Meet Thy Maker


Christopher Lawrence Burke


Darkness covered the approaching panther, a silent figure searching for food.

It had almost attacked the strangely garbed human form when a loud buzzing sound frightened it. The panther fled into the woods unnerved and almost deafened by the penetrating sound.

Craznar woke with a start, he had been exhausted. Unable to cast alarm spells he had slept an unknown time in this clearing without protection. The thought of that foolishness quickly evaporated from his mind as he tried to comprehend the unnatural sound emanating from hills just beside these woods.

The sound seemed to defy anything his centuries of agonising life had shown him.

Picking up his deep black knapsack, he decided to investigate the source of the noise, the only joy left in his life being the searching out of new knowledge. He started climbing up several rocks until he came upon a cave, its entrance was flickering with a silver sheen. Through the silver the wizard could see a desert, a long dirty blue river winding its way through the scene.

Feeling that this may help in his never ending search for a clue to the curse that gave him eternal life, Craznar stepped into the inviting silver scene. At once he was overwhelmed with sensation as he felt his body being stretched out to unimaginable lengths. Through all this he retained consciousness, seeing his body alternately stretched and squeezed. Gradually the world returned to normal, and Craznar struggled to stand up on a sandy desert.

Investigating his surroundings he found it odd that no trees grew on this river, and that no current disturbed the filthy water's surface. He started walking toward the river, the sun followed him, as if to ensure its victim could not escape. Craznar started hallucinating as he realised he needed water, the sun having travelled most of its days journey since he had arrived on this hellish plane of existence. He had thought himself lost when he finally reached this strange still river hoping for life saving water.

On my hands and knees , crawling into the centre of the river I found it odd, my last semblance of reason telling me that this was not water, but some black evil substance that captured the sun's heat to a point where it burnt. The pain of heat forged through my already tired body, this shocked me back to reality and I heard a loud rumbling noise like a herd of buffalo approaching along this black path. I peered up toward the sound and my eyes followed a strange disjoint white line to the horizon where it met a large rectangular object bearing down on me with terrifying speed. I hoped it would stop, death was painful, I had experienced it several times before. I looked up ,the box close enough that I could see a man inside. As he saw me I heard a loud screeching sound like a group of vultures. Then I saw the beginnings of a pattern familiar to me ... death.

I woke in strange surroundings, I was on a soft bed inclined so my head was raised above my body. Strange noises emanated from peculiar sculptures all around the room, I was alone. Maybe I had finally died, curse removed.

A woman entered the room, an attractive woman dressed in white, maybe these are the servants of the gods?

The woman broke the silence, spoke to me, the first conversation I remember for many days. "Hello, I am your nurse. You have had a very bad accident but you were very lucky that semi didn't kill you".

I didn't understand many of the words, but gathered she was a healer, I responded "I feel recovered, may I leave now?"

She responded "No we need to check everything is OK", the nurse left the room.

I had realised that the cave had not solved my curse, but instead had transported me to another time, another place. I would need to dress accordingly. As my strength had returned, I had within minutes created clothes similar to the truck driver, the only other man I had seen. After a trying journey from the room, pulling out tubes stuck into my arm and nose then dealing with mystery after mystery I escaped from the building.

Once outside the building I was struck by a myriad of sounds and sensations, noises, smells and sights too numerous to count, I joined the throng of people walking past the healers house. Recovering from the initial shock I decided to find out where I was, I stopped the next person to come near me and said "Books, Knowledge"

The young man responded by motioning me toward a large building with sculptured columns and carved heads surrounding it, the first building I had seen with a hint of familiarity. I started toward the structure and as I neared, saw the sign out front "PUBLIC LIBRARY". I entered into the building and as a contrast to outside, and to libraries of my era, the quietness inside made my ears ring. I was walking toward the main area of books when a man sitting writing at a table caught my attention, walking over to him I stood behind him to see what he was writing.

The writer looked up toward me and said with a touch of terror in his voice, "It cannot be".

"What cannot be?" I replied.

"I wrote you" he responded still shaking with disbelief. He closed the book after writing one more sentence.

I understood fully as I saw the title on the book, it read "Meet Thy Maker".



March 1992