playing with their
infinite echoes rebounding through the endless crystalline rooms, with the birds and butterflies joining in and
all.” He was spreading jam like an orchestra leader waving a baton.  

“It sounds fascinating!”

He took a bite and swallowed quickly. “It’s a phenomenon to send your spirits soaring high into the Celestial
Realms with the angels, the divas, and gods. I could see them performing afar in another Crystal Palace with
my astral vision and hearing. Many heavenly residents were in attendance too.” His words were tumbling out. “It
was if I could tune in to one of their performances whenever I wanted to. My astral senses could channel the
little people at will.”

“Slow down darling. You’ll get indigestion.” She reached for a second piece of toast. “Did we have a festival in
our Crystal Palace too?” she asked.

Jack paused. “No, my sweet,” he said with a sip of tea. “We had other plans for the day. Nevertheless we saw
them performing in a Jade Castle high on the foothills of the Golden Mountains. Our astral senses can not
penetrate all the way up to the Celestial Realms high above the misty peaks of the mountains but we could see
their performance in the Jade Castle from afar.” He paused again for another spoonful of grapefruit.

“What happened next? If we didn’t go to the festival what did we do?” Silver Moon was aglow with curiosity.
“We ventured upstream along the wandering river instead, into the Land of Magical Wonders. There are many
mysteries in the Land of Magical Wonders, since much of it consists of lakes and rivers and forests of all kinds,
cloaking the boundless hills and valleys that extend immeasurable miles. It is said they extend all the way to the
Cosmic Ocean of No Return.” Jack was getting wound up again.

Silver Moon made a mock frown. “That sounds very mysterious.”

“There are endless mysteries to discover! It is truly wondrous, my sweet! Last night we took flight in our astral
bodies. We soared out over the Valley of Heavenly Peace first and followed the wandering river upstream, past
the Seven Celestial Cataracts that mark the entry into the Timeless Horizons in the Land of Magical Wonders.
There in the Ancient Domains all the periods of history still thrive in their pristine glory, but perfected in their
evolution. There you can see primitive dinosaurs, for example, that thrived with mammalian features and
became extinct 150 million years before the dinosaurs died away.”

“Aren’t dinosaurs dangerous? Is there a place for them in heaven too?”

“They are not dangerous in heaven, my sweet. The carnivores among them have been transformed into
guardians of their ancient domain. In this way each domain maintains its ancient integrity without getting mixed
up with other domains. It is a way of maintaining harmony between them.”

“If there are dinosaurs maybe there is a place for Fluff then,” Silver Moon said with a smile of relief.
Jack nodded as he wolfed down a piece of toast.  

“Please go on. I didn’t intend to interrupt you.”

“As we passed up the Seven Celestial Cataracts we were joined by Lord and Lady Glenzil, one of the Sixteen
Lesser Lords and Ladies of the Timeless Horizons who live in the enchanted mists above the falls. They
materialized out of a cloud and greeted us merrily. They offered their services as guides for our excursion.”

“I was going to ask how we would know where to go.” Silver Moon said. “We could get lost in an ancient
wilderness that extends for immeasurable miles to the Cosmic Ocean of No Return. What can it all mean?”

“The mystery is part of each new discovery,” Jack explained enthusiastically. “We were delighted to have the
Lord and Lady along as guides, of course. They are such a pleasure to travel with, and their knowledge of
history seems to know no limits. Each domain has lakes within it, sometimes even extensive seas, and they
have magical mirrored surfaces, that reveal many wondrous things. Hovering above them enables one to look
through the window of its surface into history as it actually happened.” He paused briefly for another bite of
toast and a sip of tea.

“You mean the lakes were like living mirrors of the past?”

“‘Come and I’ll show you,’ said Lord Glenzil, and he led us down close to the surface of a lake for a close up
view of a saber toothed tiger attacking a giant ground sloth that was defending itself and its cubs in front of its
cave. It was a terrible contest, but at length the ground sloth forced the tiger into retreat.”

“I can’t imagine seeing ancient history in the making!”

“Then Lord and Lady Glenzil seemed to spread invisible wings that lifted us with them. They led us high above
the surface of the lake.” Jack looked up and stretched his neck. “The perspective visible in its mirrored surface
widened as we rose to give a splendid panoramic view of the historical landscape for miles around, and one
could compare it with the heavenly landscape of the ancient domain that surrounded each lake.”

