Part 78 of the ongoing saga of The Great Being, the One Self that manifests as each of us.
It was a short walk from the tavern to the seaside. Athenius and Sniike walked astride a few paces behind Melchizedek and Layla, who had kicked off their shoes and were reveling in digging their bare feet in the sand, holding hands and singing something the Greek and the Parsan could not make out.
They walked past some crude rowboats with cruder sail-rigs and stopped at a strange and unimpressive little vessel, smaller than anything else they had seen. Looking down into it, it looked as if there was something dark to sit on, but there were no oars or places to affix them, and certainly no sail.
“This is your boat?” Sniike remarked, now suspecting that the whole setup was a fraud.
“Yes, isn’t she a beauty?” Melchizedek asked proudly. “Layla picked the carpeting.” Layla looked humbly gratified. “It’s Parsan carpeting,” she said to Sniike, hoping he would take it is a compliment to his people. Sniike did a double-take as his eyes adjusted and he was able to make out the complex scrollwork. “I’ve never seen a Parsan carpet in a boat before,” Sniike confessed, “nor any other kind of carpet.”
“That’s the deep blue your carpetmakers call Perse,” Athenius, the man of the world, informed Sniike. Named in honor of Perse, Maitreya pathed into the minds of Melchizedek and Layla.
“Are we going to paddle with our hands?” Sniike asked. “How long will the trip take without any sail?”
“It’s however long you’d like it to take. We can create our own wind, so to speak, and make it take us in any direction,” Melchizedek said.
Athenius with a dubious look got into the boat, which was beached and so he was adding to the effort it would take Melchizedek to lift and push the boat off into the water. He was prepared to jump up and help once the others were in, but had an instinct to lead, so he did. The carpet and whatever was under it felt like lying on a plush bed, so he was glad he had lain down. The others followed his lead and discovered the comfort of the craft.
“Now what?” Sniike asked, implying that the joke had gone far enough, and they were not going anywhere in this thing. The splashing water would wreck the value of the carpet.
“Do you want to take us out, Mister Sniike?” Layla asked, and Sniike jumped off to push them off, proud to be acknowledged the strong man of the group. She stopped him, saying, “No, sit down. Try moving the boat with just your mind, let it know the direction you want to go, which is over there,” she pointed. Sniike sat down and tried to comply but nothing happened and he harrumphed at being made the butt of her little child’s joke.
“Athenius?” Melchizedek offered next honors to the Greek man.
“You say I just will it, and it does whatever I have willed?” Athenius clarified.
Melchizedek agreed, “That’s it.”
A moment later the boat lurched upward about a foot and rocked a lot then steadied. “Good work, Athenius!” Melchizedek said, and Layla patted the man on the back.
Sniike’s eyes narrowed. The boat began tentatively to move in the direction Layla had pointed and picked up a little speed. At about ten miles per hour it stopped accelerating and moved out over the water, catching the attention of some people both on shore and out in cruder boats.
Sniike cautiously inched toward the edge of the boat and carefully looked over. The side of the boat was now seen to be a continuous gold ring that ran all the way around the ovoid boat. “Can I try steering it again?” he asked somewhat petulantly.
“Of course, sir,” Athenius said. The boat continued to move in the same course.
“Go ahead,” Layla encouraged Sniike. Nothing changed.
“What’s the secret?” Sniike asked, clearly aggravated.
“Just assume you can do it, and do it, don’t complicate it,” Athenius advised.
Sniike tried to put this into practice but the boat followed its previous orders.
“You have to truly open your mind to believe you can do it,” Melchizedek suggested gently. “It’s not just a matter of fooling other people, you’ve got to yourself believe it is possible, before you can do miracles.”
Suddenly Sniike broke through and the boat took off straight up, very fast. “WHEEEEEE!!!!!” he exclaimed like a little boy again, and began flying madly every which way. Layla reclined in Melchizedek’s arms, both of them cool as cucumbers, while Athenius clung with his fingernails into the carpet. But even with the boat turned upside down they were held snugly to the carpet, and when Sniike purposely steered them directly into a thunder cloud, they stayed perfectly dry while seemingly an arm’s reach away a torrent of water was stopped by something invisible.
Sniike now took them down near the water and increased the speed until they were moving so fast over the water that a moment later they could see something — something enormous — coming up over the horizon.
TO BE CONTINUED
Best to all,