Tag Archive: The Hobbit

Jan 08

In the Company of Angels: Episode 3.2 – The Gallery (cont.)

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In the Company of Angels, Episode 3.2 – The Gallery (cont.)

“I mean, are the crystals radioactive or something?!” Jill started looking at the fronts and backs of her hands, as if expecting her skin to start peeling off at any moment.

“Oh, no, no! Have no worries on that score!” said Mr. Luke. “It’s just that it might have caused…well…mischief might be the best term to use. Happily, you returned it without any mishap.”

“Well,” said Sam, “that’s not entirely true, Mr. Luke. I haven’t had time to fill you in on everything that happened.”

“Oh? Well then, tell me now.”

 “In front of Jill?”

 “Did Jill see anything we need be concerned about?”

 “Not really. But others did.”

 “Well, that’s unfortunate; I’ll need to know the details of course….”

“There’s not that much to tell other than that Jill’s cousin fell into a painting and I had to retrieve him.”

“He what?!!”

“Like I said. But, I got him back out again safely, and it happened so fast that it didn’t cause that much of a stir. Jill, do you think Kate and Rusty took everything well? I mean, do you think what happened scared them very badly?”

“I think Kate is OK,” said Jill. “I thought Rusty was going to pitch a fit, but you seemed to have calmed him down. How did you do that, by the way? Rusty doesn’t get along with anyone, but after you left he talked about you like you had become his best friend in the world.”

Sam grinned. “I just told him the truth; that is, enough to satisfy him. But he promised to keep it all a secret. Don’t worry, Mr. Luke, Rusty’s pretty young. He’ll be OK. But, there’s one other thing you should know about last night; we had a visit from the spooks.”

Mr. Luke’s brow furrowed. “Well, I suppose that was to be expected once the sapphire was out of your possession. But you retrieved the crystal before they were able to get to it?”

“Yep. But, I was just in time,” said Sam.

“‘Spooks’?” asked Jill, “What are they?”

“All in good time, my dear, and nothing for you to worry about at present,” said Mr. Luke. “But, first things first. You don’t fully know what the sapphires do yet, do you?”

 “Not really, Mr. Luke, although I’ve got my suspicions.”

 “Alright then, it’s time we educated you.” Mr. Luke stood up and took a few steps toward the nearest easel. “Samuel, lend her your sapphire.”

 Sam handed the pendant to Jill.

 “Jill, please make sure your hand is touching the crystal.”

 Jill grasped the sapphire and once again felt that slight electrical tingling that she had experienced the day before.

 “Now, look at this painting. Do you notice anything different?”

 “Yes, it’s like what happened yesterday. It looks…somehow…brighter, almost like it’s not a painting anymore. It looks more like a window than a painting: a window into another room.”

 “More truthfully, it is a window into another world. That’s the gist of it, really,” said Mr. Luke. “What you think you’re seeing is exactly correct; when you are touching one of the sapphires, this painting – or any painting – becomes a portal into another world or into another time.”

 “Another world? But what world?”

 “Whatever world the artist was trying to depict when the painting or sketch was created.”

 “But, those places aren’t real…are they…?”

 “Well, some of them certainly are real: you know, as when a painting depicts Paris, or Mount Everest, or one of the Polynesian islands. But many others are of what we think of as imaginary places: like Narnia, or Middle-earth, or Tatooine, or Gallifrey.”

 “But you said these were portals. Do you mean you can actually go there?”

 “Yes, you can. Or, at least, we can. With the help of the sapphires.”

 Jill stepped toward the painting and stared at it. It was of a ship on a stormy sea, sailing away toward an enormous mountain peak in the distance. A light glimmered on the summit of that peak, as if a star had come to rest upon its crest. And even as Jill approached the painting, she felt a gentle breeze caress her brow and could smell the tang of salt sea air.

 “Go ahead, reach out your hand and touch it,” said Mr. Luke.

 Jill stretched her arm out and watched as her fingers passed into the space of the picture, just as they had done the day before. But, just as then, she was so startled that she pulled her hand back. Her heart was beating furiously.

 “I know…it’s a little spooky at first.” It was Sam, who had stepped beside her. “But I’ve been framerunning through so many different worlds, I’ve gotten quite used to it by now. The big shock is putting your head in and looking around. That will really freak you out!”

 “I think there will be plenty of time for that later,” said Mr. Luke. “Jill, are you alright? I know this takes some getting used to. Let’s sit back down for a moment. You look a bit shaken, which is understandable. There’s still much to explain.”

 They sat back down by the tea things and everyone was silent. Then Jill felt like she was about to burst; she had so many questions to ask!

 “OK, alright, so you can jump into a painting….” Jill said.

 “We call it framerunning,” said Mr. Luke.

 “OK, you can do this…this framerunning thing. But, why is it such a secret? I mean, I know I’d love to visit Narnia, or Erebor, or Mole’s house in The Wind in the Willows, so why hasn’t everyone heard about this? It seems like if people knew, they would all want to! And there’d be so much that they could experience and learn from visiting other worlds. So, why not let them?”

 “Well, there are quite a few reasons. But, let me explain about the crystals first: the sapphires. There aren’t that many of them, you see; not the kind that allow you to framerun. There are plenty of plain sapphires out there, but only a few, from a very specific place, that allow you to experience what you just did with that painting. Those were discovered thousands of years ago, by members of an Order. And members of that Order have been the keepers of those sapphires and of their secrets ever since they were first discovered.

 “Because, there are dangers associated with framerunning; very significant dangers, and too many to detail all at once right now! But consider, just for a moment, that if what I am telling you is true, and if you can travel into another world – Middle-earth, for instance – then the inhabitants of that other world might also be able to travel here.”

 “So?” said Jill.

 “So…” said Sam, “Think for just a minute what might happen if, say, the dragon, Smaug, was able to get from Erebor into New York city. Don’t say anything, just think about it for a minute.”

 “Smaug in New York…” Jill repeated to herself. She considered. She could see, in her mind’s eye, an enormous dragon strafing the streets of Times Square with fire, torching entire buildings filled with office workers, teachers, and children, crushing buses and taxis with its tail. Then she thought of ships burning and exploding in New York Harbour, of the Statue of Liberty melting and buckling in the heat of the dragon’s blast, of enormous plumes of smoke and ash rising from New York and encircling the globe, as Smaug the Magnificent destroyed and devoured all in his path.

 “You see truly, little one,” said a sweet metallic voice. Jill was startled from her thoughts and looked around. Standing a few feet behind her chair was a figure that at first she thought must be a modern stainless steel sculpture. But it hadn’t been there before, of that Jill was certain. The sculpture was in the shape of a tall, graceful woman; a woman with wings!

 “Jill, meet Polydora,” said Mr. Luke.

. . .

        [ To read Episode 4.1, click here…. ]