“You mean the living mirror of the lake showed history as it happened and the ancient domain around it showed
harmonized elements extracted from it?”

“You’ve got the general idea. The higher one goes the broader the vista until it can take in whole continents.
Different lakes focus on different areas within each particular historical domain. There are endless scenes.” He
cranked his neck forward and scanned in an arc with his eyes focused afar, reliving the dream.

“I can almost see it in my mind’s eye,” she said, soaking up his inspired words.

“It’s like watching real life movies beneath each lake, my sweet. Yet they all had a place in our collective history.
We found ourselves over Africa at one point and hovered down to look through a lake where we saw another
fearsome contest between two huge ancient hyenas and a large ancient lion competing for a kill the hyenas
had made. Then we noticed two figures hiding in some bushes not far away. They were being very cautious.”

“Were they animals? Were they people?”

“They were human figures, and yet they were not quite human. They were Australopithecines, three million
years old, as the Lord and Lady explained. They were smallish, with a lot of body hair, but also partly naked
with crude clothing of furs, and with an upright stance. They were almost elfish in their appearance, agile and
smart, and yet very vulnerable. We feared for their safety.”

Silver Moon clasped her hands tightly together. “Those must have been treacherous times.” She was on the
edge of her chair.

“They were courageous wee souls to be sure. Then as the Glenzils began to show us around in the ancient
landscape surrounding the lake we saw quite a number of others, right there in heaven, with a glow of purity
and magic about them. We saw them humming and dancing in a glen graced with flowers that smothered the
landscape in unsurpassed beauty. They were living in harmony with the same vicious animals that were now
living peacefully together, when only moments before we saw them clawing at one another for their very
survival. They too were guarding the portals to their domain.”

“Amazing! Could we talk to our ancestors? Could we meet them?”

“Yes we met them, although we couldn’t really talk to them in our usual way. Their language had not yet
developed much beyond basics, although they were quite musical. We went down for a while and telepathically
communicated with them around a camp fire. They were very intuitive and perceptive. They had to be to survive
when they lived on Earth. We learned from them and they learned from us. So many legends we heard about
the former days of trial and adventure. It was a grand outing.”

“Then what? Did we go on from there?” Silver Moon finished her tea and leaned back in her chair. She let the
tension dissipate.

“Lord and Lady Glenzil graciously escorted us back to the mists above the Seven Celestial Cataracts. We
never would have found our way otherwise. We would have been hopelessly lost in the immeasurable miles of
the ancient wilderness of the Timeless Horizons.”

“Isn’t it strange that we could get lost in the past?!”

“That is one of the mysteries of the Land of Magical Wonders. We were fortunate to have the Glenzils for
guides. We thanked them for their kind assistance and bid them farewell as they disappeared into the mists.”

“What then darling? Where did we go next?”

“We could find our way home from there, my sweet, by following the wandering river. We returned renewed to
our Crystal Palace, overlooking our Valley of Heavenly Peace.”

“It sounds so beautiful!”

“After merging a while we sought out heavenly beds from our infinite rooms and had a celestial evening’s rest.
That’s when I woke up!” Jack finished his grapefruit and spread some jam on another piece of toast.

“I can not imagine how all that could be crammed into a dream in one night! You should feel exhausted.”
“I’ve never felt better my sweet. And time is no problem in eternity. Also we had a heavenly evening’s nap after
our journey together, remember? Of course that was in the dream. How do you feel this morning? Are your
joints bothering you?”

She smiled warmly at his concern. “I feel just fine.”

“How is your troublesome knee?”

“No joint aches this morning. Maybe I have begun to soak up some of the sublime energies from your dreams.
Of course they are only dreams,” she admitted with a chuckle. “Nevertheless I feel better than I have in weeks.”
She scanned his kindly face, etched with lines of character and the trials of life. His face had gained a new
lustre and she felt a new radiance in hers. They had been through a lifetime together.

“I forgot to tell you that Jack Junior telephoned this morning just before you woke up. He said they will drive over
for a visit in a couple of weeks. He has some holidays coming and will help with the painting. It will probably be
after fly season lets up.”

