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Stick Man, The Bell Tower and the Rose CrossStick Man, The Bell Tower & The Rose Cross
The sun was going down, and the wheat fields were behind them. The butterflies had for the most part disappeared, but occasionally one would flutter by and land on Stick Man's shoulder, as if to remind him of what had happened before.
They came to a clearing where a path led down a hill into a valley. There was a small town in the valley, which appeared to be hundreds of years old. The men wore earth-colored leather britches; wide leather belts, and rough yellow cotton shirts. The women wore simple, long flowing skirts, easy to gather for when they worked in the vineyards that flourished in the space between the church and the hillside.
In the middle of the town was a bell tower. It was tall, probably 40 meters, with a church apse at the bottom, a middle floor, a higher floor, and then a belfry, with bells that could be seen through the round-topped windows.
Stick Man and Wildebeest wandered into the town just as dusk beg
Stick Man and the ButterflyStick Man was tired by the time he got to the oak tree. The sun was hot, and he had long run out of the water that he brought with him from the river.
The wildebeest had followed him, and was curled up in the shade of the tree.
After some time had passed, Stick Man and the beast were rested, thousands and thousands of newborn butterflies suddenly took to the sky.
It is a rare sight and a mystery why so many butterflies will all be born and take flight at the same time. It is like seeing a huge living, pulsating color cloud rise from the earth, expand and finally dissipate as the butterflies spread out over the land.
Though he was tired, the sight energized him and he watched in wonder, and then seized by an impulse, he gave chase to the cloud.
The wildebeest was content to remain under the tree. In fact, he barely opened an eye.
Stick Man kept chasing the butterflies, until a rather large one caught his eye and became the focus of his chase. Captivated by its beauty and colors, he was
Stick Man And The Field of WheatStick Man found himself in a field of wheat that seemed to stretch on forever.
Off in the distance he saw an enormous tree, so he began to walk towards it.
The wheat was knee high on him, and made a swishing sound as he walked.
Save for the sound, and the light breeze, it was quiet in the field of wheat.
He walked for some time, finally arriving at a river. Sitting on a large log before the river and staring at him was an old man.
The old man seemed truly ancient and had a penetrating gaze. His face was like cracked, dried tar, his eyes an iridescent blue, his hair cropped short, as white as the clouds that dotted the sky above.
Stick Man stopped. Mesmerized by the sight of the old man and the gentle sounds of the river, he took a seat on the log next to him.
Neither spoke, nor felt obligated to speak. The was a silence, a peace between them.
But the serenity was broken by the sudden appearance of a giant, shaggy wildebeest, who rose out of the wheat directly in front of Stick Man.
Teenage TaoismGiving birth is the closest I’d ever felt to dying.
Before that, my near death experiences had consisted only of my silent announcement of pregnancy—silent, being that my social media accounts were all deleted almost simultaneously and I never returned to school in the fall, saying without really saying that I had caught the malicious disease of “teenage pregnancy”. I’m sure the whisper spread in the hallways like the Bubonic Plague. That September, sitting at home on what would have been the first day of my senior year, I imagined friends I’d never talk to again saying “she was only seventeen, and so full of life!” at my absence in the cafeteria tables, as if they were attending my funeral instead of talking about me behind my back.
"Full of life," I had snorted then, folding a never ending stream of what had once been my own baby clothes. "Literally."
I walked around like a zombie for the months of my pregnancy, deciding t
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