109 Slugs and a Lizard Part 10

5 Jan

Part 10

“Why are we stopping again,” William moaned in a highly exaggerated tone?

Eva jumped up to see if she could see what all the commotion was about.

“Look at this you two!”

As Katie and Willie clamored to the front, their imagination met reality when they gazed on the most majestic scene they had ever laid eyes on. Stretching for as far as their little eyes could see was the most spectacular city gate. The only thing they could liken it too, yet the comparison failed miserably, was the entrance gates heading into the Forbidden City in Beijing. The gate stood at least 500 feet tall. The awesomeness sent shivers through them as they stood inside the carriage with jaws dropped and necks kinked. The center of the gate display was a massive wood structure inlaid with an enormous carving of what seemed to be a giant slug. The top of the wooden gate rounded off on each side meeting up with a solid rock wall that spanned in each direction as far as the eye could see. The wall itself was more spectacular that the great wall of China. It stood over 150 feet tall and sparkled all along the front face like each stone was laced with jewels.

“This must be how the Queen of Sheba felt when she went to see King Solomon’s palace and temple,” said Eva.

Before anyone could answer, they were interrupted by the commotion of chains and scratching. The massive gate slowly creaked and moaned opening toward them like a morning yawn;  or was it more like an evening snack? Who could tell at this point?  The carriage was in motion once again through the magnificent red gate and into paradise itself. The city was still a good many miles ahead of them. It seemed as if the city was made up of many different rings. They had just entered into the fourth ring. The last ring appeared to be the city made up of sky scrapers protected by the green blanket spreading across the entire metropolis.

Peering outside the carriage the children saw a busy market place to their left and right in front of oval stone buildings that seemed to be their houses. There were crowded streets filled with vendors selling what looked like colorful fruits, weird veggies, meat on sticks, and many other things they couldn’t recognize. Small children glow worms flooded the crowded streets with long paddle nets that looked like croquet nets.  Balls hurled all down the streets. The carriage never halted or slowed although the look on Williams face made it evident he wanted it too. The sight of children made everything seem more bearable, even if they were glow worm children.

The carriage pressed on through the fourth ring never stopping for a moments notice to allow the children to really take in the sites. Within the hour they could see they were approaching what seemed to be the entrance into the third ring.  The entrance was nothing like the great wall they had encountered before, but as they passed through the next gate which was heavily guarded by hundreds of glow worms, their breath was taken away. They had obviously crossed a threshold from common into the realm of luxury. Silk banners lined the marble roadway that stretched for hundreds of yards leading to the next gate into the second ring. The banners displayed colorful artwork of slugs and symbols.

“They sure do like slugs here,” Will said.

“I think they more than like them, Will,” Eva stated.  “I think they are worshipped or something.”

“Look at that banner over there,” Katie pointed.

On it, a giant yellowish slug sat on a thrown made of gold, while hundreds of creatures bowed before it.

“Ewe,” Katie let out a disgusted whimper. “Who would worship a slug?” “That’s so gross.”

Approaching the next gate into the second ring the carriage came to a stop and was set down in front of the entrance. The glow worms that had carried them this far stepped back and took formation into a straight line and stood at attention firm and regally. The captain of the glow worms stepped to the carriage ushering the children to step forward. One by one they were helped out of the carriage and beckoned with gestures to enter into the next realm on their own. Slowly and hesitantly the children locked arms and stepped up to the threshold. They stood peering into the unknown realm with apprehension, until finally; Eva took the giant step over the threshold pulling Katie and William with her.

Copyright tommuellerbooks

Written by Tom Mueller

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