“The way I feel now I won’t need much help. You should put off your spring cleaning. Rose is a good
housekeeper. But they are not young anymore either. How are the grandchildren?”

“They are just fine. It was a short call. Junior had some chores to do before going to work. And we should get
busy with our chores. With my joints feeling so good, I may clean some windows today.” They were both
blessed with good health.

Jack looked out between the apple trees at the snow capped mountains to the west across the lush valley. The
spring thaw was feeding the streams rushing into the Kootenay River. Their log cabin was out in the country
with a scattering of homes some distance away. The much higher Rockies rose behind them to the east. One
family lived not far away.

He had a perplexed look on his face. “I wonder if I will have another dream tonight? I wonder why I have them
this way? Can there be a reason to it? They seem so real.” He shook his head in amazement.

    The Timeless Horizons

Jack was up at the crack of dawn the next morning. He was bristling with energy. He had swept out the cabin
and had prepared breakfast by the time Silver Moon came out on the porch. It was croissants, jam, orange
juice, and a pot of hot tea this morning. They rarely ate a large breakfast.

“What happened? You are up early and I noticed that you have already tidied the cabin. Did you have another
dream? Did we visit heaven again?”

Jack finished his orange juice in a few hearty gulps and began preparing his croissant. “There was no dream
last night, at least not one that I can remember. So maybe the series has ended.” He seemed lightened and
energized nevertheless.

Silver Moon looked disappointed. “And here I was looking forward to another adventure in heaven.”

“I won’t disappoint you there. There is so much I forgot to tell you yesterday about the dream the night before
that it woke me up early. The dream was so rich in content that some of it escaped me until I woke up. It was a
beautiful sunrise. Everything is so fresh at dawn.”

“Yes it is, but go on with the dream,” She was anxious to hear more. She poured more tea for them both.

“I forgot to mention major features about the domains of the Timeless Horizons in the Land of Magical Wonders.
There are an infinite number of things to be discovered there, of course, but I omitted to tell you about a special
provision that is offered to residents of Crystal Palaces who explore the Land of Magical Wonders. Any of the
sixteen Lords and Ladies of the Timeless Horizons may act as guides, and they will on request take Crystal
Residents to view the strange lakes of the historical present, in as yet uninhabited domains. The whole idea of
time can become very confusing in eternity, since all the domains of history are there together.” Jack moved his
hands in a stirring motion to indicate time was all mixed up.

“I can see that could become a little baffling.” She managed to squeeze the sentence in.

Jack hardly paused for breath as he raced on. “And yet there are domains of the historical present with many
lakes. One can view things as they are right now in various places on this planet earth.”

“That would surely be better than the evening news, I guess.” She smiled at Jack’s eagerness to explain. Then
her eyes sprang open wide. “Good grief!” she exclaimed. “Could someone be watching us now? Is there no
privacy in this world?”

Jack slowed down a bit. “The Glenzils were discrete about that, my sweet. They only showed us pubic events
that anyone might see. There is privacy for private concerns of no consequence to others. They also explained
that the way things work will eventually expose surreptitious schemes.”

Silver Moon breathed a sigh of relief. “All the same, maybe it wouldn’t be such a good thing to actually see the
way this world is heading. Is it possible to see into other worlds in distant solar systems? Maybe things would be
better there.”

Jack looked up and opened his arms wide. “There are myriads of inhabited solar systems in the universe, of
course, but they each have their own heavens dispersed unreachable distances across the Cosmic Ocean of
No Return. In the Land of Magical Wonders, however, a Crystal Resident can view all events on the earth, and
can even glimpse into certain aspects of future events.”

“I’m not sure I would want to see that either!” Silver Moon seemed quite emphatic about that. She said it with a
slight frown as she finished her juice with the last of her croissant. “How is that possible? Is the future

“Not completely, no. But there is a plan or a pattern that events generally follow.” Jack washed the last of his
breakfast down with a swig of tea. “The Lords and Ladies of the Timeless Horizons can scroll time not only
backwards but also forward into the future on some of these lakes that have to do with certain events in certain
places. This doesn’t mean that the future is predetermined in all respects, and yet some aspects of it—the
overall result in some key instances—may be preordained.”

