Zach made a spectacular hole-in-one right through the windmill, under the swinging gorilla and into the cup. How could life get any better?, he thought to himself. And all with Amanda watching! The girls clapped and giggled and Travis doffed his Bears cap, saluting Zach
The evening went well and Zach went home in a glow of happy anticipation of life in the seventh grade.
The glow was forgotten as he stepped into his room to find Angari sitting on his bed. Angari! How did you get here? Zach stood in the doorway staring at the full-size Alari sitting on his bed.
We discovered I was the only one who could come and go freely from our world to yours, Zach. Weve been trying for years to get it right, but this is the only thing that worked.
Years? You were just here a couple of weeks ago. Whats with the years?
Youve forgotten that time flows at a different pace in Windfallow. It has been almost twenty years since you were there.
Zach dropped into the chair by his desk and stared at Angari. Youre invisible to everyone but me, arent you?
Yes. How did you know?
Well, youre not exactly dressed for earth, you know.
Oh, thats right. Angari looked down at his tights and tunic. His wings were folded along his side and legs and his bright yellow hair was a tousled mass of curls. Guess its just as well they cant see me, huh?
Yeah. Why dont you look older, Angari? If its been twenty years. Zach suddenly sat up straight. What about Stilts? He was old when I was there. Is he still alive?
Not with us, Zach. He has been taken to the Eternal Plane. I think you will see him when you reach that place.
You mean Heaven?
Yes, I think thats what you call it. Weve been studying the Holy Bible you gave to Stilts. Tears filled Angaris eyes. I am the only angel who has been allowed to read it and only a few of the elders. We are afraid the fallowfolk and the Alari as well would be terribly wounded even to read what your earth has done to the Makers Son.
The tears fell down his cheeks. How could you do that to Him? Angaris wings unfolded and he began to change into the incredible creature Zach had seen before. Then, his wings relaxed and he was plain old Angari again. Forgive me, Zach, I know it was not you who did it.
But Im just as capable of it, Angari, Zach said sadly. Thats the main difference between our world and yours. He was silent for a moment, then asked, Can you tell my why youve come back?
Yes. We need your help again, Zach. The mindless and their leader have been making raids into Windfallow. We have managed to keep the Bells hidden, but they are taking rocks and gold. Theyve even killed a man and his wife. We need you there to help us, my friend.
But you just said no one could travel between our worlds but you. How do I get there? And how do the mindless get through?
The mindless come as they did before through the aid of the evil one of this world. Because of that we have worked out a plan we think will work. If the mindless can travel back and forth, theres reason to hope it will work for you as well. Heres what you must do. He drew a map from his pocket and spread it on the bed. This is the Barrier Wood. Do you remember where you entered it before?
Sure, its only been a couple of weeks. Is that where I go in?