“Hmm. I guess that would be somewhat like going on a trip to see Jack Junior and Rose. We know the
destination before we experience the details of the trip.”

“Yes. It’s sort of like that.” Jack became noticeably apprehensive. “It may be risky looking into the future,
however. Higher Powers in the Celestial Realms are forever looking for volunteers from the Crystal Residents to
forfeit their eternal bliss in heavenly peace, and return to the earth to play key roles in working out a good
future for us ever-groping Earthlings. The Higher Powers are compassionate. They want to allay our endless
strife and suffering as much as they can.”

“Jack, my dearest, would you want to come back here and leave me alone in heaven? Alone in a Crystal Palace
with infinite rooms? It certainly wouldn’t be heaven without you.” Gloom came over her with the thought.

“I could never leave you, my sweet.  The enticement must be very great for Crystal Residents to do this. It
means growing up with a whole new set of genetic burdens, just when these had all been worked out in their
prior incarnation to achieve eternal bliss. One’s nature is modified in the process.”

“That sounds like a harrowing ordeal.”

“Yes! And there would be no guarantee that we would meet up again in another life. One may get harnessed
with a very heavy genetic burden and may not be able to better their future situation in heaven. They may have
to be reborn again two or three times. The Glenzils were clear about that.”

“That doesn’t sound good at all.”

“On the other hand, if one fulfills their destiny in a fully constructive way there are benefits. One may graduate
to a Jade Castle or to higher Celestial Realms for example, although it is not a compulsory thing. In any case
one can earn the right of passage to higher Celestial Realms in other ways, even just for a visit.”

“It sounds extra heavenly. I would like to visit the Celestial Realms! That is if I didn’t have to have another
rebirth.” Silver Moon was emphatic about that.

“The Glenzils said that visits are sometimes arranged for Crystal Palace residents, just so they get some idea of
what it’s like up there, at least at an introductory level. There are many levels in heaven, they said. And
sometimes angels and divas and gods pay visits to Crystal Palaces in the Valley of Heavenly Peace.” Jack was
waving his hands as he spoke.  

Silver Moon rolled her eyes. “I can’t imagine entertaining angels and divas in a Crystal Palace!”

“I will admit that it does strain the imagination some,” he grinned. “And yet it is all quite informal and works like
clockwork. There are certain rules to it all that are impossible to define. They’re just there. That decision to take
a rebirth can sometimes have earthly enticements as well, of course, although these may well entangle one in
more rebirths also, if one gets attached to material rewards that keep drawing one back.”

“You mean if they get reborn into a position of wealth or privilege?”

“Exactly! For instance one may have an opportunity to be born as a crown prince or princess. In special cases
couples may even be reborn in circumstances that should bring them together again, and they may retain
subliminal memories of their previous union. This can be a boon, as the renewed relationship can encourage
them to transcend their material privilege and graduate to higher realms in heaven.”

“Well for my part I don’t want to chance it. It is wonderful here in our cabin together. We have had a full life
together along with our share of heartbreak. We both felt so helpless when we lost little Lily. A cot death is such
a tragic thing.” She paused and gave a long sigh. “But we did come to terms with it in time,” she added slowly. “I
hope she is there in heaven somewhere. But I don’t want to be reborn back here if heaven is as you describe.”

Jack reached for her hand and gave it a squeeze with his bony fingers. “Yes we have been blessed with many
good memories together. And before a rebirth one must drink from the Waters of Forgetfulness below the
surface of the lakes. The Lords and Ladies can also act as guides sometimes for those who choose to pass
through the Portals of Everlasting Departure.”

Silver Moon shook her head with a smile. “Such heavenly names!” she exclaimed.

Jack chuckled. “That’s the way things are called my sweet. Sometimes the gods and divas and angels come to
bid those valiant souls farewell. They wish them success in achieving the destiny assigned, so that they will
have an enhanced return to the joy and appreciation of all. There are only good wishes in heaven. Lord and
Lady Glenzil explained all this before they took us to the Lake of Global Rotation in the Domain of the Historical

“My land what is that??”

That is as much as I am permitted to show. The story takes them on an incredible series of adventures in the
company of others in the Fantasy Islands as the awesome challenge to redeem history unfolds.  All proceeds
from the sale of the book will go to further the work introduced on the website.